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View Full Version : DSR450 vs. HVX200 Final Decision . . .



Ralph Oshiro
04-04-2006, 06:30 PM
So now, I'm choosing between the SAME two cameras as before: the Sony 2/3" DSR450 and the Panasonic HVX200. I'm leaning toward the DSR450 for its sensitivity, shallow depth-of-field, and its low-noise picture. And remember, noise was the single greatest issue that was bothering me about all 1/3" cameras in the first place.

The single greatest attraction for me in the HVX200? The variable frame rates (the compact form factor is also a big attraction). The noise level and the weird blocking in the blacks are keeping me in check, but, damn--that little HVX200 kicks butt on the F350 as far as I'm concerned in all other areas. This is going to be a tough, tough decision for me. Variable frame rates and accept the 1/3" CCD noise, or super quiet pictures and a very light-sensitive camera . . .

Notice that I didn't even mention HD? I don't really care. I've tested the HVX200 and a 2/3" BVW600 Betacam side-by-side. And while the HVX was SIGNIFICANTLY sharper, the 600's image was very, very pretty. And very, very, QUIET! So, if it's the noise that's going to make me regret buying an HVX200, I guess, I'm going to go for the DSR450. Unless, I decide that I just can't live without that beautiful 60P framerate--which I probably can't.

SalaTar
04-04-2006, 06:40 PM
NBC ,
Please post footage from both.

Ralph Oshiro
04-04-2006, 06:41 PM
Sorry, I didn't "capture" any of the test footage from my HVX200/BVW600 mini shoot-out.

SalaTar
04-04-2006, 06:43 PM
I figured, as you didnt mention HD, you were looking for a better Camera for your needs

Barry_Green
04-04-2006, 06:47 PM
Well, the solution is obvious.

Obviously you don't want to get the DSR450 and be stuck with 4:1:1 color space, and shut out of HD.

Obviously you're concerned about the amount of noise you'll find in any 1/3" camera.

So obviously you'd be a candidate for the SDX900, which just had an $11,000 price drop and is now priced competitively with the DSR450, delivers the 24p/30p/60i and the cinegamma and the 2/3" chips and the 4:2:2 color sampling and the lower compression...

... but, even with all that said, the SDX with lens will cost about as much as a DSR450 + HVX combo.

And with the DSR450+HVX combined, you get everything you're looking for, right?

So...

buy both?

Obvious! :thumbsup:

Ralph Oshiro
04-04-2006, 06:47 PM
My only problem is . . . if I DO decide to buy the DSR450, will Jarred make a "Sony DSR450" category under the "SONY CAMERAS" section in "other cameras" JUST for ME? If not, where will I spend my sleepless nights on the internet thereafter? There's no such thing as "DSR450USER.com!" And I won't quite fit into that Aussie XDCAM forum. And the other online forums? Well . . .

Ralph Oshiro
04-04-2006, 06:53 PM
That would be nice, Barry, but I'm really shopping on price here. After all, I expect the DSR450 to drop even more in price after all the XDCAM HD cameras start shipping in volume, and everybody starts to get excited about the XDCAM HD cameras. Using your logic, who's going to want those crummy ole' 4:1:1, standard-def cameras anyway after they've been wowed by all the shiny new HD cameras at this year's NAB? Hopefully some poor, unwanted B-stock 450s will make it on the truck after NAB.

SalaTar
04-04-2006, 06:58 PM
Barry said both!

Barry_Green
04-04-2006, 11:23 PM
Yeah -- both! :) That way you get it all!

Rextilleon
04-05-2006, 06:53 AM
What do you mean when you said that the F350 is slow? Are you referring to start up time? What about pic quality etc.?

tim_brown
04-05-2006, 07:01 AM
Rex,

NBCshooter's referring to sensitivity.

Ralph Oshiro
04-05-2006, 08:08 AM
What do you mean when you said that the F350 is slow? Are you referring to start up time? What about pic quality etc.?When you say a camera is "slow" it means that it doesn't do well in low light (e.g., its CCDs are not as "sensitive"). I think this goes back to ASA film speed ratings. The higher the ASA number (ISO, these days), the "faster" the film, and the more it can "see" in low light.

As far as picture quality, well . . . I've only played with a DSR450 for a few minutes. This was at a premiere, outside, in the late afternoon. The British news channel ITN just bought DSR450s, and that's the one I played with for two seconds. I couldn't really tell anything by that little built-in LCD, and we didn't have a color monitor handy or anything at the premiere. But with that big fat 2/3" CCD, I'm sure it looks pretty good. The 24P/48th should look exactly the same as all other 24P cameras. It's just that NO ONE I know has this camera for me to test (or rent), so I'll probably have to buy it sight-unseen!

bilgami
04-05-2006, 08:23 AM
Within a month or so here at work we will be getting the 450 and I cant wait to go shoot with it. I will let everyone know how that comes out.

Ralph Oshiro
04-05-2006, 08:25 AM
Within a month or so here at work we will be getting the 450 and I cant wait to go shoot with it. I will let everyone know how that comes out.That's GREAT! That means that soon, there'll be a whopping TWO guys hoping for Jarred to create a seperate Sony DSR450 forum! Look forward to hearing about and seeing your footage from the DSR450!

bilgami
04-05-2006, 08:31 AM
Id love to post comments and shots on here of course ill need help on getting screen shots on here cuz ive never done that. I started working here in Jan. and my boss told me the 450 should be here by May and Ive counting down the days since then.

Ralph Oshiro
04-08-2006, 04:54 PM
That would be nice, Barry, but I'm really shopping on price here. After all, I expect the DSR450 to drop even more in price after all the XDCAM HD cameras start shipping in volume . . .Well, whaddya know? Sony's now offering a $3,000 CASH REBATE on the DSR450 kit (valid April 1 through September 30, 2006). So if you buy the DSR450 w/Fuji 20:1 "kit" that INCLUDES two V-mount bricks, a two-position charger, and a Sony soft bag for $14,999 from B+H, Sony sends you back $3,000, making the effective price of the kit only $11,999! I think this clinches it! Only $12K for a 2/3" CCD, 24P, 16:9, F/11, 65dB SNR camera with lens, bricks, charger, and a bag--that's just too tempting to pass up! As soon as NAB is over, it's a done deal! Jarred--how about that Sony DSR450 camera thread???

filmmaker1977
04-08-2006, 06:49 PM
Hey NBC, as i posted before, i think you have the SD syndrome..
This SD obsession it seems to me a typical childish obsession -- genre I'm the smartest one.. And I will do SD when all are shooting 720p. No! Better yet: when all are shooting 1080p.. And I am the smartest shooter..

Ralph Oshiro
04-08-2006, 07:32 PM
Hey NBC, as i posted before, i think you have the SD syndrome..Hey filmmaker! What's your problem?

Deadzone
04-08-2006, 07:37 PM
Hey NBCshooter,

Do you know where I could go to actually look at DSR450 footage. Even at $12,000, I like to see what I am getting before I buy it.

filmmaker1977
04-08-2006, 07:40 PM
Hey NBC, do a favour to yourself: follow the river..

http://www.neopics.com/gl1-hd100/

My problem at SD side: none

At HD, maybe, money? As everybody?..

Ralph Oshiro
04-08-2006, 07:40 PM
Hey NBC, do a favour to yourself: follow the river . . .Whatever. Do yourself a favor and follow your own river . . .

Ralph Oshiro
04-08-2006, 07:44 PM
Do you know where I could go to actually look at DSR450 footage. Even at $12,000, I like to see what I am getting before I buy it.Yeah, so would I. I really would like to play with one for an afternoon before I buy, but I guess I'm resigned to playing with it a little at NAB as my only prepurchase due diligence (does Sony even bring "DSR-class" cameras to NAB?). At least I'll be able to compare it against the PDW510 and see if there is a sensitivity difference for sure. The only person I've seen with a DSR450 in L.A. is a shooter for the British network, ITN. I'll get his card next time I see him and ask if I can come by their offices sometime. If any sales operation in L.A. has one, I'll bet Videotape Products in Burbank has one. I'm pretty sure you'd be hard-pressed to find one at any rental house. Actually that's a good thought. I should check VTP out next week.

filmmaker1977
04-08-2006, 07:53 PM
For sure NBC but you asked you deserve it

Ralph Oshiro
04-08-2006, 07:59 PM
For sure NBC but you asked you deserve itDeserve what? A comparison between a 1/3"-CCD, 16:9, HD camera (the HD100) and a 1/4"-CCD, 270K-pixel, 4:3, SD camera (the GL-1)? I don't see any "point" to your argument. Thanks for your "insightful" contribution.

filmmaker1977
04-08-2006, 08:03 PM
and follow your own river . . .by the way, isn't it the same? the best available workflow?.. SD - 2/3" or not - it isn't!
Deserve what? A comparison between a 1/3"-CCD, 16:9, HD camera (the HD100) and a 1/4"-CCD, 270K-pixel, 4:3, SD camera (the GL-1)?do you see differences? seriously?..:Drogar-BigGrin(DBG) so what is it possible to add? :costumed-smiley-047 maybe like the resolution matters?..
I see any "point" to your argument. Thanks for your "insightful" contribution.i'd like to but the only footage that I could see from yours it was the sci-fest and it isn't insightful..

edit
i mean to this point.. :)

filmmaker1977
04-08-2006, 09:16 PM
At least, watch the other(s) river.. (one hour ago..)

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showpost.php?p=509278&postcount=76

joelnet
04-09-2006, 11:52 AM
Deserve what? A comparison between a 1/3"-CCD, 16:9, HD camera (the HD100) and a 1/4"-CCD, 270K-pixel, 4:3, SD camera (the GL-1)? I don't see any "point" to your argument. Thanks for your "insightful" contribution.

I wouldn't be surprised if a high quality uprez of a high quality SD original looked very good. I read a story by a filmmaker that uprezzed his DVX100 movie with Algolith software and had very good results.

http://www.digitalproducer.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=38239

A quicky uprez in photoshop isn't going to cut it. If noise is your big issue then I think you'll be happy with the Sony.

Ralph Oshiro
04-20-2006, 01:47 AM
I wouldn't be surprised if a high quality uprez of a high quality SD original looked very good . . . If noise is your big issue then I think you'll be happy with the Sony.I wouldn't be surprised either . . .

Yup, I think that did it. I've been playing around with the HVX200 tonight that my friend loaned me. Yup, it's as noisy as I remembered from my previous experiences with it. It just doesn't get any cheaper than $12K for a whole 2/3" 24P widescreen camera package, the Sony DSR450 kit that I've been whining about for the last six months. I'm sold. Unless some manufacturer pulls off a technical and pricing miracle at NAB next week, I'm going to forgo the mid-range, shoulder-mount 1/2" and 2/3" HD products from Sony, Panasonic, and JVC being introduced this year. I didn't want to spend more than $20K anyway for the camera and glass, PLUS the extra money I'll have to spend on decent HD monitoring capability.

So, it's obsolete, out-dated, plain ole' SD technology for me this year. I'll keep my standard DV workflow, archive on plain, old fashioned DVCAM tape, and be able to "upgrade" my NLE from my super-crash-prone Adobe Premiere Pro and "move up" to the super-fun-to-use, super-crash-resistant Sony Vegas, and not have to worry about what NLE does or doesn't support whatever new exotic, bit-busting HD format I may have chosen instead.

Believe me, I just know I'm going to love that super-quiet 65dB signal-to-noise ratio, that nice, fat 2/3" kinda shallow depth-of-field, that nice, sharp 800-line image (850-lines in 4:3), and that extra stop or so of increased speed with that f/11 low-light sensitivity. Yup, no HD for me this year.

Ralph Oshiro
04-20-2006, 02:40 AM
. . . I read a story by a filmmaker that uprezzed his DVX100 movie with Algolith software and had very good results.

http://www.digitalproducer.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=38239Wow! I just read the entire, three-part article, including the incredibly well-detailed technical sidebar, "The Secret Formula: Going from DV to HDSR Final Master," which generously detailed their very interesting post process. I HIGHLY recommend that sidebar for ANYONE even thinking about shooting SD and uprezzing later. Holy cow, what a great article--it's one of the best I've ever read, if not THE best for beginning independent filmmakers! In addition to the rich technical content, the article gives some extremely valuable insight into the business of distributing your independent feature. Thank you for posting that!

Ralph Oshiro
04-29-2006, 11:16 PM
Okay, I'm back from NAB2006, and I'm DONE! After looooooooooong review, I've decided on the DSR450 kit from B+H. Plus, B+H's NAB show special catalog included ANOTHER $500 off of the DSR450. So now, I'm down to $11,500 for a FULL package with glass, bricks, charger, and a bag. Now all I'll need is another $1,750 for a Firestore (I'm getting the DR-HD100-80 instead of the FS-4, just 'cause it's black), and I'll be able to enjoy tapeless acquisition, too!

WINNER = SONY DSR450WSL

Deadzone
05-01-2006, 12:00 PM
So when can you post some footage?

greenheron
05-02-2006, 06:52 AM
A friend of mine is already wishing he had waited, after purchasing a 2/3" DVCam outfit last year. Seems like it is hard to sell his clients on SD dvcam when everyone is talking HD. Doesn't make any sense, but you know how the hype drives what people want. I guess your needs are different.

Ralph Oshiro
05-02-2006, 11:40 AM
I'll post some footage as soon as I order it and shoot something. I think I'm gonna order it today. Then I gotta move to a new house next week. As for purchasing a high quality 2/3" SD camera among the wave of HD products, the price can't be beat right now for 2/3" SD (or maybe it can). I have no clients. I am buying this camera to make my own movies. After much study of all the 1/3" and 1/2" HD options available right now, I think the benefits of a very high quality 2/3" SD imager still wins for my applications.

Remember, this is an 800-line SD camera (850-lines in 4:3)--very sharp for SD. And it's extremely quiet--65dB SNR. And, it's VERY sensitive--a stop or more sensitive than any of the new HD products out there. I'm going to lens my mini-movies in standard-def DVCAM, and then take only the final edit master through a Teranex Xantus (or even a $3,999 Teranex Mini) and up-res to HDCAM. There's a Sony SDI board available for the DSR450 for not too much money. I can take an SDI out right from a DVCAM master, right out of the camera into a Teranex Mini, right into an HDW-F500 HDCAM VTR.

P.S. Actually, I do have a client! The show I work for sometimes rents full-sized 24P cameras for high-profile interviews, usually an SDX900 or HDW-F900. But, they typically don't need high-def, they just want good quality 24P, and the DVCAM cassettes will fit right into their existing DV VTRs.

ChrisForbes
05-02-2006, 12:07 PM
Thank you for this thread I have been struggling with the same decision a 2/3 in SD camera or a 1/3 in Hd camera but Ihave been looking at used 2/3 in. cameras so it is more of an apples to apples comparison price wise. I still haven't decided but I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who hasen't drunk the HD cool-aid.

Ralph Oshiro
05-02-2006, 01:58 PM
I DID IT!

You're welcome! Glad I'm not alone. Yes, after MUCH internal debate, I finally did it. I JUST got off the phone with B+H and ordered the DSR450 kit. Had to also order the Anton-Bauer QR-DSR Gold Mount-V-mount adapter for $135 since they were out of stock on the V-mount bricks included in the package (I have some Anton Bauer bricks and a charger already). I lost out on the $500 show special--they said it didn't apply to the kit, but he was nice enough to give me an additional $150 discount anyway.

So, I paid for two-day shipping with the $150 discount, so I'll have the camera by Friday. I'm also supposed to move this weekend, so not much time to shoot any tests or anything. Can't wait to shoot something with it. As soon as I get moved in, I'll be busy shooting LOTS of night exteriors, lit only by mercury vapor street lights!

Dino
05-02-2006, 11:38 PM
I've had the DSR-450 since January in rental inventory. It is the first SD camera I've owned where I can turn off detail and still feel that the natural resolution is good, due to the 1000X1000 + pixel count. It looks very filmic with detail off, film gamma, 24P w/1/48th shutter, black stretch. With a black net behind the lens, monitoring out of SDI, it looks very natural, organic on a 14" Sony color critical monitor.

I've done some slow shutter tests at night and it's amazing what kind of super
clean, detailed low light images the camera produces.

The 450 is the quietest camera I've ever owned. I've had many Sony
CCD cameras(all 2/3"), including BVP-50's, BVP-70's, BVP-90, BVW-D600's,
BVP-550WS, DSR-500WS, and the DSR-450 amazes me. The menu control
parameters are so comprehensive, on a whole other planet from a DSR-500WS,
even better than my BVP-550's, but very similar user interface.

I like the fact that the camera doesn't have a color correction filter wheel, just
ND's. The white balance range is incredible. I would love to see this camera
with primes and HD zoom lenses.

The biggest negative is the SDI output not providing playback, and the
Panasonic SDX-900 being the established standard in the industry(along with
the DVX-100 of course).

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
www.ssv.com

doccutter
05-03-2006, 12:46 AM
I'm still thinking about this camera as well, although I was told that I could get an SDX package by a local dealer for a comparable price, with lens and bricks, new. What do you folks think, SDX or DSR? I already have a dvcam deck, so if I do the SDX, I'll need a deck. Is it worth it for 4:2:2, or will I be satisfied with the 450?

Dino
05-03-2006, 12:56 AM
I think the current SDX-900 price is around $16K without viewfinder or lens, after the recent price reduction. The DSR-450WS street price after $3000 rebate is around $10,000. The 900 is a great SD camera. I bought the 450 because I'm a Sony rental house, many of my corporate customers like DVCAM and have decks for their NLE's. When I bought the 450, I paid $12,500, while the 900 was over $20K, so I felt like I would be able to fill a rental day rate niche between the DVX-100 and SDX-900 and give my customers a format they already use while adding 24P capability.

The 4:2:2 of the 900 is nice and Digital Betacam at 10 bits is even nicer, but
like DVCAM, Sony was late to the party for 24P with Digital Betacam.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
www.ssv.com

Ralph Oshiro
05-03-2006, 10:07 AM
The 450 is the quietest camera I've ever owned. I've had many SonyCCD cameras(all 2/3"), including BVP-50's, BVP-70's, BVP-90, BVW-D600's, BVP-550WS, DSR-500WS, and the DSR-450 amazes me.Jeff:

Wow! That's quite an endorsement! We have BVW400As and BVW600s at work, and boy, those cameras are darned clean, even the 400A. Was wondering what you meant about the SDI-out not having playback, but I guess that makes sense. It only puts out SDI live, right?

Where have you been all this time while I've been struggling with this decision for the past year? Great post! I hope you post more. Simon Wyndham posts fairly often here--although he owns a PDW510, he says that the DSR450 has the identical menu/matrix set-up. He's posted some cool "filmic" menu settings on his personal website.

Well, it sure is great to hear from another DSR450 owner. I feel like I'm the only one who even knows about this camera sometimes! Between you, me, and that bilgami guy (who's getting a DSR450 at work soon), maybe, Jarred may see fit to post a DSR450 cameras category here someday. Chris Hurd has offered to create one at his site, but DVXuser still feels like home.

Anyway, since I just plopped down $15,000 USD yesterday, I was having a severe case of SD-buyer's remorse last night. Hopefully I'm over it now, because no HD camera I've tested has anywhere near the sensitivity of the DSR450, and that's a crucial constraint for me.

Thanks for your post!

Dino
05-03-2006, 11:03 AM
Rezfactor,

Peter DeCrescenzo has posted some great info on the 450 at some other forums. He and Simon have been great resources. Peter's had the 450 for quite a while. To be sure, I didn't buy the 450 as a high def. solution, although it could be upconverted with pretty good results, IMO. I found the D600's to be noisy, although the SN was masked by Betacam's inherit analog noise, but typically shot in -3db whenever possible. With the 450, the only reason to shoot in -3db would be to open up a stop for a shallower depth of field.

I had the camera side by side on an outdoor scene yesterday with my DSR-500,
and in 24P, with 1/48th shutter, the F-stop was the same, using the same ND.
This is because the 450 does not have an 85 filter, but instead an electronic
color correction 5600K button when shooting at preset, so no light is lost to an
optical filter, or you can white balance for more exact results. This could be useful when shooting indoors with daylight balanced Kino Flos or HMIs.

I have never considered the DSR-500 to have a real user interface, it was just
too dumbed down, not enough handles for getting different looks. The 450 is
the complete opposite, it has as much or more setup control as a Sony studio
companion broadcast camera and the user interface is the same as many Sony broadcast cameras, Digibeta camcorders and HDCam camcorders.

BTW, at Cinematography.com, there are a few other 450 owners.

Good luck with your new camera!

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
www.ssv.com

doccutter
05-03-2006, 12:52 PM
Well, I guess what I'm concerned about is that the 450 is a pretty new camera, with LCD panel and what have you, whereas the 900 comparatively older. The dealer with whom I spoke mentioned a whole kit, lens, viewfinder, power, etc. for a "comparable" price to the DSR, I think he even mentioned that he could get the dsr kit for 11k after the rebate. He did mention that the deck would be another 5-6k, so I'm not sure. What I like about the 450 is that I can use my existing deck, edit on my existing gear, and if I need to eventually uprez, there's always rental houses. Also, 3 hours per tape is pretty luxurious. I've normally used 120min DVCAM tapes in my 370, but I always know that possibility is there. The 900 is limited, I think, to 33 minutes, but if I'm even considering the eventual uprez, it does have double the color data. Weight is also a factor, I have some spine issues, so I'd like to err on the lighter side. I think the 450 is about the same as my 370, but I'm unsure. Anyway, I have a month or so to decide, before I'm out of the country with whatever I chose.

Ralph Oshiro
05-03-2006, 05:32 PM
doccutter:

When I last priced out an SDX900 with a lens, even after the price drop, it came out to several thousand more than the DSR450 kit (maybe $8,000?). There are TONS of DVCAM VTRs out there for a lot less than $5K. JVC makes one with a DVD burner and an internal HDD for about $1,300, but it only takes miniDV cassettes. Sony DSR11s can be had for only about $1,200 I believe. The pro JVC decks are nice too, and I think they're about $2,000.

Certainly the SDX900 is a proven image-maker, but Sony put plenty of "guts" into this DSR450 with lots of tweaking potential. And also, you get the benefit of a more modern camera with a built-in color LCD, in a better position (near the front of the body) than in previous Sony pro cameras that had built-in color LCDs. For now, I'll be shooting miniDV cassettes, and using my plain old VX2000 as my feeder "deck." At least, until I decide on which real VTR to buy.

Ralph Oshiro
05-03-2006, 05:38 PM
This is because the 450 does not have an 85 filter, but instead an electronic color correction 5600K button when shooting at preset, so no light is lost to an optical filter, or you can white balance for more exact results. This could be useful when shooting indoors with daylight balanced Kino Flos or HMIs.Jeff:

Yes, I'm aware of this feature on the camera, and I think it's GREAT! All-electronic white balance is a very cool feature of newer cameras. And yes, I didn't even think of the extra speed you would get because of the lack of an 85 soaking up that extra bit of light. I'll have to trudge through the other forums to find some of Peter's pearls of wisdom.

Ralph Oshiro
05-03-2006, 05:41 PM
I found the D600's to be noisy, although the SN was masked by Betacam's inherit analog noise, but typically shot in -3db whenever possible. With the 450, the only reason to shoot in -3db would be to open up a stop for a shallower depth of field.Holy crap! If you found a D600 to be noisy, then that DSR450 must CLEAN! I only got to play with a DSR450 for a few hours at NAB, and boy did that picture look pretty. At work, I've made composite dubs from BetacamSP tape, shot with a 400A, to DV using just a VX2000 and a RCA cable, and wow--the BVW400A footage transferred super clean, even on just a composite dub.

Ralph Oshiro
05-03-2006, 05:51 PM
I'll get around to consider buying into RED in about a year or two. In the meantime, I'm gonna start SHOOTING! And as unexpectedly low as RED is priced, it's still $17,500 for the body, plus, say, $7,500 for a RED zoom lens (I'm guessing), and $1,000 for a 1GB RED drive . . . that's still $26,000. Plus, I still have to buy a decent HD monitor. And then I'll have to upgrade my NLE hardware and software . . . And THEN, I have to wait AT LEAST until the end of the year, if not much longer . . .

That's still a long way from $12,000 including glass, bricks and a bag. Plus, I already have rental income coming for my recent purchase! Had I had the camera today (I get it Friday), I would've already gotten its first rental for a shoot tomorrow! When RED has shipping product in the pipeline with all the bugs worked out, and when I have a workflow solution to accomodate those huge bitstreams, then I'll take another look at the HD camera market.

doccutter
05-03-2006, 05:52 PM
Rezfactor,

Yeah, that's what's pushing me over to the dsr again, the fact that I can incorporate it into my existing setup with no change in workflow. I have a DSR 11, which is a finicky deck. At the post house where I used to work, we went through a few of them, but I baby mine and it's never failed me. I have it connected to a PVM monitor, not a BVM, but it does fine, 16:9 and component, blue only, etc. I got my dsr 11 4 years ago for 1600, I think they are a bit less now. I know that the SDX should be another 6-8k, but we'll see once I have the cash in hand.

If you're looking for a deck, the DSR 40 was quite robust, and if you can find some Bstock, very cheap now. The DSR 45 has an LCD panel built-in, which is of limited usefulness. I was always partial to the 70's, but they were always out of my range. They seem perfect for field editing, attached to a powerbook as a field monitor and deck. They also take the full-size DVCAM's.

Emanuel: How about these words:
Now, here, less than 20k.

Emanuel
05-03-2006, 05:54 PM
I'll get around to consider buying into RED in about a year or two. In the meantime, I'm gonna start SHOOTING! And as unexpectedly low as RED is priced, it's still $17,500 for the body, plus, say, $7,500 for a RED zoom lens (I'm guessing), and $1,000 for a 1GB RED drive . . . that's still $26,000. Plus, I still have to buy a decent HD monitor. And then I'll have to upgrade my NLE hardware and software . . . And THEN, I have to wait AT LEAST until the end of the year, if not much longer . . .

That's still a long way from $12,000 including glass, bricks and a bag. Plus, I already have rental income coming for my recent purchase! Had I had the camera today (I get it Friday), NBC would've rented it for for a special shoot tomorrow. When RED has shipping product in the pipeline with all the bugs worked out, and when I have a workflow solution to accomodate those huge bitstreams, then I'll take another look at the camera market.Alright, if you already decided, my input to you it just can be: KUDOS to the coming footage!

EDIT -- About RED I'm afraid that maybe it will be much longer...so I'm following your point, unfortunately, quite well!

Ralph Oshiro
05-03-2006, 06:01 PM
Thanks, Emanuel . . . I can't wait to start shooting with it! But I'm moving all weekend, and I'm only half-packed right now. I'm still gonna open the box Friday and power it up and check for dead pixels and such. Can't wait!

Emanuel
05-03-2006, 06:01 PM
Emanuel: How about these words:
Now, here, less than 20k.Maybe Sony's PDW-F330K?

Ralph Oshiro
05-03-2006, 06:06 PM
Maybe Sony's PDW-F330K?Well, it was a tough choice. The F330 makes beautiful HD images, and I love that optical storage format. But, the F330 is over $20 with glass, and I basically traded the 330's HD capability for the shallow depth-of-field of the DSR450's larger 2/3" imager, and the increased sensitivity that comes with a larger, lower-density chip. So I saved over $10,000, got a larger CCD, and a faster camera (which is a feature I REALLY need for what I'll be shooting).

Emanuel
05-03-2006, 06:31 PM
So I saved over $10,000, got a larger CCD, and a faster camera (which is a feature I REALLY need for what I'll be shooting).I can understand you as I just mentioned F330K 'cause the doccutter 20k point. I'm afraid that's possible to buy one for less than that. At least, they gave me so.

Dino
05-03-2006, 09:50 PM
Today I shot windsurfers with my 450. I used 16:9, 24P, 1/48th shutter, film gamma 1, detail off, 1/64 ND, pola on the front of the lens, black net on the rear element, -3db, was at a 2.8 on long lens(Fuji 15X8BERM) and was astounded by how filmic the image was on a 100" Sony industrial CRT data projector, line doubled. It really looked like 16mm to me. Then an ex-engineer from KTVU-TV and now shooter came by and watched the footage, without me saying anything.

He was just as amazed. The motion, the water, the background, the lack of
any video artifacts, the organic look, the amazing signal to noise ratio even
on still frames, it was all so natural. Highlight handling was so smooth. He
said that if I told him I had shot on 16mm, he would have believed me.

I had thought 16mm in my mind, but without me saying anything, that's what
he said it reminded him of. This footage is the most filmic imagery I've ever
shot. It just never said video at any point, realtime playback, slow motion or
still. 24P with detail off is the key, plus latitude and great S/N ratio, and soft
depth of field on a long lens.

A friend is getting a JVC HDPro 100 HDV camcorder on Friday, and I want to shoot the same subject matter with the camera and compare it to the 450. Do they make rings for mounting nets on 1/3" lenses?

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
www.ssv.com

doccutter
05-03-2006, 11:22 PM
Emanuel,

After Lens, Viewfinder, and Power, the 330 breaks the 20k barrier, but it isn't too far over, especially if you factor in a deck with the sdx900. I just haven't heard rave reviews about the 330, it's 1/2 instead of 2/3, and 4:2:0, which I'm a little shy of. I don't do Blue/Green screen, but I worry about how the image will look blown up big.

Deadzone
05-04-2006, 02:12 AM
Hey Dino,

I would be interested in your thoughts about the HD100 versus the 450 footage. I saw some uncompressed HD100 footage today. It look pretty good but definitely not like 16mm film. As the guy showing it to me said, it looks like "fideo". Right now, I'm contemplating what camera to buy, and if the 450 footage really does look like 16mm, then it would shoot to the top of the list. I have some doubts because a lot of people on this board said that the HVX200 produced wonderful footage that looked like 16, but I have found it to be very disappointing so far. I'm hoping the 450 will do better, and I'm willing to pay the higher price tag.

Flintstone
05-05-2006, 06:58 AM
Hey, NBCShooter, or should I say Rezfactor now,

I've also been struggling whether to get a good SD/DV cam vs. an average HD/HDV cam. Better to have good SD then BAD HD, right? 1/3" HD sensors is way to noisy for my taste. I currently have a DVX100B, itís a good cam, but very noisy in low light, and that bothers me a lot.

At work, we have good old BetacamSP cams, and I've seen the DSR-450 at a Sony show: it's a great cam, handles just like an SP, image quality is very sharp; however, it's a tad over my budget. I've been eyeing 1/2" SD shoulder-mounts. The only one still in the market today seems to be the JVC GY-DV5100. Panny and Sony dropped their 1/2" models. Have you looked or tested that JVC model? Aside from not having 16x9 and 24p, what is your opinion on this cam? And are you aware of other 1/2" cams on the market (new, not used)?

Fred

Dino
05-05-2006, 08:30 AM
Flintstone,

If considering a good SD camera, you might look into a used Sony DSR-500WS or DSR-570. I would think $6-7K would be possible, or a new DSR-400?

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
www.ssv.com

Dino
05-05-2006, 08:36 AM
Deadzone,

I have been shooting tape for over 25 years, 16:9 since 1999. I have a very large 4"X4" and 4"X6" Tiffen filter inventory, and had two D600's for ten years
with many film emulation setup cards, so I've been chasing the elusive "film
look" for a long time. The 450 is the closest I've seen to 16mm done in camera.
If you want to see the footage I shot with my 450, give me your address and I can send a DVD. I intend to cut a one minute montage of 450 footage to stream on my site soon as well.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
www.ssv.com

Deadzone
05-05-2006, 09:18 AM
Hey Dino,

Sent you an email. Thanks.

Ralph Oshiro
05-07-2006, 10:16 PM
Here's a frame grab from my new Sony DSR450:

http://www.24framefilms.com/DSR1.jpg

I have the Fujinon 20x8.6 f/1.8 lens. This was shot at f/1.8 at the very long end of the lens. This was at 24P 2:3:3:2 at 0dB gain using the FILM gamma setting of "1." There is approximately 1 footcandle falling on the face of the drill (the side toward camera). Everything else in the scene is <5 footcandles (incident). This was saved out of Photoshop as a .jpg at a quality of "10."

doccutter
05-07-2006, 10:39 PM
Rezfactor,

Take the image into Photoshop, go to image size, and change it to 853x480. That will give you the correct aspect ratio. The problem you are seeing is due to the fact that you are shooting 720x480, but you are shooting rectangular pixels. PS and web browsers work in square pixels. You also may want to check out this site, it has a number of DSR450 specific tips. Good luck!
sonybiz.net/dvcam

at the bottom of the page, reference information, shooting tips.

Ralph Oshiro
05-07-2006, 10:43 PM
I've also been struggling whether to get a good SD/DV cam vs. an average HD/HDV cam. Better to have good SD then BAD HD, right? 1/3" HD sensors is way to noisy for my taste. I currently have a DVX100B, it’s a good cam, but very noisy in low light, and that bothers me a lot.It's a tough choice. Affordable HD, but with 1/3" CCD noise levels and low sensitivity? Or great light sensitivity and low noise images, but only in SD-resolution? Huge trade-offs. I finally bit the bullet and made the decision. In the end, I'll be happy with the images I'll be able to photograph, that I couldn't with a a less sensitive camera. And saying, "light it right" simply doesn't work for me. I need to expose things I have no control over and would cost $$$$$ to really light properly (e.g., a row of high-rise buildings at night with streets lit only by mercury vapor).

And yeah, everybody's abandoned the 1/2" market. If you want to make digital "movies," I wouldn't consider anything but a 24P-capable camera. The DSR450 is the cheapest SD solution for that in either 1/2" or 2/3." When I first looked at the 1/2" JVC camera, I wasn't too impressed--it didn't look that much better than my VX2000, in my eyes. Plus, no 24P. The DSR500 is a solid 2/3" image-maker, but again, no 24P. It's a long shot, but some people are fire-saleing their BetacamSX cameras, which are VERY good cameras. Can't remember if any of those do 24P or not.

Ralph Oshiro
05-07-2006, 10:53 PM
Take the image into Photoshop, go to image size, and change it to 853x480. That will give you the correct aspect ratio.Thanks! I tried changing the pixel aspect ratio first in Photoshop, but it still didn't come out right for some reason. I did what you said.

Deadzone
05-07-2006, 11:22 PM
So far, the DSR450 image is looking pretty good. Can you do a still of a person. I only ask because I remember thinking that the HVX200 had some pretty good images until people started showing pictures of... well... people. Suddenly, the stills looked very video like, and I hated it. Hoping the DSR450 does better.

Ralph Oshiro
05-08-2006, 05:33 AM
Sure. I'll be posting quite a lot of stuff, but I haven't been feeling well this week, and I have to move to a new house. I barely could pull off that stupid picture of the drill! Well, you just motivated me. I am DYING to shoot a person as well! I'm going to take my camera to work today and ask to shoot one of the pretty PAs in the office. It doesn't have the "snap" of HD, but I love this camera!

Ralph Oshiro
05-08-2006, 10:50 AM
Another one . . .

http://www.24framefilms.com/tomato.jpg

No correction.

Shot with same settings, except, detail is "off," and Simon Wyndham's "filmlook" settings have been applied in the camera's menus. I think it's out of focus slightly, since I was cutting the tomato, and shooting from a lock-off from sticks. This is at about f/2.8 with about 5 footcandles falling on the subject.

Ralph Oshiro
05-08-2006, 11:46 AM
I only ask because I remember thinking that the HVX200 had some pretty good images until people started showing pictures of... well... people. Suddenly, the stills looked very video like, and I hated it. Hoping the DSR450 does better.I think with proper color grading, it can look amazing. I've been playing with various Magic Bullet Editor's plug-ins this morning, and the looks I'm getting look amazing. Will try to shoot that PA this afternoon.

doccutter
05-08-2006, 12:21 PM
Rezfactor,

Yeah, you can see your finger in perfect focus, the tomato is slightly defocused, but the image looks fantastic. What are the "filmlook" settings you are talking about? You may also want to play with the crispness setting, that allows you to have detail on, and have it only affect the brightest parts of the image. Keep posting images, and maybe a DVquicktime if you have the opportunity! I love what this camera can do with available light.

doccutter
05-08-2006, 12:38 PM
Well,

I couldn't figure out how to attach an image, but you can try what I did at home. Take the above image (taking into accound that it has been compressed twice, once to DV, once to JPG) and using the Image Size feature in photoshop, change the resolution to 1280x720. Now, what I'd like to see is some HVX footage compared directly with DSR 450 footage, uprezzed to 720p. It could produce some surprising results.

Ralph Oshiro
05-08-2006, 09:27 PM
Here's the girl . . .

http://www.24framefilms.com/G2.jpg

No correction.

http://www.24framefilms.com/G2A.jpg

A little plus red and minus green (I forgot to turn the flourescents off) and a little contrast.

I literally lit this in five seconds. And I know, the background's lame--I forgot to turn the overheads off. She's keyed with a single 24" x 30" Chimera over an Arri 1,000W open-face unit. Normal office flourescents are lighting her hair and the background (doh!). There's more chroma in the shot when viewed on a CRT. Keyed at about 20 footcandles.

filmmaker1977
05-08-2006, 10:14 PM
now i understand your sd obsession.. you're a video maker.. cool

Ralph Oshiro
05-08-2006, 10:20 PM
Well, believe me, it tore me apart spending this kind of money on only an SD camera. I almost cancelled my order the day after I ordered it. But I knew I just wasn't going to get the performance where I needed it from current HD offerings for my applications. As soon as I start shooting my real subject material, I think it will be even more clear why I made this decision.

Ralph Oshiro
05-08-2006, 10:27 PM
What are the "filmlook" settings you are talking about?There's a UK shooter here, Simon Wyndham, that owns a PDW510, which apparently is a very similar camera head to the DSR450. He posted some settings on his personal website. But I think I need to change them somewhat, since I'm getting a weird contour on the girl's face. Whenever you go from a lit area (face or tomato), to a light background, a dark edge is seen. Need to figure that out.

doccutter
05-08-2006, 11:03 PM
Rezfactor,

What are the jpeg settings you are using in Photoshop? As far as the contour goes, are you talking about screen left, the sort of bruise colored line between shadow and the midtones of her cheek? I don't see it in the uncorrected originals, so maybe it's a CC issue.

Ralph Oshiro
05-08-2006, 11:36 PM
Yes, on her cheek. No, it's definitely in the video. I can see it in Premiere. In Photoshop, I just raised the reds +20, yellows +5, and minused some green -5, then added +20 contrast.

Ralph Oshiro
05-08-2006, 11:37 PM
Well, what do you think? Did I make the right decision?

doccutter
05-09-2006, 06:37 AM
I think the stills look beautiful, easily as good as alot of HVX stills I've seen. I think you have a great deal more control of the image, a sweet 20x manual lens, and 3 hours per tape, not to mention all at 25mbps. It's a proven format, and it looks like it will easily uprez to at least 720p if you need it to. I think you made the right decision. At this point, I think I will probably make the same decision, once my client finally pays up. I'd still love to see some moving footage when you get the chance!

Ralph Oshiro
05-09-2006, 07:21 AM
Whew! Thanks. I feel better now. I was having a big case of the SD blues last night. I was looking at some of the JVC HD100 footage here last night that Stephen L. Noe posted, and damn, that looked good. I guess it was a 35mm film-out I was looking at though. I mean, I know I wouldn't be happy with the JVC HD100, but, damn. I did have an HVX200 to play with for about a week, and was able to decide against it, so I guess I made the right decision.

I spent some time at the Teranex booth at NAB, and downloaded the Magic Bullet InstantHD software, and that stuff sure is impressive. I guess I just gotta just stop thinking about cameras now, and just start thinking about making movies!

Dino
05-09-2006, 07:30 AM
Thanks for the screen grabs, Rezfactor. The black contour on certain transitions, especially noticeable on edges of faces, is a common Sony detail artifact in my experience. You might try turning detail black limit all the way up to 35 to make the line thinner. You might also do some tests with detail off, but aperture on.

The 450 is the first SD camera I've owned where detail off still offers decent natural sharpness and gets rid of the typical artificial detail enhancement artifacts.

For anybody considering purchasing a DSR-450WS, if you are interested in
watching a DVD of the motion/filmlook tests I did of windsurfers, send me a
private message with your address, and I will mail a DVD.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
www.ssv.com (http://www.ssv.com)

Deadzone
05-09-2006, 09:48 AM
Did you get my email. I would really like to see some actual footage. Thanks.

Dino
05-09-2006, 11:08 AM
Deadzone,

On its way!

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
www.ssv.com

jin08611
05-09-2006, 01:07 PM
i would get DSR 590 used and get the UVW2800 beta mobile deck then you have the best in both world. if you need to get the DSR 450 i would get with SDI card....

good luck

Ralph Oshiro
05-09-2006, 02:57 PM
I was thinking about the SDI board, but what would I record to?

Deadzone
05-09-2006, 08:32 PM
Deadzone,

On its way!

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
www.ssv.com

Thanks, I'll look out for them. BTW Rezfactor, keep the pictures and if you can, video coming. It's great to be able to see how the camera performs on people.

Dino
05-09-2006, 08:37 PM
Rezfactor,

Now I know why you chose a camera with 65db SN and good sensitivity--saw
your streaming samples on your site, all night scenes, very nice looking footage.

If you added the SDI output, you could record on a 4:2:2 format, tape or a drive, like the uncompressed Bonsai Drive, if you thought that would be beneficial for green screen. If 4:2:2 is really important, then an SDX-900, with its new, lower price point makes some sense.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
www.ssv.com (http://www.ssv.com)

Ralph Oshiro
05-09-2006, 11:11 PM
Oh my god! That footage on my site is SO old! But thanks for the compliments! A lot of it was shot with a crummy VX2000. I'm guessing that the DSR450 is just as fast, but with a LOT less noise. Finally, someone gets it! Can't wait to get this camera out on the street one night. Been so damn busy at work.

Yeah, I looked at Bonsai's site once. I was just wondering out loud, since the SDI board isn't that expensive (about $1,200). Don't think I really need it. I saw some of Simon's SDI 4:2:2 vs. DV 4:1:1 test frames, and the difference wasn't THAT dramatic. Part of why I went with this camera was to keep my simple and easy DV workflow anyway. Thanks for your input, Dino!

Ralph Oshiro
05-09-2006, 11:29 PM
Another one:

http://www.24framefilms.com/G6.jpg

Applied Magic Bullet Movie Looks' plug-in: Buffalo

Ralph Oshiro
05-09-2006, 11:45 PM
Some things on my desk (about 10 footcandles) . . .

http://www.24framefilms.com/d1.jpg

Uncorrected (detail "off," DCC "off").


http://www.24framefilms.com/d2.jpg

Magic Bullet Look Suite plug-in applied: Color Reversal.


http://www.24framefilms.com/d3.jpg

Magic Bullet Look Suite plug-in applied: Bleach Bypass.


http://www.24framefilms.com/d4.jpg

Magic Bullet Look Suite plug-in applied: Punchy.


http://www.24framefilms.com/d5.jpg

Magic Bullet Look Suite plug-in applied: White Diffusion Max.

Dino
05-10-2006, 07:16 AM
Rezfactor, I like those plug-ins, especially the oh so popular "bleach bypass". How do you think the 450 looks without detail? I think it looks pretty good compared to an SD camera with 520K pixels. The screen grabs certainly seem to have good natural resolution for SD. Could you do a screen grab of your
model head shot with bleach bypass applied?

What is the "buffalo" look? Seems like a good plug-in for head shots, nice warm saturation. I like the fact that the 450 gives plenty of gray scale in the
shadow area to work with in CC--are you using film gamma 1? What I don't
like about the film gammas is that nothing goes over 100 ire. I'd like to be
using all the latitude available with peaks at 109 and setting the knee higher
than 80 or 85 ire. I had the same issue with Sony's film gamma setup cards
for the BVW-D600/DVW-700WS.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
www.ssv.com

doccutter
05-10-2006, 06:59 PM
Rezfactor,

I had a thought, do you think if you plan on posting any dv quicktimes, you could try shooting a bit of motion at 30p? I was hoping to see how that would look played back on a 24p timeline. Maybe try 1/48 and 1/60 shutter. Thanks!

Ralph Oshiro
05-10-2006, 09:10 PM
I like the fact that the 450 gives plenty of gray scale in the
shadow area to work with in CC--are you using film gamma 1? What I don't
like about the film gammas is that nothing goes over 100 ire. I'd like to be
using all the latitude available with peaks at 109 . . .Yes, I am using FILM gamma "1." Plus a bunch of detail settings that Simon has on his site. Not sure I'm all that comfortable with those detail settings though. I suppose, if I'm going to uprez, I want less detail, right? But it just feels a bit too soft for me. I too enjoy the grayscale that the DSR's film gamma setting gives. And I so hear you on that 109 IRE thing. That's EXACTLY how I want to set this camera up--with a +100 IRE setting. Don't quite know how to set that up, but I think you can, can't you, despite the film gamma setting? "Buffalo" is just another one of the presets in Magic Bullet Look Suite.

Ralph Oshiro
05-10-2006, 09:23 PM
Night Exteriors--Rodeo Drive at Magic Hour Series:

Sony DSR450: FILM gamma 1; f/1.8; 0dB gain; 3200K preset; 24PA; shutter off; detail off.

http://www.24framefilms.com/r1.jpg

Uncorrected

Ralph Oshiro
05-10-2006, 09:38 PM
Sony DSR450: FILM gamma 1; f/1.8; 0dB gain; 3200K preset; 24PA; shutter off; detail off.

http://www.24framefilms.com/r3.jpg

Uncorrected

Ralph Oshiro
05-10-2006, 09:41 PM
Sony DSR450: FILM gamma 1; f/1.8; 0dB gain; 3200K preset; 24PA; shutter off; detail off.

http://www.24framefilms.com/r4.jpg

Uncorrected

Ralph Oshiro
05-10-2006, 09:43 PM
Sony DSR450: FILM gamma 1; f/1.8; 0dB gain; 3200K preset; 24PA; shutter off; detail off.

http://www.24framefilms.com/r5.jpg

Uncorrected

Shooting directly into a mercury vapor street light, with f-stop wide open--no smear, just some lens flare.

Ralph Oshiro
05-10-2006, 09:58 PM
Sony DSR450: FILM gamma 1; f/1.8; 0dB gain; 3200K preset; 24PA; shutter off; detail off.

http://www.24framefilms.com/r6.jpg

Uncorrected.


http://www.24framefilms.com/r6-bistro.jpg

Magic Bullet Look Suite plug-in applied: Bistro.


http://www.24framefilms.com/r6-bleach.jpg

Magic Bullet Look Suite plug-in applied: Bleach Bypass.


http://www.24framefilms.com/r6-contrast.jpg

Magic Bullet Look Suite plug-in applied: Max Contrast.

Cheesesailor77
05-10-2006, 11:06 PM
i'm REALLY no expert, an i'm not completely sure what i'm looking at, but the uncorrected footage looks quite unapealling to me.

With the bleach bypass it gets better (crushed blacks i guess) but it looks really video-ee after adding "film gamma"

have u shot anything and added a quick standered correction that you've found adds a nice rich film look you could share?

not to knock your purchase, I'm sure after all your research you got exactly what you wanted.

Ralph Oshiro
05-10-2006, 11:11 PM
From what I understand, the film gamma setting gives you the most latitude and the "fattest" grayscales. The uncorrected images lack contrast, but this seems to be the optimum image to later apply the most effective color grading. I agree, the video straight out of the DSR450 doesn't seem quite as "filmy" as my Panasonic DVX100, in my opinion. I think Panasonic really has mastered that look for its products. But the "flatness" in the original images appears to be very similar to uncorrected images that I've shot straight out of SDX900s and HDW-F900s, at least in my limited experience with those two cameras.

The trick for me has always been: How do you first acquire an image that later takes best to color grading without picking up extreme amounts of noise? Well, I surmised that you have to start with the lowest noise image in the first place. When I first got my Sony VX2000 years ago, I immediately went out and shot tons of beauty footage. But the moment I went to do some color correction on the footage I had gotten, the images just got uncontrollably noisy.

So, I agree. The ungraded footage isn't too stunning in all cases. But I think the point is, is to acquire a raw image that has the greatest grayscale (latitude) so that you can make the most of those base "bits" to later color grade to taste. I'm only just beginning to experiment with this camera, and since not very many people seem to own this camera, there simply isn't that much published about it and its various menu settings. In a few months, I'm sure I'll have worked out some favorite "recipes" for getting the best "filmlook" out of this camera.

Dino
05-11-2006, 07:51 AM
The reality is that most people have never seen uncorrected film stocks. Whether watching film source on TV, or in a theater, color correction has been applied in the lab or telecine suite. Even if a film source had not been color corrected for theatrical release, a release print will not have the same look as the original film stock. It will be more contrasty and grainy at the very least.

Ten years ago, when I took delivery of my Sony BVW-D600's, Sony came out
with Kodak film stock emulations that had to do with detail and matirix settiings, they later came out with film gamma set up cards that worked with
600's and DVW-700's. I sent these setup cards out on rental and while some
DP's used the film stock emulations and film gammas, most stayed with the
"house" setup card, which was CCIR-709, the worldwide DTV/HD colorimetry standard, and some preferred the "High Saturation" card. The film stock emulation cards were meant to be used as a base for color correction. Of
course, in those days, there weren't inexpensive NLE's and simple, inexpensive color correction plug-ins.

What can be seen in the uncorrected screen grabs that Rezfactor shot is imagery that does not have video artifacts such as noise, half lining, detail
edge ringing and has lots of gray scale. If you look at the highlights in the
last screen grabs, you see that the film look plug-ins actually reduce latitude
and highlight detail.

The question that occurs to me is, "what is film look?" Is it very rich blacks,
warm, highly saturated colors, contrasty blacks and whites or pastelly, soft
muted tones? The answer is all of the above. Film has the latitude and flexibility to be anything the colorist/director/DP want it to be.

If we define the in-camera recording of a DVX-100 as "more filmic", then we
need to define what would make it so. Obviously, for motion, it's 24P, which
other cameras like the DSR-450 do well. For a still image, my guess is that
it is a saturated, rich look that more equates to the look of final color corrected
film transfers.

Anybody who knows how to use a sophisticated DSP camera can get looks of
their choosing in-camera, but this means that they are committed to that look,
giving less flexibility in post. I have no doubt that if a DSR-450 is put next to
a DVX-100, both shooting a Macbeth color chart and monitored with a waveform and vectorscope, a qualified DIT could match the DVX-100. Plus,
the 450 would offer low noise, natural sharpness of million pixel imagers without having to depend as much on electronic detail circuits and benefit from the shallower depth of field of 2/3" imagers.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
www.ssv.com (http://www.ssv.com)

Ralph Oshiro
05-11-2006, 11:54 AM
Great post, Dino! I remember all the hoopla when those set-up cards came out for the D600s. Unfortunately, I never got to play with them at the time. Recently, the show I work for had been renting SDX900s and HDWF900s for certain special events as B-roll cameras to complement the standard 60i BVW400As we use to cover our show. I was the one sent to Plus 8 Digital to talk with the staff DITs to discuss the "look" we wanted. All I told them was, "give me the set-up that gives me the maximum dynamic range."

I did some exposure tests at Plus 8 with the DIT, and shot a model in both lit interiors and daylight exteriors. When the footage got back, many in the office also complained about the "look" coming right out of the cameras. Jeff (Dino) has made some great points in his post above, and I think he adds a lot of savvy experience to this thread. Keep posting!

Dino
05-11-2006, 12:01 PM
Rezfactor,

I was just expanding on your point about color correction. It's obvious that your next mission is to shoot with the DVX-100 and DSR-450 side by side and post some screen grabs--all in the name of science, of course!

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
www.ssv.com

Deadzone
05-11-2006, 09:51 PM
Got the DVD. Thanks a bunch, Dino.

Ralph Oshiro
05-12-2006, 12:17 AM
Some people on the street . . .

http://www.24framefilms.com/r2-4.jpg

http://www.24framefilms.com/r2-6.jpg

Ralph Oshiro
05-12-2006, 03:13 PM
Well, I discovered a BIG surprise last night when I read my manual. I wanted a bit more sensitivity, so I was going to engage the slow shutter (SLS) capability on my DSR450. Guess what? SLS is ONLY available in interlace mode on the DSR450! I feel a little shortchanged to say the least (I don't remember the brochure mentioning this "little" detail).

Anyway, so to get a little more speed out of the camera, I'm going to set the shutter to 1/24th, which is the slowest shutter speed available in the camera's progressive mode. Even as clean as this camera is, that magic hour deep blue sky exhibits a bit more noise than I would like, so I'm also going to kick the gain down to -3dB, to lower the noise floor even more (although, of course, that also reduces my sensitivity). So, -3dB, at 1/24th sec. shutter speed, at f/1.8, will be my new default "low light" night exterior setting, at least for scenes that can handle that amount of motion blur.

doccutter
05-13-2006, 11:12 PM
Dino,

Check your PM. Thanks for the DVD, I sent you some constructive comments.

doccutter
06-03-2006, 12:52 PM
Well, as much as I was being convinced by the DSR / SDX options, I went with the HVX. It's always a trade-off, when you do run & gun documentary, that the larger, professional-looking cameras give you the best image, but sometimes, the last thing you want is for people to know what you're up to. I figure the HVX has a much better chance of looking like an over-payed dentist's toy than an over the shoulder cam... And if it doesn't work out, I'll sell it when I get back. Still haven't figured out how to manage all that data though.

Dino
06-03-2006, 06:23 PM
doccutter,

Your needing to have a low profile makes sense(plus HD images) and with a Fire Store HDD, that should enable larger shooting ratios than using P2. I just bought an nNovia Quick Capture with 80GB(6 hours recording) DV25 hard drive for my DSR-500WS and 450WS and like the more efficient, faster capture capability vs. tape. It also offers HDV capability, which I think if I owned an HDV
camera, I would want a backup HDD solution. Best of luck with the 200!

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
www.ssv.com

doccutter
06-04-2006, 01:42 AM
Jeff,
Thanks for the good wishes! I wish the cineporter was going to be out in time, but as it is, I'll be back before then. I'm a bit gunshy of the Firestore, what with all the complaints of dropouts. I think I'm going with 4 or 5 P2's, my powerbook, and some kind of raid. I haven't figured that part out yet. I'm also thinking about burning DVD's as backup, but with Doc shooting ratios, that's alot of DVD's! The other concern is limited access to electricity, so hopefully I won't run out of batteries while backing up.

Simon Wyndham
08-04-2006, 03:59 PM
What I don't
like about the film gammas is that nothing goes over 100 ire. I'd like to be
using all the latitude available with peaks at 109 and setting the knee higher
than 80 or 85 ire.

Yep, I've come back late to this thread! Okay, the 100ire conundrum. Well, I thought that too. The FLM gammas can be made to go over 100ire if you like. Just switch the knee circuits off. The FLM gammas have a built in natural knee roll-off. However you won't be able to use DCC or the knee saturation function.

The BBC film settings roll off before 100ire too. The reason is that they need to do this (as well as lifting the blacks) in order to lay down the full 600% range of the CCD's down to tape. The BBC settings work as follows. Setting STD gamma 4 gives you a bit more in the shadow regions. The black stretch of +62 in the Mid-High region gains 1 stop of exposure range. The addition of +62 to the knee slope gains you another 2 stops. By doing all of this you are giving yourself more leeway for exposure in both directions.

Now, one way of thinking would be to say that it is a choice of evils. By using the BBC settings you are able to capture more contrast range at the expense of tonal range/graduation.

Recently I have been trying to get a good in-camera look with nice rich blacks and colours. So far I have been playing around with FLM gamma 5, and reducing the Master Black level to -4 (which puts it ever so slightly above 0ire on the waveform).


From what I understand, the film gamma setting gives you the most latitude and the "fattest" grayscales. The uncorrected images lack contrast, but this seems to be the optimum image to later apply the most effective color grading.


Exactly. However there is also something to be said for getting the whole look in-camera. As Jeff pointed out earlier in the thread, by using plugins such as Magic Bullet or adjusting curves, you are reducing the contrast range in the picture. Effectively with the BBC wide contrast range filmlook settings, when you grade you are performing a Telecine in effect, and having to decide how much of the range you wish to retain. It is very hard to keep all of it. You will have to decide whether to keep more highlight detail, or more shadow detail, or more mid-range detail.

Obtaining the look in camera with rich blacks etc might reduce the options in post production, but if things are shot carefully it is an equally good solution. Its just a bit more nerve wrecking if there is a mistake!


The question that occurs to me is, "what is film look?" Is it very rich blacks,
warm, highly saturated colors, contrasty blacks and whites or pastelly, soft
muted tones? The answer is all of the above. Film has the latitude and flexibility to be anything the colorist/director/DP want it to be.

Yes, exactly. People often mistake a film look for what something looks like after a DI process, or heavy colour correction. The low con look of the BBC settings actually look more filmlike to me out of the camera quite often because of the amount of detail in highlights and shadows that it obtains.


SLS is ONLY available in interlace mode on the DSR450!

Yes, but it doesn't really make much odds. It doesn't look interlaced. The XDCAM HD's can use this mode in progressive scan up to 64 frame accumulation! I tried it in the middle of the night in a garden with NO lighting with the PDW-F350. The sky blew out and all the colours of the flowers were completely clear as if it was daytime with ZERO grain or noise! Incredible!

Dino
08-07-2006, 09:01 AM
Simon,

First, thank you for your great information on this forum and your site. My experience has been that film gamma with knee on produces unwanted compression resulting in loss of tonality in flesh tones and loss of gray scale detail in bright whites.

I recently rented my DSR-450WS with a Pro 35 and Super Speeds for a month to a low budget feature. The DP asked for an SDX-900 film look emulation, which was no problem with the 450's matrix, colorimetry wise.

I asked the DP if he was planning to get the final look he wanted in-camera or in post color correction. He said both. This makes for a compromise on both ends.

I gave him the camera with the SDX-900 scene file and film gamma 1 with knee off. I got a call from the set by the AC, asking why they could not see "zebras" at 100 ire? I said that they should be able to see indication of whites above 100 ire with knee off and hard clip at 109.5 ire. I was then told
that the DP had turned knee on and set it at 90 ire.

I tried to explain that with film gamma, with knee on, whites would not reach 100 ire. I explained that "diamonds" or "zebras" should really be set at 89-90 ire due to the gamma and knee compression. This seemed to be a difficult concept to understand when relayed to the DP.

I recommend that people visit your site, Simon, for more info on this issue.

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
www.ssv.com