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Tests between Z1 and HVX200


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#1 sebastien corre

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 01:56 PM

Hi everyone interested,

I am about to buy a Panasonic HVX200 and I went to a shop to make some tests.
Mainly I checked the differences between this camera and the Sony HVR-Z1.
I didn't have much time, nor any lightning equipment. I just had the ambient lightning of the shop and my lightmeter. So be aware that these tests are approximate.

I couldn't record anything in HD, so I recorded all my tests in DV SP.

You can watch the tests in WMV here.

My conclusions are that the HVX200 has a greater amplitude. 2 stops in the high lights, and 2 stops in the low lights. I measured the Z1 at ISO 125 and the HVX200 at ISO 200.

I hope these tests will be usefull to you.

Sebastien Corre.
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#2 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 10:56 AM

thanks a lot, that's pretty cool. it seems like both gamma and color matrix are set up very differently between them though? at +1 stop the z1's white blows out while the rest is actually darker than on the hvx, which doesn't have a blown out white.

and there's something fishy with the underexposure on the hvx. it looks way too bright at 7 stops under. sorry to question you like this but are you sure about the accuracy? the noise has increased a lot too, which leads me to believe that maybe you had the agc on?

/matt
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#3 Walter Graff

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 11:28 AM

Hi everyone interested,

I didn't have much time, nor any lightning equipment. I just had the ambient lightning of the shop and my lightmeter. So be aware that these tests are approximate.

My conclusions are that the HVX200 has a greater amplitude. 2 stops in the high lights, and 2 stops in the low lights. I measured the Z1 at ISO 125 and the HVX200 at ISO 200.

I hope these tests will be useful to you.


Actually I hope people do not use these "tests" as any reference. To turn two cameras on out of the box and try to make reasonable evaluations without first properly setting up both to some standard is not a way to get results that are realistic. You admit you had no time and no lights so your evaluations are so subjective as to tell you little that is valid.

I have tested both cameras extensively and would say that other than subjective choices, both cameras makes a picture that can be more similar than dissimilar. Over and under exposure tests require individual tweaking of each camera on each exposure to get the most out of the camera. Your 'results' leave too many questions to be reliable.

And exposure index testing requires a standerd too so while your numbers might have worked at one particular esposure they may have been different at another so should be taken with agrain of salt.

I hope no one looks at these tests as anything but showing chocolate and vanilla ice cream and asking which one you like more because from an engineering perspective that is what they are.
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#4 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 11:40 AM

And exposure index testing requires a standerd too so while your numbers might have worked at one particular esposure they may have been different at another so should be taken with agrain of salt.

i hear this all the time but i don't quite get it. if you point your camera on a grey card or scale, change the aperture until it registers as medium grey on your scope, doesn't that give you an accurate iso value? for that particular gamma and gain of course?

/matt
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#5 Walter Graff

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 11:58 AM

i hear this all the time but i don't quite get it. if you point your camera on a grey card or scale, change the aperture until it registers as medium grey on your scope, doesn't that give you an accurate iso value? for that particular gamma and gain of course?

/matt



Matt, a video camera does not react like film. That is one of the reasons why it is a fallacy to use the term exposure index with video let alone still terms such as ASA and ISO. The MTF of any video camera is not a perfect "S" slope nor as 'skiable' as it is with film stock. As a result depending on how much light you have you can get any number of readings for "exposure index" which will work for the stop you pick but will not correspond as you go to different ranges of exposre. And CCDs have little pieces of glass on them called micro chips. They are little magnifying glasses. They are designed to make chips more sensitive to light. Problem is they help you least when you need them most, when a lens is fully open due to low light. So while you can pick and arbitrary foot-candle setting and use a scope to see where the gamma crossover point ends up, that crossover point will not fall linearly as exposure in increased and decreased with a video camera. Hence why light meters are good for ranges but not entirely accurate over the exposure range of a video camera.
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#6 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 04:16 PM

thanks, that makes sense, i think. ;-) i shoot very little video and when i do i rely completely on the monitor so i never paid much attention. i do use my light meter, but only to measure contrast when adjusting lights.

/matt
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#7 Walter Graff

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 04:29 PM

thanks, that makes sense, i think. ;-) i shoot very little video and when i do i rely completely on the monitor so i never paid much attention. i do use my light meter, but only to measure contrast when adjusting lights.

/matt


Nothing beats a properly set up monitor with video for judging color and exposure. WYSIWYG.
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#8 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 07:27 PM

one thing that comes to mind that at least a rough sensitivity figure would help with is determining how much light you need. i know the output of various fixtures as well as daylight levels for different times and wheather in my head and data can also be looked up in tables, and i often know from experience how much is needed for a certain asa and set size.

/matt
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#9 sebastien corre

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 08:39 AM

Hi mister Walter Graff,

Thank you for your so kind reply. Since you are so great and you've "tested both cameras extensively" you should have been the one to writte this post. Share your tests. I'm sure they are more accurate. I've been looking for weeks for tests in the Internet.
I do hope as well that no one looked at my "results" as anything but strachatella and banana split.

I am aware that with all the different factors and settings, we might obtain a similar picture with both cameras, or obtain the opposite results than the ones i got.
But that's exactly the point! There are so many differents possibilities in the settings of each camera, and in the lighting of a scene, that even if you test "both cameras extensively", you won't ever know if there wasn't a better option with one of the camera for a particular scene. That is an exact science but with an infinity of possibilities.

So, in my case, I had to choose a camera to buy. I've been looking in Internet for weeks for as much informations as I could about these cameras. So, now, with the possibilities that I had, I made the tests that I could. And for these particular settings and this particular lighting, these are the "results" that I got.

As for the ISO test. That was the result I obtain with this particular amount of light. And I am aware that is different with another amount of light. And it was interesting for me to see it.

Thank you for inciting me to clarify things up. I would have prefer less condescension though.

Best regards.

Sebastien.
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#10 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 08:47 AM

Since you are so great and you've "tested both cameras extensively" you should have been the one to writte this post.

i don't think he said he has.

I would have prefer less condescension though.

i see your point but i think you're overreacting. internet posts always sound more condecending, patronizing and rude than real world conversation.

/matt
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#11 Walter Graff

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 09:08 AM

"I would have prefer less condescension though."

That you took it personally is not about me so I have nothing to say in regards to it. Studies show that about 68% of how someone interprets a conversation has to do with body language and speech inflection. Since my post lacks both, it is often easy to take it personally. This is one of the pitfalls of print-only communication and why so many flamming threads occur on boards.

If that was all one has time in regards to testing then I guess it is going to have to be the standard for their evaluation. I only point it out because often these impromptu tests are read and spread around the internet as facts.

I do find it interesting that you said you spent much time looking on the web yet what many would consider the most important part of testing, actually using the camera, you seemed ot have spent the least time doing. But then again we all have different ways of approaching something and none are wrong. What is important is that you found a camera that suits your tastes.

And given any camera by any manufacture in any particular price point, subjective taste is really the only major decider as any of those cameras in the same price range can with an adjustment make a picture equally as good as any other with only subjective variations.

On occasion I do post results of cameras tests but did not post such test for the two cameras in question as I did not find enough difference to warrant a post. My last such test was looking at the HVX and HD100 to see if there were noticeable differences in both camera and recoding formats since the web had a flurry of unsubstantiated posts claiming there were major differences. I found both work equally as well and found both their strengths and weaknesses as I see them.

Good luck with your new purchase. You'll find it's a wonderful product.
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#12 sebastien corre

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 10:50 AM

Thanks for your quick answer.
You're very right about the body language and speech inflection impact on the perception of a conversation. So please excuse me if I seem to have overreacted. It's just that if there is something I hate in the movie-business, it's the condescension. Every new technician should be considered, and every mistake should be forgiven.

You're right again about the fact that Internet researchs do not replace tests. I do all the Internet researchs I can, and then I do all the tests I'm able to do. Maybe the Internet researchs will drawn my attention on something during the tests.

I had the chance to use the Z1 on shootings a lot. But, unfortunatly, I never could use the HVX200 nor have any friends who could have lend it to me. But I attended the Panasonic presentation in Camerimage, and heard a lot of good things about this camera. So I decided not to draw aside this camera of my possible choices.

So I actually decided to buy the HVX200.
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#13 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 12:07 PM

isn't workflow a much bigger difference than image quality? i'd chose between p2 and hdv first, but i'm really waiting for a prosumer xdcam which doesn't seem completely unlikely, does it? i've used the imx version and having a cheap random access medium like that is fantastic. and on the hd the variable and slightly higher bitrate than hdv really helps too from what i've seen.

/matt
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