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Sensor Size and meeting Broadcaster Specs

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Paul Lowey
Sensor Size and meeting Broadcaster Specs
on Oct 3, 2009 at 11:51:05 pm

I'm looking into purchasing a new camera and I would like make sure that my new camera will meet most broadcaster specifications. I've heard some talk that 1/3" chips don't meet the requirements and that 1/2" and 2/3" chips MUST be used - but I can't find anything to back that up.

I would love to buy the HPX170 (for a few reasons, most importantly price!). Is the 1/3" chip going to be a problem for me if want to produce documentaries ready for broadcast?


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Noah Kadner
Re: Sensor Size and meeting Broadcaster Specs
on Oct 4, 2009 at 6:13:18 am

Depends 100% on which broadcaster- some yes, others no.


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edgar metro
Re: Sensor Size and meeting Broadcaster Specs
on Dec 19, 2012 at 5:40:16 pm

Hi Noah,
I have read over the years your helpful answers to so many questions on this forum.

I am shooting something on my HVX that will be for broadcast. The producer wants me to shoot in 1080 24p (23.98) Here are the spec they require:
Aspect Ratio - 16:9 HD
Shooting Format - HDCAM SR / HDCAM / DVC PRO HD / HDV / XDCAM HD 35 megabit
Standard (resolution / scanning method / frame rate) – 1080i 59.94 / 1080i 50 / 1080 Psf 23.98 / 1080 Psf 25 / 720 P 59.94 / 720 P 50 / 720 P 25 / 720 P 23.98


The HVX only has a 1080i 24p setting and not a 1080p (as you know)
Will this be a problem when editing and outputting to the specified delivery parameters?
I have also read on here that it might be better to shoot in 24pa.
I'm quite confused on what to do.
I would appreciate any help you can provide.
Thank you in advance.


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Steve Eisen
Re: Sensor Size and meeting Broadcaster Specs
on Oct 4, 2009 at 6:19:36 am

You mentioned most broadcast standards. You'll have a better chance at meeting specs if you purchase the HPX-300 and shoot in AVC-Intra 100. If you don't have the money for the HPX-300, rent an HPX-2000, 2700 or 3700.

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Dan Brockett
Re: Sensor Size and meeting Broadcaster Specs
on Oct 4, 2009 at 8:23:12 pm


A few other things to consider. Camera specs and imager sizes only matter if you are doing commissioned work. If you are producing on spec, none of this really matters as long as the show looks decent.

If a Discovery network commissions your project, they send out mixed signals, they may want you to use a "Silver" or better rated camera like the HPX500 with a 2/3" imager, but there have been other prime time shows on Discovery networks outlets that were shot entirely on 1/3" cameras, which technically don't meet their specs. But the shows aired, they were commissioned and they received good reviews and ratings.

Travel Channel, OTOH, almost everything they air is shot on 1/3" cameras like the Z1, V1, ZR7 and HVX200/170.

Let's put it this way, if you are HOPING to produce something and sell it to a cable net, shoot on whatever you can afford. If you are commissioned on a series, you will shoot whatever they tell you to shoot it on or risk being in violation of your contract with said cable net. HPX300 is kind of a wild card, killer codec but small imager as far as broadcast goes. If you want to be safe, buy a new F800 or a 3700, I guarantee that any cable net will be delighted with the footage.

Ironically few people who care about the required camera specs for cable nets are in a position to care (they are working on spec and hoping to sell) vs. most people who have commissioned work from cable nets just shoot with broadcast 2/3" cameras mostly and don't worry about all of this.


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