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Old June 20th, 2005, 10:45 PM   #1
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HD Panasonic HVX200 Color depth

I haven't been able to find an answer to this question. What is the color depth this camera is expected to operate at? Will it excede 8bit? Also will it sample 4:2:2 (or 4:4:4....I wish). This to me is a far more important question than resolution.
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Old June 21st, 2005, 01:02 AM   #2
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All DVCPro formats are 8bit formats.

DVCPro utilizes 4:1:1

DVCPro50 and DVCProHD utilitze 4:2:2
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Old June 21st, 2005, 10:34 AM   #3
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Will it excede 8bit?
The output format, DVCPRO-HD, DVCPRO-50, and DV, are all 8-bit.

It's quite likely that the internal DSP (chip that does digital colour operations) prior to the compressor works at a higher bit-depth. For example the "DXP" in the Sony FX1 operates on 14-bit colour. It's reasonable to expect the HVX will be similar. This means, if the camera has suitable control, you'll be able to do a lot of adjustment and colour correction to the image during capture and see negligble colour quantization (in comparison to doing it in post).

-Steve
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Old June 21st, 2005, 11:56 AM   #4
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Good point Steve.

The DVX100A has a 12bit DSP, and if I'm not mistaken Jan has made some references (though not overt) to the fact that the HVX will probably follow suit.

I'd be shocked to see them move to a lower bit depth on a new camera, so odds are the HVX will have either a 12 bit or possibly a 14bit DSP.
(but my money's on 12bit).
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Old June 21st, 2005, 03:50 PM   #5
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So I guess then for someone like me who doesn't really even want to mess with anything much higher than standard def (maybe I'd use hi def to do framing corrections...but I don't plan on doing anything but DVD work anytime soon) this camera won't be a big improvement over the DVX100A.
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Old June 21st, 2005, 08:53 PM   #6
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Matt,

My understanding is that DVCPro50 is supposed to provide outstanding SD, much better than DV. As Luis said, it provides 4:2:2. If it were me, I'd rent an HVX200 when it comes out and test to find out if it's worth it just for "high quality" SD. Of course, when you're ready for HD, you'll be ready to go!
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Old June 21st, 2005, 08:53 PM   #7
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Ah, Matt you have hit on one huge advantage for shooters who intend to produce only SD content in the near future: framing corrections. Even shooting at only 720p, you could have plenty of room to reframe a shot, zoom in a bit or do post stabilizing while still not losing any SD resolution. If that weren't enough, at 720p you also have the option of shooting at 60fps! True 50% slo-mo with a video camera? That alone would be worth the price. I see thousands of skater kids, salivating right now...
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Old June 21st, 2005, 11:13 PM   #8
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Even in SD it will be a HUGE improvement, Shoot DVCPro 50, in 4:2:2 colour space, with, I think 3:1 compression ratio. Shoot to P2, solid state - no need to use tape. True 16:9. True slow motion.

Of course, if you don't need any of that stuff, then sure, there is little improvement. But then there's little improvement from the original mini to the new BMW one, if all you're interested in is something with 4 wheels so there's no point in even considering anything else.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Champagne
So I guess then for someone like me who doesn't really even want to mess with anything much higher than standard def (maybe I'd use hi def to do framing corrections...but I don't plan on doing anything but DVD work anytime soon) this camera won't be a big improvement over the DVX100A.
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 01:11 AM   #9
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All excellent posts.

Here are some of the advantages the HVX will have over the DVX, when shooting standard-def:

DVCPRO50 mode, for 4:2:2 color and very low compression. Should be much superior standard-def footage, especially especially for chroma keying! Plus, the 4:2:2 will make for better-looking final DVDs than 4:1:1 does.

Variable Frame Rates: when shooting 720p to the P2 card, you can then downrez/dub that footage onto the tape. That lets you get full variable-frame-rate capability even in a DV project. Hmm, don't think I asked whether it can downrez to DVCPRO50 and preserve the variable frame rates...

16:9 shooting: the HVX will have native 16:9 CCDs, which should deliver higher-res footage in 16:9 mode when producing 16:9 DVDs.

Mega-Telephoto: Let's say you want to work in standard-def, but you need super-long telephoto reach -- longer than the 58.5mm maximum telephoto. You could put the camera in 720p mode and shoot as normal, and then in post you could extract the central 720x480 out of the full 1280x720 frame. That means that you'll get a frame that would be about equivalent to if you'd shot with a 1.6x teleconverter. Or, put another way, it'd be zoomed in as much as if you had a 21x zoom lens. Now, if you want to go even further, shoot in 1080 mode and extract the central 720x480 -- you'll get a frame about equivalent as to what you'd get if you'd shot with a 2.5x teleconverter, or, with a 33x zoom lens! Extracting the central 720x480 out of a 1080 frame is about what you'd get if you had shot with a 146mm lens, rather than the maximum 58.5mm. (note: the depth of field won't be equivalent, it'll still be showing 58.5mm DOF... plus you'd need to do a little image scaling to account for the DVCPRO-HD pixel aspect ratio vs. the DV pixel aspect ratio... but overall the technique should be sound.)

Also, let's not forget the ability to record on P2 -- no tape costs, instant footage review, no dropouts, no rewinding, ability to delete bad clips to recover space, instant editing, etc. And of course there's always the miniDV tape too.

There will also be at least a new "news" gamma, and there may be other tricks in there that we don't even know about yet.

There are probably other advantages I can't think of right now, but obviously there are several new and interesting ways the HVX improves on SD shooting. It costs a lot more, but it's got advantages for SD shooting as well as HD shooting.
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 04:04 PM   #10
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4 PCM channels of audio instead of 2 could mean not needing a sound mixer but just run 4 channels of audio and mix them later.
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