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Old November 24th, 2006, 06:20 PM   #1
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GY HD251E Comparisons with SD Cameras

Hi all, looks like we are buying the GY HD251E. But what I would love to know is how does this camera compare say to a Digi Beta or similar. Most of our work ends up as SD so it would be good to know.

Ta Heather
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Old November 25th, 2006, 08:35 PM   #2
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Has anyone got any comments?

Has anyone got any comments?

Thanks, Heather
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Old November 25th, 2006, 10:48 PM   #3
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HD250 vs digibeta

Basically if your only delivering SD, then I would look at your realistic use expectation. The JVC's being 1/3 chips have nowhere the sensativity of the bigger cams, but in properly lit situations where you downrez your HDV to SD, you should be at least equal if not better. And if you capture SDI then you raise the stakes again. The definition and a good clean 4:2:2 signal.

But if your doing lots of real low light stuff, you may have to reconsider the JVC, even though the 250 is cleaner now with gain. Also if your looking at film out the JVC is definitely the way to go. Budget I suppose and futureproofing you production is another consideration.

Having Said that I'm getting the HD251 around Feb 2007. And I'd go at least with the 17 x 5 Fujinon lens.
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Old November 25th, 2006, 11:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heather Cook
Has anyone got any comments?

Thanks, Heather
Hi Heather.

Well, as no GY-HD251E owners have piped up and as you asked for any comments, I can give you some limited advice (as a GY-HD101E owner who has also done a couple of projects with Digital Betacam).

The main variables I am thinking of (as regards to the "look" or "quality") are: size of CCDs, number of lines scanned, frame rate, compression and scanning method (interlaced or progressive).

The CCDs on the Digital Betacam are twice the size of the 251E (2/3" vs 1/3") so that's a big plus to Digital Betacam (quality-wise) over the 251E, but the 251E scans 100 more lines than Digital Betacam (720 lines vs 625 lines) so the 251E wins there. Also, per Carl Hicks, the new 250 series (which should include the 251E I would imagine) will have a 14 bit Analog/Digital converter which brings it up to the quality of the Digital Betacam converter (also 14 bit).

So, in terms of image quality for eventual SD distribution, no clear winner (purely my opinion) in terms of CCD size and number of lines scanned. It's a trade-off between the two.

The compression on the 101E model is pretty aggressive (MPEG-2), but the 251E is supposed to have a much better encoder. This is if you are recording to tape, of course. But the 251E wins hands-down over Digital Betacam compression if you are going to be recording an uncompressed signal through the HD-SDI output. It's something to consider.

Now we come to frame rate and interlaced vs progressive. While the latest Digital Betacam models can give you 25p, I suspect you are referring to the "look" it gives in 50i. While you could also directly shoot 50i with the 251E, you would only get 576 lines (not 720 lines).

If you were to shoot 25p in HD (720 lines) it gives quite a "filmic" look (in my opinion) as the frame rate is almost 24p, plus it has less of a "video" look than interlaced footage.

Some posts have been made in this forum which claim that the higher progressive frame rates (50p and 60p) tend to look more like video. So I guess it will depend on the "look" you want out of your 251E. It will give you a terrific amount of options and control. Plus there are many scene files posted in this forum to give you a large variety of "looks" independent of frame rate and other considerations.

Finally, from a purely subjective viewpoint, the 720p25 footage I have downconverted to SD at the end of my editing workflow looks terrific (but so does Digital Betacam footage, of course).
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Old November 27th, 2006, 07:33 AM   #5
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If it needs to end up in SD 50i, you can shoot and edit in HD 50p and downconvert that into SD 50i for a superior result.

Overall Adam Letch is right. If you especially need good low light capabilities, the bigger CCD's on 2/3 inch camcorders are hard to beat. Otherwise I'd go for the JVC.

Mind you that the range of lenses for 1/3 inch camcorders is also a lot smaller than the range available for 2/3 inch camcorders and possibly impossible to rent near you.

I would know what to choose, but then again, I already shoot in ProHD and it really won my heart over. Furthermore, you might consider the fact that with HD, you might be able to wait somewhat longer to upgrade in a few years. I bought my JVC to shoot superior SD images, but it turns out the HD is so addicting, that I don't like to shoot in anything else. You might be able to convert some of your clients...
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Old November 28th, 2006, 03:12 PM   #6
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WOW thats excellent feed back. I feel more positive than ever about our purchase.

Thank you Heather.
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Old November 28th, 2006, 03:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Werner Wesp
If it needs to end up in SD 50i, you can shoot and edit in HD 50p and downconvert that into SD 50i for a superior result.
I hope Heather is going to use Edius 4 or Liquid because FCP doesn't support HD50p at this moment.
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