Camcorders can't compete with GH1, here's why.

Started Mar 4, 2009 | Discussions
Pattisboy Senior Member • Posts: 1,990
Re: Camcorders can't compete with GH1, here's why.

LizaWitz wrote:

You don't, by any chance, have any old Bolex, c-mount, PL mount or
arriflex lenses you're desperate to get rid of cheap, do you?

I have c-mounts Dallmeyer 1" f/1.9 and a Dallmeyer 4" f/3.5 - both seemingly functional but need a good clean.

Regards, Bertie.

john Senior Member • Posts: 1,620
Re: Camcorders can't compete with GH1, here's why.

I have tested most digitals camera video mode, no matter they are from snap shot dc or 5dm2, the video on computer screen look great, but when you try to display it on a real plasma TV, or any type of TV, those video which has motion or panning will always look like step like result, if you trying to edit it, this problem will be worse, and the rolling shutter from cmos is really not good.

SteB
SteB Veteran Member • Posts: 4,526
I agree with the OP

Although I don't currently shoot video and have no more experience than the normal bit of camcorder stuff, I expect this type of camera to revolutionise my photography. Primarily I shoot natural history subjects and particularly macro. Basically it is my observations of the natural world. Every now and again I come across situations and scenes that don't lend themselves to still photography. A short video clip would be much better way to illustrate what is going on. For a long time I have considered getting into video but haven't because I would only use it infrequently, and even if I lugged a video camera around with me, it would be almost certain that I would have a stills camera in my hand when I came across something interesting.

I am under no illusion about how difficult it may be to get good footage and that the technique for video is different than a stills photography. For instance I use flash a lot to freeze motion with handheld insect photos - obviously this approach cannot be used with video. Nevertheless I have worked hard on techniques for bracing my camera to maximise sharpness and I am now very aware of how steady things are in the frame. So yes it will be a steep learning curve, but one I will enjoy learning.

I also fully understand the issue of sensor size. Many of those who are anti-4/3 highlight the supposedly small sensor, depth of field control etc, without stopping to think. Stopping to think that the supposedly small 4/3 sensor is actually much closer to APS-C or even FF than it is to a digicam or camcorder sensor. In fact only the other day someone on the News Forum tried to contradict me and claimed that I was wrong and the 4/3 sensor was much closer to a digicam sensor than it was to APS-C - they had got their figures muddled up. I think the 4/3 sensor is an excellent compromise size for this type of hybrid camera. It is big enough to offer a substantial advantage over the smaller sensors of digicams and camcorders, yet small enough not to require massive lenses.

Ken Gibilisco Senior Member • Posts: 2,653
Re: Camcorders can't compete with GH1, here's why.

Hi Lizawitz,

Your information on Camcorders is interesting but do you really believe that a Canon HD Camcorder with a list price of over $1000 has a "CHEAP, NOT GREAT" lens? I have to bend to your superior knowledge on video, and the information that you gave is helpful to me since I have a decided lack of expertise in video, but I DO know that Canon does not make "CHEAP" lenses for their higher end cameras. Most experts that I have read place Canon, Nikon, and Leica lenses among the very best in the world.

Please explain your position on this, thank you and Regards, Ken.

 Ken Gibilisco's gear list:Ken Gibilisco's gear list
Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR
Roger Bloemers Contributing Member • Posts: 895
Re: not a big problem

agreed. excessive zooming is just bad movie making.
--
Roger Bloemers

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Jay Gloab Senior Member • Posts: 1,093
Re: Please,give this cheerleading a rest

Larry Winters wrote:

Come on...It's a 28-280 OPTICAL 35mm equiv...PERIOD...It's also f/5.8
at that 280mm equiv...No amount of ISO amplification, digital
interpolation or cheerleading is gonna change that...So let just
stick to the actual optical properties and let the others surface as
testing is done..

"OPTICAL 35mm equiv" is a meaningless expression. The actual, optical focal length range of the lens is 14-140mm, period .

The 35mm equivalent focal length depends on the size of the sensor, according to the crop factor. The 4/3 sensor has a native crop factor of 2.0, which is how the 14-140 lens becomes 28-280.

But if you're shooting 1080 video, you only need 1920x1080 of the 4352x2448 resolution of the sensor (for 16:9 shooting), so you're effectively shooting with a smaller sensor, giving a total crop factor of 4.53. So 14-140 becomes 63.5-635 equivalent.
--
-Jay

http://flickr.com/photos/48504267@N00/

Larry Winters Veteran Member • Posts: 4,837
Re: Please,give this cheerleading a rest

Hello Jay:

But if you're shooting 1080 video, you only need 1920x1080 of the
4352x2448 resolution of the sensor (for 16:9 shooting), so you're
effectively shooting with a smaller sensor, giving a total crop
factor of 4.53. So 14-140 becomes 63.5-635 equivalent.

I thought you said: "OPTICAL 35mm equiv" is a meaningless expression. The actual, optical focal length range of the lens is 14-140mm, period .

But yeah I get your drift...

lw

Jay Gloab wrote:

Larry Winters wrote:

Come on...It's a 28-280 OPTICAL 35mm equiv...PERIOD...It's also f/5.8
at that 280mm equiv...No amount of ISO amplification, digital
interpolation or cheerleading is gonna change that...So let just
stick to the actual optical properties and let the others surface as
testing is done..

"OPTICAL 35mm equiv" is a meaningless expression. The actual,
optical focal length range of the lens is 14-140mm, period .

The 35mm equivalent focal length depends on the size of the sensor,
according to the crop factor. The 4/3 sensor has a native crop factor
of 2.0, which is how the 14-140 lens becomes 28-280.

But if you're shooting 1080 video, you only need 1920x1080 of the
4352x2448 resolution of the sensor (for 16:9 shooting), so you're
effectively shooting with a smaller sensor, giving a total crop
factor of 4.53. So 14-140 becomes 63.5-635 equivalent.
--
-Jay

http://flickr.com/photos/48504267@N00/

 Larry Winters's gear list:Larry Winters's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50 Fujifilm X-T20
WT21 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,240
Re: Camcorders can't compete with GH1, here's why.

LizaWitz wrote:

So many people think that the video on the GH1 is useless and that if
you want good video, you need a camcorder. These people haven't done
their research, and kinda are missing the point of the GH1 (which is
all about video, if you don't need video, get a G1).

The serious amature video world (Eg: not professionals working for
hollywood who rent million dollar cameras) is pretty excited at the
potential and reality of DSLR cinema.

Camcorders have 1/3" sensors. This means deep depth of field. Great
when you're a tourist and you can't focus, but terrible for movie
making. This camera has a 4/3 sensor.

Camcorders have cheap non-interchangeable lenses. What you get is
what you get. The sensors are so small that you tend to get long
zoom distances. But its not great glass. This camera has a great
lens that gives 10x zoom, but also HD glass-- which is even harder
for it since the sensor being bigger the glass has to be bigger.

Camcorders shoot full auto all the time and pretty much only. The
pump up the colors and they make video that may be great looking out
of hte camera, has far less dynamic range and far less
controllability than a filmmaker wants. This camera lets you set
color and exposure modes manually, and thus you can get all the
dynamic range the much larger sensor will give you.

Camcorders grab video from a sensor that is, at best, 1920x1080
resolution. This camera has a 4000x3000 resolution sensor. That
means to get a 1920x1080 HD frame, the sensor data is downsampled 4
times. This means much better low light performance and much better
image quality for your video.

Really, Camcorders can't compete because they are meant for tourists
and taking pictures of babies.

IF you are a filmmaker or serious videographer, this camera is a huge
improvement, has no competition on the market right now for less than
$5000, and in some ways at any price.

-- hide signature --

To see the effect Liza is talking about, see this site on movies made w/Canon 5D: In the middle of this one is a great example of the narrow DOF achievable w/the 5D. The G1 won't be quite as narrow, but more than a tiny sensor on the digicams:

http://www.cinema5d.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=844

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DVSteve Contributing Member • Posts: 919
Re: Camcorders can't compete with GH1, here's why.

I agree. Aside from the size of the GH1's sensor, I just don't think it has anything over the Canon HF S10 or HF S100. I'm going to ask around on a couple of camcorder forums and see what people think (nobody has posted about the GH1 yet).
--
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nvsteve/collections/72157603250959710/

tko Forum Pro • Posts: 12,832
funny

Yes, the youngsters forget about super 8 in the 1950's. Now everyone was a home movie maker. And what did you do with all the movies? Have your friends over to dinner and show them you vacation filmings?

That's why I and most others do film. You can put photos on the wall, sell them, put them on coffee mugs, T-shirts, books, etc. What you you do with video? What can you do with a thousand videos? Right now I have 150,000 photos and several terabytes of storage. It's all I can handle.

So, does anyone have a burning desire to rescue, restore, and look at their families old super 8 movies? : )

How many times do married couples look at video of their wedding? But how many have a photo on their desk or living room?

I'm just not really sure what all these people plan on doing w/these videos. You can't post them on DPR, you can't post them anywhere. I don't know of a single place where you can post serious videos for review and critique. I know of very few video contests.

So I agree with you. Lets come back in a year and see how the new video revolution is going. And be careful about accepting dinner invitations :!)

Shrapnel Contributing Member • Posts: 787
Re: funny

You can make little films and put them on Youtube or Vimeo, the HD presentation is quite watchable.

But, yes I agree, finding an audience is insanely difficult and makes the whole thing rather pointless unless you really enjoy doing it. Even with stills, there's not a whole lot of point.... the world is drowning in pretty pictures that very few people will ever see. But the joy is in taking the photos and working on them... same thing applies to filmmaking.

If you're filming a specialist interest subject though, that's where you may find a ready and appreciative audience amongt the enthusiasts in the hobby's forum community. That's where you can get the positive feedback (I imagine) that help to make it all the more worthwhile.

WT21 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,240
Re: funny

tko wrote:

Yes, the youngsters forget about super 8 in the 1950's. Now everyone
was a home movie maker. And what did you do with all the movies? Have
your friends over to dinner and show them you vacation filmings?

That's why I and most others do film. You can put photos on the wall,
sell them, put them on coffee mugs, T-shirts, books, etc. What you
you do with video? What can you do with a thousand videos? Right now
I have 150,000 photos and several terabytes of storage. It's all I
can handle.

So, does anyone have a burning desire to rescue, restore, and look at
their families old super 8 movies? : )

How many times do married couples look at video of their wedding? But
how many have a photo on their desk or living room?

I'm just not really sure what all these people plan on doing w/these
videos. You can't post them on DPR, you can't post them anywhere. I
don't know of a single place where you can post serious videos for
review and critique. I know of very few video contests.

So I agree with you. Lets come back in a year and see how the new
video revolution is going. And be careful about accepting dinner
invitations :!)

-- hide signature --

I just converted about 24 8mm movies from the 60s and 70s to DVD, and got to show my kids their great grandparents when they were young. I gave a DVD to everyone in the family for Christmas.

This is the value of video, IMO. The trouble w/digital video is the amount of shepherding (storage, transcoding) required between now and 50 years from now. The beauty of analog is, as long as you protected the film, a light and a lens is all that is needed to see it.

Our entire civilization runs the risk of losing our long term memory, as all these exabytes of data that everyone brags about are so ephemeral. Long-term storage and retrieval is now more complex than ever. In fact, when I talk to my customers about long term media archives, we are only planning out 5 years (!). That's the definition right now of "long term"

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Redteg94 Senior Member • Posts: 1,546
Re: Relative Sensor sizes.

LizaWitz wrote:

Plus, since HD video is pulled from a 4k sensor in this camera, you
should have a factor of 4 noise reduction, effectively, the camera
should be 4 times more light sensitive.

The Sony camcorders do the same thing. They have 10MP CMOS and downscale to 1080i/P. It is true that the G1 sensor is a lot bigger, but what about the 5DII? It's sensor is 4 times larger than the G1 and you can put a 24/1.4, 50/1.2, 85/1.2 lens on it for amazing low-light ability

0lf wrote:

You are right, but camcorder have F2 lens (WA).
Even if it is not enough to compensate the diference in sensor size,
it reduce the gap in DOF...
--

-- hide signature --
Tony Reynolds Senior Member • Posts: 1,236
Wonderful Video...

-nt-

demarren 123 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,616
Re: Camcorders can't compete with GH1, here's why.

LizaWitz wrote:

So many people think that the video on the GH1 is useless and that if
you want good video, you need a camcorder. These people haven't done
their research, and kinda are missing the point of the GH1 (which is
all about video, if you don't need video, get a G1).

The serious amature video world (Eg: not professionals working for
hollywood who rent million dollar cameras) is pretty excited at the
potential and reality of DSLR cinema.

Camcorders have 1/3" sensors. This means deep depth of field. Great
when you're a tourist and you can't focus, but terrible for movie
making. This camera has a 4/3 sensor.

Camcorders have cheap non-interchangeable lenses. What you get is
what you get. The sensors are so small that you tend to get long
zoom distances. But its not great glass. This camera has a great
lens that gives 10x zoom, but also HD glass-- which is even harder
for it since the sensor being bigger the glass has to be bigger.

Camcorders shoot full auto all the time and pretty much only. The
pump up the colors and they make video that may be great looking out
of hte camera, has far less dynamic range and far less
controllability than a filmmaker wants. This camera lets you set
color and exposure modes manually, and thus you can get all the
dynamic range the much larger sensor will give you.

Camcorders grab video from a sensor that is, at best, 1920x1080
resolution. This camera has a 4000x3000 resolution sensor. That
means to get a 1920x1080 HD frame, the sensor data is downsampled 4
times. This means much better low light performance and much better
image quality for your video.

Really, Camcorders can't compete because they are meant for tourists
and taking pictures of babies.

IF you are a filmmaker or serious videographer, this camera is a huge
improvement, has no competition on the market right now for less than
$5000, and in some ways at any price.

give me a break.

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OP LizaWitz Regular Member • Posts: 461
Re: Relative Sensor sizes.

Redteg94 wrote:

LizaWitz wrote:

Plus, since HD video is pulled from a 4k sensor in this camera, you
should have a factor of 4 noise reduction, effectively, the camera
should be 4 times more light sensitive.

The Sony camcorders do the same thing. They have 10MP CMOS and
downscale to 1080i/P. It is true that the G1 sensor is a lot bigger,
but what about the 5DII? It's sensor is 4 times larger than the G1
and you can put a 24/1.4, 50/1.2, 85/1.2 lens on it for amazing
low-light ability

you can put those very same lenses on this camera as well. The 5DII has a larger sensor, but it doens't give you exposure control for video, or much control over image quality aproprite for cinematographers.

And it costs 3 times as much.

And you can't AF while shooting.

Its really not a video camera.

As for the sony camcorders their sensors are tiny and yet they cost the same amount, and don't give you control.

OP LizaWitz Regular Member • Posts: 461
Re: not a big problem

Gpech wrote:

That's right, none of these programs leave the frame un-modified in
the final video. I use Sony Vegas and it supports AVCHD natively but
when you "render" the final video it recompresses every frame.

You can't say because one product does this that all products do.

iMovie, I know for a fact, does not.

OP LizaWitz Regular Member • Posts: 461
Re: not a big problem

Because, of course, its impossible to put the GH1 on a tripod. Hell, with most camcorders you can't even manual focus.

You want to shoot vacations and babies, get yourself a camcorder-- that's waht they're designed for.

If you want to create cinema, nothing comes close to the GH1.

gl2k wrote:

http://fourthirds-user.com/2009/03/handson_with_the_lumix_hdenabled_dmcgh1.php

This report tells that there is no power zoom for video. That's what
I call a challange. While holding the cam with one hand, manually
zooming with the other hand on a barrel. And all this without a
tripod. Yeah baby ...
I think there is a good reason why video equipment looks differently
and works differently than still camera equipment.
GH1 will probably deliver good quality video but that makes it in no
way a 100% replacement for a true video cam.

just my 2 euro-cent

OP LizaWitz Regular Member • Posts: 461
Just because you don't use it, doesn't make you an expert.

tko wrote:

That's why I and most others do film.

That's fine, but your misconceptions about video don't mean that video is pointless for those who do use it.

So, does anyone have a burning desire to rescue, restore, and look at
their families old super 8 movies? : )

Absolutely. Don't you? I'm trying to figure a cost effective, high quality and relaible way to rescue super-8 footage, since there aren't many places that will scan it and those that do are either super expensive, or low quality.

How many times do married couples look at video of their wedding? But
how many have a photo on their desk or living room?

You're confusing subject with use. Maybe video isn't appropriate for weddings, I'm not going to say. But that doesn't mean video is useless for other subjects.

I'm just not really sure what all these people plan on doing w/these
videos. You can't post them on DPR, you can't post them anywhere.

Have you never heard of youtube? And for those who are serious about cinematography there's vimeo-- essentially a amature film making site full of video. And there are more sites coming up over time.

There's a community of people who shoot cinema-- shot movies, experimental films, etc. Who use these cameras for more than babies, vacations and weddings.

don't know of a single place where you can post serious videos for
review and critique. I know of very few video contests.

Which doesn't mean they don't exist.

So I agree with you. Lets come back in a year and see how the new
video revolution is going. And be careful about accepting dinner
invitations :!)

Why so smug and snide.

Its almost as if because you don't want something, people who do must be lesser people?

jordanofoz Forum Member • Posts: 59
Re: funny

This is the value of video, IMO. The trouble w/digital video is the
amount of shepherding (storage, transcoding) required between now and
50 years from now. The beauty of analog is, as long as you protected
the film, a light and a lens is all that is needed to see it.

You're forgetting that digital storage grows exponentially and in 5-10 years storing your mammoth amount of digital video will seem trivial. You can already store an "unlimited" amount of data offsite for $5/month with services such as Mozy Home. In 12 years your terabytes of data will likely fit on an SD card of the day.

Of course by then you'll be figuring how to store the 4k video from your cell phone.

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