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Sony HVR-Z5 / HDR-FX1000
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old April 11th, 2009, 10:54 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Stelios Christofides View Post
Come and join us Adam.
Funny you should mention that. In an hour I leave for Athens to shoot a doc for the next month. So I will almost be in your neighborhood.

In terms of your test, you might also want to include the third option: Shooting in HDV but downconverting upon capture.
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Old April 11th, 2009, 11:42 AM   #17
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While we are discussing this, I submit it is important to keep things in context when shooting and editing.

What is the project and how important is it that is be absolute best?

It is clearly MUCH simpler if you are delivering in SD to shoot in SD. If you really think you are going to deliver in HD later, shoot in HD. Or if you need a demo, shoot in Hd and make your BR demo.

I shot a wedding with my FX1000s in 16:9 SD and it looks great. It might have been improved if I had shot in HD, but how much? Is it worth the extra effort in post? It is debateable.

One thing is for sure, you certainly don't lose anything by shooting in HD. But how much is gained is not so clear if you're going to downconvert.
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Old April 11th, 2009, 03:23 PM   #18
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...It might have been improved if I had shot in HD, but how much? Is it worth the extra effort in post? It is debateable.
that's exactly my point Jeff. In any case I will proceed with my test mentioned earlier.

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Old April 11th, 2009, 04:35 PM   #19
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The particular advantages/disadvantages of the DV and HDV codecs also come into play depending on what you're shooting, camera motions, and light levels. HDV is prone to certain artifacts with large amounts of motion in your image (pans, trees in the wind, waves), so DV can have an advantage IF your final product is at SD resolution. I've found HDV output from my Z1 is much more likely to get blocky on pans at +12 dB gain in bad lighting, but that isn't an issue in DV. DV also has better sound encoding, although my ear and subject material can't tell the difference.

I believe HDV has better color space, so recording and editing in HDV (or a high-def intermediate codec) should have better color originally and hold up better for corrections. And the five gallon bucket analogy is definitely applicable to maximizing resolution of your final product.

I've seen previous threads claiming an advantage to filming in HDV and downconverting to DV in camera for editing (vs. filming in DV). I haven't tested this workflow very much, but theoretically it seems like it should be the worst of both worlds. HDV artifacts downconverted into DV color space and resolution.

Bottom line: experiment with everything, and use what looks good and works well in your workflow.

-Terence
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Old April 12th, 2009, 02:07 AM   #20
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I look forward to hearing about your test, Stelios.
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Old April 12th, 2009, 07:13 PM   #21
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Here are the stills:

Picasa Web Albums - Barron - HD to SD
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Old April 13th, 2009, 02:35 AM   #22
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Wow Barron, what a drastic difference!

Thank you for posting those!
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Old April 13th, 2009, 03:08 AM   #23
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Hi Barron,
Are both those shots taken from the Veags timeline using the snapshot function?
Are these raw?
Which one looks better to you?

Cheers
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Old April 13th, 2009, 05:23 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
It is clearly MUCH simpler if you are delivering in SD to shoot in SD. If you really think you are going to deliver in HD later, shoot in HD. Or if you need a demo, shoot in Hd and make your BR demo.
I'm with Jeff on this one, and I use my Z1 to record in 16:9 SD when I absolutely know for sure that the project will only ever be wanted on DVD.

Of course downconversion has to happen somewhere. If you shoot in SD your camera downconverts on the fly from chips to tape. If you shoot in HDV it downconverts on the fly out through firewire, and of course the last resort is to downconvert the edited HDV timeline.

The latter (assuming you have a decent NLE system) will give you very slightly better looking pictures, but good looking images owe far more to photographic experience than they do to downconversion algorithms.

My filming of weddings and events mean I only have one crack at the whip, and the safest way is to record in SD. I've had people come crying to me saying that HDV dropouts have ruined important parts of their film. When I ask why they filmed in HDV when they knew for sure they were delivering on DVD, I don't have much sympathy for the, 'it gives better pictures' reply.

It's not better if you have half-second dropouts, now is it? As in any business, we're here to deliver the goods. This means reducing the variables as much as possible. Use one piece of wire, not four pieces joined with connectors.

tom.
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Old April 13th, 2009, 05:42 AM   #25
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@Jeff: I was surprised too.

@Simon: The snapshot was taken from the Vegas timeline using the Best/Full setting.

It's worth me doing another test and scribbling down things like what my render settings and camera settings were. Starting out, I assumed the Vegas render would be better. But it looks to me in this situation as though the *in camera* conversion retained more detail.

I've had lots of fun tweaking with sharpness and gain and gamma lately. From what I've read, most people want the picture looking great straight out of the cam. Not me. I want the greatest dynamic range (or latitude) captured to bring into a serious editor. Then the fun really begins.
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Old April 13th, 2009, 06:33 AM   #26
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Tom, I've had two instances of drop outs when filming in HD that that ruined critical portions of video. It had not occurred to me that filming in SD would eliminate this issue.

I am absolutely going to be more selective in shooting HD from this point onward.

Thanks.
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Old April 13th, 2009, 07:40 AM   #27
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It certainly doesn't eliminate the issue Jeff, but it makes it far more correctable. If you've happened upon a bad tape then recording in SD means you can repair the 'sparkly' frames individually in Photoshop - as I'm sure we all have. If you've shot an important event in HDV and suffered the complete loss of 15 frames or so, you'd better plan on emigrating.
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Old April 13th, 2009, 04:44 PM   #28
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If you've happened upon a bad tape then recording in SD means you can repair the 'sparkly' frames individually in Photoshop - as I'm sure we all have. If you've shot an important event in HDV and suffered the complete loss of 15 frames or so, you'd better plan on emigrating.
Personally I've had fewer problems with dropouts from my HDV cameras than I did with my DV ones, but that may just be good luck. The surest way to guard against dropouts from any camera is to have a second camera rolling at all times, typically from a different angle - which also makes for a more interesting video.
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Old April 13th, 2009, 06:20 PM   #29
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use tape and CF unit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
It certainly doesn't eliminate the issue Jeff, but it makes it far more correctable. If you've happened upon a bad tape then recording in SD means you can repair the 'sparkly' frames individually in Photoshop - as I'm sure we all have. If you've shot an important event in HDV and suffered the complete loss of 15 frames or so, you'd better plan on emigrating.

Recording to tape and a CF unit is surely where it is at for all of us. Best of both worlds.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 01:08 AM   #30
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That may be true. I was spoiled with my old VX2100 and PD150s. NEVER had a single issue in nearly one hundred weddings, with the FX1000 dropped frames are a constant source of worry. My first wedding with my new Sony I had a broken clip that occured at the worst possible time, at at a subsequent wedding the same thing happened, right at the point where the bride and groom were being introduced.
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