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Old July 8th, 2007, 03:46 PM   #16
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While watching the behind the scenes episode, I flipped between that and "Anthony Bordaine, No Reservations," which is shot with DVX100s. Man what a difference, the color randition of the Z1u is so much better, even in harsh conditions (like a wheel house of a fishing boat).
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Old January 4th, 2008, 10:00 AM   #17
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At the risk of not starting a new thread... I'm genuinely interested in further discussions on this. Those are the type cameras I'm mainly using (mostly the Sony HVR-V1's). I compulsively watch these types of shows that I KNOW they are using simuilar cameras. I rack my brain trying to figure out "how come my stuff doesn't look as good". With all of these type shows airing now... there must be hundreds of pros out there doing it. It's frustrating to a newbie like myself..... especially when my boss eludes to the fact that we have all these camera's, Avid, Final Cut.... and the constant question "how can we get that look". Then I go home and turn on the discovery channel and sigh.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 03:24 PM   #18
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Hi Bill -
Yep it's sort of frustrating to know how good results *can* look, and not be able to quite get them. I'd suggest a couple things...

1. Shoot as much as possible with your cam under varying conditions, AFTER scrolling through all the menus and asking a lot of "what the heck does THIS do?" type questions - when you know what everything does and how to use it under fire, you'll capture the best footage.

2. Lighting - you don't say if you are shooting "studio" or live event/action, but the more you learn and study about lighting the better your shots will look. sometimes even having an assistant with one of those car windshield reflectors properly directed will help your shot outdoors, and proper 3/4 point lighting technique indoors makes a HUGE difference.

3. Post - NLE's do more than "edit", they typically have LOADS AND LOADS of color/contrast/brightness/etc, etc adjustments - color correction is an art of it's own - often there's one guy who is charged with giving a show/movie a "look", and that look stems from how the color is altered from the original footage. When you start watching things with an eye on color balance, you realize how much they play with the settings to achieve specific "feel" in various scenes - warm balance for "happy" scenes, blue or green for "sad" ones seems to be pretty common in the movies I've watched of late... the average person doesn't know what is being done, they just respond to the visual stimuli to enhance the experience...


I'm no where near an expert in any of those things (people dedicate their lives and careers to each discipline...), but I try to learn EVERYTHING I can about them along the way so I don't cringe at the results of my shooting... I think its helped some <wink>... at least everyone seems to like the results, although I'm still way more critical and see all the faults!

Hope that gives you somethings to dive into, there are DVi forums and threads on each of these things with incredible wealth of information for you - just sit down with a large cool drink and some snacks!
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Old January 5th, 2008, 08:53 PM   #19
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by the way mythbusters use xdcam hd camcorders as their primary cameras and man you can realy see the difference when they cut between them and the zu1's.

Dirty jobs uses some tape based panasonic hd cameras as their primaries, when they cut between those and the zu1, it is realy hard to tell the difference. Go figure.
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Old January 7th, 2008, 10:09 AM   #20
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Thanks Dave.

I tend to have high expectations and perhaps I get a bit self deprecating when the results don't turn out.

You're totally right. You got to stop and think about their resources. They have guys who do nothing but editing... nothing but color correction. No telling how many stages of post-production it goes through.

Another thing... and it's the big thing: Ever notice (esp Mythbusters) that most of the time they are shooting outside on nice sunny days? Man, even my cell phone can capture decent footage on a nice sunny day.

As far as Deadliest Catch goes... if you've ever been on a boat like or an oil rig that you'd know it's lit up extremely well. I'd imagine that the Mythbuster warehouse is lit up well also (but I believe they have a proper lighting set up & better cameras for inside projects).

Still... Even the worst 1987 VHS footage on Americas Funniest Home Video's tend to have a post-production warmth that I don't have the skill to achieve.

In my job, most of the work I do is run & gun type stuff. In controlled environments I do pretty well. It's that end product smoothness I'm trying to achieve. I guess just keep digging and experimenting is the only answer.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 04:58 AM   #21
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Just to add that Discovery HD cleared the Sony XDCAM HD range of cameras for 100% programme aquisition - a fair bit cheaper than the HDCAM range.
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Old January 14th, 2008, 09:27 AM   #22
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that includes the ex1 right?
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Old January 14th, 2008, 09:29 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Andrew McMillan View Post
that includes the ex1 right?
For the Discovery HD channel approval do you mean?

If so, I don't know if they've tested it yet or not - I wouldn't expect it to have been approved though???
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Old January 15th, 2008, 11:19 AM   #24
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Just wanted to share with the Deadliest Catch info.. watched the entire marathon during the Christmas holiday as well as the making of documentary. A lot of this is IIRC.. it's been a few weeks since seeing the show. Might be confusing a few facts.

For the last full season of DC, they started with 50! Sony HDV cameras (looked like both the the Z1 and the HC1 housings), 6 per boat (8 boats total rigged iirc?). Don't know what the total ended up as, but a lot of cameras died along the way and were replaced. Each boat logged 1500-2000 hours of footage, totaling well over 10,000 hours. The shots of the Discovery crew carrying off the boxes and boxes of mini dv cassettes (at the end) was both very nerd cool and a bit terrifying.

Finally, all of the cameras were useless at the end.. too much corruption and breakdown from the elements.

If you get a chance, definitely catch the making of show. Very very cool!
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Old January 18th, 2008, 03:37 PM   #25
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" Every season, 60 cameras go out on the boats; only about a third make it back in working order."
I just wish I had that kind of money! Just puts the broadcasting budgets in perspective really!
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Old January 18th, 2008, 09:37 PM   #26
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Just got a Panasonic 42 Plasma so I now watch I little more HD from Cable and am disappointed with the quality on a lot of programs. Frankly my own FX1 or SR7 video is a lot better!!! ( meaning the video stays in focus and doesn't jump all over the screen!!!) Just watched an episode of Smart travel that was excellent , sharp, clear and smooth video with nice paced editing. Next up on PBS was a program about the Samba Festival in Rio that was awful. Juddery, focus trails, any pan movement resulted in focus shift and judder. Must have been shot at low frame rate since handheld was terrible. I would love to find out how these programs were shot, and on what equipment. Or is this an encoding problem?
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Old January 21st, 2008, 10:31 AM   #27
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Might be a combination of both problems.

Camera video shuld be better because you're watching video at 25 Mbps compared to about half on cable TV. Tried OTA yet?
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Old January 21st, 2008, 01:31 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
Just got a Panasonic 42 Plasma so I now watch I little more HD from Cable and am disappointed with the quality on a lot of programs. Frankly my own FX1 or SR7 video is a lot better!!! ( meaning the video stays in focus and doesn't jump all over the screen!!!) Just watched an episode of Smart travel that was excellent , sharp, clear and smooth video with nice paced editing. Next up on PBS was a program about the Samba Festival in Rio that was awful. Juddery, focus trails, any pan movement resulted in focus shift and judder. Must have been shot at low frame rate since handheld was terrible. I would love to find out how these programs were shot, and on what equipment. Or is this an encoding problem?
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Old January 21st, 2008, 02:40 PM   #29
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Most HD shows you see on Discovery, History Channel, etc. are shot on Panasonic Varicam, Panasonic 100's or 200's, XDCAM HD and/or Z1U. The difference in quality in shots comes from camera ops skill, attention to detail and the post workflow. If you've got a good shooter that's watching levels, focus, etc. and the HDV camera is input to the NLE via HD-SDI it can be really hard to tell the shots apart. I worked on several episodes of MegaMovers and we shot with the Panasonic Varicam "A" camera and a Sony Z1U "B" camera with a Panasonic 100 for timelapse. In the final shows it was hard to tell them apart. To correct Chris if you look at Discovery's deliverables for docs they state that they allow a maximum of 15% HDV content but like all things in television this doesn't seem to be a hard and fast rule.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 06:57 PM   #30
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Here's the shot

Here's a shot of what looks like a Sony Z1 in it's final disposition. Still from dirty jobs at the dairy farm. I hope the pic comes through
Attached Thumbnails
What kind of cameras are those guys using?-camera-crap-.jpg  
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