I am about to purchase a new camera and I am just discovering this entire NXCAM world.
I was using until recently an EX1 and was a happy bunny with the XDCAM workflow, MAC compatibility and usage of my camera.
So I found out that the EX1 (or EX3) is discontinued and are replaced by the NX3.
I did quite a few readings about NXCAM and the AVCHD codec already but I am wondering if XDCAM will be discontinued? Or whats the deal with this NXCAM? Should I invest in it rather than XDCAM? Working on a mac means transcoding to prores each time when editing?
I would be glad if you could also write me some thoughts about NXCAM vs XDCAM, advantages, disadvantages, etc.
The XDCam Series was based on MPEG2 compression. Invented around 1990. A nice, solid compression technique. Easy on the cpu for editing.
The NXCAM is based on AVCHD or mp4 compression. This is twice as efficient as MPEG2. So you can store twice as much on the same size media. This came out around 2005. Downside is that it takes a lot of cpu to preview and render it for editing. So it first came out in consumer cameras where they don't edit.
As computer power grew over the last 7 years, we have been able to find ways to actually edit avchd and the ability to have half the storage on camera and in the file server is quite valuable.
About 2 years ago Panasonic came out with AVC Intra. See AVC as it exists today is interframe compression. That is what makes it so CPU intensive during editing.
AVC Intra is doing the compression on each frame, and is easier on the cpu to edit.
Well the rumor is that within the next year, sony will start coming out with AVD Intra, although they will call it something else because they don't want to look like they are following Panasonic.
the XDcam is so efficient that if I want to render in vegas 1080 30p there is no option, I have to force it or select something else. I still use the EX1 and I don't consider the NX3 as the new version , at all! the ex1r is, the EX3 and PMW200 , but not the NX3 ( a quick look to the footage will explain why it isn't).
I wouldn't worry (nowadays) about the AVCHD vs. whatever debate, get the camera that gives you the best footage. My EX1 had a tough competition from the AGAC90 (that I still have for fun), but now I use the ea50 for almost everything. it's a little "rough" but when it comes to the footage is next to spectacular . it's limited by sony with a slow processing (the EX1 goes on 35mbps while the ea50 only 28, and there is a difference!) . Still the future goes around picture definition (in my opinion), and while the EX1 (3 half-inch sensors vs. the much bigger single sensor of the ea50 or VG30) comes close, the ea50 is simply put better (all considered, no ND, rough zoom, rolling shutter etc.) but what counts is ... the pictures. So the XD,NX,whateverX will soon come down to the revolution started by the D90 : decent sensors and less marketing limitations and cheap sensors because (we know that already) regular people can't produce like the big money broadcast or motion pictures enterprises: too bad that a couple of guys at Nikon's unveiled the secret (by mistake) and came out with that stunning D90 (remember the embarrassment?)
The JVC cameras record in a format that FCP can edit natively without transcoding don't they? I forget offhand exactly which camera does for sure, but check them out on B&H. The one I considered was a tad pricy but a very good camera. In the 6-7000 dollar range I believe.