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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 18th, 2008, 10:12 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Greg Boston View Post
If true, then in my opinion it makes NO SENSE to put HDSDI on the camera in the first place. Why pay all the SMPTE licensing fees to provide an output that is essentially no better than what can be obtained by recording to the card?


-gb-
Very true, Greg. The only "sense" it could make (for the Sony's twisted marketing strategy) is protect their higher-level gear value.

If true, it also raises the question: is the 50/100Mbps Convergent Design is offering, still worth it with this particular camera, less compression being the only benefit over the regular SxS?
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; September 18th, 2008 at 10:49 AM.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 10:15 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Boston View Post
If true, then in my opinion it makes NO SENSE to put HDSDI on the camera in the first place. Why pay all the SMPTE licensing fees to provide an output that is essentially no better than what can be obtained by recording to the card?
Whether it's 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 I don't know, but surely a very good reason for an HDSDI output on the camera is for integration with other broadcast equipment. Especially if the EX was to be used in a live manner?
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Old September 18th, 2008, 10:47 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
a very good reason for an HDSDI output on the camera is for integration with other broadcast equipment.
That, and also ability to capture unlimited length of footage to an external computer-connected media.

To me though, the discovery of HD-SDI out being same quality as internal recording was a bit of a relief.

This means I don't feel obligated to capture live from HD-SDI to ensure the highest quality of the image... SxS cards will do just the same.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 10:50 AM   #34
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I'd rather that the cam had HDMI out.

It'd make it so much easier to monitor signal with HDMI-enabled cheap monitors/HDTVs.

HDMI could carry 1080p signal just fine as well.

HD-SDI connector on this cam is probably a bit of Pro level marketing pretense for this camera that is not matched 100% by the real quality of the signal outputted.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 11:01 AM   #35
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Well Alex, I must say that I would NOT be relieved to find out that the HD-SDI out is pretty much the same quality as the SxS cards as I was wanting to use the Convergent-Design nanoFlash recorder to obtain a higher quality image. Especially for compositing work and color correction.

Pitor makes a good point. Am I willing to spend the extra $$$ to ONLY have less compression? Hopefully it IS 4:2:2 10-bit.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 11:04 AM   #36
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Sorry but it seems you can't win on compression artifacts either, judging by my tests.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 11:11 AM   #37
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Why doesn't somebody call Sony professional support and ask them directly?

If they don't know or give you an incorrect answer, then who would know?
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Old September 18th, 2008, 11:19 AM   #38
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alex, those stills are surprisingly similar. although there does not seem to be significant chroma artifacting in either... maybe you could do a test with fewer steps? original->cineform->psd->tiff probably means the images are going through 8-10bit, YUV-RGB and codec conversions before we see the final tiffs.

im going through some greenscreen footage i shot and am seeing a bit more in the way of stepping when i isolate the color channels than alex's tiffs (maybe because the image is going through fewer conversions and my image has higher saturation/exposure), but its not that strong, certainly not 2x2 chroma pixels like one might expect to see from 4:2:0, so maybe its getting smoothed out in the YUV-RGB conversion. im really only seeing the stepping in the red channel as well. then again things have to get converted to RGB for any kind of program to display, but does anyone have any better ideas how to isolate R and B color channels from YUV for more accurate resolution analysis? ive tried photoshop and after effects but both only show me the channels after RGB conversion. Maybe there is a way to get it to do the RGB conversion after isolating one of the YUV chroma channels?
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Old September 18th, 2008, 11:23 AM   #39
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oh yeah and note that i only have sxs, i dont have HD-SDI capture capability at the moment. I was just doing this test because if anything, SxS should have chroma stepping and we should be seeing if SDI does as well, but alex's image show no stepping from images acquired either way so there is something wrong with the process. seems like the best way to verify would be to find a method where we can see and analyze the stepping in SxS mode and then repeat it in SDI mode to see if it still exists.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 11:39 AM   #40
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I'm interested in Cineform only, because it is my current workflow, and after years of use I'm very happy with it.

I don't think Cineform conversion would bring in enough artifacts to muddy up the results in significant way.

Stills: look to me exactly as they did in AE timeline on-screen.

I'm not big on video signal theory... What is *stepping* that you are referring to?
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Old September 18th, 2008, 11:13 PM   #41
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First, Sony has answered this 4:2:0 vrs 4:2:2 question, several times;

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/851508-post16.html

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/924899-post26.html

Second, when monitoring HD-SDI out in "live", the image delay is not long enough to have passed through the codec chip.

Third, every time I do an HD-SDI compare to the native codec (as in blue or green screen work), I can clearly SEE the increase in chroma resolution... here's a sample from a clip I had on hand... This is a small crop, enlarge approx. 600%...

http://ftp.datausa.com/imageshoppe/o...compressed.png

Look at the borders of the red and white, notices how ragged the 4:2:0 images is compared to the 4:2:2 uncompressed sample. Note also the difference test I added in, which shows the areas where there are significant differences in the image...

Regards,

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Old September 18th, 2008, 11:27 PM   #42
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Quite honestly, the HD-SDI out was icing on the cake for me. I could care less whether it provides BETTER recording than the SxS cards. I understand where everyone is coming from, but I paid less than $6500 for a Sony Handycam that shoots in the dark better than anything near it's price range, and damn near better than anything that shoots DV. The fact that I can nearly get away with 0db gain and rate this thing nearly what I rate my DVX at, is incredible.

The HD-SDI lets me roll to external storage at full raster with at least the same quality as on board recording. For those who are shooting green screen and doing VFX, what were you shooting on before? And did it give better or worse results? If better, what did the camera cost? If worse, how much more is the EX1/EX3 than what you were shooting?

I am looking at the Convergent box as my Firestore replacement. And that was even before Focus filed Chapter 11. If the EX1/EX3 doesn't give the pro results you need, step up to a true pro camera. But it seems a little harsh to beat up Sony on a $6500 camera because it might not offer the same class of performance as the $50k cameras.

At least that's my view.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 11:30 PM   #43
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Thanks Jim...
Well, that pretty much closes this discussion.

I remember you mentioned your SDI capture card was not capable of 10 bit a while back.

I'm glad you were able to show the direct relation between SDI and SxS.

This clearly show how impressive uncompressed (no mpeg macroblocking) with 4:2:2 are over the captured SxS 4:2:0 XDCAM.

I'm sure many will feel XDCAM 4:2:2 may be good enough... I imagine a lot of the time it would, but when you're looking for the very best possible quaility that can hold up in post, SDI is your best bet. Especially green screen.

Last edited by Steven Thomas; September 19th, 2008 at 10:31 AM.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 01:31 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Jim Arthurs View Post
Third, every time I do an HD-SDI compare to the native codec (as in blue or green screen work), I can clearly SEE the increase in chroma resolution... here's a sample from a clip I had on hand... This is a small crop, enlarge approx. 600%...

http://ftp.datausa.com/imageshoppe/o...compressed.png

Look at the borders of the red and white, notices how ragged the 4:2:0 images is compared to the 4:2:2 uncompressed sample. Note also the difference test I added in, which shows the areas where there are significant differences in the image...

Regards,

Jim Arthurs

Jim, your picture tells more than 1000 words, indeed - thanks!

Edit: As I'm eagerly waiting for my NanoFlash to arrive, I'd still appreciate it very much if Convergent Design commented on this further - with their own comparison, and (hopefully) confirmation that the EX1/3 HD-SDI output is not only 10 bit, but a true 4:2:2, as well.
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; September 19th, 2008 at 03:18 AM.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 03:25 AM   #45
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The differences are minimal. Is it really worth the dollars to buy the Flash XDR? Many other factors may decrease sharpness and increase noise, so will the SDI out really make a difference?

In normal conditions, the EX1 gives such an extraordinary good picture that I doubt if such a little difference will be noticeably.

My major concerns are noise in poor lighting conditions and white-outs in good light. Will a HDSDI 422 10-bit address these concerns?
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