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Sony F3 or BMCC (ended up with a Sony F35)
  • I have been offered a used Sony F3 for only slightly more than what the Blackmagic Cinema Camera costs. I have long been intent on buying the Blackmagic, but now I'm unsure. I haven't tried any of these cameras personally, so any advice would be greatly appreciated! Which one produces the most attractive image to you? Does one handle motion better than the other? How about low-light and general usability? I'm also uncertain about the advantages of 12 bit RAW over 10 bit S-LOG, as well as 2.7k over 1080p. Will those aspects make a world of difference, and is it worth the hassle?

    I guess it's a luxury problem. I've seen amazing stuff from both cameras!

  • 37 Replies sorted by
  • F3 its a no brainer. If you want to get a BMCC you could sell it and have enough cash to buy 2.

  • Thanks for the response! Would you care to elaborate a bit? What exactly would you say is its advantages over the BMCC (other than the ergonomics and sensor size)?

  • Buy the BMCC and I will Buy the Sony F3 off who ever offered it to you as the cheapest 2nd hand F3 I have seen is £6000 here in the Uk

    For me its because the BMCC is touch screen (not a fan of finger prints on my display) has no Audio level meters, Built in Battery, Has to be used with SSD file sizes are huge but smaller with pro res. Don't get me wrong The BMCC is on my list as you also get Resolve with it but the F3 if I had the money would be higher on my list.

  • Isn't Sony F3 PL mount? So no DSLR lenses? The video of the F3 is very good, but what kind of lenses are you planning to use?

  • No, it has interchangeable mounts, so you can use most dslr lenses with it. I have a set of old Contax Zeiss T* lenses (35, 50 and 85), so I would probably equip the camera with an FD mount and a C/Y to FD adapter.

    On the BMCC side, I have a Voightländer 17.5mm f0.95 and I'm planning on buying the new SLRmagic 35mm f0.95 if I end up with this camera. Shallow DoF won't be a problem in any case, in other words.

  • And there is no catch? I mean, the F3 is in good enough shape?

  • No doubt, at this price jump on the F3. That is a real professionnal camera, well build, ergonomics, picture quality...

  • if it is in good condition: F3! If you really use it for jobs you will make the money you spent for the F3 until the BMDCC is available. You still can sell it later probably without big loss.

  • Buy the F3 and then sell to get couple BMC kits. The F3 is a true pro camera and worth quite a bit still. As to image quality, I think the BMC has the nicest digital image outside of an Alexa, just too bad about the smallish sensor. If you do more cinematic / narrative type stuff, the BMC will probably give you the best result. If you need a true "camcorder" with all the bells and whistles, that you can use in practical situations / events / run and gun and no fuss, then the F3 is definitely the better choice.

  • F3 all the way! You can't use DSLR lens without adapters, but there is plenty out there.

  • BMC has the nicest digital image outside of an alexa


  • Thanks for the help! In a strange turn of events, however, I ended up with a used Sony f35 instead. I got it for less than the price of the f3. I can post some tests once I receive it :)

  • No way in nine I would choose an F3 over Blackmagic. Coming from using both, F3's advantages are ninety-five percent hardware based, with a slight nod going to the camera in the resolution/moire department.

    Other than that, F3 has nothing else on Blackmagic's image.

  • 1080 mpeg vs 2.5k RAW? ummm....whY on earth would anybody suggest the f3 over BMCC?

    the bmcc shoots ProRes as good as the f3, and possibly a nicer image with it.

    and the price of a SxS 32gig memory card is pretty much the same cost as a 512gig!! ssd

  • Bigger question - what are you going to record on with your f35 And do you have PL mount lenses ? Or are you gonna flip the kit?

  • @bannedindv that's the issue with those kinds of camera. by the time it's said and done, the accessories cost as much or more than the camera. just a battery annd charger is like $2000 (new)

  • Sorry for the late reply! @bannedindv I'm recording to a Hyperdeck Shuttle. Works beautifully! Records DNxHD 422. I have some PL glass, yeah, but I'm also making a swappable nikon mount from a spare front plate I have. Best of both worlds.

    @GravitateMediaGroup True, but V-mount batteries are nice to have in any case, wouldn't you say? You'd want them for a BMCC as well, I believe. Apart from batteries and the external recorder I haven't had to make any additional purchases to make the camera production ready. It's up and running now :)

  • @mlysbakken - wow - that's really cool! Where are you located? If you are in LA I might actually like to rent your rig some time! I possibly know somewhere where you can consign it to rent if you want to make some $$$

  • @bannedindv I live in Scandinavia, sadly, but I've been thinking about renting it out over here. Depends a bit on the insurance deals I can make, though. Do you know much about the renting business?

    I just got the camera back from repairs, and the images coming out of this thing are truly remarkable. The colors are blowing me away!

  • For those who are interested. Here are two pieces (not made by me) that neatly show off what the camera is capable of. Download the original file for the vimeo one, as it's only 720p online.

  • looks great @mlysbakkenmlysbakken , how much DR does the F35 have? im trying to compare it with the BMCC, it looks like its much more cleaner and pleasing to the eye,I have the BMCC