Sony's IMX MPEG Format

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Does anyone have any experiace with this format? We are a BetaSP staion and were looking to upgrade slowly to a newer digital format. Any responce about the cameras or the VTRs would be great.


We had a demo about six months ago. It looks great, high quality(4:2:2, 50mb like digital Beta.)Also does 24p. It's compatability with Beta SP is a great selling point, the decks play back SP, but it's expensive. $40K list on the camera. I doubt it will catch on with news operations for that reason alone.


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Why go to the IMX tape format when you can make the quantum leap to Sony's new blue laser disk format? You'd have to buy new decks to playback IMX field tapes anyway so why not make the jump.

Call your Sony Broadcast rep. and ask if they can make you special deal to jump in as one of the first users of the new format. The IMX tape format will be old technology by next year. Why not go to a cutting edge format that will easily make the transition into the HD era.

<Hold On>

The IMX optical disk sounds like a great idea. I know one of the US networks is seriously considering making the move if the format can take the rough conditions in the field. (And if they can still afford it after the war.) The disk system will also be compatable with High-Definition TV at the end of 2003, if I understand the SONY folks correctly.

The "900" camera is very nice. Each CCD has 1.2 million pixels. There are 2 versions of this camera; one PAL and one NTSC. I have read an article on the SONY site about the PAL camera (in the progressive mode) being used to make "budget" feature films. Some are calling this camera the "16 mm film" of today's independent movie makers.

I think if your company finances your new system through SONY you may be able to trade-up from DVCAM to IMX if you buy enough units.

I'm looking forward to getting a new camera, but as a freelancer enough of my clients need to get the right playback equipment before I make the move. You might want to hold on before you committ to any new format and hold your BETACAM gear together with "spit and glue" for a few more months to see where the industry goes.

I look forward to hearing what the folks who attended the NAB convention thought of the "optical disk." Kevin???



They are a rental house in Los Angeles and they are involved in many national REALITY TV programs, including SURVIVOR, FEAR FACTOR, THE REAL WORLD etc.

WEXLER VIDEO may be able to address your concerns as they have been assessing the IMX beta tape decks and cameras for 18 months prior to purchasing the gear two months ago. (total of 20 months of experience with IMX)

As Dino mentioned, I would also recommend looking into SONY'S IMX BLUE LASER system. But be warned, at first, there may be major bugs in the system. CNN is about to assess the system any time now.

Just to be on the safe side, I would buy a few IMX BETA TAPE DECKS as well - you will need beta machines for your SP stock and IMX will play your SP tapes. I would also buy a few of the IMX beta tape camcorders. (just to be on the safe side) Or even a few of the cheaper SX camcorders, as they are also a MPEG-2 4:2:2 system and will play off the IMX studio decks.

Intergrading your IMX beta machines and your IMX blue laser machines will work fine as the signal will not have to be uncompressed/recompressed and will work with all IMX routers, IMX disk decks, IMX beta tape decks, IMX-servers, IMX switchers, and all other third party "IMX" hardware and software including NLEs.

I wouldn't completely write off TAPE just yet...

Good luck and let us know what you decide.


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Just to answer my own question: no they don't. They do shoot (if needed) at 25 fps as well as 30 fps. But not 24 fps.

There is an important difference.

<frame rate>

The PAL camera shoots 25fps (progressive or interlaced.) The NTSC camera shoots 30fps (progressive or interlaced.)

They are 2 differnt cameras. They do NOT shoot both framerates. It's one or the other.


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You are correct on the frame rate not being switchable. Where they ARE switchable is between 60i and 30p. They come in 25fps and 30fps formats. But no 24fps format.


Couple of questions about this frame rate biz. What is the difference in the final look between progressive and interlaced frame rates? Also, the new Panasonic has the 24f rate, but from what I read in AC magazine this is primarily meant for transfer purposes. Is the look of the 24f put directly onto a moniter really film like?

I looked at this camera a few days ago and was impressed by its ergonomics, but I'm not really sold on the whole 24f deal. But the camera also does 30 frame progressive scan, is that going to be a big deal when you watch it on a normal television?
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