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Old January 25th, 2006, 07:53 PM   #1
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DETAIL and noise, your opinion please

Next week we start preproduction with our HD100 and I need to nail down some settings, especially for the low light scenes. I was originally thinking that I should set DETAIL to at least -3 or -4 to help reduce or remove the ďvideo lookĒ. But now after reading the few threads I could find, and spending 2 hours shooting/reviewing test footage with the DELL 24Ē HD monitor, Iím now leaning towards turning DETAIL off all together!! Iím amazed at how additional noise is clearly visible when set to anything but off. If Iím shooting low light scenes with a fair amount of black or dark areas visible, adding any additional noise is of great concern to me. In fact, even shooting well lit I still would like to avoid additional noise as much as I can (okay so thatís a no-brainer). So has anyone figured out if DETAIL does in fact soften the image when set below -3 or -4, as was discussed in another thread? I noticed added noise on every setting but OFF. I admit it does tend to look a bit soft, but the image it produces is so much cleaner in my opinion.

Worth mentioning, we will spend a fair amount of time in post on this project doing our CC, and the final delivery is web based, therefore reduced down for streaming. The DETAIL set to OFF looks just fine in this case, I only worry that they may decide to broadcast larger at some later time. Does anyone have any solid information regarding DETAIL and added noise?

After reading other threads on this forum I was thinking about using the following for this shoot, any ideas or recommended changes?

MASTER BLACK... Normal
DETAIL... OFF
BLACK... STRETCH3
WHITE CLIP... 108%
KNEE... MANUAL 85%
CINELIKE... OFF
GAMMA... STANDARD
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Old January 25th, 2006, 08:43 PM   #2
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T.Dashwoods "warm" scene file was noise free for me when shooting at 0 gain around open to f 2.8. Try loading that scene file and test it to see the results.
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Old January 25th, 2006, 08:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Patton
I admit it does tend to look a bit soft, but the image it produces is so much cleaner in my opinion.
Noise is simply random detail so you will have to trade-off eliminating noise verses more detail.

For web or any SD use, hi-frequency (very fine) detail is of no great importance because whatever you have in your HD video will be filtered out in the down-convert. So, of course, is noise. Nevertheless, noise is both hi- and mid-frequency grunge so while down-conversion will eliminate hi-frequency detail and hi-frequency noise --- it can still leave mid-frequency noise. So I'd go with less noise vs more detail.

Unless, your other use is for HD. Then i would would look at why you are seeing so much noise. Stephan is correct -- at 0dB gain there really should not be noise. In fact, not even at +6dB! In fact, that's probably the question I should have asked up front.
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Old January 28th, 2006, 09:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen L. Noe
T.Dashwoods "warm" scene file was noise free for me when shooting at 0 gain around open to f 2.8. Try loading that scene file and test it to see the results.
Stephen, I'll give it a run and see how it does, although it's low light settings that I'm looking for a good solution still. I rarely ever gain up if I can help it, I keep it to 0 (+6 on a rare occasion) and adjust lighting as needed. I still see the "hi-frequency (very fine)" noise Steve was talking about unless DETAIL is set to OFF, and even with perfect lighting I would like to keep it to a minimum. So I would still like to find out exactly what the JVC is doing in regards to the DETAIL settings. Does it soften the image when set low or off, or is it simply not adding detail?

Regardless, this luminance noise does not bother me so much, it's expected to some degree and very minor with the JVC, IMO. The type of noise I would like to avoid for this weeks shoot however is the chroma noise found in the blacks during the low light shooting we'll be doing, even when gain is kept at 0 I still see some. I can CC later and crush the blacks back down if stretching reduces the overall chroma noise. So, will stretching the black increase or decrease the chroma noise levels on the JVC?
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Old January 29th, 2006, 04:24 AM   #5
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I also see no noise at 0db. Can you post a frame grab with the worst example of noise you are getting with detail ON.?
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Old January 29th, 2006, 09:43 AM   #6
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When Barry and co were doing the HDV shootout between the Canon, Panasonic, Sony and JVC I think the general consensus was turn the detail off - you can always add detail in post (it's a post effect in camera).
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Old January 29th, 2006, 11:25 AM   #7
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I suggest trying either "OFF" or "MINIMUM" for detail, and using the one that looks best to you. I prefer "MINIMUM" as I find it gives just enough sharpness without the video look (IMHO). "OFF" is a bit too soft for my liking. But, as John mentioned, you can always add some sharpening later in post if needed.

I would also caution about making sure you still have enough light in the low-light scenes. Use the camera settings or post CC to make it look darker rather than keeping the light levels down. (You may already know this, but I've seen some people think a dark scene should be dark on set, which promotes noise in the camera.)
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Old January 29th, 2006, 12:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl Thurston
I would also caution about making sure you still have enough light in the low-light scenes. Use the camera settings or post CC to make it look darker rather than keeping the light levels down. (You may already know this, but I've seen some people think a dark scene should be dark on set, which promotes noise in the camera.)
You can only do so much in post. If you want a dark scene and shoot it bright, doesn't matter what you do in post it will look fake, like day for night does. Unless I misunderstood what you said.
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Old January 29th, 2006, 03:35 PM   #9
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adding detail (sharpness?) in post

I've tried all the detail settings, and the image looks incredibly soft without some detail added in camera (-2 to 0 settings). I've expiermented with adding sharpness in FCP, using both the FCP and QT filters, both in native HDV and converted to DVCProHD codec. Although the DVCProHD codec is better, the noise comes back with the detail added in post, just like in the camera, maybe worse. And you can't go very far with the sharpness filters, begins to look like halos around everything.

Am I using the filters correctly? Any suggestions?

Gary
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Old January 29th, 2006, 05:32 PM   #10
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Off, off, off. I was very dissapointed with the intial tests on a 23' HD monitor. Even with Detail at Minimun and Vand H set to low.
With detail off you're starting to see what this camera can do IMO.
My wife who is our art director immediately compared it to over sharpening in Photoshop...exactly right.
If you look at it sharpened for a while then it looks soft when you shut it off, but that's no different from producing music and having the treble turned up - when you first set it flat it sounds dull by comparison, but that's why you have $5k studio speakers to monitor flat and accurate.
This camera looks great once you start dialing in the look, but I would absolutely start with the Detail off.
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Old January 29th, 2006, 06:00 PM   #11
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The thing is, it's a known thing HD needs some edge enhancement. Any DP used to shoot on the F900 will tell you that and also that the F900 needs some edge enhancement. It's just a normal thing when shooting HD.
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Old January 29th, 2006, 06:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Maier
The thing is, it's a known thing HD needs some edge enhancement. Any DP used to shoot on the F900 will tell you that and also that the F900 needs some edge enhancement. It's just a normal thing when shooting HD.
Well I'm just using my eyes as a producer and the Detail setting off is more pleasing to me than on. This isn't an F900 so I don't know that that's a reasonable comparison and I've yet to see where sharpening is a "known" in the industry.
Also it was apprently universal that the DPs at the recent 6 camera test all prefered the setting off.
Bottom line is how it looks and obviously to a number of us it looks considerably better off. Minimum would be the most I could imagine, but I've shot several hours of tests so far and it will stay off on my projects unless I see something lacking on set.
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Old January 29th, 2006, 06:40 PM   #13
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You can setup the camera for very little noise. Check this out. It is a wmv encode but still check it out. The thing it that the JVC is so customizable that you can find a combination that works in any given scenario. This was shot with the 'warm' scene file @ 0 gain. JVC delivers incredible quality.

Click here for WMV
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Old January 29th, 2006, 07:34 PM   #14
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Good points, all of you. I should clarify that, unlike all of you real DP's, my subjects are often various pieces of machinery like boats, trains and planes, and showing adequate detail is a must. I agree, shooting drama, interviews, etc, the softer look is much more pleasing, perhaps even more "filmlike".

I spent two years shooting in 1080i HDCAM, and never used detail enhancement, in the camera nor in post, and as long as I didn't screw up the focus, it looked great. I'm still getting used to the lower res image of 720p. But I hafta admit, the "p" is a real positive when compared to the alaising of interlaced, albeit higher res 1080i. Maybe I just need a little more time after looking at all those sharp images!

I guess it's a trade-off: sharper image, but with noise, vs. softer image and less noise. Kinda like airplanes: really fast, but lots of fuel and little weight, or really slow, stingy on fuel and lots of weight. Pick one.

Over.
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Old January 29th, 2006, 07:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Morris McBeath
I spent two years shooting in 1080i HDCAM, and never used detail enhancement, in the camera nor in post, and as long as I didn't screw up the focus, it looked great. I'm still getting used to the lower res image of 720p.
Actually 720p should have as much or more detail than 1080i. 1080 24p is another story however.
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