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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 May 3rd, 2007, 03:43 PM   #1
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Shoot HDV for SD Delivery?

I'm just venturing into the "prosumer" HDV world and have a couple upcoming corporate projects... I'm curious if folks out there typically shoot HDV (with the A1) for SD delivery? There will be no HD version of the project needed.

Pretty much all my HD experience comes from the high-end world of the Panasonic Varicam and Sony F900 HDCAM. We shoot HD with these cameras for shows that are never seen in HD - mainly for archival reasons (future proofing), but also because the downconverts look so good. Kind of like shooting film for commercials, etc. never doing a film print, but starting with the highest quality and going down from there.

Is this the same with HDV? Do the HDV downconverts hold up? Or should we simply shoot SD? And BTW, I'm not too worried about future proofing these shows, just want them too look their best.

Thanks,
Blake
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 03:50 PM   #2
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People thinking about the HDV->Sd always look at it from the wrong angle. The advantage of shooting higher quality and going lower later isn't just the downconverts (yes they look good, HDV to SD) but because of what you can do with the footage in HD as opposed to SD. The image is very crisp and clear, I think shooting HD is worth it.

Sometimes though I shoot SD because certain things in the video I might only be able to do in SD, to each his own. I think shooting in HD first is a better idea.

- Kyle
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 04:19 PM   #3
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I would normally agree. But I just don't have experience working with HDV and the Long GOP media.

I prefer HD video even for SD for reasons like you say... for example you can zoom into a shot or reposition/reframe something.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 05:02 PM   #4
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Pluses: better image quality

Minuses: LOOONNNNGGGG renders

you pick your poison
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 05:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Dills View Post
Pluses: better image quality

Minuses: LOOONNNNGGGG renders

you pick your poison
Only if your NLE can't do realtime.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 07:43 AM   #6
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Which NLE does realtime to DVD?
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Old May 4th, 2007, 08:57 AM   #7
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I use Avid Xpress Pro (with a Mojo box) and it's realtime as far as playing, editing, most effects, etc. and the HDV doesn't really seem to bog down the computer too much.

I have a Dual Xeon 3.4Ghz HP xw8200 workstation with 4 gigs of RAM.

I have not output/exported HDV yet though, so I'm not sure about that. Also, I've tested transcoding the HDV to the DNxHD 145 codec (intra-frame compression) and that works great.

I can also downconvert on the fly in realtime via my Mojo (with component or firewire out to a deck), but of course that's SD output and not HD.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 09:14 AM   #8
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Which NLE does realtime to DVD?
None, all NLE required encoding to MPEG2 for DVD, so it doesn't matter if your source is DV or HDV, they all need to be encode to MPEG2 for DVD, but as far as playback full frame full HD realtime during editing, Edius does it and it is CPU dependant, so the faster the CPU the more effects/layers it can playback realtime.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 10:11 AM   #9
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I will say if you wanted to simply burn a DVD to a set top burner with S-video in or firewire in you could play the video off the timeline directly into the DVD burner. I do this all the time for client approval dubs. But again, it's SD not HD. However, it is in realtime.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 10:38 AM   #10
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The challenge for me has been getting "good" SD DVDs from HDV. Just editing in Final Cut, Compressor to DVD Studio doesn't always produce good results.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 10:42 AM   #11
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The challenge for me has been getting "good" SD DVDs from HDV. Just editing in Final Cut, Compressor to DVD Studio doesn't always produce good results.
My friend has FCP and she is having the same problem, mostly with stairstep artifacts, I think it has something to do with the encoder having problem scaling 1920X1080 to 720X480, you might want to render your HDV timeline to DV before encoding to MPEG2 and see if it help.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 11:46 AM   #12
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Actually, if it's an option for you, i.e. if you have about 200-300GB of hard-disk space, you can render your timeline to uncompressed 720x480, and then encode it to MPEG2. That way you are avoiding one extra compression step.

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Originally Posted by Khoi Pham View Post
you might want to render your HDV timeline to DV before encoding to MPEG2 and see if it help.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 03:07 PM   #13
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My best results have been rendering to DV50 timeline or letting the camera downconvert and editing DV.
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