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Thread: hdv or sd for sports

  1. #1

    Default hdv or sd for sports

    hi sorry about this, people must be fed up with the ,which camera is best question..however ...ive filmed several iceskating competitions for the local club as a favour and i would love to upgrade my sony mini dv camera to one that will give pro quality as opposed to the artifact ridden,grainy quality i can get (the club loved the dvd but im not so happy)
    The lighting is all flurescent and not that good hence the grain on the film.
    if im going to buy will a hdv camera cope with the low light / fast action. ive read about atrifacts caused by high speed motion ie panning with hdv cameras and since most of the shooting falls into this catagory would it be better just to stick to something like a sony pd170, canon xl2
    Anybody got these cameras or hdv cameras with advice also anyone had problems with dropouts on hdv cameras, this kind of puts me off aswell...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    Although HD camcorders do require more light than SD cams its only really a problem in very poor lighting conditions. The lighting you get in sports halls and stadiums should be no problem, and I find that my Sony FX1 actually does very well in fluorescent lighting. At a recent wedding I had to wind the gain on my FX1 all the way up to 18dB because the lighting in the reception hall was atrocious - just dimmed tungsten lamps and candles. The pictures were a touch grainy but very watchable.

    As for handling fast motion, it depends on which camera you have and which type of HDV it records in. JVC cams record in 1280x720 at 25 or 30 progresive frames/second while the Sony cams record at 1440(1920)x1080 at 50/60 interlaced frames/second (the Canon does both). There is a big debate about which is best for sports - progressive or interlaced, but the fact is that 25/30 progressive images looks juddery but gives you rock solid freeze frames, while 50/60 interlaced gives you much smoother motion but jittery freeze frames (but you can always de-interlace).

    The bottom line is that 25/30 progressive is like film and can't resolve fast motion properly while 50/60 interlaced is like conventional (CRT) tv and handles fast motion much better, which is why I bought a Sony FX1.

    As for HDV dropouts, I had a lot of these when I first starting shooting HDV because I used tapes from different manufacturers using different lubrication methods. Stick with one type of tape (I use Sony Premium) and dropouts, while always a risk, will be a rarity.

    Do yourself a favour and go HD - the image quality is sensational.


  3. #3


    Thanks for the reply great to hear from someone who is using the camera as opposed to rumour and speculation! you have certainly given me room for thought . i had nearly decided to forget hdv but i didnt want to spend lots of money on a camera only to regret it a year down the line. you mentioned the different frame rates and prog scan etc which was helpful but im also concerned about motion artifacts caused by compression have you exerienced anything like this in use..thanks again

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    You might sometimes see some slight juddering of the moving background when panning at speeds that would be virtually unwatchable anyway - nothing is perfect - but otherwise, interlaced HDV renders motion extremely well considering the high resolution and compression involved.

    You also need to be aware that flat-screen displays may themselves introduce motion artifacts, especially the older, slower LCD displays. Another potential source of artifacts is the electonics in the display which have to convert analogue or digital external signals at various resolutions into its native resolution. You have to be careful not to blame HDV when it may be the display that is at fault.

    Given the breathtaking quality of HDV images, you can easily forgive minor imperfections, and the technology can only get better with time. I don't think you'll regret moving up to HD - I certainly don't - I'll never shoot in SD again.


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