The Not-So-Technical Guide to the Sony F35

It's not so hard, once you know all the secrets...
Art Adams
By Art Adams 01.15.09

The RED ONE is cheap and good; the Sony F35 is expensive and utterly amazing.

Way back in November 2008, as banks melted around us and elaborate Ponzi schemes mailed out their last round of dividend checks, I participated in a series of tests of the Sony F35. Initially I worked with Jim Rolin (chief engineer and co-owner of Videofax in San Francisco) and Adam Wilt in doing some tests of various built-in and custom gamma curves, which resulted in the completion of a short spec spot. Later Jim and I got together and performed over-and-underexposure latitude tests to see how much dynamic range we could squeak out of the camera.

We were extremely impressed with the results and told all, far and wide, what we'd discovered. Following the rule of "Let no good deed go unpunished" we were asked to present these test results to the Northern California Chapter of the Digital Cinema Society at their December meeting, which was held on the Apple Computer campus. The entire event was videotaped, and as all of us came across reasonably well the final edit will appear shortly on the Digital Cinema Society web site. Meanwhile I've been asked by several people to write up my impressions of the camera in advance of my small screen debut.

This is not meant to be a highly technical document, yet there are some parts that may make one's brain hurt. Stick with me. There's no complex math, and I've done my best to explain things as simply as possible. If you have a desire to learn, at a basic level, generally how modern HD cameras work, and some specifics as to how the Sony F35 works, then put your brave face on and turn the page.

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