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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 June 4th, 2007, 01:53 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by Matt Daviss View Post
Having said that, I've heard that 35 Mbps 4:2:0 isn't as bad as it sounds - has anyone tried it?
Pretty much everyone in the XDCAM HD forum here at DVINFO, myself included. I haven't done any chromakey, but others who have are quite surprised at how clean it keys. The real magic behind the 35mb setting is due to that fact that it's a variable bit rate. The camera's encoder throws all of its resources and bit allocation to the higher motion scenery while allowing it to dip lower for scenery that's showing little or no change. An all I frame codec, while easier on your computer, isn't all that efficient. Why would you want to allocate storage space in each frame to stuff that's not changing from the frames before or after it?

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Old June 4th, 2007, 02:51 PM   #107
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Not only is it "not bad", but from everything I've heard it is really, really good.
Oops, my bad for being unclear about 'not bad'.

I should have said that I had heard that doing chromakey with 4:2:0 35 Mbps XDCAM-HD was not as bad as it sounds, as 4:2:0 would imply blocky or soft chromakeys.

Greg - hear you. The trick being that hopefully we can originate on an IBP frame format for efficiency, then transcode to an intermediate codec (ProRez 4:2:2 sounds good, though I may defer to Cineform).

Anyroadup, hopefully I can rent an F-330 for a weekend and try it with my ChromaFlex kit.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 03:54 PM   #108
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From experience I can say that 4:2:0 XDCAM HD produces keys that are easily perceptually as good as DVCProHD...

In fact XDCAM HD has MORE horizontal chroma resolution than DVCProHD (60i anyway) and has a nice 2x2 chroma block pattern that makes for very even edges.

All-in-all I'd easily put XDCAM HD and DVCProHD on a par in terms of quality although the two compression techniques "shine" in different circumstances. Even at 35mbit XDCAM HD I have seen a slight softening in scenes with loads of motion (eg moving water, etc.) but to me it looks sharper than DVCProHD in scenes with lots of detail (and less motion).
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Old June 4th, 2007, 04:27 PM   #109
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Will soon be time to do a thread dedicated to this camera.

According to a Sony guy on a video clip link, they will do a press conference launch in July/Aug with shipping in Sept.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 04:40 PM   #110
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I have money now... can I wait until then to make my decision - F350 vs F330 vs HPX500 vs XDCAM EX....
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Old June 5th, 2007, 09:12 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by Greg Boston View Post
Pretty much everyone in the XDCAM HD forum here at DVINFO, myself included. I haven't done any chromakey, but others who have are quite surprised at how clean it keys. The real magic behind the 35mb setting is due to that fact that it's a variable bit rate. The camera's encoder throws all of its resources and bit allocation to the higher motion scenery while allowing it to dip lower for scenery that's showing little or no change. An all I frame codec, while easier on your computer, isn't all that efficient. Why would you want to allocate storage space in each frame to stuff that's not changing from the frames before or after it?

-gb-
Greg and others... let's talk motion. Do any of you shoot sports? I shoot high school football games. To get good shots you need to be fairly close to the action, and you are constantly panning the camera to follow the action. The players are moving constantly... it's an MPEG compression nightmare. DV has always been fairly decent, but HDV leaves a lot to be desired (lots of artifacts). I would imagine XDCAM would be much better... what is your experience? I would also imagine that DVCPRO HD would be great... but I haven't made the leap yet (and now I'm holding off to see the XDCAM EX).

Most of these games are at night, and the "Friday night lights" are not always bright enough... so low light performance is a another big factor.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Tom
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 02:58 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by Tom Vaughan View Post
Greg and others... let's talk motion. Do any of you shoot sports? I shoot high school football games. To get good shots you need to be fairly close to the action, and you are constantly panning the camera to follow the action. The players are moving constantly... it's an MPEG compression nightmare. DV has always been fairly decent, but HDV leaves a lot to be desired (lots of artifacts). I would imagine XDCAM would be much better... what is your experience? I would also imagine that DVCPRO HD would be great... but I haven't made the leap yet (and now I'm holding off to see the XDCAM EX).

Most of these games are at night, and the "Friday night lights" are not always bright enough... so low light performance is a another big factor.

Any feedback would be appreciated.
Sorry for the delayed response, Tom. I missed this posting. Agreed that what you've seen with HDV in high motion. As was stated, if you get enough going on in a certain scene, you can break the encoder somewhat. But the VBR of 35mb does a good job of preventing this.

One thing we learned from the Texas HD Shootout last year, was the fact that normal playback doesn't reveal the softening so much. Viewing each frame individually will reveal some of the magic but that's not how most people watch the end result. I typically increase the shutter somewhat with high motion so that each frame has a bit more clarity and less motion blur for the encoder to deal with.

Low light performance is one thing that HD gives up compared to SD cameras of comparable sensor size and pixel count. So no, HD cameras are not the champions of low light the way the SD cameras are. However, some of the image manipulation controls can help minimize the problem somewhat. I really wish the XDCAM HD had a coring control like the XL2 has. That was very handy for clearing up chroma noise out of the darker regions in low light recording.

-gb-
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 03:55 PM   #113
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Not ugly

I held this unit at NAB.
In Picture #7 you see the focus ring and it slides forward and back for auto or manual. I did notice the monitor is not like the V1 and it can't be used by an AC. I mentioned it to the designer that I thought it should be just like the V1 and flip around open for viewing from the side. This camera is far from ugly.
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Old July 15th, 2007, 03:01 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by Greg Boston View Post
Sorry for the delayed response, Tom. I missed this posting. Agreed that what you've seen with HDV in high motion. As was stated, if you get enough going on in a certain scene, you can break the encoder somewhat. But the VBR of 35mb does a good job of preventing this.

One thing we learned from the Texas HD Shootout last year, was the fact that normal playback doesn't reveal the softening so much. Viewing each frame individually will reveal some of the magic but that's not how most people watch the end result. I typically increase the shutter somewhat with high motion so that each frame has a bit more clarity and less motion blur for the encoder to deal with.

Low light performance is one thing that HD gives up compared to SD cameras of comparable sensor size and pixel count. So no, HD cameras are not the champions of low light the way the SD cameras are. However, some of the image manipulation controls can help minimize the problem somewhat. I really wish the XDCAM HD had a coring control like the XL2 has. That was very handy for clearing up chroma noise out of the darker regions in low light recording.

-gb-
Thanks Greg. I can't wait to see some footage for myself.

Tom
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Old July 21st, 2007, 10:10 AM   #115
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The placement of the set white balance is in the same spot as Sony's professional broadcast cameras, which is where it should it. I love the inclusion of the three rings for focus, exposure and zoom. Does the focus ring have hard stops or does it spin like the Z1?

Someone mentioned Sony is supposed to be giving out the final details by July. Can't wait to hear more about this camera!
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Old July 21st, 2007, 10:21 AM   #116
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I love the inclusion of the three rings for focus, exposure and zoom. Does the focus ring have hard stops or does it spin like the Z1?
Reports from the mock-up and from the introductory blurb state that the 'pull-back' focus ring option will be a proper manual cam driven job with stops.
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 09:07 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by Matt Daviss View Post
Reports from the mock-up and from the introductory blurb state that the 'pull-back' focus ring option will be a proper manual cam driven job with stops.

This is panning out (no pun intended) to be quite the camera. I can't wait to see some raw footage.
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