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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PXW-Z280, Z190, X180 etc. (going back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.

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Old August 4th, 2011, 09:25 AM   #1
New Boot
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Hamburg, Germany
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EX3 via HD-SDI 8 Bit or 10 Bit?

Hey there,

recently I've purchased a Matrox MXO2 and now I'm able to capture directly from my EX3 via the SDI connector. That's supposed to give me a 10 Bit 4:2:2 stream (if captured with an appropriate codec), right?

Well, I've read some things online that the EX3 (and EX1, too) does NOT really give you 10 Bit, but only 8 Bit with 2 useless ones. That's something I wanted to see for myself. So I imported the MOV with the codec Uncompressed YUV 10 Bit 422 into Nuke. Additionally I created a 32 Bit ramp in Photoshop, saved it as EXR and imported it into my Nuke project as well.


Now you should watch the attached video!


Well, that either shows the signal is only 8 Bit or I must've made a mistake. :(
Attached Files
File Type: zip Nuke_8_Bit_10_Bit.m4v.zip (878.8 KB, 138 views)
Stefan Sonnabend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 5th, 2011, 08:30 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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Re: EX3 via HD-SDI 8 Bit or 10 Bit?

You're correct. 8-bit is the output through the HD-SDI BNC spigot.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 09:32 PM   #3
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Re: EX3 via HD-SDI 8 Bit or 10 Bit?

The EX3 HDSDi Output is full 10 bit. This has been discussed many many times. Convergent designs have had EX's on data analysers and the top two bits are active. Your video clip is meaningless as even a 2 bit camera can have the same maximum/minimum bit range as a 10 bit one. 100% peak white in 8 bit is actually bit 235 (I Think) it's certainly not 255.
Alister Chapman, Film-Maker/Stormchaser http://www.xdcam-user.com/alisters-blog/ My XDCAM site and blog. http://www.hurricane-rig.com

Last edited by Alister Chapman; August 5th, 2011 at 10:03 PM.
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Old August 7th, 2011, 10:28 AM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Kennewick, WA
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Re: EX3 via HD-SDI 8 Bit or 10 Bit?

We have an EX3 and MXO2. We shoot a lot of green screen and thought we'd have to capture using the MXO2 to pull a clean key. That hasn't been the case. First we shot all the green screen shots with the camera in portrait mode (turned sideways on tripod), but recently we've been shooting with the camera positioned normally and in both situations we've been able to pull great keys.

Could the key look even better if we captured via the MXO2? Maybe. Here are some examples of finished green screen shots via footage shot directly to the SxS card (1080 30p, 1/60th shutter).

Sony EX3, Canon 5D MkII, Chrosziel Matte Box, Sachtler tripod, Steadicam Flyer, Mac Pro, Apple/Adobe software - 20 years as a local videographer/editor
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