This was on show at IBC, but no details were available. Today Sony issued a press release with in depth information about this new 35mm camera. It’s a little disappointing that it only records at 35Mb/s 4:2:0 internally (just like an EX), but encouraging that there will be a dual link HDSDi option do full 4:4:4 external recording will be possible (hmmm thinks NanoFlash at 180Mb/s). The pictures I saw from it at IBC looked amazing and reading the specs I note that the noise figure is 63db which is astounding. An EX3 is 54db and PMW-350 is 59db, so the F3 has around 40% less noise than a PMW-350 and around 70% less noise than an EX1 or EX3. For me picture noise is crucial as the noise in an image will limit what you can do in post. Another important note is that when you use S-Log gamma curves you get 800% Dynamic range (PMW-350/PMW-500 maximum is 640%) or around 12 stops. The numbers are remarkable close to those for the F35. The price is very attractive at 14,500 Euros List for the body only, so expect a street price of around £11k to £12k.
The camera has a special Sony lens mount but is supplied with a PL mount adapter. A range of low cost PL mount lenses will also be available and as most of us used to working with TV broadcast cameras these lens kits will be a good option as to buy a set of PL mount primes is a major investment. PMW-F3K with three lenses (35, 50, 85mm F2.0) – Euros 20,700. At NAB next year Sony will also show dedicated zoom lenses for the F3.
In addition there will be a ’3D link” option for stereoscopic applications. Will it sell? Well I’m sure it will, but there will be some stiff competition from Red with Epic at 4K and Panasonic with the much cheaper AF100.
I hope to get some hands on time with one at Interbee in Japan next week and then on the Sony Roadshow event in Oslo on the 23rd of November. I’ll keep you posted!