Sony PMW-F3 Upgrades Now Available

The Sony PMW-F3 CineAlta camera just grew even more powerful with the recent release of two new firmware upgrades: Firmware Version 1.1, and CBK-RGB01.

What follows is a breakdown of the features of each upgrade; however, it’s important to note a few things first. Firmware Version 1.1 is a free upgrade and we recommend that every PMW-F3 Owner install the update. Not only does it enable a few very useful features, but it is also the base upon which future upgrades will be released, so it needs to be executed first. After it has been installed, the camera owner will be able to load the optional upgrades: CBK-RGB01, also known as the RGB/S-Log Upgrade (now available); and CBK-3DL01, the 3D Link Upgrade (not yet released).

Note: As of 6/17/2011, the new cameras that Band Pro is receiving from Sony come preloaded with Firmware Version 1.1.

Firmware Version 1.1 - Free

Download Link
Official Release Notes
Note about performing the upgrade: After Stage 1, during Stage 2 the screen will go blank. Do not turn off the camera. The upgrade is working and once Stage 2 is complete, the display will return to the screen.

Key Features:

  • Simultaneous output via HD-SDI and HDMI is enabled, solving many of the early problems of how to record externally and use an onboard monitor or electronic viewfinder at the same time.
    • Note: If you turn on the 2/3 pulldown it will affect both outputs. If you active the A Link of the Dual Link as a 4:2:2 feed it will always be a clean feed and will not have 2/3 pulldown. This would be the preferred output for external recording.
  • The two Dual link HD-SDI outputs are now enabled (4:2:2 10bit 1080  23.98/ 25/ 29.97PsF)
    • Also, the signal format of the Dual Link output is visible in the STATUS window.
    • Note: Dual Link and HDMI output can not be used simultaneously.
  • Planning Metadata is also available, allowing control of the file naming convention prior to shooting.
    • With the addition of the CGK-RGB01 Upgrade and the CBK-WA01 WiFi Adapter, Planning Metadata instructions and subsequent changes can be performed via WiFi.
    • Note: Once the upgrade has been enacted, Metadata Planning is automatically turned on and you will see a display of the next clip number in the viewfinder. You will need to go to the Metadata Planning menu to turn off the display of this data in the viewfinder.
  • The Slow & Quick Dial can now be used for menu navigation.
    • Note: This feature must be toggled on and off. To enable it, hold down the CANCEL button (behind the rear viewfinder) and press the S&Q Dial. Repeat to disable and return to regular S&Q functionality.
  • Thumbnails can now be navigated vertically as well as horizontally.
  • The PMW-F3’s TC output will now follow the internal Timecode Generator.
  • Peaking, Brightness and Contrast in the LCD and EVF displays can be adjusted with one click.
    • Note: Firmware Version 1.1 is required before enacting other upgrades.

CBK-RGB01 - $3680

Contact Band Pro to order your upgrade today! 

About the Upgrade:

  • The firmware upgrade will be delivered on a Sony SxS card, with one CBK-RGB01 on each card. Each camera will require its own SxS card with the upgrade on it.
  • Each CBK-RGB01 comes with an identification key that prevents it from being installed on more than one camera at a time; however, the upgrade can be uninstalled from one camera and reinstalled on another camera.

Key Features:

  • Record RGB4:4:4 10-bit, 1080 23.98/ 25/ 29.97PsF from the Dual Link HD-SDI or 3G-SDI.
    • Note: 3G-SDI is only available from the “A” SDI output. When active, the “B” SDI output will be Off.
  • Record in S-Log Gamma from the Dual Link HD-SDI or 3G-SDI for a greater dynamic range by recording the equivalent of a digital negative.
  • LUTs for monitoring on-set are enabled, including S-Log LUT.
    • LUTs include four pre-set LUTs and 5 user-created LUTs. Custom LUTs can be created by the CVP File Editor. (Available for download here)
    • LUT name is recorded as NRT metadata to the SxS cards and can be viewed in the XDCAM Browser.
    • Note: LUT On/Off applies to the HD-SDI output and the SxS internal recording simultaneously.
  • Planning metadata can be controlled and edited via WiFi.