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The Official Panasonic HC-X900M Owners thread - Page 4

post #91 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by HD pixels View Post

One temp. workaround until something is available, is to screw a ND filter onto it, which may also prove handy for bright sunny scenes.
I take this back. I don't think a ND filter will have any effect at all on the image output from cmos, unlike film.

edit: sorry, meant to say uvc filter, not nd
Edited by HD pixels - 12/19/12 at 2:14am
post #92 of 231
Had an X900M for a while now, and generally very impressed with it. However, some shots are softer than they should be, and investigation showed a big dip in video quality in the f/3.4 to f/4.4 manual iris setting region. I've uploaded test results to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Va74DxwZSyk and would like to know if anyone else can confirm this, or whether the problem is just with my camera.
post #93 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudstrewn View Post

..... However, some shots are softer than they should be .....

With every camera and lens, someone, somewhere will find a limitation. Taking pictures of finely printed flat pages is not typical use of a consumer level camcorder. Even the most expensive DSLRs would have to have a specific lens designed to focus on a flat surface to get it right taking pictures of maps.

I have a Sony camera that, on another forum, was able to prove you shouldn't take pictures of black and white "want ads" in dim light with the lens wide open.

My guess is that the design team for the x900 was aiming for good video of three dimension moving objects, not flat maps. I don't think you found anything wrong with your camera. Instead, I think you've proven that all lenses are not perfect for all uses.

Bill
post #94 of 231
Thanks for your response, Bill. I found the quality drop using the camera outdoors on a variety of subjects, just used a map for the Youtube video for ease of comparison. The X900 pictures are (usually) so amazingly sharp that I am not at all happy to accept a drop to, say, normal consumer camera quality when the autoexposure system just happens to settle on a particular f number. I will probably upload some outdoor examples to Youtube sometime. Ric
post #95 of 231
For anyone out there interested in the X900M "quality drop" around the f/4 manual iris setting, I've uploaded a new video http://youtu.be/eZKCp7sU6x0 which shows it very clearly.

I don't know whether this quality drop is only with my camera or a design fault. I would be very interested to hear other people's experiences with this.

Ric
post #96 of 231
What do I need to livestream broadcast high school sports with a Panasonic HC-X900M?
post #97 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by B and B View Post

What do I need to livestream broadcast high school sports with a Panasonic HC-X900M?

B and B - you have a few off-the-shelf options, depending on your budget:

1) Cerevo Live Shell, $289 - works with UStream, Livestream and YouTube

2) Livestream Broadcaster, $469 - works only with Livestream

3) Teradek Cube HDMI wi-fi encoder, $1500 and up

There are other options, but these are the simplest.

Hope this is helpful,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution
post #98 of 231
I hate to ask this but how is the digital zoom? Lets say (dim lighting) indoors at a kids play or outside at a football game.

I am between this and a sony cx260 $220 difference now that the x900m is $600
I'm really not sure which one to get the optical zoom is a big thing for me
post #99 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by skysi View Post

Does anybody know where to get a lens cover for X900. I tried to google it to no avail. Thanks.
You're not talking about the built-in cover that slides over the lens when you turn the camera off, but rather a separate lens cap that you snap on to the front of the lens, right?

The camera has a standard 49mm filter thread, so any 49mm lens cap will work. For example:

http://www.henrys.com/4814-SNAP-LENS-CAP-49MM.aspx
post #100 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by nineseeone View Post

I hate to ask this but how is the digital zoom? Lets say (dim lighting) indoors at a kids play or outside at a football game.
I'm not a big fan of digital zoom, but the one on the X900M seems to work pretty decently. The sensor has better resolution than 1920 x 1080 video, so when you go into the digital zoom range you aren't trying to interpolate a single pixel into multiple pixels in the captured image. I haven't really noticed any discontinuity in the zoom rate or picture quality when you zoom through the optical zoom limit into the digital zoom range.

Note, however, that some camera functions don't work in the digital zoom range. For example, the [DIGITAL CINEMA] mode (which simulates 24P) will only work with the camera set to optical zoom.
post #101 of 231
Can anyone recommend a lens hood for the X900? Or is the bundled one ok?

I want something that won't vignette if that's possible?

Also, is a filter set a good idea? Was thinking of a cheap polarising, UV and FDL set.
post #102 of 231
You want an ND filter, not an FDL filter (auto wb takes care of lighting color).

If you shoot at 1/60th, as you should, you need to open up the lens in bright light to prevent overexposure and diffraction. The ND filter will do that. IMHO ND filters should always be used in video in bright light.

This statement, from a post above: "I don't think a ND filter will have any effect at all on the image output from cmos, unlike film." is incorrect. All an ND filter does is reduce the light coming through the lens, so you can open the aperture; the sensor type or film is irrelevant.
post #103 of 231
Ok can you recommend a particular filter?

Also, any thoughts on the lens hood?
post #104 of 231
Tiffen makes a kit that has a 49mm polarizer, an ND and a UV in a soft case that is reasonably priced:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/674635-REG/Tiffen_49DIGEK3_49mm_Digital_Essentials_Filter.html

What exactly is wrong with the *included* lens hood?
post #105 of 231
Thanks again. As for the lens hood, I don't know It hasn't arrived yet so I haven't tried it. Just wondered if it was up to the job
post #106 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

This statement, from a post above: "I don't think a ND filter will have any effect at all on the image output from cmos, unlike film." is incorrect. All an ND filter does is reduce the light coming through the lens, so you can open the aperture; the sensor type or film is irrelevant.
Yeah sorry about that, meant to type uvc filter, not nd

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudstrewn View Post

For anyone out there interested in the X900M "quality drop" around the f/4 manual iris setting, I've uploaded a new video http://youtu.be/eZKCp7sU6x0 which shows it very clearly.
I don't know whether this quality drop is only with my camera or a design fault. I would be very interested to hear other people's experiences with this.
Ric
Have tried a quick test with mine and not noticed anything like what you got, though my subject [leafy vine] was not in as finer detail as yours.
My distance to subject was about 10m, 6x zoom, bright sunlight and stepped through shutter speeds from 1/350 to 1/50 which gave apertures from 2.4 to 5.6
Shot at 1080/50p
Oddly, I noticed that aperture will follow shutter, but shutter will not follow aperture, or have I missed something with this camera.

edit:
ok, found something with finer detail and I think I'm starting to see what your getting - more testing to come.
Edited by HD pixels - 12/17/12 at 2:16am
post #107 of 231
Unless I'm missing something as well, it will do "shutter priority" (aperture follows shutter) but not "aperture priority", so running through the f values for testing takes a bit of time. Main thing though is it will do full manual!. Look forward to your test results. Ric
post #108 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudstrewn View Post

Unless I'm missing something as well, it will do "shutter priority" (aperture follows shutter) but not "aperture priority", so running through the f values for testing takes a bit of time. Main thing though is it will do full manual!. Look forward to your test results. Ric
Yeah that's exactly it. I'm guessing that your taking advantage of the seemingly lack of shutter priority, to get full manual control? e.g. leave zoom on the stick, assign focus to the ring, set desired shutter then switch to and set aperture?

What distance did you have between subject and lens in your tests?
Was focus on auto or manual?
post #109 of 231
The map was about 2 metres/6 feet away and the trees about 50 metres/150 feet. I used autofocus on all the tests.

What I did was to fix a random shutter speed then fix the iris wide open (with 0db gain), then repeat the process with a new shutter speed which gave a better exposure, and keep doing this until I got the shutter speed which gave the correct exposure for a wide open iris and then took the test shot. Then for successive f values you can use the fact that a one stop closing of the iris (eg from f/2 to f/2.8 or from f/5.6 to f/8) requires doubling the exposure time (eg 1/250 to 1/125) - so if you want to do a test shot with f/2.8 after f/2 you can first select double the exposure time then select the new iris setting.

I found that the simple doubling of exposure time didn't always work precisely for whatever reason, so you may have to play around with shutter speeds a bit more to get the right exposure for a chosen iris setting. Hope this makes some sense - it's difficult to put into words.
post #110 of 231
Thanks for the ideas. I will check into these and see which seems to be the best for the job.
post #111 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudstrewn View Post

The map was about 2 metres/6 feet away and the trees about 50 metres/150 feet. I used autofocus on all the tests.
What I did was to fix a random shutter speed then fix the iris wide open (with 0db gain), then repeat the process with a new shutter speed which gave a better exposure, and keep doing this until I got the shutter speed which gave the correct exposure for a wide open iris and then took the test shot. Then for successive f values you can use the fact that a one stop closing of the iris (eg from f/2 to f/2.8 or from f/5.6 to f/8) requires doubling the exposure time (eg 1/250 to 1/125) - so if you want to do a test shot with f/2.8 after f/2 you can first select double the exposure time then select the new iris setting.
I found that the simple doubling of exposure time didn't always work precisely for whatever reason, so you may have to play around with shutter speeds a bit more to get the right exposure for a chosen iris setting. Hope this makes some sense - it's difficult to put into words.
Ah, ok. I was simply using shutter priority
My method was to set up the camera on the subject, then before shooting I would find and note down that range of shutter speeds that would give me apertures from 2.8 to to 6.8, then start shooting and work my way through the shutter speeds while the camera was recording.

One observation:
At each shutter speed, I would momentarily have a look at the aperture menu to make sure it had selected the stop as per my notes.
When I did this, I noted that there was a slight to noticable decrease in luminosity.
It seems that when you are viewing and adjusting the shutter speed, the aperture is free to move to any fractional [infinitely variable] position between stops to give exact exposure.
But when you switch to the aperture menu, the iris is forced to set itself to the nearest higher full stop position, which may be less exposure.
post #112 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by HD pixels View Post

Ah, ok. I was simply using shutter priority
My method was to set up the camera on the subject, then before shooting I would find and note down that range of shutter speeds that would give me apertures from 2.8 to to 6.8, then start shooting and work my way through the shutter speeds while the camera was recording.
One observation:
At each shutter speed, I would momentarily have a look at the aperture menu to make sure it had selected the stop as per my notes.
When I did this, I noted that there was a slight to noticable decrease in luminosity.
It seems that when you are viewing and adjusting the shutter speed, the aperture is free to move to any fractional [infinitely variable] position between stops to give exact exposure.
But when you switch to the aperture menu, the iris is forced to set itself to the nearest higher full stop position, which may be less exposure.


Make sure the lighting doesn't change during your sequence of shots!
Interesting observation about the iris variability. If only aperture priority was available....
post #113 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudstrewn View Post

Make sure the lighting doesn't change during your sequence of shots!
Interesting observation about the iris variability. If only aperture priority was available....

Bright, cloudless sunny days here atm [Perth, West Aus.] so lighting is very consistent over the time frame needed to run off a sequence.
I check the numbers before I shoot, then recheck them after the shoot to make sure nothing has changed.

So far I'm not able to duplicate what your getting, though my leafy tree in the distance is a little wind blown atm which makes objective analyses a little tricky.
I've got focus on auto as well.
Will try something indoors like your map shots.

Another observation:
In good light with the aperture operating in the f stop range [0 gain], when you switch from the shutter menu to the aperture menu, there is a slight drop in exposure. But in low light with the aperture in the gain range, there is a slight increase in exposure [now over exposed] when switching from shutter to aperture menu.
post #114 of 231
Got a near wind free patch today so shot of another sequence.
I've uploaded the same footage twice, the first is as-is of the camera with shutter changeover points included, the second is with the changeover points edited out.
Focus/clarity looks pretty consistent with the aperture moving from open @ 1/500th to f8.0 @ 1/50th, though is imo always a tad over exposed, half a stop less would be good.

1st vid

2nd vid

Yet another observation:
iA and shutter priority are problematic in variable light scenes as the camera endlessly chases 'best' exposure.
Better to set things manually in these situations, though make sure you don't go back to the shutter menu or aperture will be on the move again.
If that happens, go back to the aperture menu and set it back to what you want. Your then free to go to any other menu except shutter and aperture will remain fixed.
post #115 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by HD pixels View Post

Got a near wind free patch today so shot of another sequence.
I've uploaded the same footage twice, the first is as-is of the camera with shutter changeover points included, the second is with the changeover points edited out.
Focus/clarity looks pretty consistent with the aperture moving from open @ 1/500th to f8.0 @ 1/50th, though is imo always a tad over exposed, half a stop less would be good.
1st vid
2nd vid
Yet another observation:
iA and shutter priority are problematic in variable light scenes as the camera endlessly chases 'best' exposure.
Better to set things manually in these situations, though make sure you don't go back to the shutter menu or aperture will be on the move again.
If that happens, go back to the aperture menu and set it back to what you want. Your then free to go to any other menu except shutter and aperture will remain fixed.

Checked your vids and it's very interesting. The left side of your picture looks generally softer than the right, with mine it's the other way around (could be just the way the lens happens to be fitted). To my eyes, the left edge of your shots gradually sharpen as the iris is closed, but the right edge clearly has a worst point at f/4 like mine. Probably the centre is also worst at f/4. I think the trees you used and the slight heat turbulence make it a bit difficult to judge, but if you compare f/2.8, f/4 and f/5.6 directly I think you will see the quality drop at f/4 on the right side at least.
post #116 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudstrewn View Post

Checked your vids and it's very interesting. The left side of your picture looks generally softer than the right, with mine it's the other way around (could be just the way the lens happens to be fitted). To my eyes, the left edge of your shots gradually sharpen as the iris is closed, but the right edge clearly has a worst point at f/4 like mine. Probably the centre is also worst at f/4. I think the trees you used and the slight heat turbulence make it a bit difficult to judge, but if you compare f/2.8, f/4 and f/5.6 directly I think you will see the quality drop at f/4 on the right side at least.
Yes, your right. There is a big jump in sharpness from 4.8 to 5.6 over the entire picture. 4.0 and 4.8 are to be avoided.
I had previously noted the softer edges, which improve as the lens is stopped down. Will test this at wider angles on a close-up subject.
The loss of resolution at 4.0 and 4.8 is quite bizzare, I can't see how the lens could be at fault, maybe auto focus is getting confused? Will try again on manual focus.
post #117 of 231
I am wondering what accessories you all are buying and using with this great camera? I bought mine at B&H last week, and I picked up a Pearstone 1250MaH 2nd battery, a 49mm Tiffen UV filter, and a Hoya 49mm Circular Polarizer. I already had a Raynox HD-7000-Pro .7X lens in 58mm that I used with my Canon HV-20; so I picked up a 49mm to 58mm step-up ring so I can use it with the X900M when I want...very front heavy but almost no vignetting.

What are you folks buying and using?
post #118 of 231
Here's another sequence shot at 1m wide angle manual focus with switch points edited out.
post #119 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by HD pixels View Post

Woops, sorry, I'm the one that stuffed up - another setting was not quoted in the previous post.
The ext display button on the remote does the trick. It cycles through 3 settings with each press - all icons and menus or MNL/iA icon only or no icons [clean signal]
Hdmi out can be set to whatever you want - makes no diffrence.
Page 108 of the manual


Page 110 of the U.S. Manual
post #120 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by HD pixels View Post

Here's another sequence shot at 1m wide angle manual focus with switch points edited out.

It maybe the test subject but the quality drop doesn't seem as obvious here.

I've uploaded another test http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fp4cqLPCJd4 which again clearly shows the "problem" around the f/4 iris setting. Where the quality drops there seems to be fine horizontal banding on the video (I've noticed this on most of my tests) which makes me wonder if the problem is at least partly in the camcorder's electronics, not just down to the lens.
Edited by Cloudstrewn - 12/23/12 at 5:31am
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