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HD/SDI?


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#1 Amber Butler

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 06:50 PM

I am new to cinematography; I've been doing silly amateur work since I was allowed to touch the family video camera (an old 10 pound VHS monstrosity) at about 6 years old. I have always wanted to do documentary work but there is NOTHING where I live in the way of classes, etc. I know a lot about photography but not much about cinematography.

So I'm trying to do as much research as I can (please, if you have any good websites or materials, let me know, I live in an engineering town and there are no resources here.)

I was looking at the Canon XL-H1 (and have been since it came out). I know what HD-SDI is (by that I mean, I have a general understanding that it is the standard by which uncompressed data is transmitted) but have no idea how that is applicable.

How does an HD-SDI output work? Do you hook it up to something that records the uncompressed video? What kind of standards can you record in? Can you record film quality? Broadcast quality? (Is there a difference?)

Thank you!
Amber
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 09:12 PM

The Wikipedia is a good place to start:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD-SDI

You have to remember when talking about recording "uncompressed" is whether the camera is outputting uncompressed data or not, otherwise you're recording a compressed signal no matter what.
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#3 Markford Astina

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 10:53 PM

Hi Amber,

To capture uncompressed video through SDI you would need either a KONA or BlackMagic capture card. However, having the capture card is not all that you need.
You will also need a pretty fast computer, and SCSI / Raid system for storge.

This is because the uncompressed video data rate is quite large.

Check out these sites for info:

http://www.blackmagi...l.asp?techID=62

http://www.digistor....nt.php?s=5&p=76

The second link also shows you the different formats (in terms of colors space) that is available for capturing.

However, as David says, the camera you use will dictate the quality of your picture.

The Canon HDV is still HDV with a color space of 4:2:0 and an Mpeg2 Compression, so even if you were to capture your HDV footage recorded on tape through SDI you would still be originating from a highly compressed 4:2:0 material.

You would still be able to transfer this to film though if you wanted and definitely would definitely be broadcast safe.


@ David Mullen
I've heard of people who use the canon and capture directly to their hard drives on the set through SDI on their uncompressed video cards, bypassing recording to tape in HDV.

Hmmmm, does this mean they are able to get a 4:2:2 uncompressed signal from the canon?

Sounds interesting.

Although your mobility would be hampered - you'd be practically getting an HD camera for a fraction of the cost, if it is capable of getting uncompressed 4:2:2.

Anyone tried this yet?

Edited by Markford Astina, 12 October 2006 - 10:56 PM.

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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 10:18 AM

Hi,

I'm supposed to be writing an article for Showreel about doing exactly that. I'm doing a ground-up system build for the recorder and parts are beginning to arrive, so watch this space.

Phil
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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 03:59 PM

Hi,

I'm supposed to be writing an article for Showreel about doing exactly that. I'm doing a ground-up system build for the recorder and parts are beginning to arrive, so watch this space.

Phil



Phil, is this also going to be workable with the JVC HD250, if not the other JVC models?
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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 06:36 PM

Hi,

I'm trying to get a pre-release HD250 to try it; there shouldn't be any reason it won't work, but that's really the camera I am most interested in using with it. It isn't looking too hopeful, sadly.

Phil
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#7 Hal Smith

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 07:30 PM

II was looking at the Canon XL-H1 (and have been since it came out).
Thank you!
Amber

Laurie Gilbert, SOC used an XL-H1 on a pro-bono gig for an actress friend of his on a Canon sponsored gig she directed and hated the camera. Laurie plays in a pretty special world and usually uses cameras like Cinealta's so he obviously doesn't use prosumer gear but it's informative to know what the pros think of a given piece of gear.

There's a contact link for Laurie at: http://www.ukscreen.com/crew/laurie
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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 07:48 AM

Hi,

The XLH1, out of the box, produces the sharpest images of the current crop of semi-reasonable HDV cameras. Ergonomically it's as horrible as anything else of that type.

I suspect, and I hope soon to find out, that the HD100 with better optics could compete.

Phil
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#9 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 03:28 PM

Hi,

The XLH1, out of the box, produces the sharpest images of the current crop of semi-reasonable HDV cameras. Ergonomically it's as horrible as anything else of that type.

I suspect, and I hope soon to find out, that the HD100 with better optics could compete.

Phil


I believe that there soon will be 6 lenses available for the HD 100 series of cameras, not counting the 16mm lens adapter (which I don't think anyone yet has tested).
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#10 Robert Sanders

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 06:18 PM

I believe that there soon will be 6 lenses available for the HD 100 series of cameras, not counting the 16mm lens adapter (which I don't think anyone yet has tested).


Three of which will be manufactured by Canon, ironically enough.
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#11 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 07:36 PM

I spoke to someone this weekend who used the HD250 camera and was very impressed

Does anyone have any more info on portable products that could store the HD_SDI output from this camera.

I assume the SRW1 could do it but it is a little expensive :)

Any other kit - even if it takes SD instead of HD (as long as it has no DV conversion)?

thanks

Rolfe
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