PDW-700 and PDW-F800 viewfinder choice. at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 14th, 2009, 11:37 AM   #1
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
Posts: 4,957
PDW-700 and PDW-F800 viewfinder choice.

The PDW-700 and F800's are sold body only, so you have to choose which viewfinder you want. there are 3 choices. A cheap HDVF 200 mono CRT finder that is 480+ lines resolution, the mid range (top of the CRT range) HDVF-20A which is 500+ lines resolution and then there is the expensive colour HDVF-C35W.
I got the HDVF-20A. The viewfinder is a critical part of the package and I wanted a good viewfinder. For the past year my main camera has been my trusty EX3 which I love. This has a really good colour viewfinder with an excellent colour peaking function and image magnification. When I use my EX3 it is rare for me to not get my pictures pin sharp and spot on in focus. Plus I can frame my image taking into account both black and white contrast range and colour contrast. With the EX3 judging exposure is easy, you can see when your overexposing as you can see colours washing out. If I don't want (or can't) take a colour monitor on location then I really can light an interview or check colour balance without just using the EX3's finder.
Now with the PDW-700 I am struggling. Going back to a mono CRT has been a bit of a shock, to be honest I am struggling with it. It's not that there is anything wrong with the HDVF-20A but I have become used to working with a colour VF. I'm not sure I can live with the CRT VF for very long. I guess I am going to have to start saving my pennies as I think going back to a mono CRT is a retrograde step. I just wish the C35W was a little cheaper. Perhaps Sony could bring out a VF for the 700/F800 based on the rather good EX3 finder.
If I was making the purchase again I would opt for the more expensive C35W. I no longer see a colour VF as a luxury but more of an essential item. When you work with cameras day in - day out you want the tools that make your life as easy as possible and a good colour VF is one of them. On it's own the C35W may seem expensive at £5.5k compared to the £3.5k of the 20A, but in terms of the total packing it's another 10% to the cost but in retrospect I think it would have been worth it.
__________________
Alister Chapman, Film-Maker/Stormchaser http://www.xdcam-user.com/alisters-blog/ My XDCAM site and blog. http://www.hurricane-rig.com
Alister Chapman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 14th, 2009, 06:25 PM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Malvern UK
Posts: 1,931
I don't get it to be honest, that given the obvious benefits of the EX3 viewfinder over the CRT's that they couldn't allow this on the 700/800.

Over time you'll become used to it though, like anything else the best results come when you know how to read the equipment through familiarity. One thing I'm finding with the EX3 is that it is quite critical with regard to exposure. More so than most other cameras I have used.
Simon Wyndham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 15th, 2009, 01:20 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
Posts: 4,957
I have been using mono CRT's for 20 years. Switching to a colour VF on the EX3 was easy, no learning curve. I don't think it is simply a case of re-learning old skills, sure I'll get by but I don't want to "get by". I want colour! :)
__________________
Alister Chapman, Film-Maker/Stormchaser http://www.xdcam-user.com/alisters-blog/ My XDCAM site and blog. http://www.hurricane-rig.com
Alister Chapman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 15th, 2009, 02:53 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Oxfordshire, UK
Posts: 425
Well, you'll have to get yourself a smallHD DP1 for interview work. Bit more difficult to use it attached to the camera for general "running around" work though!

BTW - have you seen the colour VF - is it worth £5.5K ? That's a LOT of money for a VF!

Paul.
Paul Gale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 15th, 2009, 03:06 AM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
Posts: 4,957
The C35W is a really nice viewfinder. Is it worth £5.5K.... yes and no. I think it is a a crazy amount of money for a viewfinder, heck the £3.5K for the HDVF-20A is too much money as well. But it is really nice to use with extremely accurate colour reproduction, nice and bright and with little lag.

I don't think it is value for money, but I do think it is worth buying if that makes sense.

There is probably room for a 3rd party manufacturer to bring out a good colour VF that is half the price of the Sony one. You can get all of the VF overlays out of the PDW-700's SDi output so if someone could source a good small LCD (OLED??) panel I'm sure it would be possible to make one at a very competitive price.
__________________
Alister Chapman, Film-Maker/Stormchaser http://www.xdcam-user.com/alisters-blog/ My XDCAM site and blog. http://www.hurricane-rig.com
Alister Chapman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 15th, 2009, 11:57 AM   #6
Telecam Films
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 723
Is the CW35 power consumption in line with the 20A? I could not find any info on this.

Thierry.
__________________
Thierry Humeau, DoP
Télécam Films
www.telecamfilms.com
Thierry Humeau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 15th, 2009, 12:15 PM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
Posts: 4,957
The C35W is slightly more power hungry at 6.3W while the 20A is 4W.
__________________
Alister Chapman, Film-Maker/Stormchaser http://www.xdcam-user.com/alisters-blog/ My XDCAM site and blog. http://www.hurricane-rig.com
Alister Chapman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 16th, 2009, 01:06 AM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 47
I bought the C35W colour viewfinfer and at the time was not sure I was doing the right thing. But now after three months with the 700 camera and colour viewfinder I know I made the right choice. The flip out VF LCD is great to quickly show the client the shot when you can't run a monitor.

Last edited by Tim Bradley; July 17th, 2009 at 12:40 AM.
Tim Bradley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 16th, 2009, 03:08 AM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Posts: 117
Alister I agree with you 100%.

I have the 700 with the 20A and having used the c35 I really wish I had paid the extra cash and gone for it.

I too have the EX3 and I love the viewfinder on it. Going back to the B&W is like stepping back in time...

I still can't believe that the colour viewfinder is about the same cost as an entire EX3!
Ben Ruffell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 16th, 2009, 01:57 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
Posts: 4,957
I was working with 2 700's today. Mine with the 20A and the other with the C35W. The C35W was soooo much better. Focus was just as easy, if not easier. Exposure far easier, I don't need zebras with the C35W and it's just so reassuring to see basically what you are recoding as opposed to just part of what you are recording, ie no colour. All in all, one is hard work and the other is enjoyable. Must see if I can trade in my 20A.
__________________
Alister Chapman, Film-Maker/Stormchaser http://www.xdcam-user.com/alisters-blog/ My XDCAM site and blog. http://www.hurricane-rig.com
Alister Chapman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 20th, 2009, 04:33 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 565
Sony is working on another color lcd viewfinder - I think its a 3".

The main advantage of this unit will be it´s exactly HALF HD resolution for better downsizing - the VF picture will be much sharper than the interpolated 3.5" one (though this is a great unit also).

Yes - its easy to get used to colour viewing - and returning to a b/w VF suddenly makes you forget white balance (as I did with my cam)...

What I am wondering about is that no company yet made a 3rd party colour lcd VF fed with HD-SDI for "upgrading" any camera...

Uli
Uli Mors is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:32 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network