Camera/Lens performance compared to Varicam and Panny 400. - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.


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Old January 11th, 2006, 08:05 PM   #31
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thanks Matthew- don't you just love it when minds are inquiring. I don't think you'd be this seriously investigating if this was a bash. But lenses are always different & they're mass produced within certain technically specs. Some turnout better than others. I own 2 canon digitals and even the L lenses vary. I returned my first 17-40L and the second was much improved. Probably , like the 5d , we're reaching the current edge of lens technology/cost benefits. Kurth
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Old January 11th, 2006, 09:48 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petr Marusek
The camera resolves about the same as the Varicam and the Varicam has $30,000 lens, in addition to the 65,000 body.
This isn't about what the camera "resolves", I'm sure you agree that image quality is hardly all about resolution. Furthermore lenses are mainly rated by their MTF performance, a balance of contrast to resolving power but also by more factors than I have time to write about such as center to corner sharpness, and CA... Any engineer will tell you that the critical point in an HD camera's performance is the lens. This is so much truer with a smaller chip, a lens for a 1/3" chip needs to be many times more accurate than one for a 2/3" imager. This means that a lens for a 1/3" chip that is truly "great" needs to outperform threefold a $25,000 lens from the same manufacturer.

I was not comparing it directly to the Varicam, and never expected it to perform as well. I used the chart from the Varicam to pinpoint lens characteristics that people claimed they were'nt seeing. You need a reference benchmark anytime you compare something, it let's you really have an idea of performance. When miniDV came out people could only compare it to Betacam camcorders and Hi-8 camcorders, this is no different, it let's you know where the product falls in terms of performance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petr Marusek
...but quit badmouthing the Canon...What do you really want besides doing everything you can to discredit the Canon?
I haven't "badmouthed the Canon", I've just made observations on the lens, I am impressed with the camera and will buy it. The camera is not tied to that lens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petr Marusek
...telling BS fairy tales how dealers give 20-30% discount on Varicam, telling us about the Panasonic $32K model 400 performance, and when you get caught that it is not true, then telling us about some guy from South America that has a resolution chart. You started with BS and your BS does not stop.
You should of done some research on me before saying that, could of started by following the link in my profile, reading a little and googling the rest. I'll tell you, but verify the facts before launching another attack. The heads of my organization, which I'm technical director and media producer for are Siegfried & Roy the two most sucessful people in the history of live entertainment, we produce several theatrical, broadcast and film productions a year in various continents. We traditionally only shoot film, including IMAX but were one of the first adopters of Sony CineAlta equipment (yeah, with Canon lenses) We spend millions of dollars from our capX budget on equipment each year so maybe we do get the luxury of 20% off list price when we make a purchase from a company that wants our business, I didn't suggest that Joe Schmoe could get a Varicam head from Abel Cine for $50K today, we have a team with great business relationships around the world and that's the benefit we get from that. I'm sure that with the US economy as low as it is it might cost a little more now though. When it comes to the "South America BS", again, do your research, my father worked for Kodak and not only was I born in Chile and lived in 22 countries, some south american, before filmschool I worked for a few years in South America at two of the leading post houses, the defunct Finishouse/FCT in Brazil and Chilefilms in Chile www.chilefilms.cl which rivals even Peter Jackson's Parkhouse Post. So yeah, I have plenty of engineering contacts in Chilean post houses and networks.

So please, I haven't nor would I attack you personally, I'm just not going to state that a lens is great when it's really adequate at best, I can't say that the edges on the resolution wedge are as razor sharp as the sensor should let them be when they're not. Since I am not paid by Canon to pitch the lens I am making real observations about what I see, and I also said that I don't mind paying for a better lens for the H1. I just got pretty reliable info that Canon indeed has plans for a better manual lens anyways, so I guess they might even agree that the 20x zoom isn't the greatest lens for this camera.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 02:48 AM   #33
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Peace. If you can get me a new Varicam for $50K, I'll throw in a couple thousand $ tip. I happen to know someone who was looking for one.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 03:34 AM   #34
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I want you know that I really had no intentions to take anything we might disagree upon further than just an argument about pieces of glass and plastic. I respect your opinions, you're entitled to them but we don't have to settle for each other's opinions either.

I'm afraid our corporation doesn't offer brokering services :o) but I gave you the company's name if you're serious about giving it a shot, remember this was within the context of a larger package and not just for the head, however our economy was better a year ago so don't beat me up for that.

Have you seen this clip? http://www.hd-channel.com/videos/mou...op_reasons.wmv It compares Super16, F900, SD video and Varicam. It's self explanatory even if you don't speak the language. They zoom in on the image at certain points for a closer look. I have a clear favorite but I won't bias your observation. Can you guess?
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Old January 12th, 2006, 06:03 AM   #35
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"...I just got pretty reliable info that Canon indeed has plans for a better manual lens..."

I wonder if that lens is going to be a 16X, 20X, or 3X? - And how long before that lens actually hits the shelves...months or years?
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Old January 12th, 2006, 07:01 AM   #36
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A 16x manual zoom lens

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Originally Posted by Tony Davies-Patrick
"...I just got pretty reliable info that Canon indeed has plans for a better manual lens..."

I wonder if that lens is going to be a 16X, 20X, or 3X? - And how long before that lens actually hits the shelves...months or years?
According to the camera's manual, there will be a 3x wide angle zoom lens (3.4-10.2mm) and a manual zoom lens 16x (5.4-86.4)
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Old January 12th, 2006, 12:18 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Davies-Patrick
"...I just got pretty reliable info that Canon indeed has plans for a better manual lens..."

I wonder if that lens is going to be a 16X, 20X, or 3X? - And how long before that lens actually hits the shelves...months or years?
I wouldn't know... all I was oficially told is that Canon is currently in the process of acessing the market demographics of H1 buyers and preparing to release several lenses for the H1 some maybe as early as April.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 12:19 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronan Fournier
According to the camera's manual, there will be a 3x wide angle zoom lens (3.4-10.2mm) and a manual zoom lens 16x (5.4-86.4)
Are you sure they're not just refering to the current 3x and manual SD lenses for the XL1/XL2?
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Old January 12th, 2006, 12:23 PM   #39
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No, I don't think so because Canon is claiming everywhere that HD needs specifics lenses. That's why they've designed the new 20x and encourage us to buy new ones...
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Old January 12th, 2006, 12:46 PM   #40
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Page 149 of the manual shows the 16x as a option for the H1. If I go the H1 , it will be head only and I will get the 16x....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronan Fournier
No, I don't think so because Canon is claiming everywhere that HD needs specifics lenses. That's why they've designed the new 20x and encourage us to buy new ones...
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Old January 12th, 2006, 01:26 PM   #41
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We all want great glass at affordable pricing, but I don't see that
happening . . . yet. Anyone who knows, knows that Canon, who makes
great PRO HD lens, cannot possibly put one of those on the HD1 and sell
a kit for under $10K . . . or at the very least they won't.

I am going to be shooting wildlife docs and *need* long
telephoto lens. I plan on using 35MM EF/EOS adapter for it's 7.2 mag factor.
If that proves to do a good enough job it is an inexpensive solution.

If anyone wants great glass and super sharp images @ 1:1, one
might want to wait for Kinetta, RED or some other offering
that as a 35mm chip set and real lens mount. In anycase, the
price point will be over $10K including that great glass.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 01:30 PM   #42
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Completely agreed, I don't think anyone expects great glass to go for cheap, but it's nice to have the option for those that do value and can afford a good lens.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 09:10 PM   #43
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With some trepidation I have posted horizontal MTF curves for 1 set of conditions (60i,f/2.8, 1/60th short focal length) for the 20X stock, 16X manual and 3X wide angle lenses. The three are pretty darn close but the stock lens is the worst - if not by much. This makes me a little suspicious of the results but I have done it twice this time with a proper test chart (the results were very similar with the test chart from the office printer).The curves are at http://www.pbase.com/agamid/image/54766171 and the previous image is the reconstructed edge (for the 16X lens) from which the MTF curves are calculated. The reason this is of interest is because it clearly shows that the camera is shapening the edge. I've debated as to whether I should disable this sharpening or not but decided that as it is the default state of the camera to have it active I had better leave it active. The edge picture also has a description of the process I used to calculate these MTFs.

The one thing these tell me for sure is that I've got to do more tests in the real world with the 3x and 16x. I have always thought of the 3x as a soft lens (or at least I did when I used it with the XL2).
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Old January 13th, 2006, 08:52 AM   #44
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<<<I have always thought of the 3x as a soft lens>>>

Agreed.
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Old January 13th, 2006, 09:31 AM   #45
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Thinking about the 3X a bit I realized that the lens usually gave me soft results when it was used for what I bought it for i.e. as a wide angle. In the MTF test I was at the maximum focal lenght and up pretty close and it was plain during focusing that I was acheiving focus. In typical wide angle use you are at the minimum focal length and everything is this effectively at "infinity". Under these conditions I have never felt that I was really in focus but that just a smidgeon more CCW rotation of the ring would do it but that the lens wouldn't accept that wee bit more (this sort of thing was discussed extensively in the XL2 forum). So it's clear what I should do tonight: try to get an MTF curve at minimum focal length.
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