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SDX900 - Tips For First Time Users

Published : 2nd July 2004


Hello,

Heading out for several weeks with the SDX900 (Canon J21a x 7.8B4 zoom) and just picked it up with no time for prep. It's my first time with this camera and I was hoping I could get a few do's and don'ts. (the rental "expert" was not in when I picked it up). I've used other similar Panasonic- non-24p models before.

I will be shooting 24P (standard)16x9/50M for filmout (post on DigiBeta/FCP 4 or AVID adrenaline) so should I avoid the "Paint" and "matrix" etc, tweaking, just to make it a bit easier in the field? I assumed the underlined setting described in the manual is the factory preset. This is a doco-type dramatic project and I do have a Sony 8041Q yet no waveform (and no time for that).

Shooting with no filters and would like to tweak detail and gamma to take a bit of the edge off (maybe black level, ped too - although maybe not too much for filmout reasons).

The manual says shutter auto sets to 50% (1/50 sec)in 24p mode. I can't seem to find the shutter releasing option anywhere in the menu (P. HALF SHUT). I missed the thread about significance of the V.DTL

Appreciate any tips.

Dave Luxton
Cinematographer
Edmonton, Alberta.



Hi Dave,

You don't say what you are going to be shooting. What sort of subject matter? That might help with recommendations. Are you doing a film out? Video release? How are you editing? Which system?

When do you leave?

Let us know, and will advise.

Best regards,

Jan Crittenden



>I will be shooting 24P (standard)16x9/50M for filmout (post on >DigiBeta/FCP 4 or AVID adrenaline)

May I suggest that you use Firewire to go directly into FCP4, retaining your original compression codec. You can spit it out to DigiBeta afterwards if you wish.

Mitch Gross
NYC DP



>You don't say what you are going to be shooting. What sort of subject >matter? That might help with recommendations. Are you doing a film >out? video release? How are you editing? Which system?

Drama. Mostly simple scenes based around a remote northern town. Filmout for film release. Editing FCP4, possibly avid adrenaline (not my choice)

I've got the tech's number at rental place, but it's amazing how little they know about this camera.

I'll play with a few scene files and take a good look at the end of day 1.

Thanks

Dave Luxton
Cinematographer
Edmonton, AB



Dave Luxton wrote :

>Drama.

Be sure to use one of the Film like Gammas, #1 would be most likely fine.

>mostly simple scenes based around a remote northern town.

Master Gamma around .47 with maybe a little of the Black Stretch to the plus side thrown in if there are lots of dark scenes. Black Stretch to the negative side if foggy.

>film out for film release.

Keep the detail settings to a minimum under 10 on the horizontal and 8 on the vertical and use the best glass you can afford. If you can get HD glass you can lose the detail all together.

>editing FCP4, possibly avid adrenaline (not my choice)

As long as it is Adrenaline or FCP then you can use 24PA. Adrenaline will not extract on the fly like FCP will but at least it knows how to extract it in a rendering out, which can be very fast from what I understand.

>I've got the tech's number at rental place, but it's amazing how little they >know about this camera.

There are couple places here like that but there are others that are totally awesome with what they know and share with the rental customers.

>I'll play with a few scene files and take a good look at the end of day 1.

I saw that Rich Lerner also responded to you question. Rich just finished a film with this camera and would be a wealth of information. I trust you called him. As far as loading scene files, be sure to note the lens flare values for the lens you have chosen as when you load in new paint menus via the SD Memory, these numbers will be overwritten.

Hope that helps,

Jan M. Crittenden
Product Line Business Manager, DVCPRO50/25,AG-DVX100A
Panasonic Broadcast & TV Systems
One Panasonic Way, 2E-7
Secaucus, NJ 07094



Jan

What happens if one were to treat 24P (or 24PA) footage from an SDX 900 or DVX 100 as if it were regular 29.97 interlaced footage and not pay any attention to the cadences?

What's the worst that could happen? Would this be obvious to the naked eye? (specifically for output to NTSC.)

BTW, despite all my research and your invaluable help, this is what's happening to my footage.

Thanks

Byron Shah
Local 600 DP



>What happens if one were to treat 24P (or 24PA) footage from an SDX >900 or DVX 100 as if it were regular 29.97 interlaced footage and not >pay any attention to the cadences?

Considering that this is what is done everyday with transferred film footage I think you'll be okay. That is 24p as opposed to 24pa cadence, but I still don't think you could see the difference.

Mitch Gross
NYC DP



Byron asked :

>What happens if one were to treat 24P (or 24PA) footage from an SDX >900 or DVX 100 as if it were regular 29.97 interlaced footage and not >pay any attention to the cadences? What's the worst that could happen?

Well the 24P stuff will look okay, it is the 24PA stuff that may look a little odd. So shoot in 24P.

Hope that helps,

Jan Crittenden



Well the 24P stuff will look okay, it is the 24PA stuff that may look a little odd. So shoot in 24P.

Other than looking odd (which I guess means the odd field of half movement), can this approach (or lack thereof) actually cause hiccups when mastering to a progressive format such as DVD?

Byron Shah
Local 600 DP



>That is 24p as opposed to 24pa cadence, but I still don't think you could >see the difference.

I can see the difference. I'd prefer 24p over 24pa if I wasn't pulling those extra fields out.

Art Adams, DP [film|hdtv|sdtv]
Mountain View, California - "Silicon Valley"
http://www.artadams.net/