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27/11/2003

Osprey Production Group purchase AJ-SDX900 for move to HD

The Charleston based Osprey Production Group have purchased Panasonic's AJ-SDX900 dual-mode DVCPRO Cinema camera for production assignments for the Golf, Discovery, History, and National Geographic Channels, as well as imaging/marketing programs for higher-end international resort facilities.
For the past year, Osprey, winner of numerous EMMY awards, IRIS awards, and local ADDY awards, have utilised the Panasonic VariCam HD Cinema camera on several assignments. Osprey have taken a rented VariCam on shoots for ad agency Anderson Communications, the Family Circle Cup tennis tournament and the Golf Channel, among others.
Now equipped with their own AJ-SDX900, the company are using it as their main camera for a surgical documentary to be shot over the next six months.
Osprey owner/cinematographer Lee Dashiell said: "A year ago I considered film, with its richness and warmth, the only viable option to achieve the most impressive image quality possible for our clients. But then I had the opportunity to demo the VariCam, and thought it might be a practical camera for an upcoming shoot, an upper-end commercial project with a number of interviews.
"On the first day of shooting we noticed huge advantages with the camera. The client enjoyed the peace-of-mind that comes from immediate playback in full resolution, colour and sound. More important to me as a DP, the picture was absolutely jaw-dropping. I started to see a number of seasoned crewmembers gathered around the HD monitor in disbelief. We realized we were on to something: If we could provide this type of imaging to our clients at a reduced rate and with the ease of shooting on HD, we'd have something new to pitch and the opportunity to increase our business."
Dashiell explained that, while he intends to purchase a VariCam in 2004, he made the decision to invest in the AJ-SDX900 (and a companion DVCPRO50 VTR) now as he views it as the emerging SD standard and an ideal transition to HD production.
He said, "We've needed to buy new video cameras for more than two years now and felt the SDX900 was the logical choice. The SDX900 does so much it's like having six cameras in one. It shoots in DVCPRO25 and DVCPRO50, 4:3 or 16:9, 24P, 30P and 60i, and any combination of the group. And the image quality approaches that of HD, making it a natural second camera when shooting high-definition.
"Not everyone can afford to make the leap into HD full tilt. Upgrading decks -and most of all, edit systems - doesn't seem practical or feasible for many of us right now and that is where the SDX900 really comes into play. We can use our existing NLE (the Pinnacle Liquid Silver) to post with a better video image quality then we've ever had. I strongly suspect that the SDX900 will be the next step for most broadcasters and private production facilities."
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