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HD everything - is it good or bad?

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#1 Norbert von der Heidt

Norbert von der Heidt

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  • Cairns, Queensland, Australia

Posted 22 December 2010 - 09:06 PM

Hi all

I have a question that keeps rolling around in the back of my head and just won't go away. I really would love to hear from others on the subject of why we all need to get caught up in the race for the best, most expensive HD accessories!

From my humble perspective as a once in a while owner/operator based in a small regional Australian market. I see many different topics about: which HD sled monitor is best, wiring loom HD upgrades, HD video TX/RX system pro & cons, etc and can't help but wonder what the hell did everyone do before digital technology made it all possible albeit at an exorbitant price!

The main reason our industry is being undermined by low rates offered is I think, the democratisation of Stabilisers to the masses where ops are now a dime a dozen out there in the world, that's pretty hard to fight against. Myself, as a 32 year vet in the biz wouldn't be an owner/operator if it were still patented and controlled by one company. What I am really saddest about most of all is the loss of recognition for craftsmanship and the respect that goes with it in the film/TV industry as a whole.

Back when there was no HD anything, the industry hadn't come to grinding halt waiting for it .... no, it used SD gear and before SD TX/RX, there was hardwire and before videotaps, there was the professional, creative and honest, respected judgement of the Steadicam op/camera op whether it was a go again or a keeper. It seems the more the industry advances technologically, we've become just another well paid monkey in the chain, there to do a job and not much else. At the end of a take, the director calls for a "playback and let me hear it", he watches and listens, makes his own decision on performance, framing, lighting and sound without ever having to ask for a professional opinion from anyone else. Is it any wonder the DIT's of the world sitting in their little video village dungeons can get paid more than us, they are now the WORD for many aspects of the final image.

We are all racing each other down an increasing slippery slope and I still don't see the point ( I admit, I did have a Boland HD for 3 months but sold it again). IMHO, we worked more, got better paid and were respected without all the whiz bang HD widgets. For as long as I can see an image to frame by under adverse conditions, as long as the DoP and 1st AC know what they're doing, it's not my worry about focus or exposure or colour balance, etc. So now just because we have HD technology, why is it suddenly our problem to provide the hardware and infrastructure to make them all happy.

I hope this opens up a line of discussion that hasn't popped up here in the past, unless I've missed it altogether. I'm looking foward to hearing your thoughts on this subject.

Cheers and Merry Xmas and a better 2011 for us all.
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#2 Osvaldo Silvera SOC

Osvaldo Silvera SOC

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 04:30 AM

Great post.
Every Market is different. I for one have had HD cameras on my rig since May 2001 and I used a miranda 700 box to convert the image to run it down the sled to my Pro 2 monitor.....years later I use a decimator to run it down the sled to my SD transvideo.
I'd love an HD monitor but the price is keeping me at bay for now. No ACTUAL need for an HD monitor in the jobs I Do. I will admit though the live shows I do would benefit being I need to Zoom and Focus myself and every bit of resolution helps in those situations.
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