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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old August 30th, 2007, 10:14 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Kris Bird View Post
We're shooting a feature. XH-A1 with a Brevis, and quality Nikon Glass.
That's very interesting. Did you pick the A1 or it was assigned to you? Did you try other cameras, like the JVC or the HVX200? Did you make film tests?
What Nikon lenses are you using? How much did you lose in T stops?

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Don't get me wrong, I'm a DOP, but in my eyes we can push the image 90%+ of the way there with the 35mm adapter (essential), great lighting, and solid after effects/ grading work.
Certainly agreed with you there. I might be willing to try other adaptors, but if I use a video camera for my project it needs to have "film-type" DOF.

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I really do believe that- if it looks, sounds and feels like a movie, then the audience will believe it. It may be a tad soft next to a 35mm feature 'when projected', but who's going to sit and compare. (well, probably me, and only me). It certainly doesn't mean that every frame can't be beautiful.
Agreed again.

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Distributors will ask- did it originate 35mm? do you have a 35mm print? they will not ask- so, which digicam did you choose? (or maybe korea is more digitally developed, in terms of projection, than the rest of the world...)
Will those distributors discriminate in any way if it didn't originate in film (whether it's 35mm or super-16 I don't think they will care)?
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Old August 30th, 2007, 11:41 AM   #17
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Just thinking out loud here, but wouldn't the Panny HVX200 shooting in DVCPro50 mode work? It's under $10k even with a couple P2 cards, and doesn't have the compression problem of HDV. They aren't even hard to aquire.

I'd try putting a Focus hard drive recorder on it instead of the P2 cards, and dump the footage often to your editing machine. The images I've seen from that unit are quite nice. It's not 2k, but for the price, it's not bad at all.
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Old August 30th, 2007, 12:26 PM   #18
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Just thinking out loud here, but wouldn't the Panny HVX200 shooting in DVCPro50 mode work? It's under $10k even with a couple P2 cards, and doesn't have the compression problem of HDV. They aren't even hard to aquire.

I'd try putting a Focus hard drive recorder on it instead of the P2 cards, and dump the footage often to your editing machine. The images I've seen from that unit are quite nice. It's not 2k, but for the price, it's not bad at all.
I think it might be worth trying it, particularly in DVCPro50 HD. Problme are the P2 cards, which you will need a bundle of.

Using an external HDD will make things better, but I you will still depend on a download place, like a laptop or desktop.

In my case I distrust the firewire interface, which I think it's not sturdy enough for field work. Something more reliable, with locked sockets, should be in order.

Apparently the higher priced pro Panasonic models have a better form of firewire interconnect. If not I think something like a 4-pin or 6-pin XLR should be provided, leaving the camera and HDD unlocked terminals untouched.
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Old August 30th, 2007, 02:32 PM   #19
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Admittedly I am not rough with my DVX100, but I've had no problem at all with the firewire connection. What specifically are you worried about? Pulling the connection of out the camera? Are you doing steadicam work where you'd be running with the camera?

On a tripod or dolly, I just don't see this as an issue at all. Certainly hasn't been for us in the past 3 years.
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Old August 30th, 2007, 03:43 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Brian Luce View Post
I own an HDV camera and haven't experienced the issues people are saying I'm supposed to be experiencing. And successful features have been shot with a lot less than a 10k HD or HDV cam. Haviing said that, if your intent is to only shoot a feature, renting makes more sense.

I like your positive attitude about your project.
Thanks Brian, appreciate it!

I actually placed an order for a Red package which I will probably receive sometime in Spring which will be too late for this production.

I got a quote of $17,000 for a full F 23 package for 31 days, so I am still weighing my options at this point. I am leaning towards renting even though it will be more expensive, but I can't justify buying all that equipment for one project and getting a much smaller image knowing that my production company will have the Red in the near future...

I always feel like technology is trying to catch up to what I want now, even while surprising me all the time... Does that make sense?
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Old August 30th, 2007, 04:00 PM   #21
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Can't you hire RED in the meantime?
Rental prices should be lower then a F23 (I hope).
If there is someone near you who has one.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 11:54 AM   #22
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None in Seoul that I know of right now. I might be the first one here when I get mine.

People are charging a premium right now which is understandable since there are only going to be a few of these being used and at 4k. Also, I have to factor in additional costs for travel and lodging probably for its operator/tech person.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 01:44 PM   #23
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When do you need to start filming the feature? Specs for the upcoming Sony PMW-EX1 were released today and it sounds like an awesome camera for the price, if you can wait a few more months to get your hands on one.

http://www.sonybiz.net/biz/view/Show...=1187079500753
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Old September 6th, 2007, 02:46 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw View Post
When do you need to start filming the feature? Specs for the upcoming Sony PMW-EX1 were released today and it sounds like an awesome camera for the price, if you can wait a few more months to get your hands on one.

It's a memory card camera, like the HVX200. It doesn't even mention if you can use a laptop or HD to record. Which doesn't brighten up things too much for me.

In the end you will always need something to download to at the evening, so even if it can take more time per card (70 minutes for 16GB card at the highest quality) you will have to store it somehow.

Another thing I was reading these days, which I didn't know, that there have been some reports on cards having problems too.

Perhaps the tape has a longer time to go yet, even if everybody is diagnosing it as DOA. Is it really? Looks like when people were diagnosing film as being dead, and it's very quite alive.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 07:00 PM   #25
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In the end you will always need something to download to at the {end of the} evening, so even if it can take more time per card (70 minutes for 16GB card at the highest quality) you will have to store it somehow.
True, but that wouldn't stop it from being a good choice for the purpose described by the original poster. At least with the EX1 you should be able to buy several hours' worth of memory cards without having to put a second mortgage on your house like you would with P2 cards, which still cost over $50 per MINUTE at full recording quality.

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Perhaps the tape has a longer time to go yet, even if everybody is diagnosing it as DOA. Is it really? Looks like when people were diagnosing film as being dead, and it's very quite alive.
Tape-based video still has its place, but film-based recording is almost dead now except for big-budget productions - and it may not be long before film is eliminated for distribution purposes. Don't worry, once digital video cameras and projectors get good enough we won't miss film for long, and future generations will find it quaint that we liked grainy film-based images. :-)
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Old September 6th, 2007, 09:26 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw View Post
True, but that wouldn't stop it from being a good choice for the purpose described by the original poster. At least with the EX1 you should be able to buy several hours' worth of memory cards without having to put a second mortgage on your house like you would with P2 cards, which still cost over $50 per MINUTE at full recording quality.
It's certainly a better option than the P2.


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Tape-based video still has its place, but film-based recording is almost dead now except for big-budget productions - and it may not be long before film is eliminated for distribution purposes. Don't worry, once digital video cameras and projectors get good enough we won't miss film for long, and future generations will find it quaint that we liked grainy film-based images. :-)
Sorry not to agree on that one. Film may end up being eliminated for distribution purposes, as it already is not used for editing anymore. But for acquiring, even in Super-16, it's still years ahead in latitude from video.

If by may not be long you mean 20 years from now, it may be so. But the last time I made a comparison vs time passed, film had got years ahead. Just when I thought video was getting closer. And don't get me wrong: I do find video more practical, but in image quality it's not quite there yet.

But getting back to the Sony EX-1 camera, it may be an interesting choice. Pity Sony insists on non-detachable lenses, so I am not sure if the JVC 250 still hasn't an edge there, with the new lens adaptor and internal image swap.
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Old September 6th, 2007, 10:32 PM   #27
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Film may end up being eliminated for distribution purposes, as it already is not used for editing anymore. But for acquiring, even in Super-16, it's still years ahead in latitude from video.
From what I hear the "Red One" camera has decent latitude, and the cost of one of those is trivial compared to the cost of working with film. Plus if essentially all movies are edited and viewed in digital formats with similar limitations to digital cameras, any slight advantage of shooting on film may be lost by the time the results get to the viewer. I remember having similar discussions about ten years ago when digital still cameras were first becoming available, and some photographers insisted they would never overtake film photography for professional purposes. Don't blink, film-based movies could become a thing of the past soon enough...

As far as the EX1 is concerned, it just happens to record at close to the highest data rate supported by Blu-ray discs, so basically the best quality many of us could hope to deliver independently to viewers. That's pretty cool.
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Old September 7th, 2007, 07:38 AM   #28
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Plus if essentially all movies are edited and viewed in digital formats with similar limitations to digital cameras, any slight advantage of shooting on film may be lost by the time the results get to the viewer. I remember having similar discussions about ten years ago when digital still cameras were first becoming available, and some photographers insisted they would never overtake film photography for professional purposes. Don't blink, film-based movies could become a thing of the past soon enough...
As long as a media can handle the latitude film can at being captured, then put it on a practical support, I really don't care if it's video or what. But I am not sure video will take a "blink time" to get there.

There are two main things that are related to film and the film look: resolution latitude and DOF.

Those are things which are relatively easy to fulfill in still photography: implement a large capture cell, CCD or CMOS, which will solve the DOF question, and use a practical storage system for all the information that large cell will provide. CF cards took care of that.

But add a temporal question (movement) and taking care of all that data becomes a serious problem. Even putting all that data on tape became a problem. Compression came in, supposedly to help there, but it brought other problems to the equation.

How long will that storage question take to be solved, in a non-compressed recording system that can be compared to film's resolution, is what we can't still know.

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As far as the EX1 is concerned, it just happens to record at close to the highest data rate supported by Blu-ray discs, so basically the best quality many of us could hope to deliver independently to viewers. That's pretty cool.
Yes, it looks as a very interesting option that seems to improve on HDV.
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Old September 7th, 2007, 09:49 AM   #29
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Getting back to the original topic of this thread, the question is what's the best camera for under $10K which creates an acceptable image for big-screen projection. I've seen footage from Sony and Canon HDV cameras projected on large screens and both looked decent to me, but I couldn't say whether the quality would be acceptable to movie distributors. The JVC HD200U uses a shorter GOP than other HDV cameras, so panning issues might be less significant with that. The Panasonic HVX200 seems to be a favorite of independent film-makers but the actual resolution is marginal, so how well it would work for big-screen projection is questionable. The Sony EX1 sounds good on paper but we can't really say how well that will work until we've seen footage from final shipping units. So for now if you really want to shoot a movie maybe renting a high-end HD camera is the way to go, but you could go through $10K in a hurry doing that. There is no great answer yet for under $10K here, so pick your compromises...

Out of curiosity, what source format do the distributors in Korea want for their digital projection?
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Old September 8th, 2007, 03:42 AM   #30
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Not sure Kevin. On average, if I see 10 films in a large movie chain theater about 7 will be projected digitally, including Hollywood films. By far the best looking films projected digitally were local films with HD production, probably on F 23 since this is the camera pkg most rental houses are holding and quoting me for. These are stadium theaters with huge screens and my friends have no idea what was digital or film, they only talk about if the story was good or bad ;-)

I just recently saw a hilarious Korean film shot on HD because a friend had a lead role in it. I don't know about the States but in Korea before a digital projection starts there is a warning about the screen going black and adjusting the digital projector so I knew this movie was going to be projected digitally. But once the movie started I kept wondering if it was shot HD, 35mm or 16mm... Then I spoke to my actor friend and he told me that they did shoot on the F 23 went through cc grading and then output to 35mm film for wider distribution options. I saw the 35mm print converted back to digital projected digitally. It was pretty interesting.
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