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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 March 17th, 2010, 03:56 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
It would be nice to do that, but I don't have my 2700 any more (or my PDW700!). Would have been good if I had an overlap period where I owned both, but I traded the 700 for the 2700.
Steve
I'm looking at a 2700 v the PMW350 right now Steve. What made you jump to the Varicam. I should add we just used the Varicam in Paris and it has a completely differerent look to the Sonys. It works beautifully with skin tones in particular. I love the functionality, price and value of the 350, but to me the skin tones look a little flat like DVCAM does. I just not sure at the moment which way to jump.

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Old March 17th, 2010, 04:40 AM   #62
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I had a few minutes today, a nice sunny day, to grab some further frame test shots and these I believe are quite telling, and perhaps give a good idea of the differences between the PMW-350 and PDW-700.
Were both cameras using the same lens Alistair? The 700 has horrible Chromatic Aberation. Look at the chimneys left of screen. The fine detail in the trees is also not resolving as sharp as the 350.

If the 350 is using the stock optimised lens, I'd like to see it tested with a generic HD lens like your 700 has. If I get a 350 I would be using my HJ21x7.5, not the stock one.

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Old March 17th, 2010, 06:00 AM   #63
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Peter,

I tested the HJ17x with my 350 and the CA was very bad. I then tested the HA18x and ZA17x by Fujinon and found a huge difference. I purchased the ZA17x since we could not tell the difference with the HA.

I think Alister said it was the same lens on both cameras.

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Old March 17th, 2010, 03:10 PM   #64
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Peter, 2 things made me swap the PDW700 for the HPX2700. Main one was that slomo was difficult to do in the 700 and a breeze of course in the Varicam, also had a feeling that the transcoding in the 700 to get the slomo was degrading quality a bit. The other reason is that the 2700 is what a lot of the high end nature docs are being shot on.
I agree that there is something just really nice looking about the Varicam pictures, and I'm sure that if you sat down an audience of 100 people from layman to experts, and showed them the same 10 minute film shot on a Varicam and a PDW800 you'd have a lot of them saying that they thought the Varicam nicer - just a guess though of course.
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Old March 17th, 2010, 03:39 PM   #65
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Peter,

I tested the HJ17x with my 350 and the CA was very bad. I then tested the HA18x and ZA17x by Fujinon and found a huge difference. I purchased the ZA17x since we could not tell the difference with the HA.

I think Alister said it was the same lens on both cameras.

check you pm
Wow, same lens. Then the 350 wins in that area...
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Old March 17th, 2010, 04:17 PM   #66
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yes same lens on both cameras.
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Old March 17th, 2010, 10:54 PM   #67
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David are you looking to buy a 350 and not sure if you should buy the kit lens or not?
Yes I am actually. Please advise.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 05:29 AM   #68
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The kit lens is exceptional value for money. It is as sharp as many far more expensive HD lenses and due to the 350's CA correction, CA is minimal. There is some barrel distortion, but this is not excessive, it's similar to an EX lens in that respect. The zoom control is not quite as precise as a $10k lens. It is also prone to flare but good matte box or longer hood will help.

You can use the 350 with the kit lens and get very good results. There are better lenses that will give incremental improvements in image quality, but whether anyone would know or realize in the finished production is debatable. It's only when you do careful side by side comparisons that the differences show up. The 16x8 zoom range is limited compared to most high end HD lenses and 8mm at the wide end is OK for general use but not particularly wide. Clearly if you need to do wider or longer shots then the kit lens may not be for you, but perhaps for those jobs you could rent the appropriate lens. The decision will depend on your budget, do you spend the money on a better lens or do you spend it on a good tripod, monitor or other equipment, all just as important. Of course you can always start off with the kit lens and upgrade later. I think it's a good starter lens for those migrating from SD to HD, it is almost certainly better than trying to use an SD lens (assuming your shooting HD), but in the long term you may want to get a better lens.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 07:24 AM   #69
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David I agree with Ailster the kit lens is very nice.

check my ad in the DVinfo classified my 350 with kit lens, 2 - 16GB SxS Pro cards, and 3 year transferable Sony warranty is for sale.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 05:15 PM   #70
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Just a slight diversion, Steve, you mentioned that you sold the 2700?
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Old March 18th, 2010, 06:54 PM   #71
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Thanks Alister for your always valuable input. I expected exactly what you posted. Have you decided on which camera you are keeping?
Best wishes
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Old March 19th, 2010, 03:18 AM   #72
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Just a slight diversion, Steve, you mentioned that you sold the 2700?
Yes, why are you looking to buy one?
Main problem is it's so popular in the high end wildlife field that no-one was wanting to use mine as they all have their own! It was my third camera in 12 months, I don't have any camera at the moment.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 04:58 AM   #73
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It's interesting you mention the Varicam and wildlife connection Steve. I've shot lots of AV installation stuff for zoos in Africa and Indonesia. it's an area of work I really love. I notice that Thierry Humeau is using the 350 in Africa, albeit with some highlight issues. It all comes down to the 1080 v 720 thing to some respects.

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Old March 19th, 2010, 12:03 PM   #74
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All I can say is that the Varicam was the staple of "Planet Earth" and the new HPX2700s are the staple of most high end wildlife units in the UK. The team making the mega-blockbuster new Planet Earth rival for Discovery have just bought 5 2700s, while the Beeb are gearing up for a massive new Africa series with it too. "Life" which I did only a tiny bit on but know the production well was all Varicam (excpet slomo on Photron and Phantom).
If it's good enough for them...
Well-respected RSPB Film Unit also just bought a 2700 having tested it vs the PDW700.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 03:07 PM   #75
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All I can say is that the Varicam was the staple of "Planet Earth" and the new HPX2700s ...... If it's good enough for them...
In TVB Europe recently there was a report from a tech seminar, including statements from the technical head of BBC HD. (See http://tvbeurope.com/pdfs/TVBE_downl...nuary_2010.pdf page 10.)
Quote:
But despite the growing acceptance of HD, Quested showed no sign of relaxing quality standards, reeling off a list of no-go specifications. These included footage from up-res SD, Super 16, HDV or any camera with sub half-inch sensors, compression at less than 100Mbps (intraframe) or 50Mbps (interframe), NLE codecs operating below 160Mbps and live MPEG-2 contributions at less than 60Mbps, plus all 720p equipment — with the honourable exception of the Panasonic Varicam, as its variable frame rate, so essential to landmark knowledge series such as Life, was not available on 1080-line kit.
Which implies to me that the 2700 is seen more as "best currently available" rather than ideal. It also suggests that whilst it may be best choice for programmes such as "Life" NOW, it may not be in the near future.
Quote:
Well-respected RSPB Film Unit also just bought a 2700 having tested it vs the PDW700.
I assume that decision was taken before the PMW350 was released? A 2700 vs 350 test by them may have given a different decision. OK - the 350 will still have to be do variable frame rate at 720p, but for all on-speed shooting can be used at 1080p/25, at full 1920x1080 resolution.
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