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Old October 14th, 2007, 09:03 PM   #31
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Richard,
1. I am on the sidelines filming, and with my ZR65 I have a 20x optical zoom that has been perfect. I will purchase a new tripod with my camera, although its level of quality will depend on whether or not I go HD.

2. I have FCE HD, so I have the ability to work with HD footage.

3. Prior to this year, I had really only been filming as a hobby, but with a recent influx of frantic parents trying to scrounge together a recruiting video and willing to pay good money, it has become more of a business. My talent someway, somehow was discovered (:D)

4. I will also use the camera to begin assembling a personal portfolio of work that I can use for applications etc.
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Old October 14th, 2007, 09:42 PM   #32
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Just saw an example of a short shot for HD TV on Sunday Night football. I'm watching on my $700.00 32" HD TV bought a year ago on the local over the air broadcast. The short was obviously shot with a prosumer level HDV camcorder in 24p, and it was a very nice short piece about local football in Montana. It was very cool. Whoever shot it, obviously new how to use the medium. How can anyone say that HD TV is still years away ? Especially when every new improvement in videography is being applied to the HDV and HD cameras. You don't really see manufaturers developing new SD cameras still for professional use do you ?? Every SD only model that I can think of has been in manufacture for 3 to four years now.

Point is, we are all working with this new medium, learning the craft of editing and working with HDV and HD. This is invaluable training that will carry into the future. This is not something you learn just for a new job someone hires you for coming up. As you learned with DV, there are certain ways of doing things, ways of editing peculiar to your NLE. Anything you do in HD, will tranlate beautifully to a nicer DV.

About your comment on the HV20. If you haven't shot it, then you don't know what it has to offer. Its obviously designed for the consumer, but it shoots a better image the GL2 and the VX2000, period. In many situations, it can outshoot my FX1. So don't be foolish and dismiss it. At $ 900.00, its a hell of a tool. It shoots 60i, or 24p, and has some interesting adjustments to give you the ability to control it image. Problem with it is the short 10x zoom that will require an extender for your purposes.
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Old October 14th, 2007, 09:44 PM   #33
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For those purposes, except maybe the reel which would still likely be fine at SD, you would have no trouble using SD. I assume the parents wouldn't know to ask for HD in most cases anyway.

So.... you have to ask yourself-- do YOU need HD for anything that will come up in the near future?

It's a pretty simple question and absolutely not something we can answer. The current situation has been very well explained by a lot of people in the discussion.

I'd say, sure, go for HD if you can. It certainly won't hurt. Perhaps get a camera that can switch, and just use it in SD mode until you want HD.

Will it hurt to have just SD? Maybe.
Will it hurt to have access to HD? Nope. (Except a bit more expensive)

If you're planning to make money from anything and succeed, it'll pay for itself, as well.

If you have SD, that is not a hugely limiting thing and you can still make movies, sell them, and learn, get hired for your skills (if you can point and shoot a SD camera, no reason you can't get hired to point and shoot an HD cam). However, you will not have HD in that case. Plain and simple.


Imagine you're buying a car. Do you want the cheaper one with 4/5 seats or do you want to pay a bit more for the extra row so you can hold up to 8 people?
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Old October 15th, 2007, 02:45 AM   #34
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I feel your pain Brennan as i own a Sony PD170 SD 4.3 camera and the results i get out of this thing are great but.........
Most households now have a wide screen 16.9 TV and now some with HDV.

As much as i dont want to buy a new camera (I love my Sony PD170 ) i will have to at some point as most pepole are using 16.9 HDV cameras and you need to remain competive in regards to getting work, I would hate to loose a job because i did'nt up grade if only for the 16.9 image.
At the moment i'm getting away with SD 4.3 but when it's stretched on a wide screen it looks crap.

I am looking at the Sony Z1 here in Australia and waiting for the price to drop hopefully early next year as i think this will be great for all the applications i need, hey and i will still have the PD170 for great looking SD 4.3.

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Old October 15th, 2007, 03:15 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Brennan Callahan View Post
Whew... first off I really want to thank Richard and Dave for their excellent reality speeches.... they definitely helped.

Dave- You recommended buying consumer HD camera such as an HV20 and see how I like the HD format. Quite simply, that is not an option. Whichever camera I buy will be the one I have for a while, and I don't want to be selling a camera I have bought for half of its original price.

Richard- As I film sporting events, I won't really need the option of an interchangeable lens system, nor am I worried about low light capabilities - if I shoot at night it will be under the lights of the field
Hi Brennan,
I'm WAY too cheap to suggest you buy something that might lose half it's value <wink>! All my suggestions are in the $500-1K range used, as opposed to 2200 for a comparable FX7. The HC3 and 5 aren't as thrilling as the others, but they are still OK.

The idea was to pick up a slightly used small cam to try out HD - something that won't set you back too much, and should have decent resale value for at least a year. The HV20 and HC7 are no slouches once you learn them (and Sony STILL sells a "pro" version of the HC1...) - quite a bit of manual control there, in a small package. Also if you're getting "serious" about doing video, a "b" cam and/or backup is definitely good insurance if you're getting paid to shoot.

Meanwhile, the "higher end" cameras might come down or have new "must have" features so if the small cam falls by half, the high end should fall SOME too, making it more affordable... or "this years model" will be "last years model" and on the blowout aisle... economics sometimes works in our favor!

I know the suggestion sounds goofy at first, but saving 1500 up front to get your feet wet in HD is worth considering... and if you're getting away with the little Canon now, I'm guessing you're not dealing with too much "image envy" where a "big cam" is a requirement!

You might check another thread where we knocked around the question of economics and different cams for different purposes - it's in the FX7 area here. I compared the various Sony cams as did others - it might help you in deciding.

I'll also note the frightening trend (and I thought I was the only one afflicted) of having one "big" relatively professional camera for those times when "image" (perception, not picture quality) counts, and a smaller cam for family, fun, casual everyday, drag it with you everywhere (and incidently "b" cam/backup) type usage. Sadly I think many large cams are languishing in their cases/bags while these little monsters get run about by crazy videographers who refuse to accept they "have" to have a big camera to take great shots...

There's a bit of method to my suggestion, beneath all the madness <wink>!

DB>)
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Old October 15th, 2007, 07:55 AM   #36
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Even if you shoot SD you must now have good quality 16:9 widescreen output. No cheap SD cam has decent (native) widescreen, vertical resolution is seriously uprezzed in camera, or if you shoot 4:3 you have to do it in post with more or less the same end result. Even though some cams look ok in widescreen mode (like DVX100) they pale in comparason with HDV cams like Canon XH-A1 even when the output of the later is converted to SD or used in SD format. Somebody asked why downrezzed HDV is sharper than SD? Because most SD cams have less pixels on their sensor than the SD resolution. Even a cheap HDV cam has twice as many pixels on the sensor than SD resolution, also in widescreen output. Downrezzing an oversharp picture (HDV putting out SD) is bound to produce a better picture than uprezzing an underpixelled picture (SD producing widescreen SD).

Another thing is that HDV cams are now almost the same price as same level SD cams. Same level means here only features, not quality, on which front HDV clearly leads even used as SD. For that reason alone I would not buy a SD cam anymore. I have XH-A1 and sold my DVX100, and I miss only some audio features of the later, not the (superb for SD) picture quality.

I do some commercial shooting also (we have 2 XH-A1:s) and so far we have been shooting only widescreen SD for clients, which looks just about as good as it can be, with a <$4000 cam!!! The only time we shoot HDV is with greenscreen, where the extra resolution really pays off. Really clean separation, then conversion to SD: never so good!
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One more + for HDV: family movies... We made a 3 week China-Tibet trip with 5 kids shooting 11 hours of HDV. The quality of the video watched on a true HD display is alone worth the investment.
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Old October 15th, 2007, 01:35 PM   #37
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The Canon ZR600 for around $200 has decent anamorphic (regardless of overall image quality).

Asserting that you must have widescreen is just the same as asserting that you must have HD. It all depends on the use, audience and output format.

For a local SD TV station it would be just fine to not have 16:9.
Or for a project primarily for families of children who mostly have SD TVs.... like the sporting events mentioned above.

Widescreen is nice, and so is HD, but neither is explicitly required.
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Old October 15th, 2007, 02:17 PM   #38
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For a local SD TV station it would be just fine to not have 16:9. Or for a project primarily for families of children who mostly have SD TVs.... like the sporting events mentioned above.
Consumers are buying HDTVs by the millions, with roughly 1/3 of U.S. households expected to have one by the end of this year. Buying an HD camera allows you to produce suitable output for both HD and SD viewers; buying an SD camera limits you to a dying production and viewing format. It's an easy choice, really: go HD.
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Old October 15th, 2007, 03:08 PM   #39
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Standard definition is not outdated yet, but 4:3 is. 4:3 TV sets are passe -- at last. 42" plasmas and LCDs can be purchased for less than $1K. HD television is here.

But HD home video is not quite here yet, and the battle between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray is still going on. Widescreen standard definition will stay around for another couple of years until the dust settles. High-bitrate DVDs, either originally produced this way, or remastered and overhyped like Sony's Superbit series, produce very nice image. Switching from an HD TV channel to a DVD movie I don't feel the urge to run and buy an HD disk player right away.

Widescreen rules. Stick with widescreen, unless you shoot for iPods, they are 4:3. Apple slows the progress down, who would have imagined that?

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For a local SD TV station it would be just fine to not have 16:9. Or for a project primarily for families of children who mostly have SD TVs.... like the sporting events mentioned above.

Widescreen is nice, and so is HD, but neither is explicitly required.
People with widescreen TVs tend to turn off from 4:3 stuff, me included. Big networks shoot sports in widescreen now at increasing rate, and center-cut for 4:3 broadcast. Have you watched tennis, golf, NASCAR or Formula One lately? Reorientation to widescreen allows bringing more production from Europe and Australia where they switched to widescreen almost a decade ago.
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Old October 16th, 2007, 12:54 AM   #40
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ABSOLUTELY! Think of it this way - shooting HD from the start gives you roughly 4x the "information" - even if your final delivery is SD on DVD, preserve the HD as long as you can in the workflow. You'll see a better end result.
Dave, No I mean if I shoot in SD from the start, with a HDV camera. Is the outcome better that using an SD camera?

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Old October 16th, 2007, 01:19 AM   #41
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Yes. Almost all prosumer SD cameras shoot with less sensor pixels than the SD standard (espcially with widescreen), thus the image is slightly sub-standard. All HDV cams shoot with full HDV resolution and then downconvert to SD in-cam. This results in maximum SD resolution (at the cost of low light sensetivity).
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Old October 16th, 2007, 02:12 AM   #42
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Dave, No I mean if I shoot in SD from the start, with a HDV camera. Is the outcome better that using an SD camera?

Stelios
From my experience yes, the SD video looks better. As noted above, the sensor has better resolution, so SD looks better. I shot SD test footage in an HC1 and played it back in an SD cam, it looked noticeably sharper and better - I was surprised, but it was pretty obvious.

The question is WHY shoot in SD in the first place? Downres on capture from the cam, or better yet in final rendering.

Again, think of it this way - higher res sensor, higher res video, preserve it as far as possible in the chain and you'll get the best results.

Unless you have a very specific reason to shoot SD (like client demands?), not sure why you'd do it... but if you do you'll see sharper results!
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Old October 16th, 2007, 06:30 AM   #43
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Widescreen rules. Stick with widescreen, unless you shoot for iPods, they are 4:3. Apple slows the progress down, who would have imagined that?
The iPod Touch is 16:9 widescreen, isn't it?
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Old October 16th, 2007, 07:53 AM   #44
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The iPod Touch is 16:9 widescreen, isn't it?
Yes, and so is the iPhone.
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Old October 16th, 2007, 08:53 AM   #45
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...
The question is WHY shoot in SD in the first place? Downres on capture from the cam, or better yet in final rendering...
The reason is that my PC is not that up to date to handle the HDV yet, but it handles the SD quite well.

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