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Interchangeable lens AVCHD camcorders using E-Mount lenses.


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Old July 20th, 2010, 01:52 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by Greg Laves View Post
The APS sensor is HUGE compared to a 1/3" chip. I thought I saw something that said it is 15x larger. That is a lot of difference.
If we call it 16x, that is how much bigger it is in area terms - it will be something like 4x as big in terms of diameter. For dof purposes, there is an equivalence change of 2 stops for every doubling of chip dimensions, so in this case the difference will be slightly under 4 stops.

Hence, if you are using f1.4 on a 1/3" camera, the dof will be equivalent to slightly wider than f5.6 in this case and that's why I said dof on this camera with the stock f3.5-6.3 lens will be comparable to a 1/3" camera, presuming the latter to have a faster lens, typically f1.8, say.

OK, if you're using this new camera such that you can use f3.5 it will be shallower for dof than any 1/3" camera (unless you get a f1.0 lens!), and maybe f1.8 is more typical for most 1/3" cameras - that gives an equivalence of around f6.3.

Obviously if you can get a fast lens for this camera it will give vastly shallower dof, but an f1.8, 18-200mm lens for this is going to be very heavy, very big, and very expensive!

Most important is that in all the comparisons above, the same angle of view is assumed. Hence, in the case of the bigger chip, the comparisons assume a focal length four times bigger than in the case of the smaller chip.

Last edited by David Heath; July 20th, 2010 at 04:55 PM. Reason: Adding last paragraph clarification after reading Boris post
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Old July 20th, 2010, 02:49 PM   #137
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It seems like now I am leaning more towards the Sony AX-2000. I mean, it records in 1920x1080 with option for 24p. I love the film look. and the only it lacks from the VG10 is the interchangeable lenses. Compared to the HDV format that the FX1000 carries, it would be foolish NOT to spend 300 bucks more on the AX2000. With certain specs being the same between the VG10 and AX2000, what exactly is the "wow" factor with the new VG10 then? Because at this point there seems to be more of a "ugh" factor from most Pro Users on this Forum.
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Old July 20th, 2010, 03:46 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
If we call it 16x, that is how much bigger it is in area terms - it will be something like 4x as big in terms of diameter. For dof purposes, there is an equivalence change of 2 stops for every doubling of chip dimensions, so in this case the difference will be slightly under 4 stops.

Hence, if you are using f1.4 on a 1/3" camera, the dof will be equivalent to slightly wider than f5.6 in this case and that's why I said dof on this camera with the stock f3.5-6.3 lens will be comparable to a 1/3" camera, presuming the latter to have a faster lens, typically f1.8, say.

OK, if you're using this new camera such that you can use f3.5 it will be shallower for dof than any 1/3" camera (unless you get a f1.0 lens!), and maybe f1.8 is more typical for most 1/3" cameras - that gives an equivalence of around f6.3.

Obviously if you can get a fast lens for this camera it will give vastly shallower dof, but an f1.8, 18-200mm lens for this is going to be very heavy, very big, and very expensive!

I know this theory, but from my experience that doesn't actually work like that. Even if you open an iris 2stops you would still not get the same dof from the same distance for same composition. Try and see.
I will try and explain: lets take an SLR for example:
a 50mm lens will have a certain perspective to it. Now you put this lens on a 1.5 APSc sensor -
the lens is effectively 80mm, but from a perspective point of view it is still 50mm with center crop.
The apparent distance relations in the frame will maintain the 50mm lens perspective.
If you take a 2/3 lens it is very easy to blur the background half the way through the zoom range,
it is virtually impossible to do so with a 1/3 camera. Certain image characteristics just cant be matched
only by changing the iris. All those lenses have different angles of view or what's it called,
so as 6x13 on 2/3 will probably be 2x13 on 1/3 lens. I am not good in math so don't judge me for that.
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Old July 20th, 2010, 04:52 PM   #139
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Ah - Boris, you've made me realise that everything I wrote before is assuming that in all cases compared we are talking about the same angle of view. I'll go back and add that qualification.

What that means is that if we start with a 20mm focal length on a 2/3" camera, to get the same angle of view on 1/3" chips the focal length must be 10mm. If the aperture is f4 in each case, there will be greater dof for the 1/3" camera. If we wish to have the same dof, the aperture on the 1/3" camera must be two stops more open - f2.
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Old July 20th, 2010, 05:29 PM   #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boris Barel View Post
but from a perspective point of view it is still 50mm with center crop.
Agreed. Since perspective depends solely on subject distance, it doesn't matter what lens or camera you use -- perspective will always stay the same until you or the subject actually move.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boris Barel View Post
I know this theory, but from my experience that doesn't actually work like that.
Actually, it does. But I think your position only seems to be in conflict with David's because you are thinking of a different method of scaling for sensor size. Here are the three different methods to compare sensor sizes:
  • Keep focal length and perspective the same, then vary angle of view with sensor size.
  • Keep focal length and field of view the same, then vary perspective with sensor size.
  • Keep angle of view and perspective the same, then vary focal length with sensor size.

The first method is interesting to explore in a discussion, but in practical reality, no one ever does this. (For example, no one says, "I'm using 1/3", therefore I must always shoot extreme closeups whether I want to or not. I upgrade to 35mm then I'll finally be able to zoom out enough to shoot my first headshot." In reality, we choose the appropriate focal length for the camera depending on whether it's an ECU, headshot, or wide-angle.)

The second method is only possible some of the time, but it downplays the vital role of perspective in composition. (For example, if you have 14mm lens on 1/3" and 35mm and have full control over distance, then it's possible to get the same field of view -- but only with exteremely exaggerated perspective, which always makes the shots unequal and often ruins the aesthetic too).

The third method is the one that David was actually using. It's really really the only sensible way to compare different sensor sizes. Of course, since DOF and so many other things are inexorably linked to specific characteristics of the lens itself, it removes the possibility to keep all those factors constant between comparisons of different sensor sizes. This problem can be somewhat negated by taking care to compare lenses of generally similar design (ideally finding lenses with MTF plots where the overall shape is generally similar after spatial frequency is scaled for the linear size difference). Still, I generally consider it less important than the factors more vital and fundamental to composition: angle of view and perspective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boris Barel View Post
a 50mm lens will have a certain perspective to it. Now you put this lens on a 1.5 APSc sensor - the lens is effectively 80mm,
I think what you mean to say is that the "35mm equivalent focal length" is 80mm, right? As I think you know, the lens effective focal length is always 50mm, no matter what the sensor it's used on. A 50mm lens on a 1.5X APS-C has an angle of view equivalent to an 80mm lens on FF35.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boris Barel View Post
If you take a 2/3 lens it is very easy to blur the background half the way through the zoom range,
it is virtually impossible to do so with a 1/3 camera. Certain image characteristics just cant be matched
only by changing the iris.
Right -- one must change both the focal length and the iris, not just iris alone, like this example:
  • 1/3": 4.8x2.7mm sensor, 4.8-48mm f/1.4-2.8
  • 2/3": 9.6x5.4mm sensor, 9.6-96mm f/2.8-5.6

The 1/3" at 48mm f/2.8 focused at 10 feet has the exact same angle of view, perspective, and depth of field as the 2/3" at 96mm f/5.6 at 10 feet. (Since 2/3" lenses are often much faster than f/5.6, they can have much thinner DOF.)

In other words, when you keep perspective and angle of view the constant, then DOF will be the same if you scale f-number with sensor size.
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Old July 20th, 2010, 05:48 PM   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristian Roque View Post
It seems like now I am leaning more towards the Sony AX-2000. I mean, it records in 1920x1080 with option for 24p. I love the film look. and the only it lacks from the VG10 is the interchangeable lenses. Compared to the HDV format that the FX1000 carries, it would be foolish NOT to spend 300 bucks more on the AX2000. With certain specs being the same between the VG10 and AX2000, what exactly is the "wow" factor with the new VG10 then? Because at this point there seems to be more of a "ugh" factor from most Pro Users on this Forum.
You seem to be looking for the "best" camera.
The bad news is, there is no "best " camera ;-)
Every camera on the market fits some customer's profile of what best suits their needs.
So, the issue is to figure out exactly what your requirements are for the kind of work you'll be doing, even getting down to the basics like what size camera is optimal for you (travelling a lot- small is good, studio work- the sky's the limit).
Anyway, you need to sort out your specific requirements and work backwards towards the camera that fills all the blanks. If you're not 100% sure what you want- like for framerate- go for the camera that gives you the choices.
Regarding the VG10, nobody quite knows what to make of it because nobody has actually seen one yet.
BTW, the AX2000 looks like a very feature rich cam that should cover the bases for most any sort of project. It's got 1/3" chips, but they can do a very competant job. The low light specs look good. How can you miss, if you don't mind the 5 lb weight?
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Last edited by Robert Young; July 20th, 2010 at 06:52 PM.
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Old July 20th, 2010, 06:45 PM   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Browning View Post
...The 1/3" at 48mm f/2.8 focused at 10 feet has the exact same angle of view, perspective, and depth of field as the 2/3" at 96mm f/5.6 at 10 feet. (Since 2/3" lenses are often much faster than f/5.6, they can have much thinner DOF.)

In other words, when you keep perspective and angle of view the constant, then DOF will be the same if you scale f-number with sensor size.
One thing that's cool about this is that the absolute aperture size is the same in both cases. A 48mm at f/2.8 has an aperture with a diameter of 17.1mm (48mm/2.8.) A 96mm lens set for f/5.6 has the same 17.1mm aperture diameter.

So, if you stand the same distance from your subject, frame the image the same, and keep the absolute aperture diameter the same, you will get the same DOF, regardless of sensor size.

Of course, with small sensors, to match what a full frame 35mm sensor can do, you quickly find that your lens spec has a ridiculous aperture. For instance, you can get a 50mm f/1.2 lens for a FF body. To match that performance with a sensor of 1/6 the size would require an 8mm f/0.2 lens. You won't find that in a Cracker Jack box!
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Old July 21st, 2010, 11:51 AM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Young View Post
You seem to be looking for the "best" camera.
The bad news is, there is no "best " camera ;-)
Every camera on the market fits some customer's profile of what best suits their needs.
So, the issue is to figure out exactly what your requirements are for the kind of work you'll be doing, even getting down to the basics like what size camera is optimal for you (travelling a lot- small is good, studio work- the sky's the limit).
Anyway, you need to sort out your specific requirements and work backwards towards the camera that fills all the blanks. If you're not 100% sure what you want- like for framerate- go for the camera that gives you the choices.
Regarding the VG10, nobody quite knows what to make of it because nobody has actually seen one yet.
BTW, the AX2000 looks like a very feature rich cam that should cover the bases for most any sort of project. It's got 1/3" chips, but they can do a very competant job. The low light specs look good. How can you miss, if you don't mind the 5 lb weight?
Thanks again Robert, we are just in the market for a camera that shoots full HD. Alot of cameras offer it but not in "real" Full HD. Thats the turn off with the Sony FX2000. I cannot find myself spending more money on a camera that only shoots 1440x1080. The more I read posts on this particular thread I am realizing that the VG10 may not be for us. But I must say that this thread has been EXTREMELY helpful and appreciate all the replies. I am curious where Sony is going from here though. Here is crossing our fingers for a Pro model of the VG10.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 12:17 PM   #144
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Old July 21st, 2010, 02:14 PM   #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristian Roque View Post
Alot of cameras offer it but not in "real" Full HD. Thats the turn off with the Sony FX2000. I cannot find myself spending more money on a camera that only shoots 1440x1080.
The FX1000 is HDV 1440x1080i which is anamorphic( non square pixels= 1920x1080 square pixels) and full HD on playback, the AX2000 is 1920x1080 AVCHD at max data rate and anamorphic 1440x1080 at lower data rates and all full HD. Depends what you mean by full HD.

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Old July 21st, 2010, 02:38 PM   #146
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I don't think the average human eye can detect any difference between
1440 anamorphic and 1920 square at normal viewing distance. It's pretty
much a non-issue. As Ron says, it's all Full HD as long as it's 1080 tall.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 02:51 PM   #147
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I guess what I tried to say was that in real world conditions it is VERY hard to compensate for smaller
sensors by adjusting all the other factors. I am not saying that smaller sensors are less capable, they are
just more suitable for certain stuff. You don't often see pro photographers shooting with compacts for a reason. Most common way to compensate for greater dof is by going futher away and zooming in more
for the same shot size, but what happens in this case is that the whole frame gets compressed and as such
has a different feel to it, but yes, the background is blurred.
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P.S Sorry, this post probably does not suit the topic too much.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 03:32 PM   #148
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I must say that the more I look at the potential of this camera, the more I like it. I scoffed at first glance.
I haven't made the DSLR jump yet, but for a light weight, dual use camera for stills and video, this might do the trick. I certianly would have to budget a little extra for a Beachtek for Juicedlink audio preamp. But I could use this for personal and professional use.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 03:40 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by Boris Barel View Post
Most common way to compensate for greater dof is by going futher away and zooming in more for the same shot size, .........
I know what you're saying, but there are many occasions when that is not possible - an interview in a small office, for example. And as you say, it may give a more blurred background, but completely change the perspective - the foreground may be the same size of shot but you'll see far less angle of view of the background.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 04:13 PM   #150
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Kristian:

As Chris and others have pointed out (while I was trying to type this up), the difference between "1440" HDV and "1920" AVCHD is basically only pixel shape. Picture definition pretty much looks the same to viewers. There are or can be other advantages to 24 Mbps AVCHD but the pixel shape is not the one to be concerned about.

Also, most of the current versions of NLEs such as PPro do not seem to have any trouble using both 1440 HDV and 1920 AVCHD on the same timeline. There are other considerations in choosing between an FX1000, AX2000 and whatever the shipping version of the VG10 turns out to be.

I agree with Robert about the "best camera" questions. The question has to be more specific than "best camera." The question is really best for whom to do what within a budget of how much?

In a previous post, I suggested some reasons why, for shooting longer duration events, you would probably prefer the AX2000 over both the FX1000 or VG10. Here's some additional things that would factor into my deciding between these cameras.

Will your new "full HD" cam be the only camera you will be using or, instead, will you be using it with others for, say, multi-cam shoots of weddings? This matters to me because I already have other HDV or AVCHD cameras for "b-roll" (such as CX550s). I find it pretty easy to mix and match their footage with an NX5/AX2000. I think it would be more work with a VG10 to get color matching. Perhaps more importantly, as Ron pointed out above in describing some concert footage he had seen, it may be problematic combining 30p footage from the VG10 with the 30i footage from your other cameras. Some of us find the motion differences annoying or jarring. For other folks, the difference might not even register. My problem is that I don't know which of my customers will turn out to be folks who would be oblivious and which customers would be annoyed.

Now, if the VG10 were my only only HD camera (or the first of several), this kind matching/ workflow issue would not come up. (I might still find 30p annoying with high motion footage, but I would not be looking at the contrasting motion depictions.)

How much and what kind of handheld shooting will you be doing? The AX2000 is definitely heftier than the VG10 but the extra size is not enough to make any real difference to me. On the one hand, for traveling or doing things like riding a mountain bike, the VG 10 would not be small enough for me. (My personal preference for these things is the much smaller CX550.) On the other hand, for paid gigs, I do not do enough long-duration handheld shooting for the smaller size of the VG 10 to matter much to me. I do find that an NX5/AX2000 is much easier for me than an FX1000 with a bunch of stuff hanging on it. For instance, I do some handheld shooting at wedding receptions. That is mostly getting guest interviews to make what we call a "video reception line". The shooting is short clips rather than continuous handheld shooting for long periods of time. I also like using a shotgun mike when doing this because the interviewee can hold the mike close and this greatly reduces the amount of noise I get from the room.

Before I got my NX5, I was using an FX1000 (and several other cameras before that) which I equipped with with an XLR adapter and a mike bracket plus I also had an MRC tapeless recording unit (with its battery) sitting in the shoe mount. This array was heavy, was awkwardly balanced, and the XLR connections or controls stuck into my hand when using the hand-hold strap. The NX5/AX2000 don't need the extra stuff and it has the quick release holder for the shotgun mike which makes the mike easy to hand a mike to the guest and then remount.

The VG10 seems like it would be about halfway in between -- lighter but still cumbersome. Part of the cumbersomeness will be in working with external mikes. While the VG10 has a very interesting on-board mike set-up, I'm sure that set-up would have trouble screening out the room chatter and noise typical of the wedding receptions I shoot. So, with a VG 10, I would still need to add a mike bracket and an XLR adapter. If were also hauling lenses along with me, it might not be as convenient as it first seemed. Now, if Sony does eventually make a "pro" version of the VG10, it will probably have a shoe mounted bracket/XLR adapter like the one that came with the HVR-A1U, which would clean it up somewhat. But, if past Sony pricing holds to pattern, the pro-set-up with the XLR box/mike holder and lenses, would likely be in a price range close to that of the AX2000. So, for me, I don't see the smaller size of the VG10 as mattering very much to me.

Speaking of that, how much would you want to work with interchangeable lenses? Some of us DVinfo participants really want and like this capability. For others (myself included), this capability would mostly get in the way and go largely unused.

Finally, a few posts back you asked about SDHC cards. I'm using 16gb Transcend SDHC cards (class 6, I think) with my NX5. (I've also got an FMU unit back when there was a hugh rebate on them, but the AX2000 is not set up to use them,) When I got the 16gb SDHC cards, it was cheaper to buy a certain number of 16gb cards than half that many 32 gb cards. Using these lesser capacity cards is not a big deal with NX5/AX2000 because of the ability to relay record. (That is, you fill up the A card and the camera immediately switches to record on the B card, which allows you to swap out the A card so that, when the B card fills up, the camera automatically switches back to the new (empty) card in the A slot.) On the other hand, the VG10 has only one card slot. That means you would need higher capacity SDHC cards for recording events whose segments run more than 85 minutes. Some people would not bat an eye at this. Some folks are paranoid about using larger capacity cards --- its the "having all the eggs in one basket" problem. Its a personal choice.
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