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Old May 22nd, 2005, 02:03 PM   #1
Regular Crew
Join Date: May 2005
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16mm to digital via BetaSP or DVCam?

Hi Everyone:

I'm looking for opinions...

I'm involved in post production of a short 16mm film to be posted in FCP and distributed on DVD.

The issue of the telecine transfer has arisen with 2 possible paths (for us) and with it a debate about which will look better: your opinions (especially from experience) would be valued.

Possibility 1: Telecine the 16mm diectly to DVCam (ie 20mbs) and FW into FCP, edit, and out to DVD. Simple.

Possibility 2: Telecine to Betacam SP (more expensive by $1000 than DVCam), capture analog via my AJA LA (RGB) to DVCPro50 (50mbs), edit in FCP and out to DVD.

Now, my FCP drive speeds don't support uncompressed analog capture and DV50 is as high as I can go at present (otherwise the Beta analog stage might be worthwhile). We definitely can't afford a telecine transfer to DigiBeta and I don't have a DVCPro 50 deck to play in a transfer to that (though I could hire one I guess..)

So does anyone have any idea whether good looking 16mm source material will look substantially better if telecined to BetaSP then to DV50 or just going directly to DVCam?

I have a feeling the extra cost of the Beta transfer might be better spent on production values/actors etc since I expect the image from a DV50 capture of a BetaSP source to be only marginally better than a direct DVCam transfer.

(BTW the telecine transfer to DV20 tapes (miniDV/DVCam) are substantially lower since the facilities offer student rates to this medium...not to any other).

Thanks in advance

Lee Faulkner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 22nd, 2005, 02:19 PM   #2
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I suggest you get a company to telecine the footage for you into DVCAM or better, directly to DVCPRO. this method is the best for exporting to DVD but as you said, you need to rent a DVCPRO VTR to do that, but I extremely reccommend you do that! and definitly use DVD Studio Pro to encode as a 3:2 pulldown/progressive 24p DVD-R master for support on the latest progressive scan dvd players.
I wait for the day cost-efficient global shutter 60fps capable CMOS sensors emerge for use on major manufacturers' cameras. (Sony, Canon, etc.) Rolling Shutters are a plague.
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 11:18 PM   #3
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"telecine the footage for you into DVCAM or better, directly to DVCPRO"

i'm not so sure most will see the difference between Dv, DVcam, DVCpro = they all use the same 5-1 compression = they are all the same data ? some will see slight difference BUT some will just prefer one over the other while on TEST equipment the BETTER #'s might not be the preferred one to view?

lets face it the bottom line will come down to $$$ ..
DVCPRO50 , digibeta will give you the BEST images ..
however transfering 16mm to dv/dvcam/dvcpro will be better then just about any shoulder size camera SD DV/DVCpro/DVcam camera ... basically the telecine is a 250K camera with 250K color correction .. so have a excellent negative and the telecine will give you a excellent image .. hand size dv camera's do NOT really show you what the DV format can do .. the DV format IMO for most projects sits a little above beta SP ...

i would transfer to the format that you can get the tape i/o to your computer. so it that is mini DV then transfer to mini DV ...if you do have a beta deck then depending on the project 4:2:2 might be better ? or you could rent a dvcpro 50 deck ? or you could go to a production/post house that has a NLE that will digitize digibeta/dvcpro50 for you (150-200hr) ...

now if you are doing special effects ( roto scop, green screen ) then i would go beta SP over DV as the 4:2:2 color space will be appreciated by your effects team ...

note that the betaSP formatt does not have the line resolution that DV/DVcam does but it does have 4:2:2 color space .. so there is a trade off between 4:2:2 color space w/less resolution VS. 4:1:1 color space with more line resolution.

"In 1986 Betacam SP was developed, which increased horizontal resolution to 340 lines" .. DV formats are 500-525 lines .. ..NOTE that the telecine will give you the MAX resolution to the tape format you choose ...
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