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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 August 30th, 2005, 09:43 AM   #16
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Rusland, the 24p of a CCD gives the same motion characteristics as film. It's not about dynamic range, resolution, saturation, it's only about the motion characteristics...
If you say '24p doesn't even look like real film!' I think - in my opinion - you are giving a kind of wrong impression about it. The final image won't look like film, maybe, but the motion characteristiscs will be exactly the same, as it is set out to do.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 09:58 AM   #17
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathieu Ghekiere
Rusland, the 24p of a CCD gives the same motion characteristics as film. It's not about dynamic range, resolution, saturation, it's only about the motion characteristics...
If you say '24p doesn't even look like real film!' I think - in my opinion - you are giving a kind of wrong impression about it. The final image won't look like film, maybe, but the motion characteristiscs will be exactly the same, as it is set out to do.
Mathieu,
could you please clarify this? Motion characteristic is but a small bit of the "film look." Show an audience good depth of field at 60i and show them a bit of 24p with no DOF, chances are very likely that they'll choose the 60i over 24p. Depth of field, gamma, color characteristics, and motion blur are all part of the film look, but I'd hardly be able to agree that 24p alone is the film look.
FWIW, we've had two winners of reasonably large/respectable film festivals using our Ultimate S/Filmlooks tools (created by David Jimerson) and both those films were shot at 60i, converted to 24p in one case, and converted to 30p in the other. Both had good DOF, great color characteristics, and smooth contrasts.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 12:56 PM   #18
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That's what I meant.
If he said: 24p doesn't look like film, then it sounds a little bit as 24p is the whole 'filmlook' thing, but 24p is only one function of the filmlook, naming the motion characteristics, and in that, it DOES look like film, but that is not counting DOF, resolution, saturation,... You see what I mean?
If you say: 24p doesn't look like film, wel hell yes, but you are ignoring all those other factors.
So I think that claim ('24p doesn't look like film') is giving a wrong impression. 24p DOES look like film, but only in motion characteristics, and not all the rest.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 01:07 PM   #19
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathieu Ghekiere
So I think that claim ('24p doesn't look like film') is giving a wrong impression. 24p DOES look like film, but only in motion characteristics, and not all the rest.
Put that way, I certainly agree. Overall, I'm probably too sensitive to the fact that 24p on 1/3 chip cams sucks (IMO) and I'm also very sensitive to the constant assertion that shooting 24p is all you need to do to get a "film look." Cadence and motion blur are such a small part overall of a film-like look, that "all the rest" really needs to virtually always be part of the discussion, from my point of view. Merely delivering on film goes a long way to killing the "video" look whether shot at 24p or 60i. Then again, what do I know? Only one project I've ever shot/edited was transferred to film. :>)
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Old August 30th, 2005, 01:15 PM   #20
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This is a constant battle, and the way I try to describe it is: there's the film look, and there's the "movie" look, and they're not the same.

Lighting and composition and depth of field have *nothing* to do with the "film look", and everything to do with the "movie look".

The "film look" means: does it look like it was shot on film? The "movie look" means: does it look like a movie?

For clarification, I offer the example of 8mm and Super8mm home movies. There are hundreds of miles of 8mm and Super8mm film footage, all of it shot with lousy handheld techniques and infinite depth of field and no lighting whatsoever; yet it all looks like FILM. Because it *is* film. It's kind of tough for film not to look like film, right? But none of it looks anything like a "movie".

The "film look" is a vital component of the "movie look", but it is not in and of itself enough. The "film look" involves cadence, blur, grain, and gamma. The "movie look" involves composition, lighting, camera movement, and perhaps depth-of-field. Plus the "film look", because movies are shot & shown on film.

24P is absolutely vital for the film look. It is the single most significant breakthrough for video filmmakers since the introduction of the video camera itself. It does not make your footage look like a "movie." But it does go a long, long way towards making your footage look like it was shot on film. It is the single most defining characteristic between the "video" look and the "film" look.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 01:30 PM   #21
 
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Great points, Barry. I rarely consider the technical difference between cadence and DOF when talking about "film look." I probably should make that more clear when discussing this. That said, I'd assert most folks here are going for the "movie-look" vs "film look," which is why I suppose I rarely comment on cadence vs appearance.

24p is indeed a great breakthrough at that level, it's certainly enabled many things to be done that couldn't be affordably or reasonably done before.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 02:11 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Green
This is a constant battle, and the way I try to describe it is: there's the film look, and there's the "movie" look, and they're not the same.

Lighting and composition and depth of field have *nothing* to do with the "film look", and everything to do with the "movie look".

The "film look" means: does it look like it was shot on film? The "movie look" means: does it look like a movie?

For clarification, I offer the example of 8mm and Super8mm home movies. There are hundreds of miles of 8mm and Super8mm film footage, all of it shot with lousy handheld techniques and infinite depth of field and no lighting whatsoever; yet it all looks like FILM. Because it *is* film. It's kind of tough for film not to look like film, right? But none of it looks anything like a "movie".

The "film look" is a vital component of the "movie look", but it is not in and of itself enough. The "film look" involves cadence, blur, grain, and gamma. The "movie look" involves composition, lighting, camera movement, and perhaps depth-of-field. Plus the "film look", because movies are shot & shown on film.

24P is absolutely vital for the film look. It is the single most significant breakthrough for video filmmakers since the introduction of the video camera itself. It does not make your footage look like a "movie." But it does go a long, long way towards making your footage look like it was shot on film. It is the single most defining characteristic between the "video" look and the "film" look.
Not sure of the logic on show here, because if 24P is absolutely vital for the film look and if STD8mm and SUPER8mm look like film, then you are surely aware that the bulk of STD8mm is projected at 16fps and SUPER8mm is projected at 18fps.
In fact over the many years I have telecined both 8mm formats at 16.67 fps on a 3 blade shutter so that PAL 50i scoops it up without any flicker --- I have never had one single complaint about the frame rate. So film look does not have to be 24p

Movies dont need to be shot on 24p either looky here; all Todd AO (30p)

Oklahoma (1955)
Around the World in 80 Days (1956), United Artists
South Pacific (1958), 20th Century Fox
Porgy and Bess (1959), MGM
Can Can (1960), 20th Century Fox
The Alamo (1960), United Artists
Cleopatra (1963), 20th Century Fox
The Sound of Music (1965), 20th Century Fox
The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965), 20th Century Fox
Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965), 20th Century Fox
Doctor Dolittle (1967), 20th Century Fox
Star (1968), 20th Century Fox
Hello Dolly (1969), 20th Century Fox
Airport (1970), Universal Pictures
Baraka (1992)
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Old August 30th, 2005, 02:54 PM   #23
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I think it's fair to say that 99.99999999994% of the movies that have ever been released have been shot at 24fps. Of those that have seen the inside of a theater, the percentage is probably higher. There may be some exceptions here and there, but that in no way invalidates the main rule. For example: fish do not fly. Someone can point out a "flying fish" but that doesn't mean "oh, I'm wrong, fish do fly..."; instead that just means that there's an exception to the rule, but in no way invalidates the rule.

Yes much Super8 was shot at other than 24fps, and most if not all 8mm was shot at other than 24fps. The logic on show there was that the film look is not dependent on DOF or lighting or camerawork.

24p makes video footage look more like it's been shot on film than any other aspect. No matter what you shoot on 60i, it would look more filmlike if you'd shot it at 24p. Film, and the look that we associate with film, is shot at 24fps, because the overwhelmingly vast majority of film that any of us has ever seen has all been shot at 24 frames per second.

I'm not saying 24p is "superior" to 60i, or anything like that. I'm just saying that 24p is a vital component of the "film look" because film is shot at 24fps. Sure there are exceptions, and like almost all exceptions, they're basically irrelevant to an understanding of the core issues.

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Old August 31st, 2005, 12:54 PM   #24
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But what about contrast settings?

OK, this is all nice. However, I didn't say that 24p doesn't look like film, I said that 24p shot with videocamera doesn't look like film. Yes the frame rate moves like film, but I can always spot the difference between the real film originated 24p and video originated 24p. It's just not the same look, for better or worse. Perhaps transfering it to 35mm and back to video will make it look better, but without that there's just no comparison.

I've seen some 24p programming from big networks for things like reality type documentaries and even talking heads and I'm thinking - why do they pretend? What's the point? All they achieve is jerkiness of pulldown, but the picture's texture still looks like video.

I've seen on a few occasions the well shot footage from DVX100 and XL2 at 24p, and it looked like a very very nice video shot at 24p. I love the movie look, but these under $10k cameras just don't quite cut it. I think HVR-Z1 at 50i or 60i with good DOF composition looks more like film (even counting the fact that it's 50/60 interlaced) than some other native 24p cameras. By the way, I think that natively the ancient Sony DCR-VX1000E (PAL) gave the best film look on video. The picture of VX1000E has such an amazing texture (not the resolution increase, but somehow more 3-dimentional).

However, my initial question was: What do we do with the contrast for final DVD mastering?

Douglas, if you did that "Sony HDV For Professionals Is Here" promo DVD, what did you do to the Title 4, which is a final 2 minute montage? It looks very different from the rest of the same exact footage. Besides some color tweaks, the blacks are also deeper than on the original footage in Titles 1, 2 and 3. I would love to know, if it's not a secret, what settings you applied (at least approximately). It does look crisper than the unmodified Z1 footage. Thanks.
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Old September 1st, 2005, 06:19 AM   #25
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Ruslan, the fallacy here is idea that "film" has a single contrast ratio - different stocks have very different characteristics. You cannot make the contrast ratio of "video" resemble that of "film", although you could make it more film like by tweaking certain aspects that tend to occur across a number of film stocks.

However almost all (as Barry said 99.9r) fils have a 24fps frame rate, so AS SOON as you shoot video in 24p (or convert it to 24p from 50i/60i or indeed 50p or 60p) it will seem to resemble film to most viewers. Back in the early nineties I used to make my student films shot on S-VHS look more film like using the strobe filter on the old Sony FXE 120, turned up to the highest rate, which basically just dropped a single field. In colour it looked pretty bad but in Black and white it was pretty convincing. Sure it's still easy to spot video that's been de-interlaced to resemble video, but if film footage that had been shot at 50/60fps wasthen transferred to interlaced video maintaining the frame rate, would you recognise it as film?

But I'm completely with you on the old VX1000Es. I love those cameras - cranky, unreliable, terrible audio, but they definitely had a certain something to them. The PD170s are less grainy and sharper, but still...
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Old September 3rd, 2005, 02:47 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan Pank
Ruslan, the fallacy here is idea that "film" has a single contrast ratio - different stocks have very different characteristics. You cannot make the contrast ratio of "video" resemble that of "film", although you could make it more film like by tweaking certain aspects that tend to occur across a number of film stocks.
Dylan, what I'm really trying to achive is not the film look, but the general look of what you see on your TV today, be that film or video originated. I don't care for 24p, I do everything in 50i or 60i. Only for my motion DVD menus I choose 25p or 30p, because it's less of a pain in the ass to work with in After Effects.

So in a word, I'd like my productions to look (at least on some occasions) like the latest "look" in video. Not to be cheesy, but take a look at discs 3 and 4 of "The Lord Of The Rings" extended edition (any of the three sets). There is a lot of amateur video footage, along with professionally shot interviews. Everything was mastered in post to have the really deep blacks. That's just one of the examples. There are several latest DVD's that have that look, be that from film or video. I'm sure it's best to shoot with as much details in shadows area as possible, but my question still stands open: do we nearly kill the shadows in the post to achieve the latest look? Thanks.
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Old September 3rd, 2005, 06:18 PM   #27
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Ruslan: I really think you need to adjust your monitor(s). No one has expressed here nor I have seen myself the "problem" you are experiencing with seeing Hollywood movies with the "crushed blacks". The contrast rendition of a film projected image may not be the same as to what you see in the small screen but, no, your super crushed blacks may not be a problem of the movies transferred to DVD but of your particular TV displays or even of your DVD player(s). Some DVD players have their own 'pedestal' set incorrectly and they offer the user a way to adjust it. I would consult the manual of your TV and/or DVD player.
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Old September 3rd, 2005, 07:31 PM   #28
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruslan Odintsov
Douglas, if you did that "Sony HDV For Professionals Is Here" promo DVD, what did you do to the Title 4, which is a final 2 minute montage? It looks very different from the rest of the same exact footage. Besides some color tweaks, the blacks are also deeper than on the original footage in Titles 1, 2 and 3. I would love to know, if it's not a secret, what settings you applied (at least approximately). It does look crisper than the unmodified Z1 footage. Thanks.
I believe....that it was black stretch with CineGamma applied. I can ask...but frankly, I'd not seen this question until someone pointed out that you'd not gotten an answer. I also believe it was underexposed by a full stop, and then pushed in post.
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Old September 12th, 2005, 04:45 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Augusto Manuel
Ruslan: I really think you need to adjust your monitor(s). No one has expressed here nor I have seen myself the "problem" you are experiencing with seeing Hollywood movies with the "crushed blacks". The contrast rendition of a film projected image may not be the same as to what you see in the small screen but, no, your super crushed blacks may not be a problem of the movies transferred to DVD but of your particular TV displays or even of your DVD player(s). Some DVD players have their own 'pedestal' set incorrectly and they offer the user a way to adjust it. I would consult the manual of your TV and/or DVD player.
Augusto, I have a few different types of monitors and several various DVD players, including the PC versions, and I have the same results. I just watched bits of Region 2 PAL version of the latest "Prime Suspect". They made dark areas so black that even if I pump the brightness and gamma on Panasonic plasma all the way up, those areas are pitch black. Then they have some interviews and that looks like a normal dull, unprocessed, digital video, just like the one coming out of Z1 if you do nothing in post. By "dull" I mean that it looks dull if you adjust your monitor so you can see details in dark areas better on latest DVD releases. Perhaps most other people's TV's have AGC turned on, if they don't see this issue. I prefer not to use TV's AGC feature.

So that's my whole point. If I have a TV adjusted to my normal liking, the Z1 footage, be that HD or downconverted to SD, looks fantastic, almost photographic at times. But if I try to re-adjust the TV to the modern high contrast DVD's so I can see what's going on in dark areas, then the Z1's footage looks very dull at those settings. I doesn't matter if I do a normal exposure or underexpose, doesn't make much difference. So that's why I was asking if it's now almost mandatory to increase contrast dramatically in post-production (so we could match the same general look of video or film-on-video that's popular today).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
I believe....that it was black stretch with CineGamma applied. I can ask...but frankly, I'd not seen this question until someone pointed out that you'd not gotten an answer. I also believe it was underexposed by a full stop, and then pushed in post.
Douglas, thanks for the answer. So, you're saying that it was not you who did the color grading of the final 2 minute montage? Because it does use some of the same exact footage as in Titles 1-3, but looks better (and darker) than in those titles.
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Old September 12th, 2005, 04:58 PM   #30
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I still think you are doing something wrong down the line or the discs you have gotten from that region 2 are not transferred correctly. It has happened since the days of Laserdiscs.

I have not experienced what you are describing, at least for the stuff I see here in the U.S. The rules of the game are still are still the same. Black is black, either 0 or 7.5 IRE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruslan Odintsov
Augusto, I have a few different types of monitors and several various DVD players, including the PC versions, and I have the same results. I just watched bits of Region 2 PAL version of the latest "Prime Suspect". They made dark areas so black that even if I pump the brightness and gamma on Panasonic plasma all the way up, those areas are pitch black. Then they have some interviews and that looks like a normal dull, unprocessed, digital video, just like the one coming out of Z1 if you do nothing in post. By "dull" I mean that it looks dull if you adjust your monitor so you can see details in dark areas better on latest DVD releases. Perhaps most other people's TV's have AGC turned on, if they don't see this issue. I prefer not to use TV's AGC feature.
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