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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
Topics about HD production.


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Old September 21st, 2007, 05:01 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Let's get past the shoulda/coulda/woulda's and try to focus on reality please -- thanks in advance,
I wouldn't have brought this up again except for the comment about whether this could become a feasible option. I'll start a new thread to discuss what I've learned about use of CF recording and avoid detracting from other topics.
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Old September 21st, 2007, 06:13 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
........ reference in my post linked above; forget about the less expensive Extreme III cards because they're not fast enough).
Chris - what you posted was absolutely right, but it was in relation to Red (at least in 4K mode). For HD-XDCAM bitrates - even the 4:2:2 version at 50Mbs, let alone at 35Mbs - Extreme III are fine, and they should be OK even for the 100Mbs stream that Convergent Design refer to.

Whilst the EX obviously does use SxS natively, not CF, there may be merit in using the camera with the Convergent Design box - thus enabling 4:2:2 recording with 50Mbs, and much lower compression with 100Mbs. Most important, that is a real option, not a wish.

There is then obviously the cost of the box to consider, which goes against the saving on the cards, but the lower compression may be worth that to some.
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 05:34 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Seung Han View Post
Great info here guys, thanks a lot! I'm gonna keep asking as long as you keep answering...knock on wood...

If the EX has 1/2' sensors and F 23 has 2/3' sensors but both shoot 1080p then what quality differences will the size differences in the sensors exhibit?

Also, does anybody know how much of a difference there will be in DOF between these two sensors? Or the difference in DOF between 1/3', 1/2' and 2/3'? Is there a way to measure the differences and if so can you compare them to the DOF of a 35mm?
If you keep asking, I'll try to keep answering...lol.

Anyway, as far as quality between the two sensors, there will be very little difference. The 2/3" sensors will fair a little better in lower light.

As far as DOF is concerned, there are many factors including the lens. It has been reported that the EX1 has a very good lens for a fix lens system. You can interchange the lens on the F23, though, so you can put on pretty much any lens your budget desires. You have 35mm adapters also.

Anyway DOF is calculated by sensor size, aperature, lens focal length and focus distance to the subject. Sensor size doesn't make that much of a difference regarding DOF. You can achieve the same DOF from 1/2" chips as 2/3" chips by closing the aperature a bit; that's considering the other two variables are equal, lens focal length and focus distance to subject. Now where this will start to become an issue is in lower light. However, the difference is not that great between 1/2 inch and 2/3 inch sensors, about a half a stop. However, it is a big difference when comparing 35mm film to 2/3 inch sensors. Then it is about 5 stops. Anyway, here's an example: Each camera is equipped with a 300mm focal length lens and the subject is 6 meters from the cameras. The aperature for the 1/2 inch camera would have to be set halfway between f5.6 and f8, the 2/3 inch camera at f5.6, and the 35mm camera at f1.4. These settings would produce the same total DOF for all three cameras.

Hope this helps... good luck.
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 03:52 AM   #49
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The aperature for the 1/2 inch camera would have to be set halfway between f5.6 and f8, the 2/3 inch camera at f5.6, and the 35mm camera at f1.4. These settings would produce the same total DOF for all three cameras.
Is this not the wrong way round? At a given aperture the 1/2" would have greatest depth of field, 35mm least. To make them all equal, then wouldn't the 35mm sensor lens then need stopping down, the 1/2" opening up?

5 stops seems quite a lot as the 35mm/2/3" difference, or does that refer to a 35mm still frame, not movie?
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 06:08 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
Is this not the wrong way round? At a given aperture the 1/2" would have greatest depth of field, 35mm least. To make them all equal, then wouldn't the 35mm sensor lens then need stopping down, the 1/2" opening up?

5 stops seems quite a lot as the 35mm/2/3" difference, or does that refer to a 35mm still frame, not movie?
You are right. I messed up. I used a photography dof calculator and entered the focal length being equal which is not the case if the cameras have the same shot and are at the same distance from the subject. Let's try this again. At a distance of 5 feet with the same shot A film movie camera focal length is 50mm, 2/3" 14mm, and 1/2" about 12mm, all using an aperature of f2.8. The 35mm movie camera DOF would be from 4.22 to 5.49 feet; the 2/3" camera from 3.52 to 6.72 feet; and the 1/2" camera from 3.39 to 8.22 feet. So as you have correctly pointed out the 35mm movie camera will have the shallower DOF. Sorry for the misinformation and thanks for the correction.

Incidently, using the same calculations a 1/3 inch chip would have a focal length of 7mm and at 2.8f would range from 3.1 to 11.6 feet. That's quite a big difference from a 2/3" chip and even an half inch chip. No wonder it's so hard to achieve a film-like DOF with a 1/3" chip camera.
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Old September 25th, 2007, 02:04 PM   #51
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Hey John,

Thanks for taking the time to explain the differences in DOF.

That's quite a lot between the 35mm and 1/2" chips.

I am considering postponing my shoot till I receive my Reds. It will be difficult to wait, but I am hesitant to spend so much in rental or purchasing a lower cost camera pkg that I will not use after receiving the Reds.

I am really torn if I can wait five months more before continuing preproduction...
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Old September 25th, 2007, 04:17 PM   #52
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I wanted a more intimate feel with a lot of handheld shots like Lost in Translation so if HDV does not handle movement well I might have to scrap the idea altogether.

As far as editing is concerned, yes I agree with what you are saying. Editing, sound mix and music goes a long way in covering up other inadequacies of a piece, like bad story, poor acting and shoddy images. I was a professional editor for five years in my mid twenties when I was making short films, so I learned a few tricks of the trade. Actually, one of the reasons I favor a lot of camera movement is because on a low budget I might come up short on coverage so well executed handheld shots give a lot of leeway in places to cut.

Anyway, thanks for providing more info on the pros and cons of utilizing HDV for a feature shoot...
There are a number of good features done with HDV.

From everything you've said, I'd look closely at the XH-A1. The camera is only part of the expense of getting the camera setup to use.

You could buy the XH-A1, a reasonable price matte box, the Steadicam Pilot and a few little accessories and stilll be under $10,000.

The XH-A1, with its excellent native wide 20x lens is perfect for intimate shooting with the camera moving, either on a Steadicam Pilot or Merlin, on a bean bag on the top of a bar, on a small jib, etc.

The XH-A1 will let you do all kinds of shots not available with a bigger more limited lens.

Used judiciously the auto features of the XH-A1 will come in handy in certain situations. Also, this camera lets you do a lot to setup the picture the way you want.

You'll probably want to spend $500-1000 for a separate sound recording system, so this might figure into your camera budget.

The XH-A1 will also give you an excellent 24 frame progressive.

From what you've said your not looking for a glossy, perfect static Hollywood style that you would need a top-end $100,000 digital camera for.

I believe the XH-A1 is what your looking for.

I have an HD110, with all the accoutrements, and an XH-A1 I am using for a documentary. The XH-A1 solves a lot of problems just being the way it is, and it is the most versatile camera I've every used.
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Old September 25th, 2007, 07:03 PM   #53
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I have an HD110, with all the accoutrements, and an XH-A1 I am using for a documentary. The XH-A1 solves a lot of problems just being the way it is, and it is the most versatile camera I've every used.
You mean you prefer the Canon instead of the JVC?
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Old September 25th, 2007, 08:55 PM   #54
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You mean you prefer the Canon instead of the JVC?
Yes, for the documentary.

The picture quality is equivalent.

However, the Canon is small, has automatic controls, has a wider lens, a longer telephoto, is easier to use in many different ways, will go where the JVC won't, and so forth.

The JVC is great on the shoulder and when you have a big setup.

The Canon is less than half the weight. For example the Canon works on the Steadicam Pilot. The JVC camera needs a much more expensive Steadicam, plus wireless focus, etc.

The JVC is not an intimate camera, the Canon is, with an equivalent picture.

Also, you can steal scenes much easier than you can with the JVC camera.

The Canon is not a shoulder mount camera, though, like the JVC is. But for a feature, you don't need a shoulder mount camera, to my mind, you need a versatile camera that can be rigged professionally for the lowest possible cost.

The JVC camera is over 2 feet long. The wide angle lens is $9000. It's a great lens, but you can get equivalent results with the Canon camera -- for the type of shooting you described -- with the Canon built-on lens.

I went to Europe with the Canon XH-A1, two wide angle adapters, a 35mm SLR with 3 lenses and some other expensive pieces in a Samsonite carry-onn that weighed 15 pounds. This is just one way the Canon is versatile.

You can hang the XH-A1 out the window on a Varizoom flowpod and get fantastic results. Not possible with the JVC camera.

You can go into a working bar, set the Canon camera on the table, and your wired actor can do a little monolog and it will look like he's just talking to you and the camera is resting on the table. Not possible with the JVC camera.

As I said, the pictures are equivalent and they both do great 24 progressive (there are many detailed threads on this) but the Canon camera gives one possibilities the JVC camera doesn't, and I believe the Canon is the opening salvo in a new class of camera -- for the kind of shooting I'm doing with the documentary and what you described.
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Old September 25th, 2007, 11:48 PM   #55
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Choosing camera for any project is strictly related to budget. It may sound trivial, but people often make simple mistakes before they even start shooting. They aim too high, then get seriously limited by technology they choose and at the end of the day they realize some of the scenes on the shotlist have to be skipped.

If budget allows, go ahead and rent top shelf CineAlta, but make sure you have enough for necessary crew, heavy duty accessories (including Steadicam) and for post-production. If budget is in question, choose HDV (XH-A1 and XL-H1 are the best choices imo) with 35mm adapter and work with peace of mind. Sometimes advantages listed in camera specifications actually become obstacles. Choosing between technical excellence on tight budget and HDV with peace of mind, I will go for the latter with no hesitation because artistic value is much more important than technical specs.
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Old September 26th, 2007, 12:16 AM   #56
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--- duplicate message ---
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