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Old May 8th, 2004, 10:47 AM   #1
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Progressive video on a consumer camcorder, an idea

I may have found a way for us people with consumer camcorders to take videos with progressive scan. Both my Cannon Optura 10, and my Panasonic PV-DV901, have the ability to take still pictures utilizing progressive scan. I have discovered that if I set either of these camcorders to the card photo mode (set the camcorder to it highest Quality photo setting). Then connect my camcorder to my computer with my Unibrain 33 foot firewire cable, and using VideoStudio capture a video directly to hard drive (not recording to DV tape first) the resulting video is progressive at 29.97fps. To confirm that it is indeed progressive video, I open the clip in VirtualDub and do a still screen capture of a bird in flight. When working with interlaced video the still would show signs of being interlaced, jagged lines on the bird in motion. But using the method above I do not see these jagged lines. By the way when I save my progressive video in VideoStudio I save it as "Frame" based not "Field Order A, or B". Another benefit of taking progressive videos is that the field of view with the camcorders lens is wider, although it is still coming from the camcorder, down the firewire to the computer as 720x480. I also notice the resulting video is somewhat noticeably sharper than it is when recording to DV tape. I would be interested if anyone can collaborate my findings, or repudiate them. Yes, this is a poor mans work around to achieve progressive video, and I know that you people with pro/semi pro camcorders can do this using your camcorder alone. But I find it nice to be able to achieve progressive video, albeit I'm tethered to my computer when doing so.
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Old May 8th, 2004, 05:59 PM   #2
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This sounds really promising. Would love to see a screen shot.
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Old May 8th, 2004, 07:24 PM   #3
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I see in the FAQ how to make an attachment to include a photo in a new post by pressing the [Browse] button at the bottom of the post composition page, and locate the file that you want to attach from your local hard drive, but in replying to a post I do not see a [Browse] button. I would be happy to E-mail you the progressive, and interlaced photos if you post your address.
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Old May 8th, 2004, 08:28 PM   #4
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Marco: Did not see the E-mail button at the bottom of your post, I just E-mailed you two photos.
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Old May 9th, 2004, 11:56 AM   #5
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Thanks. I'm looking forward to seeing them. (Can't check until Monday.)
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Old May 9th, 2004, 05:04 PM   #6
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People were talking about this as a way to get full-frame progressive-scan footage from the PDX10/TRV950, by putting it in PHOTO mode and piping the output through the firewire to another camera or computer to capture.

It didn't work.

It gave you de-interlaced, scaled-down footage that was much less resolution than a regular full frame. It was an interesting experiment, in that the footage LOOKED progressive, but under examination it was clearly much lower resolution than a regular interlaced frame. However, what was most interesting was that the field of view was much wider/taller than the regular video frame. It looked like what was happening was that it was taking the full image from the 1/4" CCD, then de-interlacing it and scaling it down to DV resolution.

I don't know if these other cameras are doing the same thing. If they are, it's pretty much a dead-end pursuit. If they're doing something different though, that'd be interesting to see.
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Old May 9th, 2004, 09:48 PM   #7
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post some frames, i'm sure many people are interested. There IS hope though, because what you are speaking of, my camera does....sort of. It's called d.wide mode, but it is picture mode in video mode. The picture is wider and taller, just as you said, and the image has no interlacing artifacts, and is not de-interlaced in camera.

screen shots! screen shots! screen shots! rah rah rah!
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Old May 10th, 2004, 09:07 AM   #8
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Well, I just looked at the screenshots, and I'm pretty intrigued. It does look deinterlaced, but its difficult to say if the resolution is lower. The picture is definitely softer, but the interlaced screenshot has clearly been sharpened. I can sharpen the progressive frame to look as sharp as the interlaced frame, but without all the smearing. All in all, the progressive frame is a much more pleasing image.
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Old May 10th, 2004, 10:32 AM   #9
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I will try to post some pictures shortly to a new thread, unless someone can explain how to post photos to an existing thread?
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Old May 10th, 2004, 10:21 PM   #10
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You could go to this website: http://www.imageshack.us/

Upload images for free and after you upload them it will give you a code to just copy and paste on the board to view the pictures...
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Old May 10th, 2004, 10:23 PM   #11
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JVC DV3000E PAL

Anyone know if the PAL version will capture progressive video in digital wide mode like it's NTSC version? It would be nice to have 25p on a budget.
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Old May 11th, 2004, 06:22 AM   #12
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Thanks, Will Robertson for the ImageShack image hosting tip! Here are two screen shots I took this morning to show that a camcorder in the photo mode attached to a computer by firewire appears to have progressive output. In the first screen shot taken with my Cannon Optura 10 camcorder in progressive\frame photo mode. The video was sent directly to the computer (Not recorded to DV tape) by firewire, and recorded directly to the hard drive using VideoStudio. I then did a still screen capture of this video using VirtualDub, with no processing, I then pasted the screen capture into Microsoft Paint, and saved as a photo. Notice you do not see any signs of interlacing on this screen shot\photo where the high action movement of the bird in flight is. The second screen shot\photo was taken with the camcorder in the regular DV videotaping mode, but it to was not recorded to tape, but the video was also sent by firewire directly to the computer, and stored on the hard drive by capturing directly with VideoStudio. I then used the above method to do a screen shot\photo of the video. On this screen shot\photo you can see the bird shows signs of interlacing as a normal DV video does because it is recorded interlaced. Here is what Cannon has to say about their progressive photo mode:

" The Optura 20 and Optura 10 camcorders offer Progressive Photo. A mechanical shutter used in combination with an interlace scan CCD produces still images with very little blurring. With an interlace scan CCD, a picture of a moving object will be blurred because of the 1/60th of a second lag between the reading of the odd and even fields that go into making one video frame. With Progressive Photo, this blurring has all but been removed because the time lag has been eliminated by the mechanical shutter."

Now, I'm not still sure if I'm achieving true progressive\frame recording with my method. All I know is that the screen shots\photos, and the video I've captured, make me think I'm doing progressive\frame recording. As to Berry Greens post that in previous experiments with trying this method, the resulting video was of much lower resolution, I don't see that. What I think is going on is that the Optura's 1.33 mega pixel photo mode is sending a 1280x960 image, (The Optura's highest quality photo setting) by way of firewire output at 720x480 to the computer. This would explain the wider field of view on the progressive video\screen shot. As a side note I would like to thank Britney Spears for taking time out from her busy schedule and coming over, and appearing in my photos to add the obligatory, "good looking girl in a photo", presence!

Frame Mode (Progressive) Screen Capture:

http://img2.imageshack.us/img2/5741/...yframemode.JPG

Interlaced Mode Screen Capture:

http://img2.imageshack.us/img2/673/B...rlacedmode.JPG
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Old May 11th, 2004, 06:33 AM   #13
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Wow the images are promising. The interlaced frame looks a bit flat for some reason? Same color space why would the colors modify themselves from the still mode? Maybe i am seeing no good. I have always been deinterlacing vs Tomsmocomp also known as the "smartbob", though this seems like some native stuff. I might have to give it a try with my 950. Do you cary around you an external hard drive? How exactly could this be done on location?
Seems like this would cut down on all the vdub avisynth processing i am using, interesting.
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Old May 11th, 2004, 07:55 AM   #14
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Dmitri Henry: The two videos I took were done from a tripod pointing out my glass sliding door facing the lake. I did not move, or zoom the camcorder between photos, I just flipped the switch that changes it from photo mode, to video camera mode, and all settings remained the same. I too notice that the interlaced screen capture is not as bright, and the color is some what subdued, I don't really know why that is, both screen captures were not processed in any way. You will notice that photos look somewhat squashed in perspective. This is because I did not want to alter them in anyway, they are 720x480. If you wanted to see them in there right perspective you would have to resize them to a 4:3 aspect ratio like 800x600. The screen shots were actually taken yesterday morning, and I typed up my previous post, but I could not post it till today because I could find no way of including the photos. I used a Unibrain 33-foot firewire cable to send it to my desktop computer. The Unibrain firewire cable is the only one I know of that can get beyond the 15-foot normal firewire limitation without using repeaters. As for using this out in the field, you could use a laptop, or another DV cam connected together with firewire, I also think there are portable hard drives on the market that can do this. I would also like to add that you will not see the real benefit of progressive\frame video in a screen capture, but will see it when playing back your video on a stand alone progressive scan DVD player, or playing the video on your computer.
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Old May 11th, 2004, 11:45 AM   #15
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One thing I did not notice till I burned a DVD containing progressive video was that by using firewire to transfer the video\audio directly to the computer your camcorder motor is not running. This means no transport sound is being picked up by your internal microphone! I usually use a external mic when I'm taping, I could not stand the high pitched sound of a camcorder transport running, it was now totally silent except for the birds singing, what a difference. The progressive footage really looked good on my stand alone DVD players even though I do not own a progressive scan DVD player, it also looked very good on my computer DVD player.
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