Sony F3 firmware 1.1 released and FS100 starts shipping!

6
Jun
2011
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Good news from the camcorder front. Sony today released firmware version 1.1 which fixes a number of F3 niggles. First off you can now output HDMI and SDI simultaneously which is great news. Now you can plug in your Zacuto EVF for monitoring and send out a nice HD-SDI signal to a KiPro mini or something similar. Something that was much needed from the camera.

YPbPr4:2:2 1920×1080 (23.98/ 25/ 29.97PsF) 10-bit outputs are now supported (Dual Link Terminal-A only)

Secondly the bloody awfully fiddly menu wheel now no longer has to be used. You can use the S & Q dial on the side to cycle through. This makes the camera much easier to navigate through the menus. Although to make it work you have to hold down the cancel button to turn the s&q into a menu dial.

There are reports that some of the MxM adaptors no longer work…

Download the firmware from here or here.

The camera is now also ready to support the S-Log update, although that when it is released will costs a few thousand dollars am afraid.

Other good news is the rather nice Sony Fs100 is shipping this week (certainly in Europe). Much earlier than expected. I was initially told end of Summer but here we are at the beginning of Summer and out it pops.

In the US you can buy both the body only version (which I recommend for under $5k and the one with kit lens, click the images to go to the store…)

In the UK check out CVP here…

 

Check out my shootout videos below to see how well the Fs100 fares against both the F3 and the AF101…

 

AF100 vs F3 vs FS100 Part 1: The Real World from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

AF100 vs F3 vs FS100 Part 2: In depth and conclusions. from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

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Comments

  1. Maybe your contacts at Sony can give you some infos about avaivability in Canada? I can’t get a firm answer from retailers… some says end of june, others end of july, others somewhere in summer…..

  2. I told you for the S&Q stick ! Hope you like the feature !

    The fact that the camera needed a firmware update to output HDMI and HD-SDI at the same time is a shame… It is so much of a basic feature !

    Will you buy an FS-100 ?

  3. Duane says:

    Too cool, price point is great. So this is broadcast quality huh? I still don’t really get the whole broadcast quality thing, anyone got a good blog to read on that? It is just the ability to shoot HD in 30p (NTSC)… or is there more to it?

  4. Duane Shrode says:

    Whats does the ninja do for you… preserve more info is my guess?
    There website presumes that the reader already knows a little something about them methinks, and fails to really shed much light as to their purpose.

  5. Duane Shrode says:

    Also, can someone explain “broadcast quality” or direct me to a good blog that explains it? Why isn’t the 5D up to snuff in this department?

  6. Kyle says:

    Coincidentally, I just bought a used Panasonic AF100 for $3,7000.

    If money isn’t flowing, is a $3,700 Panasonic > $5,000 Sony FS100 ? :)

  7. Al Hill says:

    Hey Philip,

    Sony gave a FS100 presentation over the weekend at Cinegear here in L.A. So I brought up a few of your FS100 pet peeves.

    When I asked why 25p and 50p were not available in the USA version they said that those speeds weren’t needed in the USA. I mentioned that European crews do rent cameras here in the states for shows that are broadcast back in Europe, AND occasionally Europeans allow Americans to visit and bring their cameras with them to do jobs in Europe. Sony’s response to this was that I should get another camera for those jobs. (Hey SONY, how ’bout I blow off the FS100 and buy an AF100 They claimed that the two different versions of the cameras were to prevent gray market sales of the UK version in the USA and vice versa. It was a pretty lame excuse.

    When asked, by me, why there was no ND filters, the DP/Producer, David Leitner, who shot the demo reel asked me what the last “Motion Picture” camera I used that had a built-in ND filter. I replied with, “This is not a motion picture camera, Sony’s Professional Video Cameras have had ND filters built in for 40 years.” They also countered with the fact that it had a very shallow flange depth, that prohibited built-in ND filters. To me that sounds like a design flaw on their part. They were very defensive, if not anti-end-user. Like we should just shut up and be happy that SONY is allowing us to buy this amazing camera.

    Don’t get me wrong. The footage from the FS100 did look great, projected on a 2K projector. But it just leaves me shaking my head when a great company like SONY resorts to cheap tricks to market their products. These new cameras are great, but this form of anti-consumer marketing drives me nuts.

    Here in Los Angeles, the F3 S-Log Firmware upgrade will end up costing around $3800. Now that’s just pure greed. Charging a customer for turning on a “switch” in a camera. AND the ultimate insult? The guy in the SONY booth told me that he had personally lobbied to charge MORE for the firmware upgrade. I guess 1/3 of the cost of the camera for a firmware upgrade isn’t enough. What is enough 1/2 the cost of the camera for a firmware upgrade? Great camera, lousy attitude on SONY’s part.

    I really appreciate your reviews where you tell it like it is, giving us the good, the bad and the ugly. But when SONY pretends that the bad items are really “features” is ridiculous and an insult to it’s customers.

    Al

  8. Richard says:

    Nice.. Had a sony Z7.. was a little over priced for the quality thou.. I don’t expect mcuh form sony this time.. What’s more they are going a little bankrupt.

  9. andi says:

    apik tenan mas philip, what the secret..?

  10. Marco says:

    We dont talk interlaced in this house…..
    Hahahaha…

  11. Adam Barnett says:

    Philip,
    Wondered if you would take a look at this and give your comments. It’s a short film produced by a company that I’m interning for. I was a grip but I wanted to get a cinematographer’s opinion on the look of the film. If you get a minute to watch it would be greatly appreciated. http://www.vimeo.com/22748166

    Thanks,
    Adam Barnett

  12. Michael Power says:

    Which camera are you favouring at moment, Philip?

    I see you’ve bought, tested and shot with the Sony F3, which I’m set to buy soon, but not oozed a lot of praise for it as you did previously for 5D and others. I may be wrong here, forgive me if so. I was looking at the results of your tests, for example, and I was thinking of all the terrific short films you’ve shot and uploaded. The only other F3 film was that with your sister and the Christmas tree.

    Personally, I’d love Canon to repackage their 5DMarkII chip in a camcorder and release that.

    Michael

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      I would say the F3 for many jobs but still love my 5D!!

    2. Philip Bloom says:

      F3 currently as the image is so wonderful but still love my DSLRs!

  13. Matt Davis says:

    Sigh – looks like shipping from Germany to UK dealers starts this Friday, so we won’t get ours in the UK until next week. Got the adaptor, got the glass… Every shoot that goes by, I’m thinking… ‘This would have looked even better on an FS100′

  14. Joe Mills says:

    The sony F3 does look really nice but I’m just wondering with the update and accessories you start getting close to RED money for this cmaera. If your spending so much wouldn’t you be wiser saving the extra and going for a RED instead or am I missing something?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      massive price difference…a RED also needs a lot of stuff!!

  15. Good news. Thanks for all the info and reviews.

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around color space difference and I do not mean in technical terms but in realistic “can you see it” terms. I understand that 4:2:2 has more color than 4:2:0 and 4:4:4 has more than 4:2:2. SO the question is can you really tell the difference and I mean can the average person tell or do you need a DP, ASC being critical on a big screen to show you the difference?

    Also what does compression do? If I shoot 1080p 4:4:4 and compress to 1080p h.264 at 6Mbps do I still get that benefit? Or compressed to HD for broadcast?

    Lastly how do you measure this color space? Are there tools out there tha can tell you if you have a clip that has been shot at a certain color space?

    Is there a wow factor? I guess this is the true question. So many people are obsessed with color space. Should I be too? Thanks.

    1. After much research and forums from Adobe to Videocopilot they all seem to come up with the same conclusion. Unless you are doing chroma keying (edges), you will not see much difference in color space.

      I myself saw high resolution stills with different color space and they had to be zoomed in to see any difference. Here they show color bars and if you notice it says 200% zoom. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chroma_subsampling

      So I guess it is safe to say that it’s not worth buying a $1k/$2k HDSDI capture device and pay Sony another $3k for a firmware update if no one can really tell the difference on their TV?

      I’ll stick with h.264 4:2:0 to solid state media until someone can show me “WOW!”

      1. Philip Bloom says:

        you do it see it in banding for sure, 8 bit V 10 bit rather than 420 and 422. The 444 update doubles the sensitivity to 1600 base which is a big deal

        1. Bloom, have you gotten around to posting the Ninja captures???

          1. Philip Bloom says:

            who is Bloom? you mean Philip?

  16. Jeremy says:

    Hello Phillip!

    I’m currently saving for the camera system to shoot my first feature next year. I have a great story together, (finally) wonderful locations, etc…

    I love your work. I’ve spent countless hours on this thing doing research galore up until my eyelids touch my chin. Your videos are all over my bookmarks. I watch them over and over, and the more research I do, the more I can’t help going back to the 5d Mark 2 with a Zeiss cp.2 for this movie.

    There are wonderful cameras out there. This video confuses me, lol. I get to a point where I say, “OKAY! The Canon!!!”….then I see these test vids and start all over again. So let me begin all of this with how much I respect your opinion on the following question:

    Lets say you had about $15,000 to get the system to shoot a feature with the obvious “film” look. Where would you go?

    I’d love to get a red. who wouldn’t.. But in regards to what you said about how much more money you spend than the already expensive price tag of the base unit of $25,000…I’d rather have a Camaro. lol.

    It will be shot mainly outdoors… I compare settings to Adrian Biddle’s work on Thelma & Louise. I loved the look of that movie. It has a “classic” look to it with Ridley’s vision. (Not a fan of the modern over saturation Michael Bay thingy….)

    I thank you so much for test like these, and you’ve been my main inspiration in all of this and will continue to be so:) If you have any time to respond and point me in a good direction, I would greatly appreciate it! Like I said I love your work!!

    Thank you

  17. Al Hill says:

    Hey,

    Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t trying to be a thorn in SONY’s side at the Cinegear FS-100 demo, but when they start leaving very useful items off their cameras, they need to hear it. ND filters, worldwide frame settings, etc.

    SONY brought a 4K digital projector to the Paramount Theater to show off some F65 footage shot with the new Leica Summilux-C lenses. The image was stunning! Now if we could better scripts to photograph…

  18. Andrew Sachs says:

    What do you mean when you say the Canons do not output a clean signal over HDMI? can you elaborate on this? am curious about the HDMI output/specs of the Sonys and Panny too. am planning to do a test with native codecs vs HD-SDI output to ProRes of the F3 (10 bit) and AF-100 (8bit) . . . would be great to compare the HDMI output to ProRes422 from the Canons. Thanks for doing all this great work – your work is always a real inspiration and education for the community!

  19. Leo Medd says:

    Always impressed with your work !!!!

    GOD bless u

  20. Matt says:

    I’m planning on using the FS100 kit lens interchangeably with EF mount lenses. Is switching out the adapter easy enough to make this feasible? I don’t want to go through an EX3-like process. Thanks!

  21. Hi Philip,
    Very interesting this review. I’d like to know the battery life of FS-100.
    Thanks Philip

  22. Andrew Sachs says:

    OK so we did some testing. It is now so obvious about the “unclean” output of the HDMI from the Canons I am embarassed to have asked the question. For those still wondering: basically the Canons do not allow you (yet) to turn off the “display overlay” information on video output (which is such a common feature on real video cameras). So the live-view focus rectangle is always visible if the camera is not rolling, and when the camera is rolling, the red record light is also output on the external display. helpful for monitoring, but not at all useful for externally recording to a better codec. With any luck Canon will release firmware fixes to allow recording clean image over HDMI. On the other hand I suppose they would rather have you buy a (future) Canon camera to record in a better codec than the native H.264. The Sony F3 and Panasonic AF100 are much more versatile in this aspect and offer high-quality HD-SDI output which opens up many different codec possibilities (using external recorders). Sorry if I am repeating what Philip has so eloquently presented months ago. Guess I just wanted to put my query in the context of the relevant solutions.

  23. Chris Newton says:

    Hi Philip,

    Just wondering if you intend to post some flat, wide dynamic range, profiles for the FS100 and the F3. I have been using the Technicolor cinestyle for the canons and am getting great results. It would be great for get some matching profiles for theses cameras so you can match up footage and grade accordingly.

    Thanks.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      check out the abelcine site, some great f3 profiles on there…no fs100 ones yet though. they even do a technicolor-esque one

  24. Alejandro says:

    Hi Philip. Do you know if Sony will make a PAL version of the FS100?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      the version sold in Pal land is Pal Alejandro.

  25. Vlad says:

    Hi Philip,

    I am planning to use FS-100 camera with Canon EF mount lenses.
    Are there any adaptors for that?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      yes the birger adaptor

      1. julie says:

        HI- I just called Birger Engineering. They are working on prototypes adapter for the Canon EF lens to Sony FS-100 but have no release dates.

        1. Philip Bloom says:

          just got the af100 prototype. very nice!

  26. Drew says:

    I’m trying to get 1920/29.97p out of the sdi line to my nano flash and all I seem to be able to get is 60i. Any suggestions?

    Thanks

  27. Hi there,
    I just got the fs 100 because i am presnting this Camera for Sony in different Cities in Germany as a so called independent Sony expert. The First Impression is very good but not Perfect, but there is Not a Perfect Camera in this World….
    We just made a test and captured the Material from HDMI and compared it with the 28mbit and it didn’t made much difference. We made some keying and colour corrections and i think the ninja is not realy needed. This is good and bad, good because it saves money, bad because i thought the 4:2:2 compression would be much better. What i realy like is the handling and real camerafeeling you get back again! I am filming with the 5d since 2009 but i never liked this fotodesign, because you can’t film like i was used to since i got the vx 2000. Especially if you need control of your sound the 5d is realy complicated. but the Picture is of course the best. The fs 100 is a Perfect run and gun camera for Advanced Dokumentation, Eventmoviemaker and small imageproductionfilmer which don’t want to deal with lot of extra Equipment.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Hey,

    Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t trying to be a thorn in SONY’s side at the Cinegear FS-100 demo, but when they start leaving very useful items off their cameras, they need to hear it. ND filters, worldwide frame settings, etc.

    SONY brought a 4K digital projector to the Paramount Theater to show off some F65 footage shot with the new Leica Summilux-C lenses. The image was stunning! Now if we could better scripts to photograph…