Best inexpensive green screen camera - Page 2 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 May 26th, 2013, 01:01 PM   #16
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Posts: 489
Re: Best inexpensive green screen camera

Jon, did you see the followup email I sent you with a screen shot done with much better lighting? Do you consider that example noisy?
David Dixon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 26th, 2013, 03:42 PM   #17
New Boot
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Avondale
Posts: 24
Re: Best inexpensive green screen camera

There is a fairly long thread older thread about green screen, external recorders, and 4.2.2 on dvxuser.com. I don't know if you read it, but what I took away was with the external recorders there was an added noise which did not help in keying. The problem is the camera(s) tested were older and I have no idea about all the other technical stuff they were talking about. Its a bit surprising someone has not done a camera shoot out on the cameras you listed.
Steve Varnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 27th, 2013, 04:01 PM   #18
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Wurzburg, Germany
Posts: 316
Re: Best inexpensive green screen camera

What keying software are you using? Because if you are not using The Foundry's Keylight, you definitely need to give it a try.

Keylight is included in all versions of Adobe After Effects, but it is also available as a seperate plugin for all major NLE programs. The seperate plugin costs around 300 USD and is really worth its price.

With keylight you can do nice greenscreen work even with consumer-type AVCHD camcorders (4:2:0 with only 28mbit/s).

So, before you spend a lot of money on new camera gear, I'd suggest you first try the best software keying solution and then decide what more and better equipment you need.

About three years ago I was tasked with some regular green screen work and the cameras available were all 4:2:0. That is why I tested all available plugins and keyers, BorisFX, Motion, can't remember all of them, it were at least six. The only one that came close to keylight was BorisFX, but it still lost in a direct comparison.
Really, try it! It is in a whole other keying league than 90% of all other software keyers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Varnell View Post
There is a fairly long thread older thread about green screen, external recorders, and 4.2.2 on dvxuser.com. I don't know if you read it, but what I took away was with the external recorders there was an added noise which did not help in keying.
I can't imagine how or why there would be added noise through a clean hdmi or sdi connection. It might be that normally the camera has a de-noiser before encoding to get better encoding results, while the external recorder of course doesn't do any of this and just records an uncompressed signal as-is.
In that case the signal recorded by the external device is still better, only it needed some denoising.

However, I'll say it again... if you don't use Keylight, you should. I sound like a sales rep, but believe me, I am not. I am just extremely convinced by this keyer's capabilities, and no one so far was able to show me a better one (not even an equal one!)
Heiko Saele is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 27th, 2013, 09:33 PM   #19
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 700
Re: Best inexpensive green screen camera

If you're on any sort of budget, it's still hard to beat an old used HVX/HPX for key work. Low light was always their weakness, which isn't an issue in a key setup
__________________
Freelance pudgy bearded lighting camera operator
www.mcbob.tv
Kevin McRoberts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28th, 2013, 01:14 AM   #20
New Boot
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Avondale
Posts: 24
Re: Best inexpensive green screen camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heiko Saele View Post
I can't imagine how or why there would be added noise through a clean hdmi or sdi connection. It might be that normally the camera has a de-noiser before encoding to get better encoding results, while the external recorder of course doesn't do any of this and just records an uncompressed signal as-is.
In that case the signal recorded by the external device is still better, only it needed some denoising.
In trying to find the original post, I can't find it. Instead I found (as expected) many more posts about how 4.2.2 will be better. It may have been a particular camera with a noisy HDMI out. Sure would be interesting to test the HDMI output and see the results on the AG-AC90.
Steve Varnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28th, 2013, 12:51 PM   #21
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Re: Best inexpensive green screen camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Dixon View Post
Jon, did you see the followup email I sent you with a screen shot done with much better lighting? Do you consider that example noisy?
Yes. Thanks for the screenshot. It didn't look noisy at all. The hair looked quite good too. Not bad for a budget pro camera and no external recorder!

BTW, I just bought my wife a Canon Vixia R400 camcorder for $250 for her new solo vlog project. The R400 was the cheapest HD camcorder with an external mic input that we found - and no way would she be happy finagling a DSLR. Craigslist was no help. There are delusional people out there asking up to $400 for old SD DV cams. :-/ Anyway, I'll be curious to record the HDMI output just to see what it delivers. Could it surprise me and be 4:2:2?
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28th, 2013, 01:11 PM   #22
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Re: Best inexpensive green screen camera

@Heiko: Thanks for the review on Keylight. My son did the compositing with AfterEffects, probably using KeyLight. With the DSLR, we didn't have an issue with noise and clean keys. The main issue is softness. From experience, while you can get a clean key with 4:2:0, you can't get a crisp key until you go 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 (drool). Also, grading is critical for our work, so more bit depth is desirable. Keylight might do the trick, but we still want the best camera for the job within budget.

@Kevin: The HVX200(a) and HPX170 are 720p cams. We're interested in 1080p24 or better. The HVX500 would be awesome, but used models with lenses seem to go for around $10k. No surprise for a 2/3" pro model. A very desirable camera indeed!

@Steve: Yeah, the noise could be from bypassing the NR, from a technical issue, or from the compression in the recorder. Unless you're recording to a RAID, recorders typically compress the video.
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28th, 2013, 10:33 PM   #23
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Posts: 400
Re: Best inexpensive green screen camera

From my experience, I don't see any camera below the Sony EX1/3 or Canon XF300 series class that can give you footage with edges (red in particular) clean enough for keying without the end result looking faked on general 1080p displays. On cell phone screens or old interlaced CRT sets it might be acceptable. The Panasonic HVX/HPX series may be workable a step down in pricing/IQ terms but I think the resolution hit is significant thus making your job all the harder.
Wacharapong Chiowanich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2013, 11:48 AM   #24
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Re: Best inexpensive green screen camera

Yes, the EX1/3 and XF300 both have three CMOS sensors. The XF100 is a definite step down with a single Bayer sensor, though it seems it has the same 50 Mbps 4:2:2 codec as the XF300.

Looking again at our project, it's possible that we will rent. We're likely to spend most of our time writing, making props and costumes, and doing post/marketing work. If we schedule things well, we can limit our shoots to one or two weekends per month, making a rental realistic.

Okay. LET'S CHANGE THE RULES

...to include cameras that can be rented for under, say $150/day. That puts the XF300 and EX1 in the lead. The advantage of the XF300 is that no external recorder is needed. The advantages of the EX1 are the larger 1/2" chips and potentially 10-bit depth(?) on an external recorder.

Anything else in that rental class?
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 29th, 2013, 01:58 PM   #25
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Re: Best inexpensive green screen camera

It looks like other rent-with-a-recorder options might include the Panasonic AG-HMC150PJ, AG-AC130A and AG-AC160A, which all shoot 1080p24.

The HMC150PJ is a 1/3" 3-CCD camera with HDMI and no HD-SDI.

The AC130A and AC160A have1/3" 3MOS sensors and include HDMI. Step up from the AC130A to the AC160A to get HD-SDI.

The HDMI and HD-SDI outputs are not clear. They list 1080i60, so I assume that 24p is handled with pulldown. But are the outputs true 4:2:2? Are they 10-bit outputs?

The advantage of the Canon XF300 is that it's 100% clear that it records 4:2:2, though with MPEG-2 it will be at 8-bits. The EX1/3 and the Panasonic cams above might output 10-bits, but then again they might not even put out 4:2:2.

It would be good to be able to nail down the outputs of the various cams.

Stepping up in price, Panasonic offers the AG-HPX250PJ. This looks killer. It records 100mpbs 10-bit 4:2:2 AVC-Intra.

Of course, for 10x the price, one can rent the AJ-HPX3700 and get 4:4:4.

Okay, on paper, the HPX250PJ looks like the ideal rental. Three chips. 100mpbs 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording. List price is $6,355.00, which should be around the $150/day range, if it's locally available.
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2013, 03:59 AM   #26
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Re: Best inexpensive green screen camera

Checking with one of the main rental houses in Portland, OR, USA, they don't have the HPX250, but they do have the Sony PMW200. This records 4:2:2 at 50 mbps (8-bits) and has three 1/2" chips.

Unfortunately, the rental price is $250/day. What's worse, they are now adding a 50% penalty for Friday (weekend) rentals. After three rentals, I will have been able to buy a BMC Pocket cam for RAW (although 1080p Bayer) shooting.
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst 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 12:05 PM.


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