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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 January 5th, 2009, 06:13 PM   #16
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To try to explain my logic, it's that 50Mbs 422 has now been established as a minimum for long-GOP acquisition by the EBU, and endorsed by such as Discovery and the BBC. Consequently, it seems sensible for any camera above the EX3 level/price to have that as a minimum
Ah okay, I wasn't aware of that. In that case yes you have a point. In that case it might be a better option to have 50Mb/s long GOP for a lower priced camera and got to a higher datarate interframe codec for the high end. Something that SxS could handle with no problems.

It is clear that things have a long way to go. How long will 50Mb/s Long GOP be acceptable for the level that it is now? The BBC have a habit of moving the goalposts, so with 50Mb/s now described as a minimum it doesn't bode well for the 700 in terms of high end production in the long term.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 12:56 AM   #17
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Interesting thread.

Simon has a very good point, a 2/3" 35mbps disc based camera would sell i think, the pictures im getting out of my EX1 are amazing colour wise.. i thought i was going to miss the 422 of my hvx.. but no. I'd much rather invest in 2/3" glass than 1/2".
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Old January 6th, 2009, 04:25 AM   #18
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Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying what I want, rather what may make most sense to a marketing department within technical constraints. I agree an HD "DSR500 equivalent" is overdue, and would love it to be 2/3" for all the reasons Joe and Simon say. The question is how to distinguish it from the 700. Leaving out the disc drive is one obvious way, and will help power and weight as well.
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........... it might be a better option to have 50Mb/s long GOP for a lower priced camera and got to a higher datarate interframe codec for the high end. Something that SxS could handle with no problems.
I posted the link to the EBU reference in this thread - http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/general-h...dec-tests.html . It's why I don't think we'll see any camera dearer than an EX3 without a 50Mbs mode, certainly not a 2/3" one.
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It is clear that things have a long way to go. How long will 50Mb/s Long GOP be acceptable for the level that it is now? The BBC have a habit of moving the goalposts, so with 50Mb/s now described as a minimum it doesn't bode well for the 700 in terms of high end production in the long term.
Yes, though I think the BBC are reporting where the goalposts are moving to, rather than doing the moving.

One quote from the EBU is "The 8-bit bit-depth is sufficient for mainstream programmes, but 10-bit bit-depth is preferred for high-end acquisition.". I'm sure Sonys response would be along the lines of "which is what HDCAM-SR is for if you want 10 bit".

Eventually, I'm sure we'll see SxS being used to record a completely different codec to MPEG2 (MPEG2 doesn't support 10bit), but for now XDCAM422HD has got an unrestricted approval from the EBU for general acquisition. Both it and AVC-Intra meet criteria that older formats such as HDCAM and DVCProHD do not, and I expect to see a move away from the latter two.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 04:49 AM   #19
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Yes, though I think the BBC are reporting where the goalposts are moving to, rather than doing the moving.
Though their own internal policy can help move them. For example they have cast doubt on the use of 720p as HD, and even on 1440x1080 HDCAM in the future. Which begs the question of why the BBC were ever looking at Panasonic cameras since DVCProHD is 1280x1080.

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I'm sure Sonys response would be along the lines of "which is what HDCAM-SR is for if you want 10 bit".
Yep! Those were their very words to me once.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 06:02 AM   #20
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Now if the Broadcasters would only PAY for the higher quality formats then we wouldn't have a problem. It's OK for the BBC with their fixed income to dictate standards, however most channels, including Discovery are now dropping their programme budgets rapidly so it will be interesting to see where HD broadcasting goes in the next couple of years.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 07:03 AM   #21
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Now if the Broadcasters would only PAY for the higher quality formats then we wouldn't have a problem. It's OK for the BBC with their fixed income to dictate standards, however most channels, including Discovery are now dropping their programme budgets rapidly so it will be interesting to see where HD broadcasting goes in the next couple of years.
I totally Agree with you Steve it seems crazy to impose HD delivery and shooting standards that are hugely costly when most broadcasters are struggling to make any new material and lowering budgets.

As you say these are interesting times and surely it must be better to encourage quality content shot on lower costing formats than fill the airwaves with repeats and reality show pap!
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Old January 6th, 2009, 09:13 AM   #22
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......surely it must be better to encourage quality content shot on lower costing formats than fill the airwaves with repeats and reality show pap!
My vote would be for quality content shot on higher quality formats - too often what I find myself faced with is crap content AND shot badly on sub-standard equipment. The worst of all worlds?

But the EBU statements are based on scientifically conducted tests, and they aren't being put forward as "law", rather as recommendations for the future. I can't see any reason why an XDCAM camera with 50Mbs mode should be any more expensive than one with 35Mbs max - other than marketing that is.

I believe that 35Mbs was originally chosen mainly for considerations of max writing speed and capacity. No longer a problem with SxS, and even now possible to disc with the 700.
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......they have cast doubt on the use of 720p as HD, and even on 1440x1080 HDCAM in the future. Which begs the question of why the BBC were ever looking at Panasonic cameras since DVCProHD is 1280x1080.
I think it's as simple as HDCAM and DVCProHD were state of the art (realistically) until not very long ago. You can't use product that is not available, no matter how much you may want better. Things have moved on, better is now available at prices possibly even cheaper than those formats were then. The BBC didn't just look at DVCProHD, they used it to a certain extent, but that's not to say it was ever considered the "end-all", and the same for HDCAM.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 09:26 AM   #23
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I think it's as simple as HDCAM and DVCProHD were state of the art (realistically) until not very long ago.
BUT, they ares till using a 720 camera, the HPX2700 for the up-coming blockbusters like Frozen Planet.

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Old January 6th, 2009, 11:11 AM   #24
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BUT, they ares till using a 720 camera, the HPX2700 for the up-coming blockbusters like Frozen Planet.
But that's presumably because features like varispeed are considered essential for Natural History work, and they just don't happen at realistic prices for 1080p? (Yet.)

I'd also expect it's being used to record AVC-Intra, not DVCProHD, so at least getting 720p full raster resolution of 1280x720 - not the 960x720 of DVCProHD in 720p mode.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 12:06 PM   #25
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Hmm. Thing is though that it leaves people who are DSR users and SD XDCAM ops like myself who are used to using 2/3" glass and chips, and who make the most of them for creative purposes out in the cold.
I'm with Simon - I'd rather see 2/3" with 35Mb/s recording than 1/2" with 50Mb/s.

SxS or disc, I guess SxS is cheaper and would reduce power consumption and size.

Also V important:
Decent HD viewfinder (B&W or Colour)
A decent LCD like the one on the Ex1/3 (NOT the DSR450!!!)
High quality audio circuits with all necessary XLRs and connectors.
1080p/i, 720p and SD PAL/NTSC switchable. (SD is still the main format in the UK!)

Variable frame rates are nice but not that important for me.

Size wise I'd like somewhere between a DSR and EX3 with a proper shoulder mount. I think in order to balance such a camera with 2/3" glass, the shoulder pad would have to be nearer the lens than on existing cameras, meaning that the viewfinder would need to move forward as well.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 12:20 PM   #26
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Size wise I'd like somewhere between a DSR and EX3 with a proper shoulder mount.
That's quite interesting that you have said that. In fact I do not understand why the EX3 isn't that camera. JVC has shown that you can have a compact camera body with interchangeable lenses and perfect shoulder balance, so I am not sure why Sony didn't try something similar. After all they must absolutely realise that the EX3 is a pig to hand hold, unless nobody tests them!

If someone came up with a replacement viewfinder arm for the EX3 it could be moved forward and a third party shoulder pad made for decent balance.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 01:05 PM   #27
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If someone came up with a replacement viewfinder arm for the EX3 it could be moved forward and a third party shoulder pad made for decent balance.
Personally I hate workarounds like that though.

In effect I'd like to see an HD DSR450 which would be a smaller due to the removal of the tape deck. I think that such as camera would sell by the truck load!

35Mb would be fine for most broadcast applications, just as DVCAM is now. 50Mb versions like the 700 would replace Digibeta and then there are many "film replacement" systems like the F900 or Red for high end shoots.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 01:26 PM   #28
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As space saving as it would be to loose the disc drive i'd rather the camera keep it. Dont get me wrong, i love solid state cameras, i own 3.. but XDCAM disc is just so damn easy to work with. Especially when all the bugs get worked out in U1 deck. But i guess if it keeps costs down SxS is fine, The 2/3"ness is all i really want.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 01:58 AM   #29
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Well... my 2cents:

1st Sony has to earn money from pdw-700 development & marketing.

I could imagine that after big sales (europe is buying 700s in big numbers, I am involved into broadcaster XDCAM 422 workflow trainings for Sony) we could see a "small" 700 (why not SxS Shoulder cam 4:2:0, 4 ch etc.) , replacing the XDCAM 1/2" line to fill the lower part of industry / broadcast.

But I am sure FOR NOW Sony concentrates on the 700 market.

ULi
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Old January 7th, 2009, 02:05 AM   #30
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Lots of people seem too hung up on just the bit rate. Simply saying that you'd rather have 5Mbps over 35Mbps doesn't guarantee better picture quality. The important thing is the compression ratio and colour space used by the given codec and the quality of the encoders and decoders.

The EX3 and PDW-700 have the same compression ratio. The EX3 is no more compressed than the 700. The difference is the colour space. The PDW-700 is recording more color data, the extra "2" in the 4:2:2 over the EX3 and it's 4:2:0.

Now with many suggesting that XDCAM HD at 4:2:2 is comparable to HDCAM's 4:1:1 (or 3:1:1 if you take into account the 1440 frame size) you could argue that the EX3's actually so close to HDCAM that no-one should really be able to tell the difference. The 4:2:0 colour space of the EX3 gives as much colour information as 4:1:1. If you shoot progressive a good decoder should in theory give better colour results with 4:2:0 than 4:1:1.

Now I'm not going to say that the EX3 is better then a 700 or HDCAM. It's certainly extremely close. These cameras are so close that other variables such as lenses, setups operator skill and lighting are going to be the biggest diferentiators in the quality of the final production, not whether one is 50Mbps while the other is 35Mbps.
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