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Sony PDW-F800, PDW-700, PDW-850, PXW-X500 (XDCAM HD) and PMW-400, PMW-320 (XDCAM EX).


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Old March 21st, 2010, 06:01 AM   #1
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Vortex Media's PDW-700/F800 Field Guide

I hope nobody is offended if I take a minute to announce that the book I’ve been working on since last fall for the F800/700 has finally started shipping this weekend.

Vortex Media's XDCAM Field Guides

“Vortex Media’s PDW-700 and PDW-F800 Field Guide” is 320 pages, spiral bound (so it stays open), full-color, offset printed, and fully indexed. I’d say about 99% of the camera’s functions are covered, including a number of undocumented features and information that can’t be found in any of Sony’s publications.

If I had known before I started how hard it was going to be, I never would have done it. But once I started, I didn't want to quit. In my opinion, the F800 and 700 are the most complicated commercially sold cameras ever built. It’s amazing what they can do, and how well they do it.

Some people have written to ask me if there will be a DVD, and the answer is no. These camera's are too complicated to teach effectively in a DVD. It would either have to be a 10 volume DVD set, or be so superficial to be of no use to an experienced shooter. The book provides an easy-to-use resource any time and any place someone needs information.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
How to use this Field Guide
Preface
Parts Description . 2
Viewfinder Display 11
LCD Monitor Display 12
Thumbnail (Playback) Display . 13
Status Confirmation Screens 14
Menu Tree 16
Operation Menus . 16
Paint Menus 22
Maintenance Menus . 26
File Menus 31
Diagnosis Menus 33
Disc Menus . 34
Thumbnail Menus . 34
A Brief Introduction to XDCAM . 35
Highlights of the PDW-F800 AND PDW-700 . 36
Differences Between the Two Camera Models 37
25 Steps for initial Set Up and Quick-Start Guide . 40
Viewfinder, LCD Monitor, and Sub LCD Screen 55
Color LCD Monitor 55
Viewfinder Display . 57
Markers 59
Sub LCD Screen . 61
Status Confirmation Screens . 62
Batteries and Power . 63
Power conservation tips . 66
XDCAM Professional Discs . 68
Erase (Re-format) a previously used disc . 71
Disable the Format Disc command . 72
Check a Disc's properties and give it a name . 73
XDCAM Disc file structure . 75
Directories on an XDCAM disc . 76
Root-level files on an XDCAM disc 76x
Menus Overview 77
Camera Menus 79
Menu navigation tips 83
Camera Menus tutorial . 84
The User Menu 86
Basic techniques for customizing the User Menu . 88
Insert a User Menu page . 89
Delete a User Menu page 90
Move a User Menu page . 90
Advanced techniques for customizing the User Menu 92
Create a custom User Menu page from scratch . 93
Add the new page to the User Menu 95
Reset the User Menu pages back to the factory default 97
Recording Formats . .98
Choose a Recording Format . 101
24P mode limitations . 101
Mixed Recording . 102
Custom Clip Naming . 103
Create a custom clip naming system . 104
Prefix data files for clip names 105
Using clip names for notes and logging 107
Assign Switches 108
Allowed switch assignments 109
How to program an Assign Switch 111
Explanation of all Assign Switch functions . 112
How to delete the last clip . 114
How to use Freeze Mix 117
User Assign (UA) switch options 120
How to program a User Assign switch . 122
SDI monitoring and Video output . 125
Configuring the SDI outputs . 127
Remote Trigger . 127
Test Out (composite video) . 128
Optional IN/OUT upgrades . 129
Audio . 130
Audio Monitoring . 131
Input source selection 133
Channel selection . 135
Recording levels . 135
Adjusting the shotgun input . 136
Adjusting Rear and Wireless levels with Front Dial 137
Manual recording levels for CH-3 & CH-4 . 138
Audio Menus . 138
Wireless Audio . 141
Wireless Audio menus . 143
Paint Menus 145
General philosophy . 145
Dynamic Contrast Control (DCC) . 147
Overview of the Paint Menus 148
Gamma 148
Knee 151
Detail 152
Skin Detail . 153
Matrix Linear 155
Matrix Multi 155
Saturation . 159
User Setting Data Files 160
Format a Memory Stick . 162
Jump to a specific page when Memory Stick is inserted 162
Locate files on a Memory Stick 163
USER Files . 164
Save a User File 164
Load a User File 165
ALL Files 167
Settings that are not saved with ALL files 169
Create an ALL file . 169
Recall an ALL file . .170
Reset the camera to factory-default values . 170
Store your own Standard Setup . 172
Reset back to the Standard Setup 172
SCENE files 173
Choose an onboard SCENE file 176
Save a SCENE file to the onboard memory . 176
Save a modified SCENE file to the onboard memory . 177
Reset a SCENE file . 177
Save a SCENE file to a Memory Stick . 178
Load a SCENE file from a Memory Stick 179
Load five SCENE files from a Memory Stick . 180
Save five SCENE files from a Memory Stick 180
Sony's sample SCENE files 181
USER GAMMA files . 182
Load a USER GAMMA file . 183
Select a USER GAMMA curve for shooting . 184
Delete the current USER GAMMA file . 184
LENS files 185
Save a LENS file 185
Load a LENS file 186
Reset the LENS file settings 186
Proxy files . 187
Enable automatic Proxy recording to USB . 189
Copy one Proxy file to USB . 189
Copy all Proxy files to USB 190
Format a USB device . 190
Delete all Proxy files on a USB device191
Metadata . 192
Clip Name 192
Time & Date 193
Timecode . 193
Thumbnail Images . 193
Clip Flags 194
UMID . 194
Planning Metadata . 194
Disc Name . 195
Technical Metadata . 195
ShotMarks (Essence Marks) 196
User-Defined ShotMarks . 197
Planning Metadata (for clip naming) . 200
Create a Planning Metadata file . 201
Configure a Planning Metadata file for Clip Naming . 202
End Planning Metadata clip naming . 204
Exposure 205
Auto-Iris 205
Auto-Iris Speed 205
Exposure Compensation . 206
Clip High Light . 207
Auto-Iris Window . 207
Customize the Auto-Iris Window . 208
Zebra . 209
Zebra Menus . 210
Zebra 1, Zebra 2, or both? 211
Gain 212
Shutter 213
Recommended Shutter Speeds and Time vs. Angle . 214
Set the Shutter Speed 214
Extended Clear Scan (ECS) 215
Slow Shutter (SLS) . 216
Hide/Show Shutter Degree Choices . 217
ND Filters 217
Focus 218
Peaking . 218
Focus Magnification . 219
Focus Assist 219
White Balance 220
Auto Tracing White Balance (ATW) . 221
Preset White Balance 222
Custom White Balance . 224
Shockless White 226
Advanced White Balance Controls . 227
CC Filter Memory . 227
Offset White . 228
Dialing in the Color Temperature manually 230
Black Balance 231
Timecode 232
Time Data monitoring . 233
Setting the Timecode . 234
Jam-Syncing the Timecode 235
Interval Recording (Time-lapse) . 237
Auto Interval Rec mode .237
Manual Interval Rec (Consecutive) mode . 239
Manual Interval Rec (Single Shot) mode 240
Picture Cache 242
Normal Picture Cache mode 243
Notes and Tips for Picture Cache 243
Disc Exchange Picture Cache . 244
Slow & Quick Motion . 245
Notes and Tips for S&Q Motion . 245
Shooting with S&Q Motion . 246
Warnings . 247
<!> Warning Indicator Lamp . 247
Customize the <!> Warning Lamp 250
Automatic Lens Aberration Control (ALAC) 252
Automatic Pixel Replacement (APR) 252
Back Focus 253
Bars & Tone . 254
Video Playback 256
Three methods of playing back the last clip . 256
Thumbnail Screen . 258
Tips for Thumbnail Screen navigation 259
Live & Play 260
Thumbnail Menus 260
Clip Information . 261
Select Index Picture . 262
Clip Properties . 262
Delete a Clip 263
Lock a Clip . 264
Set Clip Flag . 265
Filter Clips . 265
Skip Scroll 267
Expand Thumbnail 268
Chapter Thumbnail . 268
Essence Mark Thumbnail . 269
Clip Lists 270
Add Sub Clips 272
Change the Order of Sub Clips . 273
Trim the IN/OUT points of Sub Clips 273
Delete Sub Clips 275
Clip List playback 275
Save the Clip List 276
Disc Menus . 277
Explanation of all Disc Menus 277
Importing Clips . 281
Four methods of importing . 281
Benefits of the PDW-U1 282
XDCAM Transfer — for Final Cut Pro 283
Importing via File Access Mode (i.LINK) for Windows . 286
Importing via File Access Mode (i.LINK) for Mac 287
Importing via FTP Mode (Ethernet) for Windows 288
Importing via FTP Mode (Ethernet) for Mac . 291
Display the Disc and Clip properties in a Web Browser 293
Updating the Firmware 295
Notes 296
Index 299
Back focus chart . 305
Other products from Vortex Media 306
Quick Finder chart . 307
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Old March 21st, 2010, 06:05 AM   #2
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Hi Doug,

Congratulations. Perhaps Paul could be your first customer. I suppose the PMW-350 might be nest on the agenda.? (statement and question).
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Old March 21st, 2010, 06:59 AM   #3
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David, due to an overbooked schedule this spring and summer, I don't have any plans right now to do anything for the PMW-350.
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Old March 21st, 2010, 09:46 AM   #4
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David, I am one of the first customers for the F800 book. Thanks Doug for all the hard work. I look forward to learning my new F800 with the help of your book. I will keep the book in my bag for the "How do I do this?" questions in the field.

My Vortex Media EX1 field guide lives in the camera bag and I pulled it out often.
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Old March 21st, 2010, 09:02 PM   #5
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Congrats

Doug,
Thanks for all you hard work. Im sure this will be a great help for the 700/800 owners and would be owners. Can you sign my copy?
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 05:55 AM   #6
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Dennis, aren't you hosting a book signing with drinks and refreshments in your suite at the Hard Rock while we're at NAB? That was my understanding. I 've already sent out invitiations to 500 close friends.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 07:10 PM   #7
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D,
Cats out of the bag. Yes there will be entertainment as well, so only bring wives of liberal (M)ilk.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 05:52 AM   #8
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Perfect the ad comes out on the NAB home page this week.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 07:55 AM   #9
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Fantastic! Eager to get it. Thanks for the hard work.

Thierry.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 12:00 PM   #10
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Great Guide/A must own

Doug,
Just did my first pass with your 700/800 guide. This is a must for all owners.
As you state from the start, " If the PDW-700/800 aren't the world's most advanced commercially sold cameras ever invented, Then I'd like to know what is."
It has been the bane of my existence to help other operators and post facilities to know just some of the basic functions of this camera and what to do with the files pre/post acquisition.
The layout is easy to follow, and issues can be accessed quickly. Almost a book in a PDF form. Great job. I highly recommend this for anyone considering buying a 700/800 XDCAM. And if you already have the camera, it is a must if you want to wear the title as owner/OPERATOR !!!!
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Old March 29th, 2010, 05:33 PM   #11
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First Class Work

Doug your 700/F800 field guide is excellent thank you! This book will help push me up the learning curve so much faster, and to a level I would not achieve on my own. I agree with Dennis a must for any 700/f800 camera owner.
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Old March 30th, 2010, 05:49 AM   #12
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Very detailed masterpiece

Hi Doug,

I just finished going through your field guide for the PDW-700 and PDW-F800 XDCAM HD422 cameras.

In this book is put a lot of work! It’s not just a copy from Sony’s operation manual with some features added. No, this field guide is the most detailed piece I have ever seen for such high-end professional cameras. It just covers everything. I can’t think of anything what is not said about these cameras in this well documented book. Explanation for some functions goes much further then the operation manual from Sony. It’s a walk through the whole Professional Disc concept from start to end without getting bored with unnecessary and useless information. It also contains lots of warnings, notes and tips for setting up these cameras. These with pictures illustrated tutorials of camera settings make it a breeze to use in the field.

The book itself is small enough so that it fits in every camera bag. This makes that there isn’t an excuse for not carrying it with you. Each page is color-coded so that navigating through this guide is very fast and simple. Because there is a small difference in some camera menus between the two models, a very easy menu numbering system, that always is printed in bold, leads you directly to the menu of your choice. The print quality of this book is also superb!

I completely agree with Dennis Dillon and Paul Cronin that this guide is a must have for all PDW-700 and PDW-F800 operators and future owners of these cameras. Sony should put it as an accessory on their website, brochures and manuals!

Great job Doug, thank you!
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