Sony PMW350 vs the Sony F800 need advice 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 December 13th, 2009, 03:20 AM   #1
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,321
Sony PMW350 vs the Sony F800 need advice

Next year I will up grade cameras again and have narrowed it down to the PMW 350 and the F800. The F800 is almost 80-90k with all the bits needed in Aust dollars and the 350 will be around 25k complete I hope.

My question is to those that have tried the PMW350 and the F800 or even the 700 Sony cams is, do you think that the PMW350 will be used in more TV productions than the 800? given almost the same specs excluding the 50Mbps. Also if using a Nano on the 350 can i get 422 and same bit rate as the F800 camera produces?

One last loaded question.
What benefit is the F800 over the PMW350.

Thanks
Simon Denny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 13th, 2009, 05:20 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
Posts: 4,957
If you use a PMW-350 with a NanoFlash it will do pretty much everything that an F800 will do and via the nanoFlash record 4:2:2 at higher bit rates than the 700/F800.

PMW-350 Pros over F800

Colour VF standard
Much lower power consumption
Lower Noise
Higher Sensitivity
Silent operation
Lighter
Overcrank is 1280x720

F800 Pros

More Viewfinder options (HDVF-20A, HDVF-C35W, HDVF-200A (yuk))
CC and ND filter wheels
CCD (no skew or flash band issues)
Physical recording media to hand to client straight from camera
Proxy workflow (including recording proxies to USB memory devices)
User programmable Gammas
Focus assist
Frame markers on SDi (good for using monitors as viewfinders)
Accepted as HD broadcast format out of the box.
Overcrank is 1920x540


The skew on the PMW-350 is no worse than on an EX1/3 and in my opinion is not an issue. Partial frame exposure/Flash Band may be a bigger issue but can in most cases be rectified using the latest version of Clip Browser. For the 700/F800 There is still much to be said for being able to hand a disc of rushes over to a client at the end of a days shooting and the ability to record proxies on a USB memory stick really is nice, allowing clients to preview and log material simply and easily.

As to which will be the most used for TV production, well only time will tell. They are both very capable cameras producing remarkably similar pictures. A lot will depend on the type of productions you are doing. Production Insurance is likely to be easier to get for a shoot using a 700/F800 than a file based camera such as the PMW-350 simply because of the recording media. Will the production companies you are working with be happy with the solid state media from the 350 or NanoFlash? Ultimately a PMW-350 with a NanoFlash running at 100Mb/s+ should produce clips that will be easier to grade etc due to the lower noise and higher bit rate. Of course there is no reason why you could not add a NanoFlash to the F800. I use one on my 700 almost all the time.

At the end of the day I guess it comes down to the question of budgets and whether you can make the camera pay for itself. A PDW-F800 with decent lens and good viewfinder (really recommend the C35W) is a serious investment, can you recoup that cost on every shoot?
On the other hand a PMW-350 with a NanoFlash and some media is a smaller investment. Provided you can get the production companies to accept the combo it will produce excellent results and it should be easier to recoup the cost... provided you can convince the production companies that it's OK.

I own a PDW-700, but I'm going to get a PMW-350. My situation is slightly unusual as I make my own programmes or sell stock footage so I have some freedom to choose which camera I use. For me the PMW-350 is close to perfect. One further option to consider is a PDW-700 and an EX1. This gives you XDCAM HD422 for everyday work and then you can use the EX1 for overcrank. In addition you end up with a "B" camera or backup camera all for less than the price of a F800. There should be some good used EX1's around soon with the release of the EX1R.
__________________
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 December 13th, 2009, 09:52 AM   #3
Telecam Films
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 723
As good as 100mbps looks when recorded on the Nanoflash, and unless your client is totally prepared and file-based acquisition aware I would be a bit leary to use the Nanoflash in large scale, long term production projects.

First off, there is quite a bit of difference in handling SxS vs. Nanoflash media. Your Nanoflash files are going to be much larger and so are your needs for storage and time to archive. As small as the Nanoflash unit is, it is still an other "box" to affix to your camera. It will add bulk and cabling to your 350 and potential issues like connections, power, etc... I personnaly like to keep my cameras very lean and am often reluctant to see a wireless unit attached externally (that is the reason I am using Sony's dual channel digital wireless unit...). There is a huge and fondamental difference between solid state and XDCAM disc acquisition. When shooting solid state, you will end up spending more time at the end of the day archiving and backing up, especially when shooting at 100mbps. This will not only add time to your day but it will also add an underlying level of stress insuring that everything has copied correctly. When on the field, I usually backup my files to 3 different drives so on busy days, this can take some time. In some ways, this also makes you more liable as your files "travel" through the production chain. Ounce out of your hands, hard drive management can be a bit of a mess and it's easy for people to screw up. I see this happening all the time with either P2 or EX. I always feel a bit of a chill when I "execute" formatting on a 32GB SxS card at the end of the day.

So, in short, I found solid state media great for small projects with a quick turnaround or projects that you manage and finish in house. I don't like the idea of shooting on solid state media for long term projects and hand out footage on hard drives. That is especially true for 100 mbps files. I like to paraphrase a good friend of mine whl likes to hold a XDCAM disc in one hand tellling me "this is on-time media" and a SxS card in the other saying "this is overtime".

Thierry.
__________________
Thierry Humeau, DoP
Télécam Films
www.telecamfilms.com
Thierry Humeau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 13th, 2009, 11:04 AM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
Posts: 4,957
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thierry Humeau View Post
When shooting solid state, you will end up spending more time at the end of the day archiving and backing up, especially when shooting at 100mbps. This will not only add time to your day but it will also add an underlying level of stress insuring that everything has copied correctly. When on the field, I usually backup my files to 3 different drives so on busy days, this can take some time. In some ways, this also makes you more liable as your files "travel" through the production chain. Ounce out of your hands, hard drive management can be a bit of a mess and it's easy for people to screw up. I see this happening all the time with either P2 or EX. I always feel a bit of a chill when I "execute" formatting on a 32GB SxS card at the end of the day.
I think in that case Thierry you need to look more closely at your workflow. Most of your issues are easily dealt with. For a start if you use a NanoFlash with a PMW-350 you can record to both SxS (or MemorySticks) and CF media simultaneously. Both CF cards and memory sticks are cheap enough for people to have plenty of media for a full days shoot at 50Mb/s or even 100Mb/s so there should really be no need to backup while shooting. If you do need to make copies in the field then backing up with verification can be done very quickly with devices such as the NextoDi for SxS and CF or PXU-MS240 for SxS and Memory Sticks. At around 4 mins per hour with either device I find I can normally copy off all my media while packing away my kit so it adds no time to my day. The NextoDI can make two copies at once, one internal plus one slave USB drive and the MS240 has swappable drive cartridges, so it's easy to make 2 copies.

Back at base an hours worth of XDCAM HD422 material takes around 25 minutes to import from a PDW1500 or 45 mins from a U1 or camera. Using ShotPut Pro I can make up to 3 verified copies of an hours worth of 100Mb/s NanoFlash clips in around 20 minutes. So no difference in how quickly you can edit. Shoot at 50Mb/s with the Nano and the workflow is faster. If you want robust storage without making multiple copies you can use an external G-Raid unit.
If you set ShotPut Pro to format your cards automatically at the end of the copy/verification procedure and never delete clips yourself, if you ever put a card in and find it full you know it has not been backed up. Empty cards will always be cards that have been backed up.
By having multiple copies of your material and storing them in separate locations, even if using hard drives, your footage is probably safer than having a single disc or tape in one location. Hard drive management should be no more of a mess than any other form of rushes management. It's easy enough to stick a label on a hard drive to list it's contents just as you would with discs or tape. You can also lock the files on the hard drive so that they cannot be accidently deleted, indeed NanoFlash files are locked by default. Only the other day I was told how a runner on the Danish version of Survivor had formated around 20 shot XDCAM HD discs holding valuable material. Fortunately the error was picked up before the discs were recorded over and the data was recovered. At least with multiple backups, if someone does mess up you have alternate copies ready to go.

The solid state workflow is different to traditional tape or XDCAM discs, but it is not a big deal. You just need to plan your end to end workflow before you start shooting. Once people get used to it and embrace it fully it can bring some quite significant savings in media costs, make your rushes safer through multiple copies and allow anyone with a computer access to the material doing away with the need for dedicated drives or players.
__________________
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 December 13th, 2009, 03:40 PM   #5
Vortex Media
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 2,481
Alister and Thierry, I agree with every word you have BOTH written.
Very good points on both sides and I agree with all of it.

I shoot SxS, XDCAM optical, and Nano every week, and my workflow and/or needs change from day to day. I don't have a set workflow anymore, and the bottom line is that no two people's workflows are ever going to be exactly the same ever again.

It's all positive though, I love having plenty of options, and I'm so glad that tape is dead.
__________________
Vortex Media http://www.vortexmedia.com/
Sony FS7, F55, and XDCAM training videos, field guides, and other production tools
Doug Jensen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 13th, 2009, 06:45 PM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 3,865
Doug are you archiving EX to Sony Optical disk? As you know I am getting ready to use this method for all of my archiving for safe long term. I was using G-Safe as an archive method and before that DL-DVD, but hard drives scare me for long term, DVD and Blu-Ray just don't have the shelf life. What are your methods?

By the way the Hawk was back last week.
__________________
Paul Cronin
www.paulcroninstudios.com
Paul Cronin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 13th, 2009, 08:03 PM   #7
Telecam Films
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 723
Alister,

I have been looking at both of these field backup devices, the Nexto NVS2500 and soon to be available, Sony's PXU-MS240 SxS backup unit. This is definetly the way to go. These are fast, self contained and can be self powered. You quoted 4 min. per hour, is this for copy and verify? When shooting SxS at 35mbps, the Sony unit says it actually takes 10 minutes to copy and verify a 16GB card. That is 57 min. of footage. And then, to stay safe, you would probably want to make at least 2 sets of copies if not 3. So, at the end of the day, depending how much you are shooting, it may actually take closer to 1/2 hr to 1 hr. to manage this.

In any case, yes. Better solutions to streamline off-loading solid state media are becoming availabe and I am definetly going to acquire one of those units. I just spend 10 days in the jungle of Colombia with an EX1 cam, we shot a lot, and off-loading files, with camera, laptop and external drives at the end of the day was not convenient.

As long as you, me, stay in charge of managing our client's media, we can make sure that things are done properly but this is also making us more liable for possible screwups. Until now, the worse I could risk was loosing a tape or a disc and in some situations, that was easy enough to do. With solid state media, I wont be totally relaxed until I know for sure that the drives are in good hands and all files made it safely to post.

But hey, I see the wind shifting. So, I am likely to shoot more EX in the upcoming year and I am looking to put another foot in the solid state media circus and will add a PMW-350 to our arsenal.

Thierry.
__________________
Thierry Humeau, DoP
Télécam Films
www.telecamfilms.com

Last edited by Thierry Humeau; December 14th, 2009 at 07:17 AM.
Thierry Humeau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 13th, 2009, 09:53 PM   #8
Vortex Media
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 2,481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Cronin View Post
Doug are you archiving EX to Sony Optical disk? As you know I am getting ready to use this method for all of my archiving for safe long term.
Paul, I've done it a couple of times just to make sure it worked for me, but right now I'm still archiving everything to dual Western Digital Passport drives. It's faster, easier, and a lot cheaper than XDCAM optical.

Although, with that said, in the long run I do intend on making XDCAM optical my primary backup for important stuff. I just haven't started doing it yet. Just about all the important footage I've shot since it became possible to write back to the discs with a Mac has been shot with my F800 so it has not been an issue.
__________________
Vortex Media http://www.vortexmedia.com/
Sony FS7, F55, and XDCAM training videos, field guides, and other production tools
Doug Jensen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2009, 08:29 AM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 3,865
Thanks Doug
__________________
Paul Cronin
www.paulcroninstudios.com
Paul Cronin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2009, 01:19 PM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,321
What I'll do before any purchase is made is hire both cams, well especial the f800 as I have a EX1 and I guess the 350 will be very similar to this. It will be very interesting to see if the PMW350 will de a industry standard for ad-hoc freelance work for TV etc.. I see more an more footage on TV shoot with the EX line up.
Can you guys recommend a lens for the F800? either the one you are using or the one you desire.
thanks
Simon Denny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2009, 02:01 PM   #11
Telecam Films
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 723
If I would only have one lens to choose, I'd go with the Fujinon HA13X4.5BERM . It has a great range and stays very sharp even with the 2X and camera digital 2X on. There is also " the jack of all trades", not quite as wide but cover pretty much every situation, the HA16X6.3BERM. Fujinon also has the lower priced ZA12X4.5BERM wide. This is a good buy when looking at price vs. performance and frankly, I really have a hard time seeing the quality difference between HA and ZA series. Also, Canon recently released their HJ 14ex4.3B wide zoom. That is an impressive piece of glass too. I usually favor Canon's design and ergonomics but I often ends up buying Fujinon lenses because I feel they offer better value for the money.

On a side note. Chroma abberation is much more visible on HD CCD cameras compare to SD cameras and Canon/Fujinon lenses that supports the F800 ALAC (Automatic Lens Abberation Correction) feature do a great deal in reducing it.

Thierry.
__________________
Thierry Humeau, DoP
Télécam Films
www.telecamfilms.com
Thierry Humeau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2009, 07:06 PM   #12
Vortex Media
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 2,481
I don't like the look of video that has been shot with WA lenses and I rare shoot in tight quarters, so I went with a Fujinon 22x7.6 with 2x. I love it and would buy it again in a second. It's exctly what I wanted.

Doug
__________________
Vortex Media http://www.vortexmedia.com/
Sony FS7, F55, and XDCAM training videos, field guides, and other production tools
Doug Jensen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2009, 07:10 PM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 3,865
I was lucky enough to look through Doug's camera twice and agree the picture quality with the 22x7.6 is stunning. Is does not hurt that the man behind the camera is very talented shooter and a great mountain biker on top of it.
__________________
Paul Cronin
www.paulcroninstudios.com
Paul Cronin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2009, 08:50 PM   #14
Vortex Media
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 2,481
Paul, I can only assume you must be speaking about yourself.
__________________
Vortex Media http://www.vortexmedia.com/
Sony FS7, F55, and XDCAM training videos, field guides, and other production tools
Doug Jensen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2009, 09:00 PM   #15
Telecam Films
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 723
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
I don't like the look of video that has been shot with WA lenses and I rare shoot in tight quarters, so I went with a Fujinon 22x7.6 with 2x. I love it and would buy it again in a second. It's exctly what I wanted.

Doug
Ouch! I guess Doug is not gonna like my films. I love shooting "cinéma vérité" style, handheld and on a wide focal. But long compressed shots are cool too...

Thierry.
__________________
Thierry Humeau, DoP
Télécam Films
www.telecamfilms.com

Last edited by Thierry Humeau; December 15th, 2009 at 07:16 AM.
Thierry Humeau 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 04:16 PM.


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