HPX2700 or PMW350? - Page 6 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > High Definition Video Acquisition > General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition

General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
Topics about HD production.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 27th, 2009, 05:11 PM   #76
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 383
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
I must admit that I can see a "resolution drop" in Planet Earth Bluray going from aerials to Varicam stuff, but saying that you can see it when going from the aerials to the Emperor penguins - and that was shot on 35mm, so what does that say?
Steve
Not sure that's what I said Steve, I actually said I could spot the difference between the 720 and 1080 material. I'd be surprised if the 35mm material was telecined to 720, however I do stand to be corrected on that.

You're right in one respect though, badly set up cameras with too much detail in 1080 don't make great pictures once they get down the transmission path.

We actually shoot a lot of 720 50 material for online projects and it can look very good. However when correctly set up, a good 1080 picture does have the edge over 720 for me.
Steve Connor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2009, 08:38 AM   #77
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,699
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Regan
Agreed, 1080P should be the goal.........
But it's a goal that's available now! At least if we are talking about 24/25 fps frame rates. That was the point of the previous post. Arguing the merits of 720p v 1080i is one matter, 720p v 1080p quite another. And both 720p/25 and 1080p/25 are easily achievable now, not as a future goal, and with 1080p/25 easily superior.

The question originally asked was HPX2700 or PMW350, and it may be time to address that directly once again. Technically, the main differences between the two are that the 2700 can record with a "fully approved" codec (AVC-Intra 100), whilst the 350 has "fully approved" chips (1920x1080). The obvious question to ask then is which makes the most difference?

I don't think there's any simple answer to that - any more than being asked "which would you least mind losing, an arm or a leg?" But the possibility of being able to add an external recorder to the PMW350 changes everything.

Operationally, the main feature the 2700 has in it's favour is varispeed ramping, which may be of prime importance for such as wildlife filming. In pretty well every other way, it's outdone by the PMW350 - far lower power consumption, lighter, compatible with next gen radio mics, cheaper media, ability to dub in camera (including to consumer media) etc etc.

I can only conclude that for most users that means the PMW350 is the better camera. That becomes especially true if the Panasonic offer cutting the price of the 2700 does indeed end in a few days time, and it becomes vastly dearer than the 350. If that does happen, I can't see many more 2700s getting sold.....
David Heath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2009, 09:38 AM   #78
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
Quote "Operationally, the main feature the 2700 has in it's favour is varispeed ramping, which may be of prime importance for such as wildlife filming."

You're pretty deluded if you believe that David. And to answer your question, no ramping is not very important in wildlife filming. I, and I'm sure others, toyed with it briefly when we first got it but it's not a great use or interest. So with that in mind then obviously all these hugely experienced film-makers, cameramen and prodcuers have made the wrong choice then - they should have checked DvInfo first I guess.
Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2009, 11:09 AM   #79
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,699
All right - maybe that should have been better worded ""Operationally, the main feature the 2700 has in it's favour compared to the PMW350 is varispeed ramping..........", but since the whole thread is about comparing those two cameras, I thought that was taken as read. Yes, of course other operational features are obviously far more important than varispeed abilities (such as taking 2/3" lenses) - but what others can you think of that the PMW350 DOESN'T offer?

I've listed quite a few above in the PMW350s favour, and might also add better sensitivity, but I'm curious to know what makes you think the 2700 would be the better choice NOW? What you think it offers that the 350 doesn't? (Bearing in mind the 350 was only announced a month or so back, so peoples past choices couldn't have taken it into account.)
David Heath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2009, 11:34 AM   #80
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Foster City, California
Posts: 192
David,

In the U.S. 1080/60i is what is available for broadcast reception. The goal should be 1080/60P, but of course it requires a whole lot more bandwidth.

Regarding media for a 350 vs. 2700, 32Gb SxS cards cost between $750 and $845, 32Gb P2 cards between $595 and $650. The 32Gb E series card has a throughput of 1.2Gbps vs. 800Mbps for SxS. While XDCAM EX will allow for longer record times than DVCPRO HD or AVC-Intra 100, the 2700 also has AVC-Intra 50 as a longer record time option--160 minutes in 720/24PN, still at 10-bit, albeit 4:2:0. A 64Gb P2 card would have double that record capacity.

The XDCAM EX codec isn't on the same level as AVC-Intra 100, so an external recorder is necessary, with the smallest on-board options limited to 8-bit, the other options are too large for hand held operation. Intra allows for in-board 10-bit I-Frame recording--there is no better memory card internal recorder available in a one-piece 2/3" camera.

If native full raster 1080 is required, I would rather buy a used HPX3000 for $20K with the advantage of no CMOS artifacts, Panasonic colorimetry, Film-Rec gammas, DRS, five card record capacity, three HD-SDI outputs, and of course, a much better codec.

I don't think the 350 is going to sell well because an EX3 does much the same for less than half the money. The 2X + cost of a 350 won't translate into twice the day rate of an EX3, I'm guessing. I can rent my 2700 for twice the rate of a 350, most likely.

Again, the XDCAM EX codec is a crippling factor for those likely to be interested in a 2/3" camera, ditto the low end glass for many(although that's easy to change for more $$). The lack of HD SDI outputs would be bothersome, the ergonomic problem of not being able to put your left hand over the zoom servo due to the large viewfinder being in the way is a problem if needing servo zooms and not using a remote zoom control.

The Varicam frame rate ramping is useful for commercials, music videos and other specialized applications. The Varicam name is known for high end production around the world, the 350 is Sony's lowest cost 2/3" camera for a reason--codec and CMOS limitations.

I think the 59db SN of the 350 is fantastic, ditto the sensitivity, frame rate and gamma options, low power consumption, weight, but I don't like the codec or external recorder concept(did that with HDX900/FireStore), don't want CMOS artifact potential. I agree that a 2700 at $40K again is a non-starter, but at $20K for a few more days, I'd make the same choice again.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
Jeff Regan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2009, 12:20 PM   #81
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
I've listed quite a few above in the PMW350s favour, and might also add better sensitivity, but I'm curious to know what makes you think the 2700 would be the better choice NOW? .)
I think you'll have to ask the producers rather than me. As Jeff says, the EX3 has been out ages and has more or less what the 350 has to offer (maybe a tiny bit less image quality, but on the other hand lighter, less battery hungry, more lens power, all good things for wildlife). Suggest to the guys at the NHU or Wild Horizons who are making the new Discovery mega series that they should have gone with EX3s (or 350s) and see what they say. I haven't asked them specifically but I can pretty much guarantee that it wasn't even considered, let alone a close call and they went for 2700s - they are not even discussed in the same sentences for blue chip natural history.
Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2009, 01:25 PM   #82
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,699
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Regan View Post
In the U.S. 1080/60i is what is available for broadcast reception. The goal should be 1080/60P, ...........
Jeff, are you aware of what is meant by "psf" - "progressive, segmented frame"? If not, look at Progressive segmented frame - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . In essence, "This technique allows for a progressive picture to be processed through the same electronic circuitry that is used to store, process and route interlaced video."

So although the fundamental system used in the US for 1080 work is interlaced, it can (via psf) equally well carry progressive images, though not at any frame rates higher than the fundamental system rate. So 30p is OK, so is 24p with pull down, but not 60p.

It's exactly because of this that many broadcasters have gone with 1080 transmissions rather than 720. For subjects which need good motion rendition, there may not much to choose between 1080i and 720p, but when you think of drama, film etc - where 24/25fps motion is desired - 1080psf makes a lot more sense than 720p.
Quote:
If native full raster 1080 is required, I would rather buy a used HPX3000 for $20K with the advantage of no CMOS artifacts, Panasonic colorimetry, Film-Rec gammas, DRS, five card record capacity, three HD-SDI outputs, and of course, a much better codec.
But then you lose any 720p ability, and the ability to do much in the way of slow motion at all. Full-raster chips are a good thing, but the ability to give a 720p downconvert should go along with them.
Quote:
I don't think the 350 is going to sell well because an EX3 does much the same for less than half the money.
I see the 350 and EX3 as very different cameras - mainly down to form factor, chip size and the ability to take 2/3" lenses. The 350 is also far more suitable for use with professional accessories such as radiomics, and the stories I'm starting to hear are that it's likely to sell very well indeed. We'll see.
David Heath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2009, 01:41 PM   #83
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,699
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
I think you'll have to ask the producers rather than me. .........Suggest to the guys at the NHU or Wild Horizons who are making the new Discovery mega series that they should have gone with EX3s (or 350s) and see what they say.
When those decisions were being made, the PMW350 wasn't even on the horizon, and I'd be the first to say that the 2700 was a more appropriate choice for the programmes you mention than EX3s (largely down to 2/3" lens versatility).

So leaving all that aside, then I'm interested to hear what YOU think the 2700 offers that the 350 doesn't? Codec yes, but I'd say that is pretty well balanced out by lower res chips, and the ability to add an external recorder to a 350 anyway. I've listed some ways in which the 350 is superior, what features would you point to that you think are superior in the 2700 rather than the 350?

If the choice of camera for those programmes was being made NOW (with the 350 in the frame), why now choose it over the 2700?
David Heath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2009, 01:53 PM   #84
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
Quote "If the choice of camera for those programmes was being made NOW (with the 350 in the frame), why now choose it over the 2700?"
Couldn't really say for definite, but I know that it'd still be the choice. As I said, the 2 cameras would not even be discussed in the same sentence for blue chip nat hist. The EX3 not being 2/3" as I have said is actually a plus point for wildlife. Both the standard and wide lenses on the EX3 I've found very good, so that's not a problem, and stick an HJ40 on there and you've got even more reach than on a 2/3" camera. As to whether the HJ40 and HJ18x28 would suffer due to a smaller chip I don't know, maybe, and that could be a factor and would mean that the 350 is more suitable.
Even for those series already in production like Frozen Planet, if the 350 was so good it'd be worth trading in the 2700s for them as you'd get plenty of change. Can't really see it happening or even being considered though. The new big Africa series is in pre-production at the NHU now, due for completion in 2013 I think, guess what cameras they're going to buy/use? It's not the 350, and again I doubt whether it's even been considered.
Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2009, 02:27 PM   #85
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Foster City, California
Posts: 192
David,

I think we've gone over these points before. I hope the OP has learned enough to make their own informed choice. No one camera can be right for every project. No question that the 350 offers a lot of flexibility at any price point, much less $20K with lens.

Yes, I'm very familiar with Psf, having shot with Sony cameras, both HD and SD in 24 and 30 fps for years. Problem is what can and does happen in post or distribution or broadcast where interlace artifacts are introduced for a myriad of reasons. With 720P broadcast, no need to worry about interlace artifacts, theoretically.

I will once again go over some reasons why I would go with a 2700 again:

P2 cards are proven since 2004 in the harshest production environments, the cards are very robust, have the fastest throughput and support multiple codecs, so are scalable for the future. Work flow is well supported by Panasonic and third party hardware and software manufacturers and known well. They offer their best codecs at lower price points, not protecting their high end models like Sony does, limiting the image quality of lower cost models such as the 350. They offer a five year warranty on many models.

Panasonic is known for great colorimetry, tonality, flesh tones. Sony cameras are known to come out of the box looking more videoish, harsher.

Varicam is a known name, synonymous with high end quality, frame rate flexibility and Film-Rec gammas. The P2 Varicams improve upon this reputation, and offer a look that many DP's consider to be the most filmic of 2/3" cameras. They can do frame rate ramping while recording.

CCD's are generally preferred over CMOS sensors because of skew and flash band artifacts in some cases with the latter.

Every high-end DIT I know, as well as colorist or online editor prefers 10-bit formats, which AVC-Intra provides. Most prefer I-Frame frame structure as well, and definitely 4:2:2 vs. 4:2:0. The 350 offers none of these things using the low end version of XDCAM HD.

All XDCAM codec versions are MPEG2 based vs. MPEG4 for Intra, considered a more efficient, modern codec.

Panasonic P2 cameras of the 2000 and 3000 series hold five cards for extended, uninterrupted recording time.

Three HD SDI outputs are found on the 2700 vs. only one for the 350. This requires looping or DA'ing for multiple monitors, necessary for higher end shoots.

Some camera operators don't like color viewfinders and/or LCD, LCOS viewfinders, no choice with the 350.

Bottom line, there is much to recommend both cameras, given similar pricing. For some, native 1080 sensors are required, even if CMOS artifacts could be evident from time to time, for others, CCD's and the most flexibility with off-speed frame rates is useful.

As a rental house, I already own an EX1 and am not convinced my clients would be willing to spend twice as much or more for a 350, even though I'm a big fan of 2/3" cameras. Indeed, many don't see the need for any 2/3" camera these days.

The OP asked for opinions and he got them, no one is right or wrong in their camera choice, both will provide lovely images in the right hands and often even in the wrong ones!

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
Jeff Regan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2009, 02:56 PM   #86
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 1,866
XDCAM-EX 35mbps codec is exactly one of the reasons why I want this cam. Not everybody is handing over footage to a network for final editing and grading. XDCAM-EX video smart renders, and then goes straight onto Blu-ray writable media as is. I can hand over the finished product faster than AVC Intra can transcode, and yet there remains the viable option of the nanoflash, and inexpensive media. I can't remotely fathom how the low end glass is a crippling factor. It's inexpensive, purely optional, plus it's autofocus.

AVC Intra isn't going onto Blu-ray media the way it is, so it's workflow is built-in handicapped when time is money. I see lots of great live HDTV 1080 video from CBS, the NFL, the Masters, none of it is going to the edit booth, none of it is being received at 100 mbps 10 bit. It arrives at a mere 10-12 mbps, looks as good as anything broadcast on National Geographic (arguably better to me), and Blu-ray remains the premier display format for the end user.

We don't even know if CMOS per the PMW350 will have the previous artifacting problems. It certainly brings some documented benefits, lighter weight, lower power consumption, low noise and high sensitivity.

If the Panasonic colorimetry is so unique, you could question the need for AVC Intra since the out of the box look should be signature, and no one needs 100 mbps just to capture detail and artifact-free motion for anything but extreme circumstances.

XDCAM-EX speed is a 'quality' unto itself, as is the inherent suitability for Blu-ray. It is exactly one of the desired features for me that separates it from the 700 and 800 line which have the CCD, writable disk workflow, and higher bit rate preferred by many in broadcast.
Tom Roper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2009, 03:01 PM   #87
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
Some good points Tom for sure, and certainly there are different needs for different uses.
AVC Intra is preferred because it gives extra resolution and is 10 bit.
Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2009, 03:10 PM   #88
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 1,866
Yes but then it goes out over broadcast at much lower bitrate and 8 bit. The advantage, if it was not used up front for grading, either evaporated or was not necessary. If the footage was going to be graded, than any high bitrate codec (i.e. nanoflash) can be pushed to achieve the Panasonic look, colorimetry in post.

In other words, XDCAM-EX codec is not mutually exclusive of higher performance codecs captured from the SDI via Nanoflash and the like, but the 2700 doesn't have a codec that ports straight to Blu-ray without time consuming downsampling.

Many people don't care a whit about Blu-ray, that is true. But I do.
Tom Roper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2009, 03:40 PM   #89
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Foster City, California
Posts: 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Roper View Post
XDCAM-EX 35mbps codec is exactly one of the reasons why I want this cam. Not everybody is handing over footage to a network for final editing and grading.
snip
I can't remotely fathom how the low end glass is a crippling factor. It's inexpensive, purely optional, plus it's autofocus.
snip
I see lots of great live HDTV 1080 video from CBS, the NFL, the Masters, none of it is going to the edit booth, none of it is being received at 100 mbps 10 bit. It arrives at a mere 10-12 mbps, looks as good as anything broadcast on National Geographic (arguably better to me), and Blu-ray remains the premier display format for the end user.
snip
If the Panasonic colorimetry is so unique, you could question the need for AVC Intra since the out of the box look should be signature, and no one needs 100 mbps just to capture detail and artifact-free motion for anything but extreme circumstances.
Tom,

Just so you know, DVCPRO HD and AVC-Intra 100 record at only 40Mbps in 720/24PN. With Panasonic E series P2 cards and PCD35 P2 reader into a desktop with PCIe slot, the download times are amazingly fast due to the 1.2Gbps throughput on the cards.

Low-end glass would be a non-starter for high end 2/3" HD cameras in the rental business. I have DP clients who insist upon Fujinon HA series HD lenses, no XA or ZA, even though they are also very expensive lenses. To put an HA lens or any higher end glass on a 350 would not make too much sense, unless the rental rate went way up, which would be out of line with the specs of an 8-bit 4:2:0 codec.

Please don't equate delivery bit rates with acquisition, what we see off-air or cable or satellite in HD often falls apart quickly when the low bit rate codecs are stressed. No network would normally accept this as a source file to edit with. Blu Ray looks as good as it does because it is painstakingly compressed scene by scene at great expense by compressionists, most often using MPEG4 and VC-1 codecs vs. MPEG2.

Any camera can take advantage of having 4X the gray scale steps, 8-bit at 256 shades of gray vs. 1024 shades for 10-bit can pay dividends in post and most every non-live, non-news show has some grading and color correction done if there is editing.

Once I entered scene files for my EX1, like any Sony digital camera I've owned, I was very happy with the look. I do have some clients that actually want to shoot 1080/60i and I believe this is where the XDCAM EX codec really shows its weakness.

AVC-Intra is a lot easier to deal with now with Final Cut Studio 7, Adobe CS 4, Avid 4.5, etc, but I can't speak to the Blu Ray convenience--burning a Blu Ray is just a step that happens after the final edit, no bigger hurry than any other deliverable for my clients, normally.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
Jeff Regan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2009, 07:01 PM   #90
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Foster City, California
Posts: 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
The 350 is also far more suitable for use with professional accessories such as radiomics.
David,

What do you mean by this and "next generation" radio mics? The Panasonic 2000 and 3000 series camera have a slot for 2-channel digital radio mic. receivers such as Lectrosonics.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
Jeff Regan is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > High Definition Video Acquisition > General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:53 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network