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The Panasonic LX7 as a Video Camera Thread - Page 2

post #31 of 132
Thread Starter 
Why I got the LX7: Indoor video, with an example

The LX7 has two advantages over almost all camcorders that make it useful for indoors shooting:

1. It has a 24mm lens, wider than any camcorder. This is useful for shots of rooms.

2. It has a bigger sensor and a lens at least as fast if not faster than most camcorders. So, this gives in principle better low-light performance and allows some more shallow dof effects, that can be useful for highlighting objects.

This is a video of a newly redone art museum. The video takes advantage of the above. I was particularly pleased by the auto wb: museums are tricky, as they often combine different sources of light - window light and incandescent light in the same room. But the colors were always accurate. I made good use of the wide-angle because the rooms themselves are interesting, the shallow dof to highlight some objects, and the close-up capability as well. I also used a polarizer filter to deal with the objects behind glass. You will see visitors striving to take pictures of the glassed-encased objects, without such a filter.

https://vimeo.com/56672263

The hazard of a museum video is that it becomes just an animated slide show. There is some of that, but you will see people in action too, as you would in any museum visit. After the antiquities, the color becomes more important in the video, as we go to more modern subjects. This is not a stuffy museum, and the building is important.

All of this was shot wide open so f1.4-2.1 - and the maximum ISO was 400 in just a few shots. I thought the colors were great, the noise was fine, and the audio did ok too. There is a little shaky cam; I think the OIS is not as good as that of camcorders, but it may take getting used to using a small camera form-factor.

And one other advantage: the LX7 does not look like a camcorder, so you do not attract attention, as you will see. Even the GW77, which is as small and looks like a toy (in bright blue), is obviously a camcorder.
post #32 of 132
markr041 - thanks for this thread and for bringing the LX7's video capabilities to my attention. Your argument about the low light benefits of the LX7 due to sensor size vs camcorders only holds if the LX7 reads the entire sensor in video mode. It has to read out nearly all of the 10.1 million pixels, and then accurately down-sample those 10.1M pixels to a 1920x1080 frame (2.07M pixels). If it uses line skipping, or some other processing shortcut that discards pixel values, then it will not have the resolution and low light performance promised by its largish sensor. One easy way to assess how the LX7 down-samples 10.1M pixels to 2.07M pixels is to take a wide-angle small-aperture shot of scene with lots of detail, like a picture of grass or trees. Take a still of that scene, and downscale that image to 1920x1080 using photoshop etc. Then take a movie of that scene, and pull out a frame. If the two 1920x1080 images look similar, then the LX7 is likely not discarding pixel values when down-sampling, and it would be the video deal of the decade. But if the frame grab shows a significant loss of detail vs the down-sampled still, as I expect it will, then the LX7 is using an inferior down-sampling method and will not outperform high-end consumer camcorders even though they have smaller sensors.
post #33 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

Why I got the LX7: Indoor video, with an example
The LX7 has two advantages over almost all camcorders that make it useful for indoors shooting:
1. It has a 24mm lens, wider than any camcorder. This is useful for shots of rooms.
2. It has a bigger sensor and a lens at least as fast if not faster than most camcorders. So, this gives in principle better low-light performance and allows some more shallow dof effects, that can be useful for highlighting objects.
This is a video of a newly redone art museum. The video takes advantage of the above. I was particularly pleased by the auto wb: museums are tricky, as they often combine different sources of light - window light and incandescent light in the same room. But the colors were always accurate. I made good use of the wide-angle because the rooms themselves are interesting, the shallow dof to highlight some objects, and the close-up capability as well. I also used a polarizer filter to deal with the objects behind glass. You will see visitors striving to take pictures of the glassed-encased objects, without such a filter.
https://vimeo.com/56672263
The hazard of a museum video is that it becomes just an animated slide show. There is some of that, but you will see people in action too, as you would in any museum visit. After the antiquities, the color becomes more important in the video, as we go to more modern subjects. This is not a stuffy museum, and the building is important.
All of this was shot wide open so f1.4-2.1 - and the maximum ISO was 400 in just a few shots. I thought the colors were great, the noise was fine, and the audio did ok too. There is a little shaky cam; I think the OIS is not as good as that of camcorders, but it may take getting used to using a small camera form-factor.
And one other advantage: the LX7 does not look like a camcorder, so you do not attract attention, as you will see. Even the GW77, which is as small and looks like a toy (in bright blue), is obviously a camcorder.

It looks good but it would be great if can you could tell us how the video resolution compares to the camcorders you have owned past and present.
It wont match them like the FZ series i suspect.
Edited by flintyplus - 1/5/13 at 12:15am
post #34 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by flintyplus View Post

It looks good but it would be great if can you could tell us how the video resolution compares to the camcorders you have owned past and present. It wont match them like the FZ series i suspect.
My LX7 arrived today from B&H and as a former disappointed SD90 and TM900 owner, I am very favorably impressed with the LX7. Unlike the TM900, the LX7 gets the white balance perfect (no trace of biondi blue skies) and whole image (outdoor landscapes) looks considerably brighter and more like what the human eye sees compared to the SD90 & TM900. Image stablization is very good too. Today we had poor shooting conditions - thick overcast - and here's my very brief LX7 sample video I shot at 1080p60 and the mts file was directly uploaded to Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFXxad75FUU
post #35 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by SD90 View Post

My LX7 arrived today from B&H and as a former disappointed SD90 and TM900 owner, I am very favorably impressed with the LX7. Unlike the TM900, the LX7 gets the white balance perfect (no trace of biondi blue skies) and whole image (outdoor landscapes) looks considerably brighter and more like what the human eye sees compared to the SD90 & TM900. Image stablization is very good too. Today we had poor shooting conditions - thick overcast - and here's my very brief LX7 sample video I shot at 1080p60 and the mts file was directly uploaded to Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFXxad75FUU

It looks similar to the FZ150 i have http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGVqkvnJqnY my FZs resoultion is pretty low compared to the GH range,i cant comment on the TM900 .The restriction on lens zoom would be a handicap for me,Good camera though.
post #36 of 132
I shot this Landscape Sample today with my recently acquired LX7: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nm3LRVRok54

As you can see, somehow the LX7 manages to produce surprizingly bright, sharp footage when viewed at only 360p on Youtube - footage that to me looks brighter and sharper than a TM900, X900 or AC90 is capable of when viewed at 360p (but not when viewed at 1080p)

Thus I consider the LX7 an ideal camera for owners who want a camera that can produce footage that looks really good on Youtube when viewed at 360p (which is the setting most people use when playing Youtube videos). The LX7 also excels at delivering accurate white balance straight out of the camera - not much need to adjust it in post.
post #37 of 132
Thread Starter 
LX7 sharpness: For landscapes with a lot of detail, the LX7 video will look less sharp than small-sensor camcorders and the GH2.

For normal shots, you will not notice any softness (unlike for many DSLRs).

Here are two frame grabs of people from the museum video:








Remember, the originals are only 1920x1080 (that is full HD) and these are further compressed by PhotoBucket, and they look fine on a big HDTV. You don't react to these thinking, gee, these are not sharp. And these shots have plenty of fine detail to be captured - hair, tweed.
post #38 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

LX7 sharpness: For landscapes with a lot of detail, the LX7 video will look less sharp than small-sensor camcorders and the GH2.
Only when played full screen at 1080. But as even Vimeo admits, a more powerful that average computer and / or faster than average internet connection is necessary to play even Vimeos 720p videos. So for now most people are going to play Youtube videos at 360p or 480p and when they do, the landscape video of the LX7 will appear brighter, sharper, more detailed and more richly colored than the much more expensive X900 and AC90 camcorders.
post #39 of 132
I find it hard to believe that anyone who signed up for avsforum is satisfied playing back video at "360p or 480p" in 2013. Your post may be a joke, but if not and you are serious, then you will be happy with the least expensive video recording devices, including your smart phone or tablet. Personally I know that I am always playing video at maximum resolution and maximum bit rate, whether that be 1080p or 4k "original", and I find the LX7 video lacking in resolution vs. higher-end camcorders from a few years back.
post #40 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by hatchback View Post

I find it hard to believe that anyone who signed up for avsforum is satisfied playing back video at "360p or 480p" in 2013.

Realities:

1) Quote from the VImeo's FAQ: "Vimeo requires a better than average internet connection and computer processor". And that's just to play a 720p video

2) Youtube will not allow embedding of videos configured to play only in HD because Youtube management knows a great many Youtube viewers don't have computers or internet connections that are fast enough to play an HD video smoothly. And in my experience, only 1 in every 3 public library computers is fast enough to play a 720p video.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hatchback View Post

Your post may be a joke, but if not and you are serious, then you will be happy with the least expensive video recording devices, including your smart phone or tablet.

Realities: Like many others, I originally came to the AVS forum to help find a video camera or camcorder that could produce videos that would look clear and colorful on YouTube when played at 360p and 480p. But I learned the hard way many people on AVS are geek types that are more into cameras will cool sounding specs like: "1080p60 capability" "low moire and alaising" and so they know little about which cameras produce clear and colorful video when played at at 360p or 480p.
post #41 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by SD90 View Post

..... Like many others, I originally came to the AVS forum to help find a video camera or camcorder that could produce videos that would look clear and colorful on YouTube when played at 360p and 480p. But I learned the hard way many people on AVS are geek types that are more into cameras will cool sounding specs like: "1080p60 capability" "low moire and alaising" and so they know little about which cameras produce clear and colorful video when played at at 360p or 480p.
I think I'm at least a wanna be geek. I've learned more than my fair share here. I learned a unique approach from you.

It seems to me that you are the first that has the single purpose of "best quality for YouTube's mass of people viewing on small screens". I don't think I've ever seen a thread titled "The best camcorder for YouTube".

The habit here has been aimed at the "best quality" and tends toward the technical. Many on this forum don't ever seem to get beyond test clips. Their passion for video is more technical, and less artistic story telling. A few others actually put clips together constructing video stories.

So, I hope you're not offended when your approach was not understood. Conversation can be a difficult skill. Typing it can be harder because all the nonverbal information is lost. Questions and comments can be interpreted as insults when that is not the intention.

The habit here is to shoot in the highest technical quality and then process the video for the targets, one of which would be YouTube. The processing methods vary widely, but they always start the highest HD standard. There are extra steps in the project. Your approach is more direct in that you seem to have no desire to create Blu-Ray disks or view eye popping scenes on a 100" projected screen. Being more direct should make for better results.

I hope you post a link to your YouTube name so that I can enjoy your results.

Bill
post #42 of 132
Thread Starter 
Everyone (but SD90) seems to be obsessed with sharpness. Here is a test chart sharpness comparison of the GH2, GH3, LX7. Just B&W test charts:

http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/5366/gh2-gh3-and-lx7-resolution-charts#Item_3

Here is the conclusion of the tester:

"What I found most interesting is how the LX7 did. Don’t get me wrong it isn’t even close to the GH2 or the GH3. However, this is a $300 camera (When I bought it) and it shoots VERY GOOD 1080p @ 60 FPS video. "

I have also been a stickler on sharpness. I find the LX7 videos to look fine - it is less sharp than many (not all) camcorders and the GH2 and sharper than many Canon and Sony DSLRs, but in most cases the difference is not super obvious (in sharpness). Most importantly, a video is shot normally with one camera, so the viewer is not having sharpness differences brought to the front.

The videos are indeed "very good", and the extra control you get with the camera can elevate them above what most camcorders can do, not to mention the better color and white balance, the bigger sensor, the greater dynamic range, etc.

In contrast, for example, videos from Sony's A99 DSLR just look very unsharp, without any comparison. You do not have that reaction with the LX7.
Edited by markr041 - 1/8/13 at 4:08pm
post #43 of 132
Thread Starter 
Here's a link to an outdoor video that also makes effective use of the LX7 720p slo mo.

The whole video was limited to 720p to make it conform to the slo-mo part (which makes really good use of the feature):


Select 720p. This was not shot by me.
post #44 of 132
Thread Starter 
Here is a link to a video that makes effective use of one of the in-camera effects modes (miniaturization):


Select 1080p.
post #45 of 132
^That's a pretty neat effect. I don't know if I would use it but it's nice to have the capability. Most of the new cams that will be released soon by Panasonic have this effect as well.
post #46 of 132
Thread Starter 
Yes, the new flagship Panasonic X920 now has the miniature effect - but it does not have the 720p 120fps slow motion effect of the LX7 (which is certainly more useful), or the one-color effects and many others.
post #47 of 132
Thread Starter 
Here is a an underground LX7 video inside and under Grand Central Terminal


https://vimeo.com/57335700


Contains an LED light show, Grand Central Market, Grand Central Food Courts, Grand Central toy trains, subway shuffle time-lapse, subway musicians. This video not only demonstrates performance in low light, but also the audio and time-lapse ability (built-in).


Here is a frame grab, to give you the flavor:





Turns out the "toy" miniature mode is an actual built-in video time-lapse, processed in-camera in HD. You will see an example in the middle of the video. The mode allows you to control saturation, ev, and the area of focus. The miniaturization to emulate a toy board uses garish colors and a narrow band of focus. When you eliminate the over-saturaion boost and enlarge the area of focus in the camera, you get a time-lapse, shot at 108060p at 28Mbps.

If you are only interested in the time-lapse, see:


Select 1080p.

The first part is a regular video clip, the second the time-lapse. You can see the quality is almost the same in both clips.
Edited by markr041 - 1/13/13 at 5:45pm
post #48 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

Here is a an underground LX7 video inside and under Grand Central Terminal .....
I'm emailing that link to my wife (across from me in our motorhome). She bought her LX7 with the notion it is just for .jpg photos. She has fond memories of our only trip to New York many years ago where we stayed at the Yale Club across the street from Grand Central station. Because you shot Grand Central, she will probably watch it. It may motivate her to find the red button!

Nice video. I enjoyed watching it.

Bill
post #49 of 132
Been lurking here for a while and man what a great thread!

I'm looking into getting an LX7 for video mainly. just had a baby and my galaxy s3, while nice, aren't as nice as i'd like, especially indoors and in low light. I have a pretty nice and new canon dslr and now i'm looking for something for nice video. i've been looking online at the various videos shot with LX7 that are available i can't find a good one that shows how well the stabilization system works. i know that Panasonic is coming out with a new camera at the end of the month, the ZS30, which has a hybrid stabilization system in it. It looks to make videos buttery smooth. But from what i understand of sensor size, megapixels and apertures (which admittedly isn't much) the LX7 will still give better performance across a larger spectrum of shooting environments than the newer zs30. here is a link to the specs for the zs30.

here is the skinny of what i'm looking for: a good point and shoot camera for video (want 1080p/60p) that will work well indoor and low light and doesn't churn out shaky videos (want babies first steps to visible and not hard to distinguish from camera shake). from reading other threads, i've kinda got it nailed down to either the LX7, ZS30 (both panasonic) or the sony hx30v.

anyone got any ideas on how well the stabilization works on either the LX7 or the HX30v?
post #50 of 132
Thread Starter 
The Sony Hx30 is poor in low light, based on my experience with the HX9V, which was its predecessor - the combination of a very slow lens and a small sensor packed with pixels really is not ideal for low light, and Sony applies very aggressive and NOT changeable noise reduction that smears details. The LX7 is made for low light, with a moderate number of pixels, a bigger-than-average sensor size, and a really wide aperture lens. You can also control the degree of NR (along with sharpness, contrast, and saturation).

I did not detect any difference in stabilization between the Hx9v and the LX7, and the Hx30 is similar to the Hx9 in that respect I believe (both are good).

The Hx30 is a fully-automatic camera in video mode - no control of aperture, shutter speed or even white balance. You can run the LX7 fully automatic, or with any combination of manual controls - focus, shutter, aperture, wb, ISO, etc.) It is in another league in video. Not to mention built-in ND filters of the LX7, critical for bright light video.
Edited by markr041 - 3/7/13 at 10:28am
post #51 of 132
My main concern with not going with a camcorder is image stabilization. the video's released by panasonic about the new hybrid power OIS look amazing. being able to shoot stable video while walking is going to be imperative (following a child around).

Am i correct in that the sensor size and number of megapixels affect low light performance? i.e. same size sensors, one with higher megapixels than another, will perform poorer in low light. i know that there are many other attributes that can and o affect low light performance. but i just want to make sure my understanding is correct.

thanks!
post #52 of 132
Got the LX7 and I love it! amazing video quality! thanks for this thread and all the great info in it.
post #53 of 132
post #54 of 132
How does video of LX7 compare to that of Sony HX9 re sharpness and low light/zoomed in? What about stabilization (this question has not really been answered)?
post #55 of 132
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by YLK View Post

How does video of LX7 compare to that of Sony HX9 re sharpness and low light/zoomed in? What about stabilization (this question has not really been answered)?

I have the Hx9v and the LX7. There is no comparison in low light. The Sony Hx9, with its small sensor packed with pixels and small aperture lens (especially zoomed in), results in low-resolution, low dynamic range video in dim light (very aggressive noise reduction that smears details). It is almost unusable. In bright light the sharpness is comparable between the two, but the colors of the LX7 (without any adjustment) and dynamic range are better.

You can adjust sharpness, contrast, NR, saturation and can choose among "looks" (film modes) with the LX7. And the built-in ND filter is a real boon for bright light.
post #56 of 132
Does difference in compression (17Mps for LX7 vs 24Mps for HX9 - both for 50i/60i) result in difference in quality?
post #57 of 132
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by YLK View Post

Does difference in compression (17Mps for LX7 vs 24Mps for HX9 - both for 50i/60i) result in difference in quality?
You want good quality, you shoot at 108060p @28Mbps with these cameras. Why shoot interlaced? All reviews say the other settings give you noticeably inferior video. Both do 108060p. But, yes for the same codec 17Mbps is worse than 24Mbps.
post #58 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

I have the Hx9v and the LX7. There is no comparison ...........
It seems like such a short time ago that you started a thread extolling the virtues of the HX9V!
post #59 of 132
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsprague View Post

It seems like such a short time ago that you started a thread extolling the virtues of the HX9V!

The Hx9v is great (but the "no comparison" is about low light perfromance), but technology marches on. The Hx9v delivers amazing video with a long zoom in a pocketable package, and when it came out there was nothing like it for quality video (low light was never good and the photos were not so great). But now we have new options: the RX100 and the LX7 are really great: pocketable, amazing low-light quality and full manual control of video settings, like the top camcorders (and of course really good photos). Just no big zoom. For a pocketable camera with a big zoom, the successor to the Hx9v, the Hx20/30v, is still a good choice and may have even better video than the Hx9v. But still no manual control in video and a small aperture lens.
Edited by markr041 - 3/15/13 at 4:56pm
post #60 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

The Hx9v is great (but the "no comparison" is about low light perfromance), but technology marches on. The Hx9v delivers amazing video with a long zoom in a pocketable package, and when it came out there was nothing like it for quality video (low light was never good and the photos were not so great). But now we have new options: the RX100 and the LX7 are really great: pocketable, amazing low-light quality and full manual control of video settings, like the top camcorders (and of course really good photos). Just no big zoom. For a pocketable camera with a big zoom, the successor to the Hx9v, the Hx20/30v, is still a good choice and may have even better video than the Hx9v. But still no manual control in video and a small aperture lens.
My "kit" for now is the RX100 for photos and the HX9V for video. The two make a great pair for travel because they are so small. Each excels at things the other does not and they take up little room in the luggage. And, one can back up the other in case of mechanical failure. My Panasonic SDT750 seems to get left behind when I should be learning and experimenting with the 3D!

I'm concentrating my efforts now on learning Premier Elements, Lightroom and Photoshop Elements. My two favorite cameras capture content of great quality. My limiting factor relates to the "minds eye" and how it has to be trained to see so that post processing works. I am not "equipment" limited. I am skill and imagination limited. I need to get better at being able to see how both video and stills are going to come out through post processing.

I only have a few months to get it right. Next August we are joining friends for a drive from Germany to Italy and back in a rental car while staying at "budget" hotels. It may well be my last trip to Europe, so I need the skills well polished.
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