COMPACTS ROUNDUP (resolution) - AVS Forum
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Im on a hunt for a small camera thats good for 1080p videos. I thought that I should share some of my findings.

Im interested in something with a big zoom and great sharpness/detail/resolution

Here is what I have:

To use as I benchmark, I'll give you some camcorder resolution numbers:

Panasonic X900 (sharpest consumer camcorder)
horizontal: 1000 lw/ph
vertical: 950 lw/ph

Panasonic X920
horizontal: 800 lw/ph
vertical: 800 lw/ph

Panasonic V720
horizontal: 750 lw/ph
vertical: 800 lw/ph

Canon G20
horizontal: 850 lw/ph
vertical: 650lw/ph

Sony PJ650
horizontal: 775 lw/ph
vertical: 775 lw/ph

**Panasonic GH3
horizontal: 850 lw/ph
vertical: 800 lw/ph

Now lets see how the "famous" compacts compare:

Panasonic FZ200
horizontal: 600
vertical: 600

LX7
horizontal: 600
vertical: 610

Sony RX100
horizontal: 550
vertical: 600

Sony RX1
horizontal: 600
vertical: 600

Sony HX9V
horizontal: 625
vertical: 700

Sony HX30V
horizontal: 750
vertical: 750

Canon SX50 HS
horizontal: 500
vertical: 600

It seems that the Sony HX series produces the best resolution videos..

Check out those images comparing wide, full zoom and chart shots. Those are screenshots taken from the original videos:

PANASONIC GH3 (BENCHMARK)






PANASONIC TZ40





SONY HX50V





PANASONIC FZ200




PANASONIC LX7




CANON SX280




SONYHX20V








So... it seems to me that if you want the best resolution in your pocket, today, the HX50V is the way to go. Not to mention that you get 1080mm zoom - thats INSANE!!
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:04 AM
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I've been shooting with two of the cameras on your list. The HX9V and the RX100. I also have a Panasonic SDT-750, a TM 900 derivative that is related to the X900 on your list.

I've been posting and arguing for months that once you get to 1080p60 AVCHD in any camera, the visible "sharpness, detail and resolution" of the resulting video depends more on the shooter, the light, exposure settings, white balance settings, the composition and the editing. By the time the files are processed by the camera, the computer and the display device, there is even less noticeable to the eye and brain.

When my HX9V was new, I took it with the SDT-750 to Maui and shot everything side by side for two weeks. I had intended to prove the more expensive one to be significantly superior. Once I put the files on a media player for my HD TV, I had to use the file names to tell what clips came from which camera.

Since then I pick from the three cameras based on the mission goal. Since most of my footage is related to travel or family, the RX100 is usually the one I grab. It is because I can shoot top quality stills and get video from a camera in my pocket.

My next major video and phot mission is a trip to Europe with my wife and friends where we will be driving from Germany to Italy and back. Luggage is required to be minimal and light. My plan is to take the HX9V set for optimal video. The RX100 will be set for optimal stills. I might take a monopod, but for sure a Gorrillapod. I'll carry the cameras in pouches on my belt for easy and quick access.

To your point in this thread, if I didn't like the HX9V so well, I would replace it with Panasonic ZS30 (TZ40 outside the USA) or a Sony HX50 as a video camera. My feeling is the Panasonic may be a little better in some ways but the Sony has more zoom.

(You left the ZS30/TZ40 off your list, but showed a photo example.)

Bill
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
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1. I agree with you when you say that the shooter is more important than the gear. A good shooter with an RX100 can do better videos than a bad shooter with a black magic 4k

2. ...but the difference in 1080p videos can be big between some cameras. In this video ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbLFuEwckGM ) that you posted on another topic, comparing the video quality between the FZ200 and the X920 we can clearly see the differences, specially in wide angle shots. Next to the X920 the FZ200 looks like standard definition. And thats because we are watching a compressed youtube video. Imagine the originals. Imagine a comparison between the X900 with 1000 lines and the Canon SH50 that has only 500 lines. Its DOUBLE the resolution.

3. But then again, I agree that if you are not doing a side-by-side comparsion, you can make nice looking videos, even with the SH50. The point is, enthusiasts want to buy the best gear possible. Im not saying any of those cameras are bad. I wish I could have all of them. Im just doing a comparison to help me choose my next cam

4. There is no technical data (numbers) about the TZ40 because I coudnt find them. I wish I could, but you can clearly see on the charts posted above that its resolution is lower than the one on the HX50V.

5. The TZ40 video is also more pleasing to me, comparing to the sony's. And thats because the panasonic has better colors and contrast. Colors and contrast can be changed in post processing, but you cant compensate for the lack of resolution, and thats why im begining to think that the HX is the one.
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:15 PM
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". The TZ40 video is also more pleasing to me, comparing to the sony's. And thats because the panasonic has better colors and contrast. Colors and contrast can be changed in post processing, but you cant compensate for the lack of resolution, and thats why im begining to think that the HX is the one."

The problem is that 4:2:0 8-bit, highly-compressed AVCHD video breaks down visibly when you fool around with the colors and recompress. It is correct that if you are going to heavily change your video files you want to start with the highest resolution possible, but the color changes will not look good and you will get artifacts. The recompressed, color-altered video files will look much worse than originals. So, with AVCHD, if you do not like the look the camera gives, move on (the SZ200 and the LX7 and the Canon EOS-M permit changing lots of parameters of the video before you shoot - color tone, sharpness, saturation, sharpness, gamma). The HX50 and ZS30 do not - so you better like what you get.
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
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thats the science, but you sound too drastic.

you can get a RAW image and process it on lightroom, and it looks great, but you can also work with a "cooked" JPEG. You have less latitute, but you can still do some work

you CAN work with colors, gamma, saturation etc on those cameras and still get a nice video. You've got to know how to work with lumma, colors etc, and you've got to know how to reencode. Having a flat profile to work is great, but you can work with "cooked" ones too. And you can always change your videos from linear to log to have even more space to work.








thats just a quick adjust I made. The video quality is basically the same. I can send you the originals if you want. In fact, I think the post processed looks better. Those cameras work with superwhite range, so you can actually recover details from the blown out highlights

Pay attention to the clouds in the first scene, near the roof. When you bring down one stop on the lumma curve, you recover some detail

* thats a 30 seconds adjust. with more time it can look even better
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedest View Post

2. ...but the difference in 1080p videos can be big between some cameras. In this video ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbLFuEwckGM ) that you posted on another topic, comparing the video quality between the FZ200 and the X920 we can clearly see the differences, specially in wide angle shots. Next to the X920 the FZ200 looks like standard definition. And thats because we are watching a compressed youtube video. Imagine the originals. Imagine a comparison between the X900 with 1000 lines and the Canon SH50 that has only 500 lines. Its DOUBLE the resolution.

5. ......why im begining to think that the HX is the one.

Regarding #2: I think the Houghton video was interesting for its own sake but I don't think it proved anything. In fact, the footage taken of him explaining everything with an LX7 looked better that what came from the "test" cameras. I kept thinking he had some settings that were off or the light was better.

Regarding #5: I hope you do try an HX50. The HX9, that I've owned and used for awhile, might be considered its "grandfather". I think it was the first "pocket zoom" that would do 1080p60. If Sony has been able to improve on it moving to the HX20/30 and then HX50, it should be marvelous.

Bill
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:36 PM
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It does not matter 8-bit or 14-bit, if the information is not there it is not there. You cannot recover what is not there. But more bits provide more room to store wide dynamic range and to minimize color banding. With 8 bits no matter how good the lens and the sensor are, you still have to choose whether to preserve highlights or blacks when you shoot in high-contrast situation. With 14 bits you just shoot and then you choose later which portion to choose: highlights, blacks, or maybe combine them.

But nothing is for free, so combining highs and lows into 8-bit delivery format (Blu-ray, DVD) means throwing away mids. In high-contrast situation this is usually ok. Then again, IF the camera can do all this for you and squeeze wide dynamic range into 8-bits and IF you took time and care to set up and select a fitting shooting profile, then why bother?

RAW gives endless possibilities for color timing, but if you need just one particular look in good quality, then most professional camcorders allow setting up shooting profiles.

P.S. Hey, thedest, so you adjusted low and high levels, have you adusted gamma? On the last pair of shots you can change gamma to brighten the tower while keeping the sky from blowing out. The flip side of heavy gamma adjustment is banding and noise, here more bits (including more color bits) certainly helps.
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