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Photo for HD Video (D-SLR and others)
HD from Nikon D90, other still photo cams (except EOS 5D Mk. II, LUMIX GH1).


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Old September 17th, 2008, 12:35 AM   #1
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Canon PowerShot SX1 IS w/HD

PowerShot G10: $500. DIGIC 4, 28mm OIS 5x lens.
RAW mode. 14.7 megapixels and 3.0-inch LCD II screen.
See http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...&modelid=17624

PowerShot SX10 IS: $400. DIGIC 4, 28mm OIS 20x lens.
10 megapixels and 2.5-inch vari-angle LCD screen.
See http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...&modelid=17630

Video modes on these cams are only VGA (640x480) but are now Mpeg4 in .MOV format.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 11:50 AM   #2
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In Europe, there's the PowerShot SX1 IS, seems to be identical to the SX10 IS
but also includes Full HD video... wonder if this one will make it to the U.S.?

See Canon PowerShot SX1 IS Digital Compact Camera - Canon Europe
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Old September 26th, 2008, 01:55 AM   #3
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The Canon SX1 IS uses a 17.5 Mbps H.264 encoding that is about the same, basically, as what they have on their current AVCHD camcorders. Compare that to the H.264 for the Canon 5D Mark II D-SLR, that uses 38.6 Mbps. I'd really be happier if they'd thrown another 5 or 6 Mbps into the SX1 CoDec, considering the availability of 32 GB cards. I see that in the new Vixia HD camcorders they've just announced, they've done that. They will have a 24 Mbps rate, the highest that AVCHD will support. The 4 GB file limit might cramp my style a bit for shooting political speeches-----wouldn't want to miss even a second of that hot air.

Some pro video producers have used advance units of the 5D, such as Michael Reichmann of Luminous Landscape and they seem to be impressed with the HD video quality, especially in low light. It has a full-frame CMOS, about 1.38 inches wide, while the SX1 has a CMOS about .3-inch across. A full-quality 5D video was put online yesterday, but was pulled after hundreds of thousands of hits ran up a download bill of about $50,000. for the host. I didn't get to see it, but have seen another poorly-shot example that wasn't at all impressive. Hopefully we'll get to see more from both cameras soon and determine how well they will match dedicated camcorders. One big issue is the difference in DOF with the large sensor. The much longer DOF in the SX1 would probably make it more suitable for casual shooting, while the 5D would require more precise attention to focusing.

Canon isn't talking (to me, that is, but maybe to you) about the SX1 in the USA. There is speculation that the new CMOS for it is in short supply and this model might be delayed and scarce in all countries. I really like the long-range results I get from its predecessor, the S5 IS, for still shots of wildlife. If the unneeded extra two megapixels they've stuffed into it doesn't degrade the image, I might be wanting to smuggle one of them to the states.

There is no means to attach lens accessories onto the SX1 or SX10. Canon told me they think that 560mm is enough to satisfy anyone and the built-in 2X video telextender and Safety Zoom feature for still pictures, will boost the equivalent FL to 1,120mm. However, I've already worked-out a design for a lens adaptor for it, that I'll make from either aluminum tubing or fiberglass and with a Raynox 2.2X telextender, I could get an FL of 2,464mm. That's 49.3X in equivalent magnification. I and my shoulder-mount would have to make a couple of upward steps in steadiness to use all that.

It's going to be interesting to see how the hardcore video pros around here, will regard this intrusion of a whole new element into their world of high-definition. A lot of the D-SLR photo pros already are expressing displeasure about video coming into their realm. Since the contributors to this forum are almost all D-SLR users, I imagine they'll have some comments to make about this.

Last edited by J. Stephen McDonald; September 26th, 2008 at 04:05 AM.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 03:31 AM   #4
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Problems With D-SLR Video

Now that I've seen several sample videos from both the Canon 5D Mark II and the Nikon D90, I've even more convinced that they won't make the majority of their users happy when they shoot video. Although they sounded great in their specs when announced, their large sensors give them too little DOF to be practical for the subjects I mentioned before, such as sports, wildlife and any other type that has much action. The autofocus function on the lenses they use doesn't seem to be fast and steady enough for video purposes. And of course, the size and cost of lenses that give enough X-power for these subjects would make them limited.

Possibly in the next year, a higher-quality, fixed-lens camera, with about a 2/3-inch sensor, a 2X built-in telextender and a mount for moderately-priced telextenders will appear. The Casio EX-F1 is the closest model to this right now, but probably doesn't have the quality level in either stills or video that would be needed to become too popular with professionals. We'll just have to wait and see what the Sony SX1 will do in video mode, but the inclination of pros to reject fixed-lens cameras, will be a handicap for it. Something that has a sensor, lens and recording format that is about halfway between the SX1 and the two D-SLRs, may be what is needed for the best HD camera video.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 11:07 AM   #5
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What would make their use any different than any of the HD cameras many of us shoot with with a P&S or Letus etc. adapter system? Same DOF and I produce much of my work with them much of it Olympic sports, and wildlife.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 11:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Stephen McDonald View Post
The autofocus function on the lenses they use doesn't seem to be fast and steady enough for video purposes. And of course, the size and cost of lenses that give enough X-power for these subjects would make them limited.
There isn't a pro shooter out there that shoots 35mm DOF, either video or film, and uses autofocus. We all use manual lenses either Cine primes or still primes hat are focused manually. What you are seeing is a bunch of people that don;t know how to focus properly, support their cameras, and for that matter edit out the blurring junk before they post it.

And regarding lens cost - are you kidding??

Have you priced quality HD lenses or cine primes?

The comparative costs in Nikon AIS primes or Canon L series lenses are so much lower.
Same thing with zooms. A 24mm -105mm is enough to shoot a feature film if you know how to shoot. You can get that from Canon with image stabilization for about a grand. I have a full set of the fastest primes that cost less than 3 grand.

It's just the opposite of your post.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 12:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Stephen McDonald View Post
... of lenses that give enough X-power for these subjects...
Sorry but that's not a good choice of terms. "X-power" is simply zoom ratio, and a high zoom ratio does not always equal a very long focal length, and I think you may have meant to imply focal length instead. Conversely, it's very common to have low "x-powers" and still have very long focal length. Case in point: some 35mm still photography and 35mm motion picture cinematography telephoto zoom lenses have only 3x or 4x zoom ratios, and yet are long or very long in focal length, such as a 50-150mm lens or a 70-300mm lens. And two zoom lenses can have the same zoom ratio but offer different focal lengths, such as the 20x lenses on the Canon XH series vs. the stock 20x lens for the Canon XL H series (the XH series lens is not as long as the XL even though both are 20x).

Long story short, the zoom ratio or "x-power" of a zoom lens is no indication of just how long the maximum focal length of that lens really is. You can have a low zoom ratio and a very long lens, and you can have no zoom ratio and a very long prime lens.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 09:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Giberti View Post
There isn't a pro shooter out there that shoots 35mm DOF, either video or film, and uses autofocus. We all use manual lenses either Cine primes or still primes hat are focused manually. What you are seeing is a bunch of people that don;t know how to focus properly, support their cameras, and for that matter edit out the blurring junk before they post it.

And regarding lens cost - are you kidding??

Have you priced quality HD lenses or cine primes?

The comparative costs in Nikon AIS primes or Canon L series lenses are so much lower.
Same thing with zooms. A 24mm -105mm is enough to shoot a feature film if you know how to shoot. You can get that from Canon with image stabilization for about a grand. I have a full set of the fastest primes that cost less than 3 grand.

It's just the opposite of your post.
I'm speaking of the other 90% of the people who might use the video mode of D-SLRs, who aren't high-end pro video shooters. They don't know what you do about videomaking and would be at a loss to try to use these cameras for that purpose, without similar experience. And judging by what I've seen from the samples, no one is going to have an easy time using them for moving subjects. What percentage of their raw footage do you suppose would be usable? For major productions, this wouldn't be such a problem, but for personal and low-end pro purposes, glitch-filled videos wouldn't be acceptable. How could you use them for weddings, when everything from beginning to end, has to be unflawed? Answer: You have someone with a standard camcorder, shooting backup. Do videomakers go out to shoot features about Arctic Wolves with only 105mm? I think that small, HD-shooting cameras like the Sony SX1, will be far more practical for the majority of people, in most situations. And I did recommend a compromise type of camera with an intermediate sensor size and a proportionate increase in focal-length over D-SLRs. All of us are going to have to wait until these various types of cameras with video have been used for awhile and their capabilities proven, before we can make firm judgements.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 09:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Sorry but that's not a good choice of terms. "X-power" is simply zoom ratio, and a high zoom ratio does not always equal a very long focal length, and I think you may have meant to imply focal length instead. Conversely, it's very common to have low "x-powers" and still have very long focal length. Case in point: some 35mm still photography and 35mm motion picture cinematography telephoto zoom lenses have only 3x or 4x zoom ratios, and yet are long or very long in focal length, such as a 50-150mm lens or a 70-300mm lens. And two zoom lenses can have the same zoom ratio but offer different focal lengths, such as the 20x lenses on the Canon XH series vs. the stock 20x lens for the Canon XL H series (the XH series lens is not as long as the XL even though both are 20x).

Long story short, the zoom ratio or "x-power" of a zoom lens is no indication of just how long the maximum focal length of that lens really is. You can have a low zoom ratio and a very long lens, and you can have no zoom ratio and a very long prime lens.
I was thinking I would probably be called for using that term. There needs to be a short term or acronym that specifically means "equivalent magnification effect", that would convey the meaning and would be understood by most people at all levels of experience.
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Old November 14th, 2008, 11:22 AM   #10
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I have the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS. The Focal Length (35mm equivalent) is 28 - 560 mm which I find impressive for a low cost point and shoot still camera. The lens in full telephoto is f/5.7, a bit on the slow side. The 28 mm wide angle has been very handy for me for indoor family shots.



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Old December 24th, 2008, 04:43 AM   #11
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Canon Powershot SX1 IS' 1080/30p Footage, Anyone seen it?

This HD video-capable compact Canon camera has been available in several countries by now with the exception of the U.S. Here in Bangkok it is priced at the very top among all higher-end compact cameras. Whether it's worth that kind of money I couldn't really say. Could any user give some comments on how the footage at 1920x1080/30p looks? I believe the codec is H.264 which is the same as the one used by the 5D Mk2 but at a lower bit rate. Not sure, though, if the file is wrapped in .mov.

It will be great if somebody can just post a few framegrabs.

Thanks
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Old December 24th, 2008, 10:39 PM   #12
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I have a way of getting one in Singapore but haven't decided yet to do it. Hoping there will be a review from Asia soon.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 06:19 AM   #13
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Sx1 is

Wacharapong,

I've had this camera for a couple of days, and being a cinematographer among other things, all this stills stuff is a bit of a mystery to me, but I am very impressed at how this camera nearly compromises the laws of physics but still comes up with very nice results.

In terms of the HD video capability I am still very much experimenting, but am very impressed so far, except of course for the 30 fps, (we use PAL 25fps here) which means everything I have shot so far has a regular jump in it. I'm still looking at ways around it.

I am also still to find the time to read the manual properly in terms of just how "manual" you can go in video mode, but it appears that the amazing optical stabiliser still works in video mode.
I went outside last night and snapped a shot of the moon, hand-held, at 1/15 sec at 560mm (35mm equivalent) and it was clear as a bell, craters and all!
Anyway, hope to post some things soon, feel free to ask questions in the meantime.

You say it costs a lot for a compact camera, but it is incredible value for a full-res HD video camera! Let's see if I can get it to work in final cut pro without the hiccups.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 09:28 AM   #14
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Thanks, Chris. Good to hear it shot nice footage in your initial tests. On paper, it is cheap for its specs but I suspect there could be too many compromises at least in the handling/control department to allow even skilled users to shoot good video.

However, if there are no major image quality issues, a little stuttering due to the nature of 25 fps progressive aside, I would probably give it a try and find ways to get around the handling limitations the same way many members in this forum do with their Canon 5D Mk2.

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Old January 5th, 2009, 09:46 AM   #15
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On another site I got a message from someone in Europe who first bought the SX1 IS. He claimed it was "unusable" indoors under ordinary light. I've only seen one Vimeo posting and it was dark.

He took it back and bought the Casio EX-F1. It does work well in ordinary (200W) room light.

The Canon has three BIG advantages: the OIS lens, 28mm wide, and the flip-out LCD. But, it has no mic jack.

How well does it work in a Tungsten lit room?
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