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Old August 7th, 2003, 09:07 PM   #1
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Panasonic's AJ-SDX900

Has anyone actually worked with this camera? It sure looks excellent and might be a better filmmaking choice than Sony's DSR-570WS.
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Old August 8th, 2003, 06:35 AM   #2
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Hey Ken,
I just looked at the info on this cam. Looks pretty good, a little strong for my weddings though :-) BUT at only 2 bits apiece (plus plus-I'm sure) I think I'll order a couple. OOOPPPS, I just checked and I'm a little short this week.
Ken good buddy, fellow Chicagoian-could you help me out here, just until next week. I promise!
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Old August 8th, 2003, 11:31 AM   #3
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It -would- be good to get two...in case one breaks down. ;-)

Yes, this is an expensive camera with "plus, plus"es (ex: lens). But with a 2/3" CCD, native 16:9 and switchable 24p / 30p it seems like a reasonable value. I have been looking at 2/3" cameras with native 16:9 for a while. Until now Sony and Ikegami were at the top of my list. But neither offers progressive. So I came across this Panasonic and just wondered if it really delivers well.
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Old August 8th, 2003, 12:03 PM   #4
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Yeah, I kinda figured thats what you were looking for, sorry I can't be of any help on this for you, but I couldn't pass the chance to have some fun with a $25000.00 camera. I only know 1 guy who used to use a DSR500 for weddings but he doesn't anymore, got kind of heavy I guess.
Good Luck in your quest,
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Old August 9th, 2003, 01:24 AM   #5
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Ken, I was going to shoot our Lady X episode with this camera, but then I realized I spent our whole budget on candy filled cell phones and maple soda.

Seriously though, looks like a hell of a camera, if you ever find any footage shot by it, I'd love to see it.
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Old August 18th, 2003, 11:43 AM   #6
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AJ-SDX900

Ken,
>So I came across this Panasonic and just wondered if it really delivers well. -->>>

Ken I noted that you are from Chicago. There is a dealer there where you could see one in person, Roscor. Contact me off line if you would like me to assist in getting you a demo.

Best regards,

Jan
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Old August 18th, 2003, 12:01 PM   #7
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IMHO....Between the Pana SDX900 and the Sony 570WS...i'd say the pana takes the cake...not for the fact that its progressive or widescreen...but simply for the fact that it'll record 4:2:2 DV50. I'd rather have a higher quality image than a wide one ;)

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Old August 18th, 2003, 06:17 PM   #8
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Jan: Thank you for the tip on Roscor! For some reason they didn't jump to mind as a local dealer even though I know they're in the area. I very well may take you up on your kind offer for a contact ar Roscor, Jan.

Casey: Indeed, the expanded color space specs were one of the attributes that caught my eye. The 570WS is a very nice piece of equipment that I've tried-out. But its design features seem oriented towards the ENG market, admittedly a large opportunity. The SDX900 seems more balanced for filmmakers.

I am looking toward what the next step in acquisition tech for my work should be and and am wrestling a bit between HD and SD. I'm leaning toward SD partly because of cost and partly because of the useful time horizon I predict for this next step (3-4 years).
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Old August 18th, 2003, 07:03 PM   #9
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ken, unless you've got a lot of money and time to invest, i'd stick with SD for a little bit longer, dv50 anyway is a good enough jump in quality for the interim...same color sampling as digibeta!...and affordable enough that you can OWN your equipment and likely recoup the investment =)

Remember...even standard definition NTSC can look incredibly good...but you wouldnt know it if all you looked at was 4:1:1 dv with 5:1 compression.
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Old August 18th, 2003, 07:15 PM   #10
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Hi Ken,

I'd be more than happy to help arrange a demo for you

In you response to Casey: The SDX900 seems more balanced for filmmakers.

I actualy think it is a camera that has a balance for what ever you need to do in Standard Definitiion and it upconverts to HD extrememely well. Maybe at IFP Chicago that can happen.


>I am looking toward what the next step in acquisition tech for my work should be and and am wrestling a bit between HD and SD.

Panasonic has a product for either side of your equation, the Varicam is unparalleled in HD production due to its over crank and under crank capability. It has a growing number of fans. But with that comes the cost of HD post. It really depends on where you are going to make the most of your money over the next 3-4 years. The key part that I fell is a real joy, is that if you learn one camera, the SDX900 as an example, the Varicam is very similar, not the same but similar so that you are getting double time out of your learning curve.

I'm leaning toward SD partly because of cost and partly because of the useful time horizon I predict for this next step (3-4 years).

You should take a look at the SDX900, most are floored by its look in 24P and the film like gammas.

Best regards,

Jan
-->>>
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Old August 19th, 2003, 09:03 AM   #11
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The thing I like about this camera is the 30 frame progressive. All my stuff is released in video and not film. The 30fp should be better than 60i, I would think. I read someplace the basic price for this camera is around $25K, so for about $35K you could have a pretty decent package--a lot less money than the equivalent Digibeta, and with 30p, probably a better looking picture.
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Old August 19th, 2003, 04:08 PM   #12
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Progressive mode mades your motion look worse (more like film) and makes stills higher resolution without motion artifacts. If this is for broadcast then there isn't much point unless going for the film look (but then you'd go 24p). If you are going to DVD then progressive footage is easier to encode which gives it an advantage and it won't flicker when the viewer pauses the DVD.
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Old August 19th, 2003, 04:31 PM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Glenn Chan : this is for broadcast then there isn't much point unless going for the film look (but then you'd go 24p.

Glenn, even if it is for broadcast, 24P can make sense in that it may be an effect that one wants to creat the illusion that the project was shot on film. While it isn't necessarily for mainstream, it does have its application in the 60i domain.

If you shoot with the SDX or even the DVX as if it were a film camera, the motion artifacts are not as noticable and when it is set in 24P and framed and shot like it is a video camera.

FWIW,

Jan
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Old August 19th, 2003, 05:30 PM   #14
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Jan, what is the latest on DVCPRO 50 and FireWire 800 compatibility (now that FCP4 is out)?

It would certainly make the SDX even more attractive than it already is, if DVCPRO 50 could be transferred and edited without resorting to SDI.
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Old August 19th, 2003, 05:55 PM   #15
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<<<-- Originally posted by Steven-Marc Couchouron : Jan, what is the latest on DVCPRO 50 and FireWire 800 compatibility (now that FCP4 is out)?

Hi Steve, you do not need FireWire 800, only 400 and, yes FCP4 is out and so are the decks.

>>It would certainly make the SDX even more attractive than it already is, if DVCPRO 50 could be transferred and edited without resorting to SDI. -->>>

The card has been held up but it should be shipping by the end of next week. This will be very cool.

Best regards,

Jan
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