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HDV Capture Quality from Consumer HDV Camera


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#1 Tim Shim

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 05:27 AM

Hi guys ... I am curious to know if there is any quality loss of HDV footage shot on a prosumer HDV camera (Sony HDR-Z1) when captured, via Firewire, using a consumer-grade HDV camera such as the Sony HC3?

I have a debate going on with another person in my workplace regarding this. He claims that there is definitely a quality loss when capturing using a consumer-grade camera, but I'm not so sure if this is the case.

If any of you tech gurus can clarify, please do! Thanks!

Tim
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#2 Walter Graff

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 09:43 AM

HDV is a format. As a standard it records the same quality in a camera that uses it, whether it a $1k camera or $100k. Quality beyond that is effected by the lens quality and the sensor size. It is also effected by the matrix of sensors (1chip vs 3 chip). And the electronics used to convert that analog picture to a digital signal is also key to how well that camera makes a picture. Larger cameras often have much better schemes for doing that. As a general response I would say that YES quality is more than likely less on a consumer camera. I usually show this point rather passive aggressively by setting up a $3000 camea next to a $40,000 camera and showing the group teh same shot I set up beforehand. When I cut betweent eh two asking which camera should we use, everyone laughs and says the biger one.
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#3 Tim Shim

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 10:42 AM

Thanks for the reply, Walter, but I think you may have misunderstood my question. Or perhaps it's me who's not quite understanding your answer. :)

What I wanted to know was if I shot HDV using a 'big' camera, then wanted to do a Firewire transfer using a 'small' camera, would there be a loss in quality via the Firewire output of the small camera? What I'm asking has nothing to do with the actual image capture of either camera - just the digital transfer process (Firewire).

Hope I've made my question clearer this time? ;)

Tim
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#4 Walter Graff

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 10:46 AM

You could use a $100k camera and use a $5000 camera to transfer via firewire and the quality would be identical to using a very expensive deck or camera to transfer. The only thing you loose in terms of potential picture is better error correction so if there was a big dropout a $300 camera might not repair it whereas a dedicated deck would.
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#5 Tim Shim

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 11:00 AM

Yea that was what I wanted to know and that was my assumption - that it doesn't really matter if the camera is a 'small' camera or a 'big' camera ... a Firewire transfer should be 'lossless' theoretically as it is a 'digital' transfer format.

Thanks for your thoughts and reply, Walter. Though if anyone else on this board has another 'theory', please feel free to post your thoughts.
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#6 Michael Nash

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 04:40 PM

Though if anyone else on this board has another 'theory', please feel free to post your thoughts.


Why would it be any different? It's digital data not an analogue signal, so tape heads, processing etc. shouldn't make any difference. The small camera isn't going "throw away" or choke the digital data it reads of the tape...
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