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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old November 8th, 2007, 11:37 AM   #1
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Sony Intensive Brief from HD Expo

I attended the HD Expo Sony Intensive on the XDCam EX yesterday and Jody Eldred was one of the speakers. Here is what I remember from the meeting.

According to him, the effective ASA is 800. They double checked it because they couldn't believe it either.

He was very impressed with the camera and they showed some footage shot with it where it was strapped behind Patty Wagstaff's cockpit seat in her aerobatic plane. During the shoot, she pulled 10 G's, and the camera never blinked.

According to Jody, they shot the EX along with with the XDCam 330 and 350 and according to him, he couldn't tell the difference in the footage.

According to one of the Sony techs who is an XDCam expert, it is TRUE 10-bit from the camera head out the SDI.

According to the Sony guys, the PDW-U1 XDCam drive WILL eventually support full 1920x1080 archiving.

As far as file support in various editors, Sony said they have been in touch with all the major software manufacturers and they all pledged support for the native MP4 files from the EX1. Right now, you have to use the clip browser to unwrap/wrap the files into the MXF format.

That's all I remember as I didn't have anything to take notes on.

For what it's worth...
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Old November 8th, 2007, 02:23 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by James Huenergardt View Post
According to him, the effective ASA is 800. They double checked it because they couldn't believe it either.

According to Jody, they shot the EX along with with the XDCam 330 and 350 and according to him, he couldn't tell the difference in the footage.

According to one of the Sony techs who is an XDCam expert, it is TRUE 10-bit from the camera head out the SDI.

.
Thanks James. That is impressive info. An HD camera with an 800 ASA rating. I would have been happy with 400. That's rating very fast and will allow this camera to be used any a wide range of shooting scenarios.
The fact that it is very close in quality if not in some ways equal to the other XDCAM cameras may bode well for its acceptance as a broadcast worthy camera. And 10 bit out HDSDI sort blows me away. Now I hope someone will make an affordable HD recorder, (Maybe Convergent can up their specs??) that uses 10bit codecs in addition to 8bit.


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Old November 8th, 2007, 02:53 PM   #3
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Now I hope someone will make an affordable HD recorder, (Maybe Convergent can up their specs??) that uses 10bit codecs in addition to 8bit.
Agreed. If Convergent would make a 10bit recorder, I'd buy a few.

Cheers
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Old November 8th, 2007, 02:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Huenergardt View Post
I attended the HD Expo Sony Intensive on the XDCam EX yesterday and Jody Eldred was one of the speakers. Here is what I remember from the meeting.

According to him, the effective ASA is 800. They double checked it because they couldn't believe it either.

He was very impressed with the camera and they showed some footage shot with it where it was strapped behind Patty Wagstaff's cockpit seat in her aerobatic plane. During the shoot, she pulled 10 G's, and the camera never blinked.

According to Jody, they shot the EX along with with the XDCam 330 and 350 and according to him, he couldn't tell the difference in the footage.

According to one of the Sony techs who is an XDCam expert, it is TRUE 10-bit from the camera head out the SDI.

According to the Sony guys, the PDW-U1 XDCam drive WILL eventually support full 1920x1080 archiving.

As far as file support in various editors, Sony said they have been in touch with all the major software manufacturers and they all pledged support for the native MP4 files from the EX1. Right now, you have to use the clip browser to unwrap/wrap the files into the MXF format.

That's all I remember as I didn't have anything to take notes on.

For what it's worth...
Any News on a shipping date? Are they still saying Nov. 19th?
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Old November 8th, 2007, 03:23 PM   #5
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Agreed. If Convergent would make a 10bit recorder, I'd buy a few.

Cheers
G
Can't ever happen with mpeg2. Mpeg2 can only ever encode 8 bit color channels. That is just the way it works.

The new device would have to be made with a whole new encoder based on Cineform or a really high profile of mpeg4.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 03:47 PM   #6
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Panavision

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Originally Posted by Thomas Smet View Post
Can't ever happen with mpeg2. Mpeg2 can only ever encode 8 bit color channels. That is just the way it works.

The new device would have to be made with a whole new encoder based on Cineform or a really high profile of mpeg4.
You can find your recorder at Panavision, Australia. A little bit overkill, but...
Link: http://www.panavision.com.au/News/So...e_Recorder.htm
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Old November 8th, 2007, 04:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Thomas Smet View Post
Can't ever happen with mpeg2. Mpeg2 can only ever encode 8 bit color channels. That is just the way it works.

The new device would have to be made with a whole new encoder based on Cineform or a really high profile of mpeg4.
Excuse the novice question here, so what exactly is coming out of the SDI port?
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Old November 8th, 2007, 04:12 PM   #8
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This thread presents an issue.

It's making my wait for the camera even harder ! LOL

Thanks James, The EX1 sounds like it's going to be real hot.
Man, I hope that the full 10 bit out to SDI turns out to be true.
If so, This camera is going to open a few more doors.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 06:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Thomas Smet View Post
Can't ever happen with mpeg2. Mpeg2 can only ever encode 8 bit color channels. That is just the way it works.

The new device would have to be made with a whole new encoder based on Cineform or a really high profile of mpeg4.
Thomas,

I know the mpeg 2 8 bit limitation. Cineform may be an alternative if they decide to go with 10 bit.

Cheers,
G
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Old November 8th, 2007, 07:17 PM   #10
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800 ASA? Really? Just for reference, what was the old PD-170 rated? Or for that matter the F900?

I'm wondering about ASA ratings without gain dialed in and at a "normal" shutter speed like 1/60th because if I recall, I think the F900 was rated somewhere around 320 - 400, so 800 seems like a high number to me.
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Old November 8th, 2007, 11:32 PM   #11
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That is a really high ISO rating. I hope it is true.
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Old November 9th, 2007, 12:40 AM   #12
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OK. Educate me on this. 800 ASA or ISO? I know david said

Quote:
An HD camera with an 800 ASA rating. I would have been happy with 400. That's rating very fast and will allow this camera to be used any a wide range of shooting scenarios.
Why ASA or ISO? Isn't the camera digital and doesn't that apply to film speed rating? What kind of wide range are we talking about? My V1U is pretty versatile. Would this allow for more? Enlighten me please.


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Old November 9th, 2007, 02:36 AM   #13
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Why ASA or ISO? Isn't the camera digital and doesn't that apply to film speed rating? What kind of wide range are we talking about? My V1U is pretty versatile. Would this allow for more? Enlighten me please.
Someone can give me a big slap on the hand if I'm wrong, but I believe the ASA rating is purely analogous - a point of reference because we're familiar with what this means in the film world (it's the same when you dial in ISO levels on a digital SLR). I'm guessing the V1 would be somewhere well below 200 ASA (equivalent)... at least 2 to 3 stops slower than the EX.

So... yes, that should provide you with plenty of opportunities to get great shots with the EX where the V1 struggles (ie, dimly lit environs).
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Old November 9th, 2007, 03:24 AM   #14
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Someone can give me a big slap on the hand if I'm wrong, but I believe the ASA rating is purely analogous - a point of reference because we're familiar with what this means in the film world (it's the same when you dial in ISO levels on a digital SLR).
No slap - you're spot on. Which is why all pro camera sensitivity ratings have to have three criteria specified - such as f8 at 2000lux, S/n 52dB.

An ASA rating only fixes the first two, so a statement such as "this camera is rated at 800ASA" is, by itself, meaningless.

The DSLR analogy is very sound - on my Canon I can make it anything between 100 and 3200ASA. To compare it sensitivity wise to another camera, you need noise level figures at any given ISO rating.

All that said, my brief experience with the EX left me feeling that it does indeed perform very well in low light. Far better than any of the current 1/3" cameras.
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Old November 9th, 2007, 03:59 AM   #15
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According to the Sony guys, the PDW-U1 XDCam drive WILL eventually support full 1920x1080 archiving.
Of course. After a firmware update somewhere early next year, the drive will handle all flavors of XDCAM HD and SD in both directions.
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