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Old May 5th, 2010, 06:04 AM   #1
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best settings for DVD (HD cam or SD)?

hi guys
just testing my new EX1r, and after reading this very informative thread (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...looking-3.html) I still wonder

what is the best setting if your final target is DVD?
some people claim the downcoverted footage from a Z1 looks great on DVD, while there are various opinions and difficulties in getting similar results with a much more powerful tool like the EX1r.

from the thread I haven't found a clear answer as to whether the HDV format is inherently more suited to downcoversion, hence shooting in HDV mode with the EX1r would be a good choice for DVD?

or shooting straight SD would be better?
experiences?
thanks
Fed
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Old May 5th, 2010, 09:27 AM   #2
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Get two people to discuss this and you'll get three opinions. Part of the issue is what tools you have available for downconversion.

Some would say shoot 1080p30 for example and edit in an SD timeline.
Others would say shoot 720p60 for example and downconvert through whatever good encoder you have.

One issue is line twitter. An HD scanline is smaller than an SD scanline and thin lines will twitter in SD if they aren't softened . . . yet you don't want things softened too much.
Related is the quality of the scaling algorithm in the software used for the downscale. They are not all created equal.

The likely reason why the Z1 and other HDV cameras seem to downscale better is actually because they don't resolve as high (lower resolution) as the EX cameras. In other words "softer" in, cleaner downconvert.

For me, I shoot 1080p for talking heads an less motion intensive subjects and 720p60 for sports or other high motion content so at least I've played with both. I always want an HD edit though (rather than SD only timeline edit) because these days when I deliver files (web for example) broadband viewers can see HD on the web. Watch Vimeo or YouTube for example. I'm rarely delivering SD only even if SD DVD is part of the delivery.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 10:20 AM   #3
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thanks Craig

some people say that 720p50 (or 60 in your case) is the sweet spot for the EX1...
I still have to try as I got the ex1r yesterday!

by the way, does anyone know why the choice of format on the Ex1r uses now the horizontal resolution? (1440 instead of 1080 and 1280 instead of 720)?
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Old May 5th, 2010, 10:53 AM   #4
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1440 is 1440x1080i 50i. 1080 is 1920x1080 25, 720 is 1280x720 50i They are simply different resolutions. 1440 was added to the EX1r, its not an option on the EX1
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Old May 5th, 2010, 05:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin Rowe View Post
1440 was added to the EX1r, its not an option on the EX1
1440x1080i is certainly available on the EX1. I was shooting using it a few weeks ago where a Z1 was the B camera and I wanted the same frame size from both cameras.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 11:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Marcus Durham View Post
1440x1080i is certainly available on the EX1. I was shooting using it a few weeks ago where a Z1 was the B camera and I wanted the same frame size from both cameras.
On EX-1 it is available as SP mode, i.e. HDV format (25Mb/sec) vs. 1440 HD in EX-1R (35Mb/sec).
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Old May 6th, 2010, 02:56 AM   #7
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I shoot 1080 25P, convert to avi using NEO-HD for post and render for DVD using Vegas Pro. Great image.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 04:36 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ilya Spektor View Post
On EX-1 it is available as SP mode, i.e. HDV format (25Mb/sec) vs. 1440 HD in EX-1R (35Mb/sec).
Far better explanation, its what I meant
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Old May 6th, 2010, 04:43 AM   #9
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Since you asked about DVD conversion, I would suggest using Compressor in Final Cut. It is slow but it has done a great job for me. It prepares the files so they can be used by any DVD creation program for burning. If I was doing a short video for a tv story (news) I would use the time line conversion. It works well enough and why spend all the time that will have a shelf life of one or two days and then its gone. But for something that is to viewed on DVD a little more effort would be justified. Since I work in TV news, fast not good is the rule. It's not what I want to produce, its what the job requires. A lot of time we shoot breaking news and have it on air within minutes of shooting. Not much time to spend on polishing it...
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Old May 6th, 2010, 05:25 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Serena Steuart View Post
I shoot 1080 25P, convert to avi using NEO-HD for post and render for DVD using Vegas Pro. Great image.
interesting Serena..
do you think the results are satisfactory (think of Z1 for example)?

I ask because some people complained about poor DVD results with the EX1.
why are you converting to avi?
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Old May 8th, 2010, 02:39 AM   #11
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I usually convert my clips to Cineform digital intermediates (which are avi) which I find worthwhile for maintaining quality through generations. I had been expecting to have some problems with rendering for DVD (as mentioned by several respected operators) but my results are very satisfactory without fiddles and better than from the Z1 (a matter of camera image quality). I'm generating PAL format DVDs, so that is a difference (from NTSC users). Possibly most people stay with the MXF format through post, which could be a factor (since it seems possibly to be the only difference in workflow). Since it works for me I haven't explored the problem.
Software used in post is another obvious difference (FCP, Vegas Pro, AVID, Premiere Pro, etc) and I've not seen any comparisons of their DVD outs (respecting this issue).

Last edited by Serena Steuart; May 8th, 2010 at 02:48 AM. Reason: mention possible software influences
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Old May 8th, 2010, 05:27 AM   #12
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I shoot 720p 50f/s, edit in same using vegas then render to SDV Mpeg2 (2pass).Does it for me!

I found too much artifacting going on using full 1080i when rendering to SDV.

My 2 cents

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Old May 10th, 2010, 01:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serena Steuart View Post
I usually convert my clips to Cineform digital intermediates (which are avi) which I find worthwhile for maintaining quality through generations. I had been expecting to have some problems with rendering for DVD (as mentioned by several respected operators) but my results are very satisfactory without fiddles and better than from the Z1 (a matter of camera image quality). I'm generating PAL format DVDs, so that is a difference (from NTSC users). Possibly most people stay with the MXF format through post, which could be a factor (since it seems possibly to be the only difference in workflow). Since it works for me I haven't explored the problem.
Software used in post is another obvious difference (FCP, Vegas Pro, AVID, Premiere Pro, etc) and I've not seen any comparisons of their DVD outs (respecting this issue).
My workflow is similar to Serena's: Shoot 1920x1080 30p> 1920 Cineform .avi> edit in Premiere> CFHD timeline export to m2v with Adobe Media Encoder, or export timeline to CFHD.avi and transcode with ProCoder 3.
Absolutely the best looking DVDs I have ever made-color/clarity/lack of artifact is very,very good.
One caviat: If shooting 60i, I stay 60i throughout the workflow, then use the Cineform compressor to export and rescale the timeline to a CFSD 480 60i .avi. Then transcode the CFSD .avi to m2v with results equal to the 30p workflow. If you transcode directly from the CFHD 60i timeline to DVD m2v, the final DVD has line twitter & slightly softer image.
It is truely amazing how controversial this entire subject is. There are so many opinions & different workflows to accomplish what you would think would be a straighforward, simple task.
I think many of us wander in the wilderness for quite a while, finally hit on a workflow that works really well, and happily close the book on the issue.
So, the answer is trial and error, try the different suggestions- when you finally hit the solution that works right for you, you are home free & can move on to other things.
But, the important thing to know is that brilliant DVDs can be made from EX HD footage- you don't need to settle for less.
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Last edited by Robert Young; May 10th, 2010 at 02:39 AM.
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