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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, 03:51 PM   #1
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HDCAM or XDCAM HD.. which on?!!!

Hi everyone .. :)

I was deciding to go with Sony CineAlta HDCAM F900R for my top quality TV advertising production, but some friends recommended to go with Sony XDCAM HD 700, because its price is FAR lower, and the picture quality is similar. Is that true?? If yes, why the huge difference in price? If not, is the quality difference noticeable?

I was recommended as well to use Wafian Direct-to-Disk HD video recorder with CineForm codecs to achieve better picture quality than recording straight to tape with F900R, or Disk with the 700. Is that true also?? and how?

Finally, can I use Letus adapter with either cameras to get better DOF?

I appreciate any help ...
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Old January 5th, 2009, 03:58 PM   #2
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Hi there,

I hope this link helps you in making the decision

http://www.videoscope.com/pdf_files/...mats_Guide.pdf
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Old January 5th, 2009, 05:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Yasser Saeed View Post
Hi everyone .. :)

I was deciding to go with Sony CineAlta HDCAM F900R for my top quality TV advertising production, but some friends recommended to go with Sony XDCAM HD 700, because its price is FAR lower, and the picture quality is similar. Is that true?? If yes, why the huge difference in price? If not, is the quality difference noticeable?

I was recommended as well to use Wafian Direct-to-Disk HD video recorder with CineForm codecs to achieve better picture quality than recording straight to tape with F900R, or Disk with the 700. Is that true also?? and how?

Finally, can I use Letus adapter with either cameras to get better DOF?

I appreciate any help ...
The Wafian will give you better quality than recording on HDCAM, although how important this will be to your commercial really depends on the content and if you're doing vfx like greenscreen. It's 10bit 4.2.2, which is much better than the 8 bit 3:1;1 of HDCAM. However, if it's just straight live action I wouldn't bother unless the post house is already set up for handling it.

Wafian HR-1

Much depends on how much effects work you're doing. HDCAM isn't wonderful and I suspect XDCAM HD 4.2.2 may have some issues for high end vfx work. In the end the choice could come down to cost and which HD format your post house can handle.

The cost difference may just come down to the cost of tape VTRs, which aren't cheap to manufacture

The Letus is more designed for use on smaller cameras, I doubt it would cover the front element of a 2/3" HD zoom lens. Usually a P & S Pro 35 is mounted directly onto the camera's B4 lens mount without any other lenses fitted to the camera.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 03:40 AM   #4
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Steve Philips compares the HDW750 to the PDW 700 in this thread.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-xdca...l-cut-6-a.html

The F900R camera head is better than the head on the HDW 750.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 10:25 AM   #5
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Thanks people for your feedback, and help .. I appreciate it so much :)

Noel .. thanks for the link, hopefully it will help me.

Brain .. thanks man for the details and for clearing up the story of Letus adapters. I will be doing alot of vfx, and greenscreen. I did not know that the color sampling of HDCAM is that low (3.1.1)!!
How about using Wafian with XDCAM HD? Will the quality will be identical to HDCAM with Wafian??

I have not decided yet on my post-production equipments, but will do after choosing the best camera for my work (HDCAM or XDCAM HD)

"The cost difference may just come down to the cost of tape VTRs, which aren't cheap to manufacture" are you saying that no extra quality involved in HDCAM F900R when comparing to XDCAM HD 700?

Feedback apprecaited :)
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Old January 6th, 2009, 10:31 AM   #6
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Thanks people for your feedback, and help .. I appreciate it so much :)

Noel .. thanks for the link, hopefully it will help me.

Brain .. thanks man for the details and for clearing up the story of Letus adapters. I will be doing alot of vfx, and greenscreen. I did not know that the color sampling of HDCAM is that low (3.1.1)!!
How about using Wafian with XDCAM HD? Will the quality will be identical to HDCAM with Wafian??

I have not decided yet on my post-production equipments, but will do after choosing the best camera for my work (HDCAM or XDCAM HD)

"The cost difference may just come down to the cost of tape VTRs, which aren't cheap to manufacture" are you saying that no extra quality involved in HDCAM F900R when comparing to XDCAM HD 700?

Feedback appreciated :)
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Old January 6th, 2009, 11:19 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Yasser Saeed View Post
Brain .. thanks man for the details and for clearing up the story of Letus adapters. I will be doing alot of vfx, and greenscreen. I did not know that the color sampling of HDCAM is that low (3.1.1)!!
How about using Wafian with XDCAM HD? Will the quality will be identical to HDCAM with Wafian??

I have not decided yet on my post-production equipments, but will do after choosing the best camera for my work (HDCAM or XDCAM HD)
With the Wafian you're only using the camera head, the on board recording system isn't an issue. The Wafian uses the HD SDI output, so by passing the recording end of the camera.

According to Sony the PDW 700 has "three newly developed 2/3-inch progressive Power HAD FX CCDs at 1920 x 1080 resolution. 14-bit A/D conversion and advanced digital signal processing are also used to ensure the highest picture quality." While the "HDW-F900R features 12-bit A/D conversion"

It sounds like the PDW 700 has same camera head as the latest HDW650 HDCAM camera. So if you're going to record the HD SDI output from the camera to the Wafian recorder using Cineform and the PDW 700 is cheaper, the latter would seem the best option for this job.

As Steve Philipps points out in the other thread, the GOP in the XDCAM HD 4:2:2 could cause problems with motion. Although, I suppose it depends on what you're trying to do and what is acceptable to you.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 11:52 AM   #8
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Brain .. thank you very much for your help. You are almost convincing me to go with this setup.

How about this:
"The Wafian HR-2 is a 10-bit 4:4:4 dual-link HD-SDI recorder for digital film workflows. The HR-2 records into the CineForm 444 format at 360 Mb/s and as with the HR-1, the new HR-2 empowers film-makers and broadcasters with affordable and efficient workflow options without sacrificing quality."

Will I get a 4.4.4 color sampling from XDCAM HD 700 using this unit, or it is limited to sensors of the 700?

I also learned from other forum that a product called Flash XDR will do the same. How do you compare it with Wafian products?

Thanks for your help Brain :)
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Old January 6th, 2009, 11:56 AM   #9
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Sorry .. forgot to mention .. you said "the GOP in the XDCAM HD 4:2:2 could cause problems with motion" .. what dose that mean? I did not get it?
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Old January 6th, 2009, 01:23 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Yasser Saeed View Post
Brain .. thank you very much for your help. You are almost convincing me to go with this setup.

How about this:
"The Wafian HR-2 is a 10-bit 4:4:4 dual-link HD-SDI recorder for digital film workflows. The HR-2 records into the CineForm 444 format at 360 Mb/s and as with the HR-1, the new HR-2 empowers film-makers and broadcasters with affordable and efficient workflow options without sacrificing quality."

Will I get a 4.4.4 color sampling from XDCAM HD 700 using this unit, or it is limited to sensors of the 700?

I also learned from other forum that a product called Flash XDR will do the same. How do you compare it with Wafian products?

Thanks for your help Brain :)
Neither of these cameras give you a dual link HD SDI output, so you're limited to the 10 bit 4:2:2 HD SDI output. If you wish to use this you'll need to get a camera with a dual link output.

GOP = group of pictures.

http://pro.sony.com/bbsccms/static/f...XDCAM_FAQs.pdf

MPEG-2 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Group of pictures - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You'll find a diagram at figure 7

ARCHITECTURES FOR VIDEO PROCESSING

I'd talk to the people handling the post production before making a decision. There's little point in coming up with a recording format that they can't handle.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 02:08 PM   #11
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Neither of these cameras give you a dual link HD SDI output, so you're limited to the 10 bit 4:2:2 HD SDI output. If you wish to use this you'll need to get a camera with a dual link output.

GOP = group of pictures.

http://pro.sony.com/bbsccms/static/f...XDCAM_FAQs.pdf

MPEG-2 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Group of pictures - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You'll find a diagram at figure 7

ARCHITECTURES FOR VIDEO PROCESSING

I'd talk to the people handling the post production before making a decision. There's little point in coming up with a recording format that they can't handle.
Thanks again Brian for your time and explanation. I will check the links tomorrow .. I have to go to sleep now.

The people handling the post-production are my employee .. it is my company, so I have the flexibility to choose he post equipments after I select the camera.
Any idea what Sony camera support dual link HD SDI output?

Thanks and good night for now ...
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Old January 6th, 2009, 03:27 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Yasser Saeed View Post
Thanks again Brian for your time and explanation. I will check the links tomorrow .. I have to go to sleep now.

The people handling the post-production are my employee .. it is my company, so I have the flexibility to choose he post equipments after I select the camera.
Any idea what Sony camera support dual link HD SDI output?

Thanks and good night for now ...
If you're going to this trouble to shoot commercials I'd consider a RED ONE. It seems they can now deliver a camera without waiting months and I've heard very positive comments on using it for green screen and it's cost effective. However, it has a very different workflow to traditional HD video cameras, since it records RAW and it also uses a 35mm sized sensor rather than 2/3".

Sony seems to be going for HDCAM SR cameras for portable 4:4:4 high end work. The old Sony F950 has a dual link output, but I don't think the make it any more, although you could check out their 1000 series cameras.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 01:42 AM   #13
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PDW-700, HDW-650, HDC-1500 and F23 all share the same sensors.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 08:55 AM   #14
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Noel thanks for that great link. The best comparison I have seen to date on the Sony HD cameras.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 01:14 PM   #15
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There's some interesting details in the Sony guide. Things like the fact that 35Mb XDCAM HD is only compressed 16:1 while 50Mb XDCAM HD 4:2:2 is compressed much more at 20:1, yet the pictures from the 16:1 compressed cameras are nowhere near as good as the ones from the 20:1 cameras and it's not just because of the colour space.

I note that they put XDCAM HD 4:2:0 above XDCAM EX on the production pyramid, yet most owners and users will tell you that the quality from the EX is quite a bit better than from the current crop of XDCAM HD camcorders.
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