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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old July 4th, 2010, 02:52 PM   #16
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So Andrew

What cameras do you think would be up for the job
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Old July 4th, 2010, 04:02 PM   #17
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i find the Z7 footage to my liking even compared to the EX1 and if it is good enough for Simon King it must be good enough for me!!!!!!
Bear in mind that the Simon King thing was an SD programme and a diary type of series, so the criteria for the material would not have been that strict. This is what I mean about the EX1 and Z7 type cameras being in the same ballpark for fairly low-end broadcast wildlife. You won't see Mr King using a Z7 for the new Life in the Freezer series, he'll have an HPX2700 or a Phantom!

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Old July 4th, 2010, 04:09 PM   #18
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But surely the Z7 with nano at say 100mbs what would be wrong with that!!
Well, it would meet broadcast approved spec in terms of codec, but that's only half the story. So for that matter is 1/2" v 1/3" chips. One other criteria for full, current broadcast approval is that the chips should be full 1920x1080 resolution if the cameras is a 3 chip design - the EX meets that criteria, the Z7 does not. (The Z7 chips are 1 megapixel, those of the EX are 2 megapixel.)

These specifications aren't cast in stone (and as Steve says, it's conceivable the XF305 may get approval even though it's 1/3") and exceptions are made IF you have a good reason. "A tiny camera is essential for covert filming" may be a good reason, "It would be cheaper for me to just use a Z7" wouldn't be.

It may sound harsh, but there are good reasons. Material may look "good enough" at the edit stage, even on a big high quality monitor, but flaws which may be hardly visible here can affect the broadcast compression badly.

As far as the old "content is king" argument goes, then broadcasters will say they want both. Yes, the content must be good, but shot to the technical standards they specify - it's rarely a case of content OR quality, it's possible to have both.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 04:16 PM   #19
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Quite right David.
Another exception being the Varicam - THE camera for high end wildlife, and yet it's only 720, 1 million pixels.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 04:25 PM   #20
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The use of an EX1 and EX3 with a NanoFlash, not only meets the BBC and Sky regulation 50Mb/s, 1/2" sensor rules but has now been officially endorsed by the BBC and DV-Solutions.

Recently the BBC put out to tender to many UK equipment dealers their requirements for cameras to replace their current DSR500-DSR450 and PD150-PD170 cameras. The dealers have to recommend cameras to replace these BBC workhorse cameras. Certainly the EX1, EX3 and PMW-350's are in the running, even if only being used at 35Mb/s. It's well known that the BBC like the image quality from the EX front end and the EX is already being used for many BBC productions such as DrWho Confidential.

The Canon XF305 is also in the running, the BBC like the 50Mb/s 4:2:2 codec and there may also be a number of Panasonic cameras being considered.

What is known for sure now is that a camera with a 1/2" sensor recording at a minimum of 50Mb/s 4:2:2 should be acceptable, and the EX1 and NanoFlash is approved for BBC use.

In the future further cameras may also get approval, but we may not know which for a few months yet, but I very much doubt that any HDV camera will get approval.

Generally speaking, like for like.. a camera with a larger sensor will outperform a camera with a smaller sensor. The bigger sensor with bigger pixels will generally have less noise, better sensitivity and greater dynamic range. A bigger pixel can gather more photons of light on it's larger surface area, store a greater number of electrons before it overflows and is easier to cool and keep away from the noisy parts of the chip. But technology marches on and todays sensors may be better than last years sensors. Diffraction also becomes more and more of an issue as sensors get smaller as does lens design.

However sticking 3x 2/3" sensors in a handycam really isn't practical as the size of the prism forces you to have a large camera body, you also need a big lens. At the moment 1/2" seems to be the limit for a handheld 3 chip camera. By the end of the year we are likely to see a raft of single chip cameras using large 4/3" or S35mm sensors and these are going to be very interesting indeed. If you were to buy a NanoFlash now, it will still work with these new cameras.

On screen, for many shots you won't see a big difference between a NanoFlash at 100 Mb/s and an EX at 35Mb/s. But it's the multi generation performance and post production robustness that is really increased and that's why the BBC want 50Mb/s as a minimum. Thinking of doing any 3D? Well as well as a second camera and mounting rig your going to need an I-Frame only codec as the motion prediction used in Long GoP codecs can introduce geometry errors that may be different for the left and right views. A pair of NanoFlashes or Nano3D can do this. The beauty of the nanoFlash is that it can be used with most cameras so it will always be useful even if you update your camera. Even if you get an XF305, the difference between 50Mb/s and 100Mb/s is still worth having. I use my NanoFlash with my PDW-700 for most jobs as it gives me incredible image quality at 100Mb/s and a super fast solid state workflow. As William pointed out the biggest difference you may see on screen is a noticeable reduction in Mosquito noise and noise is the enemy. It eats bandwidth when using low bit rates codecs for the web and it limits what you can do in post.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 04:35 PM   #21
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Quite right David.
Another exception being the Varicam - THE camera for high end wildlife, and yet it's only 720, 1 million pixels.
Yes, but I'm pretty sure I've seen it stated that it's only an exception "whilst no suitable 1080 equipment is available". By "suitable", a big part of that requirement is the variable speed etc capability. Once a camera comes to market with comparable performance and abilities AND is 1080, 2 megapixel chips, expect that exception status to be withdrawn.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 04:36 PM   #22
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Unless it only does it via CMOS, in which case I'd expect the Varicam to stay firmly at the top.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 04:45 PM   #23
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Thanks Alister

For your input its so complicted you think you have the right camera for the job and in a instance its blown away, EX3+ nano bloody expensive its a rollacoaster i don't know weather ready for the ride
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Old July 5th, 2010, 12:10 AM   #24
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The positive side to Alister's comments must be that until now it cost a lot more to buy kit that the BBC etc would accept.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 09:36 AM   #25
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Re: EX1 and Z7 Nanoflash

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
What is known for sure now is that a camera with a 1/2" sensor recording at a minimum of 50Mb/s 4:2:2 should be acceptable, and the EX1 and NanoFlash is approved for BBC use.
Someone experienced in the field of wildlife productions for amongst others the bbc told me recently that the EX3/nanoflash combination I use is not approved for BBC use. I cannot find any clarification on the bbc website/instructions. Can anyone (Alister?) shine a light on this?

I shoot by the way in I-Frame Only @ 220 Mbps
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Old April 17th, 2011, 02:27 PM   #26
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Re: EX1 and Z7 Nanoflash

Someone should know the answer to the question above (?)
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