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Old August 25th, 2009, 03:10 AM   #1
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EX1 documentary qualified for HD-channel!

Yesterday I got an email from the Quality control departement of TV4 in Sweden. TV4 is the largest commersial tv-network in Sweden.
They had just watched my documentary that is entirely shot with my EX1 and approved it without questions for broadcast on TV4 HD. They even said that it looked good!

The documentary was shot in 1080P HQ and edited in Avid Media Composer Soft. After finishing grading I did a video mixdown to DNxHD185X and exported the program as a Quicktime movie (using Avid codec) to an USB-drive. I then imported it into an Avid with a Nitris DX and mastered onto HDCAM SR.

The documentary will be broadcast on September 2nd on TV4 and TV4 HD.

Tomorrow we will have a press screening in a digital cinema with a brand new Barco DP2000-projector (€100 000). I'll report back on how it looked.

I'd be interested if anybody else has any stories on how the EX1/3 image quality has been recieved by HD-channels or how it compares to more high end recorings on tv and in cinemas.

You can have a look at the documentary here: exposureroom.com/lycklig Password: glistrup
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Old August 26th, 2009, 01:58 AM   #2
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"Tomorrow we will have a press screening in a digital cinema with a brand new Barco DP2000-projector (€100 000). I'll report back on how it looked."

I look forward to your assessment of the image quality on the big screen with a very high-quality digital projector.

Andrew Gyles
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Old August 26th, 2009, 03:25 AM   #3
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Me too :). WTG!!
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Old August 26th, 2009, 04:35 AM   #4
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Congratulations. If I´m home in time I´ll try to catch it.
The latest season of "Nordens Herligste" (The most wonderfull person in the Nordic countries) (Hundre Hoydare I think it was called in Sweden) was shot using the EX-3 and will be broadcasted on TVNorge HD (TVNorway) this fall.
I haven´t seen it broadcasted yet so I can´t compare. It was shot using 1080 50i HQ.
What I did notice was that you have to be more carefull with blown-out highlights, especially on skin tones. They can look really bad, almost smeared out.
It´s at least less forgiving than SD was when we did the previous season.
It´s a run and gun style comedy/reality where you meet people at their home with very little controll over the lighting. The concept is to capture the spontanity of the people they meet.

All the other stuff I have shot with the EX cameras have been under much more controlled lighting, so I haven´t encountered the skin tone problem before
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Old August 28th, 2009, 03:25 AM   #5
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The screening was a very nice experience. So nice I could not get myself off the couch here in my office all day yesterday to report back. ;-)
Anyway - the film looked really good on the silver screen. However my impression of the image quality was not very different from watching it on a good HD-monitor - only bigger of course. I guess all I can say is that good EX1-material in 1080P looks really sharp even on a big screen.

Joachim - glad to hear that you are filming 100 höjdare in HD. Who is doing the show? I suppose you don't have our hosts Filip and Fredrik doing the norwegian version?

Anyway - the documentary I did was all shot 1080P. I have done two 1 hour shows for SVT in SD, however, that I have shot 1080i. (one was partly shot in norway actually and also shown by TV2 in Norway. It was about the Salmon farming industry).
I really don't like shooting interlaced and downconverting to SD is a mess. I have not had the problems you are mentioning with blown out highlights though. What gamma settings are you using? I use mostly STD3 but in high contrast situations (outdoor in the sun) I use Cinnegamma1 which I find is great to avoid clipping and getting detail in both shadows and highlights. I have not noticed any differences when shooting interlaced compared to progressive.
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Old August 28th, 2009, 12:31 PM   #6
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I didn´t set up the camera, just loaded the settings into mine. I´m pretty sure it was standard gamma though.
I shot a lot of Steadicam in a hotel today and had no problems, I lit the place so I had the lighting under control. This was 720 50p, it was going to be intercut with DVCPro interlaced and I have found the 720 50p downconverts well to match it

PS the Ylvis brothers are hosting the show over here. Very funny guys
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Old August 28th, 2009, 01:05 PM   #7
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Congratulations Ola. I'm glad to see your hard work paying off. I hope to see your piece here in the US.
Cheers.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 08:14 AM   #8
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Hi Ola,

congrats on that. Great to hear, that your documentary was received so well.
Just interested - do the tv people know on which format you have filmed? If you are delivering on HDCAM SR this might not be very obvious for them. And if then the quality is superbe, nobody will ask any questions.
I am working for German Public TV , so far no problem with material filmed with my EX3 (1080i50 HQ), but some people of the technical quality control in some tv stations are really turning every peanut around to find something and even if you deliver on HDCAM and the picture quality is perfect, if they know that it was done with the XDCAM EX codec, this could produce problems.
But - don't tell, don't ask - so far I have got no problem. But to be on the safe side for my next big project I am considering the NanoFlash to plug into my EX3.
Best regards,
Jürgen
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Old August 30th, 2009, 03:20 PM   #9
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I have delivered hours of 35Mb/s XDCAM EX footage for broadcast via my stock footage library and the libraries that represent me. Not one clip has ever been rejected on technical (or any other) grounds by any broadcaster. Some of my footage has been used in Japanese movies, by the BBC and is all over the place on Discovery, Nat Geo etc.

It is well known that the BBC and some other broadcasters prefer 50Mb/s footage, but this doesn't mean they won't or can't use 35Mb/s material. It can be harder to get approvals for 35Mb footage, but it's not impossible. For example the BBC will allow the use of EX footage on a case by case basis if you can show that there is no other way to shoot the material or that using a bigger camera would adversely effect the programme or safety of the crew. The one argument that doesn't wash is "the budget will only stretch to an EX".

I think this will change over time in the same way that DV was not permitted by the BBC in the early days, but now the BBC uses hundreds of Sony Z1's shooting 16:9 DVCAM for all kinds of productions. At the end of the day, as always, it not so much a case of the camera being used, but the way it is used. A skilled operator will get better results with a sub standard camera than a sub standard operator with the very best of cameras.

Juregen: The NanoFlash is brilliant, worth every penny. I'm even using it on the back of my PDW-700. Using a NanoFlash will help you take the quality of your material up a notch. It is much more robust in post production.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 05:00 PM   #10
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Big question is, Alister, with a really good lens on the front is there any quantitative difference between the 700 and an EX3 using the Nano?
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Old August 30th, 2009, 05:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
Juregen: The NanoFlash is brilliant, worth every penny. I'm even using it on the back of my PDW-700. Using a NanoFlash will help you take the quality of your material up a notch. It is much more robust in post production.
Hi Alister,

I agree with everything you said - the problem might be the case to case discussion using the XDCAM EX 35 material - this could produce headaches or stomach aches....

But in regard of your experience with the NanoFlash - I saw your YouTube comment on it but couldn't figure out, how you have powered the NanoFlash. It was only connected to the SDI cable coming out of your EX1.

Thanks in advance.
Best regards from France,
Jürgen
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Old August 31st, 2009, 02:36 AM   #12
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The EX3 with the NanoFlash is still not quite up to the PDW-700. The 700 produces a sharper, cleaner image. The difference is not at all big, but it is visible on larger monitors. The 700 with the NanoFlash looks incredible. The chroma resolution from the EX just doesn't have the clarity that the 700 has, but I am splitting hairs here.

I think if you sent EX3/100Mb/s NanoFlash footage to someone and told them it was shot on a 700 I doubt very much that they would realise that it was not 700 footage, unless they had 700 footage shot at the same time, in the same place to compare it with. I would suggest that EX/NanoFlash footage is comparable to HDCAM footage from a mark 1 or mark 2 F900.

I was powering the NanoFlash from a V-lock battery, which was not connected in the clip you are referring to. I will be using Swit EX batteries as these have a power take-off on the back of them.

The EX/NanoFlash combo is everything I was hoping it would be and more. It is simpler to use than I was expecting and the 100Mb/s video is much more robust than the 35Mb/s footage. When you compare the first generation 35Mb/s and 100Mb/s footage it can be difficult to see any difference, but when you start to grade or push the footage in the edit, that's when the difference quickly becomes more apparent.
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