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Old January 4th, 2006, 08:05 PM   #1
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HVX vs H1, THE CCD WAR

All this talk of what the CCD res. is and people hanging their pocket books in limbo waiting to see if the HVX beats out the H1's ccd res makes me laugh. As we all remember, the XL2 had a sharper and higher res image, but that still didn't give it a better looking and more film like image than the DVX's.

The XL2 was overly sharp and had that "video" look even with its higher ccd res and better glass. That is why you keep hearing, "the ccd res doesn't matter, it's all in the images the HVX produces." I still believe in this outlook, and i'm sure it will hold true in this H1 vs. HVX battle.

From what I've seen so from the H1, the canon continues to sit on its throne boasting the sharpest image. But that's something that I along with a majority of indie film makers hated about the XL serious from the start. It lacks the cinne-gamma and softness that panny has perfected.

The HVX has a solid state recording format with P2 which enables us to forget about rendering and drag it directly onto the timeline. Variable frame rates, cmon now who doesn't love that Reservoir Dogs slow mo shot of all the guys strolling up suited to kill.

The DVCPRO HD codec which in the least is as good as the HDV format and to many, it's better. A form factor that doesn't look like it's from star trek or some odd sci fi film. And you can trust that it will have the same cine gamma that we all loved with the DVX.

Some would argue that the HVX should have detachable lens. I honestly don't see why, it's not like you're going to get much of an increase in the DOF department with the additional lens that canon offers. In that respect it's all about the 35mm adapters, forget the detachable lens issue.

The one thing I will give the Canon is its image flip function, which would be an important feature when considering a 35 adapter, but then again, this problem can be fixed with a larger external lcd which is a necessity anyways when shooting with a 35 adapter.

All in all I think people need to relax on this ridiculous issue of ccd res and remember what's truly important, THE FOOTAGE!
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Old January 4th, 2006, 09:38 PM   #2
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Alexander,
Thanks.
I completely agree,
though I am a concerned with some noise/gain issues. The majority of the footage I see (given the way I work) is quite workable...for 6 or 7 grand

that being said I am still waiting to see more as it is revealed
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Old January 4th, 2006, 10:41 PM   #3
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Alex,

Having a sharper higher resolution image and being able to tone it down and make it soft is better then having a soft image and your stuck with it. it's like owning a Lamborghini, but only ever driving the speed limit....it's nice to know you can step on the gas at will! nawmean?

Look at it like this.... the Sony F900 is even sharper and has a higher resolution image then the Canon XL-H1. (for argument sake) Let's say the XL-H1 is even sharper and has a higher resolution image then the HVX-200.....
Say I told you that money is no object! pick your weapon of choice.
Are you telling me....you would rather shoot the HVX-200 then the F900 because it's LESS sharp then the F900 and the F900 would be your LAST choice because it's TOO clean?

EXACLY my man, and that's all we're talking about.

The cine-gamma selections on the XL-H1 are extensive to say the least. I am confident that a good DP can dial in any image look, be it sharp or be it soft, that he/she wants. The cinema settings on the XL-H1 is sufficient enough to get the job done and emmulate a filmlook as good as the DVX has always been able to do. And that's why it's better to have MORE then less, because you can always dial down if you need to. If you ever do a project where you need to step on the gas and burn some rubber.....it's nice to know you got the horsepower to do so.

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Old January 4th, 2006, 10:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Nikishin
The XL2 was overly sharp and had that "video" look even with its higher ccd res and better glass. That is why you keep hearing, "the ccd res doesn't matter, it's all in the images the HVX produces." I still believe in this outlook, and i'm sure it will hold true in this H1 vs. HVX battle.
I agree with everything you wrote - great post. With one exception... I really don't think the stock lens that shipped with the XL2 was "better glass" than what was on the DVX. The purple fringe alone was reason to buy the body only and go for the manual lens or some other option. :)

And you're right about the 35mm adapters. The results people are getting with these truly boggles the mind. I'm definitely planning to buy the G35 (if/when) it's available or some other 35mm solution for my HVX.

As for the XLH1, it's a fine camera -- far better than the XL2. I would have already bought one if not for the promises of the HVX200. I played with an H1 on demo at the local shop for a few hours today while working with some more NLE stuff. Rather impressive overall... But still I wait for the HVX -- those frame rate options and the allure of the tapeless workflow still have me fixated.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 11:12 PM   #5
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Shannon, the XL series has never had gamma that was adequate to the DVX's, that is what all the praise for the DVX has been about, its great cine gamma settings. The XLs have always been a bit cold versus the DVX's warmer and arguably more film like footage. As for the sharpness, I think that the best option is not to have an extermely sharp look to begin with. Any effect is preferably done in camera versus an NLE, this gives an overall better image.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 11:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Nikishin
Some would argue that the HVX should have detachable lens. I honestly don't see why, it's not like you're going to get much of an increase in the DOF department with the additional lens that canon offers. In that respect it's all about the 35mm adapters, forget the detachable lens issue.

The one thing I will give the Canon is its image flip function, which would be an important feature when considering a 35 adapter, but then again, this problem can be fixed with a larger external lcd which is a necessity anyways when shooting with a 35 adapter.
The Canon's detachable lens may give you up to some 2 F-stop advantage with 35 mm adapter. P+S 35 mm adapter needs Z1 to be set at the telephoto setting, where the lens loses nearly two F-stops. If the lens was detachable, fast relay lens could be used.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 11:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Petr Marusek
The Canon's detachable lens may give you up to some 2 F-stop advantage with 35 mm adapter. P+S 35 mm adapter needs Z1 to be set at the telephoto setting, where the lens loses nearly two F-stops. If the lens was detachable, fast relay lens could be used.
Petr, in order to use the 35 adapter, you need the lens attatched. =)
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Old January 4th, 2006, 11:46 PM   #8
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Also Shannon, the great thing about the F900 is not its sharpness, many people are actually bothered by its sharpness, ex. Star Wars. The F900 has great color, latitude, and a shallow dof. So yes, i'd take the F900 anyday over either the HVX or XL H1, but not for sharpness, that's one of its weak points.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 11:56 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Alexander Nikishin
Petr, in order to use the 35 adapter, you need the lens attatched. =)
No you don't Alex. You remove the XL lens completely and use a relay lens thats built into the Mini35 adapter. This is why it is 2 stops faster then using a camera with a fixed lens.

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Old January 5th, 2006, 12:03 AM   #10
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Ah I'm not familiar with the mini35, only the redrock micro and the like.
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Old January 5th, 2006, 12:06 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Alexander Nikishin
Ah I'm not familiar with the mini35, only the redrock micro and the like.
Oh, I see. I've never shot with the M1, only the Mini35.

Also, i've never heard anyone complain about the F900's over-sharpness. The dial goes from -99 to +99, so that's odd to hear people had a problem with it. If you dial it down too low, it almost gets too blurry & soft! it sure wasn't overly sharp in COLLATERAL and damn sure not BAAdASSSSS! or SEX AND LUCIA. But, i guess it's all opinion, so this is pointless.

You're right: great color, latitude, and a shallow dof is what counts. I hope both HVX-200 & XL-H1 score high in those areas together. Cine gamma of the XL-H1 is damn sure fine to me. And that's coming from a DVX100a owner. I never owned an XL2 (although I have shot with one)
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Old January 5th, 2006, 12:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Nikishin
Also Shannon, the great thing about the F900 is not its sharpness, many people are actually bothered by its sharpness, ex. Star Wars. The F900 has great color, latitude, and a shallow dof. So yes, i'd take the F900 anyday over either the HVX or XL H1, but not for sharpness, that's one of its weak points.
OMG!! I can't believe all this nonsense. If you're making a MOVIE or something where the filmish look is of utmost importance, why on earth would you strictly rely on the in camera settings? Don't any of you prefer to render in Magic Bullet or do extensive color correction? Yes, render times suck, but there are a 1,001 options in post, and it can only get better so long as the source video is good. Thomson's Viper gives you a weird image from it's filmstream mode, which you are SUPPOSED to color correct, with infinite possibilities in uncompressed RGB. I would NEVER do extensive color correction in HDV. You get a high capacity RAID and finish your material in uncompressed 10bit, if possible, or Cineform. THEN re-encode for distribution such as h.264 and WMV. Also, I'm sure your film-out house would prefer an uncompressed or lightly compressed master, and would also prefer the option of re-correcting for film-out, particularly from an uncompressed source.

This is why SDI is so appealing to me. I think there will be many indie films that take advantage of this option.

Someone will do a low-budget Sin City type production, but will probably get better results from an H1 than HVX.
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Old January 5th, 2006, 12:29 AM   #13
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Correct Barlow....As a famous DP Mr. David Mullen puts it, Sort of the entire point of HIGH DEFINITION is to NOT color-correct the image in-camera -- the idea is to send out an uncompressed, unprocessed signal -- "raw" more or less -- to your recorder, to capture as much information as possible. You can color-correct the monitor output if you want to see something on the set that isn't really flat-looking. It's sort of like shooting color negative in terms of not adding the color-correction until post.

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Old January 5th, 2006, 12:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shannon Rawls
Correct Barlow....As a famous DP Mr. David Mullen puts it, Sort of the entire point of HIGH DEFINITION is to NOT color-correct the image in-camera -- the idea is to send out an uncompressed, unprocessed signal -- "raw" more or less -- to your recorder, to capture as much information as possible. You can color-correct the monitor output if you want to see something on the set that isn't really flat-looking. It's sort of like shooting color negative in terms of not adding the color-correction until post.

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That would be true in a 10-bit system and both HDCAM and Varicam can record 10 bit into Sony CineAlta SR or Panasonic D5 recorders, but the 8 bit pro HD systems are quite compressed so you need to color correct in the field as much as possible.
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Old January 5th, 2006, 01:10 AM   #15
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I feel you on that Petr as well. I was discussing the F900 though. I guess I got caught up in the mix.

Last week I was over here trying to create various looks with my XL-H1 to emmulate some of my favorite movies and save the to scene files for later usage. So I understand what you are talking about as well.

Eitherway....Do what's neccessary for that job. Some call for camera tweaks when recording which make that look PERMANENT. Other times shoot raw and create LOTSA different looks in post.

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