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Recording F900 to HDCAM deck vs. SR


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#1 Tim Pipher

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 09:31 PM

I am in the process of building an HD studio facility in Vero Beach, Florida. We'll be making extensive use of an Orad HD virtual studio system (capable of 4:4:2 but not 4:4:4 production).

My cameras will be Sony F900r's.

I'll be recording from the F900's into an external deck. I had planned on an SRW 5500 HDCAM SR deck.

However, I'd save considerable money by instead purchasing an HDCAM deck like the new Sony D1800. Since the F900's can't shoot 4:4:4 anyway, am I correct that recording from an F900 into a 4:4:2 HDCAM deck will result in identical picture quality to the HDCAM SR deck, even for film out projects?

I know movies shot on F900's are often recorded externally to the HDCAM SR format (like Prarie Home Companion). But wouldn't they be just as well off (and save money) by recording to an HDCAM external deck?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
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#2 John Ealer

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Posted 01 February 2007 - 09:50 PM

I am in the process of building an HD studio facility in Vero Beach, Florida. We'll be making extensive use of an Orad HD virtual studio system (capable of 4:4:2 but not 4:4:4 production).

My cameras will be Sony F900r's.

I'll be recording from the F900's into an external deck. I had planned on an SRW 5500 HDCAM SR deck.

However, I'd save considerable money by instead purchasing an HDCAM deck like the new Sony D1800. Since the F900's can't shoot 4:4:4 anyway, am I correct that recording from an F900 into a 4:4:2 HDCAM deck will result in identical picture quality to the HDCAM SR deck, even for film out projects?

I know movies shot on F900's are often recorded externally to the HDCAM SR format (like Prarie Home Companion). But wouldn't they be just as well off (and save money) by recording to an HDCAM external deck?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!


Actually, there's a big difference between recording HDCAM (in camera, or externally) and recording HDCAM SR.

The HD-SDI signal coming out of the F900R is 1920x1080 10-bit uncompressed 4:2:2 (SMPTE 292M) at around 1.45 Gbits/sec; when recorded to an outboard HDCAM SR as 4:2:2 it's very modestly compressed down to around 440 Mbits/sec.

The HDCAM format recorded on-board the camera or in an outboard deck is downsampled to 1440x1080 using non-square pixels, subsampled in 8-Bit 3:1:1 color space and then DCT compressed down to 144 Mbits/sec.

So basically, the difference is:

1920x1080 10-bit 4:2:2 440 Mbits/sec with HDCAM SR

or

1440 x 1080 8-bit 3:1:1 144 Mbits/sec with HDCAM.

J
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#3 Tim Pipher

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 10:58 AM

Actually, there's a big difference between recording HDCAM (in camera, or externally) and recording HDCAM SR.

The HD-SDI signal coming out of the F900R is 1920x1080 10-bit uncompressed 4:2:2 (SMPTE 292M) at around 1.45 Gbits/sec; when recorded to an outboard HDCAM SR as 4:2:2 it's very modestly compressed down to around 440 Mbits/sec.

The HDCAM format recorded on-board the camera or in an outboard deck is downsampled to 1440x1080 using non-square pixels, subsampled in 8-Bit 3:1:1 color space and then DCT compressed down to 144 Mbits/sec.

So basically, the difference is:

1920x1080 10-bit 4:2:2 440 Mbits/sec with HDCAM SR

or

1440 x 1080 8-bit 3:1:1 144 Mbits/sec with HDCAM.

J



Thanks John!

Tim
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 11:04 AM

You could also try a Panasonic HD-D5 deck, which will record 4:2:2 -- just with more compression than the HDCAM-SR deck at 4:2:2. That's assuming the cost of an HD-D5 deck is somewhere between an HDCAM and HDCAM-SR deck.
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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 02:29 PM

Or you could just record it to hard disks. It's not exactly difficult to do these days. Depends how much material you're after shooting, and what the post route is.

Phil
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#6 Elhanan Matos

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 10:06 PM

I would suggest recording to the SRW-5500. With that you can record to SR which like John said, is 1920x1080 4:2:2 10 bit. Big difference from HD Cam. Also you have the option of using 12 tracks of Audio which is a plus in a studio environment. Also don't forget that with the option cards you can use your 5500 to play back HD cam SR, HD cam, and Digibeta.
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