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Betacam SP or PD150?


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#1 JP BEATTIE

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 11:12 AM

Hi again, I've posted about this before but I'd like some advice. I own a Sony BVW300 AP with a great wide lens. I have access to Beta playback machines and component dubbing to DVCAM for editing.
I film some short films and landscape material and I was wondering should I continue filming on Betacam SP or should a sell up and buy, say a PD 170? The picture quality looks great from the Beta camera, though when I'm filming in low light, I notice diagonal interference lines which seem to come from the motor driving the tape - I don't know what this is. Which is the best solution? keep the Betacam and repair it or go DV?
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 11:19 AM

Hi again, I've posted about this before but I'd like some advice. I own a Sony BVW300 AP with a great wide lens. I have access to Beta playback machines and component dubbing to DVCAM for editing.
I film some short films and landscape material and I was wondering should I continue filming on Betacam SP or should a sell up and buy, say a PD 170? The picture quality looks great from the Beta camera, though when I'm filming in low light, I notice diagonal interference lines which seem to come from the motor driving the tape - I don't know what this is. Which is the best solution? keep the Betacam and repair it or go DV?


Hi,

IMHO the betacam which has a 2/3" chip is a far better camera than a PD170.

Stephen
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#3 Tim Terner

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 11:25 AM

Hi,

IMHO the betacam which has a 2/3" chip is a far better camera than a PD170.

Stephen


I personally feel that after using a 2/3" Betacam you'll be dissapointed with footage from the 170
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#4 Sean Morris

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 02:51 PM

Hi,

The BVW camera series "was / is" a workhorse camera, I would get you camera looked at by a
good betacam tech, alot of the camera's around this vintage start to need new caps after a while,
boards start to go screwy. Apart from this, well tuned rigs produce excellent pictures.

Let's hope you dont need a full head (drum) replacement, ouch now thats expensive.

Cheers
Sean Morris
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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 03:05 PM

About 3 years ago I was involved in a short film scheme for young people on which two of the four films were shot on Betacam SP using a BVW 300. It's pictures held up just as well to being projected on a large screen as the DSR500 that the other two films were shot on; perhaps not as clean looking, but they looked far better than any I've seen from a PD150 type camera.
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#6 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 08:40 PM

I second that. If your BVW 300 is fixed up, go for it.
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#7 Igor Trajkovski

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 09:50 PM

I would suggest you go with the beta.

I remember reading an article by Scott Billups
(the DP that shot the pilot PlayStation2 commercial directed by David Lynch on PD150),
about a documentary he shot for Discovery Channel, about the Krakatoa vulcano.


Here is some food for the thoughts, an excerpt:

"Direct-to-disk stop motion
Faced with a consistent long-term need for D-Beta acquisition, I've built my own D-Beta-quality camera that I've used on nearly a hundred shows. Without going into too much detail, I took an old analog Betacam SP camera body and lens that I got for $1500 total, upgraded the chipset for $800, and routed the uncompressed, component RGB signals into an $890 AJA D10A component analog-to-serial-digital converter.

Back when the camera was new, the lens was worth nearly $6000, but because it was attached to an outdated system, it could be had for pennies on the dollar. With the addition of a $550 anamorphic adapter, the signal that comes out the other side is uncompressed serial digital widescreen video. Does it compare with a $60,000 dollar D-Beta system? In this case, yes.

Because the signal from my homemade camera goes directly into the computer, it bypasses both the compression and transposition stages of a signal that gets recorded to tape. The image that it creates has the same resolution as D-Beta, but the pixels are a little fatter and a little healthier. Most important, since it cost so little to build, I'm not concerned when it sits in the locker for a year while I work on motion picture projects.
"




The above thing got me more respecting BETASP.


You can find the entire article "RE - CREATING KRAKATOA" at:
www.pixelmonger.com/article/Krak.pdf

Scott Billup's web site:
www.pixelmonger.com




Regards

Igor Trajkovski
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#8 JP BEATTIE

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 04:29 AM

That's great dudes, thanks for the advice! I think the BVW300AP is a great camera, and I've been really pleased with the image quality <except for the above problem>
That's really interesting the home made camera idea. I toyed with the idea of bypassing the analogue tape source but I didn't think it would be that successful.
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#9 Igor Trajkovski

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 12:52 PM

That's really interesting the home made camera idea. I toyed with the idea of bypassing the analogue tape source but I didn't think it would be that successful.


Yeah, that's right.
Just as you (me) thought that you(I) saw&heard everything in life, there comes a suprise! :)

Hi Res Digital Camera system on the (relative) cheap.
Thanks Scott!


Regards.

Igor Trajkovski
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#10 Sam Javor

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 08:38 PM

I did a direct to disk system on my first DV feature (Invisible Bridges) last year... it was a Panasonic WV-F250 with studio adapter going into a datavideo DAC-100 going into an iBook G4... being that the entire system (including Ibook) was probably around $2500 it yeilded great pictues even over s-video. we hired some editors from the local CBS affiliate and they were impressed.

The problems though:

1. old camera so Low light performance was awful... however daylight was beautiful...
2. it was quite a rig to haul around... though I did buy it to get used to dealing with large cameras...and a big camera scares away pesky police
3. Data storage... we shot a lot of footage grand total of about 2TB I think...
4. Hard drive failures ...we lost 3 hard drives and one during the backup process... so we had to redo 300gig of DV25 footage... which wasn't so bad as it was our first three months...and we got better over the entire project... movie came out better because of it.... but I spent three days puking and still had to send one drive to the local lab to be recoverd at $500

When I do it again... I'll probably use a RAID 5 setup for data integrety...

Edited by zekthedeadcow, 05 March 2006 - 08:40 PM.

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