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Old December 5th, 2006, 11:11 PM   #31
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why I like the HD110

I am relatively new to the photography side having always been "talent." As you might imagine, I have a lot of work friends who shoot professionally for local and network news crews.

The work I do is mostly documentary stuff with a news feel so 24p isn't super important.

The form factor (ENG feel of this camera) is the most important reason I think this camera is superior for the price.

The pro cam-techs I work with look at it and marvel at how small it is (compared to what they use). One of my photographers even suggested we use it on a news story for the station. (In fact the HD110 is layed out very similarly to the Panasonic AJ-SPX800 and the Sony Betacam SX units that we use at my "real" job).

So yes, the form factor is a big thing with this camera. If and when you "graduate" to more expensive gear, you'll have very little trouble making the adjustment. (Heck isn't white balance the same place on every camera?)

I agree with the poster who said, if I were rich I'd have several different cameras....but this camera is a good one to start with.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 12:49 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Paolo Ciccone
I wish RED the best luck, for now I'm gonna work with JVC and Sony for my projects.

Thanks for responding Paolo. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out... But even if RED does not deliver in the end, I do think that they've opened up a lot of people's eyes with their concepts - including Sony, et al.

So, if I'm taking your advice properly, you'd advise owners of the JVC (or HVX/Canon) to stand pat and learn to get the max out of the equipment. Also for prospective new buyers to take the plunge now.

If so, I still think JVC's got the best deal for the money. But, it all depends on your needs...

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Old December 6th, 2006, 01:14 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by John Vincent
So, if I'm taking your advice properly, you'd advise owners of the JVC (or HVX/Canon) to stand pat and learn to get the max out of the equipment. Also for prospective new buyers to take the plunge now.
Yes, the more you know the camera the better. The advantage of digital cameras, like the HD100, is the amount of control that they give you. It's important to have a solid foundation in digital technology and compression concepts. With that you can then address the feaures of a specific camera and use them to obtan gthe best images. For example, then HD100 has a remarkable amount of control in the color matrix. That's how I was able to develop TrueColor. Why we should work with a given configuration is something that you need to realize on your own when you "grok" the basics of digital compression. For example, once you know how HDV works you know that you better avoid it for editing even when the NLE provides support for it. I use HDV editing only for the first cut of the footage. Once I'm getting to the point of applying effects and color correction I switch to uncompressed.

Regarding buying a camera I can only say this: if you need one today then buy one today. If you can wait then wait but be aware that there will be always a better product annouced. You can't play that game, you'll end up always waiting while other people are out there shooting. There is nothing like getting the experience. Nothing else. There are today some very nice cameras in the sub-$10,000 range. Get the one that fits your project and get out and shoot :)
Take care.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 01:43 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paolo Ciccone
For example, once you know how HDV works you know that you better avoid it for editing even when the NLE provides support for it. I use HDV editing only for the first cut of the footage. Once I'm getting to the point of applying effects and color correction I switch to uncompressed.
Paolo, everytime you start talking my hunger for picking your brain gets the best of me. Tell us, how much uncompressed footage have you found yourself editing. Using what NLE? Have you edited 24p from the HD100? What was the workflow? In other words, after you have your 24p footage, what was next step towards editing? How do you make it editable since there's no support for 24pHDV? I know you've probably answered this before, but I've yet to have a clear idea how to go about editing 24p from my HD100, which is why early on, I decided to avoid it altogether. But I'm dying to use it. BTW, I work with AvidXpress Pro HD. Thank you Paolo.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 03:18 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Jaadgy Akanni
Tell us, how much uncompressed footage have you found yourself editing. Using what NLE? Have you edited 24p from the HD100? What was the workflow? How do you make it editable since there's no support for 24pHDV?
Hi Jaadgy.
There are three scenarios: a) you ingest HDV footage (24 or 30fps, it doesn't matter) in HDV. b) You ingest HDV footage that you convert to uncompressed before the NLE. c) You ingest uncompressed footage via component out.

I'll leave option c) out for now.
With option a) you can use FCP, for example, and take your 24fps footage and acquire it directly. FCP has issues, as we write, with the HD100 and with long clips but short ones seem to work. If you can get the HDV footage out of the HD100 then you can immediately edit it in FCP in HDV format. This gives you the ability to edit without rendering, a nice option. Also, I use this method with the Sony XDCAM, I grab the clips via FW and get them inside FCP where I start cuttin right away. See below for more on the second part of this operation.

If the footage cannot be ingested via the editor then I use DVHCap or HDVxDV to grab long pieces of tape from the HD100. That's how I edit the episodes for "2nd Unit". Since at this point I have a file that I have to convert to QT anyway I convert it in AIC. This gives me the advantage of not using HDV and it takes approximately the same amount of time than to render it later, something that I do anyway. I use MPEG Streamclip (Universal binary)
in batch mode. Be sure to set the frame rate at 23.976 or you'll get clips set at 59.97fps.

When editing HDV footage I only do the rough cut in that format. Exporting, sound sweetening, keying is not right done in HDV. So, after I have a fairly stable cut I switch the compressor setting in my FCP sequence to either use AIC or Uncompressed. I let FCP render the sequence, prettyy fast operaion anyway, and then apply my color correction and other effects.
The advantage of using AIC is that I can select a sequwnce and use "Send to Soundtrack" and it will take a few seconds because FCP doesn't have to recompress the GOPs. Same for when I export to other formats. I export using "Current Settings", this generates a QT reference file because all the rendered clips are in AIC format so there is no recompression. I can get 30 minutes of footage exported in a matter of seconds and then drop that movie into Compressor for generating the MPEG files for the DVD or for Web delivery.
Remember, any compression system that uses temporal compression should be avoided. It's not that HDV is bad. Any codec that works in that way is not a good option for extensive editing. This is because when you cut in the middle of a GOP the NLE has to backtrack, find the reference frame and then calculate the current frame based on the "deltas". Whe exporting footage there is no other option but to recompress your clips in order to generate new GOPs. You cannot cut in the middle of the GOP and output it without rebuilding it. Rebuilding means re-compressing. This means that even though an NLE, any NLE, can claim that it edits in natve mode, that doesn't mean that your output will not require re-compression. It's simply impossible. That's why you are better off by rendering into a an uncompressed format and then output that format. Not only that will be much fast but it will help you preserve the quality of your footage.

For this reason your choice of NLE is crucial. FCP allows you to basically set the input and output format of each sequence. You can have HDV for inout and AIC for outout (rendering). Without that option you have no control over your footage. Or better you don't control the final rendering and thus the final quality of it.

Hope this helps.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 08:29 PM   #36
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Paolo, You have no idea how helpful that was. Your posts are usually a "must print" to me and this one's no exception. Moltissime grazie.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 08:57 PM   #37
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It's like the Coke vs. Pepsi thing

I've shot with the JVC H100 and the Panasonic HVX200 as well editing footage from both, and I'll say, this H100 vs. HVX200 argument can go on forever because they are fundamentally different cameras with different design trade-offs. The designers of each camera had different priorities in terms of lens, form-factor, format, etc.

When I'm shooting handleld ENG/news style, I find the "almost like a pro lens" of the JVC is easier to focus and adjust zoom and iris on the fly, and given that I've shot a lot with the larger pro cameras in the past, the familiarty and ergonomics of the pro-camcorder style are a plus.

But on the other hand I like the smaller size of the HVX200 for other types of shooting, especially stealthy, out of the way, cinema-verite style shooting, where I have the camera up and down and all over the place but rarely on my shoulder. Here the smaller, more compact camera is a plus. And then the HVX has the spot meter. I love that feature. And the variable frame rates, that's something I consider essential. I used to have to rent a Varicam to get it, now the HVX offers it at a low price.

When it comes to robustness of the camera and the ease of editing, the HVX and the DVCPRO HD format wins. Both the JVC camera and the HDV tape format are fragile. The JVCs I've shot with have been in the shop several times and I've got one eaten HDV tape to prove that tape sucks. On the other hand semiconductor memory is very stable and reliable and P2 ingest is fast and efficient, the cost of the cards notwithstanding. And before you start going on about the cost of P2, please do a lifecycle spreadsheet analysis of cost before you slam P2. Compared to Sony Digital Master tape, if you do alot of shooting, the cost of the tape becomes an issue when you're shooting hundreds of tapes a year.

So they are both really good cameras, I like them both. I shot with an HVX200 for six months and where I'm working now we have two JVC H100s and a Sony XDCAM HD,every camera has strengths, and every camera has weaknesses.

These discussions would be more interesting and productive if we looked at the relative streangth and weakness of each camera in the context of a particular application. For example: Multi-camera capture of an event: JVC wins over HVX hands down. Tape is more practical in these situations. Quick shoot and ingest of footage that's ready to go in a format without MPEG-2 tomfoolery, the HVX wins. In terms of ergonomics, that's all so personal. And what about the related issue of MPEG-2 vs. DVCPRO HD? To edit HDV on a Mac I need at a minimum of a Dual Processor 2.0GHz or better G5 machine. To edit DVCPRO HD, a single processor G5 is just fine. If I use AIC I lose timecode, which I care about, other's don't.

It's all about the context of a specific application whether something is better or not. Compared on their own, they are simply two different cameras, like two soda pops, Pepsi or Coke?
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Old December 6th, 2006, 08:58 PM   #38
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Non c'e di che', just rimember me when you'll be king :)
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Old December 7th, 2006, 05:39 AM   #39
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Tim Dashwood writes, "HDV is almost always the format of choice for filmmakers with very low budgets."

Even I, a great fan of the HVX200 and DVX100, would agree with that. HDV is an excellent choice when the budget is tight. Yes, there, I said it (I've been accused by some as being an HVX apologist, which I neither confirm nor deny).

My most recent film, Remembering John Marshall (a documentary currently screening at festivals and in March at Anthology Film Archives in New York) was made on a very tight budget, and as co-producer and co-editor I decided we'd shot with the Sony HVR-Z1U (if I was doing it now, I might choose the HVR-V1U for its 24P feature). The budget was tight and even the HVX200 and H100 were out of the question.

And in the end, the content/subject is much more important than the camera choice. The similarities among all of the under $10,000 HD cameras is greater than their differences. Any of these cameras could have been used to shoot the film and the actual differences between the cameras in the end a minor point. And I say that as someone who used to focus on cinematography but now I'm focused more on producing and editing.
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Old December 7th, 2006, 07:26 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paolo Ciccone
When editing HDV footage I only do the rough cut in that format. Exporting, sound sweetening, keying is not right done in HDV. So, after I have a fairly stable cut I switch the compressor setting in my FCP sequence to either use AIC or Uncompressed. I let FCP render the sequence, prettyy fast operaion anyway, and then apply my color correction and other effects.

Paolo

First of all thanks for this post. Its very helpful.

When you say "I let FCP render the sequence" do you mean you render the timeline, or do you mean you export a movie and then import this back in to FCP for CC and other effects.

Regards


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Old December 7th, 2006, 09:02 AM   #41
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Paolo Ciccone wrote, "When editing HDV footage I only do the rough cut in that format," one of the problems in working with Final Cut Pro is that any media in a format other than the sequence setting has to be rendered to the video format of the sequence. For the video news magazine I edit (I only edit some of the stories but I end up doing the final assembly, color correct, and sound mix), we've started mixing footage from both Sony XDCAM HD and JVC H100 HDV, so I've found it easiest to edit using a DVCPRO HD timeline.

I'm not worried about the slight loss of resolution (and hope to stay out of the XDCAM HD vs. DVCPRO HD vs HDV-1 vs. HDV-2 debate), as the speed gains in post are worth it to me, the additional render time on every edit with HDV costs time and this work is done on a tight deadline. The first time I do the assembly I do have render time (but not that long since I'm using a Mac Pro) but then any changes I make are rendered much faster than if I was working in HDV. Doing it this way I still maintain the original camera media in their native format of Sony's MPEG-2 and JVC's HDV in the event we lose media and I have to recapture from tape.
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Old December 7th, 2006, 05:36 PM   #42
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David, it would be intesrting to know the difference in rendering time between using AIC or DVCPRO. Wihout having tried it I would expect AIC to be slightly faster because it requires less computation. The other argument in favor of AIC /Uncompressed is that it requires the least amount of transcoding. DVCPRO, or any other format will basically transcode our footage with not only loss in resolution but also, possibly, color definition and increase of image noise.
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Old December 7th, 2006, 05:49 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Vincent
If RED (or Sony) can truly produce a 4K camera for under $20 grand, there can be little reason to justify buying a $10k camera. Clearly there is yet another threshold of technology about to be broken.
What's odd is that there seems to be a large price gap between entry-level HD cameras costing about $3-6K and anything better starting at around $25-30K (with lens and accessories). I wish someone would develop a "better" HD camera for around $10K, and I might prefer to have two of those than one super camera for twice the price...
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Old December 7th, 2006, 05:53 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paolo Ciccone
David, it would be intesrting to know the difference in rendering time between using AIC or DVCPRO [...]
I could run a test on the master of the last show, AIC vs. DVCPRO HD. Let me try that and I'll report back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paolo Ciccone
[...] I would expect AIC to be slightly faster because it requires less computation. The other argument in favor of AIC /Uncompressed is that it requires the least amount of transcoding [...]
In the ideal best of all possible worlds I'd choose to master in uncompressed 4:2:2 HD, however, we're limited in the amount of space we have on our RAIDs.
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Old December 7th, 2006, 10:50 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tames
Compared to Sony Digital Master tape, if you do alot of shooting, the cost of the tape becomes an issue when you're shooting hundreds of tapes a year.
As opposed to the cost of all the hard drives you'll have to buy to archive your P2 footage?
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