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Digi Beta and HD


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#1 Mukesh Chander

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 03:41 AM

Hello friends.. I know about the dv, dvcpro, dvcam, hdv and hd cameras. But I have no idea abt digi-beta. I just know that it is a digital version of beta. But what actually it does. And which one has better quality. The HD or Digi-Beta? Please give me a nice explanation friends... Thanks in advance...
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 06:45 AM

Hello friends.. I know about the dv, dvcpro, dvcam, hdv and hd cameras. But I have no idea abt digi-beta. I just know that it is a digital version of beta. But what actually it does. And which one has better quality. The HD or Digi-Beta? Please give me a nice explanation friends... Thanks in advance...


DigiBeta is the highest quality standard definition format in common use. It's 10 bit 4.2.2 with a low compression of 2.3 and a common SD delivery format with many broadcasters.

HD will have the best quality, however, if you're downconverting to SD for final delivery the latest DVW 970 Digibeta camera can give impressive results - some say better looking than the HDCAM or Varicam cameras. Certainly, if you want HD delivery, cameras using a HD format will be a lot better.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 10:43 AM

"Maverick" you need to go to My Controls and edit your Display Name into a real first and last name, as per the forum rules here. Thanks.

Are you asking about the tape format called Digital Betacam? Or the Sony camcorders that use it?
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#4 Mukesh Chander

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 08:06 AM

"Maverick" you need to go to My Controls and edit your Display Name into a real first and last name, as per the forum rules here. Thanks.

Are you asking about the tape format called Digital Betacam? Or the Sony camcorders that use it?

I am askin wheter shootin in a digibeta camera has the highest quality or Hd has the hi quality? Can digibeta handle hd video? I heard that after the film's editing was finished, the film will be stored in a digibeta tape for transfer to dvds? So which has the better quality??
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#5 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 09:35 AM

I am askin wheter shootin in a digibeta camera has the highest quality or Hd has the hi quality? Can digibeta handle hd video? I heard that after the film's editing was finished, the film will be stored in a digibeta tape for transfer to dvds? So which has the better quality??



The short answer is that HDCAM will give you inherently better quality than any other video format currently on the market. If you begin by acquiring with the highest quality format, you can downconvert from there to whatever delivery format is required. Arguably, the next progression in video quality will come from acquiring images with the RED camera. Final results and comparison TBD. :)
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#6 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 09:33 AM

Digibeta won't handle HD, it's a standard definition format.

HDCAM won't give you the best quality on HD, there better formats like HDCAM SR.

If you're shooting for delivery on SD the answer isn't simple. From results I heard on tests by an editor friend for a top British TV drama series, the DVW 970 Digibeta camera was much more impressive looking than either the HDCAM HDW 750 or Varicam downconverted to Digibeta.

From shooting on some HDCAM films for delivery on Digibeta, I'd say the HDCAM HDW 750 camera looked slightly better than a DVW 790 - of course we were shooting progressive and the DVW 790 is interlace. However, we were using non standard film gamma settings and using HD glass, which also helps.

BTW The DVW 970 can shoot progressive.

So, I suspect the answer will depend of which Digibeta camera you're using. However, if cost is an issue, Digibeta will give extremely good results with picture quality way beyond DVD. Using HD lenses will make a difference on the Digibeta camera. Personally, I'd go for a DVW 970.
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#7 Mukesh Chander

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 05:34 AM

Digibeta won't handle HD, it's a standard definition format.

HDCAM won't give you the best quality on HD, there better formats like HDCAM SR.

If you're shooting for delivery on SD the answer isn't simple. From results I heard on tests by an editor friend for a top British TV drama series, the DVW 970 Digibeta camera was much more impressive looking than either the HDCAM HDW 750 or Varicam downconverted to Digibeta.

From shooting on some HDCAM films for delivery on Digibeta, I'd say the HDCAM HDW 750 camera looked slightly better than a DVW 790 - of course we were shooting progressive and the DVW 790 is interlace. However, we were using non standard film gamma settings and using HD glass, which also helps.

BTW The DVW 970 can shoot progressive.

So, I suspect the answer will depend of which Digibeta camera you're using. However, if cost is an issue, Digibeta will give extremely good results with picture quality way beyond DVD. Using HD lenses will make a difference on the Digibeta camera. Personally, I'd go for a DVW 970.

So do u say that we can put a HD or a 35mm lens on a digi-beta camera and shoot with a anamorphic lens for a widescreen feature film? And do the digi-beta have the same film look as HD has?
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#8 Mukesh Chander

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 05:41 AM

Digibeta won't handle HD, it's a standard definition format.

HDCAM won't give you the best quality on HD, there better formats like HDCAM SR.

If you're shooting for delivery on SD the answer isn't simple. From results I heard on tests by an editor friend for a top British TV drama series, the DVW 970 Digibeta camera was much more impressive looking than either the HDCAM HDW 750 or Varicam downconverted to Digibeta.

From shooting on some HDCAM films for delivery on Digibeta, I'd say the HDCAM HDW 750 camera looked slightly better than a DVW 790 - of course we were shooting progressive and the DVW 790 is interlace. However, we were using non standard film gamma settings and using HD glass, which also helps.

BTW The DVW 970 can shoot progressive.

So, I suspect the answer will depend of which Digibeta camera you're using. However, if cost is an issue, Digibeta will give extremely good results with picture quality way beyond DVD. Using HD lenses will make a difference on the Digibeta camera. Personally, I'd go for a DVW 970.


[BTW The DVW 970 can shoot progressive.]
i cant understand the BTW? wat is tat?
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#9 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 07:55 AM

BTW = By The Way

Digibeta is standard resolution, so you won't have HD resolution if you want to have a film out to 35mm print.

There's nothing to stop you putting the same lenses as you'd use on a 2/3" CCD high def camera, it does improve the picture quality. You can use the P+S PRO35 adapter that allows you to use 35mm film lenses on 2/3" CCD cameras. However, there aren't any 35mm sized single sensor Digibeta cameras.

It would be extremely rare for people to shoot 35mm lens anamorphic pictures on Digibeta. Certainly, they wouldn't shoot a feature that way, they'd do it more as an effect for music videos etc. You can shoot 16:9, from which you could do a film out to 35mm.

The DVW 970 has the progressive frame "film look" and its menus are similar to the Sony HD camera. It's debatable if HD looks like film, it can look like video much of the time, HD tends to have look of its own. Digibeta can have a similar "film look" if set up correctly, however, it won't have HD resolution.
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#10 Mukesh Chander

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 04:25 AM

BTW = By The Way

Digibeta is standard resolution, so you won't have HD resolution if you want to have a film out to 35mm print.

There's nothing to stop you putting the same lenses as you'd use on a 2/3" CCD high def camera, it does improve the picture quality. You can use the P+S PRO35 adapter that allows you to use 35mm film lenses on 2/3" CCD cameras. However, there aren't any 35mm sized single sensor Digibeta cameras.

It would be extremely rare for people to shoot 35mm lens anamorphic pictures on Digibeta. Certainly, they wouldn't shoot a feature that way, they'd do it more as an effect for music videos etc. You can shoot 16:9, from which you could do a film out to 35mm.

The DVW 970 has the progressive frame "film look" and its menus are similar to the Sony HD camera. It's debatable if HD looks like film, it can look like video much of the time, HD tends to have look of its own. Digibeta can have a similar "film look" if set up correctly, however, it won't have HD resolution.


I want to shoot a music video with a 'film look' visuals. So wat can i go for? HD or Digi-Beta? And also one more doubt if my project is just a standard definition(may be for a documentary) then again in which one can i shoot? HD or Digi-Beta? thank u very much for ur previous replies!!!
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#11 Scot McPhie

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 06:09 AM

I want to shoot a music video with a 'film look' visuals.


Why not just shoot Super 8 or 16mm - there's no video that will give you as good a film look as them.
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#12 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 10:39 AM

I want to shoot a music video with a 'film look' visuals. So wat can i go for? HD or Digi-Beta? And also one more doubt if my project is just a standard definition(may be for a documentary) then again in which one can i shoot? HD or Digi-Beta? thank u very much for ur previous replies!!!


Why not just shoot film?
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#13 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 10:40 AM

Why not just shoot Super 8 or 16mm - there's no video that will give you as good a film look as them.


lol, I didn't see the above response until after I had posted my exact same question.
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#14 Robert Hughes

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 12:24 PM

Mukesh, one thing you may also want to consider is the cost of using the various formats of equipment you are asking about. A new DigiBeta record deck without camera costs about $50,000. A new HDCAM camcorder deck may cost upwards of $100,000. All the rest of what makes a video studio run will cost you tens of thousands more, and generally anything HD related is twice the rental cost of its SD equivalent.

As for quality, you need to understand that X by Y pixel resolution is not the only standard by which quality can be measured; signal-to-noise, color stability, low light sensitivity, ease of editing, the list goes on. By the time you get to the point in your career where you need to worry about quality differences between, say, DVCAM and DigiBeta, both formats may obsolete in the commercial world. A miniDV camcorder you can buy down at X-Mart is miles beyond the limit of your abilities right now as it is; learn to get the best out of the equipment you have available and prepare yourself now for the time in the near future when you need to make the decisions on questions such as this thread asks.
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#15 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 11:32 AM

I want to shoot a music video with a 'film look' visuals. So wat can i go for? HD or Digi-Beta? And also one more doubt if my project is just a standard definition(may be for a documentary) then again in which one can i shoot? HD or Digi-Beta? thank u very much for ur previous replies!!!


If you want a film look, subject to your budget, film is the way to go.

If you're shooting for SD delivery, I don't see any point in shooting HD... unless you're only shooting on HDV.

On a documentary for SD, I definitely wouldn't shoot HD unless it's HDV downconverted. However, that decision is more likely to be budget driven. Digibeta cameras have much better quality lenses and having seen HDV downconverted to SD side by side with Digibeta, the latter was better looking.

Best was is to shoot progressive frames and give it a film look in post. That or deinterlace in post. Your editor should have suitable software.

Lighting like it's for 35mm film will do a lot.
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