down converting EX3 or PMW350 - Page 2 at

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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 07:37 AM   #16
Regular Crew
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Mooroolbark, Victoria, AU
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Down Conversion not straightforward

What will give you an adequate downconversion and what will give you a great downconversion are two entirely different processes if you are shooting HD interlaced.If you are originating from progressive HD, downscaling in FCP is quite adequate. However if you originate in HD interlaced, then what has been suggested here (with the exception of BITVICE which I have no experience of ) will give you an OK downconversion and a result similar to some of the medium professional solutions of yesteryear. Will it compare to a late model dedicated SD DVCAM camcorders of the DSR series?-No, it won't. What about a PD150?, well a bit better maybe ?
Why is this? Unfortunately downscaling interlaced material is a very tricky business and then add in the complication of converting between different color spaces is just too much for most standard solutions. I am just about to try BITVICE so I can't comment on that solution, but if it saves me the tortuous process which I currently use, then I will be once again extraordinarily grateful for the sage advice that comes from this forum.
In a nutshell I use compressor to convert the interlaced HD material to 50 frame per second PRORES, then I downscale using the frame controls switched on to the highest settings and the interlaced settings switched to on both in the codec options and also the frame control menu making sure that the field order agrees in both boxes.

Finally after the downscale I convert the downscaled Quicktime to MPEG. In all of this you need to experiment with a little sharpening after the downscale to get the best results.

There are more exotic solutions using programs which need to be scripted however that is far to complex for me.

Ian Skurrie
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 10:24 AM   #17
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While Doug is entitled to his view I would say that given that you can dial in a huge range of adjustments to the gamma, colorimetry, detail etc on a 350 it should be pretty easy to create the look that you want, whether that is neutral or vivid. One of the hardest looks to achieve with any camera is a neutral look, if you can achieve that, then anything else is a lot easier to achieve, either in camera or in post. That neutral, un-enhanced look is what really appeals to me with the 350, it's like a blank canvas that you can then treat the way you choose.
Alister Chapman, Film-Maker/Stormchaser My XDCAM site and blog.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 10:41 AM   #18
Vortex Media
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Location: New England, USA
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With that logic, than you might as well buy any camera you want from any manufacturer.
The fact is that you can't dial in pleasing settings on some cameras.
Not all blank canvases are equal. At some point, you exhaust the limits of the gear . . . and the EX3 is about $10K less.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 06:13 AM   #19
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Thanks guys for your input and help! It is much appreciated! Ralph
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