View Full Version : 1080p vs. 720p

Glenn Gipson
June 13th, 2006, 08:02 AM
Is there a significant resolution gain in 1080p over 720p on the HVX200? Thanks.

David Saraceno
June 13th, 2006, 08:52 AM
I don't see a "significant" gain.

Phil Hover
June 13th, 2006, 11:59 AM
15-20% most noticeable when projected larger than 6' across. Color correction is a lot better as well since the compression artifacts are smaller.

Jay Stebbins
June 13th, 2006, 03:01 PM
If your intention was to distribute only on DVD's and wanted to archive in HD for the future Blue-Ray/HD-DVD. No interest in broadcast at all. What would be the best format to record with?

And distribute clips to be viewed on computers...

Quality is most important...


Robert Lane
June 13th, 2006, 04:01 PM

As David mentioned there is little increase in visual performance using the 1080 spec, but there is huge "penalty" in file sizes which cuts down the available recording time both to P2 or externally via direct capture.

If you needed the ultimate in quality with the most versatility for output options for the future then shooting uncompressed is the only way to go. Unfortunately, the HVX is not capable of such and, the hardware requirements for capturing/editing uncompressed HD is costly and cumbersome.

Keep in mind VFR-shooting (Variable Frame Rate - not to be confused with Visual Flight Rules or, the Honda 750 Interceptor) are only available in the 720 spec in the HVX, which adds to the versatility of the 720 format.

The "which is best" question always invites volatile feedback since people become highly opinionated on both sides the arguement, however when shooting with the HVX the 720 format gives you the most versatility, great image quality, a plethora of output options and overall usability vs. 1080.

Jay - if "quality" is of utmost importance, concentrate your efforts on getting the color you want out of the camera and, proper color correction methods in your NLE of choice. Proper lighting and color is more important than resolution. Case in point:

When I cut my first demo the only equipment I had available to me was an XL1-s; very useful but not exactly a stunning camera from an output perspective. Having no video experience to fall back on I applied my years of knowledge shooting stills to setup proper lighting and later learned how to color correct in my NLE. When I first showed the footage to an industry pro he was amazed it wasn't shot from a 2/3" chipset body.

If you master light and color and follow up with good composition you'll wow your audience - period - regardless what resolution you're working with.

Dean Harrington
June 13th, 2006, 04:21 PM
That perspective is a good one for most of us shooting for DVD. 720 for the moment is the way to go considering most clients seem to want things for the net or SD TV.
When media recording hardware catches up with out-put needs as in HD really being a major demand, I'll have a cam that can do that but for now it's still a 720 format for me!

Jay Stebbins
June 13th, 2006, 06:05 PM
Thank you as well. I completely understand your post and agree. I am certainy not looking to create a debate. I just keep getting lost among all the options and hate to find out next year that I had chosen the wrong path and all my hard work wasted. It is my skills in photograghy that let me believe I can succeed at this. We shall see. I love a good challenge.

BTW- I miss Tempe/Scottsdale. I graduated from ASU. What a beautiful state and fun school.

Thanks again,

Robert Lane
June 13th, 2006, 08:35 PM

The best advice I can give about your equipment decisions is a copy of a post I gave in another thread. It's good, all-around advice about the best way to pick your equipment:

- First, consider what you shoot and what your preferred workflow is. Are you shooting documentaries, events, movies, ENG, commercials... etc?

- What is your typical shooting environment; planned out shoots where you have control over timing, or are they "run and gun"?

- Do you have a production crew at all or are you a lone-wolf trying to do everything on your own?

- Do you have an existing NLE that you want to stick with or are you going to let your camera system help make that decision?

- Do you need interchangable lenses or control over focal length?

- Do you typically have time for the tape-capture process or do you need to speed things up with a tapeless workflow?

These are some basic questions which as you answer them will lead to others but it's a good place to start.

Some things to consider:

- The JVC is an ENG style body which means no autofocus. The HVX, H1 and Z1 all have autofocus.

- The JVC or Canon H1 would be easier to use with adapters like the M2 or Mini-35.

- The only native-tapeless systems are the Panasonic P2 or Sony XDCAM. Everything else would require either a Firestore or Cineporter (HVX only).

- The P2 system isn't optimized for run-and-gun - yet. When the Cineporter become available (and proven reliable and stable) that won't be the case.

- If color is your prime concern, the DV100 codec (DVCPRO-HD) is supeior to any iteration of HDV, period. See Adam Wilts site about the color differences.

- If you interface with any ENG or post houses that require raw, unedited footage the DVCPRO codec is again the clear winner since these service companies consider it a standard like Beta or DVCAM. HDV is not being used by any post or ENG house - that I'm aware of.

Lastly, don't become the dreaded "measurebator" when comparing cameras or systems. ANY HD/HDV system on the market is capable of producing amazing imagery, it all comes down to knowing HOW to use the system, not which specs out better.

Having the "best" equipment you can buy is meaningless if you don't have a solid understanding of lighting, color, composition and shooting techniques. Find the camera system that fits your needs first, worry about the tech specs last.

Jay Stebbins
June 13th, 2006, 09:52 PM
For the most part I will be shooting landscapes (Sunrise Earth inspired) . With a little kiteboarding as that is my favorite pastime. I am using FCP. I was sold on the HVX-200 over the winter. I looking around for the best price from a reputable seller right now. As I plan on ordering next week.

An amazing amount of research, planning and re-education has and will continue going into this project. The camera, for it's size, wide lens, codec & P2 capture for what I consider a great price, is exactly what I am looking for. Really it was the rich colors of the clips shown on this site that locked me in. As well as the comfortable images. I am not fond of the hyper sharp resolution of some HD programming. It just does not look natural to me. The images from the HVX-200 give me goose bumps...

For now I am going to pick up a single 8g P2 and use my powerbook as well. I will wait on more cards until after the Cineporter comes out. See how those chips fall.

Actually I was less worried about the 720/1080 choice. But more lost within the 720p choices. I found some articles a few pages back that helped clarify. I intend on shooting in 720p 24n for the under and over cranking features. I also noticed a notation that 1080i could be better for filming action sports. But I have a feeling 720p 24n is just going to be easier to work with reguardless. I am also picking up a powermac so I can add a second studio display to the one I have now. As the extra room makes things a little easier for me.

Thank you again,

Phil Hover
June 13th, 2006, 11:56 PM
720p60 is great for sports and you can slow it down by 2.5 times and play it @ 24fps. or record 60p using 24pN and get the same effect. I recently shot some surfing at 60p and it looks great.

Jon Fairhurst
June 14th, 2006, 02:05 AM
60p is great for sports. 60i is interlaced, which isn't ideal for motion. It tends to give a zipper effect to moving edges.

Note that Fox and ABC/ESPN chose 720p for their HD broadcast format, since they both are Sports oriented. Everybody else went with 1080i.

Jay Stebbins
June 14th, 2006, 05:39 AM
This crew could get away with charging tuition.

Thank you again,

Betsy Moore
June 15th, 2006, 11:37 PM
Phil, is the 15, 20% improvement for real? I'm filming things for posterity--and concerned about how things'll look 10 years from now so I do want something that'll look the best on a 6' and (much) larger screen.

David Heath
June 16th, 2006, 04:43 AM
Theory certainly dictates it should be, at least in the horizontal direction. DVCProHD horizontal luminance resolution is 960 pixels for 720p, and 1440 for 1080p. Although the HVX chips only have 960 pixels horizontally, the pixel shift technology should extend the vertical resolution higher , and 20-30% may be a reasonable estimate of that.

Whether or not the restrictions it places on you (frame rates, data rates, inability to shoot 60p etc) are too high a price is for you to decide. The specs of the HVX match those of 720 reasonably well. The HVX can only go a little way towards filling the capacity for improvement that 1080p offers. You probably need a bigger imager and much more expensive lens for that.

Brad Abrahams
June 16th, 2006, 09:33 AM
DVCProHD horizontal luminance is actually 1280 for 1080p, not 1440. HDCAM and HDV are 1440.

David Heath
June 16th, 2006, 10:18 AM
DVCProHD horizontal luminance is actually 1280 for 1080p, not 1440. HDCAM and HDV are 1440.
Whoops, sorry. Not that it changes the point - that figure represents 33% higher than 720 DVCProHD, giving some leeway which the HVX should be able to utilise via pixel shifting. Since commonly available displays are typically 1200-1400 horizontally, the difference should be noticeable.

Barry Green
June 16th, 2006, 11:37 AM
In the US version it's 1280; in the EU version it's 1440.

Glen Johnson
June 20th, 2006, 04:42 PM
Does this mean that the PAL version has a better res than the US?

Barry Green
June 20th, 2006, 07:25 PM
Does this mean that the PAL version has a better res than the US?
Probably not, but I'd have to test them side by side to know for sure.

As is, the recorded image on the US version very closely matches the live camera head feed, so it seems like the 1080p mode can effectively record all the detail the camera head can give it. So having more pixels in the recording mode won't necessarily lead to more recorded detail.

Phil Hover
June 21st, 2006, 10:21 AM
Phil, is the 15, 20% improvement for real? I'm filming things for posterity--and concerned about how things'll look 10 years from now so I do want something that'll look the best on a 6' and (much) larger screen.

If you plan on showing your work in a large format, I would go with 1080 but If you are concerned with future proofing, that is a tossup - I run my 720 stuff on a 9' diagonal projector and it still looks great.