Digital camera with large sensor or camcorder with small sensor?

Started Jan 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
Francis Carver Senior Member • Posts: 1,122
Techno Jumbo 4 the digital age

Jezebel Masterson wrote:

Cant speak for others, but I thought the hobbit looked great, so did avatar.

Saw "The Hobbit" theatrically, it was shown in 2D and at 24 fps frame rate. Looked great. Also saw "Avatar" a few years earlier, that was shot in 24 fps and shown at 24 fps. Also looked great. Of course, there is double-flashing and triple-flashing because of the 3D, but still, there are only 24 original frames of information per second with "Avatar."

For one, more frames equals smoother motion.

Right, thus the "Latino television soap opera" effect most have mentioned of it in their criticism. I saw nothing wrong with 'The Hobbit" myself, of course I saw it in 2D and that was projected in normal 24 fps.  I cannot comment how it looked at 48 fps, I just don't bother to watch anything in 3D. They should have shown it at 48 fps refresh rate in 2D as well, in my opinion.

I like smooth movement because that is the way I see things in real life. Perhaps the issue is that our minds are used to associating choppy 24p with professional, so when we see a smooth 60p, we think amateur home video. It suited hollywood in the past, because it was less data. We have supercomputers in our palms now though, 24p will become extinct. I have said before, I like my photos and video to reflect what I see IRL, and my eyes don't see 24fps.

24 fps will become "extinct" maybe in a few more decades -- maybe right about the same time that film will become "extinct." Until then, I suppose we can shoot higher than 24 fps frame rates by shooting at 25 fps, 30 fps, 48 fps, etc. Some new D-film cameras (and the Panasonic Varicam camcorders and the GoPro Cineform) can readily shoot at 48 fps, the new Sonys even at 1080p120 120 fps.

Wouldn't 120 fps frame rate acquisition and playback be clearly 2x times as superior than mere 60 fps?

I'm not sure we can say people don't buy based on DOF needs.

Nobody "needs" shallow DOF, that's for sure, it is probably more hustle than what it is worth. The reason TV shows and motion picture films were shot on 35mm film format for decades really had nothing to do with DOF, one way or the other. If you knew what you were doing, you could shoot the same material with narrow DOF, normal DOF, or in "Citizen Kane" type of deep focus.

Hardcore photographer folks, on the other hand, are clearly enamored by shallow DOF and subject isolation.

I watched the producers explain the reason for the 7D use was it's larger sensor, for the shallow DOF.

Never heard of that, as I had always thought that the APS-C sensor was rather small, at least compared to full-frame 135 digital sensor and film frame, 4-perf 35mm film frame, and even 3-perf Super 35 film frame and digital sensor.

But if they had shot the rest of the show with 1/2.33-inch or 1/3-inch sensor camcorders, then of course I can see how an APS-C sized sensor camera was considered large sensor on that particular set.

With film shooting, it is much simpler: Super 16 is "small," and Super 35 is "normal." Only Imax and 65/70mm is considered "large."

my tiny 1/4.1 3mos system proves that, it absolutely crushes any FF DSLR, if nothing else, in sharpness.

Well, you seem to be convinced of that, so all is well as far as I can tell. Plus, 1/4-inch and 1/4.7-inch and 1/6-inch sensor gear is usually quite a bit less expensive than huge sensor digital alternatives, anyhow. Heck, there are some pretty decent semi-pro camcorders in the $6,000 to $9,000 price range (Canon, Panasonic, Sony) that have nothing but 1/3-inch diagonal MOS/CMOS sensors, right?

I don't have a Pro cam yet, but I am going from APSC video to small sensor camcorder, not the other way around. I could have easily invested in a FF, my apsc was $1200, my camcorder was $750, I could have picked up a 6D or D600 for that. I chose to buy a 1/4" camcorder. 2 months ago I would have agreed larger is better, I consider myself more educated now. Fast glass is easy to make when it's small, and 1/4" sensors are small. So all in all, I think DOF is a good way to choose your medium, that is likely the biggest difference. It will cost you though, heavy, big, expensive. And thin DOF is very unforgiving, try manually focusing a 6D @F1.4, not a fun experience.

These days, manual focusing with digital cameras is so easy, even a legally blind person can do it with 45 minutes of practice.

In the motion picture film camera era, it was decidedly harder for a number of technical reason I don't want to dwell into now. But with these fancy digital jobs, what's the problem? You can optically zoom in closer to your subject to set critical focus -- or else use the instant 2x, 5x, 10x digital zoom in/out focus confirmation function button for this.

There are all sorts of focus peaking methods, with many cameras and monitors you can even pick the color of your focus peaking outline. Other algorithms, and of course the use of high-rez external EVFs and connected LCD/OLED monitors.

Anybody having trouble focusing these days with a digital camera indeed has problems.

But I agree, with a 1/4-inch or smaller sensor camcorder, there are no focus issue at all. In fact unless you are shooting with wide open iris and/or in full telephoto setting, you probably do not have to adjust focal distance at all. Just set it at 3 meters and shoot. All will be in focus, almost guaranteed.

That is why I loved my old Canon 1018 Electronic Super 8 film camera -- focusing was really a non-issue compared to the 16mm film-cams, let alone the pro 35mm cameras and lenses on them.

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