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AG-LA2700A anamorphic lens
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The Panasonic AG-DVX100A is a DV camcorder offering 60i, 30p, and 24p
capture (a 625/50 version, the DVX100E, offers 50i and 25p).
It's under US$4000. Aside from the $5000 Canon XL2, the next lowest
cost 24p video camera is about US$19,500: the Panasonic AJ-SPX800.
With its introduction the DXV100, and its successor the DVX100A,
instantly became the
hot cameras for indie digital filmmakers.
The 24p-capable Canon XL2 only adds to the excitement. As a result
there's a lot of hype,
hysteria, and FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) about them and about 24p
I'll try to navigate through the hype, hysteria, and FUD to provide
material and rational analysis. I have the original DVX100 and I can
put it through
its paces alongside a Sony DSR-PD150 (the de facto standard in $4000 DV
as well as the DSR-500, a higher-end favorite among digital filmmakers.
also try to use various post-production tools and see what works, and
Note: I focus here on the Panasonic DVX100-series cameras, but much
of what I talk about applies to the Canon XL2 and to the bigger 24p
Panasonics as well.
Cutting to the chase: the DVX100 is a very good camera for its price,
even ignoring its 24p capability. Perfect? Heck, no. It has all sorts
flaws and omissions, just like any other $4000 camera. But for what you
get a lot; if you understand both the strengths and the weaknesses of
this camera, it can be a very powerful production tool.
And the second-generation camera, the AG-DVX100A, is even better. I've
scattered comments on the 100A throughout.
The page is a stream-of-consciousness ramble
through various issues as I collect information and generate tests.
expect a lot of organization or comprehensive coverage (and don't
bookmark anything here except the page itself; anchors come and go).
The DVX100A (and B)
The DVX100's successor, the DVX100A, was announced on 2003.11.19 at
InterBEE (International Broadcast Equipment Exhibition; Japan's own
version of the NAB show) in Chiba City, Japan.
The day before the announcement I had a loaner pre-production prototype
in my hot sweaty hands, courtesy of Stuart English at Panasonic.
I put it though its paces alongside my DVX100, and the full review is
currently available on DV.com
(registration required: not too onerous, and no, I haven't been spammed
as a result. DV needs the demographic data to justify ad rates to
advertisers, that's all).
Remember that this was a preliminary
review based on a pre-production camera. Some of the details may
changed in production cameras, although little if anything appears to
To summarize the changes made in the DVX100A as compared to the DVX100:
- In-camera 16x9 using 4x3 CCDs; very good in progressive mode
- More gamma and matrix settings; knee present in cine gammas;
more latitude (pix below)
- Adjustable knee in video gammas: auto, high, mid, and low
- Adjustments for vertical edge enhancement and detail coring
- New color matrices and changes in color rendition
- M.O.D. at telephoto reduced from over three feet to 1 foot 8
inches (i.e., from “50” to “37” units)
- New prism for improved color reproduction; less flare
- Slow shutter speeds: as slow as 1/6 in 24p, 1/4 in 60i and 30p
- Gain boost (to +12dB) and color bars in progressive shooting
- “Focus assist” in progressive (auto-focus, but slow!)
- Instantaneous switching between progressive and interlaced modes
- EVF DTL – peaking in the EVF and on the LCD to improve
- Zoom ring has viscous drag for much smoother manual zooms
- Raised guards on audio pots and scene file dial
- Slower power zoom speed (30 seconds vs. 15 on my DVX100)
- 3 USER buttons instead of two, and two additional options for
- VF readout of zebra setting when MODE CHK is pressed; high
zebra extended from 100 to 105 units
- “Marker” numerical exposure readout extended
from 90% to 99%, with a center target zone for the spotmeter shown in
- More scratchproof EVF lens (I am told; I didn't test it!)
- Color / B&W mode for EVF; more EVF and LCD adjustments
- MODE CHK shows user button settings
- Improved lens cap
And what hasn't changed:
- The stabilizer still “clunks” when the camera is shut off and
tilted back and forth.
- The color saturation
patterning problem still exists.
- Same size, weight, lens threading, tripod socket, etc.: all
DVX100 accessories will fit the DVX100A.
- Same exposure responsiveness, manual controllability, etc.
had them in their hot sweaty hands in January 2004, just as Panasonic
dealeras have them as low as US$3500 (as of January 2004).
Is it worth getting a DVX100A model instead of a used or discounted
DVX100? The “plain old 100” is still a mighty fine camera. I still have
my 100, and I haven't even begun
to exhaust its capabilities yet. I'll probably upgrade to a 100A at
but it'll be driven by a specific job; I can't justify the upgrade on
merits unless those merits include significant paying gigs, grin.
In late 2005, Panasonic announced the DVX100B. While the main purpose
of the B model was RoHS compliance (Reduction of Hazardous Substances
in manufacturing, required in the EU starting in 2006), Panasonic
squeezed in a few additional improvements, such as sharper EVF and
flip-out LCDs, true 16x9 monitoring, more remotely-controllable
functions, and FireWire scene file transfer. See http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/100b/
What's the DVX100P? What
happened to the DVX100, no P?
Don't panic. They're the same thing. All the literature talks about the
DVX100, and that's what you order, but when the box arrives it says
on it. The DVX100A, of course, is shown as DVX100AP.
P stands for "Panasonic, North America"; it doesn't stand for PAL the
way it would on a Sony cam.
If this were a 625/50 ("PAL") camera, it would have the E (Europe)
suffix instead of the P.
How is 24p recorded?
What's the difference between 24p and 24p Advanced?
can capture interlaced footage at 59.94
29.97 frames/second ("60i"), 29.97 progressive-scanned frames/second
or 24 progressive-scanned frames/second ("24p").
(and indeed all the video I/O) runs at 29.97
frames/second, interlaced, all the time, regardless of what the camera
When the camera is running in 60i or 30p, the incoming video is placed
a frame buffer, compressed with the DV codec, and written to tape
sent out FireWire. That same frame buffer feeds the analog outputs, one
after the other. Whether the images come in interlaced or progressive,
30th of a second – well, every 29.97th, but let's keep it simple for
– an image gets written to the frame buffer, and an image gets played
two fields compressed as a frame for FireWire and recording, and two
sent out one after the other for interlaced analog I/O.
24p is a bit more complex. [Of course, it's really
way 30p is really 29.97p and 60i is really 59.94i, and even those
are approximations. When the National Television Systems Committee
color to the existing monochrome standard in 1953, they had to fudge
the picture frequency or the audio subcarrier frequency by one part in
thousand, to keep the color subcarrier from interfering with the sound
Sound won; NTSC pictures now run at 30 * 1000/1001 fps (and that
and ensuing generations have had to struggle with the peculiarities of
time code and resetting their master clocks every day to account for
But I digress...] 24 does not fit so cleanly into 30; for every four
of 24p video that go by, five frames of 30p (or 60i) video go by.
way to look at it is that 24 frames of 24p video have to be squeezed,
and mashed into 60 fields of NTSC-compatible video; that's four frames
24p per ten fields of 60i.
There are several ways to do this; the AG-DVX100P and AJ-SDX900 offer
two: 24p, which I call 24p Standard,
and 24p Advanced.
utilizes the same 2:3 or 3:2 pulldown cadence long
used to transfer 24fps film to NTSC video. The first 24p frame is
to two fields of 60i video, the next is written to three, the next to
and the next to three again, as shown in the graphic.
This cadence offers the smoothest possible raw conversion between the
rates, and gives us the familiar judder of film transferred to tape.
are a couple of things to notice about it:
1) The "A frame" is defined as the only frame of 24p that occupies
one whole frame of 60i video with no overlap into adjacent frames.
2) The A, B, and D frames can be recovered by using two fields from the
60i frame. The C frame cannot be; it is split across field 2 of the
(green) 60i frame and field 1 of the fourth (magenta) 60i frame. In an
format like DV, that's an important distinction: the two fields of each
frame are compressed together, as a frame. If the two fields are very
similar, as happens in the red, yellow, and blue frames, the
uses a comparatively efficient "8x8 DCT" mode. If the fields are very
as happens in the green and magenta frames when there's a lot of motion
the B, C, and D frames, a less efficient 2x4x8 DCT is used, possibly
to more image degradation in those frames compared to their red,
and blue companions.
Furthermore, the original A, B, and D frames can be copied in their
from the 60i video data into a new 24p data file,
but recovering the C frame requires
decompressing the green and magenta frames and recompressing them into
new, 24p DV frame. That puts the C frame a generation down compared to
B, and D.
If the 24p extraction tool uses white instead of superwhite codec
ranges, as Cinema Tools does, it will clip whites
so – you really have to preprocess all your footage prior to reverse
telecine to pull superwhites and saturated colors into range. Note that
is not necessarily an indictment of such tools: codecs that run in a
range instead of a superwhite range can eke a little bit more quality
of the in-range image, at the expense of the out-of-range data.
if you're using the extended dynamic range that superwhites give you in
it means you have to add that extra processing step to pull your
back into range before
converting to 24p, lest the conversion
hard-clip your C frames and remove that creative control from your
uses a syncopated 2:3:3:2 pulldown cadence to stuff 24
into 60 fields. It's ever so slightly different in its playback; the
cadence of 2:3:2:3:2:3:2:3... evenly intersperses the "short" and
frames, while 2:3:3:2:2:3:3:2... lumps two "short" frames together
by two "long" frames. The difference is subtle, but can be seen on
pans or on regular in-frame motion, like the passage of a train. In my
so far, about half the people looking at a 24p Advanced clip can see
the motion is a bit different, and half cannot.
But 24p Advanced isn't intended for making the 60i video look like
it's designed to allow the best possible recovery of the original 24
You'll note that all four original frames can be recovered from
60i frames; the green frame in 60i now contains the "extra" B and C
and can be discarded, since all the information for B is contained in
yellow frame, and all the information for C is in the magenta frame.
Extracting a true 24p clip from a 60i recording simply requires copying
raw data for the red, yellow, magenta, and blue frames into a new 24p
skipping the green frame altogether. No decompression or recompression
required, and all recovered 24p frames retain first-generation quality.
clipping or other loss is incurred; you are still working with all your
in their first-generation glory in 24p.
Indeed, Cinema Tools goes one step farther: it gives you the choice of
creating a new 24p file, or simply rewriting the Quicktime frame
in the original file to skip over the green frames! Rewriting the
is much faster (not that Cinema Tools is slow in writing a new file),
your "new" 24p file is about 25% larger than it needs to be, since it
contains the discarded frames, and you can no longer go back to that
and play it as a 60i file: Cinema Tools has no "undo" for rewriting the
When to shoot 24p? 24p
Advanced? 30p? 60i?
general rule is to shoot 24p Advanced if you want to extract the
24 frames/second for a 24fps edit or film-out. Shoot 24p Standard if
are going to stay on video and edit at 30 frames/seconds (60
i.e., plain ol' video at NTSC frame rates), without extracting the
24 frames into a 24fps timeline. In more detail:
Shoot 24p Advanced for:
using tools that understand Advanced pulldown. 24p Advanced footage can
turned into pure 24p footage more cleanly than 24p standard footage,
because every frame in the pure 24p timeline is pulled from a whole
in the 24p Advanced footage, whereas the C frame in 24p Standard
is split across two different source frames as discussed above.
Shoot 24p Standard for:
- Getting the “film look” on video when you're staying on video and
editing at 29.97.
- Intercutting with film transfers also using 3:2 pulldown, and
staying on video at 29.97.
- Working with traditional film-on-tape
tools that understand 3:2 pulldown, but not 2:3:3:2 advanced
when you need to extract the 24p footage for true 24p processing.
Shoot 30p for:
- Getting true progressive pictures with a 30 fps frame rate, as
when pulling stills for motion analysis.
- Working alongside Canons and older Panasonics in Frame Movie
Mode, when you want to match their motion rendering.
want the slightly "filmic" motion of 30p, but don't want to go to 24p,
you aren't concerned about ever going to film or converting to PAL.
Shoot 60i for:
- Anything that you want to use as plain ol' video at NTSC frame
in 60i, this camera makes pix that look (from a motion-rendering
just like the pix from any other video camera.
- In other words, use 60i for everything that isn't supposed to
“look like film” and doesn't need progressive scan!
Again, these are general guidelines, not firm rules. However, I will
state one fairly firm rule: never
use 30p if you think you
might go out to film or convert to PAL. In these cases stay with 60i or
use one of the 24p modes. DVFilm
Austin says they'll give you good looking 24fps film outs from 30p
but it's much harder to do so and get clean motion, and even DVFilm
recommends against it. I don't know any other film-out place that will
The DVX100 is 4:3 only, although it has a built-in letterboxing mask
leaving about 372 scanlines (NTSC) shown: a bit taller than the 360
lines of true letterboxed 16x9.
Panasonic had a firm target of US$4000 or less, and built-in 16x9 would
The DVX100A adds a digital squeeze mode; in progressive it's
as nice as a 360-line “upconversion” can look, although in interlaced
I'd rate it very slightly worse than a PD150's built-in 16x9. Pix in my
review on dv.com
own 72mm 16x9 anamorphic adapter, the AG-LA7200G, is available with a
list price of US$940
and street prices around $750-$850. It's compact (2.5 inches / 6.5cm
and lightweight (under a pound / .43kg). In my work
with it to date, I've been quite pleased. It's fully zoom-through
vignetting, and usable at full aperture at wide angles.
As you zoom in, you'll need to stop down (also as you focus closer);
I've made a chart
combinations of zoom, focus, and iris necessary to retain critical
At wide angles (and I mean wide:
the adapter widens the
wide angle by about 33%!) there's some barrel distortion visible
(though no more than the un-adapted lens shows; the adapter adds none
of its own), but it's
not so bad as to be unusable for most purposes. At 6mm the lens is
quite rectilinear with or without the anamorphic.
The adapter has a .5 inch / 1.2cm fixed "shorty" lens shade, really
more of a rim to protect
the front element from scratches if the lens is set face-down on a
The front of the adapter is not threaded for filters nor is it fitted
accessories, so adding a matte box / filter holder on support rods is
the way to go (see below
Given the extreme depth of field at wide angle, I'd be tempted
to interpose any really necessary filter between the camera and the
to avoid showing too much dust in the picture, and leave the rest of
filtration for post. Before critical takes, I'll zoom out, manually
focus to MF14, and see all the dust on the front glass in sharp focus.
I then clean the lens with a microfiber cloth while watching the
There may have been some quality-control issues on the initial shipment
adapters. Early adopters have reported two problems: lenses fresh out
the box with dust between the elements (which often shows up in the
since the depth of field is so high), and a fragile lens coating that
off (!) when the lens is cleaned. I haven't seen either problem on the
or five samples I've seen so far, and the one I bought is internally
spotless and undamaged by gentle cleaning.
working on an anamorphic adapter. Optex is also said to be developing a
native widescreen adapter. The current OpTex
(distributed in the USA by ZGC
can be fitted, but only works from 12mm to 45mm; any wider and it
Street price on these 72mm native adapters (which should also work on
the Canon XL1)
will probably run between US$1500 and $2000.
There is some concern that the lens front on the DVX100 may not be
sturdy enough to support the big adapters and that support rods may be
support rod adapter will of course add to the cost, but the upside is
that, if properly designed, the rods will accept standard cine
now offer clamp-on lens adapter rings for follow-focus controls that
ride on standard 15mm rods, as on this
. Read on...
Cine-style accessories are now available for the DVX100. 16x9 Inc
supplies a variety of standard Chrosziel accessories
that work well fitted to the DVX100, riding on 15mm rods. Century
Optics provides a follow-focus
that meshes with standard cine follow-focus setups; it includes a white
scale. Chrosziel builds a lightweight support rod system for the
DVX100, part # 401-46, MSRP US$385—as of July 2003, Abel Cine Tech
sells it for US$327 (this price is for the camera plate with the rods;
anything you want to put on
rods is an added cost, of course!). The Chrosziel kit, including
the 4x4 sunshade, currently works with the stock lens and perhaps with
smaller lens adapters, but if you use it with the LA7200 anamorphic
adapter, you'll need to cut back the short shade on the adapter to fit.
offers this service for around
The rig shown was seen at DV Expo East 2003 in Century's booth.
It appears that CineTech
the same company as Abel Cine Tech!) now has both a camera plate with
rods and a focus gear designed for the DVX100. CineTech kit is more
but it's premium stuff: cross-braces drilled out for lightness; elegant
focus knobs. CineTech offers a large swing-out matte box with filter
that should work with most lens adapters; see the CineTech kit fitted to a Sony DSR-PD150
Jerry Kosan makes a nice selection of cine-style accessories (matte
box, follow-focus, handgrips, etc.) for the DVX100; his XL1 accessories
should work fine on the XL2, too. www.jbkcinequipt.com
, Hollywood Studio Rentals
, Band Pro
, Abel Cine Tech
, and other
film-equipment sales and rental houses are good places to look
for this stuff.
a follow-focus with focusing scale make sense? Certainly! Once the
DVX100 is powered up,
calibrate the ring to infinity and set the focus limits on the adapter
ring; the focus will track consistently from then on. As long as you
turn it past the limits, it will repeatably hit any marks you make on
white focusing scale (at least if you don't spin the ring too quickly
or too slowly; but I have not been able to fool the zoom at all in my
(Thanks to Jeff Giordano at 16x9 and Jeff Lawson at Abel Cine
Tech for their help with the support rod details!)
Handling the Zoom
Unlike most low-cost cameras, the DVX100 has a mechanically-coupled
zoom. Unfortunately the short throw of the zoom ring (90 degrees from
wide to full tele) and its light feel make it very
sensitive to minor motions. It's quite difficult to do a smooth, slow
or to ease into or out of a move with your bare hands. The DVX100A is
much better in this regard as it has enough viscous damping to allow a
smooth manual zoom–but a delicate touch is still required.
one adds a zoom lever to mechanical lenses to smooth out one's
There is a tapped socket on the zoom ring, but it's very small and any
threaded to fit would be in constant danger of breaking off. What to do?
I took a piece of string about two feet (70cm) long and taped each end
to the zoom ring with small bits of gaffer tape, so that it formed a
around the lens.
With right hand on the tripod handle and left hand tugging gently on
loop, I can now zoom slowly and smoothly. Because the feel of the zoom
so light – there's so little drag – all it takes is a gentle pull to
the zoom ring. It looks funny, but it works; it's hard to break off;
the price is right!
zoom controller allows smooth, stepless zooming using the camera's
motor, but it's limited in its slowest speeds by the nature of the the
motorized zoom system (the Varizoom
controller is almost certainly similarly constrained). Getting a fully
motorized zoom that can cleanly ease in and out of moves will probably
a gear-coupled external motor riding on the support rods described above
. Sadly, I know of no such
zoom controllers at present.
Focusing by the numbers
The DVX100, like most servo-lens cameras, doesn't have an engraved
scale. It does, however, have a focus readout in the viewfinder, which
from 00 (near) to 99 (far) in arbitrary numbers. Eric Petersen has
on his site translating the numbers into both English and metric
making tape-measure use practical with the camera; sadly, the chart
lists focus numbers from 50 ("50%") upwards. (The lower numbers are
available when the lens is wider than full telephoto; the wider the
the more near-focus points are available.)
I've found that focusing by the numbers in the finder works just as
Once I set my marks and memorize the numbers, I can easily and
return to them. If the LCD is flipped around and folded back against
camera, a 1st AC or focus-pulling assistant can use the numbers, too.
Why no colorbars /
gain-up / autofocus in progressive mode?
The DVX100A does allow colorbars, gain-up (to +12dB), and “focus
assist” in progressive, but the DVX100 does not.
Why no colorbars
Only Panasonic knows... my guess is that they're being generated in a
of the 60i pipeline bypassed or disabled in progressive-scan modes. No,
makes no sense on the face of it, but I've seen enough similar bizarre
in IC designs that I wouldn't rule it out. Fixed in the DVX100A.
Gain up in 24p was present in the prototypes if the scuttlebutt is
Panny pulled it, they say, because “all the filmmakers they talked to
they wouldn't use it”. An iffy call perhaps (what about those
shooters who need
gain boost?), although the gain-up chroma
is such that I'm not sure I'd use it (remember that noise is 1.4x worse
proscan because of single-row readout; signal drops by half but noise
only by one over the square root of two).
Another reason I've
heard from the Panny folks is that gain boost screws up the Cine-like
computations. As Cine-like gamma can be selected in interlace and the
boosted with no more than the expected deleterious effects of added
I find that explanation puzzling.
I'm happy to report that gain-up on the AJ-SDX900 is available in 24p
modes, and it looks very
clean. The DVX100A allows it, too.
Panasonic says that autofocus hunting is too noticeable on the big
and that's why they turned it off in 24p. I only wish the EVF were
sharper so I could manually
focus with assurance (can I transplant my PD150's EVF? Or steal the CRT
the DSR-500 or the AJ-SDX900? The DVX100A adds a peaking function
called EVF DTL that helps out considerably).
There's another reason, too, and this one is
a killer. 24p autofocus would run, at best, 2.5x slower in 24p mode
in 60i mode, because its raw data is only coming in 40% as quickly. My
impression is that it'd be only marginally useful at best. If Panasonic
the servo gain on it to try to improve speed, it'd oscillate instead of
down to a steady state.
The DVX100A allows autofocus in progressiven, though Panasonic sensibly
refers to it as “focus assist”. It runs much more slowly in 24p than in
60i (about 1/4 of the speed!) so it's really useful only for setting up
on static subjects. When things are moving, you still need to rack
As it is, you can focus by the numbers
using the onscreen readouts (in
scripted or other controllable circumstances), so the problem is
lessened outside of run'n'gun situations.
When you have to focus on the run, and there's no big, sharp monitor
I find it's much easier to focus the DVX100 with the flip-out LCD than
with the EVF.
Relative gamma curves for AG-DVX100
The DVX100 allows the selection of three different gamma curves as
shown (The DVX100A has several additional gamma curves, to be posted in
The curves were derived by imaging a horizontal luma ramp created in
and displayed onscreen, and observing the camera's output on a waveform
while changing between gamma settings. Thus the curves are relative to
another: the exact curvatures and spacings of the curves cannot be
from such a test.
High and Low are variations on Normal and are useful in modifying
tonal balance without changing the way extreme highlights are handled.
fixed knee at around 93% appears to be in effect regardless of scene
above which the tonal curve is flattened somewhat severely to eke out
much highlight detail as possible before clipping sets in, and to
the visual transition from normal tonal rendering to the
flat white of severe overexposure.
The price one pays for the knee are a noticeable transition in tonal
at the knee point, and some hue errors as colored highlights are
compressed. These errors are common to knee circuits and are not unique
By comparison, the Sony PD150 appears to use a content-dependent knee
the "Dynamic Contrast Control" on its big brothers the DSR-300, 370,
and 570. The knee point on the PD150 seems to vary between 80% and 100%
depending on the amount of bright elements in the scene, and the slope
the knee is less harshly compressed, so the visibility of tonal
changes and hue errors is somewhat less. However the effective
of the DVX100P and the PD150 are extremely close; the PD150's lower
point (at its maximal effect) is offset by its lower peak compression.
Furthermore, while the Sony would seem to hold colors more accurately
is pushed above 100%, the Panasonic appears to hold more luma detail:
foliage on the Sony holds its hue but "mushes out" any detail whereas
Panasonic's rendering will bleach out more color but preserve more
In practice I cannot yet predict which camera will make a more pleasing
of a given scene; sometimes the Panasonic does, and sometimes the Sony
Cine-like gamma does as little image-distorting processing as possible,
you the widest tonal scale it can without knee compression or hue
At first glance Cine-like images look flat and a bit underexposed, but
watched in a darkened room (as films are watched in theaters) they look
naturalistic and – dare I say it? – more film-like than images shot
the other gamma settings.
The caveat is that there is NO highlight compression at all: the tonal
runs smoothly right up to 109% and then whacks right into a flat white
Unless your lighting conditions are well controlled, you will almost
have some highlights in the image over 109%, and they may stand out as
pools of undifferentiated white. To fully exploit Cine-like gamma
you to handle these highlights yourself in post production; you can't
leave them in, uncorrected, and let the flattened knee of the curve
the transition between a normal tonal scale and overexposure, because
gamma has no such knee.
Improved latitude on the DVX100A:
The DVX100A has three different cine gammas, CINE-LIKE, CINE-LIKE_D
(dynamic range) and CINE-LIKE_V (video). All three have knees.
CINE_LIKE is for compatibility with the DVX100; think of the other two
as the counterparts to “film rec.” and “video rec.” on the Varicam:
similar, but with _v boosting midtones, more like the normal video
Here are some frame grabs that illustrate the differences:
images shot at f/2.8, 60i @ 1/60 sec, +6dB gain. Note that some
computer monitors (including many LCDs) crush shadows and can't be
adjusted to show them properly; look at these pix for highlight detail
and clipping and for overall gamma, not shadows.
The camera has three color matrix settings: Normal, Fluorescent, and
Cine-like. Fluorescent boosts the reds compared to normal, giving
flesh tones under red-deficient fluorescent lighting. Cine-like appears
boost all colors equally, as if one left the camera in Normal but then
color saturation overall.
The A model adds “Enriched” to the matrices, and all color renditions
are a bit different. Descriptions and vectorscope pix in my review at dv.com
John Beale has some good
for both matrix and gamma changes.
Strange noises &
When the camera is
switched off or put into VCR mode, parts of the lens
assembly (possibly the optical stabilizer or the focus mechanism) clunk
loudly as the camera is
tipped back and forth. This is normal.
The autofocus motor makes a lot of noise as it locks in on a focus
You'll hear it through the built-in mics, and you'll hear it by ear in
quiet room. It's noticeable because it's intermittent and because most
other cameras are quieter in this
regard, but usually the autofocus motor isn't much louder than the zoom
or the tape transport.
The camera's main casting is magnesium, which contributes to its high
ratio. I was surprised to see the lens barrel is part of the casting:
the finished camera I had the impression it was plastic.
So far, my camera has held up solidly despite a couple of inadvertent
knocks, though one correspondent reports that his flip-out screen was
when the tripod-mounted camera was knocked over and fell on the floor.
Why do the DVX100 stills
at 24p.com look so different?
Michael Phillips had enlargements of DVX100 frames posted at 24p.com
look at the differences in the red patches on the GretagMacbeth chart
images) using two different pathways from DV to RGB: exports using
the Apple DV codec,
and exports using the Avid XPressDV 3.5 codec. The frames look quite
in terms of tonal scale and chroma edges. Here's why:
The Avid DV codec decodes DV's Y'CrCb data to RGB for display linearly.
Apple's DV codec adds a gamma “correction”!
Unlike every other DV codec I've seen, the Apple codec gamma-corrects
to compensate for the difference between a video display's 2.2 gamma
the Mac's standard 1.8 display gamma. Apple does it so that what you
in on the Mac's screen translates well to video and vice versa (unless,
me, you're already running your Mac at 2.2 display gamma for working in
Photoshop and Illustrator, and with all the other
It makes side-by-side comparison between Apple DV exports and other DV
exports very difficult unless you “uncorrect”
the gamma in the picture prior to export. It also means that you have
precorrect CGI (computer-generated imagery) with a complementary gamma
correction if you want that CGI accurately
portrayed on video when using Apple DV.
I should mention that the gamma change is bidirectional -- what's done
going from Y'CrCb to RGB is undone in the other direction -- so it
over multiple compression cycles. But you do need to take it into
when exporting from Apple DV to other formats, or importing other
into Apple DV.
I have lobbied for a prefs setting to enable/disable gamma tweaking to
avail: the Apple DV codec has that built-in gamma conversion (about
in one direction and 0.82 in the other) and we just have to live with
if we want to use that codec.
To correct material imported into Apple DV, try a gamma precorrection
1.228. To gamma-correct on export from Apple DV, 0.824 works pretty
(with a tip of the hat to Chris
for these numbers!).
The Avid exports show fairly smooth chroma transitions, while the Apple
clearly shows the “steppy edges” in chroma that are the bane of DV's
This is not a bug in the Apple codec per se (although if you're
to uncompressed for post work, it requires
an extra processing step; see below). There is only one chroma sample
for every four luma samples. The Apple codec outputs a 4:4:4 RGB image
replicating each color sample across the next three pixels; it does not
to smooth or interpolate the data between samples.
The Avid codec applies a low-pass filter to the decoded chroma data
to more smoothly interpolate between samples (notice how the saturation
any color patch starts fading out before the edge of the patch is
As a result the Avid codec makes a more pleasing RGB image on the 1st
decompression, but if carried through a couple of cycles the color will
and smear more than occurs with the Apple codec.
On the SDI capture (not currently posted, but it looked very much like
the Avid exports) there is also filtering & interpolation going on,
details of which depend on how one is getting the SDI signal from the
original: the 4:1:1 to 4:2:2 conversion in the deck's hardware almost
interpolates the chroma prior to output, and the 4:2:2 codec used in
NLE may likewise low-pass or interpolate further to get 4:4:4.
[Generally speaking, the Apple DV codec is designed to preserve the
4:1:1 data as accurately as possible over multiple generations.
to Avid, it hold more high-frequency data in the luma, and better
the chroma – but it is also more prone to “mosquito noise” compression
as a result of preserving the hard-to-compress detail, and its RGB
have unsmoothed, steppy edges.
The Avid DV codec, by contrast, was specifically optimized for the
compression artifacts and the most visually pleasing picture, at the
of some high-frequency detail. Compared to Apple, its images often look
in the first generation, albeit a bit softer (look at the text on the
chart, for example). ]
If all you're doing is capturing via FireWire and editing in DV25, the
Apple codec in my experience holds more fine detail and preserves the
image better over multiple generations (but compressing sharp-edged CGI
more aggressive low-pass filtering on input to avoid generating
noise). However, you will see the sharp-edged, unfiltered chroma on
stills, just like the 24p samples show.
In such a case the Avid codec yields nicer stills, but you'll see a
progressive softening and blurring of chroma with each generation – no
deal on 1 generation (and don't get me wrong, the Avid codec is, along
Apple's, among the best I've seen) but if you're going between an NLE
a compositing app using DV25 compression as your intermediate [hint:
do this], or repurposing material from previously-edited DV material on
new DV project, the softening from multiple passes can be noticeable.
Remember, if you're going back out FireWire, the final decode and
associated chroma interpolation is done by
the hardware codec in the VTR, and the difference between the Apple and
codecs and the way they interpolate chroma for RGB viewing is irrelevant!
If, however, you're bumping up to uncompressed for editing and output,
want to perform some form of chroma smoothing or
interpolation upon initial
decompression from 4:1:1 DV to 4:2:2 uncompressed. Likewise, doing a
in DV without chroma smoothing is an exercise in frustration, and as
24p pix show, it's a useful thing to do before exporting stills.
What to do? You can use a codec that performs the smoothing by default
Avid), or by choice (Matrox's software VfW codecs let you switch chroma
on and off), or use the Apple DV codec and add a chroma-smoothing
I have one for Final Cut Pro here
But, I repeat, this is only useful/necessary if/when you're bumping up
to a higher-resolution
format, exporting a still image, or chroma-keying – it doesn't do you
any good when decompressing
DV only to recompress to DV.
So it's a tradeoff, as it always is when going between higher- and
color spaces: preserve the low-res data unfiltered, with the resulting
artifacts in the higher-res space, or smooth the data for better
at the expense of multigeneration accuracy.
Close examination of DVX100 and DVX100A pix reveal that highly
saturated colors of
a certain width, or the edges of large solid areas of saturated color,
show a position-dependent variation in saturation. At approximately 60
evenly spaced across the screen, saturated color details or edges will
slightly. It's completely unnoticeable on static images or in the
of large colored areas, but is revealed on edges and details in slow
as the colors “pulsate” slightly.
I've got a sample clip here
(loads in a new window). I took the highlighted 72x48 pixel area from a
pan past a bookshelf. The arrows at the bottom of the clip show the
of each four-pixel-wide DV chroma sample; the arrowheads at the top
locations of peak chroma saturation. The sample is twice normal size,
the pixels were left as square, not resampled to account for their
0.9 aspect ratio. The source was decompressed with Apple's codec (which
no chroma smoothing, as described above
with a slight horizontal chroma blur added to reduce
chroma aliasing prior to re-encoding to Sorenson3. The resulting image
very close to what you'd see looking at a video output; the
for the web has not added nor subtracted any substantial artifacts.
As the sample shows, it's most visible in bright, saturated reds and
oranges. In practice,
I'll see it most often in traffic lights, orange traffic cones, backlit
signage, and similar footage. It also shows up on strongly saturated
and blues (which has implications for chroma-key work) and is
present on less saturated colors as boosting saturation in the NLE
will show, but such errors are visible much less frequently
than in the bright reds.
How bad is it, really? I didn't notice it myself until I'd had the
for two weeks, and only then when I had the monitor's saturation maxed
for a color test. Now I know what to look for, though, I can see it in
pix both from my camera and from others even on normally set up
But to put it in context, the horizontal aliasing from a PD150 with the
set to the default position or higher is more immediately noticeable,
my eye at least, and I don't see people getting upset about that.
I've shot a fair bit more with the camera since first seeing saturation
including many shots with bright reds in clothing and in backgrounds.
pleased to say that the visibility of the patterning is minimal or
on the vast majority of things I've shot.
However it does affect chroma keying considerably, I'm sorry to say; I
would recommend against
planning any detailed chroma-keying with DVX100 footage without
careful tests first. Both the hue and saturation channels are affected
60-times-across-the-picture fixed patterning, and keys depending
on hue and/or saturation tend to show the pattern in the edges of
items. Luma keys, however, are excellent, and chroma keys where luma is
primary edge-definer (chroma being used only to differentiate similar
in the foreground and background) can be quite acceptable. Test, test,
Audio / video sync
While I was shooting some A/B comparisons using a slate (filmmaker's
clapstick, seen in the graphic at the top of the page), I found that
the audio on my DVX100 leads the video by one frame in 60i mode. DVFilm
that all 24P Advanced footage has a 2 frame audio lead.
The audio advance is constant; it does not drift during a shot or from
the beginning of the tape to its end.
The audio advance happens during recording: my 60i DVX100 source tape
played back in a DHR-1000 with jog audio enabled plays the “snap” of
clapstick a frame or two ahead of the picture where the stick hits the
slate. Capturing the clips
into a variety of NLEs confirms the one frame audio advance in 60i, and
up to two frames in the progressive modes.
While this is annoying, it's not crippling, and you can fix it in post
(yes, yes, I know: why should we have to fix it in post? Don't like it?
a free country; go get an HDC27 Varicam or F900 CineAlta instead. It's
money, i.e., $65,000+ to buy or $1200+/day to rent. Me, I'll just fix
post). It's also mostly
in the DVX100A; see below
And if you're shooting 60i material, most folks won't even notice it.
took me a couple of months to find it, and no one else seemed to notice
about the same period of time. It ain't the end of the world.
How is this possible?
Consider that a frame's worth of video must be buffered before it can
compressed and written to tape, even in 60i. For audio to line up
it has to be buffered (delayed) accordingly before it's multiplexed
the compressed DV data. It appears that there is no audio buffer in the
But this turns out not to be unique to the AG-DVX100! Read on... (Don't
care to read on? Cut to the chase
Stuart English, VP of Marketing for Panasonic Broadcast, explains it
this way (as originally posted on 2-pop
on 2003.01.10 and reprinted with Stuart's permission):
DVX100's out there will behave the same, they have the same audio /
video sync characteristic...
...[A]ll professional DV camcorders will most likely share this
of audio leading the video. We constructed an electronic audio / video
test rig to verify that, and then tested the following DVX-100, PD150,
GY-300. All except the DVX100 (in 60i mode) have a one field advance
audio relative to video. Based on our test, none have a zero field
as has been claimed...
Perhaps due to the characteristics of the frame output capable CCD
the DVX100 in 60i mode has a two field advance between audio and video.
this is more, but it is something that can be compensated for in an NLE
- just pick up the audio timeline and bump it by 1 whole frame...
Why does the audio advance happen?
Unlike an analog tube camera (where the video lines are scanned and
in real time, and the audio is recorded in real time) CCD cameras
charge over the duration of the field (or frame)and then dump that
at the end of the field (or frame)into the DSP circuits which perform
Meanwhile the audio is still recorded in real time.
So the signal on tape is video delayed by at least one field, and in
case of the DVX100 in 60i mode, by one frame. The only way out of this
to add an audio delay circuit in to the camera audio paths to add an
amount to delay to the audio which would put the audio and video in
again on tape.
At the DV camcorder price level it is too expensive to include such an
compensation delay, the easiest solution in practice is to slip audio
the NLE if it is causing any annoyance.
Regarding people's comments about "my camcorder is in sync" - there are
factors at work that can bias observations for example- Sound travels
slower than light. Zooming in on a subject 16ft away from you the video
approx 16ms earlier than the audio - that's one field time. 32 ft is
field times. So audio on tape might seem to be in sync, or even have
audio follow video. But if you put a mic on that person, and line
the audio, it wouldn't be in sync, it would lead again.
b) If you watched your footage on an LCD or plasma monitor, the video
seem to be more delayed than if watched on a CRT - the LCD and plasma
image delay in them because they are not real time scanning devices,
read the data in, convert to progressive scan, and only then display
c) When working in 24P mode, there are two other issues - the video
rate is lower so it is less certain when the video event actually
and due to the need to add 3:2 or ADV pulldown, the apparent audio lead
video delay "wobbles". We think that it should still be 1 frame i.e 2
fields, but because of 2:3 pulldown on the tape it
may look like it is sometimes 3 fields. The only way to really test is
use DVFilm to remove the 3:2 pulldown and look at the 24P native
on the NLE timeline.
Again, audio advance or delay is easily removed by NLE application...
long as the advance or delay is consistent, which it is.
“Now how much would you pay? But wait, there's more!” I went back to
study my sync tests and shoot new ones. Instead of the clapstick and
its temporal uncertainties, I instead flicked a business card past my
finger: in the still frames, I can see roughly where in time the card
hit my finger as it motion-blurs past. I shot tens of seconds while
flipping the card rapidly back and forth about four feet in front of
the cameras using their own microphones; played it back frame-by-frame
on a VTR; and studied the clips in both Final Cut Pro 3 (a.k.a. FCP)
and Premiere 6.0 on Windows
2000 (using Microsoft's DirectX 8 DV infrastructure). I found some very
- Capturing in Final Cut Pro 3 on OS X (either 10.1.5, QT 5, FCP
or 10.2.3, QT 6.1, FCP 3.0.4) gives variable delay results: the same
shot on any camera, and captured three or four times, shows A/V delays
by up to almost one frame's time (about 30msec variation) between the
captures. Thus, using clips captured in FCP, unless one has a “sync
check” reference as described below, one cannot make definitive
about the exact value of the A/V delay,
only statements about relative delays between cameras used in the
clip. Captures in Premiere always line up almost exactly as far as I
see (within 1/10 of a frame or better). (Final Cut Pro 4 on OS X 10.2
fixes sync uncertainty.)
- Within the same capture (i.e., capture of a tape segment
footage shot on the Panasonic and on a PD150), the Panasonic 60i
appears to show one frame (two fields) more delay than the PD150's
the same capture, Panasonic 30p footage appears to have one field more
than 60i footage does. I re-ran my earlier tests with the shutter set
1/30 (i.e., as close to a 360º shutter or 100% duty cycle as one
get) and it does appear that 30p footage incurs a 3-field advance
of a 2-field advance.
- 24p footage shows the “variable wobble” as Stuart
explains, with the apparent delay being 1-2 fields worse than 60i
- Single-framing on a DHR-1000 with jog audio shows a 2-field
on the Panasonic at 60i; what appears to be 3 fields at 30p; 3-4 fields
at 24p or 24p Advanced.
The venerable DCR-VX1000, and the $15,000 DSR-500WS both appear to play
with one field of advance! The Sony PD150 appears to play in perfect
- Examination of the clips in Premiere confirms these results. The
PD150 is dead-on in
sync while the old VX1000 and the expensive, professional (but
several-year-old) DSR-500 show a 1 field advance. The DVX100 is 2
fields advanced in 60i, 3
in 30p, and 3-4 in 24p and 24p Advanced (still viewed as 60i source
Item #1: I've been using FCP since it lets me see both fields (100%,
Show as Square Pixels unchecked) and audio waveforms at the same time
nice big windows. My two captures last weekend using Premiere on
didn't show any apparent A/V uncertainty; my Premiere captures today
that. (Furthermore, Premiere shows me both fields merged in its monitor
and with the timeline expanded as much as possible it's as usable as
in observing A/V delay, although one has to squint more at Premiere's
To test the NLEs' timings, I shot “sync check” samples with multiple
and stops using both the DVX100 and the PD150, alternating between (a)
shot of my computer's speakers with loud audio, and (b) colorbars (or
lens capped) with silence. DV audio is interleaved with video data
the frame, so even if there is A/V delay in the process, the cuts
shots should show perfect sync: wiggly audio waveforms for the entire
in the shots of the speakers, flat audio waveforms for the black or
I then followed these sync checks with my flipping-card routine so that
sync check and camera check could be captured as a single clip.
Using the sync check shots, I verified that FCP 3 captures clips with a
variable relationship between audio and video (FCP 4 is much better in
especially on OS X 10.2). In the best case, perfect A/V sync is
to within about 1/10 frame. In the worst case, audio leads video by
a frame (32 msec). However, using the offset on any given capture
by the sync check let me validate the camera check shots with a higher
of confidence, since I was able to factor out FCP's variable capture
Captures into Premiere showed only a tiny variation in A/V sync check
They varied between perfect sync and audio lagging very slightly (well
1/10 frame) as far as I can see by squinting at the timeline. I
all my camera checks in Premiere and found that the camera A/V timing
I had seen in FCP were repeated in Premiere.
Item #2 tracks with both Stuart's explanation and (according to Stuart)
Phillips' test results showing a one-frame (two-field) delay, if we
assume that the PD150
is in fact in perfect sync.
Items 5 and 6 are most interesting. While there is some uncertainty in
my VCR playback tests as the DHR-1000 jogs by frames but shows only the
field of each frame (the one more temporally advanced, i.e., the one
likely to line up with advanced audio), the Premiere tests showing
and both fields in the frame confirm them. (Side note: The DVX100 jogs
fields, the only low-cost DV device I know of that does so.
does not play audio when jogging.)
In the PD150's case, I never was able to detect even a field's
difference between picture and sound. It was always dead-on perfect, in
over 50 card-flipping events. This conflicts with Stuart's test
results. (Stuart's tests monitor
the audio and video analog outputs on a dual-trace oscilloscope and
for the line-up between the burst of sound and the flash of light from
special test rig he built, so the results of our tests are not directly
I do not have the time presently to replicate his test setup so I can't
further on the discrepancy between our results).
So I shot several more tests. The sync check shots confirmed perfect
sync in Premier within 1/10 frame. The PD150 camera checks always
showed what looked
like perfect sync, or, if anything, up to 1/2-field (1/4 frame) of delay
in the audio!
I find it odd that the PD150 appears to be field-accurate while the
DSR-500 is off
by one, but the PD150 is a newer camera and possibly it has a digital
delay while the older DSR-500 does not. If the AG-DVX100 is indeed one
advanced in 60i, my tests would indicate that the PD150 must be sync,
it's two fields less advanced than the DVX100 when footage from both
captured in the same clip, is compared in FCP or in Premiere. For what
worth, my PD150 is serial #1005564, and it came from the factory with
“audio noise fix”.
Running the 24p Advanced footage from a “perfectly synced” FCP capture
through DVFilm's Maker
with zero frames delay correction and loading into a 24p FCP sequence
an apparent advance of two frames, or four fields – just as Marcus van
at DVFilm observes. Thus the 2 frame delay that the latest versions of
provide by default when extracting 24p footage looks to be a good fix.
So, a quick summary of what I see based on FCP and Premiere tests and
on DHR-1000 jog-mode playback:
|0 fields, perfect!
|DVX100, 30p (played as 60i)
|DVX100, 24p (played as 60i)
|3 - 4 fields
|DVX100, 24p (played as 24p)
|4 fields / 2 frames
|DVX100A, 60i or 30p
|0 fields, perfect!
about 1/60 sec
BTW, I should mention that I worked with Stuart ten years ago at Abekas
Systems. Yes, he's in marketing (grin), but I've never known him to
the truth. If he says he saw a 1 field advance in the PD150 I believe
we just need to determine why we're seeing different things.
Now, how do you deal with it?
of version 1.06c, incorporates
a “delay audio” option to correct the audio advance,
useful if you're extracting 24p from the 60i original.
In-sync's Blade 2
lets you set the audio advance during capture.
Final Cut Pro 4
a "DVX-100 [sic] Audio Sync Tool" allowing you to tweak the A/V sync as
see fit. It's not installed by default: Insert the installation disk,
drag the plugin from Final Cut Pro 4 > Extras > DV Camera
to [your hard disk] > Library > Application
Support > Final Cut Pro System Support > Plugins
When you restart FCP 4, you'll have an "Offset Audio Sync" option in
Tools menu that lets you adjust the sync for one or more selected
The default setting of 2 frames is usually correct for the DVX100's 24p
If you're editing
60i directly or using Cinema Tools or other 24p extractors, you can
the audio in your NLE a frame or two to compensate.
And other NLEs may have manual or automatic compensations for the
DVX100; just because I don't list 'em doesn't mean they don't exist.
In a few of the scenes I've shot on auto-iris, I've seen a slight
to iris changes. Instead of smoothly changing from one setting to
as the light levels in the scene change, the iris adjusts in small
just barely visible on the picture monitor and on the waveform monitor.
Fast changes look clean, but slow, gradual changes, typically less than
stop every two seconds, tend to show it. Each step is very small, finer
the steps incurred in manual iris setting. The little jumps are
enough that it took repeated viewing of a scene to confirm that I was
something. It's probably happening on faster changes too, but the speed
the change makes the steppiness unnoticeable. I also find that it's
very hard to make this happen on purpose.
Another reason to run in manual-iris mode for critical work (which we
all do anyway, of course. Right?).
Cleaning the lens
Cleaning the lens
must be done carefully to avoid damaging
it, as is true with any lens. Removing the anti-reflection plate as
here may void your warranty. In the process, your lens is subject to
from fingers, screwdrivers, loose screws, and the metal edge of the
It is also very easy to lose the tiny screws. Follow this procedure
at your own risk!
The Leica lens has an anti-reflection plate mounted in front of it;
that thing with the rectangular cutout and with the lens data printed
it. It's there to cut down flare and reflections.
Unfortunately it also makes it hard to clean the lens. With care, you
can remove the two screws that hold it in. It lifts off easily, giving
access to the entire front surface of the lens (alternatively: tip the
downwards, and both the screws and the plate will fall free of their
accord). After cleaning the lens you should replace the anti-reflection
Because this lens goes so wide, and because the camera uses 1/3" CCDs,
dust or smudges on the front element are easily seen in DVX100 images.
supplied lens cap doesn't help; it's so finicky in its attachment that
frequently jumps around as you're attaching it or removing it, often
finger-cooties to the lens as it flops about.
Not comprehensive by a long shot, but enough to get you started...
just watch out for the FUD! On the discussion lists especially there
lots of very authoritative statements that are just plain wrong. I
think it's deliberate, but I see a lot of folks getting in way over
heads with technical explanations based on a lack of understanding or a
of how things work.
AG-DVX100 - data
- Download PDFs of the camera's brochure
manual from Panasonic's "DV
Focus Chart translating from "focus numbers" to English AND metric
- My own Focus/zoom/aperture chart
for the LA7200 anamorphic adapter and the DVX100.
- John Beale
does great work exploring the camera's operating characteristics and
useful data (I am puzzled by his audio tests as other competent testers
not seen the same comb filtering, but aside from that I can't disagree
anything he's found).
- I review the camera for DV
Magazine (on the website, browse “Reviews” and scroll down.
The DVX100A sneak peek was under “Features”. Offline?).
- Terrence V Smith's DVX100 Resource page
- Mark Foley reviewed the camera
for Videography Magazine (no longer online).
- Steve Mullen described 24p to
60i pulldown for Video Systems Magazine (no longer online).
AG-DVX100 - discussions
Tools for editing/extracting 24p Advanced 2:3:3:2 footage &
how to do it
- DVFilm's DVFilm
$95, converts 24p Advanced footage from 60i to 24p without
Maker also converts 24p back to 60i using either standard or advanced
pulldown. Very cool tool. Mac/Windows.
- In-Sync's Blade 2,
$499, edits both 24p and 24p advanced directly and automatically; no
step is necessary as Blade parses the 24p information directly from the
clips. Windows. Requires dual 933 MHz, single 1.8 GHz, or faster CPUs.
(No longer available?)
- Apple's Cinema Tools,
now bundled with Final Cut
Pro / Final Cut Studio, handles 24p Standard and Advanced. Mac.
Final Cut Pro 4.0 and
later can capture 24p Advanced directly either during capture or after
the fact. (Also note that the lower-cost Final Cut Express cannot
edit a 24p timeline.) While FCP can edit in 24p, it can't print 24p
back to tape using anything other than 2:2:2:4 pulldown unless you have
a fast Mac (FCP 4.0 and 4.1 needed something faster than my 800-867MHz
Macs, but FCP 4.5, a.k.a. FCP HD, will add 2:3:2:3 or 2:3:3:2
pulldown on these machines). And FCP has
no way to render a 24p timeline to a 60i file! Maker (above) is
still a necessary tool for some of us.
- Sony Pictures (formerly Sonic Foundry) Vegas,
$525 and up, edits 24p Advanced footage directly (requires the
downloadable 4.0b or later updater!). Windows.
- Avid Xpress Pro,
$1695, can edit 24p and can capture 24p Advanced directly. Mac &
- (Many other products, including Adobe After
Effects, can extract 24p standard footage)
Alliteration: Panasonic, Progressive, Pulldown and "Pretty Darn Cool",
by Charles Roberts on LAFCPUG, covers 24p standard mode pretty well.
- Working with
the Panasonic AG-DVX100, Final Cut Pro and Cinema Tools, by Andrew
Lau on LAFCPUG, discusses basic Cinema Tools and FCP 3 workflow
(with some minor errors: batch processing requires clips that start
on A frames,
not clips with A frames on 0s and 5s; and batch processing needs F1-F2
Field 1 Only selected depending on whether you're using 24p or 24p
footage, just like manual processing does).
General 24p Information
has lots of useful info, especially the links on its Resources
Other 24p SDTV cameras
- The Canon XL2, US$5,000,
has a 16x9 native CCD, 24p and 24p Advanced, and uses all Canon
XL-series accessories. Like the XL1 and XL1s (and the DVX100), it
records standard DV.
- The Panasonic DVCPRO50 AJ-SDX900,
US$26,750, is the DVX100's big brother: 16x9 native, interchangeable
lenses, DVCPRO25/50 switchable. It's very sweet!
- The Panasonic DVCPRO50 AJ-SPX800,
US$19,500, records on P2 memory cards instead of tape. 16x9 native,
interchangeable lenses, DVCPRO25/50 switchable. It's even sweeter!
- Sony's XDCAM
the DVCAM PDW-510, US$19,900, and the DVCAM/MPEG-IMX PDW-530,
US$34,000, offer a 24p option card and record on blue-laser optical
24p HD cameras
- Panasonic's 720p/1080 HVX200, Canon's XL H1, JVC's HD100 and
successors: see my reviews on DV.com.
XDCAM HD cameras, the PDW-F330 and PDW-F350, shoot long-GOP MPEG; the
HDCAM CineAlta series (F900 and successors) shoot DV-derived HDCAM.
- Panasonic's Pro
page links to the AJ-HDC27 Varicam (DVCPROHD). There's also the
AJ-HVX900, the SDX900's HD/SD switchable successor, and the P2-based
- JVC's prototype 3-CMOS HDV
camcorder may well offer 24p in 720 or 1080-line formats.
- Kinetta will be delivering
a 24p HD cinema camera; it runs any speed from time-lapse to 60fps, and
even offers hand-cranking!
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Last updated 2007.01.06