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Old April 14th, 2007, 02:47 AM   #1
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HD100/200 for dummies

I have an upcoming project, with the opportunity to use the HD100. The thing is: we are all amateurs, beginners, dummies even. The knowledge is there, but we're lacking experience in the field. However, it would be a waste not to use this beautiful cam.

I currently have a HD200 available for testing. Therefore I'll try to keep you all informed in the next weeks. I hope you enjoy these confessions of an amateur (please don't mind English grammar mistakes).

After unpacking the camera, I spent the first 15 minutes gasping at the looks of it, and being intimidated by all the buttons. The next 15 were spent looking for a way to activate the menu. Once the manual told me I had to press the status button for over a second, things took a higher gear. This camera is actually amazingly simple in use once you figure out the basics. Highly inituative - well, after you've found the menu ;) *touch wood*
Focus assist is a great help as well.

Questions from the first day:

- I noticed that shooting 24p with a shutter speed of 1/24 gives a lot less motion jitter than shooting with 1/48. Plus it is a bit easier to shoot in dark environments. Why is it then that most people prefer 1/48? And what shutter speed would you recommend for dummies?

- European-based, I'd prefer to shoot in 25p. The chances of the project needing a filmout are very small, so 24p is not really necessary. 25p is a lot easier in postproduction for PAL-dvd's. However, is 25p less 'film-look' than 24p? I, an amateur, didn't noticed any difference in playback.

- I'm testing the HD200, while in production we'll use the HD100. Is there any big difference? I'm using the HD100 manual to study and for reference and apart from some extra options I don't need (50p, flip screen) the manual works out well with the HD200.

Today I'll try to shoot with Tim Dashwood's scenefiles, Stephen Noe's 'any scenario' and Paulo Ciccone's TC 3.0.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 03:29 AM   #2
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Hi Robin,
Congratulations on your purchase, don't worry if you keep practicing and reading this forum you'll soon master your camera.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Hemerik View Post
- I noticed that shooting 24p with a shutter speed of 1/24 gives a lot less motion jitter than shooting with 1/48. Plus it is a bit easier to shoot in dark environments. Why is it then that most people prefer 1/48? And what shutter speed would you recommend for dummies?
Slower frame rates have more motion blur, faster ones more flicker/strobing. A shutter speed of 1/24 delivers twice as much light onto the sensor than 1/48, hence it's 'better' in low light.

Generally, your shutter speed should be twice the frame rate. So, at 24 frames-per-second, shoot 1/48, 25fps shoot at 1/50.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Hemerik View Post
- European-based, I'd prefer to shoot in 25p. The chances of the project needing a filmout are very small, so 24p is not really necessary. 25p is a lot easier in postproduction for PAL-dvd's. However, is 25p less 'film-look' than 24p? I, an amateur, didn't noticed any difference in playback.
Shoot 25p. No problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Hemerik View Post
- I'm testing the HD200, while in production we'll use the HD100. Is there any big difference? I'm using the HD100 manual to study and for reference and apart from some extra options I don't need (50p, flip screen) the manual works out well with the HD200.
There's not a massive difference, you've highlighted two of the main differences. The picture quality is marginally better on the 200 series. Get to know the lens and where all the buttons are, and you'll be fine.

Have fun,

Liam.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 05:47 PM   #3
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Feel free to contact me - we're not that far apart and there's lots to be said...

you'll be shooting 25p - I suggest maintaining a 1/50 shutter speed instead of 1/25th - but shooting will be a lot harder. I have lots of footage I can show to demonstrate the (dis)advantages of all procedures, but there's a lot to learn to get the maximum out of what the cam is capable of.

the HD200 at 50 fps with a 1/120th shutter gives quite some remarkable extra options (that I can show also)...

ach ja - en het kan natuurlijk ook in het nederlands... :-)
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Old April 15th, 2007, 05:30 PM   #4
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Thanks Liam and Werner, that's quite a lot of useful information!

The testing went pretty well. I was pleasantly surprised by the image quality - if an amateur can get this image out of the cam, I'm sure professionals can acomplish a near-16mm look. Manual focussing requires a LOT of practise, even with the Focus Assist, that I didn't find that accurate in lowlight and with characters closer than 3 meters to the camera.

One thing we didn't figure out: how to use an external tv/monitor as video assist. Is it possible to shoot in HD and connect (via composite) an SD television for monitoring? Or a laptop via firewire?

Thanks a lot for your contribution, Werner - ik laat van me horen ;)
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Old April 15th, 2007, 06:36 PM   #5
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And some footage available. SD, shot in 25p. Indoor, available light and the camera is on full auto. I'm not sure if I used True Color V3, the standard camera settings or that the full auto mode ignores user settings anyway.

.mp4 video file
(format is .mp4 so you might need VLC)
Don't mind the bad framing, I was too busy handling the focus.
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Old April 16th, 2007, 12:08 AM   #6
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Hmmmm.... the video looks all messed up? I'm using quicktime to view the mp4 but it looks like the file is damaged.




[NL MODE]
en je kan mij natuurlijk ook in het Nederlands vragen stellen, ik heb zelf een HD-251 met alle toeters en bellen ;-) [/NL MODE]
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Old April 16th, 2007, 12:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Hemerik View Post
And some footage available. SD, shot in 25p.
How did you shoot that? The SD mode is 50p or 60p depending on region.
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Old April 16th, 2007, 03:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Hemerik View Post
I noticed that shooting 24p with a shutter speed of 1/24 gives a lot less motion jitter than shooting with 1/48. Plus it is a bit easier to shoot in dark environments. Why is it then that most people prefer 1/48? And what shutter speed would you recommend for dummies?
The shutter speed on a motion picture camera is limited to be shorter than the duration of a frame for technical reasons. Most film is shot at a shutter speed half the duration of a frame, called a "180 degree shutter" due to the actual mechanics of how a film shutter works. Many people consider this to be part of the "film look" and therefore try to duplicate it when they're shooting on video cameras. What shutter speed should you use? Whatever looks good to you. That's why you're the director of photography. 1/48th is "authentic" if that's what you're going for.

Quote:
European-based, I'd prefer to shoot in 25p. The chances of the project needing a filmout are very small, so 24p is not really necessary. 25p is a lot easier in postproduction for PAL-dvd's. However, is 25p less 'film-look' than 24p? I, an amateur, didn't noticed any difference in playback.
A frame in 24p is about 1/600th of a second longer than a frame in 25p. I doubt anyone, professionals included could tell the difference.

I see that you're worried about things like a 1 frame difference in frame rate being more or less "film look." My advice to you: Stop it. Right now. Seriously. "Film look," or really any artistic endeavor isn't a set of procedures you follow. If art were a science, it wouldn't be art. Experiment and find out what look YOU like instead of blindly following what everybody tells you. Rules are made to be broken, they're only there because someone in the past found that they tend to work well in most situations he applied them to. And he found out through experimentation, because he didn't have any rules to follow.

Quote:
I'm testing the HD200, while in production we'll use the HD100. Is there any big difference?
The camera's designed to pretty much be a standard ENG camera in terms of ergonomics and control layout. ENG cameras as a whole are very consistent in how they operate even between different manufacturers. The HDxx0, being the same series from the same manufacturer, can be expected to operate practically identically.

Quote:
Today I'll try to shoot with Tim Dashwood's scenefiles, Stephen Noe's 'any scenario' and Paulo Ciccone's TC 3.0.
Don't forget to try your own.
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Old April 16th, 2007, 03:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Hemerik View Post
the camera is on full auto
Are you sure? White balance looks way blue and the picture's really dark. Full auto would turn on auto white and add gain. Maybe you only turned on the auto iris.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 03:25 PM   #10
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Thanks Stephan and all others for your helpful advice.

I can ensure you we give priority to a decent script and cinematography above technical issues like 24p , but this forum is more suitable for technical questions. If the camera turns out to be too much to handle for an amateur we'll switch to a simple shoot-and-run model anyway.

I'm not sure if it was on full auto.

Updates soon.
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