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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, 2007, 08:29 AM   #1
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XDHDCam is HDV?

Sitting in a class at NAB concerning tapeless aquisition there was a instructor (no name) who was going over the tapeless formats available and said that the Sony XDHDCam is truly just a HDV format not a true HD camera. Considering the price compaired to other true HD cameras it seems this may be the truth $25K with lens on the 330. Next step up would be around $40K to 50K and up. Is this true that the XDHDCam is more like HDV than HD? If so thats fine at least the audio isnt MPEG.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 09:26 AM   #2
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XDCAM uses a VBR instead of a CBR encode in many/most of its data rate settings. While it's still long GOP the VBR encode avoids many of HDVs artifact problems on fast motion. Also XDCAM can record in 4:2:2 color space in some settings rather than 4:2:0 of HDV. XDCAM records to Blu-Ray like disc and now SxS flash card rather than tape (by Sony's current implementation)

XDCAM is much closer to BetaSX (which was a Beta sized tape format also by Sony) than HDV.

This press release gives you good range of its capabilities.
http://news.sel.sony.com/en/press_ro...ase/29851.html

This wikipedia is far from complete but may give you more info
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XDCAM

Basically both XDCAM and HDV are long GOP MPEG2 encodes but they are very different given the data rate possibilities and VBR encode of XDCAM.

BTW Sony's announced 1/2" 3 Chip XDCAM EX HD cam is about the size of a PD-150 and will list for under $8000 including built in but fully manual (not interchangeable) lens.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 09:48 AM   #3
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Did this instructor explain how XDCAM records up to 35Mbps yet most HD is broadcast at 19Mbps? Does this mean that XDCAM is 1.84 times HD? HDV is 25Mbps and XDCAM is 35Mbps; does that sound equivalent? I just put up some HDV images from my Sony V1 on my friend's $6000 60" Pioneer plasma screen and they looked flawless. If 25Mbps can look perfect on the biggest screen commonly available, what does that say about XDCAM at 35Mbps?

Match the tool to the job and budget. If you are going to produce a feature with a $100Mil budget, perhaps you can afford more than XDCAM. If your market isn't $20Mil on opening weekend, even HDV looks great on the not-so-small screen. Find out the technical specifications of your broadcast market and buy or rent what is required and in the budget.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 10:13 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by John M. McCloskey View Post
Sitting in a class at NAB concerning tapeless aquisition there was a instructor (no name) who was going over the tapeless formats available and said that the Sony XDHDCam is truly just a HDV format not a true HD camera. Considering the price compaired to other true HD cameras it seems this may be the truth $25K with lens on the 330. Next step up would be around $40K to 50K and up. Is this true that the XDHDCam is more like HDV than HD? If so thats fine at least the audio isnt MPEG.
That would be like calling a DV camera not a true SD camera. XDCAMHD is not HDV. HDV is limited to a certain bitrate which is some cases may be a little low. XDCAMHD has the extra bits needed to cover those other cases where the picture may break up with a HDV camera.

It is pretty sad when an instructor at NAB can spread around twisted facts and information. If you cannot trust the instructors at NAB to get the facts straight then who can you trust?

Any form of mpeg2 be it HDV, XDCAMHD or any other custom bitrate level will be great given that the bitrate is high enough to cover what it is encoding.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 10:20 AM   #5
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It just drives you nuts doesn't it... GOP based interframe codecs work fine and look better than many considerably higher bitrate intraframe codecs.

DVCProHD looks no better than XDCAM HD, in fact in my opinion I'd give the "best looking" prize marginally to XDCAM HD.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 11:16 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info, needless to say the instructor was a big fan of P2(which is not instantly archiveable like the disk based XD). He also mentioned he had never had any luck editing the XDHDcam footage when it was shot in 32(highest recoording level). He just said it was not a reliable editing format at 32. I am very interested in getting a few of the 330's and just making sure I would be making a good choice. Im a sony guy always will be and this camera seems like a great choice inbetween HDV and HDcam senior. By the way, how much of an upgrade would you consider going from a Z1 to the 330 XDHD cam, I know the audio would be better. Just trying to gain some info prior to making a purchase. Thanks
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Old April 19th, 2007, 12:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Alex Leith View Post
It just drives you nuts doesn't it... GOP based interframe codecs work fine and look better than many considerably higher bitrate intraframe codecs.

DVCProHD looks no better than XDCAM HD, in fact in my opinion I'd give the "best looking" prize marginally to XDCAM HD.
All the manufacturers are going the way of interframe/GOP codecs. They are more efficient, period. Efficiency at the expense of computing power, which frankly, we have plenty of these days. Even Panaonic will be in that boat by the end of the year, so anybody tooting that horn is full of it, in my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John M. McCloskey
He also mentioned he had never had any luck editing the XDHDcam footage when it was shot in 32(highest recoording level). He just said it was not a reliable editing format at 32.
Either the NLE supports it or it doesn't. In FCP, which is my NLE, it's dead reliable and I've finished a few jobs in it. Way more reliable than HDV tape, which has redigitize issues.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 12:21 PM   #8
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Thanks, now what would be the a good lens with a teleconverter, not the best but a good one preferably a Fujinon. 17X or 18X zoom. I am fairly sure they start around $9,000 and go up. I would like to stay in the 9 to 11K range because we have to get several of these XDHDcams Also where are the best prices on this camera? Thanks
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Old April 19th, 2007, 10:39 PM   #9
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Craig, I have read that most HDV cameras use MPEG2 transport streams.
XDCAM HD uses MPEG2 elementary video streams.

It that related to the ideas of your post? Can you explain? thanks...
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Old April 20th, 2007, 02:19 AM   #10
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Please do not forget that the quality of the MPG stream really depends on the enconder (rememder different DVD Mpg Encoders...).

Sony put a lot of efforts into the 35mbit/s VBR HD encoding - and thats why the cam delivers such great pictures!

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Old April 20th, 2007, 07:36 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by John Bosco Jr. View Post
Oh, by the way, I'm not sold on the AVCHD format. The consumer based interframe codec, I believe, will not catch on in the prosumer market. I think a low end camera (under 10K) with AVC-Intra would be stiff competition for the Sony.
I've heard AVCHD has serious multi-generation issues at lower data rates. The image doesn't stand up well to manipulation in post.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 07:52 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by John M. McCloskey View Post
Sitting in a class at NAB concerning tapeless aquisition there was a instructor (no name) who was going over the tapeless formats available and said that the Sony XDHDCam is truly just a HDV format not a true HD camera. Considering the price compaired to other true HD cameras it seems this may be the truth $25K with lens on the 330. Next step up would be around $40K to 50K and up. Is this true that the XDHDCam is more like HDV than HD? If so thats fine at least the audio isnt MPEG.
Well John, too bad you weren't sitting in MY classroom at NAB. Too bad you didn't go by and watch Jody Eldred's presentation on the main floor (DP of NCIS, JAG, among others). You would understand by now that XDCAM HD is HD. It is a mid level HD that acts more like a high level HD. There are no editing issues with XDCAM HD. I can never find the I frame in my material unless I count from the beginning and even then I can't tell. I asked Jody this question also and he responded the same.

And BTW, never trust an instructor that has no name. (grin)

Trust me when I tell you that you will not be disappointed with the imagery of these cameras and the format they record to.

-gb-
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Old April 30th, 2007, 05:02 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by John M. McCloskey View Post
Thanks for the info, needless to say the instructor was a big fan of P2 ...
Well that does explain a lot. :)

I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't claim AVC-intra, since it's H.264/AVC -- which is about 2X more efficient than MPEG-2 -- is 2X to 4X better than XDCAM HD.

In fact, there have already been posts about what a killer AVC-intra will be -- especially at 100Mbps which is claimed to offer "near D-5 quality."

When H.264/AVC is claimed to be 2X more efficient than MPEG-2, it is assumed both have equal GOP lengths. Remove the B and P frames from MPEG-4/H.264 and it becomes significantly less efficient. In fact, it's not unreasonable to bet that I-frame only AVC (which is what AVC-itra is) -- will be about as efficient as long GOP MPEG-2.

Since AVC-intra is 4:2:2 it must be compared to XDCAM 422HD at 50Mbps. Thus, 50Mbps XDCAM 422HD should be equal in quality to 50Mbps AVC-intra.

But, what about 100Mbps AVC-intra? First, the 100Mbps version is 1920x1080 so the bit-rate really isn't double for the same image size. In fact, the increase is only about 50% more -- 75Mbps. Second, it's not clear quality scales with bit-rate when MPEG-4 gets above 50Mbps. Third, the point of AVC-intra is make P2 more acceptable by doubling recording time. Obviously, that goal is killed by 100Mbps.

Also, left out is need for 1080p50 and 1080p60. I'll bet Sony will need to double 35Mbps to 70Mbps and 50Mbps to 100Mbps. And, Pana will also have to double. Certainly 50Mbps can go to 100Mbps. But can 100Mbps go to 200Mbps? Even if it can, that's a killer for P2. That's 30 seconds per GB!
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