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SD vs HD for 720x4xx

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Rob Gutermuth
SD vs HD for 720x4xx
on May 15, 2014 at 11:46:48 am

Hi All,

Just a quick question that never seemed to get answered...

If I am producing content for the web, and my final size is an MP4 file (using H.264) of 720x4xx, why would HD scaled down look better than SD in it's native resolution?

Let's say, 720x480 for SD, and 720x405 for HD via 16:9...

So, will this footage look about the same? or will the HD footage, even scaled from 1440x1080 (HDV) look better?

The cameras are:

for HD - Canon XL-H1
for SD - Canon XL1s

looking for all opinions... mostly, from someone that has tried both, and can give me a reason to keep my XL1s lol

I know that the biggest advantage of HD, is that I can go all the way from Blu-Ray/1080 down to whatever, and have multiple size frames, and have HD, and scaled down SD... but let's say the client (or myself) never will go past 720x480/405 - as this is the size they want for their web purposes.

is it worth the time and effort to scale down, or just shoot it native in SD? (the XL-H1 can also shoot in SD wide)

Thanks

Rob Gutermuth
Media Creations


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Jayasri (Joyce) Hart
Re: SD vs HD for 720x4xx
on Jun 6, 2014 at 12:07:39 am

This is a question I would like answered too. I believe HD (including HDV) has a higher video sample rate than SD
http://documentation.apple.com/en/finalcutpro/usermanual/index.html#chapter...
Now how much of that translates into a better-looking web image or more latitude in color grading, I don't know. I am currently finishing a video shot on DV and any difference I see between its images and what I shot on HDV may be attributable to the quality of the lens. In that respect, the two Canons you mention are comparable, right?

Jayasri (Joyce) Hart
Los Angeles, USA
htp://home.earthlink.net/~hartfilms


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Rob Gutermuth
Re: SD vs HD for 720x4xx
on Jun 6, 2014 at 11:58:55 am

Yes, in fact, I can use the SAME lens on both the XL-H1 and the XL1s

BTW - anyone reading this from Canon... was it simply slick marketing and Black vs off white to make different the 20x from the xl2 vs the 20x from the XL-H1? - just curious, since I can't tell the difference between the two lenses...

Same question for the 3x and the 16x manual focus lens... I have the 6x for the XL-H1 too... (best wide they made for these, but it's heavy!)

so, the question remains... which is better? HD downconverted, or SD native?

I will say that Compressor does a very nice job with it's downconverting - BUT - to anyone reading, I do have some advice...

If your final target is mainly DVD, or for broadcast TV, I find that shooting in 1080i will give much better results when downconverting, which makes sense to me, since it's one less step that needs to be done... Maybe Im wrong here, but when I shoot in any Progressive mode, and convert to interlaced, it never looks as good as if it was shot in interlaced to begin with?

to this end, does anyone shoot in 1080P for a living? - I mean, only a 1080P tv can play that back, correct? so the format still has low mass appeal, even for Blu-Ray?

When I say that, I mean if you intend the end video to be watched by a lot of different peeps - I know the image quality of 1080P is better than 1080i, all things being equal, but - as I digress....

still looking for good feedback on the 720x480 question....

Thanks all!

Rob Gutermuth
Media Creations


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