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Old March 27th, 2008, 03:58 PM   #46
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I agree Tony, it would have been nice if they gave you that adjustment. Even though I've always kept the adjustments at default in my HV20, it's nice to know they're there. On the other hand the Sony gives you the ability to adjust 'bias' from what the cam wants to do. So it will constantly adjust exposure up or down a pre-set amount from what it would have done alone. This is in addition to being able to adjust exposure for just one shot like the Canon. The Sony allows the same thing with white balance, continuously adjusting warmer or cooler from what it would have done alone. These are features I'd like to see the Canon have.

Dave, I agree with you 100%.
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Old March 27th, 2008, 04:09 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Tony Parenti View Post
One thing about the SR11 I didn't like is that there's zero control over picture parameters, ie brightness, contrast, sharpness and color.
Tony -
Not quite "zero" - there is AE shift which is fairly effective, used it on every Sony I've owned with good results. There is White balance and WB shift, not as many options as I'm sure will be found on the Canon, but workable. And it apears there may be an exposure adjustment of some sort, hard to tell from the manual.

Sure, I'd rather have the more extensive controls as found on the HC9, but I suspect these will do - part of the design of these latest cameras appears to be "intelligence" (like face recognition), that allows the camera to make faster and more accurate decisions than all but a pro could... if the technology works, then it's all the better in my book. Rather shoot and get a good "look" that I can tweak in post than have a bazillion settings and maybe or maybe not get them right while trying to get the shot...
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Old March 27th, 2008, 04:46 PM   #48
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The camera is never more intelligent then the person.
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Old March 27th, 2008, 05:09 PM   #49
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And heaven forbid if the reviewer has a bias...
Moreover, even if the reviewer is making an honest attempt to be as unbiased as possible, he or she will have their own set of perceptions and their own weighting of what aspects of an image or camera performance are more important and what are less important. The reviews are great for finding out whether a camera has a manual override for this or that, and for lab measurements like lines of resolution or color saturation, but you have to disregard much of the subjective conclusions unless you know from years of experience that you always tend to agree with a certain reviewer on subjective matters.

It is always best to try things first hand, although unfortunately, most of us will not be able to spend two hours or more with a camera without actually buying it. As Ken said, it's always good to buy from a dealer who will accept returns.
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Old March 27th, 2008, 05:15 PM   #50
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The camera is never more intelligent then the person.
No, but the camera is almost always *faster* than the person under changing conditions, and sometimes that can make a big difference.
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Old March 27th, 2008, 05:47 PM   #51
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Tony -

Don't use that reasoning with a modern day fighter pilot... or the guy whose airbags saved his life by deploying when there was no way he could have done it himself. I'll reserve comment on the previously noted "translator"...

I'm pretty sure that the guys who design this stuff and program the algorithms aren't "perfect", but I'm inclined to suspect they might know a thing or three! Collectively maybe a tad more than I do <wink>?

These new cameras detect and track multiple faces simultaneously, and from all accounts reasonably accurately adjust the camera for best results - are you seriously suggesting you can achieve that? I'm looking forward to that myself!

We are entering a time when our technology, thanks to huge amounts of computing horsepower and "artificial intelligence", has to be reckoned with, and can augment and enhance our abilities.

Sure I'm "smarter" than my parent's old "Brownie" box camera (or at least I like to think so...), but I've got more computing horsepower under my desk than was probably available on the entire planet 50 years ago... and I'm pretty sure my video camera is WAY more advanced than my first computer - it has more memory by a factor of 1000+, that's for sure! Times change... and our technology has definitely come a long way.

Yes, manual override is good, and sometimes I use it, but if you can "point and shoot", what's the problem with that? I doubt any of us is so fragile as to not be able to accept a camera that can improve our results even if it won't let us play with the settings quite as much as we'd like (and dang it Jim, I LIKE to play with settings!!!)

Look at most of the "complaints" about various cameras - they aren't whining (as much) about the inability to set an F-stop, they are wondering why autofocus can't adjust properly on the black cat in the dark room!!! Or why the IS twitches under some circumstances... or why one color isn't just perfect... or this is too sharp or not sharp enough...

Don't get me wrong, I'm as picky as they come (just ask my significant other!!), but let's switch to "practical mode" for a moment...

<click>

Call me silly, but I was looking at some old B&W photos (oddly, probably from a Brownie!) - they were terribly crude by comparison to anything I can shoot with all my digital "toys", and yet they were ever so wonderful - they told a story, they captured a moment, they showed people now old and wrinkled, and some long passed, in another time and moment... THAT'S THE PART WHERE THE SHOOTER COMES IN!! The technology is just a tool, and the smarter the tool the better in my book.

You don't go out to the "icebox" anymore or do laundry in a washtub do you?

Just some straight talkin'... GRAB WHATEVER CAMERA YOU'VE GOT AND SHOOOOOOOOOOOOOT! Tell a story, capture a moment, change the world for the better, put something down for posterity, make someone SMILE!

Next year when a new and better camera comes out... well... did you shoot, or did your camera sit in a bag?


<was that a rant?>...
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Old March 27th, 2008, 07:16 PM   #52
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GRAB WHATEVER CAMERA YOU'VE GOT AND SHOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!
It's probably been said here somewhere before, but this is the main reason to get a camera that YOU like. A camera that you like is more likely to be with you instead of in the closet.

I've bought many cameras over the years that weren't the most popular, nor the ones the reviewers liked the best, nor the ones that were Popular Photography's camera of the year. I bought them because there was something about them that I connected with, or that just felt better about them. A piece of equipment that feels good to use and provides images that you like is one that you'll have much more fun using, and you'll use it more.
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Old March 27th, 2008, 07:33 PM   #53
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The camera is never more intelligent then the person.
Tony, the nice thing about the Sony is that it does give you a plus and minus bias control over exposure and white balance. The Canon doesn't have this. Bias adjustments enable a constant camera adjustment to suit your taste as opposed to being able to do it for just one shot.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 03:38 AM   #54
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I wonder if the brightness setting in HF10 (custom image effets) could do the same thing as SR12's AE shift. Given the picture is probably 12bit before being converted down to 8bit, that may do the trick -if highlights are not already internally clamped, of course-. Can any HV20's owner confirm this ? Plus, does this custom effect reflect on screen while recording, or is it post ?
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Old March 28th, 2008, 09:07 AM   #55
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I agree that we should take advantage of the technology available to us. It's nice to have the capability to make a multitude of manual adjustments but how often do you need them or really use them? And life won't stop and wait for you to make all the adjustments you may want to capture the perfect shot. So, if the camera is smart enough to help me get some good footage I say, thank you very much.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 11:22 AM   #56
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I agree that we should take advantage of the technology available to us. It's nice to have the capability to make a multitude of manual adjustments but how often do you need them or really use them? And life won't stop and wait for you to make all the adjustments you may want to capture the perfect shot. So, if the camera is smart enough to help me get some good footage I say, thank you very much.
Exactly..... However if your aim is take your time and make creative projects then somtimes the control over the image is needed since it provides a much better image to work on in post (a better image meaning that the image you were trying to obtain from the start without post processing).

When shooting normal daily lfe events (i.e homemovies) I don't have time to use the manual controls. I do however use the AE shift on my SR12 alot. I find this to be on of the best features for shooting. It is like having all of the manual settings in a single easy one.
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Old March 29th, 2008, 12:51 AM   #57
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I wonder if the brightness setting in HF10 (custom image effets) could do the same thing as SR12's AE shift. Given the picture is probably 12bit before being converted down to 8bit, that may do the trick -if highlights are not already internally clamped, of course-. Can any HV20's owner confirm this ? Plus, does this custom effect reflect on screen while recording, or is it post ?
It might work a little bit, but it's not nearly as good as exposure compensation (or AE shift as Sony calls it). I've dealt a lot with raw files from digital still cameras, and although it is true that occasionally a blown highlight can be recovered by using raw, that highlight is usually still overexposed and washed out, and it is difficult to get proper color balance and contrast as if it were exposed properly in the first place.

Of the camcorders being discussed here, only Sony seems to have the AE shift feature, but most of the other cameras have a scene mode called "spotlight" or something similar. It's designed to to keep spot-lit subjects, such as are common in theatre, from being blown out. What it basically does is alter the exposure algorithm's priorities to heavily favor highlights even if most of the scene is darker. There have been some times when I've used this feature on my current DV camcorder in normal lighting situations (non-spot-lit) when I really wanted to keep highlights at the expense of shadows.

The AE shift feature, however, is still nicer because rather than all-or-nothing, you get control over how much to favor highlights (or shadows).
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Old March 29th, 2008, 09:20 AM   #58
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The HV20 and HV30 both have exposure compensation...
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Old March 29th, 2008, 10:58 AM   #59
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Tony, we're actually talking two different things. The HV20 & HV30 both have exposure compensation, but that's on a per shot basis. The difference in the Sonys is that they have the same exposure compensation, but also an exposure 'bias'. What that does is tell the camera that whatever it sets the exposure to be, you want it + or - from that point (depending on how much you've set it up or down). It will do that continuously, always adjusting the amount you set from what it was going to do without the 'bias'. So this is a dynamic compensation, always changing whereas the exposure compensation is a 'one shot deal'. The camera is 'locked' in to that exposure.
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Old March 29th, 2008, 12:50 PM   #60
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There's "exposure" and "exposure compensation."

Exposure compensation is intended to compensate for specific problems, such as strong backlighting from a window behind your subject.

Exposure (bias) on the other hand, just raises or lowers the brightness scale.

The control mechanism is the same, a combination of shutter speed, aperture and gain, but the metering algorithm is different. Compensation targets a condition identified by the light meter, whereas bias just raises or lowers the brightness scale.
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