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Old September 10th, 2008, 09:11 AM   #1
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P2 or XDCam?

Ok, I know this is the P2 section, but I was wondering if anyone could tell me the pros and cons of both the P2 and XDCam.

I was considering a Sony HDV for news (HVR-S270) but now, after seeing the rolling shutter problems and the dicey viewfinder and lens, I am not so sure. I use my camera for news ONLY and with some wedding stuff thrown in for good measure.

My obvious number 1 minus for the P2 is that 32gb cards are around $2000 each here in Aus at the moment and unless you have a stack of cards (for weddings, say) you are stuck having to dump your files continuously. Whereas the XDCAM discs are MUCH cheaper. One minus for the P2 although I would never really have to give the cards out and could regularly dump to the laptop to free up the card if I had to...in other words I could get away with 1 and perhaps buy another spare 16gb just in case...

Mind you I am feeling somewhat weary of shooting a wedding on a card or disc!!! :-)

The XDCam is obviously dearer. I can buy a P2 (500) new with HD lens for $28k here in Aus at the moment which is about 1/2 the price of the XDCam.

But any help and advice would be appreciated.
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Old September 10th, 2008, 12:24 PM   #2
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Please clarify which cameras and price range you are comparing.

The two "formats" offer different compression, both offer convenience.

More info might help to whittle it down for you.
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Old September 10th, 2008, 01:56 PM   #3
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I'd think the best people to advise you would be the clients you shoot for, and do they want HD/SD? How do they expect the material delivered?

You refer to shooting for news, which generally implies a fast turnaround. If you get a P2 camera, it's fine if they are a P2 operation, prepared to loan you a stock of cards, returned by you as and when with material on for subsequent reuse.

But if they're not prepared to do that, and expect you to shoot, handover material, on to next job, then P2 would seem to be far from the best choice. Apart from the time issues of setting up laptop, and downloading, what then? Do you hand over your laptop? A hard drive? What if the days work involves several locations, with the material from each required for editing as soon as it's been shot?
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Old September 10th, 2008, 01:56 PM   #4
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Thanks Tim,

I am really trying to streamline my workflow as my useage is mainly news in remote locations around Australia.

The camera would be an update to my current trusty DSR-570 and used for news, and rarely production. Maybe some weddings here and there. The 570 works well with never a complaint from the office. But, as I said, it is time to upgrade anyway and I am looking to take the opportunity to streamline as well.

I mostly FTP my vision back to the network so the workflow into Final Cut, compress and then uploaded is hoping to be improved by upgrading - as well as the improvements in picture quality and so forth with the change of format and technical specs of these more recent cameras. Because I mostly FTP, the solid state recording method or disc would be ideal as it would save capturing time.

I just need a good, solid workhorse. 4ch audio if possible. SDI out will also be nice because I do sometimes feed into an SDI link point.

A 502 P2 can be bought here for $15k with 32gb card and no lens at the moment. $28k with a HD lens and 2 extender. I am sure a XDCAM with 2/3" chips is going to be much more expensive than that, so the price might be the decider, unless there is a reas I should go to XDCAM over P2.

It doesn't matter what I shoot on, really, as all vision is fed down to the office. That said, the network has just invested in 50 XDCAMs.

Thanks,

David
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Old September 10th, 2008, 02:00 PM   #5
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I'd think the best people to advise you would be the clients you shoot for, and do they want HD/SD? How do they expect the material delivered?

You refer to shooting for news, which generally implies a fast turnaround. If you get a P2 camera, it's fine if they are a P2 operation, prepared to loan you a stock of cards, returned by you as and when with material on for subsequent reuse.

But if they're not prepared to do that, and expect you to shoot, handover material, on to next job, then P2 would seem to be far from the best choice. Apart from the time issues of setting up laptop, and downloading, what then? Do you hand over your laptop? A hard drive? What if the days work involves several locations, with the material from each required for editing as soon as it's been shot?
David, all vision is either fed down to the network via either a satellite link or from the laptop via FTP over the 'net after editing and compressing. It does not matter what I shoot on as far as the network is concerned, although they have just invested heavily in XDCAM. But they rarely take my media, anyway.
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Old September 10th, 2008, 02:39 PM   #6
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If the network has invest in XDCAM then i'd almost be inclined to go that route.

However, from the description of your workflow a 502 with a couple of cards would work for you fine.

Are you required to deliver HD at the moment? or is it still SD? the nice thing about the 502 is you have so many flavours of SD to play with - DVCPRO50 is a great codec.

Your also going to get an hour worth of record time at DVCPRO50 on a 32 gig card.
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Old September 10th, 2008, 04:01 PM   #7
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Do you have a preference with framerates?

The XDCAM HDs (335/355/) do not shoot 720p60.

This is a tough question to answer, but the price is quite different between the two.

The 500 in the states is $8,000 after the rebate.

The PDW-355 is $25,000.

That is quite a gap before the lens purchase.

And as to what Joe stated, if you are still shooting for SD delivery, I don't think there is that much to be gained over your 570...
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Old September 10th, 2008, 04:06 PM   #8
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And as to what Joe stated, if you are still shooting for SD delivery, I don't think there is that much to be gained over your 570...
I'd take a solid state workflow over tape any day for news.
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Old September 10th, 2008, 04:45 PM   #9
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I'd take a solid state workflow over tape any day for news.
Yes - but now Sony have announced they will sell the CF separate to the Z7, it may make good sense to use that with your DSR570 at the moment, if the station are still happy with SD. Then when they start to demand HD, that may the time for a full upgrade - who knows what may be around in another couple of years? In general, the best SD comes from SD cameras - in camera downconversion from HD may leave aliases behind, and that's bad news for further compression and ftp.

In the meantime, you're still able to enjoy the benefits of solid state/tapeless, and if your laptop directly accepts CF cards it may be even easier than P2 - no adaptors.

I tend to agree that if your main client has just bought 50XDCAMs, it seems to make sense to go the same way if you MUST change. Have any other possible local clients committed to a new format recently?
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Old September 11th, 2008, 12:17 AM   #10
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Yes - but now Sony have announced they will sell the CF separate to the Z7, it may make good sense to use that with your DSR570 at the moment, if the station are still happy with SD. Then when they start to demand HD, that may the time for a full upgrade - who knows what may be around in another couple of years? In general, the best SD comes from SD cameras - in camera downconversion from HD may leave aliases behind, and that's bad news for further compression and ftp.

In the meantime, you're still able to enjoy the benefits of solid state/tapeless, and if your laptop directly accepts CF cards it may be even easier than P2 - no adaptors.

I tend to agree that if your main client has just bought 50XDCAMs, it seems to make sense to go the same way if you MUST change. Have any other possible local clients committed to a new format recently?
WOW!!! Any idea when the CF recorder will be available and how much? That would suit me fine apart from the fact that I would have to find a way to mount it well.

The formats are all over the place with the networks. Three have gone XDCAM, one P2. My main client is on XDCAM (as said).

But the 570 with a decent, reliable solid state recorder (also considering the Firestore FS-5) would be fine for the moment until HD is requested. (My client is using the XDCAM in SD until HD is needed)
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Old September 11th, 2008, 04:14 AM   #11
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WOW!!! Any idea when the CF recorder will be available and how much? That would suit me fine apart from the fact that I would have to find a way to mount it well.
Look at http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/digital-v...0-hvr-z5j.html where it's being discussed, along with the two new prosumer cameras. It docks directly to the Z5, and is the same as the unit that currently ships with the Z7.
Quote:
The formats are all over the place with the networks. Three have gone XDCAM, one P2. My main client is on XDCAM (as said).
That would certainly bias me towards XDCAM, but I'd reckon the best thing is to wait until they require HD, and see what is around then - maybe a 2/3" shouldermount XDCAM onto SxS?
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Old September 11th, 2008, 09:31 AM   #12
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WOW!!! Any idea when the CF recorder will be available and how much?
Press release from Sony: Sony : HVR-Z5E Launched at IBC 2008 : Other
Quote:
"........at this year’s IBC, Sony will also launch the new HYBRID memory recorder, the HVR-MRC1K. Previously, it was supplied as an accessory with the HVR-Z7E and HVR-S270E, but strong customer feedback sees it launch as a product in its own right.

The HVR-MRC1K demonstrates Sony’s commitment to offering 'HYBRID’ recording options."
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Old September 12th, 2008, 12:18 AM   #13
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THAT'S GOOD NEWS!

Now apart from the price, I gather it is around US$1000k, I wonder if this is a better option than the Firestore FS-5?
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Old September 16th, 2008, 05:47 AM   #14
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Ok, a bit of an update:

Due to a most unfortunate event (a collapsing tripod and therefore a smashed 570 and broken apart lens) I now have to organise an immediate replacement the 570 for the company, let alone worry about the second kit as I was before.

The insurance will cover around AU$32k and I guess this will allow me the opportunity to set up my future work flow.

Remember I mainly shoot news and either feed via satellite/microwave link or FTP from the laptop using a MacBook with FInal Cut Express (or Pro if needed), so actual format is not an issue unless Final Cut is not compatible with either P2 or XDCAM, but might as well try to use the insurance claim to future-proof the camera a bit if I can.

Now unless the company borrows extra on top of the insurance payout, we are limited to the following options:

Option (1):
DSR-450WSP and lens (updated model of the current DVCAM camera)
AU$25k with lens

The Pros:
Can use all my current accessories with it
Familiarity
Have a DVCAM player in edit suite
DVCAM works fine now with my edit setup

The Cons:
No HD
No SDI out (but I have an adapter for linking - read pain in the butt)

Option (2) PDWF335 XDCAM and lens.
AU$36k with HD lens

The Pros:

XDCAM is the format my current main client uses (might not always be my main client, though) :-)
Cheaper media than P2
Can easily use my D-tap light, V-mount batteries and WRR series radio mics

The Cons:

Will be a bit dearer to buy than P2
1/2 inch CCD's
No SDI out (as I said, I now use an adapter for with the 570 that can be used with this camera)

(3) Panasonic 502 P2
AU $30k with HD lens

The Pros:
SDI out built in
2/3" CCD's
Full HD 2/3" lens comes with it
An associate LOVES his 502 for FTP-ing - but he uses a Windows environment

The Cons:
New camera to familiarise myself with
will need to buy new mic system and light system + adapters for current batteries
Workflow issues
One of the local networks HATES their P2's due to a convoluted menu system making quick adjustments a pain (might not be an issue with a single-user environment)

Then there is option (4) - The Sony HVR-S270 that I spoke of last week here in another thread.

The Pros:
Price
Compactness
Shoots DVCAM HDV and onto a CF card at the same time (great for FTP-ing)
Can use all my accessories
4-channel audio

The Cons:
Rolling shutter with flashing lights
Build quality
Viewfinder softness


So - there I have my options, and of course I need to make my decision pretty quickly as at the moment I have no camera.

But it is early - I need to wait and see what the insurance company requires us to do to get the claim going first.

But any advice would be appreciated.

Cheers,

David
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Old September 16th, 2008, 07:50 AM   #15
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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?
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