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Old January 21st, 2013, 04:58 PM   #1
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Vortex Media's PDW-F800 Digital Field Guide

I hope nobody minds if I mention that I've updated the content of my F800 field guide and have released it as an iBook for the iPad and iPad mini. With over 225 pages of detailed information, plus 100 pages of step-by-step tutorials, you won't find a single important topic left out.

If you’re not familiar with Apple’s new iBook file format (launched in 2012), it is sort of a cross between an ordinary eBook and a full-blown iPad app. In fact, the F800 Field Guide contains interactive features and advanced functions that a plain eBook or hard-copy field guide couldn’t dream of.

You can read about the details of the book and download a 15-page sample from the iBookstore.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/vor...ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Thanks,
Doug
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 11:35 PM   #2
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Re: Vortex Media's PDW-F800 Digital Field Guide

Hi Doug,

I have the hard copy of your F800 Field Guide and have found it very useful, Thank you!

Do the existing owners of the F800 guide get access to the updated content?

Cheers, Tim.
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Old January 24th, 2013, 02:11 AM   #3
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Re: Vortex Media's PDW-F800 Digital Field Guide

Doug, thats great news!

thx

Uli
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Old January 24th, 2013, 06:28 AM   #4
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Re: Vortex Media's PDW-F800 Digital Field Guide

Hi Tim,

Sorry, there's no way for us to offer a discounted version of the iBook for previous buyers of the printed book. All sales must go through Apple's iBookstore and there would be no way to do it. However, at $29.99, the price is 1/3 what the printed book used to cost -- and the iBook version is better.
Thanks for asking.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 02:12 AM   #5
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Re: Vortex Media's PDW-F800 Digital Field Guide

Hi Doug,

very good adaption of the book, though ibook is a bit slow on an iPad1.

Congratulations!

Uli
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Old February 3rd, 2013, 01:34 PM   #6
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Re: Vortex Media's PDW-F800 Digital Field Guide

Hi Uli,

I'm glad that you like it. I would say you are a "power user" of these cameras, so if you like the book, I must be doing something right.

Regarding the speed, I don't find it too bad at all on my first-generation iPad. Of course, faster is always better!
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Old February 4th, 2013, 10:25 AM   #7
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Re: Vortex Media's PDW-F800 Digital Field Guide

In another thread, someone suggested this guide would be helpful to PMW 500 owners as well. Is this the case? I'm particularly interested in scene files and settings, etc for different filming scenarios. Would they be the same for the 500 as the F800?

If not, do you have plans to bring out a version for the 500?

Many thanks
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Old February 4th, 2013, 04:45 PM   #8
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Re: Vortex Media's PDW-F800 Digital Field Guide

Hi Kevin,

Those are good questions, but I am hesitant to recommend the F800 field guide for owners of the PMW-500 or 700. I'd rather not have someone buy it than to be disapppointed and say "you said it was going help me!" :-)

Although many of the features and functions of the cameras are identical, the menu organization and external controls are different. So when I say go to "operation menu XYZ and change setting X" that setting will most likely be in a totally different menu location on a 500 -- and in some cases, may not not even exist at all. The F800 has a lot of advanced features that can't be found on the PDW-700, let alone the PMW-500. The book is 225 pages long with another 100 pages of step-by-step tutorials on top of that, so a user would have to use a little detective work to adapt the information for their own camera. If someone is willing to do that extra work, then they would find the book useful.

Also, since I have almost no hands-on experience shooting with a PMW-500, I cannot say how well the paint settings I recommend for the F800 will work on a PMW-500. I assume they will look fine because every camera in the whole XDCAM product line can benefit from changing the same few settings, but I cannot speak from personal experience. If nothing else, it would get someone in the right ballpark.

So, if someone is interested in learning about the overall features and functions, and not too concerned if the menus and buttons are different places, then the book is probably worth the $30 bucks. That's the best answer I can give you. Thanks for asking.
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Last edited by Doug Jensen; February 4th, 2013 at 05:04 PM. Reason: fixed typo
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Old February 4th, 2013, 04:57 PM   #9
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Re: Vortex Media's PDW-F800 Digital Field Guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Langdon View Post
I'm particularly interested in scene files and settings, etc for different filming scenarios.
Well, even F800 owners won't find a whole bunch of different scene files for various shooting scenarios in the book. I am philosophically opposed to the approach of constantly changing scene files and I believe it causes more problems that it solves. I do cover the paint menus in depth, and I do outline the recommended settings that I use myself, but I would be a hypocrite if I acted like you needed a whole bunch of different scene files to have onboard the camera. That's just nonsense and is usually promoted by people who havent' figured out a good scene file already or have the other cameras settings nailed down to go along with it. I swear there are people who are on a never-ending quest (not directed at you, Kevin) for some kind of magical settings or fariy dust that will suddenly give them great results. They would be better served by learning to master the camera in other ways. One or two scene files is really all that is needed if you're exposing properly, white balancing properly, choosing the right shutter speed and aperture, etc. I reject the whole idea that shooting with any of the XDCAM cameras requires a bunch of different scene files in your pocket, and I have yet to have anyone demonstrate to me that that approach will lead to better images and consistent results.

Of course, there are people who will strongly disagree with me, but I am still waiting for their book or ungraded samples of their work to convince me. Until then, I stand by my advice.
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Old February 5th, 2013, 02:14 AM   #10
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Re: Vortex Media's PDW-F800 Digital Field Guide

I fully understand and agree with what you're saying.

Maybe a guide to the 500 is a future project?

Ideally I'd like a paint/scene file for non graded work (which is what I'd use most of the time) and another when the pictures would be graded in post - that's all.

Are you willing to share the settings that you know produce good, consistent results?

Many thanks
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Old February 5th, 2013, 05:27 AM   #11
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Re: Vortex Media's PDW-F800 Digital Field Guide

Hi Kevin

As I said on the XDCAM user site.. Im with Doug here.. I,d rather have one set up that I like than a whole load of files stored in the camera.. maybe just old fashioned :).. each to their own anyway..

You could find the detail.. blk gamma etc .. settings you like.. then shoot REC 709 for ungraded work and hyper gamma,s for graded.. ?
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Old February 5th, 2013, 08:39 AM   #12
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Re: Vortex Media's PDW-F800 Digital Field Guide

I suggest using one of the Hypergammas for everything. I cannot envision a scenario where one of the Hypergammas would not be the best choice. REC709 is for the "other guys" who don't have the advantage of Sony's superior picture controls.
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Old February 5th, 2013, 08:55 AM   #13
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Re: Vortex Media's PDW-F800 Digital Field Guide

Thanks for that. Are you willing to expand and give information on the other paint settings that you use?
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Old February 5th, 2013, 01:37 PM   #14
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Re: Vortex Media's PDW-F800 Digital Field Guide

Kevin, that's what the book is for. In fact, it is really intended to educate the camera operator and share the knowledge that I've learned -- not just to provide a list of random settings. I do not believe in giving a list of ingredients without the rest of the recipe that goes along with it for making it all work. If someone just wants to program a bunch of menu settings into their camera without knowing why they are doing it, or how they should expose for the scene file they are creating, or what settings they should avoid using, then I am not the right person to ask.

But since you asked, you should choose a Hypergamma and drop the blacks maybe -5 to -10. That will get you 90% of the way to a decent picture on any XDCAM. Start there and then play with the settings yourself to build the look that YOU prefer. At a certain point, as long as you don't blow out the highlights or crush the blacks too deeply, scene files are just artistic choices and there is rarely a right or wrong setting. Different looks for different folks.
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Old February 5th, 2013, 03:56 PM   #15
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Re: Vortex Media's PDW-F800 Digital Field Guide

Thanks for that. The only problem with the net is that there's so much information, that's it's easy to lose oneself. I think you're right, I'll go back to basics and decide what I like rather than be influenced by other information. I suppose it's only natural when you have a new toy to read up about it, but sometimes you've got to cut through and find what's right for you.
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