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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 May 20th, 2008, 02:17 AM   #1
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Questions about XDCAM-HD

1.) Besides the F330 kit lens, do any Canon/Fuji lenses auto focus?
2.) Do any of the 1/2 inch lenses have image stabilization?
3.) For the most part, the footage from these shoulder mount cams seems very steady, despite lots of panning and movement. If there is no electronic stabilization, is the the steady image inherent with shouldered cams in general?
4.) Phil Bloom recommended avoiding the Canon kit autofocus lens. Are there specific reasons?
5.) All the 1/2 lenses seem to compromise, but do you have a personal favorite?
6.) Several of the F350 users have said the EX1 is overall about equal image quality wise. If you could keep just one, which would it be? Although I suspect most will say F350, seems like you're spending more time with the EX1.

Thanks.

Tom
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Old May 20th, 2008, 02:36 AM   #2
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1.) Besides the F330 kit lens, do any Canon/Fuji lenses auto focus?

no they don't

2.) Do any of the 1/2 inch lenses have image stabilization?

no

3.) For the most part, the footage from these shoulder mount cams seems very steady, despite lots of panning and movement. If there is no electronic stabilization, is the the steady image inherent with shouldered cams in general?

Yes, besides the fact that these cams are mostly operated by experienced operators.


5.) All the 1/2 lenses seem to compromise, but do you have a personal favorite?

My favourite is the Fujinon 3,3x13 because it is still a wide angle lens in 4x3 mode, it's fast, it's versatile. (search this forum for more lens considerations)
In my opinion i use less close-up (tele) shots for HD programs because of the higher resolution.

6.) Several of the F350 users have said the EX1 is overall about equal image quality wise. If you could keep just one, which would it be? Although I suspect most will say F350, seems like you're spending more time with the EX1.

That depends on the purpose. I would say a shouldermodel gives you more and easier control during shooting.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 02:40 AM   #3
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Thanks Eelco. Yes, I know about the 13x3.3 Fuji. It would rank high on my list.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 11:40 AM   #4
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Both have about the same dynamic range and noise. The EX1 is just a tiny bit sharper and a little more sensitive. The EX1's extra resolution gives better rendition of foliage and grass. But to see the difference you really have to analyze the picture on a big full-res monitor. The EX1 like most CMOS cameras doesn't like strobe lighting and camera flashes. The F355/F335 cameras are more solidly built (not an EX1 criticism) and look more professional. Also prefer the XDCAM optical disc workflow. As you can see there are pros and cons to each.

I have an F350 with a Canon KH20 and an EX1. I use them both. For my own shoots I tend to use the EX1 as it is light and portable, for corporates it's normally the F350 mainly because it looks the part. It's crazy I know but it's important to my clients! I have to say I am swaying more towards the EX1.

I have posted 2 frame grabs on my server taken at the same time with both cameras. I would be interested to hear which of the two grabs people prefer.

http://www.ingenioustv.com/clips/teststills.zip
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Old May 20th, 2008, 12:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
I would be interested to hear which of the two grabs people prefer.
Wow! These images are really well matched. As far as I can see it camera1 is the 350 due to a true progressive image and camera2 is the EX due to more visible de-interlacing and some CA. I assume the 350 has a slightly better lens.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 01:14 PM   #6
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The EX has native progressive imagers and does not employ de-interlacing while the f350 uses interlace CCD's with special processing that creates a true progressive image. Neither camera de-interlaces.

I would draw anyone that looks at the stills attention to the grass and plants, that's where the biggest differences are. I'll reveal which is which in a couple of days time. Also look at the grey pipes on the wall.
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Last edited by Alister Chapman; May 20th, 2008 at 01:53 PM.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 01:37 PM   #7
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Alister, I prefer #1 as it seems to have less artificial sharpnening looks to it. I'd guess this is the EX1?
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Old May 20th, 2008, 05:20 PM   #8
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Thank you Alister for the pics.

Placing my bet...

#1 = EX1
#2 = F350
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Old May 20th, 2008, 09:09 PM   #9
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I definitely prefer #1.

I'm surprised by the aliasing in #2, such as on the diagonal rib on top of the porch.

And the grass looks better to me in #1.

#2 seems like the detail is artificially high, showing in the bricks, grass and plants.

And then there's the CA in #2.

OK, I figure #1 is the EX-1, but I'd be happily surprised if I'm wrong! :)
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Old May 21st, 2008, 01:54 AM   #10
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Alister - did you use NR on the F350 in this shot?
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Old May 21st, 2008, 04:19 AM   #11
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I think pic1 is the F350 with the Canon lens and pic2 is the EX1.
I prefer pic1 even though pic2 seems to be "sharper" - but detail seems to be artificially high as Eugene mentioned. And you get quite heavy CA compared to pic1.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 04:29 AM   #12
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Come on Alister, give us the answer, or are you gonna wait until you've 100 guesses?
Steve
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Old May 21st, 2008, 05:38 AM   #13
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OK the answer is Camera 1 is the EX1, Camera 2 is the F350

Paul, no I did NOT use the low noise mode, I tried it on and off thinking it may affect the aliasing but it makes no difference.

Here are two more grabs, essentially the same shot but with the detail on the F350 reduced to -25. Even with the detail turned off the aliasing is still noticeable. I do find getting the Canon lenses aperture in the f8-f4 sweet spot helps the F350. What is striking is how well the EX eliminates CA.

I think the F350 could look better with a top end lens, but the aliasing would still be present. Overall they are both remarkably similar. The EX1's extra native resolution is the main difference. I had made tweaks to the scene files and picture profiles on both to get a reasonable match. In real world use with moving images I am seeing pretty much the same thing as these grabs show, although I can't say that I notice the F350's aliasing very often.

Both 25P 1/50th shutter

EX1 Cinegamma 4, HiSat matrix, Detail -20, crispening +10, Black level -8
F350 Cinegamma 3, Std matrix Sat at +20, Detail -25, Black Level -8 (probably should be 0)

http://www.ingenioustv.com/clips/teststills2.zip

Trying to choose between an F355/F335 and an EX3 is a very hard choice. I think the EX1/3 can produce a marginally cleaner image. The stock lens is a pretty good performer and has image stabilisation. However the EX CMOS sensor doesn't like strobe lighting and camera flashes. You also have to be prepared to adopt a different approach to handling your rushes and long term storage. With the F series the optical disc workflow works very well, there are no problems with strobes and flash guns and the camera is professional camera kit built to take bumps and knocks plus it looks the part.

Of course there is always the PDW700.... drool.. drool.. but that's a lot more money especially if you have to buy a new 2/3" HD lens.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 08:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman
...although I can't say that I notice the F350's aliasing very often.
I am not surprised that you would not notice the F350 aliasing very often. To me, the questions about the F350 aliasing are:

1.) Would it go away if you shot the same F350 static scene in interlaced mode?
2.) To what extent is the aliasing attributable to upscaling the image to 1920 horizontal?

The aliasing appears to be more than what I would expect from a lower resolution sensor.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 08:16 AM   #15
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I think the EX1 has one the least video-like images I've seen (a good thing). To me it really does look like a reasonable-quality DSLR camera, as you might expect. Everything about the image seems very smooth, all edges and tones.
As for the PDW700, you're right, without a good HD lens it'd be severly hampered I'd say, and really you're talking about another 15,000 or so, making it a 30,000 deal (+ batteries etc etc.) so about 6x the cost of the EX3 as opposed to the 3x cost as it might at first appear.
But by now you knwo my thoughts about the motion issues, so for me I'd still pass. Check the EX3 out yourself though, and if it works for you the image is beyond reproach.
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