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CBS News goes PDW700 for HD aquisition

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john sharaf
CBS News goes PDW700 for HD aquisition
on Jan 11, 2008 at 6:27:41 pm

Latest news circulating by email today from CBS News is that they are expecting to begin deliveries of PDW700 HD XDCAM in February and will be using it exclusively for HD acquisition for 60 Minutes shortly thereafter. The plot thickens!

JS



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Mark Shepherd
Re: CBS News goes PDW700 for HD aquisition
on Jan 12, 2008 at 2:43:15 am

John Sharif:

From what I have read regarding the recording capabilities of the dual layer disk on the PDW-700, it says that it can record "In DVCAM mode, users can get about 3 hours 10 minutes of content onto the new disc" Does this mean that this camera can fit into ABC New's plans but not having to use the PDW-530 which ONLY shoots in SD?


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john sharaf
Re: CBS News goes PDW700 for HD aquisition
on Jan 12, 2008 at 3:02:25 am

Mark,

This is the $64K question; if it does (and there is still some confusion about this)then it would be an excellent camera choice for someone who works both for CBS (although it looks like only the magazines will be going HD in the near term) and ABC. For those who work only at ABC, the PDW510 is a half price alternative and may prove to be a better choice if ABC ultimately decides to go another non-XDCAM HD solution in 2011.

Another draw back to the PDW700 is that it will not have 24p and will likely be superseded by a version that does and that also will have a more advanced codec like AVC-I in a year or so.

JS



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Robin Probyn
Re: CBS News goes PDW700 for HD aquisition
on Jan 12, 2008 at 7:04:33 am

Hi John

Do you think the all whistles and bells PDW700 version has good chance of becoming an across the board camera for doco/corp anything but really highend HD ie replacing the Varicam/HDX900/Sony 750 and even F900 camera,s ?



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john sharaf
Re: CBS News goes PDW700 for HD aquisition
on Jan 12, 2008 at 3:23:51 pm

Obviously that's what Sony hopes, but the reality is that there will never again be a one-camera solution. Remember that Panasonic (and others) are still actively developing new cameras; their 3000 camera for example is a much better solution, and on the market right now, for high end doc and independent feature (non 4K) at a fair price, as long as you're prepared to buy into P2.

The "ultimate" HD XDCAM, which will offer 24p and AVC-I codec could be 18 months-two years down the line. Sony themselves might improve the F900 by then to protect the high-lowend business, leaving the PRD700 positioned for the cost conscious news folks.

JMHO,

JS


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john sharaf
Re: CBS News goes PDW700 for HD aquisition
on Nov 21, 2008 at 1:11:30 am

I don't mean to gloat, but it looks like I was correct vis-a-vis the timeframe for the full-on 24p PDW700. Sony is now saying June 2009 delivery of 24p "software key".

JS



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Larry Warner
Re: CBS News goes PDW700 for HD aquisition
on Feb 9, 2009 at 8:07:14 am

We'll see what happens at NAB. Sony may release a F900 version that goes 4:4:4 to tape — but it will be a pricey camera and not too many individuals will be able to handle the workflow.

Right now — if you look hard at the specs — the PDW-700 handles 4:2:2 just a bit better than the F900. So - for field acquisition, (unless — you look at the F900 SR which goes to an external deck at 4:4:4 or the F35 - another external solution), the 700 is best camera out there — for both speed in post and image. This is not a "newsie" camera as some will lead you to believe — it is rock solid and performs better than any camera I've had my hands on.

It's incredibly practical, records to a medium that gives you 45 minutes of high quality HD that costs under $20 a load, that you can hand off to your client instantly. Also, the XDCam format is archive quality material. Talk about P2 all you want, but you dump that stuff off to a hard drive, and your material is only as good as the hard drive you dumped it to. Let alone the archiving skills of the people that will handle that hard drive later, The client also just paid you and your crew to sit around while 1 person transfers the material to a medium that you HOPE the client can handle later.

I don't get Sony for almost not promoting this camera. Sure it's on the website. But they seem to be leaning harder on the EX-1 and EX-3.

They have a lot of money invested in the F900 line, but why not let the market shake out what the end users want?

How hard can it be to do 24p if the PDW-700 camera now does 24p in 720p, 30p (and 25p in PAL) in 1080i?

The answer for the hold out on 24p for the 700 may be the 4:4:4 F900 (or whatever model they will be calling it) when NAB rolls around. It's just a shell game with Sony - they aren't listening to their clientele.




Larry Warner
LWP, Inc.
http://www.lwp.com


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john sharaf
Re: CBS News goes PDW700 for HD aquisition
on Feb 9, 2009 at 2:42:13 pm

Larry,

I agree that the PDW700 is a great camera, having just received my first two units. It has all the features (once 24p @ 1080 arrives) and specs necessary to qualify it as a "Swiss Army Knife" of HD cameras and the price and media are both very attractive.

Sony doesn't need to promote this camera as there is great pent up emotion for it, the problem they have right now is delivery. They are severely backordered and making everyone mad.

I also notice that there's a PDW740 model on the Japanese website that has the FIT imager from the F900R instead of the "FX" imager in the stock 700. I can't figure out why they would do this, it just muddies the water, confuses potential buyers and will create matching problems in the field.

I also have heard the whispers about the 444/HDCAM SR Camcorder and am concerned about the future of my F900R's, and this only gives me another reason to be mad and distrustful of Sony. How long will it take them to get that camera to market? Two years like the PDW700?

As far as CBS taking delivery of their 700's, I heard that they postponed that, although many of their qualified freelancers are taking the camera now at special pricing, maybe someone out there can confirm or refute this. NBC on the other hand has leased F900R's from Sony, denying rentals from the owner/operators and supplying their own kit instead, and ABC still hasn't made up their minds about their HD future, choosing instead to continue with DVCPRO100, which is actually a good thing for current tape based Varicam and X900 owners. I'm shooting for ABC today with two Varicams, but I'd be very happy to see them join the HD XDCAM bandwagon with the PDW700, and it's not too far fetched to think they will based on their satisfaction with the SD XDCAMs that they currently use, own and prefer.

Stay tuned!

JS



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Larry Warner
Re: CBS News goes PDW700 for HD aquisition
on Feb 9, 2009 at 7:06:20 pm

There is a deal on the PDW-700 for "preferred" CBS crew - but I didn't take it... Basically - it's 18% off "list" (full price) which is about what I got from a dealer who happened to have one on the shelf.

The reason that CBS sent the cameras back to Sony was not they did not want them - they are deferring their order. The infrastructure upgrade to handle HD was setback due to the economy, and it's not just stocking the place up with HD cameras. You've got the whole pipeline workflow to consider, including the servers to handle all the stored XDCam footage, uplink, the whole path, post production, etc. Only 60 made the leap and it was painful - still is. Part of the problem was that they decided to support too many cameras to wait until the 700 came on line. I think it was a lot more expensive than CBS anticipated, and ad revenues slowed the whole deal down. As far what CBS as a network plans to do, I think they have the best plan of any network, but it's going to take some time to get it finished - that is why I went with the 1.2 firmware upgrade to allow the camera to be that swiss army knife and shoot SD.

ABC should be using the camera for it shoots 16x9 in SD now - but shooting and down-converting from a 1080i chip internally. End result is not HD but looks light years better than any 16x9 Betacam.

Larry Warner
LWP, Inc.
http://www.lwp.com


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