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Old May 30th, 2009, 02:55 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
I'd put a lot of money on 50 Mbs, SxS cards are capable of vastly higher bitrates, but 50Mbs would fit in very well with existing product.

My understanding of the history is that 35 Mbs came from the first gen XDCAM discs, which couldn't manage much better than that. But it did mean that Sony could offer file based recording on consumable media. As technology improved, 50 Mbs to disc became feasible, and with it full 1920x1080 recording, 4:2:2, and lower compression. Currently, AVC-Intra 100 and XDCAM-HD 50Mbs have full EBU approval for general use for acquisition.

So my guess would be that any SxS shouldermount would be 50 Mbs. The question that raises would be whether it would still be possible to use SDHC cards in such a camera. The cards are certainly fast enough with plenty to spare, and if an ExpressCard-SDHC adaptor came about using PCIExpress (rather than USB) I'd be pretty sure they'd work. As it is, the speed of transfer of clips in camera, and the speeds at which overcrank fails leaves me optimistic that they will still work.

Bear in mind that full "broadcast approval" depends on other factors than codec, and chip size is one. Hence for full broadcast compliance, technically the HPX300 fails due to chip size, the EX due to codec.

See why a 5,000-7,500 camera with 1/2" chips, recording to XDCAM-HD 50 Mbs or AVC_Intra 100 is so eagerly awaited? :-) And why so many are saying "why doesn't the 300 have 1/2" chips"?
Good points David but here in the UK some broadcasters are in dire straits and the goal posts will need to be moved if they are to continue producing content at all.
I feel that smaller sensors will be accepted in time if the recording format is up to spec, OK this is not for full drama or high end production but as internet TV rolls out the playing field will change.
In the 80's remember when CCD's first came in and everyone in broadcast said they would never be as acceptable as Tube cameras, things move on and cameras like the 301 will change the accesability of full HD to content producers.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 12:19 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by Gary Nattrass View Post
........here in the UK some broadcasters are in dire straits and the goal posts will need to be moved if they are to continue producing content at all.
I feel that smaller sensors will be accepted in time if the recording format is up to spec, ..........
I'm not disagreeing with the first sentence, but doesn't the second presuppose that cheaper cameras are dependent on smaller sensors? In practice, an EX3 comes in at well over 1,000 cheaper than an HPX301, yet still gives you 1/2" chips. Take media costs into account (P2 v SDHC) and the difference becomes much, much more. I'm not saying the EX3 is ideal by any means, but it does signal that a 1/2" camera on shouldermount lines is achievable for possibly even less than a 301 fully loaded with media.
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In the 80's remember when CCD's first came in and everyone in broadcast said they would never be as acceptable as Tube cameras, things move on and cameras like the 301 will change the accesability of full HD to content producers.
I remember the time well, and would only say that not everyone by a long way was of that opinion ( ;-) ), though, yes, it certainly was a view expressed by some.

There is a difference here though, which is that the laws of optics state that dof etc considerations mean that 1/3" chips will always be at a disadvantage compared to cameras with bigger sensors - even if they are technically acceptable, and the lens availability improves.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 08:53 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by Jan Crittenden Livingston View Post
Hi John,

Just go try out the camera. It really is a great camera for the money.

Best,

Jan
I think I will, thanks.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 11:06 PM   #109
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I concur with Jan. I just saw the final cut of the big project I shot with it and the clients raved about the photography and images in particular. Great camera and an amazing value, I will be buying one sometime this year as well.

Dan
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 02:37 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
In practice, an EX3 comes in at well over 1,000 cheaper than an HPX301, yet still gives you 1/2" chips.
And an MPEG-2 long-GoP 8-bit recording format. And a handheld shoulder-butt form factor. And no wireless slot. And two channels of audio. There are lots and lots of differences between those two above and beyond chip size!

Quote:
There is a difference here though, which is that the laws of optics state that dof etc considerations mean that 1/3" chips will always be at a disadvantage compared to cameras with bigger sensors - even if they are technically acceptable, and the lens availability improves.
Yes, and the same law says that 1/2" chips will always be at a disadvantage compared to cameras with 2/3" sensors...

You can't just cherry-pick features here and there and come up with an "ideal" system, because each compromise has a significant effect on the overall system cost. If Panasonic had just stuck 1/2" chips in the HPX300, it'd probably raise the price by several thousand dollars, not only for engineering a larger chip block but also for the lenses that go with it. This camera was engineered to a price point, to meet the needs of NBC, which they clearly did, and why all NBC owned & operated stations are using it (and many ABC affiliates are converting as well).

For some people, using an 8-bit 4:2:0 long-GoP recording format, onto an SD card, is an acceptable compromise if it means they get bigger chips out of the deal. For others, that combination doesn't work, they want a robust intraframe professional 4:2:2 codec, and if that means only 1/3" chips, well, that's a compromise they're willing to live with.

Of course, you don't have to compromise, you can have that robust codec on a 2/3" camera, but then it costs $27,000. If all you want to spend is $8,000 then the two major manufacturers are offering you two very, very different ways to spend that money.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 04:31 PM   #111
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Barry,
I think people's wish list for options is often not what manufacturers provide but it is how they comparison shop for cameras. I think the HVX-300 introduces as many new good features as any camera recently while still making me concerned enough about the images coming from Cmos and 1/3 inch imager to hold off from buying one while I have bought an HPX-500 recently. As for the success in getting NBC and ABC to buy them lets see how the crews like them after they are in the field long enough to be compared in all situations? Also news is not always the best place to look for when it comes to quality images as it usually is more concerned about quantity of cameras on the street as well so the price point on the 300 is very appealing to the bean counters.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 07:39 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by Barry Green View Post
And an MPEG-2 long-GoP 8-bit recording format. And a handheld shoulder-butt form factor. And no wireless slot. And two channels of audio. There are lots and lots of differences between those two above and beyond chip size!
No dispute about any of that - I said a few posts ago about how the form factor of the 301 was better than the EX. In favour of the 301 I'd also add it's ability to make proxy recordings to separate SDHC cards, which I'd put pretty high up the list.

Yes, there are lots of differences "above and beyond chip size", but it would be cherry picking to say they are all in the 301s favour. Power consumption? Weight? Cost of battery system? Cost of heavier duty tripod because of the higher weight? And, of course, the real biggie aside from chip size is media cost and downloading issues.

The reason I originally posted was in response to Gary Nattrass, to comment that 1/2" chips were preferred to 1/3" more for photographic reasons than sheer "technical quality" pixel counting ones. Depth of field, diffraction etc, to say nothing of lens availability.
Quote:
Yes, and the same law says that 1/2" chips will always be at a disadvantage compared to cameras with 2/3" sensors...
Well, as I said a few posts back: "......1/2" sensors aren't ideal but are roughly halfway between 1/3" and 2/3" for dof etc. As I said before, not ideal, but better than 1/3".

So you're right - 2/3" is better than 1/2", but if you can't afford 2/3", surely it's better to go with 1/2" than 1/3"!?!
Quote:
You can't just cherry-pick features here and there and come up with an "ideal" system, because each compromise has a significant effect on the overall system cost.
I think these forums provide a very valuable feedback mechanism for users to give their opinions back to manufacturers on what they think are good points of design, and what they think are bad. That should give better future product to consumers, and help crystallise manufacturers minds. Hence "cherry-picking" the best features of different models to give a "consumers camera" I feel a worthwhile exercise. And yes, obviously the choices made will have a combined cost implication.

So: my choice would be to model it on a 301 (I especially like the form factor, radio mic slots, proxy ability) and then make it 1/2" and SxS, also able to use SDHC with adaptor if required.

Codec? Both AVC-Intra 100 and XDCAM-HD 422 50Mbs have full EBU approval for unrestricted general acquisition, so it'd really have to be one of those. The latter may be the better bet, since it still should be recordable on SDHC cards with the current adaptors. (Ideally, I'd prefer JPEG2000 - also EBU approved - to either of them.)

Cost? The 1/2" chips will add to the cost, the use of SDHC v P2 significantly take away from it, though from the base price of the EX1 I can't see the larger chip size adding too much on. An EX1 with an SxS card is currently less than 5,000 in the UK, so maybe the 1/3" to 1/2" upgrade will be 1-2,000? Media savings should easily offset that.
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