I had a good week with the Sony PMW-F3 and coming from my PMW-350 background it was easy to navigate the F3 menu, unlike the unfamiliar AF101 menu system. The main difference between the two camcorders is looks, the Sony looks more like a conventional camcorder, not the square box look of the Panasonic.
As you can see both cameras suffer flare, I don’t know any camera that doesn’t, the F3 came with three lenses the 35mm, 50mm and 85mm T2 (f2) all of them were very sharp and caused less flare than my Voigtlander NOKTON f0.95 lens also set to f2 for a comparison. The F3 as you can see also has far better resolution due to the excellent Sony 35mm Prime lens.
Remember the Sony Prime lenses are made exclusively for the F3 which is why they perform so well.
CONCLUSION : The Sony PMW-F3 with supplied Prime Lenses certainly resolves far better than the AF101 as you would expect and the F3 is the king of low light images at 18dB, this camera excels in low light. What about the 24MBs (AF101) v 35MBs (F3), strangely this seems to be less of a problem as I was expecting the F3 to gain having the 10MBs faster speed advantage but it only proves that you still need 50MBs, 4:2:2, 10 bit to make a significant difference. They both suffer from being 8bit which is no surprise, thats not to take anything away from the AF101, the Panasonic is fantastic for the money and lets be honest did you really expect the £4K AF101 to upstage the £10K PMW-F3.
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