best camera solution for DV mastering at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Open DV Discussion
For topics which don't fit into any of the other categories.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 16th, 2008, 06:44 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Karachi, Pakistan
Posts: 210
best camera solution for DV mastering

Hi there. I've asked this question before but haven't gotten quite the response I'm looking for. I was thinking perhaps posting it here on this forum would make it more open-ended.

I have to develop a program mastered onto DV PAL. I've already done the first (pilot) episode which was shot entirely on the HDR-FX1 in DV 4:3 to keep from any downconverting. My research has lead me to believe that I'm better off sticking to the format I need to deliver the master in, so for that reason I haven't even used the HDV mode in the camera.

Now I'm thinking of getting a second camera for this production. I was first thinking of getting another FX1 and sticking to the DV mode rather than HDV - but I really want the best quality I can get - so I'm thinking about which camera to get and perhaps even rethink my strategy.

I've been following up on the EX1 and have read nothing but good things about it. Sample footage looks great, and even the camera looks super sexy. What if I were to invest in that camera? How much would it deviate from my requirements? Would it make sense to use an EX1 if I have to ultimately master to DV PAL?

If not the EX1 then what? Anybody have a better suggestion? I also need to know the workflow of whatever you guys suggest. I don't even know whether the EX1 would offer the best workflow for my needs.

Really need help with this, so please do give me your opinions and suggestions. Thanks!
__________________
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit // i7 2600K // 16GB RAM // ASUS P8P67 Board // NVIDIA GTX 470
Sony Vegas Pro 13 // Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2014 // http://vimeo.com/alijafri
Ali Jafri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2008, 08:17 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
To my eye, footage shot on the FX1 in HDV and downrezzed to SD in post looks better than footage shot in native SD DV.

There are a number of so-called "DV" formats - miniDV, DVCAM, DVPRO, etc - what is your actual required delivery format? If it's for broadcast, isn't most contemporary PAL broadcast in 16:9 instead of 4:3?
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2008, 09:04 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Corpus Christi, TX
Posts: 640
The EX1 doesn't shoot anything in 4 x 3. Only 16 x 9 HD.
Greg Laves is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2008, 03:03 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Karachi, Pakistan
Posts: 210
Steve, yes i've been considering shooting in HDV and then downrezzing to SD. The format i'll need to give the footage in will be miniDV. This is for broadcast in Pakistan and we don't have anything in 16:9 let alone HD. So you see why i'm hesitant in acquiring the EX1, don't want it to be a white elephant.
__________________
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit // i7 2600K // 16GB RAM // ASUS P8P67 Board // NVIDIA GTX 470
Sony Vegas Pro 13 // Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2014 // http://vimeo.com/alijafri
Ali Jafri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2008, 03:08 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali Jafri View Post
Steve, yes i've been considering shooting in HDV and then downrezzing to SD. The format i'll need to give the footage in will be miniDV. This is for broadcast in Pakistan and we don't have anything in 16:9 let alone HD. So you see why i'm hesitant in acquiring the EX1, don't want it to be a white elephant.
Are you sure it's "miniDV" when they say DV format? As I said, there are a number of different formats that are considered "DV" and miniDV is only one of them, one not often used for broadcast.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 17th, 2008, 12:09 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Karachi, Pakistan
Posts: 210
MiniDV - believe it or not!

Steve, yes i know this has come as a shock to you, but broadcast here in Pakistan is still done on less than miniDV quality. I'm talking miniDV and not DVCAM or even DVCPRO50 or 100. Sometimes a network would split bandwidth between two completely different channels in order to save on bandwidth costs. Its sad but that's how it is here. Some say that the media industry is booming in Pakistan, whereas its just a bunch of networks cramming as many feeds into a single data stream as they can, usually using mpeg1 formats and not really worrying about severe compression artifacts and data loss. So now you know the inside story, what setup would you recommend that i get? Doesn't the EX1 just seem overkill in this situation? I desperately want someone to prove me wrong so that i can go buy it the first chance i get, but i don't want to get bogged down by heavy down-rendering bringing it miniDV. On the other hand, all our high-budget commercials are shot on film and then sent to bangkok for telecine and grading before coming back here to be edited on matrox axio machines at 10-bit uncompressed but then ultimately mastered down to miniDV. Still, it does make a difference, and you can tell film footage when you see it, even on a miniDV master.
__________________
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit // i7 2600K // 16GB RAM // ASUS P8P67 Board // NVIDIA GTX 470
Sony Vegas Pro 13 // Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2014 // http://vimeo.com/alijafri
Ali Jafri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 8th, 2008, 08:36 AM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: U.K
Posts: 38
Ali,

have you actually shot anything on HDV or HD and then downsized it to DV? some people say it looks "nice" - but i think the question here would be "how nice?" and at what cost and time?
frankly i think its not worth the hassle, and from what limited experimenting i've done, i find it easier to shoot DV when you're delivering DV.

Your footage might look better if you shoot DVCAM or DVCPro simply because of the larger CCDs and the (slightly) better lenses.

getting an EX-1 would be a headache with all your stuff converted to SD. if you find the camera super-sexy you can put a picture of it on your bedside ;-)
Vasi Hasan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 8th, 2008, 09:06 AM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Kenosha WI
Posts: 65
There is always the Panasonic HVX200a or the 170 which will be released latter this year. I am pretty sure either will allow you to record to DVCPro 50 which is SD but at 4:2:2 sampling. Depending on your workflow (color grading, effects) this could be a big deal.

Mike
Mike Bisom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 8th, 2008, 12:13 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta/USA
Posts: 2,507
Ali,

I am facing the same dilemma, trying to decide on cameras for a show that will air on a station I know has no plans to go HD for at least for the next 2-3 years. I have researched and researched, and here is what I would do in your place: I would buy a decent used broadcast camera! For the money you spend on a so-so HD camera in hopes that the downcoverted footage will eventually look better, you can get a used DSR 250 or 300. Western European TV studios and independents are unloading these by the boatload, so you can get excellent deals! Hopefully by the time a used Sony will die on you, your TV system will be ready to go to a higher quality, maybe even HD.

Except if you need to do very heavy effects, color grading and such, in which case going from HD to uncompressed SD migh give you better results.

I am also considering the EX1/EX3 and if I will eventually go for one of these, it will only be for producing other shows, to air on other, HD stations.
__________________
Ervin Farkas, CDVS
Certified Legal Videographer
Ervin Farkas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 13th, 2008, 11:39 AM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Karachi, Pakistan
Posts: 210
Best form of DV

Okay from all the things that have been discussed here I'm getting to know more about Panasonic's DVCPro50 format which has an increased color space of 4:2:2 while remaining within the DV codec. Does this mean that for ultimately mastering down to DV (PAL) the best quality I can get is DVCpro50 using a....HVX200 camera?

I'm fairly new to the whole Panasonic thing since I've always been a Sony man. But it seems that Panasonic is doing more for the standard definition market while Sony is going HD with its new EX1 etc.

Need more input on whether the right camera for me would be the HVX200. Also, since I have a DSR-11 deck, would it support Panasonic?
__________________
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit // i7 2600K // 16GB RAM // ASUS P8P67 Board // NVIDIA GTX 470
Sony Vegas Pro 13 // Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2014 // http://vimeo.com/alijafri
Ali Jafri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 13th, 2008, 02:30 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 326
DVCPro50 is not in a DV format. It's a different format, which Wikipedia describes as similar to 2 simultaneous DV recordings. DV is 4:1:1 in color space, as are DVCPro and DVCAM. DVCPro and DVCAM record video using DV compression, but record it with faster speed onto tapes, making the tapes more reliable. But, DVCPro50 uses a slightly different format, which allows it to be 4:2:2, but also uses double the bitrate. (DV is 25 Mb/s, DVCPro50 is 50Mb/s)

If you wanted to shoot in DVCPro50, it may give you some positive effects for chromakeying, and it probably will look a little better than just a standard DV recording.

The HVX-200 only records MiniDV video to its tape deck though, everything else (DVCPro50, DVCProHD) gets recorded to P2 cards, so your deck will only work with the HVX if you just record standard MiniDV video. So that may not be the workflow you're looking for. The HPX-170 doesn't even have a tape deck, it records solely to cards.

I haven't shot anything with DVCPro50, so I'm not sure whether or not you'd see a quality difference after you finished in DV, but it might be worth a try. I'll leave it to the more experienced people to help you with that point.
Tom Wills is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 15th, 2008, 04:38 AM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Posts: 400
Ali, if the final delivery is Mpeg-1 as you have explained above, I think you'd better stick with a camera that can shoot DV25 (e.g. miniDV, DVcam and DVCPro25). Anything better, be it any of the 2/3" SD or DVCPro50-capable cameras would be overkill, slow down your workflow and definitely cost you more money with no noticeable differences (at least to your intended audience if not yourself) in the final output.

I can say this much because the broadcast situation in my country is similar to yours. Most people who watch the broadcast TV or even cable programs (in low bit rate Mpeg-2 whose quality is very close to VCD or Mpeg-1) here somehow don't even see or care about the blockiness, stuttering and a host of other artifacts appearing on their screens which are mostly CRTs.

My recommendation is you get one of the newer Sony HDV cams such as the FX-1000/HVR-Z5 or HVR-Z7, all are capable of shooting DV25 or one of the new Panasonic models that can shoot DV25 to either flash memory cards or miniDV tape. Sony EX-1 is not cost-effective and in the end will force you to spend more time and resources in post as it doesn't shoot DV25 or any format in 4:3.

The good thing about Mpeg-1 (320x240 pixels, 15 fps) is that it is so forgiving as a presentation format. You follow the content and it hides most of the production flaws.


Wacharapong
Wacharapong Chiowanich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 15th, 2008, 06:05 AM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Karachi, Pakistan
Posts: 210
best DV PAL camera?

Wacharapong, Thanks for the most comprehensive answer I've received yet for my particular problem. You're right that we both are in the same kind of market where DV is here to stay and anything above that will be overkill. No one else seems to understand that over here and are always talking about future proofing. I don't know about Thailand but in Pakistan I very much doubt that anyone will venture out of the standard DV format.

I already have a Sony FX1 (PAL) camera which I have used extensively. Since I don't have an HDV deck I have never shot in the HDV mode. I just use the DV mode and if needed add some color boost using picture profile which everyone seems to advise against but it works for me so I use it anyway ;)

Since I have to master to miniDV tapes would you recommend shooting in HDV or is that too an unnecessary step that will eat up system resources and render times without adding any real value to the picture quality?

Also, I'm considering a second camera. Should it be the Sony Z1 or perhaps the Panasonic DVX100B? I've heard the Panasonic is the best DV camera ever made. I'm seriously considering it, unless of course its now been overtaken by some other camera that would better suit my needs.
__________________
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit // i7 2600K // 16GB RAM // ASUS P8P67 Board // NVIDIA GTX 470
Sony Vegas Pro 13 // Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2014 // http://vimeo.com/alijafri
Ali Jafri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 15th, 2008, 06:40 AM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta/USA
Posts: 2,507
No manufacturer has ever made or will ever make "the best camera ever made"... it's all relative, and it depends on your particular needs. The DVX100 is "the best camera" for a lot of independent filmmakers because it shoots 24P and you can attach a variety of lenses using adaptors to give you the so called "film look" by providing depth of field.

If you have already an FX1, I would suggest buying either another FX1 or a Z1, or perhaps another Sony in the price range; if you need to work with shots from two cams in the same project, you will have major headaches color correcting and/or otherwise matching shots from a Sony and Panny or Canon.

I don't understand why you can't test your FX1 in the HDV mode and decide for yourself if working in HDV would benefit your particular situation. You want to spare the FX1's head and capture your DV tapes with a deck, but for testing purposes you could shoot one tape and capture it with the camera itself... what am I missing here?
__________________
Ervin Farkas, CDVS
Certified Legal Videographer
Ervin Farkas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 15th, 2008, 09:00 AM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,940
IF you shoot HDV it will be 16x9 so in post you will have to crop to 4x3, another task you probably do not need. It will place more demands on the editing PC you are using etc etc. I would stay with the FX1 and buy a FX1000 when they come out in a few months. The FX1000 is the replacement for the FX1 with new 20x zoom and hopefully better performance too. That way you will have two compatible cameras and can copy tapes etc. When I know I will be going to 4x3 I shoot in DV 4x3 on my FX1 just like you are doing now. I can confirm that shooting in HDV then downconverting does give a slightly better image. However if the downstream is mpeg1 I wouldn't bother with all the processing myself.

Ron Evans
Ron Evans is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:48 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network