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Old September 2nd, 2003, 05:06 PM   #1
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capturing suggestions PLEASE!!

i was wondering what i might look for as far as capturing cards or other equipment involved.

i have an XL1s. and ive been using FCP3 to capture. ive used it on a dual 500 mhz G4. im less than pleased with the output. the video looks fantastic on my monitor and tV but is horrible when captured. contrast and detail are being lost every second. its unacceptable.

so im wondering is anyone has an suggestions on higher quality capturing equipment for a G5. or if a pc would be better id get one just for that if its absolutely necessary.

anyone have any suggestions on what to look for. i cant afford a 25000 avid or anything like that but theres got to be something better than just firewire.

thank you for any input. J.
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Old September 2nd, 2003, 05:20 PM   #2
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I don't understand the problem. You don't need a "capturing card or other equipment". The data coming from the camcorder to your G4 via firewire is a digital stream, and changing hardware shouldn't make any difference.

Are you basing your comments on the way the video looks on your computer monitor in FCP? Those are lower resolution approximations. What happens when you use a TV or monitor connected to your XL-1s and set it as your external video device via firewire in FCP? Does the output look any different than it would if you just played a tape to the same monitor?
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Old September 2nd, 2003, 05:39 PM   #3
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What computer monitor are you using? If you're judging image quality (video) via the computer monitor, that's the wrong display device. Monitors can not display interlaced, NTSC video as well as an NTSC monitor or TV. Some exceptions apply, such as the Apple Cinema Display.
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Old September 3rd, 2003, 05:27 PM   #4
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ive been reviewing the footage on a sony tv for now and using a sony trinitron e540 for working on. i know that there will be a big difference but it just really looks bad and pixelated when captured.

i just dont know enough about all this yet to determine what would be the best solution.

i guess i need to buy a b-cast monitor to be able to determine the true quality coming through.

just for my own knowledge is there any equipment i could look at to capture at the absolute highest quality available for DV or xl1s? i was looking at like the pinnicle "real time" capture cards and whatnot on BH. what would the difference for those be?

when i capture using firewire isn't the machine automatically compressing the footage again? the camera compresses it to Dv then the machine runs it through compression again when capturing? or am i way off base and making that up in my mind?

thanks for any more info you can give me.

also any monitor suggestions? i was looking at this one:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=252972&is=REG

thanks again. J.
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Old September 3rd, 2003, 06:14 PM   #5
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Do some searching here on your topics of interest. Volumes have been written on many of these topics and issues. On the area of capture, you're not actually capturing. It is a digital transfer of data. Ones and zeros move from your tape to your hard drive. It's as simple as that.

A capture card, like the Pinnacle, will allow you to do uncompressed editing. This might give you higher quality output, but there are many, many variables to address. The cost of editing in uncompressed goes way up. Standard drives are not fast enough. SCSI RAIDS or other fast servers are required. The file sizes are much larger than DV. The number of drives needed to do a project will go way up.

What do you have that outputs something other than DV. Analog outputs/inputs like S-Video are lower quality than DV. What format do you plan on outputting to. If you're going back to DV, why edit in uncompressed? The slight gain is quality may never be seen because you're going back to DV. Much to think about.
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Old September 5th, 2003, 03:06 AM   #6
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Jeremy...

What goes in should be identical to what comes out, unless you've applied extensive filtering or effects. Even then, it should look better, not worse.

Check to see if you're not digitizing at some low quality level (high compression rates).

Hope this helps,
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Old September 5th, 2003, 11:09 AM   #7
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to reply to jeffs initial question, for now ive not had to do anything other than DV. mostly to Cd for now. DVD to come in the near future. though i do have a project that i did last weekend and it will be going to VHS and if i have time video-Cd or DVD. so i see what you are saying with staying in DV if output is DV but what do i need to get stuff off my machine and back onto tape? either DV tape or VHS? thats a big question for me right now. is like printing to film out of premiere or FCP good enough to go to tape. and can i do that through firewire to like a DV deck that runs into a typical VCR or do i need a separate I/O card for my machine to go directly to the VCR or deck or whatever. will i notice a difference in quality if im just using some run of the mill vcr or Dv deck? do i need like a breakout box or something like that to go from firewire to analog or s-video?

so lets say for the sake of knowledge if i did want to transfer to digital uncompressed what kind of equipment would i need to have? coming from a DV tape. like what do they use to digitize footage for real movies or just like a random local commercial or something simple like that?

then what do they use to get it back to a tape? be it beta or whatever.

to answer dean, im 99% sure i had my settings correct.

looks like i need to get a new b-cast monitor to really tell what things will look like when im done.

sorry for all the questions. ive got a lot to learn.

thank you all for your time and information.
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Old September 5th, 2003, 12:37 PM   #8
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Re: capturing suggestions PLEASE!!

<<<-- Originally posted by Jeremy Martin : i have an XL1s. and ive been using FCP3 to capture. -->>>

In this case firewire is really the only way to go, there would be no advantage to "capturing" with a card. You'd have to take the analog output from the XL-1s s-video which would be far inferior to the digital data moving over firewire.

Did you try the simple test I suggested? Hook your monitor directly up to the camera via s-video if possible and look at some tape playback. Now "capture" that same footage off the tape via firewire. Make sure firewire is selected as FCP's external video, then play back what you just captured in FCP from either the viewer or timeline. It should look exactly the same on the monitor as the original tape did. If this isn't happening then you must have something mis-configured in FCP. Make sure your capture and sequence setting match. The easiest way to do this is by using one of the built in presets like NTSC super white.

Your camera, computer and software are all designed to work together using the DV format and firewire. You really don't need additional hardware to get the best possible image. Do some troubleshooting in the software settings.
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Old September 5th, 2003, 01:51 PM   #9
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boyd, i actually haven't tried that yet. ive not had time to give that a shot the past 2 weeks.

ive been unfortunately using equipment, not my own, till my new machine and monitors get here.

but that is a very good idea. and so far ive just been using my tv to compare the two versions. the last project i did was a night and day difference from tv to comp monitor thats why im getting worried that other things ive shot and not edited yet are going to come out bad. with the last thing i didn't get to check it on a machine since it was done to CD. but they loved it and didn't have any quality issues so i assume it looked good when it got to tape.

ive actually not bought a new b-cast monitor yet. do you have any suggestions on what to look for. the higher the line count the better the res correct? what is the major difference between the p-22 fosphors and the other standard (i cant seem to remember what its called right now) p-22 ive read is what Tv's use and the other is strictly for b-cast monitors, but is better for color correction. the one i was looking at is in a link earlier in this thread. do you have any suggestions?

thank you again for your input.
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Old September 5th, 2003, 07:06 PM   #10
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You'll need a transcoder to transcode the DV bitstream to another digital format. Then capture new digital format with your uncompressed card. If you don't want to buy the extra hardware (transcoder) you can let the computer do it with software (convert DV to some other codec). As everyone is pointing out, DV is the way to go unless you have an extra $5,000 to $20,000 to set up and uncompressed editing system.
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