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Old May 16th, 2008, 04:45 AM   #1
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BBC HD standards

Just a thought after looking at the latest BBC guidelines for HD acquisition, the Panasonic HPX500 is OK but the Sony EX1 is not even though it has twice the resolution. I don't own or use either so have no axe to grind, but from what I've heard the EX1 producing an enormously superior picture to the Panny, or am I mistaken?
Steve
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Old May 16th, 2008, 06:33 AM   #2
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Firstly, do you have a link to those guidelines?

Secondly, (and this is a pure guess), what is likely to matter to a broadcaster such as the BBC is not how a picture looks when the original recording is replayed, but how well it stands up to the entire broadcast production and transmission chain. Could this be the case here?
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Old May 16th, 2008, 06:46 AM   #3
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Hi David, here's the link http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/dq/p...ery_v01_08.pdf it was posted in another thread on this forum.
Yes it does come down to transmission issues, but the way it looks out of camera has still got to be very important - if it looks soft and crappy straight from the camera then it'll look very soft and crappy on transmission!
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Old May 16th, 2008, 08:23 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
Hi David, here's the link http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/dq/p...ery_v01_08.pdf it was posted in another thread on this forum.
Yes it does come down to transmission issues, but the way it looks out of camera has still got to be very important - if it looks soft and crappy straight from the camera then it'll look very soft and crappy on transmission!
Steve
I assume that the HPX 500 has a similar chip to the Varicam - not having found the actual details (seemingly typical for Panasonic), so there could be uprezing for 1080p. The issue the BBC seem to be having with the EX1 appears to be the codec being used, rather than the picture sharpness, since 1/2" chip cameras are allowed in the their guideline.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 08:29 AM   #5
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Yes, it's the codec that falls under the bar, Flash XDR will rectify that. The HPX500 does not have Varicam chips - far from it, in fact it has SD chips, can't remember the res but it's not much, and up-rezzed to HD - pretty ropey spec, but again, within the BBC's criteria!
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Old May 16th, 2008, 10:35 AM   #6
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Yes, it's the codec that falls under the bar, Flash XDR will rectify that. The HPX500 does not have Varicam chips - far from it, in fact it has SD chips, can't remember the res but it's not much, and up-rezzed to HD - pretty ropey spec, but again, within the BBC's criteria!
Steve
Yes, it appears to be 960x540, which is about half the number of pixels found in the latest generation of high end SD cameras.

Although, checking a couple of the reviews the pictures apparently aren't too bad, but I guess that would depend on the subject matter. However, native resolution would be a lot better and the BBC might in the future make this camera an exception to their guidelines or place a limit on how much pixel shifting is allowed.

The camera has the advantage being that pretty good in low light.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 10:56 AM   #7
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Equally Brian I've heard reports that it's images are crap! I think people got a bit excited when it first came out as on paper it looked great, but when it was revealed that it only had SD chips and people looked at the images there was huge disappointment.
I'm sure if you got an HPX500, put some low grade hd lens (didn't think there was supposed to be such a thing, but there seems to be several tiers now from top-notch to Coke bottle - and yet when HD first came out everyone was even saying that to get the best from it you should only use primes, and certainly no 2x extender on zooms, where's that all gone to now?!) and shot side by side with a Digibeta with a decent SD lens the latter would probably give much nicer pics.
What a cynic I'm becoming!
Steve
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Old May 16th, 2008, 12:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
I'm sure if you got an HPX500, put some low grade hd lens (didn't think there was supposed to be such a thing, but there seems to be several tiers now from top-notch to Coke bottle - and yet when HD first came out everyone was even saying that to get the best from it you should only use primes, and certainly no 2x extender on zooms, where's that all gone to now?!) and shot side by side with a Digibeta with a decent SD lens the latter would probably give much nicer pics.
What a cynic I'm becoming!
Steve
An editing friend had to compare tests with the Varicam, the Sony HDW750 (HDCAM) and the then new progressive frame Digibeta DVW970. For SD use, the digibeta looked better than the HD cameras.
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