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Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old January 9th, 2013, 11:26 AM   #1
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PMW-150/200 cleared for full HD production by EBU

Looks like Sony has some good cameras on hand.
Both have been cleared for FULL HD production, not just TV news.

Sony?s PMW-150 and PMW-200 camcorders meet European Broadcast Union standard for HD Broadcast Production : Press : Sony Professional
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Old January 9th, 2013, 04:46 PM   #2
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Re: PMW-150/200 cleared for full HD production by EBU

Surprised with the 150 making the rounds... That only has 1/3'' sensors. The minimum requirement for one of the tiers is 1/2'' if I recall correctly.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 06:03 PM   #3
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Re: PMW-150/200 cleared for full HD production by EBU

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Zhang View Post
Surprised with the 150 making the rounds... That only has 1/3'' sensors. The minimum requirement for one of the tiers is 1/2'' if I recall correctly.
The Canon XF305 broke that rule, although that was when BBC used its own standards.
I think the HPX370 and maybe the HPX250 also passed.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 06:53 PM   #4
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Re: PMW-150/200 cleared for full HD production by EBU

Now the wait begins for the white paper PDFs with the BBC recommended settings to be posted for both cams.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 08:53 PM   #5
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Re: PMW-150/200 cleared for full HD production by EBU

http://tech.ebu.ch/docs/tech/tech3335_s05.pdf PMW-200

http://tech.ebu.ch/docs/tech/tech3335_s06.pdf PMW-150
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Old January 9th, 2013, 09:08 PM   #6
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Re: PMW-150/200 cleared for full HD production by EBU

Interesting that Alan notes the HD Detail Frequency should be at +99 for the PMW200.. is that a typo?
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Old January 9th, 2013, 10:03 PM   #7
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Re: PMW-150/200 cleared for full HD production by EBU

Also note that these measurements were made with a SDHC adapter in 35mbps mode. Interestingly, the 150 clearly was near the limit of the qualification for the tier level it was at, mostly due to noise.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 12:10 PM   #8
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Re: PMW-150/200 cleared for full HD production by EBU

Why do they say Fuji lens? I thought it was a Sony lens?

"Tests were made on a demonstration model of the Sony PMW-150 HDTV camcorder (serial number 61048)
and itís manual. Outwardly it appears to be very similar to the PMW EX1, and shares many features with it.
The camera has an integral lens (Fuji, F/1.6, 20:1 4.1~82mm)"
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Old January 10th, 2013, 02:28 PM   #9
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Re: PMW-150/200 cleared for full HD production by EBU

Yeah, it's supposed to be a Sony G lens, kind of like the one the NX5 has.

Anyone figure out why the Frequency in the PP would be set to +99?
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Old January 10th, 2013, 04:36 PM   #10
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Re: PMW-150/200 cleared for full HD production by EBU

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Zhang View Post
Yeah, it's supposed to be a Sony G lens, kind of like the one the NX5 has.

Anyone figure out why the Frequency in the PP would be set to +99?
There are lots of typos and grammatical errors in the reports. It also seems odd not to test the 50mbps mode due to lack of flash memory cards. Still, it is nice for the BBC to make these internal engineering reports available to the public.

I suspect +99 is not a typo. The idea appears to be: set HD Detail Frequency to maximum and then adjust the strength of the setting using HD Detail Level. Thus,

HD Detail Level -49
HD Detail Frequency +99

is essentially the same as HD Detail OFF and

HD Detail Level 0
HD Detail Frequency +99

is what is being recommended. My suspicion is that the obvious setting of

HD Detail Level 50
HD Detail Frequency 50

looks like sharpened SD footage rather than enhanced HD footage. It would be interesting for someone to post a comparison of these settings with something other than a test chart as the subject.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 06:47 PM   #11
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Re: PMW-150/200 cleared for full HD production by EBU

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Olson View Post
There are lots of typos and grammatical errors in the reports. It also seems odd not to test the 50mbps mode due to lack of flash memory cards.
One thing that caught my eye was very early on, with a reference to "Recording HDTV uses MPEG2, 10-bit 4:2:2 1920x1080....." (XDCAM422 is not 10bit, it's 8, and AFAIK MPEG2 is ALWAYS 8 bit.)

OK, ..... a typo, I thought, can happen to all of us. But then in section 2.4 we get:
Quote:
But this would imply that, although the output (HDSDI and HDMI, and the 50Mb/s recording mode) is 10-bit, there may be little noise advantage in going to 10-bit recording in this camera, although the vertical chroma bandwidth would improve due to the 4:2:2 subsampling in the 10-bit modes.
which seems to imply a bit more than a simple typo, a belief that XDCAM422 actually is 10bit?

I also wonder about some points in the Section on sensitivity and dynamic range (2.5). It's quoted:
Quote:
This establishes that the over-exposure headroom which the camera can cope with is just under 2 stops, about 350%, or about 5dB.
Surely if just under 2 stops is being measured, or 350%, that equates to 10dB - not 5dB? I'd always understood a doubling of power was equivalent to 3dB, a doubling of voltage equated to 6dB - and it's the latter we are dealing with here?
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Old January 10th, 2013, 10:55 PM   #12
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Re: PMW-150/200 cleared for full HD production by EBU

Mistakes in a camera evaluation by Alan Roberts? That's SOP. Every report I've read that he's done for a camera I know something about is riddle with them. And don't even get me started on his suggested settings. What can I say? He's an engineer, and his settings come from that point of view. :-)

In his defense, it's a lot of stuff to digest in probably the small amount of time that he has the camera. But his reports have to be taken with a grain of salt -- as I'm sure people say about the stuff I put out there!
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Old January 12th, 2013, 03:53 PM   #13
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Re: PMW-150/200 cleared for full HD production by EBU

Detail frequency at +99 may help in achieving a film like look which is what Alan is normally after in his picture settings. Frequency at +99 will make the detail correction edges extremely thin and thus less noticeable, however +99 is pretty extreme in my opinion and can lead to flickery edges on some fine textures. I like frequency at +40 to +60 personally.
What I don't understand from his report is the statement of the detail correction "having a null effect when set at about -42" and then a later statement that "even at -99 detail is still visible". I'm a little confused by those contradictory statements. My experience with the PMW-200 is that detail at -20 is approx the equivalent to detail off and that -99 softens the image noticeably (which is actually also noted in Alan's report).
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Old January 26th, 2013, 06:59 PM   #14
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Re: PMW-150/200 cleared for full HD production by EBU

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
I also wonder about some points in the Section on sensitivity and dynamic range (2.5). It's quoted:

Surely if just under 2 stops is being measured, or 350%, that equates to 10dB - not 5dB? I'd always understood a doubling of power was equivalent to 3dB, a doubling of voltage equated to 6dB - and it's the latter we are dealing with here?
I've just had reason to revisit this, and the same error appears to be made in the case of the PMW150 (figures above) and the PMW200. For the PMW200, the equivalent working (Section 2.5) is:

......."the camera can cope with is just over 2 stops, about 500%, or about 8dB",
so again the assumption that a stop corresonds to 3dB.

But immediately below:
......."the total available dynamic range must be 48.5+8=56.5dB, or 9.4 stops"

so a 56.5dB equivalence to 9.4 stops here assumes a 1 stop to 6dB releationship. They can't both be right.

What does this mean in practice? I can't fault the methodology, and if the measurements are correct, then reworking the maths with a consistent 1stop=6dB, we get (corrected figures in bold):


......."the camera can cope with is just over 2 stops, about 500%, or about 14dB",

......."..........the total available dynamic range must be 48.5+14=62.5dB, or 10.4 stops"

Hence the report understates the dynamic range by a full stop! That's quite significant, as in the conclusion one main point that's made is "The dynamic range of 9.4 stops is a little on the low side as a result of the rather high noise levels. - correct the working and the 9.4 figure is a result of incorrect maths, not high noise! :-)

I'm surprised less by a mistake in the maths - these things happen to all of us - but more by the fact that nobody seems to have officially picked up on it. Does nobody check such things before publication? I'd have thought Sony themselves would have looked quite closely at a report like this? As it is, arguably the most influential independent report on two of their main cameras significantly understates the dynamic range handling.

Rework the figures for the PMW150 and it gives a DR of about 9.2 stops (not 8.3, as quoted). Taken together with other factors, this clearly indicates how much of an edge 1/2" chips give over 1/3".
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