Media Production Mentoring

Free online film school designed with beginning filmmakers in mind.


I Have a Sexy Camera

I hear a lot of talk about P2 and Red cameras... and whatever is cool and new and next.

But I still contend that HDV is the format for today--if you want to go beyond MiniDV and you don't have money for a different tape-based HD option. In the future something else will come along and replace it. But for at least the next two minutes, HDV is the way to go. And I like Canon. So I really like the XLH1. And it really is a sexy camera.

In fact, it amuses me when the XLH1 crops up in films as the "cool camera" for people to use because it looks so good.

The Condemned

So, yeah, I've got a sexy camera that looks good.

Me and Sonyia

And I still content that it's the way to go if you're moving beyond MiniDV.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor


-)_-. said...

Only big issue with HDV is the fact that is only has one I frame for every 15 frames.

Whats this mean? Well digital video works in I,B, and P frames to make up its frames and be able to be as fast and as space efficient as possible while getting the "best looking" image it can.

The I frame is the main frame within which contains all the information about whats in the frame. The B frame records only what has changed and references back to the I frame. The P frame then references the I and B frame and writes only what has changed.

What ends up happening is you get something like I,B,P,P,P.. ect. Then a new I frame.

To make a long story short, that has some play into the blurring and weird juttering or slashing you see in HDV or other Digital footage when there is a lot of movement in the scene.

Lol Little tid bit I took away from my Cinematography class.


Luke Holzmann said...

You're absolutely right that HDV's 60:1 compression ratio can affect the footage and give you less of a clear image when you slow it down, grab a still, or things like that.

On the other hand, I hate 24P because it doesn't have enough frames for smooth, clean motion shots. So while, yes, in theory, each frame is nice and clean, any moderately fast panning shots or camera motion makes it impossible to focus on the object. The worst example of this that I've seen is in the circular pan shot of Matrix 2 with all the Agent Smiths: I don't care how good their CG was supposed to be because I couldn't focus on any of the faces due to the stutter of the film.

But, yes, you are absolutely right: Highly compressed video sources make for a higher chance of problems. The other huge problem with HDV is because of the high compression, you need a lot more processing power to interpret and recreate the inter-frames.