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Old December 12th, 2012, 09:59 PM   #1
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Lost Video Quality??

Hi, I'm new here. I've been doing event videography and editing for almost 10 years with a friends company.
I shot a wedding job I got on my own back in June on my friends professional Sony DSR mini-dv camera (standard def.)
In the past when I have done my own shoots, I've used the same camera to upload to final cut pro to edit.
However, since I have been getting several jobs on my own, my friend suggested I buy a small, consumer mini-DV camera to upload with since I can't be borrowing his camera all the time.
I bought a ittle consumer-grade Samsung mini DV camera (SC D372) for uploading purposes.
I was capturing a video tonight through Firewire, and just opened the video segments on FCP and they lost a LOT of quality.
Is this due to the camera I am using to upload? If so, is there something I can change in settings somewhere to fix this?!
Thanks!
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Old December 13th, 2012, 01:08 AM   #2
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Re: Lost Video Quality??

Hi Courtney,

The camcorder you're using for playback *should not* make a difference in the playback image quality.

Can you be more specific about the loss of quality? Do you mean color, or sharpness, or... ?
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Old December 13th, 2012, 07:57 AM   #3
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Re: Lost Video Quality??

Sharpness, quality, lighting looks a little off.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 09:33 AM   #4
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Re: Lost Video Quality??

Hi Courtney,

miniDV records to tape as a digital stream of ones and zeros. While a more expensive camcorder is generally capable of recording a better video to tape due to higher quality lens, sensor, etc., once it is on tape, ANY device that can play that tape, and output via 1394 Firewire, is simply pulling the stream of ones and zeros from the tape and transferring that EXACT data to your computer.

So, a $200 camcorder technically is playing back the same data to your computer that a $4000 deck would. If for instance you take a photo with a digital still camera, and the image is on the memory card as a .jpg, you can then copy that .jpg to a thumb drive, a CD or DVD, send via email, whatever, and the quality is ALWAYS the same. The data is unchanged regardless of the medium. Which brings another point, in that more expensive digital tape does not mean a better picture - always the same data recorded to tape no matter. The higher quality tape may yield less dropouts, but not better image quality (with analog tape yes, digital no).
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Old December 13th, 2012, 11:47 AM   #5
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Re: Lost Video Quality??

Sounds to me more like the camera that recorded the footage had some issues in some of the menu settings
It's been my experience that in general the camera settings out of the box are not as good as they could be.
For instance, the PD series (150 and 170) as well as the DSR250 which is a PD150 on steroids, the color and sharpness out of the box always left me a bit unhappy. I've had and still have and use 150's and 170's and had a 250 for a good long time and had to go into the Custom Preset to adjust the color level as well as the White Balance adjust and the sharpness level to get the look I wanted.
Depending on the model of Sony camera the material was shot on, a PD series, VX series, DSR 300 or higher, there are adjustments that can take a weak looking image and make it look great.
The camera you use to load the tape has virtually no influence on the look of the matrial being loaded in. I've used a cheap very old 1 chip palmcorder to load tapes for years until it finally died. :-(
Also keep in mind that looking at footage on a computer monitor can in many cases look different than what you would see on a production monitor or a TV however I don't think that's a big issue in this case.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 12:01 PM   #6
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Re: Lost Video Quality??

Thanks for the replies.

-I've used the camera many many times before to shoot and edit. I never change settings because I'm not technical like that.
-My friend that I work for, whos camera it is, has done whatever to the settings and never has an issue.
-I understand that the video quality on a video screen on final cut pro isnt the best, so I made the video screen bigger and that only confirmed how it looked to me. Other videos I have edited look normal. There is obviously something wrong with this.

Is there a way to share/post a screen shot with you guys whether here, in a personal message, or to someones e-mail?

Is there a way in FCP to enhance the quality?

Or, one theory I have is that I have a FCP quality setting, capture setting, or something set wrong? I just started using my new lacie rugged hard drive and set the capture scratches, i'm always afraid I have a video setting wrong!

Thanks!
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Old December 13th, 2012, 12:33 PM   #7
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Re: Lost Video Quality??

How are you viewing this footage inside FCP? - For accurate viewing, you need to use a monitor (not a TV) out of FCP and not the FCP viewer / canvas.

Take a Firewire feed out from FCP, into a firewire device then composite from the device to a calibrated monitor, a better option is to use a BlackMagic / AJA or Matrox MX system from FCP.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 01:02 PM   #8
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Re: Lost Video Quality??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Courtney Manders View Post
Is there a way to share/post a screen shot with you guys
Hi Courtney,

When you're typing in a reply to the forum, scroll down the Reply page and look at the Additional Options box just below... where it says Manage Attachments, click that and there will be an up-loader tool so you can add an image file or whatever. Be sure to click the "Upload" button on the right side of that box, sometimes for me using a Chrome or Firefox browser that button is cut off and I have to scroll to the right to see it.

Hope this helps,
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Old December 13th, 2012, 06:14 PM   #9
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Re: Lost Video Quality??

Ok, so here is a screen grab. I made the video viewer bigger.
I'm just so confused, lol.
I called a company that I rent professional cameras from to ask their thoughts. He said to plug the camera into my TV and make sure the video is not blurry, it's not. And coming from camera to tv in that sense, he said wouldnt be the best quality, but the video on the tv looks better than the video on FCP.

My thoughts is I have a capture setting wrong. Idk even where to begin with settings...

Ideas?
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