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Forums Cinematography hdv : where to next?

  • hdv : where to next?

     adam dewhirst updated 11 years, 9 months ago 6 Members · 18 Posts
  • adam dewhirst

    April 14, 2011 at 12:59 am


    i have been using a hdrfx1 for the last 5-6 years. i’m looking to step up from the hdv format to a camera that

    a)handles compositing better
    b)handles camera movement better
    c)is just a better quality image

    i’d be willing to spend up to 7000 australian.

    does anyone have any idea what would be a good camera to purchase?
    i have looked into the nexfs100, would this be a significant step up?

  • Mark Suszko

    April 14, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Cameras don’t “do” compositing. I think you mean a codec format that is robust and carries enoguh detail to make compositing work easy.

  • adam dewhirst

    April 14, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    yep, i realise that, thats why i wrote HANDLES compositing well…

  • Kevin Cannon

    April 15, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    AT NAB there were a bunch of small new external recorders that take SDI or HDMI in and record to solid state hard drives… they range in price from US$999 ( to US$5995 ( and above. They record to 2.5″ SSD drives, in a variety of formats, but at a minimum ProRes422HQ and some do ProRes4444, DnX or uncompressed (if it has 2 SSD slots).

    They seem great because they allow you to bypass the compression inherent in the camera, which are usually extremely light-weight codecs (like 25 or 35 MB/s…), so should help a lot for a) and c) and you can focus more on the features of the camera like sensor and shutter artifacts that affect b) and c).

    You could pair one with the new Sony NEXFS100U (HDMI out) or Panasonic AG-AF100 (SDI & HDMI outs) if you like the large chips, or a EX-1 (HDMI) or EX-3 (SDI) and their successors…


  • adam dewhirst

    April 16, 2011 at 12:16 am


    thanks for that. i was looking at the sony NEXFS100U and the Panasonic AG-AF100. apparently the sony has a better quality image but not as good depth of field because of the lack of a nd filter. tough decision.

    to be honest i’m not sure at all the point of buying an external recorder. im sure this is due to my lack of knowledge in this area. if fcp uses prores in getting from my camera why add an intermediate step?


  • Kevin Cannon

    April 16, 2011 at 4:47 am

    The external recorders are actually eliminating one step, as far as the data is concerned

    Like on the NEXFS100: the Super35 sized sensor will capture 1080p, and the camera can process that at uncompressed quality (the data rate for 1080 24p uncompressed is maybe 95MB/s to 127MB/s). It can output that uncompressed-quality image over the HDMI, but the camera can’t write data to the cards faster than 28 MB/s. So it needs to compress it first, using an MPEG-4 AVCHD codec, and you end up with a file that is about 24MB/s on your card.

    And then FCP will transcode that compressed file to a different format on import, maybe ProRes422HQ (25MB/s or so) or ProRes 4444 (37 MB/s or so) or whatever your target format is set to…

    Or you could use the external recorders to skip the MPEG-4 part and go record the uncompressed HDMI out in ProRes422HQ, ProRes4444, or on some of them, fully uncompressed… then there won’t be any re-encoding when you bring the file into FCP…

    Many of those codecs are very very good, and the cameras can look good, but you might be able to get less-compressed material for compositing…

    The F3 looks very good, so I would think that the NEXFS100 would share some of that, having the same chip. As far as wanting to shoot with a more shallow depth of field, you could always put ND in front of the lens…


  • adam dewhirst

    April 16, 2011 at 5:33 am


    thanks for that. it sounds really good for my requirements. i guess now i’m wondering about the prices you quoted for the ext recorders you mentioned. there is a big difference between 1000 and 6000. i assume these differences in price have a lot to do with the quality of the image you end up with?

  • Kevin Cannon

    April 16, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Partly, but a lot of the more expensive ones have other features, like cross/up/downconverting or 2 slots to do 3D… so you might find that the stripped down ones are cheaper but still have the image quality you’re looking for…


  • adam dewhirst

    April 17, 2011 at 1:20 am

    thanks kevin, you have been really helpful. the external recorder is completely new to me. if i could ask one more question. the fx1 has a component output. it would be good to get a recorder that worked with that and the new camera i am getting. do you know of any available?

  • Richard Herd

    April 18, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    You can also record direct to edit. For example, plug into an i/o hooked to an NLE striped to a RAID. If I was shooting microbudget movies or commercials, that’s what I would do. If I was shooting run-and-gun documentaries and news footage, then you might needs some kind of fancy-shmancy Zacuto add-on gadgetry.

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