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HDW-750 experiences required

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David Issko
HDW-750 experiences required
on Oct 28, 2006 at 2:38:46 am

Hi All,

I am thinking of upgrading to HDCAM, in particular, the 750.
Can anyone who has used the 750 tell me what you think of it please.

It is a frighfully and unnecessarily expensive unit so before jumping into HDCAM, your thoughts would help me. I would also need to purchase an edit deck and totally upgrade my Media 100 edit system & computer. Mega bucks.

It does however look quite nice and may open up additional revenue streams for my company.

Thanks


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Bill Crawford
Re: HDW-750 experiences required
on Oct 29, 2006 at 12:01:20 am

Hi David,

I've owned a 750 for 4 years now. Can't say enough good things about it. Overall It was a smooth transition from SD to HD. There were the usual odd issue here and there that normally comes with a new kit, but on the whole it was painless. It was also relatively easy to change my post over. I was using an Avid in the SD world - but used FCP to switch to HD post. It works very well.

What in particular are you interested in knowing?

Bill





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David Issko
Re: HDW-750 experiences required
on Oct 30, 2006 at 6:32:16 am

Thanks for your reply Bill.

You covered some of what I wanted to know but really just your overall experience with the unit. No issues with it? Robust hard wearing construction. Do you have a HD lens on it? If so, what do you use?

What type of hard drive system do you have set up with FCP and the HDCAM? What is your main HD program monitor you use to view the editing with? What VTR do you use?

I am loking at upgrading from DVCAM to HDCAM. The 750 sounds just right as does a D2000 (the M2000 is just a little too pricey).

I have Media 100 8.2.2 and Iam looking to upgrade to HD Suite 11.5 using the new MacPro computer once Media 100 is Intel compliant in Jan 2007.

Thanks very much


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Bill Crawford
Re: HDW-750 experiences required
on Oct 31, 2006 at 9:37:41 pm

|No issues with it?

None to speak of.

|Robust hard wearing construction.

Yes, with one caveat. Sony replaced the optical block for me under warranty as I had some CCD issues about 2 years into ownership. They were excellent about the repair and I've not had any issues since.


|Do you have a HD lens on it? If so, what do you use?

Yes - even though it is a B4 mount,and SD lenses will work. Don't. You will not be happy with the quality. I'm a bit surprised that the 350 owners are suggesting that they are using SD lenses on it. I'm very picky about my glass and any zoom lens is a compromise to begin with. Chromatic aberrations are the most common artifact, and an SD lens will show a lot more of those than a comparable HD lens on an HD camera. Especially near the edges.

I'm using a Canon HJ16x8. I'm a little mixed on it. It has had some alignment issues that have been somewhat addressed in service, but for now I'm thinking it's a bit delicate in the field. That, or my eyes need to get worse soon, or Canon will stop returning my calls ;)

|What type of hard drive system do you have set up with FCP and the HDCAM?

I'm using a Lacie Biggest S2S Sata array.

|What is your main HD program monitor you use to view the editing with?

Sony BVM 14

|What VTR do you use?

Sony HDW-2000

|I am loking at upgrading from DVCAM to HDCAM. The 750 sounds just right as does a D2000 (the M2000 is just a little too pricey).

I'm not familiar with the D2000. I like my 2000 and would recommend it. I thought it was a bargain after buying Beta, and Dbeta studio decks in the past. It has performed well and without problem. I get some outside material sometimes and it is helpful to have all the formats be playable. I got some 30P stuff from Germany and it worked great. Not at all like the PAL / NTSC format issues before.

The best advice I can pass on is to get the gear that makes the best sense for your client's projects. I was an early adopter of HD in my market. I was replacing an aging Beta SP system. It did not make any sense to stay in SD since HD was on the near horizon so I went with the flexibility the shooting in HD offers. In 4 years my clients have benefited from the quality, but only a few jobs came to me just because I have HD. In addition, almost all my work still finishes in SD. HD edits are still a bit rare in my market. It has been much more common for me to work in 16x9 SD.

Before you drop the bucks, be sure you have client support for HD. Gear is nothing but getting cheaper and better. If you do not have direct client support for a format, the longer you wait, the better off you will be. You can always rent until you have enough work to justify ownership.

Hope that helps,

Bill





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David Issko
Re: HDW-750 experiences required
on Nov 1, 2006 at 5:10:57 am

Yes Bill your comments do help, thanks for your time.

I intend on purchasing a HD lens with the 750, a "no brainer". As I have used broadcast Fujinon lenses for umpteen years, I would look in their direction first. I have read SD/HD lens reviews and seen some image snapshots with very clear and distinct differences between SD & HD lenses, the HD lenses being much better but by no means "perfect" either.

The HDW-2000 is a HDCAM record and replay only. The HDW-D2000 can play back Digital Betacam and the HDW-M2000 includes Betacam SP playback as well - lots of heads on the upper drum assembly!!!

I too am looking to capture in HD and master corporates in SD but as for TV comercials, I may master in HDCAM, depending on TV network capabilities and requirements.

The market is very small in Australia where I live but if I can offer something ahead of the pack, I may be able to increase my client base, which is what we all want. I am in no rush whatsoever in the hope of prices coming down but I will not wait and wait either. I may have to create a market in HD. Who knows??
The HDCAM toys sound very exciting.


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Bill Crawford
Re: HDW-750 experiences required
on Nov 1, 2006 at 1:56:09 pm

No problem, glad to help.

One thing you will have as an advantage to us in the US, your 750P (PAL) will do both interlace and progressive. Something the NTSC version does not have. I would have loved to have been able to offer 30P. Especially now that many of the new home displays are choosing 30P as the native display format.

I think the best part of the 750 is that at it's price point it's just above what we spent on our Beta SP stuff a decade ago. It helps the move to HD as an affordable acquisition source that plays well in both the SD and HD world. It has a great look - very close to the 900. I like the ability to shoot in HD, and then be able to decide whether to downcovert to 4x3, or 16x9 without resolution penalty. If I had stayed in the SD world, I woudl have had to choose between a widescreen or 4x3 model. The switchable d-beta models had lower vertical resolution in 16x9 which would have been a negative for the effects work I shoot.

Also this works well for delivering projects in PAL. I recently had to provide PAL versions of a program series. Normally in NTSC you have to upconvert to PAL because of PAL's larger frame size. I addressed the problem by doing the edit in HD and donwconverted to PAL. A very clean image when finished.

While I had an extensive library of beta and dbeta tapes, I chose to avoid the M2000 because of the potential head replacement issues. I also felt that upconverting SD tapes was against the idea of shooting in HD. I wanted the clients to jump on board for new material acquisition rather than get in a situation of using existing SD material upconverted for HD use. Not to mention the quality was a bit thin.

I just kept the A500 Dbeta in the rack and use it for SD mastering and downconverts.

Good luck with the changeover. If you have any other questions feel free to drop a note back.

Bill




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NICK B
Re: HDW-750 experiences required
on Nov 1, 2006 at 10:43:46 pm

Regarding the HDW-2000 deck Sony has this month just brought out the HDW-D1800 HDCAM deck with digibeta playback which is much cheaper than a 2000 deck and even cheaper still is the HDCAM only HDW-1800
UK prices start at


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David Issko
Re: HDW-750 experiences required
on Nov 3, 2006 at 12:13:08 am

Thanks for that Nick.
I am aware of the 1800 recorder but for the LONG term for me, at this point in time, I need to look to an HDW-D2000P preferably. Still, the D1800 may be considered, depending on operational ability. Looks a little clunky to me without easily accessible edit controls, but I would need to see a demo first.

Are you an HDCAM user?

Cheers
David


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Thomas
Re: HDW-750 experiences required
on Dec 4, 2006 at 1:46:46 am

We have a 700A which we have used for several years and which lead us to much better work. As a result we are considering selling it and moving on up to a CineAlta. the 730 750 cameras are similiar to the 700A in features and image quality. The 750 is about the same the 730 slightly less quality. Both these cameras usually sell for more than a 700A. Both these cameras use the slightly smaller body and weigh somewhat less than a 700A (If you become interested in buying a 700A, contact me off list to discuss) I have also shot quite a bit with the 730 especially as we have a client who owns one. The images are very good. Actually from an image standpoint it would be difficult to justify moving up. We now have some clients who are insisting. The camera is just like using a betacam. The controls are similiar and easy to find in the dark. These cameras require an HD lens as regular B mount SD lenses will fit but vignette at the wide end, 16/9SD lenses will cover but don't provide the full image quality.
The biggest difference from BetacamSp is Focus. These cameras must be focused exactly and even when it is hard to see on a field monitor it can come back to haunt you in post on a larger screen. Backfocus is also much more critical and needs to be set while looking at a sizeable screen. Overall I'd have to say that moving up the really PRO HD gear will in all probability bring you much better work. Of course you need to be taking some pretty good looking pictures.
All The Best,
TJ



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