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4:2:2(/4:4:4) Capture From Z1U


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#1 Robert Ducon

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 06:20 PM

Ingredients:

Mac Pro (very nicely spec?ed, 1TB RAID)
Decklink HD Card
Sony Z1U
Component Cable out from camera
BNC to RCA cables from camera to computer

Question:

Taking real-time, raw video out from the camera (NOT playing back captured, compressed HDV footage) through the component cables - will the video I?m inputting into the computer be 4:2:2? I think yes. In 4:2:0 it?s just flipping the signal, so 4:2:2 minimum I expect.

Any chance it?d be 4:4:4 (perhaps the internal firmware doesn?t screw with it that much, so maybe it?s not just 4:2:2 ? im asking you!)

The gains I see are far far less compression, better colour, and more resolution (1920 pixels wide vs. 1440). Yes, I?m aware the Z1U?s CCD are 960px wide, but I?m not debating that.

I?m mostly concerned with the colour (4:X:X) and possible signal noise from converting BNC to RCA (the ohms are different). I think capturing analog is better than HDV ? especially in low or poor light where the HDV codec starts to compress camera noise ? things just get twice as bad!

So, will this combo work nicely?

If this is too technical, can someone suggest a better place to post?

Thoughts!
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 06:57 PM

Hi,

Don't know.

Answering that question requires a very in-depth knowledge of how the signal paths work in the Z1; whether the component outputs happen before or after the UV subsampling. If it doesn't say in the manual, the only way to find out may well be to ask Sony. I would personally suspect that the smearing caused by the lumpen impedance characteristics of the RCA output connectors would probably be about as bad as 4:2:2 subsampling anyway, more's the pity.

I'm in the process of levering this sort of information out of JVC and Canon regarding their HD cameras; whether it's possible to get a more raw output on the HD-SDI. It can be very hard for the local sales outfits to answer these sorts of questions, so best of luck.

Phil
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#3 Tim J Durham

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 12:43 AM

Question:

Taking real-time, raw video out from the camera (NOT playing back captured, compressed HDV footage) through the component cables - will the video I?m inputting into the computer be 4:2:2? I think yes. In 4:2:0 it?s just flipping the signal, so 4:2:2 minimum I expect.

Any chance it?d be 4:4:4 (perhaps the internal firmware doesn?t screw with it that much, so maybe it?s not just 4:2:2 ? im asking you!)


I don't think so. I'm sure I'd have read about that by now. The cameras been out over a year and people were raving about the HD-SDI out on the Canon XL-H1 before, during, after its' release. All the while the Z1 was already out and not a peep. If anyone had been able to do 4:4:4 or even 4:2:2 it'd be common knowledge by now, wouldn't it?
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#4 Will Earl

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 02:04 AM

Well I had the similar thoughts about how much processing the component-out has on the Z1P when I read about Blackmagic's Intensity card http://www.blackmagi...ucts/intensity/

Add a component-hdmi adapter into the mix and hope for the best.
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#5 Robert Ducon

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 02:11 PM

If it was common knowledge, I wouldn't be asking ;)

It's 4:2:2, and processed at 8bit - I now know that.

That said, bypassing HDV compression is a sweet idea. Has anyone captured component from a HDV camera with nice results?
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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 04:44 PM

Hi,

I've captured HD-SDI from a JVC GY-HD251 and a Canon XHG1 with very nice results.

Phil
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#7 Carlos Martínez

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 09:31 AM

AFAIK, using a proper converter like Miranda HDV-bridge, you can convert HDV through the firewire interface onto HD. That would allow you using any HDV camera, even one not having HD-SDI output.

Edited by Carlos Martínez, 21 December 2006 - 09:31 AM.

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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 11:18 AM

Hi,

Yes but that would be utterly pointless as it has already had the compression applied by that point.

Phil
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#9 Troy Warr

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 11:57 AM

Is this equipment that you own, or are looking to rent or buy?

If you have the option of using a newer Sony HDV camera, the HVR-V1U for example, you can run the HDMI-out into the Blackmagic Intensity card (mentioned in Will's post above - only $250) and capture 4:2:2 either uncompressed or with much lower compression codecs than HDV. According to their specs, you would also have the full 1920x1080 frame, rather than the 1440x1080 that is the case with HDV.

I'm still shaky on the details, but it seems like an awesome solution if you have HDMI-out on your camera (only newer Sony's do, as far as I know). I e-mailed a sales rep at Blackmagic a while back about this very subject and would be happy to forward you his responses if you're interested.
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#10 will griffith

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 01:01 PM

if you have HDMI-out on your camera (only newer Sony's do, as far as I know).


the fx1/z1u does not have HDMI. however...we have captured 10bit 4:2:2 1080i via analog
component using a combination of G5, Kona LH, and Sonnett SATA RAID.
We captured several hours for one project and I have never had an easier time
keying and doing effects shots. It worked very well. We captured audio externally
with a HD-P2.

It is like comparing an uncompressed tiff to a 60-70% jpg. At first glance HDV
and uncompressed look pretty similar, but under any scrutiny HDV flaws stand
out.

I would seriously just look at buying the new sony camera with HDMI out (V1U) and
save yourself some money as well as keep everything digital (and simple) with
the Blackmagic HDMI card.

will griffith
producer
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#11 Carlos Martínez

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 04:38 PM

Yes but that would be utterly pointless as it has already had the compression applied by that point.


Then out the window goes portability, right?...

Files will be HUUGGEE... So you will need tons of HDs to take it all.
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#12 will griffith

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 04:48 PM

Then out the window goes portability, right?...

Are you sure that he needs portability? We don't in the studio.

Files will be HUUGGEE... So you will need tons of HDs to take it all.

Not unless you want them to be. The new Blackmagic card utilizes
an option for a JPG codec which is not much heavier than HDV, and has more color
information.

In fact, with FCP you can just tell it what to encode to... HDV to UC 4:2:2.
Take your pick. DVCPROHD is great and plays well in FCP.
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#13 Zulkifli Yusof

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 03:38 PM

the fx1/z1u does not have HDMI. however...we have captured 10bit 4:2:2 1080i via analog
component using a combination of G5, Kona LH, and Sonnett SATA RAID.
We captured several hours for one project and I have never had an easier time
keying and doing effects shots. It worked very well. We captured audio externally
with a HD-P2.


Hey,

Is it possible to view a comparison between footage captured to tape and footage captured through component outs? This sounds interesting.
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