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Old January 2nd, 2004, 03:53 PM   #16
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Actually the VX2000 or VX2100 has a very decent picture quality... it's closer to the upper end than to the lower end of the DV spectrum. The same image quality as the PD150/PD170. In the same lot you have the DVX100 and XL1... with the difference that the XL1 has a real lens mount. Conditions have to be very special for more expensive cameras to produce much better video than these models. The important step upwards is having a 'native' 16:9 imaging block, which with one or two exceptions costs much more money.
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Old January 2nd, 2004, 04:48 PM   #17
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More confused than ever!

I compared my Panasonic PV-DV852 to a Panasonic DVX100 camcorder and viewed on a LCD NTSC monitor with S-video connection (not the highest possible quality connection) in a camera store. Under reasonable indoor light, the general picture quality of my PV-DV852 was close to the the DVX100, both cameras in automatic. Even the DVX100 picuture I saw, I wouldn't consider to be the same quality as a VHS tape I rent. The artifacts on both these cameras are horrible compared to commercial VHS tape productions I view. According to Adam Wilt's chart, if VHS tape tops at 3.5 I'd give the DVX100 about 1.5, and my PV-DV852 about 1.0 and lower cost DV camcorders 0.5.

Now Ignacio claims that the DVX100 puts out a quality of almost 9.0 under average conditions, but I'm seeing only about 1.5. What is going on?
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Old January 2nd, 2004, 05:17 PM   #18
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Ben:

What are these "commercial VHS tape productions" that you are viewing? Are they movies that originated on film? If so, as discussed earlier, they will always look different (most would agree better) than the output of a DV camera.

Again, there are two entirely separate technologies being discussed here: DV as a recording format vs VHS recording, and DV cameras such as the DVX100 vs camera X. If camera X happens to be a 35mm motion picture camera, it will win regardless of the recording format (VHS, DV, DVD etc).
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Old January 2nd, 2004, 08:26 PM   #19
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Yeah, it sounds like there is confusion here between the source and the media.
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Old January 2nd, 2004, 08:32 PM   #20
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Commercial VHS recordings

Charles, yes the commercial VHS recordings are usually shot initially with 35 mm film. But I find that high end TV productions (like Young and Restless) shot with studio video cameras are almost equal in quality to those shot with 35 mm film (viewed on cheaper TVs). So I am assuming both would have about the same quality recorded to VHS tape (they are when I tape them).

The quality of 35 mm film and high end video converted to VHS appear to me as way above the quality coming from a $US1,500-3,500 video camera.

Am I missing something. Can video from a $US3,500 video camera be highly processed to eliminate 95% of the mosquito noise, quilting, and motion blocking that this price range of camcorder produces, to almost equal commercial high end video? That would require a 10x increase in video quality.
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Old January 2nd, 2004, 08:50 PM   #21
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You probably watch such video from a camcorder on TV every day and not notice it. When a decent camcorder is used with skill and after being broadcast on TV, it's nigh on impossible to tell. The TV broadcast process (digital or analogue) really ruins picture quality to such a point that all you're seeing is the grossest differences in picture (ie video v film).

The quality of even the cheapest DV camera far outweighs VHS in every aspect . The only reall difference is that on TV productions they have people behind the cameras who know what they're doing. You can try and quantify the difference between DV and DigiBeta all you want, or wether it's the camera not the tape format that makes the difference, but really, when it comes down to it, it's the person operating the camera that makes the most difference.

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Old January 2nd, 2004, 08:55 PM   #22
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Probably the easiest way to compare the images from a studio camera and a DV camera is to go to a convention like NAB, Showbiz Expo or the DVExpo. The major manufacturers have their cameras lined up side by side shooting the same set and you can just walk alongside the monitors comparing image quality.

My personal feeling is that while there are certainly quantifiable differences between the two levels of camera, it's probably not as much as the price difference. DV cameras are amazingly good and getting better each generation.

Graeme's points about craftsmanship are well taken also.
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Old January 2nd, 2004, 08:56 PM   #23
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Ben, you can see mosquito noise, quilting, and motion blocking on DV video? With most real life footage those artifacts don't appear.

IMO, most of the difference in quality is due to color correction, superior lighting, and steady camerawork. You can gain dramatic improvements from all three.

Here's one example of decent footage shot on a PD150 and the DVX100. http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage...dvx_pd150.html
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Old January 2nd, 2004, 09:09 PM   #24
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Do I have Alien Eyes?

Glenn says that mosquito noise, quilting, and motion blocking don't appear with most real life video. Everything shot with my Panasonic PV-DV852 has massive amounts of this. Indoors, outdoor, perfect lighting, tripod shooting, not moving the camera, slowly steadily panning shots. And every US$3500 and under camcorder footage I have seen has massive amouts of this compared to stuff I see on TV. Am I an Alien from another planet who has eyes that see things no one else does?
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Old January 2nd, 2004, 09:40 PM   #25
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PD150 and DVX100 footage

Glenn, I watched the footage from your cameras. I'll agree that I don't see many artifacts in your clips. Did you process the MiniDV footage at all?
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Old January 2nd, 2004, 11:19 PM   #26
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Those aren't my cameras. (I wish they were :P)

I think they processed the footage, but I'd have to read carefully to check. But anyways, you'd definitely process footage before final output.
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Old January 3rd, 2004, 12:07 AM   #27
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Processing video from MiniDV

Is it possible that mosquito noise, quilting, and motion blocking can be largely removed from MiniDV and that is why my footage looks terrible because I don't?
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Old January 3rd, 2004, 06:23 PM   #28
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I don't think anyone does that, and I'm not aware of any good tools of dealing with those artifacts. Most of the time those artifacts are not a problem. Maybe your camera is messed up or you're trying to shoot in low light and picking up a lot of grain (which you must confuse as mosquito noise???). DV also suffers from aliasing/stair-stepping, but in most real life footage you won't have a problem with that. Maybe you should be a little more specific as to the artifacts you are seeing.
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Old January 3rd, 2004, 09:33 PM   #29
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Artifacts

Glenn what I see with my Panasonic PV-DV852 is the following:

1. Picture basically nowhere near as clear as I see on TV, even when picture is taken of non moving objects in normal sunlight. My pictures look out of focus, but they aren't. I think this is what is called mosquito noise, it reduces the clearness of the picture.
2. A halo around all objects. I think this is called quilting. For example shooting birds flying in the sky, one can see a white ring around the bird against the blue sky. Moving cars have same. Don't see this at all on TV.
3. Massive motion blocking, mainly inter-line twitter with pictures shot inside and outside. For example shooting a picture inside a camera store one sees the edges around the lights moving rapidly back and forth. Some pictures have so much of this it is hard to even view the picture, the whole picture seems to be vibrating. See little of this on TV.
4. All pictures I'm comparing are at less than +9 Db gain, and same thing happens outdoors in normal sunlight as well.
5. I've had the camera in to Panasonic twice and they say it's as good as it gets. All these artifacts are normal on even slighlty expensive cameras.
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Old January 3rd, 2004, 09:46 PM   #30
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1- No that's not mosquito noise. Mosquito noise is explained pretty well on Adam's website. It's the crud around the text. Blurring your picture reduces mosquito noise.

I think your camera is just blurry. You can test the resolution of your camera if you like. http://www.bealecorner.com/trv900/re...x.html#EIA1956. You can kinda compare with the images at this Japanese site: http://babelfish.altavista.com/babel....html&lp=ja_en. Don't compare the numbers you get unless you take into account the Kell factor. Just judge the subjective blurinnes/sharpness.

2- Ok that has nothing to do with the DV format. Panasonic turned the sharpness setting up on the camera to fake sharper pictures. The side effect is halos on areas with a high difference in contrast. Your TV may also have image sharpening turned up, so this makes the halos even worse. You should be able to turn sharpening down if your camera has that manual control.

3- Nothing to do with the DV format. It has to do with the electrical system in your country (25hz AC or 30hz), what kind of lights you are shooting, and the shutter speed of your camera. Some cameras have special shutter speeds that compensate for this.

The interlacing of the NTSC video format can also cause some problems. Thin high-contrast 1-pixel lines will flicker on a TV set. You can fix this in post or shoot progressive.

Motion may appear strobey if you shoot with a fast shutter. Films on TV are always shot with a slow shutter, and you can too. Nothing to do with DV versus digibeta.

4- Any gain above 0dB will add video noise (not really grain as I mentioned earlier). Nothing to do with DV versus digibeta, just how your camera works.
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