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-   -   F330 F350 progressive and how its done. (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-eng-efp-shoulder-mounts/64638-f330-f350-progressive-how-its-done.html)

Alister Chapman April 8th, 2006 11:58 AM

F330 F350 progressive and how its done.
 
Well I was lucky enough to attend a recent Sony seminar for Sony employees. I got to play with some of the latest kit, some yet to be released kit and I got to watch some amazing demos projected at 4k. On the flight home I was sat next to the XDCAM HD product manger for Sony Europe, so I gave him a good grilling about the F330 and F350. All the information I am giving here is to the best of my knowledge correct, although I may have not quite understood the guys english so a few details may or may not be correct.
Any way the progressive image is created from interlaced CCD's The CCD's are interlaced. In the progressive mode the R and B CCD's are clocked 1 field behind the G channel so for each full scan the combined G and R/B CCD scans cover the whole image area with G producing line 1,3,5,7 etc and R/B covering the even lines, for the next frame G becomes even lines and R/B odd lines. Using this technique and some DSP processing Sony are able to create a full res progressive frame in a single scan of the 3 CCD's so there are no interlace artifacts. Sony claim the progressive resolution to be the same as the interlace resolution upto 30fps.
One upshot of this method is that in effect the CCD's are only being scanned at half of thier full rate for each frame, that's why it has been possible to produce a camera that will actually work at upto 60fps. However above 30fps the CCD's are clocked in a more conventional manner and as a result there is a 50% drop in vertical resolution.

Alister Chapman April 8th, 2006 12:09 PM

The F330 and F350 are the same camera the only difference is firmware and a couple of small daughter boards for the SDi output. they are both produced on the same line. The F330 will do timelapse but not overcranked frame rates. The F330 comes with a lower quality viewfinder and the silver colour was chosen to make the camera look cheap.
The MPEG codec has a different structure to HDV the Sony engineer was adamant that the MPEG implementation is quite different to HDV. He explained that the MPEG codec in the XDCAM HD range has been set up to minimise artifacts during transcoding and it has been tailored to provide optimum results for broadcasters using low bit rate MPEG 2 and MPEG 4 transmission chains. There is currently no NLE that will fully support the 35Mb mpeg 2 output, however they are working with AVID and Apple.

Now this got a little vague due to my not speaking Japanese and his English not being great, but from what I could gather if you play back a disk in camera the output over the firewire port is 25Mb HDV compatible MPEG and not the full 35Mb data rate. This is to be changed in a firmware update once NLE's that can handle the 35Mb data come to market.
However pluging the camera into a PC or Mac the drive becomes accesable and files can be transfered. Sony will be making available a low cost cuts only application that can cut the 35Mb files and then export them back to the camera.

Watch out for a new HD server and file sharing system at IBC.

Alister Chapman April 8th, 2006 12:17 PM

The F330/F350 is two stops less sensitive than the high end 750 HDCAM and about a stop less sensitive than a DSR570 according to some comparitive tests I was able to do. Picture quality was certainly a good bit better than a Sony Z1 but not as rich as the 750. This is kind of what I was expecting. One very pleasant surprise was the almost total lack of noise. At 0db gain I could see no noticable noise.

Sony are not sure whether the 35Mb HD from the XDCAMs will be accepted by National Geographic HD or Discovery HD. They are adamant that the codec has been optimised to reduce the artifacts that have meant the restrictions on the use of HDV, I guess time will tell.

Sony are going to be launching a new tag line for thier HD consumer products, I'm not going to reveal it here but it's along the lines of "only 1080 or higher is really HD". Lookmout for a new range of 1920x1080 low cost(ish) LCD consumer displays (Bravia).

They are also pushing 4k and D cinema big time.

Thomas Smet April 8th, 2006 01:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alister Chapman
Any way the progressive image is created from interlaced CCD's The CCD's are interlaced. In the progressive mode the R and B CCD's are clocked 1 field behind the G channel so for each full scan the combined G and R/B CCD scans cover the whole image area with G producing line 1,3,5,7 etc and R/B covering the even lines, for the next frame G becomes even lines and R/B odd lines. Using this technique and some DSP processing Sony are able to create a full res progressive frame in a single scan of the 3 CCD's so there are no interlace artifacts. Sony claim the progressive resolution to be the same as the interlace resolution upto 30fps.

Wow could this be the way Canon does it with the H1? If so then how can SONY claim 24p when Canon felt like it had to claim 24F.

While this method does create some very clean non interlaced images I fail to see how it could have a resolution equal to 1080i. I am not complaining about the progressive video at all from the SONY and I do think it looks pretty amazing. If this is exactly what Canon is doing then why can SONY call it "P" when Canon felt as though they had to call it "F"?

Alister Chapman April 8th, 2006 02:52 PM

I don't think this is the way canon are doing it. The Sony XDCAM progressive mode appears smoother than the canon progressive mode. Sony are calling it progressive because the image is actually captured in a progressive manner, they just happen to be using interlace devices to do it. I belive the CCD's are higher resolution than the required 1440x1080 which is why there is no resolution drop despite the fact that a single frame is made up of alternate lines from the green CCD and then the R/B CCDs.

By the way I still love my H1, I wish I had it with me on the Sony job, but not surprisingly Sony wanted me to shoot with Sony kit. I would have loved to see the H1 compared to the F350. Not convinced there would be that much difference.

was very surprised as well by how little difference there was between HDV, XDCAM HD and HDCAM when projected with the 4K SXDP on to a 50ft screen. The biggest difference was that the HDCAM footage looked richer and cleaner, but the HDV and XDCAM both looked good.

After seeing much of The DaVince Code, Star Wars 3 and an Imax film transferred and projected at 4k when the power points and SD video clips came on it was a bit of a shock, yuk!

Graeme Nattress April 8th, 2006 04:23 PM

No, the CCD spec is 1440x1080. Thanks for the info though. I'll have to think through the implications.

Graeme

Graeme Nattress April 8th, 2006 05:29 PM

Sounds pretty much what I remember Canon frame mode being described as. If that's what Sony are doing, then progressive can't have full progressive resolution, although should look smooth, just like the f mode on the Canon XL1h. Easiest way would be Pappas' trick of putting a red filter infront of the lens and seeing what happens....

Graeme

Greg Boston April 8th, 2006 11:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alister Chapman
By the way I still love my H1, I wish I had it with me on the Sony job, but not surprisingly Sony wanted me to shoot with Sony kit. I would have loved to see the H1 compared to the F350. Not convinced there would be that much difference.

We certainly saw some difference while screening some footage tonight on a plasma display. I'll let Adam Wilt describe what we saw when he writes all this up. Hint: You might be surprised at the outcome.

-gb-

Simon Wyndham April 9th, 2006 02:00 AM

Hmm. The info I had from the UK manager was that the progressive scan was PsF mode created in exactly the same way as cameras such as the F900 and 750. Sony have in fact stated this a few times.

Quote:

Sony are not sure whether the 35Mb HD from the XDCAMs will be accepted by National Geographic HD or Discovery HD.
:))

Quote:

The F330 comes with a lower quality viewfinder and the silver colour was chosen to make the camera look cheap.
The production 330's use a very similar gunmetal grey colour to the current SD XDCAM's rather than the silver that was seen on the prototype. Here's my preview gallery of my test with the 330;
http://xdcam.com.au/modules/xoopsgal...umName=album07

More in the forthcoming US edition of Showreel mag.

Quote:

The F330/F350 is two stops less sensitive than the high end 750 HDCAM and about a stop less sensitive than a DSR570 according to some comparitive
Compared to the PDW-510 the new cameras are very slow. The XDCAM HD's are rated at f9 while the previous cameras are rated at f11. I guess thats one of the trade off's for having HD at this price on that size of sensor.

Quote:

if you play back a disk in camera the output over the firewire port is 25Mb HDV compatible MPEG and not the full 35Mb data rate.
No, not quite. The PDW3xx cameras will not stream HDV compatible streams over firewire. In order to do this you need to have the F70 or F30 deck and an option board that will do this. You have to have recorded in 25mbps mode to begin with. You can't record 35mbps and then output 25mbps. The cameras will only output a downcoverted DVCAM signal over firewire. Whether this will change with a firmware update though...

Guest April 9th, 2006 03:05 AM

But you can output HD 35Mbps over firewire (to a PC), isn't it?

Simon Wyndham April 9th, 2006 05:14 AM

No, the 35mbps mode cannot be streamed through the firewire. The cameras themselves cannot stream HDV compatible signals of any kind through firewire (only downcoverted DVCAM). The decks can stream 25mbps HDV compatible signals through firewire if you have the PDBK-102 option board, and if you have recorded the footage in 25mbps mode to begin with.

To be honest streaming an HDV style signal is not the best way to use XDCAM. Its strengths lie in a file based workflow, not a deck to PC style system. Once the NLE makers have updated their software to take the new MXF files things will run a lot more smoothly and you will be able to take advantages of all the XDCAM offers.

Regarding progressive I am not sure what to make of it after Alister's comments. One of the things I wanted to establish once and for all was how the progressive scan modes worked. I have been told on more than one occasion by Sony themselves that the camera is full resolution PsF style progressive scan just like the F900 and 750 cameras.

Whichever way they are doing it they are totally adamant that progressive scan up to 25fps (50hz) or 30fps (60hz) are full resolution.

Guest April 9th, 2006 06:11 AM

Is there any other via to get native XDCAM-HD files from the camera to a PC without (any) losses?

Simon Wyndham April 9th, 2006 06:55 AM

Yes, use the XDCAM workflow.

When you hook up the XDCAM cameras or decks to the PC in FAM mode it acts like a hard disc. You then drag and drop the video files from the XDCAM disc onto your hard drive, or log them first using the PDZ-1 software. There are all sorts of cool things that can be done. And all of it revolves around a file based workflow.

IMHO streaming footage via firewire should be an absolute last resort. You won't be getting any benefit from the XDCAM workflow by doing that.

Alister Chapman April 9th, 2006 03:14 PM

Now I think of it more I am sure Simon is correct about the firewire streaming output being SD DV only. The guys english wasnt great and I was struggling to grasp what he was saying.
We went over the progressive capture method a couple of times and I am sure I have the method correct. I don't know how the 750 etc creates a progressive image so maybe it is the same technique.

Simon Wyndham April 10th, 2006 03:27 AM

The progressive capture thing seems to still be causing confusion. Although I have been told on several occasions that it is the same PsF method that is used in other Sony cameras such as the F900.

BTW, has your stormchaser site been hacked? I'm into severe weather myself.

Graeme Nattress April 10th, 2006 06:50 AM

Psf is how the progressive gets recroded, not how it is created though. To say it's Psf means that a progressive frame gets split into two fields for recording on a format that expects interlaced video. When played back, we only see frames as there is no temporal difference between the fields in the pair.

How the progressive is created is irrelevent to how it is stored. Anyone stuck a red filter on the lens yet to see what happens?

Graeme

Simon Wyndham April 10th, 2006 06:53 AM

Nope, not tried that, but will do if someone doesn't do it before me. What am I looking for?

Graeme Nattress April 10th, 2006 07:00 AM

When Pappas did this with his XL H1, he got very reduced vertical resolution, and we're assuming that the XL H1 uses a kind of Frame mode for it's progressive, which sounds similar to that described above. A normal, boring rez chart might tell us something too.

Graeme

Nate Weaver April 10th, 2006 10:26 AM

Crap. sorry Graham, I had the camera in my hands for days (some figuratively, some literally) and forgot your red filter request.

Suffice to say motion on the camera is done right by my eye. If there is an interlaced-scanning, DSP derived 24P thing going on, they did it very well.

Overall res was disappointing to me, though. Everything else seemed fine.

Graeme Nattress April 10th, 2006 12:05 PM

Thanks Nate! No worries - it will all come out soon enough. The 24p from the Canon looks great. The test footage I have here is excellent in that regard. It's not 100% sharp though, and the footage is naturalistic, so doesn't show up aliasing artifacts, but there are some on highlights.

Graeme

Greg Boston April 10th, 2006 02:29 PM

I got to have some 'stick time' during the Sunday outdoor shoot during our Texas HD Shootout. I am liking the F350 for a variety of reasons. Although Nate mentioned image resolution, I just love the workflow and opportunities that Blu-Ray offers. Inexpensive, removable media that offers the same advantages as a Firestore when the cam is in FAM mode. But, alas there is apparently nothing out there yet that understands how to read the MXF files coming off the disk.

No chance of accidently recording over a tape that's not cued properly or having time code breaks. Low res proxy files that are MPEG 4 just open up a world of opportunities for me personally.

Can't say enough about the professionalism and good natured attitude of all involved at the shootout this past weekend.

-gb-

Josh Dahlberg July 24th, 2006 08:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Greg Boston
We certainly saw some difference while screening some footage tonight on a plasma display. I'll let Adam Wilt describe what we saw when he writes all this up. Hint: You might be surprised at the outcome.

-gb-

I hope you don't mind me dredging up this old post Greg, but I don't believe Adam ever did describe the difference you saw on the plasma display.

I'm about to make a decision between the F350 and H1 and I'd love to know what the 'surprise' is...

I know in terms of form factor, media, VF etc the two cams are miles apart, but how do the images compare on a big screen?

Thanks

Nate Weaver July 24th, 2006 09:10 PM

I'll chip in here since I too was also at the Austin tests, and just shot a sizable job with 350s.

Frankly, I never saw that much of a difference between the H1 and the 350 (codec-wise). I also wasn't sitting as close to the plasma and definitely wasn't picking as many nits. That said, I do not doubt Adam's observation. But I would say that the vast majority of people are not as sharp at spotting codec deficiencies like Adam.

I've been shooting with the JVC HD100 for almost a year now, and I had a concert to shoot last week. It's my opinion that the Sonys handled the concert lighting far, far better than any of the 1/3" cameras. The Sonys numbers might not be that impressive compared to the 1/3" cameras, but I found out first hand that in practice they're quite another story.

Steve Connor July 25th, 2006 01:11 AM

We'll see if Alister Chapman joins in on this one, he currently owns both the H1 and a 350.

Alister Chapman July 25th, 2006 10:34 AM

I have not yet done a side by side test between my F350 and H1 and it should be noted that I have only used my F350 with a SD lens.

In terms of basic picture quality I think they are both extremely close. The F350 does have much greater dynamic range than the H1 and highlights are handled better (once you have set the knee correctly). The F350 is also a tiny bit more sensitive. I have yet to see any artifacts with the F350 at 35Mb, while the odd (although very rare) artifact does show up with the canon at 25mb. The F350 gives a more natural looking image, the H1 is just a tad too electronic looking for my tastes. While the H1 is very adjustable the F350 is even more fine tuneable in more specific areas such as knee, low sat, matrix and many many others. The F350 audio is more flexible although in terms of quality I can't hear the difference between the Canons compressed audio and the Sony's uncompressed.

For me the F350 is king. Disk based file transfer is wonderful, playback and reviewing is a dream. I can go to any broadcast rental house and choose from a myriad of lenses (I have a 2/3 adapter) to suit the shoot. It looks the part and the viewfinder is soooo much better than the Canon low res colour one. The SDi output has embedded audio so I can digitise from the camera to almost any HD edit suite or HD deck without having to find an audio work-around.

I am not knocking the Canon, it really is an excellent HD camcorder that produces stunning pictures. I have recently been torn as to which of my surplus HDV camcorders to sell, a Z1 or the H1. In the end the Canon lost mainly because I can't afford to keep a 5k camcorder gathering dust, the Z1 for me is more versatile as a second camera to the F350.

You should also consider that V-Lock batteries and chargers are expensive, the F350 is considerably bigger and heavier than the H1 so it will need a bigger tripod, at the end of the day it really depends on what you need as the actual picture quality is damn close.

Portability, cheap tapes, All round lens with stabiliser and auto focus, lower cost.... XL-H1

Wide range of manual focus lenses, efficient workflow, broadcast approved, looks Professional, Good Viewfinder, Proper HD-SDi, compatibility with most standard broadcast add-ons.... F350

Josh Dahlberg July 25th, 2006 04:52 PM

Nate, Alister... Thanks so much guys. Extremely useful posts for anyone deciding if the step up to XDcam is worth the extra dough.

Brett Sherman August 10th, 2006 11:31 AM

Progressive or Interlaced
 
It seems like with the limitations the F350 has, it most likely is generating a progressive image from an interlaced chip. On a true progressive chip I don't think there would be any reason the vertical resolution should drop in half when you turn the shutter on. Also the variable frame rate drops the resolution too, I don't think that would happen on a progressive chip either.

That being said, the proof is in the pudding. If the image looks good that's all that matters. I just wish Sony would completely drop interlaced. Nobody likes to shoot in it and the new generation of displays (LCDs) don't handle it well.

With the F350 you kind of have to decide resolution versus frame rate or shutter. You shouldn't have to make that decision.

Greg Boston August 10th, 2006 11:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brett Sherman
It seems like with the limitations the F350 has, it most likely is generating a progressive image from an interlaced chip. On a true progressive chip I don't think there would be any reason the vertical resolution should drop in half when you turn the shutter on. Also the variable frame rate drops the resolution too, I don't think that would happen on a progressive chip either.

The resolution on variable frame rate only drops when overcranking. Undercranking retains the full resolution. If you think about it, this is a price point decision by Sony. To maintain a full raster image at the higher frame rates requires faster(pronounced - more expensive) circuitry and that is reserved for the higher end cameras.. However, being that it drops from 35mbs to 17.5mbs and is still VBR, you get dynamic bit allocation..higher for more motion..lower for less motion.

That technique creates the 'proof in the pudding' you were referring to. I'll have to verify your claims of lower resolution with the shutter on. It's certainly not indicated in the manual and there isn't really a reason to take a resolution hit for using shutter. Overcrank yes...shutter no.

-gb-

Greg Boston August 10th, 2006 11:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Josh Dahlberg
I hope you don't mind me dredging up this old post Greg, but I don't believe Adam ever did describe the difference you saw on the plasma display.

Now that all the articles have been published, I'll go on record as hearing Adam say the XLH1 had the cleanest image of them all. This was while we watched HDV tape playback on the plasma screen. He was referring to being noise free and we weren't in still frame at that point, just watching normal speed playback.


-gb-

Brett Sherman August 10th, 2006 12:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Greg Boston
I'll have to verify your claims of lower resolution with the shutter on. It's certainly not indicated in the manual and there isn't really a reason to take a resolution hit for using shutter. Overcrank yes...shutter no.
-gb-

I thought that was one of the conclusions in the Austin, TX shootout. I don't have an F350 so I can't tell if it's true. I'd like to know if it is not the case.


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