It's has been 14 months since I was handed my brand new Sony XDCam and I'm still in love. Shhhhhh, don't tell my wife.
To all TV Photojournalists that still use tape, whether it's Beta or a DV derivative, I just want to say, I am sorry. I just read Newshutr's post about a problem with a machine eating his freshly shot trailer fire and a chill went down my spine.
Because even more impressive than that awesome digital picture and superior low light capability of my XD rig is the robust and eternal nature of the XDCam Professional Disc. At $30 per disc they seem a little pricey (not that I have to buy them), but considering they hold 90 minutes of footage they are at par with $10 Betacam tapes that hold 30 minutes of footage.
But what really matters to me is that if I were using a Betacam tape I would only be able to re-record on it about 5 times before ugly trash started showing up on my tape, and I'm not talking about the kind you find down at the local trailer park. When I was using tape they used to have to pry old, debris trashed, head clogging tape, out of my hands or I might have used and re-used 15 or 20 times, sometimes several years from it's first use. I used to always get razzed for putting trashy video on the air.
Now with the XDCam, there is limitless amounts of re-recording onto the disc with no ill-effect to the quality of the digital image. I am still using the very first set of discs I recieved with my XDCam. I have put roughly 50 passes on my most used disc with no problem. And I am not aware that any of my XD toting co-workers have had a single problem with a discs.
That $30 dollars is starting to seem like pennies now. Not that I have to buy them, but you know what I mean.