A video comparison of the new Panasonic A500 and the old Sony AS15 - Does 4K Matter? at DVinfo.net

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Old June 16th, 2014, 09:02 PM   #1
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A video comparison of the new Panasonic A500 and the old Sony AS15 - Does 4K Matter?

Both attached to a sports car outside. The first clip is the Sony, shot at its best, 108030p in Fall 2012. The second, shot at 4K30p by the Panasonic in Spring 2014. Rendered at 108030p. Same road.


Sound: the Sony must stay in a protective shell, which shields the mic (good in wind). The Panasonic needs no outer protection, but then picks up wind noise.

Both shot under horrendous light conditions - deep shade and bright sun.
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Old June 17th, 2014, 08:50 AM   #2
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Re: A video comparison of the new Panasonic A500 and the old Sony AS15 - Does 4K Matt

Hey Mark, how did you get an A500? B&H still has then on preorder! Nice!

I'm more curious with your overall impressions with the A500 than the 4k. I have the A100 and loved to hate it. So much potential but so poorly executed. I'm hoping the screen on the new one goes a long way to making it better.

Big question.... Removable battery?
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Old June 17th, 2014, 10:50 AM   #3
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Re: A video comparison of the new Panasonic A500 and the old Sony AS15 - Does 4K Matt

Same - no removable battery. The screen is very useful for framing, and it is nice and colorful and easy to read.

I will check if an external usb battery will keep it going, as it uses a standard micro-usb 5V power connector.

Got it from Panasonic store, shipped free with no delay.
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Old July 15th, 2014, 06:48 PM   #4
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Re: A video comparison of the new Panasonic A500 and the old Sony AS15 - Does 4K Matt

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rosenzweig View Post
Same - no removable battery. The screen is very useful for framing, and it is nice and colorful and easy to read.

I will check if an external usb battery will keep it going, as it uses a standard micro-usb 5V power connector.

Got it from Panasonic store, shipped free with no delay.
I have confirmed that an external battery, connected by a standard micro-usb cable, powers the camera perfectly. Any external battery used to charge cell phones will do the job of either powering the camera for use, or, when off, charging the internal battery.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 11:58 AM   #5
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A video comparison of the new Panasonic A500 and the old Sony AS15

Here is a short video with both cameras mounted side by side on tripods.

Both cameras shot at their best settings for the exact same scenes, although the Sony has a wider angle than the Panasonic. The "best" settings for each:

A500 - 4K, 30p, wide, digital stabilization off. Bitrate is 72Mbps.
AS15 - 108060p, 170 degrees, digital stabilization off. The bitrate is 28Mbps, just like camcorders like the good Panasonic TM900 for 108060p.

The combined video was rendered to 108030p (XAVC S). So, you are seeing both at 1080.

*For each scene, the Sony is first.*

Conclusion: The Sony at 1080 has lower resolution, more CA and more noise than the Panasonic 4K video rendered to 1080. The Sony coloring is also too blue. Audio seems comparable. The Sony video is actually pretty awful, worse than most HD camcorders. The Zeiss lens is a disgrace (CA is terrible). Maybe in the new model (AS100) there is great improvement. However, the new model has the same lens and same-size sensor with even more pixels!

Interestingly, both cameras have the same size sensor (1/2.3"), and the same aperture lens (f2.8). The Sony has more (unnecessary) pixels, so perhaps that is why the video is much noisier.


Here are comparable-scene video frame grabs:

From the Sony:

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/a...ps475b5717.jpg

From the Panasonic:

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/a...psbdf49c14.jpg

Last edited by Mark Rosenzweig; July 16th, 2014 at 02:25 PM.
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Old July 16th, 2014, 03:29 PM   #6
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Re: A video comparison of the new Panasonic A500 and the old Sony AS15 - Does 4K Matt

Thanks for posting that Mark. The AS100 is significantly better than the AS15 (as is the AS30 imho), but the A500 sure looks 10x better than my A100.
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Old July 17th, 2014, 09:06 PM   #7
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Re: A video comparison of the new Panasonic A500 and the old Sony AS15 - Does 4K Matt

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan Couper View Post
Thanks for posting that Mark. The AS100 is significantly better than the AS15 (as is the AS30 imho), but the A500 sure looks 10x better than my A100.
LesNumeriques, a competent tester of video cameras, concludes that the image of the Panasonic A500 even in 1080 mode (disregarding 4K mode) has higher resolution than does the Sony AS100V in 1080 mode.

Here is a link to their Panasonic A500 review:

Panasonic HX-A500 : Test complet

In their review of the Sony AS100 they also note that the A500 and the GoPro 3+ have a more detailed picture.
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Old August 5th, 2014, 04:14 PM   #8
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Another video comparison of the Panasonic A500 and the Sony AS15, in dim light


The video starts with a cloud time-lapse from each camera over the exact same time period, followed by video clips at dusk and finally at night. The Sony is always first in each sequence. The Panasonic video clips were shot at 4K30p. The Sony video clips at 108030p. The video was rendered to 108030p.

The time lapse was shot using an interval of 5 seconds, the minimum allowed by the Sony. The time-lapse would be smoother for 3-second intervals, which the Panasonic allows.

For a 3-second 4K time-lapse see

.
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