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New Shooter needs advice going from SD to HD


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#1 Steve Uhalde

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 12:49 PM

I'm a new shooter, I've been shooting on Beta for about 5 months. I've been shooting reality style TV shows and I've just about got comfortable shooting on Beta. The company I work for also shoots on HD Cam and they're looking at me as a possible HD shooter in the next couple of weeks. I'm wondering what are the biggest differences that I can expect to see from going from SD to HD? Any mistakes that others have made that I can learn from and possibly avoid? Thanks in advance.
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 01:21 PM

Focus is more critical.

And uh. Er. Erm. If you're doing the same job only in HD, very little else will change.

Phil
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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 02:15 PM

Focus is more critical.

And uh. Er. Erm. If you're doing the same job only in HD, very little else will change.

Phil


Also regularly checking the back focus.
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#4 Michael Collier

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 03:18 AM

I don't know about you, but I shoot beta like HD. When you focus you zoom in to check for critical focus right? Thats the biggest difference. I know a lot of beta shooters who guess at focus in most situations. For a spot news shot sometimes I do (only in daylight filter 3 when I am close to an f16.....if I am shooting spot I do that anyway to gain the DOF, so I don't loose a sudden shot) but we should all aim for the most precise focus given the situation, regardless of the format.

In general though the DOF is the same, sort of.... DOF is the same since most SD beta are 2/3s as are HD, but criticle focus is neccisary since circle of confusion is less. So basicly just make sure your focus is dead on.

Latitude offers a few more options, since most HD chips are more advanced than their 5-10 year senior Beta counterpart (along with pre-record DSP). but that doesn't necissarily change your way of working if its ENG. you can get away with more, but careful control of staging and angle is needed to take advangage of natural light, as with any ENG shoot (until I can figure out how to move the sun and clouds themselves that is)

Composing for a larger screen you might want to drift towards a wider shots than with SD, but you can't take that too far since you must understand a lot of your HD content will be viewed on SD screens.

Hope that helps. I hope this is ENG, most advice won't apply if its narritive. the backfocus comment was good, since more critical tuning is required at that resolution, and extreme temp and humidity can affect it. consider biasing your appeture towards the higher end, just to CYA while you get used to the format. But as you get used to it, don't let CYA define your style.
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#5 Ralph Oshiro

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 03:31 AM

Get some aspirin. Handholding an F900 is hell on your shoulder.
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#6 Frank Barrera

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 07:05 AM

Focus is more critical.

i have shot a lot of beta and HD. to me focus is focus. could you elaborate a little on the how's and why's of HD being different.

thanks
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#7 Michael Collier

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 03:05 PM

Well assuming we are comparing a beta 2/3s chip to an HD 2/3s chip, the difference is that 6 pixels fit in the space of 1 in SD. so if you had your focus off in SD, it would not be apparent since the circle of confusion easily fits within one pixel (giving the sharpness an apperence of 'critical focus' when if fact it can be off). Now same lens, appeture and focus setting in HD, the circles of confusion might not fit perfectly into one pixel, instead spreading over 2 or 3 and so would look soft on an HD monitor. now viewed on an SD screen it may not seem so. The detail availible in HD means that its easier for the camera to look soft, even if the focus error would be acceptable in SD.

other than that HD might offer more DSP features as a result of them being more expensive (they cost a lot, so lets cram some new features in there to justify it) also tapes are more expensive and you must use a lens designed for HD. don't assume that the fujinon that was on your digibeta will cut it in HD.

Hope that makes sense and helps
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#8 Thomas James

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 04:57 PM

The biggest difference when you start shooting in high definition is that you want to completely avoid any interlace scanning mode. So if you are shooting a reality show for a 1080 network like NBC or CBS you want to shoot at 30 frames per secound or 30p. If you are shooting for a 720p network like Fox or ABC you can shoot full progressive at 60 frames per secound. The problem with shooting high definition in the interlace mode is that the picture will be incompatible with the majority of flat panel high definition televisions and the picture does not compress well which leaves a lot of blocking artifacts when the picture gets broadcasted.
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#9 Michael Nash

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 07:50 PM

The biggest difference when you start shooting in high definition is that you want to completely avoid any interlace scanning mode. So if you are shooting a reality show for a 1080 network like NBC or CBS you want to shoot at 30 frames per secound or 30p. If you are shooting for a 720p network like Fox or ABC you can shoot full progressive at 60 frames per secound. The problem with shooting high definition in the interlace mode is that the picture will be incompatible with the majority of flat panel high definition televisions and the picture does not compress well which leaves a lot of blocking artifacts when the picture gets broadcasted.


This is absolutely not true, and you're not helping anyone when you make statements that confuse your opinion with the real world facts. Many major networks shoot interlaced HD. Watch the Tonight Show lately? Saturday Night Live? Several of the local LA news broadcasts?
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#10 Thomas James

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 08:34 PM

According to the United States Department of Defense 1080i is not a high definition format and does not produce video with a high enough quality for it to be trusted with for key strategic battlefied decisions. On the otherhand 1080i is recognized as a high definition format by the FCC but only for non military civiallian use where human lives are not at stake.
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#11 Michael Nash

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 03:31 AM

According to the United States Department of Defense 1080i is not a high definition format and does not produce video with a high enough quality for it to be trusted with for key strategic battlefied decisions. On the otherhand 1080i is recognized as a high definition format by the FCC but only for non military civiallian use where human lives are not at stake.


:wacko:

How is any of that dubious information useful to a shooter who's looking for tips on how to transition into HD? And how does it relate to your advice to shoot 30P for networks like NBC, when they clearly do shoot 60i?

It isn't, and it doesn't.

You have a right to state your opinion here, even if your propaganda gets tiresome. But when you start dispensing advice to professionals based on your opinion under the guise of fact -- when it's clearly wrong -- you're doing a disservice to the readers of these forums. The fact of the matter is that the network or the producers of the show that Steve is shooting will specify the frame rate and scan mode. If he were to follow your advice and switch his camera to 30P when the show is produced as 60i, his footage wouldn't cut with the other cameras and he'd likely be out of a job!

Please do us all a favor and start to include qualifiers like "I think..." and "In my opinion..." when you post these kinds of statements. Simply blurting out opinion as though it were fact just comes across as obsessive. Think about how you want people to perceive you and your message if you really want anyone to take your opinion seriously.
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#12 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 04:08 AM

According to the United States Department of Defense 1080i is not a high definition format and does not produce video with a high enough quality for it to be trusted with for key strategic battlefied decisions. On the otherhand 1080i is recognized as a high definition format by the FCC but only for non military civiallian use where human lives are not at stake.


What has the DoD's battlefield imaging got to do with broadcast televsion?

You're talking about two entirely different issues, those well known apples and oranges.
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#13 Alexander Joyce

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 06:04 AM

According to the United States Department of Defense 1080i is not a high definition format and does not produce video with a high enough quality for it to be trusted with for key strategic battlefied decisions. On the otherhand 1080i is recognized as a high definition format by the FCC but only for non military civiallian use where human lives are not at stake.



Just got off the phone with Dubya and he said he would very much like the footage I shot on my F900 of the Al Qaeda christmas party at Tora Bora.
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#14 Ralph Oshiro

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 05:50 AM

This thread has gotten really weird. Whenever I've shot HDCAM for NBC, it's always been in 1080i60 (kinda has to be doesn't it?). But the FRAME RATE may be at either 24 or 30, depending on what is requested (the show will tell you exactly want they want--and if they don't, ASK!). The newer F900R is a bit lighter than the F900/3, and almost a stop faster than the F900/3 as well. You may be asked to shoot in "4:3 protect." Meaning, shoot in 16:9, but "protect" a 4:3 composition so that they can use the 4:3 cutout version if they need to. I always ask, "Do I need to worry about '4:3 protect' or can I just compose everything for 16:9?" Some shows letterbox all 16:9-acquired footage for "effect" and in that case, you don't need to worry about protecting for 4:3. But always ask, to make sure. Other than that, it's all kinda the same deal as shooting in SD.
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#15 Ralph Oshiro

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 06:05 AM

The problem with shooting high definition in the interlace mode is that the picture will be incompatible with the majority of flat panel high definition televisions and the picture does not compress well which leaves a lot of blocking artifacts when the picture gets broadcasted.

None of the currently broadcasted HD formats are "incompatible" with LCD or plasma displays, they just may not be the same as the display's "native" resolution. All LCD and plasma flat panel displays take in whatever (720p, 1080i, etc.), and convert it to its native resolution (e.g., 720p for most plasmas; 1080p for newer, high-end LCDs). The quality of built-in scalers do vary, and, as I understand it, re-scaling video typically does result in a lesser-quality picture.
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#16 Thomas James

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 11:16 AM

There is really not much you can do about matching the resolution of the broadcast to the native resolution of all monitors because we do not have any single standard for the resolution of any given monitor. A monitor could be 1280x720, 1366x768, or 1920x1080 so of course the image will have to be scaled. And besides each broadcaster is commited to a format whether it be 1080i or 720p.

However the fact remains that regardless of the native resolution the vast majority of high definition televisions are progressive scan devices. So it makes a lot of sense to shoot with the camera in a progressive mode if you want the best compatability. Of course if you shoot for a network like NBC the final broadcast signal will be 1080i however the important thing is if you aquire the footage using progressively segmented frame technology even though your footage is carried off in an interlace stream it is very easy for a progressive television to reassemble the footage.
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#17 Ralph Oshiro

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 11:36 PM

Was talking to some engineers over at a major network's HD facility today, and I finally figured out what they do to support Fox and ABC's 720p programming requirements (networks often use other networks' facilities for their own shows, much like when one studio rents a stage on another studio's lot). They shoot video-originated shows using Sony HDC1500 1080p60 cameras. According to the engineers, when designing the facility, Fox wouldn't accept a 720p cross-convert from 1080i, so Sony came out with the 60p HDC1500 cameras. From a menu in the CCU, engineers tell the camera to "pull" a 720p signal from the 1080p camera. This is done completely in-camera. The camera is still "acquiring" 1080p60, but outputting a 720p signal from its HD-SDI output. They record this 720p signal to DVCPRO100 HD VTRs (and also to D5 as a source for ancillary SD distribution, e.g. internet).

Edited by Ralph Oshiro, 15 May 2007 - 11:39 PM.

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#18 Will Earl

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 01:11 AM

According to the United States Department of Defense 1080i is not a high definition format and does not produce video with a high enough quality for it to be trusted with for key strategic battlefied decisions. On the otherhand 1080i is recognized as a high definition format by the FCC but only for non military civiallian use where human lives are not at stake.


Could you please cite your references regarding this? I'm interested to see the report that this comes from.

Cheers,
Will
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#19 Thomas James

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 10:11 PM

www.atd.net/HDTV_faq.html
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