getting on your super 8 nerves

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What will you do when the 24p minidv camera comes out?

Poll ended at Thu Jun 13, 2002 4:29 pm

I will buy one as soon as I can but will continue using my super 8 gear as well
4
100%
 
Total votes: 4

crimson

Post by crimson » Fri May 24, 2002 10:42 pm

"shoot with an old vhs camera and tape it on digibeta. it will look like shit. now try a broadcast camera and a vhs deck. it will look great. "

Yes because the signal that was outputed was under the DigiBeta Specs format 2:1/4:2:2 compressed then writen in VHS x:1 compression. You started with a lower compression (becasue of format) . you compressed it only 2:1.
With the other way you began lower quality already.
If you place the same CCD on VHS tape and Digibeta cam th DB better will ahve better quality because the video signal being outputted is only a 2:1 compression. compression has nothing to do with the CCD being used - its the format.
DVC Pro 50 and many DVCam uses the same size CCD- but DVC Pro has better color and overall quality becasue of the 3:1/4:2:2 compression - which is dictated by the format.
DigitBeta, BSP, BetaCam and Beta SX are all written on the same tape, many BetaSP and BetaSX have the same CCD size (1/2) but why do the image quality differs so much? Because the sginal are all menipulated by the circuit board under the sepcification of the format.

Format is the first factor that dictates the quality of video.

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Post by MovieStuff » Fri May 24, 2002 10:57 pm

crimson wrote:Format is the first factor that dictates the quality of video.
Absolutely. And it's not always about how the numbers stack up. For instance here's an even more barbaric comparison: Take the output of a standard VHS single chip camcorder and run it into a 3/4 Umatic (notSP) and record on the VHS at the same time as the 3/4 inch and compare the results. The 3/4 will look infinately better than the VHS with more detail and much better color and contrast, even though they both boast a resolution of about 250 lines. I agree with Crimsonson that format is more of deciding factor if you are working with decent cameras.

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Post by Cranium » Fri May 24, 2002 11:05 pm

Anonymous wrote:

my particular concern is if the S8 film brings a particular "beautifully compressed" image to a video format (remember we are talking about S8 projected form a DV transfer) but those images are illegal (aka clipped) then how big is that difference?

Then Matt wrote:
that's not how it works. the contrast of film isn't that much higher than the contrast of video, even though the contrast range it can *capture* is a lot higher. that's what compression is, and it's preserved even on video. there might be some clipping taking place in the transfer, even if modern telecine machines use further compression instead, but it's far less than had you used a ccd to capture the scene to begin with.
OK, this is only a relevant analogy for those that understand music production, but I'm guessing there's more than a couple on here...
Think of Super8 as a nice tube microphone preamp. People run really clean microphones into old-tech tube preamps, and then into 96KHz/24-bit digital recording systems. The tube preamps add some compression, and even distortion to the signal, but it's in a nice way. It's pleasing, and it softens the blow of the "harsh, sterile 'reality'" of the digital.
It (inserts favorite descriptor here- I like "warms) the signal.

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Post by S8 Booster » Sat May 25, 2002 12:09 am

Dead On Cranium: I have to fire up my Fender Twin Reverb tube/tube amp With 2xJBL 12-8s not to get "sullen and withdrawn" here (FZ 1978)

Some info about Film vs DV that might "amplify" Craniums these. This is it:
It is described in detail under Resolution below but take your timetoread it all. Its free.


Fact 3: That "Look"
 
"Look" is probably the biggest overriding factor in terms of how most people decide to generate their stories. And the imaging technology you choose is going to have the greatest impact upon that "look."


Image Texture

Texture really has a lot to do with what we call the “film look.” In film, texture occurs in a very natural way because of the randomly oriented silver halide crystals in the emulsions. An image can look almost identical from frame to frame, although slight differences of movement or positioning are recorded. But, when you get down to the microstructure of the images on film, each frame is quite unique because of this random nature of the silver halide crystals. When those images are seen by the eye and translated in the brain, the information is integrated in a very pleasing kind of way, which looks – and feels – natural.

Today’s video doesn’t have those randomly oriented sensors or the resulting textured images. Digital video images are captured by an array of CCDs on a grid that contains a fixed number of pixels. And that never varies throughout the capture process – for every frame that's presented to the eye for viewing. This results in the real difference between film and video, in terms of the texture and the impression that you receive from both media.


Sharpness

Sharpness is a subjective term that’s used to describe what the eye sees in terms of edge detail as it is presented.

When we look at film, we see an ever-changing mosaic of silver halide crystals. The three-dimensionality of the medium itself will capture slightly different records of the same image, or very similar images, 24 frames per second. These tiny silver halide grains create the differentiation from one scene element to the next. And, because of the slight differences from frame to frame, the eye is able to integrate the cumulative information over time.

With digital video, the image sensors never vary in their formation, their shape, position, or their size. For record after record, it’s the same CCDs recording that image. As a result, there is usually some degree of electronic enhancement that takes place, which in turn produces very sharp edges. With technological advances, as the pixel sizes get smaller and smaller, you’re able to resolve more and more detail. A common way that videographers try to make DV look more like film is to dial-off the edge enhancement, known as “detail level.” Yet, a degree of sharpening still exists, which is one of the factors that contribute to what’s called the “video look.”


Resolution

Similar to sharpness, but distinctly different, is resolution – or the ability of an imaging system to sense and reproduce fine detail. Today's highest resolution motion picture film scanners are able to extract over 12 million pixels of information from just one frame of 35mm film…and this is limited only by the capability of the scanning device.

You can also examine this from a sort of a “z” direction, which is the bit depth of information. Film’s tone scale is closely approximated in today's high-end digital scanners by 14 bits linear or 16k discrete levels.

On the other hand, even with the highest definition cameras available today, the chips in digital video cameras are offering something in the order of 1920 by 1080 or about two million pixels of information per frame. Sometimes this is translated as eight bits of information, sometimes as 10 bits representing tone scale or 1024 discrete levels. No matter what the formula, today’s digital video image contains far fewer pixels, with a substantially restricted bit depth, translating into significantly lower resolution.

Thus film capture and high resolution scanning results in much more original scene detail and information than digital video capture systems today. Remember: sharpness does not equal resolution.


Depth of Field

Depth of field is the measurement of the area in front of and behind the subject that is held in acceptable focus. You can get a simple understanding of the phenomenon by holding your hand quite close in front of your face – and then focusing your eyes on your hand. Notice the quality of the background. It is very soft and out-of-focus. Now slowly move your hand away from your face, continuing to focus your eyes on that hand. Notice that, as your hand moves away from your face, the background comes into sharper focus.

This is a demonstration of one of the factors, distance to subject, that determines the depth of field of a given shot. There are two other variables that the photographer or cinematographer controls – focal length and f or t stop. And then, an inherent characteristic of any given imaging system is the actual size of the aerial image as it converges on the focal plane. This determines the “resting” depth of field. For example, a larger image (like you get with 65mm film) has very shallow depth of field while a relatively small image (like that of Super 8 film) has much greater depth of field.

But, overall film capture systems have a naturally shallow depth of field that can be easily manipulated. This is extremely important in terms of trying to focus the viewers’ attention to different areas in a scene.

The 2/3" chip size of current digital video equipment results in a smaller capture area than that of film, giving it an inherently deep depth of field – which is not easy to manipulate. That’s usually how you can tell the difference between reality-based television programming, for example, and dramas, sitcoms, TV movies or high-end commercials.
Sensitivity


1. Logarithmic

The human eye responds to light in a logarithmic manner, that is, ratios of light. The eye “sees” each doubling of light intensity as equal changes. This is why both the eye and film can differentiate differences over a large range of light values.

In shadows and highlights, film has a sensitivity to subtle differentiation in light levels. And, the smooth transitioning of highlight tones or details results in a more pleasing effect than the “hard-wall” clipping that you often get with video.

Film’s performance from the highest to lowest lighting levels is represented by the characteristic “S-Shaped Curve.” This provides a very gentle way of converting scene exposure information to film dye density.

When you get up to the highlights and down into the shadow areas, you see that the slope is not constant and is much smaller. This allows film to record small differences from one level of light to the next gradually, and transition to the maximum and minimum density in a smooth fashion. As a result, you’re able to cover an incredibly large range of exposure and detail.

An image system’s ability to capture and accurately record degrees of scene contrast is known as “exposure latitude.” Typically, a full-range studio image approximates seven to eight stops of light. Outdoor scenes with shadows and bright sun can cover a larger range of exposure levels. But, film can capture 11 stops of exposure levels from darkest to brightest light – giving you the ability to record spectacular highlights and tremendous shadow detail.


2. Linear

When we look at today’s digital video, there’s a linear ratio of light to the number of electrons that are captured in the well. That means that the more light there is, the more electrons get poured into the well.

It’s a very linear response from the darkest shadows through midranges up into the highlights. At high exposure levels, the wells become full. This typically results in a “blooming” of the image that can extend to adjacent pixels – or an overly bright image where detail is lost. This is referred to as “clipping.” And there is no organic relationship between exposure values. This results in reproduction incompatible with human perception. Current video capture systems have improved exposure latitude, but still fall far short of film’s ability to record extremes in scenic contrast. For example, when/if you’ve captured enough electrons to fill up the digital well, you will get no highlight differentiation from that point onward. There’s no soft landing, there’s no curvature of this image like you get with film. As a result, today’s video images may often blow out in the highlights or show a complete lack of detail in very bright areas of color.


Color

Film, because of its analog nature and inherent design, reproduces a very large percentage of the colors in the world around us. It “sees” in subtle, continuous tones.

Digital video captures fewer colors due to the very nature of sub-sampling. (In other words, color information is sampled at a lower frequency than in film camera systems.) Additional compression then further reduces the digital color gamut to less than 25% of film’s.

While no system has the same sensitivity as the human eye (even different people with normal vision have different sensitivities in their eyes), film closely reproduces the appearance of the original scene – even when that scene is illuminated with different light sources.

And, film’s ability to distinguish fine differences in color helps reproduce various flesh tones in a very pleasing manner. This is especially important because many scenes will represent a large number of flesh tones – from Latino to African-American to Asian to Caucasian.

Film’s latitude for recording color information does not exist with current digital video technology. Digital video sees different powers of light in different ways, and tends to average them. As a result, accurate or natural color reproduction can be difficult, especially in mixed lighting situations. This can be noticed, for example, when the shades of cyan in a particular scene appear blue on a monitor from digital video capture.

Furthermore, with its limited latitude, digital video cannot always show gradations in skin from the highlights to the shadows. Many times the highlights are clipped - resulting in “pasty” flesh tones. Or occasionally the shadows are clipped, which removes detail from the shadows.

<-- Fact 2: Investment Value | Back to Fact Main | Fact 4: Creative Flexibility -->
 
 
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Last edited by S8 Booster on Sat May 25, 2002 1:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
..tnx for reminding me Michael Lehnert.... or Santo or.... cinematography.com super8 - the forum of Rednex, Wannabees and Pretenders...

Guest

Post by Guest » Sat May 25, 2002 12:18 am

yes you're right, thought I read that somewhere; reread it and I was wrong indeed. I'm glad the idea behind it was clear.

Paul

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Post by Guest » Sat May 25, 2002 12:24 am

...that was about twinpeaks on page two.. lost my password..can't edit/delete/repost.

Paul

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Kind of

Post by S8 Booster » Sat May 25, 2002 12:40 am

testing 1-2-3

Image
S8 at worst possible transfer
Image
Betacam at somwhat better transfer

Which is better?

Anybody here that believes that Mini DV compares with Beta on image quality? NO WAY.
..tnx for reminding me Michael Lehnert.... or Santo or.... cinematography.com super8 - the forum of Rednex, Wannabees and Pretenders...

crimson

Post by crimson » Sat May 25, 2002 1:27 am

You prove nothing with that pictures

1. Not the same picture
2. Camera specs? Like we already said Format, CCD, DSP, Lens plays a factor in image quality- The worst 16mm can suck more than the best S8
3. Bad frame line and having a time date stamp only sows that the DV transfer was not given the care and details.

Did you know that DV has wider Luma bandwidth than Beta?
Even pros consider DV compareable to Beta. Check out Sony DSR 500 and tell me about the quality compered to the same price BetaSP cam.

If you have a $20,000 Beta ENG cam with a $10,000 lens on it and you have sub $1000 miniDV with a fixed lens compare - take a guess who wins.

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Post by S8 Booster » Sat May 25, 2002 1:39 am

are right except that the S8 image is captured of a silver screen by projection with a "Handicam Hi8" without any manual control, analog tranfered via a MAC QUADRA 840 1994 model with built in standard digitizer. Hardly favourizing tHE S8?

Unfortunately I have no identical footage to put up so this was only a "TEST" but my point is that the general quality of the Video camera is very important and the MiniDVs are far from the quality of a 10+ years old BETA.

On the other hand the S8 stands up quite well to the BETA and probably even better when projected.

My point is to prove that the quality of the Mini DVs aren´t that good in any aspects. It lacks quality all the way through compared to a HQ system.

RGDS
..tnx for reminding me Michael Lehnert.... or Santo or.... cinematography.com super8 - the forum of Rednex, Wannabees and Pretenders...

crimson

Post by crimson » Sat May 25, 2002 2:24 am

i am not contesting the image quality of S8. Why do you think I own $1500 worth of S8 equipment?
I dont even own a miniDV cam (I use works DV, Beta and other cams)

Second, DV by almost every test I have seen footage comapred, DV IS compareable to BetaSP.
the problem is most people automatically attach modern home videos with DV cameras and their local news and news magazines to BetaSP.

Didyou know mny small and medium size stations America use DV as the acquisition format? Do you know which?

Many European stations also use DV and DVCam.


Have you actually even seen footage froma professional ENG/EFP DV cam like the Sony DSR 500 or JVC DV500 ($11,000 and $7000 respectively)?

how many of us realize that many BetaSP footages we see are shot through $5,000+ professional lens (many are even the price of a small car), contain advance circuitry (like Sony's HAD system), have larger 1/2 CCD (most DV/D8 cams are either 1/5, 1/4 and 1/3 only), shot by seasoned professionals using several thousand dollars of lighting gear?

I am currently in production of a documentary. Most of my interviews were shot with a Sony $10,000 BetaSP with a $2,500 lens. These interviews consited of Kinoflos, Lowell DPs, Lowel Peppers, Sony 8" field production monitor, and some Tiffen filters. Great footage!

Becasue of circumstance I had to shoot one interview with a Sony PD150 ($3500) without light kits, monitor (used the built in LCD screen), and filter set. Guess what- though the footage did not have the lighting "ambience" I wanted the quality is superb.

I doubt many can tell which was which.
i will try to post some stills Tuesday.

S8 booster!

pRO

Post by S8 booster! » Sat May 25, 2002 3:38 am

Now, it was not my intention to angle it into the pRO video segment, I just made a reference to prove that this discussion has turned into something rather stupid.

The clue is:

S8 stands up against DV or even BETA very well at least for projecting. There is no reason to go for DV / Mini DV and ditch S8.

Secondly you miss the point because most people around seem to be in the amateur/semi segment whether they are into S8, DV or both.

It doesen´t help any at all if you come dragging with the pRO gear while the discussion here is centered around the prosumer at best.

If you go to the DV prosumer sites and check out the tests made there with the brand newest prosumer MINI DVs you will see that the image quality aren´t that good at all and the indifferences between different ans are VERY big.

And if you read the Kodak info above you will know that the best DV systems are way off film qualities by any reference possibly with the exception of very low light conditions.

The stills aren´t the BETAS best performance anyway. The DV might occasionally be better off there but for moving images...


The US TV companies ditch the BETA due to the costs mainly: (and because Sony, as far a I know do not manufacture them anymore du to teh DigiBETA arrival)

http://www.global-dvc.org/
It truly is the passing of an era. Since DV came on the scene I've been amazed at what could be done with this format and just how good today's cameras are. Yesterday, I received this email about a discussion among some of the best Network freelance videographers out there one of whom is the best I've ever worked with, Bob Brandon. You may not know some of the names but, I think you'll find it interesting. 
Jon Burkhart

Bob Brandon wrote:
> Just got this tonight, e-mailed from Bob Abrahamsen,
> e-mailed to him.
> Self-explanatory.
> The following is a message from Dale Hancock that I got
> today......scary, huh????
> Jim Cummins called a freelance meeting this morning to drop a bombshell...As of
> today, that bureau will no longer shoot Beta of any kind...we are now
> all DV..(Thank God I just bought a camera that can also do DV) Neil Shapiro is
> starting with Dallas and is going to turn all of the NBC company away from
> Beta into DV.. as you can guess, they are going to pay far less for the
> gear which has to fit into three cases so there's no excess baggage
> charge..he believes he can save NBC $75 million dollars with this change...they
> have also shipped Clint Houston a DV Cam...little set of lights and small
> tripod...he will be doing all of the speaker phones/building shots ect in
> Houston from now on. Al Henkel has been assigned a dv cam and will go on One Man
> bands on some elements ...same with Weidman who comes back from Israel
> next week...so now, you have producers shooting NN spots and that's ok with the
> new union contract

------------------------------------------------------

As I passed along earlier, NBC has started using DV for news coverage. It's a pilot project begun in one news bureau. The camera of choice is the Sony VX2000 and the PD150. 

They were editing in the bureau on an avid media composer and have just gotten a new G-4 version of it. 
So please focus on Prosumer DV vs S8 at least or even better on S8 which this forum is originally about.

If not here is a good site for you: http://www.dv.com

S8 Booster!

And if

Post by S8 Booster! » Sat May 25, 2002 3:52 am

you had a really good S8 cam and project your films you would not even think about trading it for MiniDV

RGDS

S8 Booster!

Lost some of the NBC quote

Post by S8 Booster! » Sat May 25, 2002 4:02 am

It truly is the passing of an era. Since DV came on the scene I've been amazed at what could be done with this format and just how good today's cameras are. Yesterday, I received this email about a discussion among some of the best Network freelance videographers out there one of whom is the best I've ever worked with, Bob Brandon. You may not know some of the names but, I think you'll find it interesting. 
Jon Burkhart

Bob Brandon wrote:
> Just got this tonight, e-mailed from Bob Abrahamsen,
> e-mailed to him.
> Self-explanatory.
> The following is a message from Dale Hancock that I got
> today......scary, huh????
> Jim Cummins called a freelance meeting this morning to drop a bombshell...As of
> today, that bureau will no longer shoot Beta of any kind...we are now
> all DV..(Thank God I just bought a camera that can also do DV) Neil Shapiro is
> starting with Dallas and is going to turn all of the NBC company away from
> Beta into DV.. as you can guess, they are going to pay far less for the
> gear which has to fit into three cases so there's no excess baggage
> charge..he believes he can save NBC $75 million dollars with this change...they
> have also shipped Clint Houston a DV Cam...little set of lights and small
> tripod...he will be doing all of the speaker phones/building shots ect in
> Houston from now on. Al Henkel has been assigned a dv cam and will go on One Man
> bands on some elements ...same with Weidman who comes back from Israel
> next week...so now, you have producers shooting NN spots and that's ok with the
> new union contract

------------------------------------------------------

As I passed along earlier, NBC has started using DV for news coverage. It's a pilot project begun in one news bureau. The camera of choice is the Sony VX2000 and the PD150. 

They were editing in the bureau on an avid media composer and have just gotten a new G-4 version of it. 

In the field they're using an Apple Titanium G-4 with Final Cut Pro. When the network wants to use local footage, they are able to capture Betacam SP which is the format most of their affiliates still use.

So DV is indeed ready for prime time. I've always
felt it was technology considerably better than Betacam SP.  It was scoffed at by many professionals.

Now it has become reality because of the economic necessity of trying to hold down the cost of news gathering. NBC will save millions of dollars a year in shipping cost for the smaller, lighter equipment, PLUS the producers will now be doing some of the shooting. 

Aloha,
Jon Burkhart


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Re: pRO

Post by MovieStuff » Sat May 25, 2002 4:02 am

S8 booster! wrote:Now, it was not my intention to angle it into the pRO video segment, I just made a reference to prove that this discussion has turned into something rather stupid.

S8 stands up against DV or even BETA very well at least for projecting. There is no reason to go for DV / Mini DV and ditch S8.

It doesn't help any at all if you come dragging with the pRO gear while the discussion here is centered around the prosumer at best.
Well, honestly, it doesn't speed the plow for your position if you constantly keep comparing super 8 projected to any type of video format. What's the point in that?

And if you want to keep relative to this particular thread, then the comparison needs to be kept in line with what the end result would be for both 24P video and super 8 transferred to video; not what 24P looks like projected on a silly LCD projector as compared to what super 8 looks like projected from original stock. NO ONE is claiming that super 8 doesn't look better than any type of video.
The discussion here (as far as I can tell) is whether originating on 24P miniDV is a viable alternative to originating on super 8 if the final destination is video. Now, it is YOUR position that we have to keep all references to video in the "amateur" arena.

Okay, fine: Then I put it to you that originating on miniDV with an amateur grade 24P is going to look better than originating on Super 8 and transferring to miniDV with the very same amateur grade video camera. With both you get the same motion characteristics but by originating on 24P miniDV you leave out major generation loss, defects, dirt, contrast build up, etc.

Now, remember, if we follow your rules, you can't project your super 8 and you can't use a Rank to do the transfers, either. All references to video must be kept within the amateur arena. ;)

However, if professional quality transfers ARE allowed then there is nothing out of line with Crimsonson's references to higher end professional DV cams, is there? Why hamstring the video argument by insisting on only amateur cameras but then proclaim the superiority of super 8 when projected? Talk about comparing apples to oranges!

Roger

crimson

Re: And if

Post by crimson » Sat May 25, 2002 4:13 am

S8 Booster! wrote:you had a really good S8 cam and project your films you would not even think about trading it for MiniDV

RGDS
point well taken.

I just wanted to make the point that Super8 is a great format but lets us not bury our heads from what is out there. I use both formats and I dont think DV is in competition with S8. I want to work with borth formats for as long as I can.

I still have my Leicina Special. Since my documentary is about artist - some of my footage is actually shot with it. I am mixing stocks B&W (Tri and Plus) and color negative stocks (50, 100, 200 and 320). though most of it will be shot with BetaSP, then DV and finally S8.

I am financing the whole piece. I will not sell/trade the cam unless forced (for cash, Beaulieu 6008 SMD or 16). I know as a struggling filmmaker good equipment is hard to come by, but projects are more important than equipment.

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