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Camcorder vs DSLR for video? - Page 3

post #61 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

Ken, I agree with most of what you have to say, with one small point though: I do not think there are or will be any *fast*, long power zooms for the VG series or any DSLR. For indoor sports you need a *wide-aperture* (1.8-3.2), variable-speed, long power zoom. It is not just a matter of dof. The small sensor is what enables big-aperture long zooms, since the lens can be smaller (and cheaper and lighter) for the same quality. The 18-200mm E-series Sony zoom, with its small aperture (especially at the long end) is not going to work well for indoor sports, even if it is powered. And a fast, long, power zoom for a big-sensor camera would be so large as to not be useable handheld. I do not see any technological breakthrough that is going to create small lenses with wide apertures and long extension for big sensor cameras, even if they shrink the body to a cellphone size. ESPN uses camcorders for its non-stationary shooters to shoot basketball.

Can't disagree with that Mark. Fortunately I don't shoot indoor sports, but I have the tools for that too. Too many camcorders & cameras...it gets ridiculous at times. Glad there's an Ebay! wink.gif

Jogiba, thanks, I didn't see that. I'm not sure what the technical issue is with the typical Sony kit E-mount and the crop factor on the 900. Some of the prices on those lenses are breathtaking!
post #62 of 86
Big-sensor (full-frame) DSLR vs. Small-Sensor Handycam: Sony Alpha SLT A99 vs. HDR CX760V

Many (not Ken) believe that large, expensive big-sensor cameras are always superior to small-sensor camcorders using the exact same video codec.

Well, this is not so. Here are two videos shot under similar conditions using AVCHD 2.0: sideline at indoor basketball games, and handheld. The Alpha A99, Sony's new "flagship" full-frame camera, was using a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM lens; the Handycam has a Carl Zeiss® Vario-Sonnar T* 26.4-260mm f1.8-3.4 lens (yes, both have top Carl Zeiss lenses).

Here is the link to the video from the new, full-frame alpha camera done as part of a DPReview review, by a pro. It is a clip straight from the camera:


https://vimeo.com/55320855


You can download the original from here to watch it on your best viewing device:


http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-alpha-slt-a99/18


Here is the corresponding clip using the Handycam - different arena, same conditions (I bet the arena here is dimmer by far than the Huskies one):


https://vimeo.com/56129928


Also straight from the camera, and you can also download the original, from the linked Vimeo site in this case.

It is blatantly obvious which clip has better color, lower noise, higher resolution and is more pleasing (the stereo sound quality from each is comparable). Both were shot at 108060p, AVCHD. The files have exactly the same specs - I can combine them without re-encoding.


Here is another video comparison, again using the same setting and subject - indoor toy trains in action indoors in dim light - but shot with the A99 and then a camcorder:

Here is the DPReview video from the A99:

https://vimeo.com/album/2181762/video/55320854

Again, this is from an original camera clip.

You can download that DPReview video from here:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-alpha-slt-a99/18

Here is a comparable clip (the first part) - again an indoor train set in dim light - taken with a Sony HDR GW77 Handycam:

https://vimeo.com/54215549

You can downlaod the original from that site too.


It is again pretty obvious which has higher resolution and better color.
Edited by markr041 - 12/21/12 at 5:19pm
post #63 of 86
To see why people like Vincent Laforet and Philip Bloom prefer a full frame sensor here is why:
Download the Original .MP4 file (1920x1080 / 882MB) file from Vimeo:
https://vimeo.com/54131282

Original .MP4 file (1920x1080 / 481MB) :
https://vimeo.com/54180819



Youtube versions :





post #64 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

......The Alpha A99, Sony's new "flagship" full-frame camera, was using a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM lens; the Handycam has a Carl Zeiss® Vario-Sonnar T* 26.4-260mm f1.8-3.4 lens (yes, both have top Carl Zeiss lenses).......
Do you have one of those too! I can't keep up, but thanks for sharing!

Bill
post #65 of 86
Bill: I don't own the a99 - look at the basketball court videos (One in Washington State, the other on the East Coast) and the comparison and you will see why (apart from the price). The a99 video is from a review site, taken by a "professional".

Jogiba:

1. I don't care what Philip Bloom prefers. He doesn't shoot sports videos or any of the kind of videos I shoot. And he doesn't compare to or use camcorders. And that video has serious flaws.

2. The video from PB, which I downloaded, is not an original from the camera - it is a 35Mbps mp4 file with AAC audio. The camera does not produce that. Obviously the video was heavily edited, maybe color graded, maybe even sharpened.

3. Mostly it plays with shallow dof. Not useful for sports. And it is filled with blown out highlights, and obviously not very high resolution. Nice touches, but poor shooter performance and camera weaknesses in evidence.

Nobody is arguing that the VG900 is bad, just next to useless for indoor sports. And maybe the A99 is not as good as the vg series.

Why don't you show us your own VG900 video, without the editing, to show it off? Your pictures of your camera are impressive. Or do you just follow Philip Bloom?
Edited by markr041 - 12/21/12 at 6:28pm
post #66 of 86
I guess you missed the part were I said I use the TM700 for sports and most other quick home videos. Why do you get all bent out of shape if someone uses a full frame camera for video ?
post #67 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

Big-sensor (full-frame) DSLR vs. Small-Sensor Handycam: Sony Alpha SLT A99 vs. HDR CX760V
Many (not Ken) believe that large, expensive big-sensor cameras are always superior to small-sensor camcorders using the exact same video codec.
Well, this is not so. Here are two videos shot under similar conditions using AVCHD 2.0: sideline at indoor basketball games, and handheld. The Alpha A99, Sony's new "flagship" full-frame camera, was using a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM lens; the Handycam has a Carl Zeiss® Vario-Sonnar T* 26.4-260mm f1.8-3.4 lens (yes, both have top Carl Zeiss lenses).

Mark, to be fair, it's extremely difficult to compare two cameras that were used in two totally different venues even though they may appear 'similar'. You know that the color quality of the light (regardless of the intensity) can greatly impact the final video quality. I'd be very hesitant to compare two camera unless they were shot in exactly the same area, at the same time under the same conditions. Whether it's two different model railroad layouts or two different indoor sports arenas, there are so many factors that can effect the final video quality, any comparison is truly very dicey. Although I don't own the A99, I know that example in the arena is very poor and I've seen far better examples coming from that camera. Let's face it, if that clip were indicative of the A99, not too many would be sold. smile.gif

In general, I would say that when capturing outdoor scenes, it's tough to beat the quality of a good large sensor camcorder for overall visual impact. Indoors can be different, but not always. I know I've captured some very nice, very low noise, very 'thick' videos indoors using the VG20. It's extremely capable indoors for family scenes and has performed better than some of the smaller chip cameras I've used. As I said, I haven't used these cameras in indoor sports venues, but I have no doubt a smaller chip camera might well do better for capturing action where a larger DOF is required. They're certainly easier to manage in those tight quarters.

BTW, one thing I failed to mention, audio. The audio quality of the built in 5.1 mikes on the VG20/30 far surpasses that of any camcorder I've used in the past.
post #68 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

2. The video from PB, which I downloaded, is not an original from the camera - it is a 35Mbps mp4 file with AAC audio. The camera does not produce that. Obviously the video was heavily edited, maybe color graded, maybe even sharpened.

Mark, maybe I'm confused, but I've always thought that regardless of the bitrate you assign during the editing process, it won't improve the original footage shot at a lower bitrate. Thus if the original is shot at 28Mbps and it's edited at 35 or even 50Mbps, it won't improve the video. In other words, what's done is done in the original capture as far as the bitrate is concerned. Am I missing something?

I guess what I'm saying is that I wouldn't be suspicious of the intentions of the producer because of changes in the bitrate or audio codec. I think some guys may go overboard in the editing process to ensure that there is no loss in the original quality of the video. As to whether or not the color was graded, I know the VG series I've used can produce that kind of color and sharpness with no problem and it's one of the reasons I find the cam's output so attractive.

One thing that some people overlook though, is that the shallow DOF can bite you in the rear at times. I haven't experienced that too many times, but a shallow DOF can be both good and bad depending on what you're shooting. The other thing that I've found is that although the autofocus on the VG series is reasonably fast, it's not quite as fast as some of the smaller cams I've used. The Canon XA10 was champ in my book for the best autofocus I've ever used. That camera almost seemed to sense what you wanted in focus. I've yet to find a Sony camcorder (of any size) that could match that autofocus quality.
Edited by Ken Ross - 12/21/12 at 7:33pm
post #69 of 86
One thing i have to ask is when you camcorder collectors use them,i have not seen anyone useing one for ages. tongue.gif
post #70 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

Mark, maybe I'm confused, but I've always thought that regardless of the bitrate you assign during the editing process, it won't improve the original footage shot at a lower bitrate. Thus if the original is shot at 28Mbps and it's edited at 35 or even 50Mbps, it won't improve the video. In other words, what's done is done in the original capture as far as the bitrate is concerned. Am I missing something?
I guess what I'm saying is that I wouldn't be suspicious of the intentions of the producer because of changes in the bitrate or audio codec. I think some guys may go overboard in the editing process to ensure that there is no loss in the original quality of the video. As to whether or not the color was graded, I know the VG series I've used can produce that kind of color and sharpness with no problem and it's one of the reasons I find the cam's output so attractive.
One thing that some people overlook though, is that the shallow DOF can bite you in the rear at times. I haven't experienced that too many times, but a shallow DOF can be both good and bad depending on what you're shooting. The other thing that I've found is that although the autofocus on the VG series is reasonably fast, it's not quite as fast as some of the smaller cams I've used. The Canon XA10 was champ in my book for the best autofocus I've ever used. That camera almost seemed to sense what you wanted in focus. I've yet to find a Sony camcorder (of any size) that could match that autofocus quality.


Ken,

Glad to see you back around these parts.smile.gif I was wondering what cams you have been using and you answered that in a previous post. Sony no doubt has been pushing hard this year with the full frame sensors in the A99, RX1, and the VG900 camcorder. I'm ready check out a full frame camera against the smaller sensor camcorders I have. I shoot a lot of track & field so we'll see how things go. From left to right: Canon M41, Sony RX1, Panasonic TM900. Wide angle lens on both Canon and Panasonic.

post #71 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by jogiba View Post

To see why people like Vincent Laforet and Philip Bloom prefer a full frame sensor here is why....
Watch the very first shot on this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwgHutQljis

[youtubehd]AwgHutQljis[/youtubehd] (What's up with embeds, AVS?)

It could as well be shot on a green screen. Maybe it WAS shot on a green screen? Hard to tell. This level of blur is just ridiculous. I don't care what Philip Bloom prefers, he is a shallow-DOF maniac. When he did an interview with a fast wide open lens, the subject was thrown out of focus when she tilted forward and back a bit. Unacceptable for me, but for him it looked, apparently, very artistic. His job as a professional videographer was to figure out (god forbid, to calculate!) what DOF was needed for shooting in those conditions, considering subject's movement. He did not care, instead he opened the lens all the way, so when eyes were sharp, nose and ears were blurred.
post #72 of 86
post #73 of 86
Here are frame grabs from the videos in the comparison.

There is only one for the A99, since there was no change in perspective during the clip:





Here are three from the camcorder clip (one continuous clip from one vantage point), where the zoom was used, so you see qualities at different perspectives:











You can see the good focus on the subject at the extreme telephoto end (middle grab) - good focus tracking, where the dof is relatively shallow. Note that if the camera is not tracking the player's movement by itself moving (As in the first two frame grabs), because of the slow shutter, most of the players will be blurred - the blurring is not low resolution. These are, after all, for video, where we sacrifice frame-by-frame resolution for smooth movement.
Edited by markr041 - 12/22/12 at 7:57pm
post #74 of 86
Full frame vs APS-C lens comparison test

post #75 of 86
Again, I think it has limited value comparing different cameras, each at different locations with different lighting characteristics...not really an apples to apples comparison. To me the only reliably valid comparison is an A/B of 2 cams, at the same location at the same time, with settings as close as is feasible.

As far as the DOF issue is concerned, yes you can get some nice shallow DOF shots with small sensor cameras, but it's obviously not as easy to do or as attainable in a wide variety of conditions as it is with a large sensor camera.

I chose the VG series not really for the added DOF potential, but rather, IMO, for the improved imagery that I find these cameras produce. If they were capable of no greater DOF than a small sensor camera, I'd still choose them for their improved image. You can see from some of the clips in the links that Jogiba provided, the rich, deep colors these units produce. It's one of the things I immediately noticed with these cameras. They just seem to produce a 'denser' image than most camcorders I've used.
post #76 of 86
Well, one can take from the comparison what one wants.

I have decoded the A99 clip and the CX760 clip:

The shutter speed for both was 1/60th, the A900 was at an aperture of f3.5 and the gain was 3dB throughout the whole clip, auto WB. The CX760 was mostly between f2.8 and f3.1 with 0dB and manual WB. So, it seems the amount of lighting at the arenas was similar.

I like the colors of the NEX and VG series too. Maybe because I do a lot of viewing (not all) close to a 24" 1080p monitor, lack of sharpness really bothers me at times.
post #77 of 86
NAB 2010 Slow motion silliness with the Panasonic TM700 1080p 60p by Philip Bloom :
https://vimeo.com/11071486




Photokina 2012 shot with full frame by Philp Bloom:
https://vimeo.com/50177523
post #78 of 86
Keep in mind that the amount of light is one part of the equation, and the other is the color quality. I recall when my son was playing basketball, he played in some schools that had really ugly lighting. Despite the fact that the lighting was more than adequate, the final video was not pretty regardless of the white balance. The video was muddy and looked like it was taken with a poor quality cam.

That's why I'm dubious of comparisons where the quality of lighting is unknown, even if the amount of light is the same.
post #79 of 86
This is an important point and I agree the quality of light makes a difference, not just the amount. But I can't imagine in this case that a top-level, Pac 10 basketball arena where games are televised a lot (U of Washington), and where the A99 was employed, has worse lighting quality than that of an Ivy league all-purpose gymnasium. And in fact, the light where I shot is not only a peculiar color, it is very uneven in color and level across the floor, making it even harder to get consistent shots.

Lend me an A99 (or a VG900) and I will do the correct comparison! Or rent me a model, a jib, slider and crane, and I will do a parody of a Philp Bloom video with a Handycam smile.gif
post #80 of 86
Mark, one thing about any footage we observe on the internet. We have no idea if the operator took the time to adjust the equipment properly let alone had the knowledge to do so. It's so easy, as you know, to either improperly asjust WB or simply be too lazy to do it properly. Did the operator have a white or gray card to do a good MWB? Who knows? Did he/she even know how to do it? It's amazing to see the equipment some people buy and not take the time to learn how to use it properly. So even if the quality of light was decent, the operator could have gotten a poor AWB reading and gone no further. They may have thought 'good enough' . Certainly a network camera operator would have taken the time to adjust WB properly and would have had more tools at his disposal to do so. Even so, we've all seen examples of network video, with uber-expensive equipment, adjusted improperly by professional cameramen. Why? Who knows? So who knows how indicative of camera quality or potential quality any given piece of consumer/prosumer Internet video really is?

In terms of comparing equipment, I know you're not implying you can do all the same things with a Handycam that you can with the VG series. wink.gif

For one thing, having used both, I know the pure overall video quality of the VGs are better despite the small chip Handycam having some advantage in pure resolution and fewer artifacts. It's also not possible to match Bloom's DOF on any consistent basis with a small chip Handycam. Sure we can, at times, get a good shallow DOF with a small chip cam, but it's simply not as easy to do nor as possible to achieve in as many different shooting conditions as the larger chip cams. That's just physics.

On the other hand, there are certain things you can do with a Handycam that you can't do (or are harder to do) with a larger chip cam. As you know, you pick what works best for the shoot you're doing. Sometimes sound is as important as the video and in those cases the VG series has a huge leg up with onboard sound that, IMO, is unmatched by any consumer camcorder. But for me, when I want the best possible video quality, I'll generally grab the large chip cams.

As we often say, a talented shooter can get good results with almost any camera. Some of the shots I've seen you get with relatively inexpensive equipment, are indicative of that. With that said, it never hurts to start off with equipment that has the potential to give superior imagery...and yes, that may vary depending on the kind of environment you're shooting in. Just as important, some people just don't like schlepping heavier equipment even if it is more capable. I fully get that. smile.gif
Edited by Ken Ross - 12/24/12 at 4:59am
post #81 of 86
Ken,

Its been a very long time for me on here glad to see you in here again. I am totally with you on your comment, "As we often say, a talented shooter can get good results with almost any camera". I shoot with a Canon Camcorder/Sony but lately I been shooting with DSLRs with very good results and I just purchased the GH3 which should be arriving on my doorstep next week. I was very impressed with some of the video I have been shooting with my Olympus OM-D. We are already seeing very high end camcorders getting smaller as well and higher full frame cameras shooting wonderful video along with the new Mirror-less technology. Now I just need to get a couple of good lenses to try this GH3 out with. smile.gif
post #82 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garman View Post

Ken,
Its been a very long time for me on here glad to see you in here again. I am totally with you on your comment, "As we often say, a talented shooter can get good results with almost any camera". I shoot with a Canon Camcorder/Sony but lately I been shooting with DSLRs with very good results and I just purchased the GH3 which should be arriving on my doorstep next week. I was very impressed with some of the video I have been shooting with my Olympus OM-D. We are already seeing very high end camcorders getting smaller as well and higher full frame cameras shooting wonderful video along with the new Mirror-less technology. Now I just need to get a couple of good lenses to try this GH3 out with. smile.gif

By coincidence, I just recently zeroed-in on the Panasonic GH3 as the best option in a larger-sensored camera for video. It's "larger" if you've been using a small-sensored superzoom. I've been looking at many videos online from the GH3 and I don't see any of the typical CMOS rolling-shutter glitches, such as skew and judder, that plague many of the D-SLRs, when panning, tilting and shooting fast motion. Everything about this model looks good to me and I'm very picky about my cameras. You raised the question about selecting some good lenses for it and this is my main concern right now. I want the longest reach possible, but I'd also like to zoom back as wide as I can, without changing lenses, when shooting sports. I'll be interested to see what your lens choices are. I would be shooting it from a shoulder-mount, for steadiness. One feature about the GH3 that interests me, is the 2.4X video expansion. On top of the 2X factor for M 4/3 cameras, this would give you 1,440mm with a 300mm lens. I imagine that the video quality would be good with the 2.4X expansion, as there would still be quite a few pixels on the inner sector of the sensor that is used.
Edited by Steve McD - 1/6/13 at 4:38am
post #83 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve McD View Post

By coincidence, I just recently zeroed-in on the Panasonic GH3 as the best option in a larger-sensored camera for video. It's "larger" if you've been using a small-sensored superzoom, anyway. I've been looking at many videos online from the GH3 and I don't see any of the typical CMOS rolling-shutter glitches, such as skew and judder, that plague many of the D-SLRs, when panning, tilting and shooting fast motion. Everything about this model looks good to me and I'm very picky about my cameras. You raised the question about selecting some good lenses for it and this is my main concern right now. I want the longest reach possible, but I'd also like to zoom back as wide as I can, without changing lenses, when shooting sports. I'll be interested to see what your lens choices are. I would be shooting it from a shoulder-mount, for steadiness. One feature about the GH3 that interests me, is the 2.4X video expansion. On top of the 2X factor for M 4/3 cameras, this would give you 1,440mm with a 300mm lens. I imagine that the video quality would be good with the 2.4X expansion, as there would still be quite a few pixels on the inner sector of the sensor that is used.

One thing i dont like on the GH2 is the 2.4x ETC,the quality loss is very noiceable,the GH3s could be better though.
post #84 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garman View Post

Ken,

Its been a very long time for me on here glad to see you in here again. I am totally with you on your comment, "As we often say, a talented shooter can get good results with almost any camera". I shoot with a Canon Camcorder/Sony but lately I been shooting with DSLRs with very good results and I just purchased the GH3 which should be arriving on my doorstep next week. I was very impressed with some of the video I have been shooting with my Olympus OM-D. We are already seeing very high end camcorders getting smaller as well and higher full frame cameras shooting wonderful video along with the new Mirror-less technology. Now I just need to get a couple of good lenses to try this GH3 out with. smile.gif

Hey Garman, good to see you again! Best of luck with the GH3, it does seem to have great potential. Let us know how you like it.
post #85 of 86
Ken Ross: Will do, the video is amazing for a Camera, now I am not on here to make claims it's better than a good Camcorder, but it sure does the job I need it to, and without lugging around more cameras etc.. Between this camera and the Olympus OMD which I like slightly better on Stills, I am going to retire my Nikon which just sold on ebay in record time 3 minutes. LOL I am sure I will miss it, but after shooting stills and video with both of these units, I am one happy camper! I just ordered the new 12-35mm lens, so this should make both of these preform even better, nothing like good glass to put things into perspective! wink.gif
post #86 of 86
Ken, I'd love to see some of your NEX-VG30 footage.


There's a real dearth of high-quality clips on Youtube & Vimeo for both the VG30 and the VG900 thus far.

The VG30 Looks very promising for low-maintenance filmic run-and-gun shooting.

I'm very happy with my GH2, but know 2 director clients who want filmic pics without having to use manual adjustments.
Pairing the 18-200 zoom-lens kit with the very affordable 35mm F1.8 stabilised Alpha E-mount Prime should be a TERRIFIC one-stop solution for them!

I guess a Tiffen variable ND filter would complete the package, and shouldn't be a stretch for them to use with shutter set to Manual (usually a 50th) and focus & exposure set to Auto.
Would this be doable?
Also, can Manual quickly be switched on and off once the subject has been set to stop the camera hunting during, say, an interview?

Glad there's an XLR adaptor available. (Pity audio is compressed Dolby Digital. I wonder what the audio bitrate is?)

I wonder if there's ANY chance of a high-bitrate hack for the VG30 and VG900?
Shooting 1080p50 or 60p with only 24Mbps must surely be stretching those bits out awfully thin...
Edited by Electric_Haggis - 2/28/13 at 5:43pm
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