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Old September 15th, 2004, 10:10 AM   #1
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Has anyone used the Sony XDCAM?

Has anyone used the sony professional XDCAM. What are your thoughts??? We are looking at buying one for a new production company.

Also if you could point me the direction of any user groups that would be appreciated.


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Old September 15th, 2004, 12:23 PM   #2
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You might try asking that in December, when the camera is supposed to start being sold.
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Old September 15th, 2004, 02:01 PM   #3
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Actually there are a number of the larger firms in the US like NBC are using them on trial now for ENG according to the Sony site.

Also the Camera has been out in Europe (PAL) for a while. Just seems to be a lack of reviews online.

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Old September 15th, 2004, 02:14 PM   #4
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I've read about those, but real user reviews from the model actually being sold would be more important, I think.
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Old September 15th, 2004, 10:27 PM   #5
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The PBS station I work at is currently in the process of purchasing the xdcam. Looks like a winner to me. We looked at the Panasonic p2. The P2 was fine. However, the $400 dollar discs that must be used in the camera seemed a little pricey.
The x2 on the other hand utilizes the new "Blue-violet" disc technology. The discs themselves are only $30-$40 dollars a piece and each disc holds 40-80 minutes of video. The camera records in MPEG-IMX, and a lower rez DVCAM. I have shot with the camera and it seems like a great piece of machinery, Sturdy,not too heavy, great picture, handy lcd monitor on the side. I personally believe the xdcam and blue-ray,or "blue-violet" as Sony calls it technology is the wave of the future. There is also talk of a "prosumer"version due out sometime next year. Which immediately got my attention.
We are currently using the old M-2 camera format so anything is an upgrade in my opinion.
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Old September 15th, 2004, 10:40 PM   #6
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Hang on to that M2--it's gotta be a collector's item. I've only known of one studio in town here back in the '80s that had one, and they went out of business about 6 months after they invested in that technology.
The IMX and P2 both record in DV50 formats, don't they? They seem designed for TV stations where you don't keep tapes in storage forever, although if the discs and chips keep coming down in price, they may eventually replace tape.
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Old September 15th, 2004, 11:18 PM   #7
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I think theXDcam does record in dv50. I am not positive though Bill. I will have to ask our production manager for you. If we do get the xdcam it will be like going from riding a donkey, to flying a plane in relation to the old m-2 cams. It isn't that the picture is all that bad with m-2. I think the main problem is that the camera itself weighs in at a good twenty + pounds. Imagine rumbling through the woods with that thing on your shoulder. not fun. That and the fact that they don't even make tape for them anymore. We use old recycled Panasonic tapes. Panasonic developed m-2 as a competition for Sony Beta SP. Obviously that didn't pan out too well for Panasonic.lol. In response to your other statement about these discs replacing tape, you are correct. In ten years tape will be gone. I can guarantee it. It will either be an optical disc , or some kind of hard disc recording technology. The new cameras that are coming our today also come built with a space in the back for a possible GPS wireless modem. Imagine the possibilities there. Truly amazing!
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Old September 16th, 2004, 09:21 AM   #8
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I think the discs will be obsolete too. They still move, and Panasonic's chips don't. Engineering seems to be always moving toward smaller things that don't move as much. So my prediction for the future is that we'll be recording at whatever level of compression we want into tiny chips that hold major gigs of data. Whatever it is, it'll be price/capacity driven, I think. Panasonic is betting that those chips will keep on getting bigger, in terms of capacity, and cheaper, while Sony is going for the disc that's already cheaper.

But, you can bet that by the time that all happens, the manufacturers will have come up with yet another format that will cause you to have to dump what you already have and run out and buy new stuff. Makes me long for the good ol' film days when you never replaced your camera until it was worn out, and then you got another one basically just like the old one. The real technology advancements were in the emulsion, not the hardware. Maybe someday video will get there: we buy a camera with nothing inside but a computer and when the format changes, we just log on and D/L the new stuff. Of course, they've got us there too--they'll change the OS every year so we have to upgrade to new stuff.
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Old September 16th, 2004, 11:24 AM   #9
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Actually I'm betting on the reserve. At the end of the day as long as the information is digital whether its on tape or disc , or solid state is irrelevant. In the end we will all end up sticking our footage onto large capacity raid arrays. I guess a longer storage time on the XDCAM would be desirable eg. 1 hour at betacam quality but I guess Sony will probably bring out a larger capacity disc at some stage. In terms of moving data about, instead of taking tapes, DVD is more than large and cheap enough to take stuff to studios and generation two promises 18 gig on one disk!

Eventually I see cameras moving to Hard disk based technology like the microdrives used in IPODs once they become larger and less prone to knocks etc. The reason is that its the cheapest per MB compared to solid state by a long way + development costs are far lower than semi conductor based storage.


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Old September 16th, 2004, 08:39 PM   #10
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In defense of Panasonic, they did tell us that next year at this time the P2 discs will hold twice the information they hold now for basically the same price. We however need a good camera sooner rather than later. It is amazing how fast the technology is moving.
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