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Old November 26th, 2003, 01:13 PM   #31
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Jon,

Film=4K, the new CineAlta can do 2K. I may be wrong in that assumption, but I'm sure that's right.

You know how to write, man!

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Old November 26th, 2003, 03:10 PM   #32
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Well written Jon. The thing i like is.. If i tried to explain somethign like that i'd be laughed at... ppl will actually believe you as you are "The Man" :D

/me gets on with reading the thread
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Old November 26th, 2003, 03:16 PM   #33
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Trust me, I'm a BIG supporter of digital! My company is called MPS Digital Studios, after all.

Better change the subject from a film vs. digital debate!

Jon, what have you been doing with the HD10 since you shot the short film?

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Old November 26th, 2003, 10:07 PM   #34
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Daymon, I don't know that I'm "The Man", but thank you.

Heath, one more thing before we drop the film vs. digital debate...

"Film=4K" Yes. Well, I guess. The problem with trying to put a resolution number on film is the issue of grain. It's easy to come up with numbers for Digital cameras when you know exactly how many pixels were put onto the CCD. But can you tell how many pixels are on a particular emulsion? This is similiar to the ASA vs LUX argument. There is a reason that video cameras are rated in LUX. And even though we can say that the F900 has an aproximate ASA of about 320, only a LUX rating is 100% accurate. So then we get into arguments of frame size vs. pixel resolution vs. recorded resolution, etc. Not to mention the generalization of "film". For this argument we'll assume 35mm and not Super 8...

So is film 4K? Yeah, if you add up the numbers that way.

But what about the Viper, or the Origin? Do they not qualify as Digital cameras for motion image capture? If you're really concerned about full on true 4K resolution, check out Dalsa's Origin. But don't get too hung up on the numbers. I doubt you'll shoot a project with a F900 or new F950 and think that the resolution let you down and you have to shoot your next project with the Viper!

I've been doing a few random test of every possible menu combination and output possibilities and what have you. On the shooting schedule next, The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Followed by some side by sides with the DVX100 on a short film that I'm shooting. The DVX100 is scheduled to come back from rental on Friday. We're looking at getting rolling around 12/6.
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Old December 5th, 2003, 06:20 AM   #35
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I'm not sure there's a per stock listing available, but it would be easy enough for film resolution to be quantified (or at least quantifiably compared to video resolution) in terms of resolvability, using, for example, an image analysis setup that tests for resolvability with a metric analogous to Rayleigh's criterion for resolution.

From Tipler's Physics, Third Edition, Volume 2, page 1084:
"The resolving power of an optical instrument such as a microscope or telescope refers to the ability of the instrument to resolve two objects [point light sources] that are close together. The images of the objects tend to overlap because of diffraction at the entrance aperture of the instrument."

In other words, you've reached the limit of your resolution when you can't tell two specks from one.

In the case of our tests, we would not be evaluating optical diffraction alone, but film grain/CCD resolution along with it.

Note that resolvability would not necessary equal (CCD) resolution, since there is not a one-to-one correspondence between pixels and point light sources, especially after all the various signal processing magic performed in a DV camera: in a practical setup a single miniscule black speck on a white background will never be recorded by a video camera as a single perfectly black pixel surrounded by perfectly white pixels, no matter how a camera is positioned, oriented, or focused upon the speck. Nor should it be disregarded that a camera's associated optics are as important to determining resolvability as the exposure medium (and whatever signal processing may take place in the signal chain following the exposure medium). However, the resolvability critereon is identical for both film and video systems and hence a systemized method of testing both types of cameras in front of gridded test patterns would yield an objective, quantifiable method for comparing the resolutions of various film camera setups to various video cameras.

Since we would be working with a motion picture medium, and film grain is really not the equivalent of CCD resolution but rather of video noise, it would probably be preferable for the resolvability-evaluated frame to be taken from an average of several film/video frames. The optimum number of frames the test should average over is left as an exercise for the reader.

(I'm sure there must be a vision systems lab at some university somewhere that has a setup just like the one I'm describing.)
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Old December 5th, 2003, 01:11 PM   #36
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Exactly my point Robert. Though much more scientifically and might I say, elegantly stated. Forgive me if I gave the impression that it was an impossibility to determine exact resolution of a particular medium, specifically film. My point was just what you said. The many factors of determining resolution, or more appropriately, resolvability make it innappropriate and dangerous to simply state that "Film=4K" and leave it at that.

Like I said, I really don't care to get drawn into the whole 'Film vs Digital' debate. Those many factors are ones that should really only be considered when evaluating their relevance to a particular image acquistion need. I have no need for purism and theory.

Certainly as a DP I do care about achieving the best possible images I can. But achieving the best possible images isn't always about the highest resolution or the sharpest lens. It is, in my opinion, what serves the story best and how I can effeciently and most cost effectively capture the required imagery. And that was exactly the point in my watered down and simplified post regarding the "quality" of film vs digital.
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Old December 5th, 2003, 06:23 PM   #37
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Jon and Heath,

Thank you for your efforts and input so far!

Will we get to see any clips or images resulting from these tests or has the link been posted and I simply overlooked it?

Thank you!

- don
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Old December 5th, 2003, 06:32 PM   #38
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Jon did some shots with both the HD10 and DVX100, so maybe he'll send some photos.

I'll say this, EVERYTHING is in focus on the HD10, but the DVX100 had a nice depth of field.

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Old December 5th, 2003, 07:00 PM   #39
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Well, why wouldn't everything be in focus? Were there any focus issues experienced during the tests with any of the cameras?

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Old December 5th, 2003, 07:10 PM   #40
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What I mean is, the foreground and background were in focus, moreso in the foreground. It looked to hyper-real. I'll see if Jon can send them to Chris Hurd and host them. The DVX100 had a nice, in focus foreground, soft/out of focus background.

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Old December 5th, 2003, 07:23 PM   #41
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Ah, I got ya. Thought perhaps you were eluding to a potential lens focus issue in one of the cams.

As I recall, there is no built-in ND on the HD10, correct?

The shots that you are comparing the HD10 to the DVX100 - were you using any ND on the DVX100 during those shots?

Looking forward to seeing some clips and images.

Thanks,

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Old December 5th, 2003, 08:14 PM   #42
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Don -

No, I did not use the built in ND's on the DVX100 when shooting the shots that were sent to Heath. Upon inspection, you can see that there is a focus difference between the foreground and background in the HD10 shot. It's just not as clearly defined as in the DVX100 shot. Since both the HD10 and DVX100 have the exact same size CCD, the depth of field on both cameras is identical. But without the ability to control how the camera handles the image, I wasn't able to achieve the same amount of defined focus seperation with the HD10.

Also apparent in the frames are the difference in color (both saturation and accuracy) and handling of highlights.

I can send them to Chris Hurd if he wants them. But they really aren't anything special. They were just part of my prelimenary testing to see how these cameras compare. Nothing scientific or planned out. Just some random shots for fun before I put these cameras head to head in a production situation.

These aren't any clips or stills currently posted from any of my side by sides. Primarily due to the legal issues still being worked out with the film "3 Days" where the HD10 was put next to the Varicam. And I have yet to shoot the film with the DVX100 that will serve as the HD10 vs DVX100 side by side. I mentioned this in my post, Jon Fordham's HD10 Review II, "Run and Gun". Please be patient. The footage is coming.

Chris -

If you want to email me, I'll send the stills that Heath is talking about and you're welcome to post them where ever you wish.

And if anyone out there is in the Santa Fe area, you can check out the film I shot for Matthew Porter of 95 Theses Entertainment, "Blackwater Elegy" starring John Cullum (Urinetown, ER) and Barry Corbin (One Tree Hill, Northern Exposure) at the Santa Fe Film Festival. I think there will be one more screening this Saturday 12/6. I believe it's screening with a feature called... crazy something? I don't know. You'll have to check the screening times to find it.

Jon
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Old December 5th, 2003, 08:30 PM   #43
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At the same focal length the DVX and HD1 will deliver identical depth of field OPTICALLY -- but I suspect what Heath's seeing is that the chip is then able to resolve so much more detail in HD on the HD1, that it is making more of the image look in focus.

As Jon said, it's possible the apertures weren't the same, thus invalidating the side-by-side usefulness of judging DOF from those shots. But even if it was identical, the HD1 is still going to be resolving detail long after the SD of the DVX has given up, so it's still going to look like deeper DOF.
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Old December 5th, 2003, 10:23 PM   #44
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Sorry Barry, but that's not the case here. True, the 1/3's CCD's have identical depth of field and at the same focal length will have the same depth of field optically. And yes, the specifications of 720 vertical resolution should produce sharper (or more appropriately, higher res) images that may look more in focus. But these two still frames that Heath mentioned simply show controlled depth of field.

Like I said, this was not a scientific test. Nor was it meant to be. This was simply me using a few minutes of my free time to satisfy my curiosity.

The bottom line is, I was able to achieve a better exposed and more focused image with the DVX100 due to its manual control. The DVX100 shows better color saturation and more accurate color reproduction. As well as holding the highlights a little better.

The HD10 shows some noticeable edge enhancement, but a little surprisingly doesn't show anymore detail from increased resolution. I kinda thought the HD10 might still show a little more detail than the DVX100 due to the higher pixel resolution and 720 recording. But it didn't.

I've actually had to restructure how my reel was cut because of the noticeable difference in resolution between HD and SD. I had to take footage from a 480/60i NTSC Sony DSR-500WS and move it so it wasn't cut next to footage from the 720/24P HD Panasonic HDC27F. Because it did look slightly out of focus or soft in comparison. I have shot a lot of SD stuff that does plainly look out of focus next to HD footage. But in my very unscientific and raw test for fun, the HD10 is not performing on that kind of level. Sorry. It just isn't. There are many factors that are playing into this. But the primary factor is control. Everytime I tried to switch to aperture priority to achieve a shallower depth of field, the shutter kicked into a screwed up speed, and vice versa. And once I set the shutter back to 1/60, I lost control over the exposure leaving me a slightly brighter than desired image and everything in perfect focus.

Bottom line is, the DVX100's full 480P vertical resolution is comparable to the HD10's HDV 720P resolution. And with the ability to control every aspect of the image parameters, the DVX100 seems to be producing a superior image.

Regardless, the stills were never meant to become public discussion. I was just sharing them with Heath the HD10 I'm working with is his, and since we are in the middle of working on a project together.

I'm doing these "tests" for a few reasons. One, Heath and I are in pre-pro on a short film that we will be shooting later this month. And our idea was to shoot with his HD10. So, as part of my "preparation" Heath graciously offered me the use of his HD10 to test and become familar with prior to shooting so that both he and I could get the most out this camera possible. Two, as a DP and D.I.T. I am always eager to learn the new tools that are or may become available to me to practice and perform my career. And three, as a DP and D.I.T., I must be familiar with the available tools to responsibly report to producers and directors what is and is not suitable for a particular production. And by putting a new tool, such as the HD10, next to a tool that I am already familiar with, like the HDC27F Varicam or the DVX100, I can get an idea of where the performance of the new tool is falling.

And I'm sorry to report, that to my eye, the HD10's resolution isn't making it look anymore in focus than it is or isn't.
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Old December 6th, 2003, 12:31 AM   #45
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Hey Jon,

Thanks for sharing your info. In my experience with the HD1 (not HD10), it is glaringly sharper than the DVX. Not in a pleasing way, mind you, I still find the DVX picture more pleasing in every other way short of resolution, but in resolution it looks like there's just no contest, the HD of the HD1 is way, way sharper than the DVX.

I posted a comparison clip that we shot side-by-side (so the framing isn't quite identical, but we had a time-code slate in the shot that shows they were shot simultaneously) and the difference is startling, especially considering that this is down-rezzed to SD!

The clip is at:
http://66.78.26.9/~fiercely/DVXvsJVC/DVXvsJVC.avi

Seeing what you're talking about makes me seriously question whether the over-sharpness of the HD1 is now just in fact the oft-reviled "edge enhancement" gone wild. I haven't had a chance to compare against the HD10. In the clip above, sharpening on the DVX was turned all the way down. Next time we have both cameras together, I'll try jacking up the DVX's edge enhancement to the max and see how it compares.

Take a look at that clip (it's a pretty big download) and then see how that compares to the results you're getting. I haven't heard from anyone else who's put the cameras side-by-side, so it's very interesting to get your take on things!
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