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HDX900 vs. XDCAM 350


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#1 Steve Uhalde

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 04:47 PM

I'm comparing a HDX900 and an XDCAM 350. It seems like the HDX900 is the better camera. Mostly shooting 1080/60i tv shows. But there is the possibilty of using 24p in the future. Will be mounting 2/3" lens on whichever camera I purchase. Any suggestions or personal preferences? Thanks in advance.
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#2 Matthew Parnell

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 07:08 PM

I would go for the HDX900 anyday.

Whilst XDCAM is a great media solution, in my opinion far superior to P2, as you can treat the disks like tapes, no need for a complicated onset workflow etc. The disks are so cheap you can just grab a new one and start shooting again. Ive worked on set with P2 before, and the words which comes to my mind is media management nightmare. Having said all those positive things about XDCAM, Sony had done nothing but produce some pretty average cameras that record to the medium. And that is what the 350 is.... AVERAGE. The XDCAM HD codec really leaves a lot to the imagination, was very disappointed when using this camera.

The HDX900 on the otherhand is a beast, its DVCPRO HD, so therefore 100mb compared to 35mb VBR on the 350. At the end of the day the 350 is a professional camera bordering on the broadcast eng market, whearas the HDX900 is a fully fledged broadcast camera.

The owner of the camera house i predominately deal with was saying towards the end of this year, begining of next year there should be a XDCAM camera that will record using a much better codec and will actually compete against the Panasonic P2 Stuff, hopefully sony can deliver better product.

Cheers,
Matt.
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#3 Alexander Joyce

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 07:17 PM

Until Sony get moving on the XDCAM 422 codec I'd go with the HDX900 no doubt.
XDCAM HD is glorified HDV. Actually it's not even that. They just changed the name. Horrible format to work with in post.
You also have a higher bitrate with the Panasonic.
As someone else pointed out the Professional Disc concept is great. Just to bad they never stuck a proper format on it.
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#4 Christopher Wedding

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 01:12 AM

Hey there,

I know Sony has a new one coming out (I think it's the 355 or something) but I don't think the 350 can take 2/3" lenses. Or maybe the new one is also called the 350?

Anyhow, I agree that the 900 is a better pick. Or better yet, buy a RED! (I saw it a NAB, along with the footage, and I have to say they've made sure this camera is user friendly in post production which was always my concern.)
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#5 adam berk

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 03:07 AM

We own an HDX900. To put it simply, I couldn't even imagine thinking about, thinking about getting an XDCAM instead.
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#6 jan von krogh

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 09:33 AM

Anyhow, I agree that the 900 is a better pick. Or better yet, buy a RED! (I saw it a NAB, along with the footage, and I have to say they've made sure this camera is user friendly in post production which was always my concern.)


red certainly offers a much better image quality and more creative options, but for eng etc, format of delivery might be problematic.

i don´t see any mayor broadcasters accepting redcodefiles in the near future, they will insist on getting a media (hdcam, xdcam, dvcpro, D5 etc).
its the same with cineon and master files - the broadcasters often want to have a hdcam tape, even when uncompressed masters are available.

to the original question - xdcam is a very good recording media, but the format written on it (35mbit) isn´t good for post. also, the smaller sensors somehat limit your use of lenses.

if you go sony, i wouldn´t start below the 790/750/900R hdcams, if picturequality is a main criteria and you want theatrical release here and there.
for eng applications 350 as 900 are overkill already. however, be aware that some broadcasters (BBC) don´t accept xdcam & dvcpro hd as HD delivery.

thomson grass valley also has a very interesting camera in that pricerange, the infinity.
but it is delayed and i don´t know when it will be delivered.
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#7 Alexander Joyce

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 10:21 AM

F&L picks Panasonic
March 9, 2007 8:00am
BBC factual and learning has selected the Panasonic range of DVCPro HD camcorders and VTRs for the production of all HD factual programming.

From April, the broadcaster will use the AJ-HDX900 DVCProHD camcorder as standard. Other factual and learning-approved products include the Panasonic Varicam and the Panasonic AJ-HD1400 VTR. Recorded footage will be edited using Apple Final Cut Pro HD non-linear editing systems.
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#8 jan von krogh

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 10:53 AM

F&L picks Panasonic
March 9, 2007 8:00am
BBC factual and learning has selected the Panasonic range of DVCPro HD camcorders and VTRs for the production of all HD factual programming.


good news -
so lets hope that they will also allow again s16mm.

on Feb 2, 2007, however, they still didn´t allow for DVCPRO 100 edited stuff: page 3, §2.1
http://www.bbc.co.uk...ormats_v1_4.pdf
they only accepted HDCAM, page 2, §1.1.
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#9 Mitch Gross

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 11:15 AM

The 350 is replaced by the 355, which has a few refinements. It is a 1/2" mount camera, but an adaptor is available to allow the use of 2/3" lenses (with a reduced field of view). There is a 2/3" model coming out at the end of the year that will have a higher bitrate and many other improved features over the 355, so this may be quite the camera to contend with. But it is not available yet. There is also a small 1/2" version called the EX that is coming in a few months that records to small data cards like the P2 and it looks like a Z1 on steroids. I think that these two cameras will be far more useful that the somewhat cobbled, middle of the road 330 & 355 models.

Currently the HDX900 is an extremely popular camera in both sales and rental.
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#10 Michael Nash

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 03:51 PM

In additon to recording format and lens mount, I think light sensitivity is the big issue between the Sony XDCAM and the Panasonic HDX. The Sony's seem s-l-o-w......
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#11 Ralph Oshiro

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 12:20 AM

In additon to recording format and lens mount, I think light sensitivity is the big issue between the Sony XDCAM and the Panasonic HDX. The Sony's seem s-l-o-w......

I agree. The F330/350s are very slow. I was shooting with a 900R recently, and it seemed much faster than the 900/3, perhaps by as much as a full stop. But I wouldn't even consider a 1/2" camera, and if you put 2/3" glass on a 1/2" camera, wide shots will be a problem to get. The Panasonic 3000/2000/900s look very nice, and they're all equipped with 2/3" imagers, and all are 24p-capable. But as a business decision, XDCAM may be the better camera for ENG markets. CBS has committed to XDCAM-HD (F350s for O&Os), but ABC and NBC haven't committed to a format yet. If I were going to go XDCAM, I would try to wait for the new 2/3" XDCAM-HD cameras due Q4 2007, reportedly with better-than-HDCAM 4:2:2 color sampling and a 50Mbps max datarate. It all depends on your customer base and what media is going to be most common among your clients if you're an owner/operator kinda business--if you're a production company, your choice of acquisition format is less important.

Edited by Ralph Oshiro, 03 May 2007 - 12:25 AM.

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#12 Ralph Oshiro

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 12:36 AM

I was shooting with a 900R recently, and it seemed much faster than the 900/3, perhaps by as much as a full stop.

To clarify, I was referring to Sony F900R and Sony F900/3 HDCAM cameras in that part of the post (I misread the initial post in this thread), and the Panasonic HDX900 in the latter. If I were a shooter looking for daily hire work with the networks, I would wait to see which way ABC and NBC decides, then buy the camera/format in the majority of the four networks. If I heard correctly, I think Fox just committed to P2? Can't remember if I have that right or not. If you don't care about TV network stuff, then I would choose the Panasonic HDX900 over the F350.

Edited by Ralph Oshiro, 03 May 2007 - 12:38 AM.

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#13 Steve Uhalde

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 01:04 PM

So it sounds like the Panasonic is clearly better. I work for a production company but we edit and deliver to networks. Whichever we choose, we will edit and deliver it on HDCAM. I guess we'll have to wait until Sony releases a better camera for the XDCAM format. 2/3"/422/50mbps sounds pretty good, let's just hope it happens sooner than later.
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#14 Ralph Oshiro

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 03:43 AM

So it sounds like the Panasonic is clearly better. I work for a production company but we edit and deliver to networks. Whichever we choose, we will edit and deliver it on HDCAM. I guess we'll have to wait until Sony releases a better camera for the XDCAM format. 2/3"/422/50mbps sounds pretty good, let's just hope it happens sooner than later.

Yeah, that new Sony 4:2:2 2/3" HD camera sounds like the s--t if you're able to wait. But then again, the F330 is so affordable, you could buy that (or even the also very affordable Panasonic HPX500 P2 camera) while you're waiting for the 2/3" Sony camera to come out. Oh, I found my notes from NAB . . . the Panasonic guy said that Fox bought over 400 Panasonic HPX2000 P2 cameras for all of their news operations. Well, there goes my theory on XDCAM becoming the next "Betacam!"
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