F3 Day(s)-Day 2

OK. So we decided to do some more testing with the F3 before we started shooting for realliezzz. We had a bit of a camera party / geek fest at my house and grouped my EX3, 5Dmk2, my buddy’s 7D’s and the F3. It was quite a mess =) We also added the Steadicam into the mix to see which cameras would fit and stay balanced.

First off we wanted to compare the F3 and the 7D since they are almost the same in sensor size. The FoV was very close. A 35mm lens on the 7D was just about the same as the F3 with the Sony 35mm prime attached. The F3 of course was more sensitive over all but the 7D held up pretty well in overall image. Of course you can’t really do apples to apples as you have all the monitoring options you would ever want on the F3 and are kind of limited to putting together an HDMI array with splitters and Black Magic Designs converter boxes for the 7D.

Comparing the F3 to my EX3, the functionality was really almost the same. The F3 felt a lot like running my EX3 (with out a zoom rocker…). The menus and adjustments all worked similarly. The audio was the same work flow. And there are a ton of shortcut buttons on the F3…

I have a Hawk-Woods V-mount power plate I use with my 5D rig and found I can make that work with the F3 just fine. It allows me use a V-mount brick to power all sorts of goodies on the rig (it has 5 D-Tap outs). So, one D-Tap to 4-pin cable and I’m all set. I have an IDX adapter for my EX3 and use the same V-mount bricks on it. I like the B4B bricks, they have a nice long life and are pretty ruggedly built. I adapted my JVC – 17″ HD monitor to use the same bricks as well. Basically everything that needs battery power in my rigs now run off the V-mount batts.

With the Steadicam, all of the cameras worked. I had to strip the F3 down quite a bit – no matte box, no follow focus – but it work =) This Steadicam is set for 5 to 20 lbs. We came in at about 16 lbs all rigged. The EX3 and the Canons worked very nicely on the Steadicam. I almost had to ad a little weight to the lighter configurations to balance out…

Well that’s about it for now. I’ll have more to report after a couple of real shooting days with the F3. I’m looking forward to a potential project we have coming up where there will be a mix of EX3’s and F3’s on location – I want to see how well they play together on the same set.


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