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For all HD formats including HDV, HDCAM, DVCPRO HD and others.


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Old January 8th, 2005, 03:42 AM   #1
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Considering Swicth From SD to HD

Hi everyone,

I've tried searching the site but have not been able to come up with tanswers I need. Plus I'm suffering from pneumonia right now and have little patience.

The company I work for is considering adding HD to its list of services. My boss has a strong broadcast background and everything he shoots is Beta SP. Since hiring me last Spring he has gotten exposed to DV, which is all that I shoot, and has had me shoot one DV project.

He wants to buy a new camera and we were looking at an XL2, that's the one I'm voting for, and a DSR 500 because of his ENG experience.

Obviously the 2 are very different cameras.

Then he sees the FX1 and he falls in love with it. You know, one of these nicely displayed cameras, well light in a high dollar showroom and those 2 letters gracing the camera body, "HD". He even said the camera looked sexy.

Anyway, we edit on a dual 2 ghz G5 FCP HD setup with 2 gigs of RAM and capture Beta with an AJA IO.

1. I assume if we get any of the cameras listed above we will not use the AJA, correct?

2. What are the frame dimensions of the FX1, 1440x1080?

3. Is widescreen handled the same as in DV, eg> 720x480 anamorphic?

4. Is our G5 setup sufficient for editing HD?

5. What else should we consider in the addition of HD to our services?

Thanks, Dave
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Old January 8th, 2005, 04:57 AM   #2
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1. Just use firewire (iee 1394)
2. 1440x1080 ...thats HDV 16:9 widescreen. It also does 720x480 DV witha flip of the switch.
3. The FX1's HDV is native 16:9...not anamorphic. No resolution loss with FX1 for widescreen.
4. I dont know about Mac's...but my Sony Vegas - Athlon 2700+ w/1gb ram and scsi drives is barely enough- I need more! You can use Cineform's conversion to make it much more useable. The .m2t files alone are too much for my PC....I have to use cineform and it works fine.
5. An HDV deck would be good. And a good makup artist is valuable because with HD you see every inperfection in full detail. A steady cam would be valuable because the Fx1 has some motion interlace blur with fast motion objects. Basically if you are shooting sports events...dont use this camera anything else is fine.
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Old January 8th, 2005, 05:25 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply John.

The frame size of 1440x1080 is actually an aspect ratio of 4:3 if you do the math. Native 16:9 does not mean non-anamorphic. Anamorphic refers to fitting a 16:9 image (one that has not been chopped off at the top and bottom) inside of a 4:3 frame, then when palyed back it's displayed properly and according to the playback devices setting, whether it be an NLE or DVD palyer. Anamorphic does not mean resolution loss either.

My Optura Xi is native 16:9 but the DV frame size for any DV footage is 720x480.

You have answered my questions though, and thanks.
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Old January 8th, 2005, 05:57 AM   #4
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Dave,

Perhaps you should think of going to HDV more along the lines of "if you don't, then maybe your competion will"...

As for your G5 setup. It should have no problem with the HDV stream from the FX-1 or Z1. The only problem area for Mac at this point in time is the 'total HDV solution'; however, it appears many Mac users are achieving success editing in FCP HD Pro with Lumiere HD. Lumiere HD appears to be analogous to AspectHD/ConnectHD for PC in it's capabilities.

If you're reasonably computer savvy with no fear of a briefly steep learning curve, why avoid something with guaranteed benefits; rather than perceiving only the seeming difficulties.
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Old January 8th, 2005, 06:31 AM   #5
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Dave,

Another thing you might want to throw at your boss is that by waiting another couple monthe, the Sony Z1 will be out and will offer some higher end features that he will like, coming from his ENG background. By then, Apple will probably have announced the timeline for incorporating HDV into FCP. It's rumored that the new release of Imovie will have this support.

The XL-2 IMHO, would be the optimal choice for SD projects.

regards,

=gb=
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Old January 8th, 2005, 06:41 AM   #6
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Regarding pixel counts, have a read of the thread "why 1440x1080".

As I understand it, each of the CCDs is 960*1080, and pixel shift is then used to create an effective resolution of 1440*1080. Each pixel is 1.33 rectangular rather than square, thus producing a native (non-anamorphic) 16:9 final image.
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Old January 8th, 2005, 09:01 AM   #7
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"Native" 16:9 means that all resolution of given format is used for picture. In ntsc its 720*480, pal 720*576 and hdv 1440*1080.

Because none of these formats use square pixels in 16:9 they can be called "anamorphic".
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Old January 8th, 2005, 09:40 AM   #8
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You'll need a fast Mac, but I'm doing all right with a single processor G5 1.6 ghz. and 1.25 gb of RAM.

I enjoyed working with the FX1, and will continue to do so.

heath
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Old January 8th, 2005, 10:11 AM   #9
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Steve and Greg,

I knew there was one thing about FCP HD that prohibitted it from being truly HD compatible. Can you expand a bit more on that or point me in the right direction?

I'll check out some of the threads on Lumiere HD as well. I know very little about HD, and my boss knows even less.
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Old January 8th, 2005, 06:04 PM   #10
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<<<-- Originally posted by Dave Perry : Steve and Greg,

I knew there was one thing about FCP HD that prohibitted it from being truly HD compatible. Can you expand a bit more on that or point me in the right direction?

I'll check out some of the threads on Lumiere HD as well. I know very little about HD, and my boss knows even less. -->>>

From what I have read about the situation on Mac, and my own experiences on PC, it's clear that the biggest problem for any NLE on either platform is capturing directly to the timeline from the FX-1 (and HD10 for that matter!!).

The 'current state of play' for capturing/editing, delivering HDV material on Mac is a combination of LumiereHD, FCP HD: and for PC (SP2 must be installed) AspectHD/ConnectHD, Vegas 5/Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5.

There are new software developments occuring at ever increasing rates that enhance the HDV editing capabilities of other video appz, so it's likely that what I've just written will be out-of-date by the time I finish typing!!!

I can say that there have already been a number of HDV based pieces reportedly produced on G5s using FCP HD with LumiereHD; and while I haven't personally seen them yet (apart from screen grabs - but check for Kaku Ito's Mac based stuff from the FX-1 including his component via DecklinkHD clips), I'm sure if they're anything like what I see from my PC based system......they wouldn't disappoint!!!!
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Old January 8th, 2005, 07:55 PM   #11
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Thanks Steve.

I guess I'm confused about what is the "HD" part of Final Cut Pro HD. From Apple's web site:

"Finally, the beauty of HD with the simplicity of DV. Capture DVCPRO HD over FireWire, edit using camera-native footage and output over FireWire with no generational quality loss. RT Extreme, now for HD, can deliver multiple HD streams, effects, filters and transitions in real-time to an attached Apple Cinema Display."

What codec do the FX1 and Z1 capture in?
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Old January 9th, 2005, 01:18 AM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Dave Perry : Thanks Steve.

I guess I'm confused about what is the "HD" part of Final Cut Pro HD. From Apple's web site:

"Finally, the beauty of HD with the simplicity of DV. Capture DVCPRO HD over FireWire, edit using camera-native footage and output over FireWire with no generational quality loss. RT Extreme, now for HD, can deliver multiple HD streams, effects, filters and transitions in real-time to an attached Apple Cinema Display."

What codec do the FX1 and Z1 capture in? -->>>

HD is the descriptor for video with higher resolutions above those of SD.

The HD part of FCP Pro HD indicates that it is capable of handling files of HD resolution. This doesn't mean you get 'native' HD file support. It does mean that as long as the NLE 'recognises' the codec used to encode the HD file, you can open and edit as per any other DV file.

Because the FX-1 and Z1 capture to tape as MPEG2 transport stream of a type that is unsupported as yet by the OS, you need a transcoding option to make captured files available; and that's where LumiereHD comes in, by capturing to a transcoded HD format that FCP Pro HD can import to the timeline.

Once edited, you can reverse the process to record via LumiereHD back to the cam or HD capable deck in HD m2t.

It's almost identical to the process used for exactly the same purpose on PC with AspectHD/ConnectHD in concert with respectively Premiere Pro 1.5 and Vegas 5.

I wouldn't get too concerned over all the Apple DVCPRO HD codec support etc, etc, etc. That's fine in it's own place, but it doesn't mean that if you got an FX-1 or Z1 you wouldn't be able to do anything on a Mac with the amazing stuff you've shot..... Just as I don't get all shaken up by all the PC talk about Real-Time HDV support making HDV editing a 'realistic proposition'.
I've been managing to edit HDV for over a year now (maybe not in RT), so according to any 'nervous Nelly' I must be lieing because realistic HDV editing is "only possible with this RT hardware/software combination" they've only just seen.....

Do the research, know the pieces you need to gather to complete the puzzle, and I'm sure you'll find that the FX-1 > HDV > Mac 'problem' is about as scary as Casper the friendly ghost.
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Old January 9th, 2005, 02:17 AM   #13
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The HD part of FCP Pro HD indicates that it is capable of handling files of HD resolution. This doesn't mean you get 'native' HD file support.
It does if you shoot on DVCPRO-HD. That's where the "HD" in FCP-HD comes in: you can shoot DVCPRO-HD and transfer it via firewire to FCP-HD, edit in the native codec, finish and master back to DVCPRO-HD tape.
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Old January 9th, 2005, 05:30 AM   #14
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Mac based HDV editing's "problem" at the moment is it requires time and additional hard drive space.

You capture to a 3rd party programme (LumiereHD), then demux the captured transport streams, (takes time plus additional disk space). Transcode the programme streams into an offline format (more time, plus more space depending on the offline codec chosen). Import the offline files into FCP (this takes moments).

Edit.

FCP can import HDV programme streams exactly into your timeline matching cuts perfectly (this takes seconds on a fast system), but it cannot playback the m2v programme streams files in realtime, though you can add certain effects and see their effect on a frame by frame basis.

Render out a uncompressed HD file of your edit (more time, more disc space, though you can deleted the original transport streams and the offline files prior to this stage), before finally rendering a mpeg2 transport stream (yet more time plus additional disk space).

These do not necessarily make it a bad system, Disc space is relatively cheap, and the advantage is HDV editing is possible on low powered systems (my ancient 450G4 for example), but it has disadvantages for projects that require a fast turnaround. It would be fine for a long form project where a day or so each end of the edit could be given to demuxing, encoding, etc.

The "HD" of FCP-HD really refers to DVCproHD, which can be handled exactly like DV on a powerful enough G4 or G5 system.
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Old January 9th, 2005, 07:19 AM   #15
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Thanks Dylan, Barry and Steve,

This is great stuff and begs the question, which cameras use the DVCPRO/HD codec and since I work for a Mac shop, wouldn't it make more sense to use one of them rather than an FX1 or Z1?

The process of using Lumiere HD looks pretty simple and straight forward. I went to their web site and watched the demo videos and I use BitVice for MPEG2 creation for DVDs so the whole demuxing/muxing thing is not an issue for me. But, I can tell you right now it will be for my boss.
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