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HPX 500 downcoverting in real time


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#1 M. Vian

M. Vian
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Posted 14 April 2008 - 12:16 AM

Hi

I have a shoot coming up where I'll be using the Panasonic HPX 500.
Most of the show will be shot in 60p for slow-motion effect.
Unfortunately we will be finishing and doing all post in DVCAM (30p over 60i base system). But the capture will have to be done at 720p to use the ramping capabilities of this camera (even though it also shoots in SD, varicam style ramping only works at 720p).

So here are my questions (I have never used this camera):

1. If I'm shooting in HD mode, at 720p, can I set the camera's SDI output to SD-SDI?
This way I'd have the camera do the downconversion in real time, has I shoot, and hook it up to a DVCAM deck with SD-SDI input.
Tape it to DVCAM tapes, and hand them to the editor. He could then do an offline, and later an online. The project has to be ready one week after production, so speed is an issue.

2. Would this downconversion be good to become my new "master"? Or a "post" downconversion would be better? (there's no budget for this, but I'm curious!)

3. Also, if I'm shooting at 60p, would a real time downconversion work for slow-motion speed?
Since the DVCAM deck is always at 60i, would I have to play the files off the the HPX-500 after shooting them, to lay them on a tape? Or would the SD-SDI output give me a real-time feed of the 60p turned into 30p (60i), hence slowing down the footage? My question basically is: would I be able to be recording the shots to the deck as I'm shooting them, ot would I have to do that later to preserve the slow-motion?

4. With an SD-SDI connection, does the DVCAM deck run in its own, like with a firewire system? This way as I'd press REC on the camera, the deck would start recording automatically... With timecode and sound, like with a Miranda?

My ideal plan would be to have the camera connected to a DVCAM deck at all times (soundstage, so cables will be easier to deal with), downconvert the footage on set (preferencially in real time, but it could also be AFTER the shot is taken because of the slow-motion), keep a copy of the P2 cards in a hard drive for safety, but basically use the camera only as a "feeder", and the deck as my "capture" device.

Sounds like this can work?

Thank you for any help.

M. Vian
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 12:54 AM

The Operating Instructions located here should tell you all you need to know about the camera's outputs and downconversion.

Are you sure you actually mean ramping, and not just over/undercranking? I wasn't aware that the HPX500 supported ramping like the Varicam, I'm pretty sure it only has the same 11 preset frame rates as the HVX200.

Realtime over/undercranking is accomplished by recording the signal in the 24P "N" mode. If you output the signal "live" to DVCAM at 60i, you're not recording it as 24P"N", and not getting the real-time effect.

Why do you need to convert the footage to DVCAM for editing? If you can keep the P2 footage on a hard drive "for safety," you can keep it on a hard drive "for editing." ;) Unless you're just locked into an edit system that doesn't support DVCPRO HD...
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