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what format is everyone here shooting on ?

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ryan earlywhat format is everyone here shooting on ?
by on Feb 7, 2008 at 6:13:25 am

Thought it would be interesting to see what other people in our industry are using, digital betacam, hd, hdv, dv, xdcam, p2.

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Steve KownackiRe: what format is everyone here shooting on ?
by on Feb 12, 2008 at 1:43:37 am

75+% on an almost 10 year old Sony DSR-300 DVCam, this includes TV commercials, corporate work and seminars. Good glass and still a great image. It's all about lighting. 3 hour record time. This is the only broadcast cam I own.

10% on Panasonic 200 P2 with firestore for commercials; nice
image, not fond of the focusing and iris. Pretty pictures. Still stress about the files getting lost, although it hasn't happened yet.

10% on Sony Z1 (?) HD thingy - it's good too.

2% on cheapie handycams (outdoor pickup shots)

2% on the Fisher Price black-n-white camera that records on audio cassettes.

2% other.

Lots of cams available for rental in my area so why buy.


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Michael HancockRe: what format is everyone here shooting on ?
by on Feb 12, 2008 at 3:26:25 pm

We shoot everything with the AJ-PD900WA in DVCPro 50 progressive. The images are stunning, and final product goes to Beta for broadcast. When we need multiple cameras we rent mini-DV (Canon XL2) for small, internal communications projects for our clients. Otherwise, it's all DVCPro.

I'm hoping to transition to HD by next year. Some of the TV stations in town have the HVX200 so we're going to try to rent/borrow one of those to play with, and another station has XDCam. Otherwise, everyone in town doing commercial/corporate work seems to shoot with DVCPro, Beta, or Mini-DV. There are some HDV cameras floating around in some agencies, but I'm not sure which ones. All in all, we're an SD town and likely will be for a few more years.


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Mike CohenRe: what format is everyone here shooting on ?
by on Feb 13, 2008 at 12:14:47 am

Depends on the job. Corporate interviews shot with DVCPRO. Everything else shot with PD-170 DV or DVCAM.
Have a V1U HDV - have only used it in DV mode so far.
Freelance crews tend to use BetaSP or XDCAM these days, so it's a mixed bag.
A lot of people send us stuff they shot and/or edited, on DVCAM, mini-DV and unfortuantely DVD, which we dub off to DV anyway.

Mike Cohen

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Timothy J. AllenRe: what format is everyone here shooting on ?
by on Feb 14, 2008 at 4:39:02 am

We started shooting in 1080i HD at NASA in Texas about six and a half years ago with a Sony HDW-F900 that we borrowed from another NASA Center. We got our own Varicam later. We had to wait about a year before we got a decent HD lens for the Varicam, but good glass on the front made a HUGE difference. Even though we have to convert it from 720p, the Varicam is still my first choice when the budget and schedule can accommodate HD.

On trips where we don't have a large crew, I tend to use Sony HVR-Z1U HDV cameras most of the time. We have three, and it's been great to be able to take such a compact lightweight kit when traveling for shoots. The batteries and tapes seem to last forever. Even when we travel with the Varicam, I take a Z1U as a backup if at all possible.

We are unusual in that we pretty much skipped over DV completely. Most other corporate video departments I've seen are DV or DVCam heavy - and have been for pretty much the past decade. We only have a DV decks to dub to in case someone needs our footage in that format, but that's pretty much it.

If the rest of our Beta Sp cameras had gone out a couple of years sooner than they did, we would probably have gone the DV route. Since we held off replacing the old beta cameras as long as we could, HD was finally a feasible choice.

We still have one old dockable Betacam that we use if we need to ship raw footage straight to NASA Headquarters. They ask for beta SP format so they don't have to convert before they use it. I think that old camera is a Sony 537. Our videographers still use it along with the HD cameras to document Mission Control events - in case the tapes need to go out in a hurry to a place that needs standard def.

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Mike CohenRe: what format is everyone here shooting on ?
by on Feb 14, 2008 at 10:11:00 pm

Timothy - this week I discovered the NASA HD podcasts. Are you involved with that?
I read a while back that HD chips do not work in space. Has that been resolved?


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Timothy J. AllenRe: what format is everyone here shooting on ?
by on Feb 15, 2008 at 2:03:43 am

It depends on which ones you are watching. My favorite HD podcasts to watch are from JPL - and I didn't have anything to do with those. The guys in Florida also have some great shuttle launch segments. I might edit those into a show, but I don't shoot them. The credit for those great shots goes to the team at Kennedy.

I've worked on some of the shows featuring astronauts during International Space Station missions, training for missions at Houston, and Mission Control, but it's rare that I'm actually the one rolling focus on the shoots. I'm a producer - that shoots every once in a while just to keep my skills sharp. Our full-time videographers at each NASA Center are the true talent.

Video cameras in space are subject to all kinds of bad radiation, so we get a lot of dead pixels fairly quickly, especially with the HD gear. The camera software can correct for a while, but it doesn't take long for the damage to be past that point. You might think of it as filming in an airport X-ray machine for 24 hours a day during your production. ;-)

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Stephen SmithRe: what format is everyone here shooting on ?
by on Jul 11, 2008 at 10:54:14 pm

HPX 500 & HVX 200 in varying HD formats. Occasionally we brush the dust off of our DVCPro and BetaCam Cameras. They work great and look great. I've found that the camera operator and their knowledge of lighting is what really makes the footage great.

Stephen Smith
Lone Peak Producitons

Check out my DVD Money Making Graphics & Effects for Final Cut Studio 2

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