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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old December 2nd, 2007, 05:13 PM   #1
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Shoot SD or HDV for final output to DVD?

Apart from having Hd footage on the tape for future use, are there any advantages to shooting in DV mode over HDV mode (and vice versa) if final output is to SD DVD?

Some people are of the opinion that if your final output is to SD DVD then you should shoot in SD mode on the camera and some disagree. Im hoping to figure out why its a subjective thing and not a simple fact for an answer.
I've been shooting in HD and downconverting in camera while capturing.
While i havent really test shot in standard mode I cant see how it could be better to shoot in DV mode.
Aren't there less pixels to play with then. This would impact exposure and detail in a major way. would it not? But does the camera allow more light in if its in SD?
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 11:34 PM   #2
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I prefer to shoot everything in HDV, edit in HDV, and make the conversion to SD when I render the project for a DVD. To me there appears to be more detail, sharper, etc. The reason this can be subjective is because picture quality can be subjective to the viewer. It is also difficult to compare because different cameras can do a better or worse job with the down conversion.

Shooting in SD with a HDV camera will not gain you any light sensitivity because the camera will use all the pixels on the sensor and downconverts to SD and then writes this data to the tape.

Duane
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 02:43 AM   #3
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Shoot HDV, edit HDV, Convert to DVD. Takes the same amount of hard disk space.
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 09:14 AM   #4
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How about processing power

Probably need to add one condition-
You need to have the extra processing power, memory and HD monitoring capabilities, otherwise it is going to take longer to edit for HDV.

Rick
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 11:39 AM   #5
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In a perfect world, one where you had unlimited computing power, hard drive space, time and money--I would say shoot, capture, & edit in HDV and then render out to an SD DVD. There may be a marginal quality increase--maybe.

However if you, like me, have a middle of the road computer, it may be more trouble then it is worth to shoot and capture in HDV if you're only ever going to deliver an SD DVD.

Native HDV files will take up the same space as SD DV, but it will be harder on the CPU to edit, and it will incur generation loss. If you pay for an intermediate codec, a middling computer will edit it well, but it will take up much more space. And either way, it has been my experience that rendering an SD DVD mp2 file from HDV takes MUCH more time than from normal SD footage.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 12:14 PM   #6
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Think logically: If you shoot in HD - you have the some Data stream as in SD. Both are 25MBps. But in HD - there is nearly 4time more pixel information. This means - you need much more compression as in SD and due to this: mpg2.
You edit in mpg2 - decompressing and compressing. And at the end you liquidate HD resolution with downconversion.
Mpg2 compression, decompression and compression by editing and dowconversion do not improve picture quality.
Drops on tape in HD are much more bad as in SD.
Shooting in HD for SDresults is like record 5.1 Surround Sound for a mono tv with only one loudspeaker.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 12:34 PM   #7
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I always get better results when I shoot and edit in HDV and then down convert at the end. I've done tests with my camera, down converting will give you a better result. Especially if you don't want jagged lines or aliasing in your final project. Shooting HD for SD results is actually more like recording and mixing audio at 88khz even though the final mix will be 44.1khz for a CD. Some of the extra sound information makes it way into the lower resolution mix. I usually render a uncompressed version from final cut, then drag it into compressor and convert it to mpg2. It gives the best results I've found so far.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 12:49 PM   #8
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However, due to the mpeg compression, and its GOP structure, you may find that shots with a lot of distributed motion and no single focus of interest may not fare as well as they would with SD originals.

The processing rendering and time can be a real issue if you have an older model PC.

Bottom line is HDV spoils one for SD, especially if the HDV is viewed up close and personal on a HD screen.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 01:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce Olejniczak View Post
Shooting HD for SD results is actually more like recording and mixing audio at 88khz even though the final mix will be 44.1khz for a CD.
Yes - okay - like record at 88kHz - but compressed in mp3.
It is much more important to record in 24bit as in 88kHz.:D
There will be picture quality improvement in HD only if you use filters or effects to enlarge or zoom your pictures and downscaling for SD.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 01:37 PM   #10
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There are 3 downsides to shooting HDV and downconverting to SD after editing:

- You need much more computer power and HDD space (intermediate codecs use about 3x dv25 space)
- There is a possibility of MPEG2 artefacts showing, none of this with native SD DV25 avi.
- The original sound is about 1:5 compressed MP2 with HDV compared to clean uncompressed PCM wav you get with SD.

The upsides of shooting HDV and downconverting:

- future proof to a certain extent.
- possibility to refame and use "digital zoom" in edit.
- better color keying if needed.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 02:05 PM   #11
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I tackled a HDV edit with a wedding recently.
Im using pp2.
My machine is dual core 2.4ghz 2mb ram.

There are 3 reasons I can think of as to why Im not happy doing things this way.

1) I had audio sync problems on the timeline. Admittedly i should have split the long clip and i didnt. This sync got worse over time so it wasnt easily fixed.
This point alone pushes me away from editing HDV.

2) Apply any filter at all and it no longer plays smoothly.

3) I choose mpegDVD for the exported movie from adobe media encoder from the HDV timeline. The quality was terrible. Way worse than capturing while downconverting and editing in sd. I tried exporting to .m2t (hdv) and converting to sd with tmpgenc4 and the quality was still poor compared to downconverting while capturing.

I am aware of the need for a good intermediate codec like cineform to execute the process to the maximum quality but I cant justify paying the money and putting up with the time cost. If the client wants a HD version in the future its on the tape and on test it appears to be quite easy to link the HD files to the SD clips in the bin, especially if you dont split the clips. Then you are only linking one file. The only other thing needed to be done is to import the sd project into a hdv project first.

Shooting with this camera is a pleasure. Sunny days have good shadow detail, good highlight detail and blue skies. I presume this is due to the amount of pixels the camera is using. If I can get this quality while shooting in SD mode I would seriously consider just shooting in SD, well, for certain jobs anyway.
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Old May 25th, 2008, 01:37 PM   #12
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Just to ressurect and update my opinions/experiences on this matter.
I shot a wedding yesterday in SD mode on the A1 and the results reminded me of the old svhs systems we shot on years ago. Im not kidding. Im talking about burn out on the highlights. Anywhere in the bg that was sunlight was burned out. this was never a problem for me when I shot in HD.
Opinions?
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Old May 25th, 2008, 01:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ger Griffin View Post
Just to ressurect and update my opinions/experiences on this matter.
I shot a wedding yesterday in SD mode on the A1 and the results reminded me of the old svhs systems we shot on years ago. Im not kidding. Im talking about burn out on the highlights. Anywhere in the bg that was sunlight was burned out. this was never a problem for me when I shot in HD.
Opinions?
Same thoughts as you. For some reason after playing around, I accidently left the setting in SD. The next day while taping auto racing (in full sun) I discovered it after I loaded my second tape. The sd tape had raster lines out the wazoo, lack of midtones and too much contrast compared to normally shooting hd and capturing in sd.

Tom
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Old May 25th, 2008, 07:15 PM   #14
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Maybe somebody should play around with a new preset for those shooting in DV. Personally it will be difficult going back to DV after shooting HDV with the "Panalook" preset.
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Old May 25th, 2008, 09:52 PM   #15
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Bob, thats the preset I used. For some completely random reason I decided to try out that preset ( panalook) alongside the SD shooting.
The thought had occured to me - could it be the preset that my problem has come from?
I was getting far better results on a sunny day in HDV mode.

I will admit, however, that the resulting DVD from shooting sd has a much crisper image than downconverting ( in camera) HDV footage.

Im hoping it was just the preset now.

Tom, were you using the same preset before when shooting in HDV as after when shooting SD?
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