Sony F3

Sony F3

Sony F3 Student Bundle includes:

PMW-F3K camera body
2x batteries and charger/ mains unit
AJA Ki Pro Mini Recorder
1x 64GB SxS card
2x 64GB CF card & reader
AJA Card reader
EVF Alphatron Viewfinder
V Lock Power Adapter 
175W Battery Kit
£80 +VAT per day


Sony Website


Our thoughts

The Sony F3 is an underrated video camera, primarily because Sony released it with a 35 mb/s built-in recorder, which did not meet the minimum European broadcast specifications of 50 mb/s. They probably did this because they were frightened of the Sony F3 undermining their more expensive cameras. The 35Mb recorder works perfectly well and I’ve never noticed any artefacts, although we can provide it with a rig and external recorder to give you a bit rate of up to 150 mb/s.

The Sony F3 is capable of producing exceptionally good high definition images that hold up well against cameras costing many times as much. Recording with the Sony F3 set to the Slog gamma setting allows very easy grading of its pictures.

This particular Sony F3 was used on the award-winning short Drone Strike where it was intercut with an Arri Alexa. The only problem they found in matching the images is that they had to add additional grain to the Sony F3 footage to match the higher noise level of the Arri, as it looked too clean. I have also used Sony F3 on several television commercials. If you want really high quality 1080 pictures you will go a long way to beat this camera.

The Sony F3 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.

Sony F3’s Exmor™ Super35 CMOS sensor was designed with the benefit of two decades experience in Digital Cinematography, pioneering digital HD acquisition for feature films and broadcast TV through the legendary CineAlta product range. The Sony F3 brings a true ‘film look’ and superior image quality into reach for independent movies, pop promos, commercials and other applications, as well as making the Sony F3 an ideal B-camera for high-end feature film production.

The Sony F3 is supplied with three high quality Sony lenses and an industry standard PL Mount adaptor providing compatibility with industry standard 35mm lenses. (Also available is the lens-less PMW-F3L.)

Exceptional flexibility is a key feature of the Sony F3 along with with multiple workflow options. XDCAM EX’s proven high-speed, intuitive workflow offers seamless integration with leading nonlinear editing software – as standard. In addition, a 10bit 4:2:2 HD-SDI output opens up hybrid recording possibilities with a variety of external recording devices. And from April 2011, a Dual Link HD-SDI option will enable 10bit RGB uncompressed signal output – ideal for the high-end film production.


Mass Approx. 2.4 kg (without lens and accessories)
Approx. 5 lb 4 oz (without lens and accessories)
Dimensions (W x H x D) *1 151 x 189 x 210 mm (without protrusions)
6 x 7 1/2 x 8 3/8 inches (without protrusions)
Power Requirements DC 12 V (11 V to 17.0 V)
Power Consumption Approx. 24 W (while recording, EVF On, LCD monitor Off, HD-SDI Dual Link On)
Operating Temperature 0°C to 40°C
32°F to 104°F
Storage Temperature -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
Approx. 170 min with BP-U60 battery, HD-SDI Dual Link Off
Recording Format (Video) 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
Recording Format (Audio) Linear PCM (2 ch, 16-bit, 48-kHz)
Recording Frame Rate NTSC
HQ mode:
– 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, 29.97PsFHQ mode:
– 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
Recording/Playback Time PAL
HQ Mode:
– 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
SP/SD Mode:
– 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


Lens Mount PL mount (with supplied lens mount adapter)
FZ mount (without supplied lens mount adapter)
Focal Length 35mm (SCL-P35T20)
50mm (SCL-P50T20)
85mm (SCL-P85T20)
Iris Manual, T2.0 to C (close), (SCL-P35T20, SCL-P50T20 and SCL-P85T20)
Focus Manual, 0.35 m to ∞ (SCL-P35T20)
Manual, 0.5 m to ∞ (SCL-P50T20)
Manual, 0.85 m to ∞ (SCL-P85T20)
Filter Diameter 95mm (SCL-P35T20, SCL-P50T20 and SCL-P85T20)

Camera Section

Imaging Device (Type) Super 35mm equivalent Single-chip CMOS
Imaging Device (Size) 23.6 mm (H) x 13.3 mm (V)
27.1 mm (diagonal)
23.6 mm (H) x 13.3 mm (V)
Imaging Device (Pixel Count) 3.5 M (total)
3.4 M (effective)
Built-in Optical Filters OFF: Clear, 1: 1/8ND, 2: 1/64ND
Sensitivity (2000 lx, 89.9% reflectance) T11 (typical) (1920 x 1080/59.94i mode)
ISO Sensitivity ISO400 /27° equivalent (1080p, Video Gamma mode)
ISO800 /30° equivalent (1080p, S-LOG Gamma mode)
S/N Ratio 63 dB (Y) (typical) (1920 x 1080/59.94i mode)
Shutter Speed 1/32 sec to 1/2,000 sec
Slow Shutter (SLS) 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8-frame accumulation
Slow & Quick Motion Function 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)
White Balance Preset (3200K), Memory A, Memory B/ATW
Gain -3, 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 dB, AGC
Gamma Curve Standard Gamma (x6)
CINE Gamma (x4)
S-LOG Gamma (with CBK-RGB01 option)


Audio Input XLR-type 3-pin (female) (x2), line/mic/mic +48 V selectable
Video Output BNC (x1) HD-Y or Analog composite
Audio Output Phono jack (CH-1,CH-2)
SDI Output BNC (x1) (HD/SD switchable)
HD-SDI Output 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/ 59.94p)
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)
i.LINK IEEE 1394, 4-pin (x1), HDV (HDV 1080i) / DVCAM stream input/output, S400
Timecode Input BNC (x1)
Timecode Output BNC (x1)
Genlock Input BNC (x1)
USB USB device, Mini-B (x1)
Headphone Output Stereo mini jack (x1)
Speaker Output Monaural
DC Input XLR-type 4-pin (male) (x1)
Remote 8-pin
Lens Remote 12-pin
HDMI Output A Type (x1)


Viewfinder 0.45-inch *2  type color LCD: 852 (H) x 480 (V), 16:9
Built-in LCD Monitor 3.5-inch *2  type color LCD monitor: approx. 921000 effective pixels, 640 (H) x 3 (RGB) x 480 (V), 16:9, hybrid type


Type ExpressCard/34 slot (x2)

Supplied Accessoies

Supplied Accessories Lens mount adapter (1)
Microphone (1)
Wind-screen (1)
Infrared Remote Commander (1)
USB cable (1)
Shoulder strap (1)
Lithium battery (CR2032 for backup) (1)
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)
SCL-P35T20 (focal length: 35 mm PL lens) (1)
SCL-P50T20 (focal length: 50 mm PL lens) (1)
SCL-P85T20 (focal length: 85 mm PL lens) (1)


Note *1 The values for dimensions are approximate.
*2 Viewable area measured diagonally.