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Old March 20th, 2008, 07:02 AM   #1
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Resolution tests between Canon XH-A1 & JVC HD-200

Just to satisfy my own curiosity, I performed the following non-scientific resolution tests between my Canon XH-A1 & JVC HD-200U. Although I knew that it was unfair to compare a 1280x720 CCD with a 1440x1080 CCD, I was also interested in the lens performance.

Both cameras were set up as follows...

JVC
Detail: Normal
V/H Bal: Normal
H Freq: Middle
V Freq: High
Iris: f5.6

Canon
Sharpness: Normal
V/H Bal: Normal
H Freq: Middle
Detail Coring: Normal
Noise Reduction 1&2: Off
Iris: f4
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Screen Grab Index:

1) Canon (Full Tele at 2m).jpg
The Canon was set to full tele positioned 2 metres away from the res chart.

2) JVC (Full Tele at 2.7m).jpg
The JVC was set to full tele positioned 2.7 metres away from the res chart to match the framing of the Canon.

3) Canon (Wide at 0.15m).jpg
The Canon was set to full wide positioned 15 centimetres away from the res chart.

4) JVC (Full Wide with Macro at 0.7m).jpg
The JVC was set to full wide positioned 70 centimetres away from the res chart to match the framing of the Canon.

** All images are uncorrected screen grabs from within Sony Vegas Pro 8 **
------------------------------------------------------------------------

As expected the canon has a more defined picture and also does not exhibit the obvious chromatic aberration shown by the Fujinon lens, however it is interesting to note that at the macro settings both cameras do come fairly close.

I also note that the HD-200 model tends to show more green in it's image than the Canon which historically always leaned towards magenta (especially in low light).

At the end of the day it's all about having the right tool for the job. For me having a lightweight shoulder mount like the HD-200U & a small hand-held like the DVX or XH-A1 works best in the crazy world of wedding video. I don't think one camera can do everything, so the only thing you can do is buy the best two cameras you can afford and get to know them intimately!!

Cheers,

JT
Attached Thumbnails
Resolution tests between Canon XH-A1 & JVC HD-200-1-canon-full-tele-2m-.jpg   Resolution tests between Canon XH-A1 & JVC HD-200-2-jvc-full-tele-2.7m-.jpg  

Resolution tests between Canon XH-A1 & JVC HD-200-3-canon-wide-0.15m-.jpg   Resolution tests between Canon XH-A1 & JVC HD-200-4-jvc-wide-macro-0.7m-.jpg  

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Old March 21st, 2008, 10:02 AM   #2
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Hi Jamesw - thanks for publishing the pics from your test. It isn't an unfair comparison at all. After all, final detail resolution is based on a number of factors in a chain, and the end result is determined by the WEAKEST link, not the STRONGEST.

With this, I'd be interested in seeing the difference of putting one of the "real" lenses on the JVC. Everyone reports an immediate noticeable difference on upgrading the standard lens.

Analyzing screen grabs is definitely the easiest way to judge sharpness, but we have to remember that it also isn't 100% authoritative in judging video. Some artifacts that can turn up in a single frame are indistinguishable when in motion, while conversely, a fast shutter speed might eliminate blur in a moving object for a still, but look unnaturally stepped in low frame rate motion. Irrelevant in this case, but just came up as an aside, since I have seen this come up.
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JVC GY-HM-700 with 17x5 lens, MacPro 3.2ghz 8-core, 18gb. (JVC HD200 4 sale soon)
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Old March 21st, 2008, 04:47 PM   #3
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Hi James,
It may be my eyes but to me, the JVC is sharper with more detail.
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 04:40 AM   #4
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Interesting.
The JVC is actually rated about 700 lines, while the A1 is at 900+
One thing to note is the colour fringing seen on the JVC, you'll note on the black square left of the vertical trumpet, you'll see purple fringing on the left and green fringing on the right of the square.

Also, you'll notice how Pixel aspect ratio affects diagnals.
Here you can see anomolies and jaggies in the A1, as opposed to the clean image from the JVC (which is square pixel).

If you ran the A1 in progressive mode, I feel your results may be different. I also feel that if you ran the JVC live output as 1080i vs the A1's 1080i, would yield more accurate results in that mode.

With Vegas, you need to ensure that progressive footage is not using any deinterlacing modes, so make sure blend or interpolate are both off.
Vegas does have an issue with interlacing progressive footage during preview.

As it stands, it's a great comparison of the two :)
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 05:02 AM   #5
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Hmmmm.... Dennis you might be right... After more critical inspection of the two macro grabs I see aliasing in the canon grab, particularly around the concentric circles in the bullseye, whereas the JVC looks more robust. I wonder if JVC is using a more aggressive low pass filter at the expense of resolution or the fact that the JVC CCD block is square pixel???

Sean, I tend to agree with you about trying the same test with a better lens, because the JVC has the worst Chromatic Abberation I've ever seen on any "pro" camera. I wish I could afford to buy the Fujinon 13x3.5 :(
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Old March 23rd, 2008, 07:49 PM   #6
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I've shot some footage with both cameras side by side and the result from the JVC was always better in every situation. Mabe the Canon has a bit more resolution on the chart, but there are much more parameters to have in consideration. I apolegise to the Canon owners, but these HDV cameras are the worst things I ever worked with. The DV image is terrible, no progressive scan, no zoom and focus at the same time, no independent audio chanells (I'm not so sure about this one), bad focus and zoom control, no manual zoom, terrible form factor and controls, poor viewfinder... what is so good about the A1 or the H1? Why do some users like it so much?
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Old March 23rd, 2008, 08:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Thirston View Post
Hmmmm.... Dennis you might be right... After more critical inspection of the two macro grabs I see aliasing in the canon grab, particularly around the concentric circles in the bullseye, whereas the JVC looks more robust. I wonder if JVC is using a more aggressive low pass filter at the expense of resolution or the fact that the JVC CCD block is square pixel???

Sean, I tend to agree with you about trying the same test with a better lens, because the JVC has the worst Chromatic Abberation I've ever seen on any "pro" camera. I wish I could afford to buy the Fujinon 13x3.5 :(
James, thanks very much for this test. What it shows, IMHO, is that focal length consideration must be paid when deciding on a camera.

If you are going to be predominantly shooting wide, the JVC wins out according to your tests. But if you are going to be shooting a lot of telephoto, then the Canon is the victor. And to be fair to the Canon, its CA when wide is not nearly as extreme as the JVC's when zoomed in.

Thanks again, really helpful work.
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Old March 23rd, 2008, 09:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Diogo Athouguia View Post
... what is so good about the A1 or the H1? Why do some users like it so much?
Because its HD image can hold pretty well against even the likes of the EX-1. It does 24 frames and is infinitely tweakable. And it cost ~ $3K.
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Old March 23rd, 2008, 11:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogo Athouguia View Post
I've shot some footage with both cameras side by side and the result from the JVC was always better in every situation.
A lot of conflicting reports here. Don't know who to believe.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 12:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogo Athouguia View Post
I've shot some footage with both cameras side by side and the result from the JVC was always better in every situation. Mabe the Canon has a bit more resolution on the chart, but there are much more parameters to have in consideration. I apolegise to the Canon owners, but these HDV cameras are the worst things I ever worked with. The DV image is terrible, no progressive scan, no zoom and focus at the same time, no independent audio chanells (I'm not so sure about this one), bad focus and zoom control, no manual zoom, terrible form factor and controls, poor viewfinder... what is so good about the A1 or the H1? Why do some users like it so much?
To each their own, and from the gripes noted above, all these considerations not only need to be thought before purchasing, but in many cases, make for a reversed argument. I won't go into it, but what you're griping about seems to be more of a user issue than anything technical.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 02:15 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Brian Luce View Post
A lot of conflicting reports here. Don't know who to believe.
Brian, just look at the grabs and tell us what you see.

I guess if I were to be pragmatic about resolution tests between 1/3" cams in general, I could conclude that the differences are negligible and in the scheme of life all of this is a meaningless waste of time that could better be spent completing my backlog of edits :p

JT
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Old March 24th, 2008, 02:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogo Athouguia View Post
I apolegise to the Canon owners, but these HDV cameras are the worst things I ever worked with. The DV image is terrible, no progressive scan, no zoom and focus at the same time, no independent audio chanells (I'm not so sure about this one), bad focus and zoom control, no manual zoom, terrible form factor and controls, poor viewfinder... what is so good about the A1 or the H1? Why do some users like it so much?
Yes I can agree with some of the things you say about the A1's ergonomics, I hate the servo lens & tiny 2.8" LCD and yes the audio channels are not independent like on JVC or Panasonic cams.

What makes the A1/G1 a great camera is it's overall image clarity and colour rendering. Although I've only had the JVC 200 for about 2 weeks, I've not had enough time to experiment with settings to make it look as nice as the Canon. Also the Canon lens I think is much better glass than what comes in the stock lens on the JVC.

JT
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Old March 24th, 2008, 03:48 PM   #13
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Because its HD image can hold pretty well against even the likes of the EX-1. It does 24 frames and is infinitely tweakable. And it cost ~ $3K.
Ok, that is a good reazon for a $3k camera. But the H1 has the same problems and costs more than twice that value... and that is something I just can't understand. Does the H1 worths the money? It has so many design and functional limitations, is it's image that better compared to the JVC? Even being some kind of interlaced that looks progressive? The JVCs DV image is definatly better, but I've never seen HD footage from the Canons. Mabe you could post some daylight frames James. If you're not getting good results on the JVC you could try using some of the scene files posted here.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 10:02 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Diogo Athouguia View Post
Ok, that is a good reazon for a $3k camera. But the H1 has the same problems and costs more than twice that value... and that is something I just can't understand. Does the H1 worths the money? If you're not getting good results on the JVC you could try using some of the scene files posted here.
Yea Diogo, I don't understand that either, besides to my knowledge the XL-H1 has the same internals as the A1 with the only differences being a larger body, the inclusion of uncompressed HD outputs and placement of more hardware switches on the outside than in menus, however in my opinion the worst inclusion is that similar lens to old the XL2 (instead of a proper iris ring they have a terrible little rocker switch where a pro camera normally has the gain & Colour temperature adjustment.) I have an XL2 so I am familiar with Canon's faux shoulder mount form factor - a good lesson in why you should try before you buy via mail order.

I don't shoot in standard DV but have heaps of footage of the Canon A1 HDV and it's stunning, however, until I experiment & shoot more gigs with the JVC I'll reserve comment about any real life comparisons. I do hope you are right about the JVC though because I have invested substantially in this cam especially when you add the cost of Anton Bauer batteries!

Cheers,

JT
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Old March 25th, 2008, 12:01 AM   #15
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I think that if I could put the canon processing in my jvc-100 I would. I much prefer the color rendition of the canon over the jvc. I can't stand the greenish tint of the jvc. But, in the end though I hate the form factor/usability of the canon even more than I dislike the colors so I bought into jvc. I have no regrets, I just wish the colors of the jvc were warm and pleasing like the canon.

I also think that jvc could have done a much better job with handling gain, but I think they helped that area with later camera versions.

I think that those are two areas that people may prefer a canon over a jvc. For me the functionality and usability of a camera are tops on my list and the jvc is much better than any bread loaf camera in that area. I also like the lens and battery options of the jvc. For my shot style an electric lens can't compare with a full manual lens, even a low grade manual lens.
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