A few weeks ago my producer invited me to an all day seminar on HD that was held at the Director’s Guild of America, and only open to DGA members, although they were allowed one guest. I was a guest. There were booths and seminars for the various HD camera systems by Panavision, Arriflex, and Grass Valley (all high end systems) as well as Sony (HDV), Panasonic (P2) and…Canon. Well, Canon DIDN’T have an HD camera, but were invited because the image recorded by the XL2 blows up to HD rather well and holds up decently. Also there were Post solutions for HD by Apple (Final Cut Pro 5) and Avid (Adrenaline HD), and HD projection systems for theatrical presentations.

I attended the seminar on the various HD cameras, and was very impressed. Unfortunately, the camera we wanted to look at, the Panasonic P2, wasn’t available. And the release date for it was pushed from September to December.

They also offered HD workflow seminars for FCP and Avid, but they held that in the 35 seat theatre, so it filled up quickly. Needless to say, I was unable to attend. BUT, that afforded me the opportunity to sit with the Apple reps at their booth and discuss our project and suggested workflow.

Our thoughts were to capture at DVCPRO HD resolution on (2) G-Raid 500 drives, and then the picture was locked, take the final sequence to a post facility and either upconvert it to 10-bit uncompressed HD (4:4:4) by dropping it in a 10-bit timeline and rendering, or to recapture using either the Kona 2 HD capture card or Decklink HD 4:4:4 capture card…then output to D5. The Apple reps really pushed the Kona 2 card, stating that, if I understood this, you could drop your DVCPRO HD cut into a 10-bit Kona timeline, and output, without the need to render. And because they really wanted to convince us of the power of the Kona 2, Keith offered to loan me one for a couple weeks.

WOW. Who could pass that up?

So I e-mailed the Apple rep last week and soon will have the system in my home office for testing. I will, of course, keep you appraised of my findings.