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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old January 25th, 2008, 02:13 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Matt Daviss View Post
Just throwing 720p50 onto a DV PAL timeline and rendering it out provided results that didn't quite match the DSR-450 (that's an example of English Understatement). It wasn't horrible, just disappointing in comparison.

The image was lovely, luminsecent, radiant, rich in tonality. It just lacked the sparkle and zing of the original 720p footage. The zing and sparkle was in the DVCAM footage from the DSR450, and I would have said the EX1 matched it at native 720p (and you could buy two EX1s and more for just the DSR's lens).

I think the problem was in the scaling method...
It sounds like there is a problem converting from rec 701 HD to the rec 601 DVCAM timeline.

You might want to check your sequence settings. You should make sure that FCP is not set to render everything as RGB... because that also causes shifts in tonality.

Here is the dialog I'm yammering about. You always want the "Render all YUV material in high-precision YUV" selected, but its a compromise between speed and quality. These days for SD sequences its fairly painless to choose the top two options- even on a MacBook

There may also be some proxy settings to adjust, but I don't think that's the case.

What I'd suggest is that you edit your HD footage on an HD timeline, then drop the edited sequence into your DVCAM sequence.

On other thing you might want to consider is using a 4:2:2 codec, like ProRes, instead of DVCAM for your SD sequence. There are some colors that won't ever translate from XDCAM to DVCAM. They may show up in a better quality codec.
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Old January 25th, 2008, 02:34 PM   #17
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Thanks Alexander - that's great info! I'm trying that right now.

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Originally Posted by Alexander Ibrahim View Post
On other thing you might want to consider is using a 4:2:2 codec, like ProRes, instead of DVCAM for your SD sequence. There are some colors that won't ever translate from XDCAM to DVCAM. They may show up in a better quality codec.
I do this with HDV too, and when doing projects with lots of Motion Graphics. The edit is done with native clips at DV, then the final render is to DVCPro50 for output to DigiBeta, or to Uncompressed for compression to whatever (assuming that all render files are ignored and we re-render to the final codec).

I've got a great path from HDV -->ProRez (used to be AIC) -->Compress --> Web Format, but like Rainer, I need a quick but high quality method to deliver DVCAM rushes to the client even if I shoot XDCAM-HD with an EX1, and those rushes had better be peers to DSR570s with broadcast glass, or else there's no point. EX-1 rushes to SD DVCAM (even if it requires a MacBook or MBP and a deck) makes the EX-1 into whatever the first 3-chip DV camcorder was - a game changer.
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Old January 25th, 2008, 05:26 PM   #18
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Thanks Alexander - that's great info! I'm trying that right now.
I am eager to hear the results
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Old January 26th, 2008, 01:12 AM   #19
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i won't be part of that. :)

rainer, before you worry or spend lots of money, you should shoot a well-exposed interview with any 1080p camera (hdv, xdcam, etc), downsample the footage using something reasonable (bicubic, bilinear, etc)--after effects, vegas, avisynth all do this--and compare that to the video you get from any native sd camera at any price.

good luck with your interview!
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Old January 26th, 2008, 05:01 PM   #20
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I am eager to hear the results
Right. Very unscientific (and I'm not referring to any notes here), but I tried

- to DV interlaced, default settings
- ditto, with Best and 10 bit High precision YUV
- to DV progressive (i.e. fields set to None, not Lower)
- the same, with Best and 10 bit High Precision YUV

I then tried adding a tiny smidgen of sharpening (FCP internal at 10). This was because I turned detail OFF on the camera. The person I borrowed it from had default settings, and I found the edges a little too zingy to my liking.

I was using a JVC 15" CRT monitor (not exactly Grade 1, but good enough) to view the FCP via FireWire to an M15 deck, then out to S-Video to the monitor.

The result for DV?

Setting to Best as per your description, ensuring that fields are set to None. I could also make a setting that would crop the 720p into a 4:3 hole.

If I get the chance, I'd like to do the same with 1080p as at 720p I think I got a small scaling artifact around edges just off horizontal that the sharpening drew attention to. I feel a bit guilty about saying this, but I think just the hint of sharpening seems to work too. Perhaps I should put Detail back on in the camera and repeat the tests.

So yes, I've now seen/achieved SD output that's streets ahead of the Z1 and almost equal to the DSR-450, just the DoF sets them apart. However, that's assuming I want 25p (which I do).

I tried putting 50p on a 50i timeline (so theoretically every frame should fit into a field), but it didn't seem to do that. I saw no field activity going on. But fields are so-o 1932 that 'am I bovvered?'
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