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TRANSFER: Film to DVCAM or Film to Digibeta?


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#1 Mitch Lusas

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 10:24 PM

Hey guys,

Which is better, a transfer from 16mm to Digibeta or DVCAM. I'm assuming Digibeta. Is this the best transfer possible? Which is best for later conversion to 35mm?

Thanks for your help.
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#2 Joshua Reis

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 02:52 AM

Digital betacam has become the standard for standard def transfers when it comes to quality. It offers 10 bit 4:2:2 color space versus DVCAM 8 bit, 4:1:1 color space. There is D1
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#3 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 05:34 AM

For later conversion to 35mm? Then none of them are the right choice. If you're on a budget, I'd rather transfer to HDCAM then. If you have a bit more money, transfer to HDCAM SR or D5.
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#4 santo

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 06:38 AM

Having seen some examples, avoid regular old HDCAM if at all possible for film transfer work. That money spent on 16mm so you get the beauty of film is pretty much wasted. You'll actually get better looking images from a Digibeta transfer! Certainly colour-wise you will. But HDCAM SR is a whole different story.

Great thread you've probably already read just below this one on this board titled: "Specs on HDcam?" Take a look at the spec difference between HDCAM and HDCAM SR. There is a gigantic difference.
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#5 Richard Boddington

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 12:59 PM

"Having seen some examples, avoid regular old HDCAM if at all possible for film transfer work."

Hilarious!! I hope HD people read your post. HDCAM is how old? And already people don't want it!

That's the best argument AGAINST HD I've seen in a long time.

R,
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#6 santo

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 01:21 PM

It is 9 years old. A decade is a long time in video formats. Designed for news gathering originally, it is not "real" HD. The only people you will ever see promoting it on webboards these days are transfer houses who still use it, and ignorant people who have no real experience in these things. Basically Santo's traditional opponents on filmmaking webboards -- businessmen with hidden agendas and the ignorant. Ironically enough.

HDCAM SR is at least extremely close to real HD and worthy of low budget filmmaker's hard won/earned cabbage for film transfer as an intermediate format for editing and output to film.
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#7 Michael Most

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 09:37 PM

It is 9 years old. A decade is a long time in video formats. Designed for news gathering originally, it is not "real" HD. The only people you will ever see promoting it on webboards these days are transfer houses who still use it, and ignorant people who have no real experience in these things. Basically Santo's traditional opponents on filmmaking webboards -- businessmen with hidden agendas and the ignorant. Ironically enough.

HDCAM SR is at least extremely close to real HD and worthy of low budget filmmaker's hard won/earned cabbage for film transfer as an intermediate format for editing and output to film.


HDCam is as "real" an HD format as any other HD format. Despite your protestations, practically every sitcom on the air is shot and recorded in HDCam, as is just about any other program that is currently done on HD video with only a few exceptions. Age has nothing to do with proven ruggedness - digital betacam is a prime example of that, a format that has been around a lot longer than 9 years. HDCam is a proven, accepted format that is the most widely supported professional HD format there is, despite your attempt to paint is as the format of the ignorant.

I don't know why you consider some HD formats to be "real" and some not, but your opinion is not widely shared among those of us who have to use these formats every day. The fact is that a "low budget filmmaker" probably cannot afford HDCam SR or the equipment that supports it. There are numerous post paths available today at numerous different price points. None of them are "stupid," and none of them are "intelligent." They are choices, that's all.
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#8 David Cox

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 02:16 AM

You'll actually get better looking images from a Digibeta transfer! Certainly colour-wise you will.


I'm sorry to point out this is complete crap!

The HD-CAM luminance image is made from 1440 x 1080 pixels and 480 x 1080 pixels for each of the two colour parts.

A 625 Digi Beta image is 720 x 576 luminace pixels and 360 x 576 pixels for each of the two colour parts. Less than these for the 525 version.

The 4:2:2 digi beta versus the 3:1:1 HD Cam does not make any difference to the number of colours it can show - just the resolution it shows them at.

So even a HD CAM transfer will be more accurate than a digi beta transfer - and HD CAM is most certainly not a suggested format for digital intermediate work unless the budget requires it.

I don't know why you made this claim, but it's not very helpful to new users to spread myth and hearsay around as "facts". Perhaps you have seen a transfer of one film you didn't like via HD CAM and a different film you did like via SD Digi Beta. But if they were different films transferred at different times through different labs and graded differently, thats hardly a scientific test!
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#9 Joshua Reis

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Posted 21 May 2006 - 02:41 AM

Hey guys,

Which is better, a transfer from 16mm to Digibeta or DVCAM. I'm assuming Digibeta. Is this the best transfer possible? Which is best for later conversion to 35mm?

Thanks for your help.



To go from 16 to 35mm the best choice is to go for an optical blow-up or a 2k Digital Intermediate? Obviously, the DI gives you more color correction flexibility, but this all depends on cost factors. For 16mm, A spirit 2k transfer to HDCAM SR or D5 are more than adaquate. Most HD television shows such as Ghost Whisper (3 perf 35mm) are transfered to HDCAM, then onlined via tape to tape to D5. Again, your post budget and delivery requirements are huge factors in determinign what your options are.
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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 21 May 2006 - 05:32 AM

Hi,

All of this could be obviated if more places offered transfer to hard disks as data files. No compression issues and it's easy to handle on millions of desktop PCs worldwide. No $100,000 VTRs, no eight-drive RAIDs, no HD-SDI, no expense or complexity - just pictures.

I do wish people would get with the program on this. I do to some extent subscribe to our correspondent's complaints that people like Sony have a vested interest in not allowing this fairly obvious and extremely effective solution to become commonplace.

Phil
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#11 Michael Most

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Posted 21 May 2006 - 03:51 PM

All of this could be obviated if more places offered transfer to hard disks as data files. No compression issues and it's easy to handle on millions of desktop PCs worldwide. No $100,000 VTRs, no eight-drive RAIDs, no HD-SDI, no expense or complexity - just pictures.

I do wish people would get with the program on this. I do to some extent subscribe to our correspondent's complaints that people like Sony have a vested interest in not allowing this fairly obvious and extremely effective solution to become commonplace.


"No expense or complexity??" "just pictures????" That's wishful thinking at best, and a complete fantasy at worst. The reality is that it's currently a mishmosh of different file formats, codecs, and disk formats. There is no standard for media files, regardless of how many people on Internet forums seem to think there is. What exactly do you want? QuickTime? WMV? OMF? MXF? HD? HDV? DVCPro HD? Animation codec? Blackmagic codec? Cineform codec? DPX files? Tiff files? Do you want time code? Some kind of file to track key numbers? And if so, what kind of file? Flex? ALE? FTL? Cinema Tools Batch List? You want 24 frames? 25 frames? 30 frames? 60i? 720? 1080? 525? 625? Are you cutting on Avid? Final Cut? Premiere? Something else, like Liquid or maybe Vegas? What disk format do you want this on? Mac? PC? NTFS? FAT32? Linux? Firewire? USB? SATA drive? And do you want time code? If so, what exactly should the time code relate to? A video transfer, maybe? In which case, why wouldn't you transfer to tape, then digitize to the disk format, whatever that is?

In point of fact, this is how almost every facility accomplishes "direct to disk" transfers, because at this point, nobody makes a universally accepted device for recording directly to a disk format under the control of a telecine controller. And even if they did, all of the issues I raised above regarding time code, keycode, and other file based issues would still come into play. Phil, if you feel this is all somehow "simpler" than it actually is, I suggest you contact a manufacturer and have them develop a device which does everything I just listed above - because at some point in time, any facility can and will be asked for any combination of the things I listed. And everyone asking for any of those combinations will take the stance that it's all "simple" and that what they're asking for is "standard in the industry." And as someone who's now responsible for answering those people, I say this from direct experience.
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