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Old January 6th, 2017, 02:21 PM   #46
Barry Wan Kenobi
 
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Re: Panasonic UX90 & UX180 Q&A

These cameras are pretty much direct successors to those two; the UX90 is the successor to the AC90, and the UX180 is the successor to the AC160.

The UX90 is much more sensitive than the AC90 is. The UX90 is about 250 ISO, whereas the AC90 is more around 40 ISO.

The UX180 is a bit more sensitive than the AC160, but not tremendously so; it's about 500 ISO, whereas the AC160 was about 320 ISO.

But, on the other hand, the lenses on the older cameras were faster; they opened wider than the lens on the new UX cameras. Whereas the AC160 was f/1.6 to 3.0, the UX180 is f/2.8 to 4.5. That means the AC160 can let in about 1.2 to 1.6 stops more light. And the AC90 can let in about 1.5 stops more light.

So in terms of raw sensitivity, the UX90 is about 1 stop faster, and the UX180 is about the same or even slightly behind. But, the UX180 has a "HIGH SENS." mode that doubles the ISO and reduces the grain, so it becomes an effective 1000 ISO, and that puts it 1.5 stops more sensitive than the AC160, so ... at that point, it's a wash, they're equally sensitive.

But, that's not all, because sensitivity is generally figured at an acceptable grain level, and the UX90 and UX180 are substantially cleaner in terms of noise, especially when you need a lot of gain. And most especially when you're shooting HD instead of UHD.

When shooting HD, the cameras gain about 6dB of noise reduction due to the conversion from the UHD sensor down to HD resolution; combining pixels averages out the noise between the pixels, so right off the bat you can add 6dB of gain and have the same noise level as you would have had at 0dB in UHD.

Then, when you turn the gain up, these cameras have newer technology and newer processing, so they can take the gain further.

Finally, these cameras have a user-adjustable noise reduction control, which can have a really substantial impact on the appearance of noise. It ranges from -7 to +7; at -7 you'll see a lot of grain, but at +7 it vacuums up pretty much all of it (at the potential expense of bringing in noise-reduction artifacts, like smudgier high-frequency details and even ghosting on high-contrast edges). So I generally don't use a high NR setting, but -- you can.

When you add it all up, between the lens advantage of the small-chip cameras and the bigger pixels of the big-chip cameras and all that, the new cameras end up being somewhat better in low light than their predecessors, but not dramatically so. The dramatic improvements are in image sharpness, Ultra HD and (on the UX180) Cinema 4K recording, extremely wide angle field of view, long zoom range, image controls, things like dual codec recording, recording bitrate (200 mbps compared to 25 mbps on the older cameras), shallow DOF at equivalent f-stop, etc. There are a lot of substantial advancements in these new cameras, but there aren't huge improvements in low light sensitivity. It's better, but it's not really night and day, because the lens for the giant sensor delivers, generally, about an f/4 over most of its zoom range, and that limits the ultimate sensitivity they can obtain.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 06:14 AM   #47
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Re: Panasonic UX90 & UX180 Q&A

This is so awesome Barry, thanks so much!!!! I know this is a little off the thread, but could you do this same comparison on the AC90 and new AC30 ???
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Old January 11th, 2017, 12:24 PM   #48
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Re: Panasonic UX90 & UX180 Q&A

I don't have access to an AC30 and don't really know anything about it...
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Old January 21st, 2017, 07:30 PM   #49
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Re: Panasonic UX90 & UX180 Q&A

Barry,

Thanks for the great information. I've looked around but could not find the answer to this question. Does the UX-90 have an i.zoom function? Is it useable in HD mode? Thanks!
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Old January 23rd, 2017, 02:09 PM   #50
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Re: Panasonic UX90 & UX180 Q&A

The Ux90 has izoom in HD.

Barry the UX90 white balance doesn't operate how I'm accustomed to, a three toggle switch: 1 preset and 2 custom balances you create by holding a white card in front of the camera while pressing white balance button.

How do I set a custom white balance for existing lighting?
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Old January 24th, 2017, 11:09 AM   #51
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Re: Panasonic UX90 & UX180 Q&A

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Schwartz View Post
Barry,

Thanks for the great information. I've looked around but could not find the answer to this question. Does the UX-90 have an i.zoom function? Is it useable in HD mode? Thanks!
Yes as Pete said, it has i.Zoom. It works only in HD, it turns the 15x optical zoom into, effectively, a 25x zoom. And it works extremely well.
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Old January 24th, 2017, 11:10 AM   #52
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Re: Panasonic UX90 & UX180 Q&A

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Cofrancesco View Post
The Ux90 has izoom in HD.

Barry the UX90 white balance doesn't operate how I'm accustomed to, a three toggle switch: 1 preset and 2 custom balances you create by holding a white card in front of the camera while pressing white balance button.

How do I set a custom white balance for existing lighting?
It actually works exactly the same way. The White Bal button takes the place of the white balance switch. It provides three channels (preset, Ach, and Bch). It's not a switch anymore, it's a button, but the same functionality is there and works the same way -- use the button to select Ach (or Bch), fill the screen with a white card, and then press the AWB button on the front of the camera under the lens.
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Old January 24th, 2017, 01:08 PM   #53
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Re: Panasonic UX90 & UX180 Q&A

Thanks Barry I didn't realize what that button under the lens was . Now it makes sense.
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Old February 2nd, 2017, 04:32 PM   #54
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Panasonic UX90 Playback

Barry,

I am sure this is going to be one of those "Duh" moments, but I can't find anyway to playback the video on the UX90. I searched the manual and all of the regular buttons on the camera, to no avail. What am I missing?
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Old February 2nd, 2017, 05:08 PM   #55
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Re: Panasonic UX90 & UX180 Q&A

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Originally Posted by Jonathan Schwartz View Post
Barry,

I am sure this is going to be one of those "Duh" moments, but I can't find anyway to playback the video on the UX90. I searched the manual and all of the regular buttons on the camera, to no avail. What am I missing?
I was baffled by it too. It's not very intuitive. On the top front of the camera near the lcd there is a button called "Thumbnails". Then use the touch screen to select and play a clip. I actually find the touchscreen to be a good interface for playback. Although it's difficult to find and reach the thumbnails button when the camera is on a tripod.

This is one of many things I've notice that Panasonic interface is a bit odd.
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Old February 2nd, 2017, 05:22 PM   #56
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Re: Panasonic UX90 & UX180 Q&A

Thanks. I actually just figured it out. It was the only button I hadn't pushed yet!
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Old February 17th, 2017, 01:02 AM   #57
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Re: Panasonic UX90 & UX180 Q&A

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Green View Post
So in terms of raw sensitivity, the UX90 is about 1 stop faster, and the UX180 is about the same or even slightly behind. But, the UX180 has a "HIGH SENS." mode that doubles the ISO and reduces the grain, so it becomes an effective 1000 ISO, and that puts it 1.5 stops more sensitive than the AC160, so ... at that point, it's a wash, they're equally sensitive.
Incorrect re the HIGH SENS mode. The HIGH SENS mode, called EXTENDED on JVC cameras, is basically 6db of RAW GAIN added to whatever normal gain number you see on the VF/EVF. The noise increases as if you simply added 6db of gain to whatever gain setting you select. The first application of this was on the HPX2000. They had a setting you could assign to a user button to activate the "6db boost" feature.

If you want to test this out, take any of these cameras, set them to normal mode 18db, shoot a clip, then switch to HIGH SENS/EXTENDED and shoot a clip at 12db. Compare side by side, you will see they are identical. The most use I can find for this is that you can change one menu setting instead of changing three gain values if you move into a dark situation for ENG. :-)

Paul
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Old March 9th, 2017, 03:36 PM   #58
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Re: Panasonic UX90 & UX180 Q&A

For UX90 and UX180 owners, Panasonic is now offering a free download of my latest book, "A Guide To The UX90 And UX180 Camcorders". You can get your copy here from Panasonic's website:
http://info.panasonic.com/ux-series-e-book.html
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Old March 9th, 2017, 05:12 PM   #59
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Re: Panasonic UX90 & UX180 Q&A

Just downloaded it. Looks good Barry! It's also nice how Panasonic offers this for free (I certainly hope YOU were paid well for your hard work!)

I really like how the guide does in depth with the settings and features. This document is going to be a great way to train operators, and much of the information is useful for more than just the UX90/180.
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Old March 9th, 2017, 08:43 PM   #60
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Re: Panasonic UX90 & UX180 Q&A

Thanks Barry. I'm going to download it. I would like to learn more about the image control menu. Specifically I'd like to crush the blacks a bit. For theatrical work I find I need to darken the blacks for the non stage areas.

Btw, I was re reading that post about the light sensitivity. Which out of the three cameras performs the best in low light?
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