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Old March 6th, 2003, 12:40 PM   #1
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Observations on GL2 frame grab vs stills quality...

Hi:

I purchased my GL2 in July and right away bought the 128 MB card thinking I could save a load of nice wildlife stills on it.
Canon advertised 1.7 Mega Pixel (1488x1128) stills.

I read postings on this forum that the 3 CCD stills are a compromise on quality and I also realize that the GL2 is not a still camera. I just thought, well maybe I'd be surprised....

I'm using the stills or frame grabs for posting photos on the web using the 20x optical that I normally would not get with my wife's 3x optical on her Canon S330 and really have no intention of printing any.

I have posted two Barred Owl photos on my webpage, one from a still and the other from a frame grab.
http://www.ahoooadventure.com/2003PhotosVideoClips.html

When I tile these side by side I swear the frame grab looks much better, less graininess. I sized the still down to the frame grab size.

After seeing Steve Nunez's frame grabs of his Red tailed hawk using a Sony 1.7X telephoto video adapter this makes me think that frame grabs are better quality in most cases.

I have now started to take all my wildlife video in normal mode after reading here that panning, etc... in frame mode can give you an unclear picture. Many time the birds, etc... won't stay still.

Now when I grab a frame I just need to make sure the frame has no movement in it from the bird, etc... I'm trying to grab.

One case I've found where stills might be of the same or better quality than frame grab is close-ups.
It seems when there is more of the same color in the still there is less graininess.

http://www.ahoooadventure.com/Flowers_lg1.JPG
http://www.ahoooadventure.com/MorningGlory1_lgcopy.JPG
http://www.ahoooadventure.com/Redberries_lg.JPG

Steve
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Old March 6th, 2003, 12:59 PM   #2
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Re: Observations on GL2 frame grab vs stills quality...

oopppss....

my site just went down....
working on getting it back up...
sorry about this..


Steve
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Old March 6th, 2003, 02:14 PM   #3
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I tend to do the opposite, observing subject movement in the normal mode produces the jaggies. Almost all of the frames on my web page are from the frame mode unless otherwise indicated.

http://homepage.mac.com/bhardy3/PhotoAlbum8.html

Excellent shot of the flowers by the way! Could not see your other two pics, perhaps you are working on them?
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Old March 6th, 2003, 02:29 PM   #4
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frame grab v. still

I was quite surprised at how much stair-step artifacting was apparent in the frame grab. I noticed the frame grab was zoomed in closer and was not exposed exactly the same (it appears to me to be slightly less exposed). I don't know if that was a contributor to the increased stair-step effect visible on the branches to the right of the owl, but those kinds of differences between frames make it hard to draw any conclusions from these two stills.
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Old March 6th, 2003, 03:29 PM   #5
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Re: frame grab v. still

Hi all:

The website is now up and running.


I'm going to define stills in my note as using the card to store a picture. I'll define frame grabs as using my Studio Version 8 to edit a video clip and use the frame grab tool to save a particular frame.

Hi Buddy:
Great shots on your site! The flower stills I did to the card were done in Frame mode so I think you have a point and I might have to return to Frame mode for stills and nature shooting in general.

Hi Bud:
The owl shot on the left was saved to my card. I tried to find a similar look in my video clip when I grabbed a frame with the picture on the right and did not realize it was zoomed out more than the one on the left.

The owl was sunning himself and thus washing out my shots of it with the white on its breast. Not sure what I could have done to get a better shot. I'm in the process of just starting to explore some of the features of the GL2.

I did put on the sun and snow mode the other day and noticed that the snow looked white like it should and not gray. Nice feature.

We'll be spending a week in the Caribbean coming up and I'll probably keep the sun and sand mode on the GL2 for the bright beach and water shots. I'll play around and see if there are any other settings that might produce as good or better result.

This forum is "the best!"
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Old March 6th, 2003, 03:33 PM   #6
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caribbean

polarizing filter. nuff said
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Old March 6th, 2003, 07:32 PM   #7
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As Bud said, hard to make a direct comparison. But I thought the still looked sharper, with more detail on the leaves and branches.
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Old March 7th, 2003, 08:14 AM   #8
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Hi Steve,

I have not experienced the same results as you have. I find the GL2's "Still" cam feature produces better stills than mere frame grabs.

Try this: mount your GL2 on a tripod and get a good focus on something nicely lit, then snap a photo with the "Camera" mode onto a card- then do a tape record of the same object and grab a frame still- I think you'll find the "Camera" picture surpasses the frame grab....but that's my results- give it a try yourself.

Let us know what you come up with.
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Old March 7th, 2003, 10:49 AM   #9
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same language here?

Is everyone using the same language here?

Steve U. starts the thread by saying " I'm using the stills or frame grabs for posting photos on the web". I take that to mean he is using the Digital Photo mode and the Frame Movie Mode. But then when he says "Now when I grab a frame I just need to make sure the frame has no movement in it from the bird, etc... I'm trying to grab" I figure he is referring to the Normal Movie mode and has been doing so all along.

It appears that buddy1065 might also have been confused. He said "I tend to do the opposite, observing subject movement in the normal mode produces the jaggies. Almost all of the frames on my web page are from the frame mode unless otherwise indicated.

If there has been confusion it is understandable. Canon refers to the following modes: "Normal Movie Mode, Digital Photo Mode, and the cinema-like Frame Movie Mode". When people speak of a frame grab it is unclear as to whether that is a frame grab from normal or frame mode without some careful reading.

My suggestion is simply to be aware of how easy it is to make this confusion and keep it in mind when discussing "frame grabs" or using the term frame.
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Old March 7th, 2003, 12:21 PM   #10
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Hi Willie and Steve:

I'm going to do some testing of the GL2's "Still" cam feature vs. grabbing a frame while editing the video using Studio 8. I'll then post my results.

Hi Bud:
When I refer to "Stills" I mean moving the Card/Tape switch to Card on the camera and snapping a still that is saved onto your memory card.

When I refer to "Frame Grab" I mean using the frame grab tool in my Studio 8 software to grab a particular frame as you edit the video clip.

I can see where this can be confusing where you also have Frame Mode vs Normal Mode when shooting video. You can then grab a frame while editing your video that might have been shot in frame mode or normal mode.
Sorry for the confusion.
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Old March 9th, 2003, 07:10 AM   #11
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I was playing around with the digital still mode last week on a snow day, and I think the results are much better than any frame grab I've taken. Maybe I just shoot really poor video :)

I took all these with the "fine" setting:

http://homepage.mac.com/messnerk/PhotoAlbum10.html
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Old March 9th, 2003, 07:49 AM   #12
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Hi Kirk:

Nice shots!
Your cat picture looks like it came from a regular digital camera!

This supports my theory that digital still mode closeups are far superior to the digital still mode distance shots. I still see a lot
of grain in my distance shots and that is where sometimes I thought a frame grab might look a little better.

Steve

<<<-- Originally posted by Kirk Messner : I was playing around with the digital still mode last week on a snow day, and I think the results are much better than any frame grab I've taken. Maybe I just shoot really poor video :)

I took all these with the "fine" setting:

http://homepage.mac.com/messnerk/PhotoAlbum10.html -->>>
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Old March 9th, 2003, 08:57 AM   #13
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Kirk:

Those are great shots. It's a feature of my GL2 that I haven't tried yet, but you've inspired me. They look as good as anything I get with my Kodak DC265, which is 1.6Mp and therefore in the same range as the GL2. How do you think your GL2 images compare to your DC280 shots?

One thing I don't understand is how the GL2 generates a 1.7Mp image from 3 410,000 pixel CCDs. Can you or anyone else put me out of my misery?
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Old March 9th, 2003, 09:25 AM   #14
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Thanks Steve & Will !

I'd say the two cameras are comparable. The DC-280 is a 2.1mp, and has maybe a bit sharper image, although I have an easier time with the GL2, since I can see the effects of changing my settings, focus, etc. in the LCD. Closeups on the DC-280 are a hit and miss thing for me. The LCD is just too small for my eyes. My wife is telling me I can get the Canon EOS 10D 6.3mp after I pay the taxes :) I can't wait for an SLR digital !!
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Old March 9th, 2003, 12:21 PM   #15
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Canon EOS 10D is on my next purchase list- as soon as it's released for sale- at $1499 it's a steal!

(clean hi ISO images- awesome CMOS sensor!!!!)
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