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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 30th, 2009, 09:17 AM   #1
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Pdw700 720p

Just got my camera back with the new firmware.
A little disappointing is that you can't mix 720 and 1080 on the same disc!
Still trying to work out how best to get slomo in a 1080 FCP timeline. I thought you'd just drag it in and it'd be slomo (maybe needing to render). Any ideas?
Steve
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Old January 30th, 2009, 10:47 AM   #2
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I assume you overcranked as opposed to shooting 50P.
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Old January 30th, 2009, 11:04 AM   #3
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You can't overcrank on the 700, did you think I was meaning the EX3?
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Old January 30th, 2009, 01:24 PM   #4
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Doh, course you can't. Just got back from 3 days of EX workshops in Copenhagen! I'm using too many cameras and I get muddled, F350, EX, 700 which does what and how!

I'm not sure I understand your question. What 720P footage were you expecting to be Slo-mo as you have to overcrank to get slo-mo. The 720 50P of the PDW-700 should play back at 50P so it is not slo-mo. If you drop 50P into a 25P timeline it will still play back at full speed as the clip header tells FCP to play back the 50 frames in one second, as you have a 25P timeline FCP will drop half the frames. You would have to slow it down in FCP to get slo-mo. Better still use motion and optical flow to get super smooth slo-mo and just about any frame rate.
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Old January 30th, 2009, 02:47 PM   #5
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I realise there will be post-workflow involved. But what I hoped is that you could somehow just drop 720/50P into 1080/25P timeline, and because you have 50 frames they would be laid down over 2 seconds rather than 1 (ie slomo).
But it seems you do need to process it either at capture stage or online? I've done it with Cinema Tools (but you have to transcode to an I-frame codec first then conform to 25P). It all seems a bit long-winded and you'll obviously lose quality along the way (transcoding to I-frame and also with the conform to 25P?)
It was a bit disappointing not being able to mix formats on 1 disc.
Steve
ps when you said "3 days of EX workshops" I almost thought you'd said "3 days of EX worship"!
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Old January 31st, 2009, 02:29 AM   #6
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Hey, much as I like the EX I have not quite got to the "worship" stage...... yet.. ;o)

It's a faf getting slo-mo when really there's no technical reason why it couldn't be done in camera.
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Old January 31st, 2009, 03:28 AM   #7
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Yes, it's a surprise that you can't basically do a S&Q Motion type thing like on the EXs. If there's no technical reason then it is a bit baffling why it's not there, you can understand them handicapping the lower range cameras so they don't eat into the premium camera sales, but the PDW700 is top of the heap in it's class. What territory would it be eating into if it had it?
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Old January 31st, 2009, 09:27 AM   #8
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I can only assume that it is an issue of datarate. The 350 reduces recorded datarate to 17Mb/s and halves the resolution to 540 lines when it records slow motion. Howeve the EX cameras as far as I know use much higher datarate throughput during slow motion capture and of course record 720 lines. So perhaps it is a limitation of the XDCAM's max 75Mb/s writing speed that stops it from being possible at a quality that is fitting for the 700?

I too would like to get FCP to display 720p video frame for frame on a 25p timeline. This way I could just record everything at 720p/50 and decide in post which shots I want in slow motion, and also have the benefit of having recorded sound as well.
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Old January 31st, 2009, 10:25 AM   #9
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Data rate should be the same though, twice the fps but half the resolution in 720 (1 million vs 2 million pixels).
Regarding 720/50P I thought that when the Varicam first came out, why not shoot everything at 60 then decide later, but was told that it wasn't a good idea (can't remember why). It might have been due to needing to go through the silly frame rate converter in those days, but I seem to feel that there was another reason.
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Old January 31st, 2009, 11:06 AM   #10
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As Steve says as the 700 can already do 720 50P which plays back at 50P there is no reason why it should not be possible to do slo-mo. After all the only thing that changes is the clips header info that tells it what speed the clip should play back at. Change the 50P clips header to 25P and the clip plays back at half speed, the camera itself doesn't need to do anything different other than write that little bit of what is in effect text differently.

One reason for not shooting everything at 60P is that to get 25P normal speed you have to do some odd frame interpolation that could give jumpy playback. If you shoot everything at 50P then playback at 50% you would simply drop every other frame. There would be some "missing" motion information but it would be no different to shooting 25P with a 180 degree shutter.
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Old January 31st, 2009, 11:28 AM   #11
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What I cannot understand is why when you tell FCP to slow down the clip speed to 50% why it doesn't show the extra frames that exist in the file.

Even if you open the file in Quicktime Player, change the playback speed to 50% and then save the file, FCP still doesn't show it smoothly, even though in Quicktime Player itself it does play back the file in smooth slow motion.
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Old January 31st, 2009, 12:05 PM   #12
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Simon: to do what you are asking, use Cinema Tools to change the media playback rate, and then import to FCP. Then all will work as you wish, frame by frame playback at 25P from a 50P source. Just remember to send an I frame Codec to Cinema Tools.
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