Jump to content




Photo

Is the PMW F3 true 444 ?


  • Please log in to reply
25 replies to this topic

#1 Jimmy Jib

Jimmy Jib
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 27 posts
  • Other
  • Australia

Posted 14 February 2016 - 11:53 AM

Hey people,

Just got my Sony F3L with Slog and RGB 444 enabled. Wondering whether I should save up for a Gemini recorder or an Odyssey 7Q to get the 444 color output. I've read some posts claiming the F3 really isn't capable of true 444 output also, not sure where they get this from, as the Cinealta Sensor on the F3 is built for Cinema ( 14 bit DSP -- not 8 bit DSP like the Canon C100 ) Could it be that they are comparing it to other, much more expensive 444 capable cameras? ( 12 bit and higher cams, with 4K and 5K RAW capable sensors ) At the 10 bit 1080p level all I expect and want from the 444 signal is to be a little more robust than the 10 bit 422 signal ( especially for grading ). Let's face it... many workflows now need to rely on DaVinci Resolve for proper grading, and a 444 signal SHOULD offer more flexibility than a 422 signal. If it does... that might translate into better results, and worth the trouble and expense.

 


  • 0




#2 Mark Kenfield

Mark Kenfield
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 712 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Melbourne, Australia

Posted 14 February 2016 - 07:18 PM

From what I can remember, the F3 has something like a 2.3 megapixel sensor, that it downsamples into a 1080p image. The 'true 4:4:4' issue is that it doesn't physically have enough photosites to capture as much red and blue chroma information as it can luminance information - so technically (from what I can remember) it's 4:4:4 mode is roughly halfway between 4:2:2 and true 4:4:4 chroma subsampling.

So shooting with 4:4:4 on the F3 will still yield more chroma information than 4:2:2, it just won't be quite as good as true 4:4:4.
  • 0

#3 Robin R Probyn

Robin R Probyn
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1034 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Tokyo

Posted 15 February 2016 - 02:00 AM

Problem is a Bayer sensor.. never real 444.. only stripe or 3 CCD sensor will eg F35,F900,Genesis .."built for cinema" doesnt really mean anything in this regard.. even Alexa is not "real"444.. 

 

I believe the internal F3 is only 8bit 420.. definitely not cinema :)..so even 10 bit 422 is a massive advantage .. but 444 isnt really that huge a leap in comparison..  99%of the time.. but getting any from the internal recording is a good idea for sure.. 


  • 0

#4 Jon Kline

Jon Kline
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 45 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Chicago, IL

Posted 16 February 2016 - 01:20 PM

The F3 has 3.36 effective megapixels. That means a maximum luma resolution of about 2440 x1372. Assuming a traditional bayer array, you have 64% of the spatial chroma information needed for true 4:4:4. Of course, you'll also have bit depth, which will be much higher coming off the sensor than you'll be recording into the video file. So assuming the debayering algorithm is working well, you'll have a lot more information available than can fit into 4:4:4, even with the limited chroma sampling sites.

 

It would not be expected to perform as well during green screening as a "true" 4:4:4 camera with more photosites. But for everyday work, the extra bit depth information will exceed the resolution limitations. For green screen, you probably want a 4K camera anyway.


  • 0

#5 Jimmy Jib

Jimmy Jib
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 27 posts
  • Other
  • Australia

Posted 17 February 2016 - 10:54 AM

Wow, thanks for the informative responses people! I guess the F3 is a camera in desperate need of a good hack? :P
I really want to stay @ 1080 for now. Here in Australia, most of the programs on TV are still compressed to SD. During prime time,
some programs are now shown on 720p and others in 1080i... good to see this now, although it's still a minority of the programming.
VHS tapes are still being sold in supermarkets, and DVDs are still more popular than Blu Rays.
Of course you always want the most modern camera possible, but given that my previous cam was the Panasonic HPX172 ( still well regarded for 720p ) I think the leap to the Sony F3 will be sufficient for me. I know the internal codec is not great, so I plan to add an external recorder soon ( probably the PIX240i ) Can't really comment on 10 bit RGB 444 yet, but will definitely be experimenting with it in post, especially with DaVinci Resolve.


  • 0

#6 Mark Kenfield

Mark Kenfield
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 712 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Melbourne, Australia

Posted 18 February 2016 - 03:08 AM

Wow, thanks for the informative responses people! I guess the F3 is a camera in desperate need of a good hack? :P
I really want to stay @ 1080 for now. Here in Australia, most of the programs on TV are still compressed to SD. During prime time,
some programs are now shown on 720p and others in 1080i... good to see this now, although it's still a minority of the programming.
VHS tapes are still being sold in supermarkets, and DVDs are still more popular than Blu Rays.
Of course you always want the most modern camera possible, but given that my previous cam was the Panasonic HPX172 ( still well regarded for 720p ) I think the leap to the Sony F3 will be sufficient for me. I know the internal codec is not great, so I plan to add an external recorder soon ( probably the PIX240i ) Can't really comment on 10 bit RGB 444 yet, but will definitely be experimenting with it in post, especially with DaVinci Resolve.

 

The F3's a hell of a camera, with a terrific 1080p image. So I don't think you need to worry about that. Just get a 10-bit ProRes recorder ASAP. The PIX240 is great. I paired one with mine and really loved the combo.

 

Actually, if you're in the market for one let me know, I'm moving to a larger 7" on-board monitor, so won't really need the PIX anymore. Happy to work out a good price for you (plus it already has all the bits you'd need for the F3).


  • 0

#7 Jimmy Jib

Jimmy Jib
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 27 posts
  • Other
  • Australia

Posted 19 February 2016 - 02:01 PM

Thanks Mark. Definitely see myself using 10 bit 422 for most projects... but I always like to squeeze every last pixel out of my cameras so I think I will be trying to get the PIX240i for its proRes 444 capabilities ( the PIX240 only does 422 ) Fantastic tool, but will cost almost as much as the camera!


  • 0

#8 Jimmy Jib

Jimmy Jib
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 27 posts
  • Other
  • Australia

Posted 25 February 2016 - 12:43 AM

 

 

I believe the internal F3 is only 8bit 420..

It records 8 bit 420 internally, but it's capable of much more than that

Sony refers to a 14 bit DSP :

96m2s1.jpg

( taken from an F3 workshop )


  • 0

#9 Robin R Probyn

Robin R Probyn
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1034 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Tokyo

Posted 25 February 2016 - 01:20 AM

oh yeah sure.. I meant only the internal recording.. sorry not trying to dis the F3 at all.. Ive used it in the past.. great image.. just wish it had a decent EVF.. and 50 Mbps internal for broadcast.. back in the day..


  • 0

#10 Jimmy Jib

Jimmy Jib
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 27 posts
  • Other
  • Australia

Posted 26 February 2016 - 01:24 PM

I guess the F3 has kind of fallen behind the times with the advent of these new 4K cameras on the market.
Meanwhile, I often find myself watching YouTube content in 480p ( even 240p sometimes ! ) :P Never actually
tried 4K yet... ( I think my monitor only does 2K )


  • 0

#11 Robin R Probyn

Robin R Probyn
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1034 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Tokyo

Posted 26 February 2016 - 07:29 PM

For TV I don't think much is being delivered 4K.. some people what to future proof their programs.. but in my experience its mostly for re framing.. wide,tight etc.. some small moves .. stabilizing etc.. in corporate video shoots.. 


  • 0

#12 Mark Kenfield

Mark Kenfield
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 712 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Melbourne, Australia

Posted 27 February 2016 - 04:50 AM

Thanks Mark. Definitely see myself using 10 bit 422 for most projects... but I always like to squeeze every last pixel out of my cameras so I think I will be trying to get the PIX240i for its proRes 444 capabilities ( the PIX240 only does 422 ) Fantastic tool, but will cost almost as much as the camera!

 

The PIX240 has the same 12-bit 4:4:4 recording as the 240i, the only difference is the IPS panel on the newer model, which has better viewing angles at the same resolution.


  • 0

#13 Wolfrs

Wolfrs

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Moscow

Posted 28 February 2016 - 06:11 AM

It's closer to 4:4:2 rather than 4:4:4. Almost 4:4:3 :)


  • 0

#14 Stuart Brereton

Stuart Brereton
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2574 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 01 March 2016 - 12:36 AM

Wolfrs & Jimmy Jib, this is a real, full names forum. you need to contact the Forum Administrator, Tim Tyler, to have your screen name changed.

 

Thanks.


  • 1

#15 Jon Kline

Jon Kline
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 45 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Chicago, IL

Posted 02 March 2016 - 12:24 PM

Wolfrs & Jimmy Jib, this is a real, full names forum. you need to contact the Forum Administrator, Tim Tyler, to have your screen name changed.

 

Thanks.

Awww, c'mon, Jimmy Jib could totally be someone's name! I'm pretty sure he's engaged to Dolly Fisher.


  • 0

#16 Jimmy Jib

Jimmy Jib
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 27 posts
  • Other
  • Australia

Posted 28 March 2016 - 10:11 AM

Administrators: Don't assume my name isn't real because it sounds funny. <_<


  • 0

#17 Jimmy Jib

Jimmy Jib
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 27 posts
  • Other
  • Australia

Posted 28 March 2016 - 10:23 AM

 

The PIX240 has the same 12-bit 4:4:4 recording as the 240i, the only difference is the IPS panel on the newer model, which has better viewing angles at the same resolution.

I am pretty sure the 444 is exclusive to the 240i version. To accomplish this it needs a dual SDI feed ( A and B ) which is built into it and the F3 can provide.
The only other devices that I know of that can get 444 out of the F3 are :

Convergent Design Gemini 4:2:2 / 4:4:4 HD Video Recorder   and

Sony SR-R1 HD-SDI 4:4:4 RGB SR Recorder
  • 0

#18 Mark Kenfield

Mark Kenfield
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 712 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Melbourne, Australia

Posted 28 March 2016 - 11:20 AM

 

I am pretty sure the 444 is exclusive to the 240i version. To accomplish this it needs a dual SDI feed ( A and B ) which is built into it and the F3 can provide.
The only other devices that I know of that can get 444 out of the F3 are :

Convergent Design Gemini 4:2:2 / 4:4:4 HD Video Recorder   and

Sony SR-R1 HD-SDI 4:4:4 RGB SR Recorder

 

 

Nope, the PIX240 offers the same 4:4:4 recording, I use it on mine all the time. It's only the screen that they upgraded on the 240i.

 

The PIX recorders can't accept a dual link feed though, since they only have a single 3G SDI input. So you either need a multiplexer or the 4:4:4 upgrade for the F3 (which turns the SDI 'A' port on the F3 into a 3GSDI port) to get 4:4:4 from the F3 into a PIX240/PIX240i.

 

There's a range of other recorders available now that'll give you 4:4:4 though. The PIX-E5 and PIX-E7, the Odyssey 7Q, the Gemini, the AJA Ki Pro Quad.


  • 0

#19 Jimmy Jib

Jimmy Jib
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 27 posts
  • Other
  • Australia

Posted 28 March 2016 - 01:50 PM

Wow. Seems like you might be right! I must have gotten mixed  up with the dual link option listed as 1.5G RGB on the F3 Menus.

28i3vut.jpg

Fortunately I do have the RGB 444 upgrade on the F3. I shall reconsider my options now, however I remember reading about frequent reliability issues other users were
having with the PIX240, which is typical of a first generation product. I assume that Sound Devices try or managed to fix those issues with firmware updates but it's probably a safer bet to
go with the 240i. The Odyssey 7Q is worth a look as well, as I plan to use the FS700 alongside the F3 ( for the slow mo )


  • 0

#20 Jimmy Jib

Jimmy Jib
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 27 posts
  • Other
  • Australia

Posted 03 April 2016 - 11:16 AM

Actually, I think it was an old REDuser thread that misled me. Some people thought the original PIX240 could not do 4:4:4.
It's 2016 now.. and we know better. I must say I am a little intrigued by the notion that 4K 8 bit 4:2:0 can downscale to 2K 10 bit 4:4:4  using Resolve
as mentioned on a different thread on this forum...


  • 0


CineLab

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Abel Cine

Glidecam

Visual Products

Zylight

The Slider

Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineTape

rebotnix Technologies

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

Willys Widgets

Pro 8mm

Ritter Battery

Willys Widgets

Rig Wheels Passport

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineLab

Technodolly

Tai Audio

rebotnix Technologies

CineTape

The Slider

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Paralinx LLC

Abel Cine

Glidecam

Pro 8mm

Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

Zylight