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Sony Professional strengthens its Super 35mm range

The PMW-F3 camcorder delivers a shallow depth of field with high sensitivity and low noise levels

The PMW-F3 uses Sony's SxS ExpressCard-based recording media format.
The PMW-F3 uses Sony's SxS ExpressCard-based recording media format.

Sony Professional is adding another camera to its Super 35mm digital motion picture camera technologies range. The PMW-F3 camcorder joins the SRW-9000PL and the F35 in a group that features Super 35mm sensor and PL mount technology.

The PMW-F3 is designed to record high quality images for television, commercials, music promos and budget features.

Sony has made this camera more affordable so that it is within the reach of a wider audience and has created a low-cost PL lens kit model with 35/50/85mm T2.0 fixed focal length lenses. According to Sony, this makes the PMW-F3 ideal for a 2nd unit 35mm camera or as a B camera to the SRW-9000PL.

"Sony has a long and successful track record of developing digital motion production technologies," said Bill Drummond, strategic marketing manager at Sony Professional Europe. "Our cameras have shot everything from documentaries to big-budget blockbusters, totalling many billions of Euros at the box office. With the new PMW-F3, we're putting the full power of our expertise to work, to bring precise control over depth of field, and access to the huge range of cinematic lenses available to a wider range of users."

The new PMW-F3 camcorder is based on Sony's XDCAM EX workflow (codec is MPEG-2 Long GOP 4:2:0 8bit, 35 Mbps), and uses Sony's SxS ExpressCard-based recording media format.

Its Super 35mm CMOS imager is designed to deliver shallow depth of field, with high sensitivity and low noise levels (ISO 800, F11; and S/N ratio of 63dB in 1920x1080/59.94i mode), as well as wide dynamic range.

The camcorder offers the ability to inter-cut PMW-F3 footage with content shot on Sony's F35 or SRW-9000PL cameras via an HD-SDI dual-link output for external recording (4:2:2 1080 50/59.94P as standard; and RGB 1080 23.98/25/29.97PsF as an option).

Recording formats include 1920x1080, 1440x1080, and 1280x720 at 23.98/25/29.97p, 50/59.94i and, in DVCAM mode, 25/29.97PsF and 50/59.94i. Filmmakers can also take advantage of "slow" and "quick" recording from 1 to 30 fps at 1920x1080 (17 to 30 fps in dual-link mode) and 1 to 60 fps at 1280x720 (17 to 60 fps in dual-link mode).

The PMW-F3's PL mount adapter can accommodate both PL and zoom lenses, and is designed to offer compatibility with a variety of cine lenses such as Cooke, Arri, Fujinon and Zeiss.

The PMW-F3 will be available in two options,  the PMW-F3L body only and PMW-F3K with PL lens kit.

Sony is also planning to introduce a compatible SR Memory Portable Recorder for the PMW-F3 camcorder.

"We demonstrated a prototype PMW-F3 on our stand at IBC and have been inundated with requests for more information ever since.  It's great to be able to unveil the full list of features, and announce that first deliveries will be made well in advance of what many customers may have been expecting," said Drummond. 

First deliveries are scheduled for January 2011.