View Full Version : dvx100a or HD?


wattersk
08-16-2005, 11:09 AM
Can anyone tell me what would give me the better picture, or explain some positives and negatives to each camera. I was looking at a Panasonic dvx100a or a Sony HDR-FX1 HDV Handycam. I am hoping to find the best camera in or around the price range of those two cameras.

Thanks,

WideShot
08-16-2005, 11:31 AM
There's already several threads going on this:

http://www.indietalk.com/showthread.php?t=7629
http://www.indietalk.com/showthread.php?t=5253
http://www.indietalk.com/showthread.php?t=4323

My personal suggestion is it depends on what your intention is for these cameras. If you have no need to go beyond Standard Definition then the DVX100a is the choice for you. If you want to shoot high def, then the FX1 is for you. The 100a has 24p which is great for film. The Fx1's footage can be converted to 24p in post production. Footage wise, the 100a is better in a standard def to standard def comparison, but in a high def to standard def comparison, you just can't beat 7x more resolution. Keep in mind you will need a computer capable of editing HDV, such as a high end PC with Vegas 6 or Premiere (whatever the newest one is) or a fast mac with FCPHD on it.

King Goldfish
08-18-2005, 01:12 AM
7x? I think its only 1440, so maybe 2x. But the sony is a beatiful camera. I bought the JVC, it has a very drab color look to it but it is also 1440. It only has a single CCD so thats why the color is a bit greyish looking. also, when you get to much light, you get alot of "noise" or grain.

But its nice because it has a nice sepia look to it. So it would make a great camera for making a nice sepia look (which the HD mode has built into it) as well as being able to do artificial panning in post production. I was able to crop into a scene and lose no resolution at nearly 200%.

Downside is this. It doesnt render truely in 1440. People are complaining that very few softwares on the market will render in true HD. But if you want to mix it with another camera and do some panning FX, it works great without losing resolution.

I forced it to render at 1440 in vegas, but it didnt seem like true HD. But if you have a DVD recorder and run a Composite RBG plug, off of it, it has true HD playback. It just doesnt seem to be true HD from the firewire.


also, Alot of people say the Sony and JVC doesnt work directly with firewire, it doesnt work like a DV. Its not like plugging a DV camera into a firewire and pulling data off of it. Instead, it uses a tape driver and works with analog and converts it back into Digital. so its kind of a 2 step process. But it will work with a firewire but not directly into vegas. You have to use the HD Compresser softwre to create a m2t file first then change the format name to mpg and then drag it into vegas.

But the nice thing about the HD cameras is in HD mode you have a built in wide angle lens.

WideShot
08-18-2005, 10:17 AM
I think you have a lot of mis information.

1920/720 = 2.666...
1080/480 = 2.25

2.666 + 2.25 = ~5x more resolution than standard definition.

so... sorry its not 7x, but 5x.

The sony captures the 1440 as nonsquare pixels, with a rectangular 1.333 pixel ratio, which comes out to 1920x1080. In actuality you are correct it doesn't capture 1920 horizontal, It is 1440 so its more like 4x true resolution.

Now Vegas 6 AFAIK can capture straight from firewire at least with the Sony. Also, Cineform's software does this and also optionally converts the files from the m2t to an intermediate codec which is much easier to work with (mainly because it gets rid of the GOP).

I also believe there is another capture program out there that will do firewire capture to mpeg-2 transport stream, but since I dont own the camera i dont know for sure.

I have a quandry at this stage.

1) The FX1 is beautiful, and has many good features. But its $3k and its bulky like my VX1000 and my business partner's 2100.

2) The HC1 is perhaps a nicer picture in daylight (its actual pixels are 1920x1080 - True HD square), but in low light its like 50ASA, and the gain is ugly. Further, the exposure control is shady at best and doesn't have everything the FX1 has in terms of features. But - its less than $2k. AND its very small compared to the FX1 which actually serves both my and my business partner's needs better.

Sigh.. choices choices.

Don't forget BOTH have a standard def switch and you can ALWAYS downres in post. But I have no intention of shooting any more SD... HD is here!

King Goldfish
08-18-2005, 11:52 AM
I think you have a lot of mis information.

1920/720 = 2.666...
1080/480 = 2.25

2.666 + 2.25 = ~5x more resolution than standard definition.

so... sorry its not 7x, but 5x.

The sony captures the 1440 as nonsquare pixels, with a rectangular 1.333 pixel ratio, which comes out to 1920x1080. In actuality you are correct it doesn't capture 1920 horizontal, It is 1440 so its more like 4x true resolution.

Now Vegas 6 AFAIK can capture straight from firewire at least with the Sony. Also, Cineform's software does this and also optionally converts the files from the m2t to an intermediate codec which is much easier to work with (mainly because it gets rid of the GOP).

I also believe there is another capture program out there that will do firewire capture to mpeg-2 transport stream, but since I dont own the camera i dont know for sure.

I have a quandry at this stage.

1) The FX1 is beautiful, and has many good features. But its $3k and its bulky like my VX1000 and my business partner's 2100.

2) The HC1 is perhaps a nicer picture in daylight (its actual pixels are 1920x1080 - True HD square), but in low light its like 50ASA, and the gain is ugly. Further, the exposure control is shady at best and doesn't have everything the FX1 has in terms of features. But - its less than $2k. AND its very small compared to the FX1 which actually serves both my and my business partner's needs better.

Sigh.. choices choices.

Don't forget BOTH have a standard def switch and you can ALWAYS downres in post. But I have no intention of shooting any more SD... HD is here!


I must be getting disinformation. I say that because it is perhaps the Salesperson who wanted to sell off his JVC and not have me wait for the sony. I was told the Sony was 1440/720 in HD mode.

so 1440x720 is less then twice ratio as 720x480.

im just using basic math. But you sound far more knowledgable with cameras.


As for vegas 6, I would consider investing in it after I try it. I have vegas5 and it doesnt import the m2t files. All I do is import the m2t files using the HD converter that comes with my HD1 camera and just change the m2t format to mpg.

It pulls the file into vegas then i just type in 1440 into the custom sizing. it seems to work fine. You can also ajust it down to 24p. Although its not true 24p.

WideShot
08-18-2005, 12:13 PM
I have 5.0a and I have access to 6.0

this is 5.0a using m2t's.

720/480 = 1.5
1440/720 = 2

= 3.5x Res of SD.

And does SD actually capture 720x480 or is it 640x480?

There is a demo of 6.0 available from Sony.

WideShot
08-18-2005, 01:03 PM
Here's two SD to HD comparisons, please note I'm not showing off the quality only the overall res vs overall res for comparison.

http://img278.imageshack.us/img278/2130/hdvssd16gf.th.jpg (http://img278.imageshack.us/my.php?image=hdvssd16gf.jpg)

http://img278.imageshack.us/img278/9756/hdvssd27zi.th.jpg (http://img278.imageshack.us/my.php?image=hdvssd27zi.jpg)

wattersk
08-18-2005, 01:15 PM
Well, I am aware it takes a bit of power on your machine to take the HD from the camera. My HD is only 60 gb but I was thinking of using a external HD.

I run a Vaio with a P-M 160 with 1000mb RAM. I use Premeire Pro 7 with after effects. I can't find a HD preset in Premiere though. Can Premiere get true HD Res? Think my machine can handle the transfer?

thanks.

King Goldfish
08-18-2005, 03:44 PM
I have 5.0a and I have access to 6.0

this is 5.0a using m2t's.

720/480 = 1.5
1440/720 = 2

= 3.5x Res of SD.

And does SD actually capture 720x480 or is it 640x480?

There is a demo of 6.0 available from Sony.




i will download the 6.0

I need to start experimenting again. I havnt been doing much with video in the past 2 months due to the summer break with my kids.

I want to have time alone to get back into my video projects. I also need to rebuild a greenscreen. Im thinking of using foamboard this time.

Will Vincent
08-18-2005, 11:29 PM
I must be getting disinformation. I say that because it is perhaps the Salesperson who wanted to sell off his JVC and not have me wait for the sony. I was told the Sony was 1440/720 in HD mode.


I've found that more often than not, with sales people especially (but a lot of other people in general too) they'll spit something out as a FACT, when in reality they really don't KNOW what they are telling you... as with any purchase of this size, it's definately up to the consumer to do their homework before stepping into the batters box. ;)

But that's why we have WideShot... he knows all (about cameras anyway) :D

mdifilm
08-19-2005, 06:21 AM
ok, are you guys talking HD or HDV or just by high definition in general?

I'm waiting for the JVC hd100 and the Panasonic hvx200 :) so anything related to HD or HDV perks my eyes...

Shaw
08-19-2005, 10:28 AM
There's a nice review of the HD100 over at DVinfo.net if you haven't seen it already.

WideShot
08-19-2005, 10:52 AM
Well, I am aware it takes a bit of power on your machine to take the HD from the camera. My HD is only 60 gb but I was thinking of using a external HD.

I run a Vaio with a P-M 160 with 1000mb RAM. I use Premeire Pro 7 with after effects. I can't find a HD preset in Premiere though. Can Premiere get true HD Res? Think my machine can handle the transfer?

thanks.

I assume you mean a Pentium-M 1.6ghz notebook with 1024mb (1GB) of ram?

Well the 1.6ghz is going to kill you. Whenever I use fx or transitions or anything in Vegas my AMD2600+ with 1GB of DDR400 starts to bog down. Ive read guys using the latest CPU's being OK but certainly a 1.6 would struggle. HDD, the more you can afford the better. I would dedicate at least 100 GB to just video with HDV, maybe more like 200 or 300. For one serious project that is.

Now I don't use premiere but I know they have come out with updates to add HDV compatability to Premiere so check out their website.

----

Will - you're too funny... :)

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mdifilm - wattersk's intial question was about the FX1 vs AGDVX100a. This is a VERY legitamite question today. And right now the hottest thing for us shoestring budget filmmakers is HDV, so I'm on top of it and much as possible, in the process of getting either/both Fx1, HC1 . Their prices are indisputable, the FX1 produces a top notch picture, the HC1 is completely portable.. sure there will always be bigger better cameras that come along, but right now many filmmakers have been told to "wait for the panasonic, canon, jvc" when in reality the price of those cameras will be dramatically higher and they won't be out for another several months which basically means people have lost an entire year of shooting HD projects.

Now here are the major differences between HD cameras like the VariCam, CineAlta, Viper, etc and the HDV cameras.

The chips on the HDCam units are larger.
The price is 10-15x more for one of the HDCam units.
The color sampling and codecs are much better in an HDCam, but the filesize and data rate are MUCH higher, requiring very high end computers to edit.