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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old November 26th, 2007, 07:58 PM   #1
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Living in an SD world

I'm curious to know how EX1 owners are finding their footage when downconverted to SD. The bulk of my work is commercials and industrial training/marketing. I shoot with an XL2 and it's been a great workhorse camera.

I'm thinking of making the move to HD but know that I'll still be posting in SD (DVCAM) for the foreseeable future.

Do you first wave of EX1 owners think there's a significant difference between an EX1 downconverted in FCP to SD and native SD footage coming from an XL2?

I imported the clipchart shot that Chris Forbes posted (THANKS!) and thought it looked great but when I ran it through a DVCAM deck to NTSC, the difference from what I'm getting now seemed less significant.

opinions?
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Old November 26th, 2007, 08:12 PM   #2
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When you downconvert, you're be able to take advantage of the additional color resolution of HD and go quite a bit further with color correction than you could with native DV before you get into the blockies. This is even true with the 4:2:0 recorded by the EX1.

Just color correct before compressing to DV, either in HD or in SD with an intermediate codec like Apple ProRes.
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Old November 26th, 2007, 08:33 PM   #3
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Wow..
This may open a lot of discussion, but I believe it will be as good as a direct SD version, or possibly a tad better.

There will be some that may say approximation of pixel averaging will not be good as the native SD.

There is more than enough resolution for 1920x1080 4:2:0 to yield 4:4:4 720x480. So, technically the colour sampling would improve.
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Old November 26th, 2007, 09:22 PM   #4
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I know most of us don't own one *yet*. I get all the technical comparisons but my clients don't care about 4:2:0 vs 4:1:1 and pixel shifting with downconverting.

I'm assuming that most of you have made the switch from SD to HD with your camera and I'm also assuming that most of you still finish to SD. So, I'm wondering: if when converted down to SD, does your HD camera really make that much of a difference?

I've demoed the HVX200 and the 500. I thought both of them looked soft. I'm looking for that ultra sharp - jump off the screen image and until most of my work is seen in HD, I can't justify the expense of shooting in HD and, more importantly, the cost of archiving my footage. Remember, I'm paying about $4.00 per hour of footage now and I have over 1000 tapes in my library.
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Old November 26th, 2007, 11:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Andrew Wilson View Post
I know most of us don't own one *yet*. I get all the technical comparisons but my clients don't care about 4:2:0 vs 4:1:1 and pixel shifting with downconverting.

I'm assuming that most of you have made the switch from SD to HD with your camera and I'm also assuming that most of you still finish to SD. So, I'm wondering: if when converted down to SD, does your HD camera really make that much of a difference?

I've demoed the HVX200 and the 500. I thought both of them looked soft. I'm looking for that ultra sharp - jump off the screen image and until most of my work is seen in HD, I can't justify the expense of shooting in HD and, more importantly, the cost of archiving my footage. Remember, I'm paying about $4.00 per hour of footage now and I have over 1000 tapes in my library.
Kind of getting off topic a bit here but if you're shooting HDV the cost of tape is exactly the same as SD.

One issue that gets swept away in all this isn't HD at all, it's 16:9. Down here 4:3 is pretty well obsolete, I think I can safely say I've shot my last 4:3 footage. So the issue is apart from using a HDV camera how else are you going to deliver 16:9. Personally I think the 2/3" DB cameras deliver a better 16:9 SD image than the prosummer HDV cameras but they cost a fortune.

I think you also need to understand the difference between resolution and sharpness, the later is more often than not an artifical image enhancement.
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Old November 27th, 2007, 01:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Andrew Wilson View Post
So, I'm wondering: if when converted down to SD, does your HD camera really make that much of a difference?
It won't if you down convert to DVCAM. You should down convert your HD to an SD format like DVCPRO 50 or IMX 50 which will have 4:2:2 color sampling.

-gb-
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Old November 29th, 2007, 02:00 PM   #7
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It won't if you down convert to DVCAM. You should down convert your HD to an SD format like DVCPRO 50 or IMX 50 which will have 4:2:2 color sampling.

-gb-

For projects that will end up on DVD, I probably will downconvert to DVCPRO or prores422. But the only tape format I have for mastering is DVCAM. The price of HD VTR's still still cost prohibitive for small houses like mine.

So I'm asking - for those of you who have made the switch to shooting in HD (regardless of your camera) how are you mastering those projects that still have to be finished in SD for distribution to places that don't take DVD - like television stations. My guess would be a BlackMagic card out to BetaSP, but again, I don't want to spend money on a Beta deck, either.
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Old November 29th, 2007, 02:10 PM   #8
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For all of my commercial work that requires video I now shoot HDV and capture as 8 bit uncompressed with a Kona Lhe into a FC. Once the pictures are locked I bring a Hard Drive with uncompressed quicktimes to a post house that loads them into a Smoke, titles them, makes any color adjustments, re-tracks and lays off to d-beta for master.

vince
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