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Old January 12th, 2006, 09:14 PM   #1
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L.A. 4-camera shootout questions

Hey shannon, if you're still here, your 5 page post was both entertaining and troubling, but that aside, i'd really like to hear what you thought of the cameras and how they performed. seriously.

the fact the you're more the lay type makes your evaluation all the more interesting since that's the category i fall in to also.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 10:17 PM   #2
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By the way, I have always advocated that ergonomics should govern camera selection above all. I've been saying that for years, and will continue to do so. DV Info Net is a place to discuss technique, not senseless Ford vs. Chevy arguments. It's always been that way around here, and unfortunately more posts may have to be pulled before some folks make that realization. Those who are interested in the technique and art of digital media creation will stick around. I'm not worried about losing the mental measurebators who like to argue numbers and specs and "mine is bigger than yours;" this community was never meant for them in the first place.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 10:26 PM   #3
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Why is it so difficult for some one to shoot footage with two or three or four cameras with same subject matter, and let us look at it?

That's doesn't involve people, personalities, biases or marketing.

If we like what we see, we then have a purchasing decision to make.

at least you can test drive an automobile.

They run thousands more than any of these cameras.

Why can't we test drive a couple of lousy camcorders?
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Old January 12th, 2006, 10:39 PM   #4
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For David, we're working on that... a "Texas Shootout" involving Mike Curtis of HD For Indies and Adam Wilt as well. I'll be there to take pictures. Coming up in a few weeks.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 10:50 PM   #5
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Quite frankly, the victims here are the vast majority of the nearly 20,000 members who DO follow this board's policy, but of late have had to endure an epidemic of posts with blatant violations by a few overly opinionated members. My feelings are about as vehemently stated as you'll ever see me write on this board here.

Now, are we going to get some FACTUAL info about the CAMERAS from the shootout from any of the participants? No matter, now that Chris has said so here, yes, we have been planning to hold a Texas Shootout soon that I'm CERTAIN will avoid the acrimony of the past days.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 11:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Bauer
Now, are we going to get some FACTUAL info about the CAMERAS from the shootout from any of the participants? No matter, now that Chris has said so here, yes, we have been planning to hold a Texas Shootout soon that I'm CERTAIN will avoid the acrimony of the past days.
Can we possibly get default and optimized footage from each camera of the same subject matter?

Hell (can I say that), I would even pay or agree to provide DVD ROM footage of each if someone is willing to involve me.
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Old January 13th, 2006, 12:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Now, are we going to get some FACTUAL info about the CAMERAS from the shootout from any of the participants? No matter, now that Chris has said so here, yes, we have been planning to hold a Texas Shootout soon that I'm CERTAIN will avoid the acrimony of the past days.
I agree Pete.. i swear something has leaked into the water because in the last two weeks alot of people are acting strange.

The shootout is something that should of been a very useful tool for all of us, instead it kinda turned into a war of the gods. Unfortunately there where personal attacks, which goes against mine and chris's policies. Not much useful information about the shootout actually came out.. almost a waste of alot of very talented people's time.

Its funny.. but I am glad Adam was there.. as it seems like his response is going to be the most unbiased, and probally most informative review of yesterday. I guess we gotta just wait and see.

I woke up today and really had no idea that the shootout was going to be a liablity rather than an assett for everyone that was so interested.
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Old January 13th, 2006, 12:55 AM   #8
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From the posts on this and many sites that are more into the mechanics of making film rather than the art, I see it's going to be a long journey that will show we can measure differences in millimeters but tell stories that are in kilometers. Or are miles better? Hey that could be a good topic here, which is better miles or kilometers? Will I travel farther using kilometers? Will I go faster? Hopefully at least one of you will get the point and I will have freed another person from the cabbage that is attached to their neck and has taken over their minds".
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Old January 13th, 2006, 09:58 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jarred Land
Unfortunately there where personal attacks, which goes against mine and chris's policies.
Great to hear. A consistent even handed approach to this type of conduct is to be commended.
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Old January 13th, 2006, 10:03 AM   #10
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Just to play Devil's advocate, I think discussion of specs and numbers, and shooting charts and so forth IS useful. I gives us a good starting point when assessing certain things, BUT Walter is right, it shouldn't be confused with the art of film/video making.

I think some people hoped that this test would show some kind of clear winner, that it would be some kind of "smackdown tournament", where one camera would KO the opposition. Well, surprise surprise it's NOT that easy. As Mike Curtis predicted, it turns out that each camera has trade offs and compromises.

I'm sure some people wanted the test to PROVE that their purchase decision was the best, and in some cases there may be a business agenda to push (eg. "I'll shoot this project on a **** cam, and it's been proved to be the best.")

Keep up the good work Chris. Some poeple may get sniffy about the law and order you keep around here, but frankyl, if they don't like it they can head over to usenet, rec.arts.movies.production, or rec.video.production, where they'd be torn to shreds!
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Old January 13th, 2006, 10:37 AM   #11
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I'll second that. The policies that Chris has in place are the reason that the signal to noise ratio is pretty decent around here. If that bothers people, they can visit a number of forums with 14 year olds arguing endlessly about their favorite camcorders. Do they even own those camcorders? Probably not. Do they shoot compelling video with them? Certainly not.

And I think I agree pretty much 100% with Walter. Just yesterday I gave up on the "shootout" thread elsewhere because it mostly degenerated into more 14 year olds arguing over their favorite cams. Who has time to sift through so much nonsense to get at any useful information?

Between that particular thread and other posts, I've concluded that I'm going to spend more time reading up on my weak areas: lighting/cinematography and audio. And I've got a 3 day weekend coming up here, so I might even set up my light kit and practice with my trusty $450 consumer camcorder.
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Old January 13th, 2006, 10:48 AM   #12
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Thanks for your very poignant post above. I share that same view. Like the old saying, "It's not the size, it's what you can do with it." On the golf course we've used the expression, "It's not the arrow, it's the shooter." And, just as in your examples above, those golf club manufacturers want you to think that plonking down mega cash for their latest and greatest set of irons is going to transform you into Tiger Woods. It won't.

As for your message to Pete, you'll notice we are both Wranglers here and so we 'have to endure' those posts and people in the course of keeping this place clean. That's what Pete was talking about.

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Old January 13th, 2006, 11:04 AM   #13
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I'd really like to discuss the 4/6 camera test here. DVX-user is a very nice forum, but I 'm not registered there and it's called DVX-user fer chrissakes so the discussion is a bit tilted- But then again it's their forum.

It's curious to see the number of people reconsidering the HD100 cameras because the camera did not embarrass itself on the live tests. Personally, I think it's because ergonomically, the HD100 is a clear winner for 'Which camera is easiest for me to have grafted to my body without backstrain'. Though forum post wise it didn't look like the DSPs/lens held up very well. But with this test and the Madascar report, it looks like the JVC is THE camera to get for a documentary destined for film.

The H1 did seem to get a little shafted on the tests but I think that under such controlled conditions the DIGIC chip that Canon has grafted into the camera adds an interesting element to the sharpness. On one hand, it's sharper on res charts than it has any business being, but isn't that a good thing? Technically - Science wise- I mean the suspected digital enhancements might not hold up well in high motion - but then how often does it comes up and isn't that better than nothing?

On paper, it has SO many similarities to the Sony that I can't help but focus on the differences. To me the question becomes: Are the differences between the Canon and the Sony worth the 3-5 thousand dollars in difference?

As for the Panasonic from the test reports (not results) I'm more and more convinced the CCD's are 960x720 pixel shifted to 1080i. Unfortunately for me, I've accepted a documentary assignment in the mountains of China in March, so the p2 workflow has removed this camera from my consideration. But anyway, how much pixel shifting or uprezzing can you get away with before it becomes unacceptable? I'm not knocking the Panasonic, btw, it's a 5k camera that acts like a Varicam. I suspect that the uprezzing has been balanced by the lens. If you isolate the lens, the Leica would be the best glass of the 4 cameras.

As for the Sony. I have nothing to say. It's the measuring stick for which all the other cameras are compared against which speaks well of Sony since they were out a year before anyone else.

Thoughts from anyone else?
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Old January 13th, 2006, 11:38 AM   #14
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Hi Philip, I've been using your Greenscreen Page as a reference for years, by the way. I still give you page to all your students who approach me with questions about compositing in DV! Has the address changed as it won't load recently.

Anyway, the responses to a lot of these threads (on this forum and others) remind me of something I was told years ago, that most people pay attention to car advertisments AFTER they've made a purchase, and the ones they're most interested in are the ads for the car they've already bought.

Too many people are looking for affirmation rather than information.
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Old January 13th, 2006, 11:40 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Saraceno

I certainly hope we can get some objective tests with downloadable footage we all can evaluate.
I have the feeling that we will get nothing usable from the tests the other day. It seems it turned into a battle of egos, not cameras. It must have been a great show though! Maybe they had a security camera running and we can get a copy of that footage, of them all trying to do the tests. Might be interesting.

I'm sure the tests to be performed in the "Texas Shootout" in a few weeks will give us much more information, and it will be a fair and honest match-up. Seeing the names of those who will be there fills me with confidence.

As for other sites, I go there when linked to from here, then I leave. DVX was the same, I went to read part of the results and left shaking my head. I grew up and matured many years ago, but it seems that some just never do.

Chris and his many Wrangler helpers run a fantastic site and I belong to no other. No crazy pictures, real names, and civility. How did you like the one guy, on DVX, that had the picture of a gun pointed at a kitten?

I'll stay here and contribute in any way that I can. My thanks to Chris and all.

Mike
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