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Carl Filoreto
Beta SP workflow/output question
on Apr 18, 2010 at 2:34:39 pm

This question focuses on a project that needs to be exported in beta SP, and my nonlinear analog editing expertise is limited. The client wants a 3-5 minute edited story to be mastered n beta SP. In the field, they want to use two cameras to capture the primary interview, which will be the foundation of the story. In addition, they want to use a 4:3 aspect ratio.

I have a range of cameras at my disposal, but my thought is to keep things as simple as possible. I'm planning to use a Sony 530 XDCam shooting 4:3 DVCam, and also using an Ike 7W to capture DVCam to tape. The two cameras have very similar looks, and I've coupled them together before on shoots. I could also match my Sony F900 HDCam with an EX-3, but it seems like overkill for the project. So this would at least get me started in a digital format, rather than originally acquiring the video in beta SP.
I could then edit in Pro Res and output via the beta setting on my AJA IO/HD.

Are there any unforeseen problems with this workflow? IIs there a better way to do it? 'll need to rent a beta deck for the output, so I can't check the workflow right now. Any advice is appreciated.

Carl Filoreto
Golden, CO.
http://www.elkruntv.com


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Rafael Amador
Re: Beta SP workflow/output question
on Apr 18, 2010 at 3:10:05 pm

Hi Carl,
You have lot of quality available, but your are choosing the crappiest one (DV/DVCAM).
You are trying a cheap acquisition format and a pro workflow. Garbage in, garbage out.
Go to the best you can get with your camera and fallow a proper workflow to SD.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Carl Filoreto
Re: Beta SP workflow/output question
on Apr 18, 2010 at 3:27:00 pm

Hi Rafael,
Thanks. I guess my lack of working with analog outputs and doing 16:9 to 4:3 conversions causes me to be conservative and take the path of least resistance. So I should take the F900/EX-3 camera mating, work in Pro Res, then export as beta SP in 4:3. Fair enough!

Carl

Carl Filoreto
Golden, CO.
http://www.elkruntv.com


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Rafael Amador
Re: Beta SP workflow/output question
on Apr 18, 2010 at 4:28:18 pm

Hi Carl,
Betacam is sometimes compared (in terms of picture quality) with DV, and thats true,
but this doesn't means that because you end up in Betacam, DV is good enough.
I have no experience with the F900, but I work with an EX-1 and normally i end up in SD.
I would record with the EX-3 at 720p 25 or 30 (PAL or NTSC). Edit native or capture as Prores (no necessary). Render to Prores.
The EX-3 have an overlay that helps to frame for 4/3.
rafael




http://www.nagavideo.com


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Carl Filoreto
Re: Beta SP workflow/output question
on Apr 18, 2010 at 6:39:26 pm

Hi Rafael,
The only problem with recording to 720p is that the F900 only does 1080i. So my only real choice is to go 1080i/59.94. That way I can get the EX-3 and F900 on the same page. Thanks for all the input!

Carl

Carl Filoreto
Golden, CO.
http://www.elkruntv.com


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Alessandro Machi
Re: Beta SP workflow/output question
on Apr 19, 2010 at 8:34:19 am

There may be other issues at play here.

The betacam sp format usually meant either a 2/3 inch chip camera or a 1/2 chip camera, with NO COMPRESSION. The result is a slightly less flat picture than DV sometimes delivers.

The betacam sp cameras also have built in 7.5 IRE, so there usually is less crushing of the lower end gray scale than you may end up with by doing all of your conversions.

People still like Betacam sp because it's just a more direct system. You shoot it, it looks right, and then you finish. Why not make some Betacam sp owners happy in your area and hire them, then encode your footage in a DV 50 codec, and do your thing?

http://www.alexlogic.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: Beta SP workflow/output question
on Apr 19, 2010 at 1:39:10 pm

We still work with a lot of BetacamSP footage and generally we digitize it thru an AJA IO into a 10-bit uncompressed timeline. Easy to work with, looks good. Keys better than straight DV footage, IMO.


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Rafael Amador
Re: Beta SP workflow/output question
on Apr 19, 2010 at 5:01:20 pm

[Alessandro Machi] "with NO COMPRESSION"
A lot of compression if you compare with something like 1"C or 1"B.
Betacam is a CMTD format: Color Multiplexed Time Division.
To keep the two color components apart you really need to reduce the color information.
rafael



http://www.nagavideo.com


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Alessandro Machi
Re: Beta SP workflow/output question
on Apr 19, 2010 at 7:56:59 pm

Analog generally doesn't have compression, otherwise it would be digital. However, analog has bandwidth issues.

Dollar cost wise, DV is a superior value to analog, but not quality wise. It's just that to get that extra bit of quality from analog requires tapes that are five times as big, cameras that are bigger, more power consumption, bigger tripods (although that is not necessarily a bad thing as camera pans and tilts are super fluid as a result), and so on down the line. However, the bigger cameras do allow for bigger chip sizes to be used, which diminishes flatness issues that come up with smaller chip sized dv cameras.

Going betacam sp to uncompressed makes sense if someone has a ton of computing power and memory to handle that size work flow. Plus, not all software programs work as well in an uncompressed world as they do in a compressed one.

That is why I think the DV-50 codec is the perfect compromise for betacam sp source tapes.

http://www.alexlogic.com


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Rafael Amador
Re: Beta SP workflow/output question
on Apr 20, 2010 at 12:40:25 pm

[Alessandro Machi] "Analog generally doesn't have compression, otherwise it would be digital. However, analog has bandwidth issues. "
May be you don't want to call it "compression" but in the end is the same: To reduce the amount of info you are managing.
All the analog formats except 2", 1"B and 1"C reduces the luma and chroma bandwith. Beta, VHS, U-Matic and Betacam do so.
The advantage of Betacam is that is able to keep the color component separated and that (thanks to the Evaporated Metal Particle tapes) is able to record higher frequencies than the other formats, so better color.



[Alessandro Machi] "Going betacam sp to uncompressed makes sense if someone has a ton of computing power and memory to handle that size work flow. Plus, not all software programs work as well in an uncompressed world as they do in a compressed one.
That is why I think the DV-50 codec is the perfect compromise for betacam sp source tapes. "

Prores is the best option.
rafael



http://www.nagavideo.com


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Carl Filoreto
Re: Beta SP workflow/output question
on Apr 21, 2010 at 12:45:59 pm

I'd like to thank everyone for their advice. I had several extremely intensive shoots the last two days and didn't have sufficient time to respond.

I chose to acquire natively in beta SP, and when I input the tape I'll either edit on a pro res or uncompressed timeline. I'm a bit lacking in beta infrastructure, but I'll beg, borrow and steal my way through. I admit to having a strong distaste for investing in what's basically an obsolete format.

Onward!

Carl

Carl Filoreto
Golden, CO.
http://www.elkruntv.com


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