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-   -   Pdw-700, pdw-800, pmw-350 (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-eng-efp-shoulder-mounts/474442-pdw-700-pdw-800-pmw-350-a.html)

Paul Cronin March 9th, 2010 12:36 PM

Pdw-700, pdw-800, pmw-350
Looking to hear from people who have shot with the CMOS vs CCD XDCAM 2/3".

How they compare in the real world shooting not testing.

I am happy with the 350 but do miss the optical disk and the CCD.

Yes I know the 700 and 800 have been compared but now that the 350 is out I would like to know the opinion of the shooters who have used both the CCD and CMOS 2/3"? Pros/Cons

Doug Jensen March 9th, 2010 02:44 PM

Paul, let's get together this week and shoot your EX350 and my F800 side by side.


Paul Cronin March 9th, 2010 02:53 PM

I will email you.

Mike Marriage March 10th, 2010 11:31 AM

Hi Paul

I think I actually prefer using the 350 and the results are as good, possibly better. I have a shoot this weekend with 4 PDW700s and hoping they hire my 350 as cam 5 which will be my first direct comparison.

The solid state vs disc is the biggest difference IMO, although solid state will soon be cheaper the way things are heading!

I have seen a little skew and partial exposure from flashes, but only on whip pan repositions. To see skew, the movement needs to be so violent that the skew will be almost completely hidden. I haven't tried, but apparently the correction software helps with partial exposures and is pretty effective.

If they were the same price, I would struggle to choose between them!!!

Alister Chapman March 10th, 2010 01:04 PM

I'm in a real quandary. I have both a 350 and a PDW-700, but I can't keep both. The picture quality from them is so close that there is no clear winner IMHO. I have always liked the pictures from the CMOS EX1/EX3's, to me they have a very organic look. The 350 is similar, there is something about the pictures (once you've dialed the detail back) that looks very natural and the way highlights are handled is really pleasing. The PDW-700 is an excellent work horse and produces great picture too. In terms of dynamic range, both camera are about the same. Given the above and the huge price difference you would think that it would be a no-brainer, sell the 700 and save some money. But it's not as simple as that. More and more broadcasters here in the UK are taking up XDCAM HD422 as the de-facto standard for HD production, the PDW-700 is slowly replacing HDCAM. The optical disc workflow is highly desirable for broadcast production companies, they don't want to have to worry about solid state backups and of course they need 50Mb/s.

As many of you know I film a lot of lightning and thunderstorms. I've done this very successfully with EX1's and EX3's for a couple of years. It's not quite as simple as with a CCD camera as you have to watch your shutter speed, but it's doable.

If I didn't already have the 700 I would be keeping the 350 and would be perfectly happy with (used with a NanoFlash). But as I have the 700, giving it up is tough as it is a great, well proven camera, should continue to be so.

What I will say is that the 350 package is excellent, I love it's light weight and low power. It was really nice taking the light package up to the arctic for the Northern Lights. The fact that you get a color VF as standard and HDMI is very nice. I guess my heart says go 350, my business brain says PDW-700.

Steve Phillipps March 10th, 2010 03:08 PM

What UK broadcasters are standardising with XDCam422?

David Heath March 10th, 2010 05:01 PM

At present, I don't think it's a case of standardising with it or any other acquisition codec. What is true is that XDCAM 422 50Mbs is seen as fully acceptable, no restrictions, (providing the front end is good enough), though other codecs also qualify.

As far as other cameras go, it seems use is being made of EX cameras by UK broadcasters when a small camera is desired, though I'm sure the 50Mbs codec would be preferred.

Paul Cronin March 10th, 2010 05:39 PM

Mike, Alister, thanks for your comments.

Mike what scene file are you using? Would be very interested to see how it looks.

Alister you really can't see a picture difference between the 700 and 350? I just shot with a friend who has a 800 along side the 350 and each has it positives but the picture is very different. The 350 wins on low light. The 800 has a very different look with the CCD. But as I said they are both great cameras just different. Sounds like you are happy with your scene file. Any changes?

David Issko March 11th, 2010 04:41 AM


Originally Posted by Alister Chapman (Post 1497687)

What I will say is that the 350 package is excellent, I love it's light weight and low power. It was really nice taking the light package up to the arctic for the Northern Lights. The fact that you get a color VF as standard and HDMI is very nice.

Hi Alister,

Is that with the kit lens or have you aded other lenses to the 350 - or both? If yes to other lenses, what are your observations compared to the kit lens? Also, what batteries have you been using with the 350?

Hope your decision re 700 vs 350 will be the right one for you.


Paul Cronin March 11th, 2010 07:14 AM

David are you looking to buy a 350 and not sure if you should buy the kit lens or not?

Paul Cronin March 11th, 2010 07:43 AM

Alister it is interesting that you do not see much of a difference between the 700 and 350. Shooting along side the 800 I see a very big difference. I think some if not all of this is CMOS to CCD. And this is with the 350 going out 422 100Mbps on a 50Mbps timeline side by side. I am not saying the 350 is not a good camera it is. And a very nice step up from the EX1/3. But I don't think it has the picture quality of the 800 and I thought the 700 as the same picture?

Mike Marriage March 11th, 2010 08:31 AM

Paul, what are you seeing that makes the 800 better to your eye?

I find the 350 just as sharp and clean and although I haven't compared the latitude directly, it seems very comparable. Obviously the settings play a big part and I believe the 800 has user programmable gamma for instance.

Paul Cronin March 11th, 2010 08:43 AM


What I am seeing will be defined further as we look at side by side footage in more detail this afternoon. But this is our second side by side test and we plan one more.

The 350 can be sharp but not as sharp as I am hearing people say with my experience. We have to have detail at 0 or higher to not look to soft and washed out. Also to my eye and the person I am testing with the picture is more electronic which is not a surprise since it is CMOS vs CCD.

The 800 does a better job keeping detail in the blacks and highlights at the same time. While the 350 you have to adjust the setting one way or the other. Meaning the blacks can look very nice but the highlights seem to get noise. Or the highlights can look nice and you loose the black detail.

As I said the 350 is a nice step up from the other EX cameras but the 800 is the next level of picture quality. We are using the same glass on both cameras by the way so that is not an issue.

More as we learn more.

Mike Marriage March 11th, 2010 11:18 AM

Interesting. I discussed the PDW700 vs 350 with Alister at BVE and he thought they were pretty similar too. I'll try and test at the weekend if I get the chance.

I'm also really pleased with the stock lens so far. The worse thing in the sloooow servo zoom and also if you crash zoom, the focus has a 1 frame lag which is just noticeable. Optically it is remarkable. A little barrel distortion at full wide but I've seen worse.

Would love to do a test of the 350, 700, HDCAM and the new Varicams together. Anyone fancy it?

Paul Cronin March 11th, 2010 11:32 AM

Mike have you been following this thread?

Interesting that Alister is saying the same thing I am seeing with the highlights. I think the 350 sensor is limited compared to the 700/800 sensor with latitude.

It is fine for all of us to agree to disagree with picture quality because in the end it is our own preference and a happy client that counts.

I would like to see that test but not just with locked shots but very fast motion. I don't mean fast pans I mean fast motion going through the frame with a slow pan. With all my helicopter shooting that is very important. And with the best possible scene files on each camera while adding the 800 in there, since it has some custom setting options the 700 does not offer.

Nice to be on the leading edge but at times it takes up time I could be shooting/editing. I am and engineer when it comes to designing boats but a shooter when it comes to cameras.

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