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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 October 22nd, 2007, 10:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
SDI 8 bit uncompressed 4:2:2 out pre MPEG
I'm hoping the XDCAM EX SDI offers 10 bit 4:2:2

Anyone know more on this?
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 12:52 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Steven Thomas View Post
I'm hoping the XDCAM EX SDI offers 10 bit 4:2:2

Anyone know more on this?
I was told by Sony reps that it is 8 bit 4:2:2 via HD SDI. I've also read that on this forum.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 02:41 PM   #18
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I'd like to see documented proof of the SDI specs.

I'm finding conflicting info on this, although the this write up
does not refer directly to SDI specs.

http://dylan.wibble.net/videotv/2007/xdcam-ex.html
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 02:45 PM   #19
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Its 4:2:2 8 bit. It is also not a linear curve.

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Old October 23rd, 2007, 02:56 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Jeroen Wolf View Post
I AM a big fan of the Z1, and I know quite a few people who are. So if you say you're not a big fan, Alexander, explain yourself!
You asked me to consider someone else's clients- I can't because I don't exactly have their complete profile and a list of the work they requested.

The Z1 isn't bad as HDV cameras go. If you have one, then there is no reason to step up until the majority of your clients are HD or you are doing heavier post on your footage.

If you are buying today and plan to stay SD for a while with only some HD work then I think the Z1, or any HDV camera, is a bad choice. I would only buy one if I was budget constrained.

Yes the HVX200 is more expensive- but that's because it offers you a better total solution.

DV50 SD at 4:2:2 is much more flexible in post than DV 4:1:1. As you start getting creative and integrating more elements in your composites 4:2:2 matters more and more.

P2 cards add to the costs, but so does tape. Over the life of your camera you will spend much more on tape than you will on P2- especially if the camera is well used in your business. This is true for SxS as well- and hard disk recorders.

DVCPRO HD edits well on a Macbook. Yes I said a Macbook- not a pro. That's because its an intraframe codec with about as much overhead as DV. That Quad G5 you think struggles with HDV would blister on DVCPRO HD.

For the record XDCAM has less overhead than HDV as well... but its still hefty. (That's one reason I plan on working in ProRes timelines) I'd wager that you'd find XDCAM acceptable on your Quad G5- though it certainly would be slower than DV.

So, to sum up I think the HVX200 is best for SD work with some light HD use because

DVCPRO HD is easier to edit than either XDCAM or HDV
DVCPRO 50 footage is far more flexible for effects work
The HVX 200 has lens controls second only to the XDCAM EX in this price range. (Well... maybe the JVC ProHD- but I don't know their pricing.)'
The camera actually shoots an SD format unlike the EX1
Solid state workflow is nice.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 03:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Thomas View Post
I'd like to see documented proof of the SDI specs.

I'm finding conflicting info on this, although the this write up
does not refer directly to SDI specs.

http://dylan.wibble.net/videotv/2007/xdcam-ex.html
That link talks about 14 bit 4:2:2

If that's true then I expect that Sony will be discontinuing its HDCAM SR and HDCAM lines because you can't beat that.

Its probably a typo, after all as far as I know there is no Panasonic HVX202 either.

It could be that the fellow confused the 14 bit a/d conversion for its SDI output specs.

Its good that you moved this into its own thread here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=106287
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 04:21 PM   #22
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What about record time, shouldn't that be a significant issue for many people. Unless you have tons of P2 or EX flash cards, record time is significantly limited without a whole infrastructure for offloading cards. The Z1, or preferably the V1, offers recording to tapes at one hour apiece. For long projects, that can be a significant difference, especially once you consider post workflow.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 06:37 PM   #23
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. . . record time is significantly limited without a whole infrastructure for offloading cards.
It may depend on what you shoot.
a) "Whole infrastructure" could be a laptop.
b) 2 16GB cards are 100 minutes. 2 32GB cards are 200 minutes (35mbps - otherwise you're looking at 140 or 280 minutes @ 25mbps).
c) whereas I'd have to stop recording to do a tape change, I can offload one card while the other keeps recording. No gap.

For recording long concert sets or lectures you'd be able to keep going without a gap. For lectures one could go with 25mbps to extend time between offloading a card (while the other continues to record).

For those shoots that go over 60 but under 100 minutes ( or 200 with 32GB cards) there's no "tape" change at all (again longer at 25mbps).

Weddings shouldn't be too difficult since offloading a 16GB card may take about 5 minutes (according to what people are claiming). You might want an assistant to do that though.

In my own experience I've shot enough corporate events and concerts where the tape change would be a problem, probably more so than an offload would be. It's especially annoying if only one camera of a multicam shoot can be feed the audio.

To me the issue is cost. A laptop and 2 16GB cards. If they came out with a card to hard drive system (like P2 Store?) even 2 8GB cards may suffice.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 06:38 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Mike McCarthy View Post
What about record time, shouldn't that be a significant issue for many people. Unless you have tons of P2 or EX flash cards, record time is significantly limited without a whole infrastructure for offloading cards. The Z1, or preferably the V1, offers recording to tapes at one hour apiece. For long projects, that can be a significant difference, especially once you consider post workflow.
I just want to remind everyone that this is supposed to be about 4:3 standard definition workflow for the EX1- and we've gone far astray. Not that I mind meandering around.

Now, if we are still talking about SD workflows, and transitional HD workflows, there are several options.

First off the HVX200 does record DV onto MiniDV tapes. If you feel that tape is your only option then there you have a tape solution.

Second the HVX can use a Focus Firestore and get 100GB of storage, or about 250 minutes of 4:2:2 HD in its 720p/24 mode. It gives about 200 minutes for DVCPRO 50 (that's right more data in a DV 50 SD stream than a DVCPRO 100 HD 24p stream) A Firestore runs about $1700 USD. There is also a 160GB version for $2150. (prices from B&H)

I fully expect a similar solution for the EX1. I don't think the EX puts out XDCAM HQ via firewire, just an "HDV stream input/output" according to the brochure. I hope there is an SDI solution for direct to disk field recording. In the meantime, if the brochure is right, then you have an HDV workflow using existing HDV Focus FS-4Pro units, albeit in HDV mode. Then again, I expect that people using the cameras for long event recording won't be affected by the need for higher quality footage.

Oh, and both the P2 and SxS workflow allows you to hot swap cards for continuous recording, as Craig points out in part above.

Finally there is always a laptop. For the P2 based computers an old Powerbook G4 is ideal for offloading footage onto a firewire drive. For the EX1 a new MacBook Pro is ideal.

If you have an assistant editor they can log and transfer the files for you on set instead of doing straight data dumps. It takes longer but then your footage is really ready to edit once it gets to the editor. For film style work this is the best possible workflow right now.

I want to make this clear- the longer the project the more you need your footage properly logged and transferred prior to editing. Otherwise the editor just spends days sifting through footage looking for the right clips.

Of course if your plan isn't really to edit, but rather to just stitch together long takes to make a single even longer show... then dumping a pile of tapes on the editor's desk is a pretty good solution. I expect this is the case for long speeches, presentations, lectures and performances.
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Last edited by Alexander Ibrahim; October 23rd, 2007 at 06:43 PM. Reason: wasn't finished first time around- oopsy.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 07:34 PM   #25
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. . .if the brochure is right, then you have an HDV workflow using existing HDV Focus FS-4Pro units, albeit in HDV mode . . .
Sony's portable hard drive unit (DR-60?) will also work with the EX1 (in 25mbps mode out of firewire).

One advantage the HVX does have over the EX1 is that the HVX can record to P2 in Standard Def formats (at 25 or 50mbps) so once you've dumped to laptop or external hard drive you stuff is in SD. While the EX1 can output Standard Def from SDI, that's downconverting from the cards (or straight from the camera head). If you've dumped the HD material to an external hard drive you'll have to downconvert using some other method.
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