HV20: Cinemode Softness (loss of image detail) Pic - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old August 8th, 2007, 03:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Parks View Post
Nathan, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Siemens_star.svgPrint the Siemens star from above link. This is a very basic chart (used for back focus) but should at least help you out. Please don't use people's faces only. Let us know what you find. Cheers.
Thanks, I'll give this a go as well. Just to give a brief update. I put a printer cartridge box in front of the HV20 so that I would have something with definite edges to it (meaning the text and line drawings).

And there is still an image softness that occurs when switching to Cinemode, under manual focus, auto-focus, and instant-auto-focus. I'm telling you, I really do believe that the image softness is intended to be a part of the Cinemode preset to help better emulate the film-look that the preset is meant to create.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 03:12 PM   #17
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I'm telling you, I really do believe that the image softness is intended to be a part of the Cinemode preset to help better emulate the film-look that the preset is meant to create.
You are probably right. I keep having to remind myself that this is a consumer targeted camera.

Look forward to seeing your results. thanks for all the info and work that you're putting into it.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 04:06 PM   #18
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I have done extensive testing with sharpening cine in post and have come to the conclusion that no actual detail is lost. When I compared frames without cine to cine frames with a medium sharpen in vegas the detail level was very similar. As you sharpen the percieved level of detail increases. I belive that what cine is doing is just bypassing the in camera sharpening and giving you a more raw image from the CMOS. So you have a choice of in camera sharpening ro to sharpen in post.

For me the benefits of latitude outway the hassle of sharpening etc in post. also cine provides a much better raw file for colour correction etc.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 04:25 PM   #19
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Fergus, I agree with you that not sharpening in-camera was intentional, however, there is detail lost. You see, there are three places where a special effect can be applied, and the earlier it is in that chain, the better it will be:
1. On the lens, analog stage.
2. In-camera.
3. Post processing.

So, by doing the sharpening in post processing instead of stage 2 (or even better, in stage 1), you already lose detail no matter how good your sharpening tools are.

The only way to go around the problem, is for Canon to develop a better CCD that captures sharp images without the need of in-camera sharpening. But that of course, can be expensive for them.

In other words, the CINEMODE shows how good (or bad), the HV20's CCD really is. Pants down! :)

BTW, Nathan and everyone else, please upload PNG images and not GIF or JPEG. Normal gif files can only show 256 colors, so it's not a good point of comparison. JPEG files tend to compress a lot, so the only format friendly for the web and good for comparisons is PNG.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 04:55 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Eugenia Loli-Queru View Post
BTW, Nathan and everyone else, please upload PNG images and not GIF or JPEG. Normal gif files can only show 256 colors, so it's not a good point of comparison. JPEG files tend to compress a lot, so the only format friendly for the web and good for comparisons is PNG.
I'll upload PNG for the next test shots I just did and I think they even further prove that Cinemode softens the details within the image. Eugenia, question - from your post here, I wasn't exactly sure what your thoughts were about Cinemode. Were you saying that you definitely think that it does soften the image because it is "removing" in-camera sharpening that is going on in normal operation of the camera?

Fergus, as far as detail being lost in post-sharpening - that's not my initial concern, because like you I find myself wanting to sharpen post in Vegas as well. But the details that can be lost have everything to do with what kind of fine details are in the subject matter being captured. However, my concern is for the details that are being lost from using Cinemode, since you can't get back super-fine details that Cinemode has smoothed out to look less detailed.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 05:22 PM   #21
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I've got a pretty comprehensive comparison coming as soon as I can finish a paying gig and get them posted.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 05:26 PM   #22
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I did some tests, and my conclusion is that Canon on purpose applies a SOFTEN filter on their raw CCD image. I believe they did that in order to emulate the professional camera's and lenses' DOF ("background blur"). But instead of blurring just the background, they blur the whole picture as that's easier to do. And yes, there is definitely detail lost, detail that is NOT recoverable in post processing (see in the first picture, my attempts did not create sharp lines but noise, check the visible circle in the first sample that is barely visible in the cinemode).

It's too bad, because the rest of CINEMODE's qualities are very helpful, e.g. it's the perfect picture for color grading. The only thing I haven't tried is to boost the in-camera's sharpening and see if that helps, or makes things worse by making the image noisy. The trick is to know if the in-camera sharpness removes the soften filter or not. If not, then there is no hope for Cinemode.

The following clips are presented on 1:1 scale, but feel free to zoom in to see that there is indeed detail lost.

http://osnews.com/img/vegas/cine1.png
http://osnews.com/img/vegas/cine2.png
http://osnews.com/img/vegas/cine3.png
http://osnews.com/img/vegas/cine4.png
http://osnews.com/img/vegas/cine5.png

To evaluate yourselves in full mode, here is the normal picture:
http://osnews.com/img/vegas/1.png
and here is the cinemode one:
http://osnews.com/img/vegas/2.png
The pictures are true 1:1, but they are not 1920x1080 just because I grabbed my visible screen while having frame-by-frame paused a progressive LOSSLESS version of the video rather doing it inside Vegas which does not let me grab in 100% quality/size (so I had to export in lossless first and then grab my screen).
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Old August 8th, 2007, 05:28 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Eugenia Loli-Queru View Post
BTW, Nathan and everyone else, please upload PNG images and not GIF or JPEG. Normal gif files can only show 256 colors, so it's not a good point of comparison. JPEG files tend to compress a lot, so the only format friendly for the web and good for comparisons is PNG.
The image format that is posted has nothing at all to do with the sharpness. Remember this isn't a post on how beautiful the HV20 is but to figure out why one mode causes a loss of detail. In this case the amount of color does not in any way matter in regards to the sharpness of the image.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 05:31 PM   #24
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Regardless, having the full gamut of colors helps in the evaluation rather than having only 256 colors.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 05:55 PM   #25
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If not, then there is no hope for Cinemode.
Everybody back away from the ledge! ;-) Do you really think pro's like Stu Maschwitz are deluding themselves shooting in cine mode?

P.S. There is no such thing as "normal" mode. Do you mean "auto" ?
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Old August 8th, 2007, 06:05 PM   #26
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Yes, I mean auto, that's what "normal" would be for most users.

As for Stu, it's his prerogative to use that mode. Stu is a sucker for color grading, and that mode gives him what he wants. It gives him a blunt look, which he can later do whatever he wants with it. It empowers him. But if you want DETAIL out of your video, Cinemode is not for you.

Someone could argue that Canon added the softness in order to simulate the film look, but the problem is, by losing the detail it's like using... cheap film, not pro film.

So, it depends what you are after. Tweak color power, or clean and sharp images from the get go.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 06:35 PM   #27
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Canon didn't "add softness," I'm almost possitive. Raw sensor data always has a lack of low contrast detail. Images coming next.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 06:44 PM   #28
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Okay people...I just posted my new test pic that proves beyond any doubt that Cinemode softens the image and causes a real loss of finer detail. If this image does not convice you then I don't know what will. Also, Eugenia has only further proven that Cinemode softens the image. Just so everyone understands - you can clearly see all the finer dots in the image in Av mode, and then by simply switching to Cinemode, all those fine dots just disappear in a soft blur. And these are PNG images. :o)

http://www.vettaville.com/canon_hv20...e_softness.htm
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Old August 8th, 2007, 06:48 PM   #29
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They certainly did something. Detail is lost and it's not recoverable.

As for the color grading abilities, I am able to tweak the "auto" images as well as I can the cinemode ones. Check my video. The first image is cinemode untouched, the second one is cinemode graded, the third one is auto untouched and the fourth one is auto graded. Grading between the two images is the same, except that I removed the contrast and sharpen filter on the auto picture because the auto mode is already contrasty and sharpened in-camera. These two filters are enabled in the cinemode picture. The rest of the filters used on both pictures under Vegas are: curves, Aav6cc, color corrector.
http://osnews.com/img/vegas/cine.mpg
If you grab the shots and view the cyan wood under zoom on both the graded pictures (cinemode and auto), you will see that even after sharpening, detail was lost for the cinemode version.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 06:50 PM   #30
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A quick little test

1. All images are high quality JPEG. The small amount of compression applied does nothing to impact the ability to judge the sharpness between the different set-ups.

2. I did not light this, and the exposures are not as consistent as they ideally should be. Some shots have been corrected for this, and they're noted.

Okay, first set. A blind test. The gamma has been equalized to match, but that's it. Which is which?



The answer is, that's CINEMODE on the left, and AUTO on the right. What you'll most notice is that the unprocessed CINE image lacks some of the fine detail that AUTO has in low contrast areas. In high contrast areas, the real detail is virtually the same, even before any sharpening. Especially note the fine grid at the bottom.

Next, a bigger set of corrected images. The lack of low contrast detail is even more evident here. (My exposure was pretty off on the CINE image, which is why the HDV artifacts became exagerated when corrected.)



More to come.
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