workprinter xp vs. sniper

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workprinter xp vs. sniper

Postby jusetan » Tue Jan 25, 2005 2:26 am

the sniper records the frames directly and bypasses the need for a condenser lens, therefore giving a better resolution image than the workprinter? I'm assuming this is right because the cost is so much higher, there must be a reason for it.

Would it be better to upgrade to the solo scanning unit or better to use a 3ccd (ie DSR-500 or DSR-250 sony) camera to capture the image?

also with these units, how is the video camera able to capture the same latitude that the film was able to capture?.. i mean, shouldn't you be losing detail in the highlights/shadows because of the smaller latitude in video?

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Re: workprinter xp vs. sniper

Postby reflex » Tue Jan 25, 2005 6:47 am

jusetan wrote:shouldn't you be losing detail in the highlights/shadows because of the smaller latitude in video?


Exactly. It will be a video of a film, captured frame by frame. But short of a high-end telecine, this is the best you can do.
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Re: workprinter xp vs. sniper

Postby mattias » Tue Jan 25, 2005 12:10 pm

jusetan wrote:shouldn't you be losing detail in the highlights/shadows because of the smaller latitude in video?

you do, but not for the reason you think. the latitude of the film stock has very little to do with the contrast it has when developed. the lowest latitude film, k40, is also the contrastiest and thus hardest to transfer. go figure.

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Postby Scotness » Tue Jan 25, 2005 12:46 pm

I thought latitude and contrast were directly related - ie. if you only have latitude of 3 stops everyting else is going to be over exposed or under exposed and therefor the look will be very contrasty ie. there won't be a smooth distribution of brightness levels in the picture.

As for a video copy of a film - the end result won't have the same contrast as the film - but within the contrast range for the video stock I think there shouldn't be any over or under exposing of the film image it is capturing unless if that is on the film to begin with. But I don't really know :roll:

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Postby son-of-bubba » Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:14 pm

jusetan,

Would it be better to upgrade to the solo scanning unit or better to use a 3ccd (ie DSR-500 or DSR-250 sony) camera to capture the image?


Coincidentally, I asked Roger this question before getting my Workprinter.
At the time he suggested that a 3ccd with the Workprinter would produce superior images to the 1ccd Sniper.

He seems to jump in to many of these discussions so maybe he will confirm.

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Postby mattias » Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:35 pm

Scotness wrote:I thought latitude and contrast were directly related

again the contrast you're talking about isn't just related but even the same thing as latitude (or rather two ways of talking about the same thing). the contrast that matters for telecine however, is the absolute contrast of the developed film, often called projection contrast, i.e. the range between pitch black and blown out white. sorry for the very brief explanation, but i'm getting tired of explaining this thing every single day, on the same board, to the same people, for several years...

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Postby Scotness » Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:40 pm

No do it again - go on :wink: (just kidding)

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Postby jusetan » Tue Jan 25, 2005 2:50 pm

so what you're saying is...?





heh, just kidding.

thanks.

jusetan

ps. how much of a difference would there be in the transfered contrast if done via a rank vs. projection?
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Postby MovieStuff » Tue Jan 25, 2005 2:55 pm

son-of-bubba wrote:jusetan,

Would it be better to upgrade to the solo scanning unit or better to use a 3ccd (ie DSR-500 or DSR-250 sony) camera to capture the image?


Coincidentally, I asked Roger this question before getting my Workprinter.
At the time he suggested that a 3ccd with the Workprinter would produce superior images to the 1ccd Sniper.


That is correct, as long as the alignment of the 3CCD camera to the condenser lens is dead on.

A little history:

From the very beginning, I had people asking me to make a unit with a camera built in. I resisted for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the quality of the camera would suddenly dictate the quality of the entire unit. While a condenser lens is harder to align, you are limited only by the quality of the camera you use with it, thus giving the WorkPrinter a longer shelf life because as cameras get better, the WorkPrinter gets better. I doubt a practical time will come where the resolution of the camera's image is choked by the optics of the WorkPrinter.

-HOWEVER-

I also found over time that aligning the condenser lens was hard for some people while easy as pie for others. I also did a small survey and found that the majority of users polled were actually using simple, single chip cameras set on auto exposure, because they didn't want to tie up their expensive 3CCD cameras! Thus, the total potential for resolution was being choked, not by the design of the WorkPrinter, but by the habits of the majority of the users. Since a single chip camera combined with "iffy" alignment seem to satisfy the majority of my users, a unit with a built in 1CCD camera could only improve things, as far as I was concerned.

So, I decided to make both a 1CCD version that was all auto-exposure and a 3CCD version that was all manual-exposure, with an auto-exposure option. The thought was that people used to using a 1CCD camera on auto would find the basic DV8 Sniper a welcome replacement, since they would not have to align anything, and their image would be no worse and possibly better, especially if they were having trouble aligning their condenser lens and camera. In either case, working with a built in camera simplifies the set up exponentially, as it takes up a smaller footprint and isn't subject to extraneous reflections in the condenser lens, etc.

Plus, existing WorkPrinter users could make their units into a basic DV8 Sniper by simply adding the Solo unit. Those wanting 3CCD quality generally worked with manual exposure because of the superior results it usually provided, so the DV8 Sniper-Pro unit was manual only but could be auto for an additional fee. I also allow 100% trade in value on exisiting WorkPrinter units against the purchase of a Sniper-Pro. So, in either case there is backwards compatibility, which was the key to my decision to produce a unit with a built in camera.

Now, to the most immediate question: The Sniper vs the WorkPrinter.

Well, here is the only way I can put it. IF you align a good 3CCD camera perfectly with the WorkPrinter, the results will be virtually indistinguishable to the DV8 Sniper-Pro. The same goes for any 1CCD camera and the basic DV8 Sniper. However, if your alignment to the condenser lens is compromised, then the Sniper is going to produce a better image. But if the error is great enough, the 1CCD Sniper may look better than the WorkPrinter used with a 3CCD camera. So the main thing the Sniper series does for you is remove user error. It also looks cooler. :)

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Postby VideoFred » Tue Jan 25, 2005 3:20 pm

Very interesting topic for me, because my setup is actualy a home made Sniper. Hey!! A "Belgian Sniper' Sounds cool, hug?

But where are the results from these units? I'm very interested in some Sniper Pro results! :roll:

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Postby son-of-bubba » Wed Jan 26, 2005 9:59 pm

Roger,

That's exactly what you told me except ..... I don't recall this auto vs manual exposure issue. Wouldn't that require modifying the exposure for each frame or at least for each "setting" ?

I've noticed the additional control in your photo of the SniperPro and I've wondered how the operator can see the image to determine the proper exposure.

I'm not sure how I would go about handling manual exposure with my Workprinter and 3-ccd camera.

Sorry if I'm missing something here.

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Postby MovieStuff » Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:56 pm

Weird. I posted an answer to this question and then it disappeared.

Anyway......

son-of-bubba wrote:Wouldn't that require modifying the exposure for each frame or at least for each "setting" ?


Yes but sometimes that is needed, especially if the auto exposure function gets fooled.


son-of-bubba wrote: I've noticed the additional control in your photo of the SniperPro and I've wondered how the operator can see the image to determine the proper exposure.


By looking at the computer monitor or, on some systems, the video monitor. Sniper clients get special Sniper software.

son-of-bubba wrote: I'm not sure how I would go about handling manual exposure with my Workprinter and 3-ccd camera.


Well, it's really just a matter of setting the camera exposure manually and then doing your transfer like normal. When the scene requires an exposure change, just stop and save the file. Change the exposure and start another transfer. You can even do dissolves between two different exposures at each end of a clip.

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Postby son-of-bubba » Thu Jan 27, 2005 12:02 am

MovieStuff wrote
Well, it's really just a matter of setting the camera exposure manually and then doing your transfer like normal. When the scene requires an exposure change, just stop and save the file. Change the exposure and start another transfer. You can even do dissolves between two different exposures at each end of a clip.


Thanks Roger. I understand.
Sounds like quite a bit of work. I have family 3 min reels that change scene as many as 10 times. Is the improvement significant ?

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Postby MovieStuff » Thu Jan 27, 2005 12:21 am

son-of-bubba wrote:Thanks Roger. I understand.
Sounds like quite a bit of work.


It is! But the Sniper-Pro remote does make it a bit easier

son-of-bubba wrote:I have family 3 min reels that change scene as many as 10 times. Is the improvement significant ?


Depends on the nature of the film, the contrast and your camera's auto-iris characteristics. Most typical camera auto-iris functions average the entire frame, which is why they can get fooled. Even if you have properly exposed film of someone wearing a white T-shirt standing in front of a darker background, the auto-iris circuit will see the larger black area and try to bring up the exposure, which can sometimes result in the T-shirt burning out.

Now, on the basic DV8 Sniper, there is frame averaging auto-iris circuitry, just as I described. But, on the auto-exposure circuit of the Sniper-Pro series, we created a proprietary circuit that reads the peak white levels, or the brightest thing in the shot, and brings that up to 99% video level by adjusting the LED light source on a frame per frame basis. Because the reading and subsequent change happens before the capture of a given frame, there is no "searching" or swelling of the exposure during capture. Pretty much frame accurate.

Combined with the natural latitude of the camera's 3CCDs, this protects as much of the usable detail in the highlights and shadow areas as possible. Footage outside the operational range of the auto exposure circuit can then be handled manually, which is basically any footage that was not properly exposed to begin with. It is really impossible to ask any auto exposure circuit to interpret that type of footage because, essentially, you are asking it to make asthetic decisions that only a human can make. If it happens to guess right, that's great, but you really can't expect it to consistantly on under or over exposed footage.

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Postby super8man » Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:53 am

Roger,

The more I hear about sniper, the more I am liking the upgrade...I would still want to keep my mirror though as that is handy for all sorts of things!

Finally, what kind of life expectency on the camera you use? Do regular miniDV cameras last forever - I guess it is the same question? You know, just some guesstimate...
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