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F3 and Solid State for Broadcast

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Matthew Sonnenfeld
F3 and Solid State for Broadcast
on Jan 13, 2011 at 9:36:10 pm

Hello all,

My company is producing a cooking show for national broadcast and we are looking to move into a solid state workflow for our next season, possibly based around a Sony PMW-F3 once it is released. The program is a food education, reality show, involving travel and original footage combined with archival footage, much like American Eats and Unwrapped.

Unfortunately, as far as we are concerned, we are required to submit camera masters on tape to the network. Does anyone have any experience with these sort of limitations? To work around this, and for archival, we have been investigating LTO data tape. Has anyone seen this to be acceptable for deliverables? Or is it ever worth it to output to tape from a hard drive? We are using Avid Media Composer systems with a Unity drive. Furthermore, would people expect a camera like the F3 to perform on a show of this nature?

Thank you!


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Craig Seeman
Re: F3 and Solid State for Broadcast
on Jan 13, 2011 at 9:43:21 pm

If you're delivering HD on tape it's usually HDCam for final masters.
Do they want camera masters as well?

BTW some will grumble about shooting on 35mbps 4:2:0 so that's where a NanoFlash might come in handy.



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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: F3 and Solid State for Broadcast
on Jan 13, 2011 at 9:46:54 pm

Our final masters are always HDCAM but our camera masters are DVCPRO HD and the network does require them as well. Given that, what do you think?

I do like the idea of a nano flash too though. Thanks for the tip!


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Craig Seeman
Re: F3 and Solid State for Broadcast
on Jan 13, 2011 at 10:41:58 pm

I'd cringe at the thought of having to convert to DVCProHD. At least you can start from a very high quality recording on the NanoFlash. I wonder if it's worthwhile to see if they'll accept XDCAM HD on XDCAM discs.



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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: F3 and Solid State for Broadcast
on Jan 13, 2011 at 10:59:18 pm

That's an interesting thought but I know that they won't accept Blu-Ray data discs for camera masters either. I also just found out that LTO is not acceptable either. It doesn't have to be DVCPro HD though. It can be anything that's HD tape.


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Ian Cook
Re: F3 and Solid State for Broadcast
on Jan 13, 2011 at 11:03:20 pm

If you needed to you could make TC-accurate sub masters to an HDCAM or HDCAM SR deck. Just select SDI as the TC source on any of these and you only need to connect one cable from HD-SDI out to HD-SDI in. HBO Films, for example, wants everything archived on tape so EX and other file based footage usually ends up getting dubbed like this. LTOs are usually not accepted as deliverables.

If they'll accept an XDCAM optical disc you can dub it over to 50 Mbps 422 in either 720 or 1080, P or I. Pro Discs are widely accepted as deliverables and the decks are cheaper to rent than SR machines.

Hope this helps..

Cheers,

Ian

Ian Cook
Sony Broadcast and Professional Company


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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: F3 and Solid State for Broadcast
on Jan 13, 2011 at 11:14:22 pm

Thank you Ian! That's all excellent advice. If you don't mind, I just have a few follow up questions so that everything is in order...

As this would be happening on location shoots, is there a deck in particular that you would recommend? How cumbersome, if at all, do you think this sort of work flow would be? Do you think that a real time dub on location would be advantageous over outputting to tape after ingesting to the Avid?

Obviously, we are trying to find a way to maintain the benefits of a tapeless workflow while remaining cost efficient and satisfying the network's demands. But hey, isn't that always the problem?


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Ian Cook
Re: F3 and Solid State for Broadcast
on Jan 13, 2011 at 11:34:34 pm

The optical machine would be a PDW-HD1500.

The portable HDCAM deck would be an HDW-S280. The SR equiv would be the SRW-1.

It's always difficult and time consuming to do this on set. You could conceivably back up the cards and then copy them back to SxS later so that you could make the dubs. If you bring it into Avid printing each individual clip back with the original TC will be a major headache. It's really best to dub from the original card or from a card backup copied back to SxS. For playback you could use any EX camera or the (also portable) EX30 deck.


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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: F3 and Solid State for Broadcast
on Jan 14, 2011 at 4:05:59 pm

Ian,

I've done a bit of research and here is my question now... if we have enough SxS cards to last for a day of shooting, and we got the PMWEX30 deck, would we be able to have night editors (who are already here digitizing tape every week night)ingest into Avid through the EX deck and could the same deck dub the original SxS cards to a DVCPRO HD tape deck (via HDSDI) that the company already owns?


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Ian Cook
Re: F3 and Solid State for Broadcast
on Jan 14, 2011 at 4:17:32 pm

Yes, the EX30 can be used for both the file-based ingest and the dub to DVCPRO HD or HDCAM SR or whatever you choose. Just make sure that your DVCPRO HD deck can take time code from the SDI stream. There is no dedicated TC out on the EX30 but as long as you can set the recorder to look for SDI time code you'll have TC-accurate dubs. This is standard on most higher end Sony decks but I can't say for sure with the DVCPRO machine.


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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: F3 and Solid State for Broadcast
on Jan 14, 2011 at 4:27:13 pm

That's excellent! Our deck can take TC through SDI so it sounds like we're all set. Thank you so much for all of your help!


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Michael Palmer
Re: F3 and Solid State for Broadcast
on Jan 13, 2011 at 11:47:57 pm

I would renegotiate this contract to only submit a finished (show) product and keep your whatever footage you like.
I would record both natively to your camera and also to a Nano Flash in the field so you have a redundant recording system in place and delivery/archive with SR HDcam tapes. I would make sure the editors had a redundant hard drive system in place or backed up to LTO.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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David Speace
Re: F3 and Solid State for Broadcast
on Jan 19, 2011 at 6:16:10 pm

Nobody has really mentioned whether shooting with the F3 is really a suitable camera for shooting run and gun "reality" style television considering the camera comes with 3 prime lenses and a zoom lens is not available yet, (or you could use any prime photography/film lenses you may already have). If you are going to put a zoom lens on this camera like a Zeiss or Schneider zoom... this will be very expensive not to mention the zoom motor you will have to add. Although, I guess you could zoom manually. My experience with shooting reality tv is that you will not have time to change lenses or pull focus. I can see it now the camera operator has the 35mm lens on the camera and the chef pours the final ingredient into the pot... and the director says get a tight shot of that...and the camop says wait a minute I gotta change the lens... and after he gets the tight shot the director says.... okay lets do the wide shot again! Of course, Sony will probably have a zoom lens for this camera...soon(?), considering there are zoom controls already built into the camera!

Dave Speace
Producer/Director/DP
DZP Video

Windows 7, 64 Bit, i7 8 Core, 16Gb Ram, GeForce 4800


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