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Old January 29th, 2006, 03:50 PM   #1
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which HDV format?

What's the best HDV format for shooting wildlife?

720p? 1080i?

Is it best to shoot 1080i to ensure highest resolution, and then convert to 720p if necessary?

Does it matter who you're trying to sell your footage to?

Is Discovery HD theatre 1080i? Which HD channels take HDV footage?

It seems like if some footage is interesting enough, then someone will want to buy it...

Maybe the best way to go about trying to sell HDV wildlife footage is as stock? Am I correct?
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Old January 29th, 2006, 07:59 PM   #2
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In my opinion 720p is the best high definition because it has the least amount of unwanted artifacts. However unless you are shooting for 720p networks like ABC or Fox they may prefer you to use a 1080i camera. Rumors are that the Discovery HD Channel accepts footage from the Canon XL-H1. This camera is a 1080i camera and has progressive like modes called 24F and 30F
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Old January 29th, 2006, 08:19 PM   #3
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formats

James,

That's very interesting, where did you hear that rumor about Discovery accepting Canon HDV?...

My thoughts were that 1080i was the way to go for nature photography, especially to capture fast-moving subjects...

I was seriously looking at a used Sony HDW-730 HDCAM, and more recently the Ikegami HDL-V90, which is a 1080i DVCPRO camera (now discontinued, but a good deal as used or b-stock).

I was leaning more towards DVCPro HD, as the deck is much less expensive, can be editied through firewire, and would be completely compatible with my G5 and Final Cut, provided that I bought a RAID drive.

However, if Discovery will take Canon HDV, it would make for a much smaller investment in my gear. I also like the fact that Nikon and Canon 35mm SLR lenses can be used with the XLH1. The question just is, when will Canon make a deck? And, will it be compatible with Final Cut?

I have a Z1U HDV camera, but quite frankly, i'd rather still use my Sony D35 2/3" camera with a BetaSP or DVCAM back, shooting with a Fujinon 16X broadcast lens w/extender rather than the Z1U for nature photography simply because of the bigger chips and shallower depth of field. My point is, i'd rather have a camera with removable lenses, and the capability of long focal lengths, not the 12X that the Z1U has.
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Old January 29th, 2006, 11:18 PM   #4
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i'm interested in someone confirming that discovery channel rumor, too, because i tried to google the source of the rumor and came up empty. urban legend or real deal? anyone know of a reliable link or source?
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Old January 30th, 2006, 02:15 AM   #5
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I am also interested in this rumor. Considering that there were real objections from Discovery HD Theatre to using HD transfered S16, I would be surpised if they would take any HDV (unless you are offering them a fine sequence of a Yeti fighting with a Snow Leopard). If they will now take HDV this is very exciting.

Jacques- if you can afford to buy the HDW-730 then go for it. Some fantastic stuff has been shot with that camera and it is a great bit of gear.

1080i or 720P.... so much has been written on this subject and a google will give you way more information than you really need. Many people in the wildlife industry are using the Varicam (720P) for its variable frame rates and 'filmic' quality, many are also using the Sony HDCAM. The BBC NHU is using both. I like the Varicam, I think that wildlife looks good shot progressive but there are limitations, that said I have seen some incredible stuff shot on interlaced (Flying with Condors, Valley of the Golden Baboons).

The fact that you can use your 35mm lens on the Canon should not be the deciding factor... you can also use them on the Sony/Panasonic/Ikegami if you get a converter, indeed on your D35 if you want.

If you are going to invest in gear then think of the end game. The Sony/Ikegami route is going to be way more expensive in the long run (lenses and accessories are hugely expensive) but will be an industry standard. The Canon HDV route will be cheaper but it seems broadcasters are split on HDV and it is still a bit esoteric for many. The big HD channels (NHK et al) want 'true' HD at present. This limits you to a handful of cameras, none of which are made by Canon/JVC.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 03:08 AM   #6
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There's a guy on this forum that does great underwater wildlife footage with an fx1, I can't remember his name though...something Wags maybe?

edit: read your other posts in this thread it looks like the canon is your man...i mean cam.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 07:21 AM   #7
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Paul Wags. If you ask me, he is the ruler of the underworld (er, underseas rather).

Check out his stuff, it's simply amazing: http://www.hdvunderwater.com/

Also http://www.ningalooreefteach.com/
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Old January 30th, 2006, 09:56 AM   #8
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Ikegami

Nice,

I AM planning on doing underwater stuff, and i've heard of a few pros using a Z1 in an Amphibico housing...
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Old January 30th, 2006, 12:47 PM   #9
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The Gates housing for the Z1 is the business- all manual controls and built like a tank and with the option of the Fathom Wide angle port (HD spec). It is a thing of great beauty.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 05:05 PM   #10
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Panasonic

I also forgot to mention Panasonic's 1080i camcorder, the HDX400.

It's price is MUCH lower than the HDW730s, a new one can be had for about $25,000 on eBay, that's about 10K less than a b-stock 730.

I know the Varicam's a great camera, but how does this 1080i version compare to Sony's 730?

Also, I know HDCAM is the standard tape format for broadcasting, but i'm not seeing this as so much of a problem, as I am planning on editing my own footage, and if I went the DVCPro route, I could get my master dubbed to HDCAM at a transfer facility?
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Old January 31st, 2006, 07:06 AM   #11
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HDV and stuff

Hi
Paul Wags here. (ruler of the underworld) I like that Chris...

Discovery will take HDV no worries about that becasue there is going to be so much nice material shot on 3CCD HDV cameras that they will have to take it..And if they don't, dump it to another format and they will never know.

Im loading up a five minute piece tonight I shot with the FX1 using a custom PP1 mode. It starts off scenic uptop shots on the beautifull Ningaloo Reef and ends in some underwater shots to music.

It will be a 1280/720 H.264 file (6.5mbps). It's 320 megs and runs for 6.28 seconds but will give you a great idea of what can be achived by tweeking the camera. I did no tweeking when editing.

You will need a good graphcs card to play it smoothly
Will post when I have it up. That should blow my bandwidth away, over 81 GIG so far this month!

If you want to convert 1080i to 1080p then get DVfilm, works great. Then edit in 1080p mode.

The best HDV housings are Gates, Amphibico and Light&Motion, the rest are you get what you pay for. Fathom lenses are very good. There is a guy filming ship wrecks over here in AUS and he's down to 70 meters with the Amphibco Phenom, no probs. I would not want to take a plastic housing down that deep.

The FX1/Z1 gives a beter picture than the A1/HC1.

Im sure it won't be long before we can feed the raw data from the FX1/Z1 to a hard drive and compress it to a better less compressed format.
The HDV m2t drives out now would fit inside my housings with the camera.

More soon
Paul
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 01:02 PM   #12
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720p

I think i'll change my mind and go 720p.

National Geographic broadcasts 720p, and know Discovery HD uses the Varicam.

However, I haven't ruled out HDV, The JVC HD-100 seems very nice, and you can shoot faster frame rates, like a Varicam, not to mention the removable lenses...

Not to mention, it's much, much less than a Varicam.

what are your thoughts on this.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 05:01 PM   #13
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you had better do your homework on exactly what the national geographic channel will or will not accept for hd-sourced material.

a few days ago on the hdv forum, i referenced a great article from tvtechnology, on the jackson hole wildlife film festival... it's pretty relevant to what you want to do.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 09:43 PM   #14
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National Geographic

I know for a fact that National Geographic will accept both 1080i and 720p tapes, and they broadcast it in 720p.

Also, the footage must be shot on a pro HD format, such as HDCAM or DVCPro HD. HDV is only accepted for certain hard-to get shots, where positioning a bigger rig would be too risky...

that's as far as I know, I dont' know about Discovery HD.
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