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Brand and format comparisons


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#1 Daniel Moore

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 05:00 PM

I've wondered for a while now, what the difference between the "parallels" of brand versus format are. An example is, the DVX-100 and the HVX200 both shoot 24p, although, the HVX has a much higher preference than the DVX. Other than the most obvious reason being that the HVX has more options and so a much higher price, both cameras shoot 24p, so what's the difference between the two cameras strictly within that context(shooting in 24p). Does the difference in brand name have anything to do with it? Unless a technical developer or whatever says "I have an idea to make a camera with more options than the DVX, but I want to use my idea as a catalyst to start my own company....I'll name my company Panasonic"...and there's the difference right there. Can someone explain this?

Edited by Daniel Moore, 31 October 2008 - 05:04 PM.

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#2 Chance Shirley

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 05:11 PM

For starters, the HVX can shoot HD (1080p and 720p). The DVX is strictly SD (480p).
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#3 Daniel Moore

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 07:13 PM

For starters, the HVX can shoot HD (1080p and 720p). The DVX is strictly SD (480p).


Hmm okay, I'm just not currently technically oriented, so I guess thats what I missed....but....does what you're saying strictly have an effect specifically on the 24p option, or are you stating that those are the main differences between the cameras themselves?
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 07:16 PM

Between the cameras. It's a pretty big difference, too.
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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 07:24 PM

One camera, for example, follows the SD DV format, 25mbps, 720x480, this would be the DVX, the other is an HD DVCPRO camera, 100mbps, the other shoots 1080 and 720, as mentioned. I forget the actual size but I think it's 1440x1080 (might be 1920) and 1280x720. The HVX is also taple-less, meaning it records data to a card, and has 4:2:2 color sampling as oppose to DVs 4:1:1.
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#6 Daniel Moore

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 07:45 PM

One camera, for example, follows the SD DV format, 25mbps, 720x480, this would be the DVX, the other is an HD DVCPRO camera, 100mbps, the other shoots 1080 and 720, as mentioned. I forget the actual size but I think it's 1440x1080 (might be 1920) and 1280x720. The HVX is also taple-less, meaning it records data to a card, and has 4:2:2 color sampling as oppose to DVs 4:1:1.


Well HVX's also records onto tape as well as cards(specifically I assume you mean P2 cards). What your describing sounds like main functions of each camera, but visually, if I watch 24p footage shot with each camera....will it make a difference in the long run. I would think 24p is 24p, period.....but I'm not sure if just the sole fact that someone films with an HVX would increase any part of the quality of the 24p(or "format" as I noticed people say on this website)....
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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 07:53 PM

24p isn't a format; it's a frame rate. And yes, the HVX onto tape is DV codec, same as the DVX, but that in no way puts them in the same category. The Format of the 2 cameras, would be MiniDV or DVCProHD/MiniDV. The HXV is normally used in DVCProHD format. Even then, it has newer and iirc larger imagers which would down-sample to MiniDV better than something captures on MiniDV normally.
Think of it like this; Would 65mm film look better on 35mm film or 35mm film on 65mm film? Obviously, the 65mm film is recording more information; as that format has more room for the information than 35mm film (literally, more room!) so you are "throwing away" extra information to go onto 35, as opposed to creating new information for the 35--->65. I hope that makes some sense. . .

Both cameras also shoot 60i, but that has nothing to do with their format much as a film camera is still a film camera regardless of whether or not it's shooting 24fps.
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#8 Daniel Moore

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 09:46 PM

24p isn't a format; it's a frame rate. And yes, the HVX onto tape is DV codec, same as the DVX, but that in no way puts them in the same category. The Format of the 2 cameras, would be MiniDV or DVCProHD/MiniDV. The HXV is normally used in DVCProHD format. Even then, it has newer and iirc larger imagers which would down-sample to MiniDV better than something captures on MiniDV normally.
Think of it like this; Would 65mm film look better on 35mm film or 35mm film on 65mm film? Obviously, the 65mm film is recording more information; as that format has more room for the information than 35mm film (literally, more room!) so you are "throwing away" extra information to go onto 35, as opposed to creating new information for the 35--->65. I hope that makes some sense. . .

Both cameras also shoot 60i, but that has nothing to do with their format much as a film camera is still a film camera regardless of whether or not it's shooting 24fps.


Oh, now I think I see my misunderstanding. Wow thanks so much for explaining that. There are a couple things I realize. First, the format is specifically what type of film/tape is shot with. What I thought was the "format" is actually a type of process which the "information" is recorded as, right?

I didn't even know there was 65mm film. What type of things are filmed with 65mm....can you give me a couple of examples? Thanks!
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#9 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 11:08 PM

Anytime, glad I could help.

Basicaly 24P, for what it's worth, is "mimicing" the way a film camera records motion and sticking it onto a tape format which it doesn't fit by doing some spooky things behind the scenes (this is where pulldowns come in.. and that can be hard to explain without a graph, so look here : http://www.zerocut.c...h/pulldown.html )
As for 65mm, that's mostly IMAX type stuff. Parts of "The New World," were done in 65mm, as were parts of "The Dark Knight." The film "Baraka" was all shot in 65mm. Formerly, it was used also for FX plates so that as you make copies of it photochemically you don't loose information. It is sometimes still referred to as 70mm which iirc is the size of the projected negative (extra 5mm for all the sound stuff).
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#10 chris dye

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 01:08 AM

Anytime, glad I could help.

Basicaly 24P, for what it's worth, is "mimicing" the way a film camera records motion and sticking it onto a tape format which it doesn't fit by doing some spooky things behind the scenes (this is where pulldowns come in.. and that can be hard to explain without a graph, so look here : http://www.zerocut.c...h/pulldown.html )
As for 65mm, that's mostly IMAX type stuff. Parts of "The New World," were done in 65mm, as were parts of "The Dark Knight." The film "Baraka" was all shot in 65mm. Formerly, it was used also for FX plates so that as you make copies of it photochemically you don't loose information. It is sometimes still referred to as 70mm which iirc is the size of the projected negative (extra 5mm for all the sound stuff).


Don't forget many of the 'classics' were shot on 65mm. Ben Hur, Lawrence of Arabia, Ryan's Daughter, The Sound of Music, West Side Story, 2001: A Space Odyssey. All shot on 65mm film for 70mm release. I wish this format would make a comeback.

Edited by chris dye, 01 November 2008 - 01:09 AM.

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#11 Andrew Koch

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 02:05 AM

Does the difference in brand name have anything to do with it? Unless a technical developer or whatever says "I have an idea to make a camera with more options than the DVX, but I want to use my idea as a catalyst to start my own company....I'll name my company Panasonic"...and there's the difference right there. Can someone explain this?


The DVX100 and the HVX200 are both made by Panasonic, just like the Varicams. They are different models in different price ranges. The more expensive models tend to have cleaner images with more image controls and functions. Just wanted to clarify something from a previous post about the HVX resolution. The 3 chips themselves are 960 x 540. Panasonic uses a technology called pixel shifting to uprez the output to either 720P or 1080i. Regardless, you will definitely see a significant difference between the DVX and the HVX
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#12 Daniel Moore

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 03:12 AM

Regardless, you will definitely see a significant difference between the DVX and the HVX


Hmm...this leads me to conclude that film is way more trustworthy than digital. If someone said they shot something with 24p, then that's like fifty percent of the equation...the other fifty percent being the camera. Whereas with film, like 35mm, I've seen crews shoot television commercials with several different looking cameras all with 35mm film, and regardless of the camera, it still comes out looking like a commercial.

It seems like digital is really convenient in a lot of ways, but it seems like it also complicates things....
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#13 Andrew Koch

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 04:00 AM

When all things are equal (lighting, lenses, production design, post, Cinematographer) there are less variables with film on set, but these variables do exist. With film, the variables are more about the type of film stock and less about the particular model of camera. In digital, the camera's brand and model plays more of a role in the various looks of a project. The settings of the cameras themselves add a another variable to the look. I'm NOT saying the camera is the most important factor in deciding a look for digital, but it is something to think about.

In my opinion 24p is not such a large part of the equation when shooting digital. Every professional and nearly every professional digital movie camera can now shoot 24P in NTSC countries or 25P in PAL countries. If one doesn't, I'll even settle for 30P if I have to and if I know it won't be a problem for post. The largest difference, in terms of motion, between 24P footage and lets say news footage is the letter "P" in 24P. It is progressive footage, whereas news in the US is usually 60i, the "i" standing for interlaced. Film captures images progressively (one full image at a time). That said, the farther you stray from 24fps, the harder it is to make the motion look traditionally filmic.

Since 24P is fairly standard, I would say things like dynamic range, color rendition, noise, and sensitivity, detail, are more of a factor when looking at a digital camera's characteristics. Resolution is also a factor, but I don't really want to get into that because these specs can be quite misleading sometimes and people start getting obsessed with pixel count and forget all of the other factors mentioned in this paragraph. Resolution is certainly not irrelevant (in fact certain networks are quite specific on their resolution requirements for deliverables), but it is not everything.
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#14 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 11:24 AM

The 3 chips themselves are 960 x 540. Panasonic uses a technology called pixel shifting to uprez the output to either 720P or 1080i.


yeah I knew they were some wonky size; i was referring with the 1440 to the output image size after the pixel-shift. Should've been clearer about that.
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#15 Jase Ryan

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 04:14 PM

Resolution isn't everything but it's pretty damn important. The more resolution, usually the larger the latitude is. And to me, thats very important. With film, you have more latituded meaning you have more in your highs and lows. You can shoot in a shady and sunny area and have a nice looking and exposed picture in both extremes. If you try doing that with digital, even the Red camera, you're going to loose information.

Still, to this day, film is far superior to HD. Although with Red doing what they're doing, the differences are starting to get smaller. But, like someone else mentioned, 65mm is far superior in resolution. Red still has a loooong way to go to get there. With the 4K you're still only getting half the captured resolution that you would if shooting 35mm film!

For the topic starter, if you are looking to buy a camera and you're just starting out, I'd say get something like and HVX200. DOn't go out and buy a film camera right now because it's so damn expensive and you won't be able to shoot as much. The HVX will let you shoot all the time and have a decent looking image for certain mediums. It's perfect for most documentaries, corporate videos and student and no-budget films. When you get hired onto shows that want to shoot film, then just rent everything.
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