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reliable specs for current cameras


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#1 Shaun Joye

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 04:19 PM

I was wondering if anyone knew of a good place to find reliable specs for the current HD cameras. The manuafacturer's data is useful but seems like it needs to be taken with a grain of salt. I can pick up this information scattered around but it would be nice if it were all in one place.
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#2 Dan Goldberg

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 04:52 PM

Honestly, reliable information about ANYTHING film can likely be found on this forum. Plus you'll get multiple opinions and viewpoints, instead of just ONE person's review or whatever.

As for HD, I am not as familiar with it, but I do know I was considering purchasing the FX1 by Sony, but actually found the FX7 more suitable (though I didn't end up purchasing HD after all). I had a similar post about those two cameras a while back which may be able to help you better:

http://www.cinematog...n...039&hl=sony

Hope that helps :)

Dan Goldberg..
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#3 Alexander Joyce

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 05:38 PM

I guess it really depends on the kind of information you want. Raw numbers or user experiences.
Marketing will allways be marketing. It's just our job to sift through all the bs. Just watch out for words like "surpass". If someone claims one thing has "surpassed" something else I'd generally take that with a grain of salt.
Sony were saying once that you could do an "identical" HDCAM to HDCAM dub over SDTI with a certain system. Well that really depended on how that image was processed and how you defined "identical". Sony at least were happy with simplifying it as such even though it had been taken out of it's native form and compressed again.

There is a good book on the Panavised F900 by Paul Wheeler called "High Definition and 24P Cinematography", but again he does have some ties to Panavision so to some extent he also will be biased when it comes to this camera.

Edited by Alexander Joyce, 24 April 2007 - 05:39 PM.

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#4 jan von krogh

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 10:19 AM

also beware of the information which the manufacturers -don´t- tell.
good example, sony claims 12bit or 10bit colorresolution on their hdcams. thats true for internal processing.
however they don tell you that the recorder in the hdcam camera is 8bit.

or panasonic, who sell some of their cameras as 1080p - and if you then look deeper into the informations, you will find out that the sensors don´t have 1080 resolution etc.


Sony were saying once that you could do an "identical" HDCAM to HDCAM dub over SDTI with a certain system. Well that really depended on how that image was processed and how you defined "identical". Sony at least were happy with simplifying it as such even though it had been taken out of it's native form and compressed again.

yeah, can confirm that.

we have a SDTI-native HDCAM system here. you can dub identical with those systems. generation 100 = generation 0.
BUT:
if you change a -single- pixel on the image (watermark, tc burn in, crop) the system has to recompress.

also valid for the XPRI NLE. edit etc its native, generation 100 = generation 0.
use the realtime FX board for one dissolve - and then the internal pipelines switches to the king cobra board, decompress, recompress, even if you don´t use the FX.
so, when mastering, we turn off the realtimeFX.
and quite often, the manufacturers don´t know about this stuff - the developer knows, but marketing & sales never knew (or understand).
So its not always bad behaviour or aggressive marketing of them but rather a lack of technogical knowledge.

so, its always important to understand the -complete- workflow.
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#5 Alexander Joyce

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 11:38 AM

also valid for the XPRI NLE. edit etc its native, generation 100 = generation 0.
use the realtime FX board for one dissolve - and then the internal pipelines switches to the king cobra board, decompress, recompress, even if you don´t use the FX.
so, when mastering, we turn off the realtimeFX.
and quite often, the manufacturers don´t know about this stuff - the developer knows, but marketing & sales never knew (or understand).
So its not always bad behaviour or aggressive marketing of them but rather a lack of technogical knowledge.


Thing with the Xpri is that there were people at Sony Europe who knew not only about the King Cobra card issues, but also about the problems with their SDTI implementation. Depending on how the material was cut you could introduce big blocky artifacts to the images.
Also have you ever been able to get the Xpri to lock sync at 25p? And where is the XDCAM DVCAM codec?
Sony always hid behind the new EU enviromental laws when the Xpri got killed, but everyone knew that it was because 1) Avid bought Pinnacle and killed off the Targa 3000 card that was in it and 2) They had so many problems with it they could hardly wait for a chance you throw it out the window.
Just make sure that if you ever paid for version 8 you get your money back.
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#6 jan von krogh

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 12:01 PM

quite off topic :)

Thing with the Xpri is that there were people at Sony Europe who knew not only about the King Cobra card issues, but also about the problems with their SDTI implementation. Depending on how the material was cut you could introduce big blocky artifacts to the images.

yeah, it seems like they had 2 revisions of the king cobra board.
the 3 king cobra boards i worked on (at looks film and marco polo tv) didn´t show any malfunction at all.
however i saw the malfunction you described (blocks) on the earlier King Cobras myself.

we then decided to not keep the KC as we always wanted native SDTI - without KC but with JC everything is in SDTI. The JC always worked flawless.
Furthermore we use softwarebasing FX and network rendering all the time anyhow - as we don´t do so much TV but much more feature stuff, so we always prefer quality over realtime in that area.

but i have to admit, even if i am pretty frustrated by sonys management of xpri, that it is an important part of our architecture here.
when you avoid the KC and instead use $$.$$$ of AdobePlugins and Network rendering, it becomes a really nice finishing system.

however sonys advertisement of native sdti hdcam AND realtime FX wasn´t correct. it was the one OR the other.

Also have you ever been able to get the Xpri to lock sync at 25p?

yes, ours and the other three are locked @ 25p in most projects (we use the sony 750PC mainly)
i wasn´t aware that there were problems?

Sony always hid behind the new EU enviromental laws when the Xpri got killed, but everyone knew that it was because 1) Avid bought Pinnacle and killed off the Targa 3000 card that was in it and 2) They had so many problems with it they could hardly wait for a chance you throw it out the window.

1) is true, 2) is speculation but 3) i think we agree that sonys service for many XPRI customers was pretty unprofessional.
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