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Old November 3rd, 2003, 09:32 AM   #1
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DV Cam/Mini DV and UK Channel Four TV

Greetings

I am a British freelance documentary Producer/Director. Most of the time I work with hired kits and as I work mainly for UK broadcasters and within UK production companies it is always with a standard PD150 kit. Excellent though this camera is I have nagging doubts about it. I am considering buying my own DV kit

a) to make films for myself and

b) to 'wet hire' myself to UK production companies.

Every bone in my body is leaning me towards the Xl1s (and hot news of the XL2 increases my conviction) because of the inter-changability of the lenses. However I have been told that channel four (large, terrestial UK Broadcaster) will only commission DV footage that has been shot on DV Cam or DV Pro and does not prefer footage shot on Mini DV.

Can anyone out there confirm this for me and also definitively explain to me in terms of physical picture enhancement the difference between mini DV and DV Cam. (I know about the higher record speeds and increase in bit information and there are time code markers built into the chip?) Is this actually discernible? In my mind the ability to inter-change lenses outweighs the tape superiority?

Is there a pro- Mini DV tape that has a sturdier transport, casing etc?

Best

Stephen Shearman
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 11:13 AM   #2
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There's no picture quality difference between DVCAM and miniDV. As for CH4, why don't you ask them? Also, you're shooting for the UK market so 16x9 is a big issue for you. Check out cameras that give native 16x9.

Graeme
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 11:29 AM   #3
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myth makers

Thanks Graeme

Trouble is getting a straight answer out of C4!

I think the problem seems to be more with independents' prejudice and their trying to second guess them. I was casting around for other Producer's experiences.

I can't escape the feeling that the PD 150 has been selected as the broadcast DV Format camera of choice in the UK more through sheep-like copy-catting and following everyone else than through any informed decision making... good though the PD 150 is. These DV Cam myths are bandied about to justify their choice.

True 16:9 AR on mini DV would be lovely and there is a lot of talk at the moment about C4's attitude to it. Neither the PD150 or the XL1S has true 16:9 - the answer seems to shoot it all 4:3 and then stretch the image anamorphically in post - until it is rectefied - as a DSR 500/750 is beyond my means!

What do you know about the PD170 in this regard?

thanks for replying

Steve
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 11:38 AM   #4
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I'm using a PDX10, especially for it's widescreen mode, but I've used the PD150 etc.

The BBC do recommend shooting 4x3 and stretching in post because the you get advantage of being able to re-frame, and you can use higher quality software stretching than the PD150 or the XL1 use internally.

Although, if you make a hot programme, and the end result looks good, are they going to refuse to air it because it was shot in an XL1? If you put the finished product on digibeta will they even know what it was shot on?

Graeme
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 05:12 PM   #5
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Hi Stephen,

I know it's deviating a little from your original post and it might all be obvious information but as 16:9 has been mentioned you might find the following link and website interesting as you are UK based.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/deli...WidescreenBook

www.visuals.co.uk/bristol/index.html

Best Wishes

Gareth
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