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Choosing HD formats for possible timeline mixing

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Michael Niemcewicz
Choosing HD formats for possible timeline mixing
on Apr 16, 2010 at 5:31:43 pm

"Choosing" - because nothing is shot yet and I have a luxury of writing the specs for DPs. I've had good experiences with both DVCPRO HD and XDCAM EX formats. If I were to give the DPs a choice of a camera, what frame size and frame rate should I ask for in order to avoid - or limit to a minimum - any conversions in the post and be able to open the project occasionally on a non-Kona equipped machine? In case I will also get some Canon D5 or D7 B-roll, which I think it's always 1080p30, I was thinking about something like this maybe:

Sony XDCAM EX 1080p30(35Mb/sVBR) - it'll be 29.97 in reality but I suppose I don't need to specify that?
not sure about Panasonic, just DVCPRO HD 1080p30 (29.97?) I guess - they don't seem to have all the Mb/s options
Audio at 48kHz, 16-bit
Would these two mix in a timeline without rendering? Would I have to convert one to another? I'd like to avoid editing in Apple ProRes.
The goal again would be to be prudent with managing drive space and time in the post. Any other suggestions would be welcome :)


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Michael Sacci
Re: Choosing HD formats for possible timeline mixing
on Apr 16, 2010 at 8:57:07 pm

Canons now shoot 23.98 or 29.97p. But you are asking the wrong question. You need to decided what camera produces the LOOK you want, EX and Panasonic have a totally different look and fine to the footage, people argue which is better but the issue is really only which look do you like. Than which frame rate do you like, smoothness of 29.97 or filmic quality of 24p. Then you make sure any supplemental camera shoot the same size and frame rate for easier integration.


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Michael Niemcewicz
Re: Choosing HD formats for possible timeline mixing
on Apr 17, 2010 at 3:44:16 am

In an ideal world that's how I should approach it, however in this case the DPs will probably come with their own cameras so I would like to be able to say: please shoot everything in say, 1080p30 XP (which I personally like) but if you must use the other format because that's what you have, at least stick to so-and-so settings. Would the safest bet be actually 720 23.976?
This is being shot in different countries on a low budget so chances are I end up with both formats. But I still may have a choice as to frame size and rate.







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Michael Niemcewicz
Re: Choosing HD formats for possible timeline mixing
on Apr 17, 2010 at 5:44:09 pm

As I'm getting more info on the project, I'm narrowing my choices: it seems I will settle on 720p but I'm still not sure about the frame rate - definitely not 24 as the legacy material is 29.97. I was just going to ask for 30p but it seems that 720p59.94 would make more sense as there isn't even a setting for 30p in Kona output. Do most cameras have that setting available or just newer/more expensive models?



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