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Why these two camcorders? The TM900 three years ago was the sharpest HD camcorder available (still may be) and today it's the AX100. Have we made progress?


These videos were taken three years apart in the same place at the same time of year - a short trip to NYC's Union Square by train and subway. The AX100 4K video replicates in spirit similar scenes - train stations (including GCT), the subway, and action in Union Square on a very bright, sunny day taken three years ago with the TM900. So one can compare, in low light and bright light scenes from the same place by the same videographer.


The AX100 video:



The TM900 video:



The original videos are downloadable. Both were not re-compressed - they show exactly what the cameras produce (AX100=4K30p; TM900=108060p).


Compare sharpness, color (skin tone), low-light, smoothness.
 

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Mark, I love the topic! This should remove anyone's doubt about how far we've progressed in such a short time! If people can't see the huge difference, even at 'just' 1080p, it really is time for that long overdue visit to the ophthalmologist.



Yes, the 900 footage still looks good, but in comparison to the AX100, it really looks soft and lacking. Not only in detail, but also in color.


Your video from the AX100 is just excellent! The detail, color and your overall composition are just superb! You've worked with a lot of cameras, many of which I've owned too, but the results you're getting with this are so above & beyond any prior camera you've had (yes, RAW included), there's just no comparison IMO.


It also seems to me that this may be the most accurate color I've yet seen from any Sony camera I've ever owned...probably any camera I've ever owned. Flesh tones are spot on and all the things whose color we know, just look so believable. The overall 'looking out the window' effect is like nothing we've ever seen. Ironically, that's even true compared to other 4K cameras costing a lot more than this one.


The other wonderful thing about all of this footage is that the 4K version is there, just waiting to be unlocked. I'm assuming this looks that much better on your 4K monitor.


A couple of questions:

1. Did you use AWB or MWB for most of these shots?

2. Which form of IS did you use. I'm still juggling between Active and Standard. The purist in me doesn't want to use Active, but the stability is definitely better with it.


Edit: I should also add, no trace of RS either.
 

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Very good quality from the AX100.Personaly on color alone i still prefer the color on EOS M films like

especialy human skin tones,but if cameras like it stay 1080P they will be left in the bin.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross  /t/1526209/sony-fdr-ax100-vs-panasonic-hdc-tm900-comparison-videos#post_24577961


Mark, I love the topic! This should remove anyone's doubt about how far we've progressed in such a short time! If people can't see the huge difference, even at 'just' 1080p, it really is time for that long overdue visit to the ophthalmologist.



Yes, the 900 footage still looks good, but in comparison to the AX100, it really looks soft and lacking. Not only in detail, but also in color.


Your video from the AX100 is just excellent! The detail, color and your overall composition are just superb! You've worked with a lot of cameras, many of which I've owned too, but the results you're getting with this are so above & beyond any prior camera you've had (yes, RAW included), there's just no comparison IMO.


It also seems to me that this may be the most accurate color I've yet seen from any Sony camera I've ever owned...probably any camera I've ever owned. Flesh tones are spot on and all the things whose color we know, just look so believable. The overall 'looking out the window' effect is like nothing we've ever seen. Ironically, that's even true compared to other 4K cameras costing a lot more than this one.


The other wonderful thing about all of this footage is that the 4K version is there, just waiting to be unlocked. I'm assuming this looks that much better on your 4K monitor.


A couple of questions:

1. Did you use AWB or MWB for most of these shots?

2. Which form of IS did you use. I'm still juggling between Active and Standard. The purist in me doesn't want to use Active, but the stability is definitely better with it.


Edit: I should also add, no trace of RS either.

Thanks Ken. Yes, the surprise is the color and the WB for the AX100. For the TM900 in the underground shots I had to use manual WB; auto would never shift appropriately. For the AX100, it is all AWB. And I only used optical stabilization. I have the same purist tendencies.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hatchback  /t/1526209/sony-fdr-ax100-vs-panasonic-hdc-tm900-comparison-videos#post_24578316


Mark, You've really taken to 4k! What happened to convince you that it was worth it?

Hatch, I don't think it's possible to work with the AX100, see the results and not be convinced. I think that's what happened to Mark.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hatchback  /t/1526209/sony-fdr-ax100-vs-panasonic-hdc-tm900-comparison-videos#post_24578316


Mark, You've really taken to 4k! What happened to convince you that it was worth it?
This is my experience: A couple years ago I got a Panasonic SD90 camcorder, then shortly after a TM900. I was not happy with the detail resolution or the colors those cameras delivered. Next I tried a Canon Rebel T3i. Colors were great, but detail soft and it was very awkward to shoot video with a DSLR. Next I tried a small mirrorless Olympus OMD-EM5. Very vibrant colors, awesome 5 axis image stabilization, but like the T3i, detail in landscape scenes was mediocre. Yesturday I was at Best Buy and noticed they had an open box customer return AX100 for sale for $1697.00 with full mfgr's warranty. Couldn't pass that up. My initial impression of the 4K footage from the AX100 is that it's awesome - it's as much of a step up from regular HD footage in terms of fine detail resolution as the step up from SD to HD was 5+ years ago. For video shooters who crave detail the AX100 is a dream come true. Colors are also natural and realistic looking.
 

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Hi


Thank you for the clips. For me, the TM900 Clips are far better (obviously watching from the originals to get the true frame-rate) , super smooth motion, the dumper trucks were especially good, actually made me jump seeing them appear, people move naturally, the train smoothing accelerates. Really feels like I'm watching reality.


The AX100 frame-rate just doesn't have smooth natural motion, there is too much sharpness and detail for too low a frame rate and motion just breaks down constantly and people move like cartoon characters, yes there is more detail in the 4K even downsized, but then I'm sure the TM900 would have more detail with a higher bit-rate.


I'm looking forward to 4K at 60fps, but this stripped down version of 4K, well it is what it is, a big compromise.


I'm still waiting for 1080P from the Sony at 50Mbps at 60fps we can download. It seems no one dares to upload any
If you could record the same scenes again in 60fps at 1080P that would be a good test.


For others to see what I mean, download both the original clips, it is no good watching via Vimeo as that halves the fps.


Regards


Phil
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip_L  /t/1526209/sony-fdr-ax100-vs-panasonic-hdc-tm900-comparison-videos#post_24579016


Hi


Thank you for the clips. For me, the TM900 Clips are far better (obviously watching from the originals to get the true frame-rate) , super smooth motion, the dumper trucks were especially good, actually made me jump seeing them appear, people move naturally, the train smoothing accelerates. Really feels like I'm watching reality.

Of course you'd think that. I suspect you'd prefer a standard definition camcorder's footage in B&W to the AX100. You seem to be the only one that feels this way on any forum Phil. Your comments are almost as stunning as the AX100's footage.



Motion is smooth when you know how to shoot 30p. Do you notice that no owner is complaining about that? Why do you suppose that is? Would owners prefer the option of 60p to 30p? I'm sure most would. Does that make the 30p footage look like you describe it? Of course not.


And for watching on a large screen HDTV, the answer is simple, engage the frame rate doubler and the 30p footage takes on vey nearly the smoothness of 60p. There are no ill-effects from this despite what you've said in the past and despite the fact that you've never actually seen it.


As for why nobody is providing you with the footage you request, you might want to step back and think why that may be. Everyone knows what your response would be. I don't like this, I don't like that etc.


Oh, and Phil, WE'RE still waiting for that great 4K footage that knocks your socks off since you find this footage so lacking. You know the footage that posters have requested for quite some time now? We'll wait.
 

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So happy to see this question raised. I have currently TM900, and planning to switch to AX100, waiting for some more reviews to come out.

 

So far I am completely sold on the high level of detail of AX100 and the videos are stunning. I still have two concerns: 

1. the rolling shutter, how would you compare these two models. I see that without movement the image is perfect, but for my purposes I need to pan frequently (as slow as possible, but sometimes if you have to cover substantial angle you somewhat have to compromise with the speed).

2. The Optical stabilization. About this one I am less concerned, because anyway these days I am using the the Warp stabilizer in Adobe Premiere Pro.

 

Any feedback is much appreciated.

Milosh
 

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Milosh, welcome to the forum. Used in the manner you described, you'll have little to no trouble with RS. I've yet to see it any of the posted videos on AVS thus far. You can see it in some AX100 videos on YouTube, but some of those guys have no clue what they're doing. If you shoot a high speed train from 2' away and do it perpendicular to the train's movement, guess what, you'll see RS. If you shake the camera violently back & forth as some of those guys do, you'll have RS. But who does that other than some on YouTube?


In fact, look at Mark's video. He has a moving train in one of his clips. The train is not moving at a high speed, but yet Mark is relatively close but shooting at an oblique angle. Even there I see no evidence of RS. I don't think you'll have an issue.


As for OIS, much depends on the camera you're coming from. I just came from an RX10 that I'll be now selling. The OIS in that was not very good and, IMO, the weak point of the camera. The OIS in the AX100 is much better, but still not up to the level of the best OIS out there. If you use Active as opposed to Standard, you'll get a stronger stabilizing effect with just a little hit to resolution. Depending on what you're shooting, that might be a worthwhile tradeoff. And yes, the stabilization software should take care of most of any shake too.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by flintyplus  /t/1526209/sony-fdr-ax100-vs-panasonic-hdc-tm900-comparison-videos#post_24578265


Very good quality from the AX100. Personaly on color alone i still prefer the color on EOS M films
I tend to agree. Today I played around with the AX100 and although the sharpness of the 4K footage was superb, the colors are less appealing to me than what my Olympus and Canon cameras have delivered:
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD90  /t/1526209/sony-fdr-ax100-vs-panasonic-hdc-tm900-comparison-videos#post_24581353


I tend to agree. Today I played around with the AX100 and although the sharpness of the 4K footage was superb, the colors are less appealing to me than what my Olympus and Canon cameras have delivered:

Hard to tell from those stills SD90,if anything the AX100 looks good,but generaly solely on color alone the AX100 is like watching quality news footage as apposed to quality drama footage on our broadcasts here and every drama exept about one is filmed digitaly here now.,as you say the sharpness of the 4K footage is superb,keep us updated.
 

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Of course many who own the AX100 are not after the look of film (which I have yet to see any consumer/prosumer camera do to any convincing degree, but that's another story), but more the ultra resolute 'looking out the window' look. Aside from that, it's almost impossible to tell a film vs video look from one frame grab.


SD90, did you try the color without cinematone? I find the color is more lifelike without it. Cinematone applies additional saturation as well as a different gamma and to my eyes the color is not as natural. I never use it. It appears to increase contrast as the result of altering the gamma.


Of course in the end, which color rendition you like is subjective, color accuracy is not. In that respect, of the cameras you mentioned, I'm not sure which is the most accurate.


If I were comparing cameras though, I wouldn't use any enhancements.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross  /t/1526209/sony-fdr-ax100-vs-panasonic-hdc-tm900-comparison-videos#post_24581879


SD90, did you try the color without cinematone? I find the color is more lifelike without it. Cinematone applies additional saturation as well as a different gamma and to my eyes the color is not as natural.
Ken the standard color out of the AX100 looks dull and flat; e.g. green lawns and trees looks dull green. Then anything you do in post to make the colors more saturated and vibrant (as I did in the sample below) the sky colors then end up becoming purplish-blue - not a natural hue of blue like a Canon or Olympus camera would deliver.


So AX100 owners appear to be stuck with dull looking colors or unrealistic looking colors if they do anything to try to give them more "pop". Quite frustrating and so I returned my AX100 to Best Buy today and told them I will have to wait until Canon comes out with an affordable 4K model before I will attempt to enter the 4K world again (although, of course, I will give the GH4 a try).
 

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Oops, looks like I was too quick to dismiss the AX100 has having chronically dull colors or purplish blue sky colors if the saturation was boosted. Tonight I started with a clip taken in standard automatic shooting mode then adjusted the gamma to 9 instead of the default of 10 then tweaked other settings like hue, red level, whiteness, boosted saturation slightly, etc. and ended up with this bright and vibrant video (saved as only a 720p HD video) with a better looking hue of blue sky:
 

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SD90, I guess we all see things differently. You feel it's under saturated, an owner on another forum who loves his AX100 has only one complaint, it's over saturated and then there are those of us who feel it's very accurate.


If you recall, I mentioned in a previous post, that I felt if someone was accustomed to 'in-your-face' color (somewhat over saturated) as some camcorders produce, they may find the AX100 a bit tame. However even if you felt that way, it's so easy to gently raise saturation in post to get back that in your face color that some people like. Again, we all see things differently.


I'm linking again Mark's video shot in NYC, because it shows a wide variety of colors that, to my eyes, appear spot on.
 
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