HDV Camcorder Showdown, Part Two: Quality Comparisons

Event DV by Jan Ozer Last month we reviewed the features and usability of the Canon XL H1, JVC GY-HD100, and Sony HDR-FX1/HVR-Z1U; this month our focus is on quality. In addition to testing JVC’s 30P HDV footage against the 1080i produced by the Canon and Sony, I also took a preliminary look the latter two cameras’ faux-progressive modes, Canon's 24F and Sony’s Cineframe. hdv In the abstract, comparing the quality of 1080i, with 2,070,600 total displayed pixels, against 720p, with 1,310,720 total pixels, is a little like comparing a 7-megapixel still-image camera against a 4-megapixel camera; obviously, the first should reproduce more detail when shooting the same image. In addition, at least for the moment, neither HDV mode is a viable delivery format for most event videographers. Though I frequently shoot in HDV these days, at least with one camera, I've never delivered video to a client in any form other than DVD. In this regard, the actual quality of the HDV file itself is irrelevant if it doesn't translate to better DVD quality. For these reasons, whenever I analyzed the resolution and detail of the video produced by the cameras, I first compared video at its original resolution, and then encoded the files to DVD-compatible MPEG-2. Under the assumption that most folks shooting in 720p would output in progressive mode, I output video from the JVC to a progressive video file at 720x480. Thinking that most folks shooting in interlaced modes would deliver in the same, I output the Canon and Sony video to interlaced MPEG-2 at the same resolution. I captured all video and produced all MPEG files and screen shots in Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0 and prepared all screen shots in Ulead PhotoImpact. read more...

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.