Latest post Tue, Jan 12 2016 5:12 PM by mtahir. 6 replies.
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  • Sat, Jan 9 2016 7:52 PM

    • mtahir
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    Workflow uisng Ninja Blade

    I've got a a Ninja Blade hooked up to a Panasonic HDC-SD707 via the HDMI output from the camera. I was thinking of using the camera for backup recording and using the real-time encoded DNxHD files straight from the Ninja for editing. I can also record 1080p/50 on the camera as MC8.4 now handles it but the Ninja can only record the following: 1080i60, 1080i59.94, 1080i50, 1080p30, 1080p25, 1080p24, 1080p23.98, 1080pSF23.98, 1080pSF24, 1080pSF25, 1080pSF30, 720p60, 720p59.94, 720p50, SD 480i, 576i.

    I don't know what the HDC-SD707 is really producing on its HDMI output i.e. is it coming from the sensors or is it the AVCHD output? I've looked at the service manual but it's hard to know for sure. I believe it's 8-bit 4:2:2 but then is that proper 4:2:2 or has it been upscaled from 4:2:0? I'm struggling to get this information out of Panasonic.

    The camera doesn't pass any kind of additional controls through the HDMI i.e. I will have to start/stop both units manually. There is a whole section of what the Ninja can handle in terms of timecode in the manual (page 28). Is it possible to use the Ninja's DNxHD files as proxies but then later replace them with footage from the camera?

    I appreciate any info.

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  • Tue, Jan 12 2016 2:57 PM In reply to

    Re: Workflow uisng Ninja Blade

    I don't know your camera, but on the cameras I've used (Sony EX1R, Sony FS7) the SDI output comes directly from the sensor.   If this is also the case with your camera's HDMI output, then you should be able to record better quality with the Atomos than internally to the camera's cards.

    What DNxHD options does the Ninja offer?   I have a Samurai, and I record DNxHD220X 1080 29.97 directly from my camera's sensor.   That way, I'm editing with Avid's highest possible HD codec.   It's also a breeze to AMA-link to the Atomos' drive. (I'm using an SSD.)   I quickly consolidate the footage onto my media drive.  

     

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  • Tue, Jan 12 2016 3:37 PM In reply to

    • mtahir
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    Re: Workflow uisng Ninja Blade

    Thanks for the reply, Terry.

    It should be 8-bit 4:2:2 from the camera's sensors but I haven't got Panansonic to confirm that yet. The camera can record 1080p/50 but then I don't know for this camera if the output from the sensor is better than this. It all depends on what they do with the data before sending it out the HDMI chip. If it is 8-bit 4:2:2 then it should be a lot better (once compressed to DNxHD120) than the internal 1080i/50 4:2:0 AVCHD compressed footage stored on the card, and perhaps even better than the 1080p/50 4:2:0 AVCHD too. I'll need to test this to get a better idea.

    Ninja Blade can do DNxHD36, 120, 185 and 185x (for 1080i/50). I was planning on using the DNxHD120 as I don't think there will be any noticeable benefit going any higher. I do have a 512GB SSD and a 512GBWD RE 10K RPM drive too.

    Can you start the Ninja recording from the record button on your camera? What I wanted to do was record 1080p/50 on the camera and 1080i/50 on the Ninja. I can then cut with the Ninja (AMA-Link as you describe) and replace the footage with 1080p/50 from the camera if I think it's better or if there's a problem with the Ninja footage. Unfortunately, my camera won't send any control or timecode over HDMI, so I think this workflow is out. I'll have to backup the DNxHD footage as there is no link back to the camera footage if I want to go back to the project at some future date. The DNxHD footage is going to be 10x the size of the camera footage. Just sounding out all the possibilities to figure out the best workflow.

    Do you record to your camera as well as the Ninja? Do you just cut/finish with the footage from the Ninja?

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  • Tue, Jan 12 2016 4:05 PM In reply to

    Re: Workflow uisng Ninja Blade

    mtahir:
    It should be 8-bit 4:2:2 from the camera's sensors but I haven't got Panansonic to confirm that yet. The camera can record 1080p/50 but then I don't know for this camera if the output from the sensor is better than this. It all depends on what they do with the data before sending it out the HDMI chip.

    I'm pretty sure any compression happens when the camera records, so if you are getting a signal straight from the camera's sensors, you should be able to get an uncompressed signal into the Ninja.   Then whatever record settings you select in the Ninja will determine the compression, bit rate, color space, etc. 

    mtahir:
    Ninja Blade can do DNxHD36, 120, 185 and 185x (for 1080i/50). I was planning on using the DNxHD120 as I don't think there will be any noticeable benefit going any higher.

    185X will give you 10-bit color space, which is a real advantage when doing compositing, keying, etc.

    mtahir:
    Can you start the Ninja recording from the record button on your camera?

    I'm not sure about the Ninja.   I have the Samurai, not the Ninji, but I understand the only difference between the two units is the Samurai is SDI while the Ninja is HDMI.   When I hit the record button on the camera, it  also triggers the Atomos to record.   I  needed to set the trigger control on the Atomos to do this.   FYI -  I know you can trigger off SDI.   Not sure about HDMI.

    mtahir:
    Do you just cut/finish with the footage from the Ninja?

    My Atomos is set to record DNxHD220x so I simply plug the Samurai's SSD into the USB caddy, AMA link to the footage, consolidate and then edit.   Simple and fast.

    Once I have consolidated the footage from the Atomos onto my media drive (and backed up the media files!) I erase the footage from the Atomos' SSD and from the camera and I'm ready for the next shoot.   Because I'm recording DNxHD220X with the Atomos, the footage from the camera isn't any better so I don't need to replace it.   This does take up a bit more hard drive space, but hard drives are big and cheap now.   I produce mainly commercials--I don't have huge amounts of footage--so in my situation it makes sense to work in the DNxHD220x from start to finish.

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  • Tue, Jan 12 2016 4:12 PM In reply to

    Re: Workflow uisng Ninja Blade

    Even if the recorder can record DNx185x 10bit if you only get 8 bit from the camera then you won;t gain anything over DNX185 (8 bit) in fact you will lose slightly as the recorder will be recording 10 bits (even though 2 are 0's) for the same datarate as it does for 8 bit. So the compression rasio is slightly higher.

    If the output is SDI 709 then it must be 4:2:2 but it's possible the camera will pad the 4:2:0 back to 4:2;2 for that output.

    An easy test is a chroma key shot. Record on internal card and external and then use both as a key source and see what you get on the edge.

    A colour gradient is also a useful test for bit depth but you need a 10 bit external display to see if there is a difference between the internal and external media.

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  • Tue, Jan 12 2016 4:21 PM In reply to

    Re: Workflow uisng Ninja Blade

    Pat Horridge:

    Even if the recorder can record DNx185x 10bit if you only get 8 bit from the camera then you won;t gain anything over DNX185 (8 bit) in fact you will lose slightly as the recorder will be recording 10 bits (even though 2 are 0's) for the same datarate as it does for 8 bit. So the compression rasio is slightly higher.

    If the output is SDI 709 then it must be 4:2:2 but it's possible the camera will pad the 4:2:0 back to 4:2;2 for that output.

    Interesting!   I did not know this...   I ran and checked my camera specs and breathed a sigh of relief that the FS7's SDI output iis 4:2:2.   I never use HDMI out from the camera to record.   The OP's case, with HDMI and his specific camera, might be different.   Thanks for clarifying. 

    MC 2018.4 with Symphony, Matrox MX02 Mini Max, Win 7 Pro, HP Z800 2x6-Core 3.2Ghz Xeon, 48GB ram, Quadro K4200, SanDisk Extreme 240GB SSD as system drive... [view my complete system specs]

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  • Tue, Jan 12 2016 5:12 PM In reply to

    • mtahir
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    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
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    Re: Workflow uisng Ninja Blade

    Thanks for all the replies.

    Pat Horridge:

    If the output is SDI 709 then it must be 4:2:2 but it's possible the camera will pad the 4:2:0 back to 4:2;2 for that output.

    This is something I heard that could be happening with the HDMI output too but then isn't that the same as padding 8-bit to 10-bit i.e. you don't gain anything? If that's the case, then one of the advantages of getting the Ninja's output is that you've gone from Sensor -> DNxHD instead of Sensor -> AVCHD -> DNxHD. That's of course assuming that the HDMI output isn't the compressed AVCHD footage being sent out!

     

     

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