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XDcam dumb question

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Paul Dougherty
XDcam dumb question
on Feb 5, 2010 at 3:19:25 pm

This from an editor.. can all the Sony XDcams shoot standard-def DVcam?

I ask because field tapes I'm getting for SD deliverable jobs are increasing shot HD but I don't own an HD deck.

For bonus points (this might be a "Hail Mary" pass/question) - there is a sdi option for the DSR-80, could I ingest HDV or XDcam if the deck had the SDI option in to an Avid?

Thanks,

Paul


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Craig Seeman
Re: XDcam dumb question
on Feb 5, 2010 at 3:31:48 pm

XDCAM is not tape based so I'm not sure what field tapes and decks have to do with it.

Most XDCAM cameras shoot DVCam. The EX1 and EX3 do not but the newer EX1r does for example.

Some XDCAM cameras require a disc reader and others a card reader depending on whether the source is XDCAM disc, SxS card, SDHC card. Of course if you don't have any reader you can make arrangements to have files delivered on hard drive.

BTW unless you're dealing with very short turnaround such as ENG, shooting in HD and downrezing to SD will give you much greater flexibility and often better quality. DV is one of the worst possible standard def codecs IMHO.



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Noah Kadner
Re: XDcam dumb question
on Feb 5, 2010 at 4:12:29 pm

Yeah I'd suggest building in a rental cost for the deck if you're getting HD tapes. Most cameras these days shoot to cards or discs rather than tapes and you don't want to have to go out and buy a million different decks and readers- so build that rental into your edit fee.

Noah

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Paul Dougherty
Re: XDcam dumb question
on Feb 5, 2010 at 4:13:02 pm

Thanks Craig, Yes re. "tape" I was transposing the same need/question to HDV tapes that arrived which I already know can shoot sd. And yes I've enjoyed the added flexibility of having all that picture real estate but with very low-margin budgets I'm having to absorb the cost of (in the case of HDV) of sending out the tapes to be captured to a drive.

Paul


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Will Salley
Re: XDcam dumb question
on Feb 5, 2010 at 4:19:52 pm

If it's only HDV you're concerned about just go to Best Buy or Wal-Mart and get a cheap consumer HDV camera that can downconvert. I think they are getting pretty cheap.

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SONY XDCAM EX3 - Letus Elite


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Craig Seeman
Re: XDcam dumb question
on Feb 5, 2010 at 4:29:30 pm

[Will Salley] "If it's only HDV you're concerned about just go to Best Buy or Wal-Mart and get a cheap consumer HDV camera that can downconvert. I think they are getting pretty cheap. "

The odds that'll it'll handle all HDV formats from Sony, Canon, JVC are about nil IMHO and even when the format matches there's tracking errors and that's one reason why cameras are not decks.



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Craig Seeman
Re: XDcam dumb question
on Feb 5, 2010 at 4:27:28 pm

So this isn't an XDCAM question at all?

Personally HDV is a problem format I avoid. Given the differences, some decks don't play some variations. On the other hand if they're shooting DVCam, there are some inexpensive decks around. As Noah implies, that cost, whether purchase or rental has to be built into your price. You don't have to absorb costs. You NOT supposed to. Your objective is to make money or, at the very least, not lose money.

Whether you rent, buy or outsource you charge. If they can't afford it, if you can't make money doing it. Don't do it.

There's good reason why people are moving away from tape.

If a camera can shoot XDCAM, I want XDCAM. Give me the BEST file the camera can produce, not the worst. DV is only useful when there's incredibly short turnaround where time is more important than quality.

It's not that your question is dump. It just doesn't make sense. XDCAM is file based whether DV, XDCAM, XDCAM HD, XDCAM EX. You can get a "dumb" drive for around $2500 for discs and an SxS card reader for $250.

The question I have is do you have a viable business model for the type of clients you're pursuing and accepting?



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Paul Dougherty
Re: XDcam dumb question
on Feb 5, 2010 at 4:50:42 pm

>So this isn't an XDCAM question at all?

Well yes.. can all the Sony XDcams shoot standard-def DVcam?
Question answered and I'm grateful.

In the case of the XDcam job there was no out-of-house transfer involved. Just a more work-flow overhead and conversion time to get to a SD deliverable on a job with with a low budget and tight turn-around time.

Thanks,

Paul


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Craig Seeman
Re: XDcam dumb question
on Feb 5, 2010 at 5:05:46 pm

Tight turnaround time with SD delivery might be the occasion to use SD. I find downconversions so fast though that SD is only worth while when a couple of hours will make the difference, such as in ENG work.

As for low budget, I can't think of a better way to make a one camera shoot appear as two or a locked down camera appear it's on dolly tracks than shooting in HD and editing in an SD timeline. If you edit in 8 bit uncompressed, rendering the sequence is your down convert and 8 bit uncompressed blows the doors of DV. Now that's good low budget strategy.



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Will Salley
Re: XDcam dumb question
on Feb 5, 2010 at 5:00:00 pm

[Paul Dougherty] "can all the Sony XDcams shoot standard-def DVcam?"

No






Mac Pro 2x2.8 Quadcore - 10.6.2 - QT 7.6.3 - 22 GB RAM - nvidia8800GT - SATA internal & external storage - Blackmagic Multibridge Pro - Open GL 1.5.10 - Wacom Intous2 tablet - AJA io
SONY XDCAM EX3 - Letus Elite


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