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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 July 5th, 2007, 12:30 PM   #1
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Capturing HDV and downconverting

I know the A1 will capture HD and SD. In the menus you can configure the camera to downconvert to SD. If this is the case then does it make sense to always capture HD?
Also, how is the down conversion compared to capturing SD?

Thanks
Jim
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Old July 5th, 2007, 12:50 PM   #2
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The basic idea is if you want SD then its best to shoot SD. You can convert HD to SD but the downconvert in camera is never as good as with a high quality piece of software IMO. If SD is what you'll need then shoot SD with the cam, downconverting incamera is easy but from what I have seen the results are sub-par. If you have the time and computer power to convert all your footage to SD after capture then fine but its gonna be a time eater on every project you do.

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Old July 5th, 2007, 03:22 PM   #3
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I shoot, capture and edit in HDV, 24p. It goes to SD only when I'm through with a project. Render times seems to be about 2:1, not too bad. Using FCP.
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Old July 5th, 2007, 03:48 PM   #4
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Being new to HDV, I too had this question when I purchased my camera (as many others have). There are several threads about this if you want to search for them.

I respectfully disagree with Kyle though. The first thing I did was to test shoot some footage in HDV, then shot the same footage in SD. I tested in light and dark areas, as well as in 60i and 24f.

After capturing all of my footage and comparing the down converted HDV with the SD, I just didn't see any significant difference that would make me want to shoot in SD from here on out.

With that being said... I don't own a system capable of capturing HDV, so I can't compare the two after down converting using software.

My personal experience with this camera is that the downconverted HDV looks very good and I am ok with it. So I have decided to shoot everything in HDV, and that way if (when) the day comes that I have a system capable of capturing HDV I will always be able to go back to it.

Of course the best thing would be to do your own test. I'd be interested to know if your findings are different.

Stacy
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Old July 5th, 2007, 04:15 PM   #5
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Black line problem

I've got a PAL A1. One of the issues - there's a thread about in DVI - is that a blinking black line appears on top of the image during downconvert. I've tested myself 2 A1's, they both had it. And others also experienced the same issue, it even exists in the HV10. Discussions with Canon about this don't lead to any result.

What doesn't want to say the A1 is a bad camera: it's one of the best experiences I've ever had in playing 10 years around with camera's. Delivers without any doubt excellent footage.

But if you want SD, shoot SD, but even better is to shoot in HD, and downconvert it to SD after your edit (...the inconvenience of buying an HD cam: the competences of your editing solution have to follow as well)

All the rest is nothing more that a compromise.
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Old July 6th, 2007, 01:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Prohaska View Post
The basic idea is if you want SD then its best to shoot SD. You can convert HD to SD but the downconvert in camera is never as good as with a high quality piece of software IMO. If SD is what you'll need then shoot SD with the cam, downconverting incamera is easy but from what I have seen the results are sub-par. If you have the time and computer power to convert all your footage to SD after capture then fine but its gonna be a time eater on every project you do.

- Kyle
I strongly disagree Kyle. I own an FX1 and for every project, have always shot HD exclusively and then downconverted in post. It does NOT take a long time at all to downres and you are losing lots of quality in just shooting SD.

VirtualDub is FREE and comes with a downres filter (use lanczos3) that you can use on any type of video. It takes about 10 minutes for every 7 minutes of video. NOT a "time eater" at all considering the results and effective gain in sharpness.

Have you recently acquired an HD cam that I did not know about? I thought you had an XL1?
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Old July 6th, 2007, 01:28 AM   #7
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I have the Vasst traning video : Inside the Canon XHA1 & XHG1.

There was a part in the DVD that shows two shoots . One being capture in SD and one being capture in HD and later down converted.

When the clip was blow up to 3 times. you could see that the HD down converted clip really stands out. It reatains still a sharper and cleaner image.
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Old July 6th, 2007, 05:44 AM   #8
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"and one being capture in HD and later down converted."

David,

Do you mean downconverted from the camera during capture, or downrez'd after editing in HD?
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Old July 6th, 2007, 06:00 AM   #9
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The fact is I really want to capture HD. However, my editing system (2.8 Ghz Dell with 1.5GB RAM) will take a very long time during rendering. I like having the archival of HD, but at this point only need SD.
If I can downconvert to SD during capture it would save a lot of time during editing.

I will have to run a few test of my own.
Tape SD
Tape HD and capture SD
Tape HD, capture HD, and render SD.

I have a wedding in a few weeks and I want the best quality. I would of course make an SD DVD, but when equipment becomes available (at a reasonable price) offer them an HD video.

David - I also purchased the VASST DVD on the A1 - looking forward to viewing it.

Thanks for the help
Jim
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Old July 6th, 2007, 10:37 AM   #10
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I always shoot and edit in HD, then when I burn a SD DVD it looks amazing. There is no reason not to shoot in the highest resolution you can, it will turn out better. Look at digital cinema cameras, they shoot at 4k pixels and are down converted from there.
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Old July 7th, 2007, 12:54 PM   #11
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Guy it sound like lots of you have found the proper way to shoot in HDV and then convert it to SD for delivery. My question is how is it done? At what stage are you doing it? I to want to shoot in HDV, for the reason of buying the A1. It sounds like I am not the only one that would like a example of the work flow. I use FCP and really would like the best way to work with the HDV to SD workflow. Please can some one give a step by step way to do it. I have heard about HDVXDV, is that an answer?
Thanks,
Dave
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Old July 7th, 2007, 01:26 PM   #12
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For FCS I capture HDV into FCP, edit everything in HDV, send to compressor and from there downconvert to SD, build my DVD project in SD, and deliver SD. It's worked great so far.
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Old July 7th, 2007, 05:36 PM   #13
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I have always stayed away from compressor because of old versions being buggy but I know Compressor 2.3 is better then 1. What are the settings you use in Compressor?

Does any one not use Compressor and get there result they want in SD?
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Old July 7th, 2007, 10:35 PM   #14
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Hey David, this might help.

Heres my workflow...

Shoot HDV..capture HDV..edit HDV..bring final clip into SD project, resize and make DVD, or export Quicktime.

Heres my video tutes..HOWEVER, I'm using PP2.0...I'm pretty sure you could do this in most NLE apps.

http://www.esnips.com/web/Premiere-Pro-2-Video-Tutes
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Old July 8th, 2007, 07:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hanchey View Post
"and one being capture in HD and later down converted."

David,

Do you mean downconverted from the camera during capture, or downrez'd after editing in HD?
The DVD said that the image was captured and edited in HD and later output as SD. It states that the intial image is better to begin with because it is HD then one would get intial in SD.

When you applied a 3X zoom. the SD image startes to fall apart while the HD down converted SD image stays together.
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