Panasonic LX7 versus Canon EOS M in Low Light: Grand Central Terminal Indoors and Underground - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-10-2013, 05:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Both small cameras are selling for about the same (low) price. This is not just a theoretical discussion of specs - we have the videos!

Advantages LX7: compact, fast f1.4 lens at wide end with IS (no Nikon, Panasonic, Canon prime lenses that are both fast (f2 and below and IS and silent)), bigger sensor than ALL consumer camcorders, manual control of video settings, 108060p, external viewfinder available.

Disadvantages: no 24p, no manual audio, no external mic, very limited zoom range, not easy to focus manually.

Advantages of EOS M: fast lenses available (kit is f2.0), almost all Canon lenses available - unlimited lens choices almost, APS-C sensor - big!, manual control of audio and video, external mic port, high bitrate video, 24p available, 72060p available, easy manual focus with focus rings on lenses, Magic Lantern upgrade capability gives it pro video features (focus peaking, zebras, live histogram, choice of kelvin temperatures for WB, RAW, even higher bitrates for AVC).

Disadvantages: no 108060p (108030p), no prime IS-enables fast lens, no viewfinder.

Ok, so how do the videos look in dim light? Grand Central Terminal is a real challenge; it is dim. Both videos shot the same way: with the lens wide open.

Here is the new GCT video using the EOS M and the f2.0 kit lens:

https://vimeo.com/72087017

You see: The commuters, Grand Central Market, Grand Central Food Courts, cup cake preparation, window shopping, ticket ordering, the Apple Store, breakdancing. (No sound, though as I forgot to turn it back on after ML playing).

My favorite clip: the Mac laptop; the money shot: the drinking fountain, which was in an unlit corner (1600ISO!).

And the LX7 GCT video:

https://vimeo.com/57335700

You see: An LED light show, Grand Central Market, Grand Central Food Courts, Grand Central toy trains, subway shuffle time-lapse, subway musicians.

My favorite clip: the muffin.
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-11-2013, 09:36 PM
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Hi, Mark,

thanks for posting the dozens (hundreds?) of video clips from numerous camcorders on this and other sites - very useful for others to make decisions. In looking at these videos from the EOS M and from the LX7, I find both videos very pleasing in terms of the image colors, etc. However, I did notice in the EOS M video that the lack of image stabilization is really apparent compared to the LX7 video. This is most apparent when examining the left or right edges of the image and seeing how objects there in the video move relative to the edge of the frame. The EOS M video jumps, jiggles and wiggles (all very technical terms!) horizontally more than the video from the LX7, and seems to have more sudden movement instead of smoothed out movement of the image stabilized LX7 video. It is clear from other videos you have posted that you know how to hold a camcorder steady, and the EOS M is shooting modestly wide angle, at which lack of image stabilization should be less of an issue compared to telephoto.

Any comment on this? It would be interesting to see how the 18-55 IS lens performs at 22 mm on the EOS M in comparison to the prime 22 mm lens. Obviously low light performance would suffer, but image stabilization should be much better.
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-13-2013, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by David Sholle View Post

Hi, Mark,

thanks for posting the dozens (hundreds?) of video clips from numerous camcorders on this and other sites - very useful for others to make decisions. In looking at these videos from the EOS M and from the LX7, I find both videos very pleasing in terms of the image colors, etc. However, I did notice in the EOS M video that the lack of image stabilization is really apparent compared to the LX7 video. This is most apparent when examining the left or right edges of the image and seeing how objects there in the video move relative to the edge of the frame. The EOS M video jumps, jiggles and wiggles (all very technical terms!) horizontally more than the video from the LX7, and seems to have more sudden movement instead of smoothed out movement of the image stabilized LX7 video. It is clear from other videos you have posted that you know how to hold a camcorder steady, and the EOS M is shooting modestly wide angle, at which lack of image stabilization should be less of an issue compared to telephoto.

Any comment on this? It would be interesting to see how the 18-55 IS lens performs at 22 mm on the EOS M in comparison to the prime 22 mm lens. Obviously low light performance would suffer, but image stabilization should be much better.

Any movement you see is due to instability in what was externally used to stabilize the camera (towel racks, tables, windows, etc.). You will notice that the shot of overall Grand Central is rock solid (literally) - the camera was sitting on a concrete railing. There is no question though that IS is need for video that is handheld, and all the camcorders and P&S cameras we use normally have it so we don't notice.

The outdoors video I posted of three NYC sites uses the 18-55mm kit lens, which has IS, on the EOS M, and no jittery shots.

Canon does make prime lenses that are wide aperture with IS that will work on the EOS M. There are actually very few, but more are being made as Canon cameras are increasingly used for video (the belief was that for stills wide-angle fast lenses did not need IS).

Using slow lenses in dim areas on any camera for video, no matter how big the sensor, just does not look great. The 22mm f2 lens allows in 4X the light of the kit zoom at its largest aperture. The water fountain shot at f2 needed ISO1600 - that would require an ISO of 6400 for the kit lens; ISO 800 would require 3200, etc. These are beyond the ISO levels that make for good video (or stills). For stills you can use a slow shutter to let in more light (1/8, 1/4 with IS). For video, you are stuck with 1/60th shutter, so the aperture really limits you and stablization is of no help for getting more light.

One thing you cannot see from the EOS M/LX7 videos: I try not to shoot and show clips that don't look good. You will notice there is no wide shot of GCT using the LX7 and no underground shots of people using the coffee bar, unlike for the EOS M. This is because the LX7 shots like those were poor - the lower dynamic range showed, as did the somewhat lower ability to pick up color at relatively high ISO's.

I think it's scores of videos now.
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-13-2013, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

There is no question though that IS is need for video that is handheld..

I saw this post on DP Review the other day:
Quote:
I think the best thing you can do handheld is just keep elbows tucked in at rest and do not tense up or try too hard to be steady - just relax and turn with your body and not your arms. If you relax and use your body structure instead of muscle tensions you are naturally steady. People can be surprised how steady a video is like this with 50mm F1.4 using no stabilization. 22mm is easy cake walk soon enough. You can practice with a cup of water all the way full in the yard.
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51922486

I need to try and practice this myself.
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-13-2013, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by xfws View Post


I need to try and practice this myself.

Another thing you can do with small cameras is attach them to anything that creates a better hand hold. Holding small cameras with fingers is not the same as getting a good grip.

The idea is to not only use your hands, but to increase the distance between your hands as well. The simplest pocket tripod used as a handle helps. Monopods are better. I use my monopod with the foot tucked behind my belt or even stuck in a pocket. I also use it fully shortened like a "handle bar". One guy made an effective argument on YouTube for adapting a Wii steering wheel by cutting the center out and fitting a 1/4 x 20 bolt for the tripod socket.
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-13-2013, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

Another thing you can do with small cameras is attach them to anything that creates a better hand hold. Holding small cameras with fingers is not the same as getting a good grip.

The idea is to not only use your hands, but to increase the distance between your hands as well. The simplest pocket tripod used as a handle helps. Monopods are better. I use my monopod with the foot tucked behind my belt or even stuck in a pocket. I also use it fully shortened like a "handle bar". One guy made an effective argument on YouTube for adapting a Wii steering wheel by cutting the center out and fitting a 1/4 x 20 bolt for the tripod socket.

The constraint is to not attract attention...
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-13-2013, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

Another thing you can do with small cameras is attach them to anything that creates a better hand hold. Holding small cameras with fingers is not the same as getting a good grip.

The idea is to not only use your hands, but to increase the distance between your hands as well. The simplest pocket tripod used as a handle helps. Monopods are better. I use my monopod with the foot tucked behind my belt or even stuck in a pocket. I also use it fully shortened like a "handle bar". One guy made an effective argument on YouTube for adapting a Wii steering wheel by cutting the center out and fitting a 1/4 x 20 bolt for the tripod socket.

I was somewhat referencing another thread where Mark stated he didn't want to draw attention when shooting video.

Thanks for the advice about the hand positions, I'll try and be mindful of this.

I actually have the monopod and belt pouch setup. It's pretty good, except there are micro-tremors/shows the rolling shutter effect and doesn't look good. Not a smooth sway, but like a quick twitch showing up in the video. It's difficult to notice while filming, but definitely seen in the actual video.

The only consolation is that, in 2013, these little DSLR shakes have become an acceptable thing in video. Actually, many films and TV shows incorporate this look.
The average person won't notice, just us kooky pixel-peeper video people. biggrin.gif
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