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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old September 26th, 2007, 12:55 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Smet View Post
Going with mp4 instead of MXF made sense in a lot of ways//If you really must have MXF for a NLE then the conversion tool is very fast and it converts during transfer to your internal drives. Re-wrapping is very fast. There are even free tools out there to strip out the m2v stream from a mp4 file if you really must do that. Again these tools are very fast. I'm actually glad SONY decided to use a more open format.
Thomas - - I'm editing on Avid Xpress Pro... so I'm pretty sure I'll have to convert to MXF. I've been worrying about this, but your post makes me hopeful that maybe I don't need to. Question: if footage I shoot on an EX (if I get one) is converted during transfer... does this mean real-time playback and capture (as I'm doing now, on tape), or is there still a way to drag-and-drop from ExpressCard to Avid Xpress Pro (faster than real time)?
thanks for any advice on this.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 01:13 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by David Parks View Post
It seems to me that the EX is squarely aimed at the HVX 200 and small shops 1 to 3 employees like mine. The interesting thing to me is that Sony did draw a line between the 330/350 XCDAM HD and EX lines with the fact the the EX records MP4 wrapper and XDCAM HD uses MXF, allowing direct and fast editing with Avids. So if your a big market TV station or post house you're likely to stick with the 330/350 because you don't have to convert to MXF like you would the EX. I really can't speak for smaller markets. Do they edit predominantly with Adobe and Apple FCP??? I know that end to end Avid setups are still widely used here for broadcast.

I'm not a TV station under intense deadline pressures. Relatively speaking, I have the time to convert.

Cheers

By the way, HVX 200 is also MXF encoded. It will be interesting to see if that codec wrapper starts to fade or become a standard.
David,

Actually on AVID, the MXF import process is not that simple. There are different flavors of MXF. Sony's XDCAM and XDCAM HD uses the MXF OP-1A file structure (audio is interleaved with video) but AVID uses MXF-Atom (audio and video are kept independent). So, when you are importing XDCAM or XDCAM HD MXF files in AVID, they are first unwraped and then rewraped as MXF-Atom. That is a fairly time consuming process and I expect that importing XDCAM EX files into AVID may just be as fast if not faster.

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Old September 26th, 2007, 01:14 PM   #33
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Sorry to keep saying it, but the EX1 is NOT aimed at ENG. That's not to say someone won't use it in that capacity. It is meant to be a wedding/event shooter's camera with larger sensors and better lens controls than were previously available in this price range and form factor.

Yes Craig, you do see HVX200's being used for ENG in some locales. But they also don't seem to be holding up to the rigors of daily ENG usage. That's not to say it's a bad camera, just that it wasn't intended to be used as a daily news camera. That's much more suited to the HPX-500 or the 2000 or 3000 series full size units. And every seasoned news photographer detests the use of non-standard, non-shoulder mount cameras. They have limitations that make the wide variety of ENG scenarios very frustrating at times. BTW Craig, your email addy in your profile is NG. Please update it so I can respond to your private mail messages.

The VJ concept has also been tried in some places and it seems to not be working well either. Trying to get one person to do two or three very specialized jobs at once leads to a lower quality product on the air and has hurt the ratings of some of those stations. There are excellent reporters, and there are excellent cameramen. There are very few that are excellent at both, let alone being able to fully deliver on both disciplines at the same time. Trying to get one person to do multiple jobs always looks good on paper, but rarely pans out in real numbers. How long would it take you to wash, dry, and wax your car? Now let 5 or 6 car wash employees go after it and see how teamwork makes a big difference in time saved.

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Old September 26th, 2007, 01:46 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Greg Boston View Post
Sorry to keep saying it, but the EX1 is NOT aimed at ENG. That's not to say someone won't use it in that capacity. It is meant to be a wedding/event shooter's camera with larger sensors and better lens controls than were previously available in this price range and form factor.

Yes Craig, you do see HVX200's being used for ENG in some locales. But they also don't seem to be holding up to the rigors of daily ENG usage. That's not to say it's a bad camera, just that it wasn't intended to be used as a daily news camera. That's much more suited to the HPX-500 or the 2000 or 3000 series full size units. And every seasoned news photographer detests the use of non-standard, non-shoulder mount cameras. They have limitations that make the wide variety of ENG scenarios very frustrating at times. BTW Craig, your email addy in your profile is NG. Please update it so I can respond to your private mail messages.

The VJ concept has also been tried in some places and it seems to not be working well either. Trying to get one person to do two or three very specialized jobs at once leads to a lower quality product on the air and has hurt the ratings of some of those stations. There are excellent reporters, and there are excellent cameramen. There are very few that are excellent at both, let alone being able to fully deliver on both disciplines at the same time. Trying to get one person to do multiple jobs always looks good on paper, but rarely pans out in real numbers. How long would it take you to wash, dry, and wax your car? Now let 5 or 6 car wash employees go after it and see how teamwork makes a big difference in time saved.

-gb-
I'm going to agree and disagree with Greg on this one.

I agree that the VJ concept is inferior in terms of production quality. I have seen reporters fresh out of school over expose and mis white balance hundreds of hours of footage. It is very rare to find some one who has the skills to manage both jobs reporting a story and shooting great video.

I disagree that it failing or going away. The ad dollars at local stations has been going down for some time. For that mater a compelling case can be made that local and national TV news is a dwindling media. The only way local stations can compete with other media (cable, direct marketing, web, print) is to lower their labor cost and increase productivity. The sales pitch that was made to them with the VJ concept is that they could cover more local stories because their workflow and speed would be better then the station still waiting for both the photog and reporter to arrive at the story.

The HVX has been widely used, in particularly internationally, for ENG work. Agreed the EX and HVX are not really rugged enough for the kind of abuse that ENG causes but the cams are a quarter of their full size counter parts.

I am not a fan of the VJ concept but it will continue to be a big part of ENG. The EX will be a big hit with ENG if it's lens lives up to the hype and the workflow and storage are improved over P2.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 02:05 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Greg Boston View Post
Sorry to keep saying it, but the EX1 is NOT aimed at ENG. . . . -gb-
The market may decide otherwise. I'm certainly am not a fan of 1 person crews but they seem to be quite common and growing FWIW.

NY1 is one example, Now RNN just outside of NYC too. I'm seeing 1 person crews with HVX200s in many places. I've heard others are seeing Z1s in other markets BTW. Certainly the BBC was using Sony PD-150s and so was CNN in some cases.

BTW it's not the "lead" reporters who are on the 1 person crews. It's the folks who might only be gathering b-roll for VO type stories and getting an occasional shot at setting themselves up on camera.

While the EX1 will no doubt do well enough in the wedding/event market, I don't think HD-SDI is a strong "sell" in that market.

Sony certainly wouldn't market it against the 335/355 just as Panasonic wouldn't market the HVX200 against the 500/2000/3000 in the ENG market but the "market" has a way of deciding this. DV wasn't supposed to be "professional" either if I recall when Sony came out with the VX1000.

Only time will tell but my hunch is that the cable news market will be buying EX1s and they'll use the SDI out for Standard Def (converting to DVCPro50 or IMX my guess) "on the fly."

The ONLY thing I see preventing a "budget" decision to go with the EX1 for some ENG uses is that it's HD only so it depends on whether such organizations accept an SDI to some SD conversion as part of the workflow.

What I see in my market (NYC) and why NY1 News (and others) use small cameras in some cases seem to be that it can often be easier for someone to get to a story via subway rather than van in NYC traffic. It's often easier to throw a small camera in a cab or car when the news vans aren't available. There's also the need to have a "throw away" camera in some environments. Durability? You can burn through a few EX1s for the price of a 355.

Greg, I'm not saying it will REPLACE the 335/355 but it's going to become a well used supplement IMHO.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 02:27 PM   #36
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We're kind of going off topic of EX1 details.

One place I see a lot of conversion to video with more manageable sized cameras is traditional print media. Newspapers now have web sites and are starting to use video for that, and by using HD, the stills they can lift are of sufficient quality to print.

No doubt about it that these cameras make great supplemental units to their full size cousins. But some stations tried to go VJ across the board, and that was a bit extreme IMO.

Overall though, I'm just thankful that the proliferation of new uses for media has increased the demand for video at both ends of the spectrum. But as always, it comes down to using the right tool for the job at hand. I've been known to pull a spark plug or two with channel lock pliers, but it's much less frustrating to do it with a properly sized deep socket with internal rubber boot. If I had to remove and replace spark plugs all day, every day, I know which tool I'd reach for.

My statement about the EX1 not being aimed at the ENG market is Sony's assertion, not mine. How it gets used, as has been stated, will be determined by the end users just like mini-dv, then HDV.

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Old September 26th, 2007, 02:55 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Greg Boston View Post
We're kind of going off topic of EX1 details.-gb-
I guess the on topic tech detail would be what's coming down the HD-SDI port. I believe it would be 8 bit uncompressed 4:2:2 but does that included Time Code if it were reading it off the express card?

I'm also wondering if it'll write to card and send out HD-SDI simultaneously with matching code?
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Old September 26th, 2007, 03:50 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
I guess the on topic tech detail would be what's coming down the HD-SDI port. I believe it would be 8 bit uncompressed 4:2:2 but does that included Time Code if it were reading it off the express card?

I'm also wondering if it'll write to card and send out HD-SDI simultaneously with matching code?
According to the brochure PDF on Page 15 both HD-SDI and SD-SDI
output timecode and embedded audio. Most likely uncompressed 8bit 4:2:2 down the pipe. But nothing in the brochure confirms.
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