PDW-700 XDCAM HD Camcorder announced; 2/3rd-inch, 4:2:2 - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts
Sony PDW-F800, PDW-700, PDW-850, PXW-X500 (XDCAM HD) and PMW-400, PMW-320 (XDCAM EX).


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Old September 11th, 2007, 02:56 PM   #16
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Greg, I understand why they may exclude 24p from this camera and it is not for the customers benefit.
Ironically, it is for a customer's benefit. They wanted to have the camera ready for a certain major customer by a certain deadline. It had to be able to shoot 720P so that's where the emphasis on functionality went. 24P/over/under crank were not the design priority. It is not so much crippling as simply making a deadline.

This camera is aimed squarely at HD ENG markets.

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Old September 11th, 2007, 05:51 PM   #17
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They wanted to have the camera ready for a certain major customer by a certain deadline.
Let's hope that a firmware update will make these very desirable features available at a later date.
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Old September 12th, 2007, 04:51 AM   #18
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Let's hope that a firmware update will make these very desirable features available at a later date.
If it's got 25P I wouldn't worry too much if you're in the UK. Lots of low budget features and TV dramas use 25P on the HDW 750 in Europe or PAL countries.

24P is more an NTSC effect or theatrical film out ideal. However, you can still do a film out with 25P - 16mm & 35mm films have been shot at 25 fps and projected at 24fps.
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Old September 12th, 2007, 07:17 AM   #19
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If it's got 25P I wouldn't worry too much if you're in the UK. Lots of low budget features and TV dramas use 25P on the HDW 750 in Europe or PAL countries.
I'm not too worried as I mostly use 25P anyway, it's more the principle I was complaining about. I just don't like to see products being deliberately crippled.
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Old September 12th, 2007, 07:55 AM   #20
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I think Greg's analogy is correct about the tiers of pricing but I think it also supports other's feelings that the 700 should be a CineAlta camera. I think we would all expect to pay somewhere between the 350 and the HDCam for the benefit of 50 mbps 1080p24 HD thus creating yet another price point. C'mon Sony...PDW-F700 CineAlta. I'll take 3 to add to our existing 3 350s.
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Old September 12th, 2007, 09:52 PM   #21
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25p ???

Im Confused…. Are you saying this camera will record progressive scan in the form of 25p? Or will it only do Interlaced recording? And any word on if it will be switchable between 50i and 60i ?
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Old September 13th, 2007, 04:41 AM   #22
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I think the 700 will be a little restricted at launch as Sony are trying to get the camera to market quickly. Some features may not be available when the camera is first released. Then like the F350/F330 there will be upgrades that will add further features once the engineers get the time to work on the firmware in more depth. There is still a lot of work being done on the existing 35Mb XDCAM range to improve the feature set and performance.

It should be available around NAB time or shortly after. I had a play with the ones on the stand at IBC and it felt really nice on the shoulder and the pictures looked fantastic. It has a newly designed CCD chip set using technology shared with some of the top end HD studio cameras. Having said that on the smallish monitors the cameras were plugged into the F355 and 700 looked very similar. The real test though will be to see how the 50Mb encoded data compares to the 35Mb.

I'm not sure there will be a massive difference. The 700 will be 1920x1080, 4:2:2 so there is quite a bit more data to compress. It should have an edge in terms of detail (particularly chroma) and noise, but the compression ratio won't in fact be all that different to the current cams.

The big difference really is the 2/3 lens mount. I would expect the 700 with a really good HD lens to be very nice. It's the 1/2 inch lens (non) issue that has put many of the larger production companies off XDCAM HD. When the 2/3 inch cams come online the uptake by broadcasters is sure to increase so us users of XDCAM HD will have a broader market to sell our material to.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 06:01 AM   #23
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The big difference really is the 2/3 lens mount. I would expect the 700 with a really good HD lens to be very nice. It's the 1/2 inch lens (non) issue that has put many of the larger production companies off XDCAM HD. When the 2/3 inch cams come online the uptake by broadcasters is sure to increase...........
I agree with everything you say, but do feel the 2/3 lens issue is very real for many. Not so much because 2/3 is so much better than 1/2, but from compatability reasons - if 2/3" lenses are owned becuase they fit the majority of cameras, no-one wants to own another range of 1/2" lenses just for one camera line.

And whilst uptake may well increase when the 700 comes online, surely the next milestone must be a similar camera with the ability to record to SxS *AS WELL* as disc? With maybe another model being SxS only?
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Old September 13th, 2007, 11:47 AM   #24
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David, I kind of agree. Your argument for 2/3 inch is valid. But I would add that IMHO most that are buying into HD are looking for one camera line. They are unlikely to buy say DVCPRO HD for one job then XDCAM HD for another, so does it matter whether the lens mount is different or not? I would have preferred 2/3 inch from the outset, but for me at least 1/2 inch helped me get on the serious HD bandwagon as the lenses are quite a bit cheaper. When the F700 comes out you will still need to consider the fact that a F355 camera and lens combo is likely to be around half the cost of a F700 camera and lens combo.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 04:11 AM   #25
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But I would add that IMHO most that are buying into HD are looking for one camera line. They are unlikely to buy say DVCPRO HD for one job then XDCAM HD for another, so does it matter whether the lens mount is different or not?
That is certainly true for anyone buying a single set of gear lock, stock and barrel, and the more so if they have an end to end process, delivering a final product.

But a lot of the industry works on a much more piecemeal basis, buying items as and when. Someone I know started freelancing a few years ago with Digibeta - those were the tapes his clients wanted to take away at the end of a shoot. Subsequently he was offered work from other sources, but they wanted DVCAM tapes, and the work was enough to warrant buying a DSR570. Occasionally a job would come up which needed hiring an SX camera body - the client demanded it. But the only thing which changed was the camera body - all his other gear, tripod, lights, sound gear, and LENSES were good for all jobs.

Subsequently I've heard he's now upgraded the lens to a very expensive HD wide angle zoom - which can be fitted to his Digibeta, DSR570 or any hired camera (SX, HDCAM etc) - except current HD-XDCAM. As clients may start to want that format, see why he thinks a 2/3" version a very good idea? (Yes, he could use an adaptor, but that reduces the angle of view, and rather takes most of the point away from the wide angle lens.)

Equally for hire companies, with a stock of lenses and different format camera bodies - much more satisfactory if all the lenses are suitable for all the bodies.

And broadcasters may currently have a mix of cabled cameras for OB and studio work, and camcorders of more than one tape format . Again, there are very good reasons for them to want all their lenses to be able to be fitted to all their cameras.

If ALL broadcast cameras were to be headed towards 1/2" I'd agree it was a non-isue, but that doesn't seem to be the case - even within Sony. You said that "when the 2/3 inch cams come online the uptake by broadcasters is sure to increase", and with that I would agree.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 06:43 AM   #26
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Yes.. but you can buy an F350 with a decent lens for less than a F700 body alone is likely to cost. What I was talking about was businesses upgrading from SD to HD, a situation where they will need to buy new lenses anyway. If you need a quality low cost HD solution NOW or 18 months ago then to not buy XDCAM HD because of the size of the lens mount is IMHO daft. 35Mb XDCAM HD represents amazing value for money, I'm not sure that 50Mb XDCAM HD will in reality be quite such a bargain.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 09:22 AM   #27
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Yes.. but you can buy an F350 with a decent lens for less than a F700 body alone is likely to cost. What I was talking about was businesses upgrading from SD to HD, a situation where they will need to buy new lenses anyway. If you need a quality low cost HD solution NOW or 18 months ago then to not buy XDCAM HD because of the size of the lens mount is IMHO daft. 35Mb XDCAM HD represents amazing value for money, I'm not sure that 50Mb XDCAM HD will in reality be quite such a bargain.
I agree. It seems a very high price for lacking some key features. Sky News have jumped on board the P2 bandwagon and splashed out on dozens of DVCPROHD p2 Cameras at a price point similar to the F350. If they are keen on taking the HD news ENG market then they are in danger of pricing themselves out of the market...and this is from someone who loves his F350.

The deal-breaker for Sky was the 1/2 inch issue with the F350, all their old glass being 2/3rd inch and they would have gradually upgraded to HD glass over time, buying 1/2inch means a complete change immediately.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 09:43 AM   #28
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35Mb XDCAM HD represents amazing value for money, I'm not sure that 50Mb XDCAM HD will in reality be quite such a bargain.
I'm not disputing the value for money claim - but does this not bring up the question of why Sony are not bringing out more than one 2/3" model? The 700 and a lesser spec'd model (no 50Mbs etc) - but cheaper and still 2/3"?

And whilst indeed "you can buy an F350 with a decent lens for less than a F700 body", it's when you want a top notch lens that things get tricky. Not necessarily in picture quality terms, but certainly in terms of wide angle coverage and zoom range. An 11x4.5 HD (for 2/3") is likely to be around £12,000, and a good few thousand more to get a complementary tighter lens.

You certainly can get equivalent lenses for 1/2" - but at comparable prices to the 2/3" versions, maybe nearly doubling the basic camera cost. And in the broadcast market that sort of lens is what is often wanted. And in some cases the lenses are already owned, and being currently used with HDCAM, Digibeta, whatever.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 11:52 AM   #29
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Well they did make the current 1/2 camera capable of accepting 2/3 lenses with a $700 adapter (cheap in the overall scheme of things). Yes, there is a 1.37 zoom factor applied with this method, but if you are using a fairly wide 2/3 lens to begin with, it's not going to completely kill you. The 16:9 aspect helps in that respect.

I've seen what the 50mb 4:2:2 looks like. It's nice, but as Alister has pointed out, I don't think it's a big enough difference for the price you'll pay to get it.

I believe the optical block on the 700 comes from the HDC-1500 series. When you look at the data rate and color space, it would seem that most of the extra bandwidth is going towards chroma resolution, vs. better handling of motion artifacts. All of that so that it can come right back over the air at 4:2:0 and 19 to 25 mbs in current HD broadcasts.

Larger sensors will be helpful though in news gathering due to the wide variation of shooting scenarios encountered. But even the current models hold their own pretty well.

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Old September 16th, 2007, 12:08 PM   #30
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My guess is that it's because the single most expensive component in any broadcast camera is the optical block. The HD prism and CCD chip set is probably 70% of the cost of the camera, the deck and encoder probably another 15%.So while it would be possible to bring out a neutered camera with some functions removed the final price would only probably be 10 to 20% less. Maybe we will see a cheaper 2/3 inch cam in the future but at the moment all the development efforts are going into the 700, the aim being to release a good all round work horse camera that can be updated and improved by firmware upgrades. I do know that at least one of the UK's biggest broadcasters will be taking 50Mb XDCAM HD.

As Greg says the block comes from one of the Sony studio cams. I also agree that most of the extra bandwidth will be consumed handling extra data as opposed to reducing artifacts. Having said that the lower noise of the new CCD's will help by giving the codec a cleaner image to encode.

Basically what I am saying and I think most of us agree, is that whilst the 700 and 50Mb XDCAM HD will be an improvement, I don't think us F330/F350 owners need to worry about our cams becoming obsolete overnight as in terms of final picture quality in most real world situations it will difficult to tell the difference.
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