Retrofit Panny DVX-100A to uncompressed HD? at DVinfo.net

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


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Old December 21st, 2005, 03:25 PM   #1
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Retrofit Panny DVX-100A to uncompressed HD?

I just received an email inviting me to tune into a live streaming program featuring Reel Stream's Andromeda data acquisition system. When mated to the SG-DVX-100a it is said to provide uncompressed HD via a USB 2.0 output.
Anyone here have any expereince with this product? Here is the site: http://www.reel-stream.com/index.php
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Old December 21st, 2005, 03:32 PM   #2
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I hear you can fit a V8 in a Volkswagon beetle.

Mmmmm, but I think I'd rather just buy a Camaro.

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Old December 21st, 2005, 03:47 PM   #3
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Re: Retrofit Panny DVX-100A to uncompressed HD?

Hey! That was cute...
Perhaps you missed the claim of "10 bit 4:4:4 output." For someone who's already made an investment in a DVX-100A - why not. I am more curious about the veracity of such a claim from an SD camera.
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Old December 21st, 2005, 03:55 PM   #4
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Old December 21st, 2005, 04:26 PM   #5
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Chris & Barry,

This is interesting.

I just went through the site and I have a question....

How is it that the DVX100a glass is good enough for 720p 4:4:4 uncompressed HD footage on the Andromeda, but I can't slap a Canon 3x lens on my XL-H1?

I read your posts @ http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...hlight=3x+lens but it seems that didn't apply to the DVX. Why not?

Is Panasonic DVX Glass just flat out better then Canon XL2 Glass?

- Shan
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Old December 21st, 2005, 05:36 PM   #6
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The 3x wide angle lens isn't XL2 glass. It's XL1 glass. Sure it can be used on an XL2, but it was designed back in 1998 and it was the very first additional XL lens you could buy for the old XL1. Some folks thought it was a little soft even for the XL1. More people thought it was rather soft on the XL2. And everybody pretty much agrees that it's way too soft for the XL H1 when shooting in HD.
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Old December 21st, 2005, 06:13 PM   #7
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Shannon,

Also, there is the added fact that the number of pixels on an XLH1 chip vastly outnumber the pixels on the DVX. The DVX w/andromeda is pixelshifting it's way up to an HD image. The lens only has to resolve enough for the pixels on the chip. The same holds in reverse...if you've got more pixels, they're just wasted if your lens can't resolve enough detail.

So, the DVX lens was made and optimized for the chips in the DVX. How good their HD image is with the andromeda actually has less to do with the lens itself, and more to do with how good the processing is in SculptorHD (their capture software).

With the XLH1, if you throw an old XL1 lens on it, you're essentially wasting a good chunk of the pixel power on those HD chips, because the lens won't resolve enough detail.
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Old December 23rd, 2005, 09:11 PM   #8
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Well with that logic, why haven't Canon/JVC gone with the extreem pixel shifting so they could use cheaper glass? Something doesn't add up. Andromeda also wants you to buy an Apple laptop to make it work. A poor marketing decision in my opinion, should be dual PC/Mac at the least.
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Old December 27th, 2005, 10:22 PM   #9
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Ken,

I think if you do a little research on the Reel Stream web page you'll find the choice for the mac platform was because of data stream usb requirements. Not a mac vs pc preference.

The mac mini's and laptops were the most cost effective means to an end.

FWIW, I've been following Andromeda since Juan started out here a few years ago, and...

IMHO the images coming out from the beta tests are some of the best I have seen from a sub 10k recording system.

I also believe that we all owe Juan/Reel Stream our deepest gratitude for.....

1. Challenging the mainstream manufactures to give us more, Now! And....

2. Helping to accelerate to market, new products (like HVX200/Red) that we all desire.
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Old December 27th, 2005, 10:57 PM   #10
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Amen....

I'm sure from the Andromeda and on Dvxuser.com Jan from Panisonic heard of the competition and lowered the P2 card price dramatically.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 01:16 AM   #11
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Doesn't the DVX100 have a 4x3 SD sensor? Given that's the case, the best you could get out of it is a really nice 4x3 SD image, which will still only have SD-level detail if you upsample to HD resolution. I can't see going to all this trouble when you could just buy a Canon XL-H1 and tap the HD-SDI outputs for a nice widescreen, 1.5 Gbps HD image.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 09:11 AM   #12
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This is all great, but why would you pay $6000 panny included or $3000 for the conv instead of spending that money on an already existing HD camera? 24P maybe?

I don't know guys, not meant in a bashful way or anything I just can see myself spending my money there, I am sure a couple of people will buy it as it looks like a great product, but for example; why not buy an Z1 and a Micro 35mm?

Or if you are strictly panny then get the new HD camcorder!

I am just trying to make sense out of this, someone just help me!~
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Old December 28th, 2005, 01:34 PM   #13
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When the Andromeda started out, the new HD cameras were not out yet.

When the new HD cameras do come out, the Andromeda has a small advantage in that it gets the most exposure latitude possible from the CCDs. At SD resolution, this is probably the biggest advantage the Andromeda would produce.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 02:27 PM   #14
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Hey guys,

You all have some good questions regarding Andromeda.

I could try to answer them....

But I think the best thing would be to have the MAN himself explain everything.

What do say Juan?

Could you please chime in here?

Thanks
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Old December 28th, 2005, 02:53 PM   #15
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Hello everyone,

I've read through the posts and it seems that most of the questions are directed at how one can extract resolution higher than SD from the DVX, so I will start there.

You are correct that the sensors in the DVX are approximately standard definition size...they are 770x492 (NTSC pixels) to be exact. However, do note that there are 3 sensors, and they are not aligned, but shifted from each other at a sub-pixel distance. There are about 1.1MP total on the DVX.

For example, picture this: The blue sensor is shifted diagonally 1/2 pixel from the red sensor. What this means is that each blue pixel picks up a detail that lies in between red pixels. So the blue sensor records a completely different set of details than what the red sensor picks up. Thus, even though each sensor is 770x492, the actual resolution of the 3CCD imager block is higher than the resolution of each individual sensor.

This is nothing new, it has been used for many years. There are some cameras out there which actually use this technique to take high-resolution stills from lower resolution sensors. This technique is also similar to how single color-sensors work, such as the sensors in the Arri D-20 or Kinetta. Each pixel location only records one color.

Now this is not a miracle solution to gaining resolution, it has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages as Glenn has pointed out, is that since the pixels on each 1/3" sensor has a larger area than the pixels of a 1/3" sensor with say, 1280x720 pixel count, this tends to yield better dynamic range(latitude) among other things. We have measured the dynamic range of the Andromeda output from a DVX100A to be around 9.5 stops. This is more dynamic range than just about any prosumer and even many proffessional camcorders in the market today.

To be fair, the technique does have down sides, such as that a camera with native high-resolution chips will still have an edge, usually in vertical resolution, although at the cost of dynamic range. Look at the output from the XL-H1, and take a look at the samples in our site. You will note that the 1080 output from the XL-H1 is sharper, but it looks like absolute video because of the very limited dynamic range and resulting tonality of the image.

We've shot side-by-side comparisons with still 35mm film, and the main difference in the look of the image is the depth of field. We've had people send us their own color-corrections which are almost indistinguishable as far as tonality, and almost resolution!

Our goal is to provide a unique tool to filmmakers, one that hasn't been available before with unique advantages. It all depends on what the filmmaker wants and the compromises he/she is willing to make.

I think there is a lot of fascination with pixel counts, in general people seem to think that more pixels will immediately make the footage more film-like. This is not necessarily true, all you have to do is put your favorite movie DVD on your TV and then watch some DV footage. There's a lot of differences other than resolution, and the main difference in my opinion is the huge amount of latitude that film captures. There are ways to address these problems in camera designs although nobody seems to be doing it, except Panavision.

Hope this helps,
Juan
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