HX1 tip and tricks

Started Jun 25, 2009 | Discussions
Ludovic F
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Re: More HX1 Tips
In reply to Stephen McDonald, Aug 26, 2009

Also, I am now re-sizing all of my HX1 photos (all 16:9) to something like 1280 X 720 or 1100 X 620, using the highest quality setting of 6, on the PMB program. This highest level gives them more bits-per-pixel, reduces visible noise and increases overall sharpness and color. After that, I'm ready to show them.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "using the highest quality of 6". When I re-size in PMB, I have no quality setting available. Could you precise exactly what menu you use, and what version of PMB (mine is 4.2.11.14260) ?

Also I'm not sure I understand why resizing can improve quality ...

Thanks in advance for your answers

Ludovic

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CFsacks
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Re: More HX1 Tips
In reply to Stephen McDonald, Aug 26, 2009

Why would you resize them that way? The dimensions of an HD TV is 1920 x 1080, 2 megapixels. You are resizing them to smaller than that and that will adversely affect the displayed quality. Why not take them at 1920 x 1080 in the first place? That is what I do. You then have a pixel match of the image with the screen. That results in great display quality.

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Stephen McDonald
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Re: More HX1 Tips
In reply to CFsacks, Aug 26, 2009

CFsacks wrote:

Why would you resize them that way? The dimensions of an HD TV is 1920 x 1080, 2 megapixels. You are resizing them to smaller than that and that will adversely affect the displayed quality. Why not take them at 1920 x 1080 in the first place? That is what I do. You then have a pixel match of the image with the screen. That results in great display quality.

I hardly know where to begin with this response. In the first place, you have to downsize the photos to post them on forums or send them on E-Mail, for everyone with all types of Internet service to be able to download them. If you were to shoot them at that small pixel-size, you'd never have access to the full size for printing or other purposes that might arise.

A photo displayed at 1280 X 720 is plenty large enough to see it very well and in fact, a smaller image usually looks sharper than one filling the whole screen. With an HX1, this is especially true. Filling the whole screen does not give you better display quality with any camera, unless you have a very expensive monitor and the image is faultless. The larger the display image, the more all imperfections in focus and noise will be apparent.

Also, when you shoot at a smaller size, with the exception of using Smart Zoom, the images are first encoded at fullsize, then re-encoded at the smaller size. This double encoding can degrade the quality and it may involve using a lower bit-per-pixel rate. By down-sizing them in PMB and using a higher bit-per-pixel rate to do it, the greater number of pixels can be used to derive a superior and smaller image, with reduced noise that is visible. Try it yourself and see.

To adjust PMB to its various quality levels for re-sizing, click on the thumbnail of the picture to highlight the border. Then, click on Manipulations in the upper-left of the screen. Then click on Re-Size and Save. In the pop-up that appears, designate a destination folder for the re-sized photo, on the top line. Then, click on Specify Image Size, to light up the blue dot next to it. Choose the manual mode to make adjustments and enter the pixel-size you want in the two boxes on the right. You can either erase the settings that are already there and type in new ones or scroll the numbers up or down. Then, below that, is the Quality Level section, where you select the quality from 1 to 6. The resulting bit-size of the photo will appear, for each of the quality levels you designate, so you can compare the increase you'll get.
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Steve McDonald
http://www.flickr.com/photos/22121562@N00/
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http://video.yahoo.com/people/4019627

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CFsacks
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Re: More HX1 Tips
In reply to Stephen McDonald, Aug 26, 2009

Since you were resizing to 16 x 9, I assumed you were displaying them on an HD TV. I shoot at 16 x 9 2 megapixel since that is all I do with my photos. They look incredible when burned onto a disk and shown on a blu-ray player. After seeing that, I would never do prints. Those who have seen photos that way agree. I do use Smartzoom. I don't have the Sony software installed which is what you seem to be referring to. These photos also look good on a computer monitor. The only way they would look bad is if you have 9 Megapixal photo and look at it 1 to 1. You would then be looking very closely at all the flaws.

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Danbee46
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PMB Question
In reply to CFsacks, Aug 27, 2009

There has been much comment about using PMB to post process photos. My problem is that my computer is an iMac and the PMB program that comes with the HX1 is a Windows program. Is there a PMB version for mac (osx)?

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Ludovic F
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Re: More HX1 Tips
In reply to Stephen McDonald, Aug 27, 2009

Thanks for the explanation on how to resize. I didn't look at the right place, when you said resize I understood "crop".

I made a few try outs, but I don't see any different on my old CRT monitor. I will have to try with my HD TV to see if the difference is more obvious
Ludovic

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Stephen McDonald
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Re: PMB Question
In reply to Danbee46, Aug 27, 2009

Danbee46 wrote:

There has been much comment about using PMB to post process photos. My problem is that my computer is an iMac and the PMB program that comes with the HX1 is a Windows program. Is there a PMB version for mac (osx)?

The main PMB program is not compatible with an Apple computer. On page 143 of the HX1 Handbook, the functions you can perform with an Apple computer are explained. You can upload files over USB and you can download and use the Music Transfer program from the supplied CD-ROM. The Apple software should be able to play and edit the AVC video from the HX1. There might be an update available for it, if it doesn't work with your current OS version.
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Steve McDonald
http://www.flickr.com/photos/22121562@N00/
http://www.vimeo.com/user458315/videos

http://video.yahoo.com/people/4019627

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clie
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Re: HX1 tips and tricks - Updated Aug 09
In reply to clie, Aug 30, 2009

1. Set EV to -0.3 to get better detail and colours due to over-exposure under default factory setting

2. For sharpest images, set image size to 6.7M (16:9). This uses 5 bits-per-pixel in its encoding, while most of the others use only 4 bits. This can make a difference in picture quality.

3. Set NR to -1 for sharper images due to Sony's aggresive noise algorithms. Then cleanup using some noise reduction software like Neat-Image

4. Half depress shutter all the time to lock the focus before you fully press the trigger

5. Use "anti-motion blur" mode for night shots instead of "hand held twilight". Better results

6. Turn DRO to off unless you really want to use it. reduces geometric distortion when using full telephoto. I think it increases sharpness also (?)

7. Turn on Smart Zoom when you use the 5-MP mode, as this reduces the number of encoding processes from two to one. You also get an original encoding of 5 bits-per-pixel and without Smart Zoom, the first process uses just 4 bits.

8. Use the 720p mode for HD video, as I found that it looks sharper than the 1080p video.

9. For night photos using handheld twilight, adjust EV by -0.7 to -2.0 to get better details. See Jerry's excellent comparison link here
http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1009&message=32187076

10. "Antimotion Blur” exposes exactly, "Handheld Twilight" must be corrected about -1.0 EV. Can be used in day time to reduce noise
see comparison link
http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1009&message=32253896

11. White paper with lots of tips on the H series (but not specifically for the HX1) http://www.aakatz.com/whitepaper/whitepaper/index.htm

12. Avoid zoom extremes - more distortion at extreme ends. If you have to use it, set max zoom then pull back slightly (refer 11. above)

13. Set Sharpness, Contrast and Color to high in P mode

14. Re-size all shots for online posting using Sony's PMB program and set it at the highest quality level of 6. This reduces the visible noise.

15. You can replay by pressing the "PLAY" button directly instead of pressing the "ON" switch then pressing "PLAY". This prevents the lens cap form popping out.

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Stephen McDonald
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Anti-Motion Blur and Hand-Held Twilight Modes
In reply to clie, Sep 1, 2009

My experience with these two modes regarding the HX1 EV settings is different than what is shown in this list. I usually need to lower the EV in daylight for AnB and raise it for TwL in dim light or shaded areas.

I took this TwL shot 2 min. after sunset and set the EV at plus .3-stop. It might have been better at plus .4-stop, but unfortunately, the HX1, like most such cameras, doesn't have that fine a degree of adjustment. The ISO was set by the camera at 400.

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clie
Forum MemberPosts: 90
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Re: HX1 tip and tricks Updated Sept 09
In reply to clie, Sep 24, 2009

1. Set EV to -0.3 to get better detail and colours due to over-exposure under default factory setting

2. For sharpest images, set image size to 6.7M (16:9). This uses 5 bits-per-pixel in its encoding, while most of the others use only 4 bits. This can make a difference in picture quality.

3. Set NR to -1 for sharper images due to Sony's aggresive noise algorithms. Then cleanup using some noise reduction software like Neat-Image

4. Half depress shutter all the time to lock the focus before you fully press the trigger

5. Use "anti-motion blur" mode for night shots instead of "hand held twilight". Better results. However twilight give better DOF (blurred background)

6. Turn DRO to off unless you really want to use it. reduces geometric distortion when using full telephoto. I think it increases sharpness also (?)

7. Turn on Smart Zoom when you use the 5-MP mode, as this reduces the number of encoding processes from two to one. You also get an original encoding of 5 bits-per-pixel and without Smart Zoom, the first process uses just 4 bits.

8. Use the 720p mode for HD video, as I found that it looks sharper than the 1080p video.

9. For night photos using handheld twilight, adjust EV by -0.7 to -2.0 to get better details. See Jerry's excellent comparison link here
http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1009&message=32187076

10. "Antimotion Blur” exposes exactly, "Handheld Twilight" must be corrected about -1.0 EV. Can be used in day time to reduce noise
see comparison link
http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1009&message=32253896

11. White paper with lots of tips on the H series (but not specifically for the HX1) http://www.aakatz.com/whitepaper/whitepaper/index.htm

12. Avoid zoom extremes - more distortion at extreme ends. If you have to use it, set max zoom then pull back slightly (refer 11. above)

13. Set Sharpness, Contrast and Color to high in P mode

14. Re-size all shots for online posting using Sony's PMB program and set it at the highest quality level of 6. This reduces the visible noise.

15. You can replay by pressing the "PLAY" button directly instead of pressing the "ON" switch then pressing "PLAY". This prevents the lens cap form popping out.

16. How to make your own HX1 ADAPTERS
a. The McDonald-o-matic
http://www.flickr.com/photos/22121562@N00/3405995367/

b. The Jogy-o-matic
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1009&message=32529690

c. The Clie-o-matic
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1009&message=32670951

d. The german-o-matic
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WaGxkL5PlY

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