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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old May 26th, 2010, 02:26 AM   #1
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HDV Z1 with other cameras

Hi Guys,

nice to be here to learn from your expertise.I learned so much reading the posts and i have one question which suddenly pop up after many years of shooting. I have been shooting with HDVZ1e for three years in 1080i/50i but down converted to DV in post. I wanted to know, will there be any difference in quality while putting shots together from footages shot in mini dv and dv down converted ones? This is for broadcast purpose.

anticipating your expertise
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Old May 26th, 2010, 04:37 AM   #2
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Generally downconverting HDV in post is a better bet than doing it in camera but there are still good and bad converters out there. You talk about DV and MiniDV footage - you mean from a different camera? If so, of course there could be quality differences, and especially so if the DV footage was shot in 4:3, say, and if the cameras were in a wildly different price bracket.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 04:56 AM   #3
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Hey Tom, thanks for the reply. I am sorry,I think I did not express it clear enough. What I meant was, will there be any differences in quality, if we mix footages shot from two different cameras,(1) a handy cam (mini dv) and (2) that from a sony HDV Z1e. The footage from HDV being shot in high def and not Dvcam 4:3.It is only downconverted to dv in post.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 04:57 AM   #4
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Hey Tom, thank you very much for the reply. I am sorry,I think I did not express it clear enough. What I meant was, will there be any differences in quality, if we mix footages shot from two different cameras,(1) a handy cam (mini dv) and (2) that from a sony HDV Z1e. The footage from HDV being shot in high def and not Dvcam 4:3.It is only downconverted to dv in post.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 05:09 AM   #5
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You're still not clear Paul. The Z1 will shoot 16:9 HDV, but are you talking about downconverting it to SD and cropping it to 4:3 at the same time? And how good is the Handycam? Is it a 16:9 model? What's your final output - 4:3 DVD?

You talk of broadcast purposes - it's always better to ask the commissioning editor what he wants delivered to his door, but he may not be happy with SD at all.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 10:44 AM   #6
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Yes, Tom, you are very right. I was talking about downconverting it to SD and cropping it to 4:3 simultaneously. The handycam is sony HD.I dont remember the model though.But it has an inbuilt memory card.Footage is shot in 16:9 .My final output is 4:3 on a digi-beta for broadcast.Will there be any difference in quality in that case?I am sorry for being too ignorant but thanks alot.
waing for your reply
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Old May 26th, 2010, 11:41 AM   #7
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The Z1 is not at its best in 4:3 mode with 25% of its chip area sliced away, and especially not good if downconverted in-camera. And by this I mean shooting in the SD mode or downconverting HDV to feed out down the Firewire cable. The old PD150 / 170 easily beats it, so I suggest you get hold of that camera if you insist in shooting 4:3..

Won't they show 16:9 letterboxed on Indian TV? It would keep the quality up if you kept the edit in 16:9 and wanted your film shown in other markets.

There's always going to be a difference in quality. The Z1 is a fully controllable camera, and anything domestic (ie with a built-in HDD) will have auto ND filtration and be pretty useless as the light levels drop.

Try them together and see - it's the only way.

tom.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 02:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Kharkongor View Post
My final output is 4:3 on a digi-beta for broadcast.Will there be any difference in quality in that case?
Just backing up what Tom has said...

If you really need to have a 4:3 digi-beta - and I have had this requirement when producing material for in-flight video - I would...

Shoot 1080i, edit 1080i, output 1080i, then use high end software (Episode Pro, Compressor) to scale down to Standard Definition, BUT NOT to DV or MPEG. if you use a format like DVCPro-50 or ProRes, the big blocky colour pixels of HDV (4:2:0) get made into nice neat colour pixels of Digibeta (4:2:2).

I would recommend having a proper edit suite do the final transfer from your file to actual digibeta tape and do what's known as a 'legalisation pass'. Although this can be done in many packages like FCP and Premiere, nothing beats the expensive hardware and trained eyes found in a broadcast suite which will save you the embarrassment of rejection later on.

It may take some work to find such a suite - I had two or three insist I send a DVCAM cassette of my video for transfer, which would negate all your hard work in the HDV stage.

As for any difference between a domestic handycam HDV recorder and a Sony Z1, Tom's listed the salient points, to which I would add that a Z1 can do black stretch. A Z1 in the wrong hands, driven in auto, with auto focus, is a horrible thing. The marks of shame include: sharp backgrounds and soft interviewees, ever-changing white balance, dipping exposure levels and soft wide-angle shots. But drive it manually and carefully, it will make a consumer handycam look like what it is - 'clever', in a performing dog sense of 'clever', but your audience will be reminded that they're looking at the output of a camera rather than falling into the picture.

Oh, and another thing - PD150s can have severe sound problems.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 02:02 AM   #9
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I really like your Marks of Shame, Matt, though I'd change 'dipping exposure levels' to 'ever changing exposure levels'. United we stand.
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