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DVCAM or Beta SX

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adguy31
DVCAM or Beta SX
on Oct 11, 2005 at 5:54:14 pm

Hey all,

This is my first post to THIS forum so please be gentle... :)

I am in the process of purchasing a moderately priced broadcast camera. I am currently looking at either a DSR-450 or any of Sony's Beta SX cameras. Both are 2/3" and will accept 2/3" broadcast lenses. Each has their features and, after purchasing the lenses, will be close to the same price.

The question I have is which one would be a better long-term fit for creating broadcast quality video that will be aired as well a web deliverable. I really like the additional features of the DSR-450 but am also attracted the video quality of the Beta SX. Will the beta format become obsolete because of Digi Beta? Again, I am just trying to find out some information at this point. Thanks in advance.

Seth

wordtoyomutha


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R. Hewitt
Re: DVCAM or Beta SX
on Oct 12, 2005 at 11:02:14 am

BetaSX hasn't proven to be as popular as Sony had hoped. It was a half-way house between the outgoing BetaSP format and Digi-Beta. I doubt BetaSX will remain in ue as long as BetaSP did. Many news channels have already made the move to DVCAM to enable lowcost aquisition and editing. A decent DVCAM player/recorder (DSR-45) is a fraction of the cost of a basic SX machine and connects via firewire direct into your chosen editing application - it also prvents wear and tear on your camera.

SX has a slight edge in terms of quality but you pay the price for this; more expensive tapes, repairs and player/recorders. SX has a compression ratio of around 3:1 compared to DV's fixed 5:1.

For programme production Digi-Beta is the choice of most production facilities but the cost of players/recorders is as high as the quality it produces.

A good, well lit and well shot DV production from a DSR-450 camera can closely match the capability of and SX shoot. Just make sure you go for the broadcast lens rather than the professional lens usually sold with the camera.


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adguy31
Re: DVCAM or Beta SX
on Oct 12, 2005 at 3:31:10 pm

Thanks for the reply. I thought it was the pretty even and I appreciate the insight to the SX format. Looks like the DSR-450 is on the list as a purchase.

Seth

wordtoyomutha


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ScottGfx
Re: DVCAM or Beta SX
on Oct 13, 2005 at 5:58:26 am

DigiBeta has a compression ratio of around 3:1 not SX.

DV is around 5:1 and it's datarate is a fixed 25Mb/s.
BetaSX has a datarate of 15Mb/s and is Mpeg based.

So, if 25Mb/s is 5:1 what is 15Mb/s?

I believe an SX deck will play pack both analog Beta and DigiBeta tapes. That alone may make it more valuable.

Now, if only it would play my Betamax recordings... :)


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R. Hewitt
Re: DVCAM or Beta SX
on Oct 13, 2005 at 12:46:25 pm

A standard SX machine will only play SX and BetaSP. The Digi-Beta option is available on the J30 series players.

BetaSX is MPEG2 based but gives a far higher quality recording than the fixed compression of DV. The DV format compresses each frame in it's own right (intra-frame) whereas SX is inter-frame and takes multiple frames into account during the compression process. This enables the encoder to make far better motion compensation and high detail preservation than the DV format could ever produce.

You cannot use the data rates between these two differing compression formats to compare the output quality.

DV and DVCAM format cameras are far cheaper to manufacture than SX primarily due to the expense of the MPEG2 codecs and licensing costs. The DV codec by contrast is common to both professional and many high-end consumer cameras and mass production dramtically reduces costs.


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ScottGfx
Re: DVCAM or Beta SX
on Oct 13, 2005 at 6:32:26 pm

Thanks for the info.


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David See
Re: DVCAM or Beta SX
on Nov 3, 2005 at 1:46:28 am

I used to use BetaSX in a local news network and now I use DVCAM (DSR570WS) for my own work.

I still prefer the look BetaSX gets over DVCAM. The shots look ore colourfull and crisper. Just wish I could have afforded SX when it was time to buy my own gear. I couldn't, so that is why I opted for DVCAM. It's very good but not as good as SX in my opinion.

DVCAM's viewfinders are awful, BetaSX's MUCH better.

I do like the look and feel of the DSR450, though!

David


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Methodical
Re: DVCAM or Beta SX
on Dec 13, 2005 at 1:26:46 pm

the dsr-400 and 450 use the same imaging block as the sony PDW series (bluray)


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Richard Wood
Re: DVCAM or Beta SX
on May 18, 2011 at 8:51:15 am

Doesn't look like many people are reading these threads these days judging by the dates, but I'll spout off anyway... haha

I own BOTH DVCAM and BETA SX formats... DSR-400 camera, DNW-90WS and DNW-9WS cameras, DNW-A100 vcr and definitely the SX format looks sharper on a CRT monitor. The color is nice and the whole image is better and crisper than the DVCAM image. And this in spite of the DSR-400 shooting 920 lines (more lines than SX cameras do) so yeah the algorithm DOES make a big difference and not JUST the bit-rate or lines of res.

The cost of the DVCAM format is way less than the SX gear (vcr's and 2/3" cameras) so from a cost perspective, DVCAM is very attractive and no doubt has nudged some TV stations and production houses to adopt this format for just that reason. It does a heck of a job for a modest cost. And capturing everything via firewire makes life easy for sure.

Regarding compression ratios; I believe SX format is compressed 10:1 as it goes from 180 Mbps to 18 Mbps. And yes DVCAM is compressed 5:1 for 25 Mbps. Digi-Beta is actually 1.8:1 some round up and call it 2:1 for 90 Mbps.



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