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Panasonic P2HD / DVCPRO HD Camcorders
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Old March 8th, 2010, 01:24 PM   #16
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The DVCPRO HD codec looks great as a camera codec, it is not so great as an editing codec though.
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Why isn't DVCproHD a good editing codec? It's an Iframe codec...
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Old March 8th, 2010, 02:29 PM   #17
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I was wondering about that as well. DVCPRO HD requires little processing power, there's not much rendering time. Definitely easier to edit with than XDCAM EX or AVC-Intra and doesn't need the newest computers.

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Old March 8th, 2010, 02:31 PM   #18
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8-bit. Why would anyone edit and add motion graphics in an 8-bit codec when they could use a great 10-bit codec like Pro Res HQ? 8-bit shows its limitations with gradients and high con situations. The quality of the picture is fine but who wants to see banding?

DVCPRO HD is fine for lower end editing or if you don't have motion graphics. It is super efficient, looks good and takes up little space. But add in some motion graphics with gradients or shots of blue sky or high contrast edges and its 8-bit origins become obvious.

The Sony XDCAM EX codec is much worse for editing though so you will just end up transcoding it to Pro Res or something like it anyway if you care about quality. The last time I shot AVCINTRA 100 with the 300 was before FCP 7.0 with the native AVCINTRA support was around so it was transcoded to Pro Res for editing. Looked great. I have been told that the native AVCINTRA 100 support in FCP ends up looking about the same as Pro Res HQ.

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Old March 8th, 2010, 03:04 PM   #19
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Dan,

Yes, totally agree. That's why acquisition in 10-bit is preferable to me. If you record on 8-bit and transcode to ProRes, you never get back the lost information of a 10-bit acquisition codec, which has 4X the shades of gray.

Staying 10-bit all the way is the best way to avoid banding and noise artifacts. Obviously, if you acquire with an 8-bit codec, it's great to transcode to a 10-bit codec like ProRes, but the best solution is starting with 10-bit recordings.

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Old March 8th, 2010, 04:33 PM   #20
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Definitely Jeff.

I really like the AVCINTRA 100 recording of the 300, it is definitely a step up from the 170 or the EX1. In camera, usually the only thing that bugs me about 8 bit is when I shoot horizons or really contrasty lighting and see the banding on the gradient. With "normal" video lighting, I rarely see this.

As far as editing, 10 bit is definitely the way to go, but I usually on transcode the 170 footage to Pro Res when the show contains a significant amount of graphics because the time and space requirements go way up.

I hope that Panasonic introduces a big brother to the 300 in the form of a 2/3" CMOS with better imaging scan capability for fewer rolling shutter artifacts. Panasonic needs a valid competitor to the new Sony 350 in the same price range.

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Old March 8th, 2010, 05:31 PM   #21
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I don't know. I would probably be happier with 1/2 fulress chips cam from panasonic with avc i 100. The 2/3 chips cam would be more pricier...:)
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Old March 8th, 2010, 08:38 PM   #22
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Yes, 2/3" full raster sensors demand a big price premium, even if CMOS. Look at EX3 vs. 350 price points. I think it's unlikely that Panasonic will offer a 1/2" camera. I do expect a large sensor, full raster palmcorder from Panasonic at NAB, could be 2/3" or larger. Unfortunately, it's likely to be AVCCAM, 24 Mbps, 4:2:0 vs. P2 with DVCPRO HD or AVC-Intra.

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Old March 8th, 2010, 09:09 PM   #23
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You won't see a 1/2" imager camera from Panasonic. Ever. Or so I have heard.

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Old March 10th, 2010, 10:52 AM   #24
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Okey, all this aside. I still don't understand what is an abbreviated codec and how does it affect image quality? :)
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Old March 10th, 2010, 02:14 PM   #25
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Abbreviated codec is the same as sub-sampled, which means horizontal resolution is not full raster. As an example, 1080X1920 is normal full sample, HDCAM, XDCAM HD sub-samples 1920 horizontal resolution to 1440, DVCPRO HD to 1280. They use rectangular pixels to get full raster.

HDCAM SR, D5, XDCAm EX, 422, ProRes HQ, AVC-Intra 100, are all full sample horizontal resolution, among others.

In regards to 720P, the most common codec for 720P has been DVCPRO HD, which does a 3/4 sub-sample. Normal 720P should be 720X1280, but horizontal is sub-sampled to 960. With the advent of AVC-Intra 100 and some of the newest Sony codecs offer full sample 720X1280, making 720P higher resolution than what we used to see out of the original Varicams, or HDX900's, etc.

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Old March 10th, 2010, 03:32 PM   #26
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Okey. So the camera actually doesn't record in 1280x720p an 1920x1080p it records in 960 x 720p and ?? But if I up-convert 960x720 to 1280x720 how much would the picture differ in terms of sharpness compared to other cameras with 1/3 chips which don't subsample in the same price market? I know this is pretty much an open question (not specifying which camera, different sensors, different technologies, etc.) but generally comparing...
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Old March 10th, 2010, 06:58 PM   #27
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DVCPRO HD sub-samples 1080X1920 to 1080X1280, 720X1280 to 720X960. The only 1/3" camera that has full raster native 1080X1920 sensors is the HPX300. The rest do pixel shifting or join two chips together per channel, like the JVC HD-100, 110, 200, etc. I could be wrong--I don't really follow HDV cameras.

There are two technical issues at work here:

1. Is the sensor native 720X1280 or 1080X1920 or pixel shifted or not full raster?
2. Is the codec full sample or sub-sampled?

Clearly, full raster sensors and full sample codecs will resolve the most detail due to their higher real resolution. If it's the sharpest camera that you're after, that would seem to be the HPX300 or EX1/EX1R/EX3. Having said that, I've seen Canon and JVC cameras that look sharp, although often it's due to the detail circuit more than native resolution.

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Old March 10th, 2010, 07:36 PM   #28
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Sharpness can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different audiences, as Jeff alludes to.

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Old March 10th, 2010, 08:50 PM   #29
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That's right Dan. As you know, some people think the super enhanced, 60i or 60p sports/news look is proper HD. Some of us prefer a more natural, organic image, typically at 24 fps, low detail or off, shallow DOF, film like gamma curve, where the absolute sharpest image is not sought after if artificially enhanced.

There was a cameraman on another forum who preferred the JVC 700 to the HPX300 because its detail settings were higher out of the box, even though the native pixel count of the JVC is lower. You and I know he could have made the 300 look at least as sharp had he spent five minutes changing the detail settings. Instead he bought the 700 with a sub-par codec, a terrible lens that had no CAC circuit to help it and native sensors that are not full raster.

Getting back to the HPX170, ours is rented constantly, clients love its look. We have an EX1 as well, but it doesn't work as much for some reason.

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Old March 11th, 2010, 02:16 PM   #30
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Getting back to the HPX170, ours is rented constantly, clients love its look. We have an EX1 as well, but it doesn't work as much for some reason.
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Really? Huh, interesting...

Anyway, why does this codec sub-sample? I don't see the benefits - except a lower bit rate, if you're in a situation where that would be beneficial...
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