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Old February 19th, 2009, 07:17 AM   #16
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If the HPX500 is cleared for Silver acquisition then the new Varicam HPX2700 should be acceptable for Gold acquisition, this does not however, appear to be the case with some networks as there seems to be some debate over what constitutes true HD. Can Jan expand on this yet?

Thanks,

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Old February 19th, 2009, 08:07 AM   #17
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As you probably know James the 2700 is the camera of choice with BBC NHU now, they're using it on the latest blockbusters/Planet Earth-types - maybe you're actually working on some of them! So I think you'd have to conclude that if it's good enough for them then it must be good enough for anything Discovery are doing.

BUT having said that, the only reason to use the 2700 rather than the 3700 is 60fps for slomo so essential with wildlife, and obviously the 2700 is never going to look as good as the 3700 or 3000 (or even Sony PDW700 perhaps), but it's a compromise that you must make to get the 60fps.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 05:21 AM   #18
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Hi Steve.

I think we may have met at Wildscreen many moons ago. To echo your thoughts. Yes, the variable frame rates are essential and that's why the BBC are using the camera on many projects. This said if Nat Geo and Discovery want 1080P only (hence 3000/3700) then what are we left with for variable frame rates? I certainly cannot stump up for a Phantom HD and most of the places I work and conditions I work under are going to be pretty tough on a camera like that anyway. I am sure most operators are happy enough with the compromise but its whether the networks are that is under question.

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Old February 20th, 2009, 05:36 AM   #19
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There are a few interesting left-field cameras out there like the RED. Also the Ikonoskop A-cam dII - The camera loves you | A-cam dII | Products | Ikonoskop camera apparently will do 1-60fps at 1920x1080. I assumed this used CMOS and de-bayering like the RED but it seems like it's CCDs.
Problem with all these cameras is that they're such unknown quantities, and you can't help but worry about reliability/gliches in the field as well as all the questions asked by your commissioners and having to explain what the camera is and that it'll be upto their specs.
The problem for wildlife camera folks I always think is that we're using kit that is in no way designed with us in mind so we're always looking at compromises and workarounds with kit that is aimed at either news or drama.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 11:33 PM   #20
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I would put the 2700 up against the PDW700 any day. The PDW700, from the samples I've seen, produces an image you'd expect from a super-crisp video camera. The 2700 has a nice filmic quality (not just via lower resolution) that feels more cinematic. IMHO.
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Old February 21st, 2009, 03:14 AM   #21
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Overall image-wise I wouldn't argue with that at all, only if you're pixel-watching I think you'll see more detail in the 700. It was the same when the original Varicam came out and a lot of people looked at side by sides with the HDCams and many subjectively chose the Varicam as a nicer overall image even though the specs showed the sensor to have half the resolution.
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Old February 21st, 2009, 05:48 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellis Kendrick View Post
I would put the 2700 up against the PDW700 any day. The PDW700, from the samples I've seen, produces an image you'd expect from a super-crisp video camera. The 2700 has a nice filmic quality (not just via lower resolution) that feels more cinematic. IMHO.
That does beg the question of how the cameras were lined up.

Had an experienced person been through the menus of each camera, trying to get the best out of each, or were they samples from out of the box cameras?

There's been a lot on the EX forum about how much better a lot of people have been finding the results when they've reduced the detail level well down from the default. It doesn't surprise me at all, Sony are known for their super-crisp out of the box look, but it doesn't have to be that way.

As far as the 2700 goes, it's big USP is variable frame rates, which is why the BBC NHU likes it - that is of more prime significance to them than other factors. (And AVC-Intra allows 1280x720 recordings, unlike the 960x720 of DVCProHD.) For other users, the advantage of 2megapixel chips over the 1megapixel that such as the 2700 use is not just that they resolve more detail, but that less detail enhancement can be used, and that's what's needed if you like the look of film.

But it all comes down to line-up, there's on any given pro level camera to enable it to have a wide variety of "looks".
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Old February 21st, 2009, 06:22 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by James Ewen View Post
If the HPX500 is cleared for Silver acquisition then the new Varicam HPX2700 should be acceptable for Gold acquisition, this does not however, appear to be the case with some networks as there seems to be some debate over what constitutes true HD. Can Jan expand on this yet?
The 2700 is a great camera and True HD is anything above the line in the ATSC Table 3. This means the 720 and 1080 are real HD, just different flavors. The HPX2700 can do both 720 and 1080.


Best,

Jan
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Old February 21st, 2009, 06:46 AM   #24
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Love the 2700 but to say it will do 1080 is not the full story, it'll up-convert internally to 1080 from 720 chips. There is never any getting away from the FACT that its chips are half the resolution of the Sony cams and the Panny 3000/3700. The pictures do look great though, as did the original Varicam, but particularly when blown up to large screens its lack of resolution does start to show - classic case when "Earth" the movie made from Planet Earth footage.
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Old February 21st, 2009, 08:27 AM   #25
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LOL!!

Funny to see the same argument happening in this market as in the handycam market (HPX170/HVX200 vs EX1/EX3).

Made my day before I leave the house to shoot a promo vid on my Jellocam.
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Old February 21st, 2009, 01:00 PM   #26
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The requirements are given to you once Discovery Networks commissions a special or series from you. As far as I know, the information is not on their website.

D
discovery channel canada has the specs on their website

Discovery Channel | Producer's Guide

download the word documents

Here's what one of them says

Quote:
Sony HD Cam 1080i / 59.94, Stereo audio on channels 1 & 2, Dolby 5.1 mix (when available) expressed as Dolby E on channels 3 & 4.

Where facilities exist, the HD master must be accompanied by a closed captioned Betacam SX standard definition down converted dub. This standard definition dub shall contain a 16:9 letterboxed image obtained from the HD master. The program content shall be exactly the same on both versions of the master and the times codes shall match exactly. Audio shall also match for any Lt/Rt or Lo/Ro content but no Dolby E is necessary. Closed captioning shall be on line 21.

Discovery HD requires programs to be mastered in the 1080i 59.54 signal standard. Programs may be acquired in the 720P 59.94 signal standard and mastered in 1080i 59.94 for delivery only with prior approval. Programs may be acquired and delivered in 1080 psf 23.98 or 25, or 1080i 50 only with prior permission from Discovery HD.
And this one contains information on what cameras and stuff you are allowed to use.

http://www.ctvdigital.com/discovery/...d_Specs_04.doc
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 10:01 PM   #27
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I have delivered to Discovery HD shooting off of a HVX 200 in 720p. Internationally no one has asked me what camera I shot on. Broadcasters care more about the content, and if the picture quality looks good or bad in HD. Sound I think is more important, and have to mix in 5.1 with Dolby E.

With production budgets dropping HDV is being ok'd in a lot more places these days in aquisitions. Commission levels are a different thing, they reflect the money being put into the production and they don't want producer cheaping out on low end cameras. I'm sure they'll take the 500 w intra 100. If your climbing everest, you can take a pocket HD cam. It also reflects enviroment.

With the new intra100 codec, I'd be surprised if a network is to pass on a show that is good.

I'd agree 720 on an HVX200 is not great, but up convert in a prores timeline for output to HDcam, and then compress it down to a broadcast stream to your HD cable box, and it will look as good as a lot of stuff on the air.

You can debate apples and oranges on cameras, but is your idea good enough for Nat Geo or gimmicky for discovery. They both recieve more then a thousand proposals a month, and will yours be good enough to cut through. Aquisitions, you just have to beat out the hundreds of others you against, and there are a lot more varibles that come nto play then what cameras it have been shot on.

Shoot great content, make it look beautiful, and it will sell.

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Old February 24th, 2009, 11:51 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by James Ewen View Post
If the HPX500 is cleared for Silver acquisition then the new Varicam HPX2700 should be acceptable for Gold acquisition, this does not however, appear to be the case with some networks as there seems to be some debate over what constitutes true HD. Can Jan expand on this yet?

Thanks,

James
No, the HPX2700 is indeed in Discovery's Gold category.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 04:05 AM   #29
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Slightly off topic, but what about the new HPX300 camera? its intra 100 and totally seems within range of their specs that I downloaded from the site.
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