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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 January 15th, 2007, 04:34 AM   #1
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Shooting in SD or downconverting from HDV?

Im planning to make a documentary and edit it in SD (25F PAL). Shall I shoot it in SD or HDV (and downconvert it to SD in the camera)? Do I get the same result?
In the manual it says that the image change from 25F to interlaced when you downconvert it. Is that true and if, does it effect the result?
Can someone please help me with these questions.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 08:37 AM   #2
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Have a peek here: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=81887
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Old January 15th, 2007, 09:11 AM   #3
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If the final product is to be standard definition, I'd shoot in standard def DV.

HDV is an MPEG2 format - it throws away a lot of information mainly due to the interframe compression. DV records each frame as an entire standalone entity. Also, HDV doesn't support uncompressed audio (i.e., PCM).

HDV is a *dreadful* format for shooting. It's great for distribution.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 10:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John F Miller
HDV is a *dreadful* format for shooting. It's great for distribution.
Although to be honest DV isn't great for shooting either. It's pretty harsh compression and not terribly data efficient.

We've had fairly good results with HDV for SD DVDs. Although we edit in HDV, so the SD conversion happens at a different point along the line.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 10:30 AM   #5
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From what I've seen, that's the best approach--shoot HDV, edit HDV and do the SD as the final step.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 12:01 PM   #6
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Use SD WIDE and deliver in widescreen until there is a delivery system. Save yourself headaches and time rendering and downconverting HDV unless you are going to archive HDV to tape for future use.

My opinion only.
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Old January 16th, 2007, 01:17 AM   #7
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If you shoot in HDV and edit in SD, you'll also have the chance to do some "panning and zooming" in post with the larger pixel count of the HDV footage. Whip pans, jump zooms, etc. will all be at your disposal... make it look like a multi-cam shoot even.

I don't own an HDV cam (yet!), but often play with hi-rez digital stills on a timeline (shot ~3fps) and the creative choices due to those extra pixels are near limitless.

Just a thought,
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Old January 16th, 2007, 03:15 AM   #8
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The reason why Im not shooting and editing in HDV is that I will use some already shoot 4:3 SD footage in the documentary. Ive tried to combine HDV and SD in the same project, but when I import the SD files the image gets to small. I heard about Resizer, but I dont know if it will do the job to scale it up and still look good.
It seems like the only reason for shooting in HDV and downconvert in the camera is if I want to use it in a HDV project in the future.
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Old January 16th, 2007, 03:43 AM   #9
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I saw a demo given by Douglas Spotted Eagle in Singapore of the output from an HDV cam (Sony Z1) in HDV and SD modes and was able to compare the difference. It was dramatic! The HDV shots (downconverted in camera to SD) looked fabulous while the SD shots were comparatively dull, drab and not so sharp (not in a nice way, they were more fuzzy).

OK, it is possible that for some reason the A1 will perform better in this regard, and it is also possible that the differences could be reduced by careful tweaking to optimise the camera for SD. However, the results impressed me so much that I have never even set my A1 into SD mode at all.

Even though I am still delivering in SD format, I will shoot in HDV rather than face the risk of getting the same type of degradation I saw in Spot's demo. If I want to mix the HDV with other SD footage I would rather downconvert in Vegas or even in camera instead of shooting SD.

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Old January 16th, 2007, 07:04 PM   #10
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Shoot HDV downconvert to SD

I regularly shoot in HDV, keeping the tapes that I may want to produce in HDV (when I decide with media to go with) and downconvert from the camera into either iMovieHD or Final Cut Express. It's very easy to do and then I've still got the tape if I ever change my mind.

Works for me.
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Old January 16th, 2007, 11:33 PM   #11
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I dont own an HDTV, Bluray, or anything to even watch my HD footage on anything but a computer screen. I plan on shooting in HDV and downconverting to SD DVD all the time. Its the richness of the HD that I love and the down converted HD (if done properly) looks absolutely beautiful compared to just recording in SD. Not to mention for myself having the extra latitude to color correct, composite, keying, etc. You might not do those things but no matter what the output HD will be my choice. Besides, isn't it better to be prepared when and if you ever DO want the HD version of something you make?

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Old January 17th, 2007, 11:44 AM   #12
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Does your footage have any kind of a "shelf life"? Do you think you'll want to revisit the subject in a few years time and use this year's footage for "then and now" sequences? If so, shoot HDV. Even if you down-convert from the camera today so that you're editing in SD, you have an HD archive ready for later. That's what I'm doing, anyway. :-)
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Old January 18th, 2007, 02:32 PM   #13
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16:9 SD or 4:3 Jeffrey?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffrey Billings
I regularly shoot in HDV, keeping the tapes that I may want to produce in HDV (when I decide with media to go with) and downconvert from the camera into either iMovieHD or Final Cut Express. It's very easy to do and then I've still got the tape if I ever change my mind.

Works for me.

I am thinking of going your way with Final Cut Express. Do you convert 16:9 HDV to 4:3 SD in FCE?
Thanks Erik
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