What do you want in a new firmware update for the PDW-F3xx XDCAM HD series? at DVinfo.net
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Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts
Sony PDW-F800, PDW-700, PDW-850, PXW-X500 (XDCAM HD) and PMW-400, PMW-320 (XDCAM EX).

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Old February 26th, 2009, 01:28 PM   #1
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What do you want in a new firmware update for the PDW-F3xx XDCAM HD series?

It’s been a while since there was a new firmware update for the Sony PDW-F3xx XDCAM HD series. So I thought I’ll start a thread were we can let the Sony engineers know what features we’re dreaming and drooling about. So, the question is: what would you like to have in a new firmware update for the existing PDW-F3xx series (F330, F350, F335 and F355)?
I know Sony is reading this board, so why just don't ask them. No we have, yes we can get.

Here is what I would like to have.

I don’t know if this possible by a firmware upgrade but I’ll mention it anyway. 30 seconds of cache like the PDW-700, so that we will be able to change a disc without losing a single frame. I believe they call it “Disc Exchange Cache” on the PDW-700. Seen a demo of it and it works great!

The “Focus Magnification” feature from the PDW-700. So that with the touch of a assignable button, the center of the screen on the viewfinder of the camcorder can be magnified to about twice the size, making it easier to confirm focus settings during manual focusing.

Record the proxy files directly onto a Memory Stick PRO, this at the same time as they are recorded to the Professional Disc media. The current camcorders can take Memory Sticks PRO that does not exceed 2 Gigabyte. So that must be enough I guess.

And maybe the “Digital Extender” function like on the PDW-700 can come in handy sometimes.

Now it’s your turn PDW-F3xx owners!
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Old February 26th, 2009, 05:12 PM   #2
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I think the 3xx series has reached the end of the line for major firmware updates. Anything major will be in a new camera.

I agree with David Heath, if anything they need proxies on a card, but NOT Memory Stick. So perhaps an SDHC card reader/writer that plugs into an expansion slot.

I'd also like to see longer file names allowed for better clip descriptions.
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Old February 26th, 2009, 05:49 PM   #3
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Agree with Simon. There isn't a lot left that can be wrung out of the existing hardware. That they managed to add as many features they did is nothing short of wonderful. I think the F350 got the most benefit.

My first wish after seeing the F355 was whether or not the 350 could be upgraded to a dual layer disc drive. Unfortunately, the answer was no.

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Old February 27th, 2009, 02:30 AM   #4
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Maybe the way forward for the F3xx series is not made by Sony at all, but by Convergent Design with their XDR C.F. recorder. I would love to hear from someone who has put the two together.
Best wishes to all.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 11:52 AM   #5
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I certainly hope not that the firmware updates do have come to an end for these products, especially for the PDW-F335 and F355 models. Many people have invested in these PDW- F3xx series, and are not going to buy a newer model just because of that future camera that is going to come out somewhere shortly, includes a “Disc Exchange Cache” function for example. I also like to replace a disc without losing footage, be able to focus easier with a “Focus Magnification” function. But do I have to buy a newer camera for it, when it only takes a firmware update? I hope not. The PMW-EX1 has this “Expanded Focus” feature, so why can’t a PDW-F335 and F355, that are the latest models from the XDCAM HD series, have this? All this hasn’t to do anything with hardware. We already knew that hardware changes weren’t possible back from the XDCAM SD days.

Today I found out that there should be a new firmware for the PDW-F335 and F355. Version PKG 1.96-AT1.20 should be the latest at this moment. For the PDW-F330 and F350 this would be version PKG 1.96-AT1.70. But I don’t know what is included. Probably it will be some major bug fixes. Can’t find it on Sony websites, so I guess it’s not on the street yet.

What I also would like to see in a new firmware is that the time code in the viewfinder can be changed to “Duration”. So that you can see how long your shot during every time. The EX1 also can do this.

Like I said before; no you have, yes you can get. If I did not try this, we would know for sure that we were getting nothing! Now we only can hope. ;-)
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Old February 27th, 2009, 03:54 PM   #6
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I'de like to see clip numbers in the VF instead of timecode. Sometimes it would be easier to log shots just by the shot number.

I would also like to be able to further reduce the width of the detail correction, so the "Frequency" adjustment in the paint menu should have greater range.

720P would also be nice, esp 720P50. Don't know if its possible, maybe, maybe not, depends on how much of the encoder is hard wired and how much is software/firmware driven.

However I too think the F3** cameras are not going to see any further development. The line is 4 years old now and sensors have improve quite a bit. Less noise, lower power, higher resolution are all possible. At the moment the Panasonic 300/301 looks like serious competition to the F3** range and for less money.

My guess is that Sony must be working on something to sit between the EX3 and PDW700, there is certainly a spot in their line up that could do with an update.
Alister Chapman, Film-Maker/Stormchaser http://www.xdcam-user.com/alisters-blog/ My XDCAM site and blog. http://www.hurricane-rig.com
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Old February 28th, 2009, 04:03 AM   #7
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As much as I do love my F330 (and miss an SDI Out, I can tell you) I also dont see future improvements or updates.

Clearly , the pdw700 is Sonys flagship, offering tons of professional features (CAC coming!) that the F3xx doesnt.

I´d like to see natural skin knee (like in the DSRs and others) instead of the color shifting knee that is implemented, and some other features too.

Its clear to see that Sony will react on the new <10.000 $ full size flash memory camcorders, but they will make sure not to touch pdw700 sales with it.
At the moment , the portfolio is clearly defined

EX1 / EX3 (half shoulder) -> PDW700...

Yes, there is a gap between them - or a way to replace the ex3 with a full size shoulder version?

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Old March 1st, 2009, 06:06 PM   #8
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I agree that there is a hole in the sony line between the ex3 and the PDW700. With the buzz surrounding the Panasonic HPX300 I hope that Sony takes the best of the ex3 and builds it into a professional shoulder mounted camera.

I got to put a HPX300 on my shoulder for a few minutes last thursday here in Phoenix and I think the form factor is GREAT, but I have two big complaints. One is the 1/3" chips compared to the 1/2" in the ex3. Two is the proprietary P2 cards. They need an option to record to an SDHC card like JVC.

So how about an ex3 in a full size form factor to replace the f350-355 and add the 422 50mbs codec from the PDW700 to better compete with the AVC-Intra codec in the HPX300.

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