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Panasonic DV / MX / GS series Assistant
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Old November 11th, 2003, 08:04 AM   #1
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display devices

Just bought myself a top of the line 68cm Sony progressive scan TV to view my mx500 footage. No use having a good cam without a decent display device. To my surprise the image was worse than my old grandma's JVC. I used S video inputs and re-read the manual a dozen times to adjust the TV. Grain was amplified if it was present. The TV showed poor latitude so that shadows became black instead of showing detail. The edges looked like they had excessive electronic sharpening. In short it made my great 3 chip image look like a 1 chip image. It plays back dvd's fine though. I wonder what people here use to view their final product?
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Old November 11th, 2003, 09:28 AM   #2
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Have you calibrated your TV? Avia or DVE are both good.

Being a 27" (68cm) set I'm guessing you're viewing your MX500 footage in 4:3 aspect ratio?

I've had some great footage played back on my 50" Sony 16:9 LCD (127cm) thru the S-Video port from my past DV-953/MX500.

Make sure you don't have the Sony set in a Standard or Vivid picture mode as this will crank the sharpness and/or contrast up and reduce resolution and clarity.

Here a few frames from my past DV953.

http://www.villagephotos.com/pubbrow...elected=339297
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Old November 11th, 2003, 06:33 PM   #3
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The MX500 is pretty noisy and low latitude. As a matter of fact, the better 1CCD cams has better noise control and better latitude, while lacking the bright 3CCD colours.

If you compare broadcast quality footage with that from the MX500, you'll flip (like you did!).

The MX and GS range 3CCD cams are at best semi-pro or prosumer, and nowhere near professional in quality.

I apologise if I sound harsh, I too, am an MX user and the MXis a very good value-for-money camera.
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Old November 11th, 2003, 06:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
The MX and GS range 3CCD cams are at best semi-pro or prosumer, and nowhere near professional in quality.
Agreed.
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Old November 12th, 2003, 08:00 AM   #5
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Professional??
Well, it depends on how "Pro" u want to go...

obviously u wont get teh colour or s/n compared to something with a larger CCD, however in decent light the MX gives the VX2000 a run for its money...

I used to use 2 of these for weddings and people were amazed at my image quality compared to others who use sonys and canons, but in low light, i used lights, which to my surprise didnt really bug anyone...

i now use a MX500 as a secondary camera to the DVX and SOMETIMES i also wonder at how amazing the image looks compared to it (and the MX is in auto, so its prolly me) but either way, in good like this camera is amazing and compared to teh likes of the "pro" cams, it IS the best prosumer series out there...
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Old November 12th, 2003, 08:49 AM   #6
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I don't have any experience with the MX series, but do have some with progressive scan 16:9 using my PDX-10. I have a 17" Sony 16:9 HD (1280x768) LCD monitor which accepts VGA, s-video and component input. Right out of the box I was also very disappointed when I hooked it up to the camera through s-video. The noise was very apparent, as you describe. But after playing with the video settings on the monitor I was able to greatly improve it. I think the single biggest improvement was turning the sharpness all the way down on the monitor. But the other advice about using test patterns to calibrate is also good. In absence of that, send it some color bars from your camera and you can do rough calibration using this technique. There is also some helpful information about calibrating TV's here.

However if you really want to get the best results on a good TV/monitor I think you'll need to use component video. Now it really depends on your TV I guess, but I see a truly remarkable difference on my LCD panel. I send firewire to a Sony DVD recorder which transcodes to component output. There is much less noise in the resulting image, contrast is better, color saturation is better. All around it's a big improvement. And if I set the DVD recorder to progressive mode it really looks phenomenal with 480p footage that I have run through an adaptive deinterlacer.

Now OTOH, I also have an older Sony WEGA 27" CRT TV. If I set this to 16:9 mode and feed it s-video it looks OK, but not nearly as good as the LCD panel. I did some A/B tests the other night, and tried feeding it component video as well. I really couldn't see any difference at all between s-video and component on this TV.

One other thing you might want to experiment with... does your MX have controls for sharpness, color saturation, etc. like the Sony cameras do? If so, hook the camera up to your TV and experiment around with different settings on these in different lighting conditions. This will help you understand the best way to set the camera. In my case I found that turning sharpness all the way down on the camera gave a much more pleasing result, and also helped to minimize noise in the image.
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Old November 12th, 2003, 09:49 AM   #7
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I hooked up the sony and jvc at the same time to the mx500. The sony does appear a little better, more detail, better colour, some improved resolution. I was expecting alot more from the sony with its more current electronics to process the image. In the past I was very happy with the playback on the jvc. It was just when I played back on the sony I noticed alot more of the defects. There is a fine mode that smooths out the edges and gives a more realistic appearance but it darkens the whole image. If it didnt that it would've been perfect. I guess its a very subjective thing and unless you can see it side by side you can be wrong with which is better. I'll try to turn the camera's sharpness to zero and see what happens when its played back.
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Old November 12th, 2003, 10:00 AM   #8
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The link to videouniversity was very useful. I did play around with the adjustments of picture and sharpness etc and could never get it to please me but I'll give the colour bars a go.

It funny you buy a camera and try to learn how to get good footage but never think about how to get the best when you view it back.

I agree the images sometimes look spectacular on the mx500 when things are right. Discovering what you did to make it look so good so you can repeat it is another thing.
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Old November 12th, 2003, 10:04 AM   #9
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Sorry what is avia and dve?
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Old November 12th, 2003, 11:05 AM   #10
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I haven't used these, but I should. They are DVD's for calibrating your TV. Here's a comparison I found: http://209.145.176.7/~090/awh/aviaorve.html
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Old November 12th, 2003, 01:44 PM   #11
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If you have a widescreen TV (NTSC) then definitely consider the new Digital Video Essentials for your calibration.

I believe its available at Buy.com for under $20 with free shipping.

If you really have money to blow then call out an ISF technician who can tweak your set to a picture that will astonish you. Of course they cheat with their expensive calibration hardware and extensive knowledge of back door service menus.

Good luck!
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Old November 12th, 2003, 04:00 PM   #12
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Thanks for your helpful responses.

I live in Australia so our tv's are run on PAL but are compatible with ntsc too. MY tv is 4:3 model. So are the calibration discs compatible with the PAL standard?
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Old November 12th, 2003, 08:49 PM   #13
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There is an upcoming PAL Digital Video Essentials DVD and you can check it out with the link below. It will serve both 4:3 and 16:9 TVs.

http://store.yahoo.com/dvdinternational/dvdi-0710.html

I've had the AVIA calibration DVD in the past but I cannot recall if its compatible with PAL or if there is a PAL version.
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Old November 18th, 2003, 09:12 PM   #14
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Did some further testing with displaying my mx500 footage. Again connecting with s-video lead. I am amazed that the image on the LCD screen on the camera seems to show a whole lot more detail than the tv. Has anyone noticed this? this is particularly for the shadow details and blacks. I notice on the lcd that I can make out the facial details in the shadows of the face when shooting in bright environments. When you play it back on the tv the facial shadows just show as black. The same with black hair. It comes out as a black mass on tv but you can actually see the hair styling on the lcd. Is this due to degradation when you transfer the signal? and can you get better detail after burning it onto a disc and transferring than displaying the image via component output through a dvd player?
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Old November 18th, 2003, 09:26 PM   #15
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tung Bui : Is this due to degradation when you transfer the signal? and can you get better detail after burning it onto a disc and transferring than displaying the image via component output through a dvd player? -->>>

How are you sending component from the DVD player? Is the camera connected to it via 1394? You mentioned s-video above. I'm confused!

In my case, I send 1394 from my camera (or computer) to a DVD recorder (not a player) which feeds component video to the monitor. This gives exceptional quality, even better when the recorder is set to progressive mode and the DV has been deinterlaced. Now if I record the same source on a DVD it still looks pretty darn good, but I do see a very slight degradation (or I *think* I do at least, this stuff is very subjective). But regardless, s-video is clearly inferior to component if all other things are equal.

But these comments only apply when viewed on my LCD monitor. On my WEGA CRT set I don't see any difference at all between the s-video and component inputs. I used to think the WEGA looked great, but now it looks very ragged to me and I realize how much detail it doesn't show.
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