The Ultimate Shoot-Out: AX100 (4K), BMPCC (RAW), ZS30, GW77, TD10 (3D) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-08-2014, 08:37 AM - Thread Starter
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The Ultimate Shoot-Out: AX100 (4K), BMPCC (RAW), ZS30, GW77, TD10 (3D)

Here are short videos taken at the same Hong Kong Lake over the years with different popular camcorders/cameras in reverse chronological order, starting with our current technology - 4K - and going all the way back to 3D (get your glasses, although you can view in 2D) with graded RAW video on the way.


Sony AX100 (4K)
https://vimeo.com/100187219
BMPCC (RAW)
https://vimeo.com/82777759
Panasonic ZS30
https://vimeo.com/69374010
Sony GW77
https://vimeo.com/53314625
Panasonic TM900
https://vimeo.com/33826041
Sony TD10 (3D)
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-08-2014, 08:57 AM
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Thanks for your posts. I'll let other more knowledgeable people comment on that images but having said there's just something that seems synthetic or overly processed or maybe even too detailed about 4K images I look at. I'm in the hunt for a camera and it's down to an AX100 or a Panasonic 920. I'm not convinced that I dig the 4K images that much better yet. Oh well. I'm certainly a rookie at this. Looking forward to the feedback of others.
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post #3 of 16 Old 07-08-2014, 10:24 AM
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That is because you are conditioned from watching TV to accept low quality footage as natural looking video. They said the same thing when HD replaced SD

Give it some time, once you get used to 4K HD will look clunky and crude.
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post #4 of 16 Old 07-08-2014, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glashub View Post
there's just something that seems synthetic or overly processed or maybe even too detailed about 4K images I look at.
I had the same impression of the AX100's 4K footage when I owned the camera for a few days. Returned it to the vendor and got a GH4 a couple weeks later. Problem solved. In all fairness, I do not think the "synthetic look" is a problem specific to the AX100, but to virtually all consumer camcorders. They just do not produce either video footage or stills that look as real life as what you can get with a still camera (IMHO). Oh, and BTW, to truely appreciate the detail 4K video offers, you need to view it on a high pixel density display of some kind like a UHD TV, retina screen Macbook, retina iPad, that sort of screen.
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Last edited by SD90; 07-08-2014 at 08:33 PM.
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-09-2014, 10:42 AM
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Thanks for doing this. As you may remember I have a "near" TM900 (the SDT750) and have given a ZS30 to my son when he wanted a "video camera" better than his smart phone. You may also know that I lust after a AX100, or perhaps a GH4.

I didn't watch the BMPCC as I'm not tempted there. I didn't watch the TD10 because, although I have Sony TV glasses, I've not figured out how to use them on YouTubes.

You comparison examples of the TM900, ZS30, GW77 and AX100 show me, once again, that the shooter counts more than the equipment. All three are a pleasure to watch. They remind me that I need to invest time at improving shooting skills more than I need to invest dollars in equipment.

You've reinforced my personal conclusion that I can wait to watch 4K choices to develop.

Best...
Bill
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post #6 of 16 Old 07-10-2014, 06:53 AM
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My eyes are getting old, I can't see that much difference; not enough for me to part with my hard earned Social Security money. I think for now, I will stick with my GW77.
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-10-2014, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD90 View Post
I had the same impression of the AX100's 4K footage when I owned the camera for a few days. Returned it to the vendor and got a GH4 a couple weeks later. Problem solved. In all fairness, I do not think the "synthetic look" is a problem specific to the AX100, but to virtually all consumer camcorders. They just do not produce either video footage or stills that look as real life as what you can get with a still camera (IMHO). Oh, and BTW, to truely appreciate the detail 4K video offers, you need to view it on a high pixel density display of some kind like a UHD TV, retina screen Macbook, retina iPad, that sort of screen.
In fact I find quite the opposite. I had the GH4 and found the AX100 to look closer to 'real life' than anything I could get with my GH4. Detail & sharpness on the AX100 were closer to what my eyes saw as was color. If anything was 'synthetic', it was the colors produced by the GH4. No matter what I did, I could not get them to look, on a consistent basis, like the real world. With that said, I could see many find the colors 'pleasing', especially those that like a very saturated look to their colors as you've shown to like many times.
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post #8 of 16 Old 07-10-2014, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post
Here are short videos taken at the same Hong Kong Lake over the years with different popular camcorders/cameras in reverse chronological order, starting with our current technology - 4K - and going all the way back to 3D (get your glasses, although you can view in 2D) with graded RAW video on the way.


Sony AX100 (4K)
https://vimeo.com/100187219
BMPCC (RAW)
https://vimeo.com/82777759
Panasonic ZS30
https://vimeo.com/69374010
Sony GW77
https://vimeo.com/53314625
Panasonic TM900
https://vimeo.com/33826041
Sony TD10 (3D)
http://youtu.be/uf__n-lY2Fc
An interesting comparison Mark and nicely done.

IMO the only camera that held up to the AX100 for HD detail, was the BMPCC. Of course viewing the 4K version would be no contest, but viewing only in HD, I thought the BMPCC held up nicely in terms of detail. Most of the others paled by comparison.

In terms of color, it's harder to judge as each day had its own unique weather conditions. It appears you shot on a solid overcast with the AX100, whereas the BMPCC was shot on a bright sunny day. Of course the old grading issue comes in to play for the BM and there I felt the colors were too warm/brown. This was very evident in the shots of the students on the field toward the end of the video. But as I've found in the past, your grading still looks better than most other attempts I've seen.

So nothing here that would lead me to believe there's a better combination of detail, sharpness & color than the AX100. What's interesting is that I went through each one and then finally back to the AX100. When I did that, it was like a breath of fresh air...everything just seemed 'right' or at least closer to 'right' than anything else...and that wasn't even the 4K version.
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-10-2014, 12:23 PM
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Mark, I just looked at the downloaded 4K version and watched on my 4K monitor. This version is a different animal, entirely. Just beautiful, one of your best videos. The color, exposure, composition and naturalness of the video were all excellent.

I also noticed you were quite steady for most of these shots, including the telephoto shots. Nicely done. Did you use anything for support or are you getting steadier in your old age?
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post #10 of 16 Old 07-11-2014, 01:06 AM
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Yes i would love a AX100 but until one comes that can give me the close ups i like i shall hold fire.
A few made with my cheapest cam.
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post #11 of 16 Old 07-11-2014, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post
You've reinforced my personal conclusion that I can wait to watch 4K choices to develop. Bill
I was in the same frame of mind a couple months ago when I had only a few days worth of experience working with the AX100 and GH4. Now after 2 months of working with the GH4 I ask myself: What qualities does this camera lack that might tempt me to get another 4K camera? And I have a hard time thinking on any. The GH4 has a great view finder, no moire or alaising problems, minimal rolling shudder, nails exposure and focus reliably (has a pinpoint focus setting) and colors are good once you figure out the white balance settings and picture shooting style that suits your taste. It's also about half as bulky as the AX100 when fitted with with most lenses and 4K is recorded at a substantially higher bitrate so the footage is more forgiving when you make adjustments in post). And the degree of in-camera sharpening is adjustable. So I'm fully satisfied with the GH4 now and the only things that might tempt me to get something else in the near future are radical new features such as 5 axis image stabilization.

Last edited by SD90; 07-12-2014 at 12:42 AM.
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post #12 of 16 Old 07-12-2014, 06:40 AM
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I actually saw zero advantage to the higher bitrate in the GH4. I think bitrate is an often exaggerated function of PQ. I've had cameras where when changing the bitrate, it was almost impossible to tell the difference between the higher and lower bitrate. More importantly, you can't compare two totally different compression schemes and their corresponding bitrates. It was apparent to me that XAVC-S codec is more efficient than what Panasonic is using.
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post #13 of 16 Old 07-12-2014, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post
I actually saw zero advantage to the higher bitrate in the GH4. I think bitrate is an often exaggerated function of PQ. I've had cameras where when changing the bitrate, it was almost impossible to tell the difference between the higher and lower bitrate. More importantly, you can't compare two totally different compression schemes and their corresponding bitrates. It was apparent to me that XAVC-S codec is more efficient than what Panasonic is using.
.
Did you try any situations where a low bitrate usualy is a problem?
The thing with picture falling apart from lowbitrate is that it often makes the footage unusable. If a highlight is blown, a shadow is a bit noisy or even if something is slightly out of focus it still might be usable in a pinch with some sharpening and denoiser.
But a broken down image is just broken.
I havent seen it from the AX100 so far unless the person testing have wanted to provoke it, so thats verry good.
In higher bitrated cameras like the bmpcc I have never seen it, even if I tried.
But again, they are imo different cameras for diffrent jobs and I could never call one better than the other across the board.
The bad news is that it means buying more than one camera, and the good news is that it means buying more than one camera
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post #14 of 16 Old 07-12-2014, 10:02 AM
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Mattias, I have tried it with objects such as waterfalls, but no matter what camera I've used, for whatever reason, it has always appeared to me that bitrate is not quite as impactful as I would have thought.

Now with that said, I would still always use the highest bitrate available. I guess it's a kind of 'insecurity'.
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post #15 of 16 Old 07-12-2014, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post
Mattias, I have tried it with objects such as waterfalls, but no matter what camera I've used, for whatever reason, it has always appeared to me that bitrate is not quite as impactful as I would have thought.

Now with that said, I would still always use the highest bitrate available. I guess it's a kind of 'insecurity'.
Ok, thats good news for both cams then. I will try just for kicks how much push is needed to break the AX100 next time. Its IMO always good to know the limit.
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post #16 of 16 Old 07-16-2014, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Mattias Burling View Post
Ok, thats good news for both cams then. I will try just for kicks how much push is needed to break the AX100 next time. Its IMO always good to know the limit.
Im quoting myself here because I thought about this conversation today when I was looking at some footage from a weekend trip to Finland. It was shoot with the BMCC.

I love my FS100 and it produces an amazing image IMO even if only in AVCHD, also it has xlrs, picture profiles, etc, etc. But looking att a close up of waves from a ship in motion with not so much as a single pixel artifact is truly nice.

They are of course different tools and I use them for different jobs. And also youtube and vimeo would tare it apart anyway.
But still... Man it looks good

And looking at Marks shootout gives me the same feeling. AX100 for really nice run-gun/travel and the BMPCC as a light backup and for that special moment when you want the pure power of its prores/raw codec
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