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Old January 2nd, 2009, 01:37 AM   #1
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Cpmpact camera with shutter-speed control in high-light situations?

I'm looking for recommendations/advice for a modestly-priced HD flash-based camera that meets the following 2 requirements:

- slim enough to fit in a ski-jacket pocket (which disqualifies my Sony HC1!)
- able to deal with high light (ski-field, beach, etc) without moving to a high shutter speed ...

With my HC1 I can set the shutter to manual 1/60, which I cannot do with my Canon SD800 point-and-shoot while it's in video mode. Consequently, the Canon responds to high skifield light level by shifting to a high shutter speed, which produces nasty 'stroboscopic' footage of moving subjects.

Any thoughts? (Oh ... and ... decent image stabilization would nice too).
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 02:51 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Graham Hickling View Post
I'm looking for recommendations/advice for a modestly-priced HD flash-based camera that meets the following 2 requirements:

- slim enough to fit in a ski-jacket pocket (which disqualifies my Sony HC1!)
- able to deal with high light (ski-field, beach, etc) without moving to a high shutter speed ...

With my HC1 I can set the shutter to manual 1/60, which I cannot do with my Canon SD800 point-and-shoot while it's in video mode. Consequently, the Canon responds to high skifield light level by shifting to a high shutter speed, which produces nasty 'stroboscopic' footage of moving subjects.

Any thoughts? (Oh ... and ... decent image stabilization would nice too).
I've been working with a "D"SLR that shoots HD video. Very well, in fact.

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But, like the Sony SR11/SR12 -- shutter-speed pops up way too high. You'll have to go with one of the Canon's but they may be too big for a pocket.

I'm now working-out ways to use ND filters to push the shutter-speed back to about 1/60th. You might try the same.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 07:32 PM   #3
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No such animal currently... unless one of the Panasonic offerings allows for it?

I'd second the idea of using ND filters or circular polarizers or stack a couple of them to reduce the glare/light. You can stack two CP's together and completely block all light, FWIW - I fiddled with it to force DOF from the "infinite depth of focus" handycam... definitley allows you to force the shutter open!
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 09:04 AM   #4
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pana....

I recently purchased a Pana SD100, to checkout the AVCHD format...

& I'm quite pleased with the little cam, as I have an HC1 also, it's almost half the size.


It has all the control you'd ever need, most of it thru a menu, but once you're familiar with it, it does'nt take too long to access the shutter, & a very good image stabilizer...

& It's nice working with an SDHC card, as compared to tape.

Picture quality is good also, although on a timeline, the HC1 is a little more pleasing to my eye. Might be a HDV vs AVCHD thing... Both cams look great on my friends Magnovox 52" plasma screen.

I have'nt checked the quality for a lot of motion yet, so I don't know about that...
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Old January 5th, 2009, 03:04 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
I've been working with a "D"SLR that shoots HD video. Very well, in fact.

Photo for HD Video (D-SLR and others) - The Digital Video Information Network

But, like the Sony SR11/SR12 -- shutter-speed pops up way too high. You'll have to go with one of the Canon's but they may be too big for a pocket.

I'm now working-out ways to use ND filters to push the shutter-speed back to about 1/60th. You might try the same.
Steve -

Intrigued a bit by the Casio - looks like a "lo-budget" 5DII... I'm wondering if it's really up to snuff with only 6Mpixel resolution in the still mode? Keep in mind I'm coming from the opposite direction with the SR11 which shoots some pretty decent stills, but I'm shooting an a350 (sony Alpha, 14MPix) for anything important... I saw some strange artifacting in the F1 footage you had linked, couldn't tell if it was from recompression or was just the camera raw footage... seems like an interesting camera though, another in the "dual mode" vein of things that is probably the future!


To resolve your ND dilema, you might try stacking circular polarizers to reduce light transmission - by orienting two together you can go to pitch black in the noonday sun! Not sure about the PQ loss from 4 layers of glass, but probably offset by the improvement in acquired image? I was able to get some usable DOF out of my SR11 with that approach, though it was a crude experiment, and haven't had time to fiddle with it further.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 11:47 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post

To resolve your ND dilema, you might try stacking circular polarizers to reduce light transmission - by orienting two together you can go to pitch black in the noonday sun!
Do circular polarisers work? I thought that this idea needed linear polarisers, and they apparently give a problem to some kinds of auto focus system. If circular ones do work, then it sounds a great idea!
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Old January 5th, 2009, 02:28 PM   #7
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Do circular polarisers work? I thought that this idea needed linear polarisers, and they apparently give a problem to some kinds of auto focus system. If circular ones do work, then it sounds a great idea!
the circular in the CP filters is the rotating ring that polarizers are mounted to. outside of that, they are standard linear polarizers. they just rotate to fit the needs of the lighting.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 04:13 PM   #8
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Graham, you've got two requirements going here--manual shutter adjustment and fit-in-the pocket. It seems to me that many of the small single chip cameras don't allow manual adjustment, or if they do it can be cumbersome.

In the pocketcam category, I just got a Sony TG1 for that purpose, ie., a small camera I could stick in my pocket and keep with me. I shot some footage in the snow in Chicago and it looked fine, but it was a drab day, no bright sun. It has some manual adjustment, but not shutter. I've seen some beach footage that looked good but because of the web compression difficult to tell for sure. What you get is what you get with this camera, ie., no way to screw on an ND because it has no threads...although some people are using magnetic rings that come with one of the still camera wide angle adapters to attach the wide angle; presumably you could do that with a little ND. So far I haven't noticed any weirdness like you'd get at a high shutter speed when it stops down automatically. I'll try to check it out in bright light soon.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 05:42 AM   #9
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the circular in the CP filters is the rotating ring that polarizers are mounted to. outside of that, they are standard linear polarizers. they just rotate to fit the needs of the lighting.
No, it's not, it's a different form of polarisation, made by adding a second filter layer on to a linear polariser. That's why they are a lot more expensive. In fact, having read around the web a bit, both types will work when doubled and crossed. The problem with autofocus on linear polarisers was apparently due to some autofocus systems using semi silvered mirrors as part of the light path. I must admit in my innocence, I had assumed that modern camcorder autofocus used electronic means of focus detection directly from the CMOS/CCD, rather than some beam splitting method.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 06:36 AM   #10
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I thought I'd bring this thread up to the top again since I've just bought a couple of circularly polarised filters, with the idea as suggested here, of making a variable density ND filter by stacking them.
Well... As I originally thought, with circular polarisers it doesn't work. There is a change in colour balance as the filters are twisted together, but not the fade to black that I was expecting. So, these will have to go back and be replaced by a couple of linear ones...

Last edited by Mike Lewis; January 16th, 2009 at 07:28 AM.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 07:10 AM   #11
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I use Hoya NDx8 (3 stop) with my SR11 and it works perfect.
I have a 37-52mm stepup ring with UV filter and either NDx4 or NDx8 depending on the weather situation
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Old January 16th, 2009, 05:52 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Steve -

Intrigued a bit by the Casio - looks like a "lo-budget" 5DII... I'm wondering if it's really up to snuff with only 6Mpixel resolution in the still mode?
I'm much happier with the Casio now that I found out HOW to correctly shoot. :) It keeps shutter at 1/60th to 1/125th except at the dimmest (it falls to 1/30th) and brightest. Using 3-stop ND is perfect in super bright Las Vegas as it keeps iris wider and speed to about 1/100th.

After trying all the new AVCHD cams at CES I love the feel of a "35mm SLR." The new cams are way too big for a pocket and way too small to be stable.

Please describe the artifact. I've got a new FullHD 65" HDTV which I need to calibrate before re-looking at what I've shot.

I think 6MP is all that's needed for stills that will go into HD video (allows cropping and zooming) or to the net or to 4x6 prints. I no longer have a need for big prints.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 07:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
I thought I'd bring this thread up to the top again since I've just bought a couple of circularly polarised filters, with the idea as suggested here, of making a variable density ND filter by stacking them.
Well... As I originally thought, with circular polarisers it doesn't work. There is a change in colour balance as the filters are twisted together, but not the fade to black that I was expecting. So, these will have to go back and be replaced by a couple of linear ones...
Maybe it's a confusion of terms, but I have two polarizers that have rotating elements, fit the first to the camera, then screw the second one into the first, rotating the two independently you can go to completely black on my set up... maybe there is some difference between different brands of polarizers?
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Old January 17th, 2009, 04:13 AM   #14
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Maybe it's a confusion of terms, but I have two polarizers that have rotating elements, fit the first to the camera, then screw the second one into the first, rotating the two independently you can go to completely black on my set up... maybe there is some difference between different brands of polarizers?
Yes, all polarisers come in rotating mounts so that you can adjust correctly to eliminate reflections, but the elements come in two types, circular and linear: you must have linear ones. See the notes at the bottom of this page:
Polarising
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Old January 17th, 2009, 08:09 PM   #15
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OK, so the twin linear polarizer idea has potential.

So then...are there cheap(er) HD flash-based cameras have some or all of the following: 1) a screw thread for fitting the polarizers or ND filters, 2) some sort of shutter-speed read-out so help evaluate the effect of those filters, and ideally 3) some sort of exposure lock once the shutter speed is where you want it?
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