HDV camcorder with 720p

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Johan Stäck, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. Johan Stäck

    Johan Stäck Guest

    I am getting more and more interested in buying a HDV camcorder.
    However, the video material produced will almost exclusively be shown on
    computer screens.
    Therefore, I want to avoid interlace. (since computer screens don't use
    The HDV standard defines 720p, but are there any reasonably
    ( for me: < $2000) camcorders available that implement it(progressive)?

    It seems that presently Sony "own" the market for the lower priced HDV
    camcorders (such as HDR-HC1 and HDR-HC3) but these only offer interlaced


    Johan Stäck
    Johan Stäck, Jul 27, 2006
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  2. Johan Stäck

    Ken Maltby Guest

    * Computers have become pretty good at "Deinterlacing" *
    Sony says:

    "About AVCHD: The new format for HD Camcorders

    AVCHD is an entirely new high definition digital video camera recording
    format jointly developed by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co and Sony
    Corporation. The AVCHD format allows for recording and playback of
    HD images using a variety of media including 8cm DVD, hard disk and
    memory cards (SD Memory Card and Memory Stick). Both 1080i and
    720p signals are supported."

    "AVCHD employs highly efficient codecs in order to manage the large
    amounts of AV data involved in HD signal processing. The video stream
    is handled by the MPEG-4/H.264 codec, which is more than twice as
    efficient as the standard MPEG-2 system used for DVD-quality video.
    The audio stream is managed either by Dolby Digital or Linear PCM.
    When Dolby Digital is used, a 5.1 spatialised recording can be created."

    Ken Maltby, Jul 27, 2006
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  3. Johan Stäck

    Ken Maltby Guest

    P.S. Companies that support the AVCHD format (in alphabetical order)

    Consumer Electronics Manufacturers:

    a.. Canon Inc.
    b.. Pioneer Corporation
    c.. Samsung Electronics Company
    d.. Sharp Corporation
    e.. Sony Corporation
    Computer Editing Software Suppliers (software supporting AVCHD):

    a.. Adobe Systems Incorporated (Adobe Production Studio)
    b.. CyberLink Corporation (PowerDVD, PowerDirector)
    c.. InterVideo, Inc. (WinDVD)
    d.. Nero AG (Nero 7 Premium / Nero 7 Ultra Edition)
    e.. Sonic Solutions (Easy Media Creator 9)
    f.. Sony Media Software (Vegas 7.0)
    g.. Ulead Systems, Inc. (Video Studio, DVD MovieWriter)
    Ken Maltby, Jul 27, 2006
  4. Johan Stäck

    Johan Stäck Guest

    Ken Maltby skrev:
    Yes, and they need to since we need to fix the interlacing that most
    camcorders still do....
    But I mean that it should better be "done right" from the start
    (recording progressive in the camcorder) making the deinterlace cludge

    I didn't know about this.
    From some reading (mainly Sony:s site) I understand that AVCHD is quite
    similar to HDV but by using a more effective codec, the bandwidth
    requirement is lowered compared with HDV. (thus making harddisk capture
    more feasible)
    It seems that the announced AVCHD camcorders from Sony only offer
    1080i, even if the standard (just as HDV) also defines 720p.

    So, my search for a 720p camcorder continues....

    Johan Stäck, Jul 27, 2006
  5. Johan Stäck

    David McCall Guest

    I'm not sure what you mean by fix the interlacing.

    Computers are fast enough these days, that the computer should
    be able to handle interlacing as it is intended to be displayed.

    Capturing each field as a full frame would greatly increase
    the amount of overhead needed to keep up.

    Not everything is a "major feature film" where you have a
    properly trained cinematographer that understands the
    limitations of shooting at low frame rates like 24P or even 30P.

    If you just shoot the way most people video, it will look like
    total crap. Having the higher effective frame rate that interlace
    provides makes shooting video much easier. It make fast
    moving animation easier too, and you don't have to put a
    ton of motion blur on it to make it look smooth.

    David McCall, Jul 27, 2006
  6. Johan Stäck

    Frank Guest

    That's good thinking. :)
    In what, its native .m2t (MPEG-2 Transport Stream) format, or
    transcoded to some other format, such as WMV HD (Windows Media Video
    High Definition) or perhaps some MPEG-4 variant?
    Deinterlacing for display purposes certainly has its cost, but will
    not totally destroy the image quality. Consider, for example, that
    probably well over 90 percent of both the streaming and downloadable
    video files on the Net originated as (standard definition) interlaced
    Your choices in 720p HDV camcorders are limited to products from JVC
    because all other HDV camcorders (from both Sony and Canon) are 1080i.

    The lowest-priced 720p HDV camcorder that I can recommend for European
    use is the JVC GY-HD101E, but that's well beyond your price range and
    will soon be replaced by the GY-HD111E anyway.
    That's correct.

    If you're not planning an immediate purchase, you might want to look
    at the forthcoming Sanyo HD1a or Sony's upcoming AVCHD format
    products. All of these are MPEG-4 based.
    Frank, Jul 27, 2006
  7. Johan Stäck

    Johan Stäck Guest

    David McCall skrev:
    Interlace is fixed by deinterlacing which in effect means that you try
    to undo the damage that has been done.

    True, using CPU power and some cunning programming you can recover
    decent looking frames.
    Simple line-doubling will do wonders, but you will of course discard
    half of your video information.
    Presumably you mean "be able to handle deinterlacing"?
    Yes, todays computers can surely handle it, but why should they have to?

    For me the choice is simple:
    -If your main intended display equipment is interlaced (as for example
    normal household TV sets), then you should shoot interlaced.
    -If you main intended display equipment is progressive (as for example
    computer screens) you should shoot progressive.

    (Question: are todays "HD ready" LCD TV:s really using interlace? Or is
    it only the CRT TV:s that use it?)

    My applications allow the user to freeze on single frames. In such
    cases, interlaced does you no good.
    Probably very true.

    However, what I try to make is specialized instructional stuff where
    interlace really is a pain.

    Either I deinterlace (I do it now on my DV material), or get a camera
    that does it right from the beginning. Such cameras exist, but are
    expensive. Hopefully, they will come down in price.

    Making the transition from DV to HDV, I was hoping to leave interlace
    behind me for good, but perhaps I am being over-optimistic!....

    Johan Stäck, Jul 27, 2006
  8. Johan Stäck

    David McCall Guest

    In your application progressive has much value.

    However most people miss a very important point when it comes
    to interlaced video. It has all of the pixel resolution that shooting
    progressive has, plus it has twice the ability to capture motion.
    When you deinterlace video, you throw away that advantage
    along with half of the information about the movement in the scene.

    I agree completely that you have to consider the intended target
    for display. If the display can keep up with the interlaced image
    and you intend that people watch at normal speed, then I would
    prefer an interlaced signal. However, if the display equipment
    can't keep up (computers most of the time) or there is a need to
    view at other than real-time or still frame, then progressive is for you.

    Progressive is also good if you are trying to pretend that your video
    is really a film by emulating the flaws of film for artistic reasons.

    David McCall, Jul 27, 2006
  9. Johan Stäck

    J. Clarke Guest

    Before you spend a lot of bucks on a camera, you might want to get a cheap
    HD tuner board, grab an hour of CSI:Miami or something OTA in 1080i, and
    play with it. It may be that you find that 1080p is not really necessary
    for what you are doing or you may find that 0180i is a total showstopper.
    But either way you'll _know_.
    J. Clarke, Jul 27, 2006
  10. Johan Stäck

    Smarty Guest

    May I also suggest that you download some Sony HDV samples from the Internet
    and see how one (or several) look after they are displayed on your computer
    display. I gotta tell you that all of the HDV material I have seen from the
    Sony and Canon HDV cameras when displayed on computer monitors looks
    wonderful, and vastly superior to standard definition DV video, despite the
    interlace issue you voice concern about.

    Smarty, Jul 28, 2006
  11. Johan Stäck

    David McCall Guest

    The OPs issue was that his application involved pausing (still-framing) a

    Canon just announced a pretty cool camera that might do what he needs
    It has a cheaper version that is the same but without the "jackpack".

    There was an earlier thread on RVP that gave links and prices

    David McCall, Jul 28, 2006
  12. Johan Stäck

    Smarty Guest

    Freezing a frame on 1080i interlaced HDV does not appear to exhibit any
    jaggies or other artifacts on the computer monitors I use here, which are
    progressive monitors. Motion blurring is exhibited only when the sampling
    rate is too slow to keep up with the motion velocity, but this effect is
    common to both interlaced and progressive scanning. Film will show the very
    same effect if it is paused, and the same rules of sampling theory which
    apply to progressive video apply to interlaced video as well as film.

    I attribute the non-jagged and very high image quality I see on 1080i HDV,
    even when paused, to the well designed deinterlacer software which most
    modern PC software provides. A progressive scan HDV camcorder like the new
    Canon you mention (or for that matter the old JVC 720p camcorder which is
    now selling for about $2K U.S.) is no doubt theoretically superior in this
    particular regard, but my point is that 1080i HDV looks smooth and free of
    interlace artifacts when viewed on a computer, whether paused or not. A
    download of a 1080i HDV sample would be quite convincing.

    I have attached a JPEG screen capture of a paused frame as an example. You
    will see no evidence of jaggies in this image, nor would you see jaggies on
    the displays I use here (which are both LCD and CRT). Some mail programs
    (and mail servers) strip out JPEGs so you may not be able to see the JPEG.

    Smarty, Jul 28, 2006
  13. Johan Stäck

    Frank Guest

    David, that "earlier thread on RVP that gave links and prices" was

    It's possible that Canon's 24F mode (which is actually a 2:3 or
    2:3:3:2 pull-down since it's really an interlaced camcorder) might
    satisfy the OP's (Johan Stäck's) requirements, if he a) has or is
    willing and able to acquire an NLE which supports Canon's unique 24F
    mode and b) 24 frames per second isn't too low a frame rate for his
    particular application.

    OTOH, all of this may be a moot point anyway since Johan had specified
    a price point of "< $2000" and even the "cheaper version that is the
    same but without the 'jackpack'", the model XH A1, is priced at U.S.
    $3999, approximately twice what he wishes to pay.

    If his price limitation isn't flexible, he either needs to consider
    one of the low-cost JVC 720p HDV models or look at another format such
    as the new Sanyo HD1a or Sony's AVCHD products, none of which are yet

    Either that or we all save up our pennies, take up a collection, and
    buy him a JVC GY-HD200 as a present when it comes out in October. It's
    only about $7995 and it does 720p60 so he'll have nice smooth motion
    along with the clean still frame capability that he says he needs. :)
    Frank, Jul 28, 2006
  14. Johan Stäck

    David McCall Guest

    Thanks for the still. It does look very nice unless you look too close.
    There is some motion artifacting of some sort going on around the
    maintenance guy but it doesn't look that bad at normal size.
    The more I look at it there almost seems to have a small vertical
    camera movement. Look at the wet spot on the sidewalk.
    There is some funkiness, but it does look better than DV.

    BTW: It used to be frowned upon to put images or any other
    binary attachment on a post going to a non-binary group.

    David McCall, Jul 28, 2006
  15. Johan Stäck

    Johan Stäck Guest

    I have been downloading some HDV material, especially I have been
    looking for "raw" HDV samples in .m2t format.

    One such file shows an airplane landing
    (Download here (101mb, 33 seconds):

    An interesting experiment is to play this file, first in the VLC player,
    and then in WMP. (assuming you are running Windows)

    In VLC you will notice very evident interlace artifacts (the camera
    pans, and the plane moves).
    This is because VLC will by default *not* deinterlace.
    (However VLC offers a number of optional deinterlace methods.)
    In WMP however, things always look way better( than VLC with no
    interlace), depending on the fact that WMP will always deinterlace.
    (At least I have not found a way to turn off deinterlace in WMP)

    I would think that many people will play HDV material and have it
    deinterlaced by default, not really knowing (or caring for..) how good
    HDV material can look on a computer screen if it was shot progressive
    from the start.

    Admitted, even deinterlaced HDV looks way better than DV, but
    nevertheless I stick to my original opinion.
    This means that *I* want to shoot HDV progressive.

    However, as confirmed by this discussion, there seems to be no
    progressive HDV cameras available within my price limit.

    Possibly, this is because the manufacturers don't want make the "good
    stuff" available to cheap. This would undercut their offerings to the
    more professional market.

    I have also downloaded some 720p samples. They look simply stunning to
    me. However, they are shot with a JVC camera that is much more expensive
    than for example a Sony HC1, so their quality could of course be
    attributed to better optics etc.

    So I hoping and waiting for a 720p camera < $2000, but it might take
    some time...

    Johan Stäck, Jul 28, 2006
  16. You really may want to check out some footage from the Sanyo HD1.
    It currently goes for around $700, and I belive it does 720p.

    To me, the footage looks decent. It's not going to compete with $6000
    camera, of course, but It might be just enough to fit your need.

    It uses SD-Cards as it's capture medium.

    I'm looking to buy one myself in about a month. My interest in uning a
    real progrssive format is my hobbyist level Special Effects work. I
    would rather work with REAL frames than processed feilds.
    Joe Tom Collins, Jul 28, 2006
  17. Johan Stäck

    Frank Guest

    If I were you, I would wait until September to make the purchase,
    since that's when the HD1 is scheduled to be replaced by the HD1a.
    Frank, Jul 28, 2006
  18. Johan Stäck

    Smarty Guest


    The motion artifacting around the maintenance guy is the movement he made
    during the exposure interval, no different from taking a still photograph (a
    progressive frame capture) with the shutter open long enough to show his
    motion. You will note that the image has no jaggies, no artifacting, or
    other interlace defects in the remaining stationary, non moving subject

    Of greatest importance to my original assertion is the tool being used by
    the maintenance person (a gardener). Take note that the tool he is using (a
    pruning lopper) has one of its' handles running along a diagonal of about 45
    degrees. Look at this image in Photoshop or some other good image editing
    program at high magnification and you can count the pixels defining the
    width of the handle, and you will see that this detail of the picture is
    only 3 to 4 pixels wide. Note in particular ***that the interlace along the
    entire length is essentially perfect***.

    My point is merely that a still frame, captured, and highly scrutinized of
    HDV looks essentially flawless from an interlace perspective. It is for this
    reason that I encourage the original poster to download an HDV sample and
    study it with his application to see if he may be extremely satisfied with
    the results, even if still framing and pausing is an essential requirement
    for him.

    Sorry for the 780K post to Usenet of a JPEG picture. You are entirely
    correct that such attachments are discouraged. I might mention that the
    original capture, before I squeezed it down to 780K for use as an attachment
    looked significantly better (better detail and color) but I decided to
    sacrifice the image quality to spare "bandwidth" on Usenet. It is impossible
    to convey the quality of interlacing without using an example such as the
    one I sent, so I apologize for whatever abuse of Usenet I may have done.

    Smarty, Jul 28, 2006
  19. Johan Stäck

    Smarty Guest


    The JVC 720p camera has been out for a couple years now, and is frequently
    offered below $2K. The lowest price I have seen recently is around $2100,
    but I have found it occasionally for below $1800 from reputable sources. It
    has 1 CCD and is not a great camera, but the price and progressive scan
    feature meet your specs.

    Smarty, Jul 28, 2006
  20. What attachment?

    (My provider handled it smart and chopped it off ;-) )

    Martin Heffels, Jul 28, 2006
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