Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Miscellaneous Techniques › Many say SD looks like crap… I disagree
December 23, 2008 at 8:25 AM #37444brandon0409Participant
I read through many posts on this forum. Many time when I see someone trying to describe the difference between the quality of HD vs SD, they say that SD looks like crap.
Of course many other things are said but I will focus on this statement.
First I want to make sure that everyone understands that I am not putting down HD. If I could afford it I would buy all new cameras. Also, at this point in time, there are so many different formats that I need to do some further research before I even think about transitioning to HD.
Now that being said… It is obvious that I use SD cameras.
I think that it all comes down to what the quality of the camera is and how that footage is rendered at the end.
I use 3 Sony DCR-VX2100 for all of my professional Wedding Videography. I own a 42″ 1080p LCD TV. I brought some people (non-clients) over to take a look at my work because they wanted to see what I did for a living.
When I put it in the DVD player, all three said, so I see that you shoot in HD. Seeing where this might go, I asked, “Why? because I have an HD TV?” They said that it was because the picture was crystal clear. And they were right.
The colors popped out of the screen. It was amazing how vibrant everything was. They were honestly surprised to find out it was SD. Really the only give-away was that it was not in 16:9. To get around that, I could have just rendered it differently.
I first noticed this phenomenon when I was at my grandparents house. They had just gotten an HD TV and I was showing them my cousin’s wedding. My entire family was facinated that I was filming in HD. I told them that I wasn’t.
So to all that say SD is crap. I say that you might consider that it is not all crap. Again, depending on the equipment and rendering, it can look very good.
To conclude… I will admit that I usually shoot my home videoson a crappy consumer-grade Panasonic that’s about 3 years old that looked like crap on that TV. But it didn’t look very good on a regular TV either. But again, this goes back to the equipment being used.
December 23, 2008 at 9:42 PM #165969Grinner HesterParticipant
Most still dont know the difference, really.
I mean we have production companies boasting “broadcast quality” when 3rd generation VHS is broadcasted all the time. It means nothing. We have cable companies selling “High Definition” when they can’t provide an uncompressed or even componant signals. Means nothing. I have made a lot of money spending time making video look like beautiful film and more money making it look like old scratchy film. lol
What we do is both expendable and aesthetic. It’s meant to be creative so the first thing any of you should do when somebody spits out a rule or opinion as fact is to laugh. I can’t afford to get in line and folow suit, man. I have a family to feed and the only way I can do that is to discard my limitations and utilize my resources. These varying from person to person, it’s sure be foolish of somebody to yell “ya gotta do it this way.”
December 24, 2008 at 3:59 AM #165970RobParticipant
I hate when people say SD looks like crap too. We’ve been watching it our whole lives and it’s been plenty acceptable.
The other day someone in this forum was saying HD that is down converted to SD looks horrible too. Yesterday I down converted DVCPro HD footage to DV NTSC for the first time and it look phenomenal.
Over the years I’ve learned that people who can’t make an image look good are the people who don’t know how to use technology properly, whether it’s lighting or something involving software. They are the people who think having the latest technology is what makes someone talented when it’s really skill, knowledge, and how one implements their resources.
Also, I use a Sony PD170, which is very much like the VX2100. Good choice!
December 25, 2008 at 7:35 PM #165971chrisColoradoParticipant
LOL YES! I totally agree. SD is perfectly fine for me.
I like robgrauert’s comments, as always. With the right Color Correction, Compositing, etc., the video that comes off my tiny Flash Media camera can compete in Film Festivals as well as any other video.
One thing to consider though. HD TVs partly help the video look good since that’s what they’re made to do. That’s why you don’t examine your footage through a real HD tv when you’re editing, use a real NTSC moniter. If your footage is bad, HD tv will cover it up and make it look good when it isn’t.
So, brandon0409, that’s something to think about. Although, maybe I shouldn’t have let the truth get in the way of a good story. That’s great about the non-clients! LOL
December 28, 2008 at 4:26 AM #165972composite1Member
SD does not ‘look like crap’.
HD looks like crap when it gets down res’ed to SD. Please, if you’ve ever had the opportunity to shoot old school Betacam-SP, Sony Pro Hi-8 or now considered ‘old’ digital formats like DigBeta, DVCAM, DVC Pro or DV from any pro grade 3CCD camera you know well shot footage from these formats are still awesome. Now I am shooting more in HD and less in SD these days, but I haven’t given SD the ‘toss’ just yet. If you’re shooting web specific or for DVD, SD is still an excellent choice. You do want to use progressive scan technology if you can get it (because interlaced video is a pain.) Point is though, HD or SD well shot, lit and composed video will look good no matter which format you use.
December 28, 2008 at 2:51 PM #165973SoyParticipant
I want to down-convert a Quicktime HD movie to SD, mainly to get a smaller file to put on DVD. Is it possible to do this, and if so how can I do it? I use FCE and have a Mac-Pro. I am just starting to edit, so know very little but I am trying to learn.
December 28, 2008 at 4:04 PM #165974RobParticipant
I’m guessing you don’t have a Kona 3 card. Your next best bet is using the program Compressor. Since you’re going to DVD, in FCE go to File>Export>Quicktime Movie (not quicktime conversion). Set up the video options to be DV/DVCPro NTSC. Make sure your frame rate and aspect ratio stay the same.
This is how I would do it using Final Cut Pro (if I didn’t have Compressor). I’m not sure how different FCP is from FCE. But basically, you just export your timeline as DV/DVCPro NTSC.
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