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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!

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  • Is there more than one standard for these dovetails??? :-/ I had guessed there was only the Arri standard dovetail.

    As I ordered this (which is Arri standard):

    I've attached an image of my camera, with its baseplate and dovetail that it came with (TILTA LSW baseplate).


    I can't seem to find online the specific "TILTA LSW Baseplate" which I own (that is the words on the side of it). Guessing it is a bit older model which is not being sold anywhere. As far as I can tell by looking over Tilta's current products they make two kinds of dovetails: Arri standard and Sony VCT-U14. Unless... is "Lightweight Standard" a third standard for dovetails? I'm unfortunately suspecting it is!

    Although that doesn't make sense:

    They're both called "lightweight", yet the 1st one doesn't work with mine (I know as I have an "Arri Standard" dovetail which doesn't work, unless... "Lightweight Arri Standard" is something specific and different to "Arri Standard". While the second one looks like it is identical to the one which came with my camera, and is what I'm seeking a second one of)

    Is Tilta with their 15mm baseplates using their own made up "standard"??

    500 x 334 - 78K
  • I'm almost completed my initial kit out for now. The last remaining items I still need to decide on buying is: a second dovetail (one for the tripod, one for the monopod. The camera already came with one dovetail), a fluid head for the monopod that can handle 10kg or more, and maybe a tripod (as I expect my current one won't quite handle the full set up).

    Haven't looked enough into which fluid head, so still quite clueless as what to get! I'd appreciate any suggestions? Am considering a couple already, but they're only capable to a max 8kg payload, which I suspect in a worse case scenario could come up a couple of kilos short.

    I'm looking at one of these dovetails:

    This is the tripod I'm considering:

  • Purchased a F3 for just US$1.2k! So am now the proud owner of my own personal F3 :-D

  • He changed the price and now wants US$2.1k for it :-( Which for my poor limited budget now seems just a little bit too much?

  • An F3 for $1.7k. That's a steal. I'd pick that up in a heart beat.

  • Well, you can try, nothing bad will happen. But you will look much more serious with it :-)

  • Came across this interesting comparison from an owner of both an F3 and a RED Scarlet (which would be waaaaaay outside my price range to consider a Scarlet!):

    <<The biggest problem i have is deciding between the two cameras. The RED is simply razor sharp, has a punchy slick look, and has the easiest onset ergonomics and workflow. The footage is 16bit 4K RAW. I mean, the camera is the size of a Hassleblad and gives you amazing images.

    The F3 on the other hand, is night vision, which makes for simpler indie shooting on lower budgets where you dont have access to bigger units. It also has more useable dynamic rage, and its color is in my opinion the best in digital right now short of the Alexa. ( Though REDColor3 is REALLLLLY good!) Case in point, in the skin tone test you just watched, the color of the wall in the F3 footage is completely accurate. Thats exactly what my wall looks like, but looks quite magenta in the RED footage. If I fight the magenta with a bit of green, the skin tone gets thrown out of whack. This green/magenta balancing act is a definite pitfall of the RED, even with REDColor3.

    This real issue is that it comes down to image quality. I find myself, shooting films and documentary on the F3, but commercials, music videos, and corporate spots on the RED. When it needs to look natural, i use the F3. When it needs to look crisp and slick, RED.>>

    This guy's logic is in a similar-ish headspace to where I am at too (C100 vs BMCC vs F3):

  • When it is only US$1.7k I probably don't need to worry as much about resale price as a person who purchased it new at US$16k. And yes, got a set of Rokinon Cine DS lenses to use with it.

  • One problem will be to sell it later.

    If you need only FullHD and have lots of manual lenses it can work.

  • Two and a half years later and I thought I'd reopen this discussion.... because have you seen on eBay lately just how cheap they're going? :-o You can pick up a Sony F3 for similar pricing to a new BMCC.

    Does a Sony F3 still make sense to people in 2015?

    The expensive SxS media puts me off, but this appears to be an easy way to avoid that expense:

    For the only extra grand or so over the cost of an AF100 or FS100 it would seem like an F3 is worth it if you're looking for an older large sensor camcorder on the ultra cheap.

    (as I've been seriously looking into getting an AF100 for only a grand, just so I can have an "impressive" pro looking camera to impress the brides/guests at wedding shoots, with the rest of my kit being 1x GH4 + 1x GH2 + 2x GH1. I know images is all that should matter, and appearances shouldn't matter, but in real life first impressions do matter. If a few extra hundred dollars to get an AF100 over GH2 with the same image quality, then leads to more bookings, that it is money very well spent. But then this logic dangerously leads me down the path to spend even more on a Sony F3... as then I could use the F3 on serious jobs too)

    For context, I also own a kitted out BMPCC (that I love love) but it can look like a glorified smartphone to some people :-/ (until they see the images produced! But again, first impressions do matter and last)

  • @sammy It has 12 stops, but distributed rather differently from most other cameras. More stops in the highlights than in the shadows, which makes for a more film-like response :) Highlights blow out beautifully.

    Check out the "Just got a new camera"-thread over at the dvxuser forums. It has become THE place where f35 users discuss their results and rigs. Approaching 200 pages, but packed with tests and insights :)

  • 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

  • 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.

  • @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!

  • @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 $$$

  • 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 :)

  • @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)

  • 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?

  • 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

  • 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.