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Sony HVR-V1 / HDR-FX7
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old November 28th, 2006, 03:28 PM   #16
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Thomas, are you using the Blackmagic codec, and if so, have to you tested it yet for keying/green screen? I'm concerned that if it's too soft then it's no better than HDV, except in terms of scale maybe. I'm not knocking it, as it would be a cheaper alternative to prospect solution.

Again, HDMI is simply a video/audio pipe to replace analogue component. The idea that when HDCP is enabled, consumers will not have the component out to copy pristine 4:2:2 protected material, (so hold on to your HC1/A1's).
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Old November 28th, 2006, 04:29 PM   #17
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Thomas, are you using the Blackmagic codec, and if so, have to you tested it yet for keying/green screen? I'm concerned that if it's too soft then it's no better than HDV, except in terms of scale maybe. I'm not knocking it, as it would be a cheaper alternative to prospect solution.
Even if it is soft it is lightyears ahead of HDV in terms of quality.

First of all you have 4:2:2 compared to 4:2:0. That alone will make a huge difference in keying.

Second you will not have the macroblocks from hard to compress footage such as fast movement or high detail.

Even if the Blackmagic codec is a hair soft it will be much better to key with assuming you use it to capture live footage.

Since the card or the V1 isn't out yet I have not been able to test them out. I have tried a few animated clips and so far I am very impressed with the codec. It isn't perfect but what more do you want for a high quality codec that runs full HD off of a single drive? The codec sure beats HDV and DVCPRO HD.
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Old November 28th, 2006, 10:20 PM   #18
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I understand the 4:2:2 10 bit, just hearing that it's a little soft speaks color/edge bleed or creep and not a very clean key. If you say it's way better than HDV, and I've keyed some with ok results, then sounds like a winner and worth a serious look. Thanks.
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Old November 28th, 2006, 10:29 PM   #19
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It's only 8 bit video but it is still much better. Trust me I am much more concern about macroblocking and other mpeg-2 artifacts then I am about any level of softness you could get from the jpeg codec. I have converted some Canon 24F clips into the jpeg codec and they looked pretty good to me.

If for whatever reason it doesn't work well for you then there is always Cineform.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 09:38 AM   #20
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According to blackmagics own press release, the Motion Jpeg codec is meant for long form and camera or cut's only work, and not for effects. So it's better than HDV for broadcast work, but kinda defeats why I capture via SDI for keying. Even though it's "sampled" at 4:2:2, 8 bits is not enough data.

I've used and continue to use PPro 1.5.1 and intermediate my HDV material via cineform. Blackmagic's comparable solution is a DVCPRO HD codec, and subject to generation loss. I've already gone from HDV to cineform and master back to HDV and can't see any loss when viewed on 40" HD monitor for 8bit cuts and simple effects.

I'm gonna pass on this and upgrade to prospect and access 10bit material. Cineform intermediate is a good compromise from going completely uncompressed.

Not saying it's a bad tool, just not the right tool for me.
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 02:41 PM   #21
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Great thread! I'd just like to set a few things straight because I don't think they were clarified distinctly for the less experienced forum users.

First, capturing to HDMI card. The only advantage to this is if you're capturing directly from the camera in a "live" capture situation. That means you're on location with your camera and computer bypassing tape compression through the HDMI cable. Only then will you get the full 10 bit 4:2:2 color space. If you shot on tape, capturing through HDMI has no advantage because the HDV compression has already taken place.

This type of shooting will tether your camera to a computer. Not really an issure for studio shooting, but it could be difficult in some location shoots. Long HDMI cables with built in signal boosters are available to accomplish this, but I haven't tested them yet. I plan to early next year.

The advantage to full 10 bit 4:2:2 color space really only comes into play if you're keying the footage or plan on a lot of color correction/manipulation and compositing. If you light and compose your shot well, and capture great audio, a straight up narrative or documentary project may not benefit greatly from the added logistics of tethered shooting.

If you choose to shoot tethered to the HDMI card, I see no use in capturing to any other codec. As Peter said, BlackMagic's codec and most others bump you back to 8 bit which defeats the purpose of bypassing the HDV compression in the first place. Capture uncompressed and maintain the colorspace and bit rate. This means a RAID array is needed in the capture computer to keep up with the data coming in.

Now, HDMI verses HD-SDI. Peter is right about HDMI and the the lack of time code and genlock, but for most of us it doesn't matter. Because you're capturing direct-to-disk, time code isn't really necessary for anything. And genlock only makes a difference if your shooting multiple cameras. The short cable issue Peter brings up is being addressed by cable makers by placing signal boosters with the cable as I stated above.

Now, you also need to understand the HDMI will not record a true 1080 24p stream. The protocol wasn't built for it. HD-SDI will. This HDMI limitation can be worked around via software converters. I'd suggest DVFilm Maker. It does a great job, better than MagicBullet and a lot cheaper.

The real advantage to HDMI over HD-SDI for indies is price. Again I agree with Peter that HD-SDI with Cineform RAW is the cream of the crop, but the price of such a combo is steep. Currently Cineform Prospect Ingest is $3000 and only supports AJA cards that will run around $2000. Then you need a camera with HD-SDI out or a converter. That ain't cheap either.

To shoot like that you're looking at a camera/software/hardware combo that will reach a price tag of around $15000. If you're going to spend that much you may as well go with Silicon Imaging's SI-mini and a highend laptop and a few super16mm prime lenses. That's the real thing!

In an HDMI situation you can get by with a price tag of closer to $6000 including a camera and the capture computer with a RAID array which you can edit the footage on as well! That's a price I can afford.

If you disagree with any of this ramble, let it be known. I love this kind of thread!

Chad
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Old December 2nd, 2006, 03:36 PM   #22
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HDMI => HD SDI recorded directly to the hard disk is real.

HDMI => HD SDI recorded directly to the hard disk is real. You can convert the 1920 x 1080 uncompressed 4:2:2 color space to HD SDI using the Convergent Design HD-Connect MI converter. This allows you to use a short HDMI cable and a full run HD SDI coax cable to the computer with runs up to about 100 meters.

Check out this link: http://www.convergent-design.com/CD_...DConnectMI.htm

You can then use the codec of your choice, however the DVCPro HD codec would substantially degrade the output. Cineform's codec in Prospect HD is probably a better solution if you have a PC and want to keep the file size to under 50 or 60 gigs per hour.

Cineforms Prospect HD also captures in 10 bit.

If I'm not mistaken, time code is also added, according to Convergent.

This solution would only work with a desktop and a raid system unless you use Cineform's Prospect HD which would allow you to use a single SATA drive.

This is a pricey solution but would yield results superior to most all other solutions out there (comparable to very high-end solutions) for filmmakers. HD SDI live recording directly to the hard disk and bypassing all compression (or minimal compression with Cineform's codec) is pretty hot.

Also I haven't seen anyone mention the fact that rapid horizontal movement and pans with HDV is pretty bad because the codec can't handle all that data, while rapid horizontal movement and panning is not a problem with HDMI/HDSDI directly to the hard disk.

Prospect HD will also extract 24p from the 60i stream at the same time. You end up with a true 24p timeline.

This is probably the best solution I have seen to get uncompressed output from the V1U (so far).

Cost
Prospect HD - $3,000.00
AJA low cost card (works with PPro 2, no component I/O) - $1,000.00
Convergent HD Connect MI - $600.00
Dell computer with 1.5 Terabytes Raid $3,400.00
Dell 24" 1920 x 1200 LCD monitor $700.00
HVR-V1U Camcorder (street price) $4,200.00
Cavision Matt Box $600.00
24" Rods - $125.00
Redrock M2 35mm Cinema Adaptor - $1,200.00
Redrock Follow Focus - $700.00
Assorted Nikon lenses, $1,000.00
Cavision 4 x 4 filter kit $180.00
HD Monitor $1,400.00
Israeli Arm $150.00
Sennheiser ME66/K6 Mic $500.00
Fur Windscreen (softie) $50.00
Boom Pole $200.00
Tripod capable of supporting up to 22 pounds - $1,200.00
------------------
$20,205.00 Out The Door!

If you want to add handles and shoulder rest to the rods to make your system portable, Cavision sells them for around $250.00. You are ready to go. This system should outperform systems costing 3 to 5 times as much... or more!

Just my humble opinion.

p.s. I'll post photos of my system, configured exactly as above as soon as I get my V1U.

Last edited by Dave F. Nelson; December 2nd, 2006 at 05:49 PM.
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 12:48 AM   #23
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Dave! Wow! That's a wicked setup!

But I must ask. Why not just get Silicon Imaging's SI Mini? With that setup you could save the $1000 on the AJA card and just capture from the camera head via a gigabyte network card to Cineform RAW. No need for the redrock M2 because the mini accepts the Nikon lenses with the purchase of a much less expensive adapter. And it comes with Prospect HD and will capture 2k 24p!

Don't mind me. . . I'm just jealous. . .

Let us know how you like your rig!

Chad
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 03:09 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Haufschild
Dave! Wow! That's a wicked setup!

But I must ask. Why not just get Silicon Imaging's SI Mini? With that setup you could save the $1000 on the AJA card and just capture from the camera head via a gigabyte network card to Cineform RAW. No need for the redrock M2 because the mini accepts the Nikon lenses with the purchase of a much less expensive adapter. And it comes with Prospect HD and will capture 2k 24p!

Don't mind me. . . I'm just jealous. . .

Let us know how you like your rig!

Chad
Thanks for your comments.

As you can see from the list I provided, there is much more to a system than the camera. And actually, I would prefer the RED on paper to the SI-2K. But neither camera exists for purchase yet and the Red is more vaporware than anything else at this point. The Red uses a 35 mm cmos sensor and 35 mm lenses. In any case, the reasons I chose this system are as follows. The prices you may be using for comparison do not include lenses or any goodies (big bucks). I have considered many other cameras too.

I attended the DVExpo in LA on Nov. 15 and had a chance to work with the V1U. I'm impressed with what I saw. The lens has less fringing than the HD100 or the XL-H1. The image appears to be as sharp as the XL-H1. I believe that the V1U uncompressed will cut well with the Sony F900.

1. Our studio uses 4:2:2 HD SDI already.
2. We use HDCAM for tape backup of raw footage and masters.
3. The SI-2K does not use 35mm lenses. It uses a 2/3" sensor which does not have shallow DOF
5. I can disconnect everything and I still have a light weight run-and-gun 24p camera.
6. We actually plan to purchase 3 complete systems for a three camera 2 moresetup in the studio, and 2nd and 3rd units in the field when we up to speed with the first system.

I would still need the following items to complete an injest system:

Dell computer with 1.5 Terabytes Raid $3,400.00
Dell 24" 1920 x 1200 LCD monitor $700.00
Matt Box - ???
24" Rod support system - ???
Handles and shoulder rest for rod support - $250.00
4 x 4 or 4 x 5.6 filter kit - $180.00
Sennheiser ME66/K6 Mic $500.00
Fur Windscreen (softie) $50.00
Boom Pole $200.00
Tripod capable of supporting up to 22 pounds - $1,200.00
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 10:07 AM   #25
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Interesting set-up, Dave!

Well, you included accessories and a mic, but no lights. That's where it'll add up even more, unless you rent them. But that's an interesting set-up. What kind of HD monitor are you using?

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Old December 3rd, 2006, 10:22 AM   #26
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I think Cineform will have an Intensity version soon. If AJA was making an HDMI card it may have come sooner. Maybe the capture included with the HDMI card could be used with Cineform without Cineform capture. If it is a reasonable 4:2:2 capture, maybe the conversion from MJPEG to Cineform will not be a significant reduction in image information.

Also, unless you are recording outside with a boom operator, I would recommend more/different mics. I like the ME series because of the battery power. However, the ME64 is on the camera or boom (which I use whenever practical, frequently off a C-stand) 99% of the time.

David
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 12:14 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Ziegelheim
I think Cineform will have an Intensity version soon. If AJA was making an HDMI card it may have come sooner. Maybe the capture included with the HDMI card could be used with Cineform without Cineform capture. If it is a reasonable 4:2:2 capture, maybe the conversion from MJPEG to Cineform will not be a significant reduction in image information.

Also, unless you are recording outside with a boom operator, I would recommend more/different mics. I like the ME series because of the battery power. However, the ME64 is on the camera or boom (which I use whenever practical, frequently off a C-stand) 99% of the time.

David

We actually use many different types of mics here. I prefer the ME66 to the 64 because I get a hotter signal and don't have to be as close to the subject. However I also use a 64 capsule.

I don't use a c-stand but I do use mic stands and studio boom systems along with boom poles.

Regarding the intensity card and support by Cineform, I have spoken to Cineform extensively regarding this issue. They indicate that they are looking at it, but claim it is difficult to get the low level driver support that they from Black Magic.

I also talked to AJA at the DVExpo in LA. They were not even aware that the new Sony cameras were using HDMI. They also told me that this is not their market but they might look at in the future if there was customer demand.

However I did peak their interest when I walked one of the suits from Aja over to the Sony booth to show him what the fuss was all about with the V1U.

From a pricing standpoint, I think they hope HDMI will somehow go away. It won't. It'll just take time for the players to participate in the destruction of their markets by offering a competitive technology (HDMI vs HD SDI).

I also spoke with Miranda. They were not aware that HDMI was uncompressed and knew nothing about the low-end market at all. They are too busy selling high-priced converters to Sony customers for their F950s and 900s. HD SDI is used by most professionals today. HDMI is all new to the video industry.

In general these companies appear to be asleep with the exception of Cineform (or more accurately, they wish that HDMI would just go away). Cineform claims that HD SDI will always be their major push (because of the bucks involved). Afterall Prospect is a $3,000.00 package.

How could they justify pairing the Intensity card ($250.00 including free software) with Prospect HD (a $3,000.00 software only solution). Black magic gives their codecs away with their hardware. Cineform is a software only company, not a hardware company. They live on limited sales of a very expensive product to a small community of digital filmmakers.

Built in 8 bit support for the Intensity card in Aspect HD is the more likely offering since this would not cannabalize the market for their cash cows, Prospect HD and Cineform Raw.

Cineform, however has already started bundling their software with other manufacturer's products. This trend will continue. Cindform will eventually have to drop the price of their product to increase their market share since competion in imminent from orher sources.

Eventually there will be good support for Intensity and other related HDMI products, but this will take time. There are not enough cameras out there yet to be of much concern to Cineform, Miranda and Aja, etc.

As a matter of fact, the Aja people told me that they don't worry about Black Magic because they serve the low-cost market while Aja serves broadcast professionals.

I found this to be an interesting statement. Every time I go to Walmart I see expensive cars such as Hummers. I wonder if people with money are concerned about price???

It reminds me of plumbers trying to protect their jobs, so they fold their arms and won't let the new guys into their back rooms to see "technology" involved in their business. Bad analogy but the best I could think of in a moments notice.

There is a lot of money at stake and support for HD SDI in the broadcast arena is strong and still growing. This new "Poor Man's HD SDI" represents a substantial loss in revenues for the players in this market if HDMI capture takes off.

I have less hope for support for HDMI in the near term than I originally did. But it will eventually be a healthy market. And, at the same time that HDMI becomes more popular, HD SDI prices will, likely, continue to drop.

They may even co-exist in the same infrastructure if Convergent has anything to say about it. Convergent's approach of integration of HDMI into the HD SDI environment is a measured and rational approach for companies like ours with an existing HD SDI infrastructure.

But the Indie Filmmaker on a low, or no, budget is likely to become a larger market, in the future, with the introduction of more low-cost 24p camcorders with HDMI output. This will push the low end of the market and increase the demand for HDMI solutions.

Cineform's idea about a low-cost Aspect HD 8 bit solution may be just what the doctor ordered for many newcomers to the independent film market. It will also protect their cash cow Prospect HD, at least in the near term.

Just my humble opinion.
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Old December 3rd, 2006, 12:34 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heath McKnight
Interesting set-up, Dave!


Well, you included accessories and a mic, but no lights. That's where it'll add up even more, unless you rent them. But that's an interesting set-up. What kind of HD monitor are you using?

heath
You are right!

I didn't include lights because lighting is always necessary regardless of the system you choose to use. We never rent, except for an F900 occasionally, because we have a full time studio and sound stage.

We use three DELL 24 inch LCD monitors in the studio along with one Sony HD CRT monitor for accuracy. We use Marshall field monitors, but are considering the new Astro DM-3011 HD/SD 9" 16x9 LCD Monitor instead because it can be used while simultaneously transmitting HD SDI data to the computer.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 06:07 PM   #29
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AJA not interested in HDMI anytime soon

I spoke with an AJA rep yesterday about the new Sony camera with its HDMI output capability. When I asked him if AJA was going to be marketing any HDMI capable cards he just scoffed. He roared on about HDMI is a display configuration for consumer televisions only. When I pointed out to him that this seemed like a pretty good poor man's HD-SDI he laughed on; noting that nothing would supplant HD-SDI for uncompressed HD delivery and that the HDMI output on the Sony product was strictly for monitoring and of no use for ingest purposes. He stated AJA is not developing any HDMI capable products.

Well I have to agree with earlier posters in this thread. When the installed base of users with HDMI enabled cameras increases more vendors will design products to fit this market space. Now only if the HDMI connector had been designed to be anchored more securely so that it does not fall out all the time. You cannot beat the security of those BNC connectors.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 06:36 PM   #30
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In 2003, when HDV was first getting off the ground, Apple said mpeg2-ts (the foundation of HDV) was for delivery only (DVD) and they wouldn't support it, at least in the near future. The companies just wait to see if it's a hit, maybe doing small, inexpensive development in the beginning, then go full-blown when it actually is a hit.

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