Question by Jackie: Can someone educate me on a few questions concerning HD camcorders?
I am researching camcorders to use in my indie filmmaking and have the following questions.
1. Do I want a camcorder that has CMOS sensors or CCD sensors…and what is the difference?
2. What is the difference between HD,HDV,XD???
3. Does compressed files have anything to do with the transfer from the camcorder to Final Cut Pro?
4. As far as storage goes, do I want to go with tape or memory cards?
5. Does adding a 35mm lenses to my camcorder actually give me a film-like look?
6. What is Cinema Tone Gamma and CinemaTone Color Control functions that come on certain camcorders?
Answer by Arjen
CMOS censors are cheaper to build and are less energy consuming then CCD’s. CCD’s are more expensive. The best would be a 3 CCD camera. A CCD for every primary color. A lot of prosumer camera’s come these days with 3CMOS. A CMOS sensor for every primary color is ofcourse better than just one. But the problem with CMOS is that it uses a rolling shutter. I would suggest you search the internet to see what I mean with a rolling shutter. In short, CMOS makes a picture beginning at the top, going down. So when you move your camera a straight object wont be straight anymore. The top could be on the left and the bottom on the right. This is, again, because it begins at the top going down. CCD take the picture in one time. Not scanning from the top to the bottom.
There’s not a real difference. They are all connected with eachother in some way. HD stand for High Definition. Basically this means you get more pixels. Standard Definition is around 576×432. It changes which format you use. HD is 1920×1080. These pixels are square.
HDV is a codec used to store video captured on a camera on a tape. SD camera’s stored their video onto DV tapes, which uses the DV codec. But HD contains more information, so it needed a new compression type/codec; HDV. HDV has a resolution of 1440×1080. At the end it has the same dimensions as a video with 1920×1080 resolution. That’s because the pixels aren’t square but rectangular. So it needs less pixels to get the same width. So make sure you’ve got the right settings when importing HDV.
I’m not familiar with XD. I read it’s just a marketing term from Nvidia and Dell to adress higher resolutions than HD. In film these resolutions are adressed with XD but with 2K, 4K, 8K and so on. 2K stands for 2000 pixels wide. 4K stands for 4000 pixels wide. Every film in the theater is 2K, just a little bit higher than HD (1920 pixels wide). But no consumer or prosumer camera records on 2K or higher. Only the RED camera and some others do. But those are really expensive and unnecessary when filming for television.
Yes they have. HDV and DV are less compressed than AVCHD. When a file is compressed more , your processor needs more power to decode the file. Therefore hollywood editors (almost any editor) wants to have non-compressed material. You don’t have to waist processor power on decoding. You just need fast hard drives/RAID (which are cheaper than stronger mac’s/pc’s). HDV isn’t to much of a strain on your processor, so it doesn’t need to be converted in a less compressed format to edit. AVCHD however is so compressed that you would need a super computer to edit this type of file without hick-ups. Therefore FCP, FCE and iMovie like to convert AVCHD into the Apple Intermediate Codec. This codec is less compressed, making it easier for the processor to uncompress the video, leaving more power for other effects etc. FCP also allows to convert it into Prores. Which is even less compressed and has more quality. The more you compress the more data will be lost. Uncompressed is the best (no data lost) but you would have to buy an very expensive camera and lots and lots of memory to store it all.
Tape is instant back-up. But you need to play it back. It also doesn’t need to be converted into a less compressed file. Memory cards take less time to put on your mac (just import the files) but with cheap camera’s using the AVCHD codec you need to convert, which can take time. You also need to make a back-up. Most prosumer camcorders use HDV tapes. More expensive camera’s use flash memory, but also use another codec than AVCHD which isn’t as compressed as AVCHD and doesn’t need to be converted.
No it does not. You’ll need to have a DoF adapter to attach this lens. Then you will have the camera look (when you’re shooting 24p). Film has a higher Depth of Field because the recording surface is bigger. The diameter of film (and digital camera’s used for film) are a lot bigger than the sensor used in camera’s (sometimes only 1/4 of an inch, more expensive models 1/3 of an inch). When you use a DoF adapter you fake that you have such a big capturing surface.
this page contains more information on how a DoF adapter works: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depth-of-field_adapter
I have no idea. I think you can set how the colors should be interpreted. Hollywood uses a certain kind of white. But I don’t know how that all works.
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!