SONY vs PANASONIC exchange of views : LUSENET : Dirck Halstead : One Thread

The following is an exchange on the internet between Dirck Halstead and Fritz Nordengren( on the relative merits of the DVCPRO and DVCAM formats: (10/2/97)

To: Dirck Halstead From: "F.R. Fritz Nordengren" Subject: Dirck -- how did you like the Sony 200? Mime-Version: 1.0

A while back you mentioned that you had the opportunity to work with the Sony 200 for a weekend. I just wondered if you posted your thoughts or if you'd care to share them?

I've been working with the Panasonic AD-J 200 and really like it -- both Sony and Panasonic have designed some pretty good stuff here, I was just curious about your thoughts.

By the way, i hit your web site and like what you've done.

(new message) (Dirck) There is some very weird stuff going on with Sony, because the broadcast >division has forbidden the digital division to show their stuff to the >broadcast market, which is nuts, because meanwhile Panasonic is selling >millions of dollars of DVPRO systems to the nets, >which is an inferior system to the DVCAM.

(Fritz) A couple of reactions here, Sony is a little like AVID in that way. AVID's MCXpress has some features at $4000 that the more expensive media composers don't have at $40,000. I'll hand it to Sony, they have incredible loyalty in the broadcast area.

Tell me why you think DVCPRO is inferior to DVCAM? Are you looking at the Sony/Panasonic hardware differences, or specifically at the tape format?

I think DVCPRO has an edge because Targa and AVID and Panasonic are deloping a DVCPRO codec native version of the Targa 2000 RTX editing board which should keep acquisition all digital...Ideal for news, multimedia, and event photographers.

Also, at this time, DVCPRO decks with read all three DV formats: DV DVCAM and DVCPRO.

I'd like to know what you've seen or heard.

(new message) (Fritz) Dirck, nothing like a little tech-no-talk to liven the day. A few years ago I >would have though anyone who knew this stuff was a geek....heck now I'm >ready to grab a pocket protector and masking tape my glasses together. But >if you don't mind a little more sharing, let me tell you what how I >understand the formats.

(Dirck) Yes, it is amazing isn't it..suddenly I am an expert on stuff I had no idea about.

>(Fritz) >First off, I'm glad you like the Sony. If we can convince more >"professionals" that the Sony and Pan cameras are strong tools for use, >maybe we can make it easier/more affordable for people to tell more >interesting stories. > (Dirck) >Some thoughts..... >>The principle advantage of DVCAM over DVCPRO is the larger tape size, which >>allows for higher speed. The DVCPRO tape, like all miniDV tapes runs at >>10pu, while the DVCAM tape runs at 15pu. Higher tape speed always >>translates into higher amounts of information. If you look at mini dv tape >>on a broadcast monitor, it is very good. Almost indistinguishable from BETA. >>But when you look at the DVCAM picture it simply takes your breath away. > (Fritz) >The Panasonic AGEZ-1 little camcorder is a DV camcorder, not DVCPRO, so yes >it does use the consumer DV cassettes and specs. But, here's how the >formats map out > >Track Pitch >DV (consumer) is a 1/4" tape (6mm) with a standard track pitch of 10 >DVCAM as you point out changes the track pitch to 15 but it is the same >width of tape (6mm) >DVCPRO uses a track picth of 18. and again same width (6mm) > >The problem with the standard 10 track pitch of DV is that it doesn't lend >it self to editing with possible noticible glitches in the cuts. I don't >know if there is any real difference in 15 vs 18. But clearly both >outshine 10 when it is in the edit bay. > > >Tape speed > >DV (consumer) 18.8 mm per second > >Both Sony and Panasonic speed up the tape >DVCAM 28.+ mm per sec > >DVCPRO 33.+ mm per second > >Wide track pitch and faster speed should equal better pictures. Did you do >much in Hi-8? Great format but it was plagued by dropouts. Time will tell >if these digital 6mm tapes have dropout theory they should >not have as many problems. > (Dirck) >Fritz, that's a great summation. I will be making use of it in the future. The camera that has been the workhorse for most videojournalists working with both VNI and BNN has been the AGEZ-1. The price was right as they switched over from high 8 Sony VX3s, and the support structure was there.

Very few of the professional DVCPRO cameras have so far emerged. Panasonic sent millions of dollars worth of these cameras to Atlanta for the Olympics, and they lasted exactly two days until the producers running the show from a technical standpoint threw them all out. Both NBC and CBS have put in major orders for these cameras, but so far none have shown up on the street. >> >>Also, the Panasonic system is MII based. Ask any broadcast professional who >>has had to work with that format over the past years, and they will tell >>you horror stories. > (Fritz) >I agree about MII horor, but how is DVCPRO MII based? It seems to me to be >much more DV based. Are you saying electronically in how it gathers and >records the image? or Mechanically such as how the tape winds around the >heads > (Dirck) >Just like you, I am not a tech geek , but I was present when Panasonic >made a big pitch to Video News International two years ago , touting the >DVCPRO format, and explained how it was all built on the MII format. >> >>I asked Steve Rosenbaum who own BROADCAST NEWS NETWORKS which has been >>using the Panasonic cameras for videojournalism for the past year if he was starting >>from scratch today, which system he would outfit his people with, and he says Sony. > >(Fritz) >Most everyone I talk to agrees that Sony is the leader. Do you know which >Pan's they have been using? > >ervice priority. It is>unclear right now if that attitude extends >>to the DSR200. > >And to the Platypus market, or event or corporate or multimedia producers, >this is the budget and price range the equipment should be....but without >"professional" level service, I agree they will (or have) shot themselves. >

-- Dirck Halstead (, October 05, 1997


SONY vs PANASONIC digicams (Part II)

Dirck) >>One of the main advantages early on in the comparison of the Sony and >>Panasonic cameras was that Sony equipped all their digital cameras with firewire output. > (Fritz) > But both Sony and Panasonic are looking at their own version of Serial >Digital Interface (SDI). SDI is a little more robust and can deliver video >over a longer distance (nice for a studio or computer networked editing >operation, but again if they don't agree on a standard, its kind of >poinless. At lease firewire is a standard and here now. Pan DVCPRO decks >will support firewire as an option, so too does the ADJ200 and higher >cameras. But what Sony includes in the base price, Panasonic adds as options. > >(Dirck) >>Also, when you talk to people who have been using the Pansonic cameras, >>there is a weird aberation which turns up from time to time in the audio. > >(Fritz) >A drawback of the AJD2000 is the audio is Auto Gain Control, no manual >level controls, although you can control line/mic level and do some level >adjustment.. So far I have had great auido with no noticible problems, but >I havent tested with a wireless mic yet and I'm told a wireless set can >really throw an AGC circuit. I'll be anxious to hear how it sounds. > >>(Dirck) >>>Also, at this time, DVCPRO decks with read all three DV formats: DV DVCAM >>>and DVCPRO. >>> >>I have the DSR30 Sony tape deck to test, and like the DVCPRO deck it reads >>all the formats.

>>It is a fantastic machine, which outperforms a $40,000 betarecorder at >$4,000. > >(Fritz) >You might want to check this. Again the last literature I had from Sony >was that their decks only read DV and DVCAM. (Also, DVCPRO tape cassettes >vary in physical size, I think its medium and large, the 200 uses the large) > >Finally, my sources for this come from two fairly good places, Roger >Jennings article at the Adaptec website about the DV consumer and digital >formats. > > >its fairly technical but he also outlines Sony's digital beta sx and jvc's >digital S > >and his article about DV vs BetaSP > > > > >I don't mean to sound like format war -- but I also don't want you to sell >DVCPRO short. I don't think DVCPRO is better than DVCAM or vice versa. I >think they are both better than standard DV and, in my situation, right >now, DVCPRO was the better choice for me. And while $7000 m/l is a lot of >money, if I'm wrong, it easier to replace it with a different camera than >if I invested $60,000 and was wrong. > > >-- > F R "Fritz" Nordengren > Digital Storyteller >

(Dirck) Fritz, I am copying some of the people at Sony on this exchange, and let's hear what they have to say.

I will be reviewing the SONY DSR200 DVCAM and the DSR30 tape deck in the November edition of THE DIGITAL JOURNALIST

-- Dirck Halstead (, October 05, 1997.


The DVCPro vs. DVcam debate is over in the United States. The 11 NBC Owned stations, the CBS Owned stations, Time-Warner, and dozens of other TV stations and production concerns have all chosen DVC-Pro as a tape format.

Does this mean that people won't buy Sony's DV-cam or Beta SX. Not at all, but it is clear that Sony will not dominate the format wars in the United States as they did with Beta for the previous 15 years. (Digital BetaSX is selling well in Europe)

Technical arguments aside (and I believe DVCPro to be technically superior to DVcam)-- the votes are in, and major video users have chosen DVCpro as their format of choice.

mike whatley tv news photojournalist

-- mike whatley (, November 06, 1997.

they both sux!!!

-- denise ong (, October 26, 2000.

they suxxxxxxxxx

-- pikachu (, October 26, 2000.

This whole discussion is over 5 and half years ago now teh issue of editing has dispappered as we have all switched to using NLE systems on Mac/PC's Ive heared reports that the Canon XL1s is better then DVPro, cuurently peope are raving about a panazonic that does 24p menawhile canon and sony are rummored to be heading towards offering near HD level kit and within another 5 years were probably all going to be using direct on camera direct to raided HD as I said intresting but this story is almost over

-- kate wolf (, December 31, 2002.

I go for Panasonic they are the best. i recently brought an home theatre and it works fantastic. i also brought theri airconditioners un beatbale. keep up the good work !!!

-- Abby (, June 01, 2003.

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