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Jonathan Flanagan

1980's SD Video Camera

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I remember seeing in AC magazine and in literature from Panavision around the mid 80's that they launched a range of cameras for tv video production as an alternative to 35mm and as I recall they used Primo lenses?

 

At that time I think some pretty big high profile shows of the time like Dallas,Dynasty, Little House on the Prairie etc, appeared to abandon the traditional 35mm format and went to video. I remember noticing at the time how the image quality deteriorated markedly as the sharpness, colour and skin tones all looked terrible. They had a curious appearance, not the obvious interlaced video look of standard daytime soaps and sitcoms nor the sharp filmic look of celluloid. It might also have been bad NTSC to PAL dubs that contributed to the poor quality I saw here but when I see repeats of them now especially on a HD TV they really were awful.

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I don't think those 35mm shows like "Dallas" ever switched to shooting in interlaced-scan SD video.

 

I don't know who used Panacam but likely things like multi-cam sitcoms, live events, etc. There might have been some network drama that used it or something with a lot of video chromakey work.

 

A lot of these old shows shot in 35mm look bad today because you're still seeing an old SD NTSC copy being unrezzed to HD.

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The operator in that link is a friend of mine.

 

 

Worked with him( Clive Tickner) when he was DoP and Barry Ackroyd operating on many music video,s in the 80,s . alot with a dir called Storm Torbitson .. or something like that ..

Edited by Robin R Probyn

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Worked with him( Clive Tickner) when he was DoP and Barry Ackroyd operating on many music video,s in the 80,s . alot with a dir called Storm Torbitson .. or something like that ..

Storm Thorgerson. He designed the cover for Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon and directed the films shown as back projection at Floyd gigs for years.

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Storm Thorgerson. He designed the cover for Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon and directed the films shown as back projection at Floyd gigs for years.

 

 

Yes thats the guy.. I knew about the Punk Floyd connection.. cant remember the name of his prod company .. but did a ton of music video,s in the 80,s.. nice guy.. in fact it was during one of his shoots for the group YES.. in London .. that I hung around the set all day .. was forced to be an extra.... and got to know Mr Ackroyd .. who was the AC on the shoot.. 1983 !!

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I don't think those 35mm shows like "Dallas" ever switched to shooting in interlaced-scan SD video.

 

I don't know who used Panacam but likely things like multi-cam sitcoms, live events, etc. There might have been some network drama that used it or something with a lot of video chromakey work.

 

A lot of these old shows shot in 35mm look bad today because you're still seeing an old SD NTSC copy being unrezzed to HD.

+1. Never video!

I well remember a late 70s or early 80s press picture of episodes of "Dallas" arriving in London in 35mm cans. In the latter days of the run here it looked worse because by then it was being played out from a tape transfer. NTSC never looked good here.

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I hope somebody eventually remasters old shows like Little House ect... Bad video of film has given film a bad rep, they could look so good if done right. Sad part is that old shows could look so much better than new shows on HD, but producers probably don't want to raise the expectations

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I hope somebody eventually remasters old shows like Little House ect... Bad video of film has given film a bad rep, they could look so good if done right. Sad part is that old shows could look so much better than new shows on HD, but producers probably don't want to raise the expectations

They have been. The whole series of 'Little House' is available on Blu-ray, but only on Region 1. I've seen the trailers and they do look very impressive.

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Pre-1980's dramatic U.S. network TV shows mostly were shot and edited in 35mm film, so remastering them to HD is not that hard if the cut originals exist. The main problem then is just optical work if done on CRI stock, which has aged much more rapidly the camera negative. The other issue is just the many hours of programming if the show lasted many seasons, often 24 episodes per season.

 

Once TV started edited electronically in NTSC, then the costs of going back to the original 35mm negative are quite high if they never bothered to cut the negative to match the online master.

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I hope somebody eventually remasters old shows like Little House ect... Bad video of film has given film a bad rep, they could look so good if done right. Sad part is that old shows could look so much better than new shows on HD, but producers probably don't want to raise the expectations

if you want to see a good example of a show shot on film that has been remastered from the negative.. get the blu ray box set of Pee Wees Playhouse. Beautiful picture!

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