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Discussion Starter #1
So I got a Z10K about a week after I got my AG-3DA1, got a card and went to a parade and shot some 3D, also tested out each of the 2D settings. I have to say I'm a little disappointed with the 3D on the ZK10. When I sat down to watch it later I got very fatigued with eye strain. I thought it was because I was just tired from a full day, but after a second viewing, I've confirmed it's the camera. Part of it is lower resolution than the 3DA1 but I think the biggest problem is the closer lenses. They're about 3/4 inch closer, which might be fine for kids, but it just gives me a headache. Keep in mind I don't get fatigued with any 3D Blu rays, 3Net, or footage from the 3DA1.


With 3D and the Z10K, the 3DA1 is in a whole other league, which the Z10k doesn't belong. I'm thinking I may just resell the z10k because of this. Trying to use 3D footage from this camera with the 3DA1 might not blend too well. I'm not making a final decision yet as I didn't take the 3DA1 with me on this shoot, but comparing footage that I've previously shot with the 3DA1 it just totally blows the Z10K away. It's not even close.


3D aside, I tried out the 2D settings and I must say I was extremely impressed with the 60p function on the Z10k which I have not used before. It was absolutely beautiful, with such low judder and no interlacing issues at all. Very nice quality. The 30p resembled my GS4 only better but with the same frame speed. And 24p was equally as good, I just wish Blu ray supported 60p and can't understand why hollywood is still using 24p for films, 24p really is slow in comparison. 60p is where it's at.


However, I could just get a Canon XA20 or 25 with a 1/2 inch senor which also has 60p, which would be better, so I may just sell the Z10k. I've only done one shoot with it, so I'm not making any decisions yet, just my initial observations. I really wish I had taken the 3DA1 along today to do direct comparisons in the same lighting and setting conditions. I didn't realize there would be that big of a quality difference but it's actually quite noticeable. It also has bad ghosting problems -notably when cars with whitewall tires, they would duplicate in the right frame for no apparent reason.


Bottom line: the lenses are way too close, also the overall lens aperture on the Zk10 is much smaller than the 3DA1. The resolution is noticeably lower on the Z10k while having the advantage of AVCHD 2.0's 28 mbps, it combines the left/right frames with 28 mbps overall while it really could use at least 40 mbps to do this. Note: while shooting in 2D at 60p it uses the entire 28 mbps bitrate for one frame and it also uses 28mbps in 3D which means you're only getting around 14 mbps for each frame. Not a good idea as the image comes out looking like what is shown on 3Net. The 3DA1 uses 21 avg to 24 mbps max per left/right frame instead of a combined bitrate, which still, at times you can notice a lower quality especially with 24p, but it's nowhere near as bad as the Z10k's 28 mbps overall bitrate. A big improvement would be a 28-35 mbps per lens and also at 60p. Now that would be impressive. But it probably won't arrive until 4k 3D.


These are just my findings on the first week, but I think my findings are pretty close to reality. In order to get anything better with what's currently on the market, you'll need 1/3 or 1/2 inch sensors the 3DP1 or the Sony TD300, which aren't in my budget right now. So I'll just have to live with the 3DA1 and maybe try to do some more comparisons with the Z10k. 2D at 60p was really impressive on the Z10k, and at the price I paid, I couldn't get a XA25 near that, though that one has a 1/2 inch sensor compared to 1/4.
 

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I never have heared that sombody gets headache due to a smaller IO. To my opinion that is simply the wrong finding. Headache is driven by some other errors - geometrics errors or a huge disparity in the far or near point.


So I would ask what kind of convergence settings were used when shooting with the Z10K? And if the disparity was edited in an NLE that is capable to do that - like Edius or Vegas.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
No editing, this is just with footage on the camera with HDMI out. I had everything setup with auto focus. And I wasn't the only one with a headache, my wife also had eye strain with the Z10K where neither of us experienced it with the 3DA1. We hooked the 3DA1 up right after viewing the Z10K and the footage there looked way better and did not cause eye strain. The depth and clarity was also exponentially better. Now granted, this was my first shoot with the Z10k and I didn't adjust the convergence setting, I just left it auto. I'm going to use it some more and make some manual adjustments and see if something was setup wrong. But I think Panasonic made a huge design flaw here with the lens separation. It's way too close and I know the other professional lens setups on the 3DP1 and the TD 300 do not use a close lens setup or try to compress both frames with one bit rate.


I do hope I'm wrong, because I wanted the Z10k for an additional 3D camera to be used on shoots, but at this point I see no way to use it. Besides the eye strain, the image quality is nowhere near what the 3DA1 arrives at and I think it's because it's compressing both frames into one 28 mbps encode. There's so much loss of detail there compared to it's 2D encodes which I must admit, look really good, but have the benefit of the entire bit rate for one stream. But like I said for 2D a XA20 or 25 will walk all over this Z10k with a 1/2 sensor. For experimental purposes, I'm going to adjust the disparity control and see if it will help maybe the convergence point was too far away for subject.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hooked it up in camera mode to TV and the ghosting problem was immediately apparent. Adjusted the convergence out to infinity fixed it. Studying my parade video there's ghosting throughout the entire 3D footage which is really bad on the eyes. I have a feeling this is accounting for a lot of the eye strain. But it might be a combination of things leading to eye strain. Objects moving by, people up close to camera at times, camera movement. Still not sure why they would make a 3D camera with the lenses so close together. I'd think having them as close to adult size would be ideal. I'll have to do some more testing with it.
 

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Sorry you're having issues, Tom, but I'm with Wolfgang on this one. It sounds like the convergence setting on the Z10k is off. Headaches are most often caused by too great a divergence of objects within the 3D frame. And the larger the screen (and closer the seating distance), the greater the likelihood you'll have a problem. A narrower interaxial distance for the lenses might not give you the sense of depth you want for certain shots, but if the convergence is set properly it shouldn't cause headaches. I find the interaxial distance on the Z10k very good for lots of different types of shots, from fairly close subjects to wide angle vistas. I suggest you experiment with the convergence controls. Try adjusting so that objects closest to the camera appear at or just behind the screen plane.
 
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Your description of ghosting problems also suggests that the convergence needs to be adjusted.
 
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I'm also with the AVS veterans on the convergence adjustment. One comment I might add to help you use the Z10k better for 3D is to turn on the convergence range scale in the screen. That will give you an idea if your stage is going to work for your IA setting. Also, if the scale turns red it is a warning that the left and right images will diverge in 3D and as you saw--ghosting and eyes train. I found out that unlike the Sony TD 10, the Z10K auto mode is not a fail safe for great 3D it seems to me it gets you in the ball park and you still better pay attention to the scale and adjust for good convergence.


The other complaints about over all image quality match to your Broadcast level 3DA1 is probably not going to happen. I know what you are suffering with as I used to deal with it in my broadcast productions, mixing different class cameras and trying to get a match. I would try to avoid mixing scenes, but mixing chapters was tolerable. My most recent documentary on Carlsbad caverns was a mix of two camera classes using the TD10 for the car scenes and the Z10k for the cave stuff. I did not attempt to mix the TD 10 with the Z10k for the cave stuff.


Not sure what productions you wanted to do but with your cameras, I would avoid shooting your principle shots. With the 3DA1 and then attempt to mix in b roll with the Z10k. Better to shoot indoor scenes with one cam and outdoor in another chapter with a different cam. Not saying this isn't done but if you decide to mix, you have to accept there will be a technical shift in the look at a place that does not fit with the story.


If you can't design your story around the mix of class cameras, then bite the bullet and trade one in for a match camera to what class you decide to shoot.


Finally, I agree that one day having 3D in 1080 60p will be great. I shoot some 1080 60p with my twin bench and while it is a chore to edit, it sure looks perfect. I use this mode for mostly large outdoor scenery with twin NEX 5 with super wide angle lenses. I get that 28mbs mode too. The footage has to be paired of course and all setups are done with range finder scopes as well as a calculator for IA spread. As such this is not the setup for run and gun. I will be using this system to shoot 3D of monument valley with a 20 inch IA but the scene will be a couple miles in distance.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
After shooting additional footage then adjusting the convergence setting, it fixes the ghosting problem which I think was the leading problem with the eye strain as well as close up people in the edge of the frame. I'm still trying to get the best setting on the Z10k, which as I understand it, changes depending on distance of subject. On the 3DA1 there is a mix setting that shows the convergence and you have to set it so they overlap perfectly then there is no ghosting, not sure how to do it on the Z10k other than using the scale and staying out of the red. The 3D display doesn't appear to show the ghosting but it's there.


Some more disappointing results as I inspected the the 3D footage in 2D, as I assumed the overall bit rate avg between 10-12 mbps for individual frames, which is very low for raw 1080p footage. Overall the image quality is poor for HD but with that bit rate you'd expect that. I may end up just selling the Z10k after all. It's kind of a mixed bag. It doesn't do 3D well and while 2D looks great especially 60p, I can get a XA20 or 25 for a bit more. I haven't taken 3D all the way thru the editing and final compression yet, perhaps once the final encode is done the two different cameras won't be that noticeable if using the same overall final bit rate on Blu ray, but just examining some raw footage there's a big difference.


Just finished up making a new cover for my 3DA1 with the wide angle lens kit. The kit doesn't completely cover the front end which might expose the interior to dust and elements. Made it out of a cardboard Velveeta box and black duct tape. I might just get an additional 3DA1 at some point to be used without wide angle lens and leave the lens kit on the first camera which would save time and setup.


Would like to read more about your NEX 5 setup Don, can you point me to a link here on the forums where you have more info?
 

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The twin NEX 5 system is mounted on a slide bench so I can adjust the IA as necessary. The purpose for going to these style cameras was to have access to extreme wide angle lenses with little distortion. Obviously the stage I shoot with these is very large such as Grand Canyon and similar. my widest is is 1 meter IA using a pair of 9 mm lenses.

Sync is achieved with a clap board and sound sync before pairing the left and right files.


What sort of work are you planning to shoot with your pair of 3D camcorders?


It seems that you have experienced the taste of higher end broadcast camera so I agree if budget is not a factor, you should get a matched pair of the quality that makes you happy. If budget is a problem, then you just have to recognize your limits and work around them. That has been my story all my life.


Well this is my final post for awhile. Getting set to leave for a cruise to South America coast and then through the Panama Canal. I'll be shooting it all with the Z10k and a cyclopital wide angle lens attached.
 

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Have fun, Don. Be sure to post a few shots when you get a chance.
 

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Tom,


What display are you using to watch your 3D? It's really the display that causes ghosting, not the camcorder. A good DLP projector won't show any ghosting, no matter how far off the convergence is. Such a display won't help with headaches, though. That's a function of how hard you're asking your eyes to work to fuse the left/right views. Different displays vary in their ability to "hide" ghosting. At any rate, getting a handle on the convergence control and learning how and where to "arrange" objects in 3D space is key. It's a complicated "dance" getting it all to work, and often it's much more challenging than 2D.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have the LG 65" passive. Maybe it's not called ghosting, what I'm experiencing is a duplication of particular artifacts in the right frame. The ghosting is burned into the right frame every time which I wouldn't think would be simply erased by a different display. Hooking the Z10k directly up and adjusting the convergence fixes it, problem is every shot and distance will be different and I won't have a display handy in the field to correct it. I know you have to find that sweet spot which I haven't mastered yet. I agree, much more challenging than 2D. I loth DLP's so that's not an option for me not to mention I don't want to buy another display right now.


Enjoy the cruise Don, take some awesome shots along the way.


Right now I'm just testing the cameras out and learning the convergence settings on each and testing video quality. Still learning the strengths and weaknesses of each ready to do some full shooting and see if I can get the convergence setups down for different distances. Acquired some extra batteries which are a little pricey for OEM ones but I have 6 total so I should be good for all day shooting if need be. I plan on doing docu-style productions and get them on Blu ray at some point. Will be doing some local projects and then plan on some vacation spots next year.
 

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It sounds like what you're describing is indeed ghosting, but ghosting isn't "burned into" the image itself. It's an artifact caused by "weaknesses" in the display or the glasses. I've tested this multiple times with software that lets me separate the left/right eye views of MVC recordings (like those from the Z10k and commercial Blu-ray 3D discs). There's never a hint of "burned in" ghosting. Passive displays like your LG are usually pretty good about not showing much ghosting. I use one for editing 3D video. But the more off the convergence is, the more likely you'll see it, even on a passive LCD. DLPs should be immune, but I understand completely your not wanting to use a DLP projector.


It's not possible to eliminate ghosting on every display where your 3D will be viewed, but if you shoot using certain guidelines, you can minimize ghosting problems on most displays.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok, and I never adjusted the convergence on the Z10k with the parade footage, because I hadn't found out how to do it properly at the time. So it was at whatever the default was which was pretty bad the entire time. I found the mix setting yesterday which is located on the touch screen, it has to be changed from the 3D LCD setting to mix and then it works like the 3DA1 which is much easier to adjust for proper convergence.


I also think that the ghosting was the leading cause of the eye strain I was experiencing. After watching the footage for the 5th time, eliminating those bad ghosting sections and where individuals where up close in the left or right edge of frame, it's not that bad, no eye strain is experienced. Also, a little too much zooming and side to side movement when filming. But I had expected that with 3D it wouldn't work too well in that setting without a better vantage point. I've got a big shoot in April so a little more time to play around with it and I think I'll be ready. Not ready to throw the towel in on this Z10k yet, it's not as awesome as the 3DA1 in terms of bit rate and overall PQ but it has some nice features that make it worth keeping. I might keep it as a B camera and set it up for primary audio with LPCM which is better than what the 3DA1 offers for audio. With some tweaking and post grading I might be able to "blend" the Z10k footage in. Plus it's just a nice looking camera and I like the weight of it and it shoots decent 2D. Plus with the price point it'd be hard to get rid of it.


Going back through my footage there are some really neat parts that look pretty good on screen. One part, a guy on motorcycle with a large American flag on back, flapping in the wind, it does indeed appear to "pop out" of the screen and has some good depth to it. There will be flags at my next shoot so I'll be sure to setup with tripod and get some good shots of it.
 

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You should train yourself how to adjust the convergence in the postproduction. That is something that can be done at the shooting, but it can also be done in the postproduction.


I tend to shoot with parallel axis (so C = 99 with the Z10K), and make the adjustment in the postproduction. That is the most flexible way - to my opinion.


By the way, there is an old formula for s3D: "high contrast + high disparity = ghosting = headache" Maybe that is what you have seen here.
 
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