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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old January 19th, 2010, 05:29 PM   #226
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Seems crazy they'd not ditch all that and just go with 350s doesn't it?
Not really. It's what they know going from the original Vari. Most cameras including the Sony's can be set up to any look (though sometimes adjusting the matrix can be awkward and not go all the way it should). But I do perfectly understand the choice of the Panny. It does give a nice warm natural look. I don't think anybody here would disagree with that.

Where some of us are coming from is a technical.price capability standpoint. Though I fully understand that the emotional quality of the picture is primary to some decision makers. And from a cinematography point of view I'd go along with that absolutely.

I'd still rather have those qualities in 1080 though :-)
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Old January 19th, 2010, 07:06 PM   #227
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Simon,

I agree with you, except to me, the look of the camera is more important than the pixel count. If native 1080 is a must, the 3700 has a special trade-in deal through March 31 of $35,950 w/color viewfinder. It is the best looking color viewfinder I've seen, as it should be for $8K! Having said that, I would opt for a used HPX3000 if dollars were an issue. $20K or so for a used HPX3000 isn't a bad deal, IMO. You still get most of what a 3700 offers. As a rental house, I know I can rent a 3000 for a lot more than a 350.

If the 350 can be made to have the same fimlic look as a Varicam or P2 Varicam, then that is great. I still prefer CCD's and am a fan of Panasonic cameras out of the box look.

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Last edited by Jeff Regan; January 19th, 2010 at 09:42 PM.
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Old January 20th, 2010, 06:42 PM   #228
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Originally Posted by Jeff Regan
I agree with you, except to me, the look of the camera is more important than the pixel count.
I'm certainly not disagreeing with that in principle, though it obviously doesn't have to be one or the other - wouldn't you like your particular "look" with the higher pixel count? Have your cake and eat it? Equally, a higher pixel count can actually help a lot towards some aspects of a "look", if it's a naturally more detailed picture, it means less detail needs to be used, and that can only be a good thing.
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If native 1080 is a must, the 3700 has a special trade-in deal through March 31 of $35,950 w/color viewfinder.
But what many of us are saying is that whilst the ability to have native 1080 chips can be a big step up in some situations, at other times a user may want to shoot 720p (because it's what the client uses), or use overcrank for slo-mo (and accept 720 as the price to pay.)

With the current Panasonic range it's one or the other - the 2700 has 1280x720 chips, the 3700 won't give a 720p output or overcrank more than a small amount. Surely it can only be a good thing to have the choices within a single camera?
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Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham
Where some of us are coming from is a technical.price capability standpoint.
Which nicely sums up this whole thread. I'm sure everybody would like the quality/versatility etc of a top end camera, with the price, size and convienience of a small consumer camera. It ain't going to happen.

Everybodys needs are different, but I know I speak for a lot of people when I say that there has been a large, up to now unsatisfied, need for something a step up from an EX (something HD, 2/3", shouldermount as minimum) but at a price far lower than most previous 2/3" HD cameras have been up until now. Hence the call for an "HD, solid-state, DSR500". And the PMW350 seems to answer that call very nicely at about 12,000 for body only.

As said before, I understood for the vast majority of this thread that the 350 and 2700 were comparable in price, so apples and apples were being compared. Now it seems that the 2700 is over twice the price of the 350 - we're comparing apples and oranges.

Combine that price differential with some of the features where the 350 is unarguably superior (1920x1080 chips, far lower power consumption, better media versatility, to name just three) and the difference in "look" of the 2700 is going to have to be pretty dramatic and obvious to convince the "next gen DSR500" crowd to fork out twice the money!

Yes, for some people, money is no object, and a slight improvement is worth a years salary for other people. But then we're into a completely different set of comparisons, the world of Reds, Arris etc. A lot of budgets are being squeezed, and 25,000 on a body is no longer sensible for a great many people, it's not financially viable. At the same time, something better than a 5,000 prosumer camera may be needed (and just affordable) - and that's why I understand the PMW350 is already selling extremely well.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 02:53 AM   #229
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Quote " the 350 is unarguably superior ("
I'll argue the unarguable. It's CMOS, it makes a difference. Ask yourself why it's so much cheaper if it's so much better - almost entirely because it's CMOS. There is a reason why CMOS is cheaper, because at the moment it's a bit of a workaround needing a rolling shutter to make it work.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 03:11 AM   #230
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Steve, I understand your point, but don't forget that some very high end cameras are using CMOS too.

It is a funny situation though summed up by something David said elsewhere. That tube cameras suffered from similar issues with skew and that when CCD's came along they were seen as being inferior.

Here is an alternate take on things.
Rolling shutter? – Pick the right tool for the job. I E B A Tech Thoughts
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Old January 21st, 2010, 06:41 AM   #231
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And I understand your points too Simon. What I'd say though is that the high end cameras using CMOS that you talk about tend to be specialist ones (ie Phantom) or even things like the RED whose main draw is not so much the quality but the quality relative to the price vs the competition - again in large part due to using CMOS. I think with RED too being aimed at cinema projects you can maybe get away with it more as you tend to have control over what you're shooting and can deal with issues. I don't see RED being used so much for docs or news gathering (or wildlife for that matter - when being able to hoot at 120fps it should be a magnet for wildlife film-makers, and it isn't).
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Old January 21st, 2010, 06:51 AM   #232
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I don't see RED being used so much for docs or news gathering (or wildlife for that matter - when being able to hoot at 120fps it should be a magnet for wildlife film-makers, and it isn't).
I think the big problem with Red is it's weight. If a user didn't know any better it could have been made in an iron forge! ;-) It requires some pretty hefty mounting, which of course makes it more impractical for carting around the Amazon etc. The CMOS skew as I understand it isn't anywhere near as noticeable on Red (with the newer firmwares) as with other cameras. I'm also keeping my eye on the new digital Arri's.

I found that article interesting. It may explain a few things. After all a shutter on a motion film camera is also exposing the different parts of the frame at different points in time as it rotates. So perhaps the skew situation with CMOS is rather more complex than simply the row by row readout.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 06:56 AM   #233
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Yeah, I know that some rolling shutters do seem to be better than others - I suppose as always you get what you pay for, and cameras like the EX3 are ludicrously cheap for what they do.
I'll be interested to see how the Arri looks, although froma wildlife perspective no-one is that thrilled by 35mm sensors, you need to bolt on a 2000mm lens really!
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Old January 21st, 2010, 01:31 PM   #234
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Quote " the 350 is unarguably superior "
I'll argue the unarguable. It's CMOS, .......
Steve, if you look back again at my post you quote from, it says "Combine...... with some of the features where the 350 is unarguably superior........" - your missing out the first few words of that completely alters the meaning. The original comment is clearly intended to refer to specific features, not the camera per se.

Three features are then listed - "1920x1080 chips, far lower power consumption, better media versatility, to name just three" - so why do you bring up the subject of CMOS? I didn't. Would you care to argue that those three features are not better on the 350 than the 2700?

Since the subject of CMOS has come up, I wouldn't claim it to be "unarguably superior" at all. Rather I think it currently has benefits and drawbacks. For most people probably an overall benefit, for some it may be overall negative.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 01:44 PM   #235
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No David, I understood OK, but even with those other things I still don't think the 350 is unarguably superior, sorry I just don't. Maybe it is better, but you certainly can argue against it.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 03:52 PM   #236
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I'll be interested to see how the Arri looks, although froma wildlife perspective no-one is that thrilled by 35mm sensors, you need to bolt on a 2000mm lens really!
Yes. I'm wondering why they don't make a digital S16 sized camera. It could be cheaper than the 35mm sized camera, use less power, be used in situations where compactness is needed, and would also satisfy productions that are on a budget with lenses etc.

I'm sure that there would be a market out there. All those 16mm lenses in existence could do with somewhere to be used.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 04:25 PM   #237
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Not sure what the situation is with the Arri, but I think a lesson has been learned from RED, which is that any camera that has to debayer puts out less resolution than the figures might suggest - ie 4k is closer to 1920 HD and 2k is nearer 720 (I'm oversimplifying here).
I get the feeling a Super 16 CMOS would't cut it - only an assumption.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 05:38 PM   #238
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No David, I understood OK, but even with those other things I still don't think the 350 is unarguably superior, sorry I just don't.
Steve - I don't think (and have never said) that I think the 350 is "unarguably superior" per se. If you think that's my view, you can't have understood. The reference was to certain specific important features, not the whole. I'll be the first to agree that AVC-Intra 100 should show better quality than 35Mbs XDCAM, for example.

The question becomes whether differences such as that are worth the large difference in price, especially when they can be negated relatively cheaply with a nanoFlash.

But in other very important factors the 350 does have undisputed advantages. You're not trying to argue you'd actually prefer 720 chips over 1080 (all else equal), or a camera with a far higher power consumption, are you? And what about weight?
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Old January 21st, 2010, 06:40 PM   #239
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I was able to see the 350 at a trade show today. It was shooting the same scene as a 3700, albeit on different monitors of different brands and not side by side. Without going into menus and seeing how each was setup, I could see a colorimetry difference with the strong primary colors in the scene. I found the 3700 to render more pleasing reds, but other than that, I was very impressed with the 350. Very good resolution, very clean and quiet, super fast--I panned the camera off of the lit set and went into gain boost and it has to be the fastest 2/3" camera I've seen, while still having very low noise.

I saw no obvious lens issues(it had the low cost Canon option), viewfinder looked good. I couldn't get it to show any CMOS skewing on fast pans, no artifacts with bright lights, not that CMOS normally has an issue with same.

I'd have to say the front end was impressive, no aliasing or moire issues, just sharp, clean images and great low light ability. The lack of more than one HD SDI output is a pain, but really, other than the weakness of the codec, the only possible issues would be those that Adam found in his pre-production review unit.

In the brief time I had to look at it, I saw nothing from the front end that was objectionable, on the contrary. I'm sure the colorimetry could be made more to my liking via matrix and color correction circuits. If there is more aliasing than with Panasonic 2/3" cameras, I didn't see it.

I did talk to a large dealer about 350 sales a week ago. I was told there was only one pre-order, but the problem was getting stock. They were sure once there was stock to be had, the camera would do well.

Jeff Regan
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Old January 21st, 2010, 07:06 PM   #240
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I wish Sony would pay more attention to the setup on their cameras "out of the box" It's one lesson they haven't learned from Panasonic.
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