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Old November 23rd, 2004, 12:17 PM   #1
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Improved video tips

I thought I would share the important tips I have found:

1) Use 720p output to HD TV if possible. 1080i conversion lowers quality by adding flickering artifacts of near horizontal lines. What was recorded in 720P looks best when viewed in 720P.

2) Use filters to get camera to stay in shutter speed of 1/30 or 1/60th second. ND filters or polarizer work well when outdoors in bright situations.

3) Set PAE to spotlight. This helps correct overexposure of highlights. I first set shutter speed manually and then set spotlight. Thus camera will still try to use the manual shutter speed I have selected even when trying to under expose a little to help keep highlights from blowing out.

4) I try to use a tripod whenever possible. We are used to seeing blurred images when panning. But the HD1/HD10u are so sharp when using higher shutter speeds. Keeping shutter speed to 1/30 or 1/60 allows for a little blur when panning.

5) Much criticism is from Pro's using 60K equipment. They do not want to admit equipment to amateurs at 1/10th the cost is nearly as good! The Sony FX1 may be a little better but it costs approx $2000 more than what you can get a HD1 on EBAY for.
I think it's fun to "think like a film maker" and work towards getting the best images I can.

Any other suggestions for improved video???

Bill
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Old November 23rd, 2004, 11:12 PM   #2
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Sounds strange but don't go for perfect video straight from the cam. Think ahead to what you will do in post. My images look very dark when captured but nice after post. Still working on the perfect post CC routine, but were getting there.
We use an UltraCon filter to gain some latitude. Also use some sort of external monitor (TV via Svideo or Laptop) for focus.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 07:45 PM   #3
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Do you find that you can CC once for HD and SD (DVD), or do you create two different libraries of Source? I find that some of what works great for most people with this camera on land, doesn't really apply to me underwater. For instance, shooting at anything less the 1/125 yields a horrible picture. I do think find that starting with an underexposed source clip will yield better results then starting with a clip with very good exposure. Also, finding some way to force the exposure to remain constant is essential with this camera. However, with color correction, I find that when I get the color perfect for HD, the resulting clip when converted to SD is way off. I've used both Adobe Premiere Pro and TMPGEnc to convert to SD.
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Old November 30th, 2004, 01:53 AM   #4
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Way off in what way?
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Old December 2nd, 2004, 04:52 PM   #5
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Sorry for the late response. It seems that many of the color conversion that happens when going from HD->NTSC results in more of saturated image (if my terminolgy is correct here). For example, some of the more natural looking Gold colors seem to shift to a bright yellow. I will try to post a sample of both HR transport stream as well as converted DVD program stream for comparison. The DVD stream, when played on my PC, looks fine, the color issues only seem to appear when playing on a DVD player to a TV. My guess is I need to improve my color correction process, potentially by previewing on both HD and NTSC monitors during CC. Is anyone currently doing this, or is the CC process in HD producing the desired results when converted to DVD?
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Old December 5th, 2004, 02:48 PM   #6
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Bobby,

I've used TMPGEnc to convert to SD with consistent color. There are CC filters in TMPGEnc, so make they are off. I can tell you after working in TV for many years that matching different monitors is VERY difficult. Are you looking at the pics in the SAME monitor? Even if you are, there may be different setups for EACH input. For instance, my Samsung DLP does that - and even setting the same numbers does not yield consistent results. The DVI input requires obviously higher brightness setting than other inputs. Just a slight increase in brightness can cause an APPARENT reduction in chroma.

Try to remove as many variables as possible. It's probably safe to assume that the different outputs of the camera are consistent, so you might try looking at the 720p, then the 480i out of the camera (same material). They should be the same. Adjust the monitor(s) to match. If you know how to read a test pattern, try downloading the free pattern generator from Phillips.

Like I say - it's tough!
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Old December 6th, 2004, 06:25 PM   #7
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Thanks David!
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Old December 23rd, 2004, 11:50 PM   #8
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I just came back with some footage I took at Vail on a skiing trip. The camera held up very well in the sub-freezing temps in my backpack.

I used the poor-mans variable ND (double-polarizer with one reversed filter method) and it really helped control the light with sun/snow so I could keep it at around 1/60. As long as I did not make it too dark, the colors kept in line.

I can't wait to see it on my projection screen.

Bryan
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Old January 5th, 2005, 12:32 AM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Bobby Arnold : Sorry for the late response. It seems that many of the color conversion that happens when going from HD->NTSC results in more of saturated image (if my terminolgy is correct here). For example, some of the more natural looking Gold colors seem to shift to a bright yellow. I will try to post a sample of both HR transport stream as well as converted DVD program stream for comparison. The DVD stream, when played on my PC, looks fine, the color issues only seem to appear when playing on a DVD player to a TV. My guess is I need to improve my color correction process, potentially by previewing on both HD and NTSC monitors during CC. Is anyone currently doing this, or is the CC process in HD producing the desired results when converted to DVD? -->>>

I've run into the same problems.

I believe It is something to do with the MPEG2 decoding process (not the encoding).

After conversion to SD MPEG2, both of my DVD players (on two TV's) and Windows Media Player playback the MPEG2 file with more contrast than the original. I believe that is the increased "saturation" you are seeing. Unfortunately this can result in crushed blacks and blown out whites.

However, if I take the MPEG2 clip and put it on the timeline along with the original HD clip (Cineform), they both show the same levels in the waveform and vectorscope. So the encoding process is not changing anything.

Also, I have an AVEL LinkPlayer 2 (HD DVD player). When I play the original Cineform file over the network it looks like the original. Thus, I'm 99% sure it is just something going on with the the MPEG2 decoding, and not just the brightness / contrast settings on my TV's. The good thing is that the behavior seems consistent among MPEG2 decoders, so as long as you know about it you can adjust things accordingly.

I basically just learn to trust the waveform/vectorscope and not my eyes. This might result in a slightly washed out look while editing on your monitor (because of the lower contrast), but it looks great after rendering and played back on a DVD player.

Ben
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