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Old March 1st, 2005, 09:48 PM   #1
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Can you capture Uncompressed in Final Cut?

What I mean is this: I've worked on a media 100 in film school, and have seen capture footage from DV in a "incite" editing workstation- both have incredible overall picture quality- everything looks crystal clear. Media 100 had capture options that ranged from 40 kb (or 20) to 300kb online- I really don't know what this means- the thing is, the bigger the kb, the better the footage. Now Can you set this up in FCP? Is it the DV COdedc? If I use an uncompressed (not dv codec) will everything look bette"r? Or is it the capture card?

I've invested on a Powerbook g4 1.67 ghz 2gig ram, and want to know if my otput picture quality will look better than premiere pro with canopus dvrex, wich is my "fixed" editing station. Seems like dvrex doesn't improve on the quality of the capture, just tjhe speed...

And, one more thing: If firewire is indeed direct digital signal, how can picture quality differ so much in these editing solutions?
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Old March 1st, 2005, 11:50 PM   #2
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DV source, DV master: Transfering over firewire will give the best quality, better than uncompressed (which will undergo another compression cycle).

Final Cut and Premiere will give the exact same quality if you edit in DV and transfer over firewire.

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And, one more thing: If firewire is indeed direct digital signal, how can picture quality differ so much in these editing solutions?
The computer monitor is not a very good judge of what your video looks like... I highly highly highly recommend you preview your footage on a TV. You will spot errors that you can't see on a computer monitor. Hook up your TV to your camera to your editing station (via firewire). Read the manuals... or search here for instructions on how to do this... or ask for instructions.

Editing programs display the video differently from one another. Also, there are very significant differences in how your video will look on TV and how your video looks in your editing program (bottom line again: don't trust what you see on a computer monitor).
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 03:37 PM   #3
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Sergio,

Glenn is correct about transfering over FW and the monitor issue. When you are transfering over FW, you are just copying 1s and 0s from the tape, a storage medium, to the hard drive, another storage medium.

The NLE has nothing to do with the quality of the date being transfered, barring any bugs in the app itself or a corrupted computer.

The only thing you will accomplish if capturing DV footage as uncompressed (which, by the way, is a type of compression) is increase the size of the files captured but not the quality.

However, if you work with an analog video source such as Beta SP, capturing as uncompressed can have much better results in most cases.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 07:56 PM   #4
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I use a normal television and use a profesional monitor sony pvm 15 inch. The quality ( I only use Premiere for comparison, since I haven't seen FCPro results) by using Pemiere vs Media 100 for capture, in therms of picture quality, is VERY noticeable. Anyone experienced anything lik this?

I still think the DV codec compresses and downgrades the image.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 09:08 PM   #5
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Firewire transfers DV images as 1s and 0s so the transfer should be lossless there. It might be that your system is misconfigured. Check that you're using firewire and not analog capture/cabling?

On the computer side, it may be doing things to the DV stream if you have it configured incorrectly. Use the presets for NTSC/PAL DV 48khz (or 32khz if you recorded 12-bit 32khz 4 channel audio in your camera).

If you're applying effects to the clips, quality may degrade on your video monitor until you render.

If there is a mismatch between the project and media settings (this can be the case in FCP), then your video can look very bad if your editing program is trying to rescale the footage (i.e. uncompressed = 486 pixels in height, DV = 480 pixels in height; settings are very important in this case).

From computer --> analog, a few things can happen. You should send the video signal out through firewire to your deck or camera, and then to your NTSC monitor. The quality of the digital--> analog converters might affect things slightly. Also, a lot of prosumer NTSC (not PAL) equipment does not add 7.5IRE setup, which makes images too dark. Re-calibrate to color bars if this may be the case, and/or go into the menu for your NTSC monitor and set it to expect 0IRE (not all of them can do this).

It could also be your monitor having problems, or some monitors calibrated to look better (high contrast, brightness, saturation).

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I still think the DV codec compresses and downgrades the image.
When the footage hits the mini-DV tape, it is recorded with DV compression already applied. You cannot undo the effect of this compression, and you cannot get better quality by capturing uncompressed.

If you are mastering to DV then:
Capture DV, export DV:
If you do not apply filters, then you are just transferring the exact 1s and 0s back and forth.

Capture uncompressed (SDI/digital), export DV:
It captures as uncompressed, and then your system has to re-compress the footage as DV because it can go down firewire. Technically you lose quality, but in practicaly terms this will be near impossible to see.

2- Assinine technical things:
You may lose user bits when capturing and exporting footage. Date/time information and some other information can be lost. This depends on the software.

Technically you kind of can get better quality by capturing uncompressed. Some decks that play mini-DV tapes out through SDI will upconvert/guess the color information. Whether or not you consider this better quality is up to you. Practically, there is no point in doing this unless it improves your workflow and you do not master back to DV.

Some DV codecs mess with the DV footage or do not re-compress the footage very well. With newer DV codecs this is a thing of the past. If you are going in and out through firewire, with NO effects or filters applied then this shouldn't be an issue at all as your footage will not be re-compressed.

3- How are you comparing the Premiere and Media 100 footage?

4- What looks bad/different about the Premiere-captured footage?
Have you tried comparing the footage played off the camera/deck versus the footage played from computer?
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 09:31 PM   #6
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3- How are you comparing the Premiere and Media 100 footage?

4- What looks bad/different about the Premiere-captured footage?
Have you tried comparing the footage played off the camera/deck versus the footage played from computer? -->>>

Glenn, thanks for the reply. My University had a couple of media 100 workstations, 2 matrox rtmacs workstations and maybe 6 to 7 powermacs with premiere. All of them with monitors connected. The comparison of the footage was made by the final dv master of footage captured on both machines. The color and definition of the media 100 - at 300kb- blew away my Premiere Dv output (top quality output possible).

Don't get me wrong, I really dislike the Media 100 interface, and really like Adobe Premiere (and just received my powerbook and starting to Adapt to FCP). But, bottom line, it feels like the capture of the clips loses colour and detail (even if slightly) compared to the media 100 capture.

I'm still to capture stuff on FCPro though, maybe it is just Pemiere?
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 10:20 PM   #7
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Are you monitor the footage on two different monitors or just one of them? Maybe one monitor is setup with more saturation and sharpening.

Or something could be happening from the deck --> analog --> media 100 capture that makes things look better. Edge sharpening may be introduced, which helps keep the image looking sharp over multiple generations. Saturation shouldn't be affected, although there may be settings in your system which may let you boost the amount of saturation as your system captures.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 11:00 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Glenn Chan : Are you monitor the footage on two different monitors or just one of them? Maybe one monitor is setup with more saturation and sharpening.

Or something could be happening from the deck --> analog --> media 100 capture that makes things look better. Edge sharpening may be introduced, which helps keep the image looking sharp over multiple generations. Saturation shouldn't be affected, although there may be settings in your system which may let you boost the amount of saturation as your system captures. -->>>

The deck is outputing from component out to media 100- Premiere is capturing trough firewire- can this be the point?
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