Why shoot in progressive? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony HDV and DV Camera Systems > Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion

Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
Topics also include Sony's TRV950, VX2000, PD150 & DSR250 family.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 13th, 2006, 02:07 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: West Chester, PA
Posts: 51
Why shoot in progressive?

Does anyone here shoot in progressive scan mode over interlaced? What benefit does it offer? Why does progressive look so choppy in the viewfinder? Does it appear this way in post?
Rob Hochberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 13th, 2006, 03:18 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Estonia
Posts: 214
The progressive scan on VX and PDs can only be used for stills I would say. Or, if you later plan to speed it up in your editing software. The Sonys have only 15 fps with progressive scan and it does look choppy. Cinema movies are also progressive, but they are shot at 24 FPS and therefore look rather smooth. From DV cameras, for example Canon XL2 and Panasonic DVX100 can shoot 24p.

There is no real benefit from the progressive if you don't plan to put your footage to film (i.e. 35 mm). Interlaced video looks much smoother.
Georg Liigand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 13th, 2006, 08:35 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Posts: 3,778
One could look at it as a sort of low rez (compared to film) "motor drive" stills camera when using 15fps. Another is if you're trying to get something close to that silent film frame rate (which was about 16fps).
Craig Seeman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 14th, 2006, 03:44 PM   #4
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,542
My favorite application is shooting timelapse footage, like moving clouds. If you're going to speed up in post anyway then this is a way to get higher resolution images.
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 14th, 2006, 05:11 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ogden, UT
Posts: 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by Georg Liigand
The progressive scan on VX and PDs can only be used for stills I would say. Or, if you later plan to speed it up in your editing software. The Sonys have only 15 fps with progressive scan and it does look choppy. Cinema movies are also progressive, but they are shot at 24 FPS and therefore look rather smooth. From DV cameras, for example Canon XL2 and Panasonic DVX100 can shoot 24p.

There is no real benefit from the progressive if you don't plan to put your footage to film (i.e. 35 mm). Interlaced video looks much smoother.
With all due respect, you are wrong. "There is no real benefit from progressive if you don't plan to put your footage to film." From this I can see that you don't understand the nature of progressive imaging. It seems like you are equating it more to the frame rate, rather than the actual imaging system. You can film in progressive at the same frame rate (30 fps) as interlaced, aka 60i, video. Progressive video shot at 30 fps (referred to as 30P) is actual a higher resolution than 60i because the entire frame is just that: one single image instead of two fields interlaced. Progressive yields a different (and I would daresay better) look than interlaced footage. Interlaced footage, regardless of the source, usually has that home video feel to it, just because that is how most people are used to it.

I can see how a frame rate of 15 fps on the Sony cams would create choppy footage, but that has NOTHING to do with the progressive imaging system. As far as I knew, the Sony cams did not utilize a true Progressive imaging system in any way, shape or form. In looking at Sony's site, their specifications say this: "Mechanical shutter system that provides Progressive Scan performance while utilizing an interlace scanning system. Digital still images will be sharp and clear with excellent definition." This seems to indicate that either it is not true progressive in video mode, or that it is only used for still photos. Hard to tell, and I'd like to see some more information on that from anyone who has some.

The bottom line is that progressive is a higher-resolution and more advanced imaging system. That's not opinion, it's fact. Whether you like the look of progressive or not is up to you. Also, there's quite a difference between frame rates and imaging system. I don't mean to be argumentative over this, and I hope this doesn't come across this way. I just see too many people misunderstanding progressive images, and it's really sad.
Mike Oveson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 14th, 2006, 09:54 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: West Chester, PA
Posts: 51
Will this principle still work for time-lapse shots? Compared to interlaced footage, does progessive scan footage take up less space? more? the same?
Rob Hochberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 15th, 2006, 10:40 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ogden, UT
Posts: 349
It would be the same. The data rate is the same, whether it is progressive or interlaced. Doing time lapse shots should be just fine. My DVX100A has a time lapse feature, in that it will shoot a frame at a specified interval. But even without that it should work just fine.
Mike Oveson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 15th, 2006, 03:47 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Estonia
Posts: 214
Mike, I absolutely understand what you mean. I was just based on the general use of the different imaging systems and TV programmes are mostly interlaced, not progressive. So I don't think that progressive has only pro's and no con's... Doesn't it handle fast motion better?

The "home video feel" is actually a very subjective term :) It just depends what you are producing. All those things like progressive vs. interlaced, widescreen vs. old 4:3, etc etc begin to play a real role when you are trying to produce a professional-looking film. For example the footage of the well-known Jackass series looks exactly like home video, but it's still famous worldwide. Nobody cares if it was progressive or not. I know though it was done several years ago and then the new stuff we are talking about today wasn't so widespread.

Feel free to argue with me and tell out your opinions, because I'm just telling how I see the things and I'm not a real professional so I can of course be wrong at something. It's actually very interesting to hear what others have to say.
Georg Liigand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 15th, 2006, 05:31 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ogden, UT
Posts: 349
I like to argue too, so I guess we'll be here a while. =) I'm just kidding. I don't mean to be a jerk about it, and I hope I don't come across that way. But I do like to have intelligent discussions where everyone learns. So, with that said, let's dive back in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Georg Liigand
So I don't think that progressive has only pro's and no con's... Doesn't it handle fast motion better?
Well, I'd love to say it does, but in general use it doesn't. Most sports shows that are shot in HD are shot in 1080i instead of 720p. Most people feel that interlaced video is easier to slow down. Not necessarily. If you are shooting in 60p (like with an HVX200) then you're going to get incredible slow motion because you have 60 solid frames per second instead of 60 fields that have to be interlaced. So, some of it has to deal with frame rate, but I'd have to say that in general interlaced is usually used when fast motion is being recorded (such as sporting events).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Georg Liigand
The "home video feel" is actually a very subjective term :) It just depends what you are producing. All those things like progressive vs. interlaced, widescreen vs. old 4:3, etc etc begin to play a real role when you are trying to produce a professional-looking film. For example the footage of the well-known Jackass series looks exactly like home video, but it's still famous worldwide.
Well, you do bring up a good point there. TV shows such as Jackass can really have that "home video look", even if they are shot on better equipment. Part of that, at least in the case of Jackass, is due to very unstable hand held shots and rapid/erratic camera movements. I'm just saying that if you shot the same thing side by side with a progressive camera and an interlaced camera the "feel" of the footage would be different. I've actually been trying to get a clip of this exact thing shot. My buddy has a GL2 (which only shoots in 60i) and I have my DVX100A. I'd like to shoot something in 30P and 24P while he shoots the same thing in 60i. Hopefully this spring we can get that done.

One TV show that is rather popular (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition) appears to be shooting the interview sections of the show in progressive, while the part of the show where they build the house is shot interlaced. It's quite a stark difference. There's been discussion of this over on DVXuser.com. It's one popular example that you can see for yourself.

Anyway, I won't drone on and on about this. I just feel like progressive is misunderstood. One thing that I think lends to that is what I like to think of as the "24P crowd" of which I'll have to say I'm part of. When my friend got his GL2 about 9 months ago I was still researching which camera I wanted to buy. While I really liked the GL2, I was more interested in the DVX (and for many reasons). But when I got my DVX I was so excited about it and I kept telling my GL2 friend how cool mine was and how cool 24P is and all of that. I think he just gets sick of it. I think people who 60i don't like to be told it is an "inferior" format. Let me clarify, I'm not saying that 60i is worthless, but it is not the superior format. But no one likes to be told that what they have is less than what someone else has. We all get the same flak from the HDV crowd. I get sick of hearing "HDV is better, everyone must switch to HDV". And so I know what it is like. There's a certain resentment to statements like that. So, when someone says "Progressive is better!" there's a natural tendency to defy that. I'm not saying that you're being defiant Georg, I'm just saying that this is what I have observed. I may be wrong, I'm not Dr. Phil. I can't analyse everyone perfectly. But this is what I have observed and thought I might point it out. Take it for what it's worth.
Mike Oveson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 15th, 2006, 05:40 PM   #10
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,542
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Oveson
My DVX100A has a time lapse feature, in that it will shoot a frame at a specified interval. But even without that it should work just fine.
The VX has "interval recording" which can roll tape for a minimum of 1/2 sec every minute. That works for stuff where you want to compress a whole day into 30 seconds, but it too coarse for moving clouds or sunsets. These are best shot normally and recorded to tape. Then you capture as usual, but speed the footage up in post. In this case you would shoot in the VX progressive mode and the result would be very sharp looking sped-up video. Try it sometime and see what you think.
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 16th, 2006, 09:34 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Estonia
Posts: 214
Thanks for the very nice answer, Mike. I think you are absolutely right on what you have said and there might just be some more little things about progressive vs. interlaced that neither of us know about. I would indeed like to hear about it if someone knows.

Quote:
Anyway, I won't drone on and on about this. I just feel like progressive is misunderstood. One thing that I think lends to that is what I like to think of as the "24P crowd" of which I'll have to say I'm part of. When my friend got his GL2 about 9 months ago I was still researching which camera I wanted to buy. While I really liked the GL2, I was more interested in the DVX (and for many reasons). But when I got my DVX I was so excited about it and I kept telling my GL2 friend how cool mine was and how cool 24P is and all of that. I think he just gets sick of it. I think people who 60i don't like to be told it is an "inferior" format. Let me clarify, I'm not saying that 60i is worthless, but it is not the superior format. But no one likes to be told that what they have is less than what someone else has. We all get the same flak from the HDV crowd. I get sick of hearing "HDV is better, everyone must switch to HDV". And so I know what it is like. There's a certain resentment to statements like that. So, when someone says "Progressive is better!" there's a natural tendency to defy that. I'm not saying that you're being defiant Georg, I'm just saying that this is what I have observed. I may be wrong, I'm not Dr. Phil. I can't analyse everyone perfectly. But this is what I have observed and thought I might point it out. Take it for what it's worth.
Very-very well said! You nicely explain how the things really are whether we want it or not. I also have to confess that as I'm not a HDV user, I a bit try to protect the SD world by saying why it's not dead yet and why we can still use it without any problems. The fact is that the majority will not begin enjoying HDTV too soon :) I now kind of started a new topic to argue about, but why not talk about what we find interesting.

P.S.

A question to Sony VX or PD users. When recording in the built-in 16:9 mode, for some reason I sometimes get a small, but very ugly echo-like bar in the top of the widescreen frame. It seems to be appearing a bit in 4:3 as well, but as TV crops the video from the sides, it isn't visible. However, if watching widescreen on 4:3 TV letterboxed, the line is very ugly.

Here's an illustrating picture: http://georg.skyfilmproductions.com/camera/wide.jpg (I added the black frame in post to better bring out what I mean)

EDIT: Something that I just figured out - the 16:9 footage of VX2100 seems pretty usable if turning sharpness to the lowest setting in CP! Then all the ugly digital enlarging artifacts disappear, the line I have also disappears and I think the video won't be too blurred even for broadcast. I will do some testing and will let you know of the results.
Georg Liigand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 16th, 2006, 10:00 AM   #12
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,542
Quote:
Originally Posted by Georg Liigand
Something that I just figured out - the 16:9 footage of VX2100 seems pretty usable if turning sharpness to the lowest setting in CP!
Rather than take this thread OT, you might want to join the discussion of 16:9 on the VX/PD here: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=60598
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony HDV and DV Camera Systems > Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:30 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network