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Canon Optura Junior Watchdog
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Old June 15th, 2004, 01:31 PM   #1
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CCD / Pixels / Video Quality

I'd be interested to compare these newer Optura's with 1.2 million something pixels for video to, say my 100mc with 690,000 for video. How big a difference are these newer ccd's making, and how? I did see a difference going from my original Eluras with progressive scan ccd's ( 380,000 pixels / 1/4" ccd approx. I believe ) to the Optura 100mc, but it wasn't as great as one might think. And these higher density ccd's seem to be more prone to flare with bright light in a part of the frame. The Elura had supposed 400 lines res, and the 100mc closer to 500 lines supposedly, but I don't find landscapes really look any better with the 100mc. Close ups sure do - I can blend footage with my GL2 fairly seamlessly.

Thoughts, comments, observations anyone?

Overall I like the picture from my 100mc's better than my old Elura - would I see the same difference in the newer generation? I'm guessing not - maybe just a small percentage difference, eh?
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Old June 16th, 2004, 11:50 AM   #2
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The obvious marketing benefit is megapixel envy between cams with less than stellar stills.

The side benefit of these large CCDs is the ability to create an extremely clean widescreen shot with no loss in vertical resolution (and often a wider view compared to 4:3).

Comparing 4:3 video probably won't yield that much difference compared to the very capable 100MC.
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Old June 16th, 2004, 01:24 PM   #3
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The biggest tangible difference with the new generation of Opturas over the older 100MC is in two things: first, the image processor (Digic DV vs. the old standard type), and an RGB color filter vs. CMY color filter. See this page for more info. In addition to what Tommy pointed out above, manual audio level control is a big plus also.
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Old June 16th, 2004, 02:17 PM   #4
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The RGB color filter was used in the original Elura too, obviously to good effect, since it produced really good color!

Thanks for the replys. I think I'll wait a few more generations before I upgrade again ( gets expensive with 3 cameras ).
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Old June 21st, 2004, 10:25 AM   #5
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Pixels and video quality

Pixels and sensor size have to be an issue of significance with camcorders. In still photography, it takes at least 2-3 megapixels to create a decently sharp 8x10 print. With video, the image is enlarged to a much higher degree, so the image from a 1 mp camcorder must not be very sharp.

If we look at the sensor size on still cameras, it is apparent that the majority of them have small sensors similar to camcorders in size. They are typically limited to ISO 400 film speed and have a lot of readily apparent noise in low light. High end digital still cameras have sensors several times larger, can shoot at ISO 1600, and produce very sharp, noise-free pictures even in low light.

My guess is Hollywood digital cameras have very large sensors and lot of pixels. Do any of you know about such cameras?

The new Sony DCR-PC-330 claims 2mp for video and the sensor is about 25% larger in its dimensions than those used on Canon camcorders. Have any of you seen video taken with this camcorder? Is it sharper than usual?
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Old June 21st, 2004, 12:43 PM   #6
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Bill, the issue with digital video is that all MiniDV camcorders use the same DV compression (DV25) and dumping more pixels onto a CCD doesn't always equate to a better picture and definitely doesn't increase the size of the image (always 720x480 for NTSC) like say a 2MP vs. a 5MP digital camera.

The CCD sensor size does play a part in the amount of noise and in this case bigger is better. The problem I've seen lately is that while a 1/3" CCD is great for video, dumping 2million (or more) pixels on it decreases the benefit. I honestly think that we're seeing larger video CCDs only to accommodate millions of pixels. Digital cameras typically have larger CCDs than camcorders with most being close to 1/2".

As I mentioned in my previous post. The digital video benefit (other than pixel envy) of MP CCDs is the widescreen by-product that gives us high resolution 16:9.
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Old June 21st, 2004, 03:14 PM   #7
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Pixels and video quality

Tommy, thanks for your very informative response. I've now learned more!

I agree with the proposition that more but smaller pixels leads to more noise.
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