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Old February 10th, 2005, 12:27 PM   #1
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Optura 30 / 300 / Xi large format capture mode

I'm thinking of doing direct to PC/Powerbook capture from one of these cams to take advantage of it's high resolution mode.

I've read Steve Nunez's post at http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...ght=optura+300

From this I gather that the image is being squashed back down to 720x480. Is there a way to make these cameras capture the full resolution image in the same manner as the PDX10?

Also, what advantages does the 300 have over the 30?
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Old February 10th, 2005, 02:08 PM   #2
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Brandt,

The Xi captures hi res, native, true 16:9, or what ever you like to call it, in the same manner as the PDX10. The main difference being the PDX10 is a three chipper.

As a rule and by definition, all DV is 720x480 whether or not it is fake 16:9 or true 16:9, or captured to a hard drive or tape.

I use the Optura Xi and the main selling factor for me was the true 16:9 capture abilities. The only advantage to capturing to hard drive would be eliminating the capture process with your NLE.
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Old February 10th, 2005, 03:56 PM   #3
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Brandt,

If you're talking about recording the Optura's video in photo mode, it will give you a taller/wider field of view. But as Dave pointed out, it's still recorded as a DV file at 720x480.

According to Sony Vegas, the resulting video file is 4:3 and progressive. It looks like the Optura is using the whole CCD to create the photo mode image, so you'll see more vertically than the normal 4:3 video and it shows the same image width as the 16:9 video in tape mode.

I've played around with the photo mode a bit and it's very interesting if you have a laptop handy. Since it shows you more of the vertical image than either the normal 16:9 or 4:3 video, you can crop it to 16:9 and still get the regular hi-res image that the 16:9 tape mode gives you, and it's progressive to boot.

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Old February 10th, 2005, 03:59 PM   #4
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Dave,

What I'm looking at is a bit akin to this popular site:
http://www.techshop.net/PDX-10/

It demonstrates 1152x864 images by using photo mode.

This being the case, is 1632x1224 possible by using a similar method on the Opturas?
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Old February 10th, 2005, 04:21 PM   #5
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Optura 500/400 vs Optura 40/30

>> Also, what advantages does the 300 have over the 30?

** The 300 has been discontinued. But here are the main differences:

Optura 500/400
-----------------------
bottom loader
10x zoom
no accessory shoe
has digital component / pass thru recording

Optura 40/30
-----------------------
top loader
14x zoom
accessory shoe
does NOT have digital component / pass thru recording (not 100% sure, but it's not listed in the specs at all)

Otherwise, the other specs are exactly the same.

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Old February 10th, 2005, 04:37 PM   #6
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What exactly is digital component and passthrough?
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Old February 10th, 2005, 05:16 PM   #7
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That's if you want to record from an external video source using your camcorder. For example, a TV or old VHS/Hi-8 machine. Many people do this to backup their old VHS/Hi-8 tapes onto a digital/MiniDV format.

You can also pass the external video through your camcorder directly to your hard disk using the digital component in and firewire out of your MiniDV camcorder.
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Old February 10th, 2005, 05:19 PM   #8
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Here's an image comparison of the tape and photo modes from an Optura Xi. You'll see that the photo mode image has the greatest field of view.
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Old February 10th, 2005, 06:35 PM   #9
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Thank you, Michael. Both posts help.

I see what looks like a lot of aliasing on the still caps. Are these raw files from your video capture, or are they compressed?

Also, what is the resolution of the movie captured to your hard drive using phot mode?

Thanks!
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Old February 10th, 2005, 09:01 PM   #10
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Re: Aliasing
There's no aliasing in the original video. It's being added by the compression in the jpeg format. The de-interlace to progressive may have added some aliasing as well.

Re: Video capture
The Vegas video capture program captures the video at 720x480. As far as I know, it won't capture in any other resolution. It might be possible in another program or with the additional Cineform software which I don't have right now.

That's a good question though, I'll have to look into it.
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Old February 10th, 2005, 11:46 PM   #11
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How about the PDX10? I haven't seen the photo mode capture in action, but the link above seems to point to it capturing to the hard drive all of the pixels.
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Old February 11th, 2005, 12:39 AM   #12
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In the PDX10 example, he's still capturing to MiniDV 720x480 NTSC or 720 x 576 PAL. He's just calculating the on-chip resolution before it gets downconverted to 720x480/720x576.

The Opturas work the same way. The photo mode uses a higher number of on-chip pixels to create the final 720x480 video.
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Old February 11th, 2005, 01:22 PM   #13
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Okay, same topic, slightly diverging...

If the Firewire port carries NTSC or PAL resolution signal to the PC, how are the HDV cameras able to export the higher resolution images?
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Old February 11th, 2005, 01:40 PM   #14
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<<<-- Originally posted by Brandt Wilson : Okay, same topic, slightly diverging...

If the Firewire port carries NTSC or PAL resolution signal to the PC, how are the HDV cameras able to export the higher resolution images? -->>>

Completely different codec used for capture and different CCDs, despite the use of the same tape.
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Old February 11th, 2005, 06:05 PM   #15
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I've seen on a website (I'll need to track it down) how to upload a firmware update that can enable/disable functions on the camera. A real shot in the dark, but could this be viable to hack the codec, or would that reside on a non-reprogrammable board?
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