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HDCAM or DVCPRO-HD


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#1 Scott Willis

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 07:52 PM

I'm looking into my post-production workflow stuff for my final 16mm film projects this year.

I really want to transfer to an HD format of some sort, but I cant' determine whether HDCAM is better for this than DVCPRO-HD.

I understand the DVCPRO-HD subsampling 4:2:2 formula, but how does that compare with HDCAM's 3:1:1? Maybe i'm even focusing on the wrong details here.

My gut instinct is telling me that the dvcpro format is more suited for video based work and not necessary for telecine. But i can't seem to back that up with any solid information.
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#2 John Brawley

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 08:31 PM

I understand the DVCPRO-HD subsampling 4:2:2 formula, but how does that compare with HDCAM's 3:1:1? Maybe i'm even focusing on the wrong details here.


I guess it depends...:-)

DVCPRO HD has more compression than HDCAM. HDCAM's Colour sampling leaves a lot to be desired.

Are you doing best light or going back for a tape to tape grade later ?

If you're grading later, HDCAM is pretty limiting in my experience, mainly because of the colour space limitations.
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#3 Scott Willis

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 08:59 PM

Are you doing best light or going back for a tape to tape grade later ?

If you're grading later, HDCAM is pretty limiting in my experience, mainly because of the colour space limitations.


Yeah. I'm just going for the best light transfer now. Don't really have the resources or the time to go back and do a second go at it.

Thanks for the tip about the color space and grading stuff. That's pretty much the info i was going for.
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#4 Chris Burke

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 11:53 PM

Yeah. I'm just going for the best light transfer now. Don't really have the resources or the time to go back and do a second go at it.

Thanks for the tip about the color space and grading stuff. That's pretty much the info i was going for.




Scott,


where are you doing the transfer, National? If so, they can transfer to HD D5, which would trump either DVCpro HD or HDCAM. But the larger question is what format you can deal with. DVCPro HD is probably the cheapest and easiest to use because it is all firewire. They will also transfer to hard drive as uncompressed HD 10 bit. they did my transfer that way and I could not be more pleased. I think if you are limited on $$ as most are, the tk to hard drive is the best route. Hard drives are cheap and you can do a triple back up for probably less money than the deck rental for any of three video formats. The caveat for the hard drive route is processing power. You'll need a very fast computer with lots of fast storage, So doing an off line of sorts with any lower res codec is necessary. Really not that big of a deal. many have gone on and on about how tape is better and safer, but they are wrong. If on a mac, use the ProRes 422 HQ, it'll make things a lot easier.
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#5 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 10:46 AM

Interesting ... I just transferred a super 16mm short at Post Works, and they could not go directly from film to DVC-Pro HD; they said the deck does not keep perfect sync with the Spirit. So they went film to HDCAM, and then duped to DVC-Pro HD.

3:1:1??? Is this why our colors are so saturated??? (Funny, my contract says I get footage that is 4:2:2!)

Edited by Jon Rosenbloom, 06 March 2008 - 10:47 AM.

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#6 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 12:05 PM

The worst part about HDCAM (not SR) is that it is only 8 bits. If you do any kind of color correction there, it is easy to run into banding in the deeper shadows.
8 bit means 254 levels of grey per channel, 10 bit is 1023 levels, four times finer steps.
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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 03:56 PM

I've done S16mm transferrs right to DVCPROHD here in philadelphia without issue. The biggest problem was the 16minute run time off of a 66min DVCPRO tape. So you'll be using a lot of tapes, but I can't complain about how well it performed, and the post was pretty easy from what I hear from the director.
Keep in mind, though, it was a short which is going to live on DVD only. If we were going to be outputting to anything else I'd've tried to get D5 over the DVCPRO or HDCAM.
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#8 Scott Willis

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 04:17 PM

where are you doing the transfer, National? If so, they can transfer to HD D5, which would trump either DVCpro HD or HDCAM. But the larger question is what format you can deal with. DVCPro HD is probably the cheapest and easiest to use because it is all firewire. They will also transfer to hard drive as uncompressed HD 10 bit. they did my transfer that way and I could not be more pleased. I think if you are limited on $$ as most are, the tk to hard drive is the best route. Hard drives are cheap and you can do a triple back up for probably less money than the deck rental for any of three video formats. The caveat for the hard drive route is processing power. You'll need a very fast computer with lots of fast storage, So doing an off line of sorts with any lower res codec is necessary. Really not that big of a deal. many have gone on and on about how tape is better and safer, but they are wrong. If on a mac, use the ProRes 422 HQ, it'll make things a lot easier.


Interesting. I wasn't sure whether I was going to do the transfer at National or at Postworks. I'll probably ride over to National and talk to someone face to face about my options. The HD 10-bit sounds like an awesome choice. I just bought a new 500gb hard-drive just for this semester's work and the computers they run at my school are pretty well setup.


The worst part about HDCAM (not SR) is that it is only 8 bits. If you do any kind of color correction there, it is easy to run into banding in the deeper shadows.
8 bit means 254 levels of grey per channel, 10 bit is 1023 levels, four times finer steps.


Is dvdcpo-hd 10bit?
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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 04:44 PM

> Is dvdcpo-hd 10bit?

Yes.

However, if you do decide to go DVCPRO, you can migitage this to a certain extentby ensuring that your grading all takes place in 10.

P
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#10 Chris Burke

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 05:00 PM

Interesting. I wasn't sure whether I was going to do the transfer at National or at Postworks. I'll probably ride over to National and talk to someone face to face about my options. The HD 10-bit sounds like an awesome choice. I just bought a new 500gb hard-drive just for this semester's work and the computers they run at my school are pretty well setup.




Is dvdcpo-hd 10bit?



if you do go over to National, talk to STeve Baldwin, a great guy who helped me out tremendously with my short. I went the tapeless route (10 bit uncompressed HD). if you were really on top of your exposures and shot framing charts and at least a gray scale, you could get a really good best light for small money. If you have any questions about the work flow, PM me.

chris
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#11 Chris Burke

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 05:03 PM

> Is dvdcpo-hd 10bit?

Yes.

However, if you do decide to go DVCPRO, you can migitage this to a certain extentby ensuring that your grading all takes place in 10.

P



Are you sure it is ten bit. I have always been told that it was 8 bit. I know the new 2/3 inch camera they have out is a 10 bit HD camera, but the DVCpro HD format 10 bit?
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#12 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 05:09 PM

Are you sure it is ten bit. I have always been told that it was 8 bit. I know the new 2/3 inch camera they have out is a 10 bit HD camera, but the DVCpro HD format 10 bit?



I am pretty sure DvcProHD is 8bit..

-Rob-
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#13 John Brawley

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 06:18 PM

> Is dvdcpo-hd 10bit?

Yes.

However, if you do decide to go DVCPRO, you can migitage this to a certain extentby ensuring that your grading all takes place in 10.

P


I think it's 8 Bit. 6.7:1 compression. 4:2:2. I seem to recall that HDCAM OUTPUT'S a 10 bit signal from the deck, but it's only recording 8.

jb
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#14 John Brawley

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 06:19 PM

3:1:1??? Is this why our colors are so saturated??? (Funny, my contract says I get footage that is 4:2:2!)


Well depending on the desk they grade form that's probably true. Until it hits the deck that is.....


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#15 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 06:55 PM

Oh, er, ah, yes, by which of course I mean "no".

My point was that you can shoot 8 bit and then still get some advantage in posting 10.

P
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#16 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 05:13 AM

Recording onto a hard drive is pretty common. However, I'd avoid HDCAM and DVPRO HD (both of which are 8bit), if at all possible, and keep everything 10 bit 4:2:2.

Also, if you don't have a HDCAM or DVPRO HD VTR to play in the tapes, you'll have to rent one, which will add to your post production costs.
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#17 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 06:48 AM

Brian, if you know of anywhere that'll do a Spirit or similar transfer and give it to me on a firewire disk to walk out the door with, I'd be pleased to know about it!

P
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#18 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 06:51 AM

Phil,

I know at least one place, not far from here..
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#19 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 07:43 AM

Brian, if you know of anywhere that'll do a Spirit or similar transfer and give it to me on a firewire disk to walk out the door with, I'd be pleased to know about it!

P


I wasn't involved in the post production, but I know one short that I shot got transferred to a hard drive at Screen Scene in Dublin.
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#20 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 07:59 AM

> I know at least one place, not far from here..

Yes Dirk a northlight would be lovely but a bit of a budgetary imposition...

P
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