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xdcamex or digital betacam for sd release

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ryan@ref
xdcamex or digital betacam for sd release
on Nov 18, 2007 at 2:18:42 pm

I am really impressed by the xdcamex however I have been getting some conflicting information regarding shooting for sd release. I have a production coming up which will be released on SD dvd, traditionally I have shot on digi beta but as we are entering a hd world I figure it would be best to aquire in HD. Would my end product, on SD DVD look better or worse if I shot it with xdcamex and downconverted it to sd as opposed to shooting with digibeta ?

Also while digibeta has 4:2:2 colorspace and xdcamex has 4:2:0 is xdcam's colorspace increased to 4:2:2 when downconverted, surely all of that extra detail means more color information in SD.



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rafalaos
Re: xdcamex or digital betacam for sd release
on Nov 19, 2007 at 3:44:40 am

Don't forget that digi beta, apart of being 422 is 10 bits per channel.
Rafael

PPC G5 2x2Gh 4GbRAM/BlackMagic SD/PMBP 17"Core2Duo 4GbRAM
JVC DTV-17"/FCS2/AE CS3/COMBUSTION/SHAKE


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Don Greening
Re: xdcamex or digital betacam for sd release
on Nov 19, 2007 at 5:00:23 am

There is an HD to SD down-conversion option using the Analog (A/V) Out, Component Out and the SDI Out connections, but the SDI out is the only option if you need to capture and down convert at 4:2:2. Everything else will be 4:2:0. Oh, and the iLINK (firewire) port will only output an HDV stream.

Hope this helps.

-Don


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ryan@ref
Re: xdcamex or digital betacam for sd release
on Nov 19, 2007 at 6:05:32 am

So if I shoot in xdcamhd and then capture the cards to a pc/mac in the field will that give me 4:2:2 if I down convert it by editing in a 4:2:2 sequence or is 4:2:2 only possible through the sdi out ? How many bits per channel is xdcamhd ? I ask because I am a little confused as to why an SD format would yield better results than a format that delivers 1920 x 1080 P ( xdcamex ). Thanks in advance.


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Don Greening
Re: xdcamex or digital betacam for sd release
on Nov 19, 2007 at 6:32:05 am

HD SDI out is the only way you're going to get the 4:2:2 colour space. Recording to the SxS cards will give you 4:2:0 because it's compressing the picture to the long GOP 35mbps recording format.

[ryan@ref] "why an SD format would yield better results than a format that delivers 1920 x 1080 P"

How do you define "better"? You can capture 1920 x 1080 4:2:2 via HD SDI but you can also enable the camera to do a down convert to SD on the fly using the same SDI connection. Once you've recorded in 4:2:0 with the SxS cards you can put those clips into a 4:2:2 timeline if you want but you're still dealing with footage originally shot in 4:2:0. Your editor cannot invent colour information that wasn't there to begin with. The advantage to editing 4:2:0 material in a 4:2:2 timeline is if you're planning to insert a lot of graphics which may benefit from the increased colour latitude.

BTW, welcome to Creative COW :)

- Don





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rafalaos
Re: xdcamex or digital betacam for sd release
on Nov 20, 2007 at 6:25:32 pm

[Don Greening] "You can capture 1920 x 1080 4:2:2 via HD SDI but you can also enable the camera to do a down convert to SD on the fly using the same SDI connection"
Don,
But to do this you have to record to disck, right?

"[ryan@ref] "why an SD format would yield better results than a format that delivers 1920 x 1080 P" "
Ryan, don't forget that you go to end up in SD. I think the options of the EX are great for HD. But whatever the HD format and size you use, in the moment you go to SD will never get a better quality than the one of the BetaCam Digital.
rafael



PPC G5 2x2Gh 4GbRAM/BlackMagic SD/PMBP 17"Core2Duo 4GbRAM
JVC DTV-17"/FCS2/AE CS3/COMBUSTION/SHAKE


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Don Greening
Re: xdcamex or digital betacam for sd release
on Nov 20, 2007 at 8:53:46 pm

[rafalaos] "But to do this you have to record to disck, right?"

Yes, I would suspect so. More likely a disc array. Anything that comes out of an SDI connection is going to be uncompressed, whether it's HD or SD. The only way to convert the SDI signal to a more highly compressed codec would be to use something like AJA's new IO HD box which will turn the SDI stream into Pro Res 422 on the fly. Then you could conceivably use a firewire drive for capture. I'm sure there are also tape decks out there than can record directly from the SDI port but this is where my knowledge of what to do comes to a grinding halt.

- Don


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Craig Seeman
Re: xdcamex or digital betacam for sd release
on Nov 21, 2007 at 3:10:42 am

Telestream's Pipeline will convert uncompressed SD from an SDI port it DV or IMX 30,40,50. It doesn't downconvert HD to SD though. I may be using Pipeline with the EX1 periodically so I'll let you know how it works.


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ryan@ref
Re: xdcamex or digital betacam for sd release
on Nov 21, 2007 at 1:39:38 pm

Thanks for the responses. My head has been spinning from talking to sales people lately ! I've traditionally worked with digital betacam but I'm looking for a HD upgrade. I'm not keen on RED and the 50 mb 4:2:2 XDCAMHD that's due soon is more than I wanted to pay until the format dust settles. The xdcamex looks too good to be true but judging from the responses it seems as though the end result quality of my sd based productions will drop if I step from digital betacam to xdcam hd as my acquisition format (I work in corporate video production) Is xdcam hd not a step up from digi beta ?

Thanks again for the responses.


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Craig Seeman
Re: xdcamex or digital betacam for sd release
on Nov 21, 2007 at 2:22:10 pm

Ryan, you need to talk as much or more about cameras rather than just codecs. Sony certainly views XDCAM (HD) as the new digital betacam. It's not a direct 1 to 1 comparison though.

Certainly XDCAM acquisition has been approved for broadcast documentary applications on various channels such as Discovery Channel.

Certainly an F355 holds up well compared to digi beta kits. The EX1 seems to be an excellent b-camera to it and I know of no equivalent new digi beta system for $6700. I believe a F355 will cost in the neighborhood of $25-$30k depending on what lens you get, etc.

I can't imagine anyone suggesting XDCAM (HD) is not a step up from digi beta (the format). The camera kit itself depends on what you have, want, need.

Of course you need to think about WHY you need to upgrade. You may have none. In which case you can stick with digi beta. On the other hand if you think tapeless workflow, HD, various new camera features and tweaks (from cine gamma to under/over crank) will help your production/business.

There are downsides to digibeta as well as XDCAM (HD) but how those impact you really depends on your own/you client's needs.

I think the vast majority of people purchasing new kits today would choose XDCAM HD (or P2-DVCProHD) over digibeta. Some certainly may choose HDCAM (or HDCAM SR) or DVCProHD tape depending on budget and need.

For corporate video XDCAM HD or P2-DVCProHD make much more sense . . . if you are considering an upgrade for business reasons. If your clients are happy with Digibeta and you see no advantage to upgrading, don't. You will have to at some point though as everyone shifts to HD.


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rafalaos
Re: xdcamex or digital betacam for sd release
on Nov 22, 2007 at 3:59:04 am

Hi Craig,
I agree with you. I think your opinion is quite balanced. There is not point comparing DigiBeta with EXDCAMEX. DigiBeta is the top of the SD. EXDCAM EX is not the top of the HD, but I think is the perfect way to land in the HD world.
Same as Don, I have decided to appoint you as my personal EXCAM adviser :-)
rafael

PPC G5 2x2Gh 4GbRAM/BlackMagic SD/PMBP 17"Core2Duo 4GbRAM
JVC DTV-17"/FCS2/AE CS3/COMBUSTION/SHAKE


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Don Greening
Re: xdcamex or digital betacam for sd release
on Nov 22, 2007 at 4:20:30 am

[rafalaos] "Same as Don, I have decided to appoint you as my personal EXCAM adviser :-) "

Majority rules. Craig, it's official :) Besides, it should come as no surprise since you're already a forum leader in Compression Techniques.

- Don



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Don Greening
Re: xdcamex or digital betacam for sd release
on Nov 22, 2007 at 12:08:01 am

Craig, you'll probably be well versed in workflow before I even get my EX since I just ordered it today. So I'll be picking your brain with future posting inquiries.

- Don


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