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hd 4:2:2 : lowest priced cam


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#1 julien stiegler

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 06:03 AM

Ok,

i know this is the usual topic here but no post really gives an answer.

I just finished a music video shot in HDV i did the compositing in shake (adding maya backgrounds and animations to the bluescreened actors).
Obviously the keying on 4:2:0 was a nightmare and the result is not beautifull...
And obviously it was made for an SD broadcasting (the director didn't ask me before choosing the camera)

Now if tomorow the director want to shot another movie, what should i recommend for is low budget?
- Forget HD and use digital beta?
- use DVC pro HD (is there a cheaper alternative to varicam??)
- use film (but there is no scan facilities in 16 mm and 35 is very expensive)

Thank you in advance!
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 10:08 AM

Yes, you pretty much understand your alternatives -- avoid 4:1:1 systems like DV and HDV for chromakey work.

I'd also avoid interlaced-scan only cameras for the lack of a film look.

That sort of leaves the Panasonic SDX900 in DVCPRO50 mode, or one of the 24P Sony IMX cameras, for standard def, or the Varicam or F900 in HD. There will be the Panasonic HVX200 coming out by the end of the year, which is a consumer HD camera that records DVCPRO-HD.

And there is 16mm as well.
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#3 drew_town

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 12:41 PM

JVC's DigitalS (D9) cameras and decks are buillt around 4:2:2 technology, and the gear is reasonably priced. List price is only $8000 for this camrea. $15000 for this model. JVC has a 16:9 native model as well. My coworkers shoot on the 16:9 model often.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 02:03 PM

JVC's DigitalS (D9) cameras and decks are buillt around 4:2:2 technology, and the gear is reasonably priced. List price is only $8000 for this camrea. $15000 for this model. JVC has a 16:9 native model as well. My coworkers shoot on the 16:9 model often.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Those are interlaced-scan only though, right? I'm not sure that standard def interlaced-scan is a good look for music videos and narrative movies...
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#5 julien stiegler

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 05:30 PM

thank you for the replies !


So it seems like a varicam is still the cheapest way if we have chroma keys + hd mastering ... It costs $66 000 but if the number of keyed shoots is not eccessive we can rent the cam with the blue screen set and use another (cheaper and affordable) cam for pure live action shots without keying....
I think it's cleaver to rent good hardware for specialized works...
Am i wrong, is it how you work usually?
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 05:48 PM

Depends on what you are intercutting it with. If you are shooting interlaced-scan on a Sony PD170, for example, it would make more sense to shoot interlaced-scan on a Digital Betacam, for example, for chromakey work. If you are shooting 24P on something like a DVX100, then it would make more sense to shoot 24P on the DVCPRO50 SDX900 or the 24P HD on the Varicam and downconvert (but sticking to 4:2:2.)
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#7 drew_town

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 11:45 PM

Those are interlaced-scan only though, right? I'm not sure that standard def interlaced-scan is a good look for music videos and narrative movies...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's right. HD would obviously be the better choice. However it's still a better choice than DV (progressive or not). I think it's easier to fudge the progressive look in post than match the clarity of a more professional format.
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#8 Gary Robinson

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 01:17 AM

At NAB this year, I watched a demo of keying software called Ultra by Serious Magic (seriousmagic.com). Using this software, they pulled amazing keys even using a one chip dv camera. The latest version is hdv compatible. You might want to look into it. I picked it up, and it does a great job for only $400-$600 dollar software.
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#9 julien stiegler

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Posted 01 August 2005 - 03:42 AM

Hey David,


i didn't notice before but the HVX200 sounds like a revolution!! HD 4:2:2 for less than 6000$ !

hey Gary!
i am sorry but i really don't trust 4:2:0 correctors... we can do similar things in shake you know (interpolate U and V using Y info) it can work sometimes but it's so dangerous if not in close up shots... I'll try ultra keyer anyway just to check, thank you.
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#10 Lars.Erik

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 03:11 AM

Hey David,
i didn't notice before but the HVX200 sounds like a revolution!! HD 4:2:2 for less than 6000$ !

hey Gary!
i am sorry but i really don't trust 4:2:0 correctors... we can do similar things in shake you know (interpolate U and V using Y info) it can work sometimes but it's so dangerous if not in close up shots... I'll try ultra keyer anyway just to check, thank you.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Yes, it will be interesting to see what the HVX200 will do. Progressive with DVCPRO-HD. But the problem is the price range, the limited amount of recording time and the lack of external lens.

This camera use the new P2 technology which records HD onto a small chip. The problem is that one chip costs over $1.000 and can only record 8 minutes. I'd rather go with 16mm than that. At least then you'd have 11 minutes of footage.

But then again one can always buy a harddisk and dump the footage on the chip onto it, erase the disk and then reuse it.

I don't know. It just sounds like a difficult way to have to work. But the DVX100a is a good camera. So who knows, I might just have to eat my own words here...
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#11 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 03:26 AM

Hi,

> The problem is that one chip costs over $1.000 and can only record 8 minutes.

Even less, with the smaller card recording HD.

Phil
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#12 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 12:47 PM

I was told that the largest P2 cards (8 gig?) holds 20 minutes each at 24P/720, and there are two card slots that switchover automatically, so that's 40 minutes.

Remember, these are like compact flash cards for a still camera, so you're meant to fill them up and empty them. So even though two or three cards is a big investment, if it allows you to shoot 24P/720 on DVCPROHD for under $10,000, that's still a lot cheaper than a Varicam and better quality than an HDV camera. You just have to think of it as an $8000 camera instead of a $6000 camera.
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#13 Lars.Erik

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 01:58 PM

Hi David,

when you say dump the cards, will Panasonic have a "hard disk" that one can dump the footage on or will one have to have a computer available?

It does sound like a difficult way to have to shoot, or do you totally disagree with me?
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#14 julien stiegler

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 02:12 PM

The Panasonic offers miniDV tape for recording, and P2 memory cards for high-def (and standard-def DVCPRO25 and DVCPRO50) recording. It can also transfer files from the P2 card directly to an off-the-shelf USB 2.0 external hard disk, or to a potentially-forthcoming FireStore type of device

Firestore ? sounds interesting
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#15 John Allardice

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 02:55 PM

I was told that the largest P2 cards (8 gig?) holds 20 minutes each at 24P/720, and there are two card slots that switchover automatically, so that's 40 minutes.

Remember, these are like compact flash cards for a still camera, so you're meant to fill them up and empty them. So even though two or three cards is a big investment, if it allows you to shoot 24P/720 on DVCPROHD for under $10,000, that's still a lot cheaper than a Varicam and better quality than an HDV camera.  You just have to think of it as an $8000 camera instead of a $6000 camera.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Panasonic are also releasing the camera at a $9999 price bundled with two 8Gb p2 cards, this'll give you 16 minutes of storage at 1080 24p, which this camera is also capable of. Once you've shot the cards can download to laptop through the PCMCIA slot( which the P2 cards plug right into) whilst you're preparing the next setup, and viola, you got the equivalent of a permanently self-loading 1500' mag

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#16 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 10:28 AM

It does sound like a difficult way to have to shoot, or do you totally disagree with me?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


It depends on if I'm the guy who has to spend the time transferring the footage from the cards to a hard drive...

Shooting-wise (i.e. using the camera), I don't see any difference compared to tape -- it's the data transfer time that has to be factored into the shoot. A different way of working.

Obviously as the cards get cheaper or bigger, it gets more convenient, if you can save any file transferring until the end of the day, after shooting is over.
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#17 Bob Hayes

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 11:01 AM

Can someone please explain to me what 4:2:2 and 4:1:1 etc. is. I used to know but I've been shooting film for the past couple of years.
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#18 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 11:36 AM

Can someone please explain to me what 4:2:2 and 4:1:1 etc. is.  I used to know but I've been shooting film for the past couple of years.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I'm sure Phil R. & others may want to jump in here, but very briefly, I believe 4:1:1 video contains half the color information of 4:2:2 video.

Video formats have varying colorspace record/play capability. For example, NTSC DV video uses a 4:1:1 colorspace, PAL DV uses 4:2:0, DVCPRO-50 uses 4:2:2, and DVD-Video discs use 4:2:0. I believe Sony's new SR2 decks can record 4:4:4 color. But small colorspace numbers don't necessary mean ugly video: HDCAM uses a 3:1:1 colorspace.

There much more info on this topic on Adam Wilt's website; for example, about half-way down this page:
http://www.adamwilt....V-FAQ-tech.html

... and on Michael Brennan's site; for example:
http://www.hd24.com/...ion_numbers.htm

All the best,

- Peter DeCrescenzo
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#19 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 11:49 AM

Hi,

It's a ratio between the number of luminance (Y) plane samples and the number of colour difference (U/V) samples. 4:2:2 video has, therefore, two colour samples for every luminance sample. Standard def PAL, for example, might have a Y plane of 720x576 pixels, and UV planes of 360x576 pixels. NTSC DV has horribly low colour resolution horizontally of 180 pixels, with only one colour sample for every four luminance samples.

The strange 4:2:0 notation refers to subsampling in both the horizontal and vertical axes. Note so far we've been talking about samples on a line, intended to approximate the lower chroma bandwidth of non-digital formats like BetaSP. Digital video systems don't see them as scanlines, but simply as rows in a bitmap, and therefore space can be saved by subsampling both along lines and between them. A 4:2:0 picture therefore has half-resolution U data on one line and none at all for the V plane; the following line has half-resolution V data and no U. The device reconstructing the frame simply holds over the data from the previous line to create full UV planes. This is much closer to the way PAL (and even more so, SECAM) work and means that PAL DV has similar chroma resolution to Digital Betacam horizontally, and only half as good vertically. The received wisdom that you can't key DV mainly applies to NTSC for this reason.

Phil
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#20 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 01:25 PM

Hi Phil: Thank you for the additional information. I have a related question: Is using a description like "8-bit" or "10-bit" together with labels like "4:2:2" or "4:4:4", etc. redundant, or is bitdepth different from colorspace?

Apologies for what may be a dumb question.

- Peter
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