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XL-H1 not the only progressive HD cam using Interlaced CCD's


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#1 Mr. Shannon W. Rawls

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 02:32 PM

Read all about it here at this article:

http://www.xlcinema....topic.php?t=145
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 03:26 PM

Hi,

In the first paragraph, you refer to the XLH1's progressive image as "awesome".

I'm not sure that the SMPTE has defined a standard for "awsomeness", but if they want my opinion, the progressive interpolation on the XLH1 falls some way short of it - it's not even good by software-deinterlacer standards.

You then blast on in prose I'd call needlessly pejorative about how only Panasonic's products could be accurately described as progressive-scan if such a measure were based on CCD characteristics. I haven't read anything to suggest that the HD100 wouldn't be in that group too, but I presume you have access to some kind of special information that's denied the rest of us.

The operative point here is that the vertical resolution of the XLH1 is noticeably reduced in 24-frame mode. The world deserves to know about this. Deal with it and move on.

Phil
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#3 Robert Sanders

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 04:12 PM

Oh please. "Not even good" and "noticeably reduced" is a bit dramatic, don't you think? And to whom? Someone shooting a resolution chart? Or someone shooting a real project?

People who are actually using this camera to produce content are extremely happy with the quality and resolution of it's progressive image. Discovery Channel HD has approved the camera as a content producer for it's HD network.
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 06:44 PM

No, I don't think it's a bit dramatic. XLH1's vertical resolution is reduced by something around a third in progressive mode. I know this because I have seen it with my own eyes; I have lined the camera up on a test chart, shot footage in both modes, extracted the frames and side-by-sided them. If you want to see the results, get the most recent issue of Showreel magazine. It is utterly axiomatic that this is the case.

I'm not saying it's a bad camera, I'm not saying it's unworthy, I'm not insulting your manhood, but the damn thing has interlaced chips and performs a nasty deinterlace to get to progressive, OK? It's hardly a new idea.

For what it's worth, I've seen XLH1 (in progressive mode) up against a Viper on a top quality HD monitor and the results were staggeringly good. But it's still not capable of doing progressive without significant compromise.

Phil
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#5 Timothy Brown

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 06:53 PM

Discovery Channel HD has approved the camera as a content producer for it's HD network.


Yes, Discovery HD does indeed take HDV, DVCPro, and upconverted SD footage to the extent that the content does not exceed 30% of the overall project.

You can check for yourself here:

http://www.discovery...od_Specs_04.doc
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#6 AshG

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 12:48 AM

Some people get so snobby about resolution. I shoot mostly Varicam for HD but I had to cut in some 24f XLH footage (output over HD-SDI to a 1200A deck) on a project and had to SOFTEN it a little to match the Vari! Whatever they are doing on the XLH to get the "progressive" frame works great. To say it is poor, nasty or worse than most software is just silly, it is without question one of the BEST looking deinterlaced footage I have seen. I respect your opinion Phil but your eyes are not the collective eyes of the world. You are overstating your observations and adding inflammatory words like "nasty" "dramaticaly" "noticeably" etc. Then you state you have seen the XLH (in progressive mode) hold up to a Viper? Do you mean INTERLACED mode?

The world deserves to know ONE thing... that they can choose the camera they like, fits their needs and is within their budget. No need for a anti-24F crusade, for any camera in its class the Canon provides the best resolution... argue the semantics and blow up your still frames in photoshop by 1000% but for most people the XLH is a great looking image for under $9k. Not sure why so many are so negative, Canon did not try to hide it, they CALLED it 24F for gawd sake!



ash =o)
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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 02:16 AM

Hi,

> To say it is poor, nasty or worse than most software is just silly

Oh, I... give up.

Go buy one, please. Don't let me stop you.

Phil
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#8 Mike Brennan

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 04:12 PM

Some people get so snobby about resolution. I shoot mostly Varicam for HD but I had to cut in some 24f XLH footage (output over HD-SDI to a 1200A deck) on a project and had to SOFTEN it a little to match the Vari!



XL H1 has 3 x 1440x1080 pixel ccd vs 1280x720pixel on the Panasonic so all things being equal the resolution of deinterlaced XLH1 should be close to Varicam in vertical res and exceed it in the horizontal

Here is a tip, shoot interlace on landscapes and cityscapes where max detail is required and interlace motion portrayal is subtle then progressive on movement for the cinematic effect where producers at least buy into the mantra it strobes so it must be cinematic;)

Does the JVC have true progressive?

If not then there are no true progressive ccds under 2/3 inch????



Mike Brennan
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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 06:38 PM

Hi,

I'd suggest deinterlacing the XLH1 in post. I was going to do tests on this for Showreel, but it looks like I now won't have time - but having shot test charts, I think that the in-camera delacing on the XLH1 is probably feeble enough to offset the difference in raw resolution compares to the native 720p HD100.

Deinterlace in post, particularly given the vastly better optics on the XLH1, and you might do much better.

Phil
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#10 Emanuel A Guedes

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 10:10 PM

Hi,

I'd suggest deinterlacing the XLH1 in post. I was going to do tests on this for Showreel, but it looks like I now won't have time - but having shot test charts, I think that the in-camera delacing on the XLH1 is probably feeble enough to offset the difference in raw resolution compares to the native 720p HD100.

Deinterlace in post, particularly given the vastly better optics on the XLH1, and you might do much better.

Phil

But do you prefer to deinterlace than the F mode itself? I'm not referring in comparison to 720p HD100 but 1080/60i or 50i vs. 1080/24F or 25F.

Edited by Emanuel, 10 May 2006 - 10:16 PM.

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#11 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 12:28 AM

Hi,

Yeah, probably. Frame mode is really little more than a line doubler, reducing the vertical resolution of the thing by anything up to half. You'd get a smoother result, if not a sharper one, in software.

Smarter software can selectively deinterlace only areas of the frame with movement, which is an even better deal.

Phil
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#12 KETCH ROSSI

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 03:05 PM

Hi guys, I will catch the opportunity to cut in this forum'm topic becouse you are talking of aspects and cameras that are cyurrently in my list of possible purchase for my project.

I will be shooting HD and need a final output of 2.235:1 for projection in Anamorphic, widescreen, cinemascope theathers in Italy and France for festivals shoing clips and for final project to be previewed in full.

So I look now for advice in wich way is the best to achive this.

Using a Canon's XLH1 cropped in post to match 2.235:1?

Using Panasonic HDX-900 cropped in post to match 2.235:1?

Using any 2/3 HD camera pair with Canon's new Anamorphic converter to get 2.235:1?

Using the Viper filmstream or Sony's F950 to get 2.235:1 direct

Please advice as this for me is a very important decision to make, so to insure the best image and the best investment in equipment that I can make, without waysting money in the wrong camera or system, or getting somenthing to make my work and that of those working with me double difficult.

Sorry if I have burged in to this topic with this question and forgive my typos,
If I have distorbed this topic please direct me to the most appropriate topic.
Again excuse me but I do need to get this info and I try to search and ask anywere I can as my project is to me as important as nothing also can be in my life.

Thanks much,
KETCH ROSSI
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#13 Mr. Shannon W. Rawls

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 03:42 PM

Ketch,
The Canon XL-H1 should be your last choice based on your list of options. Assuming you have the $$$$ availble for production and the neccessary resources for post production, based on the items you listed, I would go with the following:

1. Using the Viper filmstream or Sony's F950 to get 2.235:1 direct
This is your absolute best option. If you have the means to get this camera and someone who knows how to use it and if you have the post production resources to edit this footage uncompressed or with a superb intermediate 4:4:4 codec, then your final image should look the best for your filmout.

2. Using Panasonic HDX-900 cropped in post to match 2.235:1
This is your next best mentioned option. This new camera (if available) should yield you an awesome image. It will be 4:2:2 HD and is surely the next best alternative in the list as far as image quality for a film blowup goes. As long as you use excellent lenses, the panasonic gamma recipe has never let anybody down. Everyone I know and heard of loves the taste of Panasonics Film Gammas from the DVX100 & the SDX900. This camera should be no exception. Be sure to use the 1080p mode. Post Production should be easy if you are using AVID. If you are using Final Cut Pro, then your in luck because last week Apple just released 1080p24 as a valid Quicktime framerate. If you are uncompressed HD, then any NLE will be fine.

3. Using any 2/3 HD camera pair with Canon's new Anamorphic converter to get 2.235:1?
This option can only mean 1 of 2 other 24p HD 2/3" cameras.....The Panasonic Varicam or the Sony F900. I placed this option as #3 because if you were using the Varicam, it would belong here. But if you were using the Sony F900 (since the HDX-900 hasn't really been tested yet) it would "probably" belong above #2. Since you didn't mention which one, then I am forced to place it here.

4. Using a Canon's XLH1 cropped in post to match 2.235:1?
This is a great option too, but certainly not as good as the three above. (although that is debatable with the Varicam) This is also your most inexpensive option. Assuming you will not be using the HD-SDI options the camera offers and will be shooting to HDV, then you will be 4:2:0 HD, using a very efficient codec. 24F produces an unarguably beautiful high definition image. Post Production options are available accross the boardusing any professional NLE available today.

I hope that helps,
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#14 Michael Nash

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 04:00 PM

I will be shooting HD and need a final output of 2.235:1 for projection in Anamorphic, widescreen, cinemascope theathers in Italy and France for festivals shoing clips and for final project to be previewed in full.


You're talking about a pretty broad range of technologies there, so I think at some point you have to set some priorities and limits to your choices. I mean, if the Viper in filmstream mode is an option, why would you even consider using the Canon XL-H1, especially in HDV mode, cropped down?

If cost is not a limitation, then the Viper at 1080 lines in 2.35:1, filmstream out is going to give you the best quality from those candidates. But you're also locked into the on-set storage and post technology needed to deal with all that information.

The Sony F-950 does not deliver a 2.35:1 image "direct" (not that I can find any info on, anyway). It's 1080 16:9, so you'd have to crop the image just like you would with the F-900. Both of those cameras have delivered decent results when cropped to 2.35 and filmed-out.

You could also use the Canon 235 adapter to maximize the resolution of those cameras, but you'd have to test it to see how it really compared to cropping. I suspect that once the final image is blown up, there would only be a mariginal difference in visual sharpness, since you're simply stretching the shape of pixels horizontally while adding more vertically (compared to cropping), and you've got some extra glass behind your taking lens. But this is conjecture on my part, the adapter has been hard to get a hold of until recently so I haven't been able to test it yet.

I'm up against a similar project and I'm waiting to test the HDX-900 (with Canon's ACV 235). I expect the camera to yield similar resolution to the Varicam, since it uses the same chips although mapped to 1080 instead of 720 as an option. I've already ruled out cropping the Varicam's 720 lines down to 2.35:1. 540 lines is just not sharp enough for me.

I've also ruled out the XL-H1 for a couple reasons; the HDV codec just steps on the quality way too much, and I don't want to deal with SDI-out and external storage on set for this project (for other projects that might be a reasonable option, though). I also don't want to deal with the optics of a 1/3 inch chip or suffer the light loss and resolution drop from 35mm adapters. Again, for other projects this could be a reasonable solution.

And as always, I hope you mean "rent" and not "purchase"...
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#15 KETCH ROSSI

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 04:58 PM

Thanks Shannon and Micheal, your input is definatelly very much so appreciated.

To answer Micheal Q. first, I'm looking for the best choice to my needs for purchasing the camera and everything also.

I will be in Italy and on top becouse this project will have many celebrety Cameos, the time frame for shooting will have to move arround there scasuals, immagine.

So renting is not an option, I have to buy everything, infact I'm buyng a trailer to fit with lighting, generator, camera editing and audio.

I will be putting all I got and not only money, but my resorces are contained.

The way I see it, this is my only chance!

As far as your inputs and choices I also was certain that the H1 would not have been a good choice for me but as it was suggested I listed to get more opinions on it, wich you just confirmed my opinion.

As far as the Sony F950 I was under the impression that it could do 4:4:4 so to shoot direct to 2.235:1.

As far as the Viper goes I know I would have to used with there Venom in camera mount wich will hold 10 minutes of shoot in the 4:4:4 mode.


I have not find out the price on the Viper, wayting for the rep. to get back to me, and I wil see if is in my budjet.

And I will continue to appreciate any inns and outs to the best choice to make and what goes with it.

Thanks much
KETCH ROSSI
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#16 Michael Nash

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 05:17 PM

You must have some budget...

4:4:4 refers to the data compression of the three color channels, and has nothing to do with the aspect ratio. The F-950 is designed to be used with HDCAM SR decks, which record 4:4:4 color at 1080x1920 pixels.
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#17 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 05:36 PM

Hi,

The Viper camera head itself is not outrageously expensive as digital cinematography devices go, but Venom is extremely pricey.

From what I've seen, I think the best price/performance point is or soon will be either an XLH1 or the upcoming JVC HD100 upgrade with HD-SDI outputs, recorded to a homebrew disk recorder. The problem I would anticipate with doing that would be achieving sufficient camera discipline on a documentary so you didn't end up with data wrangling issues.

I would also find a way to shoot your show in 1.85:1.

Phil
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#18 KETCH ROSSI

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 06:29 PM

Hi guys, this will be for a feature film, not a documentary or enithing also, this is for a movie.

I already discarded the idea of using the H1, so this leaves me with this choices:

A)Panasonic HDX900
B)Sony 900R
C)Viper FilmStream

I know each has different prices and needs but as far as my budjet goes for buyng the camera this all are in my budjet, but I look in to it to find out wich one for the money gives me the best choice in image, workflow, storage needs, editing and final output of the finish product, never using film but going to a final product of 2.235:1 cinemascope widescreen mode.

I know the Viper will go strait to theather with no manipulation of image size.
For the Panasonic and the Sony I could use Canon 2/3 HD-EC cv235 Anamorphic converter or cropp, just like to know in order the best options from those that know more about, unlike my self.

And I do not stop to appreciate the help that I get from all of you, wrilly.

Thanks much,
KETCH ROSSI
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#19 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 06:45 PM

There shouldn't be much quality difference between the Viper in 2.35 mode versus the F950 with the Canon anamorphic rear adaptor, except maybe a slight loss of optical quality from the adaptor -- but I assume the inconvenience of the thing will make the Viper approach more attractive.

I'd say in order of practicality, availability, and convenience, it's:
1) Crop 16x9 HD to 2.35
2) Viper in 2.35 mode
3) F950 with Canon adaptor

In terms of quality, probably:
1) Viper in 2.35 mode
2) F950 with Canon adaptor
3) Crop 16x9 HD to 2.35

The Canon adaptor is pretty hard to find though. They didn't make too many of them.
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#20 Mr. Shannon W. Rawls

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 04:28 PM

Read all about it here at this article:

http://www.xlcinema....topic.php?t=145


The URL has been updated: http://www.xlcinema....hread.php?t=631
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