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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 05:12 AM   #1
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H1 and HVX over HDSDI for Film Out

Which one would be better? Also, if I was to record to the Wafien HDD recorder, how would the quality compare to CineAlta, Varicam and Panasonic's new DVCPRO-HD Model 400, 1080-25p camera? That one is using 720p chips. It costs about 60,000 euros with lens. The other ones cost even more. But even CineAlta records only 1440x1080 pixels.

The charts on H1 indicate 800Hx650V 1080p resolution. It should be higher via HDSDI. It is because the camera is using true 1080 chips. How does H1 and HVX, recording to Wafien, compare to the other cameras, recording to tape?

Is the Canon lens a limiting factor? Would 35 mm Canon SLR lenses have better resolution? Is there an adapter to use these lenses? They would work as telephoto lenses only, I guess.

How about a system with 35 mm adapter:

H1 camera, Wafien HDD recorder, P+S 35 mm adapter, 35 mm SLR lenses. It would cost less than 1/2 of what even the least expensive 2/3" HD camera would. We would have better control of DOF. The low light performance would be worse. But at normal lighting conditions, how would the picture quality compare?
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 07:58 AM   #2
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Location: Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
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The Wafian is HD SDi only so you would need a component to SDi converter for the HVX200.

The HVX200 uses DVCPRO HD which at 1080i is re-scaled to 1280x1080, so there is no need for Panasonic to have used CCD's that resolve more than that, so until someone does some decent resolution tests I would assume the resolution of the HVX to be lower than the H1.

But resolution isn't everything, noise and dynamic range are also very important. The direct SDi output of the H1 would probably be less noisy than the HD encoded to SDi from component of the HVX. But I would not expect either of these cameras to have the dynamic range and highlighlt performance of cameras costing 5 time the price. Using a mini35 will give you increased DOF, but will also lower the resolution of the entire system and has a very slightly diffused look. This can look great, but is not to everyone's taste. SLR lenses are OK but focus is very difficult compared to proper 35mm film lenses or even video lenses as the focus range tends to be compressed into just a few degrees of lens rotation.

I would guess than the H1 via HDSDI is going to come out on top, and if recorded on a Wafian type device or computer with a decklink card and raid array the results will be extremely close to far more expensive cameras, maybe with controlled lighting it could even out perform HDCAM and it's 3:1:1 compression.

What we really need is someone to do some side by side tests of all these options.
Alister Chapman, Film-Maker/Stormchaser http://www.xdcam-user.com/alisters-blog/ My XDCAM site and blog. http://www.hurricane-rig.com
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 08:37 AM   #3
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Thanks. I'd like to see some independent testing. But it seems so far that we finally have a low cost camera that can be used for feature production with large screen projection. Sony is supposed to, by NAB, release 1/2" 1080-24p HD XDCAM. It will have varibale bit rate and will cost something like $22K, with lens. Until recently 1080p HD camera, with lens, cost 6x as much.
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