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(MPG4) Sanyo Xacti (all models)
A compact 720p MPEG4 digital media camera recording to SD Card.


 
 
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Old March 12th, 2006, 08:01 AM   #1
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Location: Burgess Hill, West Sussex, UK
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Frame Grabs

Hi all, first post on this forum.

I am the archivist for a busy amateur theatre co. on the Sussex coast, UK, and for the last few years I have produced a digital archive with short video clips plus digital stills and formal portraits. The video clips and stills are taken on separate occasions, sometimes from front of stage at dress rehearsals and sometimes from stage-side during performance. The video clips, examined frame-by-frame, contain some wonderful fleeting expressions frequently missed by our galaxy of stills photographers, but of course the quality of these stills normally only allows about a 3x2in. print. I upgraded to a Sony HC19 last year and the wonderful lens quality on this camcorder sometimes allows a decent 6x4 print off a frame-grab. I have dreamt for years of a device which would allow me to produce both video and acceptable prints off frame grabs, and have been thinking about the Sony HD cam., sadly out of my price range and also too bulky for stage-side work.

Enter the Sanyo HD1 - is this my Holy Grail ??

Can anyone with the HD1 tell me what a frame grabbed portrait might look like
printed at 6x4 or preferably larger (please note I am NOT interested in the stills performance, only a video frame-grab).

Other questions may follow !!

Ray Hopper
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Old March 12th, 2006, 08:17 AM   #2
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Ray, I would say the quality will not be that good for that purpose.

here is a grab in the best of lighting conditions:

http://www.gamersden.com/hd1test/framegrab.png

I don't have any people tests to post.
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Old March 12th, 2006, 08:18 AM   #3
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And here is another of a chart:

http://www.gamersden.com/hd1test/chartframe.png
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Old March 12th, 2006, 08:20 AM   #4
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My Sony HDV Z1 on the other hand can get some very good grabs if the light is good. But like you said it is big and expensive.
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Old March 12th, 2006, 08:27 AM   #5
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Frame grab

I have successfully printed 3.5 X 5 prints that look good, but there are plenty of duds as well. I would say that unless the lighting is sufficient, more are duds. What you are asking is possible... if:
1. You are working in optimal lighting conditions (such as outdoors on a cloudy day.
2. Your expectation is not a "Kodak quality" print.
3. Your subject is close enough to enable high shutter speeds.
4. In non-optimal conditions, you are willing to do image reconstruction in Photoshop or a similar tool.

If your expectation is to deliver these photographs through media formats such as periodicals or tabloids, the required resolution is so low that you should be fine.

I strongly suggest you download some of the sample videos and try what you are asking yourself, so you can see first-hand what the print quality is. The 'baby' and 'ice cream' videos demonstrate some of the best footage this camera can produce. Try those first, then determine the lower threshold by converting from some less friendly videos. My personal expectation is that you will find the images pleasing in optimal conditions, but that you will not be shooting in such conditions.
Chris Wells is offline  
Old March 13th, 2006, 06:23 PM   #6
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Joseph - many thanks for the jpegs, although i'd already noted your chart on another thread. The garden (?) looked great on-screen, but not quite so good printed or at 100%. Overall, probably a slight improvement on my Sony HC19 in good light.

Chris, I've spent all day trying to get one or another of the clips to play, but after various freezes and crashes have called it a day.

Think I'll probably wait for an HD2 but still thinking !

Ray
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Old March 13th, 2006, 09:37 PM   #7
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I believe you. I took a look at a few new laptops today just to see what would play this video well. The Sempron 3800 dual core with 256MB Nvidea and dual raided drives seemed to do the trick (grin).

Seriously though, it sounds like you have codec issues on your system. You should have no trouble playing the video if appropriate codecs are in place. Sure, you'll get choppy video on slow systems, but you shouldn't get crashes. How is your system with other HDV clips? other AAC audio? Also, what player are you using? There are some, like Elecard for example, that I've not had success with. Media Player Classic is the one I'm using right now.
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