HVX200 up to task of HD acquisition, says consultant

The 960 x 540 pixel matrix progressively scanned at 60 frames per second in the front end of the Panasonic’s HVX200 camcorder is good enough for high definition work, according to industry consultant Tore Nordahl.

In “Panasonic’s HVX native resolution is 960 x 540? Comparing HDV camcorders with the HVX200,” Nordahl makes the case that after a pixel shift is applied and a DSP using Panasonic’s Advanced Progressive Technology processing is applied that HVX is up to the task of HD acquisition, particularly when compared to 1/3in CCD HDV camcorders.

In the article, Nordahl points out that the HVX200’s horizontal pixel count of 960 exactly matches the limited horizontal resolution of the 720p DVCPRO-HD codec, so no pixel shift is needed to extend horizontal resolution in 1280 x 70p 60 mode, while vertical pixel shift is needed to extend the native 540 lines to 720.

In 1920 x 1080i 60 mode, the camera must extend its native horizontal 960 pixel count to 1280 “to meet the bandwidth limitation of the DVCPRO-HD CODEC,” so horizontal pixel shift is required. Vertical pixel shifted also is needed to extend its native 540 lines to 1080.

After assuming a “middle of the road” factor of 1.4 for pixel shift, a happy medium between Panasonic’s quoted 1.5 and the BBC’s “real world” 1.3, Nordahl concludes that “for all practical purposes, the horizontal resolution of the HVX200 is fully DVCPRO-HD bandwidth compliant, in both 720p and 1080i.”

In the article, Nordahl also discusses the importance of Modulation Transfer Function and TV lines per picture height as they relate to the HVX. He also compares the Panasonic camcorder to several HDV camcorders that cost less than $10,000.

Nordahl also points out that the 1/3in CCD HD camcorders will be the standard for pro-sumer acquisition for a long time. However, in the article he opines that by 2007, “entry level real professional” HD camcorders will use 1/2in CCD or CMOS sensors and some are likely to cost less than $10,000 by 2008.

To read the article, visit www.nordahl.tv.

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