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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 February 1st, 2007, 04:27 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by David Heath
Factually all true. But is that complexity now NECESSARY? And with Infinity now proving that broadcast quality video can be recorded to a Compact Flash card, the answer must be no, no matter how much Panasonic would like us to believe otherwise. Or at least, I don't believe it's worth the huge difference in cost/GB for the vast majority of users.


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The Infinity uses Rev Pro, which is based on a 2.5" hard drive, not flash memory. Like the XDCAM disks, these are reusable and you can record various formats as required.

No doubt broadcast cameras will use flash memory, however, it remains to be seen if they'll use consumer memory cards. At present the trend is towards high data rates for HD, which would point to needing larger memory storage than most consumers require, plus higher quality control.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 05:42 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale
The Infinity uses Rev Pro, which is based on a 2.5" hard drive, not flash memory.
Having just checked the Infinity does take flash memory, although Thompson seem to be pushing the Rev Pro more. Certainly, the cost advantage and capacity is currently with the Rev Pro.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 06:00 PM   #18
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Having just checked the Infinity does take flash memory, although Thompson seem to be pushing the Rev Pro more. Certainly, the cost advantage and capacity is currently with the Rev Pro.
My opinion is that the beauty of the Infinity (at least in concept) is that it is EITHER a Compact Flash camera OR a RevPro camera, depending on circumstance. CF has the solid state advantages of P2 (at a much lower price), whilst RevPro has the consumable media advantages of XDCAM. Use whichever is most appropiate for the job. Or maybe record to both at the same time - the CF version becomes the instantly available recording, the RevPro is the zero effort archive.

But the advantage of XDCAM is that it is available NOW. Infinity is still a couple of months away, though apparently the delay was due to a change of chip. I believe it will now ship with a 1920x1080 CMOS chip. And hence get over some of the power/weight issues which have led to some criticism.

It's also worth mentioning that the max size currently available for P2 is only 8GB, compared to 16GB for Compact Flash. Hopefully RevPro will have a max capacity of 70GB by launch, in this case well up from the max of XDCAM.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 06:13 PM   #19
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Hmm...

I don't buy the flash argument. The thing is with XDCAM is that it's a convenient medium for both shooting and long term storage, and it's random-access nature makes it a lot more appealing than DV tape, obviously.

Flash on the other hand is a superb short-term medium, but long term? I dunno. How many stills photographers keep their shots stored on flash? None. They all transfer them to optical media for long-term storage. Which begs the question; if you can record direct to the longer term medium, why bother with the middle-guy? Who wants to spend their evenings moving from one storage media to another when you can just eject the disk and pop it straight on the shelf?

Unless flash gets really cheap - like 5 or less for 20+ Gb, and we start treating it as "disposable" media, I don't see it taking over. Nor do I see XDCAM domainating in it's current format, 23Gb just isn't enough, and the format sill a little too proprietary - but what we can say with certainly is that tape is all but dead (sorry for saying that guys!); the future is going to be a random access device of some description.

Personally, I'd put my bet on optical of some kind, but I think both flash and hard disk drives will help to push the boundary.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 03:57 AM   #20
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[QUOTE=David Heath]My opinion is that the beauty of the Infinity (at least in concept) is that it is EITHER a Compact Flash camera OR a RevPro camera, depending on circumstance. CF has the solid state advantages of P2 (at a much lower price), whilst RevPro has the consumable media advantages of XDCAM. Use whichever is most appropiate for the job. Or maybe record to both at the same time - the CF version becomes the instantly available recording, the RevPro is the zero effort archive.

QUOTE]

Both have their advantages, although my problem with the compact flash cards is the size. They're too small, you can hardly write the contents on the outside, which in a large organisation with large amounts of recording media going through is vital. There are lots of circumstances in which the recording has to be handed on, rather than downloaded on location.

A credit card sized flash memory would be much handier and also easier to find on the desks covered in files and papers that are commonly found in production and newsrooms. Hmmmm... whatever happened to the paperless office?
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 05:50 AM   #21
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Both have their advantages, although my problem with the compact flash cards is the size. They're too small, you can hardly write the contents on the outside, ............
Fair point, but the same could be said of DVCAM tapes which I and many others routinely use, and I believe the recommendation is that nothing is ever physically written on a P2 card itself anyway. (And certainly no labels stuck on!) Mini DVCAM comes in a somewhat outsized box compared to mini DV, which I find gives enough space for writing, whilst still being pocketable. Exactly the same could be applied to CF.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 06:20 AM   #22
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Fair point, but the same could be said of DVCAM tapes which I and many others routinely use, and I believe the recommendation is that nothing is ever physically written on a P2 card itself anyway. (And certainly no labels stuck on!) Mini DVCAM comes in a somewhat outsized box compared to mini DV, which I find gives enough space for writing, whilst still being pocketable. Exactly the same could be applied to CF.
Hope they allow you to put a number or letter on each P2, just as on film magazines. Although, with the current prices you'd want to download rather than risk getting a P2 lost inside post production at a broadcaster.

Memory Sticks allow you to write on them, so it shouldn't be a problem if the flash memory is designed to take a label. If they plan to replace tape etc., where it gets physically handed around it's something they'll have to consider. Also, you often don't have time to download on location.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 06:39 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by David Heath
Have you ever heard a professional stills photographer complain about Compact Flash?
For data integrity..yes. And that photographer was me. I lost some wedding pics to a corrupted compact flash card some years ago. Besides, until recently, the larger capacity CF cards were using a microdrive and weren't really solid state. Just recently, I had a 256 mb sd card die when saving a corrected image back to the reader. And it completely died, won't format or anything. Fortunately, I had just dumped the contents of the card to the PC and didn't lose anything.

Don't get me wrong, I support XDCAM over P2 mainly because of cost. But I feel that XDCAM will be here for awhile. It will evolve over time, but to me it's the right combination of factors including price, integrity (shelf life estimate of 50 years), length of record time (another P2 hindrance IMHO), etc.

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In use, yes, but the other factor is annual sales, which is what obviously matters to manufacturers. And here my suspicion is that it won't have high sales for as many years as formats such as BetaSP, DigiBeta or DVCAM. In which sense the tag 'interim' has validity.
Hmm, I guess you have to define 'interim' then because I can almost assure you that once a major network implements the necessary infrastructure to support a given format, they won't be changing for awhile. Large network operations can't react to the latest and greatest like the small guys can.

In one sense, all formats are 'interim' because they will be supplanted at some point. But if XDCAM goes 7 to 10 years, that will be plenty for folks to get a good ROI, given the lower cost of newer cameras and decks. And that will make the freelancers who supply the networks very happy.

In the end, we'll all just have to wait and see. None of us really knows for sure.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 08:25 AM   #24
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Hmm, I guess you have to define 'interim' then because I can almost assure you that once a major network implements the necessary infrastructure to support a given format, they won't be changing for awhile.
I won't dispute that, but it's not really the argument. In the case of such as Beta or DVCAM, networks have adopted it at a rate of x networks per year for a period of maybe 10 years or more as they come to their natural replacement cycle. Result: 10x networks using that format.

If we assume that x networks now switch to XDCAM per year, but that the trend only lasts for 2-3 years before "Format X" comes along and everybody starts to go for that, the total number using it is then only 2x or 3x. If you only work for one client, this is largely irrelevant (you use what they want), but if you work for many it becomes very relevant.

Hence the distinction between a format in use, and a format achieving high current sales. Beta still meets the first distinction, but definately not the second.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 08:48 AM   #25
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Hence the distinction between a format in use, and a format achieving high current sales. Beta still meets the first distinction, but definately not the second.
Lots of Betacam kit out there (those cameras last a long time), especially on high end productions. Also, HDCAM is a development of Betacam and those cameras selling often as HD upgrades to Betacam kit. However, I don't think you could ever regard Betacam as a mass market product, it was always a professional format intended for use by broadcasters.

At the moment there is a state of flux regarding the formats, although so far as delivery to broadcasters is concerned Digibeta and HDCam seem to be pretty common standards.
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