What is the point?

Capture hardware, software and techniques

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insert_coin
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What is the point?

Post by insert_coin » Mon Dec 08, 2003 3:40 pm

Hey guys i was thinking of taking a wad of cash and blowing it on a brand new camera tomorrow... then i stopped and thaught for a while.

Can anyone tell me the point of buying a whizz bang 3 ccd camera? If im just going to capture through firewire it will be the same quality right? so if i buy a expensive camera that has loads of resolution but capture it through firewire i wont be able to increase the image size without loosing quality as if i did it with my regular old minidv camera i have here right?

is there a way to capture video where i have the image resolution to resize the video larger without loosing quality? what im saying is what is the difference between a megapixel res vid camera opposed to a 800,000 pixel vid camera? and explain to me what kind of stuff will make my vid look better... but the bottom line remains when i take it into my computer it basically gets lowered to the same DV format resulting in a loss of quality and there being no point in buying a mega pixel camera and just buying two TV quality Mini dv cameras right?

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Post by El Brenty » Mon Dec 08, 2003 4:57 pm

I can see what you're saying there, although the 3CCD camera is going to give way superior picture quality, you're worried about getting let down when the images get digitised into the PC.

Have you considered a hardware capture card MPEG encoder like one of these? http://www.canopus.us/US/products/index ... sional.asp

There's a few other considerations for working with better (bigger) files - Is your PC up to speed for any post-production work? Is your hard-drive going to handle all the data? Really, you're looking at a top-end edsystem for all of this. Fast Hard drive is a must!!!

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Post by insert_coin » Mon Dec 08, 2003 5:06 pm

well if it is going to give me really high quality video to play with i wouldnt mind paying for a new hard drive and etc... considering i just baught a new computer it should be okay to handle all the info. so what i need is a whizz bang capture card? see again i find myself asking whats the point of buying a good camera if it is going to go back to tv quality anyway so would u say instead of buying a state of the art camera i buy two contemporary cameras?

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Post by El Brenty » Mon Dec 08, 2003 5:13 pm

I'm going to get faced with this problem myself soon! Really good professional capture cards are almost as much as cameras themselves! It helps with 2 cameras, you can film quicker, without having to set up the camera again for reaction shots and the like. If you're happy with the result you're getting at the moment, I'd say stick with it, get extra cameras, but if you want a better picture, also save up for a better way of capturing it onto the PC.

Have you thought about new Firewire or USB stanrards that give better bandwidth? If the 3CCD camera handles this, then that's the problem solved! You never know, there could be a better standard just on the horizon!

I came across this article, explains a bit about how the resolution gets affected by crummy bitrates on different cards and the like.

http://nickyguides.digital-digest.com/video-capture.htm

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Post by insert_coin » Mon Dec 08, 2003 6:48 pm

this is so s*** i wish i knew what was goin on ahhh! remember we chatted about me finding out some info from a reliable source tomorrow? ill keep you updated

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Post by iamnothing » Mon Dec 08, 2003 8:42 pm

If you bought a consumer level PC, you will have to make sure that your PCI bus is fast enough to perform a quick transfer. You could buy a $5000 card and still have cr** transfer if the bus it's plugged into is too slow. Most consumer level PC's still have very slow buswork. That's the reason most editing stations have either workstation or server specs: they need the constant bitrate that consumer level PC's can't guarantee (which isn't to say that some of them don't have fast busses, most just don't).

If your PC and your capture card is fast enough (and you have a high-capacity, constant bitrate hard drive), then you should be fine and have good quality.

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The point.

Post by padawanNick » Tue Dec 09, 2003 3:16 am

The point is that there are MANY factors involved in aquiring a good video image that happen well before digitization and nearly all these things are significantly better in a $2k-$3k pro-sumer camera vs. everyday consumer camera.

Larger lenses allow more light to reach the CCDs.
Higher quality optics provide greater image resolution (even though you have 480 pixels veritcle resolution in your DATA, the quality of most consumer camcord lenses results in actual IMAGE resolution that is less than 300 lines.)
Optical Stabilization is far superior to pixel shifting digital stabilization.
Genuine variable aperture settings provides greater control over exposure and depth of field.
Larger CCD's produce less noise and are more sensitive to low light.
Better electronics minimize signal noise.

Also, note that a 1Megapixel CCD is NOT 1 million color pixels.
It's something over 1 million pixels where every square group of 4 pixels generally contains two green pixels, one blue and one red (but may be Yellow, Green, Cyan, Magenta instead). As a result, it takes a group of 4 pixels to make a single color pixel and you're EFFECTIVE resolution is closer to 25% of the pixel count.

This is just the stuff I can think of off the top of my head.
As a more practical example, here is a single frame of action (same event) shot by two cameras:
One shot with a consumer Canon ZR25
Another, shot with a consumer Canon GL-2
Both images are raw DV captures (converted to JPG with the same compression). Both were shot interlaced and left as such.

Both cameras were on full automatic.
Let's ignore the color differences and just look at image quality.
Note the noise grain on the floor in the ZR25 shot vs the GL2.
The lights in the ZR25 are blocky where the GL2 has smooth flares.
The GL2 picks up the mesh of the netting haning in the background.
It also picks up the detail in the background girl's bandana.

There's probably more to find, but I've already been typing for a while.

One point to make in support of the first post, however, is that it is absolutely correct to say that once it's digital, it's digital. What that means is that you can shoot video onto a miniDV tape with a $3k camera, and that tape plays back with the same quality even if you use a $300 consumer miniDV camera to play it.
Case in point... BOTH of the above images were from play-back/capture off of the ZR25 that made the first shot.

What this means is, you can try this whole experiment yourself if you already have a miniDV camera. Just bring your camera and a tape with you to the store. Ask to look at a few high-end cameras and use your tape to shoot some video, aiming the camera around the show room. Repeat the same pattern for each camera you are considering, at the same speed, recording on the same tape. Before you leave do the pattern once more with your own camera. When you get home, capture the video and compare.

Hope this helps.
Have fun.

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Re: The point.

Post by El Brenty » Tue Dec 09, 2003 10:58 am

padawanNick wrote:Also, note that a 1Megapixel CCD is NOT 1 million color pixels.
It's something over 1 million pixels where every square group of 4 pixels generally contains two green pixels, one blue and one red (but may be Yellow, Green, Cyan, Magenta instead).
Nope, it would be RGB, not CMYK. As a rule of thumb, physically printing with inks (Additable printing) uses CMYK, whereas photon-based "printing", like writing a picture to a monitor, or from a scanner uses RGB.

You certainly wouldn't get green mixed in with CMYK, because its made by mixing cyan and yellow.

The rest of what you wrote was a good help though - Thanx! 8)

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Post by padawanNick » Tue Dec 09, 2003 11:12 am

Cool. Glad it helped. :)

Note: I said Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, GREEN (reordered) not CMYK(K=black) which is for printing.

Note the color pattern on page two of these specs on one model of Sony, NTSC Color video CCD (pdf).

This is not the typical arrangement, but it is used occationally.

Have fun.

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Post by El Brenty » Tue Dec 09, 2003 11:20 am

AH! I see what they're doing, they're combining the channels for better colour depth!! Now I know how 3CCD cameras work. Yep, I'm definetly going to save up for one for my filming! Actually what they describe reminds me of the digitisers you'd get the the Spectrum. We re-wired one once to work on a Sam Coupe, and digitised the image 3 times (This is monochroms now), but we played around with some equations for simulating the properties of RGB channels, and ended up with colour pictures! Looks like with the 3CCD, they're doing something similar using different colour channels. Good stuff!

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Post by Jerry Jones » Wed Dec 10, 2003 10:56 pm

Capture from a DV camcorder using Firewire and an OHCI compliant IEEE 1394 card is different from capture using analog "digitizers."

In other words, analog capture cards often employ codecs that compress video as it is being captured or "digitized" through an analog port.

With Firewire, no codec is involved in the capture process.

Digital camcorders do the compression of video to data in the camcorder at a ratio of approximately 5:1.

Next, the transfer of data from the tape in the camcorder through the Firewire cable and through the OHCI-compliant IEEE 1394 interface is a lossless transfer.

In other words, the DV codec on the computer does not even become involved during the capture process.

The DV codec only becomes involved during the RENDER stage of a video editing project.

Three-chip camcorders yield better quality video even after capture to the hard drive.

I have personally tested this many times using the original Sony DCR-VX1000 3CCD camcorder and numerous single-chip camcorders.

The reason for the added clarity of the video picture has to do with the way the 3CCDs handle color information.

In addition, 3CCD camcorders are more expensive and their lenses and other components will often be superior.

When you compare video recorded by a three-chip DV camcorder to video recorded by a single-chip DV camcorder, the colors are much richer and more vibrant in the video captured from the three-chipper.

In addition, edges of objects in the distance are somewhat sharper.

An example would be a typical light pole on the street.

With single-chip video, the distant vertical light pole will sometimes exhibit a defined "rough edge" that will not appear in the video recorded by the three-chip camcorder.

Another example would be trees and shrubs.

If you look at the video recorded by the three-chip camcorder, the DETAIL of the individual branches and leaves will usually be more defined than the detail of the single-chip camcorder video.

Jerry Jones
http://www.jonesgroup.net

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Post by El Brenty » Thu Dec 11, 2003 12:02 am

That's was very informative Jerry, so what would you suggest the best route to go is? Analogue capture, DV firewire, single chip DV, or 3CCD? Give us an example of what you'd see as the best route.

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Post by naflish » Tue Jul 19, 2005 11:17 pm

my opinion..
3ccd camera and a firewire capture card..

oh wait!..i hav a question... whats the different between cheap firewire cards and branded firewire capture card?
i mean, when capturing 720x576, PAL-DV 25fps, .. aren't the quality will be the same because captured by firewire?
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Post by Epsilon » Wed Jul 20, 2005 7:11 am

If you have a junk card, it may not capture all the frames correctly, sometimes not at all. From what I've seen, the cheap stuff often has problems. But hey, it may be perfectly fine!

Do realize how old this thread is. I have not even seen two of these members in over a year!

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Post by aaronv2 » Thu Nov 24, 2005 10:16 am

maybe we just changed our username... lol insert_coin that was a pretty cool name right?

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