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Old July 28th, 2013, 01:38 PM   #1
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VG30 moire

Any vg30 owners here? I was planning to replace my 550d for a camera to be fixed on my steadicam (a blackbird) and have been looking around at several options, the vg30 is one of them. I can get a new one now for a sharp price (body only) but I have been concerned about moire that the camera produces, I saw a video some time ago where the moire seemed quite prominent, worse as on my ea50. Not sure what to think of it and if there are other factors at play which might have amplified the problem (maybe wrong project/render settings or whatever)

Is there anyone here that happens to own a vg30 and nex-ea50 so there would be a better reference point, I particularly interested if it's (much) worse compared to the ea50.
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Old July 29th, 2013, 02:23 PM   #2
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Re: VG30 moire

Hi Noa,

Due to the problems that I have had with my EA50 (that you know about), I have been forced to shoot my last two jobs with the VG30. As far as the shooting was concerned, I much preferred using this camera to the EA50. Obviously it is lighter and I found it to be more functional when shooting a wedding. I also felt it worked better with the kit lens than the EA50. I will be completing the edit this week and will let you know what Moire problems I may or may not encounter. If they are few, I will be using this for all weddings no matter what happens with the EA50. I did shoot a short film back in March with the VG30 and found there to be one incident of Moire that only showed up on the DVD but not the Blu-ray or MP4. Moire aside, I am pretty sure you would love the way this camera handles though.
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Old July 29th, 2013, 02:34 PM   #3
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Re: VG30 moire

ah, I just send you a pm as I thought you wouldn't see this question so you can disregard the pm :) (I value your opinion since you do have a vg30 and a ea50 so you have first hand experience.)
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Old July 29th, 2013, 03:28 PM   #4
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Re: VG30 moire

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Hollingsworth View Post
Moire aside, I am pretty sure you would love the way this camera handles though.
That I don't doubt, I really like my ea50, it's not always an easy camera to handle in run and gun but overall I"m very pleased with what the camera outputs and the possibilities it has. Moire is not such a big issue as on my 550d but aliasing is and the way the camera resolves very fine detail. The vg30 should be even easier to handle as it is much lighter but I fear it will suffer the same issues.

I shot a church video some time ago and did some testing as well between my ea50 and my cx730, all the way at the back of the church there was stained glass with lots of fine detail, my cx730 showed that detail but with my ea50 it was just not able to show it as you couldn't see the small separate lines in the glass, if I panned the camera the fine detail started to jitter (don't know the exact word for it) and it didn't look good at all.

Easy handling is important but I"d like the camera to perform and which is why I was looking at the panasonic gh3 as well.

Basically compared to my 550d I wan't better low light performance, less moire and aliasing, 50p and a sharper image (more resolution)

I"m having some doubts whether to get a Panasonic gh3 or a vg30, the vg30 would fit right into my existing workflow meaning I can use my cx730 batteries on it, all my lenses would fit and it's ready to be used out of the box. The gh3 would require some extra investments, like a adapter and batteries which would make it almost the same price but from what I have seen on vimeo and youtube the gh3 has a better image. Wish I could try out both before I decide.
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Old October 12th, 2013, 05:43 PM   #5
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Re: VG30 moire

James,
what lenses do you use with the VG30? In what ways do you find it functional for weddings? I have a canon aps-c dslr, and whilst i can get very nice images out of it, i'm getting tired of using it, especially at events like weddings. I'm considering a sony VG30 or VG20 with a ef adaptor to use my canon lenses. Are these cameras really an improvement over the dslrs?
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Old November 29th, 2013, 01:06 AM   #6
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Re: VG30 moire

Yes, as they have a traditional 'video camera' form factor whereas DSLRs were designed to snap still images, not to shoot for long periods without additional stabilisation equipment. One of the VG20/30's greatest ergonomic features is a movable eyepiece with large rubber eye-cap so excellent when shooting for long periods indoors/outdoors and in brightly lit areas.

I use a VG20 professionally but exclusively with a collection of classic 35mm full frame Carl Zeiss lenses and a Metabones Speedbooster. In my opinion, the so called 'film look' is often more a function of using film lenses than anything else and my combination far exceeds the asthetic 'look' of the Sony kit lens. If you already have an investment in Canon 35mm film lenses, you'll see a marked improvement in picture quality with a 'Speedbooster' fitted than by just using a dumb adapter as the Metabones device compensates for the change in field of view, adds 1 extra stop but more importantly, improves contrast and seems to reduce sensor moire by correcting the aberrations cause by the low-pass/infrared/sensor cover glass filter pack when using ‘film’ lenses on digital cameras.

For covering live events like weddings, etc a zoom lens is probably mandatory and Sony's new constant aperture 18-105 F4 servo zoom is worthy of consideration as it is reported to offer a genuine servo zoom instead of the usual 'pretend' offering we usually see in the prosumer market.
Attached Thumbnails
VG30 moire-dsc00340.jpg   VG30 moire-dsc00359.jpg  


Last edited by Craig Marshall; November 29th, 2013 at 04:33 PM.
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Old December 20th, 2013, 06:09 PM   #7
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Re: VG30 moire

James,
i know we have spoken by private msn but i thought it would be interesting to know if you did finally look to see if the vg30 had moire issues. I seen some videos and the aliasing looks to be problematic with this camera. Have you notice problems?
Craig,
have you noticed problems with the aliasing and moire?

I saw one video that had a whole building jittering and i wash-t even a brick building. It has really made me think twice about this camera.
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Old December 21st, 2013, 02:09 AM   #8
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Re: VG30 moire

In two years working professionally with the Vg20, I've never noticed any undue moir and aliasing issues. If you were to shoot clothing with fine lines, I'm sure you would see it but my advice to you is not to trust anything you see on the net unless you know precisely the workflow used to achieve it. There are just too many variables and lens combinations can affect this.

I recently sent some original 8bit 4:2:0 AVCHD 50P 'test pattern' pictures via my Dropbox account to a freelance broadcast television engineer who I commissioned to carry out some quality tests. I also included some VG20 RAW still pictures as a comparison. (These were confirmed as 16bit RGB, not 8bit as suggested by some forum ignoramus. A 16:9 JPEG of the 'test pattern chart' is attached to this document)

My test setup was shot in a controlled 'production' situation under studio lighting and consisted of the Vg20 and Carl Zeiss Contax 50mm F1.7 lens connected via the Metabones C/Y to NEX 'Speedbooster'. He ran my test clips through his system which includes some very expensive broadcast quality waveform monitors and vectorscopes and the result was he was truly amazed at the quality of the AVCHD stream from a Handycam! My files showed no 'illegal' luminance or chrominance issues and as it complied with Australian broadcast requirements, he had no hesitation in accepting my images for future broadcast. (Note: 50i is the preferred format for PAL broadcast in Australia.)

PS: The uncompressed 8 bit 4:2:2 signal from the VG20/30 HDMI output will offer even better quality but you must decide whether the additional cost and complexity of a 3rd party SSD field recorder is worth it.
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Old December 21st, 2013, 02:40 AM   #9
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Re: VG30 moire

Can't speak for the vg30 but can for the nex-ea50 and that one had moire and aliasing problems, not as bad as my canon 550d but certainly not as good as my sony rx10. When I wanted to buy the nex-ea50 I also checked a lot of vg30 videos and read a lot of user-experiences as the vg30 was also on my buying list (Also planned to get the vg30 as b cam mid this year but lots have changed since then :)) and based on that I could only conclude the vg30 had the same issues as the nex-ea50, but I might be wrong as I don't have actually used a vg30. Not that is was bad on nex-ea50, most of the time I didn't have any issues with it and it was hardly noticeable, at least not like with the 550d which could sometimes ruin a shot but when I shot with my sony rx10 in Bruges I really had to look very hard to see any moire issues while I knew my nex-ea50 would have a problem.
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Old December 21st, 2013, 05:02 PM   #10
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Re: VG30 moire

Noa and Craig,
cheers for the feedback.
I wish it were possible to test this camera but here in Spain its impossible. Ive seen such varied opinions that its hard to know what to think. The same goes for footage. Ive seen awful stuff with blown highlights, moire and aliasing and some really filmic beautiful stuff without any problems. Ive got a month or so to decide what camera to buy for the next season so Im still looking.
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Old December 22nd, 2013, 06:35 AM   #11
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Re: VG30 moire

Andrew, I could easily shoot and upload some really poor quality, blown out pictures from a Sony F3 or an FS-100. After all their sensors only have about 2.2 megapixels so how could they possibly compete with today's DSLRs? Do you see what I mean?

Asking the opinions of others on forums can be courting danger so only you can decide what is best for you. I bought my VG20, sight unseen two years ago based only on a careful study of the camera's specification sheet. No discussions. No test shoots. No Youtube 'comparisons'. The 'camera of the time' was in fact the Canon 5D Mk11 and in retrospect from a broadcast perspective, what a disaster that turned out to be. There can be an enormous amount of misinformation on camera forums. For example, the Vg20 was one of the first consumer cameras to offer an uncompressed 'clean' and recordable 4:2:2 HDMI output, nearly 18 months ahead of it's rivals but some forums still fail to acknowledge this.

My VG20 continues to deliver excellent results and for the work I do, I have no reason to change my mind or my camera. However, my 'investment' is in high quality lenses and filters so in my opinion, today's consumer HD cameras are simply cheap, disposable items. As their quality improves and their prices continue to fall, your upgrade path is relatively straight forward.

So my suggestion to you is to consider the type of work you will be doing, the type of lens/lenses you will need to achieve your goals, your audio requirements and whether you can work alone or will need assistants and transport. All this may be more important than the camera you eventually choose. Study the spec sheets versus price points, make your decision carefully and 'stick with it'. Good Luck!
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Old December 22nd, 2013, 08:24 PM   #12
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Re: VG30 moire

I have a love/have relationship with my VG20 (90% love). Moire has always been something that has bothered me. It's something that has always stayed in the back of my mind when shooting. After I dump my footage into my PC and start watching it, I always find that my eyes seem to zip straight to all the areas that produce moire and high frequency color distortions. My eyes are very keen to it and I have even used moire as a focus aid when shooting. I know that when I see the strongest moire, I know I have the sharpest focus.

The VG20 is also easily the "softest" camera I own. (no doubt, softer than my EX1r, FS100, CX70, NX70, RX10 and even my TD10 in 2D mode.) The VG20 line skips so all those sensor photo sites have a negative "hit to miss" ratio in the finest details of an image. The AVCHD codec on the VG20 is pretty durable and survives light color grading pretty well. I have used my Atomos Samarai Blade on my VG20 and although Preres is a tougher codec, it cant help with the sensor line skipping so you cant get much sharper using it.(it does nothing to help moire or high frequency resolution)

Aside from that one topic, I like the camera and have used it heavily over the last couple of years. (although my FS100 has taken over all those tasks in recent months so I'm using the VG less and less now. The FS100 is spectacular)

As far as 8 bit RAW photos go? I'm sure the VG20 takes higher than 8 bit RAW images. It's just when you mouse over a pixel in Adobe, it "displays" (to you) a 0-255 color value per RGB channel channel. Don't know why Adobe does that but it seems to do that with all RAW pictures form all cameras. (I was expecting 0-1024 for 10 bit and more for 12 and 14 bit etc...)

Oh, one more thing. When shooting in 24p why does the VG20 only allow a 1/25 shutter? Why is it not 1/24? It's not a big deal but I always thought that was an odd thing. Anybody have the answer? My CX760 does that same too. Ever wonder that?

I agree that the colors are nice and the VG20 has even better skin tones than my Ex1r. The VG20 seems to get white balance pretty accurately in auto as well.

CT
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Old December 22nd, 2013, 11:07 PM   #13
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Re: VG30 moire

Cliff, you are correct in your statement that a 'hybrid' sensor with 16 megapixels will always have the potential for moire issues compared with the sensor on your FS-100 which is optimized for HD video but I have found certain lens/adapter combinations can reduce this to more than acceptable levels. As stated previously, I have confirmed the Vg20/30's .ARW (RAW) still images are indeed 16bit RGB. FYI, here is the quote from my engineering associate who carried out the test cited above:

"Just to be clear, I noted the (RAW) Tiff as an RGB still at 16 bit colour depth on all channels (R G & B). At 4K resolution it looks as it should. RGB stills such as this would and do use full picture dynamic range. That is to say, black is at 0 whilst pure white is at 255 units. Graphics animators and designers generally design their images in this range to utilise reference colours supplied by clients so as to maintain the overall look and accurate colorimetry from print media to on screen media. Photoshop users in particular get a bit funny if they are asked to deviate from this standard. Adobe provide all their monitor setups in SRGB standard and insist that this is the correct reference. Video people however are generally working with YUV based material or to put it another way R-Y, B-Y, & Y. The dynamic range of YUV which differs from RGB, is specified as not exceeding 16 (Black) to 235 (White) units."

I have attached a random frame-grab from an AVCHD 50P test pattern recording performed on my VG20 coupled to a Zeiss Contax 50mm prime lens and Metabones C/Y Speedbooster. If moire and aliasing were going to be a major issue, it would show up here. Compare it with the camera's .JPG 'still image' I posted earlier in this same thread.
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VG30 moire-avchd_50p_framegrab.tif  
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 12:10 AM   #14
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Re: VG30 moire

The VG20's resolution is probably good enough for most applications. If you are a pixel peeper, well? Stay away from ANY camera that line skips. Hehe.

HD video is about 2.1 million pixels. The VG20 has a 16 million pixel sensor (before Bayer removal..so that's roughly 8 million green and 4 million blue and 4 million red)

So, if you toss out the Bayer math just for a second. The VG20 must throw out 14 million pixels of image and keep only about 2 million. That's allot image that is ignored and allot of "gaps" in the image that must be closed by the remaining 2 million pixels. This happens "after" the undoubtedly beautiful image form those great lenses is projected on to that sensor. So, yeah, the image is wonderful and sharp as a tack when it hits the sensor. The problem comes when that amazing picture is scanned and read out form the sensor. At that point, (and I'm tossing out simple numbers here) only 1 of maybe 3 or 4 lines is used and then jammed together to form our VG20 image.

Your image looks nice. The VG20 is a nice camera but a "pixel peeper" would look at the chart and see the softness in the letters in the words "black" etc. They tend to "jumble" because of the gaps created by the line dropping during read out.

Take a 16 million piece jigsaw puzzle with a very detailed image on it. Take out and throw away 14 million pieces and then fit the last 2 million together. You still might have a great image but the finest and smallest details get hurt the worst by the closed together gaps.

I'm not knocking the VG20. Again, it has given me it's share of nice video. It's just important to understand and be realistic about the limitations that it has. (like all large photograph sensor cameras in it's class)

As a side note,...it's pretty damn amazing how Sony's new RX10 scans EVERY pixel on it's 20Mp sensor and scales it for video on the fly. The camera is VERY sharp when recorded off it's HDMI! 100% pixel usage on a 1 inch sensor. (Supposedly the first of it's kind in this class of camera) Check out Slashcam.com's resolution charts and compare them to the VG20's http://camcorder-test.slashcam.com/compare.html

CT
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 12:22 AM   #15
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Re: VG30 moire

Hi Cliff, Yes I understand the line skipping issue precisely but I use the VG20's still image capability as much as I use it's video capability so with a matte box and Schneider glass filters in place, breathtaking still images can be captured with just the flip of a switch. I am considering the RX-10 (unfortunately, a fixed lens) and the new BMD 4K Cinema Camera with its global shutter as my future upgrade path.

Here are two examples: the first is 16 bit uncompressed 444 off the sensor and the second, 8bit compressed AVCHD 4:2:0. The differences are obvious and to be expected but a more interesting comparison would be to use a BMD Hyperdeck 'Shuttle' to record from the Vg20's HDMI 4:2:2 output, not to ProRes or DNxHD but 'uncompressed'.
Attached Thumbnails
VG30 moire-uncompressed-444.png   VG30 moire-compressed-avchd-4-2-0.png  


Last edited by Craig Marshall; December 23rd, 2013 at 12:55 AM.
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