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Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts
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Old September 12th, 2007, 09:36 AM   #1
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XD Cam HD & Focus

On a recent shoot for HD Net, I photographed the correspondent in a well lit environment (set). Using the 1/2-in version of the Sony XD Cam HD (HD Net's camera with basic lens that comes with the package). Shooting in 1080i 60 fps

Back Focus, Check
Focus on the scene, Check

When watching playback on a large screen monitor, believe it was a 60-inch plasma, everything looked sharp until the correspondent moved his head and then the "catch lights" in the eyes appeared slightly soft.

Total bafflement!

Then I started to think about video compression and the GOP (not politics) and perhaps the predictive nature of GOP was not updating quickly enough and creating an artifact that was manifesting itself as soft focus on the only part of the picture that was moving.

Any thoughts or comments? Gregory Andracke, NYC
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Old September 12th, 2007, 08:21 PM   #2
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My first thought is that you are seeing an artifact of the monitor interpolating the Field based motion into Frames. I know the 2 year old Sony plasma I have here looks bad displaying field based motion. Play the same clip on a CRT and things look fine. All flat panel displays that I know of are inherently frame based. The newest LCDs are moving to 120Hz refresh. This should allow them to do a better job of displaying 60i material and also 24p footage by using 5:5 pulldown.
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Old September 12th, 2007, 08:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Scot Olson View Post
My first thought is that you are seeing an artifact of the monitor interpolating the Field based motion into Frames. I know the 2 year old Sony plasma I have here looks bad displaying field based motion. Play the same clip on a CRT and things look fine. All flat panel displays that I know of are inherently frame based. The newest LCDs are moving to 120Hz refresh. This should allow them to do a better job of displaying 60i material and also 24p footage by using 5:5 pulldown.
Sounds like a plan... the only problem will be getting a look at footage that was shot over a month ago and not in my possession, but this is certainly a starting point and I know the guy that brought the plasma to the shoot.... sooooo it's a beginning. Thanks, Scot.... Greg
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Old September 12th, 2007, 10:24 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Gregory Andracke View Post
On a recent shoot for HD Net, I photographed the correspondent in a well lit environment (set). Using the 1/2-in version of the Sony XD Cam HD (HD Net's camera with basic lens that comes with the package).
I'm surprised that HDNET is accepting of, let alone owning the XDCAM HD. They are known to be real sticklers about their HD content.

-gb-
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Old September 13th, 2007, 04:15 AM   #5
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I too was surprised -- but pleased...

Greg

HDNet is one of the best looking HD channels, and to know that they like the camera we own is very gratifying, if yes, a bit surprising. But definitely a happy surprise for owners!

This combines with Discovery HD Theater's acceptance of the camera to essentially put the Good Housekeeping seal of approval on 1/2" XDCAM HD.

Also History, now in HD, used the F350 for Ice Road Truckers. We can all feel good that we have a winner here.

Best,

Tip
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Old September 13th, 2007, 01:28 PM   #6
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Also History, now in HD, used the F350 for Ice Road Truckers.
Yeah I knew about that one. You can also add Mythbusters to that list. When Deadliest Catch goes HD, I believe they'll be shooting with it also. Then there's CNN, CBS, already on board, and at least one other network that will likely come on board. That pretty much confirms Sony's claim that XDCAM is the next Betacam in terms of wide acceptance.

-gb-
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Old September 13th, 2007, 09:47 PM   #7
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All well and good ---- BUT

Thanks for the comments, but the question still remains on the table. Focus issues due to possible GOP artifacts + the possibility that the play back plasma was at fault?

It was nice to see all the positive comments about Sony XDCAM HD. I, for one, have not made a decision on which camera to buy or perhaps sit on the sidelines for a bit and see what shakes out. XD is popular but only with certain companies and is not universally accepted here on the east coast. Ya can't own 'em all!

For example, I just finished shooting 6 days for the History Channel in Maine and NYC and the company supplied HDX900, 24p/720. Many of the indies producing for PBS etc, seem to be gravitating to Pana 720 formats. Still shooting a lot for 60 Minutes and they're still using Beta!

I for one am coming to the conclusion that the best camera is one that can do ALL the formats, sort of a swiss army knife of cameras. Let me know when that happens!

Any comments on my original post will be apppreciated.
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Old September 14th, 2007, 01:27 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Gregory Andracke View Post
Any comments on my original post will be apppreciated.
Sorry Greg, didn't mean to drag the thread off topic. I can say that you are the first person to report something like this. It could have been display related as was mentioned. Might have been related to GOP structure also, but it's kind of hard to tell without some of us having a look at it on our own displays. Often times on the forum, when someone has an issue like this, they are able to provide a sample clip or still that demonstrates the issue.

I'm really sorry that I can't help any more than that. I'll be sure to watch for something like this in the future. My pet peeve is the lateral chromatic aberration that shows in some shots. And from my research, it's a real problem with HD lenses.

The other thing that I could suggest is trying to watch that clip when it airs and see if you notice the problem. That would almost certainly point to the display you were watching it on. Has anyone else commented on this further down the line?

regards,

-gb-
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Old September 14th, 2007, 08:49 PM   #9
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Greg, Gregory, email me off list.
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Old September 15th, 2007, 03:23 AM   #10
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I have shot well over 200 hours of XDCAM HD material and never seen any thing like this. It never ceases to amaze me how much more robust than HDV the 35Mb XDCAM HD codec is.
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