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Old December 25th, 2005, 11:57 AM   #1
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SONY fx1 res modes for Sports

Currently I am editing with a Canopus Storm system but having recently purchased an FX1, I am anxious to jump to HDV editing. First of all, thanks for all the great posts on intermediate res files and the need for cineform, etc. Looks like I am about to jump ship to Vegas 6 and Connect HD.

My question is regarding the best FX1 camcorder setting for capturing sports. Obviously, shooting in HDV is the starting point. For minimal blurring with the fast action of baseball and basketball, what is the best setting? Cineform 25? garden variety 60i? Something else?

What other considerations are there in the use of this camera and editing HDV (with the above programs) with regard to sports?

Thanks for your input. BTW, part of the reason for making the jump to Vegas is the cost factor. Although upgrading from my ASUS P4C800 3g ram 2.8ghz system with 5 cheetahs is an inevitability, the cost is prohibitive to me at this time. Plus, the Canopus products would be an additional 1400 bucks.
Vegas and Connect HD with all the rebates at Videoguys will be about 500 bucks total. Not to mention the VASST tutorials thrown in for good measure.
Once again, thanks for all the informative posts.
Curt
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Old December 25th, 2005, 02:26 PM   #2
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You could just use Canopus Edius Pro3 about the same price ($499 at Videoguys)if you don't already have it. It will work realtime( for DV ) with the Storm and all you will need to work with the FX1 is a OHCI complient IEEE1394 connector( the one on the Storm is not complient and which you will need for Vegas anyway). Canopus HQ intermediate has similar performance on my PC to the Cineform intermediate. YOu don't need the NX hardware to edit HDV only to view on a true external RGB HD monitor something that you will have to spend more on with Vegas or Premiere to get. I have EDius PRo3 and Vegas 6 like them for different reasons. TRy the demos for editing style. I think that Edius is a full demo while Vegas demo will not edit HDV. If you unpgrade your PC get a dual core Opteron if you can afford it.

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Old December 26th, 2005, 01:06 PM   #3
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That is a good point, Ron, and I have kicked around the idea of getting the standalone version of Edius Pro 3. However, it seems from the Canopus forum that no one believes that a single processor system will allow for decent HD editing with Edius Pro 3. Maybe that opinion stems from their need for speed as well as the additional workarounds needed to get a high quality DVD image from HDV material from such a set up. It seems that those on this forum do not perceive the Vegas 6 route to be so cumbersome or prohibitively slow with a single processor system. That being said, with money no object, I would certainly opt for a sceaming machine and possibly the whole Canopus hardware enchilada with HD output etc. Reality dictates otherwise.
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Old December 26th, 2005, 02:17 PM   #4
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Well Curt a reality check for you is that the 2.8 is not likely to edit HDV very well with any NLE. So you are into some form of PC upgrade to make any of them work. I believe that a single 3.4 Hyper threading P4 MIGHT work for one stream with CFHD intermediate in Premiere Pro or Vegas. The first problem you will have is capturing the file from the FX1. Premiere Pro 1.5.1 insists on converting to CFHD on capture and needs lots of CPU power to do this. Edius pro3 insists on showing a preview screen which of course needs the cpu to decode stream as well as capture. On a single CPU this seams almost impossible hence the Canopus recomendation for dual CPU's even if m2t is being captured. I successfully captured from my FX1 with capDVHS and edited in EDius Pro 3 native m2t with my old AMD XP2500. When file converted to HQ it would play timeline OK. It was very slow and not always useful!!! Since getting my AMD X2 4200 things fly. BOth Vegas and Edius will capture and edit native m2t wereas Premiere will not. HDV needs lots of processor power. If you don't upgrade I would shoot HDV and downconvert in-camera to DV for the timebeing untill you upgrade. As far as settings I am not a fan of film stutter so for me anything less than 60i is not viable!!!

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Old December 26th, 2005, 02:30 PM   #5
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Ron, thanks for your insight. Maybe the next couple of months will bring a significant drop in price in dual core/dual processor systems which will make this whole discussion moot.
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Old December 26th, 2005, 02:38 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Evans
Well Curt a reality check for you is that the 2.8 is not likely to edit HDV very well with any NLE. So you are into some form of PC upgrade to make any of them work. I believe that a single 3.4 Hyper threading P4 MIGHT work for one stream with CFHD intermediate in Premiere Pro or Vegas. The first problem you will have is capturing the file from the FX1. Premiere Pro 1.5.1 insists on converting to CFHD on capture and needs lots of CPU power to do this. Edius pro3 insists on showing a preview screen which of course needs the cpu to decode stream as well as capture. On a single CPU this seams almost impossible hence the Canopus recomendation for dual CPU's even if m2t is being captured. I successfully captured from my FX1 with capDVHS and edited in EDius Pro 3 native m2t with my old AMD XP2500. When file converted to HQ it would play timeline OK. It was very slow and not always useful!!! Since getting my AMD X2 4200 things fly. BOth Vegas and Edius will capture and edit native m2t wereas Premiere will not. HDV needs lots of processor power. If you don't upgrade I would shoot HDV and downconvert in-camera to DV for the timebeing untill you upgrade. As far as settings I am not a fan of film stutter so for me anything less than 60i is not viable!!!

Ron Evans
First, with CineForm or proxy, 3.4 GHz is plenty for editing a couple streams of HDV. An AMD X2 4400 or faster is super for editing HDV in CineForm, and even m2t's will give you 18fps or so during preview, but only a masochist who doesn't care about color or transitions edits m2t's anyway. :-)
We bought 4 AMD systems, 2 4400's and 2 4800's. Not only can they edit multiple streams with no problem, but we can do VNC to another system as well, with no stutter or loss using the CineForm codec. One of the 4800 machines has a large SATA RAID (hardware controlled) that is being tested for 4:2:2 uncompressed editing as well. It's got a Decklink card in it.
Needless to say, if you're going to use the slower machine, this is where the GearShift tool comes in very, very handy. Capture m2t, use Regions to define what you want to keep, then run GearShift to convert only those desired segments to DV proxy or CineForm intermediary. Edit, then swap those proxies out for the m2t file when it comes time to render. This also allows you to work in the 4:2:0 space when it comes time to render to DVD, which is a great way to work. Using this workflow, I've successfully edited HDV on a PIII 800MHz machine.
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Old December 26th, 2005, 06:20 PM   #7
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Having spent the last few hours reviewing various options and costs of new motherboards etc., that is a very refreshing post. Thanks. I may, after all, get the faster 3.4 ghz processor as a temporary upgrade. That way I can avoid changing LOTS of hardware and can even leave my Storm system in the case for converting some analogue material. Doug, I read your interview on the videoguys site and after considerable review, bought the Vegas 6 +DVD, VASST tutorial package (free) and Connect HD. At checkout the Ultimate S upgrade at $100 was too good to pass up and picked that up as well. I know my workflow will change but the tutorials ought to get me up to speed fast enough. Thanks again.
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Old December 26th, 2005, 06:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt Coggns
My question is regarding the best FX1 camcorder setting for capturing sports. Obviously, shooting in HDV is the starting point. For minimal blurring with the fast action of baseball and basketball, what is the best setting? Cineform 25? garden variety 60i? Something else?

What other considerations are there in the use of this camera and editing HDV (with the above programs) with regard to sports?

Curt
I was hoping some other folks would respond to the core part of your query... but it seems that product promotion/denigration was preferable to giving you some tips regarding using the camera with YOUR choice of software.

Oh well.

Not that I've shot a lot of sport. I did shoot a Netball (girly sort of basketball) tournament for a newspaper colleague who wanted still frame captures for publication and some DVDs for the team.

I figure that if you let the shutter go much below 250th you'll have some problems with fast action. That's just my feeling on the matter, and for slow-mo effects from the HDV - converted to CFHD AVI with ConnectHD - I try to get the shutter much faster... no less than 500th. I like to get shutter and frame rates 'matching' in a mathematical way. So, for a 30/60 frame rate, I'd be looking for 60/120/360... or any nice combination like that. I shoot PAL mostly, so for 50i I use 150,250,500 etc.

BTW, adjust the sharpness setting of the cam to about 9-10 rather than it's default, and use unsharp mask in Vegas on any clip you may want to sharpen that way.

If you can get to the venue well enough ahead of time, you can grab the best spot to shoot from if you are using tripod, or get a feel for the best places to shoot from if you feel you need multiple angles to give a better sense of the action. Once there's a crowd, it's not so easy getting from spot to spot unless you've scoped it out beforehand. Anywayz, that all depends on what sort of final product you're after.

Don't be too scared of fastish pans as you follow the action... yeah they'll blur, but isn't that what high speed sport is all about - stuff happening so fast, it's like a blur!! Practice keeping up with the action before you hit the record button... With practice, you can keep the "man (or woman) with the ball" exactly where you want them in the frame.

Ligthing shouldn't be a problem as sports events require good lighting, or they just don't play!!

BTW, the stills captured using Vegas from the HDV looked great printed in the paper, and the DVD's the team got were studied so closely that the team improved from 5th on the comp ladder to finish runners up!!
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Old December 26th, 2005, 06:45 PM   #9
 
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The sports that we capture is pretty much limited to motocross and demolition derby, and for that, we shoot almost exclusively 60i, and futz with it in post. On occasion, we'll shoot the derbies at CF30, and we love it, too.
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Old December 26th, 2005, 06:49 PM   #10
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Oh yeah. The original question! Forgot about that. Thanks for the tips. Actually, I have been shooting sports for 7 years now with a now aged Canon XL-1, and all of what you said about strategy is dead on. It is the frame rate, sharpening, etc., that you mentioned that really does interest and help me. What I have noticed already with my new FX1 is that the focus is fast compared with the "hunting" the Canon did. It was a terrific camera in its time, and still not bad for a lot of things, but I LOVE the SONY already and I haven't even edited in HD yet. Both of my sons are in High School varsity basketball and I am taping the games for an end of the year team highlight DVD. After the games we come home and plug the camera in via firewire to to our new 62 inch Mitsubishi DLP HDTV and it is AMAZING. The boys were blown away. The fact is, I want to optimize the image for the dvd production in the end and your tips are very helpful. Thanks,
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Old December 26th, 2005, 07:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt Coggns
For minimal blurring with the fast action of baseball and basketball, what is the best setting? Cineform 25? garden variety 60i? Something else?
Depends on what you want to do with the footage. I shot a tennis match in HDV at 1080/60i with the shutter speed set at 1/1000, and each individual frame looks good but the motion looks "stuttery" because there's no blur between frames. If you want the video to look more natural, a lower shutter speed of maybe 1/125 - 1/250 would probably work better.
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