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Old April 7th, 2008, 10:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Lee View Post
Alex,

Thank you sir for your reply. I have a few questions to get me up to par on some terms and technical stuff.




1 I'm not entirely sure what RAID is to be honest. I have only messed with PC computers. I am assuming this has to do with Mac..


2. So the XH A1 doesn't capture true progressive? From the statement above I understand that there are a few loop holes that you have to jump through in order to obtain the progressive frame look?


3. from what I understand 720p @24fps is best suited for motion shots such as panning, tracking etc...? You get less atrifacts in each frame or something to that effect? (I probably totally butchered that...)


4. I guess what would be most helpful to me would be to better understand what "situations" these different frame rates would be the most ideal. I can kind of get the hint from what you and others have said about them but unless you come out and just say "since the camera captures 720p or 1080i you want to use 24p/60i/60p in this situation etc..."




I hope that made sense...
thanks for helping me with this. It is honestly helping me alot to be able to talk about this stuff.
I numbered your questions and hopefully answered decently without any real big screw ups.

1. Answer: RAID is PC/Mac/Linux and probably 10 other less known OS's. Basically 2 or more drives working together as if they were one to speed up data transfers. Nothing new. Wikepedia can say it better than I ever can.

2. Answer: the Canon HDV is 1080i with flags and does a real good job at making 24p out of 60i on the fly. IT still isn't 24p, but it's pretty good. I haven't played with a Canon, but many here have. So how good/not good it is I can't really give you an honest answer till after I play with one for 4 or 5 hours. Since I read this original post I checked FCP on my computer, and yes.... there is a 1080i 24p setting that should capture just fine. So the extra hoops I spoke of MIGHT be outdated judging by the menu setting. So it might be a real good way to go. No buyers remorse on my side getting the JVC HD110 at the moment, but Canon does make a real nice set of camcorders.

3. Answer: well it's different. If your used to 60i formats it will take some time getting used to. When panning, do so only when you find something to pan with. Someone walking from left to right for instance.. (feel free to break this rule, but it's a place to start) Also if you pan, anything crossing the screen from left to right or right to left should take NO LESS THAN 5 SECONDS to cross from one side of the screen to the other. OR pan quick, fairly fast. You don't have quite the leway of a 60i format that encourages sloppy camerawork. Also if shooting 24p/f keep shutter speed 1/48th to 1/60th 90% of the time. Don't go faster unless you have a clear reason as to WHY. I prefer 24p for everythign, but 60i or 60p is definatly better for motion. Watch HD baseball and you feel like your watching the game from your window at a box seat.... My issue is how to get a finished project to a customer, normally DVD. DVD's are 60i ONLY and can decode 24p from a 24p source. I don't like the look of 60i on a LCD or plasma, but the 24p looks good to me. That's why I say 24p or 24f.

4. Answer: Conventional wisdom states (somewhere?) that 24p is for narrative and 60i or 60p for real time LIVE footage. I don't quite agree. I think 24p if DONE CORRECTLY gives a better result 95% when burned to DVD than 60i does, especially when playing on a LCD/Plasma HDTV. Since that is the current method of delivery for most of us 24p/24f is my recomendation. BluRay may handle 30p and 60p, but until the burners/players are available at Kmart for $89 most of my clients won't be interested in BluRay DVD's anytime soon. When they do, BluRay recognizes 720p @ 24fps as well so I'm still covered. Basically it comes down to style. Any theater movie that goes to DVD is 24p, and DVD's are enginered around making them look as good as possible on DVD players playing on HDTV's. Some low budget films/videos are shot as 60i. They always look cheap and videoish to me, even on a $50,000 camera.

What I would suggest, if you live in or near a large city, and have your editing software already, see if you can rent each camera for a day around $100 to $200 a day and fully use them. Maybe just looking up a broadcast rental company you can check out some of these camcorders without having to rent them, and twist the rental companies employees what they think of them.

Also sign up with JVC and Canon for their mailing lists. JVC for instance often has free seminars (and free lunch) around the country showing off their gear compared to Panasonic/Sony/Canon broadcast cameras as to why you should buy JVC's instead. Generally the top executives and sometimes the President of JVC is in the audience listening to potential customers questions and available for one on one discussions after the lecture. Then you get several hours of hand son time directly comparing camcorders in person hooked up to $5,000 studio monitors. You can talk to the engineers at that time, as well as other JVC/Panasonic/Sony/Canon users who are there and trade info there. Oh and did I mention the free lunch? Just checked the JVC webiste http://pro.jvc.com and I don't see a current set of lectures, but check back there and keep an eye out for them.

Other issues, form factor. I went to college and learned on 16mm and 35mm Arri's. I did early video production with the old Camera & VTR models and was awstruck when the cameras and VTR's became one unit. When the camcorders went from the shoulder to the palm (Sony DVCAM's) I got one, light and small, but you can't hold them for long. I can shoot all day long with a JVC on my shoulder, I can't shoot all day long holding a lighter camera in my hand in front of me. Lots of other reasons I chose a JVC for me over the Panasonic HVX200 or the Canon. That doesn't mean my reasons should be YOUR reasons. Go to a rental company, try them out for free if you can, or rent one or both for the day. Capture the footage, return the camcorder, and edit at home and help that clarify your decision. In the end honestly the JVC/Canon/Panasonic camcorders are SO MUCH BETTER than anything on the consumer pro-sumer market 5 years ago, you can't go wrong. Also anything sold today will be old school antique in 5 years. Get what you can afford, shoot, edit, create and produce soething this year, so next year you can sell it, make some money, and worry about a better lens or a better format next year. No matter what you buy, in 5 years you won't be using it anyway. The new (what ever it is) will be the rage. If you have your project done this year or next year, that's all that really matters.

Final answer? Get what you can afford and start shooting. I know that doesn't help much, but it's honestly the best advise I can give.
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Old April 8th, 2008, 03:23 AM   #17
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You might want to read this as a primer for understanding RAID:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID

To get an understanding of how progressive footage is converted to, and stored inside, an interlaced video stream, you could read this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecine

The A1 does record progressive footage, but some of the terminology can make things very confusing for beginners.

You could read these two Wikipedia entries to get an understanding of progressive scan and interlaced video:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_video

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interlace
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Old April 8th, 2008, 10:26 AM   #18
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Vote Canon for better low light & sharper footage...

I think overall I would agree with Robert M. Wright's sentiments.

I have both cams (A1 & 200U) and after conducting my own tests a couple of weeks ago the cameras do score fairly close, however, in real world shooting the Canon outshines the JVC in many ways - sorry die-hard JVC fans :(

Yes the Fujinon glass is fully manual and has the ergonomics seasoned shooters have always wanted, however, in terms of glass quality & sharpness the Canon fixed lens is so much better - including no breathing, very little CA or distortion and at 20x zoom with OIS engaged the bokeh is as good as the JVC at 88m. The stock Fujinon 16x5.5 lens is very entry level and now that I've had the 200U for about 4 weeks and put over 30hrs on the heads I'm not as happy with it's performance.

If you want the film look the JVC is a lot closer to classic DVX territory than the Canon, however, if it is good clean & sharp Hi-Def footage you want with minimal lens induced aberration then the Canon is definitely the one!

The JVC Pro-HD cameras are also prone to intermittent weirdness like dead pixels appearing and then after a while fixing themselves, also the camera will intermittently show "DDDDDDDDDDD" on the LCD for no reason at all (my camera does both of these things and it's barely 4 weeks old.) I'm sorry to say that these JVC cameras remind me of early Harley Davidson motorcycles; they always seemed to leak oil, needed regular service and never quite as reliable as the Japanese bikes.

One last thing though... the A1 looks like a toy in front of the JVC.

JT
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Old April 8th, 2008, 03:53 PM   #19
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Hmmm Canon XH-A1 for $3,299 is pretty hard to beat. Buyer's remorse for my HD110? maybe a little, but I'm planning on getting a 17x Fujinon lens (for about the price of the Canon?) I have yet to hear anyone who has a Canon XH-A1 say anything really bad about it. Soooo I'm not selling my Varizoom Lanc control just yet, I might need to get a Canon XH-A1 at some point.
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Old April 8th, 2008, 05:14 PM   #20
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I own A JVC 111E and having worked with professional Betacams for the past 20+ years I like the usability factor. Shoulder mount hand hold, interchangeable lenses and manual audio switches.
A month back I used a Canon XH A1 shooting at a historic airshow, shooting for a friend who had already shot a lot of footage with the Canon camera. Here's what I found annoying.

1) When setting the camera on a tripod above eye height the eyepeice viewfinder can't be tilted below horizontal and the LCD was useless in bright sunlight.

2) Having the viewfinder on the back of the camera not only makes the camera a poor prospect for hand held shooting it means doing 180 degree pans on aircraft taking off requires you to walk halfway around the tripod to keep your eye in the finder and severely hampers your ability to keep the pan smooth.

3) Plugging in an external mike to do a quick VOX pop interview meant going a couple of levels deep in the menu for set up and then vice versa to go back to top mike. This time consuming process occasionally meant missing the shot altogether, people don't have time to wait for an interview while you adjust the camera and aircraft take off when the control tower says go.

The JVC was designed to the recommendations of professional cameramen and is thus styled in a more traditional way. There's a reason for these features is usability.

The standard lens on the JVC leaves a little to be desired at tight end especially when wide open, but you are able to change or upgrade your lens. There's a JVC adaptor available for using PL mount prime lenses and numerous after market adaptors for using 35mm primes. You can also buy adaptors to use lenses from the 2/3" broadcast format cameras if you need ultra telephoto length lenses (which are easily rented).

The optional DR HD100 hard drive will streamline post production and give you the security of dual recording the same image format to tape for archival purposes. Transfering 5 X 60 minute tapes to an NLE system is a whole days work, the same amount of footage from the DR HD100 takes about an hour and you go and do some other task whilst it's happening.

Finally the progressive scan feature. The JVC records true progressive images. This originating format is best for LCD or plasma screens and projectors, a film out transfer and internet video. It is also a better format for green screen chroma key because of its clean edges. De-interlacing an image does not give you the quality of an original true progressive image.

The Canon camera is a great little camera, the pics are great, but it is what it is, when you want to be a little more adventurous or creative with your shooting you'll need another camera, with the JVC you can rent a lens or adaptor or purchase as you become able to afford it.
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Old April 9th, 2008, 03:02 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Phil Balsdon View Post
The Canon camera is a great little camera, the pics are great, but it is what it is, when you want to be a little more adventurous or creative with your shooting you'll need another camera, with the JVC you can rent a lens or adaptor or purchase as you become able to afford it.
Exactly, nothing else besides the pics quality and the price is good on the Canon.
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Old April 9th, 2008, 03:27 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Diogo Athouguia View Post
Exactly, nothing else besides the pics quality and the price is good on the Canon.
Qual o teu preferido?

Did you understand that? I am learning Portuguese :)
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Old April 9th, 2008, 06:48 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Diogo Athouguia View Post
Exactly, nothing else besides the pics quality and the price is good on the Canon.
Is this sarcasm?
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Old April 9th, 2008, 06:52 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Alex Humphrey View Post
4. DVD's are in fact 60i, but recognize a 24p flag to recombine 24p footage that has been interlaced and burned on the DVD's by reading the 60i 24p flagged footage and recombines the 24p footage and sending it out to the HDMI and component cables.
Most All the Commercially made Hollywood DVDs are 24p source on the disc.

The DVD player adds the pulldown (from the flag) to make it play at 29.97

I author DVD for a living and have made many titles that way.

In a similar way most all Blu-Ray and HD DVD titles are 1080 24P sourced.

Toshiba HD-DVD players telecine the source internally and output 1080 60i on
the non progressive models.

Most Blu-Ray players can output 1080 24p directly for displays that can handle it.
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Old April 9th, 2008, 10:04 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogo Athouguia View Post
Exactly, nothing else besides the pics quality and the price is good on the Canon.
If a picture paints a thousand words then I wonder how many more thousands of words a better picture would paint :)

Peace!
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Old April 10th, 2008, 12:10 AM   #26
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Choose your workflow. Most important. What NLE? Then decide what feels better in your hands after narrowing down those choices. It sounds like you are only considering these two cameras. If thats the case, then you need to hold them in your hands and figure out what kind of work you want to produce with your cam. AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL- remember that all of these cams, even the EX1 will produce great images, but none of them will be able to make up for a lack of talent or skill, no art direction, bad lighting/no lighting, a crew, a key grip with a truck load of goodies, 35mm adapter should your project call for it, sound, SOUND, GREAT SOUND, great acting, a SCRIPT, a plan, etc, etc. Your camera choice is important, but its not everything. Spend more time in the other forums focusing on lighting, especially if you are just hoping to DP. And not just lights, but tools of the trade to cut, shape and mold the light to spec. Do this and you can do no wrong. Okay will actually you still might. But your camera choice wont fail you.

I chose the HD100 over a handheld for exactly that reason- its not a handheld. I dont really use my cam to film my girlfriend, or family events and such, and i dont bother with weddings or events very often (although you certainly can- its a flexible camera) but i sure do spend a lot of time when im not working my butt off in the Army making short films, small commercials, corporate videos, and more short films. They don't win awards -yet ;)- but they always find me in a place where i am most content in life; behind the camera!- and the control over the imagery is excellent. I run just about everything at 24p all the time which is why i bought it in the first place. Ergonomics are top notch. If i wanted a handheld the only one id consider would be something the size and feel of the V1- i found the XH-A1 awkward and ungainly. Put an adapter on it and then you're talking about forking out a lot more money to build it into a shoulder mount if you want steady handheld shots, in which case, you could just buy a used or even new HD100/110. The 200 is a good cam too, but i would wait to see if NAB brings anything new before jumping on the bandwagon there. And do remember that if you are going for the film look then you are looking at color correcting your footage in which case you'll be looking to get the most latitude you can from the image which generally means a fairly evenly exposed image that will seem rather "flat". Both forums have great recipies for anything you could want and a great user base to rely on. You can't go wrong. Rent both for a day if you can- you wont regret it.

OH and this is NOT a cheap shot because ive used both cameras and think they both produce a great image in the right hands, but when I picked up the Canon it felt cheap and plasticky (sp?) in my hands which immediately turned me off to it. That and it was heavy and felt awkward and ungainly for my hands. I never wanted to take it off the tripod. Fortunately as stated above the optics and images were good, but the feel of the cam is important to me. I do my best work with the 100. If only they mated an HVX and HD100...im still waiting for the day to come...
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Old April 10th, 2008, 08:53 AM   #27
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Hey Alex, thanks alot for answering my questions. Those honestly were good answers! One question though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Humphrey View Post
DVD's are 60i ONLY and can decode 24p from a 24p source. I don't like the look of 60i on a LCD or plasma, but the 24p looks good to me. That's why I say 24p or 24f.
I'm not entirely sure what this means simply because I have little experience in the post production process. I suppose from what I understand, if you capture footage at 24p or 60i that is simply the frame rate you captured in and once you have the footage at that rate you can't change it. But I suppose you can in post?

My experience with digital video is slim to none. I have been wanting to get into this for many years but have never had the oppertunity or time to get the proper university education. So comming to this forum, to me, is the equivelant to walking into a professor's office and asking him a few questions. Although, Just yesterday I figured out that my current university offers classes in video communication and I had no idea. I might still be able to take on if i'm not to close to graduating.

The idea that you proposed about going and renting a camera I am definately considering. I feel wierd talking about a camera I've never even seen in person. I've held an XH A1, but never the JVC. I'd like to just play with it for a few hours and see what I like. However, the problem is, I don't even know what I would like other than the fact that it actually looks like a professional video camera. Hopefully soon I will understand more about these cameras enough to make a simi educated guess on how exactly these cameras would fit my needs.

Thanks alot Alex!
-Terry.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 09:40 AM   #28
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If only they mated an HVX and HD100...im still waiting for the day to come...
They did... A Panasonic HPX500.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 10:36 AM   #29
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Alan, great wisdom. Thank you sir.

My main concern is getting the film look at its full potential. I am trying to get as close as I can to the look produced by one of these big major production film cameras like Panvision or Arri (if thats even possible). Why? well, my main influence with film has been anthropology or more specifically, archaeology. I have been working with North Eastern Native American sites for the past 6 years. My research focuses on Pre Columbian North America during the Mississippian period (A.D. 900-1700). Last summer I proposed a grant idea to my university to reconstruct a Mississippian style home at the Angel Mounds site in Evansville Indiana. In 2005, the site had been completely demolished by a tornado that swept through and destroyed the forest around it, uprooting trees on the site and leveling most of the buildings. The site was in bad shape and the state had just required that the site begin charging admission. Since the site had been reduced to rubble and a few mounds with an out of date interpretive center, what does the site have to offer? My project intreagued many volunteers to offer a hand in the house's construction. When I imagined such a large group of people diligently working to preserve Angel history I thought "Hey, I should get this filmed some how..."

Many ideas ran through my head about what this film should be about. Where is this video going to play? what purpose does it have? One afternoon at the site, I walked into the visitor's center's projector room where a narrative film about the site would periodically play. The film was completely out of date, as was a lot of information in the interpretive center. I thought "perfect.." What this site needs is something to attract visitors, but how can I do that with film? Well, I had it in mind to create something theatrical and cinematic, rather than regurgitating historical facts which in my mind is rather a waste of film. People can read about this stuff all day long, but what is there to provide a visual aid? ...well, thats easy, film. My intention is to give them something they will remember, something that properly reconstructs the lives of the people they patronize. I hope that through an actual film this can be accomplishable.

But where does all these people building this house fit in? What I had in mind was to film their efforts along with the archaeological excavations being conducted on the site to illustrate the fight against time which is slowly erasing the history of these people. If you can understand that... So what I need in those situations is a good frame rate that you'd get in an interview, "behind the scenes footage"...etc. I would also like to be able to film a friend skateboarding with the same camera...am I asking to much? :)

As a side note, I am fully aware that it takes ALOT more than just the camera to pull off what I want. My concern right now is simply the camera's performance and its ability to achieve what I need.

Sorry for the long drawn out explanation about why I want the film look.. I sort of went off on a tangent there..but at least now you can better understand what I'm trying to do.

Thanks for reading.
-Terry.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 11:04 AM   #30
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I just wanted to add that I don't intend on this film being my first and only film. I have it in mind to create a series of short films as "training" to get me better attuned with the process of filming a film all the way to post production. I do not intend on producing the film for Angel Mounds any time soon. There will be alot of preperation before this film is actually created.
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