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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old November 1st, 2004, 12:12 PM   #1
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PD170 Image

Anyone who is currently fretting over whether to buy a 24p camera or a good old interlace camera, heed this:

Buy the camera that will give you the very best optics and low light capabilities. Case in point:

I just bought a Sony DSR PD170 after fretting between that and the XL2 or DVX100A. UNLESS you are doing a film out, don't worry about 24p. I shot some footage with my PD170 and manipulated the image in post using color correction, contrast tweaks and deinterlace. The finished product looked so much like film that I thought I would faint. It looked THAT good. And I acquired the original image by shooting interlaced footage. WOW. If ya want your finished product to look like film for whatever reason, do it in post with a good NLE editing program like Vegas. Don't bang your head against the wall deciding whether or not to purchase a 24p camera. If ya need a 24p camera specifically for 24p then get it. But to make your project resemble film, ya really don't have to have it. I've proven that to myself now.

just my two cents.
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Old November 1st, 2004, 01:04 PM   #2
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Hey Hugh, I concur.

I have a Sony VX2100 and when I tweak the gamma, RGB, brightness and contrast, etc. in Adobe the footage looks very good. There is also a software at http://www.dvfilm.com/maker/index.htm that will "apply" the 24P "look" to your 60i footage. Largely subjective, you can download a trial copy from the website.
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Old November 1st, 2004, 10:17 PM   #3
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Hey, I'm a PD170 guy all the way, but if I was more hot than not to shoot 24p, I probably would want to do it in-cam, budget permitting, and the DVXA would be my camera of choice, within this price range. Being able to get my results largely from the camera and less so from post, and being able to see my results on the spot, or even just before rolling, is verrrry attractive to someone like me. And I'm not alone on this one. So, I know what you're saying, but hey, we're camera geeks, for Allah's sake!! We're not going to fret LESS about cameras and features and framerates oh my! No, my friend. Some of us were put on this earth for this very purpose.

:-]

Also, deinterlacers usually mean a loss of resolution, of one degree or other. Aside from potential hardware/software problems resulting in image problems, I can't deal with a hit on the res. 500 lines isn't enough to begin with.
I'm sure, though, that these deinterlacers are getting better all the time.
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Old November 2nd, 2004, 04:30 AM   #4
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Have you analysed what it is about film footage that your footage doesn't have and that you'd like it to include Hugh? It might be something as simple as differential focus, or it might be something more subliminal like 24fps as against 50 or 60fps (depending on which video format you shoot on).
Are you trying to create the cinema experience rather than the much smaller TV? Is it your 4:3 aspect ratio that's wrong? Maybe your shutter speed is too slow; film generally has more of a staccato look to it because frame obscuration for claw pulldown means large chunks of life simply don't get recorded.

My advice is this. Raise your shutter speed to 1/100th sec. Shoot in 16:9. Use long focal lengths and wide apertures. Generally (negative) film stock has a wider exposure tolerance than video so be very careful to avoid high contrast lighting with your 170. Film projection means flicker, image vignetting and film damage. Perforation tolerances mean film has a lot less
frame stability than video - you might like to play with slight degradation filtration to add imperfections. It's often video's cleanliness and lack of grain that gives it away, so shoot with gain-up.

tom.
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Old November 2nd, 2004, 12:21 PM   #5
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I agree with all responses. Depends on the feel of your project.
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Old November 3rd, 2004, 12:20 AM   #6
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Try this website http://www.centuryoptics.com/products/filters/soft_&_diffusion/bf_samples.htm

They have a filter called Black Frost and it comes in graduated densities. The Black Frost 1/8 or 1/4 looks like it would be great for taking the "clean" edge off of your video. The 1/2 and higher starts to look a little dreamlike.
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