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AVCHD Format Discussion
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Old April 9th, 2008, 02:41 PM   #76
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Mario, If you capture the tape footage on your laptop PC, then yes you can open it in a media player or NLE and have random access to it. But to me the real draw of AVCHD is that I will be able to easily review and filter clips (i.e., delete bad ones) right on the camera the way I currently do with my digital camera. It would let you do things like check and re-take a clip if you found the exposure was not right or something like that without having to deal with all of the tape re-winding and positioning that people never do because it's so inconvenient.

Also, bringing a laptop on a trip just to be able to review video is getting more and more inconvenient. I used to bring my laptop on trips just to download digital photos, but I'm moving away from that because of all of the airport inconvenience as well as simply not having another big thing to lug around everywhere. Prices for SD and CF cards have gotten so cheap that it's so much easier more convenient to just take a lot of them.
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Old April 9th, 2008, 04:42 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Mario Salazar View Post
Thanks for the clip but you are right, the subject is not interesting. Kind Regards,
Mario
I posted that clip just to show the sharpness of the camera and how it's at least as sharp as any consumer HDV cam out there. If you're worried about motion artifacts, don't. I see absolutely no more artifacts with motion than I do with HDV. AVCHD has this licked.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 03:05 PM   #78
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Still photos with SR12

Ken, could you post some SR12 stills on megaupload at max resolution/quality? I'd love to see some samples that don't have any re-compression artifacts from resizing... Ron's samples really got me worried that I'm not going to like the stills very much. They seem blurry, especially the doll picture which is slightly out of focus.

I know I'm not going to get the DSLR quality, but I'd still like to be able to print an occasional shot, and I'd need a lot more sharpness than that!
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Old April 10th, 2008, 03:26 PM   #79
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Thanks Dave and Ken. Your help is trully appreciate. I hope I can contribute something when I test the camera. Its to bad the cx9 is not out, that might of been my choice. Also the incredibly thin TG1 (I believe thats the name) sony is going to put out in May looks really intriguing because of convenience, though I know the image quality with a 1/5 sensor would be not as nice.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 03:45 PM   #80
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Stan,
I shot the doll from about 4 feet on telephoto, and in lower light, to limit the depth of field so the piano in the background would be out of focus. The Welsh doll is about 6 inch's high. This may have been a little too close to really focus properly though the doll looks in focus on my original. The flowers were also shot close up too so some may not be in focus due to depth of field at this range. The SR11 is not a substitute for a real digital camera but is better than the 3Mpixel Sony digital camera that I now have!!!!!

Ron Evans
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Old April 10th, 2008, 04:15 PM   #81
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Stan -

Keep in mind that the stills are by nature interpolated - IIRC the max sensor resolution equates to about 5M pixel...

That said, they ain't bad, If you have something in mind I'll shoot some samples and send 'em your way. I've got a couple things I was going to upload, but they apparently exceed the file attachment limits here - not file size, but H and or W, if I read it right... the files are around 2.5M for the widescreen format, 3.5m for the full 10Mp size. I have a couple shots taken in high wind conditions of a short palm tree and lots of detail, fence, rocks, grass, etc in the frame, and a couple shots of a faded Jack in the Box antenna ball - the background is properly out of focus, and considering how much things were whipping about in the wind, the shots are good.


I found that with some post smoothing I could get some pretty good looking results. Initially I was disappointed with some of the noise/patterning I saw in the pictures, but that was zooming in pretty tight. After experimenting some, I'd be comfortable shooting this as a still camera - it does improve upon earlier cameras (7 series, 4 and 6 M Pixel), and I've had acceptable results from those.

I had high hopes for the dual mode in this camera, and I'm only a little disappointed. Is it equivalent to a 10.2Mp cam with a good lens, NO, equivalent to a decent 5Mp point and shoot, at least, and maybe a bit more.

BUT, keep in mind you can shoot 7Mp stills as many as you want (there can be some delays between shots, still trying to figure that out, I'm guessing there is some buffering going on) simultaneously with shooting video - THAT's the really cool feature in my book, and the place where this cam breaks new ground - I am almost wishing it could trigger flash while shooting video too, but that opens it's own can of worms.

FWIW, I know that one of Ron's shots was a tad out of focus, and that can happen with any cam... AF can get lost, it's not indicative of overall quality.
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Old April 11th, 2008, 07:50 AM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan Sokorac View Post
Ken, could you post some SR12 stills on megaupload at max resolution/quality? I'd love to see some samples that don't have any re-compression artifacts from resizing... Ron's samples really got me worried that I'm not going to like the stills very much. They seem blurry, especially the doll picture which is slightly out of focus.

I know I'm not going to get the DSLR quality, but I'd still like to be able to print an occasional shot, and I'd need a lot more sharpness than that!
Stan, here's a shot that appears razor sharp on my 60" Pioneer plasma. I can even zoom a couple of notches and the picture still won't break down. To be honest, since I didn't really care about the photo capture, I can't even tell you this was shot at the highest resolution since I used the widescreen format for my plasma.

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=8RXJQW4F
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Old April 11th, 2008, 03:15 PM   #83
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Hi Ken -
Thanks for that still, looks like the 7.2Mp resolution offhand.

I do see the patterning and artifacting that I was describing with my SR11, but it's at pretty high zooms.

I have a good quality 10Mp still cam, and you can zoom in with stills from that camera and everything is smooth, unlike the SR11, BUT, the SR is not bad considering it's a video camera.

The thing I find a bit odd is how incredibly smooth the highest res video is in comparison, but I'm going to just speculate that the algorithm used is optimized for big screen TV type display, which might well be a bit different from a "print photo" algorithm. I know that high res still pictures don't always fare so well when displayed on a big TV... so perhaps that's what is up with the way the picture is processed.

I fiddled in post with some filters to reduce digital noise, and got some very usable results, so I think the cam is "there" as far as a practical "everyday" dual use cam with good resolution.

NO question at all, the stills LOOK good when you stand back and view them on a proper display (your picture looks great on my 24" monitor, as do the test shots I've taken, that's bigger than an 8x10...), so I guess as a practical matter, any noise/pattern/artifacting is acceptable as long as you're not trying agressive zoom/crop type things in post. I've got to do some actual prints and see how they come out, but I expect that you'd be good up to at least 8x10, probably quite a bit larger with some careful post processing.

I think for those few of us who are actually crazy enough to want to use the cam for stills TOO, this cam is revolutionary. Not perfect, but when coupled with the video quality, definitely makes this camera a winner.
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Old April 11th, 2008, 03:31 PM   #84
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Yeah Dave, I for one don't zoom in at extreme measures to these things, so there's really zero visible noise or patterning. On my 60" Pioneer, the detail is actually better than the full motion, highest quality video. In fact, I've never seen any HD video, in any format, with this kind of detail and smoothness that shows in the picture on my plasma.

The thought that kept popping in my head was 'if the video looked like this, this would be the next format advance in HD'...it's that good on the plasma.
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Old April 12th, 2008, 12:57 PM   #85
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Thanks for the feedback guys, and thanks for uploading your shot, Ken!

I agree with Dave's assessment of the still. Displayed on a big monitor/TV, the picture looks very nice -- the stop sign, and the building in the back are both very sharp. The trees branches on the left are a little washed out, but it's not too bad.

Zooming in, you can really see some problems that would be exposed when blowing up a shot to anything over 8x10. I'd love to see an 8x10 print of this shot to see if it would work at that size (I'll probably try a test print), but I have no doubt that it would look nice at 5x7. 8x10 with a little bit of post work should be fine, and even shots with my D50 need a little post for perfect results.

It certainly is good to know that I could take an SR11/12 to some casual outings and get the best of both worlds!
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Old April 12th, 2008, 03:01 PM   #86
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Stan -
Fiddle with a few digital noise reduction filters, you may be quite surprised with the results. I was hesitant at first, but I'm about 95% happy with the still results.

I'm going to guess 8x10 is not going to be a problem if you don't crop in too much - framing/composing is going to be important for still use.

Also much may depend on your photo printer - I picked up one of those little Epsons at a pre Christmas sale (rediculously low price), and it's doing some magic print wise that blows away anything else I've tried, at least for 4x6. I'd buy a large format version anytime, but I don't think they even make anything like that - for a sub $100 consumer print device, it's amazing - I want to run some shots from the SR11 through it and see how they come out, just haven't gotten round to it.

Oh, yeah, I think Ken's shot was through a window, which may account for some of the slightly washed out details - I know I saw some strangeness in one of Ron's pix, then I realized it was a REFLECTION in the window he was shooting from!
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Old April 12th, 2008, 09:22 PM   #87
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Dave, it was actually shot out of an open window and you're seeing a bit of the window frame on the right. But I'll tell you, looking at it on my 60" 1080p Pioneer, it's almost impossible to believe that an 8X10 print wouldn't look great. The detail on the screen is 'never-ending', so perhaps it is geared somehow for display on an HDTV. The overall look on the plasma of this still image is actually superior to the highest quality video of the same scene, so it's hard to believe a reasonable sized print wouldn't look great assuming it's not cropped all that much.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 01:21 AM   #88
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Dave,
I gave it a shot, and you're right, you can definitely improve the image with some noise reduction. I played with the photo only for a bit, but I got the tree on the left looking much sharper, but the trees above the school are beyond repair, IMO. Any noise reduction or sharpening I tried turned them into an impressionist painting :).

So, you're happy with the Epson 4x6 printer? I bought my mom one of those about 3 years ago, so she can print the photos I send her, and it broke down after about 4 months of printing :(. That turned me off from those little photo printers. I might have to revisit them!

Ken,
Your plasma is only showing about 30% of the image size (pixel-wise), so if the camera (or whatever you're using to display the image) is doing a good job of shrinking the picture down, it will naturally look sharper than it is. Similarly, a 4x6 will probably look great, but printing an 8x10 at 300dpi will need just about all of those 7M pixels, so every little imperfection will show...

I think I'm trying to set the expectations on this thing a little too high, though. Realistically, for what it is -- a video camera first -- it takes pretty damn good photos. It means that when I'm looking to take some stunning photos, I should bring my DSLR, but when I'm looking to capture a special moment in a photo, the SR12 will do a fine job (while taking stunning videos at the same time!).
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Old April 13th, 2008, 08:25 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by Stan Sokorac View Post
Ken,
Your plasma is only showing about 30% of the image size (pixel-wise), so if the camera (or whatever you're using to display the image) is doing a good job of shrinking the picture down, it will naturally look sharper than it is. Similarly, a 4x6 will probably look great, but printing an 8x10 at 300dpi will need just about all of those 7M pixels, so every little imperfection will show...
Stan, could be since my plasma is the 60" 1080p Pioneer Kuro Elite, generally regarded as one of the best HDTVs ever made. It does have amazing scaling, so you could be right. But I thought the SR12 had a 1920X1080 still option...I need to check that. As I've said, I never use these cams for this purpose and the only reason I did was becasue someone had asked me a question relative to that capability.

But after seeing the results, at least for viewing on an HDTV (which I actually far prefer than a small print...of course it doesn't make for great sharing :)), I could see using it for this purpose too.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 08:27 AM   #90
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Yes Dave my shots were through a window it was -22C outside!!!!!! The shots of the doll and flowers were a little too close for the focusing at full tele I think but I am very pleased with the stills for video camera.

Ron Evans
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