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Old February 28th, 2007, 12:42 PM   #1
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Text detail/definition on the HD100 et al

Hi,
I've noticed that when shooting text, either on buildings or road signs there is a 'softness' to the detail. Someone referred to this as blurred but I feel it is more the nature of both the camera and SD 25p 'progressive' filming?
Looking at all the great footage shot and uploaded on this board I see almost the same thing - and most of that footage has been shot in HDV.

I now carry out a back focus test before each shoot (siemans star chart...nothing high end ) and always use the focus assist....but I just know that I'm going to be pulled up by the client for having 'blurred' text shots.
50i (or even my old panny camcorder) might provide a slightly sharper look to it but then you're entering interlaced 'live' footage land which personally just doesn't cut it.
Might it be a case of SD 25p has this look more so than the superior/sharper HDV? I've yet to jump into that format on this cam but it won't be long.
Meanwhile I'll continue to use 25p, but I'm at a loss as to how I can explain this away. I'll try and add a jpeg frame and see what you folks think!

Many thanks.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 12:51 PM   #2
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Couple of jpegs:
Poossible the codec (exporting as DVPAL, DV50 PAL or DVCPRO 50 - all the look the same):

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g1...OneWaySign.jpg

The smaller writing is not so good on this one, but I'd zoomed in a little from across a large street, frameshots aren't entirely sharp anyway"

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g1...yIciansign.jpg
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Old February 28th, 2007, 02:38 PM   #3
 
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David....
Remember the "good old days" of DV? Sharp edged objects, such as letters, with a lot of contrast with the bordering background, always suffered from effects/artifacts due to the inability of the DV codec to suddenly undergo a drastic change in luma. I suspect that the softness you're seeing is related to a similar weakness in the MPEG compression algorithm used within the camera. It would be an interesting experiment to look at the "uncompressed" image coming out the component port(RGB) on the camera to see if the same softness exists..
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Old March 1st, 2007, 04:05 AM   #4
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The footage always looks better when straight out of the composite cables and fed into a TV (for example). I'm sure it looks a lot better fed directly into a HD monitor given the right equipment.
I've not as yet created a DVD in which I can view footage compressed, but I'm interested to see how much compression has effected the quality compared to merely straight out of the RGB...

I'm fairly certain a lot of this is the nature of the progressive DV format...film always has that soft warm look - you wouldn't really want to view 'live tv' on the big screen and I suppose a slight drop in text detail has to be accepted.
I filmed other bits of text (bar signs/menu's etc) and to be honest I think they're fine - I'll add a frame again below, but if would appreciate views should you get the time.

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g1...FringeMenu.jpg

Actually the biggest revelation recently was clicking the Video track in quicktime to High Quality setting...no wonder footage being viewed on the lower quality setting was a bit soft and 'rum'.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 07:59 AM   #5
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Because of the judder shooting 25p, I would like to know how you get around shooting with this format. What sort of shooting are you doing? Using 25p, the judder is so bad on mine that I can not pan at all and have been told that people dont usually shoot in this format.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 09:11 AM   #6
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There'll be loads of people and plenty of threads on here explaining in great detail how to shoot 25p better than I can.

It just takes a fair bit of practice - really slow pans if you have to.
I shot a guy on a bike this week (not literally of course, I'm a cyclist myself...) keeping him in the centre of the frame and just followed him smoothly - it came out great. He wasn't at all juddery.
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Old March 1st, 2007, 09:23 AM   #7
 
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Dennis,

The first time I shot 25/25p I was appalled at the double images, i.e. judder. It was so bad I decided never to shoot that slow again. Since then I've been able to shoot some really nice 24/25p and have changed my mind. There are a few tricks:
1-be sure to set your shutter speed at 2x the frame rate, dont rely on the default shutter speed setting
2-TURN OFF the JVC motion smoothing algorithm, it really sucks
3-be aware of your horizontal pan rate...it's slower than what your used to but not all that bad
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