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Super 8 digitizing question


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#1 Elliot Stark

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 01:34 PM

Hello,
I need a little advice.
I am shooting a short film, probably 3-5 minutes in total.
I am shooting on reversal stock and was wondering
how to get the best quality output with what I've got.
I want to edit in fcp so when I have the film transfered, what
is the best format I should ask for? Mini DV? I have a cheap mini dv cam
I can use to dump the footage. Or should I do uncompressed quicktime on a hard drive?

I don't have a digideck so any advice would be great.
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#2 Bryan Darling

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 02:44 PM

If you are going for DVD as your end product, I'd do Mini-DV as it's fast and easy for a computer to handle. If you are finishing to some other higher end format and you have the money then you could go with uncompressed. Just remember it will take a lot more computer power and resources to work with. If you are going to do a lot of image manipulation and effects you may want to go with the uncompressed.

It really comes down to what your end result will be, realistically. Most people doing low-budget- no-budget- work finish on DVD or DV tape. Those formats don't really need anything more than a DV master unless you plan on manipulating the footage a lot in the computer. Just go for the best you can afford.

But that's just my opinion :D
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#3 Elliot Stark

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 09:04 AM

Thanks!
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#4 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 09:10 AM

be nice to give your real name bcause it's more pleasent to know who you are talking too, you'll have more people replying as well
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#5 Elliot Stark

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 09:26 AM

be nice to give your real name bcause it's more pleasent to know who you are talking too, you'll have more people replying as well

My name is Elliot.
Hey I'm still a bit confused though. When I get my minidv back from the posthouse with my encoded footage. Is there going to be a loss in quality if I use my cheapo consumer minidv camera to dump the footage into fcp?
Thanks!
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#6 Rupe Whiteman

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 10:30 AM

My name is Elliot.
Hey I'm still a bit confused though. When I get my minidv back from the posthouse with my encoded footage. Is there going to be a loss in quality if I use my cheapo consumer minidv camera to dump the footage into fcp?
Thanks!


NO...
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#7 Lance Flores

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 11:02 AM

My name is Elliot.
Hey I'm still a bit confused though. When I get my minidv back from the posthouse with my encoded footage. Is there going to be a loss in quality if I use my cheapo consumer minidv camera to dump the footage into fcp?
Thanks!

Elliot - this site was set up by professionals who have asked that all subscribers to this site use their real names. You will shortly be asked to do this by the administrator if you fail to do so. It's their home, and it would be the polite thing to do before you are asked.
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#8 Elliot Stark

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 04:47 PM

Thanks Rupe, that was ever so helpful and enlightening.
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#9 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 01:47 AM

is the best format I should ask for? Mini DV? I have a cheap mini dv cam
I can use to dump the footage. Or should I do uncompressed quicktime on a hard drive?

I don't have a digideck so any advice would be great.



The best quality, even if going to DVD, will be obtained by getting an uncompressed transfer. When you go to dv you get a picture which has already gone through a process which is very similar to the Mprg-2 compression used for DVD playback so you are making a second similar compression pass when you finish your edit and make the DVD. Film footage, especially super8, has a fair bit of grain and this constant changing picture is not very easy on compressors and will look better if you do your big DVD compression step from the least compressed source possible.

-Rob-
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#10 Bryan Darling

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 04:31 PM

The best quality, even if going to DVD, will be obtained by getting an uncompressed transfer. When you go to dv you get a picture which has already gone through a process which is very similar to the Mprg-2 compression used for DVD playback so you are making a second similar compression pass when you finish your edit and make the DVD. Film footage, especially super8, has a fair bit of grain and this constant changing picture is not very easy on compressors and will look better if you do your big DVD compression step from the least compressed source possible.

-Rob-



I have to say that I have transferred many thousands of feet onto Mini-DV and have screened off of a tape and DVD. I have had both they average viewer and professional industry viewers watch these films and not one ever made mention or asked as to what format it was transferred to. All they say is how great the films look. In the end I'd say go with what is practical and economical for your project. Don't get too caught up in the technicalities. There will always be some "better" format to transfer to or use. The content will always be more compelling than the technology.

As for the compression of DV, I the compression is not near as much as MPEG-2 used for DVD. You can see compression artifacts far more often on DVDs than on DV, especially on the extremes of darks and highlights- I've not seen that in DV.
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#11 Elliot Stark

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Posted 13 March 2007 - 11:46 AM

Thanks for the input. :)
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#12 Rick Palidwor

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 06:01 PM

In the end I'd say go with what is practical and economical for your project. Don't get too caught up in the technicalities. There will always be some "better" format to transfer to or use. The content will always be more compelling than the technology.


I totally agree with Bryan's comment. And make the decision based on the nature of the project and your budget. I shoot a lot of super 8 and if I am making a significant project (significant meaning something I am spending more than few months and more than a few thousand or was hired by a paying client) I choose to transfer to Beta, if possible, simply to have a more robust master format with more reliable timecode. From there I make a miniDV copy with window burn timecode so I can go back to the Beta for an on-line. In other words, I base the decision on paper-trail (time-code trail) and archiving more than the compression question.

Rick
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