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Sony Adds Free S-Log to All F3 Cameras in New Firmware Update

06.28.12 @ 9:37PM Tags : , , , ,

Sony F3 with 65mm Lens/Mattebox/Follow FocusSony, in a move that will either please or anger some F3 owners, is releasing S-Log for free in a new firmware update. While they had decided to make it free with all new F3 cameras back in March, it still cost money for those who hadn’t purchased it yet. Now it’s going to be free to anyone that wants it. Before you send angry emails to Sony, they’ve limited the free S-Log to 4:2:2, so you’ll still need to purchase it if you want the full 4:4:4. If you’ve been thinking about an F3 purchase, there has never been a better time than the present. Here is AbelCine’s Andy Shipsides with a video discussing the new update and how it affects the overall camera system:

It’s great that we can get S-Log on any F3 camera we want now — and there isn’t a huge difference between 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 if you’re worried about that. I’m planning on helping on a shoot later in the summer with an F3 and AJA Ki Pro, so it’s great that we’ll be able to get 4:2:2 ProRes without having to spend any more money. Early adopters, as always, will be a bit upset by Sony for doing this, and it goes along with what I’ve said about companies crippling cameras on purpose in order to separate their product lines. While we might not like this as consumers, they are running a business, and part of the reason to make these upgrades start out as paid-only is to help recoup R&D costs. Either way, it’s great that they are adding this to all of the cameras now, whether they’ve been upgraded or not.

If you’re interested in downloading the Scene Files and camera settings that Andy has created, you can download those as well as the new F3 firmware version 1.4 from the links below.

Links: Andy Shipsides F3 Camera Settings & Sony F3 Firmware Version 1.4

[via AbelCine - CineTechnica]


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  • Even as a Scarlet owner, I love the sony F3, its such a balanced camera, it distributes dynamic range more evenly in the highlights and the darks that the Scarlet even at native ISO. I wish more people knew how powerful the camera really is. But F3 I will be there to pick you up used a few years down the road when HD is not sexy and you are beyond affordable even though you’re still gonna be a beast and a classic always.

    • I think the F3 with S-Log is a GREAT camera, and I also agree that its become extremely unsexy to discuss. I’ve shot with the C300 and F3 – prefer the F3 but its bigger, you need a recorder etc.
      I too am simply waiting for them to become very cheap. Then I’d buy one. in fact I TRIED to buy one cash in the UK and NY 3 months ago for a job, but due to that ‘ship with S-Log’ update round, no stores had any in stock. Sony was not smart about that – there were none to be had for about 5 weeks, and I moved on as a consumer.

  • Hey Joe,

    I was a DIT on a feature that used (among other things) a ki pro and F3. If you needs any tips or tricks, hit me up via my email. Good luck, and I dig your articles.


  • I purchased S-log when Sony offered it for $900…. I’ve made good use of it so, I’m not too ticked off about this.
    I just hope it will create even more incentive for people to use it and realize, as Ryan said above, just how powerful this camera really is. Ive always been baffled as to why it never got it’s due. Probably, in part, to so much chest-beating in the Canon camp over the C300…. a decent camera but, a far cry from the F3. That comment might be slightly incendiary but, it’s always irked me that a less deserving and more expensive camera got far more press than it deserved and a much more capable camera went virtually ignored. That tells me that many folks are more concerend with a brand name than a quality image. As I’ve alluded to before, there is no super35 camera in the sub $20K category that can compete with it for DR, lowlight sensitivity and, with output to a KiPro or other recorder at 10bit, 422 ProRes (and capable of 444, for that matter, with a proper device), sheer ease of use, from camera to timeline. They don’t call it a mini Alexa for nothing.

    • Sorry, I realize 444 recording not available with this update.

      • Its not the image quality that makes the c300 a more popular camera, it’s the ease of use, compatibility with different lenses, excellent compression etc etc.

        • All of those completely outdone by the F3. With an external recorder like the AJA KiPro Mini, the cost is still below that of the C300. Then, you have any flavor of ProRes 422 you want, way better than the codec of the C300. ProRes drops into the timeline of FCP immediately. There again, easier to post than C300. The F3, with it’s original mount and included PL adapter make it compatible with virtually every lens out there… more than the C300. That’s before you even get to S-log which, makes the F3 a C300 killer all by itself. Your argument, William, does not hold water… no matter how you look at it.

          Joe, sorry to make this a camera competition but, this is an issue close to my heart so, my apologies in advance.

          • I think they both have their place, there are uses for both and situations that can call for both. I think the F3 gets more use and attention than you think, but Canon has healthy relationships with professionals so naturally they make a little more noise about it. Honestly, pick the camera that fits your workflow better. Owning and renting are very different, and there are reasons why one can make a better rental over the other. There are also situations where an external recorder is cumbersome for the type of shooting you’re doing, and the 50mbps 4:2:2 of the C300 will hold up better out of the box than Sony’s 35mbps 4:2:0 codec.

            It’s really all about the right camera for the job. As a camera to own, right now personally I think the F3 is a better deal, especially if you get a recorder that can do 4:4:4. But specs aren’t always everything, sometimes people just prefer the look of one camera over another – as is clear by the Zacuto test.

          • I respect that, Joe. It’s not the tool so much but, what you do with it. But, check it… 4 guys, beside yourself, posted at this point. If this was a C300 or any Canon thread, there would be dozens.

        • Daniel Mimura on 07.9.12 @ 4:33AM

          Dixter is right. The C300 is outdone by all of the above…most importantly (to me) is the fact that you have to buy a C300 with the PL *or* EF mount (so it is *less* compatible with different lenses.)

          F3 does both.

          The F3 changes between EF and PL as fast as changing a lens. This is not possible with the C300, and takes a couple minutes with the Reds b/c you have to unbolt 4 screws…it’s not really so efficient to change lenses from shot to shot if you have a mixed collection of lenses (as I will have, b/c I’ll be buying PL lenses one at a time).

          I can’t afford my own PL glass, and most likely won’t for some time…but I’d really rather use rented PL glass over free spinning EF lenses any day…but for my own films or productions that can’t afford rented lenses, I can stick to my EF mounted Nikkors…without being limited to that.

          Sony by way of Canon by way of Nikon.

  • Did I hear Andy from Abel correctly…that this new development means you can record S-Log internally? Is it still 4:2:0/35MB or has that changed to 4:2:2/50MB? Sorry if this is a stupid question…have used the F3 but am not that close to all its specs…