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Old May 31st, 2008, 10:27 PM   #31
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I hate to say it, but all the concerns and reasons you guys are pondering is exactly the logic that spawned RED so... if you wanted to future-proof your productions regardless what the market trends are then go RED. Because otherwise you guys will go BLUE in the face with all the worry and breath-holding! (^_*)

And for the record, I'll put my money where my mouth is: when the 2700 is released I'll be more than happy to put it up against the EX1/3 in any configuration and prove my point about 720 vs. 1080. No way a 1/2" inch camera with a fixed lens (or even Sony's proprietary removable lens mount) is going to get the best of a Panny 720p imaging block on a 2/3" inch mount. Especially since those imagers are next-gen compared to the current Varicam.

'Nuf said.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 11:08 PM   #32
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I hate to say it, but all the concerns and reasons you guys are pondering is exactly the logic that spawned RED so... if you wanted to future-proof your productions regardless what the market trends are then go RED. Because otherwise you guys will go BLUE in the face with all the worry and breath-holding! (^_*)

And for the record, I'll put my money where my mouth is: when the 2700 is released I'll be more than happy to put it up against the EX1/3 in any configuration and prove my point about 720 vs. 1080. No way a 1/2" inch camera with a fixed lens (or even Sony's proprietary removable lens mount) is going to get the best of a Panny 720p imaging block on a 2/3" inch mount. Especially since those imagers are next-gen compared to the current Varicam.

'Nuf said.
Robert, I don't think anyone's disagreeing with you that the 2700's images will be vastly superior to the EX1, or that if your sole concern is future-proofing, the Red is the best and most affordable option on the market. I think the major concern expressed here is whether to go with the 2700, or whether it would be smarter to go with a COMPARABLE camera (3700, 3000, etc) instead. For broadcast purposes, it seems the bar is going to be set no higher than 1080 for a long time, but from the anecdotes expressed on this thread, it seems the bar is moving quicker than anyone would hope beyond 720, even though, as we've discussed, this isn't necessarily justified.

I guess in a way we're all trying to predict the future: how soon will 720 no longer be acceptable to a majority of clients and broadcast outlets? I emphasize clients, as I think the majority of us on this board are enlightened enough to know the 2700's images will blow the socks off most 1080 cameras and its images will be beyond "acceptable" for our own projects. At the same time, I think we're all yearning for a camera that offers both native 1080, and variable frame rates up to and beyond 60fps. And for that we'd have to turn to the Red or F23, which are very much Digital Cinema cameras and not broadcast cameras.

Maybe for these unenlightened clients we can just deliver uprezzed 720 on the 2700 and tell them it's native 1080. They'll never know the difference :)

Peter
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Old June 1st, 2008, 10:32 AM   #33
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Often times the clients are just driven by marketing and rarely understand the nuts and bolts of all of this new technology. We have a client who is requiring us to deliver 1080 24P HDCAM SR masters. Problem is that 30-40% of the material in the show is NTSC archival footage. NTSC is obviously 29.97 interlaced.

We have yet to find a method that takes interlaced footage to progressive without adding the artifacts of motion judder. We have a Symphony and access to the Terranex and Snell & Wilcox boxes and they all still exhibit judder with almost any kind of motion. Ha anyone figured out a way to convert interlaced to progressive without objectionable motion artifacts?

The logical step is to take all of the nice 1080 24P material that we are shooting and put it into a 1080i master delivery along with all of the upconverted NTSC. But this client's marketing department wants to have a 1080 24p master, for which there is no logical reason, it will look much worse in this case and will probably not pass QC.

Oy!

Dan
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Old June 1st, 2008, 10:52 AM   #34
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All my PAL - NTSC conversions I use Shake, using the FileIn convert options to take progressive/interlace to/from any framerate.

Pretty damn good I'd say, despite the long render times. (or probably because of them)
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Old June 1st, 2008, 04:35 PM   #35
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Ellis:

There is a thread from Barry Green over on DVX User that outlines all of this. It will be a new Discovery show about the Iditarod and will be shot 100% on multiple HVX-200s.

Dan
Ah, thanks Dan. So that's what Robert was referring to, I guess. I had actually known about the Original Productions show since NAB, but am still not sure if the show is merely a special case where Discovery temporarily waived its restriction on HVX footage (to 15% of run-time), or if it really has approved the HVX for wider use in all shows.

I read Barry's thread, and still couldn't find an answer. Still, I'll definitely look forward to watching that show when it airs and seeing how the look holds up to Original's other shows shot on XDCAM HD (ala Ice Road Truckers and AxMen).
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Old June 1st, 2008, 04:37 PM   #36
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Still, I'll definitely look forward to watching that show when it airs and seeing how the look holds up to Original's other shows shot on XDCAM HD (ala Ice Road Truckers and AxMen).
AxMen is XDCam HD? Wow, that is surprising. Almost looks like SD to me.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 05:53 PM   #37
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My concern here is that even though the images of the 2700 will be in most ways be superior to the likes of the EX3, it still is not a native 1080 imager, and this fact might affect its usefulness in broadcast applications.

I'm wondering if the likes of Discovery, BBC, etc will start to set the bar at 1080 and will leave the 2700 out in the cold.
My assumption had been that although the imagers in the 2700 were each 1280x720, it was employing pixel shifting techniques to bring the luminance resolution beyond that of the 720p system?

Hence, an effective (luminance) resolution of the order of 1600x900. (Assuming both H & V is used.) May not be up to what 1920x1080 imagers may manage, but a front end performance that may make it very worthwhile operating it in 1080 mode rather than 720, and wrong to just dismiss it as "a 720 camera".

As regards the general "can you tell the difference between 1080 and 720" debate, then a lot depends what it's being viewed on. As "true HD" screens become increasingly the norm, the difference is increasingly becoming visible. Also worth distinguishing between the various flavours - a 1080i/25 v 720p/50 comparison is NOT the same as comparing 1080p/25 and 720p/25.

For many genres, it's the latter two that are increasingly important. Hence a general move towards 1080.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 10:07 AM   #38
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Really interesting thread.

I must say that I too was drop-jawed when I saw the the 3700 puts the brakes on at 30 frames. I assume that there is some quality limitation that prevents 60?

-Brad
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 12:54 PM   #39
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AxMen is XDCam HD? Wow, that is surprising. Almost looks like SD to me.
Thanks for the tip.

I watched this show last night after reading this comment.

A lot of the scenes looked like 1/3" chip cameras, kind of soft (comparably) and flat color.

It seemed every once and a while a more detailed image with better contrast would appear.

But I noticed a similar thing with "Mythbusters" regarding how these cameras handle highlights. I don't care for the look as it seems a bit harsh to my eyes. Like the sensors are being stretched beyond comfort levels.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 01:10 PM   #40
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Thanks for the tip.

I watched this show last night after reading this comment.

A lot of the scenes looked like 1/3" chip cameras, kind of soft (comparably) and flat color.

It seemed every once and a while a more detailed image with better contrast would appear.

But I noticed a similar thing with "Mythbusters" regarding how these cameras handle highlights. I don't care for the look as it seems a bit harsh to my eyes. Like the sensors are being stretched beyond comfort levels.
Yea, I'v noticed that the visual quality in Mythbusters and AxMen can range a wide gamut. Sometimes Mythbusters uses 2-3 cameras to capture the hosts (one camera for the wide angle showing both hosts, one camera for each hosts' close-up) and the wide shot often looks SD. I've wondered if they're simply using a non-HD camera for those, because they simply don't have enough HD cameras to cover the angles.

AxMen clearly uses cheaper cameras for crash cams, but even when you're looking at an XDCAM shot, the picture can look pretty uninspired. At the same time, I'm not sure how much of that is due to the cameras versus DirecTV's compression....

Last edited by Ellis Kendrick; June 2nd, 2008 at 02:31 PM.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 02:57 PM   #41
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At the same time, I'm not sure how much of that is due to the cameras versus DirecTV's compression....
True, but there are other shows that imho, look stunning going through the same compression.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 04:21 PM   #42
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Starting with the indomitable DVX100 Panny has successfully proven that they can deliver high-quality output from their imaging blocks with less overall pixels than competitive cameras. As I've said ever since digi-still cameras were released, more pixels does not automatically equate to better looking output.

Case in point: 5 years ago I did many a still-shoot with an Olympus E-1 body; it only had 5Mp compared to my 1Ds at 11Mp but the E-1's output was far more natural in it's color rendition and organic "feel" than the Canon. Interestingly enough, Panny designed and produced the imaging chips for Olympus.

At the end of the day what matters is how good - or bad - the image looks, period, no matter what it was shot on.

If a client makes techno-specific demands like *only* using a 1080p imaging system then there isn't much you can do except be thankful for the work. However my guess is that just as with the DVX100, HVX200 and soon the HPX2700 once professional shooters who know how to use the gear properly show-off it's capabilities the *must-have* requests for 1080p-only cams will subside. If the little 200 can wow the DCN gods just imagine what the 2700 will do once it's actually been in-service a bit.
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 04:18 AM   #43
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As I've said ever since digi-still cameras were released, more pixels does not automatically equate to better looking output.
Well, that's true, but can't you have your cake and eat it in this case? Keep the intangibles, AND have higher resolution?

I've already said that the pixel shift aspect was being ignored, so I think it's wrong to consider the 2700 a "720p camera". It's output recorded as 1080p should look significantly sharper than recorded as 720p - albeit limited to 1080p/30.

Individual cameras aside, I said before that "a 1080i/25 v 720p/50 comparison is NOT the same as comparing 1080p/25 and 720p/25" but I've been reminded that there's even more to it than that. 1080 HD codecs have traditionally subsampled (1440 for HDCAM, HDV and 1280 for DVCProHD) so have had very little horizontal advantage (none for DVCProHD) over a full raster 720 recording. Compare 720p with 1080i and the p/i factor is likely to mean not a lot to choose vertically either. No wonder people have said there's not much to choose between the two.

But what's changing now is that modern 1080 codecs are not subsampling - XDCAM HD 422, AVC-Intra, JPEG2000 (even AVC-HD as found on consumer cameras!!) all record full raster 1920x1080. Combine that with full-HD displays rapidly becoming the norm in homes, and 1080p, not 1080i, and the potential to see the improvement over a 720 recording becomes much greater than when "1080" meant interlace and a subsampled codec. Hence the broadcasters increasing desire for 1080 acquisition.
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 08:25 AM   #44
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Peter, I'm not sure that you're correct in saying that no-one thinks the EX1 image will look better than the 2700, I'm sure quite a few people think it might, and they may be right. It does look good I must admit (I'm a Varicam fan in a lot of ways)! And it is full 1920x1080, so the 720 Varicam has a lot of work to do to get up there. Likely the DSP etc. will be better, but even so, you might be surprised.
As for the 3700 topping out at 30P, presumably it'd just take so much data transimission to go higher than that that the codec would be impposibly stretched, we're talking full 1920x1080 4:2:2 I believe, and that's a hell of a lot of data even at 30 fps let alone 60. It does still mean though that there are still compromises to be made if you're looking to buy the 'perfect' all round camera.
Steve
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 09:01 PM   #45
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Peter, I'm not sure that you're correct in saying that no-one thinks the EX1 image will look better than the 2700, I'm sure quite a few people think it might, and they may be right. It does look good I must admit (I'm a Varicam fan in a lot of ways)! And it is full 1920x1080, so the 720 Varicam has a lot of work to do to get up there. Likely the DSP etc. will be better, but even so, you might be surprised.
Couldn't agree more Steve -- hence my concern at plunking down ~$38k for the 2700. I'm sure when we get it out in the wild it will look awesome, but awesome enough? Well, I don't want to open up that can of worms as it's already been addressed in another thread I started. I guess it will all be answered in some very in-depth testing that is sure to occur between the EX3 and 2700. The one great thing about the 2700 is the intra-frame codec and CCD's -- rock solid. CMOS always gives some surprises, for sure.

I can't wait to see the images of the 2700. On that note, who here has actually seen them? It would be great to hear some subjective evaluations.

Peter
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