Sony HDR-GW77: waterproof, dustproof, shockproof small HD camcorder - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 639 Old 08-22-2012, 08:44 PM
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Well we went out tonight and now the top 1/3rd of the lense cover is misty on the inside. It is warm and very humid. We are now back in our 73F hotel room with low humildity and after 15 min the mist is still there.
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post #182 of 639 Old 08-23-2012, 01:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vadislav22 View Post

Well we went out tonight and now the top 1/3rd of the lense cover is misty on the inside. It is warm and very humid. We are now back in our 73F hotel room with low humildity and after 15 min the mist is still there.

same thing happened to me with my sony xr550. we were in the car and i sit the camcorder near the car aircon . and when it came time to shot the christmas lights. the lens are covered with mist and video result is blurry.

now, everytime i put camcorder. i keep it far from the aircon. or put it in a small bag.
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post #183 of 639 Old 08-23-2012, 05:27 AM
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Hi Bill. A few years ago I was out there and got some wonderful pictures of Mt Rainier at sundown. Great lighting. Am wondering how the GW77 and/or the CX760 would do with a challenge like that.

Also, would you have any idea how the image stabilizer on the GW77 would compare to that on the new CX760?

Mike
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post #184 of 639 Old 08-23-2012, 05:32 AM
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] have a couple of concerns. When this happens it makes the camera useless. I have no idea how long it took the condensation to clear last night After 1/2 hour I left it and when I awoke this am, it was clear again. Is the condensation also forming on the actual lens which can not be cleaned? Having condensation on the external lens cover I can understand, but to have it internally, what if any damage is it doing to other components?
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post #185 of 639 Old 08-23-2012, 06:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Please understand: condensation is a problem of ALL cameras and camcorders, and it is always internal in the lens. And yes, it makes the camera useless when it is there.

In Hong Kong, when I emerged from my AC hotel room to steamy HK to shoot at a lake with my Panasonic TM900, I had to wait 20 minutes for the lens to defog. This will also be true coming from a ski slope and entering a heated hotel room (but that is less of a problem!).

Almost all camera manuals used to talk about the condensation problem - check it out. The manuals usually say it takes an hour to clear up, after putting the camera in a plastic bag!
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post #186 of 639 Old 08-23-2012, 06:30 AM
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OK, I just did a google search about it. I had just never noticed it in any of my other cameras but perhaps they have not been subjected to these extremes.
I'll see what happens when I venture out today.
What would be the results if it was placed in a refigerator (not freezer) after the humidity appeared?
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post #187 of 639 Old 08-23-2012, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vadislav22 View Post

OK, I just did a google search about it. I had just never noticed it in any of my other cameras but perhaps they have not been subjected to these extremes.
I'll see what happens when I venture out today.
What would be the results if it was placed in a refigerator (not freezer) after the humidity appeared?

found this while doing google search


On moisture condensation

If your camcorder is brought directly from a cold place to a warm place, moisture may condense inside your camcorder. This may cause a malfunction to your camcorder.
If moisture condensation has occurred
Leave your camcorder for about 1 hour without turning it on.

Note on moisture condensation
Moisture may condense when you bring your camcorder from a cold place into a warm place (or vice versa) or when you use your camcorder in a humid place as follows:

You bring your camcorder from a ski slope into a place warmed up by a heating device.

You bring your camcorder from an air conditioned car or room into a hot place outside.

You use your camcorder after a squall or a rain.

You use your camcorder in a hot and humid place.

How to prevent moisture condensation
When you bring your camcorder from a cold place into a warm place, put your camcorder in a plastic bag and seal it tightly. Remove the bag when the air temperature inside the plastic bag has reached the surrounding temperature (after about 1 hour).

http://esupport.sony.com/docs/dvimag/HDR-GW77_GW77V_guide/en/contents/09/02/02/02.html
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post #188 of 639 Old 08-23-2012, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
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I think this instruction on condensation is in every camera/camcorder manual that Sony produces (I emphasize this so it is clear that condensation is NOT a special GW77 problem). I have never tried the plastic bag trick.
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post #189 of 639 Old 08-23-2012, 01:37 PM
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Hey Mark...

My GW-77 arrived today and its charging right now. Smaller than I thought! Just a little thicker than an iPhone in a case. I did get an extra battery, a Bower XPDSBG 3.6v 1100mAh. I was wondering if you can recommend a 32GB memory card? I checked Costco online and they don't seem to carry MicroSD cards right now. So I could go to BB, Walmart, or order one from AMazon. Do I need a certain "Class" card?

I powered the camera on, but haven't shot anything yet. Will be looking at the manual for a while to see how to get started and not screw up. Plus I have to see how I'm going to edit on my iMac. You recommend that if I do shoot anything I should set it for 1080p60f right?

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post #190 of 639 Old 08-23-2012, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
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The size is what make this thing amazing (even if it were not waterproof), given you sacrifice no quality in video.

108060p for sure. BB has a sale on Sandisk 32GB microsd cards, class 6, for $29. I used one; it is fine (lifetime warranty and the card itself is waterproof and dustproof). You do not need class 6 speed - actually class 4 is fine - for working with the GW77, but it can't hurt and your computer might read off files from it faster. You do have 16GB built-in, so you do not need to hurry to get a card. The extra battery is needed. For conveneince, see if you can find a really cheap external charger too (on Amazon). The battery is a Sony standard G, and there are lots of chargers out there for it.
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post #191 of 639 Old 08-23-2012, 02:38 PM
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I will be interested to see how you make out with the 1080P files as neither I Movie or FCP X will recogize them for editing. I believe that Mark suggested Adobe for editing in 1080P.
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post #192 of 639 Old 08-23-2012, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vadislav22 View Post

I will be interested to see how you make out with the 1080P files as neither I Movie or FCP X will recogize them for editing. I believe that Mark suggested Adobe for editing in 1080P.
No, Mark likes the software that comes with the camera because it is completely lossless in editing. It runs only on PCs.

In various threads, I have suggested Adobe Premier Elements 10 because it will work with 1080p60 files and runs on both Macs and PCs. It does not work the same way as Sony's "Play Memories" software for absolute preservation of the original content, but it comes close. And, it adds other controls and features.

Related to your point, I found it interesting in the Panasonic V700 thread that there is a choice to shoot in a mode called "iFrame" for Mac addicts. Sony does not seem ready to accommodate Macs. Instead they expect smooth play with Vaio computers and Sony TVs.

So who blinks, Apple or Sony?

Bill
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post #193 of 639 Old 08-23-2012, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Railfan View Post

Hi Bill. A few years ago I was out there and got some wonderful pictures of Mt Rainier at sundown. Great lighting. Am wondering how the GW77 and/or the CX760 would do with a challenge like that.
Also, would you have any idea how the image stabilizer on the GW77 would compare to that on the new CX760?
Mike
Mike,

I have neither camera, so can't comment. I confess that, even though I have to good 1080p60 camcorders with good stabilization, the GW77 is tempting. My motivation has to do with the bad weather in the Pacific Northwest.

Bill
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post #194 of 639 Old 08-24-2012, 05:38 AM
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I hear ya. Here in the northwestern corner of the lower peninsula of Michigan, we have "lake effect" precipitation and clouds a good deal of the time, especially in the late fall, early spring, and all winter. Have had to shoot from beneath an umbrella or some such thing too many times myself. While maybe not as bad as where you live, it can be a problem here, so I do understand the attraction of such a camcorder. The more I research the GW77, the more I like it. The only thing I think I would miss would be the idea of a removeable lens protector (add-on UV lens), ability to add a telephoto lens, and the lack of 5.1 sound; all of which I now have with my current SR11.
Been saving my money and will be making a decision soon between getting the GW77 within the next five to six weeks, or to wait a couple/three months, save a bit more, and get the CX760.
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post #195 of 639 Old 08-24-2012, 07:09 AM - Thread Starter
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"The only thing I think I would miss would be the idea of a removeable lens protector..."

The lens on the GW77 is protected - it is behind a glass shield that is scratchproof. The lens, unlike most camcorders, is not exposed. Now, if you want filters - circular polarizers, ND, UV - there is cheap and light solution.
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post #196 of 639 Old 08-24-2012, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

No, Mark likes the software that comes with the camera because it is completely lossless in editing. It runs only on PCs.
In various threads, I have suggested Adobe Premier Elements 10 because it will work with 1080p60 files and runs on both Macs and PCs. It does not work the same way as Sony's "Play Memories" software for absolute preservation of the original content, but it comes close. And, it adds other controls and features.
Related to your point, I found it interesting in the Panasonic V700 thread that there is a choice to shoot in a mode called "iFrame" for Mac addicts. Sony does not seem ready to accommodate Macs. Instead they expect smooth play with Vaio computers and Sony TVs.
So who blinks, Apple or Sony?
Bill

Bill...

Apple doesn't understand the concept of blinking LOL. When you're king of the mountain in the phone and computer world you don't pay much attention to one camera brand. I almost bought a Panasonic refurb for exactly that reason... iFrame. But I'll figure out something because no matter what, its still digital data. But you never know... there's always the possibility that Sony could do a firmware upgrade to these camcorders and make them more mac-friendly.

Mike

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post #197 of 639 Old 08-24-2012, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

"The only thing I think I would miss would be the idea of a removeable lens protector..."
The lens on the GW77 is protected - it is behind a glass shield that is scratchproof. The lens, unlike most camcorders, is not exposed. Now, if you want filters - circular polarizers, ND, UV - there is cheap and light solution.

OK, I'll bite......what is this cheap and light solution?

Another Mike.
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post #198 of 639 Old 08-24-2012, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't get what" Mac friendly" means? And I do not understand this discussion. What firmware "upgrade" could improve the video quality of a Sony camcorder and also be Mac-friendly? There is no such thing, if you mean that the files could be read by Apple editing software natively.

1. iFrame, a video "standard" that is "Mac-freindly", is 960 by 540 , way below HD (1920x1080). It is compressed with AVC/H.264, same as AVCHD. It is inferior in every way to AVCHD 108060 at 28Mbps. I thought we all were interested in quality HD video?

2. AVCHD is an industry video standard: it is used by Canon, Panasonic, Sony and JVC. AVCHD 2.0 is the new standard (108060p). It is used by Panasonic and Sony so far. These are two of the three leaders in both consumer and pro video.

3. This is not a matter of an Apple/Sony war, it is just a matter of having an editing program that works on Macs with the capability of natively editing AVCHD. 1.0 and 2.0. Such a program exists (Adobe Premier Elements 10). So what's the issue?

I don't use Apple stuff, so maybe I am missing somthing. But we are just talking about operating systems and editors, right? Sony makes videos; software makers can choose to support video standards or not. It is not the other way around.
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post #199 of 639 Old 08-24-2012, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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"OK, I'll bite......what is this cheap and light solution?" Picture with ND filter:


DSC00615.jpg

DSC00621.jpg

Video taken with the ND filter attached:




This is the Cokin filter holder; takes all "A" Cokin filters, which are cheap and light, including a circular polarizer. The holder weighs next to nothing, attached to the tripod hole, and folds flat for your pocket. It is not a protector, but a way of using filters that affect video.

And very cheap.
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post #200 of 639 Old 08-25-2012, 09:06 AM
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I just returned it to Amazon after two weeks of real-world, vacation, in-a-helicopter, on-a-mountain, under-the-ocean experience. If you're interested you can look up my review on Amazon for exactly what is wrong (and right, which is a lot) with this unit, most of which you will not know just examining it in a store. I am not going to post my findings here because of the rather frosty feedback that I see some members posting in response to anything said that is critical of Sony and their camera (like the comeback that the lens is covered by glass...true but completely irrelevant to the comment, which correctly observed that due to the lack of an automatic or even manual lens cover, the optical pathway through which light enters the camera will get scratched). That's not objectivity, that's apologism.

If you want to know how this camera really works in actual use, check out my review there. Hint: I would at least wait until Sony releases a software update!
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post #201 of 639 Old 08-25-2012, 09:30 AM
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Haven't shot zip with the Sony yet LOL... been too busy with other stuff. Started to read manual, checked menu. Amazing how it finds faces when I aimed it across the room at a bunch of pictures on the credenza. Also how it detects macro settings when you put something close to the lens. Mark, I'm going to BB this morning to pick up the 32GB Sandisk that's on sale. I had a $25 BB gift card crowding my wallet LOL and did a pre-order online for local pickup. Just couldn't resist. I thought maybe I'd get lucky and my Sony T-30 PnS charger would work but alas... its a slightly longer battery in that and while it looks similar with the three contacts... it doesn't recognize the camcorder battery. No problem, I'll get an external one.

We're all interested in great HD quality, but there are times when 720p would suffice or even less. Not every video will find its way onto Vimeo/YouTube or my Mitsubishi big screen TV. Sometimes we just have a hilarious family video we want to send to relatives all over the country on their phones. And when I say "Mac-Friendly" I meant that Sony would include Play Memories software that runs without a hitch on a mac. Mac owners are usually iPhone and iPad owners as well. It would be so cool to have menu selection that said "Send Email Clip" and automatically pulled a particular clip off and made it easy to send. But look... I haven't really played around with anything yet so maybe all this capability exists. I think I'm going to try Adobe Premiere Elements 10, and then there's another product called Mac Video Converter that is supposed to be very helpful.

I'm looking forward to having a lot of fun with this camera. Got my grandkids sleeping over tonight and spending next week with us as my DIL is a teacher and starts Monday, they start Thursday and one of them is only half-day.

Have to say I'm still amazed at the size of this unit and how nicely its made.

Mike

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post #202 of 639 Old 08-25-2012, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjeffb View Post

I just returned it to Amazon after two weeks of real-world, vacation, in-a-helicopter, on-a-mountain, under-the-ocean experience. If you're interested you can look up my review on Amazon for exactly what is wrong (and right, which is a lot) with this unit, most of which you will not know just examining it in a store. I am not going to post my findings here because of the rather frosty feedback that I see some members posting in response to anything said that is critical of Sony and their camera (like the comeback that the lens is covered by glass...true but completely irrelevant to the comment, which correctly observed that due to the lack of an automatic or even manual lens cover, the optical pathway through which light enters the camera will get scratched). That's not objectivity, that's apologism.
If you want to know how this camera really works in actual use, check out my review there. Hint: I would at least wait until Sony releases a software update!

I'm pretty sure which review is yours. I've only had it for 1 day, but these are my findings relative to your points:
* The design of not being able to shoot a video in still mode is not uncommon to other Sonys. I have the VG20 and it does the same thing. I don't see the big deal here to be honest. One simple press of the 'mode' button brings you to either photo or video. Takes about a second.

* Haven't seen any warnings other than when it was my own mistake. I initially put the micro SD card in upside down and I got a warning. "OE" (operator error). I haven't seen any warnings when I did what I should have.

* I agree the touchscreen is a bit 'touchy' and doesn't always respond. I'm finding that if I hit the area slightly above where I think it should be, it almost always responds. I should note I haven't seen this behavior in the nested menus, but rather with small icons like the + & - for exposure. As far as playback goes, I simply pop out the memory card and throw it in to my PS3 for playback. Pretty easy. It's the same approach I use on my VG20 and any SD card memory cam I've ever used. If you record to the internal menu, then obviously that's a different thing.

* I don't get overly critical with photos taken with a camcorder or videos taken with a still camera. A camera like the 77 is a video camera first that can take photos when necessary. Photo taking is not its primary mission nor was it designed that way. Similarly, I don't expect the same quality videos as I get from a camcorder from most cameras designed primarily for still photos.

* 20 minute battery life? I'm getting more like 45. Not great, but pretty much as advertised and the compromise you make for such a small camera that can only accommodate small batteries. You may be keeping the camera on for extended periods while doing no shooting. I do agree a spare is needed however. They're cheap and available, so no biggie there.

* I haven't had it fail to turn on yet when opening the LCD. I've had a few times where it took about 3 seconds or so, but it always turned on...so far.

Since you seem to do so much underwater video, you might be better off with a larger camcorder and a waterproof housing. Personally I think Sony did a fabulous job with this camera. The biggest change I'd love to see is a viewfinder...but of course that would make the cam bigger. We make choices. smile.gif
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post #203 of 639 Old 08-25-2012, 04:07 PM
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Thanks for the video, Mark. Just to remind me, what does the ND filter do?

Mike
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post #204 of 639 Old 08-25-2012, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
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What does an ND filter do?

It cuts down the amount of light. Why is that desirable?

1. It opens the iris: that (a) decreases dof, which is desirable for some shots, and (b) it avoids high values of F (F8, F11, F16), which for most lenses create artifacts (diffraction), so the picture is better when the iris is more open.

2. For cameras in auto mode, in very bright light, the camera uses high shutter speeds. That can result in unnatural, jerky movement (does not matter for still subjects) in videos. So, for 108060p video, you want shutter speeds of 1/60th or 1/125 (some blurring is good for smooth video).

In bright light, without an ND filter, you will often have very high shutter speeds and closed down iris. That is why most pro camcorders have built-in variable ND filters.

Now, here is a secret - most P&S cameras actually use ND filters internally rather than adjusting an iris precisely to avoid small f-values And maybe because moving ND filters is quieter than opeing and closing an iris). They actually report small f-values (in Panasonic camcorders), but they are just "equivalents." I do not know whether the GW77 uses internal ND filters to vary exposure; I suspect it does.

ND= neutral density (darkens without affecting color balance).
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post #205 of 639 Old 08-25-2012, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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To the hostile Amazon reviewer who said "the optical pathway through which light enters the camera will get scratched"

Did you actually scratch the lens cover? Do you know whether it is scratchproof? That is the point of the cover - you do know about gorilla glass, and that most smartphone have scratchless glass, right? It is now standard in the industry. There are no scratchless lenses, so having this protective glass cover is very useful.
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post #206 of 639 Old 08-26-2012, 08:30 AM
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For the first time Mine failed yesterday. Remowed the battery and inserted again and this time it operated as norma.
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post #207 of 639 Old 08-26-2012, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

What does an ND filter do?
It cuts down the amount of light. Why is that desirable?
1. It opens the iris: that (a) decreases dof, which is desirable for some shots, and (b) it avoids high values of F (F8, F11, F16), which for most lenses create artifacts (diffraction), so the picture is better when the iris is more open.
2. For cameras in auto mode, in very bright light, the camera uses high shutter speeds. That can result in unnatural, jerky movement (does not matter for still subjects) in videos. So, for 108060p video, you want shutter speeds of 1/60th or 1/125 (some blurring is good for smooth video).
In bright light, without an ND filter, you will often have very high shutter speeds and closed down iris. That is why most pro camcorders have built-in variable ND filters.
Now, here is a secret - most P&S cameras actually use ND filters internally rather than adjusting an iris precisely to avoid small f-values And maybe because moving ND filters is quieter than opeing and closing an iris). They actually report small f-values (in Panasonic camcorders), but they are just "equivalents." I do not know whether the GW77 uses internal ND filters to vary exposure; I suspect it does.
ND= neutral density (darkens without affecting color balance).

Thanks Mark. Very good explanation. This is another reason why I am reluctant to part with my Sony FX7, even though it is out of date performance wise. It has ND filters.
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post #208 of 639 Old 08-26-2012, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Portrait mode versus Auto Scene mode: different exposure and dynamic range?

Ken Ross, a new owner of the GW77, made a discovery: in portrait mode exposure is lower than in the default, auto scene mode. Dynamic range may be greater too.

This video compares identical scenes taken first in auto scene mode then in portrait mode with the GW77 on a sunny afternoon, in the sun and in shade. Auto exposure was used in all clips.


Select 108060p

See a difference?


Apparently, other manufacturers of cameras also do this in portrait mode - lower exposure and increase dynamic range - this is supposed to be good for skin tones, but it seems desirable in general.
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post #209 of 639 Old 08-26-2012, 02:46 PM
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I can see the difference, especially in the last flower. I wonder how the difference would look on larger scenes, like a scenery shot.

Mike
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post #210 of 639 Old 08-26-2012, 03:48 PM
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It's very apparent on my 60" display, Railfan. I was initially disappointed that some scenes looked a bit too 'hot' for my tastes. However in Portrait mode the edge is taken off and exposure is tamed. As Mark suggested, it seems that dynamic range is actually increased.
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