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Frank DiBugnara

AF-100 Internal vs. AJA Ki-Pro Recording

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I have a green screen shoot coming up with the AF-100 and have the option to record on the Ki-Pro Mini via HD-SDI.


1) Does anyone have any thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of this versus recording internally (mostly in regards to image quality rather than recording time, etc)?


2) Also, if I do go this route, it looks as though the camera, even in Psf mode, only sends 1080i out of its SDI, even if the internal camera recording setting is set to progressive.


I'm assuming this means that if Psf is selected in the video output preferences, that the progressive output is "preserved" within the interlace output.


In other words, even though the signal is being sent out of the camera is interlaced, there is still a progressive pattern "embedded" in the interlaced signal and thus the final effect of the recorded image on the Ki-Pro will be that of a progressive signal. Correct?

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The only advantage to the Mini here is that it uses a lot less compression than the AF-100, about 220 Mbps vs. 25 Mbps. The camera is limited to 422 8 bit, so that's what you'd get from the KiPro Mini as well. For a green screen, the weakest link is that all this is only 422, yielding softer mattes. The 8 bitness of it also limits you in color correction.






-- J.S.

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Compression is a nightmare in postpro. The camera uses AVCHD as I recall and this is meant for amateur movies not for professional greenscreen work. Do yourself a favour and get the AJA with the camera.

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If you have the option, your editor will probably thank you for using AJA rather than AVCHD.

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I thought I'd post a follow-up for the benefit of anyone interested.


We ended up shooting with the Ki Pro set to 422HQ. The resulting files were about the size of RED One 4K files and looked pretty good. We were able to pull an excellent key fairly easily. We put it up against some previous RED One MX 4K footage and, of course, the RED was sharper.


Overall, I think the results were very good and I'd consider this set up for future green-screen stuff that would not necessarily benefit from getting a "2 for 1" focal length when shooting at 4K and finishing at 1080.


Another note is that without a "raw" output from the camera, it is very easy to "bake in" some undesirable settings. Most notably, I discovered that the camera's default settings are really not neutral. Even some settings that have a default value of "0" are really much more neutral at something like "-7", for example. So it's very important to go through all those settings before shooting. I ended up manually emulating the look that we've come to traditionally associate with a "raw" image (very low contrast, desaturated, etc).

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