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EX1 better for green screen?

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Ryan Brown
EX1 better for green screen?
on Jul 25, 2008 at 8:15:12 pm

I currently own a HVX200. Bought it for shooting green screen. But after test it seems soft and not the best looking image for green screen.

Would the EX1 be a better fit for my green screen shots?

Any pros or cons?

I've tried component out via the hvx...maybe the sdi out is much better fit?

Thanks for any info on this...just don't want to sell my camera to get a different one like the EX1 and still not be happy-am i expecting too much out of the cameras in this price range(i've also dialed down the detail to compensate for edge halos on image-do you have to turn down sharpening on the EX1 also to pull good keys and have clean edges)?

I wish the scarlet was out...for the money it might be the best one for my green screen shots...but in the meantime which is the best for green screen under 10k...?



Ryan Brown
DowntownBrownEnt.


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Craig Seeman
Re: EX1 better for green screen?
on Jul 25, 2008 at 8:55:11 pm

While I haven't done my own green screen test yet, I've seen some very good stuff posted. Even though EX1 is 4:2:0 the fact that the pixel density is so great 1920x1080 helps. Shooting progressive helps too. If you don't mind being cable bound, the HD-SDI out is 4:2:2 10 bit uncompressed and that should be the "bee's knees" for green screen work. Now if I can find some bee's knees to key . . .



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Ryan Brown
Re: EX1 better for green screen?
on Jul 25, 2008 at 9:14:33 pm

Thank you for the reply. Since the environment is a studio I have no problem being bound to a cable. So if the sdi will get me the best quality then I'd go that route.

Do you know where I might be able to see some green screen footage shot with the EX1?

Ryan Brown
DowntownBrownEnt.


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Noah Kadner
Re: EX1 better for green screen?
on Jul 25, 2008 at 10:01:39 pm

out of the box- the HVX200 has a bit of an edge with lower compression. However you do have the HD-SDI output of the EX1 to give you uncompressed 1920x1080. That said, you're still dealing with small CMOS chips and a fixed lens. For better results you might want to bump up to an EX1 or perhaps an HPX500.

-Noah

My FCP Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color and Win a Free Letus Extreme.
Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, DVD Studio Pro and Sound for Film and TV.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Ryan Brown
Re: EX1 better for green screen?
on Jul 25, 2008 at 10:59:53 pm

Thanks Noah for the help online. I have several of your dvds. It was nice to meet you at the supermeet also.

I was really excited to get the hvx200. Got a couple 16gb cards. Then I started working with the green screen keys I shot in our studio space. It's got quite good lighting at least I feel. The background reads on scopes at ire 40-50 and the subject is well exposed. On the hvx200 though unless my settings are off just seems to have either a halo or a dark line.

out of the box- the HVX200 has a bit of an edge with lower compression. However you do have the HD-SDI output of the EX1 to give you uncompressed 1920x1080. That said, you're still dealing with small CMOS chips and a fixed lens. For better results you might want to bump up to an EX1 or perhaps an HPX500.

-Noah


So I'm looking at possibly selling it for an EX1. You mention the cmos sensors being a bit small and a fixed lens but did I read your reply correctly stating bumping up to an EX1(bump up from hvx or)...? Doesn't EX1 have cmos chips and a fixed lens or am I getting confused with another model or something.

Thanks again for your reply.

ps: is there a way to upload a still of the lighting set up and a frame from the shoot? maybe seeing the set up could be useful to be sure it's set up well or if it needs improvement.

pss:the shots are a subject full length standing on green screen painted cyc.

Ryan Brown
DowntownBrownEnt.


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Craig Seeman
Re: EX1 better for green screen?
on Jul 26, 2008 at 12:03:29 am

I suspect Noah's post was a bit confusing (I'm sure hell jump in and correct otherwise).

Comparing the EX to the HVX200 specifically, the EX1 chips are much bigger and 1920x1080 which is 960x540.

BTW have a look at girl keyed this example on the web. Granted compressed for web but worth a look anyway
http://www.hawaiigoesfishing.com/videos/green_screen_sample.mov

Here's Juan Martinez's comments on the COW.
http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/142/856535

Here's an interesting RED vs EX1 Green Screen Test
http://ftp.datausa.com/imageshoppe/outgoing/EX1/EX1_VRS_RED_bluescreen_5200...
RED is on the left. EX1 on the right.

additional EX1 green screen examples
before
http://www.vimeo.com/1274572
after
http://www.vimeo.com/1274696
Note you can download the original source (although still compressed.

This too
http://www.vimeo.com/1367862

Just thought I'd give you a lot to chew on.



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Ryan Brown
Re: EX1 better for green screen?
on Jul 26, 2008 at 12:09:41 am

Thanks for all the links!

So 1920x1080 is the EX1 sensor size and the hvx is 960x540? This should certainly make a big difference.



Ryan Brown
DowntownBrownEnt.


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Ryan Brown
Re: EX1 better for green screen?
on Jul 26, 2008 at 12:33:52 am

Craig.

I really like the video from The Hair - Half Cut guys!
http://www.vimeo.com/1274696

Of topid but do you know how they might have created the background of lights?

Thanks.

Ryan Brown
DowntownBrownEnt.


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Don Greening
Re: EX1 better for green screen?
on Jul 26, 2008 at 1:22:13 am

[Ryan Brown] "This should certainly make a big difference."

It does. Any time you have more information to start with you're going to end up with a better look. A perfect example of this is a standard def down convert from an HD source always looking better than the same thing shot with a standard def camera.

- Don



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Craig Seeman
Re: EX1 better for green screen?
on Jul 26, 2008 at 2:01:50 am

And this is the point Juan Martinez was trying to make if you read the link to his post although he didn't want to mention the "competition" directly. Basically since the samples are very close together in the EX1 MEPG2 Long GOP 4:2:0 due to the number of pixels, you're not going to see the issues with the edge. I should mention if you are shooting interlace, given you're only seeing half the lines at any moment, you might see it there but if you shoot progressive at 1920x1080 you're going to have a tough time seeing it. I think that was part of the reasoning in comparing the EX1 to Red. The posts that go with that shot state that Red1 is definitely better but people were surprised how well the EX1 held up against it.

The way I understand it in short form
EX1 Progressive is competitive (some would say better) than the HVX.
EX1 Interlace and the HVX will likely look better.
EX1 HD-SDI 4:2:2 Uncompressed is spectacular.



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Dean Sensui
Re: EX1 better for green screen?
on Jul 26, 2008 at 8:51:47 am

Part of the answer is the camera. The rest of the answer is:

-- Green screen background material.
-- Lighting.
-- Keying software.

Of the three above, keying software is a huge component.

I use Primatte and have been able to pull near-perfect keys from material that have been properly lighted and shot. That plug-in has a long series of controls that provide an artist the tools needed to tweak some very subtle parameters in order to get a key just right.

And of all the controls, the "Lightwrap" feature is especially powerful. It lets a compositor make background highlights bleed into foreground elements the way it would if a bright object flared into a foreground element in real life.

Dean Sensui -- Hawaii Goes Fishing


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ryan brown
Re: EX1 better for green screen?
on Jul 26, 2008 at 5:51:45 pm

Hi Dean.

Good points.

Btw what camera are you shooting your green screen shots with?

Ryan Brown
DowntownBrownEnt.


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Craig Seeman
Re: EX1 better for green screen?
on Jul 26, 2008 at 10:55:55 pm

The "Hawaii Goes Fishing" clip I posted the link to before is Dean's. Shot with EX1.



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ryan brown
Re: EX1 better for green screen?
on Jul 26, 2008 at 11:00:45 pm

The "Hawaii Goes Fishing" clip I posted the link to before is Dean's. Shot with EX1.

I figured they must have been but I thought I'd ask just to be sure...

Ryan Brown
DowntownBrownEnt.


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Dean Sensui
Re: EX1 better for green screen?
on Jul 27, 2008 at 5:52:24 am

Sorry I didn't make that clear. Yep, it's the EX1.

And, yes, it was a surprise to me, too! I expected 4:2:0 to be less effective than 4:2:2. So it's a good lesson: It's ok to make assumptions, but base your decisions on actual tests.

Dean Sensui -- Hawaii Goes Fishing


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ryan brown
Re: EX1 better for green screen?
on Jul 27, 2008 at 7:48:18 am

Yes certainly the proof is in the pudding!

Have you shot with an hvx before and you prefer the ex1?

I'm close to sold and ready to sell mine...but I'm still a bit unsure of what I'm losing with 4:2:0 and ex1 overall to hvx...is the trade of inaccurate editing due to gob editing, lack of color space, jittery footage do to cmos(rolling shutter)...please let me know...am I going to go out and not have what I have my next run and gun action shoot or am I pretty much able to do everything I'd expect to do with the hvx and more not too mention the excellent sdi output for my green screen shot.

Sorry if these questions seem dumb but it almost sounds too good to be true...kinda like scarlet 3k @ $3,000...if it was out I'd buy it...sounds like it would be great for my green screen shots(maybe not my live shots and run and gun but definitely sounds exciting for the gs)...

Please let me know what you all think...

Appreciate all the feedback!

Ryan Brown
DowntownBrownEnt.


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Craig Seeman
Re: EX1 better for green screen?
on Jul 27, 2008 at 3:29:27 pm

[ryan brown] "but I'm still a bit unsure of what I'm losing with 4:2:0 and ex1 overall to hvx...is the trade of inaccurate editing due to gob editing, lack of color space, jittery footage do to cmos(rolling shutter)...please let me know"

I have no problem editing GOP in Final Cut Pro. Most modern NLEs and reasonably fast computers can handle it. People have been using HDV, also GOP for a while now. In FCP you can set renders to Apple Pro Res when using HDV or XDCAM which eliminates the "re-conform" renders (rebuilding the GOP structure).

As you can see by the keying examples above 4:2:0, in the context of high pixel density, works well. There are so many examples of how it holds in in color correction that it's not worth posting. Certainly 4:2:2 can have advantages and even Sony now has XDCAM HD 4:2:2 but in most uses you won't see a difference.

It's fairly hard to induce CMOS rolling shutter issues in most uses. I can see it when shooting near a photo flash . . . but shooting fireworks look just fine. If you're following the action in a fast sport you might see some bending in the background. If you kick the tripod you might see jiggle. As to photo flash and tracking a fast moving subject, it looks different but doesn't bother my clients at all. Kicking the tripod doesn't look good with any chip. These are very modest tradeoffs for what you get with this camera.

In short:

I much prefer 1/2" chip, 1920x1080 that 1/3" 960x540.

I like being able to record nearly an hour on 16GB SxS card due to GOP compared to P2 DVCProHD. That's important when you want to keep "running when you're gunning."

I prefer the 4x and faster transfers of SxS compared to P2 which also keeps you "running when you're gunning."

I like being able to use 1080p30 and getting the max resolution and maintaining the efficient file size afforded by XDCAM EX HD compared to the HVX need to use 720p24n DVCProHD to get max record time on the P2 cards.

I like the manual (non servo) lens control on the EX1.

I like the low light performance of the EX1 (which can certainly be important in some run and gun situations).

HVX records DV to tape. 2 things (DV, tape) I hope never to do again.
HVX records DVCPro50 to P2. That's actually very nice if you need it but HD is the future that's very nearly present. In my area even the local news stations are moving to HD.






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Ryan Brown
Re: EX1 better for green screen?
on Jul 27, 2008 at 8:35:29 pm

Craig-

Wow that is a really great breakdown. Thank you for creating the detailed comparison.

I own a macbook pro and a macpro. Is it true that I can just slide the card in the express slot and ingest via my laptop with no adapter like the duel for P2? Also my macpro 2008 w/8 gigs should work pretty well for editing footage created from the ex1? Other big reason I'd get this camera is for the sdi out for uncompressed capture for green screen. What are my options to capture uncompressed and end up with it on my macpro or even macbook pro on location where I can't haul my macpro(is this even possible)?

I'm becoming more and more sold on this camera. I've been using panasonics since ag-456 and supercam...I really like them but I may just have to go with the ex1. The idea of larger sensors is a huge benefit and better low light shooting for any kind of shots is always a plus!

As for workflow premiere pro can ingest files natively I believe. So with final cut is it a log and transfer process like with P2 and can I convert it to prores if I want to do cc or green screen. Is this what you were referring to in a previous reply to my post?

Thanks again!

Ryan Brown
DowntownBrownEnt.


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Steve Wargo
Re: EX1 better for green screen?
on Jul 27, 2008 at 8:23:21 pm

[ryan brown] ".kinda like scarlet 3k @ $3,000"

Does that include a lens? And the other items required to capture images?






Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Ryan Brown
Re: EX1 better for green screen?
on Jul 27, 2008 at 8:51:10 pm

the red scarlet is their camera they had behind a glass box on display at NAB in the Red booth(Red.com). It's supposed to be an pocketcam that will shoot 3k. So it comes with a fixed lens and has various outputs. Not sure how the outputs are intended to be used but it shoots raw to two compact flash. The compression is much better I understand than others on the market. so basically it's like the RedOne that they currently have on the market that is body only at $17,500 but in a pocketcam form factor likely to target anyone with $3k and wants to work in a raw workflow environment. The Red One is out of my budget but I've had one in my studio and shot some green screen shots and saw some great stuff in the Red booth and at the supermeet. Gorgeous looking footage. Of course the workflow is a lot different than anything else but I'm sure that will be optimized and developed over time...

since i don't own a red i'm not the best person to ask technical questions...if you want to find out more go to reduser.netscarletuser.com or red.com is probably a good place to get more detailed info...

hope that helps and was the response you were looking for...?

Ryan Brown
DowntownBrownEnt.


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