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Old March 17th, 2013, 07:09 PM   #16
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Re: AC160 to HPX250: I'm Tempted

I'm still under the impression that even with the tweakability, these cams still have root characteristics that can't be overcome, and that if one likes the skin tones on one cam/brand (for instance) one should probably go with that.
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Old March 17th, 2013, 07:29 PM   #17
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Re: AC160 to HPX250: I'm Tempted

But what now are "the skin tones" on one cam/brand? When you now have so much adjustment? There may be slight root characteristics according to make/model but way overwhelmed by the differences that can be dialled in nowadays.

You could have one make/model and get ten different results with different settings that you may swear were from ten different cameras. Take another make/model (in the same price etc range) and get another ten results, do a blind test of the twenty and I'd put a pretty big bet nobody could tell which ten came from which camera.
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Old March 18th, 2013, 09:04 AM   #18
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Re: AC160 to HPX250: I'm Tempted

In my experience, the prosumer cameras have more of a "look" than the more expensive models. When I say look I am referring to the colorimetry as well as a distinctive look of the images.

Sounds esoteric, but it is very much like the sound of a Les Paul Guitar vs a Strat vs a PRS. Sure all of these guitars can play Louie Louie and fit the bill, but they all have an individual sound if you can hear it. I have never met you David, but from your posts, I am sure you would be able to tell differences between camera manufacturers.

After working with the EX-1 for a few years I learned to move its image around to match it with Panasonic cameras like an HPX-500 & HMC-150. I never really liked/loved the image out of the camera. Something about it just looked plasticy or pastey. Anyway, this was a look I could not dial out of the EX-1.

I like the Panasonic look but their colorimetry has a lot of red/magenta in the skin tones which makes everybody look ruddy, especially in tungsten lighting. Without an extensive color matrix you are left to pull it out in post which trends the footage towards green...

The Canon comes very close to the look of a larger broadcast camera. I have found I do not need to "fix" very much in it's look, just enhance.

For the record, I have only demoed the 160 & 250 so I do not know if the cameras colorimetry is the same as the CCD era. It might be different with their CMOS chip.
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Old March 18th, 2013, 12:13 PM   #19
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Re: AC160 to HPX250: I'm Tempted

Tim,

You are of course referring to pre-1959 Les Paul with PAF's and pre-60's strat right? ;-}

Jonathan
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Old March 18th, 2013, 01:38 PM   #20
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Re: AC160 to HPX250: I'm Tempted

Ha, Yep, none of those mass produced modern ones.
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Old March 18th, 2013, 07:05 PM   #21
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Re: AC160 to HPX250: I'm Tempted

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Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
After working with the EX-1 for a few years I learned to move its image around to match it with Panasonic cameras like an HPX-500 & HMC-150. I never really liked/loved the image out of the camera. Something about it just looked plasticy or pastey. Anyway, this was a look I could not dial out of the EX-1.
If I hear the words "plasticy or pastey" in connection with a camera my immediate thoughts go to what I know as "coring" - one of (IMO!) the worst ideas of camera processing ever to be dreamed up. (And I'm going right back to the days of tube broadcast cameras from the 1970's!)

It was (is) a form of processing to reduce camera noise levels, and it does it by suppressing detail enhancement when the edge boundaries are quite subtle. So for a sharp transition between (say) 0.2V and 0.7V, you get enhancement, for a transition between (say) 0.3V and 0.35V, you don't. Yes, it reduces noise levels - but means that whilst you get an outlining effect on high contrast edges, subtle detail isn't enhanced at all. Typically, in an extreme case, a face will look as though a line has been drawn round main features, but the skin is lacking in texture - "puddingy" is best description I've heard. Sound familiar? It was certainly a less attractive feature of cameras like the Z1, when it wasn't adjustable. Sony call the feature "crispening", and there's a paper about it at http://www.sony.co.uk/res/attachment...6605183226.pdf . The diagrams at the bottom right are worth a thousand words

In tube cameras of the 1970's they needed all the help they could get to get the noise down, especially as they tended to be quite soft, and it was common to see detail levels cranked up to try to get back a "sharp" look. Rarely worked, and is exactly what gave "video look" it's worst name.

Now, it's different. At least with a full 1920x1080 camera detail enhancement is not what's needed, and if a camera is intrinsically sharp, it can be run with little if any enhancement without looking soft. That is good in several ways at the same time - even with a high coring level, the difference between the high and low contrast detail enhancement will be less, and less overall detail enhancement means less noise, so less need for coring - win, win.

If you get the chance, try turning the "crispening" level on an EX1 well down. The range is from -99 to +99 with a default "out of the box setting" of zero - and it's worth noting Alan Roberts recommends -45 in his BBC paper on the EX1. I'd also say to turn down the level of detail (Alan recommends -5, maybe less), for something approaching a more film look.
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Old March 18th, 2013, 09:09 PM   #22
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Re: AC160 to HPX250: I'm Tempted

I haven't gotten to play with an HD panasonic extensively, on the rare occasions I've used 'em I either go with a "safe" menu setting or client has specific settings. . .that's too bad if they have a new look compared to CCD-era stuff. I always thought panas ran "bluer" than other cams, NOT ruddier.
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Old March 19th, 2013, 03:52 AM   #23
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Re: AC160 to HPX250: I'm Tempted

I would agree that detail of -4 as per Alan's documents suits my HPX371 camera's, I would also say that I have never found any of the panasonic camera's I have used to be be red-er, they tend to be quite green biased if anything but it is all down to taste and I personally prefer the look as it is very filmic.
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Old March 19th, 2013, 05:19 AM   #24
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Re: AC160 to HPX250: I'm Tempted

maybe i meant green instead of blue. that sounds more in line with what ive always heard about the Panas. ditto the "filmic"" look.
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Old March 19th, 2013, 06:18 AM   #25
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Re: AC160 to HPX250: I'm Tempted

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Originally Posted by Josh Bass View Post
maybe i meant green instead of blue. that sounds more in line with what ive always heard about the Panas. ditto the "filmic"" look.
I think in comparison to Sony's they look green but there again Sony's now look too red to me so it's swings and roundabouts.

What I do like is all the BBC footage that is on most of their major nature programmes shot on panasonic camera's and all the drama work and outside shooting I have done on my HPX371 just looks really nice in 25p.
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Old March 20th, 2013, 08:41 PM   #26
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Re: AC160 to HPX250: I'm Tempted

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Polster
I like the Panasonic look but their colorimetry has a lot of red/magenta in the skin tones which makes everybody look ruddy, especially in tungsten lighting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bass View Post
maybe i meant green instead of blue. that sounds more in line with what ive always heard about the Panas. ditto the "filmic"" look.
There sounds to be a little debate over even what "the Panasonic look" is.... :-)

One thing that's important to get right is that a simple "green look" is easily corrected for. It can be done in post, or such may be a very simple camera tweak. But colourimetry is far more than just a red/green/blue shift, it's the job of the matrix to take in the R,G,B signals from the chips and derive output signals by (hardly surprisingly!) matrixing. So the red output is derived from all of the red, green, blue chip signals - sometimes by taking negative values. In such a case, if cameras have two different matrices, then you'll never be able to match them precisely - compared to the original scene, camera A may make one colour look redder than camera B - whilst making another colour look greener.

But whilst these factors may be significant in high end cameras, it's much less so in the cameras we're talking about here. You may never be able to get a (say) HPX250 to precisely match a PMW200, but to someone who knows what they're doing, it's now possible to get them pretty close. An order of magnitude more so than was ever possible in the DVX100/PD150 days.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Nattrass
What I do like is all the BBC footage that is on most of their major nature programmes shot on panasonic camera's ........
I'm sure I heard a report recently which said that on the most recent NHU productions, the post was having to deal with something like 20 or 30 different shooting formats!?! Which ranged from Go-Pro and DSLR timelapse right through to Arri Alexa and Red. (I think nowadays the Panasonic cameras are in a minority, mainly for Varispeed effects? With the future seen very much as 4k for acquisition.)

So the point is that when you see their output, can you really instantly tell which camera has which "look"? I don't think I can. I was recently convinced something I was watching had been shot on a Red - but heard definitively it was an Alexa. Well, it looked very good anyway! :-)
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Old March 21st, 2013, 09:32 AM   #27
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Re: AC160 to HPX250: I'm Tempted

It does go round and round to peoples' taste. To me, the Sony's skin tones have a pink tint. The Panasonics have a really nice skin tone after the red/magenta is pulled out. The Canon tends to favor red but has been corrected in the color matrix to be very true to real life.

I go for real world colors, true to the existing color. This is not a film approach but more of a live event approach. So it is not that important to everybody.
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Old March 21st, 2013, 10:03 AM   #28
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Re: AC160 to HPX250: I'm Tempted

My HPX171 definitely has an abundance of red in the image. One of the first things that I do when grading is removing the red. And it's not present only in the skin tones - it's present more or less in the whole picture.

@OP: another consideration I would personally make if buying a new 1/3 camera is it's gammas selection. The PMW200 has it's bigger brothers hyper-gammas. This is almost like a LOG gamma and is what's missing the most (at least for me) in the "all in one" handheld cameras. I read Alisters Chapmans blog about the PMW200 and I think he said that it has a little over 11 stops of DR . I don't know if this is when using hyper-gamma or a normal rec709 gamma. But anyway the hyper-gamma should give you a nicer highlight roll-of and highlight handling in general then all the other 1/3 cameras.
Though, I have just heard that the highlight on the HPX250 are very close to the varicams.
If I wasn't invested already in P2 gear and was in the market for a handheld I would almost certainly buy the PMW200.
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Old March 21st, 2013, 10:15 AM   #29
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Re: AC160 to HPX250: I'm Tempted

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
It was (is) a form of processing to reduce camera noise levels, and it does it by suppressing detail enhancement when the edge boundaries are quite subtle. So for a sharp transition between (say) 0.2V and 0.7V, you get enhancement, for a transition between (say) 0.3V and 0.35V, you don't. Yes, it reduces noise levels - but means that whilst you get an outlining effect on high contrast edges, subtle detail isn't enhanced at all. Typically, in an extreme case, a face will look as though a line has been drawn round main features, but the skin is lacking in texture - "puddingy" is best description I've heard. Sound familiar? It was certainly a less attractive feature of cameras like the Z1, when it wasn't adjustable. Sony call the feature "crispening", and there's a paper about it at http://www.sony.co.uk/res/attachment...6605183226.pdf . The diagrams at the bottom right are worth a thousand words
Very nice David! I didn't know that crispening/coring can do that. What would you recommend for the HPX171?
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Old March 21st, 2013, 02:29 PM   #30
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Re: AC160 to HPX250: I'm Tempted

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Originally Posted by Sanjin Svajger View Post
Very nice David! I didn't know that crispening/coring can do that. What would you recommend for the HPX171?
Probably selling it and getting a PMW200...... (Sorry Sanjin, couldn't resist it.... :-) )

Seriously, I don't like crispening/coring (don't know what Panasonic call it), end of story. Hence I'd say wind it down very low. It's a very badly understood control, and tends to just be thought of a noise reducer. (Which it is - but the trade off is little understood.) Yes, winding it down will increase the noise, but it may mean you don't get the "puddingy" face effect (which I strongly suspect is what Tim was experiencing with his EX1) and can use less overall detail enhancement - which may put the overall noise level back to square one whilst giving a better balance between the subtle and high contrast detail. My feeling is that it's the lack of subtle detail, but outlining of high contrast edges that most screams "video!" - and that's most likely to be too much coring and too much detail.

But joking apart, that's far easier done with a "full HD" camera (1920x1080 chipset) than an HPX171. The latter has 960x540 chips, and nowadays, with bigger and "full HD" screens it needs all the help it can get to avoid just looking soft. I've seen an HVX200 directly compared to an EX1 on a good TV, and whilst the HVX200 didn't look too bad in isolation, it was night and day when compared directly. Wind the detail out and it just looked soft, wind it in and it started to look edgy - and noisy. You wanted to adjust it one way for one reason, but the other way for a different reason. Yet with a camera with a 1920x1080 chipset, there's so much resolution there in the first place, you can take the overall detail right down. That keeps the noise down, coring becomes unnecessary, so no "plastic" faces, and you end up with no edginess - but the picture not going soft.
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