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Peter Ferling October 12th, 2005 09:22 AM

A Pee-Cee world
If say 95% of my projects wound up as windows media files for playback on PC's, or projected via PC's, which camera would be most suitable, that is, assuming progressive is what I should be working in, than I should go with the HD100, or maybe wait for the pany HMX (the higher DVCPRO HD feature)?

I'm sure the HDV material will produce much sharper SD material for the present, and still provide me with a library of HD images suitable for future projects.

I'd like to get a serious HD cam, but frankly will be sticking with SD for least a few more years in the corporate work that I do (mostly training and interactive CD's). Thanks.


Barry Green October 12th, 2005 11:01 AM

We'd need a lot more info from you as to what you intend to do, what specific features you need, how soon you'd need to buy, etc.

The HD100 is the only progressive HD camera on the market now. It is currently experiencing significant "growing pains", and you may not want to jump on its bandwagon right away if you don't have to. The HVX promises progressive HD as well, but it's still a couple of months away from release so that adds its own layer of complexity; not to mention the differences of tape acquisition vs. P2, interchangeable lens vs. fixed, HDV vs. DVCPRO-HD, etc.

There's a *lot* to consider when choosing between those two. It's likely that one will fit your needs a lot better than the other will; we'd need to know what your needs are before being able to advise which one that is though.

Peter Ferling October 12th, 2005 01:35 PM

My current equipment is coming of age, failing in fact.

Most of my stuff is corporate event and training video, and about 25% will require green screen and some compositing in animation. I don't plan on meeting broadcast spec. That's why the SDI output of the Cannon H1 appeals to me.

However, I want uncompressed audio and don't want to hire a sound guy or capture using an external source, (currently I use lavaliers via a sound board to XLR on the camera). For the H1, it means going to tape as mpeg layer II. Yuck. Furthermore, the CCD's on the H1 are interlaced, and I'd lose resolution as the majority of my work will wind up as progressive windows media files for PC playback. So why not just capture directly from a progressive source to begin with? Even if I use a good quality lens with the cannon, I lose any benefit in a deinterlace?

However, I've read the issues with the JVC, and I'd be stuck with HDV on tape, which yields little room for keying.

The HVX is still on the drawing board, correct? Nobody can verify what the image quality of that will be, and December is too far off for my needs.

I need a camera soon. What's my option? Should I bite the bullit and get a 2/3" CCD HD studio cam? Not sure.

Barry Green October 12th, 2005 02:26 PM

Well, if you can't wait for December, then -- yeah, a studio HD camera may be your best option.

The Canon is due out in December, and the uncompressed HD-SDI output would probably be the best option for keying work. However, capturing HD-SDI is no small task. And, the Canon's HD-SDI output doesn't carry embedded audio, so you'd be looking at dual-system sound (something you said you don't want to do).

If you capture it to tape, then you end up with compressed audio (again, something you said you don't want) and on top of that, you lose all the benefits of the uncompressed video you were going for.

The JVC is progressive, and it has uncompressed analog outputs for video which, while not HD-SDI, should still be pretty darn good. Haven't tested that yet though. The JVC is capable of capturing uncompressed PCM audio to tape as well as the compressed MPEG-2 audio, so you wouldn't necessarily need double-system; although it would be better to capture the live audio directly to the computer at the same time as the video. The JVC's PCM audio would require two batch captures; one to get the video, then switch modes on the camera and run a second capture phase to get the PCM audio. Then sync in post. So it's basically double-system, just all in the same unit.

But then you're limited to 720 resolution, where the Canon would give you 1080 res (but not progressive)... choices, choices.

Recording HDV to tape, and using that, is not going to give you optimal keys. The HVX's 4:2:2 should yield substantially better keying. And, the HVX's native uncompressed audio would solve your audio questions as well. And its onboard 4:2:2, rather than relying on computer connection, would free you up from having to be tethered to the computer while capturing. It will almost certainly yield a better signal for keying than any HDV footage would, but it's not going to be as good as native HD-SDI straight from the camera head. The HVX can of course do uncompressed analog component out though, so that's close. And it would deliver 1080p resolution from true progressive-scan CCDs. But, it's not going to be out until December...

The HVX is not "on the drawing board", working prototypes are being demonstrated to the public. It is not a production model yet; it'll probably be a couple of months before it's in production. The Canon isn't in production yet but it's further along than the HVX is, and will probably be on the market before the HVX is. The JVC is in production, but then it has some very well documented "issues".

And, who's to say that the XL H1 or the HVX won't have their share of "issues" as well...

Your choice is a complex one. Good luck! :)

Peter Ferling October 12th, 2005 02:55 PM

Thanks Barry. I appreciate the timely message. I have a sit-down in the next two days to discuss the budget for this. I may just rent in the meantime (probably the smart thing to do for now). At least I can better justify 4x the price if these HDV camera's wind up being a bad fit for my needs, and I can demonstrate that as such.

I have an old Video Toaster, and it's a going south. Actually, I haven't touched it in over year thanks to what I've been able to do with a fast PC and Premiere Pro. I have been pricing a cineform/premiere solution. But I'm hesistant, and I should really spec out the camera quality issues first before I determine the NLE side of things.

Thanks again.


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