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Varicam vs. F900


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#1 Michael Maier

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 10:31 AM

I did a search, but didn?t find anything. So I thought I would post the question.
For the normal Joe, the F900 can look indistinguishable from 35mm film. The quality of well shot footage is really good. How the Varicam compares on the big screen? I would think on a monitor or for DVD release, you wouldn't see much difference. But how do they compare when transferred to film and projected and when HD projected? That considering they would both use the same lenses. As I have never seen anything shot on a Varicam in a theatre, I have no idea of how it performs. So just for the sake of comparison, if the F900 is 35mm film, would the Varicam be like S16 or more like a 35mm softer stock? Thanks.
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#2 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 03:17 PM

Im not 100% qualified to answer this, but I dont think anyone really is.

The Varicam has a lower Resolution than the Sony Cinealta. On the big screen, the more resolution you have, the better the image will look.

There are some that will argue that though the sony has more resolution, the Varicam has more Color Space, and this true and not true in its own way.

Bottom Line: Both cameras produce a nice looking result, IMHO the F900 more-so than the Varicam on the bigscreen, due to the added resolution. However, with the Varicam you have things like speed ramps from 1-60FPS in its native resolution, with the F900, you have thre basic rates like 24p, 23.98p, etc...
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#3 Rodrigo Llano

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 06:48 PM

The 1080 v/s 720 is not the only detail that you must consider.. The sony rec in 1080i v/s 720p in VariCam. That's a important diference in the final screening.
Is no only about how many line you can get but how precise ys the frame that you get..

i v/s p is a old discusion.. but real
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#4 Michael Maier

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 07:38 PM

The 1080 v/s 720 is not the only detail that you must consider.. The sony rec in 1080i v/s 720p in VariCam. That's a important diference in the final screening.
Is no only about how many line you can get but how precise ys the frame that you get..

i v/s p  is a old discusion.. but real

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


The F900 records 1080p.
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#5 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 07:48 PM

The sony rec in 1080i

Where did you get your stats at? Last I checked it recorded 1080P, NOT 1080I!
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#6 tylerhawes

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 12:40 PM

While Varicam is 4:2:2 and HDCAM is 3:1:1, the higher resolution of HDCAM yields more actual pixels recording chrominance than does Varicam (see below). I am partial to CineAlta myself, as are most "film" productions that choose HD. Good work has been done with VariCam also. Of course the DP is going to matter a whole lot more than the cameras. So will using better lenses.

HDCAM-SR (poorly named, should've been Cinema SR or something more appropriate to get rid of the "Betacam" video reference) is in a whole other league and yields huge performance gains. This is especially obvious to me working with it in the DI suite vs. HDCAM or VariCam material, as the 10-bit recording and lack of compression artifacts lets me push the image much further. The stats below show the dramatic technical differences, but seeing is believing.

Still, I'd rather have a great DP with a Varicam than an inexperienced one with a Sony 950 and HDCAM-SR. Talent trumps technology.


Sony F900 CineAlta stats:
Based on 1080p24/23.98 4:22
1440x1080 pixels for Y channel
480x1080 pixels for CC channels (3:1:1 chroma filtering)
135Mbps datarate
8-bit

Panasonic VariCam:
Based on 720p60 4:2:2 (duplicate frames tagged in metadata)
960x720 pixels for Y channel
480x720 pixels for CC channels (4:2:2 chroma filtering)
100Mbps datarate
8-bit

Sony HDCAM-SR:
Based on 1080p24/23.98 4:4:4
1920x1080 pixels for all 3 channels (R'G'B')
440Mbps datarate
10-bit
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#7 Stephen Williams

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 12:49 PM

As I have never seen anything shot on a Varicam in a theatre, I have no idea of how it performs. So just for the sake of comparison, if the F900 is 35mm film, would the Varicam be like S16 or more like a 35mm softer stock? Thanks.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Hi,

Both the Varicam and F900 give far better results if you record the HDSDI to HDCAM SR or to a raid .
Given a choice I would prefer a F900/3.
At IBC I was able to see material from a Viper shot in film stream onto a raid. Its far better than than a Varicam or F900.

Stephen
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