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Old January 4th, 2006, 11:29 PM   #1
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DV vs DVCPRO50

would it benefit me to convert my DV footage to DVCPRO50 footage for editing and coloring?
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Old January 5th, 2006, 12:49 AM   #2
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Usually no. It depends on what format you want to go to. But in any case, doing this conversion may not make much sense.

2- What are you trying to do? Are you trying to get the best quality possible from DV?
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Old January 5th, 2006, 12:57 AM   #3
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yes. I have DV footage shot and want to at least color with as deep an image as possible given FCExpress as an NLE.

<edit>Additionally, what will give me the least loss when exporting for use in editing (i.e. I have footage I had pulled in as many clips that I am concatenating as a single larger clip for use in my workflow</edit>
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Old January 5th, 2006, 02:32 PM   #4
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1- Avoid DVCPRO50, it'll probably lower the quality of your footage insignificantly. The main reason to avoid it is that it's probably a waste of time.

You will get very very minor benefits in quality if you apply the 4:1:1 color smoothing filter- but ONLY if going to DVD (not miniDV), or doing secondary color correction. FCE can't do secondary color correction, unless you can somehow hack the 3-way color corrector from FCP into FCE. I forget if this was/is possible by copying the filter from a FCP project.

Probably the only case where it is worthwhile to apply the color smoothing filter is if you're doing chroma key. Otherwise it doesn't really make a difference.

It can be difficult in FCP to see what the color smoothing filter is doing, for two reasons:
A- Your eyes have better black and white/luminance resolution than color/chrominance resolution. This is why video formats use 4:1:1 and 4:2:0 and 4:2:2 color space (lower color resolution than black+white resolution).
B- You need to be zoomed in at 100% or 200%, otherwise FCP will be re-scaling the image.

2- I wouldn't worry about really assinine technical quibbles such as this. My rule of thumbs are:
A- If you're unsure about something, just do a test. In your case, try doing a test (do burn a DVD and watch the footage on a TV or ideally a broadcast monitor). I'm fairly sure you won't see a difference.
B- Some things make so little difference that they're simply not worth your time.

C- How you compare things makes a difference. Roll-overs will exagerrate differences compared to putting two images side by side. Either form of these comparisons will however teach you how to spot particular differences.

Displaying images sequentially (instead of simultaneously) will make differences really hard to notice, and is probably closer to actual differences.

Part of things is that you can learn how to spot differences... i.e. how to spot mosquito noise and chroma crawl and assinine technical flaws normal people don't notice. These two flaws are extremely common in consumer TVs, and these are problems that could be fixed but aren't. Mosquito noise comes from MPEG2 compression since video is stored on video servers and/or distributed over satellite. It's made worse by the excessive aperture correction / sharpening in consumer sets. Chroma crawl is mostly due to cheap chroma demodulators in consumer TVs. It's a very noticeable flaw, yet there's no money in fixing it.

So forget about minor technical flaws. Focus on the big picture, and do things that make a difference with color correction. You can grab some ideas off of:
http://www.glennchan.info/fcpugto/
Caveat: Some of the corrections explained there are somewhat subtle and may not be worth doing.
Caveat 2: It was quite some time ago when I didn't know as much. So on the artistic side, there may be too much diffusion. On the technical side, there are a bunch of technical inaccuracies. And on the age side, Nattress Film Effects and other plug-ins are better now.
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