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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 December 10th, 2008, 09:46 AM   #31
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I'm hopping mad with Sony - the EX1 is a DUD.

They've sold me (and all subscribers to this thread) a complete pup.

Deinterlace, flicker control, adding blur, what are all you guys talking about? What next?
NONE of these things should be necessary if Sony sorted the codec before releasing the camera.

This camera gives the most stunning footage I've seen from anything near the price. But it's a complete dud unless you have BluRay.

Argue with me if I've hurt your pride but personally, I'm in a desperately serious position now. Been working on a project solidly since May this year.

Have received many pre-orders of my DVD but do you know what?

I'm going to have to refund all their money unless some miracle happens and I can find some way to produce acceptable SD from this (admittedly stunning) EX1 footage.

It's a complete con.

PS - My best shot so far at converting EX1 to SD has come with MPEG STREAMCLIP.
As in a post above, it's VERY fast and does a better job than I've managed so far with Compressor (and I'm no novice with FCS2).
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Old December 10th, 2008, 10:10 AM   #32
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Well Andy its back to H Prestons with it then?

Seriously of course you can get great SD footage out of it. I have produced over 25 different wedding dvds and they all look just great. the problem is not the camera, but Compressor and the way it works with the footage downconverting. An easy work a round sorts that out.

Edit in HD
Export as a QT using Prores422 as a stand alone movie.

Make a new sd sequence in FCP ( right mouse click on the sequence and make sure interlaced is set to non, and its set at 16:9, Best Quality. Drop the prores422 file on the timelime, click no when it asks to change the timeline to suit the footage.
Render the footage, then export to Compressor.

Result = beautiful SD dvd.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 11:20 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Nickless View Post
My best shot so far at converting EX1 to SD has come with MPEG STREAMCLIP.
As in a post above, it's VERY fast and does a better job than I've managed so far with Compressor (and I'm no novice with FCS2).
Compressors rescaler is better than mpeg-streamsclips. But you have to set the scale-quality to best, as shown in the attached screen-shot.
Attached Thumbnails
ClipBrowser does superb HD-->SD Downconvert-compressorrescaling.png  
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Old December 10th, 2008, 11:22 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Shovlar View Post
Well Andy its back to H Prestons with it then?
CVP actually!
But Prestons are a tad closer to us than CVP.

Quote:
Edit in HD
Export as a QT using Prores422 as a stand alone movie.
Wish I hadn't tried this a dozen times, Steve.
But I'll try it again once more.

When you say export to Compressor, - MPEG2 ??
What sort of Bit Rate? Average say, 7 - Max 8.5 ??

And when you say Right-Click on the SD Timeline, I presume you mean Apple+0 ??
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I will try this in a few minutes time but I must say I'm not holding my breath.
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Interestingly (I'd love to know the reason for this).

In the Simulator of DVDSP, the footage looks wonderful (on my HD Monitor) but any scenes that are Wide or even Semi-Wide with lots of detail, grass, trees etc are positively fuzzy - and make my eyes go funny (watched on SD TV).

So WHY does it look so good in the Simulator?
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Anyway, thanks for your help.
I'll post back.
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Last edited by Andy Nickless; December 10th, 2008 at 11:36 AM. Reason: Forgot to mention (watched on SD TV)
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Old December 10th, 2008, 11:28 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Dominik Seibold View Post
you have to set the scale-quality to best, as shown in the attached screen-shot.
Dominic I've been using the "Best" setting for Resizing since you were in short trousers!
(Little joke - but I AM quite old).
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Old December 10th, 2008, 12:07 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Andy Nickless View Post
Dominic I've been using the "Best" setting for Resizing since you were in short trousers!
(Little joke - but I AM quite old).
But why don't you like Compressors?
I attached a comparison of a conversion from 1920x1080p to 720x480p. The upper one is mpeg-streamclip, the lower compressor.
Don't know why streamclip produces black bars.
Perhaps the edges in the version from compressor looks very little more smooth. But definitely streamclip isn't better.
Attached Thumbnails
ClipBrowser does superb HD-->SD Downconvert-downscaled.jpg  
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Old December 10th, 2008, 02:18 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Dominik Seibold View Post
But why don't you like Compressors?
I attached a comparison of a conversion from 1920x1080p to 720x480p. The upper one is mpeg-streamclip, the lower compressor.
Don't know why streamclip produces black bars.
Perhaps the edges in the version from compressor looks very little more smooth. But definitely streamclip isn't better.
Would you, please describe how you use Compressor (step by step). It would be of great help to me.
Thanks,
Mark
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Old December 10th, 2008, 03:40 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Dominik Seibold View Post
But why don't you like Compressors?
I didn't say I don't like Compressor - but it's part of an expensive professional package and I would have expected it to be far better than a free application that I downloaded from the internet.

The two images you supplied are very similar - although I think the top one (Streamclip) is a little sharper. But I tried to make the point earlier that what looks good on your computer screen isn't necessarily good on DVD.

As I said (in my post above) the DVDSP Simulation of my movie looks really good. So why does it look so bad on SD TV?

If we could get screen grabs from SD TV, it would be interesting to compare them.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 03:47 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Steve Shovlar View Post
Result = beautiful SD dvd.
No - sorry Steve,
I tried this again this evening - just the same blurry result on the wider shots where there is grass and trees etc.

I'm going to have to buy a new camera and re-shoot this project - 7 months work down the pan!
(Thanks Sony).
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Old December 10th, 2008, 04:31 PM   #40
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Andy,

have you ever tried Bitvice by Innobits (Sweden)?
Very sharp, very good downrez.

BTW leaves and grass are the worst thing to downrez.
I did once apply a sharpen filter prior to DVD encoding.
It did help :-) P.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 06:51 PM   #41
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Gentlemen:
We are talking about a HD Camera.
If you want to produce only SD then it might be the wrong choice.

But editing in HD and downscaling with a little vertical blur in Aftereffects isn't too hard I guess. Each and every big movie, shot on 35mm and then downconverted to standard SD DVDs has to go through such process.
So it's not Sony's fault to sell us a superb, sharp HD Camera.

Still (for the simple way) I would use clipbrowser for Pre-Edit downscaling to DV.

Peter
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Old December 11th, 2008, 01:03 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Krichever View Post
Would you, please describe how you use Compressor (step by step).
YouTube - high-quality HD to SD-DVD conversion with FCP
It seems, there's some kind of a youtube-bug. You have to skip the first seconds.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Nickless View Post
I didn't say I don't like Compressor - but it's part of an expensive professional package and I would have expected it to be far better than a free application that I downloaded from the internet.
The result of Compressor is almost PERFECT. It's not possible to get better than perfect.
But why is a freeware-app capable of doing (almost) the same?
Well, writing a piece of software which downscales pictures perfectly isn't very hard: First you have to to eliminate the spatial frequencies above the (new) nyquist-limit using a (windowed) sinc-low-pass-filter. With FFT this can be done very fast. Then you downsample the picture using the sinc-function again (if the old dimension isn't an integral multiple of the new). Done! This method is also called "lanczos resampling".
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Nickless View Post
The two images you supplied are very similar - although I think the top one (Streamclip) is a little sharper.
The extra-sharpness of streamclip could be some aliasing, but the difference is so little that it's not worth discussing it further.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Nickless View Post
But I tried to make the point earlier that what looks good on your computer screen isn't necessarily good on DVD.

As I said (in my post above) the DVDSP Simulation of my movie looks really good. So why does it look so bad on SD TV?
What exactly do you mean with "bad"? Perhaps you mean flickering on interlaced displays:
To reduce flicker on interlaced screens you have to vertical lowpass-filter (= blur) the pictures. But by doing this you're loosing sharpness. You have to find your own tradeoff between more sharpness and less flicker.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 06:31 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Kraft View Post
have you ever tried Bitvice by Innobits (Sweden)?
Thanks Peter - I had an email from them last night and I replied expressing an interest.
I suspect it will mean I have to buy a Mac Pro but I'm prepared to do that if Bit Vice will produce a satisfactory result.

Episode is another one - but again, it requires Intel processor.

At barely two years old, my Mac is obsolete!

Quote:
leaves and grass are the worst thing to downrez.
I did once apply a sharpen filter prior to DVD encoding
Yes I agree.
I've even tried exporting as an image sequence and using Batch Process in Photoshop to apply the Unsharp Mask (I don't get on well with US Mask in FCP).

That seemed to help significantly, so I can't understand for the life of me why the guys are going on about adding blur!

I'd dearly like to get Photoshop CS4 Extended because I understand you can use it for video now but guess what - (Intel again)!
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Old December 11th, 2008, 06:46 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Dominik Seibold View Post
What exactly do you mean with "bad"? Perhaps you mean flickering on interlaced displays
No Dominik, I mean Blur - so bad that if I watch for more than a few seconds, my eyes feel strange.

As I said, there's grass, trees, and to make matters worse, shiny steel fencing with horizontal bars.

So it's not going to look great but what I've been trying to explain is that in the DVDSP Simulator it looks really good but once formatted to DVD and played on an SD TV it's VERY blurry.

I suspected the DVD media or my DVD burner, so I encoded an old SD movie clip from our last DVD production and it was absolutely fine.
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I don't think I've taken the time to thank you for trying to help, so I'd like to do that now.
It's a huge help to be able to talk to others on forums like this one. I've even had private emails from other people who've seen the thread and want to help too.

So thanks to you all (please keep it going - we haven't fixed it yet).

I rather feel I've hi-jacked the OP's spot but it's well "on-topic" so hopefully I can be forgiven.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 09:16 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Andy Nickless View Post
Thanks Peter - I had an email from them last night and I replied expressing an interest.
I suspect it will mean I have to buy a Mac Pro but I'm prepared to do that if Bit Vice will produce a satisfactory result.
At barely two years old, my Mac is obsolete!
Not necessarily. They still offer a PPC version which (I think) is not bad. However, they changed the scaling engine in their latest version 2.4 to 3D Flir or something like that. BTW that's the same engine MPEGStreamClip uses. So a good workflow for the time being would be to scale HD > SG with MPSC and encode into MP2 with BitVice 1.8.1.
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