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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old February 28th, 2005, 08:50 PM   #16
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Shannon, mi amigo, you are spot-on with your predictions, except for the stuff about CF24, at least if you are specifically talking about theatrical release. (I am a Z1 owner also, btw...I love it.)

Because of the way it discards frames, my prediction is that Z1 shooters will opt for the more film-friendly 50i mode, use software to intelligently de-interlace to 25p based on motion detection, and then adjust the audio by 4% to match the framerate. (I intend to shoot a feature this way later this spring.)

I will concede however (and I'm not wussying out here) that the occasional film ("Open Water", "28 Days Later", etc.) buck convention, and format doesn't really seem to matter on those. But for film-out to 35mm, my prediction is still 50i->25p->24p.

-John
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Old February 28th, 2005, 09:17 PM   #17
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Re: Re: hmm....

> Compression is not necessarily a bad thing.

Very well said, Douglas, and I'd like add one additional point regarding how "professional" the images from the Z1 are or can be.

DV compression is very inefficient compared to the MPEG-2 compression of HDV. This is why DV and HDV have the same bitrate of 25Mb/s, yet the HDV picture has 4-times as many pixels (and arguably a better color space of 4:2:0) than a DV camera.

But MPEG-2 is not easily edited, which is why we have companies such as Cineform producing a codec that is "visually perfect" but with a much fatter data rate than the original. For acquisition, however, we don't care that it's MPEG-2...we just want the best bang for our bandwidth.

My point with this is that the Sony cams move a helluva lot more pixels over the same size pipes as DV, and in fact, the data rate of the Z1 is a full 5+ Mb/s more than are ultimately broadcast to your converter box (and using the same codec).

-John
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Old February 28th, 2005, 09:34 PM   #18
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Well, Douglass Spotted Eagle.

Maybe i'm just a little upset at the buzz going on with all the little cameras that people are using.

I also am a little bitter with all the Mini-DV people out there who get my business because their day rate is half of mine or less...

I bought my DSR390 for a reason: first of all it's what i'm used to from back in my staff days shooting for a news station. Second, most clients want to see a full-size EFP/ENG camera with removable lenses or they feel like they're not getting their money's worth. Third, I find a large shoulder-mounted camera and broadcast lens easier for me to use.

I'm a freelance cameraman, and whoever i'm working for, whether it's MSNBC, The Learning Channel, FOX or whoever else, doesn't really care if all I can currently afford is a Bogen 501 head or if I'm using an Azden shotgun mic. All that they care about is that I get good shots, tell a good story, and get good audio. I had to work VERY HARD to even be able to afford what I have today, and my next purchase will probably be better heads for my tripod.

I also shoot on the Sony HDW700A HDCAM for HDNET, and I consider it a far cry from the ZU1. I've seen video from a ZU1, and did think that it looked good, but I heard that the HDV codec makes editing difficult. I haven't seen any artifacts, but again, I heard that the MPEG2 compression is problematic.

Once all my gear is paid off, I am going to buy my own HD camera, but it will be hard to convince me to buy a small handheld model as opposed to an ENG style body with removable HD lenses.
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Old February 28th, 2005, 10:44 PM   #19
 
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Jacques, I can understand your angst. This coming from a guy who easily has a couple million sunk into audio recording gear, I was the first all-digital studio between NYC and LA many years ago. How do you think I feel about all the desktop studios that are coming into the game? Even to the point that the world-famous Hit Factory has had to close it's doors.
I was the first known person in history to record live concerts to a computer using 16 channel experimental cards from MOTU. See...rather than getting really pissed about what I had and what it cost me, I jumped in early and figured out where it was going. Because frankly....the gear don't mean sh**. It's what I know, what I know to to with it, and how good I can make things sound. That knowledege has brought me 11 Grammy nominations. When people hear I WON my Grammys using an Audio Technica 831b (99.00 mic) they crap their britches. It's not about the gear.
I've got a boatload of old vid gear including a full AVID system that I now see on Ebay for less than 1500.00, that cost over 60K new a few years ago.
Short answer to your angst and cheap cams taking over your biz?

Deal with it.

I just spent a third week at WFAA teaching their directors and producers how to edit. Why? Because directors-only and producers-only are being fired across the country left and right. FCP, Sony Vegas, Avid DV Express are finding their way into replace Quantels, Avid DS, Newscutters...and the world wants Preditors. People who produce/edit, and that often means shooters and grips, too.

I'm just past 40 years old. I spent a grundle on an Ike 55 a few years ago. Then I bought two XL1's, then I bought broadcast lenses for same, then I bought more and more....we now have 24 cameras in our house, and rent most of them. Most are almost obsolete except for the high end. That's the way of technology.

If you wanted a job-safe industry, lose your creative ability, go work for the State as an auditor or janitor. You'll probably make more money, but be a lot less stressed over what's new and coming tomorrow.

If you're unhappy now...just wait'll uncompressed HD hits the streets at 20K.
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Old February 28th, 2005, 11:20 PM   #20
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very funny...

I like the Janitor part.

Yes, I am dealing with it. And, you're totally right about it not being the gear but what you do with it.

I've only been shooting for a little over five years. And, I consider myself very lucky to already have my freelance work being shown on broadcast and cable networks like FOX and The Learning Channel. It takes many people years just to get where I am now.

I LOVE my job and being a lighting/cameraman. (I do some FCP editing as well.)

I don't want to do anything else other than video and film production, and I won't do anything else. I do agree that a lot of production people are living just somewhere above the poverty line (especially smaller market news staff). But, don't forget, I know some freelance cameramen that do ENG/EFP and make about 300K in their peak years.

By the way, Paul Rios and the rest of the Photogs over at WFAA are very wonderful and talented people and watching their newscasts is a great way to learn good visual storytelling....

Do you have a website? I'd like to see some of the work that you're doing...

Douglas Spotted Eagle? hmmm...interesting name...

anyway...check out my website, personally, I don't think that my videography is that bad for a 24 year old...

http://www.jacquesstarvideo.com

cheers,

-J
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Old February 28th, 2005, 11:26 PM   #21
 
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I have several websites, just google my name. You'll get more information from other websites about me than you'll get from mine.
If you're interested in some of my credits (not up to date)
http://www.spottedeagle.com/credits.htm
Yes, Paul is a great guy. I work very closely with his brother, John, who is the director of the noon and 6 news, but he's also a producer of the LaVida and Metro shows, plus he's becoming an editor with some of the others over there.
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Old March 1st, 2005, 12:00 AM   #22
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Question about 720p

Prompted by Shannon's predictions thread... can I just clarify one thing. When people say "Fox is 720p" and "Europe will go 720p", are they meaning 720p30, or 720p60 ?

(I suppose that would be 720p25 or 720p50, in the case of Europe).
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Old March 1st, 2005, 06:48 AM   #23
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Jaques: You might be just 24 but don't punctuate the fact with arrogance ... "interesting name".... If I misunderstood your pithyness please accept my apologies.

You might want to do a little research before you start running with the big dogs. Or in this case just so there are no mixed metaphors: soaring with the eagles.

Respectfully - Jimmy.
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Old March 1st, 2005, 08:18 AM   #24
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Hi Jacques,

You've just received some very good advice from D.S.E. (among many other things, he is also a Grammy award-winning recording artist), but let me expand on two things real quick.

<< Maybe i'm just a little upset at the buzz going on with all the little cameras that people are using. >>

Sorry to hear that, but there is a *reason* for all that buzz. And it's not about what you have, but how you use it.

<< I also am a little bitter with all the Mini-DV people out there who get my business because their day rate is half of mine or less... >>

If their day rate is half of yours, then they are NOT getting YOUR business. Other shooters who charge the same rate as you are getting your business. It's all about how you market your skill set. You don't want the clients who pay those cheaper rates, so don't concern yourself with them or the shooters they attract. Focus on your own market.

Okay, this thread has been highjacked enough -- let's please get back to Shannon's original topic. Thanks all,
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