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-   -   Are there any compact cameras recording like a good videocamera? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/general-hd-720-1080-acquisition/515939-there-any-compact-cameras-recording-like-good-videocamera.html)

Adriano Moroni May 19th, 2013 04:04 AM

Re: Are there any compact cameras recording like a good videocamera?
A guy made tests of two cameras: Sony HX50 ans HX20 and he is thinking like me about two cameras.
He has answered to a question of his friend asking if HX50 was better than HX20:

"only foto :( video is identical hx20v , is the same (if not worse) of HX20V, improved wide-angle, zoom improved (but at full zoom trembles) has less grain in low light but also has less sharpness.
Is a great improvement for the photos, but no video sony"

I will not buy the camera for stills but almost exclusively for video and my supposition is not too much far from truth. May be are you talking HX50 is better that HX20 about stills? Is it ok but I will not make still.

Look here:

I have downloaded these videos and viewed them by my large TV Full HD.
Dave, I'm noticing you are thinking more about stills than videos. ;)

Dave Blackhurst May 19th, 2013 03:57 PM

Re: Are there any compact cameras recording like a good videocamera?
These cameras are of course STILLS cameras, so yes, I'm expecting them to meet a level of quality. They really should be able to take a good photo, you'd think! I can only compare similar shots with the HX100/200/300... the 300 is an improvement over prior cameras, IMO. Notice I said SIMILAR...

I also suspect based on shots taken thus far, the 20MPixel sensor wil perform better than the 18Mpixel one for video, but I really have not had the time to try to replicate any videos and A/B them... the little bit of video testing I've done shows better low light performance by a SIGNIFICANT amount - IOW, the HX300 will shoot in much lower light and still get SOMETHING other than a black screen... probably less grain/noise in similar light, and an actual image in light conditions where you'll get nothing from the earlier generation sensor.

Sharpness is a tricky proposition, and this is why I said any VALID test would compare both sensors AND lenses - packing a 30x lens into a small camera seems to me at least to be inviting optical "issues", sharpness being one of them. Shakiness (trembles) at the long end of the zoom is ALSO expected! That said, the 50X lens of the HX300 has so far been pretty good considering... meaning no glaring flaws (yet at least), and I like the idea of being able to put filters on it, I think I have a set of compatible size ones somewhere I should dig out! Of course as soon as I mount a filter, I've altered any images I take by adding another layer of glass...

NOW... about those two videos... these are an absolutely PERFECT example of how NOT to do a camera comparison "test" - different times of day (the angle of the sun can make a LOT of difference in how things look to an imager), different days by the look of it (the HX50 seems to be shot on a day with significant moisture in the air, which will ABSOLUTELY degrade any optical "test"!), the HX50 looks to be a stop or more overexposed (there's a adjustment for that, and it may well be the firmware is overexposing, Sony has that tendency).

Those are just quick, OBVIOUS things that might affect image "sharpness". I'm not saying that it isn't possible that the HX20 is "better" for video than the HX50, I'm just saying there's NO evidence from these "tests" to support that conclusion if you know anything about image capture under varying conditions...

Let me enlighten you a bit how one gets an objective, verifiable "test" - you put the two cameras side by side (literally, mounted together on ONE mount. side by side or one on top of the other), match up the framing/zoom as much as is practical, fire them up, make any exposure adjustments that might seem appropriate, and make slow deliberate moves (waving the camera around all over the place while testing does NOT gain my confidence in the skills of the camera op/"tester"...). If you want to test zoom, at least attempt to zoom the cameras together, again to maintain comparable image framing, etc. Remember of course that the leses will "ramp" the iris and change exposure... yet another variable...

Yes, I have a photgraphic background, so I know how quickly light and a scene can become TOTALLY different, within seconds or fractions thereof! It amazes me how amateur testers (and sometimes even "pro" ones) ignore or forget this simple fact, and go on to proclaim "conclusions" (which are actually OPINIONS, and we know the old saying about those).

This is where a studio "set" with conditions that are repeatable is at least SOMTHING when you want to test cameras from year to year. I know you "can" go out and try to shoot the same scenes, but at most they are SIMILAR, and therefore not a valid "test" of image quality. On top of that, sometimes scenes of a certain type will create problems for one camera and not another due to some quirk...

That said, sure, show me those two videos, and the 20 looks WAY better than the 50... on "first impression"...

Is it a valid comparison? NOPE... IMO, not even close. Is it possible the HX50 is really as "soft" as it looks in that sample (I actually wonder if the image quality was not set to the max, it looks like a lower bitrate, and at least here there was also much glitching, perhaps indicating an encoding problem)??

SOOOOOO... Perhaps... or maybe not... that's as definitive a "conclusion" as you could arrive at from those "samples"!

But I'm back to my last suggestion, go buy a closeout HX20, be happy, capture good images. Rig it up with a folding bracket to add stability when shooting, a small dimmable LED for low light if you think you'll need it,, and if audio is important you can add a small digital recorder - this would make a surprisingly effective "pocket size"(OK, small camera bag sized) "kit" that would allow you to capture good images! It's small, discrete, you'll never know you're dragging it around, but it'll be there when you want it! You can ALWAYS use a setup like this with whatever small camera you've got!

The HX20 video looks quite nice (and people I trust from this forum say it's good, that's enough real "street cred" for me). If it does what you want, has "enough" zoom for you, and works on your budget, don't bother worrying about whether another camera might be "better" in one respect or another (meaning there will ALWAYS be "better" cameras for one thing or another, and over time the tech improves...). Oh, and don't believe "everything" you see or read on the internet... <wink>.

Mark Rosenzweig May 19th, 2013 04:41 PM

Re: Are there any compact cameras recording like a good videocamera?
Comparison video, done (almost) properly: Sony Hx9v and Panasonic ZS30 (TZ40) on a rainy day

Alternating clips within seconds of each other this time on a dark, rainy day. First the Hx9v, then the ZS30 (TZ40). The ZS30 clips are crisper (as is the audio), with better color, especially the greens. Almost all clips are at full (optical) telephoto. Last clip is from the ZS30. Both cameras using 108060p mode. Note: the advantage of a rainy day is that there are no quick changes in light.

The Panasonic is conspicuously better than the Sony, video and audio, here. If the Hx20v or Hx50v are not much improved over the Hx9v, then, well...

You can download the original and see for yourself on your best viewing device. In this video, the original clips were not processed at all - straight from the cameras.

If you have any questions, or think there is something invalid here, let me know. I have no vested interest in the outcome, and I was surprised by the difference. Brand loyalty and internet chatter are not the ways to choose cameras.

Dave Blackhurst May 20th, 2013 03:58 AM

Re: Are there any compact cameras recording like a good videocamera?
Thanks Mark for the sample video - good example of how to get useful test results! Shots taken at roughly the same time, same day, and under the same conditions give a "close enough" result to reach some conclusions! The consistency between the A/B shots helps validate the results... I suspect the subject matter is a bit different from what Adriano plans to shoot though <wink>.

Panasonic makes nice cameras, I've seen some GH3 video samples that had a certain something that really made them pop.

There's definitely a more contrast-y and saturated look to the Panasonic in your video, which gives a viewer a better initial impression, the greens looked a little "hot" on my monitor, but "better" than the more "flat" Sony image. I'd expect most people to go for the Panny, nothing wrong with that!

Each brand tends to have their own "look", I have reasons I like the Sony "look" and technology, and since it makes it easier to match between cameras of the same brand, I stick with 'em (despite some corporate decisions that are REALLY frustrating to the end user). I wouldn't hesitate to tell someone to look at other brands, but since Adriano also has some "legacy" Sony accesories, I understand where he's coming from...

FWIW, the HX9 is the 16Mpixel sensor (roughly two model years old), the HX20 is the 18Mpixel (last years Sony models), and of course the HX50 is the new 20MPixel, so there are probably some differences... But the "Sony look" is likely still "baked in", the overexposure is a dead giveaway to any long time Sony user!

Adriano Moroni May 22nd, 2013 03:31 AM

Re: Are there any compact cameras recording like a good videocamera?

Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst (Post 1791638)
this is where I'm finding the RX100 to be a nice fit - the image quality is definitely above the "P&S" category, but it's still a "pocket" cam. A little limited in the zoom department, but otherwise worth considering if stills are a larger part of the equation.

I have viewed some video shots of Sony RX100 and I have noticed they have a good high definition but I have also noticed the image has much more contrast than every other DSL or compact camera. May be it helps to make look like more definition.
In your opinion will the video quality of Sony RX100 be better than HX50? How much (reading the specs)? I mean about video only.

Dave Blackhurst May 22nd, 2013 11:19 AM

Re: Are there any compact cameras recording like a good videocamera?
The RX100 has a LOT of image control options, including adjustable dynamic range... so you can have a lot of control over the shots you take, IF you want it - it also does "point & shoot" well when you want that. The amount of possible manual control along with sensor size and a decent .jpeg or RAW (if you want) make it a "photographers camera". And most of those adjustments cross over to the VIDEO mode, meaning you can really adjust your image, for better or worse! My initial video was overly contrasty, but I've found I can adjust that quite a lot - as I've said, it's not a camera I'm "confident" shooting yet, as it's got so many options. It's a bit of a surprise to have as much tweakability in such a small cam...

I can make some comments on the HX300 video now - shot with it in a "tough room" I've shot many times - school stage production, bad interior lighting conditions, variable lighting... the works for camera nightmares (which I know is entirely different from what you're thinking of shooting, but...). Since the HX50 is using the same sensor, and likely similar electronics (the lens is an unknown of course), perhaps the observations will help with some idea of sensor performance.

Overall the image looked a tiny bit softer than the PJ7xx I shot alongside it, but very low noise/grain. It kept up with a current Handycam quite well. I thought it was struggling a bit in darker areas, but then saw the same in the PJ images... not bad at all. I should have preset white balance, as some parts of the play had a projected image that really fouled that up (all the cameras picked the "bright screen" and auto adjusted WB to it, leaving the rest of the frame "orange"...).

I still need to pull the clips into Vegas, but overall, considering the difficult shooting conditions, the camera performed well. The tilt screen was handy, zoom was fairly smooth (I've noticed I tend to overshoot when using the lens ring...). I had the PJ's AE shift set to -.7EV (equivalent to a -3 setting on older Sonys), no shift on the HX, since I was thinking it was probably close to it's "low light limit" already, but I think it could have used a little - shift after looking at the clips...

I've shot this same room and conditions with the HX100 and 200, they were a lot noisier. I'll have to dig up some old clips if I can, to compare sharpness, but I think the HX300 is better, certainly not any noticeable "problems"..

Overall, I lke how this new sensor performs, and I like the way the bigger HX handles vs. a smaller camera, but it's not a "pocket camera"... I can see where that makes the HX50 "interesting"!

I forgot to grab the RX, but it would have been rough shooting from the back of the room with the lens range, and I have to work with matching the "look" to the other cameras before I shoot with it in a multicam situation!

As you can probably tell, performance in low and bad light is high on my list, I'll have to see about doing some daylight tests, but generally most cameras handle that pretty well! Unfortunately I don't have a nice scenic seaside view to inspire me!

Dave Blackhurst May 22nd, 2013 11:39 AM

Re: Are there any compact cameras recording like a good videocamera?
It occurred to me that a "short answer" to your question is that the HX's will have a "baked in" video look - it is up to the hardware and firmware to determine the image quality, limited user intervention is available...

The RX on the other hand gives you extensive controls, so if you don't like the "default", you can tweak to taste (once you start finding all the things you can tweak!).

IOW, it's a little hard to say one is "better". Mark's comparison of two "baked in" looks (one Sony, one Panasonic) is easier to judge - which one do you like...

and of course you can always do some tweaking in "post"/edit...

The RX100 is a strange little beast, it's a "P&S" that gives you a lot of additional options... the HX's are more basic, but still do a good job in the hands of a good shooter. It sort of comes back around to what "fits" for you personally...

Bruce Dempsey May 22nd, 2013 12:18 PM

Re: Are there any compact cameras recording like a good videocamera?
Glad to herar the HX300 stood up at the school play shooting along side the cxPJ.
I shoot school plays multicam (usually one more or less locked off on a wide shot) but the 29 min limit is a show stopper because I want to sync the footage in edit just the once.
The used rx100 came yesterday and regretably the remote I bought with the HX300 does not plug in the RX100 as there are two little blips on the microusb multi terminal which prevent the jack from sliding all the way in but otherwise a very nice little camera

Mark Rosenzweig May 22nd, 2013 05:07 PM

Re: Are there any compact cameras recording like a good videocamera?
Dave's distinction between cameras with a "baked-in" look versus those that have controls for the look is a good one. The Panasonic ZS30 (TZ40) and The Sony Hx50v, of the compact big-zoom cameras, pretty much have a set look. Of the small cameras with limited zoom but much more control over the video image, the RX100 and the Panasonic LX7 are in the same category. For video, from what I have seen, I think the LX7 video looks better than the RX100 video, which has more artifacts and is less sharp. But I do not have both cameras to directly compare.

Dave Blackhurst May 22nd, 2013 06:23 PM

Re: Are there any compact cameras recording like a good videocamera?
@Bruce - I was actually pleasantly surprised when I downloaded the clips... look pretty good against a camera that is dedicated video and quite a bit more expensive! The 29 minute limit really isn't that big a deal - I just waited for a short break after about the 20 minute mark... got one at around 24, double punched the movie button, and carried on - yeah, one extra clip to sync, but I'm pretty fast with that as I sync on audio peaks most of the time, then double check the visual cues.

Strange about the remote - was it supposed to be compatible? I know the microUSB on the RX100 and the HX300 must be wired a bit differently than the "common" cable used for phones, but haven't seen one not fit at all, only not work when connected!

I do think the RX100 is one of those beasts you have to take some time with and master... I wasn't impressed with the video at first, but you have to remember it's a large sensor, shallower DoF, and then find things like the DRo adjustment... I've gotten better results now that I've spent some time with the camera... And the stills really are nice just on "auto", and are closer to a DSLR than to the typical "pocket compact".

Derek Craig May 23rd, 2013 06:22 AM

Re: Are there any compact cameras recording like a good videocamera?
I will interject a different camera that I didn't see mentioned. I shoot video and photos and was recently looking for a new pocket camera to complement my Canon 7D, XH-A1, and HV30. I wanted something that would take great stills, have a fast lens, and shoot great HD video. I also wanted to stay under $600 if possible. I looked at everything and for the money settled on the Canon G15. I've owned it now for two months and could not be happier with the images and video that I am getting out of this camera. It will never be my primary camera but what it lays down for video footage is simply remarkable. I would really recommend taking a look at this camera. Full 1080p at 24fps video that is very nice.

Adriano Moroni May 23rd, 2013 07:25 AM

Re: Are there any compact cameras recording like a good videocamera?
Do you like to get great HD video with compact Canon cameras? Noooo. I think Sony and Lumix are better for that price. Any small Canon cameras works on 50p; they work better on still field. Pocketable Canon cameras miss clever devices for video but they have many of them for stills.
Look here: http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Ca.../verdict.shtml
I cannot think to buy about pocketable Canon cameras for video. But it is only my opinion.

Mark Rosenzweig May 23rd, 2013 08:04 AM

Re: Are there any compact cameras recording like a good videocamera?
1 Attachment(s)
This very enlightening discussion is mostly overlooking one other important aspect of video - audio. The built-in audio is all one is going to get for compact travel. My comparison of the audio of the Hx9v and the ZS30 indicated much better audio for the latter.

One of the issues is the aggressiveness of the AGC in audio - where dynamics are flattened, and soft ambient noise is pumped up.

Here is a "travel" video shot with the Panasonic ZS30, which reproduces most of the natural dynamics and levels of ambience and sounds - from singing birds to loud traffic noises and, finally, bell peals:

The video also takes advantage of the long zoom and shallow dof (!).

To visually assess the sound track dynamics, here is a screen grab of the video time-line in Vegas Pro, where you can see the ups and downs (AGC would mean the sound track would be all red, all the way) and in particular the bell clangs at the end - loud and then diminish each time:

Derek Craig May 23rd, 2013 09:00 AM

Re: Are there any compact cameras recording like a good videocamera?

Originally Posted by Adriano Moroni (Post 1796957)
Do you like to get great HD video with compact Canon cameras? Noooo. I think Sony and Lumix are better for that price. Any small Canon cameras works on 50p; they work better on still field. Pocketable Canon cameras miss clever devices for video but they have many of them for stills.
Look here: Canon G15 vs Nikon P7700 | Cameralabs
I cannot think to buy about pocketable Canon cameras for video. But it is only my opinion.

Whatever floats your boat I guess.

Dave Blackhurst May 23rd, 2013 10:34 AM

Re: Are there any compact cameras recording like a good videocamera?
Are any of the Canons doing 50/60p? That might be a consideration that would disqualify them for me at least. I seem to recall they were adding it into some of the latest cams? I know that "24p" has been popular for a "film-ish look", but 50/60p has advantages in real world shooting.

@ Mark - you're correct about audio, it IS an important consideration - I've found the compact and SLR cameras to be a bit "weak" more often than not - some are actually more in the "horrible" category... I seem to recall the HX9V was one that did not handle audio particularly well, with distortion in loud conditions (though it might have been a different Sony compact... and there can be a lot of variation between different models!).

Since part of the "charm" of a compact camera/kit is KEEPING it small, ideally you don't want to have to add a digital recorder for "ambient" if that is part of what you're trying to capture...

Sometimes it's not that important if the intent is to add a music track anyway, but it shouldn't be ignored. I usually regard the audio from the compacts as "scratch" and "sync" when using them in a multicam shoot, but haven't noticed anything "bad" in the audio from the RX100 and HX300 in the shooting I've done. Audio from a couple tiny mics that may or may not be ideally positioned in a tiny camera body is not likely "ideal" audio by most estimations.

I'd also mention that "handling noise" is another thing to watch out for - I recall all too well the creaks and squeaks from the HV20 I tried when it was the hot new camera... completely unusable for audio unless you avoided touching the camera body, which wasn't practical - compared to the Sony construction I was used to, it was a shock.

Just one more thing to consider, and something I don't think I've seen mentioned often, if at all, in a "camera review". As we start to get better and better image capture from small capture devices, these things have to be considered - it's quite possible that a "compact" will be the most convenient capture device under a lot of conditions - but you still want to be getting the best capture of the moment!

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