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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old January 1st, 2006, 09:41 PM   #1
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HD quality when displayed on SD

I have clients who often ask about filming a spot in HD - mostly because of the excitement that the letters "HD" bring. Being that these spots would be filmed in HD and ultimately displayed in SD, would the added expense of renting an HD camera package be worth the outcome in terms of picture quality? I keep telling my clients that an HD picture diplayed in SD would be the same. What do you guys think?
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Old January 1st, 2006, 09:58 PM   #2
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No. Take the same money and use a SD camera with better lenses. Unless you are going to use the footage in the future in a HD project, there really is no point in wasting the money to shoot HD.
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Old January 1st, 2006, 10:43 PM   #3
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The downsampling from HD to SD might produce a cleaner image than what SD cameras can do. DSE has an example somewhere.
Corrollary: A bad downconversion can lead to aliasing artifacts and look work than SD. You might also get generation loss if you need to record HDV and then convert to DV for editing (I think you can avoid this generation loss by editing in HD). HD will look worse than SD if you do a poor job in the conversion.

The added resolution may not really help that much. Many people watch video on composite connections, and the higher sharpness will lead to more cross-color artifacts (the rainbow/moire stuff you sometimes see on fences, plaid, certain ties, etc.).

There are also slight differences in that HD uses the Rec. 709 luma co-efficients while SD uses the Rec. 601 luma co-efficients, which means:
A- If you convert properly, everything is fine. The 709 color space is larger than 601, so there may be clipping for really extreme colors (which are probably not in your footage).
B- A lot of equipment and software does not convert from 709 to 601 color space... I'm not sure how this looks.

Rec. 709 also has a different transfer function than Rec. 601.

2- It's probably not worth your time messing around with HD. Lighting and color correction/enhancement will make a lot more difference than the subtle differences between HD and SD. At SD resolution, lenses usually don't make much of a difference unless you're trying to pull focus.
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 12:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Stone
I keep telling my clients that an HD picture diplayed in SD would be the same. What do you guys think?
Well if you want to be honest, you should tell them that it looks slightly better, not “the same”. How much better is subjective but footage shot in HD and downconverted definitely looks better than footage shot in SD. I do this all the time and even my wife can see the difference (and she’s not in the video business... just a consumer). There is more information in the shot and even at SD resolution you have more details in the image. Only you can determine if its looks superior enough to warrant renting an HD camera for your customer’s work.

~jr
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 05:40 PM   #5
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It depends.... with a 1/3" CCD HD cam look better than a 2/3" CCD SD cam? Prolly not... I would recommend renting an SDX900... GREAT SD cam



ash =o)
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 06:11 PM   #6
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Daniel,

Here we go, here we go, here we go....

If I was the client asking for MY job to be shot in a particular format, and I was told by the person I hoped could do the job that "shooting what YOU want will be terrible, so we'll be shooting SD instead"... wouldn't put you high on my list of X-Mas card recipients!!

Why can't you do the right thing, and let them make the decision.

They will either say "well what would you advise?" (in which case they are pathetic self opiniatied idiots without any mental capacity at all and they deserve to get nothing better than SD)
or
they'll say "if you aren't prepared or know how to shoot what we require in HD regardless of what the output is going to be - you aren't the educated and skilled professional we were after"... and they can find someone who can.

Seems like professionality doesn't run to showing the client any consideration in obtaining the product they want with certain businesses eh?

I also love the 1/3" VS 2/3" arguement also. What size image in pixel terms does a 2/3" camcorder supply Ash? Does a 2/3" camera mystically provide more than 1,555,200 pixels per frame? Do 2/3" camcorders shoot to a "physically" larger version of SD than what every other SD camcorder shoots too? I'm sure it's possible to believe that 2/3" SD camcorders record larger pixels, so the 720x480 pixels are really more like 1280x720 aren't they?

It's even amazing how each pixel from a 2/3" cam is actually 4 or 5 pixels worth of information from any of the 1/3" HD/HDV camcorders, isn't it?!!!

Get a grip.
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 07:02 PM   #7
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Awesome, thanks for all the info, guys. That's what I thought.

We just bought the SDX900 about 6 months ago and love it!

Steve: I thank God every day for production companies who think like you! It's what makes your clients so easy to steal.
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 07:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Stone
Steve: I thank God every day for production companies who think like you! It's what makes your clients so easy to steal.
Steal... now there's the operative word.
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 08:06 PM   #9
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If they ask "What would you advise?" it probably means that they are smart enough to know that they are experts in widgets and not video. It certainly means that they are hiring a professional to do a job and not to follow orders of someone who happened to hear about HD one day at the barbershop.

Stealing from someone who thinks customers are idiots is impossible. All you have to do is properly approach a potential customer and the caring, knowledgable approach will get cause the client to quickly understand what they have been missing. The client will change to a new vendor. Maybe not you, but to someone new, that much is certain.
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 08:36 PM   #10
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[moderator edited for content]

Some folks are colour blind... doesn't stop them from enjoying the World or being artists!!
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 08:40 PM   #11
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[edited by moderator for content]

Too subtle! Bah! Nonsense.
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 08:50 PM   #12
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I think this would be a good time to move on.... This thread is closed for now.
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