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Old August 12th, 2007, 08:15 PM   #1
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HPX500, Pro35 & Skater

As promised, footage from the HPX500 using the P+S Technik Pro-35 and Skater combo.

All dolly and pan moves were done using the Skater (with exception to vertical jib moves of course). This was an extremely low-budget shoot, something I normally don't do but it was a favor to a friend and an opportunity to get some facetime with the Pro-35 on the HPX500, so I didn't have an AC to do follow-focus and didn't even have a good external monitor (more on the that below).

I did have a Canon CAC lens on-hand if I felt I needed it but the Nikon glass I used actually looked much better, not just from a DOF perspective but even color transmission and sharpness from edge to edge, not surprising considering the times we've used it before on the SDX900 and Varicam.

The lenses were MF Nikkors: 20mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.2, 85mm f/1.4.

All footage is RAW and has not been CC'd yet; the QT is H.264 from Compressor 3 (I need to tweak these settings more because I'm not 100% happy with the output - I just used the built-in preset).

There are a couple clips where the GG in the Pro-35 was purposely turned off to allow the grain to add a mood to the image.

About the monitor used: As I mentioned this was bargain-basement low-budget shoot so I couldn't use the LH900 that I'm used to and instead had an Astro 6" inch on loan, which I was not happy with at all. I could never get a good color response from it and the displayed image was too poor to even use for focus. So guess what - all this manual follow-focusing I had to do alone (no AC to pull focus) was done ONLY with the built-in flip-out LCD and the FOCUS ASSIST function. Pay close attention to the last clip in the sequence, the ball stays sharp almost 100% of the time. My point being, once you get used to how things look in the LCD an external isn't always required. In fact, the flip-out did a much better job of giving me exposure info than the Astro did!

I had originally planned to get a lot more demo footage shot to show you guys but doing the P2HD road-shows severely cut into my shoot time. I can tell you however, that without the Pro-35 and Skater combo I'm going to feel naked on my next shoot without them both.

(UPDATE) The file I was trying to upload is too big; I'll have to get with Chris and see where he want's me to post it.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 05:27 PM   #2
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Upload Update

Chris will have the file in his servers today and will post to this thread as soon as his web-gurus get time. Please read my notes about this clip as they will answer most questions.

I'm definitely not happy with the H.264 encode from Compressor; it's soft, the colors are muted and the gorgeous detail of this shoot is lost. I've seen much better results so I'm going to have to experiment more with this app before I find a happy output.
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Old August 15th, 2007, 12:53 AM   #3
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Online

OK, the clip is online, right click and download:

http://www.dvinfo.net/media/hpx500/S...500%20Demo.mov
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Old August 16th, 2007, 01:22 AM   #4
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skater

I love the footage.. the dirt flying off the golf swing is great... I also like the shot of the teller ringing up the older lady....

I just got a skater and will be playing with it soon...

Post more if you get some professional shoots.. Although all of your stuff looked like it could have been from a paying gig...
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Old August 16th, 2007, 04:07 AM   #5
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That's horrible H.264 footage :( It was possible to tell it was shot by a Pro with a Pro camera though ;)

I love that rack focus with the billiard balls - great stuff!
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Old August 18th, 2007, 09:25 AM   #6
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That's horrible H.264 footage :( It was possible to tell it was shot by a Pro with a Pro camera though ;)

I love that rack focus with the billiard balls - great stuff!
Like I say, I used the built-in preset in Compressor for H.264/web; I'm going to play with settings this weekend and hopefully (if Chris' servers have room) repost a newer version with better quality)

About the focusing, this one is keen for those who say you *can't* use the built-in LCD for critical focusing: I used only the built-in LCD and FOCUS-ASSIST for the entire shoot and was able to easily follow-focus on the billiards-balls and everything else. Once you get used to how things look on the LCD it's a cinch.
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Old August 18th, 2007, 10:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
I'm definitely not happy with the H.264 encode from Compressor; it's soft, the colors are muted and the gorgeous detail of this shoot is lost. I've seen much better results so I'm going to have to experiment more with this app before I find a happy output.
Have you ever tried Cleaner XL 1.5? It would probably do a lot better job for you. Cleaner XL now supports H.264 Quicktime output.
http://images.autodesk.com/adsk/file...rxl15specs.pdf
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Old August 18th, 2007, 02:33 PM   #8
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I haven't used Cleaner in years, before OS 10. I'm always about options so I'll check into the new version for Mac.

However, I don't think Compressor is at fault, I'm sure it's just a matter of finding the right settings since I just learned that the built-in web H.264 setting has far too low bitrate in it's encode.

I'm going to check out Cleaner - again. Thanks for the suggestion!
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Old August 19th, 2007, 12:34 AM   #9
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Robert,

Great outcome.

As for the compressor, the presets they have are not so great for the large format, so I would guess that you will have to give a lot more transferate setting. I want to buy the skater now.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 03:01 PM   #10
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P+S Technik Pro-35 is top notched equipment that rents only according to website. Something you would expense to client.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 09:43 AM   #11
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P+S equipment is available for sale in the US from ZGC; they are also a forum sponsor.
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Old August 29th, 2007, 07:32 AM   #12
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Robert,

Thanks for sharing the clips. Finally getting something decent posted from the HPX500. Don't be concerned by the compression artifacts. No one wants to spend an hour downloading clips...

Love the way you hid the Nikon lens breathing issue with with your rack focus transitions.

Cheers,
G
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Old September 1st, 2007, 05:00 PM   #13
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Hello,

What would you say the cost was for you to rent the P+S and lens?
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Old September 1st, 2007, 05:48 PM   #14
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The Pro-35 and Skater were both on loan specifically to grab demo footage with the HPX500; the lenses I already owned and had the Pro-35 pre-installed with the Nikon lens mount for the demo.

You can contact any of the forum sponsors who rent P+S equipment and get their rates or, goto the ZGC website to see a listing of the current rental locations.
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Old September 11th, 2007, 11:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
About the focusing, this one is keen for those who say you *can't* use the built-in LCD for critical focusing: I used only the built-in LCD and FOCUS-ASSIST for the entire shoot and was able to easily follow-focus on the billiards-balls and everything else. Once you get used to how things look on the LCD it's a cinch.
I guess that really depends on how picky you are. That footage had an awful lot of shots that just wouldn't be acceptable to a lot of people.

It will be great to see this clip with better compression.

Gotta love the Skater.
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