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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old December 6th, 2007, 10:31 AM   #1
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To be in HD or not to be...that is the question

...I shoot all my footage in HDV with the sony FX1 & HC1. Everything looks great. I then take the footage and edit it in Premiere Pro 2.0 as HDV footage. All effects, color correction, and any other process is done in HD as well. After completion of the project, I dump all the edited HDV master back to tape and archive it. The client receives a Standard Definition DVD. My questions is...if I do not offer anything other than a Standard Definition DVD to my client then why am I editing in HD? If I was to edit in SD it would speed up my render times drastically, and potentially save hours on each project. I think I've made up my mind already, but would like to hear what everyone else is doing that is shooting in HD. Do you deliever only in SD, or do you have an option for HD DVD / Bluray?? I personally don't see the market being in high demand for HD for another couple of years.

What's your thoughts...?
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Old December 6th, 2007, 10:43 AM   #2
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In Belgium (Europe) hd is starting to get up to speed, a Dutch manufacturer of pc's (Medion) who primarily sells his pc's quite cheap trough food stores like Aldi has a pc for sale with a build in blue ray player. In stores selling tv's the only thing you can find now is widescreen hd ready and full hd screens. The full hd screens are half the price now compared to what they costed one year ago and Sony's playstation 3 has dropped 30 percent in price.
As for this side on the globe I expect the first blueray and hd dvd requests by mid or end 2008.
Currently I still shoot and edit sd but think I will have no other option then to invest in hd by the end of 2008. Hopefully the pmw-ex1 has dropped 50% in price by then as well. ;)
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Old December 6th, 2007, 12:08 PM   #3
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I already own the HD cameras, but my question is more for workflow. I will always record in HD but when I go to edit should I edit an HD project or an SD project? What are the benefits and what is the majority currently doing as well?
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Old December 6th, 2007, 12:11 PM   #4
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I've found very good quality with editing HD and then exporting SD. I preview on an SD monitor to get an idea of final output to SD viewers... but retain my pretty HD masters for future use with no recapture/reedit. As well, I can share HDV tapes with anyone using this method. But... it comes down to space/computing requirements - is this worth it to you?

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Old December 6th, 2007, 01:36 PM   #5
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I recently posted about this.
With HDV I have audio sync issues editing with pp2.
The output is NOT as good as editing in SD with a downconverted capture done by the camera.
Apply any filter and it wont play smooth.

I think for the moment Ill shoot in HDV to have it on the tape.
Downconvert while capturing.
Edit in SD and output in SD.

Later, if someone contacts me for a HD version it really quite easy to provide.
I tested it.
Here is the process.

1) set up a new HDV project.
2) Import the sd project into it.
3) right click on clip in bin, hit make offline.
4) right click clip and hit link media.

The media you link it to in the future is the recaptured HDV clip.
Obviously if you dont split your clips while capturing and work with one long clip of the full tape, then on relinking you are only linking one file.
All the cuts should be in the same place (although there may be a frame or 2 in the difference with this approach. The more tedious (yet probably more accurate) option is to relink each split clip. Only an hours work at the most anyway, outside of capture and render time.
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Old December 6th, 2007, 02:10 PM   #6
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I too shoot HDV on the Z1 and backup FX1, and downconvert in camera to edit on the timeline and produce DVDs in SD. Sometimes I run the FX1 in the DV mode simply so I can shoot in LP - that way I can get good timelapse of the church + sky exterior, and if the bride's late I know the camera will run for 90 mins.

That's the one reason I chose an FX1 rather than another Z1 as my backup cam.

tom.
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Old December 8th, 2007, 05:17 AM   #7
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This has been discussed in more threads than only this one. I think it's basically depending on;

- How fast is your edit station? If you've got the power to edit in HD, then why shouldn't you? On the other side, if you plan to deliver in SD (and won't ever plan to use the HD material again), why enlarging the rendertime?

- Do you capture sound on camera? in SD you capture uncompressed sound, which has some benefits. However, the soundquality of the compressed sound in HD-mode is not bad at all.

- Do you shoot fast objects? Some ppl prefer shooting fast objects in SD to prevent loss of imagequality.

As for me I prefer shooting SD when my client wants SD delivered. Sure it's nice to shoot HD when you're able to and it can feel a bit of a pity not to use the full potential of your camera, but I just don't have that high-end system (or intermediate codec) so I'm just glad when I can shorten the rendertime. I haven't noticed any difference in soundquality between HD and SD.

I agree with Noa Put regarding the upcoming of HD in western Europe. Prices are dropping, HD comes into the range of consumers who don't have a pool in their backyard (which includes me).
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Old December 8th, 2007, 08:55 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=Noa Put;788200]In Belgium (Europe) hd is starting to get up to speed, a Dutch manufacturer of pc's (Medion) who primarily sells his pc's quite cheap trough food stores like Aldi has a pc for sale with a build in blue ray player. QUOTE]

In the UK Medion are selling a PC with an HD-DVD player as well as a BluRay player.....
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Old December 8th, 2007, 10:16 AM   #9
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This is probably a dumb question. If you shoot in HDV and down convert in the camera can you use SD tapes to capture?
Thanks,
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Old December 8th, 2007, 10:34 AM   #10
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Don't quite see what you're driving at. If you downconvert HDV in camera then SD goes out the Firewire. You could capture this to a computer of course, or record it in SD to tape.
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Old December 8th, 2007, 12:26 PM   #11
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[QUOTE=Tom Hardwick;788309]I too shoot HDV on the Z1 and backup FX1, and downconvert in camera to edit on the timeline and produce DVDs in SD. QUOTE]

I'm a bit surprised you downconvert in camera and edit in SD, Tom. I thought editing effects in HDV - colour correction for example - kept their quality better than during an SD edit and that this alone outweighed any other considerations...
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Old December 8th, 2007, 12:58 PM   #12
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For my next project, I am planning on editing it in SD. I am going to use the EDL and recapture the footage in HDV and see how different everything really is. I'll try and post something within the next few weeks to show the differences.

I've got a feeling that for the next year or so I'll be sticking with SD and hold off till HD is wide spread. I have not had one request for HD yet, but if I do I have the equipment.
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Old December 8th, 2007, 02:45 PM   #13
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For me there is one HUGE advantage to shooting in HD and delivering in SD - options and flexibility in editing. If I am delivering an SD product and I shoot in HD I have an original picture that is much bigger than I need. This means I can shoot wider than I normally would and make decisions as I edit. I bring the HD footage into an SD project and can zoom or pan. For example:

Sports - in football I shoot wide and then as I edit I can zoom in on the quarterback and then follow the ball to the reciever. If the ball was not caught I could instead zoom in on a great block with the same footage. I didn't have to decide as I shot.

Weddings - Set an unmanned camera in the back, shooting wide. In the edit, zoom in on the bride and groom, pan across the audience, etc. It looks like there is an operator on the camera and he is SMOOTH, no jerks or bumps and he always picks the best shot. Shoot the bride wide in front of the church - now you can zoom in or out, you can try a Dutch angle (don't like it tilting left, try right instead), pan from the bottom up or top down. Shoot the family wide and then zoom in on the bride and groom or catch the nephew giving grandpa rabbit ears.

I have learned to like editing this way so much that I hope it is a long time before everyone is asking for HD and I don't have these options any more.
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Old December 8th, 2007, 02:47 PM   #14
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Don't be surprised at my workflow Mike, it works well for me (the Canopus Storm 2 card has a most excellent one-click white and black balance filter). I've seen my DVDs projected big and wide and they look mighty fine to me.

Oh, I'm sure I could eeek out a drop or two more quality by keeping everything in the HDV mode until the end and just maybe you'd spot the differences in a side-by-side A / B test. But quality is far more about getting the shots right up front and first time than it is about downconverting now or later. Agreed?

tom.
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Old December 8th, 2007, 03:34 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=Tom Hardwick;789362] But quality is far more about getting the shots right up front and first time than it is about downconverting now or later. Agreed? QUOTE]

Absolutely couldn't agree more. My problem is that shooting with 2 or more cameras the need to colour balance happens a lot. I have not found the colour correction tools in Matrox RT.X2 and PP2 easy to use effectively. So I need that little leeway that I feel editing in HDV gives me.
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