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F330 vs HD250 cameras plus lens questions

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lance herring
F330 vs HD250 cameras plus lens questions
on Aug 31, 2007 at 7:39:42 pm

It seems we have budget at our small tv station here to purchase additional field equipment. Right now our primary camera is the DSR-450, and the universal format here is DVCAM (control room, edit bays, field equipment). We also have a Z1 and occasionally will use one of our Ikegami DVCAM studio cameras as a field camera. I'm trying to decide if we should start migrating to HD, and if so, should we go the XDCAM HD route or stick with a good HDV camera such as the JVC HD200 or HD250. I don't care for the Z1 or any of the other Sony "handycam" styles of cameras. I guess both options have pros and cons. With either the HD250 or the F330, we'll have to purchase some kind of feeder deck for a NLE bay. Apparently, Sony is coming out with a disk drive for the XDCAM disks. It's not a deck, but will hook to a computer to transfer files. I'm guessing it's between 3K and 4K in price (which seems rediculous for something that's nothing more than a disk drive). With the JVC, we'd have to get their HDV deck that will read the 720p tapes.

Obviously there's a big price difference between the two, especially if we'd get a true HD lens for the 330. We're certainly on a budget. It's been suggested to us to just use a good SD lens on the 330, but I'm not sure what the real trade-off is in doing that. The Canon KH20x6.4-KRS lens is at least 8K dollars from what I've seen.

We don't currently deliver anything in HD (masters, our cable channel, or DVDs), so it's hard for me to justify HD to my boss, especially the more expensive kind of HD. Sure the 330 does DVCAM as well, but if that's all we'd use, why not just get another 450? I'm concerned about tape and flimsy Sony tape transports they use on DVCAM cameras and small decks nowadays. With XDCAM, it'd be great to browse and log video files over our network from most any computer. That beats having to tie up a deck in the control room. I've heard from some tho that the quality and features of the 330 and 350 aren't worth the increase in cost (over the usual offerings of HDV cameras). We use Sony Vegas and Avid Xpress Studio to edit. I guess Vegas can handle the MXF files pretty well... not sure about Avid.

Sorry for the long post. I'm open to any and all feedback right now. Thanks!

-Lance Herring


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Nigel Cooper
Re: F330 vs HD250 cameras plus lens questions
on Aug 31, 2007 at 9:16:25 pm

Lance. I'd go for the PDW-F330 any day. The image quality of that camera (with decent HD Fujinon lens of course) is miles ahead of the ProHD 250; I mean a long way.

I've owned and used all of them and the difference is clear on a monitor from the other side of the room. F330 produces quality that is miles better than the GY-HD250, but then the JVC is only HDV using the lesser 720 resolution and a constant 25Mbps. F330 uses half inch 1080 chips at 35Mbps and it is these key differences that give the 330 super-smooth image with far superior sharpness and resolution. Sony also has negligible fringing compared to JVC, which is riddled with green fringing in comparison; not to mention an image like a Mexican Mosaic in comparison too.

Also, with the F330 you don't have to buy the PDW-U1 USB Optical Disc reader/writer, just use the camera and it's FireWire to drag/drop the clips; it is a file-based tapeless system remember; that's what I do with my 350. It's not like you have any heads to wear out.

Forget SD lenses on 330, you will kill the cameras potential. The best budget lens for XDCAM HD by a mile is the Fujinon XS17x5.5BRM; amazing lens and as good as Canon costing twice the price according to my chart testing.

If you only shoot/edit in SD, stick with 450 as the image quality will be better than shooting with 330 in SD DVCAM mode due to 450's better SD lens and larger chips.

Having said that, shooting HD on 330 and editing HD, then dumping to uncompressed 8bit SD timeline will yield better results than 450 as you are capturing more detail in HD to start with; just don't down-convert in camera via FireWire; post down-convert is superior.

I'd go for it just for the file-based super fast workflow. You have to use XDCAM HD to fully appreciate it's superb workflow. Once you've tried it and used it on a complete production you'll never turn back.

Oh, you say you are not interested in other Sony handycams. Wait until the PMW-EX1 comes out November 1st; you'll soon change your mind there. I've been field-testing this camera for the past week ready for my IBC presentations and I can tell you the image quality has to be seen to be believed; it's incredible.



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jiri vrozina
Re: F330 vs HD250 cameras plus lens questions
on Sep 1, 2007 at 8:39:05 pm

one more think.
Next month Sony will introduce new XDCAM hd camera f335...it is like F330 but with Dual Layer burner(double recording time).
It will also come with cheap HD Canon AF lens.
Nigel is right-F330 is miles ahead of JVC250.
In a long rung XDCAM hd is the way to go.


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Nigel Cooper
Re: F330 vs HD250 cameras plus lens questions
on Sep 2, 2007 at 10:15:00 pm

Yes, 335 will have dual-layer capability. But it is worth remembering that the price difference over regular 330 (which can be bought with HD Canon AF lens) is much more than the price of a PDW-U1, which is also dual layer capable. If you don't need to record a continuos clip of over 2 hours, save your money and buy PDW-U1 instead, the latter allows for programmes to be mastered back to it onto a Dual Layer XDCAM HD disc of over 2 hours.

This is what I intend doing as I already have 350. I would not trade it in for 355 just for dual-layer alone when I can buy PDW-U1 for under


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Redflag
Re: F330 vs HD250 cameras plus lens questions
on Sep 3, 2007 at 10:51:04 am

So when is the 2/3 inch XDCAM HD coming,or is this it?



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Redflag
Re: F330 vs HD250 cameras plus lens questions
on Sep 3, 2007 at 10:51:04 am

So when is the 2/3 inch XDCAM HD coming,or is this it?



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jiri vrozina
Re: F330 vs HD250 cameras plus lens questions
on Sep 3, 2007 at 9:00:25 pm

April 2008


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Redflag
Re: F330 vs HD250 cameras plus lens questions
on Sep 4, 2007 at 7:14:14 am

Thought it was Nov this year? is that a bad sign being put back so much?? hope not!



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Nigel Cooper
Re: F330 vs HD250 cameras plus lens questions
on Sep 26, 2007 at 8:08:45 pm

It was never November. Always NAB 2008. Also, it will be about $15,000 more than current F355.


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Paul Burgess
Re: F330 vs HD250 cameras plus lens questions
on Feb 11, 2008 at 6:05:39 pm

Nigel your review of the MXO - was that on a PAL system?
I ask because I am told that the 23 inch Apple display only works as a colour monitior on NTSC systems because of the refresh rate.
Is that your experience?
I live in the UK and am considering going that route.

Paul


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lance herring
Re: F330 vs HD250 cameras plus lens questions
on Oct 3, 2007 at 8:42:17 pm

Nigel, I've finally read a review on the PMW-EX1 as well as read the Sony brochure on it. I'm excited about this camera! My only concern will be with workflow and archiving. I read this article on the videoguys website. http://www.videoguys.com.au/pdfs/PMW-EX1-XDCAM-HD-review.pdf
He's saying here that in order to backup to XDCAM disks using the USB drive, that the MP4 files from the EX1 would have to be recompressed and converted to 1440x1080 MXF files. The only other means of archiving would be to Bluray disks or removeable hard drives (both of which i'm not too happy about). So other than that issue, as well as having no provision to record in SD DVCAM mode, it seems like it'll be a great camera for our needs here. And for the price, we could buy two or three EX1s for the price of one F330 with a decent lens. I'll be keeping an eye out to see how workflow and archiving issues are addressed. If you have any more info, please let me know! Thanks.


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