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Old May 16th, 2008, 08:52 AM   #1
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Sony PDW700 and Flash XDR

Any reason why you wouldn't want to use the Flash XDR attached to the PDW700 to give 1920x1080 4:2:2 at 100mb/secs onto cheap CF cards? And also output 720/60P to it. Sounds like could be just about the best combo out there when they both arrive.
Steve
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Old May 16th, 2008, 10:25 PM   #2
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All I can think of is depending upon the record time with the XDCAM discs, maybe you can get more by using 4 CF cards?

The camera writes 50 Mbps 4:2:2 video to the discs, so I don't think there will be a huge visual difference with the XDR unit.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 01:34 AM   #3
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Dear Steve and Tim,

Our internal testing has shown the 50 Mb 4:2:2 to be a very good format.

Adding a Flash XDR will give you the option of 100 Mb 4:2:2, as well as I-Frame only options at 100 Mb and 160 Mb, which one might select for editing convenience.

The Flash XDR's ability to create two original master copies of your footage to Compact Flash simultaneously may be important to you. After shooting, one copy can go to the director and another copy can go to editing.

The Sony PDW-700 has four channels of high-quality audio, according to their specifications. If these are encoded at 24 bits / 48K, then it may be a wash between using the Flash XDR external audio inputs and the camera's inputs.

If the camera's audio is 16 bit (I have not yet found this specification), audio quality may be improved since you can record at 24 bit / 48k without going through the camera's audio circuitry, using the Flash XDR external audio inputs.

The Flash XDR does give you one option in that it can be located remotely, away from the camera.

For example, if you have a "Video Village", you can route a single HD-SDI cable to the Flash XDR in the "Video Village", then plug the microphones or line level audio into the Flash XDR there. This may be desirable to some, as it reduces the cables running to the camera.

Others may want the audio feeding directly to the camera, then the video with the embedded audio will be sent to the Flash XDR (wherever it is located) via the HD-SDI.

If you are doing continuous shooting, the Flash XDR can and should be located away from the camera, so that the process of removing and inserting more Compact Flash cards can be accomplished without shaking the camera.
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Last edited by Dan Keaton; May 17th, 2008 at 06:37 AM.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 06:12 AM   #4
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Once you start adding external recording devices, costwise you're getting into RED territory (even at the camera price alone you could get a basic RED setup) also the SI-2K - these do have different workflows, but they do start entering the equation.

Although, in practice, until RAW workflows can be easily handled by post facilities people should think carefully about how their clients handle their rushes from the new data cameras before rushing out to buy one.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 06:23 AM   #5
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"Rushing out to buy one" - I trust you realise how funny that is!? Just go and try to buy a RED, report back in December when it might have arrived!
It's also got a rolling shutter which for moving subjects I think might well be a major issue. Lot of good point to it though, not least that you can put proper lenses on it as it is single sensor.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 07:06 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
"Rushing out to buy one" - I trust you realise how funny that is!? Just go and try to buy a RED, report back in December when it might have arrived!
It's also got a rolling shutter which for moving subjects I think might well be a major issue. Lot of good point to it though, not least that you can put proper lenses on it as it is single sensor.
Steve
Well, rushing out to put on your $1,000 on a RED, although the gap between ordering and delivery seems to be reducing a bit. The problem currently seems to be the electronic viewfinder production.

However, the RED doesn't sound like the best camera if you want to shoot "The Bourne Supremacy".
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Old May 17th, 2008, 09:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
If the camera's audio is 16 bit (I have not yet found this specification), audio quality may be improved since you can record at 24 bit / 48k without going through the camera's audio circuitry, using the Flash XDR external audio inputs.
It is indeed 24 bits/48kHz.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 10:09 AM   #8
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Dear Ivan,

Thank you for the update.

I tried to find the audio specifications of the Sony PDW-700 on-line before I posted my response. I could not find that specific detail.

I would be nice if all cameras recorded at 24 Bits / 48K.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 11:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
Any reason why you wouldn't want to use the Flash XDR attached to the PDW700 to give 1920x1080 4:2:2 at 100mb/secs onto cheap CF cards? And also output 720/60P to it. Sounds like could be just about the best combo out there when they both arrive.
Steve
Hi Steve-
This setup will certainly work well. You will see some improvement in video quality going to 100 Mbps, but not a huge jump. However, you can likely save a small fortune in all the post equipment, as the CF card readers are US $60, considerable less than the PDW700 equivalent deck. And as Dan Keaton mentioned, you can easily create simultaneous copies of the same footage on two CF cards, which can be a real time saver.

I just think it's important to look at the entire workflow in making a technology assessment.

Mike Schell
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