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Tech Talk – Sony F3

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It’s probably worth eight of my cars and then
some, but you can’t quite ride it to the mountain
in the winter.
The camera seems to be able to do everything
The F3 was unveiled by Sony in 2010 and marketed
as the “affordable 35mm camera”. It was then
released to the public this past April.
Affordable to some, yet I’m uncomfortable just
sitting in a room with the machine because of its
high value and potential to create masterpieces.
I feel its lenses staring at my soul as if to record
my fear on camera (doubtful and fictitious, yet…
In reality, The Outlaw Partners, which publishes
this newspaper, purchased the camera a few
months ago to utilize in an array of video applications.
Brian Niles, the group’s director of video
production, can use it to make a pine tree
look like Jennifer Aniston in a pine bikini
in the snow.
“This camera and lens combination puts us
in the game for large scale production and
ad campaigns, which ultimately is where
we are headed,” Niles said. “It’s sexy
enough for studio applications, and light
enough to shoot out of a backpack on the
“Incorporate a prime lens and a shallow depth of
field and you’ve got a digital cinema workhorse,”
Niles said.
Its crisp, high professional quality comes stock
out of the box and shoots a surprisingly low 60
frames-per-second, and yet perhaps 99.9 percent
of ‘amateur’ tech nerds would assume shots are in
1,000 fps.
Recording formats produce stunning images at
35mbps with adjustable frame rates from 1-60 in
1280×720 and 1-30 in 1920×1080. External recording
will allow even better resolution and the ability
to produce clean slow motion at 1080p.
“The first time I took this out on a test drive I was
shocked at it’s clarity, and its ability to pull light
in dark situations,” Niles said. “We haven’t even
scratched the surface with its capabilities yet.”
Footage that comes “out of the can” can be expected
to look crisp and vibrant in color before post-production
and color correction. Due to its large sensor and
Prime Sony Lenses, the ability to shoot in low light
conditions and maintain a “noise-free” picture sets
this camera ahead of the curve.
Sony said it wished to create the camera to “democratize”
the 35mm camera in order to appeal to student
and independent filmmakers.
The price tag seems high, but to the .01 of producers
it’s budget-worthy and shouldn’t break the bank.
The potential projects the camera is able to tackle
should warrant the expense. You can expect to
pick this up for $16,000, but it won’t come with
lenses. You’ll need to spend closer to $20,000 for
the whole package.

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