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Old September 23rd, 2005, 07:32 PM   #1
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SUPER low-budget make-shift High-quality Filmic DV Method!

About four years ago my cousin and I were in a Best Buy when I saw some standard Sony MiniDV camcorder on display. It was hooked up to one of the TVs and when we walked past the screen, we noticed that the camcorder had a very high quality look to it. I was quite the n00bie back then so I spat out "Dude, it looks like a TV commercial!"

The frame rate and quality of the standard DV camera were exceptional! It was the best I'd ever seen in a MiniDV camcorder. Let's just say, it looked really good, and now I'd say it looked like 30p or something. We asked the clerk what was this "new technology" and the poor guy looked so confused. He ended up giving credit to the Carl Zeiss lens.

Then five minutes after gawking at the quality, it turned out the camera was in MEMORY mode. Womp womp. That's Sony's digital still mode in which it record still images onto proprietary Memory Stick media. Since then, I've always had a theory that was theoretically suitable for MiniDV users like me that can't afford anything over, say, $40 hehe.

If one were to use the camera in MEMORY mode as a viewfinder and output the audio and video to VCR or computer, you could record the higher quality "footage" that the MEMORY mode outputs and rid yourself of the boring, dull, crappy quality of standard consumer MiniDV footage. Of course, this theory is pretty long-winded. What MiniDV user is gonna carry around a laptop or crappy quality VCR to record footage?

That's when my friend let me borrow his MicroMV camcorder. I now had two camcorders. My '99 Sony DCR-TRV8 didn't have MEMORY mode, but my friend's MicroMV did. It was time put my four year old theory to the test.

-------------------

I turned on the MicroMV on in MEMORY mode. The colors were far superior to CAMERA mode and motion looked like progressive frames. I output the image and audio through the composite A/V cable into a multiple input convertor from Radioshack that I use to connect my PlayStation 2, Gamecube, and other systems into my TV. I had the image run directly into my own MiniDV camera in VTR mode. I used to the MEMORY mode selected MicroMV camcorder as a view finder and recorded the image onto my MiniDV Camcorder.

The results were incredible! I IMMEDIATELY threw my "how in the WORLD will I afford my dream Panasonic AVG-HVX200" questions out the window and was flabbergasted at the quality. It was just like I had envisioned it.

I think I'll post some comparison clips later to show all my fellow broke DV peers how you, too, can cheat yourself into thinking you don't need a $5000+ prosumer camera. Just get two Sony Handycams, one with MEMORY digital still mode, output the A/V into another DV camera through a A/V convertor from Radioshack, and instant "filmic" look, saving thousands of dollars.

By the way, I looked like a complete idiot with a Handycam in hands, another Handycam hanging from my neck, and A/V component wires hanging around my neck with a Radioshack converter. But it worked! Will post clips soon.


- Saqib Shafi
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 10:02 PM   #2
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Sounds Awesome!

Look forward 2 some clips/frames.


use a pal for 25P ?????
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Old September 24th, 2005, 04:09 AM   #3
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Surely the digital to analogue, analogue to digital conversion will loose you a fair bit of quality? That playstation conector, is it standard photo, or s-video connection?

Would love to see the results,

Thanks,
Wayne.
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Old September 24th, 2005, 07:25 AM   #4
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I think you are right. My photoshoot mode is progressive on my camera, but not on my regular camera mode - for ages I was upset because I couldn't get progressive on my camera in regular mode, only in photoshoot - now it is possible. I think you should output straight to firewire into a laptop rather than the other way, it would make more sense. Great call on that one Saqib!

Yes, Saqib I just did a test myself and noticed the difference - straight via firewire into my computer - nice jittery progressive look (now if only it was 24fps!).

Yes and indeed I have seen what you are talking about at the big box stores, it has the jittery look - I just never thought any more about it until now! I think what is going to happen is that lesser quality camera are going to give lesser quality output though, but that is just a guess.

Right now I am trying to see if I can get my 1280X960 in photoshoot mode to come out on my computer via firewire - it might be impossible, but heck it is worth a try.
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Old September 24th, 2005, 11:36 AM   #5
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Amazing! I have just shot a quick clip of me walking past the camera - running via firewire into my computer using the progressive photoshoot mode, and it works - no interlacing at all. Idid a side by side with the same shot after going back to tape (from card mode) and the interlacing is there. I love it! Beside the fact that I would have to run it into my laptop it is a nice option to have (but I lose the tape backup of it of course).
This is a great little trick if you have a camera with progressive photoshoot and memory card to get 30p.
Also I can shoot 1/30 with progressive photoshoot, something I can't with regular which only gives me 1/60.
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Old September 25th, 2005, 08:40 PM   #6
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On the Sony VX2000, the "memory" mode is less than 24fps. most likely 15fps, like the "progressive" mode on sony cameras.

I havent looked at "memory" mode on a monitor, so I cannot comment on the color or resolution, but I find 15p to be distracting, too jittery. It could work ok if you have no camera moves.
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Old September 26th, 2005, 02:32 AM   #7
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I keep asking HC1 guys what they get from their memory modes, but nobody bothers to pipe up. That camera has component output as well, that can give true HD.

I think you are on a good thing here, check what frame rate you get, what sort of output firewire is giving (what sort of resolution, compression and pixel format).
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Old September 26th, 2005, 07:31 AM   #8
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I can tell you right now the GL2 has barely any change from Tape to card capture mode. Certainly no framerate difference.

The screen in picture mode on almost any camera is designed to be used as a preview window, and I wouldn't be surprised if there was a loss of quality. Besides, why bother shooting in this mode when you know you can get full quality DV and just cut down the framerate later if that's what you're after?
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Old September 26th, 2005, 09:54 AM   #9
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With my camera, it looks great - I have a pana 852, so I can't speak for anyone else, but it does look more film-like with progressive photoshoot on and without the interlacing and I get a shutter speed of 1/30 in card mode, which I can't get in camera mode.
I wonder how I could tell the frame rate after capturing?
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Old September 26th, 2005, 10:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Winter
Besides, why bother shooting in this mode when you know you can get full quality DV and just cut down the framerate later if that's what you're after?
you're being way too practical, ben! this is the land of wacky mad scientist lab experiments!

because we can, of course! why ask why??

there's a certain purity in the joy of discovery. it's one of my favorite things about reading dvinfo.net. the vicarious thrill of reading about someone else's eureka moment. human ingenuity at play....
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Old September 26th, 2005, 01:38 PM   #11
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The VX2000 is 15fps in "progressive" mode, not very smooth.
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Old September 26th, 2005, 09:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Winter
Besides, why bother shooting in this mode when you know you can get full quality DV and just cut down the framerate later if that's what you're after?
The results can vary from camera to camera, depending on how each model implements it. Ideally, the picture response can be better, the resolution can be better, and the JPEG compression better (much needed for some stuff) through much faster firewire/usb2, or no compression (through component), and the pixel format might be 4:2:2, or 4:4:4.

There have been a lot of people in Alternative imaging waiting for custom made cameras to do this sort of stuff, and I for one, would like top see just how good this technique can get.

So what is everybody quantifively (putting on lab coat here) is everybody getting from their individual cameras (some HD TV's will give you a status display to tell you)?
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Old September 27th, 2005, 02:57 AM   #13
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list of cameras maybe?

hello there,

can somebody make a list with, well.. "compatible" cameras with mode mentioned above?


thanks

filip
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Old September 27th, 2005, 06:50 AM   #14
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Panasonic PV-DV852
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Old September 27th, 2005, 03:10 PM   #15
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Check the thread that says "Clips of" to see image and video results.
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