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Old August 7th, 2010, 11:34 AM   #1
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Pro SD camera vs Pro-sumer HD camera

Considering purchasing a Sony DSR 500 W broadcast quality camera. I'm told that up-rezing a high quality 16 x 9 native SD image looks just as good, if not better than the images being captured from the pro-sumer line of HD cameras. I currently own (2) Canon XH-A1 HDV cameras. I'm disappointed with the consumer level attributes. The benefit of the DSR camera is all of the pro features.

The poll is open!
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Old August 7th, 2010, 12:15 PM   #2
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Well, even though I patently disagree with the assertion, what are you calling "pro-sumer"? What kind of images do you need to capture with the camera?
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Old August 7th, 2010, 01:48 PM   #3
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Well, Prosumer imaging defined as 1080i @ 60 HDV or XDCAM mpeg2 or DVC PRO HD shot on 1/3" sensor cameras.
Professional: With the DSR-500 WS, talking about DVCAM SD 16 x 9, shot on 2/3 CCD imagers and expensive glass.

Mine and others definition of prosumer also constitutes all the cheap compromises in camera build that we all deal with. Whether it be on the hardware side, i.e. chinsy knobs (or the lack of them necessitating menu searches), switches, battery doors and springs (canon A-1), 4 pin firewire, useless viewfinders that don't provide accurate ability to focus and stay in dialed in, Lanc controllers for zoom and focus. If you've ever used a real zoom and focus servo kit on a broadcast camera, that's the level of touch I'm after. A camera that weighs enough to be even recognized by the tripod it's sitting on. Most of the 6 pound cameras don't engage the counterbalance and other tripod features. Makes it even tougher to pan and tilt smoothly (even Sachtler).

BTW, I realize that pro-sumer cameras are used to acquire broadcast footage. My question is related to whether upconverted 16 x 9 SD footage properly shot from a Pro camera would stand up to HD prosumer footage shot under the same conditions (considering the larger sensors and better glass).
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Old August 7th, 2010, 02:13 PM   #4
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The DSR-500 WS is getting a little long in the tooth, and it's DV25 codec even with 2/3" CCD at 16:9 looks like squat up-rezed to HD. As me how I know? Your XH-A1 looks much better in HD.If you are looking to spend $8K on an old box like the 500, your money would be much better spent on a modern HD video camera, or an HDSLR package if you need shallower DOF than a 1/3", 1/2", or 2/3" sensor could hope to provide at that budget.

All the Best!
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Old August 7th, 2010, 02:25 PM   #5
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If you're calling XDCamHD like the EX1/EX3 Prosumer (which I do as well) then there is NO WAY uprezzed SD footage is going to get even close. Not a prayer.
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Old August 7th, 2010, 02:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
If you're calling XDCamHD like the EX1/EX1 Prosumer (which I do as well) then there is NO WAY uprezzed SD footage is going to get even close. Not a prayer.
I agree as long as it's shot well.
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Old August 7th, 2010, 03:42 PM   #7
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OK, thanks for the feedback gents.

BTW, looking at used DSR around 4k. (I know the pitfalls of used as well).
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Old August 7th, 2010, 03:45 PM   #8
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David,
Yes the HPX 370 is an obvious choice for 8k upwards. However, I primarily do theatre work. CMOS=flash banding.
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Old August 7th, 2010, 03:46 PM   #9
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For delivery in SD, the 500 is a SERIOUS contender. For upres to HD, not so much.
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Old August 7th, 2010, 05:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
If you're calling XDCamHD like the EX1/EX3 Prosumer (which I do as well) then there is NO WAY uprezzed SD footage is going to get even close. Not a prayer.
I don't have any solid evidence to back that up but I do tend to agree.
SD is so dead, it's a very dodgy investment to make, this is why people selling Digibetas are lucky to get 2000-3000 for them.
I think a seller would have to be virtually giving it away for me to buy an SD camera. But then again, everyone's use is different.
Good luck with whatever you choose.
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Old August 7th, 2010, 09:40 PM   #11
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I just don't understand this thread at all. Sure, the DSR 500 has 2/3" chips, but they are older technology so not necessarily cleaner than newer and smaller imagers. There must be an interchangeable-lens HD camera in your budget range. This camera uses the DV codec. Get real! There are all sorts of HD codecs better than DV.

Who is the source of the SD upres is better than HD? Do they also say LP is better than CD because the scratches and dust make it sound "warmer"? If a retro-look is what you desire, a tube camera on analog tape is what you are after with ghosting on bright lights and tracking errors applying warmth.

If your cameras aren't heavy enough to activate the springs in your tripod, you have the wrong springs installed. New springs or a new tripod are going to be more cost effective than a heavier camera. Weight can always be added to a smaller camera, but that big camera will always be a burden. And concerning flash banding, it will take a lot less time to white frame some flashes than it will to upres SD to HD.

Take your current budget, sell one of the XH-A1, then put it together on a camera with better chips and a manual lens. Heck, the Sony Z7 would be a big step up from the XH-A1.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:15 PM   #12
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Hey Man.. for someone who lives in Hawaii, your kind of tight :-)

I'm just looking for other opinions on a proposition. Looks like I've got about 1/2 of a vote for DV so far !!
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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:50 PM   #13
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Looks like you've already convinced yourself of what camera you're going to get. Best of luck with your shooting.
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Old August 8th, 2010, 01:34 PM   #14
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For shooting and delivery in a SD format then the 500 will kick and then add a Nano. For HD delivery there are better cameras available. Try the Sony EX1 for HD or even the DSLR range now.

Cheers
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Old August 8th, 2010, 02:19 PM   #15
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For inter-changeable lens, get the EX3, which btw, resolves over 1000 Lines. No matter what you do, no SD camera can resolve that many lines.

For Flash Band, the Sony ClipBrowser software EASILY removes 99% of FB from XDCAM EX footage. In my experience, it has been 100% accurate at removing FB, and it worked flawlessly during a few shots that were zooming during the flash.

For an EX3, the Sachtler FSB 8 is perfect if you plan on adding a mattebox, on-camera 7-10" LCD or a teleprompter. Otherwise, the FSB 6 works great (I have the FSB 6 and an EX1).

I don't know what you are talking about when you claim that a 6 lb camera cannot be used properly on a heavy-duty tripod. In Chicago, NBC and Telemundo both use HPX170's on Video 18-SB heads and Hot Pod tripods which cost more than their cameras. And at a recent press conference, several camera guys were in love with my EX1 and playing with it. All of them said (except NBC guy) that they would absolutely prefer lugging around an 8lb camera and a 10 lb tripod rather than their 50+ lbs of camera/tripod.
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