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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 August 14th, 2009, 05:27 AM   #1
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improve Video quality with up-res capture setting?

I am inexperienced with HD video and I am confused about the different formats. I have a Matrox MX02 Mini which looks like a nice piece of equipment with the ability to capture everything from SD to 1920x1080p among other things. I can even capture uncompressed through the HD/SD Component port, which sends my computer into convulsions. Since the XHA1s doesn't shoot in that resolution, is there any advantage in capturing in full raster? I mean, what's recorded onto tape is already compressed, correct? So, could I actually be degrading the picture by capturing in a non-native format?

I have the same question about color sampling. Is there such a thing as converting from 4:2:0 to 4:2:2, and does it make a difference? Pro-Res is not available since I use a PC, but Is there a PC counterpart for improving picture quality on capture?

I ask this because I have tried capturing at different settings and see no difference whatsoever in quality. The only distinction I find is the different file sizes. It could be because I don't have a professional monitor. Regardless, I am concerned about picture quality as well as not putting my computer through unnecessary work. It seems like I'm always rendering something.
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Old August 14th, 2009, 07:04 AM   #2
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Hi Alex. If you shoot HDV then one option is to capture as HDV format m2t files via firewire. This is a digital copy from the tape so there should be no degradation at that point (compared with what is on the tape).

However if you are going to be doing a lot of filtering and transitions, it might be worth capturing as (or converting to) an intermediate codec such as Cineform or Canopus HQ. These are 4:2:2 and low compression, the idea being that they should degrade less during further processing compared with HDV 4:2:0. The project should play back more smoothly as well which is another plus. They files can be very big though.

If you are not sure which way to go, try a short sample project and run it both ways. If you can't see any difference in the final quality, and your system can work well with HDV, then just go with HDV.

Richard
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Old August 14th, 2009, 03:04 PM   #3
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Cineform

Yes, I'm trying to download a trial of Cineform but having trouble doing so from their website. I guess it's the PC counterpart of Apple's ProRes? So up-resing HDV from 4:2:0 to 4:2:2 is not only possible but desirable and I can expect visible improvement? According to what I read, editing should also go smoother and green screening more accurate, but is that what XH owners are experiencing? I wonder how it would interface with the Matrox MX02.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 09:49 AM   #4
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You're not going to make the footage look better than the original. What you can do, as the above poster mentioned, is minimize deterioration when doing lots of effects.
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