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Viper Filmstream to S.Two D.Mag, or SRW5000?


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#1 Michael Emmett

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 06:14 PM

For any of you who have the patience to read this post, here is my question...

If shooting on a Viper Filmstream then outputting (in 4:4:4) to a SRW5000 on HDCAM SR tape, do you loose anything versus pure Filmstream to a DFR?

Looking at the specs it doesn't seem like you do. I'm just looking for any confirmation.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 06:31 PM

For any of you who have the patience to read this post, here is my question...

If shooting on a Viper Filmstream then outputting (in 4:4:4) to a SRW5000 on HDCAM SR tape, do you loose anything versus pure Filmstream to a DFR?

Looking at the specs it doesn't seem like you do. I'm just looking for any confirmation.


Well, technically there has to be some loss since the data is compressed slightly, but from a practical standpoint, it's debatable if it makes much of a difference, debatable in the sense that some people swear by data recording over tape recording, period. Sort of depends on how you want to handle the footage in your editing room. Will you be able to afford an HDCAM-SR deck? Will you want to store all of those data files on hard drives or computer tapes?
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#3 Michael Emmett

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 06:41 PM

So there is a loss. I thought there had to be.

I would preffer everything on disk, instead of tape.

As far as cost, I'm paying out my eyeballs either way. A DFR or a VTR are both expensive.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 06:46 PM

So there is a loss. I thought there had to be.

I would preffer everything on disk, instead of tape.

As far as cost, I'm paying out my eyeballs either way. A DFR or a VTR are both expensive.


Well, higher quality generally does cost more... now you know why, after six years, most people still shoot on the F900, because what's the point of switching from 35mm to HD if you're not really saving money?
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#5 Michael Emmett

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 08:21 PM

Well, higher quality generally does cost more... now you know why, after six years, most people still shoot on the F900, because what's the point of switching from 35mm to HD if you're not really saving money?


Then why did they shoot Collateral on HD? I don't think they had budget issues if they hired Tom Cruise.
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 09:39 PM

Then why did they shoot Collateral on HD? I don't think they had budget issues if they hired Tom Cruise.


Because a few people (like Michael Mann) like the look of HD for certain projects. In the case of "Collateral" it was the ability to shoot at wide apertures with a 2/3" CCD camera and still get some deeper focus than with 35mm, plus the ability to boost the gain and increase the shutter speed for shooting in very low light levels. The downside is that you get non-film-like noise and motion smearing, but matching a film-look was not a high priority on "Collateral" as was creating a unique nighttime look.

Also, when you push film in order to shoot in lower light levels, you get an increase in contrast, whereas boosting the gain in digital doesn't change the contrast, so there tends to be more low-level detail than with pushed film, hence the nighttime glow recorded in the sky in "Collateral" that is harder to capture on film except in really long exposures. Plus with the greater depth of field of 2/3" CCD HD, backgrounds seen thru the taxi windows were more in-focus.

But most of us shooting indie movies in HD generally are using HD as some way of saving money over 35mm, especially if no film-out is required, so it's hard to argue with a producer to spend the money on shooting and recording in 4:4:4 because when they do the numbers, they find that they could shoot the movie in 35mm if they really wanted to. And in most cases, shooting in 35mm would look better, so why spend the same amount of money to get a less-good image? There has to be other compelling reasons to shoot 4:4:4 HD, like the need for extra depth of field, or gain boosting, or ability to shoot more footage, longer takes, instant dailies, etc.
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#7 Michael Emmett

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 09:51 PM

I think I better print out both my posts and go over them.

It's like the real world image probably has trillions of pixles per nanometer. But my brain is just a camera!
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