HX1-more on Antiblur and Twilight

Started Jul 6, 2009 | Discussions
Jerry Stevens Senior Member • Posts: 2,530
HX1-more on Antiblur and Twilight

I thought I would share some more specimens comparing the two modes, antiblur and twilight, on the HX1. First, note that noise reduction is an issue. Here is the set-point of my particular cam, using overcast, gray sky, at 200% crop for emphasis:

LowNR LEFT, MedNR MIDDLE, HighNR RIGHT

Now, compare the above with noise reduction in the modes in question. Note that in antiblur and twilight modes, the user looses control of the noise setting. The noise menu item disappears when these modes are chosen:

LowNR LEFT, Daylight Antiblur MIDDLE, Daylight Twilight RIGHT

What needs to be noted is that, even though both modes work hard to eliminate noise, they do so quite differently. The antiblur mode always has two characteristics in daylight shots, which also are fairly regular in low-light shots as well: (1) more aggressive smoothing, which equals much less detail, and (2) lighter exposure, which reduces dynamic range. While the twilight mode has more chroma noise, we will see that this mode also has better dynamic range and more detail than antiblur in daylight exposures.
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Jerry (Gerald L. Stevens)

OP Jerry Stevens Senior Member • Posts: 2,530
Antiblur and Twilight in Daylight--Macro

I have chosen two daylight settings, macro and tele. All shots are handheld (naturally, for this is the purpose of these modes). In manual mode, aperture was f4.5, ISO 125, NR low, image stabilization on. Notice that the Antiblur looses both detail and dynamic range, whereas the Twilight retains better detail and dynamic range, as well as controlling noise more successfully than the in-camera setting of LowNR in manual mode. Here are the macro examples:

Daylight Manual LEFT, Daylight Antiblur MIDDLE, Daylight Twilight RIGHT:

-- hide signature --

Jerry (Gerald L. Stevens)

OP Jerry Stevens Senior Member • Posts: 2,530
Re: Antiblur and Twilight in Daylight--Tele

All shots are handheld (naturally, for this is the purpose of these modes) using the maximum zoom of 20x (100 mm) at a distance of 7-8 feet. For this shot, I wanted to contrast the manual mode used for the macro shot with the camera's own "Intelligent Auto" mode, which is quite successful, in my opinion. Image stabilization was on. Once again, notice that the Antiblur is overexposed and looses both detail and dynamic range, whereas the Twilight retains better detail and dynamic range, as well as controlling noise successfully, but a tad underexposed. Here are the tele examples:

Daylight Intelligent Autol LEFT, Daylight Antiblur MIDDLE, Daylight Twilight RIGHT:

-- hide signature --

Jerry (Gerald L. Stevens)

OP Jerry Stevens Senior Member • Posts: 2,530
Re: Antiblur and Twilight in Daylight--Conclusion

In daylight, the Twilight is much more successful than the Antiblur. The real test is not dark or medium colors, where the differences are minimized, but soft pastels and whites, which are the greatest challenge to CCD/CMOS sensors. In these daylight settings, the Antiblur mode regularly overexposes, producing less detail and lower dynamic range, whereas the Twilight regularly underexposes, but also produces much more detail and greater dynamic range.

Further, the Twilight mode is more successful in controlling noise than is the in-camera setting that the user can choose of LowNR (the "minus" setting, -NR). Trying to compensate with HighNR in manual mode will only result in more loss of detail, as the grayscale noise examples demonstrate. Thus, the Twilight mode actually seems to be more successful in garnishing shots with detail and dynamic range than any of the in-camera noise reduction settings. Quite odd to my mind, I must confess.

Finally, I notice that the camera's own "Intelligent Auto" mode is quite a competitor for getting decent shots. I would repeat what I have said in earlier posts about the iA mode that I should think any P&S user who chooses this setting on the HX1 will get an impressive number of "keepers." For once, Sony is to be commended for their coding, at least in this feature of the HX1, quite in contradistinction to their coding elsewise, such as their intractable bumbling in noise reduction.
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Jerry (Gerald L. Stevens)

pfou Forum Member • Posts: 55
Bravo

A really good job.
thanks from france.

OP Jerry Stevens Senior Member • Posts: 2,530
Antiblur and Twilight in Ambient Light

I also wanted to see the reactions of Antiblur and Twilight to ambient light inside a house near windows--in other words, simply not strong daylight, but also not night. I found patterns to be quite similar to the daylight exposures. The Twilight continues to be slightly underexposed, but has better dynamic range more detail than the Antiblur, which is slightly overexposed, with loss of detail and lower dynamic range. Further, the HX1's "Intelligent Auto" mode still continues to do admirably well. Here are the Antiblur and Twilight modes compared using books on a bookshelf near a window, I think about 6 feet away, at a zoom of 60.9 mm, handheld, image stabilization on:

Ambient Light Antiblur, LEFT, Ambient Light Twilight, RIGHT

Here is the Intelligent Auto and Antiblur and Twilight modes compared in the same setting. Note that the Intelligent Auto is holding its own nicely. Overall, though, I still think the slightly underexposed Twilight has the upper hand, especially if light PP is brought into play:

Ambient Light Intelligent Auto, LEFT, Ambient Light Antiblur, RIGHT

Ambient Light Intelligent Auto, LEFT, Ambient Light Twilight, RIGHT

-- hide signature --

Jerry (Gerald L. Stevens)

OP Jerry Stevens Senior Member • Posts: 2,530
Re: Bravo

Thanks. I just wanted to see for myself (inquiring minds just gotta know), and thought I'd share my observations.
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Jerry (Gerald L. Stevens)

Stephen McDonald
Stephen McDonald Forum Pro • Posts: 13,408
Re: Antiblur and Twilight in Ambient Light

Interesting results. If there was some way to trick the camera into more exposure with twilight mode, that would improve things. It will be even more interesting to see how Twilight mode works on a series of regular, daylight, outdoor shots of subjects some distance away.
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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

clie Forum Member • Posts: 90
Re: Thanks Jerry

Good work Jerry (I follow your treads closely)

can you do one with high contrast like looking through a tunnel and another one in macro mode?

clie Forum Member • Posts: 90
Re: hurry up and buy one

Hey Steve
hurry up and buy your 2nd HX1 will ya
HX1 users will really benefit once you become a HX1 user again

Stephen McDonald
Stephen McDonald Forum Pro • Posts: 13,408
Re: hurry up and buy one

clie wrote:

Hey Steve
hurry up and buy your 2nd HX1 will ya
HX1 users will really benefit once you become a HX1 user again

Thanks for the encouragement, mate. I ordered it yesterday morning for $440. (U.S.) from Vann's. I'll bet that grinds your gizzard, considering how much you have to pay for one down there.

I'm not too popular right now, with some people on the Canon Forum, after I posted my reasons for returning the Canon SX1 and going back to the HX1. They got fixated on the SX1, before it was even delivered to customers and they don't like to have their illusions challenged. On the contrary, the people here on the Sony Forum were very nice and understanding, when I jumped over to Canon for a couple of weeks. Little wonder that although I've used a Canon S5 for two years, I've been coming here, not there, for most of my camera discussions.
--
Steve McDonald
http://www.flickr.com/photos/22121562@N00/
http://www.vimeo.com/user458315/videos

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

OP Jerry Stevens Senior Member • Posts: 2,530
Re: hurry up and buy one

We can have our moments, for sure, but generally, discussion here is more search, discover, share than elsewhere.
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Jerry (Gerald L. Stevens)

OP Jerry Stevens Senior Member • Posts: 2,530
Re: Thanks Jerry

Let me know what you are after, and I might can accommodate something.
--
Jerry (Gerald L. Stevens)

OP Jerry Stevens Senior Member • Posts: 2,530
Tricking Twilight

Unfortunately, since Antiblur and Twilight are actually dedicated "scene" modes placed out on the main mode dial and not buried down in the scene submenu, then they behave as do all scene modes in which user-adjustable options are a restricted subset. For these two modes in particular, the restricted subset is down to:

(1) Image Size
(2) White Balance
(3) Metering Mode
(4) Face Detection
(5) Steady Shot
(6) System Settings

Not even the dedicated Focus and Bracket buttons on the top of the handgrip in front of the mode dial are operational in Antiblur and Twilight modes. The Custom button to the right of the dedicated Play button only deals with White Balance, Metering Mode, and Smile Shutter (of all things; so insipidly stupid). Thus, even the Custom button offers nothing to allow piddling with the dedicated Antiblur and Twilight modes.

As to Twilight and tele, that's the next step, of course. Just not enough time to work and play.
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Jerry (Gerald L. Stevens)

Jogy Regular Member • Posts: 127
Re: Tricking Twilight

Hi,

Good work, Jerry!

I own a HX1 since 3 month, now I can say i have two Cams. One HX1 normal without TW and antiB mode and one HX1 remarkable with TW and antiB mode.

I´m convinced of the Sony´s TW and antiB mode, in this modes image quality is mostly better than in normal mode. Pics taken in TW and antiB are sharp and show only very few noise and loss of details is low. The HX1 is the best in the compact groupe.

Althought the use of TW and antiB mode is an automatic mode and taking pics is limited I try to use that modes so often I can also in sunny daylight and for (slowly) moving objects. If there are requirements I use all the other normal modes of the HX1, naturely.

Jerry, I agree with you mostly but there is something I see different. So I made some test pics in TW and antiB.
My conclusion is:

1. Twilight and anti blur mode have both the same sharpness and the same low noise if ISO is same.
2. anti blur mode exposes exactly

3. Twilight underexposes, it must be corrected about +1,0 EV. I think it´s a bug.
4. In anti blur ISO value increase faster when it´s getting darker.

Here are my test pics:
http://www.pbase.com/jogy/vergleicha_htm_abm

Sorry, my explanation is in german, but pics tell more…

or this thread:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1009&message=32253896

I hope that Sony will develope the TW and antiB modes to fewer restrictions.

Jogy

HX1 movies and pics

http://www.pbase/jogy

OP Jerry Stevens Senior Member • Posts: 2,530
Re: Tricking Twilight

Hi Jogy,

Mein Deutsch ist schrecklich, aber ich werde mit Ihrem Englisch beeindruckt! Danke für Ihre Beiträge zum Sony-Forum.

Yes, I was aware of your earlier comments, and thank you for your research. I was trying to extend the scope of your examples.

Pics taken in TW and antiB are sharp

Yes, I would agree, if we are talking daylight exposure. However, I have nighttime examples that show exposures in which Twilight is challenged by handheld motion at full zoom more than is Antiblur.

and show only very few noise

Yes, because the noise reduction algorithms are quite aggressive

and loss of details is low

I apologize, but I just cannot agree with this statement. In the first place, noise reduction is, de facto, loss of details in small sensor CCD/CMOS technologies. Secondly, the very images you are looking at in this thread contradict this claim. Note especially the flower petals post with rain drops. The details have all but disappeared entirely in the Antiblur shot, which is overexposed.

Jerry, I agree with you mostly but there is something I see different. So I made some test pics in TW and antiB.

Yes, I examined your test pics carefully. The very first matter I noted was that you shot deep-colored images that do not challenge the CCD/CMOS sensor as much as whites and pastels in daylight exposures. That is why I specifically shot whites and pastels. Nothing demonstrates dynamic range like gradations of white. Therefore, if restricted to your examples only, I might could agree with your conclusions. However. the behavior of the Antiblur and Twilight modes changes with the nature of the subject.

My conclusion is:

1. Twilight and anti blur mode have both the same sharpness and the same low noise if ISO is same.

Yes, in your medium to dark colored subjects. However, since you cannot choose ISO in these modes, you have no control over what ISO settings you have for any given shot. Therefore, the comparison is more theoretical for a restricted scenario than is practical, since we cannot control ISO for all types of images and settings.

2. anti blur mode exposes exactly

Again, yes in your particular test subjects, but definitely not so if you change the test subject to pastel or subtle shades of white.

3. Twilight underexposes, it must be corrected about +1,0 EV. I think it´s a bug.

I agree completely here that Twilight underexposes. In addition, in my shots, Antiblur always overexposes. Since we are given the option of EV settings in these dedicated modes of Antiblur and Twilight, then, fortunately, we can correct the Twilight underexposure and the Antiblur overexposure. One would have to experiment to find out what value of correction in each mode would be desirable. Your thought that this could be a bug might be right.

4. In anti blur ISO value increase faster when it´s getting darker.

Yes, again, I agree. Seems that its strategy to reduce motion blur is ISO manipulation. However, this algorithm seems to change strategy when one is talking pure night shots, such as citscapes. See my earlier post on this.

I hope that Sony will develope the TW and antiB modes to fewer restrictions.

I doubt that will ever happen, except in a newer model. Since Sony regularly on the H cams does not issue firmware updates, I believe we are out of luck to get more flexibility of user input. Besides, user input does complicate matters for the programmers. Too much user input would crash the assumptions in their algorithm codes anyway. Basically, the equations would have too many variables and become unwieldy.

Thanks for your input!
--
Jerry (Gerald L. Stevens)

clie Forum Member • Posts: 90
Re: Thanks Jerry

Jerry

A comparison where there is high contrast to see which mode is better e.g. looking through a tunnel/bridge. would be good

clie Forum Member • Posts: 90
US guys are so lucky

$US440 for an HX1 !! We have to pay AUD$900 for one - I don't think there are 10 non grey import HX1 in the whole country because of the price

I almost ordered mine from B&H but had to pay us$60 for postage and had to be sent back to US for any warranty issues. So I found an online mob based in HK called 'DigitalRev' which is more reasonable - camera arrived in 4 days and no problems. (got lots of good reviews but service is ..mmm). Came with a 12 mth Mack warranty which was the deal maker for me.

D Lynch Senior Member • Posts: 2,904
Jerry truly appreciate the quality of your response

thanks so much!

Dave L
Toronto

 D Lynch's gear list:D Lynch's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F828 Sony RX100 II Nikon D300S Sony a6000
OP Jerry Stevens Senior Member • Posts: 2,530
Re: Thanks Jerry

Good suggestion. If I can find something that would work, I will update the post.
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Jerry (Gerald L. Stevens)

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