Sony SRW-9000 HiEnd Digital Tape Camcorder

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In 2000, Sony introduced the legendary HDWF900 – the first model in Sony’s “24P-capable” CineAlta lineup. Since then, the HDW-F900 – and its successor model, the HDWF900R – have been satisfying the demand for high level picture quality and creative versatility in primetime TV production, commercial production and movie making .

Now Sony has taken the next evolutionary step with the next generation 24P camcorder, the SRW9000 HDCAM-SR camcorder. The SRW9000 inherits many of the excellent qualities of the HDWF900/F900R, plus it offers incredible operational mobility – thanks to its one-piece body and outstanding picture performance. .

In standard configuration, the SRW9000 is capable of top-quality 4:2:2 Y/Cb/Cr 10-bit recording at 1080/23.98P/24P/25P and 29.97P/1080/50i and 59.94i. The SRW9000 can also record 4:2:2 720/50P and 59.94P signals, for users who require further creative performance, a variety of option cards can be added. This allows for users to benefit from full-bandwidth 1080 RGB 4:4:4 capturing, SR Motionvariable frame rate capturing, as well as S-Log Gamma, and additional signal inputs and outputs. .

Providing improved operational flexibility and cost benefits, the SRW9000 is the perfect choice for anyone seeking HDCAM-SR picture quality and a high level of creative freedom. Now and into the future, the SRW9000 will ignite a passion for stunning visual productions in digital cinema, commercial programs, TV dramas, and documentaries.

The SRW9000 is a one-piece HDCAM-SR camcorder that delivers full HD resolution images and employs 2/3 CCD. Combining this CCD with a high-precision 14-bit A/D converter and digital signal processing, the camcorder is able to capture and reproduce extremely high-quality 1080/60P and 1080/50P images with low noise and high sensitivity. With its self-contained recording media and compact one-piece design, the SRW9000 delivers highly competive images.

With the optional HKSR-9003 RGB 4:4:4 Processing Board, the SRW-9000 offers full-bandwidth digital 4:4:4 high-definition Red, Green, and Blue signal processing and output capability. The HKSR9003 also enables S-LOG Gamma, allowing users to flexibly adjust images in the post-production process

By adding the HKSR-9002 Picture Cache Board, the SRW-9000 can record images from 1 fps to 60 fps in 4:2:2 mode. By combining the HKSR-9002 with the HKSR-9003, the SRW9000 can perform the same function in 4:4:4 mode. The newly introduced HDVFC30WR is especially suited for use with the SRW9000, offering improved focus assist functions, a color brightness level indicator and numerous other beneficial features.

Moreover, with pre-installed viewing LUTs (look-up tables) for S-Log Gamma, this viewfinder provides users with easier focus adjustment and a more intuitive photo-shooting operation. The SRW9000 can also utilize the HDVF20A. HKSR9001 Dual-link HD-SDI outputs and an additional AUX input port are provided with the HKSR9001 allowing the camcorder to be connected with an external audio multiplexing device or RGB monitor such as the BVML230.


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Tiffen T1 IR filter arrives in the UK

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Tiffen-T1

After a 2 month wait we finally see the arrival of the Tiffen T1 IR 77mm screw filter for the Sony EX1 and 3. This filter will eliminate the redish discolouration I have seen especially with indoor lighting set ups like stage shows or very sunny days.

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Fabric filmed with no filter using 3200K lighting

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Fabric with the T1 IR filter in place now displaying far more natural blacks

This lens is a must for anyone with a Sony EX1, EX-3 or an F35. You can buy the 77mm screw on version for around £60 plus vat.

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Giants…Shot with a Canon 5DMk11

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Once again we are seeing an influx of well produced videos shot with HD SLRs this was shot on a Canon 5DMk11 by Creative Producer Conrad Piccirillo for the NBA Indiana Pacers.

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5DtoFCP from Industrial Revolution

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http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/finalcutstudio/5dtofcp.html

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5D 25p Workflow “5DtoFCP” Full details Monday-Don’t miss it !

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5D-Workflow-web

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Alister Chapman Reviews the NextoDi NVS2500

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AC-Review-NtoDi2500

Well… where to start? This isn’t going to be a huge long review as this isn’t a complicated device, but that is exactly what you want for backing up in the field. The NextoDi NVS2500 is really simple to use, very fast and well though out.

So what exactly is it?

It’s a small one piece box that allows you to back up most forms of media to an internal hard drive. It has it’s own internal rechargable battery, a small LCD screen and 2 controls. A power button on the side and a thumbstick on the front. It’s made from a very tough looking plastic and is supplied with rubber boots that go on the top and bottom to protect it from the knocks and bumps it is almost certain to receive out on location. On the top there are slots for Compact Flash, SD cards and Memory sticks while on the side there is an express card slot. It’s this express card slot that makes it different to most of the other backup devices on the market as this will accept Sony SxS cards from the EX cameras as well as a supplied adaptor for Panasonic P2 cards. On the bottom of the device there is a standard mini USB port, a combined Esata/USB port and a Firewire 400 port. In addition there is a power socket for external power and charging. The unit is supplied with a charger plus a cigarette lighter adapter and a small battery box that takes 4x AA batteries.

First Use:

The NVS2500 arrived on the morning of a shoot, so I just threw it in my kit bag and went off on the shoot. At the end of the day I had several full 8Gb and 16Gb SxS cards, so it was the ideal opportunity to test it out. In the past I have used a small Netbook PC with a USB drive to backup my footage on location. This has worked well, but it’s a little awkward as you have both the computer and a drive attached by a cable to deal with. So before I started to pack away my gear I dug out the 2500, turned it on by pressing  the button on the side. After a couple of seconds the device was ready so I popped a 16Gb SxS card into it the side. The NVS2500 checks the card and then asks you if you want to back it up. A short press of the thumbstick starts the card backup, it’s as simple as that!

Now when I used to use the laptop and USB drive I would at this stage continue packing up my kit, go and have a coffee or start the journey home as each 16Gb card would take about 12 minutes to backup. As I watched the copy bar graph on the NVS2500 however I realized that I wasn’t going to get much kit packed before I would need to swap cards. This thing is fast, seriously fast. My full 16Gb card took less than 4 minutes to backup! How did I ever put up with the backup speeds of my laptop? I can now backup my footage at over 10x real time.

Verification:

So what about file verification? Well you need to be sure that your backups are good. There are several ways to do this with the NextoDi. One way is to use the preview function of the NextoDi to play back your clips, that’s right, it can playback footage that has been backed up. It can play XDCAM EX as well as many other formats including Convergent Design NanoFlash files, HDV and most Panasonic DVCPRO and AVC files. AVCHD playback should be coming via a firmware update as well. Admittedly the screen is small and a little dark, and the playback is a bit jumpy but for checking that the backup is good it is perfectly acceptable. Another way to verify your backup is to re-insert the original card. The NextoDi box will automatically tell you that you have already backed up the card (assuming of course that you have) and then give you the option to do a partial or full backup verification. All clever stuff!

NtDi2500

So what else can it do?

If you plug a USB drive in to the Esata/USB host port on the bottom of the unit you can copy backups from the NextoDi to the USB drive using the Sync function. It should be noted that the USB drive must be FAT32 formatted. You can also make simultaneous backup copies to both the NextoDi and the USB drive. These functions are great for creating double backups, either to hand off to a client or for extra security. The only down side is that the copy speed is restricted by the USB interface so using this mode I was back to similar speeds as my old laptop backup system. However the NVS2500 is a lot more portable than a laptop and it’s simpler to use. Trying to create folders and copy files while bouncing down a road in a car with a laptop on your lap is frustratingly hard to do. With the NVS2500 it’s simply a matter of pluging in the USB drive and then pressing the little thumbstick to start the sync process. One small point to note is that if you are using an external drive you must provide the NVS2500 with an external power source. The cigarette lighter adapter works well in a car, but if your out in the field you can use the supplied AA battery box.

Back at base:

Once back in the edit suite there are no surprises. It’s just as simple to use here too. If you have an Esata port on your computer you can plug the device in via that for ultra fast transfers. If you don’t have Esata then you can connect via USB or Firewire, while not as fast you still have full access to all the backups on the device. Each backup is stored in it’s own folder with the time and date of the clips it contains, which is an excellent way of naming folders, helping you find footage easily in the future.

Conclusion:

Well I have to say the NVS2500 has really impressed me and everyone that has seen it. Especially when they see how fast transfers from SxS cards are. My backup laptop is now sitting in a corner in the office gathering dust. I just love the fact that I can pop the 2500 in a rucksack or even a large pocket and I really can do a quick backup just about anywhere with the very minimum of fuss. I really don’t know how I managed without one. It will be coming with me to the Arctic in January so I’ll be able to see how it deals with the cold. The NextoDi NVS2500 gets 9/10 from me. If the LCD was bigger and playback smoother then it would be 10/10, but all in all an excellent device that has been given the nickname “the magic box”.

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Sony’s Online Expo “Less than average experience”

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Today I took part in Sony’s second Online Expo…is this the future for trade shows…Sony seems to think so but I disagree. The whole experience was sluggish, stuttering video, paused video… a bit of a mess in my opinion.

No expense spared Sony had a top USA sound recordist record a 30sec sound loop at a genuine trade show and added the ambiance to the graphic of the auditorium, this was to be the only sound unless you chose to enter the theatre where you could watch videos by various production companies.

The best part of the whole experience was the live chat with some of the Sony technical staff, they were very informative and answered some further burning questions about the PMW-350…

My first question was about the mysterious SD module… CBK DV01 which turns out to be a download that you up load into your PMW-350 to release the SD mode.

Yes you can use the MxR SDHC card adaptors in the EX-1R and the PMW-350 but you loose the over and under cranking facilities as has been the case with the EX-3 for the last year, over and under cranking is like any effect it can become boring after a while.

Sony-StaffThis is a selection of Sony USA staff who were very helpful but I do question the need for such an event as most cameramen and women I know want to see, feel, smell their new camcorder, sit it on their shoulder before committing to purchase. The only screen beyond the XDCAM EX screen was this one below and if you chose “LEARN MORE” it took you to Sony’s USA web site. No new info or pictures…poor show.

EX stand 350

I do question why their was no mention of the NXCAM, I personally thought that was a very poor omission. All in all it was a less than average experience and the same old footage produced by the same old Sony bashers. One attendee made me giggle when he asked “What is the difference between the Sony EX-3 and the PMW-350″, the staff were all pitching in with various answers …I personally think someone was taking the “P”.

Conclusion…

Sony don’t seem to grasp the need for cheap archive, I asked a further question about client archive, in other words giving the client the footage out of the camera and they could not grasp the idea that there is a need to hand over footage on a card costing no more that £30 or less, mini DV tape was good for this.

I commend Sony for this brave virtual trade show but it needs a lot more work behind the scenes to make it a far more user friendly experience and lets have fresh footage and reviews of the camcorders… people are hungry for fresh information not the same old boring stuff coming off Sony USAs web site !

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Don’t work with Children and Dogs

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Child-&-Dog

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Sony NXCAM “The Bigger Picture”

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NXCAM-big-pics

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Sony NXCAM trailer video

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