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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old April 28th, 2006, 04:05 PM   #1
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The SD Blues

Got an HD-HC3 a couple weeks ago I've been using it for home video. Ever since I saw the first images coming out of this cam I've had the "Standard Definition Blues."

The "SD Blues?" I'll describe it... Nothing I see in SD can excite me anymore. Doen't matter what it is. When I just look at my PD170 or VX2000 now and my pulse slows and get an overwhelming feeling of boredum. Just looking at the darn things!

I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for Standard Definition to DIE. Hurry up and DIE already! It can't happen fast enough (for me I guess).
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Old April 28th, 2006, 04:21 PM   #2
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Craig:

That is way I felt at first, too, with the FX!, but then... you start working on projects that need low light capability. Its also likely that you are going to show most of your stuff in SD still. And if you put SD from the HC1 against SD from you VX or PD, at least in 4:3, I bet they'll beat the HC1. Those cams are still great tools.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 02:48 PM   #3
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It's hard to go back to standard def after HD. For me, the thing I really can't go back to is 4:3 shooting. 16:9 has me spoiled.

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Old May 2nd, 2006, 03:46 PM   #4
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On this point, does anyone have any input on a comparison between lower-end consumer HD and something like an XL2's SD? Depending on the output media, some images from the XL2 have been known to trick a "civilian" viewer into thinking they are watching HD.

I mean, is it just the detail, or is it something more with these consumer HD cams.

Of course, this has nothing to do with prosumer or pro HD. I fully understand that's a different ballgame.

DJ
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 04:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Terott
I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for Standard Definition to DIE. Hurry up and DIE already! It can't happen fast enough (for me I guess).
Welcome to the club. After a while the novelty wears off and you may find you can tolerate watching SD material again, but it's nice to see signs that we are continuing to progress toward an HD future. SD might never totally go away because there's been so much material produced in that format for the past 50 years, but at least more and more new content is being produced in HD.

As far as the Canon XL2 is concerned, the native 16:9 recording option should give it an advantage relative to most SD cameras when comparing to HD footage, especially if the final delivery is a widescreen SD DVD. But ultimately you can't create detail where none exists in the source, so SD footage can't portray detailed scenes as clearly as HD. How much that matters will depend on the subject matter and lighting, the caliber of the cameras being compared, how the footage is delivered and the quality of the TVs it's viewed on. XL2 footage may hold up a while yet until HD delivery become commonplace, but in the long run SD cameras are headed for obsolescence.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 04:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Kinney
On this point, does anyone have any input on a comparison between lower-end consumer HD and something like an XL2's SD? Depending on the output media, some images from the XL2 have been known to trick a "civilian" viewer into thinking they are watching HD.

I mean, is it just the detail, or is it something more with these consumer HD cams.

Of course, this has nothing to do with prosumer or pro HD. I fully understand that's a different ballgame.

DJ
Your question seems to imply that HDV isn't real HD. Someone has told you that it doesn't qualify because of the compression transport stream it is recorded in. That is not true, and you need to see it.

There is no comparison. If you look at the same scene well exposed and well focused on the FX1 and the the VX2000, even on a computer monitor, the difference is obvious. You will know it, and you will understand. Many think the XL2 is the best mini DV, and I ve compared it to VX2000 material, and while we can argue about different features and qualities imparted by each camera, you won't find any where near the difference in resolving power as between the FX1 and the VX2000. I have also seen the A1u and HC1 products, and the same holds true there.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 04:33 PM   #7
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I would have to say there is a significant quality difference between HDV and SD. It's as clear as comparing streaming video to DV running through a component connection. Now if everything were the same as far as output goes, that would be a little trickier but I've found even the downconverted HD is quite beautiful to look at and it beats the pants off of the image I got out of the VX2k.

Chris Watson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Kinney
On this point, does anyone have any input on a comparison between lower-end consumer HD and something like an XL2's SD? Depending on the output media, some images from the XL2 have been known to trick a "civilian" viewer into thinking they are watching HD.

I mean, is it just the detail, or is it something more with these consumer HD cams.

Of course, this has nothing to do with prosumer or pro HD. I fully understand that's a different ballgame.

DJ
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 04:55 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Kinney
On this point, does anyone have any input on a comparison between lower-end consumer HD and something like an XL2's SD? Depending on the output media, some images from the XL2 have been known to trick a "civilian" viewer into thinking they are watching HD.

I mean, is it just the detail, or is it something more with these consumer HD cams.

Of course, this has nothing to do with prosumer or pro HD. I fully understand that's a different ballgame.

DJ
On an HD display, there can be no mistaking SD vs HD, particularly when comparing an XL2 vs any HD offering. The XL2 is an outstanding camcorder, but the image is still derived from a 960 x 480 imager vs a 1440 x 1080 imager in the case of the Canon. The compression isn't related to resolution, but does affect the overall image, or can do. DV is less compressed than HDV, but has a different, less efficient color sampling scheme.

Budget SD/HD Imager dims (FWIW)
4:3 DV-usually 720 x 480 or some facsimile thereof
16:9 DV-720 x 480 or some facsimile thereof, but in some cases, it's as low as 360 on the vertical, and as high as 960 on the horizontal.

BudgetHD:
Canon-1440 x 1080 imager 4:2:0 color sampling 25Mbps
Sony A1U-1920 x 1440 on imager, but DSP is 1440 x 810 for motion 4:2:0 color sampling 25Mbps
JVC HD100U-1280 x 720 imager (only full-raster camera in the sub 15K price range) 4:2:0 color sampling 25Mbps
Sony Z1U/FX1-960 x 1080 imager 4:2:0 color sampling 25Mbps
Panasonic HVX200 720 x 540 imager 4:2:2 color sampling 100Mbps (Technically, due to the significantly smaller imager, sampling values aren't accurate)

SD will be slow in dying for consumer delivery, but fast to die in acquisition. Give it a few years. It'll all be HD at one level or another. This is one reason that the big money is on resampling SD, at least to 720p levels for delivery. Teranex, Snell/Wilcox, Magic Bullet, Sony, Miranda, and so many, many more are gambling heavily on the upsample hardware and software for the next few years.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 07:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
The compression isn't related to resolution, but does affect the overall image, or can do. DV is less compressed than HDV, but has a different, less efficient color sampling scheme.
When I compare HDV video (shot with my HDR-HC3) to DV video (shot with my PD170) the difference is dramatic. There's no doubt in my mind HDV is doing a much better job with the color information. I can see it. Number of pixels aside, the HDV colors look more realistic. I'm seeing tones, shades of color, and a glissening of light I have never seen with DV.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 08:30 PM   #10
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Actually, things with SD were just getting good. Now we can edit better than betaSP quality with a pipeline that cost less than a betaSP cam. Then along comes HD/HDV and the whole bar is raised again.

From an editing standpoint, and at least for corporate video, I can settle for the ease and speed to edit in SD. Then my old Dell 650 dies, and I upgraded to a BOXX 7400. Now my XL1s is showing it's age.

Today I returned a rental DV cam, and my local vendor points to a box on the floor with HVX200 in bold print on the side. He's dumping his cannon's. I have four shoots in the planner... here we go again...Here comes the render bars, working with proxy files, and spending an extra twenty-minutes trying to dial that HD cam in to get the shot. (Yeah, I'm smiling as I type this -can't wait),
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 08:42 AM   #11
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Now we have HD(V), now RED is coming up ;-)
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