« Topics
12
lynxfan6 posts since 13 Aug 2013
Yorkshire Look North (E.Yorks & Lincs)
Being new, i hope I've posted this right and im not repeating anything that's been posted previously - I have looked!

Given the BBC News move to NBH, I believe I read somewhere that they are using Ross robotic camera pedestals on tracks in the News studio (E?) but does anyone have any idea as to what the actual camera's are that are mounted on them? Im assuming the same cameras are used throughout all studios at NBH? Same query goes for the Sky News studio, if anyone is aware?

Im assuming both BBC & Sky are using Panasonic P2 or Sony XDCam for reporters? Does anyone have any further details?
noggin12,539 posts since 26 Jun 2001
The standard studio camera in the BBC studios in NBH are Sony HSC-300s - digital triax HD system cameras. They are mounted on a variety of camera mounts from Ross Furio tracking cameras, to Shotoku remote peds to standard Vinten peds. I think BBC Salford also uses the HSC-300s.

They are probably less robust (plastic rather than metal or carbon fibre bodies) than the industry-standard HSC-1500/2500 models that are the work horses of the UK HD production industry, which use SMPTE fibre (unless converters are used) and are used by BBC Studios and Post, SISLive etc.

(Sky are standardised on the Grass Valley LDK camera series AIUI)

The BBC have a mix of Sony XD Cam HD camcorders recording to SxS. They bought a mix of PMW-500 and PMW-350 as shoulder mount ENG cameras.

http://www.tvbeurope.com/main-content/full/bbc-chooses-xdcam-for-eng

I think they have just bought a shed-load of JVC GY-HM650s for self-shooting and non-shoulder mount style operation.

http://jvcpro.eu/press/1138/bbc-purchase-of-jvc-professional-gy-hm650-camcorder/

Outside of News, the BBC use Canon XF305s, C300s and Sony PMW 500s quite heavily. Prior to this Sony HD Cam and Panasonic DVC Pro HD tape-based camcorders were the work horses, alongside EX3s with Nanoflash bolt-on recorders (the internal recorders didn't meet the bitrate requirements that the BBC, and most other broadcasters use) The only main P2 users in the BBC are the Natural History Unit in Bristol, who previously used DVC Pro HD tape camcorders, though Sport have also used the format. Some programmes also used XD Cam HD 422 Optical disc camcorders (PDW 700s and 800s) but those shows are normally resources using hired in kit/crews or third party resources.

Sky News are standardised on P2 I believe.
Last edited by noggin on 13 August 2013 2:57pm
lynxfan6 posts since 13 Aug 2013
Yorkshire Look North (E.Yorks & Lincs)
Thanks for that - didn't expect such a detailed reply. I was surprised to see SxS recording for the XDCams, as I thought that worked out at 35M/bits rather than the 50M/bits that broadcast HD demanded, although I may have mis-understood something on that side.

All interesting stuff! I presume the HSC-300s were a cheaper option for an automated environment where there is less human interaction?
noggin12,539 posts since 26 Jun 2001
Thanks for that - didn't expect such a detailed reply. I was surprised to see SxS recording for the XDCams, as I thought that worked out at 35M/bits rather than the 50M/bits that broadcast HD demanded, although I may have mis-understood something on that side.

For a long time SxS maxed out at 35Mb/s and you had to use XD Cam optical disc models, or an external Nanoflash (which is what lots of people went for) for 50Mb/s.

The PMW-500 finally changed that a year or two ago and introduced 50Mb/s recording to SxS (albeit using a different format - UDF - and file structure I think) Sony realised that they needed to do something to get SxS to be adopted by European broadcasters - particularly as others introduced 50Mbs recording to CF cards.

(You can't - or certainly couldn't - use SD Cards in an SxS adaptor for 50Mb/s though - the SD card adaptors will only work at 35Mb/s AIUI. )

News appear to be happy using 35Mb/s though - hence the 350s being used as well as 500s. (The 350 only runs at 35Mbs)

Quote:

All interesting stuff! I presume the HSC-300s were a cheaper option for an automated environment where there is less human interaction?


To be honest - even in a conventional, non-automated, studio they're fine. You wouldn't want to bounce them around golf courses or football grounds too much as they're probably a bit more delicate. They're not badly made - just being plastic rather than metal possibly makes them a little less suited to being out in all weathers and travelling the length of the UK?

That said, EastEnders use them as well (presumably so they could continue with existing triax infrastructure rather than having to fibre, and avoiding using analogue fibre/triax conversion - which can be quiet noisy) and The One Show used them when they switched from SD to HD production.
Bail3,497 posts since 30 Mar 2001 Moderator
Meridian (South) South Today
I love threads like this Smile Noggin, as ever, thanks for your wonderfully details and eloquent response. I didn't know about the JVCs, are these purely for news use do you know or are they available to all via DV Solutions for other productions too?

The XF305 has been the recent staple and whilst being 50mbps, that's about all it's got going for it. Personally I think it's a hateful camera to use, poor in low light and lacking in the ability to shoot anything remotely artistic.
Bail.
lynxfan6 posts since 13 Aug 2013
Yorkshire Look North (E.Yorks & Lincs)
Thanks for that. Interesting, I must admit id missed that the PMW-500 had brought 50MB/s to the scene. Always thought it was odd that Sony being so prolific among broadcasters had gone for a non-linear solution that was below that level.

I've never been a JVC fan, i have to say. I always think Sony and Panasonic Broadcast cameras have produced a better image, but when i saw the spec for the HM650s it just screamed the ideal camera for VJs!
noggin12,539 posts since 26 Jun 2001
I love threads like this Smile Noggin, as ever, thanks for your wonderfully details and eloquent response. I didn't know about the JVCs, are these purely for news use do you know or are they available to all via DV Solutions for other productions too?

Don't know - DV Solutions and News operate independently I believe (though I think News could, if they needed to, hire from DV Solutions)

Quote:

The XF305 has been the recent staple and whilst being 50mbps, that's about all it's got going for it. Personally I think it's a hateful camera to use, poor in low light and lacking in the ability to shoot anything remotely artistic.


It divides people I think. Quite a few people prefer the EX3+Nano because of the larger sensors on the EX3 - but it is a kludge. The XF305 does generate pretty amazing quality pictures for its sensor size - particularly when you consider how recently Z1s were being used (and they generated pretty nasty pictures - with a very distinctive, not at all nice, look)

I know the C300 is very popular at the moment. DSLR "look" without the major issues that you have shooting on a 5D (Moire, rubbish codec, overheating etc.)
noggin12,539 posts since 26 Jun 2001
Thanks for that. Interesting, I must admit id missed that the PMW-500 had brought 50MB/s to the scene. Always thought it was odd that Sony being so prolific among broadcasters had gone for a non-linear solution that was below that level.

XD Cam disc is kind of non-linear though...

I think Sony, and I can understand why, didn't see why people would want to use expensive SxS cards for higher data rates, when the cheaper optical disc media was available, which they saw as also solving the archival issue.

I think the other issue is that the EX range and the PDW range were developed by different divisions or departments in Sony...

Quote:

I've never been a JVC fan, i have to say. I always think Sony and Panasonic Broadcast cameras have produced a better image, but when i saw the spec for the HM650s it just screamed the ideal camera for VJs!


From what I've heard, the JVC out performed the equivalent cameras from the other manufacturers in pretty much every regard, and was significantly cheaper both to buy and to run. It's flash-band reduction is supposedly class-leading.

JVC have never had a great reputation for their camera front-ends - though Digital S (a 50Mbs SD 1/2" tape system based on the VHS form-factor and using DV50 compression) was a pretty robust and reliable tape format (only really used in the UK by Antiques Roadshow when they went SD 16:9 AFAIK)
Last edited by noggin on 13 August 2013 11:28pm - 2 times in total
lynxfan6 posts since 13 Aug 2013
Yorkshire Look North (E.Yorks & Lincs)
Yes I'd agree with you there. As a transition option, XDCam for ENG seemed to make sense to me - its non-linear, digital, high data rate, and for those who don't like change, still has the understanding on something you can physically hold in your hand like tape. It was just the SxS bit that didn't gel with me, but thats just my view!!

Interesting that you mention C300s in your response, I'm presuming that its not in reference to news production at all? Guessing a C300 would be overkill in all respects at the present time?

Technology moves so fast at times, too fast in my opinion, but it does make me wonder how far away we are from 4K filming for news etc. Obviously its OTT now, but I guess its getting closer all the time, although having said that, 4K production would no doubt mean a major upgrade for the studios and gallery, presumably a move to fibre and a substantial investment (also in cameras and editing) - so possibly not that close thinking about it!
Bail3,497 posts since 30 Mar 2001 Moderator
Meridian (South) South Today
I know the C300 is very popular at the moment. DSLR "look" without the major issues that you have shooting on a 5D (Moire, rubbish codec, overheating etc.)

The images it produces are lovely, the 4K sensor down to 1080 allows for fantastic high iso/low noise. But the body itself is fugly and annoying to use without some sort of rig, it's still not a proper on the shoulder setup. But as you say a vast improvement on DSLR shooting.

The PDW-F800 is the go-to at the moment for most production companies, decent senor that's gradable thanks to hyper-gamma, decent to use, decent bitrate and no data wrangling after shoot!
Bail.
noggin12,539 posts since 26 Jun 2001
I know the C300 is very popular at the moment. DSLR "look" without the major issues that you have shooting on a 5D (Moire, rubbish codec, overheating etc.)

The images it produces are lovely, the 4K sensor down to 1080 allows for fantastic high iso/low noise. But the body itself is fugly and annoying to use without some sort of rig, it's still not a proper on the shoulder setup. But as you say a vast improvement on DSLR shooting.


I don't think your typical C300 shoot would be handheld or on-the-shoulder - much more likely to be on some kind of mount (tripod+head, track or similar)

It's not really a run-and-gun ENG camera or something you'd shoot an obs doc on, but for stylish factual, it's a lovely solution. Or for low-budget drama where you can't afford an Alexa or similar? It can generate beautiful pictures (particularly, as you say, in low light) but does need a proper acquisition and post workflow (to ensure you backup CF cards and can properly grade what you've shot)

Quote:

The PDW-F800 is the go-to at the moment for most production companies, decent senor that's gradable thanks to hyper-gamma, decent to use, decent bitrate and no data wrangling after shoot!


Yes - the 800 is a lovely camera for 2/3"-style shooting.

It's apples and oranges comparing a single large-format 4k CMOS design with a 3x2/3" 1080 line CCD model I guess.
noggin12,539 posts since 26 Jun 2001

Interesting that you mention C300s in your response, I'm presuming that its not in reference to news production at all? Guessing a C300 would be overkill in all respects at the present time?

I wasn't suggesting C300s for news, just mentioning that they are being quite widely used in Factual (which is not news).

For News the Canon camera range is more likely to be the XF series (which has the same recording system as the C300, but instead of a large format single-chip, uses a conventional triple sensor block with 1/3" or similar sensors)

It's not the right solution for News - wrong body design and to get the best from the pictures you really need to grade. (Which News don't normally do)

Quote:

Technology moves so fast at times, too fast in my opinion, but it does make me wonder how far away we are from 4K filming for news etc. Obviously its OTT now, but I guess its getting closer all the time, although having said that, 4K production would no doubt mean a major upgrade for the studios and gallery, presumably a move to fibre and a substantial investment (also in cameras and editing) - so possibly not that close thinking about it!


Many non-news studios and almost all OB trucks use SMPTE fibre already for the Camera/CCU connection, and fibre connectivity for other video routing - but glue, routers, mixers and VT/Servers would all need upgrades to their 1.5G/3G infrastructure.

It's becoming possible to build 4k OB trucks (Telegenic, who do a lot of work for Sky, are building one) - and Sony have a method for using their F-series 4K cameras with a camera adaptor and regular HDC-series CCU to provide fibre connectivity and remote camera control (for racking)

If you move from HD-SDI (aka 1.5G) 1080/50i to 2160/50p you have increased your data rate by 8 times (interlaced to progressive doubles it and the 1080 to 4k resolution change increases it by 4) so it's still quite a major change.