Chicago-based boutique digital creative agency Evolve IMG, (a close partner with ESPN and the ESPN SportsCenter program), has completed extensive testing of the Sony F3 with the Cinedeck EXTREME in preparation for an ESPN shoot.
For its testing, Evolve IMG focused on recording, file format and rigging support with the Sony F3 and the Cinedeck EXTREME, and confirmed numerous file-based workflow enhancing benefits for the Sony F3 for filmmakers and production crews. More importantly, as image quality is one of the most important requirements for ESPN, the Evolve IMG team honed in on Cinedeck EXTREME’s workflow when shooting S-Log/444 mode with the Sony F3.
“High-end RGB 444 recording off the Sony F3’s sensor is a game changer for filmmakers, and Cinedeck EXTREME makes it simple with so many options to fit your workflow, taking the technical stress out of a shoot,” explained Joel Edwards, DP and technical director at Evolve IMG Films. “Shooting with the F3, we quickly learned how Cinedeck EXTREME can take the F3’s functionality so much further. When shooting in S-Log/444 mode, we discovered the third SDI port and HDMI out of the F3 no longer work in all frame rates. This is where Cinedeck saved the day. We were able to use the Cinedeck EXTREME’s outputs for EVF monitoring. This is an awesome feature that’s crucial for the crew, producers and clients. This feature alone is worth the price of admission.”
“Cinedeck EXTREME also gives you many recording options for your RGB 444 stream, which is very compelling, especially when space is limited or the highest end codec is not required,” Edwards continued. “For example, we discovered we could use ProRes HQ and still get the 14 stops of dynamic range S-Log output quality without mastering to true 444. This is another one of those really nice options to have.”
The Sony F3 has quickly emerged as a sought-after high-end digital solution for cinematographers seeking broad format support for file-based workflows for a wide range of production environments including RGB 4:4:4 baseband output with S-Log gamma for external recording – an important feature for customers requiring an HDCAM-SR workflow. However, Evolve IMG’s testing of the Cinedeck EXTREME with the F3 confirms the EXTREME as a lower-cost alternative to SR with more functionality.