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Old December 13th, 2010, 05:38 AM   #1
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Poor HPX502 P2 DVCPRO performance

Hi all,

I recently shot a dance concert for another video production company and am very disappointed with the picture quality of my 502 in SD.

At the request of the company who hired me to do the shoot, I shot on DVCPRO 25, PAL format.

They contacted me today after looking at my pictures and complained of the softness. The pictures are indeed soft, almost as if out of focus - no clarity nin the wide shots - and there is a halo/edge/ghost effect attached to the right hand side of each dancer. Editing in FCP on my iMac, the pictures look fine in the viewer, but blow the pictures up on the same screen and they are very, very blocky indeed. Almost vertical blocks going up from each dancer.

Now I have been shooting for over 20 years so, yes, my focus was checked, back focus fine and everything "as normal"...but I have never seen such a bad recording on a modern camera.

I usually shoot in HD or DVCPRO50 so I understand there will be a difference...but this is pretty darned poor.

Any ideas?

I wouldn't want this to happen again. that's for sure.

Cheers,

David
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Old December 13th, 2010, 10:30 AM   #2
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David,
What was your shutter set at? The 500 series has a default which sets up a low shutter speed when shooting in progressive formats. Ie in 30p it uses 1/30 and 24P 1/24th. I have a big note reminding myself to use the shutter to get a 50th or 60th a second shutter when in those modes. Maybe something similar happened to you.
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Old December 13th, 2010, 01:02 PM   #3
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I did some broadcast news work on my HPX301 last week and it is the first time I have used it in SD.

It also had very poor SD pictures even though I was recording in DVCpro50, could this be down to settings as I was using my BBC 50i HD pre-sets. I had a shutter speed of 50 but the pictures look very soft, I was also in side crop, should I be in this mode or is squeeze better for 16x9 SD?
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Old December 13th, 2010, 01:14 PM   #4
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I use squeeze on my 500 for 16x9 SD . I don't know what the menu settings look like in the 301. And I agree HD settings with low detail can often downconvert softly. I decided though that the shutter issue was wise to bring up as that often seems worse to me with footage which has a lot of motion.
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Old December 13th, 2010, 03:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Daniel Epstein View Post
David,
What was your shutter set at? The 500 series has a default which sets up a low shutter speed when shooting in progressive formats. Ie in 30p it uses 1/30 and 24P 1/24th. I have a big note reminding myself to use the shutter to get a 50th or 60th a second shutter when in those modes. Maybe something similar happened to you.
Thanks Daniel,

I was shooting interlaced...if I remember correctly the shutter was "off" as it normally is.

I shot a dance concert on DVCPRO50 a few weeks ago and the pics were lovely.

This time, however, the DVCPRO pics won't match up to a DVCAM that was also shooting on the night (a Z1 I think). The Sony pics poo all over mine as far as clarity and smoothness of edges is concerned...mine is filled with vertical jaggies everywhere - especially noticeable at the edges of the dancers.

Very disappointed and lesson learned. I will always shoot in 50 now and let FCP handle the differences between the footage in the timeline when I mix with DVCAM, which it seems to do very well.

I was looking back at a couple of my posts before I bought my 502 and someone commented on how the SD quality of the 502 would be less than my previous DVCAM (A Sony 570)...guess this proves it. Something to do with the sensors if I remember correctly.

Thanks again,

David
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Old December 14th, 2010, 04:02 AM   #6
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I have re-set my HPX301 to squeeze now for 16x9 SD and have started using the scene file f3-spark, doing some more tests this week so will let you know any findings.

This is the description for scene file spark:
F:SCENESPARK
File suitable for SD shooting with a greater range of
resolution, coloring and contrast.
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Old December 14th, 2010, 06:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Nattrass View Post
I have re-set my HPX301 to squeeze now for 16x9 SD and have started using the scene file f3-spark, doing some more tests this week so will let you know any findings.

This is the description for scene file spark:
F:SCENESPARK
File suitable for SD shooting with a greater range of
resolution, coloring and contrast.
Hi Gary,

I am interested why it is necessary to set the cam to squeeze to get the best resolution - is it related?

Interesting to hear about the spark setting, too, but unfortunately it doesn't help me now.

By the way, is there any filter/plugin that might help me rid myself of the jaggies in this instance?

The pictures need more definition/sharpness, but at the same time the aliasing needs to be reduced. I know it's a long shot, but I just had to ask...

Cheers,

David
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Old December 14th, 2010, 12:37 PM   #8
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David,
The reason to use squeeze for 16x9 SD on the 500 comes from the electronic design being based on the HVX-200. Side crop is when you want to shoot 4:3. Squeeze on the 500 uses all the pixels of the camera in the SD 16x9 recording instead of the center cut when using Side Crop. In your case your footage may be suffering from an aspect ratio battle and not the difference between DVCPRO 50 and 25 as the main difference in those formats recording is not sharpness but color.
It is easy to get menus settings crossed up.
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Old December 14th, 2010, 04:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Epstein View Post
David,
The reason to use squeeze for 16x9 SD on the 500 comes from the electronic design being based on the HVX-200. Side crop is when you want to shoot 4:3. Squeeze on the 500 uses all the pixels of the camera in the SD 16x9 recording instead of the center cut when using Side Crop. In your case your footage may be suffering from an aspect ratio battle and not the difference between DVCPRO 50 and 25 as the main difference in those formats recording is not sharpness but color.
It is easy to get menus settings crossed up.
Thanks Daniel,

I was indeed using squeeze at the time, as I shoot everything 16:9...

So are you saying I should have been using another setting because I was shooting in DVCPRO?

Cheers,

David
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Old December 15th, 2010, 11:04 AM   #10
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David,
I guess we are back to square one as far as what is going on with your camera. There are lots of settings which can change your impression of the cameras look and maybe you have to compare your camera to some other source so you can see how your settings stack up. Sorry can't give you anymore guidance on this issue.
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