PMW-F3 Aliasing Update: Not the issue I feared it might be!

A further update. Sony have requested the original clips with the moire, and I have provided them with these. I have not been able to reproduce the effect with any other brickwork, roof tiles or other repeating patterns other than charts. There seems to be something about the particularly dark shade of bricks with very bright mortar (cement) that the F3 doesn’t like. In addition I have not heard from anyone else using an F3 out in the wild that is having any issues. At least now I know what to watch out for. The moire was only slight and my wife didn’t spot it until I pointed it out to her.

I am very pleased with the images I’m getting from my F3 having just finished my first paying job with it. It was nothing exciting, just a corporate shoot, but the shallow DoF and reduced amount of lighting required has resulted in some really nice footage of an otherwise dull subject. I can’t show you the clips due to client confidentiality, but the client likes the look a lot and it was easier to achieve than it would have been with a DSLR thanks to the proper video camera ergonomics.

7 thoughts on “PMW-F3 Aliasing Update: Not the issue I feared it might be!”

  1. Hi Alister,
    Do you think this issue is affected in any way by the glass you are using?

    I have two full F3 kits on order from my dealer including Zeiss CP.2 lenses so I’m just wondering if they will make any difference (good or bad) to the moire issue.
    Yesterday I told my dealer about your discovery and asked them for comment – they are looking into it themselves now – I guess if enough enquiries are made Sony themselves might actually come out with a response of some sort.

    thanks again for your tireless evaluations and tests. You keep so many of us in the know!

    1. In theory the better the lens the worse any moire would be. The lenses I’m using have higher resolution than the sensor is capable of so are probably “worst case scenario”. I would expect similar results with any high end lens.

      Ironically a terrible soft lens would make it go away!

  2. Sorry to hear this Alister but your last comment reads like a backtrack from your earlier findings, sounds like the heavy boys may have been leaning on you a bit?
    IMO your camera reviews and tests are highly respected and long may they continue.
    Your aliasing and moire comparison is very informative and factual, (the charts don’t lie) and hope that Sony take your findings onboard for the F3-R.
    Don’t Sony realise that most houses in the UK are built with red bricks and light mortar. It wouldn’t surprise me if Sony came out with a statement to say that this moiré is in fact a positive feature of the camera. Have you had the opportunity to test for IR contamination with the F3?

    1. No one has asked me to backtrack, there are no heavy boys leaning on me. Sony don’t operate that way. Sony have asked to see the footage and I would hope to hear back from them in due course.

      I have not tested for IR. So many things to test and so little time!! The moire is there, under certain conditions. When I tested various DSLR’s I found that anything with a repetitive pattern was a candidate for moire, when I saw the moire from the my F3 alarm bells rang and I think I over reacted to some extent, panicking that I may have spent a lot of money on a camera that does not meet my own minimum standards. The F3 is not the same as a DSLR, it does not aliase like a DSLR. The more I use the camera the more I like it. I do wish the moire wasn’t there, it lets an otherwise excellent camera down. But I am still planning on purchasing a second F3 for 3D productions just as soon as my budget will allow as there is nothing else on the market, at this price, that produces images that in most situations are anywhere near as good as those from the F3.

  3. Hi Alister
    ‘Backtracking & Sony heavy boys’ comment purely in jest and not intended to offend.
    My apologies. I’m also looking at upgrading our ex1 & two ex3’s next year and have been closely following the F3, so to read your initial reports has also sounded my alarms bells, as I was very disappointed to discover the IR issue with the ex1 & 3 only after our purchase. No doubt the moiré issue will be raised and discussed in other forums and hope Sony sorts it. Look forward to reading your thorough reports.

  4. I got my f3 last week and have experienced similar problems. Special glasses with sparsely frame has caused problems – even with off retail. Im using a Angenieux Optimo 16-42mm and 30-80mm. I just want to test your settings tomorrow and see if it is better.

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