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Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts
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Old March 24th, 2006, 10:45 PM   #1
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XLH1 XDcam hd CA

Hi all,

I was at a meeting where Sony had a very nice seminar on the xdcam series.
I got to see footage shot out doors locally, not preproduced clips.

It was displayed on a new 30K hd crt monitor and the image was very impressive. It was interesting to hear all of the features offered by this camera that lists for 24K + lens. What caught me was how the Canon H1 offered very similar features and in that light put the Canon in my mind reasonably priced for the image it produces.

I want to also point out that this camera (xdcam hd) had a 15k lens on it and guess what it also suffered CA in high contrast areas! It was less that what I have seen on my H1 but still present. The folks from Sony made it clear to buy the best glass you can afford to reduce the CA just as many have pointed out in the forums here.

This forum continues to be a great source of information and I was surprised how much I already knew from reading the posts here vs what was being explained today.


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Old March 25th, 2006, 07:39 AM   #2
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Interesting catch that you were seeing CA. The XDCAM HD I saw this week didn't have a production lens on it so I wonder if the model you saw had one as well.
As far as features I think it is hard to compare the two cameras quite so quickly and say they are comparable. Ie the viewfinder on the XDCAM looked sharp enough to focus with while the standard viewfinder for the XLH1 is not. The XDCAMHD disc footage is non linear while the HDV tape is not. Sony has three data rates of HD to disc, XLH1 has only one. That being said the feature set of the XLH1 is very rich and it can produce amazing pictures.
Of course Sony hasn't gotten everything right with the XDCAM HD.Taking their cue from the current DSR-400 design they have elminated Audio VU meters for the soundman but left the door where all the switches and knobs are as a flip out panel. You can see Audio on the monitor and in the viewfinder but seeing it is blocked by the cameraman for the most part. I am not sure how the sound man is supposed to flip monitor switches to listen to one channel or the other while the cameraman holds the camera on his or her shoulder? The design of the BVW-600 audio monitoring was better.
Also as far as price they do have the 17K model which doesn't do the fancy frame rates. I expect to see a lot of those as news cameras.
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Old March 25th, 2006, 10:09 AM   #3
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The camera that was used was a pre production camera and I am not sure about the lens. The person giving the dicussion works out of LA and does alot of tech support with HD for film. Both he and the other rep were very forward about the need for using the best "read most expensive" lens you can afford. They said it would be better to get the less expensive xdcam hd and put the difference into a better lens. Many here have expressed the same comments.

My references to the xdcam/h1 were more feature oriented as a cam and not a recorder, the hdv has proved if handled thoughtfully produces very good pictures. I do think more bits to record are better and the nonlinear aspect is more than a plus as well as the cost and shelf life. This was always my concern with P2 how do you archive, maybe one the lower end opticals would be usefull for that purpose.

They did address the focus issues with hd and pointed out even with the viewfinder on supplied with the cams (approx 600 lines res) are still difficult
to get the best focus. They do offer a 12K viewfinder for the cinealta
that does have the resolution!

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Old March 25th, 2006, 12:29 PM   #4
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I was also really just conveying my impressions of the XD camera as well. It is very hard for me to seperate camera from recording capabilities in the field since that is most of what I do. At the meeting I was at the Sony rep said the lens was not the production model.
I know that focus on the supplied XDCAM viewfinder is still not the best but it certainly felt similar to my experiences with Varicam and HDCAM Eng viewfinders. Much better than the XLH1. The XLH1 viewfinders only feature I might miss is its in color. The XDCAM has a seperate LCD for that. By the way the more expensive XDCAM HD camera does seem to have a bigger viewfinder.. 2" as opposed to 1.5".
As for the approach of buying a better lens and the cheaper body I might agree with you for some shoots but in my experience my choice of lens has not been completely reimbursed by the market since the rental companies usually put lower quality glass on the rental units which everyone else seem to base their prices on. However the top of the line body does have features which could keep it working longer than the cheaper model. This is something my partner are bouncing back and forth as and if we decide to buy one.
My feeling is the only lenses made for this camera are coming out this month and we will know pretty soon how bad the low end is compared to the high end. If it turns out the lenses are poor then the 1/2 inch sensor will turn out to be a mistake since there are good 2/3 HD lenses and cameras already and the cost of the body is only one part of the equation. People will wait for the 2007 dual sided XDCAM to hang off their 2/3 inch HD lenses.
One place I would investigate on saving money is the 2x extender question. My feeling is I would go without it since it always adds thousands of dollars to the price of the lens and I use it infrequently.

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Old March 25th, 2006, 12:46 PM   #5
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This seemed to be oriented more toward XDCAM HD, so I've moved it here from the H1 board.

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Old April 7th, 2006, 06:32 PM   #6
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The Race

Just a comment...

The 1/2 inch segment of this market has never come into its own properly. In theory it is a great solution for those who seek superior results than your "run of the mill" 1/3 inch offerings, but can't afford or justify the 2/3 inch price point, but in actuality in boils down to what you can afford to pay and that is broken into two distinct buyers, the have and have-nots. If you have, then you go for the 2/3 inch because it is the best, and if you have not you dig into your personal pocket or credit card and by 1/3 inch. The minority in the middle (1/2) get jipped because there is not enough revenue for the manufacturers to bring the value up for the 1/2 inch segment.

Whether you have or have not depends on your customers, their expectations and their ability to pay. We all want to produce the best quality possible but we are left to work with the tools we can afford to buy. The catch twenty-two is you need to show the top quality footage to get the top quality client and unfortunately some customers can't see the talent behind the lens/editor, all they see is your modest HDV camcorder.

So we're left climbing this steep ladder of technology hoping to acquire the right tool to adequately reflect our creative vision. The irony is, when you acquire your holy grail of acquisition equipment, it is almost immediately replaced by a better, stronger, faster, CHEAPER piece of equipment that puts you back in this rat race all over again.

Now I am no cynic, I actually love what I do, and I live for the race. Sometimes it just feels good to say what the @%$# is going on here?

Last edited by Jerry Matese; April 8th, 2006 at 08:41 AM.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 11:20 PM   #7
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Chuck do you remember the name of the Sony guy who did the talking?
I have a dream that one day canon will release a 35mm ef to xl adapter and I'll have iris control and a 35mm dof of all my ef lenses, and it will be awesome...
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Old April 8th, 2006, 03:24 AM   #8
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I noticed some CA on the shots I took the other day while using a Canon HJ17 attached via the 2/3" adaptor. That took me by surprise somewhat considering how expensive the lens is. Although thinking about it the HJ17 is merely the high def rated equivilent of the J17, so it isn't the very high end of lenses.

I didn't have much problems with focus. The peaking comes in handy.
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