Casio EX-F1 after CES -- part 1 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > High Definition Video Acquisition > Photo for HD Video (D-SLR and others)

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 21st, 2009, 01:33 AM   #1
HDV Cinema
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 4,007
Casio EX-F1 after CES -- part 1

1) It seems the full 6MP is read-out at 60Hz. For burst photos -- stills of any size can be captured at 60/sec. For HD video, a 16:9 area if the 6MP is used which is about 4.5MP. After de-bayering, the luma rez should be about 1.5MP. This is mid-way between FullHD (2MP) and 720p (1MP). This area is then scaled-down to either 1920x1080 or 1280x720. For 720p, alternate read-outs are discarded.) For 1080i, alternate read-outs become odd- and even-lines. (In this case, half the lines are discarded.) At any point, an any size photo can be obtained from a read-out.)

720p30 is H.264/AVC encoded at 8Mbps. (This is very good as the MPEG-2 ATSC data rate for 720p60 is 18Mbps hence 720p30 needs only 9Mbps. Assuming H.264 is 2X more efficient, AVC should only need 4Mbps. Reality suggests it really should be 8Mbps.)

1080i60 is H.264/AVC encoded at 14Mbps. (This is very good as the MPEG-2 ATSC data rate for 1440x1080i60 is 18Mbps hence 1920x1080i60 needs 24Mps. Assuming H.264 is 2X more efficient, AVC should only need 12Mbps. Reality suggests it really should be 24Mbps.)

Clearly, 720p is far less compressed than 1080i60.

Looking at this video on a FullHD 65" HDTV from about 9' -- via a 1920x1080i60 HDMI connection -- I see no resolution difference between 1080i and 720p. The difference is the motion judder (strobing) from 30p. So, the way to look at 60i is not that it offers increased spatial resolution. Rather, it offers increased temporal resolution. (Of course, if you want more of a film-look -- then 30p is perfect.)

Although the F1 offers IS -- you really need to use a monopod or tripod if you shoot 720p30.

2) Before the shutter-button is pressed half-way, the exposure system is in View AE PROGRAM mode which seeks to provide you with a "good" pix for framing. When you press half-way, the AE system switches to the Photo AE PROGRAM. If you LOCK Photo PROGRAM values and then start recording video -- the camera must switch to Video AE PROGRAM mode. While the Photo mode can use a huge range of shutter-speeds, video is limited to about 1/30th to 1/125th.

Sometimes the camera fails to make the switch -- resulting in an incorrect (over- or under-exposed movie). Is this a bug? It does seem obvious to press the shutter-button half-way to get focus and exposure. However, reading the manual, it never says to press the shutter-button half-way. (In fact, it never says anything about using the LOCK button either.) Hmm.

I've found these options to work assuming Continuous AF is enabled:

A) Simply press Record. AE and AF remain active during shooting just like any camcorder.

B) Manually focus and press Record. AE remains active during shooting.

C) Adjust exposure (EV) and press Record. AF remains active during shooting.

D) Manually focus and adjust exposure (EV) and then press Record. Both AE and AF are locked -- unless you zoom.

In low-light, or if the subject is not large and/or centered, after centering the subject, I press the shutter-button halfway until the box turns green. Now I reframe.

Assuming I have pressed the LOCK button twice (On then Off) after powering-up, I can press the LOCK button to save the AE and AF values. (90% of the time, the exposure will be correct. Alternately, I can release the shutter-button and quickly press the LOCK button. Now, exposure will always be correct.)

3) The Sony EXMOR CMOS sensor is large -- bigger than 1/2" (.55) -- so low light performance is good as long as there: is about 200W of light OR anything not well lit is very dark. In living-rooms and kitchens I have no problem. In a dark resturant or bar -- noise is too high.

4) AWB and all the WB settings are very accurate.

5) Picture Quality: Looks more like Panasonic Varicam/HVX200 than Sony HDCAM/XDCAM EX. In other words -- "soft" rather than "hard." Threfore, at 720p30 with Dynamic Range at "0" and Contrast at +1 (high-contrast situation) or +2 (low contrast situation) and Saturation at +1 (high-contrast situation) or +2 (low contrast situation) and with exposure dialed down so whites peak at 80/90IRE rather than 100/108IRE -- you can get a kind of "film look."

If you aren't into this look: use 1080i60 with Dynamic Range at "1" and Contrast at 0 (high-contrast situation) or +1 (low contrast situation) and Saturation at 0 (high-contrast situation) or +1 (low contrast situation) with exposure peaking at 100/108IRE.

Bottom-line: on a 65" HDTV there is no real difference between photos and videos. For those of us who used to shoot 35mm "slides" -- the fact that motion pictures (which used to be 8mm, Super8 or 16mm) don't look worse than still pictures is a real positive. Equally positive, a single camera can shoot photos that have the same quality as HD video.

Other positives: pre-record video buffer; 300fps slo-mo SD video; up to 1200fps photos; limited time-lapse; burst strobe at 7fps 6MP stills; 60fps 6MP stills; stereo mic jack (but no earphone jack); physical exposure control; manual focus lens ring; LCD and VF; nice size; looks like a D-SLR; 1.5# which is really the minimum to feel right.

But note: this is not a run-and-gun camcorder. It's for situations where you can compose )lock Down) each shot.
__________________
Switcher's Quick Guide to the Avid Media Composer >>> http://home.mindspring.com/~d-v-c

Last edited by Steve Mullen; January 21st, 2009 at 03:19 PM.
Steve Mullen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 21st, 2009, 03:09 PM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 43
Casio F1

Thanks for the info Steve. Some other settings I have found helpful:

To enable the F1 to remember settings after turning the camera off/on, set the CS Dial to Bracketing (BKT), Mode Dial to BS and choose Night Scene. Now the camera will remember changes made when you turn off/on. I have found Night Scene, Soft flowing Water, Night Scene Portrait and Fireworks all remember their setting when the camera is turned off/on and the CS Dial is set to BKT. So now I can have 5 different presets.

Also I have been getting very good indoor footage by using Tiffen filters. 62 warm soft FX1 or FX2 are perfect for interviews.
Daniel Thornton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 21st, 2009, 11:19 PM   #3
HDV Cinema
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 4,007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Thornton View Post
To enable the F1 to remember settings after turning the camera off/on, set the CS Dial to Bracketing (BKT), Mode Dial to BS and choose Night Scene. Now the camera will remember changes made when you turn off/on. I have found Night Scene, Soft flowing Water, Night Scene Portrait and Fireworks all remember their setting when the camera is turned off/on and the CS Dial is set to BKT. So now I can have 5 different presets.
1) What role does BKT play is shooting video?

2) Are you sure BS modes really alter AE operation in any way? When shooting video -- the F1 uses a Movie mode program. I don't think BS can over-ride this. I get great night video. That's because video mode automatically limits gain.

3) I think BS, when shooting video only alters SETUP modes: Saturation, Sharpness, Contrast, IS.

4) Night Scene and Fireworks turn off IS.

5) Soft flowing Water turns down sharpness which reduces detail. Do you want softer video?
__________________
Switcher's Quick Guide to the Avid Media Composer >>> http://home.mindspring.com/~d-v-c
Steve Mullen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 22nd, 2009, 12:17 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 43
Casio F1

I agree , Steve, that the F1 is not a run and gun camera. I always use a tripod. Every time I shoot hand held with the F1, I do not like the looks of the video.

I believe that the F1 automatically goes into Movie mode program when I use BS modes. I have tested it both ways. I get good results using both Auto mode and BS mode.

Most of my video is under lights indoors. The F1 settings I use that give me the most pleasing look (think glamour photography) are Dynamic Range 0( if I increase this it increases the noise), Sharpness 0, Saturation - +1, Contrast -2( this opens the shadows on the dark side of the face). Also I use Tiffen filters to soften and smooth all facial blemishes.

I always enjoy your reviews and I learn a little more each time.
Daniel Thornton is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > High Definition Video Acquisition > Photo for HD Video (D-SLR and others)

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:12 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network