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[This is more related to programming than equipment, hence posting in this Forum... read on...]


So, how big are 1920x1080 cameras that give a very high quality image?


I ask this, because I see a few (non-fiction) shows with particularly good picture quality, yet no one who encounters the cameraman is staring.


In some shows, the situation seems controlled enough that producers could conceivably be able to remove or forewarn bystanders.


However, in one particular case, "Rick Steve's Europe", the picture quality is about the best I've seen, yet they shoot in big city streets and stores and the lack of interest amongst bystanders indicates that the camera must be not much bigger than the average tourists' camcorder.


Anyone know more specifics?
 

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Well you can now by HD camcorders in stores so that shows you how small they can get.
 

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Depends on what you define as a good camera. A Sony F-950 is the size of a normal broadcast camcorder. The Panavision Genesis (Superman Returns) can easily fit on your shoulder. Thomson LDK-6000s which cover sporting event are actually camcorders built up to studio configurations to handle the large lenses, but generally most cameras are small enough to be easily transportable by hand. Some of the newer HDV stuff that gets used to shoot some of the cheaper HD shows on National Geographic and Discovery are around $3,500 and put out a decent picture those are no bigger than a prosumer handycam. Because the processing is digital (CMOS chips & CCDs) size is not a factor in picture quality.
 

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There are lots of industry level HD cameras out there that are small. The Silicon Imaging camera is one I'm familiar with.
 

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Suspect Steve's is shot with HDCAMs in 1080/60i mode, compared to fuzzier 24p mode for dramas. It has the smooth motion of 60-field (540-line) 'snapshots' per second, and this taping matches the U.S. 1080i broadcast rate. Despite HDCAM filtering above 1440 lines (with upconversion to 1920 during processing), the 60i sampling (like live 1080i), as with other HDCAM travelogues/documentaries, has an apparent extra crispness. How much of that is just image 'sharpness' from Sony's video processing and enhanced mid-range frequencies/resolution, and how much is extended higher resolutions, might be determined by taping test pattern images. Regardless, a resolution limitation for many seems to be delivery systems, such as cable head ends, and STBs that limit maximum horizontal effective resolution (resolvable detail) to
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5w30 /forum/post/0


Beats that old RCA TK-41c that's in my backyard ;-)

That's the one we used to move with six men and a pickup truck....

And a seperate truck for the hydraulic pedestal...


Walt
 

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This thread may be the best place to ask a question about something I noticed while I was watching NBC Sports' coverage of the Tournament Players Championship golf tournament on Sunday. All of the shots from fixed locations, primarily around the greens were startlingly clear and showed HD at its best. Unfortunately, though, many if not most of the fairway shots from hand held cameras were 16:9 but obviously SD and so inferior to true HD images that the difference was annoying. What was up with this?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat /forum/post/0


This thread may be the best place to ask a question about something I noticed while I was watching NBC Sports' coverage of the Tournament Players Championship golf tournament on Sunday. All of the shots from fixed locations, primarily around the greens were startlingly clear and showed HD at its best. Unfortunately, though, many if not most of the fairway shots from hand held cameras were 16:9 but obviously SD and so inferior to true HD images that the difference was annoying. What was up with this?

Lots of posts about the all-HD CBS golf coverage versus NBC's (etc.) mixed SD-HD coverage. The upconversion of widescreen 480i SD cameras to 1080i really contrast with true-1080i delivery. Less obvious, most noticeable with CBS all-HD coverage, is what happens with small lenses used on portable HD cameras compared to the big studio-type lenses on static cameras. The higher MTF of the bigger lenses, outlined in this article , provide sharper images. Similar results apply with SD camera lenses. Bandwidth RF/cable limitations back to the trucks may play a role, too. Wish the TGC/NBC mobile truck crews would also figure out how to eliminate the bad camera blooming from white/lighter objects such as sand traps. TGC/CBS crews seemed to have solved this for their last two matches, maybe earlier. A blooming SD camera image, upconverted to 1080i, as at the Players match, is a real disaster! -- John
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat /forum/post/0


This thread may be the best place to ask a question about something I noticed while I was watching NBC Sports' coverage of the Tournament Players Championship golf tournament on Sunday. All of the shots from fixed locations, primarily around the greens were startlingly clear and showed HD at its best. Unfortunately, though, many if not most of the fairway shots from hand held cameras were 16:9 but obviously SD and so inferior to true HD images that the difference was annoying. What was up with this?

The only thing worse with NBC golf coverage then the SD-HD switching is Johnny Miller. I can deal with the fact that they have the "Southern Swing", but the fact that they have the Players, US Open, and the Ryder Cup drives me crazy...
 

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To answer the original question.


HD cameras used for live production are usually based around 2/3" sensors - and are available in "lightweight" (suitable for use handheld or on pedestals etc.) or "studio" (larger units) configurations in some cases, though the picture quality of the two varieties are these days usually identical, with just ergonomic issues differentiating them.


HDC-1500s, LDK-6000s etc are lightweight 2/3" devices. To look at them you wouldn't really be able to tell them significantly apart from SD lightweights like LDK-200s or BVP-570s etc.


HDCam camcorders and other high-end HD camcorders are also based on 2/3" devices and share a lot of heritage with lightweight studio devices.


However XDCam HD and some other lower cost HD camcorders, like DVCam SD devices, are also available based on 1/2" sensors and lenses.


(The early HiVision Sony camera - the HDC-500 I think - was based around a 1" sensor and lens system - and apparently gave fantastic pictures in good conditions)


As John has mentioned - the lenses used make a huge difference. Whilst SD lenses can be used on HD cameras, the chromatic errors are much more visible etc. and HD lenses really need to be used.


Box lenses - which can be easily mounted on studio cameras, but usually need to be used with cradles/adaptors on lightweights (which may also require a local power source), can provide better performance (both optically and in speed of end-to-end zooms)


Physically it is difficult to tell HD and SD cameras apart these days - unless you are a camera anorak (or can see a large HD on the camera - though seeing it on the lens doesn't mean the camera it is attached to is HD...)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by A_Dude /forum/post/0



However, in one particular case, "Rick Steve's Europe", the picture quality is about the best I've seen, yet they shoot in big city streets and stores and the lack of interest amongst bystanders indicates that the camera must be not much bigger than the average tourists' camcorder.


Anyone know more specifics?

I would expect Rick Steve's to have been shot on something like a Sony HD Cam - it looks to be 1080/60i - which would mean it is something you would shoulder mount when running handheld, or operate on a tripod, pedestal, steadicam etc. Similar form factor to a DigiBeta, BetaSP camcorder, and slightly bigger than a standard DVCam or DVCPro camcorder.


This is quite a lot larger than a MiniDV or HDV camcorder which can be supported by one hand at chest level or held to the eye and weigh considerably less.


The difference in form factor is partially because the tape form factor of HDCam is the same as an old Betamax tape (1/2" wide tape) and also because the lenses required for good quality HD capture on a 2/3" sensor are reasonably bulky (and can be changed - so you can use a wide angle lens etc.) The weighty lens is usually counterbalanced by a reasonably bulky battery.


I suspect most people ignore TV production these days - the Rick Steve's camera was probably roughly the same as a news camera and people don't blink an eyelid to ENG crews in most major cities this year.
 
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