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Old April 26th, 2004, 12:10 PM   #1
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How to shoot DVX100(a) for possible 35mm transfer

<--- Could this guy be more of a pain in the ass?

I'll be working on a project using a DVX100a and a DVX100, with the end product intended for three possible media: 35mm film, cable television, and DVD.

I guess I'd like to know if there's some reason that I can't shoot the same way, and have all three in mind as possible distribution methods. In otherwords, can I shoot it one way, and have it go to film, cable, or DVD? Or do I need to shoot the same thing like 3 times, with different settings, or do something in post and have 3 different final cuts? What settings are appropriate in the camera?

Also, my director seems to think you have to light differently with a film transfer in mind. That doesn't really make sense to me. Shouldn't you just follow the same rules? Don't overexpose unless you want it lost forever, don't underexpose unless you want it lost forever, don't use gain unless you want video noise, etc.? Wouldn't you light it just like you would if you wanted it to look good on TV or DVD?

In-camera 16:9 (for the DVX100a) or buy the 16:9 adapter?

Any advice on matching the DVX100 to the 100a? Do you just have to "dumb down" the 100a (soften the video a bit, etc.), and not use any settings (like the new gamma settings for instance) that the DVX100 doesn't have?

Also, if there's some other resource you'd recommend looking at, let me know.
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Old April 26th, 2004, 06:08 PM   #2
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Re: How to shoot DVX100(a) for possible 35mm transfer

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<<<-- Originally posted by Josh Bass :
In otherwords, can I shoot it one way, and have it go to film, cable, or DVD?
Shoot 'em all the same way. Ideally with the anamorphic adapter for widescreen DVD and film transfer, and in post you'll letterbox the footage for cable or VHS release.

Quote:
Also, my director seems to think you have to light differently with a film transfer in mind. That doesn't really make sense to me.
It shouldn't. You're right -- shoot it properly, and it'll transfer to film properly. The only difference is, you have to be much more careful with focus (a film blowup will greatly exaggerate any focus errors). Lighting for film is different than lighting for video (video requires using narrower contrast ranges) but you're not lighting for film, you're lighting for video, and then that video will be transferred.

Quote:
In-camera 16:9 (for the DVX100a) or buy the 16:9 adapter?
The anamorphic adapter is quite a bit superior to the in-camera mode, and the differences become more pronounced the more you magnify the image. If you're only going for TV release the squeeze mode might be just fine, but if you really think you might be blowing it up, you'll definitely want the additional resolution the optical adapter gives you.

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Any advice on matching the DVX100 to the 100a? Do you just have to "dumb down" the 100a (soften the video a bit, etc.), and not use any settings (like the new gamma settings for instance) that the DVX100 doesn't have?
In my experience, the cameras can match fairly exactly: just set them to the exact same settings, and there won't be any appreciable difference between them. And yes, that means not using any of the new settings the 100A introduced.
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Old April 26th, 2004, 06:17 PM   #3
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Ok, thanks.

So even with this fancy new DVX100a, in camera anamorphic still just stretches it vertically and then chops off the top and bottom, similar to what the XL1s' does?

Also, in regards to matching, I thought the resolution of the "a" was higher than that of the "100?"
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Old April 26th, 2004, 07:32 PM   #4
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The squeeze mode in the 100A does the same type of processing as the XL1 or PD170 or basically any other 4:3 camera... 25% gets lopped off the top and bottom, and the rest of the frame gets stretched to cover the full 720x480 frame.

As for higher resolution, etc... we shot a 4-camera live concert, three DVX100's and one DVX100A. The 100A looked quite different out of the box, but once we went through and set all the settings to be identical, it looked basically exactly like the 100's.
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Old April 26th, 2004, 08:04 PM   #5
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Ok, thanks. . .I did NOT know that about the in-camera anamorphic. . .shame on Panasonic; shouldn't they know better?

One more time, just to reiterate: I simply set the cameras the same, which means I can't use any of the features the 100a has that the 100 doesn't, and I'm golden?

I see that Panasonic makes an anamorphic adapter, but is there another one? Is there a Century one as well? If so, what are the differences? Which one's better? Why?
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Old April 26th, 2004, 10:55 PM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Josh Bass : shame on Panasonic; shouldn't they know better?
[/quote]
Well, no, there's really no other way to do it. The only other way to implement in-camera anamorphic is to use a megapixel CCD like the TRV950/PV-DV953/PDX10 do, and that would require a complete redesign, as well as harming the camera's low-light capability. So Panasonic implemented it the best way they could.

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One more time, just to reiterate: I simply set the cameras the same, which means I can't use any of the features the 100a has that the 100 doesn't, and I'm golden?
Basically yes. But it's not like you can't use ANY of the features of the 100A, you can of course use focus assist in 24P mode, you can use the slower zoom setting and the closer close-focus setting and the viewfinder peaking. You just can't use anything that changes the image (like the new cinegamma settings, the mid-setting on vertical line detail, the slow shutter speeds, stuff like that.)

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I see that Panasonic makes an anamorphic adapter, but is there another one?
No. Panasonic's is the only one available.
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Old April 27th, 2004, 01:40 AM   #7
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Well, yeah. . .that makes sense.

Here's something else, now: I was researching the anamorphic adapter, and read that you can't go fully telephoto (don't remember why) or fully wide with it (vignetting). . .this is going to be problem for this project, especially since I want to get a wide angle adapter for the camera.

So, can anyone tell me whether the in-camera anamorphic is better than simply masking off your NTSC monitor (or, I suppose, the flipout LCD) and shooting like that, with the intention of chopping it off in post? In terms of resolution, I mean. Is it the same as the XL1s, in that letterboxing in post actually gives you more resolution than the in-camera anamorphic?
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Old April 28th, 2004, 12:04 AM   #8
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And more questions: This guy from DVfilm (the company that makes DVfilmmaker) named Marcus Van Bavel wrote a book on how to shoot digitally, and devotes a special section to shooting on the DVX100 for a film transfer. In this section, he mentions setting chroma, master ped, and I believe all the color adjustment settings to 0 (saturation, etc.). Now, do you guys agree with that? I know it's "safe", but suppose I'm doing a scene and I want the colors more saturated, and don't want to do it in post. . .can they adjust stuff like color and contrast during the telecine process? I always thought it was better to do in camera what you can, as long as you know for sure you want it.
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Old April 28th, 2004, 04:11 PM   #9
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I went to the dvx users meeting here in LA a couple months ago, they had invited the DP that shot november to speak about teh whole process and she brought up a couple of points about shooting for film blow up. 1) she didn't use any filters because the image would be softened enough when it went to film 2) She made very few adjustments in camera because the majority of color tweaking was going to be done in post and it's a heck of a lot easier to add something in post then it is to take something away. That being said she also had a couple of shots where she cut off the blue adn the green ccd's (so it was all red) which ended up looking kind of funky, almost like tehre was a wavy piece of glass in front of the screen. Anyhow that was something that was impossible to fix in post and since the movie is more on the expiremental side they left it in. That's about all I remember from the thing, maybe someone else remembers something?
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Old April 28th, 2004, 04:12 PM   #10
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Oh and by "no filters" I'm not including pola's or nd's as those don't really degrade (seriously) the image.
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Old April 28th, 2004, 05:41 PM   #11
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By "in post" do you mean during the miniDV to film telecine process, or actually in a NLE?
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Old April 30th, 2004, 01:13 AM   #12
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Here's one. . .does anyone know the precise specs on how much you lose at the wide and telephoto ends of the zoom when using the anamorphic adapter?

Since the zoom barrel is marked, can anyone tell me at which marks you start to get vignetting (wide) or soft focus (telephoto)?
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Old April 30th, 2004, 12:40 PM   #13
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There is no vignetting at the wide end. There is a bit of barrel distortion but no vignetting.

At the telephoto end, I stick to Z90 and below (40mm and below). Anything above that becomes difficult to achieve sharp focus.
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Old April 30th, 2004, 03:12 PM   #14
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If I remember right they actually just used a (davinci?) color correction facility of r something like 3 or 4 days.
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Old April 30th, 2004, 08:37 PM   #15
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Are you sure? There's no vignetting with the anamorphic adapter at the wide end? I swear I read in Marcus Van Bavel's "Shooting Digital" book that there was. Maybe I'm wrong. . .maybe HE is. If you have the adapter, and you've seen your stuff on a monitor with underscan and know you're right, then I guess I can't argue with that.
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