Showing posts from November 15, 2009

Sony NXCAM followup

Questions 1. How does it compare to the EX1? Does it replace the EX1? It probably doesn't replace the EX1, since the EX1 has 1/2 inch imagers instead of 1/3 inch. Also, they just updated the EX1 with the EX1R, so clearly it's not going away for a year or two. The EX1R sells for $6,299. 2. Does this replace the Z5U? Probably. It's essentially the same body, and HDV is dying. Given the pricing/features of the EX1, this gives us a good idea what the NXCAM will sell for (the Z5U sells for $4,095.) 2. AVCHD? Why not XDCAM EX? Since Sony owns XDCAM, it's probably not a licensing issue. AVCHD takes up less space (24 vs. XDCAM EX's 35 Mbps) and given recording to flash memory, size is probably a big consideration. Both are 8-bit, and 4:2:0. AVCHD gets a bum wrap because it's mostly been in consumer cameras, often at the lower bit rates (24 appears to be the maximum for the standard at the moment.) But it's also a more efficient compressor than MPEG2 (which can be a

Sony kills Tape

For the past year it seemed that Sony was the lone tape supporter for pro-sumer, low-end professional cameras. JVC went tapeless and even embraced QuickTime with the GY-HM100U , while Panasonic has the AG- HMC150 . And even though Canon is still selling the XH-A1s HDV camera, they’ve been so preoccupied with the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D you can almost overlook the fact that they seem to be overlooking this market segment. Only Sony was still selling tape and telling people that was the way to go. Until the day before yesterday, when they announced the NXCAM , a camera based on the FX1/FX1000/Z5U body shape that replaces the HDV tape mechanism with AVCHD on Memory Stick recording. This is big news. November 18, 2009 may go down as the day tape died . At least for video acquisition. The camera also has an optional solid state recording module that -at least in the prototype- holds 128GB. According to Sony, the camera will automatically switch cards when one is full, and it can record to

Sony's "The New Economics of HD" Online Expo

Sony has an online HD Expo , which went live today. It runs live all day - there are Sony people hanging out in the chats, so there's some value to popping in today if you have questions! The demo videos etc., will evidently remain available until March. There's some interesting prerecorded lectures, including one on the just announced NXCAM: PDW-F800 and PMW-EX1: Battle Proven in Afghanistan (Run Time 16:45) Basics of Professional Blu-ray Encoding and Authoring: Part 1 (Run Time 54:21) Broadcast Fundamentals Part 1: Nomenclature, Basic Color Theory, the new xvYCC Color format, Film & Frame Rate Basics, Progressive vs. Interlaced Display (Run Time 44:02) Broadcast Fundamentals Part 4: Video Compression Basics (Run Time 45:53) Brooke Rudnick, Event Videographer, on Sony's UWP Microphone System (Run Time 10:31) Sneak Peek at Sony's NeXt Affordable Professional HD Camcorder (Run Time 9:13) Dusty EX1 Thierry Humeau, talks about documenting the war in Afghanistan with a

John Garrett on Sound

Rule Broadcast Systems has been hosting a series of lectures/workshops relating to video production. The Nov 11 workshop on sound featured sound mixer G. John Garrett . John started with an introduction to the human auditory physiology; the parts of the brain that receive and process sound, and noted that the bone surrounding the inner ear is the hardest bone in the body. He then asked, somewhat rhetorically; how do you know when the sound is right? Some one yelled out from the back; “ when the producer says there’s no money left. ” Getting down to specifics, John didn’t have many positive comments about on-camera audio hardware, noting about one camera “ What do you think they spent on the audio hardware? Probably $50? ” One audience member said she’s heard that the audio on the RED camera wasn’t that good, and he agreed, noting that the very first version didn’t even have audio, and that Sound Devices had tested the RED and found it to be closer to 12-bit sound than the claimed 16-

Odds Thoughts on the JVC Picsio

When I first saw the JVC Picsio I was interested in it because it was low priced, looked pretty and Engadget blasted it for falsely claiming it was HD. I’m not sure whether it’s my natural inclination to doubt Engadget , but I added the camera to my bookmarks, and sat back to wait for reviews. After a somewhat favorable review on Camcorderinfo , questions started to appear when the first review on Amazon was negative. But that’s one review. MacWorld was a little less flattering , when they touched it. But now it’s been blasted by Gizmondo , and the ratings on Amazon have turned abysmal: it has a rating of 3 ½ stars after 7 reviews. Worse yet, one of those five stars is from someone that doesn’t even own the camera, jumping to the defence of budget cameras. The other ratings one 2-stars, and four 1-Stars. I had the worst time trying to get good quality video out of this device. The build quality was cheap and flimsy, the controls were awkward and counterintuitive, the video was un

Engadget & Gizmodo Camera Reviews

Engadget's video producer, Chad Mumm, provides his impressions of the Canon 7D for video work . He does a pretty good job of listing all the drawbacks (audio, 12 minute recording limitation, etc.,) and notes a concern about over-heating. There's nothing new here if you have been following the 7D, but I really like his summary, which is pretty much how I'd describe the camera to someone: We like to think of the 7D as another very specific tool in our arsenal. [...] there is a time and a place for this camera. If we're running around shooting a mile-a-minute, we're still going to reach for our trusty HD camcorder. Meanwhile, Gizmodo does a comparison of some low-budget cameras , and crowns the Flip Ultra HD the winner, the Flip Mino HD losing because of price and the "lousy touch controls." Most interesting of all, the recently released JVC Picsio GC-FM1 really scored low, with a rating of: sucked. It's spectacularly ugly (think Ed Hardy-inspired) and c

GoPro HD Hero

Engadget does a review of the GoPro HD Hero , and compares it to the ContourHD. There seems to be pros and cons for both, with the GoPro having a slightly better color rendition, while the ContourHD is easier to use. It's available for pre-order at Amazon, and supposed to be released on November 25th.

Photographers Virtual Trade Show

B&H is co-sponsoring a "virtual trade show." You register (now) and then log-in December 2-3 to "chat / attend virtual events / network." I'm not really sure what the advantage of this will be ( didn't we try this kind of thing 10 years ago? ) If you're interested, check out the PDN Photographers' Virtual Trade Show