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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old March 15th, 2005, 09:01 AM   #31
 
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Because NDA often requires it, and in this case, that's what Shannon is referring to. VASST is creating a plug to be soon released, that works with all these features that we're talking about.
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Old March 15th, 2005, 09:24 AM   #32
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Wouldn't it simply be bad marketing for Sony NOT to announce publically any merit to CF24? It's been getting the camera so much flak, that I don't think anyone is even interested in the camera for this feature. I know a whole bunch of people that aren't interested simply because it doesn't have true 24p.

Even if DV mode did yield true 24p, I would choose higher resolution CF24 or 60i->24p workflows over it in all instances where I wasn't interested in a DV workflow. However, I didn't pay $5k (CAN) for a camera so that I would have to do N tests to figure out how it works, and I didn't read the manual so that I could later find out there were "hidden featues" not reported.

The CCDs are interlaced... So the only way CF24 could be improved motion-signature wise is by altering scan rate on the chip to 48 Hz or doing fancy interpolation in software.

Unless Sony announces a software update that provides 48i or a deinterlaced version thereof - I don't see how they could really improve CF24 significantly. I'm going to do some projectile or circular motion tests tonight on my FX1 to illustrate CF24 HDV, CF24 DV, CF30, and 60i to confirm if there's any difference... but I shouldn't have to.

That said - I maintain that CF24 is a useful shooting mode for emulating film in instances when motion is not simple and predictable.
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Old March 15th, 2005, 09:25 AM   #33
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"There is another workflow that gives very sweet 24p

"VASST is creating a plug to be soon released, that works with all these features that we're talking about."

I'm a bit confused, and skeptical, but I suppose we'll just have to wait for NAB.

But, from the sounds of it, you're simply talking about a plugin to be used in post (Like Magic Bullet, DVFilm, Twixtor, or Gramme's FCP Plugin). But no matter what, you're still starting out with interlaced footage.

I don't see how it will ever be as clean as efficient as aquiring true progressive frames from the get go.

Just a few weeks... and I guess we'll have all the answers.
I'm looking forward to it.
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Old March 15th, 2005, 10:02 AM   #34
 
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First, with the Z1, you're dealing with 3 full, progressive frames. Then you get a tossed field, then 3 progressive, then one tossed field. It's not unlike the DVX shoots where you've got 2 frames of full field, then 2 frames of 1 field each, then it all repeats. The Panny gives you 2, then 3 half frames, then 2, and 3 half. Are you suggesting that the Panasonic method of achieving this is the only "correct" method? The Panny CCD can run at 24k, and that's a benefit, but at the same time, it's still writing fields essentially the same way the Sony is. If anything, the Z1 is writing the same information as the Advanced mode is on the Panny, but giving 3 frames, then half, then 3 rather than 2, 3 halves, then 2.
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Old March 15th, 2005, 11:55 AM   #35
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DSE...expalining to people on the internet is a waste of finger muscles.

The proof is in the pudding.

I have since resorted to the following:

Client: "So can your camera do 24p?"
Shannon: "It sure can!"
Client: "I was thinking about using the DVX for that fim-look"
Shannon: "I have one of those too, I can bring it if you like"
Client: "Oh wow, you have both? What do you recommend?"
Shannon: "Now why on earth did you ask me that...."
Client: "OK, ok. but I really like the look of that DVX, my buddy shot a movie with one and it looked like film, are you sure I can have that in HiDef?"
Shannon: "Uhhh, yes sir, you sure can. Remember, it's how YOU direct as well. Also the lighting. There's no camera in the world that you can just flip a switch and 'instant panavision' comes out of it."
Client: "Yes, I understand, but I just want to make sure about your camera. I heard it can't do 24p"
Shannon: "From who?"
Client: "Ummmmmmmmmmmmm, i don't remember, i read it on the internet."
Shannon: "did you see it for yourself?"
Client: "Uhhh, no."
Shannon: "You've never seen footage from this sony HD camera?"
Client: "no, but I read a report that..."
Shannon: "sir...listen. I read a report that black people were hanged if they looked a white man in the eyes. Do I have to worry about you stringing me up?"
Client: "*laughs* no shannon. I hate racism, you don't have to worry about me bringing a noose to set."
Shannon: "Ok, then I promise to not worry about a modern day lynching if you promise to not beleive everything you read on the World Wide Web and start seeing for yourself."
Client: "Ok, but I just want to make sure. I don't have that kind of money to 'test' this project. I have to make it right the first time around"
Shannon: "I understand. Remember, I'm no spring-chicken when it comes to movie making. I wouldn't steer you wrong. Do you want to "WOW" your audience or do you want camera scientists and internet dwellers to pat you on the back?"
Client: "I want to "WOW" my audience of course. When I present the movie on DVD, I want people to say WOOoooOOow!"
Shannon: "Ok....then what are we waiting for?"
Client: "Ok, im going to talk to my DP about this. See what he says. He loves the DVX"
Shannon: "*sigh*"
Client: "What shannon?? *laffs* c'mon man! you gotta put yourself in my shoes"
Shannon: "I've ran 5 or 6 laps around the track in your shoes!!. Hmmmmmm, Ok, I got an idea..."
Client: "What's that?"
Shannon: "Since your skeptical, let's shoot em both side by side. Be sure to hire a second camera operator and buy a few more tapes and be ready to feed an additional crew member, then you can have the best of both worlds. I already know what footage you're going to finally use in the end, but...ummmm...if you need peace of mind, because you liked your buddies movie, and want to follow your DP's advice, who only shot 2 shorts and a wedding in his life, we can do it this way too."
Client: "ummmm, no...I trust you. Let's go with HD"


*production comes - production goes*


Client: "HOLY SH*T SHANNON...THAT LOOKS AMAZING!! It's like I am looking at the Matrix or something! and I am sure glad I hired my DP...he is so talented!!!"
Shannon: "Your DP??? lol. Umm, ok sir"
Client: "I am SO PLEASED Shannon....dude. I am so f**kin glad I went with that camera. Hey, I got this other buddy who is about to shoot a commercial with an XL2. Can I have another one of your cards to give to him. I am going to make sure he calls you!!!"
Shannon: "Noze problemz suh. Yoozah havah nice day massa suh!"
Client: "*laughs*


*SMILE*

Man....I don't even deal with the numbers and CCD specificaltions and methods of recording and bit rates and all that crap anymore. And those that come at me with them I simply say "Ok, if you're so confident.....let's go head-to-head and see what footage makes a stranger smile harder!" After I make that statement....they shut the hell up.

It's just a tool guys. Just a tool.

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Old March 15th, 2005, 12:02 PM   #36
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"Are you suggesting that the Panasonic method of achieving this is the only "correct" method?"

Not at all, I was just saying that I was a bit skeptical (as I think anyone should be of anything until they see if for themselves).

I'm looking forward to seeing what you've got ready for NAB.

Shannon said it best: "The proof is in the pudding."

(although I'm also a fan of "I read a report that black people were hanged if they looked a white man in the eyes. Do I have to worry about you stringing me up?")

haha
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Old March 15th, 2005, 12:03 PM   #37
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What cadence the pulldown from 24p to 60i is being used is really utterly irrelevent. What matters is what the 24 frames look like, at what time intervals they're made etc. Talking about the DVX and the Z1 having the same pulldown pattern is leading away from the issue. The issue is that with film, the samples are 1/24th of a second apart - always, as they are with the DVX, and the motion blur is also correctly recorded. Using the "progressive" method the Z1 is using you get about half the length of motion blur you should be getting due to the fields being thrown away all over the place, and it looks it.

If CF24 is totally derived from the 60i at the camera head, then you can derive a better 24p in post from that same 60i, and you can pick from any of the algorithms available and choose the one which suits your needs. If you shoot CF24 you're locked into Sony's rather poor 24 frame mode. Even the Sony guy, Brian Young, at the Ottawa demo I attended said that CF24 isn't real 24p and it's really just for a quick and cheesy fake film look.

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Old March 15th, 2005, 01:42 PM   #38
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I'm not sure I understand the value of using a plug in to get 24p in DV mode. DV is just about toast, frankly. Progressive is needed at the next level up, 720p or even 1080p.
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Old March 15th, 2005, 02:05 PM   #39
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Given most viewers in the world have Standard Def TV's and that the downconverts in software from the Z1 look better than shooting either DV or HDV and downconverting over firewire, I'd say there's going to be a significant number of people who find such a tool interesting, unless it relies on a quirk of actually shooting DV on the camera.

Tests here on FX1 and Z1 60i footage with Film Effects show that very nice results indeed can be produced - the end result was very 16mm film, in the best sense of 16mm.

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Old March 15th, 2005, 03:46 PM   #40
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> The CCDs are interlaced... So the only way CF24
> could be improved motion-signature wise is by
> altering scan rate on the chip to 48 Hz or doing
> fancy interpolation in software.

I think the The CCDs operate in interlaced mode, yes... but they have roughly twice the resolution of SD video. The problem with interlaced in a camera like the PD170 is the loss of resolution when deinterlacing, like when you go down to 1/30 or 1/25. In the case of the FX1/Z1, there are twice the lines to work with, so the downsampled image might well have roughly the resolution of progressive, even though it originated from interlaced. Get the picture?
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Old March 15th, 2005, 04:33 PM   #41
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>Get the picture?<

Yes. The reason I went for the FX1 in the first place was that even at 1/2 the resolution, it was still more than 2x the resolution of true progressive SD video. My comment was on the cadence.

Here's a question though: if the FX1/Z1U CCDs can be made to operate at 50 Hz and 60 Hz, what technical reason would there be for them not operating at 48 Hz?
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Old March 15th, 2005, 08:16 PM   #42
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> what technical reason would there be for them
> not operating at 48 Hz?

Hmm --if you consider marketing a technique-- well, to keep from cannibalizing the big expensive cameras that none of us will ever buy, but others will and do buy. Sorry, couldn't resist <grin>.

I don't think there is a purely technical reason. My guess is that it was hard enough to program the firmware for both 60i and 50i, not to mention PAL and NTSC output and MPEG2 encoding and realtime transcoding to DV... so if the camera had 48Hz or 24Hz modes it might not have seen the light of day yet and many people would have gone Panny or JVC. As things are, the Z1 is sold out, Sony instantly dominated the market for below-US$10k high definition and to do that they had to work really fast. It's actually amazing that the firmware has only been known to have one glitch, the audio mode problem which some models, which has already been fixed.

It would not be crazy to assume that a future firmware fix could allow for 48Hz operation and thus better CF24. And while they are at it they could allow HDV at DVCAM track pitch. JVC is aready demonstrating that HDV can be "flavored" with other features and modes not adhereing to the strict baseline HDV standard.
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Old March 15th, 2005, 08:24 PM   #43
 
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I'm sure it's a bi*** to program the cam for different voltage, simply because for instance, you have to reboot each time you change the operating voltage of the cam. 50i to 60i requires a reboot. I'm sure that doing to a different frame rate would require the same, and that alone suggests cost, programming, and more. I'm not an engineer, I just like to pick at what engineers do. :-)
but I have a healthy respect for engineers that understand marketing, featuresets, and time-defined delivery dates.
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Old March 16th, 2005, 10:44 AM   #44
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VASST Plug In

Spot, Is this imminent software you're alluding to only for Vegas, or for other NLEs (FCP!) as well? Thanks!
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Old March 16th, 2005, 11:14 AM   #45
 
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It will be for Vegas only, unless we see enough request for other applications once it's launched. I doubt we'll ever do it for FCP though, Apple doesn't like to support anything they don't own, or so it seems.
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