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Old June 3rd, 2003, 01:37 PM   #1
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DSR-570 image quality for DVD

Ok, so I'm back on the idea of the dsr-570 (for those of you who remember my previous post) and need some serious opinions on the image quality. From what I gathered from my previous post on the subject it seems that the camera head is amazing but the fact that it is ending up on DVCAM means that the quality can only be so high. Another of the arguments seemed to be that its not the quality of the camera thats important its what you do with it. This is very true in the world of fiction, take the amazing 28 Days Later for example, however I intend to create some factual DVDs that will include distance shots of foliage and trees. After testing out our current XL1s with this the results are far from satisfying so Im looking for better quality. Also 16x9 is essential. Obviously with this type of work there is nothing that can be done to disguise the quality, its gotta be amazing or ittle look crap! So, is it worth the cash? Also will the XL2 be up to the sony if anyone knows any details on that. The product will be on DVD so if someone will say that the Sony will reach the maximum quality that DVD can achieve I will be pleased! Anyway, look forward to hearing some opinions.
Ben Vallack
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Old June 3rd, 2003, 02:10 PM   #2
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Hello Ben,
Within the realm of standard definition cameras the DSR-570 is certainly one of the kings. I know that Bill Pryor, here, is a professional camera operator that uses the 570 regularly, so perhaps he'll be able to offer his thoughts. I've only spent tinker time with one.

But, indeed, the quality of a DVD end-product relies as much on post-production and compression skill as it does on the camera used. An unskilled MPEG-2 compression will turn that 570 footage into crap, particularly footage of fluttering tree foliage (one of the really hard subjects to compress well).

Perhaps you can rent a 570 and shoot some test clips before you take a $30,000-$50,000+ plunge?
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Old June 16th, 2003, 06:02 PM   #3
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Like Ken said Ben, the MPEG compression program you use will also play a great part in determining the quality of the DVD. Generally two-pass encoders give the best quality, but it also depends on the length of material to be encoded. You can generally encode MPEG2 at 2000 to 8000bps. Higher bit rates mean higher quality but less total time available on the disk.

Canopus Procorder is reputed to have good two-pass MPEG2 encoding. You may also consider an authoring program that uses Dolby AC3 conversion of the audio component. This shrinks the size of the audio file leaving more room for video at the same given bit rate.

It's hard to imagine a better camera than the DSR570 for your purpose. You have to draw the line somewhere in the quality/cost tradeoff. Ikegami have a competing model that is slightly cheaper, although I'm not sure about it's availablity in PAL. I like to see a thread on this camera here Chris!

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