HV20: Cinemode Softness (loss of image detail) Pic - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

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Old August 8th, 2007, 06:58 PM   #31
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Okay, these two are full-res, uncorrected, straight from the camera. (Only molested by HDV.) Histograms are in the upper-right.

What becomes really clear is that true edge detail (high contrast) is not altered by CINEMODE either way (good or bad) but low contrast detail is missing. This may simply be the real data captured by sensor, or Canon might be applying a filter to this range in order to create smoother transitions. Either way, it's definitely not there.

More to come.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 07:00 PM   #32
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Joseph, your pictures also show the lack of detail when on cinemode. I was able to spot it very easily. Even in your corrected image, the text feels blurry. Check the brown wood on the background of your corrected cinemode picture. It has no details whatsoever, while the auto one has. Your pictures only empower what Nathan and myself are claiming.

BTW, please do not save as JPEG, because a LOT of the clarity on both pictures is taken away by the jpeg compression. It's important to save as PNG for the best evaluation. You can crop the pictures a bit if the PNG filesize is too big.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 07:07 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugenia Loli-Queru View Post
Joseph, your pictures also show the lack of detail when on cinemode. I was able to spot it very easily. Even in your corrected image, the text feels blurry. Check the brown wood on the background of your corrected cinemode picture. It has no details whatsoever, while the auto one has. Your pictures only empower what Nathan and myself are claiming.

BTW, please do not save as JPEG, because a LOT of the clarity on both pictures is taken away by the jpeg compression. It's important to save as PNG for the best evaluation. You can crop the pictures a bit if the PNG filesize is too big.
I'm in complete agreement with Eugenia - I could have easily told you which images were cinemode without you telling us because the loss of detail is undeniably noticable for each cinemode pic. You have only further supported our claims. Which is good in my book that it's not just me or my camera seeing things that aren't there. Cinemode certainly softens the image significantly in my book to NOT use it any longer. I love what Cinemode does for the contrast because it gives more to work with, but as far as image sharpness - Cinemode is sucking the life out of the fine details.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 07:11 PM   #34
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Okay, okay, nobody could wait for the kicker, but here it is:



This is shot in shutter priority mode, and it suffers from the same lack of low contrast detail as CINEMODE! The same holds true for aperture priority mode, as well.

SO, whatever is going on, it's not CINEMODE exclusive. It's also not severe. I'm not seeing anywhere NEAR the level of lost detail that Nathan is, no matter what I try.

I had all image adjustments turned-off. Next time I get a chance, I'm going to see what affect the sharpness control has on each of the modes because the reality is that there is no way I would want to shoot full-auto for slightly better low frequency details. Without being able to control the shutter speed, 24P is nothing more than a silly gimmick.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 07:15 PM   #35
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Nathan,
There's NO WAY simply going to CINEMODE should have caused the separation pattern on your box to completely blur away, no way. Look at the grid on my tests. There's no real detail lost, just less contrast.

I agree, that there is definitely a loss of subtler, low contrast detail, but whether this is artificial or not, is still not completely clear to me. The fact that the same data is missing from the other program modes is what I find the most telling.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 07:18 PM   #36
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I hear you. Personally, I have decided to shoot in 60i program auto (just so I can control exposure) and leave everything else on defaults. It produces the best image and I am personally most interested in the image clarity rather than the overall feel. I know that it's not the same thing because of shutter speed/gain/aperture differences when shooting in 1/48 and 24f, but if I can export my final 60i stream as 24p, I would do so, even if it's not "real 24p".

I guess we either found a "design bug" or a "design decision", or Canon engineers did not spend a lot of time testing the other modes because of time constraints or because the main market for this camera is plain consumers so these extra modes were put together really fast without much thinking or testing.

>the separation pattern on your box to completely blur away, no way.

Your paper had bigger patterns, maybe it's losing detail after a specific visual point.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 07:26 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Joseph H. Moore View Post
Nathan,
There's NO WAY simply going to CINEMODE should have caused the separation pattern on your box to completely blur away, no way. Look at the grid on my tests. There's no real detail lost, just less contrast. I agree, that there is definitely a loss of subtler, low contrast detail, but whether this is artificial or not, is still not completely clear to me. The fact that the same data is missing from the other program modes is what I find the most telling.
Well, now we could begin a conversation about what one considers to be "detail" and what that means to each seeing eye. You may be seeing the grids and saying that no detail has been lost because the grids are still there. But I'm seeing grids that look softer and less sharp then they had looked. And what I take notice of most is the fact that you can pretty well see the fiber-texture of the paper in your non-cinemode pics, and as Eugenia brought up, you can see the texture in your background board as well - but those finer details are softened and far less discernable in the Cinemode pics.

But your test grids have a more softened look to them in Cinemode - that's obvious. Hey, I wish going to Cinemode didn't cause the separation pattern to disappear on the box and blur away, but it did and does. It doesn't matter what subject matter I stick in front of this HV20, as soon I switch it to Cinemode is softens the image. Can someone else perhaps try some really closeup captures with some similar material - maybe my HV20 is just more extreme in it's Cinemode setting than other cameras. ???
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Old August 8th, 2007, 07:30 PM   #38
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>the separation pattern on your box to completely blur away, no way.

Your paper had bigger patterns, maybe it's losing detail after a specific visual point.
No, not to that degree. You really only have to look at the shot of Nathan's face to see that something there is VERY, VERY different than what I'm getting. He seems to be losing a great deal of detail EVERYWHERE, not just in areas of low contrast.

I'm gonna shoot a well-lit res chart next time. But I can almost guarantee you that it won't show hardly any difference, since a res chart is all high contrast.

It would be great if someone else could confirm what I found, that auto mode is the only mode that doesn't yield this result. (i.e. that low contrast detail is missing from the other program modes, as well.)
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Old August 8th, 2007, 07:36 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Eugenia Loli-Queru View Post
Your paper had bigger patterns, maybe it's losing detail after a specific visual point.
This is a good observation worth investigating further Eugenia. And I'll see about gathering some grid paper and test with that. However, it was in my regular footage (not closeup stuff) I've been capturing over the past few days that I started really feeling that the images lacked the detail that I had previously been seeing on other tapes, and that's when I realized it was when I switched to Cinemode that I took notice of the differences...which has lead to all these postings. But I love looking into this kind of tech stuff with others here. We're all helping each other learn more about this camera we love.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 07:37 PM   #40
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Nathan,
Look closely at the grid again. Every line is really there, and just as defined (i.e. it is not blurry) it just has less contrast, less edge enhancement. The auto mode image just has blacker blacks and whiter whites and more edge enhancement (ringing.)

I don't know if you've ever worked with RAW images from a high-quality DSLR, but if not, you'll see the exact same thing. The raw image from a CCD or a CMOS sensor is relatively soft and has to have some level of sharpening to even look "correct."
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Old August 8th, 2007, 07:49 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Joseph H. Moore View Post
Nathan,
Look closely at the grid again. Every line is really there, and just as defined (i.e. it is not blurry) it just has less contrast, less edge enhancement. The auto mode image just has blacker blacks and whiter whites and more edge enhancement (ringing.) I don't know if you've ever worked with RAW images from a high-quality DSLR, but if not, you'll see the exact same thing. The raw image from a CCD or a CMOS sensor is relatively soft and has to have some level of sharpening to even look "correct."
No, I have no experience with DSLR cameras but I believe you. In all the pictures I've taken with my 6MP digital camera or every digital picture I've looked at an Steve's Digicams for higher MP cameras - they all look soft to me. So yes, you are right in saying that they are all relatively "soft" and need some level of sharpening. I think that's just inherent in the physics of the hardware of digital imaging and capture.

But I guess it comes down to what the individual considers to be acceptable as being a sharp-detailed image or a soft-detailed image. And since I now realize that Cinemode has a real effect of softening the image on yours and Eugenia's HV20's (and perhaps even more so with mine), then I'm wanting to avoid using Cinemode to get back all those ever so subtle details that are being lost. Those kinds of details may not be noticable on distant subject matter, but for closeup work it could make for a significant difference.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 07:49 PM   #42
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Here's a 200% blow-up of the grid. Again, the only enhancement was that I auto-balanced the levels.



Give me another second, and I'll do the same with the board, which is where the "issue" really is visible.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 07:55 PM   #43
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but for closeup work it could make for a significant difference.
Dude, look at the detail on my face in my first post ... you think any actress wants seen at that level of detail! :-)

Seriously, though, if you know what a good RAW DSLR image looks like, then you can understand how sharpening is a second step, whether it is done in camera or in post. There are pro's and cons to any decision as to when to do it, but all things being equal, you have more options in post. (Now, unfortunately, the HV20 does not seem to be treating some parts of the image equally, which is problematic.)
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Old August 8th, 2007, 07:56 PM   #44
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Cinemode is still noticable in those 200% pics. The Cinemode pic looks ever so slightly more blocky with a hair of fuzziness to it.

And yes, no actor/actress would ever want that much detail of their face. LOL!!! But I love to see super-fine details - I've been that way since I was a child and that is why I take notice of extreme subtle differences. (that probably explains why I do Quality Control for a living as well - having to search for audio and visual details). But I know that others here are seeing this too, so I'm not completely out in left-field here. LOL!!!
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Old August 8th, 2007, 07:59 PM   #45
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Ok, more tests. In my new test with more modes (everything else was left on defaults), I found that the TV mode is the *best* mode of all. It has less mpeg2 artifacts for some reason, possibly because no sharpening happens in that mode (and no softening either). The Aperture priority mode is as bad as Cinemode IMO. One other bad thing that Cinemode seems to expose is chromatic aberations (I saw it twice so far in various frames). The Program mode (auto), is good, but there are sharpening artifacts when you zoom in. The most *recoverable* detail in my opinion can be found on the TV shutter priority mode!

http://osnews.com/img/vegas/program.png
http://osnews.com/img/vegas/tv.png
http://osnews.com/img/vegas/ae.png
http://osnews.com/img/vegas/cine.png

For example, look at the flower in the glass left of the water bottle. It is only the TV mode that was able to exhibit details on that flower. This is the flower detail I am talking about:

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