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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 March 3rd, 2008, 09:32 AM   #16
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Maybe adding a blur filter is a solution in such scenes?
There's definitly too much detail for SD.

regards Dennis
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 10:27 AM   #17
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Wow, everybody please keep on posting with your results as I am looking at this camera for a purchase.

SD DVD will be the delivery medium for a few years to come at least, whether we like it or not.

It is troubling that this camera can look so good in HD but making an SD product does not turn out well.

The shoot in HD and deliver in SD is the workflow that all of the camera manufacturers talk about.

Has anybody tried exporting as a tiff sequence and letting Photoshop do the downsampling?
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 10:42 AM   #18
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I tried some other resize filters with avisynth.
Bicubic (soft) looks best, less linetwitter/Aliasing and not unsharp like gauss and very similar to Photoshop Resizer (bicubic..).

Here's the result:
http://rapidshare.com/files/96755900...cubic.m2v.html
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 04:41 PM   #19
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The problems being experienced are not unique to the EX1. Certainly the EX1 is probably the first HD camera most of us have that pushes the resolution high enough to really cause us grief however that in no way is a problem with the camera, it's a general 'How To Downscale HD to SD' problem.

If you're trying to crack the problem on your NLE the best appraoch is not to use footage from the camera at all, the appearance of the problem is content dependant. Start with res charts or a high res still from a DSC, something with fine detail and sharp edges. Do a slow vertical pan using your NLE. Try downscaling that to SD. Ideally you need a workflow / solution that'll work regardless of content. I spent a lot of time dealing with this issue with HiRes stills well before HDV cameras ever appeared. I must say that to get the very best results on a SD PAL DVD I spent many hours hand tweaking the problem parts of each image while I watched the results on a interlaced monitor. Obviously this is not a viable solution with video.

Perhaps the best answer lies in the hardware downscalers that broadcasters use although they're well outside the reach of most of us. Maybe what we need is a better tool that does in software what those hardware boxes do, unfortunately that could mean very long render times. From discussions years ago with some engineers the problem is implementing a SinC function that doesn't require excessive iterations i.e. takes forever to process every frame.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 06:38 PM   #20
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So I must ask since I am not working at HD resolutions yet:

If one knows SD DVDs will be their primary distribution, is it not worth upgrading to HD yet?

Mainly due to the difficulties in getting a great looking SD DVD from HD source material.

I have heard quite a bit about this problem in the Edius forums.

Thanks for your input.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 07:21 PM   #21
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Flicker Blues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wright View Post
I know that some answers may be NLE specific, but in this "neutral" territory, I'd like to hear any tips towards maximising quality on SD - DVD.

It's going to be a while till all our clients are clamoring for Blu-Ray output, and so far I've not been knocked out with the finished quality, after shooting 1080P that looks stunning prior to being rendered into widescreen SD MPEG2.

The worst problem I've had is the old flickering around thin horizontals, and in Vegas the "Reduce Interlace Flicker" helps, as does rendering at Best quality to help with the down-rezzing, but I'd love to hear what others are doing in this direction.
Hello. I have recently upgraded from a Z1P to EX1. Set up,1080p 25 Pal. profile settings Sony Default and Doug Jensen Vortex recommendations. Both look fine. Work flow into FCP v6. Easy Setup-XD CAM EX 1080p25 VBR. Export-XD CAM EX 1080p25. The rendered QT .mov looks stunning when expanded to full monitor size (23 inch display) the bottom line, I place the movie into iDVD resulting in a really degraded flickering jagged edge (strobing call it what you like) image. It's common to both ambient & studio lighting. It is most apparent when the camera is panned or tilted, when the target moves, not so bad. I have tried to down sample by copy & pasting into a new FCP Sequence with a 1080 720 format, all with negative results. I view the results on a HD 1080 720i 42 inch screen. A point to consider, when viewing the Vortex DVD sample footage of 1080p60 on the same 42 inch screen, it looks terrific. What am I doing wrong? I attempted to contact Sony, it's impossible, being referred back to the supplier. I don't know what to do next, there has to be a simple common sense solution. Thanks. Ron Coker.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 08:29 PM   #22
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http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage...put_young.html

Works pretty well for me. Although the best method would be to use a matrox mxo and downconvert from the raw dvi output to a mini-dv deck and then reimport from the mini-dv and burn to dvd. You could always output to a stand alone dvd burner through the mxo's s-video connection as well.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 02:49 AM   #23
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My original post was made after watching a DVD on a CRT TV - lots of twittering lines, jagged edges and colours looked wrong.

After applying Reduce Interlace Flicker in Vegas, things started improving, and now I've watched the DVD on a 24" LCD things are getting quite acceptable - not perfect but quite impressive. I realise that many viewings will still be on CRTs, but that will lessen progressively from now on.

Thanks for lots of interesting reponses. One thing I regard as important is ease of conversion - I'm not keen onthe idea of always having to render more than once, or outputting then recapturing - what I'm after is having the original HD footage on the timeline and rendering directly from that to DVD format.

Vegas is already managing that quite well, and I now intend experimenting with as few of the other suggested tweaks, such as median filter and maybe a tiny touch of vertical gaussian blur, to hopefully arrive at an optimum workflow.

... and of course the EX1 settings may have an even greater effect. Lately I've been shooting 1080/25P, but I should try some others ....
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Old March 5th, 2008, 08:03 PM   #24
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I have to say that it's astonishing that it would be so difficult to get acceptable looking SD from XDCAM or HDV source material. Is this really possible? I've read (I think) all the threads on this, and getting even close to an acceptable SD DVD requires all sorts of acrobatics.

I ran into this problem just today-- a mixed FCP timeline with SD footage from a DVX and downscaled (in FCP) HDV footage from a Z1. The DVX footage looked great, the HDV footage was a mess, with stairstepping everywhere.

Z1 footage downscaled in-camera looks great. But then I lose the ability to scale and crop at HDV resolution.

I know that someone will say, "you should use the 'so-and-so' method", but it really seems like we shouldn't need an arcane "method" to achieve what is essentially a basic task in post.

(Harumph harumph)
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Old March 5th, 2008, 08:12 PM   #25
 
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Interesting thread.
I've, recently, tested a workflow whereby I do all my editting in Edius HD, rendering the final version to an intermediate HD like Cineform, Canopus HQ, PicVideo, or HuffyUV. I input the intermediate to VirtualDub and use the resizer plugin, which allows the selection of different algorithms, depending on the source material, to downsample to SD. I then feed the downsampled output into TmpGenc. I've had the best results, yet, with this workflow. Minimal stairstepping and flickering. The mpeg2 output looks extremely good, at least on my 32 inch Sony HDTV.

Downsampling is a problem that dates back to Digital SLR development days. Lanczos, bilinear, and trilinear downsampling techniques have been around for a few years. Only VirtualDub seems to have all these choices implemented. Flicker is the result of interlaced video interacting (harmonic beating) with TV raster. It can be all but elliminated by going progressive all the way.

It's counter-indicated to blur HD content for the sake of reducing twitter/flicker.
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Old March 5th, 2008, 10:19 PM   #26
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Bill, I have to ask:

If you shot a DSR-450 and an XDCAM HD (in HD) side by side at the same time knowing you were going to produce a widescreen SD DVD, which camera would you choose?

Does the quality of the HD downconverted look worse, equal or better than an SD camera?

Because I am equally shocked.

When I take a photo with my 5D at 12mp and downsample the image to 800 pixels, it retains its integrity. The image does not have a bunch of "junk" added to it.

I would have thought that aside from interlacing, there would be nothing else in the way of HD sourced material always looking better than SD sourced material.

Maybe we are early in the cycle, but HDV has been out for at least a few years.

I am glad you found a way to get decent results, but outputting separate files, downsampling, and encoding in separate programs sounds like a lot of time and storage coming from a DV workflow of chop, chop and go straight to DVD.
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Old March 5th, 2008, 10:25 PM   #27
 
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Tim...

Afraid I don't have the experience with a DSR-450 to answer your question.

Digital SLR's, like a 5D,have the advantage in that they don't have to display motion. While modern dig vidcams don't have a raster, per se, they still constuct an image with horizontal rows of pixels.It's the motion, combined with row frequency that causes the twitter. Perhaps if the CCD/CMOS pixels were spaced alternating up and down rather than in a linear row, things would be less flicker prone.

One other note, there is a deflicker plugin for Virtual dub that works quite well. If you have an interest, google, msu_deflicker. We seem to be in the midst of technology development. For the time being, piecework rendering is optimizing the work path. One of these days, someone will integrate it, but, not yet.
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Old March 5th, 2008, 10:49 PM   #28
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With Varicam jobs for my former employer, I found that our best looking SD downconversion came by running the project through our KonaLH cards, and laying the project off to tape. This method always produced far superior results to running the project through Compressor. I left that position before I had much of a chance to test this workflow in FCP Studio2 so I don't know if Compressor has gotten better at handling downconversion to MPEG2's.
Past experience tells me to do a hardware downconversion when possible.
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Old March 6th, 2008, 12:21 AM   #29
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I fully agree with Ethan - that's what I did. Output to tape and then re-capture. Very silly workflow but it's MUCH better that software conversion. Or else have 2 edit stations linked together instead of outputting to tape. This method is quicker and real time.
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Old March 6th, 2008, 09:16 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ravens View Post
Tim...

Afraid I don't have the experience with a DSR-450 to answer your question.
Well, how about two equal quality & chip sized cameras, one SD, one HD.

Which one would you chose if you knew a SD DVD was your output source?
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