What 1080p camera's are available?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by tcgjeukens, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. tcgjeukens macrumors regular

    tcgjeukens

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    IJsselstein, the Netherlands
    #1
    Currently I am shooting my footage* with a 1080i camera (Sony HDR-HC7).
    Panning and faster & close-up movements give a jittery result.

    I would like to "upgrade" to a 1080p camera.

    Question: what 1080p models are available** and what is their approximate price level.
    • 1080p 24/25/30
    • 1080p 50/60

    I do not intend to stirr up the "debate" about storage (compression) formats ... but do include info about storage (tape, HDD or card) and codec (HDV, AVCHD, XDCAM, etc).

    Regards,
    Coen Jeukens

    (*) My work is consumer, my (equipment) aspirations are prosumer :cool:.
    (**) Have seen and drooled about camera red. Unfortunately out of budget range.
     
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    Not to be insulting but maybe you need to improve your camera work to reduce/elminate the excessive jitters?

    1080p24/25/30 will all look more jittery than 1080i60/50 because the frame rate is lower (new information is recorded only every 1/24, 1/25, or 1/30 of a second instead of every 1/60 or 1/50 of a second). 1080p60/50 cameras are rare because of the high technical demands to shoot at those rates.


    Lethal
     
  3. tcgjeukens thread starter macrumors regular

    tcgjeukens

    Joined:
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    Location:
    IJsselstein, the Netherlands
    #3
    Lethal,

    No pun taken :D

    Ideally I would like a 50p or 60p camera, but as you articulate ... they come at a cost.

    You are right in saying that 50i takes 50 "snaps" per second ... but to correct you, they are 50 half-snaps.
    When panning vertical lines will be jawed. This because each half-snap is has a horizontal displacement.
    The i also has negative results for thin horizontal lines. They seem to jitter.

    Though 24/25/30p is a mathmatical lower number than 50/60i, the stability of each frame is higher.
    As long as I do not shoot racing events or ball sports with fast moving balls, the 24/25/30p will do fine.

    Back to my question: what 24/25/30p models are available in the market?

    Thanks
    Coen
     
  4. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    Nothing in the prosumer space does 1080p 50/60. Even in the commercial space, a 1080p 60/50 camera would specialty equipment. The topline XDCAM format has a pixel density of 1440 x 1080, the same as HDV. It does 1080/59.94i/50i/29.97p/25p/23.98p. Take a look at Sony's XDCAM website.
     
  5. joefinan macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 14, 2007
    Location:
    Kingston-Upon-Thames, UK
    #5
    The data chucked out by a 1080 50P chipset is enormous, but shooting a 1080 50i (is that what you're on?) should not be jittery at all.

    As for the Red - it looks nice but is useless on its own. It just churns out masses of data that you then need to do something with. HDCAM SR decks aren't cheap!!
     
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    All other things being equal 60/50i has more temporal resolution (updates 60/50 times a second) than 24/25/30p but less spatial resolution (because it is capturing fields not whole frames). Have you thought about getting a 720p60/50 camera?

    What types of things are you wanting to shoot and what is your budget? Also, what are your camera settings turned to on the Sony HDR-HC7?


    The new XDCAM HD/Ex cameras can shoot full raster (1920x1080).


    The Red can shoot to CF fast enough CF cards and the RED RAID HDDs.


    Lethal
     
  7. fluidedge macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #7
    trust me you're better shooting at 50/60i than 25p. Nothing i've ever shot in 25p looks good.
     
  8. highjumppudding macrumors 6502

    highjumppudding

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    #8
    If you're on a budget...

    last year I purchased the Canon HV20. I am using Final Cut Studio 2 and it is amazing. I shoot my footage in 1080p 24p and use the Cinema Mode on top of it on the camera. In order to edit in true 24p with the HV20 you need to convert the footage, here is a link to Apple's support Doc that explains the entire process (you need Final Cut Studio though to convert the footage).
    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=306389

    It works great. I'm using a MacBook Pro 2.4GHz SR and it does take some time to convert, definitely not realtime, it's longer. And the file sizes are up to 4 times larger than the captured format.

    I am very pleased with the results. I have experience using the Sony Z1U and the quality is very comparable.

    On my website you can watch my Visual FX Promo Reel's and those were all shot with the HV20 and the settings I mentioned above.
     
  9. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 6, 2007
    #9
    I don't know if anyone's going to be bothered to compile a list as detailed as you'd like, so a bit more information from you* may get some better and more specific responses.

    Lethal is right that 24/25/30p will have more jitter than 50/60i. Shutter speed also has an impact. Camera Operators on mega-budget films know to restrain their pans to keep them as smooth as possible. It's where 24 frames per second doesn't look so magical. It's a case of practice.

    If your issue is with the 'teeth' on interlaced footage you have two options: de-interlace on your computer, or shoot progressive. (These 'teeth' will look worse on your monitor than CRT TVs.*)

    You can get 60p out of a JVC GY-200, Panasonic HVX-200 or Sony EX1 (you can check the prices yourself based on where you're buying), but I'm not sure you actually want that. It has a unique look and most use it for slow-motion purposes (for narrative filming — if you're shooting sports that changes matters*).

    If you think it's worth spending that amount on a camera, I think the EX1 is difficult to beat for so many purposes*.
     
  10. tcgjeukens thread starter macrumors regular

    tcgjeukens

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Location:
    IJsselstein, the Netherlands
    #10
    Keith,

    I do understand a comprehensive list is a bit too much to ask, but with so many new camera's out there and so many forum members asking for buying advice, I thought it would be nice to construct at least a list of prosumer 1080p camera's.

    May I conclude that 1080 50/60p is NOT YET AVAILABLE in prosumer space (<5000 USD).
    Rephrase my question: what 1080 24/25/30p camera's are available in prosumer space (<5000 USD)?

    Responding to LethalWolfe: have I thought about a 720 50/60p camera: I do know they are available but I would like to know if similar frame rates are already within reach for 1080.

    Maybe I have used the incorrect term before "jitter". What I do mean is "teeth" or jagged lines.
    Eg: I have a shot of house with blinds. A vertical pan (even very slow) gives a horrible result. When the blinds are shot under an angle, even horizontal (slow) panning gives jagged edges.

    Coen
     
  11. bmb012 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    #11
    I have an old HC1, just deinterlace the footage, you'll never notice a difference. I had a program that did it exxlusively, bit you can set a checkbox in QuickTime to do it also. iMovie also deinterlaces everything...
     
  12. fluidedge macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #12
    you'll get much better results de-interlacing 50i than shooting in 25p trust me. 25p is a nasty looking format, maybe it's just me, but i've never had anything look half decent on it.
     
  13. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #13
    This is correct. XDCAM EX is not a consumer format. Camcorders using this format are intended for business and professional applications. They are priced accordingly.
     
  14. faustfire macrumors 6502a

    faustfire

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    Location:
    California
    #14
    This makes no sense. If you deinterlace 50i, all you are getting is a lower quality 25p.
     
  15. Malfoy macrumors 6502a

    Malfoy

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    #15
    You're suppose to trust him.
     
  16. dabirdwell macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2002
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #16
    Maybe wait a bit longer for SCARLET...

    RED is about to announce a mini digital cinema camera called SCARLET. So if you can wait until NAB it might be worth it. Not that an announcement means it'll ship then, but who knows.
     
  17. D*I*S_Frontman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Location:
    Lombard, IL
    #17
    A few more things to consider:

    The "jitteriness" is likely the result of two factors, one codec related and the other related to the same issues every Hollywood 35/70mm medium-using cinematographer/DP learns about in film school.



    Let's start with the first:

    HDV is an interframe compression method of getting HD content on a tiny MiniDV tape. That means each frame does not stand on its own but is dependent on the content on the frames before and after. For relatively stationary shots, this works fine, as things don't change much from frame to frame. In action sequences and fast camera moves, however, artifacts can arise as the difference between individual frames is too much for the codec to handle.

    The benefit to HDV? Great look that fits on dirt-cheap media. Downside? Motion artifacts and other irritating issues resulting from interframe compression.



    Okay, now the second:

    In film school, every budding DP learns that there are charts that determine how fast you can do a whip-pan, radical tilts or dolly shots, or crazy fast zooms. Even with gorgeous 70mm film, jitters are the result if you violate these rules, and they were established several decades ago. It all pertains to the limits of "persistence of vision" in the human eye. Change things too much and your eye/brain loses the illusion of natural movement. Your eye now notices the film frame itself.



    Recommendations:

    The Red camera is fantastic, but still out of your "prosumer" range once you add all the capture HD systems necessary to record with the thing. Great indie platform, though.

    A better compromise might be the Panasonic HVX200: http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ModelDetail?displayTab=O&storeId=11201&catalogId=13051&itemId=93120&catGroupId=14571&surfModel=AG-HVX200

    It uses the DVCPRO codec, which allows for INTRAFRAME compression at a crazy 1080p/24fps. Far less motion artifacts because each individual frame stands on its own--just like film. The 720p setting allows for cool variframe effects as well (speed-up and slow downs at HD resolution). Also, far greater color depth than HDV.

    The disadvantage is that you cannot record to a MiniDV tape--the data rate is far too high. You must use the P2 card they ship with it, which only holds about 4 minutes of 1080p/24fps footage. New cards are like $900 and up.

    Total rip-off, right? WRONG. The P2 card system is very much like real film, in that those big "mouse ear" 400 ft load film housings you see attached to a 35mm film camera only hold about 10 minutes of film. You NEVER need more than 30-40 seconds for the most stationary shot in any movie. With a P2 card, you do multiple takes, and you can dump the bad takes on the fly. Once you have 4-5 solid takes, you pop out the card and off-load all of the data to a nearby laptop, clear it out, and start again.

    One P2 is supposed to last 100k+ rewrites before failing. That's probably several epic movie's worth of keeper shots.



    MORE IMPORTANTLY THAN ANY OF THIS:

    If you are using camera tele/zooms, your stuff will look like amateurish crap (unless you're going for that look, a la Cloverfield or Blair Witch Project).

    Watch your favorite movie with a note pad and a pen. Write down every shot that uses a zoom. Also write down every unaccompanied pan and tilt. Your page will be BLANK by the time the closing credits roll.

    Hollywood films are about camera movement. Dolly and crane shots. And, to contrast, perfectly framed, locked-off stationary shots. NEVER zooms/pan/tilts, unless you're going for a gimmick shot.

    You should consider buying this:
    http://www.hollywoodcamerawork.us/index.html

    For $400, it's like a crash course in intelligent filmmaking.

    Here is a fantastic book also:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0240805003/ref=s9_asin_title_1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-4&pf_rd_r=0GW902RR57SVS4E6S9AW&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=278843701&pf_rd_i=507846

    Camera movement/plotting, lighting, creative framing, continuity, and solid acting performances matter more than the film or video format you use.
     
  18. fluidedge macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #18
    there's more to de-interlacing than just turning 50i into 25p.

    25p is all jerky and nasty - Ok it's the 'film feel'; but it still looks crap.
     
  19. faustfire macrumors 6502a

    faustfire

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    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    California
    #19

    Ahhh...no there's not.
     
  20. tcgjeukens thread starter macrumors regular

    tcgjeukens

    Joined:
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    Location:
    IJsselstein, the Netherlands
    #20
    D*I*S_Frontman,

    Thank you very much for your elaborate reply, useful hints, tips and links.

    I guess this "reality" will disappoint a lot of people that have opted into the HD marketing dream ... me included.
    Indeed, HDV thus gives stunning results when the footage is non-moving. I try to reduce movement as much as possible, though I have never done any Hollywood-training :D. With the little movement I have, I still notice a considerable "gap" between HDV artifacts and Hollywood "don'ts".

    This is why I launched this thread: I was under the belief that the artifacts were only caused by the i and could be resolved by a p, but now I am convinced that the codec in itself is a main contributor.

    This is the wisest contribution to this thread so far. With all the emphasis on specs, it is good to go back to the purpose: make a good film.

    On the other hand, the majority of camera owners will never have had any film training at all :( ... meaning consumer/ prosumer camera makers should take this into account. Especially the marketing culprits !

    Regards

    Coen
     
  21. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #21
    the motion artifacts that D*I*S mentioned are not what you are experiencing (or at least what you've been describing). You are just seeing the pair of fields on a progressive display.
     
  22. faustfire macrumors 6502a

    faustfire

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    #22
    You are correct, HDV is a **** codec.
     
  23. aquafilmmaker macrumors newbie

    aquafilmmaker

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Location:
    Portsmouth UK
    #23
    Sony

    Check out the new Sony EX1, tapeless, XDcam HD and is switchable from full HD
    1920x1080i AND p, and will do 720p all at variable bit rates and do 59.94i, 50i, 29.97P, 25P and native 23.98P, over and under crank aswell.

    All to Mpeg HD codec on SxS mem cards or, and this is a major bonus you can output, un-compressed full HD from the HD/SD SDI connector.

    Goto: http://www.sony.co.uk/biz/view/Show...rview&imageType=Main&category=XDCAMCamcorders
     
  24. fluidedge macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #24
    :confused: - you're entitled to your opinion, but can you expand on it a bit?

    HDV produces some fantastic looking pictures, sure it's not HDCAM SR, but it's a nice format to shoot in, not so nice to edit in (think ProRes...) but to say it's a **** codec shows either a lack of understanding or snobbish view from a HDCAM shooter?
     
  25. faustfire macrumors 6502a

    faustfire

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    California
    #25

    The problem with the EX1 is the CMOS rolling shutter, which makes it almost unusable for any event type photography, anything with flashing lights or really fast motion.

    Check it here:
    http://blip.tv/file/703191?filename=Jetset-specialWhatFilmmakersReallyThinkOfTheWeb273.flv

    As for HDV, the compression is horrible for any type of fast motion shooting. If you leave the camera sitting on on a tripod, shooting a landscape, you will get awesome images, shoot a bunch of kids running around at a birthday party and its artifact city.

    You are right though fluidedge, I shoot with an HVX200 so I am a bit spoiled in that sense. :)
     

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