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Old May 8th, 2005, 01:55 PM   #1
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Optura 60 various questions

I am in the market for a new DV cam to replace my Sony TRV22. I was almost sold on the Panny GS250, but the 16:9 mode in the Optura 60 is what I am really looking for. Before I bought the Sony, I had the Canon ZR70. I returned that cam due to the really bad indoor performance. The video quality of the ZR70 was horrible (tons of noise), with typical indoor lighting.

Is the Optura 60 better at low light than the old ZR-70? My main concern is noise. I know the color quality won't be there with indoor lighting.

Thanks for the help.

Steve
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Old May 8th, 2005, 02:29 PM   #2
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Yes, the Opturas handle low light video noise much better than the ZR series. You'll also get better color rendition.

* I own a couple of ZR60s, that are relegated to just recording audio.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 06:20 PM   #3
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Steve,

If you go with the Optura 60, it would be interesting to see how you think it compares to the TRV22, which has a reputation for having good low light capabilities.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 06:25 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info. I will definately update you when I make my decision. The Sony has been a good camera, I just want to go with a cam that has OIS and true 16:9.

Thanks,

Steve
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Old June 16th, 2005, 11:00 PM   #5
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optura 60 LCD screen facing outwards?

can you rotate the optura 60 LCD screen 180 degrees and then put it back towards the camera facing outwards?

I'm planning to do some interviews alone and this feature would be important to check composition when I sit next to the camera to focus the interviewee's sight away from the camera's lens. I know that the Canon GL-1 does this. I hope the optura 60 can do it too.

thank you
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Old June 18th, 2005, 06:59 AM   #6
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Yes. In fact I don't know of a single camcorder that does *not* do that. Hope this helps,
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Old July 12th, 2005, 12:19 PM   #7
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Optura 60 Exposure

Does the Optura 60 provide any sort of exposure metering (zebra bars, etc.)?

I couldn't find anything in any of the reviews that indicated either way.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 01:25 PM   #8
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The Optura 50/60 do not have the zebra bars.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 01:42 PM   #9
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Is there anything in this price range that does?

I've been using a laptop with a scope for this but it's alot of gear to haul around.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 08:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason J. Gullickson
Is there anything in this price range that does?

I've been using a laptop with a scope for this but it's alot of gear to haul around.
I think the Optura Xi is probably one of the cheapest cams with zebra. So you're probably looking at about 2-300 bucks over the 60.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 08:31 PM   #11
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Perfect, I thought I had read that one of the Optura's did it but I couldn't remember which.

Thanks!
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Old September 2nd, 2005, 03:29 PM   #12
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Optura 60 Memory Card Performance

I was in the process of deciding how big of a memory card I wanted to buy for my new Optura 60 when I started wondering if it was desirable to go with one of the high speed cards. I did some testing with a standard (slow) speed card and with the high speed card I use in my Canon SD300 digital still camera.

The Optura will write to and read from cards formatted in the Optura or cards formatted in the SD300. If I format the card in the Optura, my USB memory card reader on the home PC, running XP Professional, canít see any pictures on the card. If I format the card in the SD300, my USB memory card reader does see the pictures and can copy or delete them.

There appears to be no difference in how long it takes to move from one picture to the next, in playback mode, whether the card is a standard speed or high speed card.

The Optura 60 is incredibly slow viewing still shots compared to the SD300. Pictures that take several seconds for the Optura to process pop up almost instantly on the SD300. I donít really understand why the Optura is so much slower than the SD300 when both of them are listed as using DiG!C processors.

Is there some setting that I have wrong causing me to get such slow performance from the memory card?
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Old September 4th, 2005, 04:42 PM   #13
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Don't know why that would be. I'll look into it and see if there's an answer.
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Old September 19th, 2005, 07:13 PM   #14
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Optura 60 low light and zoom

I purchased an Optura 60 a week ago. There is a Canon $100 rebate that ends Sept 30, and with the rebate my price was less than $500. I have a Gl2 and wanted a small camera for vacation use, and also to use for rewinding and capturing DV shot with the GL2 to extend the GL2 tape transport life.

Because of at least one notorious review I was concerned about low light capability of the 60. I'm happy to report that IMO the Optura 60 low light capability is not bad. It is no match for the GL2, but it is better than my old Sony Digital 8 TRV-120. With one 60 watt light in a small room there is certainly some grain, and color is weak. In a small room with 2 60 watt bulbs there is not much grain and color is decent.

In good light the image quality looks great, and I'm anxious to compare shots side by side with the GL2, and also using the 16:9 mode, where I expect the 60 might be even better than the GL2.

I shoot a lot of nature video and the 20X optical zoom capability of the GL2 is superb, and the digital zoom up to 40X is also quite good. I was hoping this would also be true for the optura 60 because it's CCD has more pixels (in the one CCD) than the 3 CCD GL2. This appears to be the case. The 60 has two digital zoom modes, 56X and 280X. Forget about the 280X on the Optura like you can forget about the 100X in the GL2. But the Optura 60 like the Gl2 has minor image degradation with the digial zoom up to twice the optical zoom. You can't really tell (as far as I know) what the exact digital zoom is in either camera except at the transitions from one to the other or at the end of the range. My opinion is that picture degradation in the 60 is not too bad all the way up to 56X.

Finally I want to report my findings on the Digital Optics, or Crystal Optics or Sakar low cost 2X extender. I purchased this cheap ($79) extender with the Optura 60 expecting that perhaps it would not be great, but might be useful. I'm sending it back. It is less than useless and a waste of money. It has very bad chromatic aberation (purple fringing). It has poor resolution, kind of like a fog on everything. The Optura 60 at about 30X digital zoom without the 2X extender has a much better picture than using the 2X extender at full optical 14X zoom on the Optura, which should give about 28X effective zoom. However, the 2X extender is not a 2X extender. More like about a 1.4X at best, if you can believe it! Perhaps I shouldn't have been, but frankly I was amazed that putting a low cost piece of glass on the camera would offer nothing but a degraded picture.
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Old September 19th, 2005, 10:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Greb
Because of at least one notorious review I was concerned about low light capability of the 60. I'm happy to report that IMO the Optura 60 low light capability is not bad. It is no match for the GL2, but it is better than my old Sony Digital 8 TRV-120. With one 60 watt light in a small room there is certainly some grain, and color is weak. In a small room with 2 60 watt bulbs there is not much grain and color is decent.
Thanks for your real world review of the Optura 60, glad you like it. I believe I know which review you cite and I continue to not understand the obsession casual camcorder purchasers (and apparently many reviewers) have with "low light" performance. Its like people think a $500 camcorder is going to take a 20x15 room with a 20 watt reading lamp and make it look like its sitting on the surface of the sun. Ugh, don't get me started.

I've got an Optura 30 and its been fine for interior shooting. Is it as good as my friend's PD150? Uh, not even close. Good enough for videos of the inlaws trying to sing and play guitar after a bottle of wine? You bet.

Philip Williams
www.philipwilliams.com
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