2/3 HD XDCAM
Anyone know anything about the long awaited 2/3 inch HD XDCAM?
According to John (in another thread) it is suppose to be out in May of 2008. I remember seeing prelim stuff on it (which has since dissapeared). Personally, after looking at the specs, I believe Sony pulled it because they want it to compete with the Panasonic HVX 2000/3000, and the way it was, it had some problems; compression rate of 50mbps instead of 100mbps on the P2, and doesn't record 1080p (at least there's no claim of it in the prelim info). Hopefully someone with more insight on this than me will post here, though.
The PDW700 has not been "pulled", it's still just vaporware. It's my understanding from a deep throat at Sony that there are production delays because of parts shortages from outside vendors. This camera will eventually arrive, but it'll be severely handicapped by the 50Mb MPEG2 recording format and lack of 24p, at least for digital cinema and other high end purposes that would better be served by HDCAM and AVC-I native 1080 cameras (like the Panasonic 3000 that you mention).
PDW700 will definitely do both 720 and 1080, this is one of it's main design criteria, namely being a "news" camera for both 720 and 1080 networks, and one of the principal reasons for the long delay. ABC News asked Sony to include it in the camera spec and then bailed out of a large order because of the interminable delay. Remember, it's a "PVM" not a "BVM" or "DVM" product and I assure you it will be replaced in short order with a camera that has both 24p (probably as an option) and AVC-I codec, offering quality to rival HDCAM or HDCAM SR.
As to whether it's in competition with Panasonic, that discussion boils down to P2 vs. Laser Disc. Before one buys either of these camera products you must buy into the various workflow of P2 and/or Laser Disc. The Panasonic 2000 camera comes closest to competing, in that it will also do both 720 and 1080 and even costs less, about $25K vs. $34K for the PDW700. The Panasonic 3000 camera is vastly superior both as a native 1920x1080 camera (no horizontal down res but also no 720) and has the AVC-I codec offering DVCPRO100 quality at 50Mb or D5 quality at 100Mbs. There's even rumors of a 200Mb codec to come in the future; this would allow high speed photography at 1080 60p or maybe higher at DVCPRO100.
As always, stay tuned for further developments. I think much more will shake out at NAB in the spring. There is great pent up demand for this camera, although it seems like the major broadcast networks have deferred their transition to HD for two or three more years. This is really because of all the non-camera issues like the high cost of new routers, rewiring their plants, server storage, uplink, transmission encoding and decoding and other infrastructure. I'm convinced that they will continue to do what their o&o local stations are doing with newscasts, namely producing the studio portions in HD with SD 16x9 upconverts of the field pieces. For the internet, video produced in SD will suffice for as long as takes to rewire the country with fibre.
I think it was just my hope that they pulled it to make some improvements but, alas, it doesn't sound like the case. I've always been a fan of Sony's BVW cameras throughout the 80's and 90's (nobody makes a viewfinder like Sony!), but lately, I can't say as I get their MO: first, putting 1/2" chips in their XDCAM HD; now that they finally have the 3/4" version ready, it's lacking in other areas. As a freelancer, I'd like to make a decision about what way to go, and I can't afford to get one of everything. I'm sure eventually the choice will be clear, but until then, I'll just keep using M-II. Just Kidding!
[David Jones] "As a freelancer, I'd like to make a decision about what way to go, and I can't afford to get one of everything. I'm sure eventually the choice will be clear,"
I'm pretty sure that the choice will never again be clear when it comes to big camcorders in the $30-70k range and that the only reliable way to deal with this for the forseeable future is to rent.
That's why as a freelance, owner operator, who's still getting more than I ever thought possible work out of my BetaSP rig, I'm looking very hard at the EX1 as my next purchase. It probably offers HD thats significantly better than 1/3" HDV, quite close to 2/3" HD, yet in a form factor that's small and light enough to do big camcorder camera support for much less $$$.
In other words, for that same $30k for a minimal big camcorder, I can have the EX1, Flash XDR, lots of solid state cards, hot laptop for on site editing, backup and/or delivery of files to clients on pocket drives, steadicam type rig, jib rig, sufficient batteries, a 35mm device and lenses, and a rig to turn it into a pretty much shoulder-mount camcorder. If what it can do doesn't suit the client, I can rent, but if it does, I will be able to deliver awfully darned good HD at BetaSP production rates, and far less than that for spiffy productions involving steadicam and/or Jib. A steadicam and wheel chair gets you quite good dollying in many locations with even about 30" of jibbing. The size and "quite good enough" HD quality of the EX1 opens up many production possibilities, that are often too expensive with a full size and weight camcorder.
SD?, still got the BetaSP and I'll change occupations before descending to $300/day DV.
Thems my thoughts anyhow.
Thanks for the info.Wish they would just put it out with all the bells and whistles in the first place! I might have paid off an HDX900 by now!! waiting for this camera! but was put off by Pana saying it was their last tape camera.!
Was so easy when it was all digibeta :)