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AVCHD for pro applications: AG-AC160, AC130 and other AVCCAM gear.


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Old November 29th, 2012, 08:15 AM   #1
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AC90 Sample Footage

I've had a few days with this camera, been testing it against the FX1000 which has served me well filming weddings. Can't give a full review until I use it at a wedding but so far it looks like it exceeds the FX in everyway, especially lower noise in low light.

This test footage was to check the 90 on the Merlin with O.I.S off then on. In the first scene the OIS is off and I didn't have a set screw to fit the 90, so the camera has a bit of bounce on the Merlin while walking. With OIS on it takes this out.

Also checked the DOF and auto focus. Will have to experiment more on this. Wasn't pleased with the way it would'nt re-focus on object until the whole frame was filled, bit concerened about that but it wasn't a person so I would guess that might make a difference.

The last scene was at dusk to check 30db with slow pans with OIS off.

Tim

AG-AC90 on Vimeo
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Old November 30th, 2012, 10:09 AM   #2
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

Screen grab of the 90 and FX1000 in very low light.

90 on the left


http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/members/...773-90vsfx.jpg
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Old November 30th, 2012, 11:02 AM   #3
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

Thx for sharing. There seems to be something wrong with the screen grab, doesn't open here? (edit: now it works)

I"d be interested to see how the camera handle high contrast scenes, like glaring sun and shadow, especially how it deals with highlights on white shirts or faces and how the highlight roll-off looks like, could you maybe do such a test if you have the time?

I might get this one to replace my xh-a1, it's really cheap here for what it offfers (about 40% cheaper then a canon xf100) and for a compact run and gun camera with sufficient manual controll it's seems like a good camera.
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Old November 30th, 2012, 11:04 AM   #4
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Akin View Post
Screen grab of the 90 and FX1000 in very low light.
Can I ask at what gain the fx1000 was compared to the ag90?
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Old November 30th, 2012, 01:18 PM   #5
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

Their both zoomed in, the FX is 3.1/ 9db....the 90 is 2.5/30db.
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Old November 30th, 2012, 03:44 PM   #6
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

Thx, my father has a fx1000 and when I bhought my cx730 I did put it side by side but only judged based on the viewfinder and my cx730 was equally sensitive but without the excessive noise and with better color reproduction. (the fx1000 was at 21db gain compared to 24 db gain on the cx730) but as it was just a visual comparison on the viewfinder it's hard to see what the real difference was.

I might do a real test tomorrow comparing with that fx1000 again but actual film something, this only to see how the Panasonic compares to my Sony's in low light. (considering that 9db gain on the fx1000 equals 30db on the pana) I"ll match my cx730 then with the fx1000 when at 9db gain and see what gain value my sony is at then.
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Old December 1st, 2012, 07:04 AM   #7
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

Noa that would be interesting and I'll try to get some bright shots soon. I've have been concertrating on low light and haven't even thought of how it handles bright highlights.

Always had trouble with the FX and the brides dress in bright lights or in direct sun.

Funny thing, I got a little worried last night testing the 90 around the house with all the lights on. It was adding 28 to 30db of gain in very well light rooms. Went to bed worried about that. Got up this morning early to do some more testing before the sun came up and the first thing I noticed was the shutter was on 180........lol. Changed it to 60 and gain went down to around 13db.....whew....I was ready to send it back!!

Not sure how the shutter got changed.
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Old December 1st, 2012, 07:15 AM   #8
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

I'll post some of my notes here as I go in case it might help new users to the AC90.

In dark situations like most receptions will be, when setting the WB, I have to pull back from the white towel I use to set white balance. If the screen is filled completely it will not set. If you move back and only fill 3/4 of the screen it will set correctly.

Not sure if this is a Panny thing or just the 90. The Sony's never set that way.

I know on the GH2 you only need to fill a small portion in the center to get it to set.
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Old December 1st, 2012, 03:28 PM   #9
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

I read a bit to fast but now I see you zoomed both camera's in during your low light test and the bigger sensor fx1000 might have an advantage in that case. Is it possible for you to check again with both camera lenzes fully wide with the iris wide open and then set the gain on the pana at 30db and then see what gain value you get on your fx1000 if you match the exposure on both camera's?

I just tested with my father's fx1000 and my cx730 and 15db gain on the fx1000 equals 21db gain on the cx730 and 21db gain on the fx1000 equals 24db gain on the cx730. I attached a framegrab at those values. The cx730 could keep up with the fx1000 at it's highest gain value but was MUCH cleaner. At 24db gain the cx730 switches to a 1/25th shutter so it might not be a fair comparison as the FX1000 was at 1/50 but the image from the fx1000 was allready unusable at 21db gain and the cx730 can be used, switching the shutter to 1/25 on the fx1000 wouldn't do the image any good at 21db gain. The fx1000 was a bit sharper as at those high gain values the image from the cx730 gets softer.
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Old December 1st, 2012, 03:30 PM   #10
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

framegrabs here: (it also shows the difference between a 29,5mm and a 26,5mm lens as it is comparable to the ac90.)
Attached Thumbnails
AC90 Sample Footage-a1_cx730-21db.jpg   AC90 Sample Footage-a2_fx1000-15db.jpg  

AC90 Sample Footage-b1_cx730-24db.jpg   AC90 Sample Footage-b2_fx1000-21db.jpg  

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Old December 2nd, 2012, 07:15 AM   #11
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

730 looks darn good, amazing what these little cams are capable of.
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 07:32 AM   #12
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

Did some more testing this morning. I wanted to see how much light the 90 needed to get the gain down to 20db or so. I used an HDV-Z96 lamp on the camera and walked around the completely dark house. This cam doesn't need much light to perform well. Dimmed the light to about half its output to get gain down to 18db, as long as there were objects 10 or 12 feet from the lens.

I can see running the lamp even lower than half at receptions to get the gain down. What I have seen so far, the lower the gain the better the background looks. The foreground or subject doesn't seem to look as soft as the background at higher gains above 25db. By soft I don't mean out of focus but more of an excessive noise reduction type look.

Noa, I made a test video with some white cars in the sun and shade but Vimeo is taking a long time to process it. Not sure if it's what you wanted but as soon as it's ready I'll post it.
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Old December 2nd, 2012, 09:58 PM   #13
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

I noticed that the user can not equate the gain on the 90 with other cameras on a 1:1 basis because the noise reduction is so good in the 90. 18db on my Pann 130 has grain, while no grain at 18db on my 90 albeit a softer but pleasing picture.
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Old December 3rd, 2012, 02:10 AM   #14
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

I agree, like my framegrabs show the fx1000 is equally sensitive at very high gain values but has a unusable image. But the reason why I asked Tim if he could check was to see how the pana ac90 compared to my cx730 in terms of sensitivity. As he and I have access to a fx1000 I could somewhat compare and have an idea before I made a purchase.

For me it's important to have a camera that can cope with low light, not only it should produce as less noise as possible, which the ac90 has covered, but if it would be on par with a fx1000 at 9db, which it appears to do when at 30db that would barely be sufficient, but could work for me and still be much better then my xh-a1 that get's plain ugly at anything above 6db gain.

I just wanted to know how it compared when the lens was not zoomed in and in Tims test both camera's where zoomed in where the fx1000 might have an advantage. My cx730 lens ramps when you zoom in and looses low light sensitivity very quickly, so it's not an ideal camera to zoom in dark areas but that is something I don"t expect, I just want it to perform when the lens is wide open.
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Old December 3rd, 2012, 07:11 AM   #15
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Re: AC90 Sample Footage

Noa, I'm not sure the FX has an advantage or not. The cams were sise by side and the FX is at f3.1....the 90 f2.5. The FX is f1.6 at wide and I believe the 90 is f1.4.

I will try and test them wide open if I get a chance. Gonna try to get some game footage tonight at a high school basketball game.
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