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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 27th, 2010, 11:56 PM   #16
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I shoot HD EX1 & my old PDW 350 XDCAM every day in both P&I as this is client based productions going out to SD DVD.

I edit on FCP6 & 7 in a SD PAL seq setting for every one of theses productions and they come out looking fine.

Interlaced has it's problems with line twittering every now and then but I get around this with a flicker filter. I would prefer shooting 25p but most clients are just happy with the interlaced look.

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Old March 28th, 2010, 06:52 AM   #17
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Dave,

Jeff's article is a fine explanation of the scientific differences between interlaced and progressive. So what? Maybe some people will find that kind of detail interesting. I did not. I am not a person who cares very much about what is going on "under the hood" of any equipment or technology. I am more interested in how to use it to get the results I want. Some people are mechanics and some people are drivers.

If he thinks interlaced looks better to him, great, he can shoot interlaced. I think interlaced looks like crap and no amount of technical explanation is going to change that. Of course interlaced looks "smother" -- that's what's wrong with it! The goal has never been to make progressive look like interlace.

I think progressive looks better to my eyes and the workflow is extremely easy. That's all I need to know. If progressive is so awful, then why is 99% of the programming I watch on broadcast television, DVD, and Blu-ray all shot progressive? The argument that somehow progressive can't be done well is flat out wrong.

Like it or not, progressive is the future, so if someone is a professional in this industry he/she better get a handle on how to shoot, edit, and deliver it properly. That is the bottom line.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 12:58 PM   #18
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Gary Adcock said it best when the original EX1 was barely on the market and he was being interviewed at a trade show with the EX1 in his hands: "Interlaced is a delivery format, not an acquisition format."

- Don
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Old March 28th, 2010, 04:00 PM   #19
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There are two primary reasons why I recommend 720P and this was originally aimed at EX1 and EX3 owners that needed to shoot for SD when the cameras have no SD mode.

Reason one is that 720P is easier to downconvert and will give most people fewer issues, basically it's harder to make a hash of it.

Reason two is that if you are looking to produce interlaced SD you will get a much better IMHO end result by shooting 720P50 or 720P60. You don't get any field issues during the down convert (1080 fields don't go into SD fields neatly due to the way odd numbers of lines have to be dropped/rescaled) but you still get fluid motion as each of the 50P frames gets turn into a 50i field.

I agree with Doug that if HD is needed then you should shoot 1080P, but there are many jobs that I do that will never see the light of day in HD. They are one off marketing DVD's or similar and for these I'll be sticking to my 720P to SD workflow.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 08:48 PM   #20
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When delivering the best-looking results in SD, I've always used "oversampling" as my number one guiding principle. Which is to say, shoot in the highest possible resolution and a great deal of the detail and "look" is maintained when you downconvert to SD. My original thinking on this was greatly influenced by posts from Graeme Nattress, here on DV Info. Back around 2005 I did tests shooting a scene using my JVC GY-HD101 in SD and then in 720p and looking at the downconverted results (of the 720p) against the SD on a DVD. To my eyes, the downconverted 720p looked more detailed in addition to the progressive "look" (which is more to my personal taste as well).

The most startling recent demonstration of the value of oversampling has been on certain Hollywood Blu-rays of older movies. I've gotten a couple of Blu-rays of older movies (originally released at least 10 years or more ago) where, fair dinkum, it doesn't look much better than the SD DVD version. It made me wonder whether they'd just used the original scan they made for the original DVD and simply threw that out in a 1080p format as a Blu-ray.

But when I watched the "Goldfinger" Blu-ray, my eyes nearly popped out of my head! Such richness of detail and "feel". It made it seem like you were right in the room with them. You could even see where the make-up artist had covered up a pock-mark or pimple on Sean Connery's left cheek. It turned out that they had done a 4K scan of the original negative and then downconverted to 1080p. A great example of the value of oversampling.

The final surprise for me concerning just how well oversampling can hold up all the way down to SD was from the "North by Northwest" Blu-ray, also done from a 4K scan. All of those extra details (which weren't there on the original DVD) are vivid in 1080p. But what surprised me was when I watched a doco in the special features, done in 480p. It used a number of shots from the 4K scan and a great deal of these extra details (not present in the earlier SD DVD release) were still clearly visible in this 480p version. (I didn't think that sort of detail would still hold up all the way down to SD resolution, but I was pleasantly surprised!)

I'm not sure exactly why oversampling works so well with downconversion. I've guessed that maybe it's analogous to the sampling of sound where, even though the range of human hearing isn't supposed to go above 20 kHz, it's always sampled at more than double that (about 44 kHz and up) to get higher quality results.

Up until Alister made his post, I've confidently felt that 1080p25 would always give the best results for SD DVD (after downconverting), purely due to oversampling. I pay a lot of attention to what Alister says and his comments about scaling problems of 1080p into 576 lines of PAL SD concern me greatly. Up until recently, I've always shot 720p with my JVC and gotten excellent results with SD downconversion using Compressor. But now that I've just moved up to 1080p with the EX1R (like Doug, I believe that 1080p is the future in terms of the displays people will be watching, rather than 720p) I want to offer my clients the clear oversampling benefits of a 1080p25 capture downsampled to SD DVD. But I also don't want to be introducing anything to the detriment of the image if I'm understanding Alister correctly. (Maybe I'm not.) I don't know if Alister is able to clarify his comments or provide more info about this. I'll obviously now do a lot of testing for myself on this point. I'm okay at the moment with the projects I'm shooting in 1080p25 because the delivery requirements are in both SD DVD and Blu-ray. But later projects might not be. So I'm very interested in more info about this possible pitfall.
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Old April 3rd, 2010, 08:33 PM   #21
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Say it isn't so!

OK, I've followed Doug Jensen's methodology for making a DVD with HD footage using an SD timeline in FCP 6, then on to DVD Studio Pro. I spent most of the day experimenting with different settings as well -- which leads me to my question.

Doug eloquently stated the logic of using a SD timeline in FCP if the output commands it. But what settings do you use to make a 1920 x 1080p DVD? I tried h.264 but got an error message 'incompatible format.' I tweaked the bit rate settings, tried everything I know of short of converting it to 720p.

Why spend hard-earned money to buy a high-end HD camera if you can only enjoy the HD quality on your computer? From all that I've been able to find on online forums, it's not possible to author a true 1920 x 1080p DVD. True? How are working professionals like you getting your clients true 1920x1080p video? Please advise. Thanks.

Chuck
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Old April 3rd, 2010, 10:10 PM   #22
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Chuck, without getting too snarky about this, have you looked at the specs for DVD's? It's a Standard Definition format so why are you trying to cram HD content onto it....unless you're making a hybrid BluRay disk.
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Old April 4th, 2010, 09:14 AM   #23
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David, no offense taken. You make a good point. All I'm trying to do is see what kind of quality my new EX-1r is capable of producing. So far, I'm impressed with what I see coming from my SxS card, but have been less than thrilled about how my video looks once I export it out of Final Cut. What format/ workflow are you using to showcase your work to clients?
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Old April 4th, 2010, 12:21 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Penn View Post
David, no offense taken. You make a good point. All I'm trying to do is see what kind of quality my new EX-1r is capable of producing.
I know exactly what you mean. I had owned my EX1 for almost a year before I could actually see the footage on a true HD set! I now have a Sony XBR 32" 1080 set hooked up via a Matrox MXO2 interface box and life is good....except for the lack of a RAID setup!! ;-)

Quote:
So far, I'm impressed with what I see coming from my SxS card, but have been less than thrilled about how my video looks once I export it out of Final Cut. What format/ workflow are you using to showcase your work to clients?
Most of my paid work has been delivered to clients who will view it in SD (mostly for web use) or for DVD's with my family history business. However, with YouTube and services like Vimeo and ExposureRoom, you can put up lots of HD content for client review. Here's the most recent HD clip I posted of an interview with a very colorful old gentleman. This was shot in 1080/30p and compressed to .mp4 for online use:

Dave Morrison On ExposureRoom
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