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1080i 24p...?????

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we got this new HD camera , an HDX900 by panasonic & they've been shooting 1080i24p with this thing. does it make any sense at all to shoot like this? does this seem contradictory to anyone else but me? are there any benefits to this? I still don't even get why they even offer interlaced fomrats in HD seeing as how NTSC is basicly a flawed system.

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Couple quick things:

 

1. 1080i is not NTSC. NTSC is a broadcast spec for standard definition analog video that covers colorspace, signal limits, etc. Has nothing to do with progressive vs. interlaced HD. The broadcast spec for digital video is rec.601 and for HD is rec.709.

 

2. Interlacing is not inferior. It is a culturally conditioned and aesthetic question. In the US, sports and news reporting are expected to be interlaced. We're conditioned to interpret those images as "more real". We associate film (and therefore progressive video) with narrative drama. However, in Japan, a large percentage of narrative drama is shot interlaced. Different culture (maybe due to the weak film industry and larger television base? Interesting question for someone to look up).

 

3. There is no 1080p broacast spec in the US. It is only 720p or 1080i. The HDX is marketed as a mid-range professional broadcast camera. It is meant more for broadcast shooting. It does shoot 24p, but as you have noticed, it records it to 1080i format. It does mean you can shoot less material per P2 card, but I think it was designed for a broadcast workflow which tends to be set up around 1080i.

 

4. Panasonic's digital cinema cameras (the HVX200 and Varicam) both shoot 1080p24.

Edited by finegrit

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Guest Sao_Bento

I'm not sure of your configuration, but I see that this camera has a 23.98a setting, which records 24p imagery at 1080i by introducing pulldown (aka. advanced pulldown) which is a common way to deal with "p" formats in the HDV world. That could be where the miscommunication lies. Bring the footage into AE, and in the interpret dialog, choose remove advanced pulldown. You'll have 1080/24p as the result.

 

http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/s...Model=AJ-HDX900

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Couple quick things:

 

1. 1080i is not NTSC. NTSC is a broadcast spec for standard definition analog video that covers colorspace, signal limits, etc. Has nothing to do with progressive vs. interlaced HD. The broadcast spec for digital video is rec.601 and for HD is rec.709.

 

2. Interlacing is not inferior. It is a culturally conditioned and aesthetic question. In the US, sports and news reporting are expected to be interlaced. We're conditioned to interpret those images as "more real". We associate film (and therefore progressive video) with narrative drama. However, in Japan, a large percentage of narrative drama is shot interlaced. Different culture (maybe due to the weak film industry and larger television base? Interesting question for someone to look up).

 

3. There is no 1080p broacast spec in the US. It is only 720p or 1080i. The HDX is marketed as a mid-range professional broadcast camera. It is meant more for broadcast shooting. It does shoot 24p, but as you have noticed, it records it to 1080i format. It does mean you can shoot less material per P2 card, but I think it was designed for a broadcast workflow which tends to be set up around 1080i.

 

4. Panasonic's digital cinema cameras (the HVX200 and Varicam) both shoot 1080p24.

 

I wasn't saying that i thought the 1080i format was NTSC, I was refering to how NTSC has perpetuated the interlaced format of 29.97 since the inception of the color subcarrier in the 1950's, where as pal (Perfect At Last) does not & looks great. so in short why would you want interlaced footage when you could have progressive? and does it make sense to offer a 1080i 24p setting on a camera? and yes interlacing is inferior.

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I'm not sure of your configuration, but I see that this camera has a 23.98a setting, which records 24p imagery at 1080i by introducing pulldown (aka. advanced pulldown) which is a common way to deal with "p" formats in the HDV world. That could be where the miscommunication lies. Bring the footage into AE, and in the interpret dialog, choose remove advanced pulldown. You'll have 1080/24p as the result.

 

http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/s...Model=AJ-HDX900

 

yeah i saw there was a 24pa setting too, but this was actually shot without the advanced pulldown. I havnt taken into AE yet though...

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Guest Sao_Bento
why would you want interlaced footage when you could have progressive? and does it make sense to offer a 1080i 24p setting on a camera? and yes interlacing is inferior.

 

Yes to the first, no to the second. Tape has a track pitch that requires the tape to be moved at a single precise speed in order for it to be able to record any information. You have to pick one speed when you're making the product. With 1080i, you can do most of the other formats and the cost is less because you use existing parts. If you custom made a special tape to record progressive scanning, you'd have a very hard time making it scaling it in the other direction - to be able to do fields for those who want them. That would make it super expensive (see HDCAM SR).

 

Fields are not bad. They're just bad for motion graphics and shots that need keying or roto. You just have to understand how they work and when and why they might make post production harder - not every shot will be a vfx shot.

 

Tapeless, progressively scanned imagery will be the standard very shortly, so this thread will be moot in another year or so.

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You have to pick one speed when you're making the product. With 1080i, you can do most of the other formats and the cost is less because you use existing parts.

 

Although the HDX records to P2 cards, so this isn't the limitation in this case. I think it has more to do with Panasonic not wanting to cut into either their HVX or Varicam sales.

 

And it is obviously a taste question, but I'll stand by my comment. Interlacing—like frame rate, depth of field, choice of lens, motion blur—is an aesthetic, as well as technical, choice. Designers should use all of them as necessary. They are tools, nothing more. I wouldn't arbitrarily throw any of them out. But as I said, it's taste so we can disagree.

Edited by finegrit

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Guest Sao_Bento
Although the HDX records to P2 cards, so this isn't the limitation in this case. I think it has more to do with Panasonic not wanting to cut into either their HVX or Varicam sales.

 

And it is obviously a taste question, but I'll stand by my comment. Interlacing—like frame rate, depth of field, choice of lens, motion blur—is an aesthetic, as well as technical, choice. Designers should use all of them as necessary. They are tools, nothing more. I wouldn't arbitrarily throw any of them out. But as I said, it's taste so we can disagree.

As you mentioned, there are both technical and aesthetic reasons for fields. The aesthetic ones might be able to be classified as taste, but the technical ones certainly aren't. Too often discussions about fields turn into some kind of "film look" discussion that is without basis. I hammer the point because I don't want others who read this thread to come away thinking it's a purely aesthetic choice.

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As you mentioned, there are both technical and aesthetic reasons for fields. The aesthetic ones might be able to be classified as taste, but the technical ones certainly aren't. Too often discussions about fields turn into some kind of "film look" discussion that is without basis. I hammer the point because I don't want others who read this thread to come away thinking it's a purely aesthetic choice.

 

yeah I wasn't making any reference to the "film look" I personally just find it all around much easier to work progressivly.

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The only difference (in HD) between NTSC & PAL is the frame rate...that's it. 25i in PAL land and 30i in NTSC land.

 

In NTSC & PAL SD, the frame rate AND resolution are different.

 

Also the HDX900 does not shoot on P2...it only shoots on DVCPROHD tapes. You can capture this footage via firewire from the camera itself right into Final Cut Pro, if you're on a MAC...

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The only difference (in HD) between NTSC & PAL is the frame rate...that's it. 25i in PAL land and 30i in NTSC land.

 

Well, if it's HD it's not NTSC or PAL :)

 

Anyway, FWIW: some 1080i cameras use a technique for recording progressive content into an essentially interlaced format. The technique is called Proggressive segmented Frames (PsF). It's not limited to 23.976. It's also used for 25p/30p. Basically, there are nominal fields (called segments) in the video stream. A truly progressive frame is constructed from these segments. For all practical purposes, it's progressive, period :)

Hope this helps dispel the apparent contradiction.

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For HD, they still have "HD for each area"...if you're in Japan or the U.S. for example, you will be using 1080i29.97...SD was 720x486 (D1) at 29.97.

 

Also PsF is for Canon cameras, as I recall. 23.976 is for the old archaic system...it has to be used because timecode is still using drop frame, to keep compatibility with old equipment.

 

The HDX900 shoots a constant 60p (59.94) because it's using tape...if you select 24p from the menu (23.98p) the tape still spins at the same speed and shoots at 60p. Once you start to capture the footage, FCP will remove frames in between and give you a clean 24p file.

 

Panasonics P2 doesn't work this way, it actually records 24fps onto the card.

 

All this technical mumbo jumbo is not needed...if mo graph guys get DVCPROHD files, they can just use the DVCPROHD presets in AE7.

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For HD, they still have "HD for each area"...if you're in Japan or the U.S. for example, you will be using 1080i29.97...SD was 720x486 (D1) at 29.97.

 

Agreed. But it's not PAL nor NTSC.

 

Also PsF is for Canon cameras, as I recall. 23.976 is for the old archaic system...it has to be used because timecode is still using drop frame, to keep compatibility with old equipment.

 

You mean Canon HDV?

The Sony HDCAM cameras/decks (the Cinealta range) certainly use PsF to handle progressive in 1080i, 24p/25p/30p

Edited by arozenfeld

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May I do a semi-related hijack while we're on this?:

 

We're planning on doing a series of spots that involve a ton of action like surfing, skating, snowboarding, etc. Normally we would roll 35mm, but even a 235 is just way to big to try and rig to bikes and what-not. So after seeing the movie "Crank" recently, I saw they used fairly small HD cameras to shoot with. Even though it was obviously video, the look wasn't too bad at all. So I think this would be appropriate for this job.

 

Can any of you suggest a camera or two I can look into for shooting these spots? It should be HD, look good (multiple CCD or good CMOS), shoot 30p/psf, be easily handholdable or small enough to mount on things easily, and not go to a turd format like HDV. Or if any of you happen to know what "Crank" was shot on.

 

EDIT: Well I used this thing called "Google" and found an article on Crank. They say they use 950s. Which is probably the case for most of it. But I swear in the behind the scenes they had smaller cams. Looking for something the size of an XL2 but doesn't look like crap.

Edited by C.Smith

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Can any of you suggest a camera or two I can look into for shooting these spots? It should be HD, look good (multiple CCD or good CMOS), shoot 30p/psf, be easily handholdable or small enough to mount on things easily, and not go to a turd format like HDV. Or if any of you happen to know what "Crank" was shot on.

 

Sounds like you're describing the Panasonic HVX-200. I can't recommend it enough. The handling/size is like a Sony HDV camera, but the DVCPRO HD codec is much more reliable under non-controlled environments than interframe MPEG-2 as used in HDV. And much better for post anyway. If you want it to look really, really cinematic, you may consider using one of those adapters for 35mm still lenses. You get the depth of field and bokeh associated with film stuff.

Since it records to P2 cards, you'll need a hard disk (ideally, the P2 Store thing) to off-load content on the fly.

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Agreed. But it's not PAL nor NTSC.

You mean Canon HDV?

The Sony HDCAM cameras/decks (the Cinealta range) certainly use PsF to handle progressive in 1080i, 24p/25p/30p

 

Yes it's not Pal or NTSC...it's based on the ATSC standards.

 

I'm not really familiar with the HDCAM stuff, but fairly familiar with Panasonic....so you might be right.

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May I do a semi-related hijack while we're on this?:

 

We're planning on doing a series of spots that involve a ton of action like surfing, skating, snowboarding, etc. Normally we would roll 35mm, but even a 235 is just way to big to try and rig to bikes and what-not. So after seeing the movie "Crank" recently, I saw they used fairly small HD cameras to shoot with. Even though it was obviously video, the look wasn't too bad at all. So I think this would be appropriate for this job.

 

Can any of you suggest a camera or two I can look into for shooting these spots? It should be HD, look good (multiple CCD or good CMOS), shoot 30p/psf, be easily handholdable or small enough to mount on things easily, and not go to a turd format like HDV. Or if any of you happen to know what "Crank" was shot on.

 

EDIT: Well I used this thing called "Google" and found an article on Crank. They say they use 950s. Which is probably the case for most of it. But I swear in the behind the scenes they had smaller cams. Looking for something the size of an XL2 but doesn't look like crap.

 

Oh yeah, they used the expensive HDCAM 950s...here's more info at IMDB:

 

http://imdb.com/title/tt0479884/technical

 

If you want to know which movie used what, just go to IMDB, go to the movie page and enter "/technical" after the ttxxxxxxx title #.

 

Take a look at the tiny Sony HVR-V1U...it shoots true 24p via the HDV format (lossy MPEG2 Long GOP)

 

http://bssc.sel.sony.com/BroadcastandBusin...41&id=85966

 

It looks like it's component out uses 4:2:2, so maybe in a studio environment you can capture via it's component out to a capture card like a DeckLink and record to true 1920x1080....another way to keep quality and skip HDV is to record with the HDMI out of these tiny cameras right to a Black Magic Intensity card (~$300) and record to 1920x1080 instead of the 1440x1080 of HDV (or HDCAM).

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Thanks, Arozenfeld I will look at that Panasonic cam. Hopefully somebody can rent me a handfull of them somewhere. Need to see about that P2 business though. I'm going to do without the 35mm adapters since I'm willingly giving up 35mm to go for the video look and minimize size and weight. Besides it will mostly be extremely wide lens anyways. Do you know if I can get an HD SDI 4:2:2 output of a P2 card reader/deck of some sort with time code ref?

 

Mak, not looking for an HDV cam as said in my post. HDV is a dogshit format and even worse will be a bitch to load into the Avid DS.

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There is one P2 reader that does have HD-SDI I/O, but it's expensive. You'd be wasting bits anyway. DVCPRO HD compression is way more benign than HDV, and color sampling is 4:2:2, so it can be pretty good as an acquisition format. I am not in love with DVCPRO HD as a *post* format, but that's another story. You can do your post in a totally uncompressed space. Final Cut Pro 6 *cough* for example will allow you to bring DVCPRO HD as such and use it in an uncompressed timeline in RT. AE obviously always works uncompressed internally. So, as you see, you don't want to artificially inflate your source bits, when you can take advantage of more bits when they're needed :)

I wouldn't count on the HVX-200 giving you a "video" look. It was designed to not do that. It doesn't look like film either (with the 35mm lens adapter it's a different story). I guess it looks like HD :)

 

The P2 Store drive should be cheap to rent and will take 60 GB worth of P2 cards.

 

 

AFAIK, The only small (and sub $10,000 camera) that will give you uncompressed HD-SDI out is the Canon XL-H1 (and probably the model inmediately below). Don't worry, when you use HD-SDI you're bypassing HDV compression completely. But you would have to have a HD-SDI deck or computer for recording... out of the question for your needs, isn't it?

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There is one P2 reader that does have HD-SDI IO, but it's expensive. You'd be wasting bits anyway. DVCPRO HD compression is way more benign than HDV, and color sampling is 4:2:2, so it can be pretty good as an acquisition format. I am not in love with DVCPRO HD as a *post* format, but that's another story. You can do your post in a totally uncompressed space. Final Cut Pro 6 *cough* for example will allow you to bring DVCPRO HD as such and use it in an uncompressed timeline in RT. AE obviously always works uncompressed internally. So, as you see, you don't want to artificially inflate your source bits, when you can take advantage of more bits when they're needed :)

Not worried about budget, I normally shoot with 2 to 3 35mm cams so with that same budget I can have a handful of these video cams with enough allotment to destroy and hence buy a couple of them. The important thing is that they are light, and don't look like complete ass. And let me dump in HD SDI with some kind of TC ref to the Avid. I'll be using the DS's DNxHD codec if we finish in HD or just uncompressed if finished in SD. Need to see what the agency's needs are for final format.

 

I wouldn't count on the HVX-200 giving you a "video" look. It was designed to not do that. It doesn't look like film either (with the 35mm lens adapter it's a different story). I guess it looks like HD :)

 

Well to me HD looks like video, just not that obviously crappy video to look like YouTube like the DV cams. It wouldn't hurt my feelings if it looked more filmic, but it's not a kind of job we're you need film's subtle contrast, true color, and DOF, it just needs to look like chaos ;)

 

 

AFAIK, The only small (and sub $10,000 camera) that will give you uncompressed HD-SDI out is the Canon XL-H1 (and probably the model inmediately below). Don't worry, when you use HD-SDI you're bypassing HDV compression completely. But you would have to have a HD-SDI deck or computer for recording... out of the question for your needs, isn't it?

 

 

Hmm. Maybe I should look into the Canon then. I will be dumping into the DS either thru it's HD SDI or it's SD SDI so that sounds great. So it doesn't record to HDV? It only streams it thru FW in HDV?

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C.Smith, I know HDV isn't that great...that's why I mentioned capturing through HDMI or Component HD so you can record at the highest quality and bypass the MPEG2 Long GOP compression @ 4:2:0.

 

The Panasonic HVX200 isn't THAT different than HDV cams..the only difference is the 4:2:2 space and that it's using an intra codec (DVCPROHD). You can thank the P2 system for allowing this camera to do this. Matter of fact, the highest res that the HVX200 shoots is 1280x1080 compared to 1440x1080 on HDV.

 

The JVCHD200 is not bad either, and it does HD-SDI too.

 

The Canon H1 (with HD-SDI out) is an ok camera, I've shot with it. It does record in HDV, but you can capture through HD-SDI, but of course you have to be in a studio type environment. Plus it doesn't have embedded audio, so you need to record audio to another equipment.

 

Just remember, all these cameras use 1/3" CCD chips...so you can't compare them to more expensive 2/3"CCD cameras like the HDX900, HPX500/2000, and HDCAM F9xx, or the Thomson Viper.

 

If cost is no issue, you can rent the Viper, I don't know how much it costs to rent though (the camera itself retails for $300,000). It records in full 4:4:4 onto DPX files, so no need to scan film and buy expensive tape/film stock. This is one badass camera...they've shot complete feature films with it, such as Miami Vice & Zodiac.

 

Hope this helps

Edited by MakReturns

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The Panasonic HVX200 isn't THAT different than HDV cams..the only difference is the 4:2:2 space and that it's using an intra codec (DVCPROHD). You can thank the P2 system for allowing this camera to do this. Matter of fact, the highest res that the HVX200 shoots is 1280x1080 compared to 1440x1080 on HDV.

 

The only difference is 4:2:2 color sampling and the intrafrme codec? That's a world of difference :)

As for the 1280 vs 1440 pixel grid... Please be aware those are not real world figures. No sub $10,000 camera records over 800 lines of vertical resolution. Sorry to be the bearer of these news. I believe Adam Wilt has the resolution tests on his site. The Cinealtas and Varicams don't really record 1080 unique lines either. It's important to make the distintction between a format's pixel grid with what a certain camera really records. Yes, the Canon and Sony HDV record a bit more resolution than the HVX200, but other than that, the compression is just nasty.

 

In terms of resolution from the CCDs and lens system, the Canon XL-H1 seems to be the best of the bunch. Obviously the HDV codec ruins everything, unless you use the HD-SDI out. The HVX200 is no better as a camera in itself, it just happens to use a better, less destructive format.

 

If C.Smith can handle having each camera connected with a cable to an HD-SDI recorder, then the XL-H1 is a good idea (I don't see the point in using analog component or HDMI when the Canon is overall better than the Sony) Otherwise, the HVX-200 is best option.

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Thanks Mak and Aroz,

 

Man, I think I'll get with a rental house that does video cams and test drive a few. Panavision is starting to get into some video cams as well so I'll tap their thoughts on it Monday.

 

Yeah, that Canon HD SDI out needing to be straight off the camera is no good since the point of these small cams is to mount them on motorcross bikes, jet ski's, mountain bikes, etc and put them in harms way along with the product we are shooting. This whole video thing is so convoluted I have half a mind to switch back to film and just do 16mm and run some old school Vietnam era cams with modern stock for mounts and ARRI SR3s for safer shots. 950s aren't going to be any lighter after you stick a battery and lens on them. Ugh.

 

Or I can possibly sell the agency on a multi-look thing where it's 35mm for safe shots and HDV/DVC cams for mounts and just welcome the different looks.

 

I appreciate the input guys. Lot to consider. In a couple months after everything is shot and public I'll post links to whatever we end up going with.

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sony's xdcam ex sounds like it could be nice. it's not out until later this year, though. does anyone have any experience with both the larger xdcam's(as the ex uses the same 1/2-inch chips) and hvx? how do they compare?

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