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Canon XL2 to DVD

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Calum Guthrie
Canon XL2 to DVD
on Dec 17, 2009 at 2:16:21 pm

I've always been a little self conscious about my xl2. Great Camera, in terms of control and features. It does suffer a little chromatic aberration.
But it was the image quality I was always concerned with. Ever since I bought it I was always thinkning

"this isnt that much more amazing than a £300 video camera"

I've seen some amazing colour reproduction and crystal image reproduction on argos cameras and such. The Canon hv20 for example.

I did get to see it once on a nice big screen once, straight from the DV tape, the lens was slightly zoomed in, on a summers day. It could have been a broadcast camera.
So I have resigned to feel that if my subject is well lit, the image will look like the £2500 I paid for.


Heres my issue-
when I pop things on DVD. MPEG2 conversion kills my quality, and since Im only in SD, I cant see what Im doing wrong, I max out all the settings so its as high quality as possible, but still, my dvd looks like it was filmed on a £200 handy cam.

What the duece? if Movies can fit 2 hours of mega footage on a DVD, why cant I fit the quality of my DV tape on DVD?

Is there a process I'm missing?

I use CS3 Creative suite.
What do they do in the industry?
and what are my free ware alternatives? (since an XL2 and CS3 maxed my credit)


any help would be ace.

sto pro veritate


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Calum Guthrie
Re: Canon XL2 to DVD
on Dec 17, 2009 at 2:24:57 pm

http://www.youtube.com/user/SevenhillsProduction#p/u

Thats my footage. and believe me, on DVD the quality is much the same.

I export from Premiere pro
1024x576 1.0 PAR
I'm just teaching myself Encore.
I learnt the wonders of PPI on photoshop things (giving me a resolution I could never get with text http://www.rivieraaccess.com/community-links/member-gallery/?g2_itemId=2529..., does that come into account in video?

How often is my video signal being compressed once it goes onto dv tape? and how can I keep that signal as good as possible whilst still taking it into editing?

sto pro veritate


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Michael Sacci
Re: Canon XL2 to DVD
on Dec 17, 2009 at 4:50:31 pm

[Calum Guthrie] "I export from Premiere pro
1024x576 1.0 PAR "

Why in the world would you do this, this is not a video resolution.

Stay with DV pixel res and aspect ratio for starters.




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Jeff Pulera
Re: Canon XL2 to DVD
on Dec 17, 2009 at 5:30:57 pm

Yes, why are you changing the dimensions? DV video and DVD are the same size, don't rescale. At its simplest, after your video is edited in the Premiere timeline, just use File > Export > Export to Encore.

Click a few simple buttons and the rest is automated, your video is encoded to MPEG-2 and burned direct to DVD (no menus). Try a short segment of a couple minutes in length this way and see how the quality looks for you then

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Calum Guthrie
Re: Canon XL2 to DVD
on Dec 18, 2009 at 2:43:11 am

well the raw AVI footage once captured is 720x576. However if my PAR is 1.0 I have horizontal black bars, and 1.4 is squashed image.
1024x576 is 16:9 with PAR 1.0.

Its a resolution Premiere Pro doesnt have a built-in preset for, but After Effects does.

looking at the raw file it does appear to naturally have bars. would 1024 stretch my pixels?
Since though 720x576 1.0 looks like my raw image, its only 5:4 aspect ratio. Canon XL2, unlike most cameras, naturally shoots in 16:9 and Shuts down CCD space for 4:3.

sto pro veritate


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Calum Guthrie
Re: Canon XL2 to DVD
on Dec 18, 2009 at 3:23:25 am

"For the PAL system XL2 sold in Europe, Australia and the U.K., the CCD's are the same physical size, but the pixel counts are different. The total area of each CCD is composed of 800,000 pixels. The 16:9 target area is 960 x 576 (550,000 pixels) and the 4:3 area is 720 x 576 (410,000 pixels). For those who may be unfamiliar with DV camcorders recording in the PAL system, be advised that it's still a DV25 format, with the same data rate as a DV camcorder using the NTSC system, at 25 megabits per second. Therefore, the higher resolution of PAL video is offset by a slower frame rate: on the PAL XL2, you have a choice of 50i (fifty interlaced fields per second) or 25p (twentyfive progressive frames per second). Whether you shoot with an NTSC or PAL system camera, the data written to the DV cassette is the same, at 25mbps."

dvinfo.net/canonxl2/articles/article06.php

sto pro veritate


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Jeff Pulera
Re: Canon XL2 to DVD
on Dec 18, 2009 at 4:08:33 am

Perhaps you are thinking about this too hard...choose a "DV PAL - Widescreen" project preset in Premiere and all should be well. Who said you must have a PAR of 1.0? That's not how DV operates.

Whether you set your camera to record 4:3 or 16:9, it always records 720x576 pixels, only the PAR changes, this is called "anamorphic widescreen".

Capture and edit using the DV PAL Widescreen, and be sure to hit the checkbox for 16:9 in your DVD authoring package as well. If you had by mistake captured the video as 4:3, no worries, right-click your clips in the bin and use "Interpret Footage" and change to correct PAR.

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Calum Guthrie
Re: Canon XL2 to DVD
on Dec 18, 2009 at 12:10:01 pm

really? in the above post I pasted a read out of where I get my confusion issues, it's information is contradictory to yours, I'm not sure which is correct.
I thought PAR was stretching the pixels into a square or rectangle shape respectively to make the image signal fit the resolution. So If the above text was correct and the XL2 does have 920x576 Square pixels on the CCD chip (and 720x576 for 4:3 mode), then trying to fit 1.4 aspect pixels in anything but a super wide resolution will always make the image look squashed. (which my settings has done).

-The RAW AVI footage is 720x576 but on win media player it looks nice, and includes letterboxing.
view settings on premiere dont effect the outcome of the video signal, but the export settings will.
-720x576 1.422 PAR (16x9) exports as a very squashed file horizontally.
-720x576 1.0 PAR (5:4) exports as a replica of the RAW footage as seen in wmp
-1024x576 1.0 PAR (16x9) exports as the raw footage but without letterboxing.

the only conclusion I can draw is that Adobe captures the footage off DV as 720x576 1.0 PAR.
I wonder if capture settings can be altered?

sto pro veritate


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Jeff Pulera
Re: Canon XL2 to DVD
on Dec 18, 2009 at 7:56:51 pm

Hi Calum,

I responded this morning, but must have messed up because the post didn't go through. I understand what you are getting from the Canon chip specs, I'm not arguing how many pixels their sensor uses. In fact, the 16:9 on my Sony DV camera looks bad because it actually reduces the resolution to fake the 16:9 aspect. Each camera has its own methods internally.

That said, DV is DV is DV, that does NOT change between camera manufacturers. Whether you record 4:3 or 16:9 in camera, the resolution of DV footage is ALWAYS 720x480 for NTSC and 720x576 for PAL. The PAR of the recorded material determines whether it is 4:3 or 16:9, since the same resolution is always written to tape.

Canon is NOT recording 920x576 square pixels to tape; it might start out at that resolution at the camera chip but then they do some math conversions to end up with DV resolution at the tape. Not to change the subject, but with HD cameras, sensor resolutions are all over the map, with more or less pixels than required for the final format!! They do some crazy math voodoo to end up with the right amount of pixels being recorded in the end though.

Back to the subject - if you shot in 16:9 mode, choose the PAL DV Widescreen preset in Premiere and all should be good with the world. If you had mistakenly captured the 16:9 footage in a 4:3 DV project, Import your clips to a 16:9 project, then right-click clips and use Interpret Footage to set the correct PAR for those clips (16:9).

As for DVD export, also make sure you hit the 16:9 checkbox if applicable. Do not try to change resolution settings for DVD output, that is a fixed number (720x480 for NTSC). That is all there is to it, honestly.

If exporting to other formats like .wmv for the web, then it can be advantageous when exporting to set PAR to 1.0 and set dimensions to appropriate numbers so that playback looks correct. Don't confuse this with DVD encoding though, do not mess with settings on that beyond the 16:9 checkbox.

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Calum Guthrie
Re: Canon XL2 to DVD
on Dec 18, 2009 at 10:34:16 pm

Once my camera comes back from the shop, I'll pay some attention to the capture settings and the project settings. Just my luck to have sent my camera away around Christmas post time.

I'll update again if I have the same issues. Cheers Jeff.

sto pro veritate


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Calum Guthrie
Re: Canon XL2 to DVD
on Dec 19, 2009 at 1:35:41 am

1024x 576 1.0par
427_1024x5761.0par.png.zip

720x 576 1.422par
428_720x5761.422par.png.zip

720x 576 1.0 par
429_720x5761.0par.png.zip

RAW FILES- in as premier makes upon capture (so straight from DV tape)
anomaly

Quicktime player
430_rawquicktime.png.zip
Windows Media Player
431_rawwmp.png.zip


Its a weird anomaly.

I cant explain it unless there is a way Premiere Pro is capturing the footage and changing it. my export settings have to be 1.0 PAR or I will get the squashed image. Despite the win media player showing the raw file (which is listed as 720x576 1.422). perfectly, exporting it after premier pro in the same settings squashes it horizontally. or stretches it vertically as one person has suggested.

sto pro veritate


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