Sony PMW-F3: Overview
35mm Full-HD Compact Camcorder with PL Mount Adapter
with FREE Sony S-Log Software Key (CBKRGB01)
Optional software key required to enable the following
functionality in the PMW-F3 camcorder: S-Log gamma, 3G-SDI output,
Dual Link RGB444 video output,and User-defined as well as
PRELIMINARY PRODUCT INFORMATION
The Sony PMW-F3L is part of the CineAlta 24P family of digital
cinematography products and its support for multiple frame rates
includes a filmic 23.98P as well as S-Log workflows.
You may consider The PMW-F3K which
is supplied with three high quality Sony lenses and an industry
standard PL Mount adaptor providing compatibility with industry
standard 35mm lenses, Or Sony PMW-F3L
The newest member of Sony's CineAlta lineup, the PMW-F3 inherits
DNA from the F35, which has been used for years in high-end digital
cinematography, as well as most of the features and file-based
workflow capabilities of PMW-EX1R and EX3 XDCAM EX solid-state
memory camcorders.The PMW-F3L is equipped with the newly developed
Exmor™ Super 35 CMOS image sensor, PL lens mount, and SxS
card for 1920 x 1080 full-HD recording.The PMW-F3L features future
expandability, including RGB 4:4:4 baseband output with S-LOG gamma
for external recording which means it can be used in an
HDCAM-SR™ workflow. It also offers a 3D-LINK option, which
allows two camcorders to be controlled simultaneously for 3D
Record in 4K
using Gemini 444 recorder
Sony PMW-F3: Features
Please find preliminary information on Sony
features below. This
information is subject to change. More information will be made
Super35 CMOS image sensor
The Sony PMW-F3L
is equipped with a Super 35mm sensor which is the same
size as Super 35mm film and has been specifically developed for
digital cinematography. Its positioning within the chassis is
exactly the same as it would be within a 35mm film camera –
ensuring exactly the same optical performance with the unrivalled
range of 35mm Cine lenses.
In addition, Sony's advanced accumulated sensor technologies
provide an excellent sensitivity of F11 (ISO 800)* and a remarkable
signal-to-noise ratio of just 63 dB*. Unique Exmor™ sensor
offers exceptional noise reduction and greatly reduces power
*All measured at 1080/59.94i and typical value.
Adapter for compatibility with 35mm Cine Lenses
The Sony PMW-F3L
is supplied with a PL Mount Adapter to provide
immediate compatibility with the huge range of filmic 35mm lenses,
including prime, digital cinematography and even still lenses.
There are also hot shoe electric interfaces for Cooke/i and ARRI
Sony PMW F3
Original Mount for Zoom Lens
Sony plans to introduce a range of zoom lenses directly compatible
with the F3 mount. More details will be revealed shortly. Zoom lens
compatibility expands the operational flexibility of the F3 so it
can be used for almost any application.
The Sony PMW-F3L camcorder is the first compact camcorder to be a member
of the legendary Sony CineAlta™ family. It offers native
23.98P* recording which, in combination with advanced creative
features such as selectable gamma curves, makes this camcorder
ideal for cinema production.
*In 1440 x 1080/23.98P (SP) mode, images are handled as 23.98P and
recorded as 59.94i signals through means of 2-3 pull-down.
Quick Motion Function
The Sony PMW-F3L offers a powerful 'Slow & Quick Motion' function -
commonly known as over-cranking and under-cranking in film
shooting. This enables users to create unique 'looks' or special
effects with slow- and fast-motion images, and can be selected on
the control dial on the side of the camcorder.
The Sony PMW-F3 can capture images at frame rates selectable from 1 fps
(frame per second) to 60 fps in 720P mode and from 1 fps to 30 fps
in 1080P mode, in increments of 1 fps, onto a single card. For
example, when viewed at 23.98P, images captured at 60 fps will
appear 2.5 times slower than normal. Conversely, images captured at
4 fps will appear 6 times faster than normal.
With the 'Slow & Quick Motion' function of this camcorder,
images are recorded natively without interpolating the frames. This
means the quality of the slow -and fast- motion images is extremely
high and incomparable to those created in the editing process. In
addition, these slow -and fast- motion images can be played back
immediately after shooting, without using any converters or
processing on nonlinear editing systems.
1920 x 1080
HD recording using the "MPEG-2 Long GOP" Codec
The Sony PMW-F3 camcorder records 1920 x 1080 HD images using the
'MPEG-2 Long GOP' codec, which conforms to the MPEG-2 MP@HL
compression standard. 'MPEG-2 Long GOP' is a mature codec - also
adopted by the XDCAM HD and HDV 1080i series of products - which
enables users to record stunning quality HD footage with highly
efficient, reliable data compression.
The Sony PMW-F3 camcorder offers a choice of bit rates - either 35 Mb/s
(HQ mode) or 25 Mb/s (SP mode) - depending on the desired picture
quality and recording time. The HQ mode supports both 1920 x 1080
and 1280 x 720 resolutions. The SP mode supports 1440 x 1080
resolution at 25 Mb/s, which provides compatibility with HDV 1080i
Multiple-format recording - 1080/720 and
Interlace/Progressive switchable operation
PMW-F3L camcorder offers a wide array of recording formats for
multiple content creation applications. Scanning mode is switchable
between 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720, and 1440 x 1080 resolutions. Frame
rate is also selectable from interlace and progressive - 59.94i,
50i, 29.97P, 25P, and native 23.98P*.
In addition, 59.94P and 50P progressive recording is available in
1280 x 720 mode. The SxS memory card can simultaneously hold
multiple files of any of these recording formats, allowing for
flexible use of the memory card.
*In 1440 x 1080/23.98P (SP) mode, images are handled as 23.98P and
recorded as 59.94i signals through means of 2-3 pull-down.
The Sony PMW-F3L camcorder offers a 'Slow Shutter function' for
capturing clear images in low-light environments. This allows the
shutter speed to be extended to a maximum of 8 frames. The 'Slow
Shutter function' not only increases camera sensitivity but also
produces a special blurring effect when shooting a moving object,
for enhanced shooting creativity. The shutter speed is selectable
from 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, 7- and 8-frame periods.
uncompressed audio recording
In addition to HD recording, high-quality audio is an equally
significant feature in the XDCAM EX system. The PMW-F3L camcorder
records and plays back high-quality, two-channel 16-bit, 48-kHz
linear PCM uncompressed audio.
The Sony PMW-F3L uses XDCAM EX’s proven high-speed, intuitive
workflow and offers seamless integration with leading nonlinear
editing software. In addition, 10bit 4:2:2 HD-SDI output opens up
hybrid recording possibilities with content simultaneously recorded
on internal memory and, in uncompressed form, on a variety of
external recording devices.
From April 2011, a Dual Link HD-SDI option will enable 10bit RGB
23.98/25/29.97PsF or 10 bit 4:2:2 108050P/59.94P uncompressed
external recording – ideal for integration with highest
quality production workflows such as HDCAM SR. The PMW-F3L also
supports selectable Gamma, four levels of HyperGamma and S-Log for
a wide range of shooting conditions from standard to wide latitude.
The PMW-F3L can simultaneously record LUT (Look Up Table)
information onto the internal media for additional workflow
3G-SDI is available for 10bit RGB 1080 23.98/25/29.97PsF or 10bit
4:2:2 1080 50/59.94P output.
Cards combine high transfer speeds and high
Both SxS PRO™ and SxS-1A™* memory cards use the PCI
Express interface to achieve an extremely high data-transfer speed
of 800 Mbps - 1.2Gbps, and can resist considerable shock (1500 G)
and vibration (15 G). Also, a unique 'Salvage function' serves to
restore content damaged by power loss or memory disconnection
In addition, PMW F3 with an optional MEAD-MS01 or MEAD-SD01 Media
Adaptor***, a high-speed Memory Stick™ or SD memory card****
can be used as emergency or alternative recording media.
* SxS-1A memory cards support fewer re-writes than SxS PRO™
memory cards. Notification is given when an SxS-1 memory card
approaches its end of life.
** In some cases, images recorded just before an accident may not
be restored (several seconds). No warranty is given on always
achieving content restoration.
*** Slow Motion and the Salvage function are not supported.
**** For information about memory devices, please contact your
nearest Sony Specialist Dealer.
Utilising a mature and highly efficient compression format together
with high performance SxS memory cards, the
Sony PMW-F3L can record
superb quality HD images for an exceptional 140 minutes* on a
single 32Gb update SxS card. As the PMW-F3L features two memory
card slots, this recording time is easily doubled to 280 minutes
(with two 32Gb cards) and when recording across two cards, the
transition is seamless without any frame loss.
*When recording in HQ (35 Mb/s) mode, recording time may be more
than the above specified figure depending on the actual bit rate
that is adopted during VBR encoding.
PMW-F3L is part of Sony’s highly successful XDCAM EX
product family which supports a high speed nonlinear workflow. With
XDCAM EX, recordings are made as data files in the 'MP4' format,
which is widely used in a number of recent electronic portable
devices and has been standardised by ISO.
File-based recording allows material to be handled with great
flexibility in an IT-based environment - easily available for
copying, transferring, sharing, and archiving. All these operations
are accomplished without any 'digitizing' process required.
File-based data copying allows for degradation-free dubbing of
footage, which can be performed easily on a PC. The file-based
recording system also allows for material to be viewed directly on
a PC - simply by inserting the SxS memory card into the Express Card
slot on a PC or Mac, or by linking a PC/Mac to the XDCAM EX unit
via a USB2 connection. This works in just the same way as a PC
reading files on an external drive. The file-based operation can
dramatically improve the efficiency and quality of your
recording start and no overwriting footage
By virtue of recording on flash memory card, the PMW-F3L can start
recording virtually the instant the camcorder is turned on.
Moreover, the PMW-F3L automatically records on an empty area of the
card - there's no danger of overwriting existing content.
This is extremely convenient, as camera operators do not have to
worry about accidentally recording over good takes, and they don't
have to search through footage for the correct position to start
the next recording. In short, it means the camera is always ready
for the next shot!
Instant-access thumbnail search with 'Expand'
Each time a recording is started and stopped on the PMW-F3L
camcorder, the content is recorded as a single clip. During
playback, users can cue-up to the next or previous clip simply by
pressing the 'Next' or 'Previous' button, as you would do on a CD
or DVD player.
Furthermore, thumbnails are automatically generated for each clip
as a visual reference, allowing operators to cue-up to a desired
scene simply by guiding the cursor to a thumbnail and pressing the
The 'Expand' function allows one selected clip in the thumbnail
display to be divided into 12 even-time intervals, each with their
own thumbnail identifier. This is useful if you want to quickly
search for a particular scene within a lengthy clip.
Hybrid Colour LCD Screen / Viewfinder as per EX1R
The PMW-F3L is equipped with a newly developed, easy-to-view,
colour LCD screen with a high resolution of 1920 x 480 pixels. The
LCD screen is located in an easy viewing position on the side of
The LCD Screen can also be used to instantly review recorded
footage, as well as to access the camera's set-up menus and view
thumbnail display status indications such as audio meters,
depth-of-field indicators, and the remaining memory and battery
time. What's more, the Hybrid LCD screen - which comprises
transmissive and reflective panels - offers clear viewing even in
*Viewable area measured diagonally.
PMW-F3L includes genlock and timecode interfaces, making it
ideal for multi-camera operation and entry level HD studio use.
Using this option you can easily synchronise timecode, genlock and
control functionality with a single cable, locking together left
and right cameras to simplify 3D acquisition. *Available from April
PMW-F3L offers professional remote control of various camera
features via standard Sony 8-pin control interface. This allows use
of Sony optional RM-B150 and RM-B750 remote control units offering
increased flexibility for studio/location use.
The Sony PMW-F3L has a chassis built around its Super 35mm CMOS sensor.
Its lightweight, compact design provides exceptional flexibility
when shooting, particularly as a B-camera. It also offers a 'best
of both worlds' combination of compatibility with 35mm lenses via a
PL Mount adaptor, plus support for a huge range of other Sony and
third-party digital cinematography accessories.
Sony’s chip design expertise means the
Sony PMW-F3L operates with
exceptional efficiency with an average power consumption of 24W.
This makes the camera more reliable, extends its battery operating
time and is also environmentally conscious. With the optional
BP-U60 battery attached, the Sony
PMW-F3L can record continuously for
just under three hours (with dual-link option off).
Wide array of
The Sony PMW-F3L camcorder comes equipped with a wide range of
interfaces optimised for a variety of operational needs. These
include dual HD-SDI output, down-converted SD-SDI output, i.LINK
(HDV) input/output, USB2 and analogue composite output.
Only SxS memory cards are guaranteed for use with the PMW-F3L XDCAM
EX cmcorder. USB based memory cards cannot be used with the XDCAM
EX range. USB based memory cards might work with the XDCAM EX range
in some cases, but Sony does not guarantee that all the functions
will operate. The performance of USB based memory cards can
||Approx. 2.4 kg (without lens and
||DC 12 V (11 V to 17.0 V)
||Approx .24 W (while recording, EVF
On, LCD monitor Off, HD-SDI Dual Link On)
#Approx. 14 W (while recording, EVF On, LCD monitor On, IO Select HD SDI & HD
||0°C to 40°C
32°F to 104°F
||-20°C to +60°C
-4°F to +140°F
|Battery Operating Time
||Approx. 130 min with
BP-U60 battery, HD-SDI Dual Link On
||MPEG-2 Long GOP
•HQ mode: VBR, maximum bit rate: 35 Mbps, MPEG-2 MP@HL
•SP mode: CBR, 25 Mbps, MPEG-2 MP@H-14
•SD mode: DVCAM
||Linear PCM (2 ch, 16-bit, 48-kHz)
•Approx. 100 min with SBP-32 (32 GB) memory card
•Approx. 50 min with SBP-16 (16 GB) memory card
•Approx. 25 min with SBP-8 (8 GB) memory card
•Approx. 140 min with SBP-32 (32 GB) memory card
•Approx. 70 min with SBP-16 (16 GB) memory card
•Approx. 35 min with SBP-8 (8 GB) memory card
|Recording Frame Rate
•1920 x 1080/59.94i, 29.97p, 23.98p,
•1440 x 1080/59.94i, 29.97p, 23.98p,
•1280 x 720/59.94p, 29.97p, 23.98p
SP mode: 1440 x 1080/59.94i, 23.98p (pull down)
SD mode: 720 x 480/59.94i, 29.97PsF
•1920 x 1080/50i, 25p,
•1440 x 1080/50i, 25p,
•1280 x 720/50p, 25p
SP mode: 1440 x 1080/50i
SD mode: 720 x 576/50i, 25PsF
||OFF: Clear, 1: 1/8ND, 2: 1/64ND
(2000 lx, 89.9% Reflectance)
||T11 (typical) (1920 x
||63 dB (Y) (typical) (1920 x
||1/32s to 1/2,000s
|Slow Shutter (SLS)
||2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8-frame
|Slow & Quick Motion
||720p: Frame rate selectable from 1
fps to 60 fps
(17 fps to 60 fps when HD-SDI Dual Link is ON)
1080p: Frame rate selectable from 1 fps to 30 fps
(17 fps to 30 fps when HD-SDI Dual Link is ON)
||Preset (3200K), Memory A, Memory B/ATW
|| -3, 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 dB, AGC
3-pin (female) (x2), Line/Mic/Mic +48V selectable
||BNC (x2) (HD-SDI/
HD-SDI Dual Link/ 3G-SDI switchable)
HD-SDI (A): SMPTE 292M (HD-SDI mode)
HD-SDI (A, B): SMPTE 372M (Dual Link HD-SDI mode, 4:2:2 1080 50p/
HD-SDI (A, B): SMPTE 372M (Dual Link HD-SDI mode, 4:4:4 1080 23.98/
25/ 29.97PsF w/ CBK-RGB01 option)
HD-SDI (A): SMPTE 424M (3G-SDI mode, w/ CBK-RGB01 option)
BNC (x1) (HD/SD switchable)
HD-SDI: SMPTE 292M
SD-SDI: SMPTE 259M
||BNC (x1) HD-Y or
||Phono jack (CH-1, CH-2)
||Stereo mini jack
||XLR-type 4-pin (male) (x1)
||IEEE 1394, 4-pin
(x1), HDV (HDV 1080i) / DVCAM stream input/output,
||USB device, Mini-B
color LCD: 852 (H) x 480 (V), 16:9
|Built-in LCD Monitor
color LCD monitor: approx. 921000 effective pixels, 640 (H) x 3
(RGB) x 480 (V), 16:9, hybrid type
Lens mount adapter (1)
Infrared Remote Commander
USB cable (1)
Shoulder strap (1)
Lithium battery (CR2032 for backup)
Lithium battery (CR2025 for the IR
Remote Commander) (1)
- Utility software (1)
- Operating instructions in PDF (1)
Operating instructions (English) (1)
Operating instructions (Japanese) (1)
SxS Device driver software end-user
license agreement (1)