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Super 8 to MiniDV


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#1 Chris Durham

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 06:38 PM

I'm still doing my research before actually delving into Super 8 filming. I've been looking at folks who say they process your film and telecine it for you onto a MiniDV tape. This sounds good to me because then It's really easy for me to transfer into my NLE system. The question I have, though, is what kind of image quality does this get me? I mean, obviously my resolution is now NTSC; but do I lose quality in terms of color, gamma, black, and white? Or are those limitations in video due to the CCD capture that I shouldn't have to worry about when using MiniDV as an intermediate media?
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#2 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 07:52 PM

I'm still doing my research before actually delving into Super 8 filming. I've been looking at folks who say they process your film and telecine it for you onto a MiniDV tape. This sounds good to me because then It's really easy for me to transfer into my NLE system. The question I have, though, is what kind of image quality does this get me? I mean, obviously my resolution is now NTSC; but do I lose quality in terms of color, gamma, black, and white? Or are those limitations in video due to the CCD capture that I shouldn't have to worry about when using MiniDV as an intermediate media?


Mini-dv is a logical choice these days, irrespective of what is the best, mini-dv very good and very affordable. I do have my reservations about firewire being the best method for inputing mini-dv into the computer. A client of mine has done the following method for a betacam sp production and was absolutely thrilled with the result. The went component out from a betacam sp deck into a Kona Card and then onto final cut pro. Going component out from a digital deck that actually offers component out connectors and then inputting that directly into Final Cut Pro via a Kona card or black magic card with at least the quality of a DVC-Pro 50 codec may actually give one a better quality codec than simply going firewire into Final Cut Pro. However, firewire is pretty darn good as well. Some claim that film grain can become blocky looking on mini-dv and I have seen this effect, but usually the result onto mini-dv is very good.

To try the component transfer method, one would need to own or have access to a digital deck that costs at least $2,500 and has component output, then one would need the Kona card, which costs anywhere from $800 to well over a thousand dollars depending on which Kona card one purchased. The black magic card is supposed to be less expensive than the cheapest Kona card, so I would guess for between $3,000 to $4,500 is what it could cost to just to gain the component input option. Probably not worth it unless one is going to be buying a digital deck anyways, in which case definitely consider the digital decks that offer component out, then all one can get for a just a few hundred bucks more either of the component cards mentioned above.
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#3 Andres Pardo aka Gral Treegan

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 08:52 PM

HI!
just remember that minidv or dvcam is offline quality. i do not recomend if youre thinking a broadcsat quality.

try, if you can, digi beta.
bye!
Treegan
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#4 Jim Hoene

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 09:00 PM

HI!
just remember that minidv or dvcam is offline quality. i do not recomend if youre thinking a broadcsat quality.

try, if you can, digi beta.
bye!
Treegan


Can anyone explain this a bit further? thanks
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#5 Andres Pardo aka Gral Treegan

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 10:33 PM

Can anyone explain this a bit further? thanks


hi!
here i go, im pasting from another site that explains well.

"Color Sampling:
4:1:1 This number is a ratio of how often the luminance is sampled compared to how often the color is sampled. Virtually all digital formats sample the luminance at 13.5 MHz. This is noted as the "4" in the above number. A format that has a 4:4:4 color sampling samples the color at the same rate as the luminance, yet it is rarely used except for high resolution RGB graphics. 4:2:2 sampling is used by most high-end tape formats and provides excellent color quality. DV25 uses 4:1:1, which samples the color once for every four luminance samples. Visually, this still yields excellent color (better than most analog formats). The only time when 4:1:1 sampling may be a hindrance is when making graphics and special effects that require very sharp colors (for example, it is more difficult to use DV for chroma keying)."

4.1.1 is offline in terms that you cant have enough quiality if youre planning to have fx, software color correction, chromakey, etc.

hope it helps!
Treegan
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#6 Jim Hoene

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 04:16 PM

hi!
here i go, im pasting from another site that explains well.

"Color Sampling:
4:1:1 This number is a ratio of how often the luminance is sampled compared to how often the color is sampled. Virtually all digital formats sample the luminance at 13.5 MHz. This is noted as the "4" in the above number. A format that has a 4:4:4 color sampling samples the color at the same rate as the luminance, yet it is rarely used except for high resolution RGB graphics. 4:2:2 sampling is used by most high-end tape formats and provides excellent color quality. DV25 uses 4:1:1, which samples the color once for every four luminance samples. Visually, this still yields excellent color (better than most analog formats). The only time when 4:1:1 sampling may be a hindrance is when making graphics and special effects that require very sharp colors (for example, it is more difficult to use DV for chroma keying)."

4.1.1 is offline in terms that you cant have enough quiality if youre planning to have fx, software color correction, chromakey, etc.

hope it helps!
Treegan

It should except I'm a complete novice. It sounds like your usage of "offline" means less than optimal. Is this some industry term? thanks for your patience!
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#7 Eugene Gekhter

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 04:27 PM

It should except I'm a complete novice. It sounds like your usage of "offline" means less than optimal. Is this some industry term? thanks for your patience!

You don't necessarily need to have a deck. You can ask to have your super 8 transferred to digital files on an external hard drive. This is mainly what my company does, we transfer super 8 and 16mm film at 1080p 4:2:2 and you can get uncompressed .avi files as well as HD MPEG-2 and WMV9 files if you want to save on hard drive space. Obviously the uncompressed is the best choice if you are looking to do an "online editing session" later on and you can always down-convert the files to make it easier to work in FCP. Feel free to contact me - eugene@filmtransfer.com or check out my website www.filmtransfer.com . All the best, Eugene.
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#8 Andres Pardo aka Gral Treegan

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 08:09 PM

Hi!!

offline is way of work in less quality, not uncompressed 1.1.
the film editors work this way cose its possible to digitize more footage in less hard drive space and the work station had a better perfomance workin offline. for example 1 hour of footage mini dv compression is aprox 17Gb, 1 hour uncompressed footage is aprox 100Gb

thats why in offline, as i said in past post, mini dv is not recomended for projects that will have a lot of post, graphics and color correction, cose the image sampling is not enough to do that.

my advice... follow the Eugene recomedations, jsut remember that if youre going to work in mac ask for .MOV not .AVI. and if you want high quality in SD or HD ask for image sequence 24 fps directly from telecine to flame, inferno or the workstation the telecine company have... and try to avoid firewire.

bye!
Treegan

Edited by General Treegan, 16 January 2007 - 08:11 PM.

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#9 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 11:28 PM

Hi!!

offline is way of work in less quality, not uncompressed 1.1.
the film editors work this way cose its possible to digitize more footage in less hard drive space and the work station had a better perfomance workin offline. for example 1 hour of footage mini dv compression is aprox 17Gb, 1 hour uncompressed footage is aprox 100Gb

thats why in offline, as i said in past post, mini dv is not recomended for projects that will have a lot of post, graphics and color correction, cose the image sampling is not enough to do that.

my advice... follow the Eugene recomedations, jsut remember that if youre going to work in mac ask for .MOV not .AVI. and if you want high quality in SD or HD ask for image sequence 24 fps directly from telecine to flame, inferno or the workstation the telecine company have... and try to avoid firewire.

bye!
Treegan


I'm going to stay out of this one for the most part, but DV has established itself in some realm as a professional format. For someone doing their first project, it should be very acceptable.
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#10 Chris Durham

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 06:27 PM

Thanks everybody. I think for the most part MiniDV would suffice for my needs; but I will probably look into using the files instead - I'd rather have the highest quality I can work with.
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#11 Sam Azar

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 09:07 PM

You don't necessarily need to have a deck. You can ask to have your super 8 transferred to digital files on an external hard drive. This is mainly what my company does, we transfer super 8 and 16mm film at 1080p 4:2:2 and you can get uncompressed .avi files as well as HD MPEG-2 and WMV9 files if you want to save on hard drive space. Obviously the uncompressed is the best choice if you are looking to do an "online editing session" later on and you can always down-convert the files to make it easier to work in FCP. Feel free to contact me - eugene@filmtransfer.com or check out my website www.filmtransfer.com . All the best, Eugene.


Eugene,

I have a large stock of Super8 sound (recorded at 18fps) and I would like to transfer at the best possible quality and at the same time I would like to be able to edit the captured data as well.
I think that at the present time, it is better not to go yet into using the Blue Ray with my PC...!
What would you recommend?

- Do all in Standard Def. (disappointing maybe?)
- Produce HD (Blue Ray) and play them on a Salon Blue Ray Player that I will have to purchase. At the same time obtain the captured data in a format that I can edit and burn
without having to equip myself with the Blue Ray burner ?

I will greatly appreciate your comments.

With thanks

Sam
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#12 Owen Parker

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 05:50 AM

I have a large stock of Super8 sound (recorded at 18fps) and I would like to transfer at the best possible quality and at the same time I would like to be able to edit the captured data as well. I think that at the present time, it is better not to go yet into using the Blue Ray with my PC...!
What would you recommend?

- Do all in Standard Def. (disappointing maybe?)
- Produce HD (Blue Ray) and play them on a Salon Blue Ray Player that I will have to purchase. At the same time obtain the captured data in a format that I can edit and burn
without having to equip myself with the Blue Ray burner ?


Sorry to answer your question a with question but...

It really depends on what you are going to do with the material.
If it's for broadcast TV you are best off working in the format you intend to deliver in, whether that's SD or HD. That way no matter what happens during the project you can just pick up the tapes, go anywhere and work with them.

If the projects personal, family archive etc, the answers much harder. It becomes more a question of what's practical and affordable.
Even at SD one roll of Super8 telecined 10 bit uncompressed is more than will fit on a single layer DVD (works out about 4.8 GB)
If you did it at 10 bit uncompressed HD one roll would be about 26 GB (I think that's bigger than a Blue Ray disc...)
The other factor to consider is frame format. Super8 has a 1.36 aspect ratio and is therefore very well suited to a SD telecine as it's essentially full frame. If you telecine at HD you would either have to have the image pillar box (black bar left and right of the Super8 image) or worse you go full frame and sacrifice the top and bottom of the Super8 frame. Considering the tiny frame you are working from I wouldn't recommend that.

I work with a lot of Super8 and 16mm and I usually suggest an SD full frame telecine. I usually get it done to DV for my own personal projects and to DigiBeta for work ones. If you can get them to give you data files at the same time all the better but I would work out the total storage needed, add 10%, and give them a hard drive.
Either way the results almost always look great because of the aesthetically pleasing quality of film.

Hope this helps in some way.
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