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Vince Klinger

HVX ( or other HD camera) vs digi Beta

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Hi, I am a producer/director who with times went from 35mm, to 16mm and eventually to digi Beta as the market changed. I do not know how my "crew" does it but I have delivered to many mainstream TV stations ( and of course for DVD) digi Beta masters shot on digi Beta while making them "think" its super 16 film...By lighting for film, keeping lenses longer, deinterlacing and film filtering in Avid over exposed film grain...I made and delivered like this about 10 films in the last 5 years or so.....and got away with it ;)

 

Now I am told that HVX ( or other such prosumer camera) even in mini DV tape mode (since I am scared of P2 cards for now), I can do the same and "upconvert" to digi Beta with (almost) the same quality. Some even say as good as digi Beta...

As I am NOT at all technician I do not understand most of what is written here, but I do understand things like: As good, will be crap, better, 80% of digi Beta, a lot better etc...

 

Any simple info as to which type of camera would be the closest would be much appreciated.

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I would recomend the HVX you are talking about. I have some experience testing them and the P2 cards (you have nothing to fear, especially if you edit Avid.) and it would be your best bet, for SD finnish (or HD finnish considering cameras on the same level)

 

The HVX can record DVCPRO50 (only on P2, tape can only record DV25) and that has aproxamatley the same quality recording of digibeta (4:2:2, light cosine compression). Also since the chips are slightly higher resolution than most SD cameras even in the professional ENGs, it has a nice, sharp image and low noise. I don't know if the multiple frame rate would help you or not, but its sorta nifty.

 

Like I said I have been looking at these and testing these for some time, and have shot a feature on the HVR-ZU1. Both good cameras, but I would prefer the HVX on P2 over the HVR.

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Guest Paul Wizikowski

If you are attempting to replicate a 16mm look and are happy with your current system of achieving it in camera and in post then the HVX will go one further with the use of a Redrock M2 (an adapter to allow the mounting of film lenses) and actual film lenses. Whether it be a set of primes or a nice zoom you will be happy. Check out http://www.redrockmicro.com/samples.html to see some samples.

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If I understand correctly?

Michael C. point is that I have a "shot at it" ONLY with P2 but not with mini DV tape?

Paul W. Only refers to Redrock adapter...In my limited amount of knowledge I do understand what the adapter will do ( mainly depth of focus). That is NOT an issue for me since I shoot either in a spacious studio or in exteriors( so I can get the distance to "fake the depth" by going furhter away from actors and zooming in).

So far then, my key question: HVX 200 in mini DV mode ( not P2 mode) compared to digi Beta remians "hazy", but leaning to no. Anyone else can throw in their two bits?

Thanks

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If I understand correctly?

Michael C. point is that I have a "shot at it" ONLY with P2 but not with mini DV tape?

Paul W. Only refers to Redrock adapter...In my limited amount of knowledge I do understand what the adapter will do ( mainly depth of focus). That is NOT an issue for me since I shoot either in a spacious studio or in exteriors( so I can get the distance to "fake the depth" by going furhter away from actors and zooming in).

So far then, my key question: HVX 200 in mini DV mode ( not P2 mode) compared to digi Beta remians "hazy", but leaning to no. Anyone else can throw in their two bits?

Thanks

 

hi ! i have similar questions too !

a) how does shooting on hvx 200 with a miniDV tape ( interlaced mode) compare with shooting in DigiBeta, in terms of resolution lines and a subsequent NLE throughput on avidexpress hd pro?

B) what is the benefit that i get if i use only miniDV tapes in a hvx 200 camera ( interlaced mode) compared with shooting miniDV tapes in dvx 102b ( interlacede mode) ? thanks, rajkumar

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I am off shooting on the 2nd of Oct. Just bought the HVX 200 E ( as I am in Europe now). Whereas tape was my choice, yesterday the Panasonic rep convinced me to go with Firestore 100 ( a gizmo I have never heard of before but am flying in a geek from Canada to help with the work flow... ) Scary, scary BUT as somebody said here somewhere "tape is dead"... I guess I will try to sell now my 25 mini DV tapes :) Will let you know how it went.

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I am off shooting on the 2nd of Oct. Just bought the HVX 200 E ( as I am in Europe now). Whereas tape was my choice, yesterday the Panasonic rep convinced me to go with Firestore 100 ( a gizmo I have never heard of before but am flying in a geek from Canada to help with the work flow... ) Scary, scary BUT as somebody said here somewhere "tape is dead"... I guess I will try to sell now my 25 mini DV tapes :) Will let you know how it went.

 

Stay away from DV. DV is DV and will not hold in a digi environment.

The HVX with either P2 (easy, easy, easy) or a firestore (a bit more risque, but gives you longer recording times.) shot in either DV 50 or DVCPRO HD 1080/720 for downsampling in final edit, will give you very good results on a cheapo budget.

 

Gunleik

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I shot a short film and a couple of commercials with the HVX recently and found the P2 card workflow to be easy to handle (mind you've got a laptop and a firewire drive) and quite comparable to mag changes in 16mm. The only difference is that you can see what you got and it's already captured (editor's like that ;-). I wouldn't be scared of them. Seem solid.

 

Image is very nice. Much preferable to the digi-beta image in my opinion. I was shooting in the 24pn 720p dvcpro 50 mode and found the results very pleasant. I'm gonna do some tests in 1080i later this week. It is rivaling the sdx900 as of late, although I find the heft and layout of the 900 much easier to work with.

 

I kind of thought the preamps sucked on hvx as far as audio is concerned. Not much headroom, but my sound guy and I didn't get much time to test.

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Hi,

 

Personally I much prefer the JVC series - the upcoming HD250 has HD-SDI outputs and could be recorded uncompressed, and it uses something approaching a real lens.

 

I'm far from blown away by the pictures from the HVX - noisy and slightly mushy and soft. Not a big fan.

 

But you should find that any of them will, in most circumstances, outresolve digibeta sufficiently to look very good.

 

Phil

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I have to agree with Phil here that I have had trouble with noise in the blacks on ALL of the panasonic cameras, from the Varricam on down. Seems to be something inherent to their cameras, but it is controllable.

 

Focus can be difficult with the HVX like all of those style cameras because of the focus ring and smaller lenses. The new focus assist does help, but they don't compete with "real" lenses.

 

Still, given the choice between the HVX and a digi-beta, I would choose the HVX.

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Very Scary... just found out that since I have bought PAL HVX a lot of the right software for MAC is not yet supporting PAL or will "next week". Tried to test the Fire Store 100 and could not get the files into the Mac ( even Panasonic rep. could not)... So tape it is for now since I cannot push the shoot... I guess the PAL world is a bit behind the NTSC one. Will let you know as how it went.

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Very Scary... just found out that since I have bought PAL HVX a lot of the right software for MAC is not yet supporting PAL or will "next week". Tried to test the Fire Store 100 and could not get the files into the Mac ( even Panasonic rep. could not)... So tape it is for now since I cannot push the shoot... I guess the PAL world is a bit behind the NTSC one. Will let you know as how it went.

 

HM...

 

Have you used the "prepare p2" function in the utilities window? (Didn't see thatone myself @ first either).

 

FCP as of 5.1.2 now supports all but 720 p50 (which is a stupid omtiment), and has a lovely P2 import interface.

You can log and mark your clips prior to importing them to a project. Really sweet.

 

Contact me with a pm if you need help.

 

Gunleik

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I have to agree with Phil here that I have had trouble with noise in the blacks on ALL of the panasonic cameras, from the Varricam on down. Seems to be something inherent to their cameras, but it is controllable.

 

Focus can be difficult with the HVX like all of those style cameras because of the focus ring and smaller lenses. The new focus assist does help, but they don't compete with "real" lenses.

 

Still, given the choice between the HVX and a digi-beta, I would choose the HVX.

 

 

Yep. The blacks are a DVCPRO HD problem, but with some in-camera tweaking you can get far. Set detail coring high and master pedestal low, but then again - that might not be the image you want...

 

For focus you'll need an external monitor. Simple and cruel. This also goes for the other small HD solutions as you don't have full rez in either the LCD or the EVF.

 

I use the Panny 17"

 

Gunleik

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Yep. The blacks are a DVCPRO HD problem, but with some in-camera tweaking you can get far. Set detail coring high and master pedestal low, but then again - that might not be the image you want...

 

For focus you'll need an external monitor. Simple and cruel. This also goes for the other small HD solutions as you don't have full rez in either the LCD or the EVF.

 

I use the Panny 17"

 

Gunleik

 

We shot some tests outside in 1080i recently and I am still not happy with the amount of noise in the image.

Dropping the ped does help, but like you said, not always the image you want. I'm gonna play with the detail coring per your suggestion.

 

You say this is a DVCPRO HD problem, but I have the same issue in 720p DVCPRO 50.

 

It's funny, with video before you accepted that certain qualities of the image would not be good and you could kind of resign yourself to the fact, but as video technologies get better, I find myself being more and more critical of them.

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You say this is a DVCPRO HD problem, but I have the same issue in 720p DVCPRO 50.

 

It's funny, with video before you accepted that certain qualities of the image would not be good and you could kind of resign yourself to the fact, but as video technologies get better, I find myself being more and more critical of them.

To be more precise: DVCPRO (HD or not) is the problem. In the highlights you can go pretty far without blowing the image. The downside is in the blacks.

This is to give more apparent dynamic range AFAIK.

 

To me the price/performance thing is pretty cool.

 

You can get decent (I think) blacks... with a lot of light. Have a look:

http://www.vulture.no/testvid/Trykkeri.jpg

 

According to mr Nattress it's an early 90's compression technology. Amazing at its times, but 10 years on... I still prefer it wildly to HDV, though.

 

Gunleik

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Back after a long time ( re my first post of this thread)...Got the HVX 200 E. A day before the shoot we could not get the Firestore to work. In panic ( actors in the hotel crew on loaction etc....) we were forced to shoot on tape ( miniDV) with the camera just out of the box. Lit it for film set it to film gain and off we went with a lot of prayer.

 

Just about a month ago we have delivered the movie to Japan and few smaller territories on digi Beta and held my breath... QC went thru without a hitch, pictures were beautiful.... I am now converted and weaned off super 16 mm.

 

Now, I do not understand the "techno mambo". All what I can say that when the digi beta went on the scopes it was ALL within the required parameters "blacks and all" and the images looked like film... :D

 

Maybe I will use Firestore next time BUT this experience using tape was just fine.

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