written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 4/26/2011
Here are some tips for using high definition video production.
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Going High Def
High definition video production has completely swept the film and video industries, finally ousting standard definition video as an option for independent filmmakers, home video producers, television broadcasters and web video entrepreneurs. High definition video production was actually built, to a great deal, on standard definition video cameras and you will find that it may be an easy transition, yet the HD formats, the tapeless design, the accuracy of the camera, and much of the other features are more involved and bring in a number of things to think about. Here are a few tips on how to employ HD video production in a way that will maximize the platform.
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What's on Camera
The first and most obvious thing to consider about high definition video production is simply that there is clarity with HD formats that you never had previously, which makes the presentation of the subject fundamentally different. The detail of an image can really come out, and if that image is not presented properly or does not match the possible clarity then it can look difficult.
One of the primary problems that television broadcasters and producers had when switching to HD formats was that they did not alter the way that they presented on-air talent. With standard definition video production, you could apply a lot of makeup to hide blemishes. On HD formats, you can clearly see when there is an excess of product used. This principle should be considered all across the use of these cameras. There be more detail rendered than ever before, so image composure needs more attention.
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Tapeless Digital Formats
True high definition video production is a tapeless format. This entirely new process for those coming from standard definition video production means a completely new flow through the post-production process. The video files are formed is entirely different from the solid video track recorded onto a DV tape. Instead, each clip is isolated into a specific digital file determined by the camera used.
An example of this is the Panasonic P2 card format. Here you record onto digital storage cards called P2 cards, and once you are done filming you insert the P2 card into the card reader that is plugged directly into your computer's USB port. You log and transfer the footage into your video editing program, which will need conversion in Final Cut Pro and will be native to Avid Media Composer.
In a general sense, this streamlines the process and allows the footage to be ingested and portrayed exactly as the camera captured it, keeping the entire process digital without any scanning or capture. This does require you to be even more concerned with media management as you will not have tapes to capture and catalogue, but also gives you options for playback and file checking on set.
HDV is a tape-based HD format, but it is at the lowest spectrum. Many indicate that this is not high definition video production in the way that most understand. It also requires a special tape deck for capturing the footage, which is a little more difficult to find for this middle ground format between high definition video production and standard definition.
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One of the main issues around high definition video production will likely not be as much of an issue in three to five years. HD video will look good no matter where it is shown, but you will not get the full HD experience if you are not watching it on HD monitors or platforms. You cannot just use the same distribution, codec and compression methods either, and instead have to keep an eye on how you export and share the video.