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Glen Hall
Digital Betacam Vs HD XDCAM
on Jul 12, 2007 at 10:34:11 am

Hello all.

I'm trying to get my head around the benefits of shooting HD XDCAM, when I think Digital Betacam pictures are nicer.
I know that the obvious benefit is in dealing with the media quickly with XDCAM, but I am concentrating purely on the quality of the pictures.
I've not shot anything with the XDCAM, but the stuff I've seen go to air shot with it looks a bit like DV, i.e. very little seperation between the subject and the background.
I don't understand numbers very well. I go on the way things look. I also understand that there are different hoarses for different courses.
It seems that people are choosing to go 'HD' without going, or understanding fair dinkum HD.


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Glenn Chan
Re: Digital Betacam Vs HD XDCAM
on Jul 14, 2007 at 5:40:52 am

The depth of field might explain it... XDCAM tends to be shot on 1/2" chips, which digital betacam 2/3". If you care about DOF, you can get a 35mm adapter for the same DOF as film (though you get light loss, some noise, and some other issues). Some stuff shot on HDV cameras with a 35mm adapter looks pretty darn cool. Probably a lot of it is how much care you put into shooting the material.



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Jiri Vrozina
Re: Digital Betacam Vs HD XDCAM
on Jul 14, 2007 at 9:02:55 pm

Proper brand new Digi Beta camera will cost about 2-3 times more when 1/2' XDCAM HD camcorder. SD pictures will look better from Digi Beta especially skin tones. But this will all change with 2/3' XDCAM HD,Infinity and Pana 2100.
You get what you pay for.


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Devin Crane
Re: Digital Betacam Vs HD XDCAM
on Jul 18, 2007 at 1:55:09 pm

The SD XDcam would be better than the Digi Beta. IMX 50 is much nicer to edit natively rather than having to go over Baseband video with Digibeta. The quality is very similar the only difference is IMX 50 is 8bit. But it is still 4:2:2 and is viritually lossless. When we compared it to Native Uncompressed we could not tell the difference.


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Jiri Vrozina
Re: Digital Betacam Vs HD XDCAM
on Jul 18, 2007 at 10:14:34 pm

If you say so.


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Tom Matthies
Re: Digital Betacam Vs HD XDCAM
on Jul 19, 2007 at 9:59:54 pm

I disagree as well.
For SD video, I'd pick a Digibeta over an XDCam any day. Digibeta is 10 bit for one. Much depends on the front end of the camcorder as well. Most Digibetas have a pretty darn good camera section. We have evaluated the HD XDCam along side of our Digibetas. While the obvious difference is the resolution of the picture (SD vs. HD) I found that the HD XDCam is very noisy when compared to the Digibeta in SD mode. I blame this on the GOP recording process and the noise seems to be more compression noise rather than camera noise.
That said, we will probably be buying a pair of HD XDCams in the near future. We have the need for an HD acquisition for some longer format programming coming up later this year. For the most part, much of the day to day footage will still be down-converted for delivery so I'm not as concerned with the compression noise for that reason. When down-converted, the HD HDCam looks good.
Our Digibetas are still used daily and will be for some time to come.
They are built like tanks.
Tom


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Devin Crane
Re: Digital Betacam Vs HD XDCAM
on Jul 19, 2007 at 10:20:52 pm

Not talking about HD XDcam. SD IMX XDcam, IMX50 doesn't have near the dropouts that's prone to Digibeta, also it's a lot nicer to capture to disc than tape. Saves a ton of time. If you notice Sony is pushing their XDcam line more than any other. Have you viewed IMX50 to Digibeta? Can't tell the difference.


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Peterd
Re: Digital Betacam Vs HD XDCAM
on Jul 27, 2007 at 9:29:34 pm

Quality aside usefulness is something ot keep in mind. If you're doing everything in house you should be ok but XDCAM decks are very uncommon and if you need to make a transfer or conversion you're really going to have trouble finding a duplication facility with XDCAm equipment on hand. Whereas you can hand a Digibeta to jsut about any post facility and they'll be able to work with it.


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Glenn Chan
Re: Digital Betacam Vs HD XDCAM
on Jul 28, 2007 at 5:35:24 pm

In some other contexts XDCAM has a nice workflow. For offline (and depending on your NLE), you don't have to spend as much time doing log & capture.

For online editing, ingesting off XDCAM is very fast. Shuttling is instantaneous. Conforms go a lot faster.


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Devin Crane
Re: Digital Betacam Vs HD XDCAM
on Jul 28, 2007 at 11:13:37 pm

For that reason alone we love it, we can ingest @4x realtime. More of our stations are starting to pick it up also. NAB for that past several years has been all about HD, this past year it was all about tapeless. I would bet that XDcam, though not perfect will start picking up speed. Keep in mind though Sony is suppose to come out with a new camera later this year with 2x the capacity of the current HD-Xdcam and a new codec Mpeg 422@50mbs. If you can wait until end of summer I would wait for this to come out.


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xgfmedia
Re: Digital Betacam Vs HD XDCAM
on Aug 1, 2007 at 3:01:59 pm

Betacam bodies are still comparatively expensive, and
a digibeta camera with (for example) a Canon J1-11 HD
lens creates beautiful SD pictures. That said, I hope
the expense is a quickly dissolving luxury for digibeta.
There are HD cameras out there, a third of price,
capable of producing superior pictures, and yet we're
all still somehow enslaved to digibeta's legacy, and
cost. It's even impossible to find a digibeta bargain
on eBay.

My favourite SD camera at our office is my XDCAM 530p.
Its lens (Fujinon A13x6.5) is getting on a bit now
- as is the camera - but I'm really happy with the
creative stuff (music videos, short films, etc.) we've
shot with it over the last two years. Shooting in
25p with Magic Bullet handling the grading, and I'll
happily choose it over the the HDV cameras sitting on
the shelf any day of the week. In fact, I'm already
bored of the Z1's 'look'.

Darren.

myspace.com/xgfmedia


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engboy99
Re: Digital Betacam Vs HD XDCAM
on Dec 21, 2007 at 3:31:58 pm

Completely agree with this post. We have the PDW 530 SD XDCAM versus BVP570 cameras matched with DVW 250 DigiBeta portable decks. The PDW 530 has 2/3 CCD and with IMX50(4:2:2/8bit) we are not seeing a drop off versus Digibeta (4:2:2/10 bit). The XDCAM's have been rock solid and the convenience of disk is invaluable at this point...cost, ingest, storage.

We also have the 1/2 inch HD XDCAM(PDW350L) and I would agree that in downconverting SD, the end product is inferior to both Digibeta and SD XDCAM.


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