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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old January 29th, 2006, 09:56 AM   #1
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Why all the HD demand now?

Why all of a sudden is there all this demand for HD video now? All the DV camera makers are coming out with HD cameras and lots of short films are being made in HD. Why? I don't really see the need for it unless you're shooting something for the Discovery Channel or something. If you're shooting a film, wouldn't you want a soft "film look", and shooting in HD would be at the opposide end of that spectrum?
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Old January 29th, 2006, 10:32 AM   #2
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720x480 pixels spread across a theatre screen does give a "soft" look. I've projected it on screens wider than 40' and while it looked better than I expected, the resolution just isn't anywhere close to film. The result is that everything looks a bit out of focus if you're very near the screen.

1920x1080 is a huge improvement. If you think it looks too sharp it's always easy to add a filter in post to soften.
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Old January 29th, 2006, 01:49 PM   #3
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I think many including myself see HD as a way to achieve low cost good quality SD, while waiting for HD tvīs to be common. I used to shoot DV on a shoulder-cam with 1/2" LCDīs and a good Canon lens. My Canon H1 is like a hole new world as far as Iīm concerned. And itīs easy to carry around.

When down-converting to SD the picture is still beautiful, and if you convert to a codec that can handle it you have 4:2:2 colors. In the end you have something that looks more like digibeta for much less $. And when the time comes your footage are HD ready. Reasons good enough for me.
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Old January 29th, 2006, 02:00 PM   #4
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Adam, it isn't so much a matter of resolution as it is one of detail... which is largly independent of resolution, and perfectly controllable.

Using negative detail, appropriate filters, etc... an HD image will hold up much better on the big screen as compared to a 480 image, and with no unsightly detail to boot if you know what you are doing.

All this commotion over how certain movie stars are going to be out of work due to hi-def ‘exposure’ is sort of silly, I think. I guess the guy who can shoot in high definition and STILL make his stars look beautiful will get the most work!


Hope this helps.

Last edited by Jeff McElroy; January 29th, 2006 at 05:11 PM.
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Old January 29th, 2006, 03:43 PM   #5
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The sudden demand for HD is maybe because people have realized that they have been shooting with 'web cam' resolution for years and when they compare this to HD ( the various flavors of HD ), it looks like crap.

The soft look is really the out of focus look of film, nothing more. Let's get real on that issue. While most mall theaters are only 1000 across resolution, if you were to use such a scale, the DV still looked 'out of focus' to use a basic term.

Now half the problems of video are solved. The Canon H1 is just as sharp as scanned 16mm film, maybe more so. Now all the electronic film maker needs is more bit depth to be able to color grade like it was film. Kodak is in big trouble.

-Les


Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Bray
Why all of a sudden is there all this demand for HD video now? All the DV camera makers are coming out with HD cameras and lots of short films are being made in HD. Why? I don't really see the need for it unless you're shooting something for the Discovery Channel or something. If you're shooting a film, wouldn't you want a soft "film look", and shooting in HD would be at the opposite end of that spectrum?
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Old January 29th, 2006, 04:31 PM   #6
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If your sensible you want to "future-proof" your productions - A decade from now SD won't exist and if you want your feature/short/Docco/TV Series to have any longevity you'd better be shooting in HD or Film NOW.
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Old January 29th, 2006, 04:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Dit
Now half the problems of video are solved. The Canon H1 is just as sharp as scanned 16mm film, maybe more so. Now all the electronic film maker needs is more bit depth to be able to color grade like it was film. Kodak is in big trouble.-Les
Les, I read somewhere that going from 1080 to SD you can actually gain 4:4:4 color depth. I guess that opens for some serious color grading.
Now, going the SDI route you have 4:2:2 colors even in HD.
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Old January 29th, 2006, 05:12 PM   #8
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Color grading needs more bit depth, not more chroma resolution.
10 bits per color would be a big help.
-Les

Quote:
Originally Posted by Per Kristian Indrehus
Les, I read somewhere that going from 1080 to SD you can actually gain 4:4:4 color depth. I guess that opens for some serious color grading.
Now, going the SDI route you have 4:2:2 colors even in HD.
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Old January 29th, 2006, 05:19 PM   #9
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And if for no other reason than the aesthetic. If you shoot because you love the creative aspects..regardless of the current delivery, then it's hard not to love hooking your camera to a 36" HDTV and seeing your work at a level that you never have before.
It's like producing with a point and shoot camera and suddenly having a 35mm digital in your hands.
Artistically, it's more than worth the price of admission.
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Old January 29th, 2006, 06:38 PM   #10
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Color grading needs more bit depth, not more chroma resolution.
Same thing. You can potentially get close to 4:4:4 color with 10-bit depth if you average four HD pixels down to one SD pixel.

Quote:
If you want to "future-proof" your work MAKE IT COMPELLING!
But why shoot your compelling work on an inferior format if shooting on a superior format is no more expensive?
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Old January 29th, 2006, 06:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Grant
Same thing. You can potentially get close to 4:4:4 color with 10-bit depth if you average four HD pixels down to one SD pixel.



But why shoot your compelling work on an inferior format if shooting on a superior format is no more expensive?

What if you already OWN SD gear? Even compressed DVCproHD or HDV takes more space and processing power, that is more expensive. The delivery is WAY more expensive as there is currently NO network or festival that will take an HDV master. More pixels does not mean it looks better or is more compelling. Ever shot with or seen footage from a DSR450 or SDX900? SDX footage will BLOW AWAY any of the higher rez 1/3" CCD cameras.

HD is great but it will not ensure a shelf-life...



ash =o)
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Old January 29th, 2006, 07:03 PM   #12
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What if you already OWN SD gear?
Why limit the salability of your project rather than rent HD gear?

Quote:
Ever shot with or seen footage from a DSR450 or SDX900
I've edited a lot of DVCAM and Digibeta footage. The Z1 is comparable to the Digibeta footage I've worked with at SD resolutions, and looks a heck of a lot better at HD resolution.

Quote:
SDX footage will BLOW AWAY any of the higher rez 1/3" CCD cameras.
Not on an HDTV, it won't. I doubt it even will on an SDTV if you downconvert properly.
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Old January 29th, 2006, 07:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash Greyson
What if you already OWN SD gear? Even compressed DVCproHD or HDV takes more space and processing power, that is more expensive. The delivery is WAY more expensive as there is currently NO network or festival that will take an HDV master. More pixels does not mean it looks better or is more compelling. Ever shot with or seen footage from a DSR450 or SDX900? SDX footage will BLOW AWAY any of the higher rez 1/3" CCD cameras.

HD is great but it will not ensure a shelf-life...



ash =o)
This isn't really an applicable comparison...no 2/3" SD camera will be comparable to a 720p image on HDTV.
Plain and simple, NTSC is half century old image technology.
Well shot HD on an HDTV looks demonstrably better.
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Old January 29th, 2006, 07:54 PM   #14
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chroma resolution is not bit depth

Mark, are you claiming that a resampled HD frame gains bit depth?
I suppose that if you are considering the noise in the equation, you would possibly get a little improvement, but only a little.

What I'm saying is having 10 bits of bit depth is what is needed for real film like color grading. That's 2 extra stops of latitude to reach into. Resizing HD will not gain much. And 10 bits is just enough if it's a linear 10 bits.

Again, color grading in a film style needs 1000 levels of intensity ( 10 bits ) to start being competitive with film color grading possibilities.
Resizing HD to SD will not magically get a lot of extra shadow or highlight latitude. It will get you more chroma detail. Different animal entirely.

-Les
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Grant
Same thing. You can potentially get close to 4:4:4 color with 10-bit depth if you average four HD pixels down to one SD pixel.



But why shoot your compelling work on an inferior format if shooting on a superior format is no more expensive?
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Old January 29th, 2006, 08:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Dit
The sudden demand for HD is maybe because people have realized that they have been shooting with 'web cam' resolution for years and when they compare this to HD ( the various flavors of HD ), it looks like crap.
-Les
LOL! I agree entirely. I wasn't even looking for an HD camera until I saw some footage! SD looked fine until I saw HD just like VHS looked fine until I saw a DVD!

The problem with SD is that TV stations are beginning to broadcast HD and high definition DVDs are only months away. Once the general public is exposed to HD they won't want anything else. Sure there's a lot of great documentary stuff that is only (and will only) be available in SD. The general public is going to abandon this stuff like they abandoned B&W.

Now before everyone jumps all over me for saying this, let me say this: I still like a good black and white movie or documentary that is only available in VHS. I'm not saying that SD is dead. I'm just saying that the demand for SD is about to get really low. Anyone who can't see this is just not facing reality!
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