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Old February 21st, 2006, 11:44 AM   #1
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720p future proofing... blast away

I'm not looking to start a general "which format or camera is better" debate as it relates to right now...

What I'm concerned with is future-proofing in regards to purchasing a low cost hdv cam.

Here is my situation:

I need to purchase a low-cost system for the PBS station in Austin. We'll be getting the Iky editcam later this year, but have to start on 2 hd projects this April. ALso, we're working on a very small $ margin... so, buying the Sony XDHDcam or renting the F-900 for 30 days spread over the summer is out of the question.

We broadcast 720p, but these projects have potential for European and HDNet-like broadcast (1080i now, 1080p later).

What I'd like to do is tell you why I've decided on the JVC hdv cam and have you all please knock holes in my argument...

1.) We'll be shooting waaaay out in the field. No power.
2.) I like having tapes to file away for insurance.
3.) there is a lot of movement in the subject matter.
4.) Jib shots
5.) We'll be making 24p dvds of the final
6.) We may do a filmout. 2 or 3 prints at most.
7.) !!!This is the big question!!! Because I'm guessing that 720p moving lines uprezzes to 1080p better than 540 moving lines (remember, the subjects wont be sitting still) I'm giving the project a few more years of legs.

Please blast away!
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Old February 21st, 2006, 12:01 PM   #2
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1.) We'll be shooting waaaay out in the field. No power.

What's the difference between JVC and the rest of the cams?

2.) I like having tapes to file away for insurance.

You just took the HVX out of the equation! (HD Right?)

3.) there is a lot of movement in the subject matter.

Check!

4.) Jib shots

Check!

5.) We'll be making 24p dvds of the final

I assume you'll be shooting 720p24? (then worry about questions # 3 & 4)

6.) We may do a filmout. 2 or 3 prints at most.

Check! (Check # 5)

7.) !!!This is the big question!!! Because I'm guessing that 720p moving lines uprezzes to 1080p better than 540 moving lines (remember, the subjects wont be sitting still) I'm giving the project a few more years of legs.

???
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Old February 21st, 2006, 12:17 PM   #3
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1.) We'll be shooting waaaay out in the field. No power.

What's the difference between JVC and the rest of the cams?
........................................................

- No P2 to Powerbook worries. No powering the Powerbooks. Just less cables and "stuff" in general.


2.) I like having tapes to file away for insurance.

You just took the HVX out of the equation! (HD Right?)
.................................................................

- Pretty much.


7.) !!!This is the big question!!! Because I'm guessing that 720p moving lines uprezzes to 1080p better than 540 moving lines (remember, the subjects wont be sitting still) I'm giving the project a few more years of legs.

???
..............................................................

- I'm not an engineer, but as I understand it... 1080i will uprez to 1080p better when the images are static and still ala the walls behind talking head shots... and that the areas where an image moves (the eyes and mouths of the speakers) uprez from 720p to 1080p better becase there are more lines of information to uprez from.

If I'm wrong, please tell me why. That's why I'm asking... for info.


And another reason I'm leaning towards the JVC:
8.) The shooters are comfortable with manual Fuji lenses.
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Old February 21st, 2006, 12:36 PM   #4
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[- I'm not an engineer, but as I understand it... 1080i will uprez to 1080p better when the images are static and still ala the walls behind talking head shots... and that the areas where an image moves (the eyes and mouths of the speakers) uprez from 720p to 1080p better becase there are more lines of information to uprez from.]

This is just Tomas's opinion;

You are right, 720p doesn't look bad when upressed to 1080i/p
Now, in my own opinion I find 1080p24 a bit jerky and I guess is more noticeable because of the higher res. (But that's just me!)

HVX = NO
Z1 = NO (Unless you're willing to either de-interlace or 24p conversion which messes up with the quality of the original footage)
XL-H1 = Not true progressive as far as I know! (But looks great, check online footage)


So, I guess your answer is correct, JVC is your camera!

I personally own a FX1-NTSC, and if I knew what I know today I would have bought a Z1!
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Old February 21st, 2006, 01:05 PM   #5
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DSE reported a while back that he stopped using 720p output for clients with the latest and greatest 1080p displays, because they started seeing noticeable image problems with that combination. In my own experience, 1080i60 footage can be usefully encoded to both 1080p30 and 720p30, and the 1080p output looks noticeably sharper than the 720p output. So although some will debate this, the 1080i HDV cameras appear to capture noticeably more detail than can be readily produced at 720p. Whether this holds true in situations with a lot of motion is something you'd have to assess for yourself: what I've found is that subject movement is less of a problem than movement of the camera itself. (A little blurring of a moving subject isn't too distracting, but blurring of the whole scene can be.)

As things stand today there may not be any one low-cost HD camera which meets all of your needs. The Sony HDV cameras will run several hours on a single modestly-sized battery and shoot good HD footage under proper conditions, but may not be your best choice for producing 24p output and dealing with lots of motion. The JVC camera appears to be a battery hog and lacks autofocus for tracking moving subjects, but should yield good 24p output. The Panasonic HVX200 might be good for your purposes if you could figure out a way to record enough HD data to be useful while out in the field, but P2 capacity issues and lack of tape backup are a potential problem. The Canon XLH1 has the best stock lens and with autofocus, but it's almost impossible to hand-hold for any length of time and may not meet your 24p output needs.

My advice would be not to discount the 1080i HDV format without trying it for yourself first on something similar to what you plan to record for your project. If you can get 1080i to work for you you'll have more camera choices and potentially better resolution; otherwise you'll have to choose between limitations of the JVC and Panasonic cameras. If money is tight, a Sony Z1U with an FX1 as backup wouldn't cost much more than one of any of the other cameras, and they shoot surprisingly good footage considering their price.
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Old February 21st, 2006, 01:18 PM   #6
 
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720p looks great on most older displays, and some 1080p displays upsample well. We used to deliver everything for tradeshows and broadcast at 720p on hard drive. After we did a project to be displayed on the newer Samsung 1080p displays for CES, we noticed some issues in November. We thought it was just us, but the client caught them too. Now, most of our work goes out as 108060i or 108030p. Watch Tech TV for ads from a nationally recognized software company and you'll see the 108030p in action. I haven't seen it broadcast yet, but what we saw over the compressed display, it looked great.
720p is a good format, but IMO, not gonna make it in the world of all-1080 displays that we're seeing today. Some displays upconvert well, others don't. Personally, I find that I prefer the look of 1080 60i converted to 1080 30p. Bear in mind that you're going from a square pixel format to a non-square pixel format when you convert 720p, and additionally, you're dealing with increased horizontal scaling. With 1080, it's essentially just deinterlacing and nothing else.
For film out, you'll love the JVC, I've seen a short film-out from that cam, looked good. But it was also acquired by a shooter that is very very good. Like anything HD, it requires a good shooter as much as anything. The form factor of the JVC is very nice too, IMO. One thing I really don't like, is the focus assist. I much prefer the Sony method or the Canon method of focus assist. But that bears little relevance to the final image output.
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Old February 21st, 2006, 01:28 PM   #7
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There you have it, no one could have put it in better terms!

I also prefer the look of my FX1's 1080 60i converted to 1080 30p if needed (Personal Preference)

QUESTION FOR YOU GUYS:

I know the HVX won't record HD to tape but, what about a FireStore?
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Old February 21st, 2006, 01:37 PM   #8
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you can shoot an XLH1 on a steady stick all day long... the april deadline is cutting it close, but if you want the most 1080 for the money, maybe use the XLH1 sdi output into one of those upcoming portable sdi recorders?

but it could be a little akward setting it up on a jib!

see if this is relevant also... jim feeley on the "look of hdv":
http://www.studiodaily.com/studiomon...ssue/5996.html
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Old February 21st, 2006, 01:55 PM   #9
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For reference, here's an example of a JVC HD100 still upconverted from 720 to 1080:

TIFF / JPG
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Old February 21st, 2006, 02:15 PM   #10
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Thank you everyone for your thoughtful responses.

Keep them coming.

It's funny... Earl's Tiff to me looks as good as filmstock from my favorite 70's films. I love it. I imagine the engineers are going to hate it.

DSE,
Have you uprezzed 720 to 1080 before delivery... I mean not counting on a 1080 display to do it but playing around in AE, proper converters or something else to find a preferred look? That's what I'm assuming I'll have to do to match the Ikegami.

Tomas,
The Canon does look good. I bought the GL1 instead of the VX-2000 way back when and it worked pretty well... but the JVC appears to be doing EXACTLY what it says it's doing and the Canon's 24f is doing something else. If it is going down to 720 lines I'm not sure where that leaves us.
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Old February 21st, 2006, 02:40 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Rall

DSE,
Have you uprezzed 720 to 1080 before delivery... I mean not counting on a 1080 display to do it but playing around in AE, proper converters or something else to find a preferred look? That's what I'm assuming I'll have to do to match the Ikegami.
.
Several times, using both Algolith in AE, or using Sony Vegas. Also have done it with hardware, and it looks pretty good with the Teranex conversion.
We shot a CES ad campaign for a software company using the JVC, and upscaled that. Wasn't bad, but there were some definite issues visible on the edges of fine detail, and this vid had a lot of fine detail because the software vendor was wanting very detailed imagery to show how well their software manages detail on encode.

You won't "match" the Ike just by upscaling. You'll be doing a lot more than that, and it won't appear as sharp, but you're also talking about a huge difference in several areas. You should be able to get it close tho.
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Old February 21st, 2006, 02:42 PM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl Thurston
For reference, here's an example of a JVC HD100 still upconverted from 720 to 1080:

TIFF / JPG
Uprezzed how? That's the big question.
You might find http://vasst.com/resource.aspx?id=cd...c-a8c5f225baf8 to be of value to you as well.
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Old February 21st, 2006, 03:56 PM   #13
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When everyone talks up-ressed (Upconversion) I always think of it this way:

Take 720p material -> play it back on a 1080i/p device.

Let the hardware decoder do the upconversion, for example:

I own a Kuro-Obi (Avel Linkplayer), I take my 1080i material from the FX1, deinterlace it, and make it 720p (Just for testing), then test the MPEG2-TS on the player, the TV is set to "Fit to Screen", it looks great.Then I take 1080p and play it it looks better oviously, but when I do straight 1080i in its original format (WOW!!!!)

You definetly loose some quality when de-inerlacing.

I want to share this too, I read on a post where a guy instead of capturing via firewire used a capture card via the COMPONENT cable and he did so on the DVCPROHD format, why? It handles color correction better as it has more color information.
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Old February 21st, 2006, 05:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
Uprezzed how? That's the big question.
In this instance it was simply a still scaled in Photoshop, but I get the same result in After Effects. However, consider this example "optimal." Once one adds a codec into the mix, it's a different ball game. I just provided it to show how 720 could look at 1080.
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