I am sorry that in my HD to 35mm post I didn't mention certain details
The aesthetics of filmmaking in India are quite different. When I asked about blowing up to film, I didn't mean about getting a "film look".
Most movies we make have only the foreground element and as such the DOF is not an issue. To give an example from hollywood, I would say something like the movies "Cube" or "Man from Earth" where all the composition in the frame is in the foreground. Our movies are like recording a theatre performance. only the characters in the foreground are important, the frame composition in middle-ground or background is not.
So my only concern is that when I take it to film my picture should not look pixelated. That is my only concern. What minimum resolution do I need so that the picture doesn't look pixelated or suggest to audience that it's been blown up from lower format?
Edited by harshal nachnolkar, 09 July 2009 - 01:46 PM.
Look at the recent Starwars films. They were all 1080p F900s, I think. 1080p should be fine. Even a DVX blowup, if done well, can show without much issue (e.g. Iraq in Fragments).
Also, Apocolypto was HD, as were many others. Public Enemies is a recent blowup. Cloverfield was HVX mixed with Viper cameras, among others I think, and holds up well @ 1080.
What effect does the compression have in formats like DVCPRO HD or XDCAM? Also how does the 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 affect it? Again I don't mean about color grading or color timing, I only mean if they cause any pixelation? Will I be able to shoot such a project myself?
Well that's more about bitrate than anything else, primarily. Though you'd possible get more chromatic abhoration on a 4:2:0. It also comes down to how well the codec itself works at the compression, you know? An older codec is generally not as good as a newer one.
In terms of cameras too, it also depends a lot on how big the chips are, some cameras, like the HVX, for example, work off of pixel offset which means the camera "makes up" more information, whereas a 420 like the XDCam works with the resolution of a full 1920x1080 chip (that is what i'd say is more important.
Like Adrien says, a lot of big films shot for the big screen are 1080p so that's a safe region to work in. Even Star Trek which was shot on 35mm was finished 2k which is close to 1080p.
The compression you're talking about usually will not cause pixelation. There are other possible compression artifacts like blocking and mosquito noise.
These artifacts tend to be more prevalent when a lot of complex movement is occurring in the frame at the same time, for example an entire swim team jumping in a pool, or a giant dance number in a wide shot with everything in focus...
If you're expecting a lot of complex movement I would stay away from older intraframe compression formats like hdv, and try to get a solid interframe compression like DVCPRO HD.
The newer intraframe compressions like xdcam hd and AVChd should be better than the old hdv, but with enough movement the might fall apart also, if you'd like to use one of those I would suggest a test.
For a straight recommendation I would say use an HVX200, or if you've got more money and HPX500 or HVX170. Set it to 1080p (which I know isn't true 1080 but looks good on the big screen) and avoid shooting in low light situations or using any gain at all. You should easily be able to operate such a camera yourself with a little research.
Could you say anything about the Sony EX cameras. The EX3 is totally out of my range. But the thing is, I am not alone. We are a small group investing in this camera and then are going to help each other realize our goals. So if the EX1 is really more worth over the HPX or the HVX cameras, if it has benefits which are worth the money, then I could probably convince my partners to buy the EX1.
Well, I would firstly say I almost always recommend renting rather than buying, that way you can get the right camera for the job, and usually you can save money by working out a deal with the rental house.
I used the EX1 and 3 recently on a doc, and I have to say they both make excellent high resolution images. Significantly higher resolution than the HVX.
It is also significantly more compressed - 35 mbits for 1080 24p vs HVX +-80 mBits for less resolution, so you're theoretically more likely to see compression artifacts, depending how complex the shots you're shooting are.
That being said, I didn't see any artifact over the course of the shoot.
So you have higher resolution vs lower cost and less compression: I would recommend the ex1, except that I generally advise against spending all you money on a more expensive camera
Remember, the key to any film making is a good story, if you can pull that off it doesn't matter what resolution your pictures are (although you better have good sound...)
IIRC the HVX only uses it's full bit-rate when shooting over-cranked shots. Otherwise, I think Mr. Rhodes on here mentioned it more around 40mbps, closer to the EX1's 35 HQ.
Right... at 720 it's 40mbps if you shoot 24pn (60 fps is 100mbps)
But if you shoot in the 1080 mode it uses the full 100mbps for 60i, and so if you shoot 24pa with the pulldown and drop the other 6 frames - viola, you end up with 80mbps - you don't really get much more resolution, but it's a lot less compression, and DVCPRO is intraframe rather than GOP.
Of course new GOP wavelet compression is pretty darned good so...
I'm not sure if XDCAM is wavelet though, I know AVC is.
Matter of taste says me. I love my EX1 and dont really like the HVX but that's because the EX1 does a bit better in low light for my needs and I know her more.
I agree with Adrian. The 2 cameras have very different looks and it depends what look you like. I actually really like the panasonic colours etc but the higher resolution of the EX1 might also be nice! I've also seen cinematographers get some amazing results from the EX cameras.
Theres also a HPX 3000 now which is a higher resolution camera with the panasonic look. Tim here has one I think. On paper it looks very interesting.
As to low light it's worth noting that the original HVX200 had quite poor low light capability but the newer HVX200a and the HPX170 have much improved low light capability.
That, Freya, was the biggest selling point for me; the longer run times per gb which makes on set ops a little bit easier and actually makes it feasible to easily shoot a run/gun doco on the EX1.
I find it ironic that I could but a whole laptop for cheaper than some of these storage cards.... get more "data storage" on it as well!