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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old February 1st, 2006, 08:42 AM   #1
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Best camera for non-broadcast

I produce oral histories/personal documentaries which will never be broadcast, but are often projected. They always wind up on DVD. I presently shoot with a PD150 and edit w/ FCP and Motion (I use a lot of old photos and footage). I want to upgrade to HD and need to decide on a camera. I've ruled out the Canon because I will need to buy (eventually) two cameras (I need two cameras for when I have more than one interview subject) and the price tag is too high to go there twice. I may have to rule out the HVX200 because of the P2 cards and/or Firestore expense, particularly as I shoot hours of interviews. I'm also not sure having the superior codecs matters as much to me if I'm not looking to broadcast. I keep hearing that HDV is going to came and go quickly, but I'm not sure how concerned I should be about that. The JVC HD100 and Sony HVR-Z1 are more affordable. The question is, which one would be more suitable for my needs? I've been happy with my PD150 and I'm sure I'd be happy with the Z1, but the HD100 gives me lens options and better gamma controls. I wonder which camera would present better when projected. Any thoughts? Thanks.
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Old February 1st, 2006, 10:06 AM   #2
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Where did you hear HDV is going to quickly? Canon, JVC and Sony will certainly be concerned about that.

In any case, go to:

http://www.lyric.com/video/losgatos/index.htm

This DVD was shot with a Z1U and includes a workflow similar to yours. It pretty impressive
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Old February 1st, 2006, 10:22 AM   #3
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I was just referencing the HDV haters who see it as a short-term format.

Thanks for the link. I can't wait to work in wide screen with my photos. So much more space!
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Old February 1st, 2006, 12:21 PM   #4
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I think much of the negative talk about HDV being a short-term format only relates to broadcast, and that such studios will not accept HDV material.

However, that should not apply in your case. In which case, you'd want something that conforms and works well with a PC. Already the 720 progressive from the HD100, in my opinion, would be worth a look. The sony is good, but you would have to deinterlace the 1080i recordings that it produces. Also, the 720p would be easier to edit on existing PC's, and in your case, would be easier on your budget, and still provide a better than DV source image when published to DVD, or projected.

It all depends on the end results and your workflow, so it may be worth the investment to rent an HD100 and give it a try.
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Old February 1st, 2006, 09:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Peter Ferling
Already the 720 progressive from the HD100, in my opinion, would be worth a look. The sony is good, but you would have to deinterlace the 1080i recordings that it produces.
So what? Does it mean resolution losses like vertical one, for instance?

1080i if progressive converted isn't better than 720p? With more resolution, etc?

Mainly if to 35mm film-out?
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 07:47 AM   #6
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parkerhqj was looking for budget minded HDV cam for non-broadcast, that would play and edit well in a PC on the cheap, and look good downconverted to DVD. He likes the HD100 due to interchangeable lens, so he's actually leaning towards the HD100. He could get the sony and shoot 1080i, but would have to deinterlace to get correct motion within the PC. Why bother, when he can capture in progressive at 720p, avoiding that extra step, and not requiring a more expensive PC to work at the higher 1080 rez? 720p for DVD out is more than plenty resolution, (and seems to apply to my needs as well).

If your going film-out, then my guess is that you want to all the rez you hand over to the studio, so 1080i would apply.

As always, rent and try before you commit and buy. (I'm still waiting on my dealer to get his HVX and H1's in -I still have to find someone in the Reading, PA area that rents the HD100).

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Old February 2nd, 2006, 11:22 AM   #7
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If he bought the Sony and isn't going for film out, but is instead projecting the material why would he need to deinterlace? I've seen 1080i material projected and it looks fantastic.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 12:48 PM   #8
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I'm sure that does it, (however I always deinterlace when staying in the PeeCee world - no jaggies - maybe it's different for the HDVs? Don't know. How was the 1080i media projected?). However, his other two points about detachable lens and cheap rules out both the Sony (fixed lens) and the Canon H1 (cost more).

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Old February 2nd, 2006, 01:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parkerhqj
I keep hearing that HDV is going to came and go quickly, but I'm not sure how concerned I should be about that.
Not likely. The only way HDV will go away is if it's replaced by something better at a similar price, and even after that happens current HDV gear will still be useful. Considering that HDV allows you to record an hour of HD video on tapes costing just a few bucks each, that's going to be hard to beat with other proposed solutions for at least a few years yet.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 03:51 PM   #10
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He's working on a pd150 right now so I don't think interlace is an issue for him. Even so de-interlacing and down converting still looks REALLY good, I've seen it. If I was him I would get a z1u and an fx1, or a z1u and a1u since he wants two cameras. They would and have looked good projected and the a1u makes an excellent z1u compaion and they don't cost an arm and a leg together like 2 hvx packages or 2 xl-h1's would. Also 2 hd100s are kind of expensive and I personally think the z1u fits documentaries better.

But know no matter what your footage will look great, both produce a great picture.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 04:55 PM   #11
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720p out to DVD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Ferling
720p for DVD out is more than plenty resolution, (and seems to apply to my needs as well).
Unless your writing your 720p out to Blu-ray or HD DVD your going to have a 480p MPEG-II signal on your DVD. The only way I know of getting more than 480p on a DVD is to burn a 720p or 1080p WMVHD file (.wmv) onto the DVD and play it back on your PC. But of course your PC has to have a good enough graphics card and monitor capable of displaying your HD signal. (i.e., 1080p = 1920x1080 display) Your PC will also need some memory 1GB and a strong CPU like P4 3.0Ghz (Dual-Core is nice). I'm not sure about MAC's which is why I'm not saying anything about HD playback on a MAC.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 06:01 PM   #12
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Actually I write windows media files and use Macromedia director to author my interactive pieces. I plan on stepping up to wmvHD for DVD disk. Last week I received my sample wmv disk from microsoft on how to author/build them. (Though I prefer using director for this). Of course having Blue-ray would be nice.

I have two budgets I'm working on. The low-end calls for 720p capture/pipeline and only requires a few upgrades to my existing workstation. The high-end calls for full HD and uncompressed formats. As everything is so bleeding edge right now, I'm prudently leaning towards the low-end.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 07:19 PM   #13
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Prudently leaning towards the middle ;}

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Ferling
As everything is so bleeding edge right now, I'm prudently leaning towards the low-end.
I'm leaning towards the middle road but I'm not finding what I wannt there quite yet. I was hoping for the Thomson Infinity but it probably won't ship till september 2006. So I'll just see what gets announced in the next 4 or 5 weeks prior to the NAB show.

I also encode wmv files using Windows media encoder 9, Cleaner XL and Canopus Pro-coder. I can live stream using Osprey Video Osprey-500 DV card. I want to learn how to use Media Server 9 now that I'm finally running Windows 2003 Server.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 10:00 PM   #14
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OK first point. He wants to output to a digital projector so why would he not want to stick to progressive?
Point #2: I think it has been shown enough times that HDV's 1080i (1440x1080) de-interlaced works out very close to 720p's(1280x720). Then when you factor in rez-chart tests that show the HD100 having a large advantage over the Sony HDV cams, you would really have to reconsider any reason to recommend interlaced video to a man with a projector, or a goal of a film out.
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 01:15 AM   #15
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everyone keeps saying HDV might not be acceptable for broadcast... Foodnetwork already uses a whole fleet of FX/Z1 for a lot of their shows.. that is pure HDV... In addition, discovery travel channel's No Reservations is shot purely on MiniDV... HDV is here to stay.
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