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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old September 16th, 2008, 08:03 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Bob Woodhead View Post
500 owner here. I'm not going to go into a "versus" analysis, as there's lots of that elsewhere, but speak to your personal workflow. "Remember I mainly shoot news and either feed via satellite/microwave link" IMHO, the P2 route could be killer for you here. As I've posted elsewhere, it's possible, using Raylight for Mac (never tried on Windoze), to use the camera as a source deck in a FCP edit. So you shoot your news story, connect camera with cards inside to Macbook, scan the cards using Raylight (puts a QT "wrapper" on the MXF files so FCP can edit them), and start editing. You do NOT transfer any media. Instant editing. Timeline's done, with graphics, renders, whatever. Then, again using Raylight, "push" the edited timeline back onto a P2 card in the camera (as long as there's enough space). Hook the HD-SDI out into the sat truck, push play, and type up an invoice. Sweet?
Never heard of Raylight, but now I have! :-) I also like the fact that, with the P2, you can keep a card in the camera ready to shoot while you transfer from a card in a card reader, whereas with the XDCAM you would have to have an XDCAM player to do the same thing.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 08:29 AM   #17
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Yeah, I've done a fair bit of 1080 shooting film-style, where as a card fills up, it goes to the "transfer station" (a MBP with DualConnect adapter, with RAID1 external for data). Even at 16 minutes per card in 1080, we never even went to a 3rd card. Offload was always done 1st. And man, the speed at which you can review takes... love it.

On Raylight; I've tested that "camera edit" workflow at most resolutions with no problems, HOWEVER, there is one big caveat to Raylight in general (which you don't hear much about) - you cannot use MediaManager to create a "consolidated" copy of your project. That is, a project copy that only contains used media. Because Raylight creates QT "wrappers" for the MXF media, MediaManager fails to "reach" the original media. I think there's not much noise about this aspect because most poeple probably save all their camera data anyway, thus no need for a "smaller" copy. I have had a project where this would have helped me, and recently spoke to an associate where this will negate their being able to use Raylight. Otherwise, I love the Raylight workflow.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 08:37 AM   #18
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Most of my stuff, being news, would be either dumped from the card into Final Cut, or I could use Raylight to do it from the camera without dumping first, and then the trimmed project would then be compressed from the time line to a H.264 format Quicktime file. Then this file would be transferred via FTP to the network.

The only other way I would send is via a link, playing raw footage out of the camera without the need to edit first.

To me, I see the only negative of XDCAM would be that I would need to buy a separate player if I was to do the same work flow as P2 - and that will not be viable. Unless I use the XDCAM itself as the player - but then, I would imagine, the camera would not be available to shoot at a second's notice.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 09:05 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Bob Woodhead View Post
Yeah, I've done a fair bit of 1080 shooting film-style, where as a card fills up, it goes to the "transfer station" (a MBP with DualConnect adapter, with RAID1 external for data). Even at 16 minutes per card in 1080, we never even went to a 3rd card. Offload was always done 1st. And man, the speed at which you can review takes... love it.

On Raylight; I've tested that "camera edit" workflow at most resolutions with no problems, HOWEVER, there is one big caveat to Raylight in general (which you don't hear much about) - you cannot use MediaManager to create a "consolidated" copy of your project. That is, a project copy that only contains used media. Because Raylight creates QT "wrappers" for the MXF media, MediaManager fails to "reach" the original media. I think there's not much noise about this aspect because most poeple probably save all their camera data anyway, thus no need for a "smaller" copy. I have had a project where this would have helped me, and recently spoke to an associate where this will negate their being able to use Raylight. Otherwise, I love the Raylight workflow.
Bob, I would be interested to know your thoughts on how much different pictures would be from both cameras, considering the XDCAM I can afford is a 1/2" chip and the P2 is a 2/3" chip. Considering I mainly do news/sport and some weddings here and there?

My current DSR-570 is a 2/3 chip, so would I notice a difference going back to a 1/2" if I did choose the Sony?
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Old September 16th, 2008, 09:11 AM   #20
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Honestly, I can't offer a firsthand opinion, and so not valid. Better you search the forums for that answer. I can say you'll get a more flexible DOF via 2/3". For weddings, you want less DOF for those beauty shots, and for news, as much as possible. Does the XDCAM do high frame rates? Shooting 60fps can give you some awesome stuff for sports. And don't forget the "buffer" recording of P2 (dunno if same on XDCAM) - in SD, you can have a 7 second buffer always going before you hit record. (3 sec in HD) Never miss the shot. HUGE. Pass the buttah.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 09:31 AM   #21
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Sitting here prepping for this afternoon's shoot (music video on Steadicam, jib, HH & sticks)... wanted to mention metadata & Raylight. I've got 99 metadata files on a miniSD card in 500; in addition to data about shoot name, shooter, place name, etc, there's a line in there called UserClipName. The data for that line is "Scene 00x Take ", and each file increments the Scene # (001, 002, etc). As you shoot, the 500 will automatically increment the metadata field UserClipName by 1. So "Scene 001 Take 001" becomes "Scene 001 Take 002", "Scene 001 Take 003" and so on as you hit record. When it's time for Scene 2, just load that metadata file. For non-film-style shoots, I just use "Projectname" for UserClipName, so every shot is sequentially #'d.

Raylight will take UserClipName and use it as the file clipname. Sooo, when I go to edit, all the clips are labelled with scene & take. Sweet? More buttah, ma.

For you Mac users, the best app for search & replace multiple files is called MassReplaceIt. Takes 30 seconds to replace 4 lines of data in 99 files. :)
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Old September 16th, 2008, 09:04 PM   #22
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another vote for P2. i have HPX500s with SD lenses on them and love them. I got 2 cameras, SD lenses, a cool lights rig (8 lights), sennheiser & akg audio, tripods, 4x idx batteries w/ quad charger & plates, bags and 4x 32GB P2 Cards all for under $30k out the door. Came from JVC-HD110's with firestores and I have never looked back. I use Vegas to edit. Love the workflow, love the ease of use. I considered Sony heavily, decided on panasonic and VERY glad I did. You can check out some of my work at kithannah.com.

My 2 pennies.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 09:09 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by David Cleverly View Post
Bob, I would be interested to know your thoughts on how much different pictures would be from both cameras, considering the XDCAM I can afford is a 1/2" chip and the P2 is a 2/3" chip. Considering I mainly do news/sport and some weddings here and there?

My current DSR-570 is a 2/3 chip, so would I notice a difference going back to a 1/2" if I did choose the Sony?
Yes, you will notice some difference. Not huge, but there is some difference when it comes to your DOF. HPX500 is slightly better in low light. But I would not dismiss the Sony "just" because of that if it's all you're worried about. Select your gear based on what your clients demand rather than what you want.

Here is another nice thing...... Your DSR-570 lens will work on your HPX500 too. No need to purchase another lens.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 10:22 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Bob Woodhead View Post
and for news, as much as possible.
As a (former) news shooter, I prefer as much CONTROL as possible, not necessarily as much DOF as possible. For stand-ups, I'll pull out every trick in my bag to make that background go soft: focal length, focal distance, ND, negative gain if I've got it and even some shutter. For "follow the ball" press conferences, I'm happy to get SOME DOF but "as much as possible" is a little TOO blanket a statement IMHO.

PS. No offense taken OR intended.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 10:29 PM   #25
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Another consideration is: what does everyone else AROUND me use and what do my clients (if for broadcast) accept? Having the ONLY camera of it's type in a market is a great way top differentiate yourself but it can be a pain when you need a second camera or if yours has to go in for service.

Someone on here once mentioned that for one of the first times in the history of video, the format we CAPTURE in is unlikely to be the final delivery product. To this end, make sure the ENTIRE workflow works for you and not just the camera. Good luck and have fun!
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Old September 17th, 2008, 06:06 AM   #26
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Ok, my main client uses XDCAM (PDW 700's as from next year) but I rarely, if ever, give them my media. I shoot and send to them from remote locations. I rarely go to the office which is located in a city some 100km away.

Everyone else around me (other freelancers) who work for the other networks use Panasonic DVCPro, one uses a P2 (502). The P2 owner also uses File transfer for sending his vision, as I do.

So it doesn't really matter what format I shoot on.

PS: both my DSR-570 and lens were wrecked yesterday, so muy current lens is not so much a consideration at the moment.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 07:47 AM   #27
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ouch man, sorry to hear. hope your insurance covers it. GO P2! If i had the money,
i too would go back to a shoulder mount setup via the HPX500.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 08:28 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
I'm happy to get SOME DOF but "as much as possible" is a little TOO blanket a statement IMHO.
PS. No offense taken OR intended.
Very true... I leapt to thinking of run n' gun, not times where you can breath between takes. ;)
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Old September 17th, 2008, 09:44 AM   #29
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Very true... I leapt to thinking of run n' gun, not times where you can breath between takes. ;)
I've developed gills - I don't need to BREATHE anymore... <grin>
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