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Old 4th of December 2008 (Thu)   #1
watchtherocks
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Default Digital video basics

I am a surf photographer, but would LOVE to become a videographer.
The thing is, I know next to nothing about the technical and equipment side of digital video. Ive been reading up a whole lot, so know about interlaced and progressive video, 24 vs 30 fps, etc, and I also know that good digital videocameras are expensive

The 5D MkII would probably be the best option for me, considering it would also boost the quality of my band photography enormously, but the price tag is way out of my shelf-stacking league. Ive got a 500mm f/4.5 I would like to be able to stick onto the camera, but since most (all affordable??) cameras have large crop factors it would almost become useless.

What I'm looking for is a nice summary page, kinda like the EOS flash bible if possible. Don't know if something like that exists, but any help in any direction would be much appreciated.
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Old 5th of December 2008 (Fri)   #2
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Default Re: Digital video basics

Woah you can hear crickets chirping around here.
From what I can work out, this is the order of things:

GL-1 - $1k ish
XL-1s - $1.5 ish
GL-2 - $2.5k ish
XL-2 - $3k ish
XH-A1 - $4k ish
XL-H1 - way-too-much ish

Right? But I suppose if I'm getting a camera with a non-interchangeable lens, then there's no point limiting myself to Canon, which makes this a whole heap more complicated.
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Old 5th of December 2008 (Fri)   #3
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Default Re: Digital video basics

If you're looking to use your 500mm you'll need to purchase a DOF adapter, and they can be put on any camera with no crop. Unless you purchase the EF adapter for the Xl2 but the crop is absolutely insane.

The consensus seems to be that the XHA1 is the way to go for events, and is going to be my next camera. I've edited lots of stuff shot with it and it all looks great. Plus, it is known for it's high amount of manual control. It can be had in Canada for $3,699 most places, don't know about your neck of the woods.

The HV30 is the more popular budget version, which can produce great results with a DOF adapter, or even by itself. I'd just go to Vimeo and YouTube and search for samples made with each camera, then pick the one that is the best compromise of quality and cost.
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Old 5th of December 2008 (Fri)   #4
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Default Re: Digital video basics

Quote:
Originally Posted by watchtherocks View Post
GL-1 - $1k ish
XL-1s - $1.5 ish
GL-2 - $2.5k ish
XL-2 - $3k ish
XH-A1 - $4k ish
XL-H1 - way-too-much ish
everything on that list is obsolete... it's all tape-based, and/or hdv.

take a look at the canon replacements for those cameras, in 2009... think hard about an avchd-based camera.

the 5d would not be a good choice for shooting surfers, because it doesn't have a real zoom lens.
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Old 5th of December 2008 (Fri)   #5
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Default Re: Digital video basics

Is using tape a really bad thing? Perfect quality footage will not be an issue for me, but I would like full manual control and a lot of options to adjust the footage. I still have to learn what it is possible to do in camera.
But I can see how avchd would be way easier, avoiding the need to transfer footage onto computer the slow and lossy way.
But I would also imagine any camerae Canon plans on releasing in 2009 is going to be quite expensive, way beyond my budget.
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Old 5th of December 2008 (Fri)   #6
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Default Re: Digital video basics

Nothing wrong with tape, it is just a slow capture process, but that process is lossless.
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Old 6th of December 2008 (Sat)   #7
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Default Re: Digital video basics

Shooting with tape has been the only lossless and zero compression method of shooting for consumer/sub studio level cameras for as long as I've had anything to do with selling cameras etc. It's worth noting though that in general manufacturers are ditching DVD and tapes in consumer cameras soon, and I'm unsure where that's gonna leave the XL2/XM2 and XHA1 sort of level of cameras, because as far as I'm aware, most of the industry end of film and video etc still use tape.

On another note, if you end up with a HDD or flash memory camcorder, they'll record the footage generally in either .mod or .mts(2) files, the latter being the AVCHD hi-def stuff. Only the very latest editing packages will edit this stuff natively. Top two tiers of Pinnacle Studio 12 and the latest Adobe Premiere and Premiere Elements. Ulead do something too but it's crap from what I've heard. Apple also have latest iMovie and Final Cut.
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Old 7th of December 2008 (Sun)   #8
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Default Re: Digital video basics

I just presumed there was some loss of some sort because recording to tape is not a strickly digital process, kinda like using film cameras (right?). I'm not too worried about compression.
Actually, I'm not to worried about anything. If I'm gonna blow a few grand on a camera the pciture quality is going to be more than acceptable no matter what the storage medium.

I would just really like to get my hands on a decent camera and learn how to use it. If I search for technical info on video camera use all it comes back with is 'don't zoom' and 'use a tripod.'
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Old 7th of December 2008 (Sun)   #9
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Default Re: Digital video basics

Quote:
Originally Posted by watchtherocks View Post
I just presumed there was some loss of some sort because recording to tape is not a strickly digital process, kinda like using film cameras (right?). I'm not too worried about compression.
Actually, I'm not to worried about anything. If I'm gonna blow a few grand on a camera the pciture quality is going to be more than acceptable no matter what the storage medium.

I would just really like to get my hands on a decent camera and learn how to use it. If I search for technical info on video camera use all it comes back with is 'don't zoom' and 'use a tripod.'
No, recording to digital to tape is a digital process, the same as a DSLR works, there is a CMOS sensor which converts the analogue to digital (the light coming through the lens to 0s and 1s) this video is compressed and recorded to the tape.

The compression depends on the camera and the format, for High Def, with tape, the most popular is HDV (Mpeg2) for Standard Def camera, you are looking at DV compression most of the time.

When you capture those tapes to the computer, you are just transferring all those 1s and 0s, without any new compression etc, thus you get exactly what is on the tape

Have you looked at a prosumer camcorder like the HV30? (or one of the Hard Drive or Flash based versions of that camera like the HG21). They give you a lot of control and better price tag. And once you have have learned some of the techniques moving up to something more complicated?

Equivalent to starting with a Digital rebel and then moving up to a xxD body as you learn.
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Old 7th of December 2008 (Sun)   #10
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Default Re: Digital video basics

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Shooting with tape has been the only lossless and zero compression method
whether the video is recorded to tape, hdd, dvd, flash, etc., is not relevant to whether the video is compressed or not.

the old minidv tape format had 5:1 compression, for instance... it was not zero compression, by a long shot.

the question of lossless capturing from tape to hdd hasn't been an issue for, oh, at least a decade? think hi8 & svhs.
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Old 7th of December 2008 (Sun)   #11
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Default Re: Digital video basics

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Originally Posted by watchtherocks View Post
Is using tape a really bad thing?
when i had to replace the heads on my canon xl1s, it cost me nearly $400... would you call that a good thing?

right now i'm sitting on over $12,000 worth of obsolete videotape players, some of which have died, and don't even work anymore... even if they worked, the resale value is really low, because nobody wants tape anymore.

don't buy into an obsolete tape format like hdv... get the reliability of flash memory recording.

take a look at the panasonic hmc150, if you can't wait for canon to get off of their butts with a modern prosumer camera... canon has always been late to the game, although they do put out decent gear, when it finally does arrive.
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Old 8th of December 2008 (Mon)   #12
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Default Re: Digital video basics

But when the next generation of tapeless cameras come out, not only will thier pricetags be through the roof, but the current crop of cameras should become less costly as well, I would expect. Unless a large majority of people stick with tape because of cost also.
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Old 8th of December 2008 (Mon)   #13
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Default Re: Digital video basics

I don't get the HDV/tape is obsolete thing. Head replacements cost money, but we're dealing with electronics - any camera can have something expensive go wrong with it. HDV isn't the best format out there, but it's easy to work with and you will be able to edit it for a long time.

Maybe it's because I'm an event guy coming home with 10 tapes from a shoot and it takes a lot of P2/SxS cards to house ten tapes.
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Old 8th of December 2008 (Mon)   #14
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Default Re: Digital video basics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Craggs View Post
I don't get the HDV/tape is obsolete thing. Head replacements cost money, but we're dealing with electronics - any camera can have something expensive go wrong with it. HDV isn't the best format out there, but it's easy to work with and you will be able to edit it for a long time.

Maybe it's because I'm an event guy coming home with 10 tapes from a shoot and it takes a lot of P2/SxS cards to house ten tapes.
I am with you, Hard Drives fail, flash memory will fail. Nothing is perfect and at least with tape you already have a hard copy of the footage to store away.

HDV is also less processor intensive to work with.
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Old 8th of December 2008 (Mon)   #15
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Default Re: Digital video basics

wait until you can't ingest those 10 tapes, because your playback deck took a dump.

how about, rather than spending 10 hours ingesting, you could just plug a firestore into your editing system, and start working right away... or plug cheap sd cards into your system, and start working right away.

the hmc150 uses sd cards, none of that proprietary expensive p2/sxs stuff.

the price of hard drives continues to drop like a rock, a terabyte costs less than a $100; i've seen hdd deals for eight cents a gig recently.

50-gig blu-ray discs are here, so there are a bunch of options for backing up your data:
"This clip of Sony Marketing rep Nelmari Claassens is up on YouTube - in it she talks about the Men In Black Blu-Ray before talking about the Ghostbusters Blu-Ray. Some of the details include;
-The set will be one of the first on a 50 Gig Blu-Ray disc instead of the regular 25 Gigs!"
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