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Andrew Ansnick

Sony F65 - What Concerns Us

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A few operator's and I had the pleasure of attending Band Pro's Sony F65 Seminar yesterday. I'm sure you can find detailed spec's on the camera floating around but here's some brief info of what we need to know in order to help prepare us for when they start popping up next month.

 

Outputs - Two 1920 x 1080 4:2:2 HD-SDI Monitoring Outputs, HD-Y Out (for Genlock), and Shutter (locking signal for 3D/motion control)

Power Input - 12V System, utilizes same 8 Pin Lemo of the F35 to provide 12/24v input

Power Outs - 12v Out 11 pin Fisher (4 Amp max), 24v Out 3 pin Fisher (4 Amp max)

 

Power Consumption - Camera Body 62 Watts (5.17 Amps), SR-R4 Recorder 37 Watts (3.08 Amps), w/Viewfinder 105-109 Watts (8.75-9.08 Amps)

 

Camera Weight - 11lbs 7oz Body Only

SR-R4 Recorder Weight - 3lbs 15oz

Total Weight - 15lbs 6oz w/recorder

 

It also looks like your current Preston MDR cables will work with this new body since it utilizes all of the old F35 connectors. All in all, a very nice camera despite the lack of an Optical viewfinder and no plans to introduce one either.

 

-Andrew "Batteries on Charge" Ansnick

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The eyepiece currently set to ship with the F65 is not HD, which I thought was a bummer. Apparently they're working to introduce an HD eyepiece in 2012, but I don't recall a tentative release date on that.

 

I liked most everything I heard about the F65 except for the power consumption. I'm working with the SR-R1 on an F3 right now, and I feel like the current crop of CineAlta cameras are not friendly towards anything but studio mode (either the F3 or the SR-R1). Powering needs, operator versatility in functions, etc.

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The eyepiece currently set to ship with the F65 is not HD, which I thought was a bummer. Apparently they're working to introduce an HD eyepiece in 2012, but I don't recall a tentative release date on that.

 

I liked most everything I heard about the F65 except for the power consumption. I'm working with the SR-R1 on an F3 right now, and I feel like the current crop of CineAlta cameras are not friendly towards anything but studio mode (either the F3 or the SR-R1). Powering needs, operator versatility in functions, etc.

 

I can't speculate on the release of the new eyepiece either. I can say that I felt it was the camera's only real flaw. Power consumption is already an issue especially as there is currently no handheld support, only block batteries. AC's will commend Sony on finally paying attention and revising their menu system. It has been refined and is much much simpler to navigate then any other Sony camera. The system info display is especially nice, nearly identical to an Alexa's.

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Here's a concern: don't let the camera lose power while recording!

 

Not only does the camera draw 108 watts (so parallel mode for most people is a must), but also the SR-R4 recording deck really hates losing power while recording.

 

How much does it hate losing power? Well, here's a small snippet from the SR-R4 manual

 

After recording to an SRMemory card is complete, press the EJECT button to safely remove the card, or turn off the unit with the power switch. Should the power cord be disconnected while recording is in progress, the recording operation will not complete properly. In such cases, the file system will not be updated and as a result, video and audio data recorded in real time will not be recognized as files and the content of recorded files will be damaged.

 

The unit incorporates a salvage function that is designed to minimize data loss for such SRMemory cards. The salvage function restores files based on factors such as the maker information recorded on the SRMemory card. The salvaging process can take as little as a few seconds or up to 60 minutes, depending on the conditions at the time recording was interrupted.

 

NOTES

• The salvage function is intended to salvage as much recorded material as possible in the event of an unforeseen accident, but it does not guarantee 100% restoration of data.

• This function will not restore data recorded immediately preceding the recording interruption.

• The amount of data loss is as follows:

— F65RAW mode: About 2 seconds of data

• Whenever you insert an SRMemory card that requires salvaging or turn on the unit with such a card inserted, a popup message asking whether you want to perform salvaging will appear.

• Recording and playback are disabled for SRMemory cards that require salvaging.

• When you format an SRMemory card, the memory card will be ready for use immediately. However, any previously recorded data will be lost.

 

We worked with the SR-R1 deck back in December, and I'll assume for the time being that the SR-R4 behaves the same way, and no major software revisions have changed the "Data salvage" screen.

 

- SRMEMORY deck loses power while recording.

- When it boots back up with the same card, it asks "Data salvage?" If you press no, you cannot record to that card anymore. I believe you can do the salvage with the SRMEMORY deck? Otherwise, you need to use that deck to perform the salvage (another deck will not do).

- You select "yes", and it goes into data salvage mode. The manual even says "could take a few seconds or up to 60 minutes". The screen however gives you no indication of time remaining. Could be a few seconds. Could be a few minutes longer. Could be 30 minutes longer. You get no indication on screen. Eventually, it just completes and you're good to record more or eject the card.

 

The big concern: if the deck is data salvaging, and you pull power (the deck doesn't have a "cancel" option once salvaging... once it starts, you're waiting until it's done... no recording, no cancel and swap to another card and continue later, nada), you hit a dangerous, undocumented limbo state. I'll go ahead and assume that most likely the data will not be salvageable, so don't wind up in that spot.

 

Silver lining

The SR-R1 we had offered a voltage warning system, so you could custom set anything from 12 to 13 volts (in 0.1 volt intervals; 12.2, 12.5, 12.8, etc) as the warning threshold before the deck would start warning you. I believe it also had a voltage failsafe system (turn off at 12 volts no matter what), but ours didn't seem to work properly (or we got so worried about the data salvage issue, we were WAY more attentive to the voltage at all times).

 

Perhaps the F65 has a voltage warning for the whole system (F65+SR-R4), and therefore gives a nice obnoxious warning when the voltage gets too low?

 

Regardless, let the Y-cable ordering begin!

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Here's a concern: don't let the camera lose power while recording!

 

Not only does the camera draw 108 watts (so parallel mode for most people is a must), but also the SR-R4 recording deck really hates losing power while recording.

 

How much does it hate losing power? Well, here's a small snippet from the SR-R4 manual

 

After recording to an SRMemory card is complete, press the EJECT button to safely remove the card, or turn off the unit with the power switch. Should the power cord be disconnected while recording is in progress, the recording operation will not complete properly. In such cases, the file system will not be updated and as a result, video and audio data recorded in real time will not be recognized as files and the content of recorded files will be damaged.

 

The unit incorporates a salvage function that is designed to minimize data loss for such SRMemory cards. The salvage function restores files based on factors such as the maker information recorded on the SRMemory card. The salvaging process can take as little as a few seconds or up to 60 minutes, depending on the conditions at the time recording was interrupted.

 

NOTES

• The salvage function is intended to salvage as much recorded material as possible in the event of an unforeseen accident, but it does not guarantee 100% restoration of data.

• This function will not restore data recorded immediately preceding the recording interruption.

• The amount of data loss is as follows:

— F65RAW mode: About 2 seconds of data

• Whenever you insert an SRMemory card that requires salvaging or turn on the unit with such a card inserted, a popup message asking whether you want to perform salvaging will appear.

• Recording and playback are disabled for SRMemory cards that require salvaging.

• When you format an SRMemory card, the memory card will be ready for use immediately. However, any previously recorded data will be lost.

 

We worked with the SR-R1 deck back in December, and I'll assume for the time being that the SR-R4 behaves the same way, and no major software revisions have changed the "Data salvage" screen.

 

- SRMEMORY deck loses power while recording.

- When it boots back up with the same card, it asks "Data salvage?" If you press no, you cannot record to that card anymore. I believe you can do the salvage with the SRMEMORY deck? Otherwise, you need to use that deck to perform the salvage (another deck will not do).

- You select "yes", and it goes into data salvage mode. The manual even says "could take a few seconds or up to 60 minutes". The screen however gives you no indication of time remaining. Could be a few seconds. Could be a few minutes longer. Could be 30 minutes longer. You get no indication on screen. Eventually, it just completes and you're good to record more or eject the card.

 

The big concern: if the deck is data salvaging, and you pull power (the deck doesn't have a "cancel" option once salvaging... once it starts, you're waiting until it's done... no recording, no cancel and swap to another card and continue later, nada), you hit a dangerous, undocumented limbo state. I'll go ahead and assume that most likely the data will not be salvageable, so don't wind up in that spot.

 

Silver lining

The SR-R1 we had offered a voltage warning system, so you could custom set anything from 12 to 13 volts (in 0.1 volt intervals; 12.2, 12.5, 12.8, etc) as the warning threshold before the deck would start warning you. I believe it also had a voltage failsafe system (turn off at 12 volts no matter what), but ours didn't seem to work properly (or we got so worried about the data salvage issue, we were WAY more attentive to the voltage at all times).

 

Perhaps the F65 has a voltage warning for the whole system (F65+SR-R4), and therefore gives a nice obnoxious warning when the voltage gets too low?

 

Regardless, let the Y-cable ordering begin!

108 Watts? I consider that a failure of engineering. Even the power hungry Alexa only draws 90 watts with a viewfinder.

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Mounted up the F65 today and what a ride... you'd think that they would start to get it right by now. A few issues that I learned about.

 

  • POWER!!!!! Holly Fart Sh!t Batman! I had to add a third Power Cube to drive this beast longer than 10 minutes. While in the training session I started to worry about these redunkulus record times... Episodic could actually get away with an entire day on one 1TB card, but thank god for the shortened battery changing, just hope they don't want you to strap a brick to our backs!

  • Camera draw is 10.75A in standby w/ Preston in 12V mode, spiking upwards of 11A with shutter spinning and Preston motors working

  • For Low Mode, we (the camera house and training session) where told that you can use the spacer plate from the bottom of the camera up top for bracket mounting... well that does not work. In fact, the plate wouldn't match up at all, so I just took my small dovetail and slapped it straight to the top of the body. The handle is nice and sturdy, but tall as hell, almost adds a foot of clearance... and we know what that translates to.

  • The camera is left side heavy, so you'll want to offset you mounting top the right side of your bridge plates... this means you can not utilize a lightweight matte box on 15mm rods off you dovetail unless you can correct for this displacement, kind of the same way Alexa did to mount to the Arri BP for 19mm studio

  • For and aft CG (w/ 40mm Cooke S4, Mattebox, two DM2's) is just around the sensor plane

  • Power Cable is same as F35 & Genesis

  • This camera is 24P not Psf, so they say some HD monitors may not work, test your monitor before hand, UltraBrite 2's (at least mine) are fine.

  • No remote start/stop until April? update

  • Sony DID kept the Sony style Lens (VTR) connector so in theory, once Preston gets the specs, we should be able to control shutter angle and frame rate... that would be nice (call Preston and request it!!!) AND of course the 3pin fischer connector will carry a trigger also for Run/Stop

  • No down converted NTSC output for Analog monitors and output is 709

 

Pics to come and CamWave test on Monday... unless someone already did try?

 

-Alfeo

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No image flip? I thought the f35 had that?

Not sure, this camera is support to get us closer or back to more of a RAW film stock type of workflow, not a lot of control in the field at the camera in terms of sensor painting and LUTS

found the manuel here: F65 Manual

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OK, I have a shoot coming up with this bugger. Alfeo, how did you calculate AMPS? Your numbers are way out of line with Will's and Sony's. Their numbers are annoying but can be dealt with; yours are insane. Would love to know before I mount the beast up.

 

Thanks.

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Alec,

 

I am defiantly not a rocket scientist (I did start off in aerospace engineering) nor did I truly ever understood "power" while going for my physic minor, thank god for optics class, which helped even out that other one...

 

I looked at my amp meter (Mode 2 for current[amps] being drawn from both batteries) on the Ultra2 and took the numbers directly from it. Mind you this was also off older PowerCubes but fresh off the charger.* So my numbers were during the peeks (spike) and once they settled into a constant.

 

That number also included the UltraBrite2 Monitor (36W max. @ 24V (15W typ. with brightness at min.)), MDR2, Two DM-2's and general rig electronics

 

PowerCubes off the charger were coming in at 16.5V (6Ah)

*side note: I recently had to purchase 4 new PowerCubes because mine where not giving me adequate runtime. this came to light when dealing with an F35 and KiPro Mini powered through the camera... finally had to find a separate source to run the CamWave and KiPro Mini.

Hope that helps to clarify Alec

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