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Old May 22nd, 2004, 02:43 PM   #16
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Here is my take on the Xi vs DV953 from a previous thread.

Quote:
I've had both the DV953 and Optura Xi and the DV953 is the best choice even considering the difference in 16:9.

The Xi fell short in two departments for me. Low light was was about the same if even a little worse than the DV953 which isn't saying a whole lot!

The other is the contrast ratio of the Xi. The Xi constantly blew out highlights (sky/treeline) no matter what setting I tried. My DV953 never had this problem nor has any 3CCD cam I've owned (VX2000 and PDX10).

I wasn't too thrilled about the bottom loading on the Xi but it wasn't a deal breaker.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2002...OpturaXi(5).JPG

Maybe these frame grabs will help you understand one of the flaws in video quality that the Xi exhibits. The VX2000 obviously lacks the high resolution widescreen mode but at least you can discern the clouds.

Optura Xi - 1CCD

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2002-...Widescreen.JPG

VX2000 - 3CCD

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2002-...Widescreen.JPG
btw - those frames are still in their anamorphically squeezed state.
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Old May 22nd, 2004, 03:20 PM   #17
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Tommy, you mentioned in this thread http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=22991 that you own a GS100. How does the GS100 compare to the Sony PDX10? I'm going to assume that the GS400 will be similar to the GS100 and will be priced about $1500. The PDX10 is available for $1850 from B&H - would you say it's worth the extra $350 over the GS100?

Update: I just realized that if the current GS400 specs are accurate, it has an important difference over the GS100 - 1/4.7" CCDs instead of 1/6". Nevertheless, I would still be interested in hearing about a GS100 vs PDX10 comparison from someone who has used both.

Thanks btw to both Kevin Sturges and Tommy Haupfear for the insightful reviews.

Andy
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Old May 22nd, 2004, 05:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
How does the GS100 compare to the Sony PDX10?
The Sony is a black professional DVCAM format cam with XLRs; the GS100 is not---unless you get the black mamba version and an XLR adaptor such as a Beachteck, minus the DVCAM capability---which doesn't matter a whole lot. :-))
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Old May 22nd, 2004, 08:25 PM   #19
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Andy its tough comparing the GS100 to the PDX10 because they both offer some unique features as Frank touched on.

I miss the XLRs, slow shutter speeds, and maybe even the "look" of the PDX10 but the GS100 is such a small cam that I can take it anywhere. The GS100 also has its Pro Cinema mode and it gives such a unique look but its hard to deny the high resolution widescreen mode of the PDX10.

Of course the GS100 is a lot lighter and much easier to hold. That could make a difference to some.

I think at this point waiting for the GS400 would be smart since the GS100 in any color is next to impossible to find. The Panasonic Japan website mentions that production has stopped.

As usual I get the craving for a new cam every _______ (insert current season) and I've been considering selling my Black Mamba in the next week or two. You heard it here first!
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Old May 23rd, 2004, 03:12 AM   #20
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Lots of info here. Sorry about my mistake with the optical resolution with the TRV950. To me it still seems like all these cams are pretty close in image quality overall.

My budget is pretty tight, but I do really have the urge to get something new before summer. I was looking at some footage from my Sony D8. Some of it looks so great, but other shots with lot's of busy detail look poor. That infrared night shot mode, especially with the feature that blends in the available light is just so useful when you need it. It's saved my shots in several situations, where there wouldn't have been any shot at all - I wish that was included in higher priced cams.

Tommy did you ever try an ND filter with the Optura Xi? I would think it might have solved your problem. My current cam is pretty bad in harsh daylight, but the ND's do miracles with it.

The pictures you linked to looked pretty close to me, but also seemed pretty Jpeg compressed which made it harder to tell. The sky just looked slightly blown out, but the over all detail on the Optura was much better than the VX200. It also didn't look like it was adding any edge enhancement, which looked noticable on the VX. That's pretty amazing for a camera that's about $1'400 dollars cheaper. I have to make compromises somewhere, so whatever I buy, I'm going to have to do alot of balancing between features and budget.

Did anyone check out the clip that I linked to in my earlier post? I think I would be pretty happy with that kind of quality for under a thousand dollars.

All this info is really good. We can help each other with that - but it's also true that everyone just has different needs and different tastes for what they like.

I was transfering a VHS tape to DVD for someone today. 10 years ago that tape (with the cheesy titleing) was state of the art picture quality for video pro's. My how far we have come with tools that are available to anyone now :)
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Old May 23rd, 2004, 05:11 AM   #21
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Kevin, thanks again for your Optura XI impressions - it was quite informative. The quality of the rifle video was impressive. The colors shown in Tommy Haupfear's pictures are troubling (almost green sky) and this review http://www.dvspot.com/reviews/canon/...ew/index.shtml also mentions that certain colors were "noticeably off, mostly in terms of saturation."

For the price of $900 though, you get 16:9, optical stabilizer, decent image quality, and good manual controls. Worth considering for sure.

Andy
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Old May 23rd, 2004, 08:34 AM   #22
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Hoya's PRO ND4 filter does a lot of magic to my Optura100 under outdoor shooting conditions, especially shots of the sky.
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Old May 23rd, 2004, 09:20 AM   #23
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Quote:
Tommy did you ever try an ND filter with the Optura Xi?
Yeah a ND filter would have helped but I had trouble with just about every blue sky I came across. The VX2000 was not using a ND filter at the time and even my cheap $300 DV cams had a better grasp on the contrast ratio. For day-to-day shooting I rarely use a ND filter but maybe the Xi required one outdoors pretty much all the time. The Xi sure did have a high resolution 16:9 mode!


Another point to make about the Optura Xi is that it is a bottom loader.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2002-...pturaXi(5).JPG


Size difference between my VX2000 and past Xi

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2002-...pturaXi(2).JPG
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Old May 23rd, 2004, 01:00 PM   #24
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Yeah, sure everybody, thanks a lot for the information here - I am now completely confused :)

Should I just wait for awhile yet?

My current Sony D8 cam:
Takes beautiful color. That is one of the most important things for me. I will NOT go backwards on the color response.
Under certain conditions the video on my D8 looks fantastic. I am not kidding - better than a lot of the stuff I see on TV, or on many DVD documentaries. (Don't those people know how to use a camcorder? For one example, I just rented the documentary about Phish "Bittersweet Hotel". Most of it was shot on a TRV950, and was transfered to film. It looked just awful compared to the home movies I put on DVD. Grainy, terrible low light, faded color, blown out highlights everywhere, like everything on TV, zipper effects on straight lines. Resolution looked only marginally better than my D8. Oh yeah, the music was awful too (sorry).

I really should make a quick website and post a bunch of screen grabs from what I can get out of this cam if I work really hard at it.

8mm tapes cost next to nothing, and are very robust.

Has 16/9 mode. I have an HDTV, and I only shoot in 16/9 widescreen now.

Has the film like Soft Portrait mode. ( I really don't want to give up the color or Soft Portrait AE mode. Does anyone know if the TRV950 has that?)

I will also really miss that infrared Night Shot mode that let's you blend in the surrounding color (or you can just make it black and white to get rid of the X-Ray green look). I have video of my brother and I boating on a lake just after sundown, and of a local Harley fest, that look great in Night Shot. There would have been no other way to do it. The shots intercut great with the daylight footage. Everyone who sees it, says Wow, and thinks I meant to give it that look.


What I don't have, and what I want for less than $1'500:

Higher 16/9 resolution for wide shots with lots of detail in the content.

Optical Stabilzer. I have no stabilizing at all on the camera in 16/9 mode. Try getting steady hand held footage without it....

Manual Audio in. I have no control over the audio on my D8. Try plugging a mic in, or worse a mixer. Totally unusable. The onboard mics sound OK on it.

Low light performance that isn't any worse than what I have now. My current cam is just OK with that.

Arrrgh, and more bills are coming in. What to do? Having read what I just wrote here; I guess what I am looking for is a higher resolution version of my current camera. Please please let that new Sony HC1000 have true 16/9. It might be exactly what I'm looking for. Plus it's BLACK. ;) Thanks for your input here everybody. At least while I'm waiting, I LIKE exploring all this information.
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Old May 23rd, 2004, 02:32 PM   #25
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Hmmm..I just checked out the review on DVSpot. Over all it was really good! The camera came out strongly recommended. He pretty much passed over about any color shifting. It didn't seem to be an issue. Non of the other videos I've seen from it had the green sky effect. In fact the video examples he had looked great. The sky was blue, not blown out, and the resolution on this cam beats anything within at least a thousand dollars of it's price range. It also blew away the Sony's he reviewed.

I also checked out his review of the Pana GS200. The video was full of jaggy zipper effects on diagonal lines! That was one of the first things he mentioned - a huge negative. The Optura Xi shows none of those. If the Optura does have a very slight color shift, I think that would be very easy to fix in Vegas. I do a lot of tweaking in post anyway. Also the Optura does excellent stills, better than any other camcorder I've ever seen. Comparing his test videos, it also looks to me like it does a better job with low light than anything else in it's price range.

He also mentioned it has a built in ND filter. I was really surprised that he didn't go into this further. Is it for stills only?

For a single chip cam, I've also noticed that the Canon's do not exhibit that ugly yellow halo effect on detailed contrasty lines. Something my Sony D8 REALLY suffers from. That up untill now, is the only big visible difference I've seen between single and 3 chip cams. The Optura Xi seems to have solved that issue.

The best 16/9 resolution around - even beating $3'000 camcorders. No visible edge enhancement. Almost fully manual controls with dedicated buttons everywhere. Great optical stailization. Manual Audio. At about $800 after the rebate, this is an amazing deal for the money. The Optura Xi is really looking like the clear winner out there.
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Old May 23rd, 2004, 05:49 PM   #26
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The optura is a great lil cam. Slap a microphone on it and you've got a mini 16x9 monster. If you experience "color" issues you can either use a filter on the front, or do some color correction in post.

I mean for less than a grand, it can't be beat.
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Old May 23rd, 2004, 08:31 PM   #27
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Kevin, if you adore your Sony D8 color saturation, you may have some issues with that of Canon. They look QUITE different in terms of color.
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Old May 23rd, 2004, 08:43 PM   #28
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I think Kevin prefers a "desaturated" video look from a 1CCD cam (and cold colors).
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