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Old May 30th, 2006, 09:40 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Plonsky

Do you think a downcoverted SD image from the HVX is noticably better in image quality than an SD image originally shot on the HVX in SD, or even on the DVX100A or B?

Also, am I correct in thinking that because of the image ratio of HD, all downconverted SD will be 16:9?

Thanks for the 100B input, Ash. Hadn't heard that before.
The first point has been hotly debated ever since the first JVC HDV body hit the market. I can only say from my experience, that an HD clip downconverted to SD widescreen does look a TAD better, not night and day, from a properly shot SD image. I'd say that once it's been compressed down to DVD spec you could not tell the difference between the two, all else being equal.

The main reason most of us are shooting with an HD/HDV body now, is the concept that our DVD final outputted projects can be re-cut later into HD-DVD with the original footage, rather than trying to up-res original SD clips. Plus, it does open doors for any HD-broadcast work currently.

And yes, if you shoot in a 16:9 space then when you downconvert the natural path would be 4:3 letterboxed or pan-and-scan.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 12:10 PM   #17
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and the winner is...

It's going to be the DVX. Here's why.

1 - The number one thing for this client is that the project is turned in on time. So the "HD vs SD" issue takes a back seat to the deadline issue. Since this client is too important to us to risk letting down due to surprise delays in workflow (both on and off location) it seems wiser to go with our proven SD workflow. As some of you recommended from the get go.

2 - HD seems unnecessary at this time (at least for the majority of the shoot, ) seeing how it's going to be distributed in SD. And according to Robert the image improvement in SD footage downconverted from HD isn't truly significant. (thanks Rob.)

3-Battery life was also a concern for me - seems from a couple posts that the HVX eats up the same DVX battery in half the time (not to mention if we're running the P2 Store on those batteries too.) And I don't want to be looking for cafes to charge up in every 3 hours.

4 - It feels right. Could've been a nice opportunity to get our hands wet in HD but at a risk to our relationship with this client if things went haywire. Looking at this long-term - if we can once again make this client happy they'll keep calling us back, as they have in the past, and that "HD opportunity" will eventually come. But we'll be more ready (as will FCP, I assume).

5 - So where's the 3k going? I recommended that we allocate it to shooting the aerial footage in HD (Cineflex) as opposed to the originally approved SD (Wescam). Following Robert's line of thinking, the only stuff worth shooting in HD right now is the stuff we're most likely to reuse in the future - and in this case, it'd obviously be the aerial footage.

So where does this leave me? At peace, more or less. Now I just gotta decide whether or not to shoot 16:9 or 4:3 (all of a sudden that DVX100B recomendation, with it's corrected squeeze image is looking attractive again. ;).

Thank you all so much for your time and advice. Be seeing you soon!
Mike
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Old May 30th, 2006, 12:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Plonsky
Now I just gotta decide whether or not to shoot 16:9 or 4:3 (all of a sudden that DVX100B recomendation, with it's corrected squeeze image is looking attractive again. ;).

Thank you all so much for your time and advice. Be seeing you soon!
Mike
I will say, that having an SD-letterboxed presentation gives any footage a more cinematic and dramatic feel. Even shooting 16:9 I still introduce a cinemascope matte on many clips just to give it that theatre presentation "feel".

Go with the "B" version, you won't regret it.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 01:52 PM   #19
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last minute decisions

Nice idea on the cinemascope matte.
Regarding the DVX100B, I don't think there's funds for a new DVX100B for now. I just spent 650 sticking new heads in my DVX100A.

What I'll probably do is tape-off the LCD to give me letter box on the camera - this will also give me some head and leg room to play with in post - which'll probably be useful since I'm not used to shooting 16:9.

Of course I could shoot squeeze for higher quality but I'll probabaly be outputting this DVD in fake 16:9 (4:3 with letterbox) so it shouldn't make a difference.
Anyone recomend against this? Or would you strongly recomend I shoot squeeze (with or without the 100B) and create a real anamorphic DVD?

Again, thanks!
Mike
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Old May 30th, 2006, 06:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane
Those are *possible* methods, but not very practical and requires either the client or Mike to purchase additional hardware/software.
Fair enough, but your earlier post made it sound like it's almost impossible to distribute HD content by any means, and that's simply not true. I agree that the most practical thing to do with HD footage for now is to downsample it to anamorphic SD DVDs, especially for the project under discussion which apparently requires widespread distribution. But it is increasingly plausible to shoot, edit and deliver HD video for those clients who express an interest in that.

As far as I'm concerned there's little reason to shoot anything in SD anymore, especially since you can downsample to SD for simpler editing while maintaining HD source footage for future demo reels.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 06:29 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Plonsky
Of course I could shoot squeeze for higher quality but I'll probabaly be outputting this DVD in fake 16:9 (4:3 with letterbox) so it shouldn't make a difference. Anyone recomend against this? Or would you strongly recomend I shoot squeeze (with or without the 100B) and create a real anamorphic DVD?
If you want widescreen output, use an anamorphic lens adapter or a true widescreen SD camera or an HD camera. 'Fake' widescreen video produced by other means looks poor when viewed on large HDTVs, as it will be viewed in the future for any project with any durability.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 07:32 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
If you want widescreen output, use an anamorphic lens adapter or a true widescreen SD camera or an HD camera. 'Fake' widescreen video produced by other means looks poor when viewed on large HDTVs, as it will be viewed in the future for any project with any durability.
Ditto. What he said.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 09:43 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
use an anamorphic lens adapter or a true widescreen SD camera
Would you say that the DVX100A or B with squeeze is almost the same as using an anamorphic adaptor? I'd prefer to stick with the camera I've already got.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 10:11 PM   #24
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No, not the same at all.

I don't remember exactly how the DVX squeezes it's image but usually it involves turning off unused pixels in the chips.

What an anamorphic adapter does, is allow the camera to fully utilize all it's native 4:3 chips but stretches the image vertically using optics, not electronics. Hence, you don't lose any image quality in the process.

Then, during capture into FCP you simply hit the "anamorphic" checkbox for both your capture and timeline presets and voila!, you have a true SD-widescreen project - without sacrificing camera pixels in the process.

Century Optics makes an anamorphic adapter for the 100-A; it's pricey but a LOT less expensive than buying a new camera.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 10:19 PM   #25
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You also do not just pop on the adaptor and shoot. Remember this is a piece of glass in front of your lens..... prep time is needed. Yes you will gain some resolution back going this way.

If you have the DVX in hand shoot some squeeze footage, output to DVD and watch it back. Just make sure your vertical detail level is set to thin if you use squeeze mode.


I work with both cameras. Honestly the HVX is a huge jump in workflow with pros and cons.
You really need to consider back up options for all footage in many different ways. Which is an additonal cost for both backing up and also handling HD in larger volume of gigs.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 10:23 PM   #26
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Jake brings up an important point - you do need prep and test time, especially since you're changing the optics of the camera. It's not nearly as much work as using a 35mm lens adapter, but it's also not a screw-on and go accessory.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 05:16 PM   #27
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Well from what you guys have been telling me I've changed plans again and believe it or not, I'm bringing BOTH cameras on the shoot. After looking into prices for the 16x9 adaptor (nobody rents it here), it would've wound up costing as much as a week of renting the HVX so I thought, why not just shoot the HVX in SD on true 16:9 chips? And if something looks amazing, I'll switch to P2 and shoot HD.
This'll also be a nice chance for me to get to test out the camera and the workflow. If things get sticky with the HVX, I'll bring out the DVX and shoot squeeze.
Again tks.
My flight leaves in 5 hours. Got get some shut eye. What a long time it's taken to make these decisions. Couldn't have done it with out you.
BTW, I'm not bringing along the laptop (too much baggage) but instead about 450GB of FW800 drive. Let's see if I can figure out how to pass that to the camera, since I bet the HVX is FW400. Oh well. no time for that now...
later skaters
Mike
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