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Old 02-26-2010, 08:45 PM
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Interestingly a small group of freelancers on b-roll.net claim that the world adopted the HD 6mm tape format. Mr. Giannotti claims that every time he goes to the Super Bowl, he sees the world broadcasters there and he claims that the majority are using HDX900 cameras.

Mr. Giannotti, for the last two weeks the world was at my doorstep. Your county’s host Olympic broadcaster NBC are using the 4:2:2 HD XDcam PDW-F800 as main cams. Canada’s Olympic host, CTV (the main OTA CTV net) are using the HD 4:2:2 XDcam PDW-700 as main cams. CTV owned cable net TSN, also covering the Olympics are using the 4:2:2 HD XDcam PDW-700 cams as main units. CTV outsourced some coverage to CDN rival Rogers Sportnet (another CDN cable sports channel) and they have their own 4:2:2 XDcam HD PDW-700 cams.

No, Sony did NOT supply the XDcams to CTV, TSN or Rogers. CTV switched CTV national news, CTV local Toronto and CTV local Vancouver news to the PDW-700 before the Olympics. CTV also supplied PDW-700s to their 24hr cable news channel CP24 and to their national cable sports channel TSN. Rogers purchased 42 PDW-700 XDCAM 422 cameras for their Toronto ENG operations before the Olympics.

Major crews from the west, from countries like Germany, from the east, from Asia are here and the majority are using XDcams…

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Here at the Olympics we're working with Sony 800 XDCams, but not by the choice of the cameramen. Most of us left our Varicams at home because Sony is supplying the broadcast for NBC. The base is 1080p at 60, but our particular unit is shooting 1080p at 24. One guy did show up with his Varicam and we had to try match the 800 to it and the engineers went gaga over the Varicam look. We actually couldn't match the cameras to NBC's specs and we never made the 800 look as nice as the Varicam. It seems like everyone loves the Vari but most have defaulted to Sony. It's sad, actually. The Varicam looks really sweet, the Sony 800 looks sweet only after post.
I find that comment above by a gentleman posted at b-roll very amusing. Sir, with all due respect but a handful of freelancers hangin’ at b-roll do not dictate what NBC, CBS and ABC wants and needs. Funny how ALL THREE networks passed by the SDX 6mm tape format and two out of three are using XDcam as the house brand and the third is using Beta Based HDCam tape format as their house brand and using XDCam for special events like the Olympics – since 2004.

Few others on here try to convince folks that 4:2:2 is a waste of money and that no one can tell the difference between 4:2:2 or lower sampling. Some even claimed that the XD 300 35mbps series would be the final unit because 4:2:2 at 50 is a waste. Yet the majority of broadcasters, especially for post work are asking for and adopting 4:2:2 cameras.

Some will claim that a 720P CCD camera up-rezzed to 1080 will be just fine. Well maybe in yesterday’s world but pretty soon, with consumers owning bigger 1080p TV sets the difference between uprezzed 720 and native 1080 will be huge. There is HD and than there is FULL HD.

One gentleman on b-roll is pissed because he bought a 700 and now a 800 is out. I got news for you sir– a 900 maybe even 970 will come out soon. This will have 1080p60 capabilities with a new MPEG-4 codec. Backward compatible with all other XD MPEG-2 formats. Rumor is that ABC is waiting for this camera. I cannot believe that in today’s chip-driven world folks actually believe that the latest camera will be the last camera. I can’t believe that anyone plunking down thousands on a new cam does not know what Sony and Panasonic plans for the near future.

I’m not posting this to piss anyone off. It’s just that once every few years the record needs to be set straight for the few lurkers left that still read this forum. Most have been driven off long ago. The ones left should not believe everything they read here, claimed by a handful of posters at this board. They do not represent the whole world, the real world. 6mm tape based cameras do not rule the international broadcast world, nor does 6mm tape play as the majority format in the United States as some here would like you to believe.

Making a real name forum at b-roll made me come back and try a post. If I sound a little arrogant I sincerely apologize. I welcome anyone to refute anything I written.

In a separate series of projects, CTV purchased Sony’s latest PDW-700 XDCAM model, the PDW-700 XDCAM 4:2:2. CTV had been testing an earlier version for the PDW-700 XDCAM at TSN for several months and was pleased with the results, Morris says. When the 4:2:2 version became available, the network purchased cameras for its CP24 operation, CTV Toronto News, TSN and the Discovery Channel.

CTV continued its rollout of XDCAM 422 product across the country when it converted its Vancouver operations to HD in September, installing 19 PDW-700 cameras for ENG/EFP and three HSC-300 Digital Triax cameras for studio operations. Additional purchases of the PDW-700 were made to support the CTV National News and the Olympics. XDCAM 422 will be the prime production format for CTV's coverage of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

Rogers Television recently combined the operations of both City TV and its two Omni channels into a new home at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto. The rollout included 42 PDW-700 XDCAM 422 cameras all equipped with Sony Digital Wireless systems.


CBC SPORTS USES SONY PDW-700 XDCAM HD 422 AND PDW-HD1500 DECKS TO COVER BEIJING OLYMPICS

The links are just for Canada – you all know what CBS, NBC and ABC use in-house.

Again, I did not post this to start another useless argument. I simply posted this to represent reality as I see it. I welcome anyone to refute anything I written.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:36 PM
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Honest question; Why would you want a 1080p 60fps shooting rate?

I've learned one thing working at a couple of different stations/companies, sales relationships and back end infrastructure are MUCH more important to the purchasers than the acquisition gear.

One thing that really works in Sony's advantage (besides previous relationships) is their seeming commitment to the XD format. The fact that it's easily archiveable and relatively cheap helps a lot. Panasonic would have been well advised to utilize a standard CF card for their P2 stuff.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:45 PM
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Ivan is that you buddy? I’m getting a flashback and I’m goose bumpy all over; picking up just where we left off years ago.

Mr. Giannotti??????????????? I’m blue collar man, I ain’t gonna call you Mr. Snopek even if you ask so drop the formality.

I figured that by now you would have discovered a new topic, but if you insist in keeping the same stuff going as you blasted away years ago; let’s put this discussion to an end right now. I tell you with utmost confidence what the best format in the world is, is the one that put most money in my checking account, the one that paid for my kids college, the one that paid my house off and put money into my retirement account; meaning the format that MY CLIENTS want me to use. Everything else sucks because is not bringing in money to me, regardless of how good it is. if they want me to use a box of Crayons and are willing to pay me I go with the little waxy pencils instead, get it? Its a business. I really don’t give crap what the rest of the world does, I’m a spec by comparison, I occupy only a very small corner, and that’s my corner.

Why are you still wasting your time trying to convince me, I believe you man, you are absolutely right, but you’re barking up the wrong tree, you are in the wrong forum, you got to find a forum where clients hang around and convince them.
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:37 PM
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Nino, I'm really curious as a one time freelancer (but not a rig owner) what the dialogue has been like with different clients about format and gear etc. recently. I have to imagine that, where once it was a foregone conclusion that Beta was the format, there must be a completely new dialogue in the last 2-5 years.
I saw a guy shooting on a 1080p XDcam the other day for Inside Edition, he was formatting in 4x3 SD. Hard to stomach for me but, as you intone, the rate is still getting paid.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by adam View Post
Nino, I'm really curious as a one time freelancer (but not a rig owner) what the dialogue has been like with different clients about format and gear etc. recently. I have to imagine that, where once it was a foregone conclusion that Beta was the format, there must be a completely new dialogue in the last 2-5 years.
I saw a guy shooting on a 1080p XDcam the other day for Inside Edition, he was formatting in 4x3 SD. Hard to stomach for me but, as you intone, the rate is still getting paid.
There are no dialogues, if you want their business you have to use what they want you to use. Own it or rent it but that's it. I have no doubts that there are cameras and formats better than the HDX900, so what. I have no loyalty for any product whatsoever.

I don't work for all those networks that Ivan mentioned in his post above and couldn't care less of what's going on in Canada or Germany. Although I also do work for the BBC, German TV and Roger in Canada and they all accept the HDX900. My main client is ESPN, I also work for MLB network, NFL network, Comcast Sports, WWE, HBO Sports, ABC Sports and many more sport oriented clients; they all want the HDX900, each one has different setting requirement and some even send a program card.

What I noticed is that occasional client will accept almost anything, they will not spend the day calling everyone to find out who had their ideal format. All my new and occasional clients are from out of state or out of the country and I've been referred to them by other clients. They are not going to look for somebody else that they don't know because I don't have the format they want, they accept what I have as long it is a widely acceptable format.

For the last 3 years I did not get a single call for any other formats.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:04 AM
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Quote:
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Honest question; Why would you want a 1080p 60fps shooting rate?

I've learned one thing working at a couple of different stations/companies, sales relationships and back end infrastructure are MUCH more important to the purchasers than the acquisition gear.
ABC is still evaluating other necessary pieces for the content distribution center, including large routers and playout servers, and is in negotiations with several vendors for those items. A key requirement for any new enterprise-class router ABC might buy, according to Davis, is support for 3-gigabit-per second (3-gig) operation, which is necessary to route 1080-line progressive/60 frame-per-second HD signals. While ABC and other networks aren't producing or distributing 1080p content at this point, many engineers expect that the industry will eventually transition to the high-quality format, which has twice the data rate of 1080-line interlaced HD.

“3-gig routers is where we think we're going to have to go,” Davis says. “We think 1080p is certainly going to happen at some point. So anything you build at this point needs to be future-proofed for producing in 1080p.”


Broadcasting will eventually standardize on 1080p60. Sure certain things may be broadcast in 1080p24 and maybe to save bandwidth 1080i60 or 720p but the backbone will become 1080p60. It’s still a ways in the future but cable and satellite companies already offer MPEG-4 1080p60 boxes and ATSC will follow. As you can see ABC is betting on it.

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I don't work for all those networks that Ivan mentioned in his post above and couldn't care less of what's going on in Canada or Germany.
Thanks for letting me know that Nino.

I’m sure you made the right decision purchasing a 6mm tape format camera. Anyone that works for ESPN as much as you would be a fool to purchase anything else as a primary tool. They are nice cameras indeed. I have never owned anything that comes close to that quality of camera.

You miss my point though. The world doesn’t revolve around the handful of freelancers on b-roll that own such cameras. The majority of broadcasters around the world – including the USA – did not adopt 6mm tape as their primary tool. Nor is their infrastructure primarily based on such format. But then again...
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I don't work for all those networks that Ivan mentioned in his post above and couldn't care less of what's going on in Canada or Germany.
That's the spirit Nino.

I don’t put you in this category Nino but unfortunately many of the freelancers here would like everyone to think that the nets are idiots for choosing a non 6mm tape format and that network engineers gak at the 6mm cameras while shunning the network cams. That is very silly thinking. Network engineers do extensive testing before committing to a format. I mentioned you because you always claim that at events such as Super Bowls you only see 6mm tape cameras not XDCams or HDCams. I don’t see how that can be possible with the nets adopting those formats. I have the world in my backyard right now and I don’t see what you claim to see. That’s all. I just wanted to say this in a forum where everyone uses his or her name.
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:22 AM
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Good to see you back here Ivan.


Maybe instead of "Pro" forum it should be the "Cheers" forum because its where "everybody knows your name."
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Old 02-27-2010, 06:12 AM
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C’mon Ivan, you are picking up where we left of four years ago, only your posts are getting longer because there are a dozen more cameras to talk about it.

I have become very insensitive about cameras, for me they are nothing more than dumb pieces of hardwares and softwares whose sole purpose is to record whatever I’m able to create in front of it. And that’s it, that’s why clients hire me, for what I’m capable of creating in front of the camera and not because of the camera I own.

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You miss my point though. The world doesn’t revolve around the handful of freelancers on b-roll that own such cameras. The majority of broadcasters around the world – including the USA – did not adopt 6mm tape as their primary tool. Nor is their infrastructure primarily based on such format
I’m not sure where you are getting all this nonsense. B-roll is about preservation, survival and prosper in times that are difficult for some in this business. Any comment we do about cameras on this board are by far not intended to persuade the world to see it our way. It’s our little corner of the world here and our purpose is to help each others in keeping our heads above water. Very few of us will get daily call to go and do an interview in Germany or in Toronto, most of our bread and butter is within driving distance from our homes, that’s where B-rollers should concentrate their resources.

If you have been following these threads then you would know that the question most frequently asked is “what camera should I buy”, and the answer remains the same, whatever your particular market demands; no technical replies, not even buy the best cameras either. They are looking to make a substantial purchase that most freelancers today barely can afford but hopefully it will put food on the table; they are not looking to show off the best picture in the unemployment line.

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[url=http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/190394-ABC_s_New_Delivery.php] ABC is still evaluating other necessary pieces for the content distribution center, including large routers and playout servers, and is in negotiations with several vendors for those items. A key requirement for any new enterprise-class router ABC might buy, according to Davis, is support for 3-gigabit-per second (3-gig) operation, which is necessary to route 1080-line progressive/60 frame-per-second HD signals. While ABC and other networks aren't producing or distributing 1080p content at this point, many engineers expect that the industry will eventually transition to the high-quality format, which has twice the data rate of 1080-line interlaced HD.

As you can see ABC is betting on it.
Last year I worked 10 days for ABC sports at the NBA Championship, with the HDX900. I was on loan from ESPN. Because union and ABC rates are lower that the package rate that I'm getting from ESPN, they told me to file the NABET time sheet and bill the balance to ESPN. Again, clients are not interested in what you use, they are interested in what you can do in front of the camera.
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:51 AM
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Honest question; Why would you want a 1080p 60fps shooting rate?
Better rez (60 full 1080 frames per second vs 30) which also makes for better Slow motion.
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:40 AM
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Ahh, the format wars explode like another car bomb going off in the Mideast. I love these esoteric debates. Much the same as in middle ages when scholars wondered how many angels would fit on the end of a pin. These camera manufacturers can crank out new cameras and formats faster than I can keep up with them.

Some point to the good old days of "betacam". Well how good where they really when MII nibbed at the edges (I'm kinda kidding about this) and then along came Digibeta and SX? Don't forget our film brethren whispering in the ears of doc producers that film was the only way to go.

IMO Ivan's argument is somewhat flawed in that if (like Nino said) you're not working for people who want 4:2:2 and a higher resolution and data rate, why invest in that camera? Fact is that after the NTSC "standard" demise, the production world is adrift in a sea of different "standards". His beloved 4:2:2 1080P camera may seem not so great when sa producer is demanding 8:8:8 2160P.

And it's never gonna stop. Which is why my trusty Betacam still sits on the shelf for the occasional job and I rent the camera flavor of day for the producer passing thru my little burg (just rented a Digibeta not long ago). A friend is bringing me up to speed on one the hottest cameras right now, the Cannon D7 or maybe it's the 8, I forget :-) If you have a ton of work with people who can agree on a "format", buy the camera, if not don't.

In a way this all reminds me of the old muscle car days; talking about the size of engine blocks, which was the best carburetor and transmission. Fun to do, but not sure it changes the course of western civilization.
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:00 AM
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I've been told a few times by different people that sports (especially automotive, which I suppose doesn't count in an Olympics debate) looks better in 720 because of the smearing that you can get in 1080 due to the camera's processors not being able to keep up with that much information changing on the screen at once. Does anyone know if there is anything to this theory? I know that if you do a smash in or out too fast on a PDW 350 XDCam that it can have some lines on the screen which will do some strange artifacting because the information is changing too rapidly and the camera has to drop some lines in order to catch back up with what the sensor is feeding it. I've not used a 700 or one of the F800's, so I'm not sure if they are any different.
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Old 02-27-2010, 11:19 AM
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As someone who owns a PDW-F350, a PDW-F800, and PMW-EX1, I can assure you there are no motion artifacts with 1080P or any of the other codecs. Whoever fed you those rumors is dead wrong.

I can't speak for what happens on the broadcaster's end of the delivery, but the raw footage is very clean.
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:18 PM
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Broadcast 720p is 60 frames/sec and "standard" 1080p is 30, so that could have something to do w/it. However, since only BluRay or some Satellite TV has 1080p content, and that mainly in films, you won't run into that problem often.
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameragod View Post
Good to see you back here Ivan.


Maybe instead of "Pro" forum it should be the "Cheers" forum because its where "everybody knows your name."
Thanks for the warm welcome CG.
It's the international input from professionals like yourself I missed the most.
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
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IMO Ivan's argument is somewhat flawed in that if (like Nino said) you're not working for people who want 4:2:2 and a higher resolution and data rate, why invest in that camera?
I know my accent can at times be tricky to understand but I don’t know how you came up with the conclusion that I say everyone should invest in a 4:2:2 camera?
Re the 4:2:2 cameras, I say that most higher caliber clients do see a difference in a 4:2:2 infrastructure and it’s really silly for a 20 something VJ to try and dictate to an established client that 4:2:2 is not needed because the VJ can’t tell the difference.

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Fact is that after the NTSC "standard" demise, the production world is adrift in a sea of different "standards". His beloved 4:2:2 1080P camera may seem not so great when sa producer is demanding 8:8:8 2160P.
Actually a 50mbps 4:2:2 XDCam camera is not my beloved camera. I do think that it’s a nice tool that’s getting very well established around the broadcast circles. All I’m trying to say is that the world does not revolve around a few people using a 6mm tape camera –(which btw is 4:2:2 at 100mbps) I’m trying to say that there are more broadcasters that have their infrastructure set on XDCam, and for them to use another camera – they have to start Mickey Mousing things around.

Dennis, if you really want to see my beloved camera of the day – here it is.






It’s a Beta SR SRW-9000 based on the HDCam SR beta tape format. It captures up to 1080/60P No 888 Dennis (whatever that is) but it will record full bandwidth digital 4:4:4 high-definition RGB recording with output capability. I remember back in year 2000 I mentioned a Beta SR camcorder “9” series in the future and everyone here thought I was dreaming. Yep - the newest and greatest ever BETACAM is here.

Dennis, to make myself clear. I never said that everyone should buy an XDCam or HDCam. What I said was - not everyone uses the 6mm tape infrastructure. What I say is -the net engineers are not fools to recommend an XDCam 4:2:2 based infrastructure. What I say is – the world, the USA did not adopt an infrastructure primarly based on 6mm tape – and they (the nets) are NOT idiots for choosing something else for their primary infrastructure base.
What I said is - most higher caliber clients do see a difference in a 4:2:2 infrastructure and it’s really silly for a 20 something VJ to try and dictate to an established client that 4:2:2 is not needed because the VJ can’t tell the difference.
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Old 02-28-2010, 03:02 PM
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I got news for you sir– a 900 maybe even 970 will come out soon. This will have 1080p60 capabilities with a new MPEG-4 codec.
Not on disc it won't. Okay, perhaps maybe at a stretch. But on the current timescale I would reckon on such a camera being announced at next years NAB with a 2012 release.

Quote:
Honest question; Why would you want a 1080p 60fps shooting rate?
Personally I would want a higher framerate standard. However 60p at 1080 makes perfect sense. You can either show it at 60fps progressive, which is superior to 60i, not only for look, but also in terms of compression. But you can also easily derive 30p from the 60p footage for a more filmlook (or 25 from 50p footage for Europeans) simply by dropping every other frame. You can also derive a true 60i signal from it. And as someone else mentioned if you show it at 30p you can derive 60p slow motion from it.

Shooting 60p allows you to select exactly what look and framerate you want in post while retaining a master of the footage at a high progressive framerate. It is highly, highly versatile.
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:00 PM
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Simon thanks for the answer on the 60p question. A follow up if you would sir; Wouldn't 60p (in the near term) come at the expense of other imaging capabilities?

I'm also curious as to what the guys working this thread think about the seemingly obvious coming of some kind of Canon ENG style camera that builds on their success with the SLR imaging utilized for video. A Canon rep described seeing a standard CF card passing through data at a rate that would easily handle very hi rez HD signals. That seems like it would be attractive... assuming it became reality.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Wouldn't 60p (in the near term) come at the expense of other imaging capabilities?
I'm not sure I follow you? If you are referring to possible lower sensitivity I do not think that it is an issue. The PMW-350 for example captures 60p at the chip level without issues. AFAIK the camera performs the downconversion to 720p after image capture rather than on the chip itself.

Regardless most of the new chips on the Sony cameras such as the PDW-700 and PDW-800 are all capable of native 60p at 1080 resolutions from the outset. Most modern HD displays can also already handle a 60p signal via HDMI. So a lot of the general tech is already capable of handling it. In fact Sanyo has a little Xacti camera that already captures 1080p60 and does a fairly neat job of it. I would expect broadcast equipment to follow fairly soon. The EBU for example wants 1080 50p asap.

Sony are already developing a 200fps 3D camera. Higher framerates are desirable for 3D, so I would expect the push for that technology to have a knock on effect for the rest of us in terms of framerate capability.
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