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DVX 100b or FX 1

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cow_fan
DVX 100b or FX 1
on Aug 26, 2006 at 11:18:04 am

Which is best for an indie film, Panasonic DVX100b or the Sony FX 1? I like the Panasonic for its 24p but the FX 1 creates sharper images with its HD capability. I was invited to see a local filmfest. Unlike other theaters that use film, that movie house played ordinary DVDs. I noticed that the picture was "stair-stepping." Could that be avoided if they used the DVX 100b and shot in 24p? Thanks.


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Tim Kolb
Re: DVX 100b or FX 1
on Aug 26, 2006 at 2:56:29 pm

The DVX 100b is a standard def DV camcorder...blowing up standard def to the size of a movie theater screen will create stairstepping because of the low picture resolution...the framerate has nothing to do with it. The FX-1 is a high definition camcorder and footage from that camera would "blow up" much better...if there was a way to play it back. You would most likely have to play it from a PC as HD DVD players and burners haven't really taken hold just yet.

If you're really set on 24p...the DVX100 has far better 24p than the CineFrame mode in the Sony...but the Sony has far better picture resolution.

...that doesn't even touch on editing the content, which is a new topic entirely.




TimK,

Kolb Productions,
Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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cow_fan
Re: DVX 100b or FX 1
on Aug 27, 2006 at 12:08:36 am

I was thinking that by using the progressive mode by shooting in 24p, I will make the stair-stepping go away. I thought that the stair-stepping was there because it was shot in interlaced mode. Am I right?

If I use the Panasonic, and the picture is blown up to the size of a movie theater screen, is it like watching a VHS tape on T.V.? Is it that bad? Or worse?

Now if I use the FX1, can I just use the Magic Bullet plugin to convert everything to progressive? Thanks.


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Tim Kolb
Re: DVX 100b or FX 1
on Aug 27, 2006 at 1:26:10 pm

[cow_fan] "I was thinking that by using the progressive mode by shooting in 24p, I will make the stair-stepping go away. I thought that the stair-stepping was there because it was shot in interlaced mode. Am I right?"


My first line in my intial response covered this...you may see some interlace edges on movement as projectors are progressive scan devices, but the amount of scaling the image has to do is also going to affect this...standard def can start to look pretty rough on a large movie screen.

[cow_fan] "If I use the Panasonic, and the picture is blown up to the size of a movie theater screen, is it like watching a VHS tape on T.V.? Is it that bad? Or worse?"

VHS is analog...image scales differently...different projectors respond differently...is the screen 10 ft across or 30 ft?...etc, etc, etc. DV should look better than VHS under the same circumstances of course, but DV shot with an unknown skill level projected at an unknown size with an unknown projector vs VHS on some unknown television model is a pretty hard comparison to even attempt.

[cow_fan] "Now if I use the FX1, can I just use the Magic Bullet plugin to convert everything to progressive? Thanks."

You can...it takes a long time and keep in mind that to do HD, you will need the higher priced Magic Bullet plugin. The base version only does SD.




TimK,

Kolb Productions,
Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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cow_fan
Re: DVX 100b or FX 1
on Aug 28, 2006 at 4:41:59 am

Thanks. I'll use the the Sony then. I really don't care much about 24p. I think picture resolution is more important.


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Steve Wargo
Re: DVX 100b or FX 1
on Sep 7, 2006 at 11:53:15 am

Actually, I would go for the 100B. I've shot a feature with the 100 and 100A and it looked very good on the big screen. The problem with the stair stepping might have been in the projector. My second unit camera operator shot a documentary later with a Z-1 and he said he would never use that camera again but would rather shoot with the 100B even though it's standard def. Will your movie show in theaters or on DVD?

The audience will expect a progressive 24 fps image and the 100B is very close in picture gamma to our F-900. Before deciding, you need to shoot a test scene with some contrasty situations like outdoors in the shade and in the sunlight and also with some fast movement.

The 24P mode on the Sonys is not acceptable. Without 24P, your movie will have a difficult time looking like a movie. It will look more like a sharp home movie.



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Tim Kolb
Re: DVX 100b or FX 1
on Sep 9, 2006 at 2:36:06 pm

[Steve Wargo] "The 24P mode on the Sonys is not acceptable. Without 24P, your movie will have a difficult time looking like a movie. It will look more like a sharp home movie."

While this is a true statement, shooting the Z1 at 25p (European frame rate) and ingesting with a drop to 24p (and compensating for the 4% audio pitch difference)is a perfectly usable workflow. CineForm/PPro and Vegas have workflows to work this way. Vegas also has a workflow that brings in the Sony HDV as 4:4:4 SD. Also very nice looking and higher quality than DV image compression certainly.

While I agree that it is annoying for clients who really don't know what they're talking about to dictate equipment (a decade and a half of "if you don't have a Sony cam and an Avid editor you're an amateur" comes to mind...) HD vs SD is going to become more and more of an issue. I've worked with the DV100, the HVX200 as well as the Varicam and while the 24p is certainly really excellent, the Sony has pretty impressive latitude for a 5,000 dollar camera and workflow options that can make it work for many applications.

I'd be as careful about disqualifying the Sony based on this one feature as I would be about settling on the Panasonic based on one feature. The 25>24 coversion takes no time with these two workflows as it happens on ingest, and since it's a straight frame-for-frame conversion, it's even a bit cleaner on the workflow end than the pulldown operations needed for the Panasonic material.

...just something worth considering.










TimK,

Kolb Productions,
Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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Steve Wargo
And...
on Sep 7, 2006 at 11:57:31 am

As Tim said earlier, trying to edit HDV footage and then playing it back could be a nightmare. HDV is not the world saving format that some thought it would be. The 100B is a proven winner, following the explosive use of the 100 and then the 100A, nothing has touched their reliability and popularity.


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cow_fan
Re: And...
on Sep 7, 2006 at 11:26:48 pm

The movie will be shown in both theater and DVD. The reason I like the HDV is that clients think it's better and would hire only someone who shoots with it. It's that HDV fad that makes the sale... even if they don't really know which camera/ format shoots better. How do you educate these people?


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john sharaf
Re: And...
on Sep 7, 2006 at 11:31:41 pm

It's a real bad sign when the client makes such arbitrary decisions based on fad or what they've heard at the camera store! To me it;s awarning that they won't listen to anything I say in the future, and I'd beg off right away. If you still want to pursue it, suggest a shoot-out test, where you look at the results filmed out and on a DVD; this is the only way to demonstrate the differences and will be a good opportunity to work together before commiting to a lengthy project.

JS


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