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PDW 700 and 24P

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Sam Roberts
PDW 700 and 24P
on Aug 15, 2008 at 10:36:14 pm

I am looking to buy the PDW700 but one criticism about the camera I keep hearing is that it doesn't do 24P. I am also hearing that Sony plans to add this feature, apparently with some other improvements, in a PDW750 model coming out shortly after the 700's debut.

MY question is, what is the importance of 24P and how and why is it used? Should I wait for the 750?

Thanks.


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Don Greening
Re: PDW 700 and 24P
on Aug 16, 2008 at 1:12:31 am

[Sam Roberts] "MY question is, what is the importance of 24P and how and why is it used"

24p matches the frame rate of film cameras. Most feature length movies shot digital will use this frame rate to more closely emulate the look of film, although that's only a small part of what's required to achieve what's commonly called the "film look."

[Sam Roberts] "Should I wait for the 750? "

The PDW 700 was designed primarily as an ENG camera, and news people and event types don't care much about 24p as they are shooting primarily for TV, which is 30 fps in NTSC land or 25 fps in PAL land. Should you wait for the 750? It depends entirely on what you want to use the camera for. Choose what part of the industry you want to specialize in and then go buy a camera that fits the bill.

I thought you were leaning more towards the RED ONE anyway, weren't you?

If you specialize more towards the artistic side of the business rather than the ENG side then it's almost guaranteed that someone some day will ask if your camera can shoot 24p.

- Don



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David Jones
Re: PDW 700 and 24P
on Aug 16, 2008 at 4:04:14 am

Hi Sam-

The PDW700 does do 24p; it doesn't do 1080p. In other words, the 700 shoots in 1080i or 720p. It does have full raster CMOS chips (1920X1080)and 24 bit audio...a first in video cameras.

The other thing about it is that the compression rate is only 50mbps. If you're planning on projecting, I would go with a 2k/4k system.

Don is right, it's geared toward the ENG market. I have heard that the picture is incredible, though; no noise at all!

Dave


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Don Greening
Re: PDW 700 and 24P
on Aug 16, 2008 at 5:16:59 am

Hi David,

There is no mention of a PDW 700 24p mode in the camera's spec. There is mention of:

1080 HD422 mode: 60i and 50i
1080 HD422 mode: 30p and 25p
720 HD422 mode: 60p and 50p

HD420 mode: (reduced colour space) 1080 and 720 modes but it doesn't stipulate if all the above interlaced and progressive modes are still available with this setting. I'm assuming they are.

This stands to reason, as there is no CineAlta logo on the camera, which is synonymous with being able to shoot 24p.

http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/product-PDW700/

The 700 does not have a CMOS chip set but are in fact CCD's. This also stands reason why the picture has allegedly very low noise, since CMOS technology still hasn't caught up to the low noise CCD's.

There is also no mention in the 700's specs about under/overcranking, which is very desirable in the artistic side of the business. But this part I'm not at all sure of.

- Don



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Sam Roberts
Re: PDW 700 and 24P
on Aug 16, 2008 at 3:04:41 pm

Hi Don, well I am on the RED ONE waiting list with a projected camera delivery date of November. But like many non movie people I am nervous about all the bugs and the clunky post production workflow. Audio especially is a big concern as I rarely do double system sound.

I love the images and I love the idea of using Nikon lenses, but I do low end TV commercials, corporate and promotional work mostly and the RED camera as far as ease of use and ergonomics go, is still not where I'd like it to be. I have been a Betacam user since the 80's and I know the PDW700 is much easier to use and the post production is a no brainer. Having the RED might mean I'll get more high end gigs, but that isn't a sure thing. On the other hand they are working hard to improve the camera every day. And I worry that the PDW 700's imaging technology is already outdated as I'm sure Sony, Panasonic and others are going to start making mid price 30-50K ultra high def cams to go up against the RED. So I'm torn. Just trying to get as much info on both cameras as I can.

I even read a post over at RED User that said a native 1080 camera like the Sony might very well outshine the RED image-wise if you are shooting 2K with the RED, which is probably what I'd be doing.

There are a lot of potential RED buyers in the same boat as me trying to decide what to do. The 7 month wait period gives you alot of time to obsess...lol



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David Jones
Re: PDW 700 and 24P
on Aug 16, 2008 at 3:37:19 pm

Hi Everyone

I stand corrected; the 700 is CCD and not CMOS, and apparently it will do 1080p/30fps. I remember postings, early on, that it wouldn't do 1080p...maybe Sony was reading them and made some changes...lol

But I don't get why they would make it do 25p and 30p, and not 24p.

In terms of what to buy, here's my 2 cents based on some advice I read somewhere else: start at the end; find out the quality level the clients want, and go from there. All to often, we are egar to just buy what we can afford and wind up with gear that isn't right for the client base we plan on going after.

On another topic, I've heard that (as long as you don't plan on projecting it in a theater) shooting your project at 30p will actually give you more of a film look than 24p.


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john sharaf
Re: PDW 700 and 24P
on Aug 16, 2008 at 3:48:11 pm

Despite what you've "heard", 24p exactly imitates film motion, 30p has a progressive "film-like look" and does not give you "more of a film look than 24p". In truth it gives you less of a film look than 24p. These are the facts supported by the laws of bio-physics.

JS





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Don Greening
Re: PDW 700 and 24P
on Aug 16, 2008 at 5:27:12 pm

[David Jones] "But I don't get why they would make it do 25p and 30p, and not 24p."

I was also thinking: "how hard could it be to add a 24p mode to all the rest of the modes?". It's probably a marketing decision, so they can sell you the new and improved CineAlta variant sometime down the road.

- Don



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Walter Corbett
Re: PDW 700 and 24P
on Apr 9, 2009 at 4:01:50 pm

Your right.I saw on another site that there will be a 24p version at NAB next week called the PDW 800.


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Don Greening
Re: PDW 700 and 24P
on Aug 16, 2008 at 5:07:58 pm

[Sam Roberts] "And I worry that the PDW 700's imaging technology is already outdated as I'm sure Sony, Panasonic and others are going to start making mid price 30-50K ultra high def cams to go up against the RED. So I'm torn."

Well, you know, you're probably right on the money, Sam. But you can look at it two ways. There's your way, which is the same as most people, business owners and consumers alike: "It wasn't long after I bought my new TV they came out with a better one and it was less expensive. Damn."

Or: you figure out what the best tool for the job is now, go out and buy it now because you know you can get enough work with it to pay it off and turn a profit at the same time. If you just agreed with the last sentence then you've just made your decision.

The RED ONE takes awesome pictures but you'll need a small army of assistants to follow you around like the keystone cops. The PDW 700 is a no brainer to shoot and edit with like you stated, and was designed from the ground up to be a one man band.

- Don



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Emmanuel Plakiotis
Re: PDW 700 and 24P
on Aug 16, 2008 at 11:31:47 pm

If you are planning to make a film out of your work the 24p helps a lot the transfer process because each video frame corresponds to each film frame. In PAL countries we use the 25p instead, which is only 4% faster and most people don't seem to notice save from a change in the audio pitch. In the latter situation the video will transfer to film at 25p (one video frame to one film frame) and will project a bit slower at 24p in theaters. If you shoot 30p you have to use the pull down claw method during the transfer (which I'm not very familiar since I have never used it) to compensate for the more radical speed change and the outcome will be 24p film which will project normally in theaters.



Most people think that shooting 24p instead of 30p or 60i (the norm for TV in USA), during acquisition, gives video an aesthetic appearance closer to the film one, because it matches the flicker of the film especially during heavy camera movement or rapid action.

I personally disagree with the above statement but I'm a minority, and its probably a huge topic by itself, to elaborate it here.

Apart from the above debatable argument the film look differs from the video look in two other more obvious ways:

1. The depth of field which is swallower in film projects, in any given aperture, because most video cameras have smaller sensors than the 35mm film frame (notable exceptions arri d20, Genesis, F35, Red One). This can be compensated partially by shooting wide open on 2/3 inch cameras, or with a 35mm adapter on 1/2 or 1/3 inch cameras. (The Sony 700 is 2/3 inch).


2. The color and contrast characteristics of the two mediums which are considerably different. This can be remedied up to a point, with meticulously cinematography and color correction during the post.



As for the Red, my opinion is that the hassle of shooting highly compressed RAW as in Red's case, far outweighs its price advantage with the far more expensive competitors. If you take into account that Red's daily rate is only half of an F23 in long form productions then Red is more expensive to shoot with.








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Tim Gibbons
Re: PDW 700 and 24P
on Apr 19, 2009 at 1:13:27 am

Hey Guys,

I'm a PDW-700 Owner/Operator and there are a few pieces of bad information in this thread:

1. The PDW-700 does not do 24p to date. In June an upgrade board will be available for a list price of $4,500.

2. The PDW-700 does not do 1080p. It does 59.94 1080i.

The PDW-800 was announced a few days ago. and will list for somewhere around $42,000. The main differences between the 700 and the 800 are.

1. The PDW-800 will do 24p out of the box

2. The PDW-800 will allow variable frame rates out of the box. No word yet if the PDW-700 will be upgradable for this feature.

3. The PDW-800 has a split filter wheel breaking out the ND and the Color Temperature. The PDW-700 has a ND filter wheel and Color Temperature is maintained electronically.

4. The PDW-800 will also be able to record in SD as MPEG IMX or DVCam files. (This is an upgrade board for the PDW-700).

I think that's about it. As for why I went with the 700 over a Red camera, I did so because the Red is really for Narrative/Commercial work - jobs where you have an assistant or two. The depth of field of that CMOS imager is really wonderful but the system is not designed for non-narrative Television work. If you do doc work and/or shoot for Discovery, Nat Geo or most of the other Network shows that have a "non-fiction bent" then you should check out one of the full-sized camcorders made by Sony or Panasonic. These are what the Networks accept for primary acquisition.

By the way, the idea that the PDW-700 is "for ENG work" is a joke. It has higher resolution (1920x1080 vs 1440x180) and better picture quality (lower S/N ratio and higher latitude than an HDW-F900. . . . the camera that they shot Star Wars with.



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