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Nelson May
advice on 720 vs 1080
on Jan 15, 2010 at 3:25:34 pm

I am going to be shooting a documentary this summer on a subject that will have a lot of eye candy. I doubt this will go to film or even blue ray DVD, but just in case, I want to have the best resolution if I do need to telecine.

I don't ever shoot in 1080 on my HVX200. There has never really been a need, so I don't know the codecs as well as 720. In most case I go with 720pn, but I will have to use my firestore fs100 instead of p2 cards for the long form recording.

I hate shooting in interlaced and I saw a 1080PA format. I also saw a 1080p both in 24fps. I was going to try and shoot 30fps, but I can do 24 and worry about the conversion to DVD later.

Advice on 720 vs 1080. Is it worth the hassle or will 720 suffice? I have been reading the book on the RED ONE and I have worked with many LA DPs on commercials that say always shoot the highest resolution for feature or doc work to have the ability to go to telecine if needed.

I know I am asking a lot, but I like to have my pre-pro set and not have to wing it.

MBP 2.4GHz 4MB RAM, 30"cine, MAC PRO 2.6 8 core 6GB RAM, Mbox, Neumann TLM-103, FCP HD 7. Pro Tools 8, Adobe Creative Suite, Reason 3.0, Macromedia Studio, ProAnimator, HVX200 with Firestore v4.0


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Dan Brockett
Re: advice on 720 vs 1080
on Jan 15, 2010 at 4:46:11 pm

Hi Nelson:

Not to be pednatic, but some of your terminology is confusing. Telecine is the transfer of film to video, you can't telecine footage from the HVX200 because it already is video. What I surmise you are describing would be the opposite, a film out. This would be the process of outputting frames of video from your HVX to film. It is very expensive and a minute fraction, less than 1%, of people shooting video ever do this so it is almost a non-concern frankly. Everyone always discusses film outs like they are done all of the time when, in fact, they are becoming exceedingly rare and many of the companies that do them have gone under or are no longer doing them.

Also, you should describe Blu Ray as just Blu Ray, never as Blu Ray DVD, because DVD and Blu Ray are two separate and distinct formats, Blu Ray being a Hi-Definition optical disc format and DVD being an SD optical disc format. Two different and distinct formats that have totally different standards and requirements as far as production considerations. When discussing this specs, you should always use correct terminology so as to avoid costly and frustrating mis-communication.

The DVCPRO HD codec that your 200 shoots, assuming we are talking about a 59.94 camera, can record in 720 24Pn, 30Pn, 24p, 30p and 1080 24p over 1080i, 108024Pa over 1080i, 108030P ver 1080i and 1080i. The main difference is that 720 is always progressive, there is no such thing as 720i, while 1080, as a format, can be interlaced or progressive. The DVCPRO HD codec specifies that all 1080 formats are recorded within an interlaced 1080 signal. So to further clarify, the camera itself is always imaging a 1080 progressive signal. It derives all of these other formats by downrezzing or converting the 1080P signal to whatever format the user sets it to. If you shoot 108024P, you must load the footage into FCP or another editing program and use tools to extract the flagged 24 progressive frames from the 1080 interlaced stream, much as some people used to do with the 24p footage in the 480 interlaced signal when shooting the DVX100. Camera is imaging in 24 progressive frames, but is recording it into an interlaced recording, got it?

This massively confuses many people who think that the HVX200 cannot record 1080 24P. If you shoot 108024Pa, when you use the log and transfer tool in FCP, FCP only brings in the 24 progressive frames, doing all of the frame extraction work for you. If you want to shoot 1080, this would be the setting I would recommend to you, 108024Pa.

I would not recommend shooting 30P, that format can become a nightmare for film outs and typically, you need to worry more about how and if your show will ever be seen in 50Hz (PAL) markets. 24P is a pretty simple conversion to 25P, but 30P is not.

As far as will 720 suffice, you do gain about 15% more resolution by shooting 108024Pa over 720P. If you care about obtaining the ultimate in resolution, shoot 108024Pa. As a more practical outlook, most people cannot ever tell the difference between 720 and 1080 unless they are a video engineer or high end DP and even then few can tell the difference in a double blind test. If you are required to deliver a 1080 master, it is pretty easy to cross convert 720 to 1080. I use the Aja Kona 3 and it can do this in real time. I have used this workflow for years with all of the studios and the footage has always passed QC and the clients at all of the studios have always been happy with the results. IMHO, you only NEED 1080 if your show will be projected on large screens. For Blu Ray, DVD, web and broadcast, 720 is more than sufficient but many people are brainwashed that "bigger = better" so much of the production world has 1080 on the brain and thinks that 720 is substandard.

If I was shooting with the FS100, I would shoot 1080 simply because card space is not an issue so why not? But it would not be imperative.

Best of luck,

Dan



Providing value added material to all of your favorite DVDs


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Noah Klein
Re: advice on 720 vs 1080
on Nov 8, 2011 at 1:33:02 am

I have been using the HVX for several years now and just shot my first clips in 1080i60. When importing into Final Cut, the image is very grainy and has a"fog" around the edges. I did not change any other settings in the camera other than going to 1080i60 as the client requested that format. Why am I getting this problem? All the footage is trash. Help!

Noah Klein
Final Cut Pro Editor
Central East NCSY


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edgar metro
Re: advice on 720 vs 1080
on Dec 19, 2012 at 6:02:02 pm

Hello Dan,
I have read over the years your helpful answers to so many questions on this forum.

Question:
I am shooting something on my HVX that will be for broadcast. The producer wants me to shoot in 1080 24p (23.98) Here are the spec they require:
PHOTOGRAPHED IN:
Aspect Ratio - 16:9 HD
Shooting Format - HDCAM SR / HDCAM / DVC PRO HD / HDV / XDCAM HD 35 megabit
Standard (resolution / scanning method / frame rate) – 1080i 59.94 / 1080i 50 / 1080 Psf 23.98 / 1080 Psf 25 / 720 P 59.94 / 720 P 50 / 720 P 25 / 720 P 23.98


MASTERED AND DELIVERED: 16:9 NATIVE on SONY HDCAM 1080i/59.94

The HVX only has a 1080i 24p setting and not a 1080p (as you know)
Will this be a problem when editing and outputting to the specified delivery parameters?
I have also read on here that it might be better to shoot in 24pa.
I'm quite confused on what to do.
I would appreciate any help you can provide.
Thank you in advance.

-Edgar


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Dan Brockett
Re: advice on 720 vs 1080
on Dec 19, 2012 at 6:33:59 pm

Hi Edgar:

Wow, talk about a necro post, I have been shooting DSLRs mostly since this thread but I can try to give you an answer. I still have my P2 camera but really have not used it much in the two years since this thread as most of my deliveries have been for 640 x 360 web delivery, something the DSLRs have no problem with.

I would shoot 1080 24p or pA, depending on what hardware on your end you are using to edit and record your master out to HDCAM. 24p and pA, they are identical, except for how the pulldown fields are arranged in the 60i stream. But the 24pA pulldown scheme is easier to remove to give you the native 24p frames. You can process 24pA in FCP Studio using Cinema Tools, Premiere Pro handles it no problem. Not sure about AVID or Vegas.

Here is another thread you should read http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/193/869774

Personally, I think for your needs, I would avoid 24pA, there are more chances to screw it up in post and I think that the 24p will work fine. 24pA was originally intended for film outs mainly but not too many filmmakers are shooting DVCProHD and going to film these days, whereas at one time, that was a more common workflow.

Look at this way, you are shooting progressive onto an interlaced format and delivering an interlaced format. Makes sense to me to just keep the 1080 24p/1080 60i as is and edit, then transfer. I suppose you could always select a clip and do a test for QC but that would cost bucks.

The delivery spec you are doing is very common and your 1080 24p will still look like 24p, even though it is in a 1080 60i stream. Think about it, that 1080i is going to record perfectly to the HDCAM stream because they are both 1080 59.94 i, right? Are you outputting to the deck (renting the deck) or are you taking it to a post house/dub facility?

A Producer Who Is Also A DP? Yep, that's Me.

http://www.danbrockett.com


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edgar metro
Re: advice on 720 vs 1080
on Dec 19, 2012 at 7:00:42 pm

Thanks for your reply Dan.
I won't be dealing with any of the post work myself as I am just freelancer shooting a portion of this project. It is a set of interviews that are shot with different shooters.
The rest of the footage for the show was shot on an xd cam (a 350 I think) at 23.97fs.
I just want to make sure it matches up (both scanning and frame rate) to the xd cam so the editor won't have any issues in the cutting room.
I think if I just shoot in 1080i 24p it would be okay, right?
Sorry I'm not too familiar with workflows on the back end.
Would it be better to shoot in 720 so it will be true progressive...
Thanks again for the quick response


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Noah Kadner
Re: advice on 720 vs 1080
on Jan 15, 2010 at 4:50:04 pm

I'd go 720. That's the camera's native format and it gives you access to all of the frame rates. That said, I think the Firestore has been trumped by the AJA KiPro. It's a lot more reliable and user friendly while giving you the option of a much better image quality going straight to ProRes instead of DVCPROHD.

http://www.aja.com/products/ki-pro/

-Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera! Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio.
Call Box Training now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 7D, and Panasonic DVX100.


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Kevin Randall
Re: advice on 720 vs 1080
on Jan 20, 2010 at 4:41:34 pm

Misinformation about the so-called "native format" of the HVX200 is constantly being given. Dan Brockett had it right: 1080 will give you the highest resolution possible from the camera. That is the resolution that ALL images--repeat, ALL images--start out in. When you record in 720, you are recording a down-rezzed image from the original 1080 image the camera captured.


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Noah Kadner
Re: advice on 720 vs 1080
on Feb 15, 2010 at 11:22:51 pm

[Kevin Randall] "Misinformation about the so-called "native format" of the HVX200 is constantly being given. Dan Brockett had it right: 1080 will give you the highest resolution possible from the camera. That is the resolution that ALL images--repeat, ALL images--start out in. When you record in 720, you are recording a down-rezzed image from the original 1080 image the camera captured."

Whoa- easy there cowboy. There's no misinformation here. 720 is the camera's native format in the sense that it gives you access to all shooting formats and frame rates. You cannot over/undercrank in 1080p for example. That's why I recommended it...

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Visit my Editors Blog- Tips and Gear for Editors.


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