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Film look on DV cameras


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#1 David Calson

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Posted 27 May 2006 - 01:01 PM

Hi, what's the best way to get a more film look on a dv camera? I have pd170 in progressive mode, but am not sure the best shutter speed or fstop.
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#2 Gary Lemson

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 08:51 AM

Hi, what's the best way to get a more film look on a dv camera? I have pd170 in progressive mode, but am not sure the best shutter speed or fstop.


Without having 24P, there isn't much you can do other than in post, which in my opinion still looks like video (being forced to look like film). I finally purchased the Panasonic HVX200.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 01:26 PM

I believe the Sony PD170 in progressive mode drops to a half frame rate (something like 15P for the 60i version of the camera) -- sort of useless for anything but shooting graphics for titles or something. Not meant to be used for live-action work.

There are "film look" programs that will process interlaced-scan footage, with varying success -- some people swear by them.

Personally, I think it would be simpler and better (other than simply shooting on film!) to get a DV camera that does 24P/30P-to-60i (NTSC) or 25P-to-50i (PAL), like the Panasonic DVX100B or Canon XL2.

Of course, the 24P option is only one aspect of what constitutes the "film look".
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#4 David Calson

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 01:43 PM

Good advise, thanks David!
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#5 Landis Tanaka

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Posted 03 June 2006 - 07:14 PM

aah I wish I had a DVX.....they cost just a little more than GL2s now, don't they? I would sell it but I heard you can only get roughly $1,000 for good GL2s with I think is unfair because I haven't had this cam long, and its in perfect condition and I payed more than double that when I bought it not even a year ago.
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#6 Aaron_Farrugia

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Posted 03 June 2006 - 07:25 PM

hmm when u think about it after shooting progressive mode, when u finish ur edit and output it back to tape it gets interlaced anyway

also

during shooting use the longer part of the lens, with digital alot more is in focus, so u get that whole television feel

Edited by Aaron_Farrugia, 03 June 2006 - 07:26 PM.

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#7 Zamir Merali

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Posted 03 June 2006 - 09:16 PM

hmm when u think about it after shooting progressive mode, when u finish ur edit and output it back to tape it gets interlaced anyway




I just thought that I would add my 2c. It is true that a progressive mode really adds to the film look on the camera. But the best thing is not to rely on camera features but to pretend you are using a film camera. Light just like you were using film and move the camera the same way you would if you had a 24 p mode. Remember it is the story that matters not the camera (although it helps), a good story and awsome sound will always pull you through and even make your video look better.

Plus as a reply to the above quote when you shoot in interlaced and there is fast action the two captures of the odd and even lines capture the action at different stages so it looks like a stair case, especially when the action is frozen. Even though the progressive footage is interlaced when viewed it looks just like if it was actually 24p.
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#8 Kirk Productions

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 07:33 AM

Hello David,

I have a Canon XL1S. Should I be able to do what you are saying below?

Also, I am not sure how you feel, but I also think going 16:9 also makes things look much more cinematic on DV than 4:3. I go 16:9 religious.

Eric


I believe the Sony PD170 in progressive mode drops to a half frame rate (something like 15P for the 60i version of the camera) -- sort of useless for anything but shooting graphics for titles or something. Not meant to be used for live-action work.

There are "film look" programs that will process interlaced-scan footage, with varying success -- some people swear by them.

Personally, I think it would be simpler and better (other than simply shooting on film!) to get a DV camera that does 24P/30P-to-60i (NTSC) or 25P-to-50i (PAL), like the Panasonic DVX100B or Canon XL2.

Of course, the 24P option is only one aspect of what constitutes the "film look".


Edited by Kirk Productions, 05 June 2006 - 07:34 AM.

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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 07:45 AM

The Canon XL1 and XL1S has a fake progressive scan effect called "frame mode" that takes 60i in the NTSC version can makes it into a 30P look (the 50i PAL version makes a 25P effect out of 50i). There is some loss of vertical resolution when you use it, but the effect is reasonable. However, a 24P effect is not an option.

Using "frame mode" on the NTSC version of the XL1S, getting a film-like 30 fps look, is fine as long as you don't plan on transferring it ever to film or converting it to PAL.
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#10 Kirk Productions

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 08:02 AM

David,

Appreciate the comments.

I emailed you, not sure you got that but I wonder if you might review my post regarding sound.

http://www.cinematog...showtopic=14546

I really have no intentions on trying to transfer my film like video to film. I also notice in my editing software (I am using Vegas Movie Studio), it has some ability to change frame rate too. Not sure how effective it is.

Eric



The Canon XL1 and XL1S has a fake progressive scan effect called "frame mode" that takes 60i in the NTSC version can makes it into a 30P look (the 50i PAL version makes a 25P effect out of 50i). There is some loss of vertical resolution when you use it, but the effect is reasonable. However, a 24P effect is not an option.

Using "frame mode" on the NTSC version of the XL1S, getting a film-like 30 fps look, is fine as long as you don't plan on transferring it ever to film or converting it to PAL.


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#11 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 08:47 AM

I would spend $100 and buy a super8 camera. Use your GL2 for sound (don't forget to slate) and whammo! Film look!
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#12 Kirk Productions

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 08:55 AM

Chad,

Could you elaborate? $100 for a super8 camera?

Thanks,

Eric

I would spend $100 and buy a super8 camera. Use your GL2 for sound (don't forget to slate) and whammo! Film look!


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#13 Doug718

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 04:16 PM

If you can't afford something with 24p to get the film look, and you're not satisfied with the plug-ins that usually reduce the frame rate- then just spend more time trying to get good lighting. Plan out your lighting setups, test them out. Even if you shoot on 24p and have crap lighting it still wont look like film.

So my advice is to practice lighting to get close to a film look in DV.
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#14 DMW

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 07:17 AM

I believe the Sony PD170 in progressive mode drops to a half frame rate (something like 15P for the 60i version of the camera) -- sort of useless for anything but shooting graphics for titles or something. Not meant to be used for live-action work.

There are "film look" programs that will process interlaced-scan footage, with varying success -- some people swear by them.

Personally, I think it would be simpler and better (other than simply shooting on film!) to get a DV camera that does 24P/30P-to-60i (NTSC) or 25P-to-50i (PAL), like the Panasonic DVX100B or Canon XL2.

Of course, the 24P option is only one aspect of what constitutes the "film look".



Hi!

Why not you consider JVC or Sony Z1? are they are not good? I need hlp in this regard to choose a camera, can you pl help me?

I'm looking for a camera for my panel. I have a plan to setup my editing panel within 15days with FCP studio 5.1.
I heard Sony DSR 400 is a professional DV cam which can capture broadcast quality photography. I don?t know whether this is correct or not. My budget around USD 6000/=. I can also spend a little high if there is any better facility available.
How about HDV or HD cam? Is it more expensive? How much an entry level professional camera (compare to DSR 400) will cost? Any idea? Any Suggestion!

What is the basic difference of DV and HDV? May I shoot the ad film with both? Which will be better? Pardon me for my poor knowledge, please.

Thanks.

Dream Merchant
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#15 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 09:43 AM

DV is a standard-def (NTSC / PAL) video format and HDV is a high-def video format.

The question, besides whether you want SD or HD, is whether you want a progressive-scan option in the camera for more of a film look (24P/25P/30P).

Trouble is that none of the HDV cameras under $6000 offer that. The JVC GY-HD100 and Panasonic HVX200 do, and the Canon XLH1 offers a decent faux 24P solution, but they are all over the $6000 mark by the time you outfit the package (for example, buying the P2 cards for the HVX200.)

At that price range, you should be looking into the standard def 24P DV cameras like the Panasonic DVX100B and the Canon XL2, both well-under $6000. Or spend a little more on one of those three HD cameras I mentioned (HD100, HVX200, XLH1).

If you have to shoot the Sony HDV cameras, which are interlaced-scan only, I'd probably get the version that shoots 50i/1080 so I can get a decent conversion to 25P before a film-out. Otherwise, live with the more video-ish look of 60i/1080 if that format works best for post and display.

The Sony DSR-450 is a nice pro DV camcorder with a 24P option, but it is well over $6000 I believe. I think it is more like $12000 or so.
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#16 Hal Smith

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 12:13 PM

The question, besides whether you want SD or HD, is whether you want a progressive-scan option in the camera for more of a film look (24P/25P/30P).

David,
Do you have a feel for just how important 24P/etc. is for "film look" versus lighting that creates a DV image
that mimics film contrast? In other words, given limited resources, and as a general rule, is it better to spend money on lighting and grip gear or on a progressive camera?
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#17 Josh Bass

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 12:21 PM

Unfortunately for your finances, it's kinda both.


Well shot footage (best lighting, composition, etc.) that's still 60i (30fps interlaced) will still annoy some people, and even though they won't be able to tell you just what it is about your movie that looks "weird", they'll still notice something's "not right". Before I was ever into video/film production, I could tell the difference between interlaced video and film on TV. I think you'll hear the same from a lot of other members here. You can find software deinterlacers that take 60i footage and make it 24p (with some compromises in the final product), but they're not terribly cheap, at least the better ones.


On the other hand, 24p footage that isn't lit well will just look like crappy available light video (maybe one of the new reality shows), with a different frame rate.




Now, of course, you could be creative and try to stage things in areas that are naturally interestingly lit, but good luck with that. Or shoot outside and learn to be a genius with reflectors and whatnot.

Edited by Josh Bass, 11 June 2006 - 12:23 PM.

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#18 Michael Collier

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 07:48 PM

Its been hit on before--but lighting is the key. The film look has several properties which no DV camera can replicate, but one common feature of any good movie is good lighting. Good Lighting can make up for the fact that its not 24p, 24p cannot make up for good lighting. Also one of the biggest clues as to a videos origin comes with its limited exposure latitude. This tends to make shadows darker than film would be, and the highlights clip much faster. If you can reduce the ratios in the room, you can better expose the scene before the camera. This means carefull attention to both ambient room light as well as highlights. If your key to kicker or rim light is lower than a film light would be, the result might be comperable to film telecined to video. The other step to a film look video is color correction. This is also where the tip about reducing contrast in the scene helps. If you have no hot whites or black shadows, you have a large range of correction options availible. But if you loose detail by clipping, no amount of color correction expertise can finness those back into range.

24p depends on your budget. If you can afford it, I would recomend the HVX, but not for HD work, the chips seem better suited to shooting variable frame rate SD material (as the chips are barely above standard def anyway) you should consider shooting to P2 to give you the ability to shoot to the DVCPRO-50 format. That will give you a better image than either DV or HDV (however for a narative film you would need at least one 4gig card at $650, and you would have to have a laptop on hand for when you fill up the 8 or 16 minutes each card provides) and you will also have a wider color correction lattitude, so you can plan for more color correction when you plan your lighting.
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#19 Richard Boddington

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 10:08 PM

This question has been asked so many times on this forum I swear one could make a fortune selling a DVD on the subject.

Just to be different, how do I make 35mm film look like DV?

R,
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#20 Hal Smith

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 10:24 PM

This question has been asked so many times on this forum I swear one could make a fortune selling a DVD on the subject.

Just to be different, how do I make 35mm film look like DV?

R,

Use way too much key to fill ratio and hang a sock (not net) over the lens? :D

What I was hoping for was for the Master DP's resident on the Forum sharing their strength, hope, and experience in how they feel about the trade-offs. To my way of thinking, the difference between a Master and a Jack of a trade is that the Master's gags work.

PS: To satisfy the curious, I am definitely a jack DP, there are areas of experience where I'm a Master - closest to film being extensive experience in stage lighting, a master electrician's knowledge (I held a journeyman electrician's card years ago), and a Master of Science Degree in the Teaching of Physics - I actually kinda understand Optics, Modulation Transfer Functions, Gamma curves, Sensitometry, etc.

And I guess 25 years experience as a Radio Chief Engineer and Consultant designing and building all sorts of audio production facilities with gear like Eventide, Lexicon, Aphex processing gear, Orban Audicy workstations, software like Adobe Audition, Sound Forge (now Sony) products, and maintaining all sorts of electronics from battery powered cassettes to 200kW FM installations has helped me to understand electronics just a bit.
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