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Agnes Marsala
Too poor for P2 - miniDV best settings for HD ouput using FCP7
on May 28, 2014 at 7:49:30 pm

I shoot with a Panasonic HVX200 and I don't have enough P2 cards, so I'm using mini DV tape. I've been experimenting with the setting on the camera as well as the sequence settings in FCP. I usually export to DVD but also to Quicktime for Youtube and Vimeo.
Would using 480i/30P and the Squeeze setting along with 90% safety on the display on the HVX200 give me an image that would scale to 1289x720HD 16:9?

Thanks


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Shane Ross
Re: Too poor for P2 - miniDV best settings for HD ouput using FCP7
on May 28, 2014 at 8:29:27 pm

Scale up? Yes. Look HD? No. Look decent? Maybe. I've used Compressor for this, and it looks OK, but nothing close to looking HD. It looks soft...because you are blowing the image up to 4x it's size. I've actually gotten better results using Premiere Pro and After Effects.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Too poor for P2 - miniDV best settings for HD ouput using FCP7
on May 28, 2014 at 9:12:34 pm

Do you have additional storage so you could back up everything on P2 -- and I mean everything on an individual card -- in a couple of different places?

I know that the cards are analogs to the camera-original film or the original tape, but jeez.... foregoing HD for DV? How much are you shooting?

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Mark Suszko
Re: Too poor for P2 - miniDV best settings for HD ouput using FCP7
on May 28, 2014 at 9:52:53 pm

Have you considered using an external "strap-on" hard drive with the HVX? Used ones by Focus might run you cheaper than P2 cards or tape, and get you longer runs times with a drive that just connects direct to your NLE. Just because it is not the latest thing, doesn't mean the right person can't get good value out of something.


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Agnes Marsala
Re: Too poor for P2 - miniDV best settings for HD ouput using FCP7
on May 29, 2014 at 2:26:40 pm

I work at a non-profit and frequently reuse footage from years gone by, even 16mm film from the 1950's. We store tape (3/4" UMatic, BetaSP) in a decent environment so it tends to have a good shelf-life.
I am shooting on minidv using the 16:9 aspect now and just exporting with the letterbox.
I suppose I could back-up the 3 P2 cards I have to tape and just keep using them, I was just wondering if there might be a way to acquire and export without the letterbox using the 16:9 aspect.
I get a very small budget for new equipment each year and have been buying P2 cards one a year for 3 years running. We are not permitted to purchase used equipment.
Thanks for your thoughts.



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Mark Suszko
Re: Too poor for P2 - miniDV best settings for HD ouput using FCP7
on May 29, 2014 at 2:58:47 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on May 29, 2014 at 3:10:40 pm

Setting the 90% safety only affects the viewfinder, not the recording, if I remember the user manual for this camera right. The setting you're looking for is an anamorphic output (squeezed in the camera to fit 4:3, but un-squeezed in post to 16:9)

This cam can internally down-convert and dub from the P2 card down to the DV tape, and if you set that to anamorphic, you don't need to letterbox anything. They should have budgeted a P2 store unit when they got you the camera and P2 cards, to make it easier to offload the cards in a hurry and recycle them. P2 cards are way too costly to leave on a shelf as archives; they were meant to be used, unloaded, erased and turned-around immediately. The early cards had pitiful capacity in terms of record time, so most early users of this camera went with an external strap-on drive like the Focus Firestor or Citidisk.

The cards can be unloaded thru firewire, if you don't have a P2Store, and I guess this is what you're doing, dubbing off the files to an NLE's RAID drive and maybe archiving as H.264 files on DVD-R or BluRay. Doing it that way preserves the HD.

I can relate to your budget issues; I work in state government and face much the same problems. Panasonic now makes an adapter that lets you use cheaper generic HD media cards in some of their P2 cameras. I don't think these work with the HVX series, though, and that's a pity.

My best advice to you, I think, is to sell off the HVX and P2 cards, and buy a prosumer HD like a Vixia, that's based on the cheaper cards. Your overall operational flow and costs would be lower, actually, than if you kept nursing the HVX along. And all your productions would be full HD, much better than wide-screen SD.



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Too poor for P2 - miniDV best settings for HD ouput using FCP7
on May 29, 2014 at 7:56:24 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on May 29, 2014 at 7:59:16 pm

Here's what I mean about storage:

A two-minute Google search reveals that you can pick up a couple of 1TB external hard drives for $120:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=980461&gclid=COzh6KT...

One of those drives can hold the contents of a boatload of P2 cards. And you'd have a backup. And your P2 cards would be free for other things. And you wouldn't have to buy any more DV cassettes, or tapes to back up P2 cards. And you could shoot & edit in HD.

And that's just a 2-minute search, mind you....

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Mark Suszko
Re: Too poor for P2 - miniDV best settings for HD ouput using FCP7
on May 29, 2014 at 8:00:22 pm

Dave, this is what you or I might do, but I understand the world she works in, and she's going to have to do it out of pocket, or not at all.

I have the same problem, and every once in a while, just to make some progress, I buy stuff out of pocket instead of waiting for the system to work thru all the byzantine layers. It's not a habit you want to get into, for many reasons, but sometimes, you do what ya gotta.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Too poor for P2 - miniDV best settings for HD ouput using FCP7
on May 29, 2014 at 8:04:12 pm

Yup, I do it all the time for my home system. Of course, I view it as paying myself.
Furthermore, I know very little about the red tape surrounding governmental & nonprofit procurement.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Agnes Marsala
Re: Too poor for P2 - miniDV best settings for HD ouput using FCP7
on May 29, 2014 at 8:22:08 pm

Thanks for all the input. I have payed for some things out of pocket, but there's no guarantee the funds will be approved in the next cycle.
I will start using the 3 cards I have, (the 4Gb that came with the camera, a 32Gb and a 64Gb both E series) as you suggest. I do have some external drives I can use for storage in the meantime.
I was just trying to find a way to shoot tape with the guides in the viewfinder so I can loose the letterbox. The images are fine for our purposes but I don't like the SD 4:3 aspect ratio.
Thanks again.



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Mark Suszko
Re: Too poor for P2 - miniDV best settings for HD ouput using FCP7
on May 29, 2014 at 9:19:34 pm

To lose the letterbox, you need to get into the camera menus and find an anamorphic setting. Ultimately, the setting in your NLE project will then determine if the frames are to be a letterboxed 4 by 3 or a full screen 16 by 9 wide picture. But the guides in the viewfinder are there for composing a frame that "works" in any aspect ration, however, the guides themselves don't affect the choice of recording format.

And Dave: Be glad you never had to experience that. :-)


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