Sony Cx 550 / Sony hxr mc50, good for slow motion capture? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-14-2010, 02:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I love slow motion! I would like to buy a good all round camera which could shoot HD with higher frame rates like 60 fps, 120 fps, 240 fps (not low resolution cameras or hd cameras which downsamples preferably).

1.) Is it possible to buy a reasonable camera like the Sony Cx 550 / Sony hxr mc50 and expect decent quality when it comes to slow motion capture?

2.) Are there other camcorders / cameras in about the same price range which performs better than Sony Cx 550 / Sony hxr mc50?

3.) Can you select which frame rate you would like to shot at when shooting slow motion on the Sony Cx 550 / Sony hxr mc50?
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-14-2010, 02:16 AM
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If you want to have the best quality slow motion footage, you'd have to get either the FH1A ($329), HD2000A ($494.68) or the TM700 ($859.78).
They all offer 1080 60p that can be slowed down in an editor to 24p.
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-14-2010, 02:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Is 1080 60p good enough? I am fresh in this field (slow motion). Are you saying that features like 120 fps, 240 fps. etcetera are useless? Can you slow down 1080 60p footage to achieve the same or better effect? I thought you would need fast frame capture in order to capture details within the motion to make it look interesting? Can you really make that with 1080 60p?
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-14-2010, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simen Myrberget View Post

Is 1080 60p good enough? I am fresh in this field (slow motion). Are you saying that features like 120 fps, 240 fps. etcetera are useless? Can you slow down 1080 60p footage to achieve the same or better effect? I thought you would need fast frame capture in order to capture details within the motion to make it look interesting? Can you really make that with 1080 60p?

The CX550 and its father (the CX500 or CX520) has a very limited slow motion mode but it does jack the frame rate up by a factor of 4. The limits are: (a) you can only capture 3 seconds of slo-mo at a time and (b) the capture itself is at lower quality than the normal 60i resolution. I'm not sure that's in terms of color, I think it's more in terms of detail. On the plus side, you can set the cam to either let you capture the upcoming 3 seconds from when you press Record, or the 3 seconds just prior to pressing Record. I use the latter mode exclusively.

So this isn't for heavy-duty constant slow motion capture, it's for spot captures.

That said, you can see three examples of this on YouTube. Search for ThomasAlexHD and "slow motion". If you can't find these clips, I'll post links later (I'm off to a meeting in a moment). The camcorderinfo review called the picture quality "very poor". I disagree with that. It's not Full HD, but it's useful to me.
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-14-2010, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Gull View Post

...
So this isn't for heavy-duty constant slow motion capture, it's for spot captures.

That said, you can see three examples of this on YouTube. Search for ThomasAlexHD and "slow motion". If you can't find these clips, I'll post links later (I'm off to a meeting in a moment). The camcorderinfo review called the picture quality "very poor". I disagree with that. It's not Full HD, but it's useful to me.

The soccer one was uploaded at 1080i and converted to 1080p etc by YouTube.
The sugar gliders ones were down-verted from 1080i to 720p in Corel software and then uploaded to YouTube. I have stopped doing any 720p conversions because (1) they produce de-interlacing artifacts and (2) YouTube will upload the 1080 clips directly now where they didn't do that originally.

Soccer clip:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5ah2aQls7A

Sugar gliders jumping in slow motion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-USoN_T5wA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSgbZ5s5HFc
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-14-2010, 06:00 PM
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My 1080p60 TM700 videos look fantastic in slo-motion . My PS3 even plays them with audio .
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-14-2010, 06:28 PM
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I really like the feature of the PS3. As a teenager, I used to playback Martial Arts movies in slow motion so I can copy them, which is why I had a VCR that had better slow motion quality than the rest. It wasn't easy getting a VCR for $400 but I just had to get it. Fast forward, I'm in the military when the PS2 first got released and I couldn't believe how good a DVD player was compared to a VCR when it came for playing back the footage in slow motion. The PS2 was a god send at that time. I mean you were able to play video games and watch DVD movies. I still end up liking the XBOX better when it first got released while I was still in the military.

Now with the release of the PS3, it offers a whole lot more, I mean the slow motion feature is much better, it plays back Blu-Ray movies, AVCHD files, DivX files, HDV files and even Windows Media files. Never mind the fact that it plays video games and it has a web browser that been proven to be faster than Internet Explorer at one time. I'm not sure if it still is. Keep in mind that footage from Sanyo's camcorders wont play as well as footage from the TM700 on the PS3. The TM700 was specifically made to be fully real time on the PS3.

Basically the camcorders I mentioned are the only units that will give you very high quality slow motion footage in the consumer realm. In the future, you'll see camcorders that record to 720 at 120 frames per second. Now that will also be incredible for slow motion. You can basically slow the footage down 5X to 24p.
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-14-2010, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jogiba View Post

My 1080p60 TM700 videos look fantastic in slo-motion . My PS3 even plays them with audio .

They'd still be half the number of frames per second as this Sony slow motion modes. I'm assuming that 240 frames/second interlaced is equivalent to an effective 120 frames/second progressive at playback (thus twice the 60p frames/second rating). It could be that it's effectively higher than that. I don't see much if any blurring in the Sony slow motion clips played back at 1080i.

However, the 60p would be full length captures. So it's a question of whether you need more frames to get better slow motion or long clips. And there may be other camcorders that are better than either of these options (built-in long slow motion with truly higher frame rates).
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-15-2010, 05:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Gull View Post

The soccer one was uploaded at 1080i and converted to 1080p etc by YouTube.
The sugar gliders ones were down-verted from 1080i to 720p in Corel software and then uploaded to YouTube. I have stopped doing any 720p conversions because (1) they produce de-interlacing artifacts and (2) YouTube will upload the 1080 clips directly now where they didn't do that originally.

Soccer clip:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5ah2aQls7A

/url]

Tom. May I see the hires file? I downloaded the Youtube football file and I think it must have been to compressed by youtube to evaluate?

Thanks anyway!
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-15-2010, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey Tom! Are Vimeo better for evaluating online quality? On Vimeo it is possible to download the original file.... Are you on Vimeo?
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post #11 of 12 Old 05-15-2010, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simen Myrberget View Post

Tom. May I see the hires file? I downloaded the Youtube football file and I think it must have been to compressed by youtube to evaluate?

Thanks anyway!

The original clip I uploaded is about 223MB. YouTube would have re-rendered this from 1080i to 1080p, de-interlacing in the process. If you have a way for me to send you a file that big, I'd be happy to get you the original. You can drop me a private message with your email address. I might try one of the free "send big file" services if it looks legit.

The file resolution is still 1920 x 1080, it's the detail that suffers as far as I can tell. To capture 3 seconds of video at 4 times the normal frame rate, the cam is constantly buffering a bit more than 3 seconds, so when you press Record, it's just a memory copy going on, the video is already there.

Side note: this clip is the first time I ever tried such a capture - we had enough people that we formed three teams that day so I was off the field some. We were all sitting facing pretty much into the sun. I was also wearing contact lenses for distance vision which meant I couldn't see the LCD well. I would normally have reading glasses on hand for filming with contacts in. So I was happy I caught any plays of interest and had them in focus. I'm sure I wasn't getting the best the cam could do - it was all point and shoot with blurred vision and no prior slow-motion sports practice.
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post #12 of 12 Old 05-15-2010, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Tom :-) Yes it would be great if you could send me the original file for closer inspection. I have used "Yousendit" previously and I think their limit is 2GB (for a free account). At least 223 MB should be free.

http://www.yousendit.com
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