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Old April 26th, 2003, 01:56 PM   #1
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Pixels and CCD size

Some days ago I heard that on new SONY camcorders (TRV60,75,80 with CCD of 2Mpix) smaller pixels are used (to fit them on 1/3,6 CCD)? Do you how does it affects video quality? (I've heard that it badly affects picture quality; actually, I disagree with it, but who knows...). So it would be very nice of you if you could post some info on this article. Thx!

Would the video quality be better than Panasonic MX500's (3CCD,1/6 each) or ~the same quality?
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Old April 26th, 2003, 02:23 PM   #2
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Nah. It will affect low light performance, in theory, but it's not that big of a deal.


"Would the video quality be better than Panasonic MX500's (3CCD,1/6 each) or ~the same quality?"

No. I'd personally rather take that camera (the mx500 is the same as the dv953, correct?) then one of the 1CCD Sony's. You will get better colors with 3CCD's, and I hear that camera isn't so bad in "low light".
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Old May 19th, 2003, 10:08 PM   #3
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The DV format needs about 346K CCD. Once you get to 2 Mbps CCD, the color performance will about equal to a 3 CCD DV system. The larger CCD will have a lot more shallow DOF, to better simulate the film look.
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Old May 19th, 2003, 11:18 PM   #4
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Then perhaps you could explain why even the TRV70's (with 2.1MP CCD) color saturation is so inaccurate.
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Old May 20th, 2003, 02:28 AM   #5
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Joseph. You get better colors when the footage is split into the 3 colors via a prism. The TRV70/80 has only slightly above 1M video effective CCD pixels; with a 3 CCD cam, you take the video effective CCD pixels and multiply that number by 3. So you see, the MX500/PV-DV953 has more video effective CCD pixels than your beloved Sony 1 chipper. However, This Sony 1 chipper is also a good cam.
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Old May 20th, 2003, 07:16 PM   #6
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I don't want to argue with you guys. The one chip is enough to gather all the information; how is it processed further depends on the manufacturer's preferences that have nothing to do with technology or economic limitations.
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Old May 20th, 2003, 08:48 PM   #7
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I also don't want to argue, but the more information a cam can capture, via better lens, more video effective CCD pixels, the more accurate the information will be when processed down, at or below DV's max 540 playback horizontal line limit. A 1 CCD will not capture color as accurately as a 3 CCD camera. I believe several experts here have already explained this to you. Remember?
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Old May 20th, 2003, 09:47 PM   #8
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I'll admit that there's a lot I don't understand when it comes to this topic. Why is it that a good STILL digital cameras only uses 1 CCD for example? The JPEG's that come from my Nikon 950 at 2048x1536 pixels look great to my eyes, way better than frames from a DV camera. I always assumed that the real limitation to DV was the color space afforded by the 4:1:1 compression. Those Nikon frames are about 1.5MB each when I set the quality to 'fine', but a DV frame is only around 100KB and of course 30 of them need to be captured and compressed every second.

I also do 3d modeling and animation. When I compress these with the DV codec for editing in FCP they really suffer. For example, a nice uniform blue sky is broken up with ugly artifacts and a smooth gradient ends up with visible bands. In this case it has nothing to do with CCD's, it's just the toll that DV compression takes on the original clean images.
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Old May 20th, 2003, 10:35 PM   #9
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Digital still cams have a large, state of the art, mega-pixel CD, plus a high quality lens/lenses. They also capture frames instead of 60 fields per second/50 for PAL.
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Old May 21st, 2003, 06:58 AM   #10
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There is another, very important, difference:

Digital stills cameras can take much longer to acquire an image than video cameras. The process can sometimes take more than a second. Video cameras do not have this luxury, since they need to capture 25 (PAL) or 30 (NTSC) frames a second, and move that data out to make room for new data.

This, as far as I know, is the main reason that digital video cameras will never be as good as digital stills cameras with approx. the same resolution (unless a manufacturer would actually built a video camera with separate CCD and circuitry for digital stills, which would probably not be cost-effective).

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Old May 21st, 2003, 08:47 AM   #11
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The purpose of having 3 CCDs is to give more resolving ability to the picture as a whole. One 256k CCD is a lot cheaper than one 768k chip (256k x 3). A 768k chip will provide the same color and resolution as the 256k by masking the on board devices for RGB.

The reason digital cameras take longer per frame is they have to transfer data into memory from the CCD. This is not high speed memory like in your computer and CCDs themselves are not fast at transferring data.
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Old May 21st, 2003, 10:31 AM   #12
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Long time ago there were one vacuum tube (Saticon, etc.) sensor cameras and 3-tube cameras. The 3 tubes cameras had great colors. The one tube cameras did not. Then Sony came out with a 1 CCD camera and the colors were on the grade of 3 tube cameras, or better.

Then came 3 CCD cameras at time when CCD's still had low pixel count. So the 3 CCDs improved resolution over one CCD.

Now, with high enough pixel count, one CCD is all you need for the 4:1:1 DV color compression system.

3 CCD cameras have more to do with marketing than with performance.

There is no difference between a still camera and a video camera CCD function, except for the higher speed/frame rate.

Once you get to Hi Def and 4:4:4 like CineAlta SR, 3 CCD's with perfectly aligned pixels are a must. Even on 4:2:2 compression 3 CCD's with aligned pixels will improve color performance significantly. On DV it does not really matter.

Varicam and CineAlta use 3 CCDs with perfectly aligned pixels.
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Old May 21st, 2003, 10:38 AM   #13
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As far as CCD size is concerned, if you hold 'em out at arm's length, they all appear to be pretty much the same.
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Old May 21st, 2003, 10:41 AM   #14
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<< 3 CCD cameras have more to do with marketing than with performance. >>

Incorrect... nothing could be farther from the truth. A trip to the local retail electronics store will readily reveal that any current three-chip camcorder produces an image clearly superior to any current one-chip camcorder.

It has *nothing* to do with marketing whatsoever.
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Old May 21st, 2003, 11:51 AM   #15
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There goes more care into a 3 CCD camcorder to make the image good. These are more expensive products. The quality goes beyond the CCD count. Yes, 3 CCDs are better. But on a mega resolution chip, you'll get enough info for the DV system to produce excellent picture.
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