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Old October 24th, 2005, 07:20 PM   #1
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HDV -> MiniDV

Hey All,

About to embark on a shoot and I am starting to think about options other than using my Z1 as a deck. Has anyone had any luck in the New York area getting HDV to MiniDV dubs with accurate timecode? I'm looking to do this as I may have access to a nice MiniDV deck which would seem to be a more robust solution. That way I could use the Z1 only for full quality HDV capture.



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Old October 25th, 2005, 09:09 AM   #2
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Why not use a Sony HDR-HC1 as a deck?
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Old October 25th, 2005, 09:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Groff
Hey All,

About to embark on a shoot and I am starting to think about options other than using my Z1 as a deck. Has anyone had any luck in the New York area getting HDV to MiniDV dubs with accurate timecode? I'm looking to do this as I may have access to a nice MiniDV deck which would seem to be a more robust solution. That way I could use the Z1 only for full quality HDV capture.



mg
You kind of lose the advantages of the Z1 when you do that. I undertand that down-converting to DV in the camera to be able to record to an external miniDV deck costs you almost all the quality advantages you'd otherwise have shooting in HDV in the first place. Better to record to HDV tape in the camera or to an external HDV deck and downres in post if you're going to distribute in SD.
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Old October 25th, 2005, 09:58 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies guys. I think you're missing what I'm saying though.

I want to shoot HDV on the Z1. Then I want to edit/post in DVCAM as an offline edit. When it comes time to do a real version, I'll recapture just the material I'd need from the Z1 then.

Now that I think about it though, the option to use an HC1 as a deck may be more cost effective than getting everything dubbed. I'll have to look at the costs if I can find any place that does this service.
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Old October 25th, 2005, 11:19 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Matthew Groff
Thanks for the replies guys. I think you're missing what I'm saying though.

I want to shoot HDV on the Z1. Then I want to edit/post in DVCAM as an offline edit. When it comes time to do a real version, I'll recapture just the material I'd need from the Z1 then.

Now that I think about it though, the option to use an HC1 as a deck may be more cost effective than getting everything dubbed. I'll have to look at the costs if I can find any place that does this service.
That really seems the long way around and I think making dubs or recording a second tape is unnecessary extra steps. Shoot and record HDV in the Z1. Capture directly from your HDV tape into your NLE using a tool like Cineform or Gearshift to capture the footage as a DV intermediate or proxy for editing - there's no need either to record a separate tape at the shoot or have dubs made after in order to do that. Do your edit. When time comes to generate the final output, either render to an SD output format for distribution in SD or, if you are going to an HD output format, use the tools inherent in both Cineform and Gearshift to automatically replace the DV clips in the timeline with their parent HD clips from the HDV master and render to your HD output.
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Old October 25th, 2005, 11:31 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Steve House
Capture directly from your HDV tape into your NLE using a tool like Cineform or Gearshift to capture the footage as a DV intermediate or proxy for editing - there's no need either to record a separate tape at the shoot or have dubs made after in order to do that.
This is the part where I think we're confusing each other. I would want a dubbing house to do the dubs such that I'm not inducing unnecessary wear and tear on the camera -- the transports on these cameras are meant for recording not deck usage. That said, when I had the DVCAM dubs from whatever vendor I used, I would have timecode accurate dubs that I could capture into my FCP system through the use of a separate DVCAM deck that I have access to -- a deck designed for this use.

After the DVCAM offline edit, I could capture only the parts of the HDV footage I used to my system, thus only incurring the stress of the program's length on the transport of the Z1 camera. The Z1 and the associated deck almost certainly use the same trasnport from what I've heard and it does not seem like a robust solution to me. Not to mention, it's also a ridiculous US$3700.

The best solution I think I've heard (based generally on dub house rates since I haven't found one who could do what I ask) is to purchase an HC1 expressly for this purpose.


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Old October 25th, 2005, 03:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Groff
This is the part where I think we're confusing each other. I would want a dubbing house to do the dubs such that I'm not inducing unnecessary wear and tear on the camera -- the transports on these cameras are meant for recording not deck usage. That said, when I had the DVCAM dubs from whatever vendor I used, I would have timecode accurate dubs that I could capture into my FCP system through the use of a separate DVCAM deck that I have access to -- a deck designed for this use.

After the DVCAM offline edit, I could capture only the parts of the HDV footage I used to my system, thus only incurring the stress of the program's length on the transport of the Z1 camera. The Z1 and the associated deck almost certainly use the same trasnport from what I've heard and it does not seem like a robust solution to me. Not to mention, it's also a ridiculous US$3700.

The best solution I think I've heard (based generally on dub house rates since I haven't found one who could do what I ask) is to purchase an HC1 expressly for this purpose.


mg
If camera wear during capture is the issue, then an HC1 or an M10U would be the ticket, with the HC1 the more economical (but probably also more fragile). As for whether the head wear would deteriorate the camera or deck faster then the march of technology obsoletes it remains to be seen.
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Old October 25th, 2005, 05:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Groff
This is the part where I think we're confusing each other. I would want a dubbing house to do the dubs such that I'm not inducing unnecessary wear and tear on the camera -- the transports on these cameras are meant for recording not deck usage. That said, when I had the DVCAM dubs from whatever vendor I used, I would have timecode accurate dubs that I could capture into my FCP system through the use of a separate DVCAM deck that I have access to -- a deck designed for this use.
mg
Sorry to butt in on this thread - but it seems that you have a problem with understanding the logic of what Steve House is proposing.

I bet you're a muso... The insistance on dubbing, in the face of the fact that any dubbing capabilities that HDV cameras may have is not an intentionally crafted feature for primary editing functions (it is a 'legacy' feature) - indicates that you have used dubbing with older or probably audio equipment.

That's why you won't find too many places offering HDV>DVCAM dubs. They'd be wondering WHY?... when the Z1 records DVCAM format in the first place - let alone the ease of 'dubbing' in an NLE like FCP.

Dubbing is really just analogue editing after all. OK, you're on Mac... so you'll have to get something like LumiereHD to improve the editing of HDV, but the rewards of keeping control over the whole process from the very inception right to the final product should easily out-weigh the peace-of-mind of palming the editing side off too a dubbing house!

Perhaps if you put in some more careful research into what is possible and how it's achieved with a Sony Z1, before you blow money needlessly on a process that has been made redundant by the fully digital workflow!!
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Old October 25th, 2005, 06:16 PM   #9
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I really don't think I'm the one confused. I've got plenty of experience in this area.

For those of you who have never done an offline edit, I'm sure this type of workflow would seem quite odd. But for those of you that have, it makes perfect sense.

Why would I want to increase the wear and tear on the transport of the Z1? I'm trying to protect my nearly US$5000 investment in this camera as much as possible. I've mentioned that I have access to a nice DVCAM deck. For those of you who have never edited on a MiniDV/DVCAM dedicated deck and have only used cameras (either the camera that the footage was shot with or a cheap one used solely as a deck) you really, truly don't know what you're missing.

In terms of capturing from or searching through tape, a deck such as the DSR-1500 (which is the one I have access to) is a much better experience.

I've done my research. I know what the Z1 can do and I'm exploring workflow options which is why I'm asking questions. I don't presume to know everything (such as where to get this type of dub done in New York), but I do know a great deal about post-production (such as what an offline edit is, and its advantages).

Last edited by Matthew Groff; October 25th, 2005 at 07:32 PM. Reason: edited by moderator
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Old October 26th, 2005, 03:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Groff
This is the part where I think we're confusing each other.

After the DVCAM offline edit, I could capture only the parts of the HDV footage I used to my system, thus only incurring the stress of the program's length on the transport of the Z1 camera. The Z1 and the associated deck almost certainly use the same trasnport from what I've heard and it does not seem like a robust solution to me. Not to mention, it's also a ridiculous US$3700.

The best solution I think I've heard (based generally on dub house rates since I haven't found one who could do what I ask) is to purchase an HC1 expressly for this purpose.


mg
The point of confusion - if there is any - because in the end you make the decisions that you think are best for you... is the NEED to go to DVCAM prior to capture from the camera into an NLE.

It seems: given what I understand from your description of the worflow, that the main reason is so that you have a time-coded DVCAM file that you can use as a proxy for matching your HDV material to.

Given the current state of play with HDV editing on PC and Mac - such a workflow will appear; to many of us who had previously also considered various tape decks as a solution to the HDV editing equation, as "double-dipping", duplication... without any true gain in either productivity or creativity or quality.

I'm sure stress from constant Stoping > FFing > Pausing < RWNDing over the duration of a program which would use the majority of a 1hr tape, would be greater than a continuous Capture from tape start > Scene split by capture software during capture > Auto stop at tape end circumstance.

There are a number of software solutions that create proxies from the captured HDV stream, allowing speed and accuracy in editing numerous clips on your NLE's timeline while maintaining the HD original's resolution benefits.

I'd be pretty certain that the HC-1 would not be able to record any of the Z-1's timecoded DVCAM material. It would handle the HDV and DV streams fine; but any timecoding would also likely be lost - so there may be risks to such an approach... However; as I said before what you decide to do - is up to you.

BTW: there's no reason to assume that everyone who offers an opinion that doesn't align to your own is unknowledgeable or inexperienced in tackling a task you are wishing to undertake.

Enjoy...
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Old October 26th, 2005, 08:03 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Steve Crisdale
The point of confusion - if there is any - because in the end you make the decisions that you think are best for you... is the NEED to go to DVCAM prior to capture from the camera into an NLE.
This is quite clear to me. I never mentioned that I would be definitely using DVCAM. But for editing a longform project, my preference is to use a professional deck as that is what I am used to. Reread my posts and you'll notice that, not only did I never say that I needed to go to DVCAM, I also conceded that it would probably be most cost effective to use an HC1 as a dedicated HDV deck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Crisdale
It seems: given what I understand from your description of the worflow, that the main reason is so that you have a time-coded DVCAM file that you can use as a proxy for matching your HDV material to.
This is partially incorrect, I think. I'm not entirely sure what you mean by matching -- what I want to do is recapture at full HDV only the material that has made its way into a fine cut of project. The entire point of having a DVCAM downconvert with matching timecode is to make use of this professional deck. Of course I know it's not necessary, but it is a much better way to edit a long project in my experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Crisdale
Given the current state of play with HDV editing on PC and Mac - such a workflow will appear; to many of us who had previously also considered various tape decks as a solution to the HDV editing equation, as "double-dipping", duplication... without any true gain in either productivity or creativity or quality.
I would disagree with this point. In reality, this entire thread is much less about HDV and DVCAM than it is about an Offline/Online editing workflow. The HDV and DVCAM are merely the particulars of this case -- really the only question I wanted answered was whether anyone knew of anyone doing this in New York. I certainly haven't heard of any of my usual dub houses doing it -- yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Crisdale
I'm sure stress from constant Stoping > FFing > Pausing < RWNDing over the duration of a program which would use the majority of a 1hr tape, would be greater than a continuous Capture from tape start > Scene split by capture software during capture > Auto stop at tape end circumstance.

There are a number of software solutions that create proxies from the captured HDV stream, allowing speed and accuracy in editing numerous clips on your NLE's timeline while maintaining the HD original's resolution benefits.
This is not about proxies taxing a system less or wanting to use less resolution. This about practical workflow of a longform project with many, many hours of footage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Crisdale
I'd be pretty certain that the HC-1 would not be able to record any of the Z-1's timecoded DVCAM material. It would handle the HDV and DV streams fine; but any timecoding would also likely be lost - so there may be risks to such an approach... However; as I said before what you decide to do - is up to you.
There will be no DVCAM material originating from the Z1. When you write something like that it leads me to think you are still missing what the entire workflow is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Crisdale
BTW: there's no reason to assume that everyone who offers an opinion that doesn't align to your own is unknowledgeable or inexperienced in tackling a task you are wishing to undertake.

Enjoy...
This is going in circles, but if you honestly still don't know what the workflow is and would like to, feel free to e-mail me privately, and I'll try to help you understand.


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Old October 26th, 2005, 08:03 AM   #12
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Exactly my point, Steve. Instead of making editing decisions in retreiving source material from the tape, be it the original HD tape or from a dub tape, it makes much more sense to me to capture everything except possibly false starts and other obviously unusable footage into the NLE in it's entirety and make all editing decisions in the digital domain in the NLE.

Mathew, if I understand your objection to using the Z1U it is the headwear issue. But your tape only passes through the camera twice in its entire lifetime, barring disaster. Once when shooting, starting and stopping for each scene, and once more when it is captured into the NLE, read in one continuous pass from start to finish. Once captured, it is set aside into the vault never to be used again for anything whatsoever except potentially recapturing in theevent a fire destroys your NLE and its disk's contents and similarly, the camera is not used for anything to do with that particular project ever again. Your disk contains all your HD source material, just like a tape dub would. It also has the proxies you use for editing. After the edit, the HD footage is substituted for the proxies. But unless you are exporting the final prouct to tape for distribution, after the inital capture tape is never used again for any purpose whatsoever, all your offline editing and source material storage being done digitally on the hard drives in your system. I know you're thinking of using the tape because you're working with long-form material. But the cost of hard drives is so low these days that using disk storage instead of tape storage of your source material isn't so outrageous and a heck of a lot faster - no need to wait for the tape to fast forward or rewind to get to the next clip you're adding to the timeline, just pick, click, trim, and add it<grin>.
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Last edited by Steve House; October 26th, 2005 at 09:30 AM.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 05:59 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Steve House
Exactly my point, Steve. Instead of making editing decisions in retreiving source material from the tape, be it the original HD tape or from a dub tape, it makes much more sense to me to capture everything except possibly false starts and other obviously unusable footage into the NLE in it's entirety and make all editing decisions in the digital domain in the NLE.

Mathew, if I understand your objection to using the Z1U it is the headwear issue. But your tape only passes through the camera twice in its entire lifetime, barring disaster. Once when shooting, starting and stopping for each scene, and once more when it is captured into the NLE, read in one continuous pass from start to finish. Once captured, it is set aside into the vault never to be used again for anything whatsoever except potentially recapturing in theevent a fire destroys your NLE and its disk's contents and similarly, the camera is not used for anything to do with that particular project ever again. Your disk contains all your HD source material, just like a tape dub would. It also has the proxies you use for editing. After the edit, the HD footage is substituted for the proxies. But unless you are exporting the final prouct to tape for distribution, after the inital capture tape is never used again for any purpose whatsoever, all your offline editing and source material storage being done digitally on the hard drives in your system. I know you're thinking of using the tape because you're working with long-form material. But the cost of hard drives is so low these days that using disk storage instead of tape storage of your source material isn't so outrageous and a heck of a lot faster - no need to wait for the tape to fast forward or rewind to get to the next clip you're adding to the timeline, just pick, click, trim, and add it<grin>.
I wasn't intending replying further to this subject thread... but I'm not sure if Matthew is aware of the length - in time - of tapes that he can use with either a deck or the HC-1. If; and this was what I understood as being the case up until now - unless someone knows of a newer alternative... the record time for HDV Mini-DV is 60mins. max.

So, how would one be able to record a dub any longer than 60mins using the HC-1? That would lead to multiple tapes for a long form project. To get longer tape run times, you'd either need to transpose to a format that supports longer run time tapes; or, record in a mode like DV which will require more head wear simply because the Z1 would have to record HDV initially - then playback as DV downconvert to dub to the HC-1, then the playback/capture from the Z-1 of the clips to m2t for use in an NLE.

Even in DV mode, I doubt that the tape run-time would exceed 90mins, which may still be somewhat shorter than needed for a long form project.

There's a reason that quite a few HDV camcorder owners - after considering the 'off-line' vs 'on-line' options and their implimentation with HDV, decided to go the 'on-line' route. It was a little like taking the wrong path in a maze... the path looks seductively promising until you hit the brick wall - every time an 'off-line' solution appeared to materialize, there'd be some form of hurdle that negated it's viability; from incompatible formats, to incompatible connectivity or excessive expense...

I don't see any problem with any of the HD/HDV purpose designed 'off-line' solutions apart from price. Those early HDV adopters who were considering possible 'off-line' solutions because of very serious flaws in the 'on-line' capabilities, soon found that software developments were being pushed to achieve what we were hoping for.

The fact that HDV's 'on-line' solutions can now 'emulate' the capabilities of the 'off-line' solutions is testimony of how far we've come in the matching of computer power, programming abilities and ingenuity in such an unbelievably short period of time.

In some ways, HDV is such a new format - that even the methodology and workflow get called into question in order to achieve the most; in the shortest possible time, as economically as possible, from a technology that is 'bleeding edge'.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 07:50 PM   #14
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This is not about proxies taxing a system less or wanting to use less resolution. This about practical workflow of a longform project with many, many hours of footage.
Practically speaking, you should be able to capture all of your HDV footage directly to your editing system unless you have a really huge amount of material. You can buy a terabyte of storage now for under $400 and capture about 75 hours of native HDV footage, or roughly 20-25 hours in intermediate formats like Cineform or Canopus HQ. If you're prepared to pay a dubbing house to convert your HDV footage to DVCAM for use with a professional deck, why not just pay them to capture it to hard drives so you can skip the deck usage too?
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Old October 27th, 2005, 02:17 PM   #15
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Offline versus online

I find the definitions of the two to be confusing to say the least. What I think Michael is getting at with "offline editing" is adopting to video the traditional film-making method of making a workprint from each real of camera original negative, cutting together the workprint to make the final edited version, then cutting and splicing the original to conform to the workprint. In HD video you'd make a dub in a convenient editing format and mount the dub into a deck. You'd then retrieve the clips from the dub as needed, trim them and add them to the timeline for review, preparing an EDL in the process. Then the original tapes would be reloaded into deck, specific parts captured and inserted into the final timeline as guided by the NLE and the result exported into the delivery format. But whether speaking of the camera original or working dub, the majority of the material would physically reside somewhere on a tape and as a result that tape would be subject to a lot of shuttling back and forth as clips are located and read into the NLE. That makes a lot of sense when hard drives are expensive and limited in size but to me that makes no sense at all with current technology. Read the master tape one time and one time only, moving the clips from the convenient field recording tape medium into the NLE's storage medium, dupe them to other HD files for a convenient editing intermediate and edit. But store it all online in the NLE for fingertip access and forget about loading tapes to find a specific shot and waiting for it to shuttle to the clips location.
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