Sony14xforf3-224x171Has anyone done an official dynamic range test of the Sony F3 with its amazing S-Log firmware enabled? I heard it was 13.5 stops, but now Sony is claiming firmware version 1.20 will add another stop by utilizing Exposure Index S-Log mode (more on this after the jump). Also, Sony will be coming out with two zoom lenses for the F3, making use of the camera's zoom rocker. Plus, the CBK-3DL01 3D Link option will add the ability to link two F3s together for 3D use, but will apparently cost $5,500. While the F3 is a hell of camera, something tells me that if Sony wants to remain competitive in terms of pricing, after November 3rd they might want to think about their firmware pricing. If you want S-Log and 3D, that's a total of $9,000 in upgrades on top of the camera's $14,000 price tag. Then again, if the new S-Log mode does add another stop of exposure, that would put it even with the ARRI ALEXA -- and that camera is $75k.

Okay, so what exactly is this "Exposure Index S-Log mode?" According to Abel Cine:

The Exposure Index mode works differently than the standard S-Log mode – it sets the camera at an optimal ISO (800) and maximizes the sensor output, giving a full extra stop of exposure. Then when the gain switch is adjusted, instead of adding gain it adjusts the exposure index. A practical explanation of this is that when gain is increased the camera will push up the exposure values, and when it is decreased it will pull down those values. Because the ISO is set to get the most out of the sensor, the exposure index change works more like an adjustment in post.

As for the new Sony zoom lenses, there are two: an 11-16mm zoom, about which details are scarce, and an image-stabilized 18–252mm T3.9-T6.8 lens. Damn, at full zoom it stops all the way down to T6.8?

SCL-Z8X140 Lens Specs

  • Manual/Auto
  • Iris Manual/Auto Focus
  • Manual/Servo Zoom
  • Auto Flange Back Adjustment
  • Image Stabilization
  • Sony Lens Interface Lens mount: FZ mount (F3 original)
  • Focal Length: 18 – 252mm (28.7 – 401.8mm 35mm equivalent)
  • Zoom Ratio: 14x T-stop: T3.9 (wide) / T6.8 (tele)
  • Iris Diaphragm: 7 blades
  • Filter Diameter: 82mm
  • 151.5 (W) x 173.5 (D) x 125.6 (H) mm (Wide)
  • 151.5 (W) x 216.1 (D) x 125.6 (H) mm (Tele)
  • Weight: 2.25 kg (4.96 lbs) (w/o hood)

[via AbelCine CineTechnica]