Whats the resolution of movie DVDs...

Over Achiever

macrumors 68000
Original poster
...because I'm considering buying a digicam or digital camcorder. The Canon S230 I'm looking at can take short movies at 640x480, 20fps. What fps and resolution do most digital camcorders have?

I can mix and match short segments to make a movie (I don't mind not having zoom either :))...the 30 sec or 3 minute limitation per movie clip is not a problem for me. So how would the 640 x 480 look after being burned on a DVD? (i'm getting a superdrive pb :D)

Otherwise I'll just get a cheap camcorder as well as a digicam (I'm going to emphasize on taking still shots btw)

Any movie buffs/geeks out there? ;)

Thanks.
 

AssassinOfGates

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2002
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A cardboard box.
I use a Sony DVR120 Digital8 camcorder. 640*480, 30fps, 450x digital zoom. The nice thing about a camcorder is you can just import it into imovie, and you have tons of frames to chose from if ye want a still picture. Works fine for my taste. Make sure that whatever you get is 29 or 30 FPS. If you want to make a movie, use something that uses MiniDV, DVD, or Hi8 tapes, so you can record at your own free will.
 

e-coli

macrumors 68000
Jul 27, 2002
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get a camcorder and a digi camera. the movies taken with a digital camera look awful. I mean just terrible.
 

jelloshotsrule

macrumors G3
Feb 7, 2002
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serendipity
Re: Re: resolutions of movie DVDs?

Originally posted by LethalWolfe
Hmmm... I never thought about it before but I thought they were "i".
i think dvds are p.

however, most cameras are i. the better ones are p..

29.97 is ntsc fps. 25 is pal.

mini dv is probably the best way to go at this point

you have to decide what you want more. if you want mostly stills with a few little animation type movies, then do the still cam. the still cam quality will blow away any reasonably priced dv cam for stills

however, as people have said, the movie quality from a still cam won't be as good. less fps. choppiness. it's not terrible (some are, some arent'), but it's not nearly as good

main thing i'd suggest is get a camera with manual white balance, or at least with several different white balance modes.

that can help you avoid the yellow "home video" feeling...
 

ftaok

macrumors 603
Jan 23, 2002
6,146
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Re: Whats the resolution of movie DVDs...

Originally posted by Over Achiever
...because I'm considering buying a digicam or digital camcorder. The Canon S230 I'm looking at can take short movies at 640x480, 20fps. What fps and resolution do most digital camcorders have?
OA,

Are you sure about the fps on the S230. I think the S200 had 20fps, but was limited in clip length (640-4sec, 320-10sec, 160-30sec). Then, when the new S230 came out, they reduced the fps to 15, but increased the clip length to 3min.

Either way, 15fps is good enough if you're just messing around with iMovie and stuff like that. But if you want to watch the stuff on a TV, you'll need at least 24fps. Better off getting a camcorder.
 

Over Achiever

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Damn you're right. The press release says its only 15fps :(. Funny how steve's and dpreview both say its 20 fps :eek:.

Looks like I'll have to buy a digicamcorder...maybe I'll splurge and get the Olympus C-50...can't go wrong with 5 MP! More room to crop pictures ;)

Thanks for the responses. :)

-OA
 

Cappy

macrumors 6502
May 29, 2002
386
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Re: Re: Re: resolutions of movie DVDs?

Originally posted by jelloshotsrule

mini dv is probably the best way to go at this point
Can you explain? I'm just getting started shopping for a digital video camera and have seen the digital8 and minidv formats that are in my price range. I've yet to see any real clearcut advantages overall to either one but like I said I'm just beginning to look into this stuff.
 

jelloshotsrule

macrumors G3
Feb 7, 2002
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Re: Re: Re: Re: resolutions of movie DVDs?

Originally posted by Cappy
Can you explain? I'm just getting started shopping for a digital video camera and have seen the digital8 and minidv formats that are in my price range. I've yet to see any real clearcut advantages overall to either one but like I said I'm just beginning to look into this stuff.
well i won't be able to give a you a very solid or technical response...

but minidv is a newer format, and from what i've heard/seen. much better... most of the best dv cams have minidv. none have digital8.

i brought a tape in to transfer once.... from beta to digital8, because that's what my camera is, and what i would be able to use to put into my computer.... the guy laughed at me. "why would you want to do that?"

so... i'd go for minidv.

though i'mm sure others can add more technical reasoning...
 

BenderBot1138

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2002
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SPECIFICATIONS SPECIFICATIONS SPECIFICATIONS!!!

Well, good news is you don't have to worry about the resolution of DVD's, the bad news is it's this way because you aren't shooting with a Panaflex, IMAX or high-end 3CCD Digital Video CamCorder.

My portable Optura 200MC DV Camcorder from Canon clicks in at approximately 1330000 pixels in a 1/4 inch CCD. Maximum shutter speed is 1/8000 of a second and the video recording system uses a 2 rotary head, helical scanning DV system.

If your in North America your using NTSC at 29.97 frames per second. Motion pictures use approx 24 frames/sec. PAL is European at around 25 per second. If you eventually want to play your DVD movies on a TV for yourself and others, you'll be tyring for NTSC 29.97 compatibility and most TV's pale in comparison to Computer monitors, and the color systems are different, so that brilliantly colored movie you shot and edited on your computer washes out in vast areas of the telly when you have your big premiere for friends and family.

You'll need a good editing program like DVD Studio Pro, Final Cut Pro, etc to make the big differences. FCP aides with color correction and checks, etc and you can adjust resolutions well.

The Optura 200MC is Canon's latest release in the Optura MC series (just replaced 100MC) and the next step up involves a 3CCD (charged coupled devide) camera that you can shoot motion pictures on to some degree (don't expect miracles).

So you get movies about 640x480 and stills upto 1280x960.

The 15/sec is shooting to memory card.

Your question is how would it look after getting burned onto a DVD... well, it would look like a movie at a resolution of 640x480. Play a movie at that resolution off a CD or a DVD, and it looks the same. The difference is the DVD stores information in a different density than CD format. You can back up your DVD's to CDs if you want, but it'll take 5 CDs at least for a DVD backup. The Quality is the same though.

If you wanted to you could make 4.7 GigaB of 80X60 resolution movies and it would look ridiculous, or you could even go higher than the DVD quality that plays on Computers nicely, but it would be a waste without a HD screen to play it on.

Don't go less that a DV Camcorder... the Optura 200 MC is a great level of quality and ability. Most importantly, go to Apple's compatibility lists to make sure what ever you choose is approved by Apple as meeting their specifications... I just came from another thread where Specifications are causing hardware problems.

Here's an Optura 200 MC DV Camcorder


and here's what you'll need to hit the DVD movie qualities...


If you want I could give you a couple of clips shot with each type at their max resolution, and one very very brief clip from a 35mm monster that'll take you forever to download. and which you'll never appreciate without at least a HD display.

but once again, make sure the choice you make meets Apple's Specifications, because it's Specifications that matter, and buying a 10,000 dollar camera that barely functions or connects to your Mac (and certainly forget it about PCs), is an oversight of grand proportions.

:cool:
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
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119
Los Angeles
Keeping it simple, MiniDV is the best you can get at the consumer level hands down. I haven't had a chance to check up on Optura 200MC, but, IMO, the 100MC was the best single chip camera on the market.

And for the time being you'll be happy w/iMovie and iDVD (which is are excellent free proggies). If you out grow them then you can start looking at FCP and DVDSP.


Lethal

BTW, the res of DV is 720*480, not 640*480 (which is the res of analog video). :)
 

agreenster

macrumors 68000
Dec 6, 2001
1,892
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Walt Disney Animation Studios
Canon XL

Yes, its nice, but none of the above will get you DVD quality playback. Dont forget, all DV cameras still use compression to record and playback. No digital Video camera will record full frame, D1, uncompressed. At least, none that you could afford.

Full Frontal, directed by Steven Sodeburgh (spelling?) did part of his film with the XL and it still didnt look too great.

Nothing beats film, at least for now. Lucas is using a camera called a varriable cam which is making a buzz about being the first real film-replacement digital video camera.

But, for a project that you are working on independanly or for school, the XL is the camera to get. Its the best consumer digital cam, without heading toward Beta.
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,366
119
Los Angeles
Re: Canon XL

Originally posted by agreenster
Yes, its nice, but none of the above will get you DVD quality playback. Dont forget, all DV cameras still use compression to record and playback. No digital Video camera will record full frame, D1, uncompressed. At least, none that you could afford.

Full Frontal, directed by Steven Sodeburgh (spelling?) did part of his film with the XL and it still didnt look too great.

Nothing beats film, at least for now. Lucas is using a camera called a varriable cam which is making a buzz about being the first real film-replacement digital video camera.

But, for a project that you are working on independanly or for school, the XL is the camera to get. Its the best consumer digital cam, without heading toward Beta.

I agree w/everything but the first line. :) Any DV camera will give you superior image quality compared to DVD (DV has 4 times the data rate of DVD). Will it give you superior image quality to the 35mm film that was used to shoot the movie you are watching on DVD, no. ;) But going from DV to DVD is a step down in image quality.


Lethal
 

agreenster

macrumors 68000
Dec 6, 2001
1,892
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Walt Disney Animation Studios
Yeah, thats right.

But a DV cam will always look worse than most films on DVD because the pros compress their files for DVD straight from 35mm frames.

Point is, unless you have big bucks, you probably wont ever do anything (unless you are rendering frames--animation) that looks as clean as a retail DVD playback. I think some people actually think you can.

I have a friend who shoots on 16mm, then hand scans the frames to use as plates for background for animation. He has a Video Toaster DDR setup that is all D1 uncompressed. Tedious, but he gets nice results.
 

jelloshotsrule

macrumors G3
Feb 7, 2002
9,591
3
serendipity
how about the new panasonic 24p cam that just came out a month or so ago? looks pretty sweet. haven't gotten anywhere to check it out. not to mention the lack of 3800 bucks....

go here

agreenster- where's your movie???? and where did you get a job? i'm working on my final film now actually. gonna be around 1.5 mins.

feel free to pm me if you'd rather....
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,366
119
Los Angeles
Re: Panasonic AG-DVX100

Originally posted by agreenster
Wow! I smell a new standard

I agree, the specs on that thing do look nice. Of course all the editor in me said was "oh crap, 3:2 pulldown..." ;)


Lethal
 

jelloshotsrule

macrumors G3
Feb 7, 2002
9,591
3
serendipity
so let me ask you guys who know more technical stuff than me this.... why is this panasonic 3800. when the xl1 is 4k-5k?

i guess it's the ability to change lenses to a large degree... but if you check out some other info about the panasonic, check out the lens range... it's something like 4.5 mm- (whatever)...

unless i'm drunk, i'd think a 4.5mm lens is a good deal wider than most cameras can get with their standard lens... eh?
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,366
119
Los Angeles
Part of the reason is 'cause the Canon XL-1s is the Canon XL-1s, yer paying for name, popularity and a proven track record... did I mention popularity? ;) Another reason might be the quality of the glass, and of course interchangable lenses is a factor. I mean look at Sony's VX-2000, compareing tests, specs, and the final product it basically boils down to personnal preference (sans the interchangable lens) and the VX-2000 is 'bout a grand cheaper.

The only spec that I didn't like 'bout that Panasonic was their "touting" shooting at 3 lux w/+18db. That's as annoying as digital cameras that tout their "digital zoom" has a selling point.


Lethal
 

jelloshotsrule

macrumors G3
Feb 7, 2002
9,591
3
serendipity
yeah. the xl1 came out at like 3000 bucks right? maybe 3500. and it's hit nearly 5000..... amazing the backwards way the price has changed.

it was pretty much the first/most popular prosumer camera out there. heck, it was the first one i've used with manual white balance. which i'd never even heard of til i used that. and yet, is vital...

but now... i mean, the gl2's specs top the xl1s basically. all except the changeable lenses. which isn't that big a deal for documentaries and most prosumer level stuff.

plus, you can get adapters a lot of times... just little filters to toss on the front for your fisheye look or whatever else.

anyhoo, changeable lenses kinda puts it in a different class, but then again, those other lenses then cost so much more. dang...

but that panasonic looks awesome.

PS. why is digital zoom even around? heck, you're better off post zooming in photoshop or something.

ahh well
 

BenderBot1138

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2002
439
0
Res of DV

Good catch on the DV resolotion there LethalWolfe... my bad...

Remember ... Specifications, buy what ever you want, so long as your sure it'll work with your Mac. Great posts above... lots of valuable info from all.

:cool:
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,366
119
Los Angeles
Re: Res of DV

Originally posted by BenderBot1138
Good catch on the DV resolotion there LethalWolfe... my bad...

Remember ... Specifications, buy what ever you want, so long as your sure it'll work with your Mac. Great posts above... lots of valuable info from all.

:cool:
BenderBot1138 is correct in reminding you to choose a camera that has been "okayed" by Apple to work w/Macs. There are few things more maddening than buying some new hardware/equipment and finding out, after the fact, that yer new toys don't work w/yer current toys. :(

Also, after you've narrowed yer camera choice down you might want to hit the iMovie/iDVD/FCP discussions (located in the Support section of Apple's website) and do a search for yer camera. Sometimes supported products don't always work right, and sometimes unsupported produts work fine. :)


Lethal
 

kiwi_the_iwik

macrumors 65816
Oct 30, 2001
1,110
0
London, UK
I doubt whether 24P would be a viable solution for the home industry - High Definition cameras will be out of reach to consumers for a long time to come. At work, I use Betacam SX - a digital format comparable to Digi Beta, at around 850 lines resolution. HD cameras are closer to 1450 lines resolution (it's the same type of camera format used to film Star Wars II, incidentally).

Personally, I can't see the point of the general public buying into HDCam, especially when standard TV set reception is only 625 lines in PAL and 525 in NTSC (then figure a drop of around 100 lines in transmission noise).

Buy a MiniDV camcorder - I've got one, and it's one of the best investments I made. It connects simply to the Mac via FireWire, and I can "treat" the image with a variety of film-look plugins if I wish, to give it a more grainy or natural feel.

When you consider that when filming digitally you don't lose resolution in the edit (as opposed to analogue, where each generation of recording from master to edit loses a significant amount in luminance, chrominance and black level), it's a godsend. And I don't care what anyone says - it's still broadcast quality.

Case in point:
A few years ago, I did a corporate video in Athens, on Digi Beta. One shot required me to film at the Acropolis - the director had to pay $850 (US) just for the luxury of taking the camera up the hill to get a 30 second shot. A week later, I had to go out to Greece again, this time for a News channel - and once more, I found myself on the Acropolis to film a 20 second Piece-to-camera with the reporter. Only this time, because I knew money was an issue, I decided to use my little Sony PC100 MiniDV camera, and a small lapel microphone. With the finished product, the editors back in London couldn't even tell the difference, and I didn't have to pay the park attendants a cent...

It just goes to prove that as long as you hold your shots, work in the correct lighting conditions, don't make any unnecessary camera movements (or, preferably, use a tripod or other stabilisation device or technique - for example, a rock), and correctly White Balance your camera, there should be no need to worry about the end result. But for added image integrity, be sure to look for a camera with 3 CCD's - the image quality is far superior to that of a single-chip camera, as each chip looks after it's own colour - i.e. red, green or blue.

When you look at programs like Final Cut Pro 3 and Avid DVExpress 3.5, the big professional production companies are obviously sitting up and taking note of what formats these programs are designed for - namely, predominantly MiniDV - because as of late, there has been a large percentage of TV crews in the field using MiniDV and DVCAM cameras, such as BBC News - who use solely the DVCAM format - BBC's documentary unit (i.e. "Louis Theroux...") and Channel 4's documentary unit (i.e. "Cutting Edge" and "Faking It"), who both use MiniDV.

The image resolution for these cameras sits at around 520 lines PAL, and there's no concern about the picture quality - and of course, finally, they're cheap - especially when considering my Betacam SX cost my employer somewhere in the vicinity of £40000 with a 21x Canon lens...