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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 April 19th, 2010, 05:19 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
Only other limitation is 35mb/s codec - some broadcasters etc may not be happy with that.
If you need CCD and 50 mb/s codec and have the extra £20,000 then get a PDW800, if not the 350 should is pretty much the pick of the bunch at the moment.
I agree with that. I wish the PMW350 had the 50Mbs codec as standard - but if essential there's always the nanoFlash option. In that case - are CCDs really worth an extra £18,000? :-)

Of course, if you want solid-state, that's another thing in the 350s favour, let alone things like much lower power consumption. Some actively want disc recording, to avoid field downloading, but solid-state is gaining ground quickly.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 05:22 PM   #17
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Hi Paul,
I hear that the F800 is power hungry.
In comparison:
How many hours can you operate a PMW 350 & the F800 on a fully charged battery with the viewfinder powered on?
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Old April 19th, 2010, 06:23 PM   #18
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Ah yes the F800 is power hungry. When I was using the 350 I had two 130wh batteries and always had about 1/2 of one left at the end of a 8-10 hr day. The F800 takes three full 130wh batteries in the same time. So the F800 takes about twice the watt hours in the same time.

David if they put 422 50mbps in the 350 I think it would be flying off the shelf.

I don't agree about SxS over optical disk. Optical disk are great shoot and you are archived. I also still have my EX1 and only use the Nano clips which are great. But archive is a lot more work.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 06:33 PM   #19
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Paul, you have the advantage because you've actually owened both cameras, but I'm surprised there isn't even bigger difference between them. I would have expected the ratio to be at least 3:1
If the F800 is only twice as power hungry as the 350, I think that's pretty good.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 06:45 PM   #20
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Paul, I have one last question and since you have owned the 350 you may have the answer.
In preparation for tomorrow's test drive, where there will be no opportunity for A/B testing, I have been scouring the net for reviews and user opinions in re the PMW 350. One poster in particular seemed to imply that skew was a bigger issue for the PMW 350 than for the EX1/3. It was my understanding that it was no greater but I would appreciate your experience.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 06:54 PM   #21
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David if they put 422 50mbps in the 350 I think it would be flying off the shelf.
And how many $35,000 PDW800s would they sell then? Not many! Have we discovered the reason why they've not included 50 mb/s or is it just not technically possible (this is a rhetorical question!)
Same goes for Pann HPX300 not having 1/2"+ chips. We have a half-camera from each company!
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Old April 19th, 2010, 06:55 PM   #22
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Doug that has been what my notes say so far on battery power but I left out one very important detail. I always shot the 350 powering the Nano off the D-Tap so your 3:1 is most likely more accurate.

Ron I have not shot with the EX3 only my EX1 and I would say the skew is about the same on the 350. I am shutting down for the night so good luck on your testing tomorrow I hope you enjoy your time with the 350.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 07:02 PM   #23
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Steve I disagree. I shot the 350 with the nano and at 50-100mbps 422 and still went for the F800. The CCD is better and you know that having shot with both EX and F800. They would sell more 350's at 422 50Mbps but the Nano gives it the nice upgrade. There are also a ton of other features that make the F800 worth the extra money IF YOUR CLIENTS know the difference. Just like glass you can buy a long lens for $2k and some clients will be happy but others will demand high quality glass. Nice that there is a tool that fits all of our needs.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 08:39 PM   #24
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With everything on and recording, the PMW-350 draws 17W vs. 40W for the PDW-700/F800. CCDs are power hungry, the disc mecanism only uses around 6W while recording. A PDW-F800 with the PMW-350's CMOS chip would most likely only be around 22W. Could be an interesting alternative...

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Old April 19th, 2010, 08:45 PM   #25
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I feel there is not much to loose for Sony to add 50mbps record capability to the PMW-350. It may steal a few 700/F800 sales but I think most buyers of those cameras want the CCD and disc recording capability anyway. It would be great if this feature would be offered in some form or firmware/software upgrade.

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Old April 20th, 2010, 04:04 AM   #26
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Steve I disagree. I shot the 350 with the nano and at 50-100mbps 422 and still went for the F800.
I get the feeling you'd be in a huge minority though Paul. It'd be different if the prices were similar, or even on the same planet, but they're miles apart. Here in the UK from one main dealer: PDW350 with lens £13,500, PDW800 £26,500 + colour viewfinder £5,500 + cheapish lens £7,000 for total of £39,000!
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Old April 20th, 2010, 08:34 AM   #27
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Agree Steve for most it does not matter. But I shoot fast motion and it makes all the difference. Tomorrow we will shoot 6 hrs (three tanks) from the helicopter which I do often. When I did this with the 350 it does not give me the same results as the F800. When flying at 20' doing a fly over at 100kts the cameras are being pushing to the limit and for me I need the CCD and the price difference is paid back very quickly.

The higher bit rate of the Nano and 422 helped but it does not make up for the CMOS problem with this type of extreme shooting. One of the many reasons I stated the following.
"Nice that there is a tool that fits all of our needs."
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Old April 20th, 2010, 09:25 AM   #28
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Just to throw in my two cents.

I think it needs to be said that the differences between the F800 and the PMW-350 go well beyond just comparing bit rates, sensor type, and power consumption. There are huge differences between the cameras when you start adding up all the dozens of features and functions the F800 has that the 350 does not. For example, proxy files, custom user menus, custom gamma curves, 1080P overcranking, 4 channels of 24 bit uncompressed audio, user assign functions (not the same as assign buttons), dual SDI output, more paint settings, All files, User files, custom user box, Planning Metadata, custom iris window, custom warning lights, optical CC filters, 30 second cache, cuts-only editing in the camera, digital extender, image invert, superior viewfinder, stronger/heavier body, and much more. But the number one advantage is the simplified workflow and archiving of optical discs vs. SxS cards. That alone saves me dozens of hours every single month.

Time is money and my time is valuable. So for me, the F800 will actually cost me less than a 350 over the course of its lifetime when you look at the time I'd waste wrangling data. All the extra benefits of an F800 vs. a 350 are just a bonus.
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Old April 20th, 2010, 10:15 AM   #29
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Doug, I'd say that for most people none of those things are a big issue, or rather a big enough issue to be worth spending all that extra cash. Not by a long shot.

Big note on "1080P overcranking" - that's not the whole truth as you will know. It's overcranking at 1920x540, so in actual fact it gives almost exactly the same resolution as the overcranking on the 350 (ie 1280x720).

I too liked the disc workflow, but we all know that more people want solid state than anything else now.

My guess would be that if you put 50mb/s on the 350 the market share vs the PDW800 would be 90%-10% in favour of the 350. Just a guess of course, but I do think it would hit it that hard.

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Old April 20th, 2010, 10:56 AM   #30
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They are both excellent cameras. The PDW-F800 is almost certainly a better camera than the PMW-350, but the difference is very small. Once you fully embrace the Solid State workflow and have a sound backup system in place it is very easy and very fast. I find working with optical disc to be very slow in comparison. How spoilt we have become, now I'm moaning about the speed of the workflow, which only 5 years ago was soooo much faster than anything I had ever used before.

Value for money, bang for the buck, the PMW-350 is astonishing, the overall package is very very good and there is little that it can't do. But if the budget demands (and can afford) the best you can get then the F800 would be the more appropriate choice.

Stuck in the US with only a 56k data modem, in a hotel with no internet, Grrrrr, it's like having a hand cut off!
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