Posting The Black Keys – Levels of Hell 1 thru 3

The Black Keys – Strange Times

We used three cameras for the production of The Black Keys Private Artist Showcase:

2 x Canon HV20 recording HDV 1080p24

1 x Canon HF10 recording AVCHD 1080p24

Ideally, we would have had 3 HV20’s for total parity. Alas, Mike the Mailman decided to purchase the Canon HF10 which records 1440×1080 24p in AVCHD to a solid state memory card. And here the troubles began.

My brother Jon searched far and wide for a method to convert the .m2ts HF10 media to a format that Final Cut Pro 6 could understand. The solution he found was Voltaic.

Voltaic has the ability to convert Canon HF10 footage to 1440×1080 29.97 AIC Quicktime. Fantastic.

Not so fantastic is that it takes forever and there is no progress bar. Prepare for the suck.

Suckier still, this means the footage Jon captured from the two HV20 tapes as 1080p24 HDV now needed to be converted to Advanced Intermediate Codec (AIC) 29.97 to match the HF10 format so we could create a multiclip to edit. Grrr.

And all of this takes time.

Yes, these Private Artist Showcases are a labor of love. But try capturing 2 hours of tape and 1 hour of AVCHD from the HF10. Then use Voltaic to convert the 1 hour of .m2ts HF10 footage to an editable Quicktime format over the course of 4 hours (or more according to Jon). And then, convert the two hours of HDV to AIC over the course of another 2 hours.

You are now close to 10 hours of capture / ingest time and you haven’t even started to edit yet. For 3 hours of footage. And this is all on a dual 2.6GHz MacPro tower using FW800 LaCie drives. Not a slow setup by any means.

Hand me a gun so I can shoot myself in the face.

Tune in next time when things start to go bad.

proactively • pricking his finger on the tip of the iceberg • peter


7 Responses to “Posting The Black Keys – Levels of Hell 1 thru 3”

  1. 1 ben
    July 20, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    hey peter,

    i stumbled on to your blog while i was researching the canon HV30 vs the HF10. your post on your Black Keys project was very informative.

    i was wondering if you could tell me about how your experiences are with the HF10. i just bought an HV30 and havent opened it yet. I am thinking of getting the HF10 so that i can get used to a tapeless workflow in prep for getting a red scarlet next year (oh yes indeed).

    1) how is the low light performance of the HF10 vs the HV20?
    2) how is the trailing of motion of the HF10 vs the HV20?
    3) are the manual controls of the HF10 easy to use or is the HV20 more suited for pulling focus?
    4) head to head, how is does the footage of each camera stack up against each other?

    i’m mostly an AE/FCP guy, but i wanna get more into shooting.

    anyhoo, i appreciate any knowledge your willing to drop my way.


  2. 2 psalvia
    July 21, 2008 at 11:44 am

    hey ben,

    Thanks for stopping by. My experience with the HF10 is exclusively from a post side. And that alone is enough for me to say, considering available workflows right now, DO NOT GET THIS CAMERA.
    Footage is captured in AVCHD format which then needs to be converted to be used in FCP (which is essentially the same as digitizing and can take just as long depending on the speed of your computer). Don’t get me wrong though, I’m a big proponent of tapeless format cameras like the Sony EX and the Panasonic HVX200, both of which have tried and true workflows for getting the footage off the disk, into FCP, and then to tape or the web or wherever you want to put it. AFAIK, there is currently NO SOLID WORKFLOW for acquiring HF10 footage.
    Therefore, I’d highly recommend considering the Canon HV20 or HV30 as a better camera at a similar price point. The HV30 offers 30p mode which is supposed to be optimized for the web, and both cameras offer 24p which is what I use almost exclusively when shooting my own stuff.
    Couldn’t tell you about the shooting aspects of the HF10. But if you can’t use the footage easily then the rest is moot.

    proactively • peter

  3. 3 ben
    July 28, 2008 at 12:30 am

    hey pete,

    thanks for the tip, m’man. ive bookmarked your blog and look forward to future posts.

    thanks again and good luck!


  4. 4 psalvia
    July 28, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Look forward to seeing you here Ben, thanks for the bookmark.

    I’m getting ready to purchase a camera myself in the next few days. I’m going with the Canon HV30.

    A great resource for this camera is hv20.com. That’s where I’m researching the Raynox lens adapters I will most likely purchase, as well as the R0de boom mic.

    proactively • peter

  5. 5 iceliaCebra
    December 2, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    I am here at a forum newcomer. Until I read and deal with the forum.
    Let’s learn!

  6. 6 InfidaRanda
    December 17, 2008 at 4:00 am

    Goodday I’m new here
    And it looks like a great forum, so just wanted to say hello! :):):)
    And looking forward to participating.
    Going on vacation for a few days, so i’ll be back

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