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Old May 3rd, 2010, 03:47 PM   #1
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Judge these 3 camera IQ's

I'm looking to buy a camera to allow wide angle and continuous footage in conjunction with a 7D and T2i. Much of my work (hobby) tends to be in dimly lit areas capturing performances or other interior spaces. I came across the camera-test site of slashCAM.com and looked at test images in a staged environment from 3 different cameras ranging in size and price. How would you judge the resulting IQ's from these cams not knowing which cameras are being tested?



Note: The images were processed in Sony Vegas 9.0d to improve the images and achieve similar brightness and color levels (analysis and CC done independently from slashCAM.com). I believe the slashCAM tests took the images of all cameras in 60i in Auto mode so the camera's ability to optimize the image on its own is likely a significant factor in these images.

Last edited by Roger Shealy; May 3rd, 2010 at 04:34 PM.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 04:33 PM   #2
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Aside from some odd color correction, all would seem usable...

I won't comment on the problematic nature of taking test samples that tend to vary (the site you pulled these from is better than most review sites, but their "stills" are not without significant variation... which to me weakens any conclusions you might come to). I'll presume you're comparing the Panasonic TM700, the Sony CX550V and the Canon HF-S21... no clear winner from everything I've seen, just up to you what features you want.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 04:46 PM   #3
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Dave, from the images, which cam do you feel presents the best image?

I didn't spend a ton of time on CC but tried to make each image look reasonably good in a few minutes versus trying to make them match each other exactly. I found pretty quickly that to get some tones to match, say skin, some of the other tones went wonkers.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 05:08 PM   #4
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I guess it would depend on your shooting conditions - all look pretty close in good light, but in lower light cam 2 starts to get noisy, and cam 3 goes very soft (which may just be bad focus?).

On another thread they linked to the three cams mentioned, and I noticed a "low light optimized" shot was added to the Panny and the Sony columns... compare those two, if low light is a consideration, I think that answers it.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 05:24 PM   #5
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BTW, don't assume the 3 cams you mentioned are the ones being tested.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 05:28 PM   #6
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I tend to take comparisons like this with a slight pinch of salt, as differences can often be down to individual setting, and the web presentation means you're getting a somewhat altered view. The colour correction can also be highly subjective.

That said, camera 2 does seem noticeably worse in lowlight than the other two......... If the lighting level was the same for all three, then for the same output brightness it seems to show more noise than the other two.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 05:36 PM   #7
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At first I thought I liked, over-all, camera 2's colors and brightness. Then after reading the above posts I went back and watched it again and agree about the grain in camera 2's low light. Camera 3 was out of the running for me from the beginning so I guess I would choose camera 1.

Do I win the prize?

I didn't go hunting on the links, but what camera is camera 1?
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 05:57 PM   #8
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Whatever the cameras are, from the given footage, camera one would seem to be the "winner" if low light is a consideration. Lots of variables to the equation, but given what's presented, seems like we're coming to the same conclusion.

FWIW, I too thought cam 2 looked better until I went full screen... the miracles of size and interpolation... upon enlarging the clip, cam 2 just fell apart noise wise.

Sorry if I presumed what direction you might go for a second angle cam... the three I mentioned were logical, although if budget were expanded significantly, there's LOTS of other choices... and judging from the low light samples, I'm going with you're comparing smaller cameras, whichever ones are in the running... small cams tend to fall apart in bad light, some less gracefully than others, that's just the way it goes!

From experience, something with the EXMOR R sensor is as "graceful" as you'll get in a small camera, and you indicated you shoot in bad light conditions - so I logically figured you'd have a XR or CX series Sony in there somewhere...
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 07:08 PM   #9
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Sorry, no prizes! One of the cameras is the CX-550V. The others are XF300 and EX1R. Without looking at the site, can you match them up?
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 07:21 PM   #10
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XF300 That would be cam #2.

I'm torn on cam 1, as the EX1R should be head and shoulders sharper and better in low light, so that would seem to be cam 1.

A bit uncertain on cam 3 though, as the CX550 would be the "logical" choice on price alone, the camera isn't generally THAT soft, although in comparison to a camera costing multiples more...

As I've looked at the site recently, I'm going somewhat from memory, so its a bit of a cheat... I know I concluded at that time that the CX550V, as with it's immediate EXMOR R predecessors did a darn good job holding its own against cameras many times more expensive - particularly in bad light when optimized.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 07:29 PM   #11
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Um, DANG... just went and cross checked... I knew the CX550 looked good, but that's sort of embarrasing. Swap my guesses for 1 &3...

I've got to suspect that there's something amiss with the focus on the cam 3 samples.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 07:58 PM   #12
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Pretty interesting isn't it?! Cam 3 does look a tad soft, I agree.

Last edited by Roger Shealy; May 3rd, 2010 at 08:29 PM.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 08:36 PM   #13
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Camera 3 is broken or set up wrong.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 08:49 PM   #14
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Good evening,

I watched it carefully and I personally prefer the overall images of the number two, I feel the fidelity to clearity of color and detail was slightly better. Number 3 is closer to two. I do not like number one backgrounds and colors just seem further out. all three could be color corrected and be useful.

the real question is which one requires the least color correction, or a more pristine original image!!

In the end you have to pick the one you can make the look you like most easily.

I am partial to colors that pop better and are technacolorish. which is probably why I like number two.

that is also why its nice to have a camera you can adjust the color to some degree.


Dale

PS I just read the posts, I never enlarged the pictures so I was not even really looking at gain.
Lots of variables!!!

Lay out which camera is which, so we know!!
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 09:07 PM   #15
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Cam 1 = CX550V; Cam 2 = XF300; Cam 3 = EX1R

I prefer the image of Camera 1. Not saying it's a better cam, just in this instance the image looks cleaner, sharper, and was easier to color correct. The lack of noise in the 550V is amazing to me. Obviously this isn't a thorough exam, we don't have a clip of frames to see motion.....but it is interesting that the 550V holds up this well against the others in a frame grab.
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