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CineAlta Vs. HDV


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#1 Stephen Whitehead

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 02:10 PM

Hey everyone, I am working on a feature destined for theatrical 35mm release. The current camera the film is being shot on is the sony f900. Now the director has recently asked me about the HDV format, and the potential of using one of the new HDV cameras. Now I have never used the HDV format for I am a little at a loss for words to tell him. My assumption was of course the lower res, less lens options, and less control of depth of field. Does anyone care to help lessen my ignorance on the topic?

Cheers
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 03:57 PM

It's a no-brainer which gets you a better picture. HDV is highly compressed, even more so than HDCAM (25 Mb/sec as opposed to 150 Mb/sec). Fixed consumer lens (except on the JVC Pro-HD camera), deep focus from 1/3" CCD's, etc.

But the MAIN problem is simply that the camera can't do 24P, 25P, or 30P -- only 50i and 60i, with some fake 24/25/30 fps simulations called "Cine Frame" were are useless for a transfer out to film.

You'd have to shoot in 50i for a conversion to 25P and transfer 1:1 to film for 24 fps projection, just like a PAL-to-film transfer. And you'll have all the interlaced-scan artifacts of regular PAL-to-film transfers.

If you're really committed to using a cheap consumer HD camera, wait for the Panasonic HVX200 to come out at the end of the year, because at least that records to DVCPRO-HD and can do 24P/720 and a number of other speeds. You'd just have to deal with the whole P2 system of recording temporarily onto solid-state memory cards and dumping the data into other storage devices later each day.

Otherwise, I'd rather use the standard def Panasonic SDX900 in DVCPRO-50 mode at 24P/480, with 2/3" CCD's, interchangeable lenses, etc. before I'd want to shoot a feature on the Sony HDV camera.
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#3 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 04:58 PM

I'd rather use the standard def Panasonic SDX900 in DVCPRO-50 mode at 24P/480, with 2/3" CCD's, interchangeable lenses, etc. before I'd want to shoot a feature on the Sony HDV camera.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Another option may be to use the soon-to-be available Sony DVW970 24p Digibeta. This will give you the Progressive Scan look, with the proven workflow of digibeta. Optional cards for the 970 will apparently enable it to shoot at 'slow' shutter speed (like DV cameras) and to do Timelapse.

Given a choice between HDV and 24p Digibeta, I know which way I'd jump.
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 05:14 PM

Hi,

I also think it's worth pointing out that we're comparing a tape format with a camera. People really do need to start thinking about this... the F900 is a camera, HDV is a tape format. There could one day be a camera that would equal the F900 which would record to HDV; in fact, I'm sure it'd be possible to couple an F900 up to an HDV deck (if one exists?).

Oranges and oranges... all we can do at the moment is compare the existing Sony HDV cameras with the F900, which is a lot more than just comparing the tape format.

Phil
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 05:33 PM

Well, considering he wanted a comparison between the F900 and the "new HDV cameras", there still aren't too many out there yet to get too confusing....

But you are correct -- there may be a 2/3" CCD pro version someday that records to HDV, so it would be more accurate to compare recording formats to other formats and cameras to other cameras.
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#6 David Cox

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 06:19 PM

I'm sure it'd be possible to couple an F900 up to an HDV deck (if one exists?).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Yes there is a HDV deck - but again it only has firewire connections for digital HD I/O and tape transport control.

I had an interesting couple of hours on the Sony stand at NAB, trying to find out how exactly Sony thought their HDV cameras (sorry - format!) should connect to existing "professional" (i.e. non firewire) installations. After being passed between 5 different people, I got to the product manager of HDV. He was a little taken aback that anyone would "want" to connect a HDV camera to an Inferno or Mistika "because it is aimed at the consumer market". I suggested he told that to the Sony marketing people :D

Anyway, he pointed to the Miranda box (at a greater cost than the camera) for the conversion from firewire to HD SDI. I pointed out it didn't do tape control (RS422). He said Canapus made something that did that. Canapus said "That's the first we knew that we did!"

Anyway this looks like the answer to that...
http://www.convergen...hdv-connect.htm
...then you could connect a $115,000 camera to a $1,700 tape deck. :D


David Cox
Baraka Post Production
www.baraka.co.uk
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#7 Tenolian Bell

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Posted 13 June 2005 - 09:01 PM

Another option may be to use the soon-to-be available Sony DVW970 24p Digibeta.


I saw this camera at NAB in the camera line up. There was little information on it, and no one seemed to have any straight answers. So I wasn't sure if this was a concept or if Sony was actually going to push it.

I'm mostly interested in it the format do 24 frame progressive film transfers for projects that don't have budgets to do HD transfers.

I had an interesting couple of hours on the Sony stand at NAB, trying to find out how exactly Sony thought their HDV cameras (sorry - format!) should connect to existing "professional" (i.e. non firewire) installations. After being passed between 5 different people, I got to the product manager of HDV.


At first I was amazed that you got any information from that zoo they call the Sony booth. But then when you said it took a couple of hours and 5 people, then I thought yeah that makes sense.
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#8 David Cox

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 05:37 AM

At first I was amazed that you got any information from that zoo they call the Sony booth. But then when you said it took a couple of hours and 5 people, then I thought yeah that makes sense.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


:D I have decided that it must be Sony policy not to tell any one person everything about any one of their products. The person demonstrating the camera knew nothing about video connections. The person with the HDV VTR knew only firewire. The front desk wouldn't give me access to the person I needed to talk to "cos you have to go to the international desk. This desk is for the US only." AAHHHH!!!!

Panasonic were much more forthcoming :)
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#9 Brian Wells

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 07:27 AM

:D  I have decided that it must be Sony policy not to tell any one person everything about any one of their products. The person demonstrating the camera knew nothing about video connections....

I was as NAB this year as well. I tried relentlessly to get a solid answer from Microsoft why on earth they were doing their DVCPRO-HD to WM9HD encoding demo using the HD-SDI output from their HD-1200A (firewire-enabled) VTR instead of using firewire. Didn't make any sense since DV100 was supposed to have been supported in the release of Service Pack 2 in Fall '04. Being that I'm on a Mac, I couldn't care either way what they do or don't, but I understand how it feels to not get a straight answer at NAB, that's for sure.

24P DigiBeta would fill an interesting place. DigiBeta was the obvious aquisition format over HD for the new Mary Poppins release because it worked much better for keying due to the lower compression. There was some post involved to give it a faux 60i->24p look, of course.

What they say about video aquisition with film release is so true, "capture using the least expensive method only to print using in the most expensive method" erm, something like that. For the high costs involved in a film print, using high end.. everything is the way to go. :)

Brian
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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 08:42 AM

Hi,

I guess someone at some point is going to ask you to put HDV through your conventional HD post gear...

Further to the above point, it constantly astounds me when people miss the point of DV acquisition by shooting some awful documentary on PD-150s then posting it in some 500/hour Soho suite (Sorry, David...). I can accept the logic that if you've shot a load of handycam dross you probably need someone who knows what they're doing to put it together, as they're effectively directing the production, but it makes me laugh when people spend no money on the shoot, then a ton in post, only to have been crippled from the start by their own decisions.

As if dubbing badly-shot miniDV to digital betacam makes it look any less bad!

Phil
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#11 Andre Lim

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 12:54 PM

I actually shot one of the thesis with HD900 and the panasonic HDV. I strictly told the director they wont cut together because like people mentioned, HDV does not shoot 24p, and there is no way I'm going drop the quality of the HD900 to 60i considering most of the important action/dialog was shot what the hd900. The HDV cameras are very simple to use, just like any other DV cameras out there. All that is different from a dv camera is it has more lines of resolution. You still end up shooting with a dv tape. Like David said you can put it on cine frame to make it resemble a 24p look, but when I was testing it out, all it looks like is the frames being taken out so you get a weird strobish look instead of a blur which seemed very odd.

If I had a choice for either cameras, obviously it's the HD900. If he's thinking of using both the HDV and f900, just say no. Dont jeppardize the quality of the f900 for HDV. I'm seriously still very upset the director on the project I was working on wanted to use HDV and f900. His reason was because it can fit in cars better since there is a major scene in various cars and no money for a car mount. If you choose HDV, then go only HDV vise versa, but that's just my opinion.
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