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Panasonic DVX / DVC Assistant
The 4K DVX200 plus previous Panasonic Pro Line cams: DVX100A, DVC60, DVC30.


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Old February 23rd, 2002, 06:24 PM   #46
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Thanks to everyone for keeping this hot debate civil. To those who are complaining about the tone of the posts, please do not read in anger which is not there. A lot of the "emotion" is perceived only, and not intended. There's a difference. Let's not take things so personally, okay?

Frankly as far as I'm concerned, it's all in the lighting.

Regarding the Panasonic 24p camera, you can forget about using it professionally if there's no way to do proper zoom and focus control (prosumer Panasonics don't have the ability to use lens controllers). I think it's going to be a big disappointment.

I stand by my assertion that framerate is a non-issue. There's so much more that goes into a Hollywood 35mm film production; primarily a talented DP, crew, *lights* and most of all budget.

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Old February 23rd, 2002, 06:38 PM   #47
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I respectfully disagree, Chris. HOWEVER I would like to see a short (maybe 30 seconds) of 60i footage that has proper lighting and the such that gives it the film look in order to see your point. Are there any examples I can look at? I just want to see how it looks. I don't care about stoyline or anything like that for this example.

What you have to say about the Panasonic prosumer cameras deeply concerns me. Like I said, I hope they offer this as an ADDITIONAL feature in an XL2 someday soon. At least we know that camera will be good.
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Old February 23rd, 2002, 10:50 PM   #48
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Let's pin it down... are we talking about 60i video transferred to 35mm that looks like 35mm, or 60i video that just looks like 35mm?

*Another* thing I think about this Panasonic 24p camera is how the heck are you going to edit 24p video... there ain't a DV editing solution I know of that can do it.
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Old February 23rd, 2002, 11:13 PM   #49
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I think Rob Lohman and Joe Redifer's first post on this 2nd page of the discussion sums things up nicely for the way I feel. Since a couple of other things popped up, I'll try and explain/answer them as best as I can. (And Chris is right, I am not mad, so please do not read this in an angry tone.)

Peter, let's say we are shooting a film at 24FPS and then transfer it to video. What do we have? We have 24 frames per second of motion. If we transfer it to NTSC video, we now have 30 frames per second of video, but still only 24 frames per second of motion. Thus every 4th frame of the original "film" must be duplicated in order to bump up the frame rate from 24FPS to 30FPS. So even when playing that back on video at 30FPS, you still only have 24FPS motion to it. In fact, even if we were to transfer our film into some newfangled video format that ran at 120FPS, we would still only have 24 frames of motion per second. If that still isn't clear, perhaps you could think of it this way. Transferring 24FPS to 30FPS is not creating frames, but duplicating frames. So if by that argument the finished transfer is still 30FPS of motion, then why is it that I cannot take a still picture and duplicate it 30 times per second and get full motion video from that one frame? Simple, because you cannot create what is not there, regardless of how many "frames" the display device may play back at. It is kind of like watching vacation slides transferred to videotape. You are seeing 30FPS or 60i from the transfer, but it is just a still frame. Does that make sense? The originating frame rate is all that really matters here, and that is why I am so excited about the new Panasonic and why I feel that this frame rate will quickly become a standard option for all DV cameras in the near future once people see the difference. Granted not all shows are ideally shot at 24FPS. steadichupap's examples of "reality" shows, news, live television and such are actually better suited for 60i. A lot of this has to do with personal preference yes, but also a lot of this has to do with the kind of end result we are looking for in a particular production. Regardless, this is why your example of "Titanic" looking like a video is not valid.

steadichupap, regarding my comment, no you are of course correct that no video that is currently available (or for that matter in the near future) will ever TRULY look like film for a variety of reasons. My comment was more aimed toward making a video production look like a film production *as viewed on video*. I do agree with you that the XL1 cannot be beat right now in the DV format. Joe has let me play with his before and it is a magnificent camera, except for that weird delay in the focusing control that I just can't seem to get used to. If rumor hits that an "XL2" will have 24FPS frame rate capability, then I will definitely hold on, for I agree I think that will be THE camera to have. :)

Chris, regarding lighting, I feel that for a "movie" type of video production, shooting at 60i or 30FPS doesn't give it that "movie" feel, but keeps me subliminally saying "I am watching a homemade video". It's the motion that I am most bothered with and I must agree with Joe that I don't think all the lighting in the world will ever make 60i look like film. Also, I know Joe hasn't responded yet, but I'm 99% sure he is referring to shooting 60i video and trying to light it to look like film. The look of the lighting may hit perfectly, but as soon as the actors and camera start moving around, the "video" effect is still going to be there (at least in my opinion). I know I couldn't much care less about transferring a video I shoot to 35mm film and I *think* Joe basically feels the same way.
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Old February 24th, 2002, 12:42 AM   #50
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Yeah. I want to see 60i shot on video that looks just like a DVD that originated on 24fps film (minus the grain, sound, and all that). It can be a shot of a couple of people walking around in a kitchen... it doesn't matter. I just want to see.

Any NLE can edit 24fps video. What if you recorded some footage from the Titanic DVD (just for example, Macrovision nonwithstanding) into your computer? You could easily edit that around. If the Panasonic does the 3:2 pulldown effect for NTSC just like DVD does, then it shouldn't be a problem. The only real problem would be doing fades and dissolves which all still move at 60i for some insane reason (it should be selectable).
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Old February 24th, 2002, 12:47 AM   #51
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Hmmmm, interesting point Joe. I am only familiar with Adobe Premiere. Do you know of any other editing program that might offer at least the selection between 60i and 30FPS for transition effects?
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Old February 24th, 2002, 02:03 AM   #52
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Nope. 'Tis unfortunate. If you REALLY must have the effect, though, you can figure out which frames need it, export the frames into stills and then adjust the opacity in Photoshop, saving a new frame for each adjustment and then re-integrating it into the movie. A pain, but it does work.
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Old February 24th, 2002, 03:06 AM   #53
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Sorry to butt in on what seems like such a long discussion, one that I personally find academic. To Joe and Brad, if you're so obsessed with slow frame rates that you think it is the only thing that stands between your video looking like film why not do what I did. GET A PAL CAMERA!!! Sorry I didn't mean that as an angry shout, just a humble advertisement and an obvious solution.

Instead of kneeling in the dark, waiting, hoping, and praying that this panasonic thing will live up to the hype and doesn't disappoint you, just get a PAL XL1. I live in Utah and its not that much more expensive to go the PAL route. The computer doesn't care, and you will have your holy grail to great quality video making, a lower frame rate.

Sure its 25 fps and not 24, but I highly doubt you'll be able to tell the difference in a side by side comparison.

In my humble opinion lighting is much more important than frame rate. A well lit video at 30 fps will look much better that a poorly lit video or film at 24 fps. You've probably never seen a poorly lit film because even the lowest budget film tends to be fairly well lit.
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Old February 24th, 2002, 03:11 AM   #54
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Joe can vouch for me I've already done a LOT of research into getting a PAL version of the XL1 camera. :)

I ended up not doing it because all of the info I got on it pointed toward a bad conversion to NTSC reagarding the actual aspect ratio (which is slightly different), color and contrast. At this point I will hold off on the Panasonic or the Canon XL1 version of a 24FPS camera, but I would indeed be very interested in what you could share with us on how you convert PAL to NTSC. You may very well have a better solution than I've heard of. Your shared techniques/conversion process/equipment would be appreciated.\

(And I do agree with you that I don't think anyone would notice the difference between 24 and 25FPS.)
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Old February 24th, 2002, 06:58 AM   #55
 
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By way of clarification, and I REALLY don't want to raise the ire of anyone here, but frame rate aside, I think progressive scan is certainly a great leap forward. As I said before, I'm not enamoured of the interlacing jaggies. IMHO, I think this is a curse from the past. So, frame rate issues aside, please, please, please a true progressive scan camera with native 16:9 format at 30 or 60 FPS would be my ideal design. Of course an adjustable frame rate would be interesting approach, say 25p, 30p, 60p.

I understand the issues with television reqmts for interlacing. This could be handled by making an interlaced option from the 30p, much the reverse of how 30p is currently made from 30i. HDTV will eventually eliminate the need for interlacing altogether, so, there's no need to hang on to this NTSC reqmt for interlacing.

I work exclusively in the digital world, broadcast issues are not one of my considerations. I apologize, in advance, if I stepped on anyone's toes from the broadcast world.


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Old February 24th, 2002, 05:43 PM   #56
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Gents:

This is something I would like to be educated on, please tell me if I have this right: as NTSC is 60i (that is, 30 frames per second, each frame consisting of two interlaced fields), then isn't PAL 50i (25 fps with two interlaced fields)?

If this is the case, PAL video is only marginally closer to our "target" of 24p. The "frame movie mode" on the XL1, which simulates a 30p look, is much closer and thus why it has a more filmlike motion characteristic. 24p video is actually a bit on the jerky side when viewed raw--I've been interested in it from a film blowup perspective, which is where it would appear I'm in the minority on this board. I have heard that footage shot in the frame movie mode on the XL1 is much harder mathematically to create a 24 fps film blowup from than 60i NTSC, or PAL.

Regarding frame rate vs proper lighting as the primary factor in emulating a film presentation. Before there was frame movie mode and software like Cinelook, the best way to process video to give it the "film" treatment was to send it through the proprietary Filmlook process which cost something like $800 for 10 minutes of footage. I worked on a few projects that were Filmlooked, and so I saw the online cut before and after processing. Filmlook incorporated gamma correction, grain addition and other attributes but primarily it converted standard video into 24 fps footage which was then given a 3:2 conversion back into video. The material was shot and filtered and lit as much like film as I could give it. Until the application of Filmlook, it looked like good video. Afterwards, it fooled more than a few people into thinking it had originated on film.

Thus I stand firm on championing frame rate as a major contributor to achieving a film look. But all of the other factors listed above must be in place, or one is simply polishing a turd.

On the other side of the coin, shooting 35mm handheld with available light under conditions that would look like home movies if shot on video, can actually look beautiful. I worked (as the camera operator, not the DP) on a film called "American History X" a few years back which has been heralded for its look. I can attest to the fact that much of it was shot in this way, worth checking out on DVD (powerful movie in any event). Of course it wasn't just the fact that it was shot at 24 fps that made it beautiful, it was also 35mm filmstock.
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Old February 24th, 2002, 06:24 PM   #57
 
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I had the fortunate experience to attend the Santa Fe Film festival in the Fall. There was a category for DV, as, admittedly DV is not admitted into the "film" category. The three DV movies I saw were 30 minute shorts in the Western genre. Of these three, one was quite poorly lit, using an XL1 and available sunlight and shadows from vegetation...a VERY tough task for DV. The second short was mediocre, a little better. The last was filmed in southern Nm, out of doors and indoors under ambient light. Fill reflectors were used carefully. This movie was, IMHO, excellent and rivals film. I wish I could remember the title for reference. Facial close-ups were astounding and had a great deal of impact. All three were projected with a digital projector, and thus were not transposed to film. I wish I could share this experience with everyone here with actual footage. It would certainly convince all but the most skeptical.

Thanx to everyone for providing very useful input.

ahhhh...a little research provided the answer...the three films were as follows:

"Three Westerns shot in New Mexico: "Cuatro," an eerie vision of horsemen on an apocalyptic mission, directed by Jason Balas, "Cristobal," exploring the aftermath of Pancho Villa's raid on Columbus, NM, directed by Keith Sherman, and "Gold, Ghouls and Gals," in which prospectors meet a vampire, directed by Malcolm Ward. "

Out of consideration to the principals, I won't identify which is which.

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Old February 25th, 2002, 12:30 AM   #58
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Gentlemen,

I'm in a hotel room in Orlando (the PMA show) stuck with WebTV for net access and it sucks. Lots to say but impossible to type on this keyboard. Will try to follow up ASAP, getting some examples of "film-like" (ugh) 60i video from colleagues here. I still think color & depth of field (i.e. lighting) and a camera that moves like it has some mass behind it is the key to the 35mm look, more so than framerate. My opinion I guess. Apologies for the absence,
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Old February 25th, 2002, 01:24 AM   #59
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The factors you mention will definitely add quality to a video production, but it will still look like it was sourced on video without that magical frame rate. If you prove me wrong I will send you an extra 1 hour battery for the XL1... the battery that comes with it. I don't need it and it works fine, but I should offer something! :)

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Old February 25th, 2002, 03:41 AM   #60
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Chris, I would be very interested in seeing some of your examples, even though I still find it hard to believe, I'm always open to checking things out.

I've got an awful lot of server space and bandwidth. I'll gladly host some downloads for you of your examples if you need. :)
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