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Old January 19th, 2004, 03:04 PM   #46
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Hi Guy,

Thanks for the grabs, what can I say, they are just lovely. My favourites are the first and the last but that is 100% subjective and wearing my arty hat.

The colours are just stunning.

What is your opinion about the fidelity of those shots? I mean you are the only one that has seen the original pinwheel, the TV footage and the grabs.

I would love some clips.

If you plan to post some clips can I vote for the least amount of compression you think is reasonable. Go short rather than loose quality. I am on a 56k modem dial-up but don't mind large files.
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Old January 19th, 2004, 04:34 PM   #47
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Ayosha,
I thought the colors were stunning, too. With a drab winter here right now, color stands out. Interesting that you selected 2 of the 4 AUTO shots as your favorites. I find that the color in manual, although good, is slightly unsaturated compared to the actual pinwheel colors which are accurately captured in Auto. I was under the impression that the manual color and sharpness settings were used in Auto but apparently I'm mistaken. I was really impressed by the frame mode grabs in 16:9.

I could post a couple of clips in WMV 9 3Mbps format. That would be the least compression short of DV, I think. Some folks believe QuickTime MOVs are better..can do either. I think I'll post the clips you selected and one manual clip I'll select. Make sure you download them because they probably won't play well over dialup.

Update: I have posted 3 clips. They are all about 8MB WMV 9 3Mbps videos.
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Old January 19th, 2004, 08:34 PM   #48
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Sorry,
The new clips are here.
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Old January 20th, 2004, 06:04 AM   #49
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Thanks

For me, and that is as personal and as subjective as it can be, the 1/60s works beter here. I believe that is how our eyes would see that motion.
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Old January 21st, 2004, 06:07 PM   #50
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OK, I watched and watched Guy's manual clip over the last couple days, over and over, normal and slow, all to see how annoyed I will be with sharpness artefacts (here set at 30%). You can see how the edges of darker front strips change quality as dark and light strips rotate faster behind. You can see the cartoon quality of the strips at the back as they rotate against sky (edged with dark borders).

In spite off all that this is still a good clip, though not my favourite. And you probably see all these things only if you watch for them.

I tried to unsharp some of the grabs with horizontal B&W halo in Photoshop 7, hoping that would indicate if post production can correct shots from MX500. It doesn't work, when you apply enough to loose halo the result is a mess, though useful maybe as an art piece.

So, what was wrong with Xi? Unfaithful reproduction of colours? Not saturated enough? Maybe those are easier to post correct than halo?

I don't know.
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Old January 21st, 2004, 06:28 PM   #51
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So, what was wrong with Xi?
Every cam has its drawbacks and the Xi was no exception. Its understandable that its color accuracy is not on par with the entry level 3CCD cams (even with the RGB filter) but other quirks had mine on eBay in less than a month.

Problem areas I exeperienced with the Xi

Poor build quality (LCD housing - Cheap mode switch)
Bottom loading - not a big deal for some
Low light - big CCD but burdened with over two million pixels
Contrast ratio - chalk it up to poor optics or an inferior DSP but outdoors shots were often blown out compared to my past cams*
Autofocus - sure I use it occassionally, but indoors this cam hunts and hunts!

Maybe I had a defective unit but my old Panasonic DV852 was/is a better cam than the Xi (sans quality 16:9).







* my past cams include DV953, VX2000, PDX10, Optura Pi, and DV852.
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Old January 21st, 2004, 07:16 PM   #52
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I certainly agree with you on those points, Tommy, especially with the cheap build quality. Perhaps the Japanese version of the XI is much better, I wonder?
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Old January 22nd, 2004, 11:19 AM   #53
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I can add to your list Tommy H. The CCD smear is dire, and every effort should be made to avoid the Xi using high shutter speeds.
Nasty non-intuitive zoom 'slider'. Nowhere near as nice as Panasonic's rocking lever or Sony's fore-aft rocker.
Silly exposure wheel right next to the microphones! What a daft idea, where every tiny exposure adjustment gets flagged up on the audio track.

I do like the fast lens though - f1.9 at full tele is unusual these days, so differential focus is there for the taking. But the camera forces you to use f4.8 in bright sunlight and high (stuttery) shutter speeds to boot. Not good.

Slim, pretty, good side screen, sharp, fun MPEG4 movies and good stills. Just costs too much for what it is.

tom.
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Old January 22nd, 2004, 08:19 PM   #54
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Thank you guys for putting me straight.

Am I totally out of line with my obsession with halo effect?

Just watched couple of games of Australian Open, Todd Martin doing well against Safin. I just love Todd, but hey, there is halo all over the place. Court lines lined with black, net edges lined first with black and then with white. The cameras doing close-ups on public show none of that effect. And no such effects on computer works, it is not in transmittion. So, it is how some of the cameras are set up.

Guys, I want my life back, I want to enjoy the game again instead of seeing and analysing camerawork all the time.

Is this happening to you as well?
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Old January 22nd, 2004, 08:43 PM   #55
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Guys, I want my life back, I want to enjoy the game again instead of seeing and analysing camerawork all the time.
We obsess too much on the minutia. These cameras are pretty darn good with respect to the current technology. We should be using them more than analyzing their flaws. However....
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Old February 22nd, 2004, 11:44 PM   #56
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Please help me get the most out of my MX-500

G'day,

I have a Panasonic MX-500a (Australian PAL version) and have just finished my first short film. I shot it almost entirely with auto settings and edited it on Adobe Premiere 6.0.

Are there any on-line resources that would teach me how to really get the most out of this camera?
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 01:53 AM   #57
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The simple answer is ''here'' Shane. OK, first off, all modern camcorders work pretty well in the auto-everything mode, and if you're not sure what setting to use, use auto.

But it's also true that the automation (focus, exposure, white balance, audio level) is controlled by a fast acting, accurate, IDIOT. Why so?

Because it assumes. And the word 'assume' makes an 'ass' out of 'u and me'.

Take this example. You stand in the middle of a field and want to make a film of a boy on a bike as he cycles in a big circle around you. In auto the camera will tend to ignore the boy. If he passes in front of the sun-off-the-lake, the camera will stop down to f11 and under-expose the boy. If he passes in front of a dark building the camera will over-expose the boy. If a man walks into frame the camera will now focus on the man, assuming it can decide what to do. If this man has a white shirt on the camera will change the exposure again. If the man is singing loudly the audio will respond and drown out what the boy was saying. If you move under the shadow of a big tree, this will change the white balance, yet the boy on his bike is still out there in the same lighting.

See what I mean? This is just a simple example - a 360 degree pan, yet every automation parameter has been fooled into spoiling the film of the boy on his bike. Simple answer? Use manual settings.

I know the MX500 and like it a lot, but it's a *much* better camera in manual than it is in automatic. Try it and see.

tom.
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Old February 25th, 2004, 02:10 AM   #58
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heh guys i have to say how pleased i am with how this thread has been going over time. i have not been on these forums for about a month now but this thread is still going and it is one of the ones that i remember the most. i saw ayosha's name there and recognised it imediately. i have to go with what guy said though. i have previously told ayosha that as an owner of the pana 500 that the halo effect is not that noticeable on a tv screen. i must admit that at times i have been very dissapointed with my footage because i always upload it to my computer and watch it on there and what i have found is that when viewing it on a tv i am very pleased with the quality of this camera. the main reason i think is the high resolution of a computer monitor and you are always sitting within a foot of the screen. you look at pro footage when sitting this close to ur tv screen and it wil look quite drab. If i take a few steps back i believe that the quality is almost pro if you look past the major drawback of this cam being low light problems. my rule to myself is if the sun is below the horizon the camera stays in its bag and i think that all cameras are gonna have these kinda problems at times and you learn to work around them and to work with the good footage you have. If you make a feature filme people wont know the difference and wont miss anything if you leave it out because the camera didn't like it. My dad has a broadcast camera good for over 700 lines it is a JVC KY-25 with a professional 16x fujinon lens and at most times my camera produces very similar results to it and a sharper image. The only times he will get better footage is when i run out of zoom. I suggest that if you have doubts about a cam then ask a freind to look at ur footage and give their opinion because they wont nitpick and another tip step back a couple of meters from the screen and you will be quite surprised.

Justin
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