Sony PMW-F3 Settings for 2022 and a LUT for S Log to Rec709

Sony PMW-F3 Settings for 2022 and a LUT for S Log to Rec709
Still frame from footage taken on the PMW-F3.

Hey, if you’re looking for the right settings to use on the F3 that you just bought and are also struggling to find a LUT to monitor with, you’ve landed in the right place.

The F3 produces a gorgeous image, but the default settings are not great. Here’s what I did to the settings to get the cleanest image out of the camera.

Settings

To start, head to Video Settings in the menu. There are 3 settings to check.

  1. Set SDI/HDMI/i.LINK I/O Select to HD SDI.
  2. Set 23.98P Output to 23.98PsF (if it isn’t already).
  3. Navigate down to Dual-Link & Gamma Select. Choose 1.5G YPbPr422 & Video.

You might be saying “but that’s not S Log, that’s Rec709” at this point, but stay tuned.

Now press the Picture Profile button on the back of the camera just below the HD SDI output. If nothing happens when you press it, the setting is likely disabled because you put the camera into S Log mode from the Video Settings menu (step 3 above).

When PP opens, pick SET, and do the below steps.

  1. Set Matrix to Off.
  2. Set Multi Matrix to Off (it will be greyed out if Matrix is set to off).
  3. Go into White and set Preset White to 3200. Make sure Offset White numbers for A, B, and ATW are 0, 0, 0.
  4. Set HD Detail to Off.
  5. Set Skin Tone Detail to Off.
  6. Set Aperture to Off.
  7. Go into Gamma and set Level to 0 and Select to S-Log. This option was introduced with a software update and it gave operators the ability to change white balance while in S-Log mode (yeah, the OG S-Log setting back in the main menus disables white balance — you’re stuck with 3200k or 5600k).
  8. Set Black, Black Gamma, and Low Key SAT all to 0.

And you’re done! Just import the below LUT into your monitor for a preview or apply it afterward to your footage in your NLE as a starting base.

Download for S-Log to Rec709 WDR LUT for Sony PMW-F3

If ever you come across this post and would like to share what you shot on the F3, let me know and I might just make a post. I think this camera will be sticking around for some time.

Update: I have been able to source the original S-Log to Rec709 LUT from Sony thanks to Accsoon, the makers of several wireless video transmitters. I have the Accsoon CineEye 2S and have used it many times without issue.

Note: With these settings, the best output on the camera is HD SDI. The Blackmagic Design Video Assist 12G accepts this signal as a 10-bit 422 stream. It isn’t the 4:4:4 that this camera can output, but it is still very, very nice. If someone knows how to get a better image from this camera without buying a Gemini or Odyssey, let me know.