SI2K vs PMW-350? at DVinfo.net

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Silicon Imaging SI-2K
2/3" 1080p IT-integrated 10-bit digital cinema w/direct-to-disk recording.


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Old December 4th, 2010, 06:31 PM   #1
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SI2K vs PMW-350?

I'm asking this ? b/c I'm very curious to know how much benefit three 2/3rd's chips is over just one.

I realize that there are very signicant codec differences between the two cameras, but I'd love to hear if anyone has had much experience comparing the SI2K to three chip 2/3rd's cameras.

Thanks much.
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Old December 4th, 2010, 08:05 PM   #2
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Hi Peter,

Up until a week ago when some complete #$@%&^^* emptied my van just before a shoot I owned both a SI-2K and a Sony PMW-350 (with NanoFlash) - I'm now minus my SI-2K.

I would say that there is almost no comparison between the 3 chip Sony and the single chip SI-2K - the single chip wins hands down in the pictures it produces. This is especially true in the way highlights and overexposure are handled.
On the 350 (& other numerous Sony broadcast cameras that I've used over the years) when the picture starts to clip it really shows it's 'electronic' side as the circuits try to keep everything within limits. The Silicon Imaging retains far more detail in the highlights and seems to just smoothly transition into overexposure and blow outs without introducing any electronic feel to the picture.

The PMW-350 appears to be a lot sharper but a lot of this has to do with the SI-2K shooting RAW and not applying any detail sharpening to it's picture - you add it later when you need it. Shooting RAW also meant that any colour correction/grading is done using the whole dynamic range of the camera, not just what you recorded.

The viewfinder of the 350 is great - the colours are spot on and it is sharp so hitting focus is very easy. The viewfinder & monitoring options were my main complaint with the SI-2K, they just weren't hi rez enough to feel confident that you'd hit focus every time - and there was no SDI out.

The touch screen that controls the SI-2K is a stroke of genius - I haven't used any other camera that comes close to the speed and ease of it.

The Sony is half the price of the Silicon Imaging but I reckon that you're getting about half the picture.
The Sony uses hardly any power while the SI is heavy on the juice.
The Sony will integrate into other systems (TV, live events etc) while the SI-2K is more of a stand alone unit - So which camera for me depended on what the the jobs was but if picture feel and quality is the priority the single chip Silicon Imaging is way out in front.
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Old December 4th, 2010, 10:17 PM   #3
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Rohan,

First off, let me say I'm am VERY SORRY for the loss of your equipment. I hope insurance will be able to compensate you at least somewhat.

Second, let me say "GREAT first name."

Third, don't the 350's hypergammas and knee settings go some way to changing how the 350 clips? Alister and other 350 users go into these settings quite a bit in this thread.

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...-profiles.html

Maybe that helps a little, IDK.

Again, I'm really sorry to hear about your SI2K :(.
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Last edited by Peter Moretti; December 5th, 2010 at 02:27 AM.
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Old December 5th, 2010, 02:48 AM   #4
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Thanks Peter - the loss of my favorite camera has been a real blow. Still to sort out the insurance side of things although even if it all comes through it won't cover everything that is missing (but I won't be out on the street either so life is still good)

I've been using Alister's setting as a base since I first got the 350 and they go a long way to helping with highlights & clipping. Using these setting the pictures from the 350 look good - until you compare them with the SI-2K which are just so 'smooth & creamy' in the top end. The Si-2K really is a digital film camera that compares with Super 16 - the Sony is a video camera.

It's really just a matter of the right tool for the right job.
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