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Old November 29th, 2010, 08:16 AM   #1
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what reveals HD-SDI difference?

Until now I've been using my XL-H1 to record M2T to OnLocation and QT to a Firestore via FW cable. I made one Blu-ray copy of my last completed project and it looked about as good as I thought possible on my 50" plasma.

I have no doubt that a better video signal would be recorded to the NF via HD-SDI, but I'm wonder what circumstances would reveal the difference? IE, would I see it if I compared the two types of footage on 2 plasmas side by side, or does it take a theatrical showing to take advantage of that quality?

Thanks!
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Old November 29th, 2010, 09:49 AM   #2
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What's the difference ?

Hi Philip:
Yes, you would indeed see a dramatic difference. Don't forget that as good as the HDV hardware encoder is inside the XL H1 (And it is good - I know because I also own an XL H1), you are only dealing with 1440 x 1080 pixels (Thick Raster HD), and 4:2:0 color space. With the nano Flash or Flash XDR, you jump up from 1440 x 1080 pixels to full raster HD @ 1920 x 1080 with 4:2:2 color space ! This is a big difference, which can be seen on a large a good quality Tv.
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Old November 29th, 2010, 01:54 PM   #3
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I have just bought a nanoflash for my XLH1 (however I am still waiting for some cables in the post before I can use it!). The HDV from the XLH1 is fine for most applications, and I never saw any problems with it for documentary work and other basic projects.

However recently I did some work that required a lot of color correction and the image really fell to pieces (in terms of artifacting) - so this was the main reason for the upgrade (along with the points above).

Mark - can you let me know if you use any specific Canon custom preset settings that work well with the nanoflash?
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Old November 29th, 2010, 02:50 PM   #4
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Dear Simon,

Congratulations! Welcome Aboard!

I also have an XL H1, an original model.

I shoot with Alister Chapman's AC Pref1 Custom Preset.

I just made one small modification to it. It will probably work very well for you as it is.

XL H1 Custom Presets Download Library
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Old November 29th, 2010, 03:14 PM   #5
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Thanks Dan - much appreciated!
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Old November 29th, 2010, 04:03 PM   #6
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Thanks, everyone. I'm guessing, too, that the sound quality with the 1/8 connector would be comparable to what I get through my FW connection now?
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Old November 29th, 2010, 05:15 PM   #7
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Dear Philip,

Our 1/8" minijack (3.5mm) audio input supports:

One Balanced Audio Input, mic or line level.

Two Unbalanced Audio Inputs (stereo), mic or line level.

In both cases, the nanoFlash records at 24 bit / 48 K.

This should be higher quality than audio over firewire.
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Old November 30th, 2010, 03:09 AM   #8
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Which particular pre-set Dan? Maybe if you can give the date of Alistair's post.
I shoot outdoors with Canon still lenses. Would be good to be able to fine tune to get the most out of my NF,

Ron
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Old November 30th, 2010, 04:35 AM   #9
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Dear Ron,

PRESET01.CPF which is AC Pref1, created by Alister Chapman

XL H1 Custom Presets Download Library

I changed the GAM (Gamma) Settting from Cine2 to Cine1 to suit my preferences.

Otherwise, I liked this better than all of the other presets and I experimented with them all.
This was, in my opinion, the most natural.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 09:27 AM   #10
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Just to follow up on my OP, I'm in the middle of a documentary project now and planning a 2nd one that will have a larger budget (small by most standards, however!)

I'm willing to endure some financial pain to make the footage in the 2nd project as good as I can afford. I've considered upgrading to a better camera (like the Panny HPV-370) or just switching from the HDV/M2T I'm recording to OnLocation to the HD-SDI I'd get with the NF.

For image quality, I'm guessing the XL-H1 plus NF would give me a bigger bang for the buck than a new camera in my price range (sub-$10K). Agree or disagree?

One other question: is it possible to combine HDV and HD-SDI footage in one FCP sequence and not see an obvious difference?
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Old December 8th, 2010, 10:14 AM   #11
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Dear Philip,

I am obviously not neutral since I have both an XL H1 and a nanoFlash.

But even very professional cameramen have used this combination with great results.

One can add different lenses to this combination to improve the results even further.

One would need to avoid high aperature numbers, to avoid "Diffraction Limited" situations.

The Canon 6x Wide-Angle Lens is noted for its image quality.

I would avoid mixing HDV with much higher quality nanoFlash files.

So, considering your price limit of $10,000 I would add a nanoFlash. (But I am not neutral)

Mark Job and others may add to this converstation.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 11:17 AM   #12
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Dan, can't you choose settings in the NF that would "dumb it down" from highest quality, and make the footage a better match for HDV?
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Old December 8th, 2010, 11:44 AM   #13
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Dear Phillip,

Yes, one can.

You can record in 35 Mbps long-GOP, which will be 4:2:0, and your 25 Mbps 4:2:0 HDV files may match up better.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 11:54 AM   #14
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Making good stuff look bad was always easy, it's the other way round I always had a problem with!

One question on the XLH1 + Nanoflash combo. A number of TV stations (BBC & Discovery) seem to have come to a general consensus that independent HD TV needs the following minimum standards: 2/3 Chip Camera / 50mbs. So this would include the EX range with a Nanoflash.

The question I'm wondering about is if a customer was presented footage shot on a 1/3 chip camera using a 50mbs nanoflash file, would they be able to tell the difference between that and an image shot on a 2/3 chip camera?

I do notice that the BBC have also recently passed the Canon XF camera for independent productions (50mbs but actually a 1/3 chip)
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Old December 8th, 2010, 12:03 PM   #15
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Mark Job adds his insights

….Hi Dan & Philip: I just shot a high profile documentary whereby I shot 70 % of the footage on the Flash XDR & 25 % of the footage on HDV in my XL H1 itself, and 5 % on a $150.00 Kodak Z i 8 pocket HD camcorder @ who knows what data rate for the Kodak plastic lens camera. With the Convergent Design Flash XDR, I shot @ Long GOP 50 Mbps. I posted all in Avid Media Composer 4.0.5.12 on a 23.98p timeline. I shot everything with the Canon @ Canon's special 24 F setting using the 20 X stock zoom lens. I found it to be no problem to match the HDV with CD's Long GOP 50 Mbps data rate files. The Kodak stuff was shot @ 1080 p30 and was mixed in on the timeline, but it reveals itself as grainy, and shaky. I will post a link today once I have the movie up on YouTube. You can check it out and try and tell me which footage looks like which. It will be fun !
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