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Old May 15th, 2007, 03:43 PM   #1
 
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No Excuses Left: a cam using ProRes 422?

Okay Big Companies...

i.e.....

Pansonic, Sony, Canon, etc....

Let's face it. There's only one thing you guys have REALLY been hiding behind to not give us true high quality HD at SD prices....the codec.

Manufacturing large chips is inexpensive in bulk. Manufacturing tapes is inexpensive in bulk. It's a simple Canon or Nikkor Mount that lets your consumers use 35mm still lenses. And if not, heck Canon XL-H1 with its interchangeable lens body runs (with telephoto) under 10K. And....

Now Apple has the new ProRes 422 Codec which is uses no more space on a tape than SD and can handle awesome quality imaging. (And you're already using Apple's AVCHD codec on some cameras) So.....


Here's the start of the petition for someone to get in bed with Apple, stick that codec in a new camera and give us what we want for under 10K.


.....Don't deny it can be done.....there's NOWHERE TO HIDE!!!!!!
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Old May 15th, 2007, 04:08 PM   #2
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Here, here. I second that. Motion to make it law.

Cheers
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Old May 15th, 2007, 04:14 PM   #3
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I don't think the codecs are necessarily the biggest problem with sub 10K cameras. 35 mm features look great on 5 Mbps DVDs.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see Prores recording in camera. I think we will see far more "codec switchable" cameras as they become more like computers with an imaging block and lens slapped on the front.

I just watched something I shot on DV from 10 feet on a 30 foot screen. Some of it looked stunning - the stuff that was well shot. The shots I had rushed and didn't take as much care on in terms of lighting, didn't look so good.

Prores would be great, but remember codec (and even camera) is only a tiny proportion of what makes footage look "good."
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Old May 15th, 2007, 04:20 PM   #4
 
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you're exactly right, Mike. The higher the resolution, the more care and attention has to be paid to focus and optical aberrations. DV was fairly forgiving of focus errors and lens aberrations. HDV is a step more precise and less forgiving. I can't imaging what kind of error window one has with Prores. Optics cost and precision has to be increasing exponentially.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 04:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Candace Williams View Post
It's a simple Canon or Nikkor Mount that lets your consumers use 35mm still lenses.
With the narrow exception of a relatively small niche market of filmmakers, I can't think of any videographer that could possibly work with 35mm still lenses and get satisfactory results, unless you propose to do away with the single most common method in this industry of moving the frame: the zoom.

No way will an event videographer accept changing focal length by hand. Gotta have a motor for that... hence the poor substitute that a still photo lens makes for the real thing, a motorized video lens, for any serious work except those situations in which focal length doesn't change during the shot (and those situations are few).
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Old May 15th, 2007, 05:14 PM   #6
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It all depends on processing power. It's not really a matter of small drive space requirements, in fact the smaller the size the harder to compress. What kind of spec does ProRes require to capture in real-time? What kind of battery power would be needed to run a rig that powerful with HDD drives? Cineform appears to be the leader in this sort of tech right now and requires a fairly high-spec dual core system tethered to the cam to get the job done.
Where we are really at is buying an HD cam and capturing direct from the front end to a laptop via SDi or HDMi in a modern lossless codec.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 05:05 PM   #7
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It's being done right now with the SI-2K and the Cineform codec, all in the camera. But yes the optics are where it starts to cost and that's always going to be the case no matter how much cheaper advances in silicon makes doing the number crunching. There's no point having a killer codec when the abberations in the lens remove the advantages the codec gives you. Prosummer cameras are designed as a system to give the most bang for the buck and that starts with the lens.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 05:06 PM   #8
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any word on what kind of system would be required to capture ProRes real-time into a cam
The AJA ioHD is doing this in hardware now (well, at least in demo hardware, it's not shipping quite yet). I have no idea what it would take to shrink this into the space and power footprint required to fit in a camera.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 01:59 AM   #9
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Exactly! And what does that beast cost?
If it were to be done with PC hardware alone (then shrunk and stuffed into a camcorder, as per Candace's demands) what would be needed for RT capture? I guess we could bust open a AJA ioHD and find out.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 08:55 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
With the narrow exception of a relatively small niche market of filmmakers, I can't think of any videographer that could possibly work with 35mm still lenses and get satisfactory results, unless you propose to do away with the single most common method in this industry of moving the frame: the zoom.

No way will an event videographer accept changing focal length by hand. Gotta have a motor for that... hence the poor substitute that a still photo lens makes for the real thing, a motorized video lens, for any serious work except those situations in which focal length doesn't change during the shot (and those situations are few).
I totally agree. I would hate to have to shoot with still lens. Motor drive, or not, the zoom control on a video lens is a lot more smoother and linear than any still lens I have used. Definitely a specialized market. I personally like jvc's pl mount option.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 09:03 AM   #11
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I agree with Bob. It is being done already with the SI camera and with Red. ProRes 422 is not the first high quality HD codec we have ever had. I mean I would rather see Cineform be added to every camera since it will very soon be a PC and Mac codec. ProRes 422 is a mac only format which kind of limits the NLE support to strictly FCP. I'm not even sure if ProRes 422 would work in Avid Xpress on a Mac.

Cineform
photojpeg
jpeg2000 image sequence
I frame only mpeg2

All of those would be better formats for cross platform support. Not to mention that Cineform would be of higher quality since ProRes 422 is still a DCT based codec. A DCT codec even at high bitrates can still have artifacts. I see them even on 300 mbit mpeg2 I frame footage.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 10:37 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
No way will an event videographer accept changing focal length by hand. Gotta have a motor for that...
What do you mean Chris? I only ever focus with the rings, don't like rocker switches ... and that includes event work.

Quote:
hence the poor substitute that a still photo lens makes for the real thing, a motorized video lens, for any serious work except those situations in which focal length doesn't change during the shot (and those situations are few).
And obviously for me, for narrative and music promos the zoom is never, ever used!

The only problem I see with 35mm lenses for event work is DOF being too shallow- often it's better to widen your dof and sacrifice the look, rather than be just plan out of focus .. :)

Not saying that people don't use the rockers, but just making the point that not everyone shoots this way.
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