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Old December 17th, 2006, 07:21 AM   #1
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Sony DSR-450 or Panasonic AJ-SDC-615 for news?

Hi everybody.

I have been a betacam owner/shooter for many years.

Recently, I picked up a gig shooting sports news. Currently I'm working with my old BVP90/BVV5 package but I need widescreen soon. The client won't require HD for at least three years, and they cut and feed most of their stories from a place that has IMX and DVcam machines, but no HD or DVCPro50 capability.

I also need to be able to feed post-game clips from the rink. The client currently uses a mix of Sony DSR370's and 570's at their other bureaus across the country, and they are happy with DVcam.

I like the DSR-450 because of the features and the resolution. I don't like it because of the 1.5" viewfinder and -10db audio out.

I like the AJ-SDC615 because it can be bought with a 2" view finder, and the +4db audio out. It also does firewire both ways and can record pool feeds.

Because this is a straight forward news gig, I doubt that 24p will be big factor because the shooting is mostly clips, b-roll, and sit-down interviews.

Both cameras come in at about $13,000 CDN but a 2" view finder for the Sony will bump it's price up by about $2000. I have yet to try either of the cameras, but I am making arrangements to do so.

Which would you choose, or is there something else out there that would be better.

Thanks

Peter

Last edited by Peter Newsom; December 17th, 2006 at 12:57 PM.
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Old December 17th, 2006, 11:35 AM   #2
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DVCPRO tapes are costly vs DVcam tapes.
u may be able to use a cheap miniDV or upto 180DVCAM or 276DV mode recording as well on DSR450 but on DVCPRO u are still stuck with costly (upto 60minutes)tape
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Old December 17th, 2006, 11:37 AM   #3
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2" vs 1.5" is not a great POINT you are poiting out to. it really doesnt matter ... as ,long as what is geting recorded & at what quality factor. Pl compare the camera aspetcs of bopthe said usints then reach out for DVCAM or DVCPRo mode recording cox they are just recording shgement & shall record just what the eye ie the camera will feed to record.
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Old December 17th, 2006, 12:48 PM   #4
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Bankim, I agree it is the camera that is important. Spec-wise, the Sony has more resolution, but I have also heard that it can get a little buzzy around the edges. The Panasonic seems to have similar spec CCD's to the SDX900, and the body looks identical. It doesn't do anything but interlaced ntsc, but that's all the gig calls for. I don't have any experience with Panasonic cameras, though I've heard good things about the SDX900 and theHdx900. If the SDX900 had firewire I would be interested in it as well.

Cameramen I know who are shooting 16/9 on 1.5" DXC view finders are not loving it. I would likely buy the 2" viewfinder if I got the Sony.
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Old December 17th, 2006, 01:52 PM   #5
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Peter, I'd stick with Sony and the 450 is a nice camera.

The main reason being the workflow - the pictures will match with everything else they're using. They don't need one of the newer Sony decks to play DVCPro tapes. If they have older decks (and who hasn't) then this is an issue.

I regularly have to try and match Panny camera's to Sony in a live mix and it can be difficult.

I am a fan of Panasonic products - but in this case I'd go with the flow.
Get to break-even on the 450 as fast as you can.
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Old December 17th, 2006, 03:44 PM   #6
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Thanks Rob,

The "Sony" look is definitely something worth considering. I am shooting along side a fellow who is doing the same thing for another station. He uses a D35WS with a DVCam back, and has had his rig for at least three or four years with no trouble. Hopefully the 450 is as stable.

Have you seen any 450 footage mixed with earlier DVCam stuff?

Money wise, the 450 seems a teriffic value, and it should easily pay for itself within the first year, although two or three seasons would be ideal.

I found a device that will raise the -10db audio signals to +4, it's called Cleanbox, by ART. It needs 12v, but I don't know if I could run it off the camera battery because at peak charge my Donic 90 puts out about 14 volts. It would be cool if it did. It runs for about $50. Anybody else tried it?
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Old December 17th, 2006, 08:27 PM   #7
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No - I haven't edited any stuff off the 450 but it replaced the 570 which I have.

It's Sony DVCam - what can I say ? lol
I have however seen some stills and other bits and pieces round the traps - can be made to look dare I say "filmic" <dons armour, devil-may-care look in eye>.
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=78402&page=3 scroll down to rezfactor's pic.

I just think you'd be better off for that whole run'n'gun style look to colour match the other cams. Easier for the guys in the truck, the whole way thru' really.

Also pretty sure that the 2" vf will slap straight on to an xd hd cam - and you will need the 2" if you upgrade in the future. The 1.5" does not cut it for hd. But check that - pretty sure it's the same part #.
cheers, r
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Old December 18th, 2006, 06:34 AM   #8
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Hey Rob,

The 450 is in the front running for sure. You are right about the view finder too, it has the same part number.

The Sony dealer is arranging a demo of the 450, so hopefully I get to try it soon.

Thanks for your thoughts and the link. Nice picture too!

Peter
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Old December 18th, 2006, 08:37 AM   #9
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This is a trailer for a movie shot on a 450 with a Pro35.
http://www.filmcore.net/ny/OFP_Trailer/trailer_lg.mov

And here's a link to a piece done by Jeff Regan on the 450. FLM gamma 11, detail turned off. Shows how well it copes with exposure ranges!

http://www.ssv.com/bnv2006/bonnevill..._h264_16x9.mov
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Old December 18th, 2006, 09:43 AM   #10
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You might also take a look at the XDCam. The F-330 is in about the same price bracket as the 450 and if the client can handle the disk format or you can bump it to tape for submission to the client, you'll be able to shoot SD now and smoothly transition to HD in the future without having to retire the camera.
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Old December 18th, 2006, 09:55 AM   #11
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The XD HD is a good alternative. But for ENG style applications I think the 450 may be a better option due to the sensitivity and very low noise.

But if his clients occasionally need high def, or plan to go to high def then the 330 may be a sensible option.
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Old December 18th, 2006, 01:16 PM   #12
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Thanks for the thoughts!

I wish the client would go XDCamHD now, but that's not in the cards. However, the bright side is that the 450 is about 7K cheaper than the F330 and will fit my client perfectly.

I just wish it was a bit more broadcast oriented with the audio thing and the dinky viewfinder. Panasonic offer a lot for the same money... 2"view finder, SDI, Video In, two way Firewire...

Still both cameras are excellent values.

Peter
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Old December 18th, 2006, 01:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Newsom
Thanks for the thoughts!

I wish the client would go XDCamHD now, but that's not in the cards. However, the bright side is that the 450 is about 7K cheaper than the F330 and will fit my client perfectly.

I just wish it was a bit more broadcast oriented with the audio thing and the dinky viewfinder. Panasonic offer a lot for the same money... 2"view finder, SDI, Video In, two way Firewire...

Still both cameras are excellent values.

Peter
Well, you CAN exchange the stock 330 1.5" 4:3 viewfinder for the 2" 16:9 viewfinder the ships on the 350, I think it's about a 2 kilobuck upgrade <g>.

I've wondered if an XDCam would connect to a DVCAM deck through their firewire ports amd allow you to zap the clips on disk over to a tape at file-copy speeds to allow it to be used in your sort of scenario.
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Old December 18th, 2006, 03:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
I've wondered if an XDCam would connect to a DVCAM deck through their firewire ports amd allow you to zap the clips on disk over to a tape at file-copy speeds to allow it to be used in your sort of scenario.
I thought about dumping XDcam footage to my BVV-5 Betacam deck, and it would work because I have the stand alone adapter for it. But...it would be a pain, and make the reporter have to wait... just not very tidy.

My other thought was to drive from the arena down to the bureau and dump directly from the camera, but that would add at least and hour or two to my day and take me deep into the city...

The sad but obvious truth is that for this type of work, tape is still a very viable option. Two or three years fom now, maybe not.
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Old December 18th, 2006, 06:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
I've wondered if an XDCam would connect to a DVCAM deck through their firewire ports amd allow you to zap the clips on disk over to a tape at file-copy speeds to allow it to be used in your sort of scenario.
Not at file copy speeds. But it certainly can do it at 1:1 speed, just like you would if capturing to your NLE via FW. It can even do a down convert over firewire if you originate in HD. But if you know in advance you will be dumping to DVCAM, the camera can be placed in that mode and will shoot 4:3 or 16:9. So you would have to do a dub to tape at the end of the project unless you were stationary, in which case you could record simultaneously to a DVCAM deck.

Also, I believe many Panasonic body prices do not include any viewfinder whereas the XDCAM HD prices do include viewfinder. The 330 is upgradable from the 1.5 4:3 to the 2.0 16:9 for about $2K as was mentioned.

-gb-
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