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Who's buying the 3700 Varicam?

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Lee Dashiell
Who's buying the 3700 Varicam?
on Jul 19, 2009 at 12:16:48 pm

I have just placed my order for the 3700 and I'm curious who is falling in as well? I truly believe that the P2 format will outweigh the XDcam for higher end HD broadcast production and this $30,000 incentive is about as good as it gets. 10 years ago, I would have laughed if someone asked me if I would own a Panasonic camera, today I laugh about the thought of owning another Sony camera. I bought in to the SDX900 when it came out and it was an excellent decision. When the HDX900 was available, I bought it and have done very well with it too. I bought a RED in October of 2008 and it has been very productive however it's not a camera that you'll be using on a shoot for 60 Minutes or Dateline. I think the next step for High Def broadcast work is P2, so I just placed my order for the 3700. I've always been one to jump in early trying to make educated decisions and it's always paid off. I think that the 3700 will do the same and I am curious who else is jumping in?

http://www.HDX900crew.com
Providing Broadcast HD Camera Crews in SC
South Carolina HDX900 Varicam Crew
DP/CamMate Crane Owner/Operator
RED ONE.....on the way
803-743-7680


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Sam Painter
Re: Who's buying the 3700 Varicam?
on Jul 19, 2009 at 6:21:28 pm

I saw a side by side shoot out with the 2700 vs the 3700 last week.
The 3700 had a richer, sharper picture. For 30k its a beautiful camera if you don't need to over crank and you deal with P2.
Until P2 prices come down close to tape or discs prices I just don't see it happening.

I have an HDX900 and have loved it for three years. I also bought a Sony PDW-700 three weeks before they announced the 800 was coming out. (Don't get me started!)
The 700 has become my favorite camera because of its over all picture quality, it's very fast/quite in low light and easy to use.
It has all of the benefits of P2 and you hand your client the $20 a disc archive copy then and there.
I think the picture quality of skin tones is better on my HDX and f 900, still working that out on the 700.
{Thats one thing Panasonic does well, they make the camera look great out of the box.}

I haven't done any tests for theatrical screening, but for HD TV work I believe the 700/800 will become the new betacam if that is even possible in todays HDV world.



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Jeff Regan
Re: Who's buying the 3700 Varicam?
on Jul 20, 2009 at 3:27:30 pm

I don't believe the HPX3700 and PDW800 are an apples to apples comparison. The HPX3700 was designed as a cine style, high end camera for commercials and episodics and even feature films shooting for filmout. The AVC Intra codec is 10 bit, not 8 bit like XDCAM 422, I-frame not, Long GOP, 100Mbps, not a max. of 50Mbps.

The PDW800 is more of a network reality, news, magazine camera. It costs $42,000 vs. the non-trade in price of $60,000 for the HPX3000.
At $30,000 with trade in, the 3000 is a high end production camera at an attractive price.

The 3000 can record 6 hours and 40 minutes of 1080/24PN AVC Intra 100 footage with 5 64Gb P2 cards, or double that at AVC Intra 50, making the 3000 a viable documentary/long form camera without having to carry disc cartridges around all day.

Those that think P2 cards should be priced like tapes or discs aren't really thinking in a tapeless workflow mindset. The cheap P2 card is really the 500Gb external hard drive that the footage is transferred to for $100--about half the price of 500Gb worth of XDCAM discs and no studio deck or disc transport required in post.

Sony is selling a ton of $6-8,000 EX1 and EX3 cameras, which are true tapeless cameras--I just don't see a $42,000 plus $4,000 viewfinder XDCAM camera becoming the next BETACAM, I don't see ANY camera ever doing that again.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
http://www.ssv.com


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Erik Carlson
Re: Who's buying the 3700 Varicam?
on Jul 24, 2009 at 7:39:37 pm

Lee, I think it is a great idea to add P2 to your list of cameras. I to believe P2 is going to win over Sony's XDCAM. I do believe you are right in saying that this camera is going to be the choice for clients like 60 mins and Dateline. I can see a lot of freelancers and small production companies that produce a lot of the programs we see on TV changing their mind from XDCAM to P2 with this offer. Panasonic has done amazing things with P2. I was a XDCAM fan at the beginning, Then, I was forced to use the P2 2000 camera to produce 24 episodes for a a client. I fell in love with P2. Then they Varicam came out in P2 and 1080, I couldn't be happier. It's not the RED, but there is no way in hell I'm shoulder the RED for four quarters running up and down the sidelines of a football game. I'll take it on a commercial shoot any day. You're going to be very happy with this camera.


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Jeff Regan
Re: Who's buying the 3700 Varicam?
on Jul 26, 2009 at 12:27:00 am

The HPX3700 did very well in the ASC Camera Assessment Series. It was said to have more latitude than the other camras, including RED ONE and F35. It certainly is the easiest to use from a user interface and form factor standpoint as well as the post workflow.

I just read that Final Cut 7 now supports AVC Intra natively.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
http://www.ssv.com


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Lee Dashiell
Re: Who's buying the 3700 Varicam?
on Jul 29, 2009 at 8:22:23 pm

It will surprise me if it has more latitude than the RED which we already own and love but for us it's not a replacement for the RED. We shoot cine style with the RED using Zeiss primes and the 3700 Varicam will be used for higher end broadcast work typical to what we currently use the HDX900 for. We are importing and editing RED footage faster than we can digitize tape at this point so moving to a totally digital world has actually become a reality with us. I think that once people do it they'll realize how easy it is and in reality much more safe than having one master tape. When you shoot digitally, all your copies are masters.

http://www.OspreyHD.com
South Carolina HD Camera crew
RED, HDX900, SDX900, 3700 Varicam coming soon!
803-743-7680


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Daniel Andreas
Re: Who's buying the 3700 Varicam?
on Sep 18, 2009 at 8:09:57 am

Could you tell me where i can find some more results from that PGA/ASC Assessment Series? Would very much like to see some write ups.



Daniel Andreas
Director of Photography
Los Angeles
DVW970 DigiBetacam PAL
SDX900
HDX900

http://www.PALHD.com



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Michael Shugrue
Re: Who's buying the 3700 Varicam?
on Aug 2, 2009 at 3:47:41 pm


We have purchased 2 3700's and traded in our F-900's ( they were not working at all) no a huge suprise. We have also purchased a PDW-800.
More interest on the 3700's at this point


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