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Old July 17th, 2006, 12:31 PM   #1
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Is It True?

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I understand that Sony is giving up on Sony. Do you guys know anything about this having just interviewed Jody Eldred?
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Old July 17th, 2006, 12:37 PM   #2
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Can you clarify that question a little bit? Sony cameras aren't going anywhere, there will be new higher end versions of XDCAM HD within the year. They are very commited to HDV, XDCAM HD, & HDCAM SR. All of them serve different market segments.

-gb-
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Old July 17th, 2006, 01:44 PM   #3
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I too am a bit confused. For our part, we made a decision to move to the Mac Power Book Pro because it's more stable thatn Windows and still serves both Windows and Mac. Take for instance Serious Magic. We use DVRack on all of our shoots which isn't ported to Mac so it runs on Windows for us. Rodney Charters did the same thing acquiring the new 17" mac Book Pro and alot of people in the industry are following suit because FCP is such a great program and interfaces well with Adobe Suite programs which are traditionally thought of as Windows-based but also have a very strong Mac component to them.

I think you may be referring to an article that appeared by a Zippo fellow and I mean no disrespect by not remembering his full name. People who know me know that it's simply a short comming of mine with names. Everyone's "Bob" to me like everyone's "Sexy" to George Dibie and Rodney Charters has the same issues with names. Anyway, Zippo wrote somewhere that Sony was "abandoning Vegas" but since I've never used Vegas, I don't know. What I can say is that Mac and Apple have formed a very strong relationsghip that's on a road show tour right now. I was in San Francisco with Jody Eldred last week and the integration is phenominal. Thus, for us, the XDCAM is the camera of choice especially, as Greg says, because it's growing and coming out with other cameras in the near future. Sony has a unique way of forseeing what the filmmakers want at myriad levels of ability and pocket book resources and then giving them the most bang for their buck. We'll be ordering 6 350s as the next step up from the JVC because they are incredible values. If you have the opportunity, the DGA is hosting the Sony/Apple road show this Wednesday I believe and I wholly urge you to be there and see for yourself 1) what the Sonys can do and 2) how tightly they integrate with FCP. What they have done with Vegas I can't comment on but as Greg said, Sony's not going anywhere. If anything, they're forging a leadership position in everything HDV and up each, again as Greg correctly states, serving a particular market segment. Parenthetically, we feature a segment on the F-350 in PArt 2 of the Jody Eldred interview next week...or waas it in this week's show, I forget!
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Old July 17th, 2006, 01:44 PM   #4
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I'm so sorry. I meant Sony is giving up on Vegas.
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Old July 17th, 2006, 02:16 PM   #5
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I'm planning on catching the Sony/Apple XDCAM/FCP seminar in Chicago on August 1. I'm seriously considering the XDCAM as my next camera.
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Old July 17th, 2006, 06:53 PM   #6
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Let me tell you how impressed I was with the camera, Jeff. As everyone knows, when we selected the JVC as our sub $10k camera, we tested all 4 offerings and settled on the JVC for myriad SPECIFIC reasons. Picture-wise, they were all great cameras but I had to look at our particular need and that was, at the time, sports coverage.

I started 2nd Unit with an amateur team to prove, in the right hands, the 100HD could rival any camera out there...within reason of course...with the key being education. That's why we started 2nd Unit and we proved it with a production called Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association National Championships (available if you'd like to download the excitement...just ask)with people like Warren and others. It's not rocket science but the budding cinematographer needs to know what the menu controls are controlling; what knee exactly is, what stretch and rotation and saturation and hue and colorimetry and the like are before they can "control" them. And 2nd unit is designed to teach those basics so the filmmaker can get the most out of his or her sub $10k camera. But with that experience comes the realization that you'll outgrow the JVC. It's a natural evolution when you realize what latitude is and want...no need more. So we started a search for the next step and that's how we found the Sony. We have to be able to recommend a camera that will give the filmmaker a next step and one that I can rely on that people won't come back to me and say, "Hey, dork, you recommended this camera and it sucks."

One of the greatest compliments that was ever given me was a couple of months ago when I heard about a hybrid camera between JVC and Panasonic. It turned out to be a hoax BUT someone wrote to me saying, in essence, "Are you serious. If you are, I'm holding off. Jonathan, we take everything you say seriously and trust you so don't mess with us." That one statement says exactly how we here at 2nd Unit take our roles. Now, with all of that said, we're simply sold, lock, stock and barrel, on the Sony 350. It's performance is unbelievable for a $25k camera BUT you have to know how to manage it's controls and that's hopefully what everyone's getting a handle on here at 2nd unit. We're working on a deal between Sony/Apple and 2nd Unit to support this site but, like JVC, it commenced AFTER we decided on the camera.

Please, please be sure not to miss the road show in Chicago. Take my friend Stephen Noe with you. THAT GUY'S A WALKING ENCYCLOPEDIA ON CAMERA WORK. And what I love most about him is the fact that he's so understated. A better asset this or any board will never have.

Anyway, long enough. See the Sony. Buy the Sony. Rent the lens until you can afford one that's perfect for your shooting but get the Sony 350. It's truly unbelievable and I'm anxious for Paolo to see it this week. We'll be ordering 6 of them like we did the JVC 100 HD; I'm THAT impressed.

Last edited by Jonathan Ames; July 17th, 2006 at 07:28 PM.
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Old July 17th, 2006, 07:39 PM   #7
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That is certainly a strong recommendation, Jonathan! I appreciate the information and encouragement. Your suggestion about renting a lens until I find one that works for me is a great idea! At that level, I do need to start thinking about creative ways to manage expenses.

By the way, who is Stephen Noe? Is he in the Chicago area?
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Old July 17th, 2006, 08:07 PM   #8
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Stephen is a member of this and other boards who's committed to sharing his experience in cinematography, both SD and HD. You can look him up here or at dvxuser.com, contact him, use my name and tell him when you're going to be in Chicago, his hometown. He'll probably be going to the road show anyway and he's a great person to know.
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Old July 17th, 2006, 08:24 PM   #9
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Thanks all and sorry for the mistyping. We're watching ouor finances around here and just want to make sure I have the accurate story.
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Old July 17th, 2006, 10:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Ames
I was in San Francisco with Jody Eldred last week and the integration is phenominal. Thus, for us, the XDCAM is the camera of choice especially, as Greg says, because it's growing and coming out with other cameras in the near future.
Jonathan,

I have the same enthusiasm for the camera as you. But let me clarify for all that 'at this point in time', Apple/Sony is not giving you the full support for the camera's MXF files. At present, the XDCAM Transfer Application that's being shown on the road show, does not support 18mb VBR, 35mb VBR, or 30P in any bit rate.

The promise of 'faster than realtime' transfer seems a bit misleading also. I shot some stuff in 4:3 DVCAM at 60i last week and it took longer than the length of the clip to import. A 15:56 clip took 18 minutes. I would have been better off putting the cam in AV/C and using FCP log and capture. I believe that's due to the decks having a higher transfer rate with gigabit ethernet capability which the SD versions of XDCAM cameras have as well.

Don't get me wrong, this is a phenomenal camera and I love the ability for my purposes to do in camera cuts only editing. But it's hurting my business to not have the higher bitrates supported. HDSDI is not an option for me at the moment and frankly, it defeats the advantage of file based recording and media management.

What hurts even more is that Avid Liquid 7 supports the 35mb mode. Sony Vegas 6 may support it, but I haven't confirmed that yet. I may send Ed Troxel a clip to see if he can load it.

XDCAM HD hold great promise for the future, but we have to temper our enthusiasm a bit with the reality of the here and now. As always, early adopters have to wait and/or help work out the kinks of this new fangled way of image acquistion.

One really neat aspect of XDCAM is that Sony has done tests and expects the shelf life of these discs to be in the neighborhood of 50 years. This means that your disk media becomes the acquisition, mastering, and archive all on the same disk.

Sorry for the long winded post. I would like to conclude that my camera has developed an issue with the shutter and has to go back to Sony for repair. I want to say how positive my dealings on the phone with Sony service have been. When I emailed them a sample video of the issue, I got a call back the next day requesting me to get the camera in ASAP because they want to know if this is an isolated incident or could be indicative of a wider spread problem potentially affecting other units. After all, this is a new design and it could have potential issues as we saw with the HD100.

I have nothing but high praise for JVC for the way they have responded and interacted with their customer base to resolve those issues whether real or percieved.

-gb-
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Old July 17th, 2006, 11:27 PM   #11
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I fully agree with Greg, especially the part about early adopters. And again, it goes back to the very essence of 2nd Unit. We wanted to build a site with reliable pros chiming in on the real skinny on what to expect when you buy equipment. Whether it's JVC, Sony, Panasonic, or whomever, there's a fine line they manufacturers have to walk. On the one hand, they're beholden to their shareholders and need to sell cameras. Thus, they put forth the best product possible but don't tell you that you need alot more than a good camera to make a good work product. Ron Ayers said it best when he said I have to rent cameras to pay the bills but I'm also always waiting for the phone call the next day saying, "I shot with your $1000 a day 950. Why doesn't it look like George Lucas?" There's alot more to it than point and shoot which is why I love the Abel Cine shirts that say "Autofocus Is For Sissies!". When you have 2nd Unit (shameless plug) people testing out equipment and reporting honestly on their long and short suits and then showcasing real DPS, directors and others who teach the buyers and renters how to get the most out of the equipment all backed by reputable dealers like Ablel Cine, EVS and TapeWorks who maintain their equipment in top-notch style, in turn backed by people like JVC's and Sony's people who care enough to monitor these boards and respond immedidtely to renters' and buyers' issues, then you have a win-win situation.

I love the cameras, both JVC and Sony. Greg does too but has the experience to temper my comments effectively. This is teamwork and exactly what 1) you the viewer should expect and demand and 2) what we're trying to produce here on 2nd Unit. So thanks Greg for being a part of all this and to the others who make this a complete site people can depend on. And to Chris Hurd, thanks again for having the insight and team spirit to let this all happen.
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Old July 18th, 2006, 09:59 PM   #12
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Sony Vegas 7

I have to chime in as I'm a heavy Vegas user (in addition to FCP on a powerbook). That post that Sony is giving up on Vegas was posted by a person named "Zippy". Of course, it's untrue because Sony Media Software just announced Vegas 7 with XD Cam support that will be showcased in IBC.

Check out this thread:
http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?p=509234

Now you guys have your FCP and Premiere, but wait until Jonathan plays with Sony Vegas and he probably won't touch the other NLEs :-)

(Just kidding, of course. All these popular NLEs are awesome!!!)
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Old July 19th, 2006, 12:35 AM   #13
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George is correct. I spoke with the Director of Marketing at the DGA for Sony tonight and he affirmed that Vegas is indeed well and growing. Support is very strony for the product. And, yes, we're working on a partnership with Sony and I'll be travelling out to New York the first week in August. All of the NLE's are terriffic but the relationshiop between Mac and Sony for the 350 is incredible which is why we've already made the move to Mac and are making the acquisition of the 350's very soon. We'll be doing a full report on the relationship here the first two shows of the second season of 2nd Unit now that we knbow there'll be a secobnd season 2nd Unit. The support has been overwhelming from both the ublic boards and the manufacturers. We're half way through Season 1 and have learned much to apply to Season 2.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 01:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
I believe that's due to the decks having a higher transfer rate with gigabit ethernet capability which the SD versions of XDCAM cameras have as well.
Very odd. One of my colleages has timed his ethernet connected XDCAM camera as being slower than realtime. However, and I am running this on a PC not a Mac, I have timed FAM transfer as being approximately 2.4 times faster than realtime. This was using the camera. If the higher end XDCAM decks are used the transfer times are twice as fast due to the dual laser pickup. Most of Sony's timings will be based around the decks I would imagine.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 09:08 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham
Very odd. One of my colleages has timed his ethernet connected XDCAM camera as being slower than realtime.
I can's comment on Ethernet but yesterday we saw the connection with FireWire 400 and it worked very well. One of the things that is amazing is the ability for the software to download the clips in the background. After you get the first clip in FCP you can start editing while the other parts of the batch are added to your project in the background. Simply amazing.
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