By technical editor Matt Allard:
How do you get images like the ones above? If you have been looking for a camera that can output dual-link RGB 4:4:4, has 12.5-stops of dynamic range, a PL mount adapter, dual SxS Memory Card slots, built-in ND filters and professional audio for under $4K US, then you’re in luck. B&H are offering the PMW-F3L for $3995 US, which is a $10,000 US saving on the original price. The ironic thing is that is almost how much I paid for the RGB 4:4:4 S-Log upgrade alone in 2011. This is tremendous bang for your buck and if you have no need for 4K or high frame rates, the F3 still produces fantastic images. The dual-link RGB 4:4:4 output, in my opinion, still gives you one of the more filmic-looking images out of any Sony camera. I still use the camera today for a lot of jobs and recently filmed with it in Afghanistan.
While the camera only records in the MPEG-2 long GOP codec in an 8-bit 4:2:0 colour space, with an external recorder there is no reason why you couldn’t use this camera for even the most demanding jobs.
Not long ago Sony also slashed the prices on the 6 lens Cine Alta PL set, which you can now buy for $12999 US. This mean you could buy both the F3 and 6 lens Cine Alta PL set for under $17K US. Add an EVF and a decent shoulder rig like the Zacuto Recoil VCT and it handles great on the shoulder. If you don’t need 4K then this kit is capable of some pretty amazing results.