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Canon HDV Question

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Don HertzCanon HDV Question
by on Jan 27, 2006 at 2:48:11 am

Has anyone tested the process of playing out the Canon's HD-SDI and upconverting to DVCProHD using an AJA Kona board in a Powermac? Does the image retain sharpness? We have 3 of the Sony Z1U's and have done this some in the past but have found that the process of converting through analog component (our only output option on the Z1U)and then re-encoding with the Kona2 actually softened the image. (Hard to see on our small 19" reference HD monitor but fairly clear on 37" and larger HD LCD and Plasma displays). I like the idea of being able to post, add graphics, and color correct in 4:2:2, but don't like the softness. I'm wondering if Canon's HD-SDI output solves this issue?

Also, is the audio specs on the Canon the same as the Sony or have they cheated the HDV spec a bit and given us better audio?

Thanks in advance.

Don Hertz
Cornerstone Multimedia


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Daniel WeberRe: Canon HDV Question
by on Jan 27, 2006 at 4:04:22 am

In theory this workflow should be better if you are recording live into the Mac. The output of the HDSDI port is pre compression. If you go to tape then you have to deal with the HDV compression. Hopefully someone will test and see if there is a difference of analog HD vs. HDSDI.

It would also be interesting to see what the conversion of HDV to HDSDI via a box like the HD-Connect LE or the Miranda box is like. The people from Convergent Design say that it is cleaner and sharper to go HDV - HDSDI via firewire, but then they are trying to sell a box that does just that.

Dan Weber


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Michael SloweRe: Canon HDV Question
by on Jan 27, 2006 at 9:47:22 am

I am going to convert HDV shot on the Z1, to HDSDI through the Convergent Design box into Media 100 HD and my chap testing the box tells me the picture is really great with no loss of quality. I should have personal experience soon!


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Don HertzRe: Canon HDV Question
by on Jan 27, 2006 at 1:57:53 pm

Great, please let me know how the test goes. So the Convergent Design box takes firewire out of the deck and converts it to HD-SDI? I'm not aware of that box. How much does it cost? Does it do the audio too?

I just found out this morning that our local reseller for the Canon camera is going to send me one to test out for a few days, so I should have some experience in comparing its HD-SDI output to the Sony in a couple of weeks.


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Daniel WeberRe: Canon HDV Question
by on Jan 27, 2006 at 2:38:03 pm

It does audio, video, timecode out the Firewire port. There is an ad for the box on the right side of this screen as I type this. The box sells for $2K.

Good luck,

Dan Weber


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Michael SloweRe: Canon HDV Question
by on Jan 27, 2006 at 7:10:51 pm

The box is featured on Convergent Design's site. I have just spoken to the boss, Mike Schell, in Denver and I should get my box end February. Yes, firewire from the Sony HDV deck into the box, out HD-SDI into Media 100 HD where I will cut 8bit uncompressed HD. The problem comes in mastering as there is no firewire out yet from Media 100 HD so can't do DV masters. By the way yes, also, embedded audio and time code together with machine control of the deck.


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BorjisRe: Canon HDV Question
by on Jan 28, 2006 at 12:51:39 am


Somebody did this recently and the results were great.

He recorded out the HD-SDI to dvcpro-hd and somehow got it to work at 24p.

It's in one of the threads over at dvxuser.com

there's also a test file you can download.




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RedgumRe: Canon HDV Question
by on Jan 28, 2006 at 4:38:04 am

Don, I'm prety sure the HDSDI on the Canon doesn't carry Audio or timecode. A simply monitoring function.

Redgum Television Productions
Broadcast & Corporate Documentaries
Brisbane, Australia


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Barlow EltonRe: Canon HDV Question
by on Jan 29, 2006 at 5:49:18 pm

>>> Has anyone tested the process of playing out the Canon's HD-SDI and upconverting to DVCProHD using an AJA Kona board in a Powermac? Does the image retain sharpness?<<<

Hi Don,

I'm the guy who's tried this and posted some results on a few other forums.

Nutshell: works great, looks sharp, easy to edit...but requires some workarounds. There's no timecode, but the signal is stable coming in from the camera, (from HDV tape playback or live signal) and you can pipe in analog audio which syncs perfectly with the video when recorded as DV100. I took 24F material and extracted 24p from the 1080i DV100 in Cinema Tools. Works great, but does require a little bit of trial and error. You can just edit the 1080i perfectly well too, no need to edit in a 24p timeline unless somehow that's critical to your work.

This is how I will be using HDV until FCP works with 24F...and even then I'm not sure, because editing in DV100 is fluid and reasonably high quality. No timeline conforms and rebuilding GOP's.


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Don HertzRe: Canon HDV Question
by on Jan 30, 2006 at 2:09:54 am

Thanks for the info. So the HD-SDI connection on the Canon definitely doesn't transmit audio? Is there an XLR output on the camera for the audio that you are using? With our current Sony Z1U cameras, we are able to output analog component, through an AJA converter that turns it into SDI, and then into the Kona card. At the same time, we control the deck and feed timecode through firewire. I wonder if I could still get timecode from the Canon by working in a similiar fashion (feed video through SDI but control & timecode through firewire.) Have you tried it? What do you think of the Canon compared to the Sony - or have you not had an opportunity to work with the Sony's yet?

Thanks.


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RedgumRe: Canon HDV Question
by on Jan 30, 2006 at 2:15:54 pm

If I'm not mistaken the XLR's on the H1 are much like a built in "Beachtek", a hybrid connection and operate no differently to external audio connections on the Sony FX1

Redgum Television Productions
Broadcast & Corporate Documentaries
Brisbane, Australia


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Barlow EltonRe: Canon HDV Question
by on Jan 30, 2006 at 5:55:38 pm

I don't know where you got this Beachtek idea from. The H1's XLR's are built-in, not adapted like the old XL1. It has phantom power and from my experiences, it's a very clean connection. It isn't connected via RCA at all. You have line and mic switchability, and mic attenuation too. Plenty of control.

The analog audio output, unfortunately, is RCA. However, on a recent project, I just ran it through a Mackie and captured along with the SDI into DV100. We didn't need the timecode because it was a very short project, and it's backed up to an external hard drive. Worked fine, even if it is a bit of a workaround. Sound quality was good and no sync issues but it reminded me of the old days of analog digitizing...ironically.

If you get the convergent desings box it could help with the timecode issue, however, someone is going to make the HDV device control work with the SDI output into one of these cards.


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Barlow EltonRe: Canon HDV Question
by on Jan 30, 2006 at 6:22:42 pm

>>>I wonder if I could still get timecode from the Canon by working in a similiar fashion (feed video through SDI but control & timecode through firewire.) Have you tried it? What do you think of the Canon compared to the Sony - or have you not had an opportunity to work with the Sony's yet?<<<

Most likely you will be able to control the H1 the same way, but with a much higher quality signal being acquired.

Please don't misconstrue me for some kind of brand loyalist...but I have worked with the Z1, and it is a very nice camera indeed, but it's just not in the same league as the XL-H1.

Canon really swung for the fences, and it delivers in almost every way imaginable. The resolution is easily the beast of class in the HDV realm. 24F is a perfectly progressive looking image, and can look very filmic. The 1080i is almost obscenely hi-rez. Audio is very good.
(I was surprised by this, having heard bad things about HDV compressed audio...for dialog and most things...it's fine.) Interchangeable lenses, TC in and out, Genlock, great telephoto and OIS, the list goes on and on.

Bottom line: it's even more professional than the venerable Z1U.


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Don HertzRe: Canon HDV Question
by on Jan 30, 2006 at 7:05:36 pm

Good to hear. I look forward to getting one in to run through some tests. We shoot outdoor shows here, so I'm not too interested in 24F, Genlock, etc. I'm just going for the cleanest 1080i footage I can possibly get out of an HDV camera.


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Steve ConnorRe: Canon HDV Question
by on Jan 31, 2006 at 2:57:39 pm

Pic

This is still from a recent night shoot with the H1 - hopefully it shows detail, even in 25F mode, very impressed with H1 so far.

Steve Connor
Cardinal HD

Please fill in your profile - it helps US to help YOU!


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Barlow EltonRe: Canon HDV Question
by on Jan 31, 2006 at 8:05:11 pm

Very nice pic, Steve. Holy schnikes, that's a lot of detail. Glad to hear the H1 is working well for you.



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Steve ConnorRe: Canon HDV Question
by on Jan 31, 2006 at 9:15:42 pm

[Barlow Elton] "Very nice pic, Steve. Holy schnikes, that's a lot of detail. Glad to hear the H1 is working well for you."

It shocked me when I first saw that shot! I know it has limitations, but I think it's a great camera, especially when you consider the cost. It's certainly going to be a great B-roll camera for us.



Steve Connor
Adrenalin Television

Have you tried "Search Posts"? Enlightenment may be there.


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Michael SloweRe: Canon HDV Question
by on Feb 1, 2006 at 9:30:59 am

Steve, I may have missed this over the past weeks, but what is your post route with HDV? What is your distribution (show) format? That still you posted supports the widely held impression that HDV is a stunner for acquisition, are your SD DVD's better than from SD originals?


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Steve ConnorRe: Canon HDV Question
by on Feb 1, 2006 at 2:55:35 pm

[Michael Slowe] "Steve, I may have missed this over the past weeks, but what is your post route with HDV? What is your distribution (show) format? That still you posted supports the widely held impression that HDV is a stunner for acquisition, are your SD DVD's better than from SD originals?"

We post using Native HDV in FCP5. If there is a DVD involved, then we use Compressor to make the mpeg2 file from the HDV timeline. If there's an SD master needed we drop the HDV sequence into an uncompressed 10 bit SD timeline, let it render and then output to Digi. If we need HD then we simply drop the final sequence into a 10 bit uncompressed HD timeline and output via HD-SDI

It all works very well!



Steve Connor
Adrenalin Television

Have you tried "Search Posts"? Enlightenment may be there.


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Michael SloweRe: Canon HDV Question
by on Feb 2, 2006 at 9:40:57 am

Thanks Steve, but how do the resultant DVD's compare in picture quality with the ones you previously got from material shot on SP or Digi and edited as such?


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Steve ConnorRe: Canon HDV Question
by on Feb 2, 2006 at 3:21:11 pm

The results vary, with material shot in good light I would say the results are fairly close, though not as good as when we shoot on digi. It is certainly better than any DV footage!

It is possible to get interlace problems on downconverted material, but we get round this by deinterlacing all our SD downconverts, this suits our workflows as we post mainly documentaries.

Steve Connor
Adrenalin Television

Have you tried "Search Posts"? Enlightenment may be there.


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Don HertzRe: Canon HDV Question
by on Feb 2, 2006 at 3:38:25 pm

I do not have enough digi-beta experience to compare the two, but we moved from DVCAM to HDV last February with three of the Sony Z1U cameras. Our final DVD ouput looks much better from the HDV footage than it did from the DV.


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