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Is this going to be an issue??

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Michael Z.
Is this going to be an issue??
on Sep 11, 2007 at 12:31:20 am

(Cross-Posted at HD High End Forum)

We have an HD job that I was told by the DP was being shot on a Pansonic HDX-900 at 720P @ 23.98fps. When the tapes were delivered tonight, I saw they were shot on standard def DVCPro tapes as opposed to the DVCProHD tapes that I typically receive. I do remember hearing at some point that DVCPro HD footage could be recorded to SD DVCPro tapes. However, when I put the tapes into our Panasonic 1200a to capture via HDI-SDI through the Kona 2, I couldn't get a signal. I had my Easy Setup set for Kona 2/720 P, 23.98 Varicam DVCPro HD which is what I always use for 720P shoots. I was concerned that the footage might have been incorrectly shot in SD, but I just sent the tapes out to a dubb house that we work with and they confirmed for me that the tapes were shot in 720P HD, but they are formatted 4:3 as opposed to 16:9? I didn't realize that was even a possible HD recording aspect ratio for 720 material. I'm not sure why they were able to get a signal out of the deck, when I was unable to get it to play through the Kona (I sent them out before checking my direct HD-SDI monitor output directly from the deck). I'm going to pick the tapes up in the morning and see if I can get them captured properly through the Kona 2.

Is there any thing I should be aware of as a potential problem given the scenario I'm describing? Is there a deck setting I need to switch the 1200a over to given that these tapes are regular DVCPro? What about the Kona 2 - is my normal 720 P 23.98 Varicam DVCProHD easy setup not the one to be using? Did the production company do an okay thing by shooting on standard def DVDPro tape or is this going to be a problem? We typically do HDCAM editing, but I've done a few 720P jobs recently and this definitely has me stumped. Any info is greatly appreciated. Thanks very much.

Mike

Dual 2.7 ghz G5
Kona 2
FCP 5.0.4
Panasonic 1200a



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walter biscardi
Re: Is this going to be an issue??
on Sep 11, 2007 at 12:42:40 am

[Michael Z.] "When the tapes were delivered tonight, I saw they were shot on standard def DVCPro tapes as opposed to the DVCProHD tapes that I typically receive. I do remember hearing at some point that DVCPro HD footage could be recorded to SD DVCPro tapes."

They are the EXACT same tape. There is no HD or SD DVCPro HD tape. The Red labeled "HD" tapes are merely labeled correctly for the actual running time in HD mode. The Yellow labeled tapes are labelled per the actual running time of the longest SD mode. But the tape itself is identical as we discovered three years ago when we started working in the format.

[Michael Z.] "I had my Easy Setup set for Kona 2/720 P, 23.98 Varicam DVCPro HD which is what I always use for 720P shoots."

What does your deck tell you? The deck will tell you what frame size, frame rate the tapes are shot in.

[Michael Z.] "but I just sent the tapes out to a dubb house that we work with and they confirmed for me that the tapes were shot in 720P HD, but they are formatted 4:3 as opposed to 16:9? I didn't realize that was even a possible HD recording aspect ratio for 720 material"

This definitely doesn't sound right as I've never seen 4:3 720p footage come into the shop, but I suppose anything is possible.

[Michael Z.] "I'm not sure why they were able to get a signal out of the deck, when I was unable to get it to play through the Kona (I sent them out before checking my direct HD-SDI monitor output directly from the deck). I'm going to pick the tapes up in the morning and see if I can get them captured properly through the Kona 2."

Again, first look to see what the deck is telling you about frame rate, frame size and then match it with your Kona setup. Especially with the Varicam, I've seen folks not shoot what they thought they were shooting and what's supposed to be 23.98 is really 59.94.

[Michael Z.] "Is there a deck setting I need to switch the 1200a over to given that these tapes are regular DVCPro?"

If these are actually SD tapes, then you need to connect to the SD-SDI output.

[Michael Z.] "What about the Kona 2 - is my normal 720 P 23.98 Varicam DVCProHD easy setup not the one to be using?"

If the tapes are truly 23.98 from a Varicam, then that's the correct setting. If they are not, you probably need the 720 / 59.94 setting.

[Michael Z.] "Did the production company do an okay thing by shooting on standard def DVDPro tape or is this going to be a problem?"

Again, the tapes are identical, I have three seasons of Good Eats in High Definition all shot on yellow labeled DVCPro tapes and mastered to the same yellow label DVCPro tape. You just pay more for the red label and "HD" designation on those tapes.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.

All Things Apple Podcast! http://cowcast.creativecow.net/all_things_apple/index.html

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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Michael Z.
Re: Is this going to be an issue??
on Sep 11, 2007 at 12:57:24 am

Walter-
Thanks for your quick and extremely thorough response. As always your answers are extremely helpful. A couple questions:

You asked: What does your deck tell you? The deck will tell you what frame size, frame rate the tapes are shot in.

The deck has the 720 light come on on the lower left, but I can't find a specific readout for framerate. Where does the 1200a indicate a framerate reading? On my JH-3 I need to manually set the frequency to the recorded frame rate, but I thought for 720P the tape always plays in the 1200a at 59.94 and it's up to the capturing software/hardware to flag the frames assuming they were recorded properly in camera.

You asked: If the tapes are truly 23.98 from a Varicam, then that's the correct setting. If they are not, you probably need the 720 / 59.94 setting.

The tapes are from a Panasonic HDX-900. Since the DP told me they were shot at 23.98, I chose that setting because Varicam was the only setting for that frame rate. I did not see any other Kona 2 easy setups for 720P and 23.98 recording.

Thanks again. I really appreciate the help.


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walter biscardi
Re: Is this going to be an issue??
on Sep 11, 2007 at 1:01:42 am

[Michael Z.] "

The deck has the 720 light come on on the lower left, but I can't find a specific readout for framerate."


In the User Bits readout. Switch your Timecode Display to User Bits and it's the 2nd or 3rd set of numbers. You'll see 24, 30 or 60 I believe.

[Michael Z.] "did not see any other Kona 2 easy setups for 720P and 23.98 recording."

There should be two 23.98 settings. One with the word Varicam and one without. But the 900 does work with the Varicam setting as well because I did a commercial two months ago shot with the 900 in 23.98 and I used the Varicam setting.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.

All Things Apple Podcast! http://cowcast.creativecow.net/all_things_apple/index.html

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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JeremyG
Re: Is this going to be an issue??
on Sep 11, 2007 at 2:11:36 am

[walter biscardi] "This definitely doesn't sound right as I've never seen 4:3 720p footage come into the shop, but I suppose anything is possible.
"


WEll, in actuality Native DVCPro HD 720 is 960x720 which is 4x3.

Michael, FCP makes the anamorphic conversion almost invisible to the user but it is 4x3. All current HD tape formats record in some sort of anamorphic format and not full raster as you would expect. Newer tapeless camera are beginning to record full raster HD. The future is almost now.

And yes, the HDX900 should work just like the varicam, as long as it recorded 24p. Also, are you sure the deck is set to output 720 as 720? There's a setting in the deck to play 720 as 1080 that maybe someone has changed which is why you'd get no signal. Without using FCP, open the Kona control panel and see what format is setup on the input. The Kona should detect what it is.

Jeremy



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Michael Z.
Re: Is this going to be an issue?? Update
on Sep 11, 2007 at 4:17:20 pm

Thanks Walter and Jeremy. Turns out this issue was something entirely different. Our deck will only play back DVCPro HD tapes that are "L" format. The production company did not shoot on "L" cassesttes and that's why they weren't playing back. You learn something new every day. Just out of curiousty - what's the difference in formatting "L" versus non-"L"? Thanks.

- Mike


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JeremyG
Re: Is this going to be an issue?? Update
on Sep 12, 2007 at 12:38:58 am

By L do you mean Large?


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Michael Z.
Re: Is this going to be an issue?? Update
on Sep 12, 2007 at 1:39:03 am

Yes the large tapes. They have an "L" next to the run-time on the left side of the tape.


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JeremyG
Re: Is this going to be an issue?? Update
on Sep 12, 2007 at 1:44:25 am

The 1200A will play any size of dv based tape from mini-dv (with the appropriate adapter), medium seize cassettes (SDX900 or HDX900 shoots with these) or the L cassette (Varicams and full size DVcPro cameras).

Also the 1200A plays back tapes from the HDX900.

It should work, so something else is amiss somewhere.

Jeremy


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