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Am I stuck in a 720p rut?

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Matt Dufilho
Am I stuck in a 720p rut?
on Apr 19, 2011 at 3:51:16 pm

Hey guys, I'm performing a self-evaluation and needed some input.

I shoot mainly on an HPX170 and 300, and for as long as I've been shooting on them, I've shot in 720. I like the frame rate choices, over cranking abilities, lack of interlacing, easy scaling down for web resolutions, etc.

I'm currently shooting projects for local broadcast, corporate internal video, and projects for the web. My next project is a spec pilot for a client show to HGTV as a proof of concept.

I have a tendency to get stuck in ruts (both personally and professionally, but we'll stick to shooting for now), so with this new project around the corner, I'm wondering if I'm doing my best for my client (resolution-wise).

So, am I stuck in a 720p rut? Should I be shooting 1080? Am I shooting myself in the foot and under-serving my clients by not shooting 1080? Or am I making informed decisions on why I'm shooting 720p?

As always, I appreciate the advice of those who know more...which is usually most of the people on this forum.

Thanks,

Matt Dufilho


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Steve Eisen
Re: Am I stuck in a 720p rut?
on Apr 19, 2011 at 4:38:48 pm

Shoot in the format your client demands. Ask them what the final delivery is.

I bought my HPX-500 for that reason. Most of the time I shoot 720p60.

Last week I shot 720p50 for a job in Istanbul.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group


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Bonnie Ernst
Re: Am I stuck in a 720p rut?
on Aug 16, 2011 at 8:43:32 pm

What's the reason to pick 60p over 30p? I'm struggling with what to chose?

Bonnie Ernst
Videographer/Editor
Located on the central coast of California.
http://www.pacificcoastpro.com


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Am I stuck in a 720p rut?
on Aug 16, 2011 at 9:09:10 pm

[Bonnie Ernst] "What's the reason to pick 60p over 30p?"

720 p is the most versatile frame rate to use, for one thing. Using After Effects, it's a snap to convert 60p to 30p or even 23.976p (aka 24p).

It takes an act of Congress -- or good frame rate conversion software -- to go from those other frame rates to 60p.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Fernando Mol
Re: Am I stuck in a 720p rut?
on Apr 19, 2011 at 4:39:07 pm

I guess the answer about resolution must be defined by your final output.

Probably others will have more technical, informed opinions, but in my experience when in doubt: test.

I hope this helps


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Matt Dufilho
Re: Am I stuck in a 720p rut?
on Apr 19, 2011 at 6:00:22 pm

Thanks for the comments, guys.

I'm definitely a big believer in testing beforehand, and I'll always deliver what a client asks for.

I guess the basis of my question is when a client doesn't mention resolution...they just say, "We need this on DVD and the web"...am I somehow doing them a disservice by not shooting in 1080? "Am I missing out in some way?", is essentially my question.


Thanks again,

Matt


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Fernando Mol
Re: Am I stuck in a 720p rut?
on Apr 19, 2011 at 6:28:43 pm

In the HPX170 the CCD doesn't work progressive in 1080. This means the CCD is fully used in both 720 and 1080. No image quality difference, I assume.

Shooting at 1080 will give you extra pixels for reframing in post, but you'll have bigger files. Also, you'll end up with interlaced footage.

I don't know about the 300.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Am I stuck in a 720p rut?
on Apr 19, 2011 at 8:10:11 pm

I've been shooting 1080p for a couple of years now. A lot more 1080p HDTVs out there than 720p. Not that 720 doesn't upconvert nicely to 1080p but still. Might be time to evaluate your client base. If no one has ever complained then you're probably fine. If one client it could be time to invest in your infrastructure a bit more.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Matt Dufilho
Re: Am I stuck in a 720p rut?
on Apr 19, 2011 at 8:58:43 pm

Thanks for the reply, Noah.

My infrastructure is actually quite sound, all the way through post. And that's what I mean, I think all that's keeping me from shooting 1080 is pure habit.

This upcoming shoot is nothing fancy. Just exterior broll and talking heads. My thought is I could shoot everything 1080 30p on my HPX 300 and 170, but I'm hesitant to make a paying gig my first foray into something new...even if it's just a step up in resolution.

Is there anything I should be wary of as I step up (additional noise, etc.)?

Thanks again for the advice, and thanks for writing your RED book. It was a great read and got me pumped to leverage a RED shoot in the near future.

Matt


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Noah Kadner
Re: Am I stuck in a 720p rut?
on Apr 19, 2011 at 10:44:35 pm

Honestly I think it's a non-issue in terms of changes required- but you could shoot some simple tests if you're really concerned.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Matt Dufilho
Re: Am I stuck in a 720p rut?
on Apr 20, 2011 at 1:24:08 pm

I will.

Thanks again.


Matt


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Am I stuck in a 720p rut?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 10:27:09 pm

[Matt Dufilho] "This upcoming shoot is nothing fancy. Just exterior broll and talking heads. My thought is I could shoot everything 1080 30p on my HPX 300 and 170, but I'm hesitant to make a paying gig my first foray into something new...even if it's just a step up in resolution."

I've been shooting a lot of interviews in 1080p this year and it's great because I edit in a 720p timeline. I can change up the focal length just by scaling the video –I don't have to worry about snap-zooming between questions. In fact, I shoot with a prime lens. It makes editing interviews a joy.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


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Dan Brockett
Re: Am I stuck in a 720p rut?
on Apr 25, 2011 at 8:27:59 pm

I too have been shooting 90% in 720 for the past few years with my HPX-170. Last year, I did what Jason has been doing, shot a whole raft of projects in 1080p when I knew I was editing on a 720p timeline. For single camera talking heads, the 1080 gives you a lot of options, I liked it and the client did as well. When I have enough P2 cards, I like shooting 1080 24p/A just for this reason although if I don't have to re-frame or fake a two camera shoot, 720 looks great.

Dan

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

http://www.danbrockett.com


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Am I stuck in a 720p rut?
on Apr 21, 2011 at 6:00:29 pm

[Matt Dufilho] "...they just say, "We need this on DVD and the web"...am I somehow doing them a disservice by not shooting in 1080?"

In that particular case, no, you're not. You don't get any extra resolution out of a DVD whether the source video is 720 or 1080, and 720's just fine for the web.

But someone with actual delivery specs? Just like everyone else has said, you deliver what's specified.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Scott Davis
Re: Am I stuck in a 720p rut?
on Apr 26, 2011 at 12:18:22 pm

When purchasing our cameras (we have 2000s, 500s, 370s, & 170s) I researched and was told by a rep that those cameras' chips are optimized for 720P, not 1080. The HPX 3000 and 3100, from what I know, are 1080P cameras and don't even shoot 720. For the most part, we shoot 720P DVCPRO HD unless we're asked to shoot differently for an outside agency. Rut? I don't think so. For us, it's an optimizational thing and the workflow is all ironed out.

Scott
OSX 10.5.5
Quad 2.5Ghz
8.5 GB RAM
Final Cut Studio 6.0.4
HPX 2000


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Fernando Mol
Re: Am I stuck in a 720p rut?
on May 8, 2011 at 6:57:45 pm

Here I took some tests with an HPX170. The stills were exported directly from Premiere. Then, I compared in Photoshop and this is what I found:

When expanded, 720 footage looks softer than 1080 footage.

Is for the extra resolution?

To answer that I added an Unsharp Mask filter to the 720 expanded footage and it looks exactly the same as the 1080 footage.

My conclusion is that for the HPX170 there's no real benefit for the quality of the image when shooting at 1080. You only end with bigger files.

I hope this helps


-----------------Real 720---------------------


-----------------Expanded 720-----------------


-----------------1080 footage-----------------


-----------------720 with Unsharp Mask--------


PS. I have just realized how personal this footage is.


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