Review: HD Survival Handbook

I found a great resource for learning about the transition to HD production. It’s Philip Hodgetts The HD Survival Handbook.

Philip has a wealth of knowledge that he shares in this PDF book.

If you’re looking for a guide to sort through the differences of:

-Different resolutions: 720p vs. 1080i vs. 1080p. It does a good job cutting through the marketing buzz and get to real world/ practical reasons to use one or the other.
-Different formats: HDV vs XDcamEX vs DVCProHD
-Sensor size and pixel aspect
-Gives a great comparison of the sub $10k pro/prosumer cameras on the market now
-Workflow for different situations (native vs. uncompressed/ ProRes422)
-What’s up with different color spaces for different formats
-What equipment do you need/want for capture/ monitoring

It’s a great primer and resource to moving to HD. It’s nice to have all this information in 1 place to refer to.

If you’re looking for a new camera he has a great breakdown of the pros and cons of the “affordable” HD cameras under $10k.

His top picks go to the Sony PMX-EX-1 for a tapeless camera. It’s got 1/2″ sensors and a great lens. Full raster 1080 sensors. Just a a great camera.

If you don’t want to go tapeless or don’t like how the EX-1 handles, he recommends the JVC-HD200 series. Great ergonomics being a shoulder mounted camera and a good lens with it.

He does dog on the HVX200a that we just picked up. Because the HVX can carry a less compressed signal the sensors are undersampled and use pixel shifting and image processing to get the 720 or 1080 image. But I’m still very pleased with our purchase. My main reasons for the camera was:
-Tapeless workflow, I’d rather spend more time editing and creating than capturing. Didn’t want to have to buy a new deck as well.
-Flexible formats and frame rates
-Intra-frame codec, again I didn’t want to have to conform on output when I’m squezed on a deadline.
-Price. For us this was a huge step up from our previous cameras. While I would have liked the image the Sony gave us, I’d be working in 1080, which means I’d would have had to upgrade my monitoring so that would have added a couple more thousand to the project. Like I said before I got the HVX200a, tripod and bag for a couple hundred less than the EX-1.


June 27, 2008. Tags: , , . Books, Tech Stuff, Video.

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