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highlight control and dof


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#1 Jack Davis

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 06:00 PM

I am looking for way to capture scenics with high contrast. As a still photographer I specialize in dramatic landscapes, wildlife and nature. In the past I have played with a XL1s and found it to be marginal for this type of image capture. The ccds can't hold the contrast and the natural look is destroyed. Also, a shallow depth of field would be great. Something with the bokeh of my 600 f4 canon. Looking at Sony dsr-450 or Panasonic Ag-HPX500. Lens suggestions for these cameras. Thanks :rolleyes:
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 12:21 AM

I am looking for way to capture scenics with high contrast. As a still photographer I specialize in dramatic landscapes, wildlife and nature. In the past I have played with a XL1s and found it to be marginal for this type of image capture. The ccds can't hold the contrast and the natural look is destroyed. Also, a shallow depth of field would be great. Something with the bokeh of my 600 f4 canon. Looking at Sony dsr-450 or Panasonic Ag-HPX500. Lens suggestions for these cameras. Thanks :rolleyes:


There aren't many video cameras that can give the kind of look you're talking about. CCDs are just too small. Something like an Arri d20 or a panavision genesis is getting closer but those are hardly "grab it and go" video cameras.

How about 16mm film?
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#3 Tim Chambers

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 03:00 PM

Have you looked into 35mm lens adapters like the RedRock M2?
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#4 Michael Nash

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 05:54 PM

I am looking for way to capture scenics with high contrast. As a still photographer I specialize in dramatic landscapes, wildlife and nature. In the past I have played with a XL1s and found it to be marginal for this type of image capture. The ccds can't hold the contrast and the natural look is destroyed.


Welcome to video ;)

Even the highest-end digital video cameras can't hold the highlight detail that film can. In general, the more expensive and professional the camera, the better the performance. In the prosumer price range, don't expect one camera to be dramatically better at highlight rendering than another, although there are qualitative differences. The basic workaround is to underexpose the image enough to preserve highlight detail, and then restore brightness to the midtones and shadows in-camera (through menu tweaks) or in post-production. But don't expect miracles.

Most prosumer cameras use 1/3" chips, necessitating much shorter focal lengths than you would use in 35mm still photography for the same angle-of-view. Even professional 2/3" cameras use focal lengths roughly 1/2 that of 35mm film for the same angle-of-view. And the D20 and Genesis are bit pricey ;) . Personally I'd pick the HPX500 over the Sony DSR450, both because it's HD (sort of) and I prefer the look of Panasonic over Sony. But do plenty of research before you spend your $$. A good HD zoom lens will make the most of 2/3" cameras, but they're not cheap...

35mm lens adapters have become popular lately for getting shallow d.o.f. out of 1/3" cameras, but there are tradeoffs in optical quality.
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