HD100 tested beside 35mm on set of '24' at DVinfo.net

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Old January 17th, 2006, 04:11 PM   #1
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HD100 tested beside 35mm on set of '24'

Here's an article in Showreel about some testing that is being done with Z1, HD100 and eventually XLH1 by Rodney Charters, the DP of 24, and Taylor Wigton, a DP and member here at dvinfo. Maybe Taylor would be kind enough to post some updates for us as he goes through the comparison workflow process.

http://www.showreel.org/memberarea/article.php?141
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Old January 17th, 2006, 04:50 PM   #2
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Very cool. Thanks for that link, Tim!
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Old January 17th, 2006, 04:56 PM   #3
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I think things are really gonna change round here. Damn interesting Tim, Thanks.

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Old January 17th, 2006, 06:50 PM   #4
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Hope this is useful content for all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Dashwood
Here's an article in Showreel about some testing that is being done with Z1, HD100 and eventually XLH1 by Rodney Charters, the DP of 24, and Taylor Wigton, a DP and member here at dvinfo. Maybe Taylor would be kind enough to post some updates for us as he goes through the comparison workflow process.

http://www.showreel.org/memberarea/article.php?141
(please note: I am not getting ANY compensation from ANY manufacturer or Showreel Magazine)

Thanks for taking a look guys (and gals). I hope this and the next tests become a credible and useful tool. I will certainly drop an update and am very glad that the actual content written is getting wider circulation amongst all levels of production personelle. The reason: I chose Showreel specifically to publish the results and conclusions that myself and Rodney Charters ASC, CSC (DP of "24") because of Showreel Publisher Steve Parker's urge to tell things as they are, rather then pandering to the manufacturers as we see so often in the free leaflets that come in our mailboxes, etc etc. That being said, there was a clear understanding among all the manufacturers that we have been dealing with that we would love to test your new gear, but we in no way will guarantee that the written text from testing the gear will be rosy and nice. Nor will the reps who work for the manufacturers be treated like royalty, as we will make a point to let our global community become more aware of the mis-information, or lack of information, or lack of (chip specs, for example). No US publication has ever stared down the manufacturers in the way Showreel has, and I want to give a nod to UK DP Geoff Boyle (CML moderator) for one single line in a Showreel peice that made me fall out of my chair. In a sense, it's Variety Magazine for film production. Very exciting stuff, and I think more peices like this written by more of you in Showreel will effectively alter the mindset of the companies who make our tools.

Case in point: The SSE that I wrote about was looked at by JVC brass as motivation to do the best to fix what they could and get us a new rig ASAP. I'm delighted at their response to the Showreel peice, whereby they are effectively taking ownership for thier shortcomings. This will continue if we keep unbiased and even keeled, as they will become sharper and more vigilant and in the end, we will have better tools and better information for which to make smart investment choices.

In an effort to get Showreel Magazine onto global newstands, (not just Europe) I urge people to take a look online at www.showreel.org and recognize that a major push is needed to get the thick and very very informative publication from the UK and into your mailbox. We're used to free leaflets but we need to realize WHY those US trades are free. So in all of our best interests, take advantage of the free download window being offered by Showreel of past articles (in the members area section) so that you can see for yourself what this publication has the potential to do for all of us.

Finally, and this is to the moderators of dvinfo.net: Given the scope of the tests, perhaps this link could be added to the other specific cameras, lens accessories, cine adapters, NLE's, and other relevant dvinfo subheadings, as the tests we're doing are fairly broad in scope. fwiw.

All the best,

Taylor Wigton
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Old January 17th, 2006, 08:20 PM   #5
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Hi,
Thanks for a very informative article. I actually gained quite a bit of info from it, such as the methods they use for the car/cockpit scenes.

I do have a question though. If the set does indeed start using HDV next season, will the fact that some HDV cameras are true progressive influence what brand they choose? Fox does 720p on their hd broadcast, so I was wondering if this would influence whether they want their HDV true progressive, or the 'frame' mode that sony and canon use, or interlaced.

I am also very interested what they think of the HD-SDI on the XL-H1... bypass HDV compression altogether!
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Old January 17th, 2006, 10:32 PM   #6
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HDV, HD, 35mm on "24"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Curnow
Hi,
If the set does indeed start using HDV next season, will the fact that some HDV cameras are true progressive influence what brand they choose?
Hi Bob. Although the peice is rather long in certain areas, I don't want this peice to lead people in the wrong direction. If it was not clear from the text, my apologies. Although we have not completed our tests of how "low-cost 1/3rd inch HD camera systems" perform against the 35mm 'gold standard' on a high end, high budget small screen tv drama, the initial conclusions are quite clear as it pertains to "24." At this point in time, HD aquistion of any kind, all the way up to the Panavision Genesis, has been deemed unable to withstand the agressive shooting style and extreme range of light levels that any given "24" sequence must endure. The executive producers of "24" realized that 35mm Vision 2 negative was the only medium that could handle such extreme shooting conditions, and so that said, HDV is not in the cards for next season.

We knew this going in, but not all shows endure the rigors of "24." "24" was a great venue to push every camera, and there are plenty of areas where 1/3 inch HD aquisition might work for "24," the test is not directed squarly on that show only. All the tv networks shoot all sorts of tv, and this is why FOX figured out that what we were testing was broad and sweeping, so they now want to be the first in line to see images alongside the 35mm master and commander to find how and where they can begin to implement this new low cost HD technology.

BOB's QUOTE: "I am also very interested what they think of the HD-SDI on the XL-H1... bypass HDV compression altogether!"

That's what we're setting up right now, along with the HVX-200. We'll record the H1 to HDV and also out via HD-SDI 4:2:2 and compare those images. So again, this particular Showreel series of tests is less about "HDV" and more "1/3rd inch HD aquisition and post-workflow," and does it have the chops to be used for SMALL SCREEN TV DRAMA. (theatrical presentation is not part of this test either) But all questions are encouraged and I'll do my best to answer what I know or am allowed to answer at this point. I also need to help curb any rumors or speculation that might take on a life of it's own... ;-o

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Old January 17th, 2006, 11:17 PM   #7
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Thanks. As I was writing my previous post, I did give thought to replacing 'HDV' with '1/3" ccd'. I just forgot to make the change.

It's looking like part 2 will cover quite a bit. Hopefully we'll hear more about the results of 1080i (on the cams that don't do true progressive scanning) and de-interlacing in post, rather than cineframe.

Thanks,
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Old January 17th, 2006, 11:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Curnow
Hopefully we'll hear more about the results of 1080i (on the cams that don't do true progressive scanning) and de-interlacing in post, rather than cineframe.
If considering the Canons frame mode, I think any post production de-interlacing process (vegas, fcp, AE, cinema tools, etc...) would be hard-pressed to out perform the power of the DIGIC processor built in the XL-H1. Although the camera scans interlaced, it records every bit of 24p/30p, and they resolve higher resolution then any other HDV camera at that. So I beleive the xl-h1 would best be served by shooting in 24f/30f mode. How it scans is irrelevant....how it "looks" and "performs" is what matters for a broadcast tv show.

sidenote: HDV doesn't even come close to Vision2 stock, but for the other shows they produce, it may be excellent.

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Old January 18th, 2006, 12:31 AM   #9
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Taylor thanks for the results. If you need the JVC with the Mini35, I own both so let me know and I will be more than happpy to help out on a test.
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Old January 18th, 2006, 01:55 AM   #10
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A Collaborative Effort.

I appreciate any and all offers for use of gear for testing purposes. I will keep all offers in mind should be find ourselves in a bind moving forward.

There is alot that alot of people know that could accelerate the learning curve as Rodney and I move into the Canon H1 and the HVX. Perhaps a list of suggestions and opinions based on first hand experience with either of the two cameras could be set up here in a simple way so that we can expedidite the process of getting the most out of these next two cameras. There is so much information that needs to be injested, and if those who have direct experience can generate a list of the good, bad, and the ugly- this would be highly useful.

We are working with all the vendors directly and we have had excellent effeciency and cooperation with everyone except Panasonic, who at this stage does not feel any desire to be apart of our tests. They stand alone here, and despite small shipments of all product from around the world, low product output has not been an impediment, except for this case. This being said, it makes me wonder....why are you the ONLY manufacturer that has not been excited to be apart of these tests? Regardless, I am not interested at this point, save the fact that we all want to see what this little machine can do, and it's our obligation to you all that we obtain the HVX and put it through the ringer. We have a couple Los Angeles based outfits who have offered to loan us the camera (and who will get a credit in the published peice) but the date of delivery is uncertain. Therefore, if anyone has access to the HVX and would like to donate the machine for one, maybe two days on the set of "24," I will make sure you receive credit in Showreel for your contribution. Ideally we want to shoot the HVX before the end of the month.

The Canon and JVC will have the mini35 attached and and assortment of Panavision E series primes. The HVX will be fitted with the M3 from RedrockMicro with Nikon SLR primes. All cameras will be shot clean, and we will build elements gradually to give a wide range of vantage points for which to evaluate each system configuration.

Thanks again, and all insights into the H1 and HVX would be greatly appreciated by us and the production community that has come to use this online board religiously.

Taylor Wigton
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Old January 18th, 2006, 02:35 AM   #11
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Hey Taylor,

Let me know the days and if they work out, I'll bring my HVX.
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Old January 18th, 2006, 09:15 AM   #12
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Great article Taylor. Thanks for sharing your experience. That’s the real deal, the test which should really matter, a real drama production. Can’t get better for a test than that. Can’t get closer to a real world test, since it IS real world. It was very interesting to find out some of the details of the show and to read your and the 24 DP’s opinions. I share the same opinions when it comes to drama production, like the fixed auto lenses problems for serious drama shooting etc. I feel sorry Panasonic is not being cooperative, as the HVX200 seems to have been made with drama production in mind. You would think they would be ready to jump in an opportunity to test their camera in the biggest TV show of the moment. By the way, do you think there’s any possibility any footage or at least screen grabs from the test be posted or printed in Showreel’s website? Since the set is being lit for film, it would be great to see first hand how the cameras handle it. The ultimate test for any camera.
Great job and keep up the good work.
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Old January 18th, 2006, 10:43 AM   #13
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Frame grabs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Maier
By the way, do you think there’s any possibility any footage or at least screen grabs from the test be posted or printed in Showreel’s website? Since the set is being lit for film, it would be great to see first hand how the cameras handle it.
Up until the "24" premier Sunday night, I noticed a red dot on my chest every so often. Sometimes on my forehead. Must have been the silly kids from down the street playing with those laser pointers ;-/ And while on set, I had a bag over my head the entire time, except for the very quick photo op. Strange.

So getting Season 5 frame grabs from Fox easy as pie! Right?
--------
My original idea was to not only pull frame grabs, but make an attempt to compile a DVD/HD DVD with all shot footage (AFTER SEASON 5 IS COMPLETED) which could be an even more fruitful way to allow people to make up thier own mind and perhaps begin a dialogue that was based upon a single source that everyone had equal access to......or maybe that will get me more time with a bag on my head and more red dots. Either way, I muster up something in due course.
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Old January 18th, 2006, 11:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shannon Rawls
WOW Taylor, that's interesting.
When we tested the cameras last week, representatives direct from SONY called Adam Wilt on his personal cell phone asking if they could swing by & bring the brand new HD XDCAM 24p HD Camera to the shootout as well.
That IS good news, that should stir the pot a bit!
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Old January 18th, 2006, 12:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylor Wigton
The Canon and JVC will have the mini35 attached and and assortment of Panavision E series primes. The HVX will be fitted with the M3 from RedrockMicro with Nikon SLR primes.
Taylor, thanks for the great info. You sold me on Showreel - I know first hand that advertising runs most U.S. media.

The showreel article really highlighted the 35mm adapter units may be critical for dramatic TV so I'm sure a lot of us are curious to hear an unbiased comparison.

I'd love to hear resolution differences between the Mini35, Guerilla35 and Micro 35. Maximum usable lens F-Stop (ie deepest usabable DOF) on each unit would be interesting. Vignetting issues and actual Field of View differences would be good to know also. If one unit requires more of a zoom to get rid of vignetting then you'd be losing FOV...right?

And if these units seem soft can they be sharpened up in post enough to get the job done?

Thanks for contributing!
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