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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old January 14th, 2006, 10:50 PM   #1
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Is HD worth it?

Do you believe it's worth it to upgrade to HD? Clients really can't view the results of HD yet, so why invest in the technology right now? HDers, please weigh in. Thanks
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Old January 15th, 2006, 12:53 AM   #2
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IF you are upgrading anyway, go HD

We are all going to be there some day. And if it is time to replace equipment, this is a good time to get into learning the process. There will be a day when your client will ask for HD-- will we be ready is the question.

Chris Barcellos
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Old January 15th, 2006, 01:55 AM   #3
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We've been over this many times before, so here's the short answer:

HD is worth it if you can make it work for you economically and are prepared to deal with the learning curve for adapting to the new format. There are ways to deliver HD content to customers today and there will be more and better ones coming soon, plus HD makes nice widescreen SD DVDs which look pretty good on HDTVs. (Better than trying to get widescreen output from 4x3 SD cameras.)

The downside is that it can be expensive to get started in HD and you may not be able to recoup that investment for a while due to lack of client demand, unless you're successful at marketing this cutting-edge technology. Plus current low-cost HD cameras are arguably not as effective in low light as some better SD cameras, but some of us are managing to deal with this for wedding videography. So from a business perspective it's a bit early to be jumping into HD, but once you've seen good HD footage on a large HDTV it's hard to go back to shooting in SD. Be patient and you'll probably be better off in the long run, but if you decide to jump in now there are some benefits to be had from making the HD transition.
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Old January 16th, 2006, 09:04 AM   #4
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From what I have read (WEVA just had an article on it in their latest journal), it sounds like HDV and true HDTV has some kinks to work out and is just to expensive for a new buisness like myself. Since no one really has the home equipment to view HDTV, I think I'll wait for a year or two and see what happens in the market. . .

Ryan
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Old January 16th, 2006, 01:35 PM   #5
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HD cameras are just another tool available to us as artists. Until HD becomes mainstream and in strong demand, I'll continue to focus on improving my camera and editing skills. Content is still king regardless of our tools IMHO.
Bob
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Old January 16th, 2006, 01:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan DesRoches
From what I have read (WEVA just had an article on it in their latest journal), it sounds like HDV and true HDTV has some kinks to work out and is just to expensive for a new buisness like myself. Since no one really has the home equipment to view HDTV, I think I'll wait for a year or two and see what happens in the market. . .
There's a lot of disagreement in WEVA right now about whether affordable HD videography is worth pursuing at this time. If you're starting from scratch, HD acquisition and editing doesn't have to cost much more than DV acquisition and editing, but if you already have DV cameras and don't have an upgrade budget it may pay to be patient about this. The thing is, once you view typical SD footage on a good HDTV and compare that to any decent HD footage, it's obvious that SD is doomed for professional videography. Maybe not for a while yet, but I wouldn't recommend investing much more money in SD-only equipment.
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Old January 16th, 2006, 02:59 PM   #7
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It's camera purgatory right now for me. No more investments in SD and no HD purchases until low light performance is improved.
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Old January 16th, 2006, 03:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Harotunian
HD cameras are just another tool available to us as artists. Until HD becomes mainstream and in strong demand, I'll continue to focus on improving my camera and editing skills. Content is still king regardless of our tools IMHO.
Bob
I couldn't agree more with this. People care WAY more about content than format. Most consumers have no idea what the different between 720p and 1080i is, so why worry about it? The WOW factor of HD is cool, but most people don't know the different anyway. For example, my mother-in-law has a 53" Panasonic HDTV that will display 1080i. She has digital cable and thinks the image quality is pretty good. I think watching regular TV on it isn't anything special. I recently read an article (unfortunately can't remember the source) that said approximately 40% of HDTV owners thought they were watching HD content when they were not. These same people had no idea that they had to order HD content specifically for their TV's. Sad, really.

I won't move to HD until the demand is there, and that most likely will not be until there is a mainstream delivery format (HD-DVD or BluRay or something else). I'm holding onto my DVX100A for a good while.
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Old January 17th, 2006, 08:25 AM   #9
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We bought a 40" Pannie LCD HDTV a few years ago. We had to buy an HD box from the cable company and we still only have a handful of HD channels available.

The HD channels look great but 90% of programming is SD or digital and they look awful. Best Buy and Circuit City lure people into buying with their HD canned movies. They don't want to show you what your network broadcast will really look like on your new $3K TV.

I'm not down on HD for the wedding industry, I just think we're not in prime time yet. It's my opinion that the HD hype is leading many videographers to think that they're missing out if they don't buy an HD camera today.

I'm staying grounded in SD for now until there is a clear and affordable migration path to HD. And if Sony offered a PD-170 with native 16:9, I'd order one yesterday.
Bob
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Old January 17th, 2006, 04:34 PM   #10
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I have a Panasonic rear-projection HDTV that does a pretty good job of upsampling SD content, but anything delivered in 4x3 format is a nuisance to display on a widescreen TV. If you think about it, the problems inherent in displaying SD content on HDTVs is precisely why it's important to start producing in HD as soon as you can make it practical to do so. Saying people don't care about video formats is partially true, but they'll care more once they have an expensive HDTV.

With decent 3-chip HDV cameras starting at about $3000 and most major editing software offering some sort of HDV support now, getting started in HD production doesn't have to be a huge expense. It helps to have a fast computer for editing and rendering HDV footage, and it helps to have an HDTV display to view your HD content, but both of those items are rapidly dropping in price -- at least at the entry level.

Nothing wrong with waiting right now if you're not convinced it's time to make the jump to HD, but things should start heating up this year now that the HD players will be shipping.
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Old January 17th, 2006, 06:59 PM   #11
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Is it worth it, well yes it is to me but the demand in my area is less than I would like it to be. We are 5 years behind the times. HDV looks much better than SD but it takes forever to render and the tapes cost 4 times as much.

They will have a set top player out in march, along with a drive to make disc's.

My clients that want it, really want it! My clients that I try to sell the upgrade, don't even own a HDTV and don't plan on buying one anytime in the next few years.

I offer it to my highest package clients as an upgrade for $150 and it's still a hard sale. I might not be the best sales guy either, LOL

I like it so much that I upgraded but HDV is still new and if you wait it might get cheaper and more advanced. If you are already in the market for at least 2 cameras I would make the jump since they shoot DV as well as HDV.

Good Luck,

Jon
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Old January 20th, 2006, 04:17 PM   #12
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HD v. Standard DV

The FCC has mandated that all tv stations be capable of broadcasting digital television by 2007. In order for that to happen, a LOT of money is going to be spent by television stations for all new equipment and most importantly, consumers. Everyone will need to buy a new DTV or get a digital-to-analog converter for their tv set.
That being said, after the conversion made by the tv stations and by consumers, the switch to HD will be able to be made a lot easier. However, while I definitely think the future is all about HD, that does not mean that everybody likes the look that it gives/ want it for commercial or private business freelance jobs such as weddings etc. So while HD is definitely on its way, in my opinion, there will still be a good market for standard DV stuff for quite a while, even with the 2007 switchover. Unfortunately with the rise of HD, a downfall for independent videomakers that want their movies picked up by a studio for release on the market is that you generally have an easier time marketing your movie if it is in HD. But HD is so expensive and impractical (P2 chips) right now that it is not worth it, in my opinion, to sell your standard DV equipment at this time.
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