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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 January 1st, 2007, 08:33 PM   #1
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How Do XDCAM and the HD100 Cut Together?

Happy New Year! I've got an HD100, and am looking to get a second camera. I'll be shooting dramas for national release in various retail channels, so it needs to look good. Has anyone had experience shooting with the XDCAM and HD100, then cutting them together? I'm wondering if there's a huge difference in the quality, or if they're close enough and I used the HD100 footage as primarily B-roll, if it would work? I don't have the scratch to buy two new cams, but could spring for an F330 with a decent lens.

Thanks!
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Old January 1st, 2007, 10:17 PM   #2
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Hi Keith.

We have dones exactly that. We tested the F-350 with the HD100 and they work well together. Of course you can spot the difference in quality if you look at the footage on a good monitor at full resolution. The HD100 is less crisp especially if you upsize to 1080. If you downsize the F350 footage to 720p then you'll be able to intercut without problems. With 1080 you can still do it but you have to be careful about lighting the scene right so that the HD100 footage is as sharp as possible.
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Old January 1st, 2007, 10:42 PM   #3
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Paolo's right. He's achieved remarkable results with the cameras at 720 but 1080's, IMHO, out of the question. In drama, focusing the audience's attention to a specific area is critical and the importance of this increases exponentially in 16:9 relative to 4:3. With the added real estate, whole new worlds open up to you but unless you're on top of your game cinematographically, the results can be disasterous. Control your depth of field as judicially as you attend to focus and match your lenses and shots so the backgrtound doesn't constantly wander in and out of depth and you'll have surprising results. The XDCAM is an amazing instrument but it will show your shortcomings in the focus and lighting area faster than you can say HD. That's why I have so much respect for Rodney Charters and his team working in concert with the director, usually John Cassar for the past 40 or so episodes on "24". And it's why I enjoy our time together talking about his craft. Planning, executing and achieving those types of shots is incredibly difficult but when you nail it in HD, the results are worthy of standing ovations. But when you miss it, boy is it evident. Last weeks "Shark" is a good example of thee problems and that show is typicaly very good I think. At least I can't remember seeing that many shots missing the mark.

For 2nd Unit, we did an interview with another real professional, Jody Eldred, who took a 1/3" Sony and intercut it with an F-900 (I believe) on JAG. (See www.2nd-Unit.tv and click on "Previous Episodes") The shot was with a very, very deep depth of field as helicopters fired on an ocean-going destroyer with Jody in a helo above. He tells the story of taking the 1/3" Sony and shooting the helo gunship below firing on the destroyer and then intercutting it into the series and no one could pick it out. Now, is that the camera or is it Jody. It's both and it's a deep depth of field. In a dramatic series, it's much more difficult to get away with but the more knowlegable and proficient you are at your craft, the better chance you'lll have. I hope this helps. Just remember the smaller the screen, the better your chances. It's rather like a mechanic's tool box. Two tools can get the job done but one is the right one.
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 04:32 AM   #4
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Maybe the Sony V-1 for b-roll...

I've had the HD100 and have the highest respect for it, but got the 1080P bug and there was no cure I could afford except XDCAM HD.

I'm thinking of what small camera I want to match it best as a smaller b-roll or POV camera, and I can't see anything else in the marketplace except the little CMOS Sony, I guess it's called the V1.

I'm certain that it's not as good overall as the HD100, but at 1080 24P I think it will cut together better, plus for the "small" camera to complement the big old PDW-F350L, smaller is truer to that function and that sucker is tiny.

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Old January 2nd, 2007, 08:34 AM   #5
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Thanks, gentlemen, that's exactly the kind of information I'm looking for. If I might further impose...

I don't know if any of you work much on the East Coast, but if so, do you know any experienced D.P.s out here, especially that are familiar with shooting drama on digital cams? I'm in Maryland, close to Baltimore and D.C. The pickins appear to be pretty slim out here, but it may be that I'm looking in the wrong places.
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 10:00 AM   #6
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Let me call our sponsors at Sony. They should know someone on the East Coast..
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 10:26 AM   #7
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Tip's also correct; another gentleman we've had the pleasure of working with on 2nd Unit with Tip about the most experienced with camera and sound.

As to 1080p, everything we do is with an eye toward future-proofing our equipment and that's one of the leading reasons we continue to be so supportive of the XDCAM for all filmmakers but independent, budget-conscious filmmakers especially. I don't believe any other camera will give you the top of the line performance in the $25k acquisition price arena allowing you to consentrate on the glass through which the image comes.

Sony's 1080p via HD-SDI should be your camera of choice with the discussions we've had relative to your dramatic aspirations. But to date, Discovery HD is the only network (I believe) with that as the "preferred format" for producers. Virtually everything else is still interlaced. But that will change at a pace never before seen with the number of 1080p sets already available and the multi-million dollar advertising campaign behind this superior resolution. If you look back in history, in the early 1960s, the making of one of the more enduring series, "Bonanza" was, for no other reason, than to push the sales of the new "color" tv format. Today, we're seing the same thing with 1080p. Thus, shooting now in 1080p allows you to certify your work's compatibility with early adopters of the 1080p format for broadcast with networks like Discovery HD while allowng for the compatibility of your work all the way down the spectrum via downsizing. And you future-proof your investment.
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 01:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Ames
If you look back in history, in the early 1960s, the making of one of the more enduring series, "Bonanza" was, for no other reason, than to push the sales of the new "color" tv format. Today, we're seing the same thing with 1080p.
Well, I'd say that we're seeing the same thing with HD in general, not just 1080P. They are tagging show openings with, "In HD, where available". In the early 60's it was shows like Bewitched and Bonanza that had, "In Color" at the opening credits.

-gb-
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