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Old January 16th, 2007, 02:04 PM   #1
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Film look for PD150

I apologize, first off, because I realize this post is similar to many others, but I did not really get the answers I was looking for from the similar posts.

What is the best configuration for a film-like, cinematic result on the DSR-PD150. I know this is kind of subjective, but what is my best bet here.

basically want to know:

progressive on or off?

shutter speed? some people suggest 1/30, some suggest 1/60

DV or DVCAM mode?

anything else?
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Old January 16th, 2007, 03:06 PM   #2
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Hi Matt, welcome to DVinfo!

1. You don't want progressive on the PD-150 unless you're going for something very stylized. It isn't comparable to the progressive mode on modern cameras; you will be shooting at 15 frames per second, only half the speed of normal video (which is 30 fps, or 60 interlaced fields). You will get a jerky, stroboscopic effect in progressive mode; try a little test (be sure that it has moving objects and some camera movement to really see the effect).

2. Personally I'd use 1/60 sec. You might like the look at 1/30 sec because it will give you motion blur which is more like 24fps film, but there's a downside. The way the PD-150 does 1/30 sec exposures results in half of the data getting discarded, so you lose a significant amount of resolution at that speed. Actually, it's a little more complicated than this, but you definitely lose vertical resolution because you are effectively only using 240 of the 480 available scan lines in the image. As a better alternative, use a de-interlacer to process your footage afterwards. The better software preserves more of your resolution by treating the static and moving parts of the image differently. Depending on your platform, there are a variety of solutions. DVFilm Maker is a standalone application that works pretty well on both Macs and PC's - download the free trial and see if you like it.

3. DV vs DVCAM: no difference whatsoever. The image and audio quality are identical - the same 1's and 0's are written to tape. However the way it's recorded is different, and Sony claims DVCAM is more robust, less prone to errors on the tape. Do a search on the topic, it's been discussed a lot. If you're shooting something that would be impossible to replace, it can't hurt to use DVCAM, but you will also use 50% more tape because DVCAM runs at a higher speed.
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Old January 16th, 2007, 06:33 PM   #3
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Thanks for all the info!

I have magic bullet for adobe after-effects as far as de-interlacing goes, and I have played around with it. I'm not exactly sure how to work it though, hah.

The rendering times seem ridiculous, are they supposed to be?

I edit on a dell dual core 3.0 ghz, 2GB Ram, 250 GB Hard drive, NVIDIA 7800 GTX GPU.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 05:22 AM   #4
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Hi Matt,

Generally the issues for getting a "film look" out of the PD150 are the same for most video cameras. You can't really get a film look out of the box with any DV camera (and progressive or 30/sec shutter will look pretty bad).

General tips are:
Underexpose by a stop.
Open the iris as much as possible (use ND filters and shutter speed to compensate for exposure).
Get your subject away from the background as much as possible
in Custom Preset dial the sharpness down.
De-interlace in post.
Light the scene to be fairly low contrast and then add contrast in post.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 04:11 PM   #5
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Hey Matt, i found a neat trick over at the sony boards, and there is a way to simulate close to 24 frames or a better progressive scan, go into digital effects on the camera, and choose flash, then scroll the flash bars all the down and then just turn it up once, until a single bar appears and u got it. as for film look, make sure you get good lighting, white balance, and frame the shot well. Magic bullet will be very useful. The 150 is a great camera and you can do wonders with it.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 04:25 PM   #6
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awesome, thanks guys : )
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Old January 17th, 2007, 05:05 PM   #7
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Hmm, I wonder if you get the full resolution with this trick. I'll try it myself with my PD170.
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Old January 17th, 2007, 07:41 PM   #8
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can you let me know about the resolution?
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Old January 17th, 2007, 09:51 PM   #9
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Interesting. I have VX2000, never realized that was there. I shot a few shots, seems like resolution drops off a bit. Any idea what is actually going on in the camera. Is that progressive ?
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Old January 26th, 2007, 09:51 PM   #10
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1.) Make sure you're in manual mode.
2.) Shoot in 1/60th. Nothing higher, nothing lower.
3.) Expose your scene by letting your camera go "auto", then switch the exposure to manual mode (damn it if only Canon had this feature)
4.) Use some lighting - don't shoot with "natural light".
5.) Capture your footage and run it through DVFILM available from www.dvfilm.com - this is the easiest fastest fool proof method with the least amount of tinkering and screwing around.
6.) Watch your film and be happy with the results.

By the way I've seen flash mode on the VX2000 (would be the same on PD150/170) mixed with 60i converted to 24p and to my surprise I could honestly not tell the difference from which was which.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 01:53 PM   #11
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i gotta admit, on the little lcd screen, this looks pretty damn good! it's compareable to the 1/30th but with less blur. i havent captured it yet so i'm still curious to see how the resolution is...i assume it's decent.

do any of you guys have more little secrets about my cam that i dont know about? haha
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Old January 30th, 2007, 01:55 PM   #12
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Like I said I've seen the flash mode trick mixed with 60i->24p converted footage and been impressed (and it takes a lot to impress me when it comes to simulated 24p footage).

Another trick? Yeah - always get your camera's iris to near zero of completely open to get a more narrow depth of field. Outdoors you will surely need to use a ND filter.

Post some samples when you get a chance!

Last edited by Dennis Hingsberg; January 30th, 2007 at 04:12 PM.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 02:32 PM   #13
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How would you process this Flash technique in the NLE ? Are actually doing just a 24p project ? Do you have to do some sort of pull down processing ?
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Old January 30th, 2007, 04:11 PM   #14
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No the signal unfortunately is still NTSC 29.97 60i. Your footage only has the illusion of 24p when played back at 29.97/60i.

I have a friend who shot a feature length film using the VX2000 combining flash mode and with regular footage put through DVfilm - since I know DVfilm can actually create 24p footage from 60i sources I will ask him if he's ever tried creating 24p from the flash footage.

By the way DVfilm is a really good program if you need 24p but only have a 60i camera! The guy who wrote the program, Marcus does DV to film transfers so this guy knows his stuff.

Check out www.dvfilm.com there is a trial version you can play around with there.
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Old January 30th, 2007, 04:16 PM   #15
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Thanks Dennis. I'll shoot some Flash footage with my VX2000, as well as the standard, and post it here for comparison--tonight I hope.
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