2011 Feature Film shot in Camden, ME
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Update From the DP – Camera Test Results

May Test Results:


-Panasonic 8.4” onboard monitor

-KiPro Mini

-Anton Bauer battery plate running power to monitor/KiPro/F3

-SDI out from F3 into KiPro Mini

-SDI out of KiPro into onboard monitor

-SDI out of onboard into external 17” Panasonic monitor

-Set up color chart and monitors to waveform settings – good results.

-Check focus chart on 35mm Superspeed lens – fair results, some moiré in two areas on chart, but not bad.

Set up F3 Picture Profiles:

  1. Gamma setting – Cine4 preset 5600K, lower black level (day setting)
  2. Gamma setting – Cine1 preset 3200, lower black level slightly (night setting)

(I will provide detailed gamma settings when they are resolved)

Record onto KiPro at 10bit Apple Pro Res 422 HQ in both settings on all lenses.



-KiPro Mini

-Anton Bauer plate running power to KiPro only

-SDI out from EX3 to external monitor

-Set up picture profiles to match F3 settings.



Shoot footage with each of the various gamma settings in the picture profiles

RESULT: Tested Cine1 and Cine 4, but still playing with some profiles.



Over expose image from F3 4 stops and under expose image 4 stops, use FCP Color to see how much the image can be brought back, w/ and w/out ¼ BPM.

RESULT:  Great exposure range, haven’t gotten to full post process yet, so far so good.



Both the F3 and the EX3 have the “S&Q Motion” function; test this along with speed changes while recording to the KiPro Mini.

RESULT: Not so good.  S&Q Motion doesn’t seem to work with the KiPro, since the KiPro records by bypassing the video signal, the internal settings from the camera do not transfer over seamlessly and a stuttering effect is recorded.  However, normal speed changes seem to be ok, but no ramping within shot. 


SHOOT TEST 1: “Specialty Shots”

There are a few “specialty shots” in the film that require a different look than the rest of the footage, play with settings in F3 and EX3 to achieve this look.
RESULT:  Quite nice, I wanted to take the PL mount off the F3 and place it onto the EX3 (I heard somewhere this creates funky focus, no back focus to adjust the camera and lens) BUT it was not possible to line up the mount.  However, we were able to adjust the shutter on the EX3, record onto the SxS cards to achieve the look we might use for the shoot.

SHOOT TEST 2: Driving Shots

We are going to be shooting quite a bit inside a car at the driver and also at the exterior – indie style – goal is to use EX3 “drive by” shots looking out of car, but match to F3 when inside the car with the driver.

RESULT: Looking good!  EX3 out the front window, or side window, F3 on driver.


Block, rehearse, shoot, edit a scene w/ one actor


Block, rehearse, shoot, edit a scene w/ three actors


Shoot night interior at a bar – test lighting “as is” with F3 in Cine1 gamma mode.

RESULT:  Low low light.  Lens wide open at T1.3, the image is dark, too many fluorescent bar signs that seemed to all be pulsing at different rates.  We’re going to have to fudge this interior a bit, but with some “flickerless” lights, we should be fine.



I wanted to test the EX3 and F3 footage against each other, hoping the difference would be almost imperceptible with both at 10bit 422HQ.

I also wanted to see how well the F3 held up under low light and high light situations and how much play the image allows for during post-production.


The EX3 and F3 footage blends seamlessly.  I was only able to view on a 17” monitor, but I cannot tell the difference except for some shots that obviously give away a ½” sensor’s depth of field vs. a super 35mm sensor’s depth of field.  However, there is definitely a slight visible difference when shooting KiPro Mini 10bit and SxS 8bit.  Even before attempting to go through color correcting the images, the 10bit 422HQ image holds up much stronger than the 8bit XDcam.  I did not test 8bit to the KiPro, since I will not be using that setting.  There is a chance that we will have to shoot both cameras as A and B for a few scenes, but I don’t think we are going to have 2 KiPro Mini’s, so I wanted to see how much the SxS footage would stand out against the KiPro.  It does.  We might be able to get our hands on a nano-flash recorder as our B-unit external recorder, but that device is not quite capable of what the KiPro Mini can achieve.  We’ll have to see…

As far as exposure, the F3 is accurately rated at 800 ISO.  It also has quite a nice range and can easily hold over exposure 4 stops over and 4 stops under, there is information in both the highlights and the shadows.  None of this is new information, there have been many tests done with this camera, but you always need to test it for yourself.  Both gamma settings I tested primarily provide a flatter “negative” or raw image.  This raw image was easily and quickly given contrast and tone (a one pass) to create the look for the film.  I’m not sure these are my final settings, but they worked well for the test.


The only thing I would say needs a bit of improvement before the shoot is the actual rig of the camera.  I am going to replace the 8.4” Panasonic with either a Small HD 5.6” or a TV Logic 5.6” onboard monitor.  The 8.4” Panasonic is a great monitor, but much too heavy for our setup and was attached with a noga arm that was too long and cumbersome.  Also, the KiPro Mini was attached via another long noga arm, but has a plate on the unit so that it theoretically would fit directly onto the Anton Bauer battery plate.  Instead the battery was set onto a plate to fit only onto the rods not allowing space for the KiPro and lacking hardware to attach the two.  I’m sure this is possible to achieve.  I’m also going to configure the batteries differently, maybe use the small Sony battery for the F3 and the Anton for the monitor and KiPro, not sure yet.  I will provide an image of the two different rigs, once I get the new one finalized.

The viewfinder on the F3 was a poor decision on length and placement and the flip-out screen is barely visible with any amount of daylight, it’s good to check some zebras, but that’s about it.  I was unable to rent a viewfinder for the test, but hope to have the Cineroid one for the real deal.


It rained the entire time we were testing.  So that was tricky and nothing like the weather we hope to have for the actual shoot.  Therefore, I was only able to test what the cameras can do with bright white sky, but no sun, few shadows and lots of flat light.


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