Micro Four Thirds - the start of low cost shallow DOF videography? at DVinfo.net

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4K and AVCHD on a Micro Four Thirds system camera with interchangeable lenses.


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Old August 5th, 2008, 12:49 PM   #1
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Micro Four Thirds - the start of low cost shallow DOF videography?

Olympus and Panasonic have today announced the specifications for a "micro four thirds" camera system. This system attempts to combine the sensor size and exchangable lens benefits of a four thirds SLR camera with compact-camera size factor. It is achieved by shortening the distance between lens and sensor by removing the mirror block and optical viewfinder.

Benefits include:

...

"Current Four Thirds lenses can be used with an adapter
Enables seamless switching between still and movie shooting"

Found on DPreview:
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0808/08...fourthirds.asp

If the quality of movie modes on premium compact photocams continues to increase, this system will be perfect for low-cost shallow depth of field (DOF) videography in an ultra compact package (sensor size: 18 x 13.5 mm, significantly larger than 2/3").

Enjoy,

Thomas
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Old August 6th, 2008, 03:27 AM   #2
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This is one thing well worth keeping an eye on. The lenses and systems would be perfect for video as well. We'll no doubt see more at photokina but there's a few sample photos floating around of a tradition lens vs the micro 4/3s version.

It wouldn't take much to use this sensor and lens system in a system designed for video rather than stills.

You can already see that the nikon D80 replacement the D90 is alledged to have recording of live view as a feature (this is a rumour at the moment). But it does highlight a convergence between SLR and video cameras.

cheers
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Old August 6th, 2008, 11:13 AM   #3
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This is true, but a still camera is a still camera and a video camera is a video camera.

I would not want to use a still camera on a video shoot.

Canon would have the best chance of integration, but I think the end result would be too large for still work, and too small for video work imho.
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Old August 6th, 2008, 12:37 PM   #4
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Sure, a stills camera form factor isn't going to work very well, but use the same lens mount and sensor sizes in a different form factor and then we'd have something worth looking at?

cheers
paul
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Old August 6th, 2008, 02:01 PM   #5
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Tim,

while I won't dispute this at all, there is something that non of the consumer priced camcorders can do, which is done very well by entry level digital SLRs: Shallow depth of field for background blur. So far, you have to use a 35mm adapter to get shallow DOF which degrades the image (to a degree), creates light loss and increases the overall size dramatically. It also costs extra.

I would love to defocus backgrounds, but normally have to carry at least 6 lbs of gear to do it - usually in a very awkward form factor (video cam + adapter + lens). On holidays, this is rarely possible. If a usable 1280 by 720 p clip at 24p is created, I am happy to settle for a photo cam.
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Old August 7th, 2008, 12:48 AM   #6
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It will be interesting to see how the still world will force the hand of the video world.

Up until now, to get large enough chips to get shallow DOF in the video space one needs to spend tens of thousands of dollars.

And your correct, even more shallow DOF can be obtained by a $600 DSLR.

Not that DOF is everything, but chip size is very important to image quality.

The RED and the EX-1 have really put the video world on notice that a different way is coming and it does not cost as much as the old ways.

I will be watching this space as well, I just don't like the idea of still camera design in a video application.
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Old September 21st, 2008, 06:20 PM   #7
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Here we go

Wow, what a crazy market. Nikon D90, Canon 5D MK2 and now ...

"Panasonic has shown a prototype of an HD video micro Four Thirds camera."

over at DPreview.com:
Panasonic shows HD Micro Four Thirds prototype: Digital Photography Review

Seems everyone is joining the party.

Special about this one: This time actually called "video camera" (with stereo mike and dedicated record button).
Just happy my prognosis 6 weeks ago wasn't too far off. Nikon & Canon surprised me, though.
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Old September 21st, 2008, 08:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
This is true, but a still camera is a still camera and a video camera is a video camera.


Yes... today... but a year from now? I wouldn't gamble on it.
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 08:36 PM   #9
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Panasonic interview about the G1 and future HD version
Photokina Interview Series: Panasonic: Digital Photography Review
(Just incase some of you might not have seen this.)


Here’s an interesting quote:

"The new HD lens has a dedicated system for autofocus in movie video recordings, and the movement of the aperture is totally different for HD lenses; it has to be working continuously. This all takes time to develop. PMA [early March '09] is our target for the HD camera; that's the target anyway...[laughter] We've already displayed a mock up, but we have to exceed the performance and quality of the HD video modes already shown on new DSLR cameras."

The HD version looks very promising.
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Old January 25th, 2009, 08:56 PM   #10
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Has anyone heard anything more about this?
There are a number of articles about Panasonic showing a video capable prototype, complete with pictures.

Panasonic unveils video-capturing Lumix G prototype - Engadget

Panasonic shows HD Micro Four Thirds prototype: Digital Photography Review

As two examples.
One of my disappointments with CES was no furthur announcements from either Olympus or Panasonic about this.
To me micro 4/3 looks like a killer platform that Panasonic could use to build both an interchangable lens camera AND videocam family around.
With a big problem being how it might cannibalize their own current product line.
Or am I off base?
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Old January 25th, 2009, 09:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
It will be interesting to see how the still world will force the hand of the video world.
Yeah, as soon as the video world embraces silent movies and we shooters decide that holding a heavy camera and glass in front of us for long periods of time is far superior to putting a camera with XLR inputs on our shoulders.

I can drive a nail with an adjustable wrench but it really makes more sense to use a hammer doesn't it.
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Old January 26th, 2009, 12:52 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Rick L. Allen View Post
Yeah, as soon as the video world embraces silent movies and we shooters decide that holding a heavy camera and glass in front of us for long periods of time is far superior to putting a camera with XLR inputs on our shoulders.

I can drive a nail with an adjustable wrench but it really makes more sense to use a hammer doesn't it.
So you would rather have an xl-h1 over an hvx-200 or ex-1 because the xl-h1 has a shoulder pad? Bringing a separate audio recorder is something I wouldn't mind living with if could take full manual control of a DSLR while shooting.
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Old January 26th, 2009, 06:53 AM   #13
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I'm keen to see the HD movie camera as well. I'm dreaming of putting one of these in a water housing with something like an 8mm lens. Much easier to find manufacturers for the SLR housings, plus they're cheaper and smaller than say an FX7 with a 0.3x fisheye lens in a custom housing.

I wouldn't want one as a main camera, but as another tool in the kit.
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Old January 26th, 2009, 06:56 AM   #14
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What's interesting with the G1 (probably similar with the video version coming out), is that among the still frame sizes available,1920 x 1080 is one of the "official" sizes (the smallest). I don't know if still image characteristics are shared by the video output, but it could bold well for a good quality downscaling for the 1920 x 1080 video?
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Old January 26th, 2009, 07:15 AM   #15
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I wonder if they will limit the video to 720p. Already they offer this on some their point and shoots, including 24fps on the Lumix LX3. I think 720p @ 24fps is a good balance... converts easily in PAL land, and lets them use their current MJPEG compression at the same bitrate, where as 1080p would require them to implement a whole new format (AVCHD?).
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