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Final Cut Pro to support HDV format

post #1 of 12
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Listed as one of its early supporters, Apple will reportedly implement compatibility for the newly established HDV format in future versions of its Final Cut Pro software.

The next release of Apple Computer's Final Cut Pro video editing software will be one of the first applications to support the HDV format, according to sources who attended last week's International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam.

The HDV format allows for recording and playback of high-definition video on a DV cassette tape, and was established jointly by Canon, Sharp, Sony, and Victor Company in late 2003. Apple has since been listed as a supporter of the format on the HDV format web site.

According to tipsters, tucked away in a corner of Sony's booth at IBC was an Apple-staffed exhibit running a beta version of Final Cut Pro HD. The software could be seen operating on native video streams from Sony's upcoming HDR-FX1 camcorder, which records 1080/60i high-definition video, as defined by the HDV specification.

"I was blown away by the picture quality," said one tipster who was privy to a demo of the beta software and Sony cam combo. "This endorsement is much more important to Final Cut Pro than P2 or IMX support. It will bring HDTV to every low-budget filmmaker, like DV did for SD video."

The FireWire compatible HDR-FX1 camcorder is expect to ship in a consumer model for US$3700 in November, and will be followed by a $7000 Pro version in the first calendar quarter of 2005. Apple typically revamps its Final Cut Pro software in April, but could produce an update sooner, as it is already engaged in public demonstrations of a newer version.

Speaking at the Apple presentation during IBC this past Saturday, Rob Schoeben, Vice President of Applications Product Marketing, also announced that future versions of Final Cut Pro will support 1080i 50FPS editing, IMX editing, and Panasonics next-generation P2 format.

In April Apple announced Final Cut Pro HD, an upgrade to Final Cut Pro 4.0 that delivers real-time performance of high-quality native DVCPRO HD in addition to real-time support for DV and SD. The release also added the ability to capture, edit and output broadcast-quality high definition (HD) video over a single FireWire cable, without requiring any additional hardware.
post #2 of 12
Folks don't get too caught up in the hype. Yes Final Cut Pro will edit HDV "natively" in future versions but if you had a HDV cam today you would simply pay $149 for Lumiere HD and get to editing. I do like seeing support go native however.

Reports on the HDR-FX1 are very positive. Sony has definitely trumped JVC..again. We still need a Pro version with XLR, 24p and other features but I hear that's due sometime next year.

Quote:
Rob Schoeben, Vice President of Applications Product Marketing, also announced that future versions of Final Cut Pro will support 1080i 50FPS editing, IMX editing, and Panasonics next-generation P2 format.

Note the support for 1080i 50/60fps. That means FCP would also be able to do 1080p 25/30 because the datarates would be similar. Also note that Mitsubishi, Samsung and Sony all have displays that can 1080p content. HDV won't be there for a while but I assume it's coming even if the recording time halves.

HDV, by its specification, can only be on tape though. I'd give it about a 6-7 year shelf before it is usurped by Flash(Panny P2) or Hard Drive based storage.

Future workflows will be akin to what Panny envisions. You will record to solid state memory and then remove the cart from the camera and edit directly on the captured footage removing any ingesting time.

I'd actually prefer Cameras with removable hard disc storage packs. With that you could just hook up the camera via FW and edit right there. Need more storage toss on a new back. The limitations with todays camera seem to be the CCD/CMOS sizes. I saw footage from the Mini 35 which is a 35mm adapter for Panny and Canon camcorders and the depth of field is much better. I'd rather put my money into the sensor and lenses and then have the option to toss on hd backs for unlimited storage.
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post #3 of 12
Way to go AI--this news is at least a week old.
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally posted by ipodandimac
Way to go AI--this news is at least a week old.

It's a week old? Reported where?

Show me, please... (so we don't make the mistake again.)

K
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post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
Reports on the HDR-FX1 are very positive. Sony has definitely trumped JVC..again. We still need a Pro version with XLR, 24p and other features but I hear that's due sometime next year.

Any idea on how well HDV stand up against Pro HDTV and even 35 mm (color - contrast - resolution, ...) ? In other words, will prosumers be able to shoot 'movie quality' films (let's forget for a moment about lighting) ?
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post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
[B]Folks don't get too caught up in the hype. Yes Final Cut Pro will edit HDV "natively" in future versions but if you had a HDV cam today you would simply pay $149 for Lumiere HD and get to editing. I do like seeing support go native however.

Do you know if Lumiere supports PAL as well? They only mention NTSC on their website.

Does any one of you guys have experience using the JVC GR-PD1 (the PAL version of den GR-HD1) with FC Pro? This cam is good enough for me and a lot cheaper than the Sony...
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally posted by BigBlue
Any idea on how well HDV stand up against Pro HDTV and even 35 mm (color - contrast - resolution, ...) ? In other words, will prosumers be able to shoot 'movie quality' films (let's forget for a moment about lighting) ?

HDV is a compressed format like DV, so the quality factors are somewhat similar in the comparison with uncompressed SD - the codec is lossy, so you lose some quality.

As far as comparisons to 35mm are concerned, the issue is more related to the CCD vs film responses. CCDs and DSP systems are getting very good at emulating film's response curves but it is not the same - film still has a much higher contrast ratio than digital - you can pull much more detail out of film's whites and blacks than you can from digital, just the nature of the beast.

Film also has a much higher resolution than HD - around 3K by 4K - which is why Pixar et al render at that resolution.

The other aspect is one of "feel". Film has a certain look that comes from a combination of the response curves, grain, colorimetry etc. that you can come close to with digital processing, but it's never quite the same - which is why digital has not really taken off in Hollywood yet.

So, could you shoot "movie quality" films using HDV? Not 35mm quality, though if you make a good movie, then no-one will care if you shot it on DV, HDV or 35mm - ask Stephen Soderbergh (sp?).
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post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally posted by Kasper
It's a week old? Reported where?

Show me, please... (so we don't make the mistake again.)

K

Actually I don't have the site where it came from, but I found it when there were a bunch of articles about Sony's new HDV consumer camera. At the end of one of the articles they talked about how video apps would integrate the HDV format, and that Final Cut Pro was on board.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Any idea on how well HDV stand up against Pro HDTV and even 35 mm (color - contrast - resolution, ...) ? In other words, will prosumers be able to shoot 'movie quality' films (let's forget for a moment about lighting) ?

Bigblue-
From what I'm reading it seems that the resolution of of HDV is great and readily apparent. The first JVC unit though suffered from too much compression and had a "jerky" quality on pans. I'm waiting to see if the Sony unit which records at 25Mbps has this issue as well. I think HDV is going to be big, the editing tools are coming and it should push down to $1499 HDV cams in 2 years. However I think we have a bit to wait for the Holy Grail of Filmmaking. HDV is still very heavily compressed which reduces latitude and hampers the ability to color correct or chroma key because of it's reduced Chroma Sampling( I believe it's 4:2:0).

I wouldn't hesitate to buy one though as the current DV spec is no better and though it's less compressed the resolution isn't there. I honestly think that we're going to see a groundswell of DIY projects and small companies get into specialized cameras that can link to external RAID and record to Flash or HDs. Then we can bump the chroma sampling and reduce the amount of compression making editing easier.

Quote:
Does any one of you guys have experience using the JVC GR-PD1 (the PAL version of den GR-HD1) with FC Pro? This cam is good enough for me and a lot cheaper than the Sony...

I'll ask the developer about PAL support as he posts at DVINFO.net. Also don't rule out a FCP interim mini update that adds native support. That would save you the $$$ right there if Apple doesn't charge for it.

The JVC records at 720p and 19.4Mbps and uses one CCD. The Sony records at 10801 25Mbps and uses 3 CCD. My recommendation would to be await the reviews of the Sony and decide on if the Sony features are worth spending up to $1000 more(assuming the JVC HD is available for $2700 or so)
Everyone thought the Sony HDV would be $4999 so I'm pleasantly suprised to see it's not.
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post #10 of 12
Guys, the 'jerkiness' reported from the JVC 720 camera is simply an artifact of the progressive capture. 35mm 24p does exactly the same thing (slightly worse actually) visible in a cinema near you now.

As to whether the Sony is capable of producing 'cinema' quality films then the answer has to be a definite 'yes'...but its not quite as simple as that. The problem is that the post processing will have to be carried out in uncompressed HD to have any chance of maintaining the original picture quality (which looks pretty good). Editing, colour-correcting and compositing in HDV native compressed at 25Mb/s will quickly munge the picture into deep awfulness. Therefore a good G5, Kona2 HD card, an XServe RAID, Shake and lay-off onto a Panasonic D5 ($100,000) will still be required to get close to exhibition quality. However with good lighting, grip equipment, crew etc at least the cost of acquisition could be lowered significantly. That only leaves the problem of good actors and a story that anybody actually gives a sh*t about!

The most exciting aspect for me of the new camera is to see what Standard Def pictures derived from 1080 will look like..could open up some interesting posibilities.
post #11 of 12
To follow on from above, the Sony camera does suggest an interesting scenario: in the (independent) film business it is not unusual to be able to get a deal AFTER the principal photography is finished. Ie. you are able to get money for what is now the more expensive part, post production, so anything that lowers the cost of the acquisition phase is to be welcomed.
post #12 of 12
RE: JVC Panning problems. I don't think this is caused by the JVC being progressive. It's not a 24p camera in fact I believe it's capturing 60 frames a second. I'm betting that this issue is a JVC caused issue.

More info here

Quote:
Other industry professionals have noticed the cameras shortcomings, too. The cameras not all that great. Its a single-chip camera which seems to have some sort of strange artifacts, says Tony Manolikakis of Matrox. When you pan with it, it seems to have a strange algorithm; its doing something on the panning where its very stuttery. This reporter, who has also worked with footage from the JVC HDV camcorder, noticed the same artifacts in extensive testing.

I think JVC needs to bump the bitrate up to 25 like Sony in their next version. Pans need all the available bitrate for smoothness as MPEG2 is sensitive to motion as most interframe compression methods are.
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