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HDV Camera or DSLR

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Peter Burger
HDV Camera or DSLR
on Dec 6, 2010 at 10:38:43 am

I've got an upcoming (very) low-budget commercial shoot. The clip is intended to be shown on the web and to be screened (digitally) in local movie-theaters.
My producer (who is - well, normally I would say a loony, but since he pays my cheques...) won't rent a "real" HD cam, but is about to use one of the company-cameras. Well... He's the boss...
They've got the Sony Z1 (which I know very well), a 5DMkII (I've got a T2i myself and worked with the 7D a quite couple of times). A third option would be to use my own Sony V1.

The shoot itself will not be too complicated. Very static pictures, a bit outdoors, a bit indoors. Very little postproduction, "just" colour correction.

My primary concern is picture quality on the big screen. So focussing will be a big issue, but I think I can handle that with either of the cameras.

What would you guys advise to use? What would you think will look best (in terms of the "technical" side of picture quality) on the big screen? Do you think, the lower horizontal resolution of the HDVs will be much of an issue?

Thanks in advance!


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Bob Dix
Re: HDV Camera or DSLR
on Dec 6, 2010 at 11:20:11 am

Hi Peter,

The chief projectionist at the first fully digital cinema complex in Australia has told me he can easily project the video from a NIKON equivalent to the 5D Mark II on his 70 foot widescreens using the Hard Drive set up as per the "FILMS: from Hollywood. So , that would be 1920 x 1080i, the HDV is 1440 x 1080i (Anamorphic) which expands to 1920 x 1080. On a TV 46 " set HD you cannot tell the difference.But, others will tell you they can ?
He tells me the colour from a high definition screening is not as good as 35 mm film stock and I agree with him , I have been in the business.

May be some one in the industry can give you better advice.

Freelance Imaging & Video
AUSTRALIA


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Peter Burger
Re: HDV Camera or DSLR
on Dec 6, 2010 at 12:40:02 pm

Thanks, Bob!

That's exactly one of my concerns. Anamorphic "yes" or "no"...

I really like the Sony HDVs (I think I spent more time with them, than with my wife... ;-) and I like the Canons as well (I spent a bit less time with them, but only because I bought my T2i only a few months ago...), especially for their bigger chips and all of the possibilities with the interchangeable lenses, DOF, etc...

So, for me the big questionmark is the sheer picture quality on the big screen.


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Bob Dix
Re: HDV Camera or DSLR
on Dec 6, 2010 at 8:59:59 pm

Hi Peter,

Fortunately or not the 35mm sensor on the Canon 5D mark II and not the 7D or Sony may make all the difference/ The film maker from Denmark who answered you re 1,000 lines knows what he is talking about.

All the best in your production. I musy admit some of the commercials made for the big screen in Australia are a technical disgrace, they can't focus, the colour is washed out and the sound is well, not cinema, some of it looks like VHS.

Freelance Imaging & Video
AUSTRALIA


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Peter Burger
Re: HDV Camera or DSLR
on Dec 7, 2010 at 11:04:19 am

Same here, Bob! Especially if you go to small local theatres.

Yes, I will take the 5D. I just wanted to be shure, that there are no major downsides for the big screen with the H.264 material.

I knew some HDV-productions for cinema, and I think I know how to get the best out of HDV - so I felt safe...

All the best to Down Under!

Snow is gone in Munich - probably no white christmas... :-(


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Claus Frederiksen
Re: HDV Camera or DSLR
on Dec 6, 2010 at 12:01:51 pm

"Do you think, the lower horizontal resolution of the HDVs will be much of an issue?"

Yes!

Kind regards from Denmark,

Claus Frederiksen
http://www.frederiksenproductions.dk


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Peter Burger
Re: HDV Camera or DSLR
on Dec 6, 2010 at 12:28:18 pm

That's a clear statement! Thanks, Claus!
So, on the "resolution-side", it's the DSLR.


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Claus Frederiksen
Re: HDV Camera or DSLR
on Dec 6, 2010 at 1:05:45 pm

My pleasure!

Yes, and "the look" as well: check this one here: and here:http://vimeo.com/14428901.

Thats why I would go with 5D (... and I am getting one next week :-)

Kind regards from Denmark,

Claus Frederiksen
http://www.frederiksenproductions.dk


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Peter Burger
Re: HDV Camera or DSLR
on Dec 6, 2010 at 1:15:32 pm

I adore the Canons as well for their looks, Claus! Yes, it's very, very tempting to just say "I'm taking the 5D!"
But I have no experience with the big screen, never seen any DLSR footage screened.
What I know is, that HDV - if you treat it right - can look awesome in movie theatres.
If the 5D footage will be at least that good - no question: I'm taking the 5D.

But if I have compression artifacts or other issues... hmmm...


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Claus Frederiksen
Re: HDV Camera or DSLR
on Dec 6, 2010 at 1:21:33 pm

Hi peter,

Both formats are compressed, pretty hard. But the colors and DOP on the 5D is waaay better. Even if you get your hands on a good lens for the HDV.

I know a few films in Scandinavia, Island and Finland has been shot on the 5D and 7D. http://twitchfilm.com/news/2010/05/more-scandinavian-crime-drama-city-state... (..the link is from the tv version/series)

All the best...

Kind regards from Denmark,

Claus Frederiksen
http://www.frederiksenproductions.dk


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Peter Burger
Re: HDV Camera or DSLR
on Dec 6, 2010 at 1:27:16 pm

Another argument for the 5D. Thanks!

Yes, I think I'll use the Canon.

Compression was my argument against either of the cameras and for a "real" HD-Cam.

Thanks Claus!


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Peter Burger
Re: HDV Camera or DSLR
on Dec 6, 2010 at 3:16:39 pm

Watched the videos, Claus! Great!
Yeah, I think I go with aesthetics... Even if there should be some small tech-issues (which I don't believe, because DSLR footage has a much higher bandwith than HDV) - to heck with it!


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Casey Petersen
Re: HDV Camera or DSLR
on Dec 6, 2010 at 8:41:51 pm

Very nice, Claus!

What did you use for color grading? How about filters?

Thanks!
Casey



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Claus Frederiksen
Re: HDV Camera or DSLR
on Dec 7, 2010 at 9:01:10 am

Hi Casey,

Unfortunately its not my work - I found it while searching for 5D stuff... :-)

Kind regards from Denmark,

Claus Frederiksen
http://www.frederiksenproductions.dk


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Peter Burger
Ignore this (single) posting
on Dec 6, 2010 at 1:04:41 pm

What I wrote is covered in above posts


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Chris Wright
Re: Ignore this (single) posting
on Dec 9, 2010 at 1:21:12 am

if unable to smoothly rack focus and duel system sound aren't dealbreakers, go for dslr.

http://technicolorsoftware.hostzi.com/


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Peter Burger
Thanks
on Dec 9, 2010 at 12:39:46 pm

Thanks Chris!

Sound will be produced in post (music and voiceover). So no problem with that. No difficult pictures as well.

You also think, that DSLR won't produce more (or more visible) compression artifacts, than HDV, that'll look weird on a big screen?

So, yes, it's DSLR... (I almost hoped everybody will say that ;-))


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Chris Wright
Re: Thanks
on Dec 9, 2010 at 8:52:25 pm

DSLR's are in a whole different category than HDV. I won't get into all the tech crap, but to make it simple, a 5D in an imax looks great, nuff said.

http://technicolorsoftware.hostzi.com/


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Peter Burger
Re: Thanks
on Dec 10, 2010 at 10:22:16 am

Thanks again, Chris!

I appreciate your always very helpful comments!


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