Seeking useful info on DV852 / MX8 at DVinfo.net

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Old January 11th, 2004, 01:00 PM   #1
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Seeking useful info on DV852 / MX8

Frank, YowCH and anyone else familiar with this camera:

I think the specs of this camera...accurate color reproduction, visibility at 1 candle power, good optics...meet my needs, but they are just specs. I was wondering if I could get some feedback from the people who have used it.

How effective is this camera at 1 foot candle illumination? Or, I guess a better question is what is the lowest light level this camera will manage without adding noise?

Also, I couldn't find anything on 16:9. This is the format I will be shooting my occasional projects in. Does it have a workable 16:9 mode, preferably a good anamorphic mode?

My JVC camcorder randomly changes its electronic color filter, so shots can look blue or orange and be hard to match. Does the Pana have a better auto-adjust, or a way to turn it off and use gel filters?

Frank, I saw your reference to the camera images on the eeplaza site...they seemed sharp without having the edge sharpness problem. Do you find this to be consistent with most usage, or is the camera picky about lighting?

Have you seen any problems with color fringing, especially in high contrast images?

Also, one spec I found to conflict between sites was how it loads. The majority pointed to a bottom load...is this the case?

I guess finally, at least for now, is are there any shooting situations in which this camera would not perform favorably?

Thanks a bunch!
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Old January 11th, 2004, 01:03 PM   #2
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Oh, one more thing: Is there some sort of progressive mode that isn't a duplication of fields or duplication of frames?
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Old January 11th, 2004, 03:54 PM   #3
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No progressive mode. I think YowCH and Tommy would be the best members to answer your questions.
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Old January 11th, 2004, 09:30 PM   #4
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Hi Brandt,

I own a Panasonic dv852...Very good cam for the price...I just uploaded some frame grabs... mostly in low light conditions...In very low light conditions there is noise/grain but comparing to lots of other camcorders it's very minimal...i believe if you want better low light than what you see, you need a VX2000,GL2 or xl1 which are 4X the price of dv852....

all those frame grabs are taken in auto mode...dv852 has some manual controls too so you can tweak the image depending to your needs...

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/367049/2.jpg
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/367049/Image0.jpg
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/367049/000.jpg
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/367049/11.jpg
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/367049/Image1.jpg

Those 2 frames below are in very dim light conditions...There's grain but once again those frames are captured in auto mode.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/367049/44.jpg
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-9/367049/yt.jpg


I hope those frame grabs help to anyone who's looking for dv852...Once again all of the above frame grabs are captured either in Dark Seattle weather or normal indoor conditions...Never had a chance to record at a Sunny day with good light yet.

Aykut
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Old January 11th, 2004, 10:14 PM   #5
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Aykut - Thanks for the intersting frames.

Brandt - The program AE candle mode is totally useless. It does it with extremely slow shutter speed I believe. The video comes out very very jerky. There is also a low light mode. But you can accomplish the same thing, or even better, by using manual controls yourself. I believe this camcorder is officially a 12 lux camcorder. I have read in forums that it needs 10 lux for acceptable video. The second night I got mine, I was at a friend house and I borrowed her daughter's Sony TRV19. I turned down the lights very low in their dining room and shot video of various objects in the room with both camcorders on the same tape. Actually TRV 19 did better by a very slight margin. Both cams were on full auto mode. The TRV19 has an official lux rating of 5.

In a previous shout out with the same TRV 19, I had lost with my Sharp VL-AX1U, which is another camcorder with a good reputation for good low light. But in the that shoot out the Sharp lost by a bigger margin, although it is capble of using 1/30 shutter. In other words, the DV852 with 1/60 shutter, does better than the Sharp with 1/30 shutter.

The other noticeale difference in comparing DV852 and TRV19 was that the tape picked up quite a bit of buzzing noise from TRV 19 but none of that with the DV852. The later of course has quite an array of features that most Sonys don't. The TRV 19 also picked up a clicking sound everytime I released the zoom lever. Maybe if I had known about it, I could have releaed it more gently but nevertheless, it picked up some noise whereas the DV852 didn't.

The DV852 and TRV 19 almost exactly have the same focal length, or whatever they call it. With the zoom all the way to wide angle, both cameras take in the same field of view. In other words, you would not need a wide angle lens for taping in close quarters.


Re the 16:9, it does it by adding a black bar at the top and bottom of the screen. It does not widen the field of view.

There is no prgressive for video. There is progressive for still pictures.

Optical image stabilizer works for stills as well and more. It has a mega stabilizer mode for still pictures.

The pictures seems to be sharp and there seems to be no color infringement. Although I can't say I have specifically tested it in high contrast areas.

I don't know anything about gel filters, etc. However, I can tell you the colors in this camcorder come out quite warm. I prefer to use a white paper, or a half warm card to reduce the warmth.

One other noteworthy observation, the DV852 has a built-in zoom mic. Oh, and the tape is bottom loading.

I hope we still hear from Tommy on your questions 'cause his comments are always very interesting.
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Old January 12th, 2004, 12:05 AM   #6
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Fred and Aykut,

Thanks for the responses. It's a funny coincidence that you're both up around Seattle...I'm looking to move my family up to Whidbey Island in the next year or so.

I saw on the second image of Aykut's...the snowboarder coming down the hill...some blue fringing where the snow line meets the roof and wall of the building. I wonder if this could be corrected by using an achromatic filter, or by running a blue shift adjustment on a time base corrector....maybe Tommy will have some insight into this.

I'm not as concerned about the warmer tones...most cameras have a bias, I just make a global adjustment in my NLE for shots taken under the same lighting.

I was really hoping that the 1 candle advertisement really came out to be true, though. I have a project in the pipeline in which the shot, which is a closeup of a man on a staircase, is lit entirely by a Zippo lighter. Rather hard to shoot.

I like the color rendering in Aykut's first image, the band against the painted backdrop. The outdoor stuff seems really blue. Is this consistent with outdoor video from this camera? Also, the indoor shot of the guitar...what kind of lighting was that shot under?

Thanks!
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Old January 12th, 2004, 01:32 AM   #7
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"Also, the indoor shot of the guitar...what kind of lighting was that shot under?"

small lamp with 1 60watt bulb
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Old January 12th, 2004, 08:01 AM   #8
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The other guys handled most of your queries.

I'll talk about white balance: one of the best in town, even better than many 'prosumer' cameras. Reason, you can do manual WB on a read card and make your whole scene green (like "The Matrix") or you can do WB on blue to make your scenes yellow (not sepia, but like seeing through yellow glass).

I'll talk about lens: very wide angle, I believe close to 35mm in 35mm film reckoning. This is probably due to good optics (Leica) coupled with large CCD (1/1.8"). The newer MX500 3CCD has each CCD 1/6" and probably shooting at wide angle of about 45mm on 35mm film reckoning.

Colour fringing is there, but that's probably the trade-off with lenses of long zoom range. If we shoot on prime lens (no video cam does this) fringing will be much less. CCD overload and streaking due to spot lights are also much less than other famous brands, most notably S*ny (hahaha).

Try to shoot at 1/50 (PAL) and 1/60 (NTSC) to reduce jerkiness. I bright daylight, use ND filter to cut light, in dim areas, you'll be glad to know that the MX8/DV852 out performs most cameras, even those thrice the price!
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Old January 12th, 2004, 02:43 PM   #9
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Hi YowCH.

A couple questions regarding your post: You mention a large 1/1.8" CCD...is this right? I thought it was a 1/3 or 1/4" CCD.

Can color fringing be minimized by using a low contrast filter from Tiffen to bring the brighter values down?

I've already asked this question of Tommy, but I'll ask it here too:

Can the Progressive Photoshot mode be used like the PDX10 photo mode so that progressive images can be recorded directly to a computer?
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Old January 12th, 2004, 07:36 PM   #10
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1/1.8" CCD, that's what I remember of my MX8, a 1CCD camera.

My current MX350 is 3x1/4" and the newer cams are 3x1/6".

I shoot 4:3, never really bothered with progressive or not. hehehe
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Old January 12th, 2004, 07:43 PM   #11
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1/3.8" from what I recall; that's .26"

(1/1.8 is almost a 1/2" CCD, very unlikely.) :-))
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Old January 13th, 2004, 01:23 AM   #12
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Hmm... maybe 1:3.8", I'll need to check, a big SORRY if it is wrong, really off my head, and I can hardly remember my wife's mobile number.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 06:32 AM   #13
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OK, should be 1/3.8", 1/1.8" is for my still camera, I believe I made this same mistake sometime ago either here or over at DV.com. SIGH, I am sorry.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 06:47 AM   #14
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I seem to faintly recall that---during the glory days of dv.com.
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