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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old August 1st, 2004, 01:17 AM   #1
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why progressive mode on 170 looks ...

like the strobing 'Saving Private Ryan' effect, regardless when I set shutter speed to 1/50 or 1/600 ?

I've been playing around with 2 borrowed 170s and comparing it with my DVX.

I find that setting the 170 on DVcam and progressive mode, I get the SPR effect and there isn't a big difference even if I switch from 1/50 to 1/600.


Anyone can help explain this ? Or is this the nature of the progessive mode on the Sony ?
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Old August 1st, 2004, 07:45 AM   #2
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Does the phrase, 12 1/2 frames per second
give you an explanation? Hold the camcorder still on a stationary subject and progressive mode will look quite nice. It's mainly for shooting footage you can use to capture still pictures that have no blurring in moving subjects.

Steve McDonald
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Old August 1st, 2004, 09:27 AM   #3
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Also note that setting for DVCAM makes no difference in this, or any other mode with regard to image quality. The same data is written to tape regardless, DVCAM just runs the tape faster which might make it less prone to dropouts.
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Old August 1st, 2004, 10:01 AM   #4
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<<<-- Originally posted by Boyd Ostroff : Also note that setting for DVCAM makes no difference in this, or any other mode with regard to image quality. The same data is written to tape regardless, DVCAM just runs the tape faster which might make it less prone to dropouts. -->>>

yes this I know. Been shooting on DSR 500 DVcam long enough in uni.

But isn't progressive the way to go, especially since you get a 'complete' picture rather than the interlaced image usually associated with SD ? now, new monitors/TVs/DVD players are all about progressive and even the cine scene files on DVX are progressive.

Does this mean that progressive is best kept on stationery tripod moves and not used on tracking/dollying/handheld/steadi-cam gigs ?

Very puzzled.
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Old August 1st, 2004, 10:15 AM   #5
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I only mentioned DVCAM since you specifically said you were using it.

No, I don't think progressive makes sense on the VX-2000/VX-2100/PD-150/PD-170 unless you're looking for the "strobing effect" you describe, or unless you want to take a series of stills like Steve mentions.

The reason is that these cameras are limited to shooting 12.5 frames per second on the PAL version, only half of the frame rate used for interlaced video. At least on the NTSC versions we get a whopping 15 fps ;-) If you were using a Panasonic DVX-100a then you could get the full 25 fps progressive mode, but not on the Sony's unfortunately.

If you want the "look" of progressive scan you might experiment around with a de-interlacer like DVFilm Maker, although there are a number of others that also work fine.
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Old August 1st, 2004, 11:59 AM   #6
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Ah. Thanks for the clarification. I understand now. the borrowed 170s do not come with manuals, thus I didn't know they were restricted to 12.5 fps. that's pretty weird.

that's why I still think 170s are more of a broadcast camera than an indie filmmaker camera. Still a good competitor in the price range I guess.
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Old August 7th, 2004, 08:21 PM   #7
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why would anyone want to mimic film with a video camera - it always looks like video pretending to be film?

30 years in the business and i now get a steady stream of students and clients asking for 'film' look. they rarely have any idea of what it means; so i put together a short dvd with the same (really boring scene - car driving past house, then camera panning to follow). and asked them to pick which was film, which was video, which was video pretending to be film. the one thing they all said was that the video pretending to be film looked awful on the pan!

i simply tell them shoot film for film. it's not as if with nle's your limited to what you can do in post....

or am i being old fashioned (which i have every right to be!)?

leslie
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Old August 8th, 2004, 03:10 PM   #8
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As someone who has been doing this as long as you have, Leslie, I have to say; yes, you are being old-fashioned.

I own a PD150 that makes amazingly good pictures, but I have to admit the DVX100a is stunning in what it does with its "filmlook" process. And it is going to be seen more and more on broadcast television.

Ask yourself this question, Leslie: if good old video-look was so good, then why did virtually every broadcast sitcom move from video back to film? And now that "video" can mimic the look of film, they are moving back to tape. Hmmm? Even hour episodic series, like "Joan of Arcadia" are being shot on videotape with the Sony/Panavision cameras. Not to mention the new feature film, "Open Water," which was shot with a PD150 and VX2000.

It's a brand new day, Leslie. Enjoy.

Wayne Orr, SOC
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Old August 8th, 2004, 04:02 PM   #9
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Film Look

Leslie, I agree with you on most counts, but film has disadvantages to most Indie Filmmakers that video does not.

Primarily the cost of film stock vs. videotape, and recording Sync Sound.

However, most overlook the fact that 90% of a "Film Look" is in composition and lighting. The remaining 10% is in the motion. Film Motion (24fps) shoud be considered when making a film if you want a film look, but nothing compares to good composition and lighting.
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Old August 8th, 2004, 05:08 PM   #10
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Re: Film Look

<<<-- However, most overlook the fact that 90% of a "Film Look" is in composition and lighting. The remaining 10% is in the motion. Film Motion (24fps) shoud be considered when making a film if you want a film look, but nothing compares to good composition and lighting. -->>>

If that were true, Robert, then the "making of" clips that are shot on video would look almost 90% like the film that is being shot. The only difference being the composition and the motion. But, alas, that is not the case. In the best of situations, they only come out looking like well-lit video. (Unless they are using the DVX100, or doing additional stepping on the footage) The reason is that side by side film and video look different. One is an image captured on a stock and the other is information captured on tape. Of course, I simplify, but you get the idea.

I can completely understand why a budding filmmaker shooting on video would like his project to end up looking more like film, rather than the homoginized look that is characteristic of video. Mind you, I am not saying there are not situations where the look of video is preferable to film. Most high-end music concerts shot on video look great and immediate, whereas film concerts seem "cool" and remote. IMHO.

Someone once said, "Video is what the eye sees, and film is what the imagination sees." Not bad.

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Old August 9th, 2004, 02:09 AM   #11
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Film Look

I agree completely. I guess I wasn't clear in my thoughts earlier.

What I meant was don't worry so much about filmic motion that you forget all the other production values of shooting a film.

Although video production and film production are similar, there's much more to consider when shooting a "film", whether on video, 16mm stock, or 35mm stock.

Major things to consider are:

1. Depth Of Field. All video cameras share the same traits of very deep focus. Film on the other hand (depending on the lens) has very "shallow" focus, and allows you to pull your subject out of its background. This can be duplicated to a point with video, but without a Mini35 it is out of reach for the most part. Use what you can, or simulate it in AE or another compositing package.

2. Composition. Shoot like it's film (rule of thirds etc...) . Use anamorphic lenses, or at least the squeeze or letterbox features of your camera. 4:3 looks like TV because thats what's been seen out of television for 50 years.

3. Lighting. Light it like film. "Three point lighting" is for video. Use contrast (or the lack of it) to your advantage. Use the lighting to set the mood (harsh, soft, full, dim, warm, cool, etc.)

4. Camera movement. Take the camera off the tripod once in a while. make it an active character in the scene, not just an observer. Pans, tilts, booms tracking, dollying, etc...

If not for these (and many more) film would be no better than video. I guess I'm saying... Make it FEEL like film. Even people involved in the Sundance Film Festival will tell you "The medium is not nearly as important as good production values". They are the key to a successful "film look". Without them, you've basically got something akin to lil Johnny at the easter egg hunt.

For filmic motion, leave this as the final step (unless you own a DVX). Somewhere either here or in another thread someone mentioned DVFilm Maker. Buy it, use it. It works. Just remember to shoot 60i and not progressive. This will give you a true conversion to 24p, and have less motion judder and artifacting than many others, besides, it's cheap compared to magic bullet and cinelook. Try the demo for yourself, I have, and as soon as I scrape up the change I'm buying it.

Do all of this, and your production will look "film like". Again, the only true way to achieve a true "film look" is to shoot film, but we can make video look as much like film as possible.

On a final note, if what you are shooting is fictional, remember these words. Suspension of Disbelief. Without a good story that will grab your audience and draw them in, no amount of film look will make your movie a good one.

Rob
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Old August 9th, 2004, 03:03 AM   #12
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gentlemen, i bow my head in shame (though still with a grin on it....)

can of worms.

as it is, yes, i can an indies point of view, stock costs, etc., but i am forever wondering why, if you want the depth of field, contrast ratios, etc., that true film gives, why all the fuss over trying to make video 'look' like film.

i have edited (unfortunately never shot) video's that have had pretty bloody serious budgets, hmi lighting, motion control, et al, and the results were stunning. i have also edited film transfers, with equal budgets, that looked like bad film (and it wasn't intended).

i shall bow out (not too gracefully) with the final observations:

horses for courses.
beauty is in the eye of the beholder
and most importantly;

it really doesn't matter a toss what it's on, if the content is interesting to the viewer, they'll watch it on 4th generation vhs..

hey, you out there, remember vhs?

leslie
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Old August 20th, 2004, 11:59 AM   #13
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I'm sort of with Leslie, I think the whole film look thing is way overrated. Video never has and never will look anything like film to me. The dvx, despite many suggestions otherwise, does not to me look remotely like 16mm. It has its own interesting look, but to call it film-like is ridiculous. With the current technology, I think trying to approximate film is futile. The next generation of HD cameras may get us closer to this, but for now people should just stop trying so hard to achieve something that cant be done, and use the medium of video as it is. As long as you are able to create your art with a camera the recording format shouldnt matter. People should be trying to find ways to use video's faults to their advantage, instead of trying to force it into being something it's not.
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Old August 26th, 2004, 11:40 AM   #14
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Here's my humble opinion:

Film - higher dot resolution
- higher color resolution

Video - higher motion resolution

"Film Look" Video - picture and color resolution of video combined with the motion resolution of film - worst of both worlds if you will.

I can't for the life of me figure out what all the fuss is about!
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Old August 26th, 2004, 05:07 PM   #15
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Why do you need shallow focus? Why do you need your video to look like film? I 'd like to have shallow focus , as much as I can get, because I 'd like to have the same possibilities than other directors with a film camera has. They can take the audience to look where they will.

I guess it isn't just a filmlook I want. I just want this shallow focus to use it as a sound effect or a kind of music to make the impression.
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