Sony HX5V video barrel distortion

Started Mar 19, 2010 | Discussions
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perfectsquare Forum Member • Posts: 67
Sony HX5V video barrel distortion

Thought I'd post something to highlight an apparent issue with the HX5V's video. These images are not my own but captures from the sample videos of four different YouTube users, so presumably four different HX5Vs.

It is of course granted that barrel distortion is a known wide-angle issue, but people would be raising hell if it were exhibited the HX5V's still shots, so to me it'd be spurious to consider it acceptable for video when one of this camera's big selling points is the quality of the movie mode.

The first two captures are particularly interesting since they offer a direct comparison between the Sony HX5V and Panasonic TZ7/ZS3:

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP1wxWj-s2E

The next 4 captures are from 3 other HX5V users:

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXZB-sWrhuo

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU8Iq_IEZqU

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA5INXpymqE

I also went looking to see of the Sony TX7 exhibited the same issue, and it didn't take long to find an example:

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5jiAI3eiIk

ron2000 Senior Member • Posts: 1,208
Re: Sony HX5V video barrel distortion

Yes I can confirm that it is quite bad even though cideo start at 30mm for 16:9 and 36mm for 4:3.

It does not improve until 1.7x zoom and beyond.

Ben Saunders Regular Member • Posts: 173
Re: Sony HX5V video barrel distortion

Hmm, really not great at all... its actually quite severe!

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cboy7 Regular Member • Posts: 119
Re: Sony HX5V video barrel distortion

so the best way around that is to zoom in 1.7x?
I think they wanted a wide angle and this is what wide angle looks like

perfectsquare OP Forum Member • Posts: 67
Re: Sony HX5V video barrel distortion

I'm guessing the lenses of both the Sony HX5V and Panasonic TZ7/ZS3 would intrinsically exhibit severe barrel distortion at wide angle, but that both cameras correct this internally for still images. Assuming that's true, it seems Panasonic also performs this processing for video while Sony does not.

So maybe it's something that could be addressed in future firmware, though I've learned to avoid buying gadgets based on the expectation of issues being fixed in firmware/software updates.

realgeek Senior Member • Posts: 1,385
I have no problem! ... ?!

I don't understand, because I don't see much barrel distortion (if any) in my HX5V videos. I've only taken two so far, but in both I started wide and zoomed in. No problems at either end.

Perhaps I'll run more tests tomorrow ...

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rss1983 Junior Member • Posts: 42
Re: Sony HX5V video barrel distortion

You tube compresses upload videos quite alot! i don't know if this is fair is it?

Marti58
Marti58 MOD Forum Pro • Posts: 22,052
Re:the barrel distortion ....

was noticed in the very first shots around on internet, owning the panasonic TZ6 all i can say that it seems to correct/controls the barrel distortion better like the TZ7 does.

its not realistic to expect a FW upgrade from Sony to correct this, as Sony has a bad reputation as it comes to firmware upgrades...

Sony is new to this kind of wide angle so maybe future versions will be better.
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chupame Regular Member • Posts: 453
YES it IS bad

thanks for pointing out this flaw perfectsquare
I can confirm this flaw

There is a huge barrel distortion in the beginning and at 22 sec of this video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ir5Dq35l1wc

Also there it the quite slow refocus from macro to tele between min 0.42 and 1.0 and the failure to refocus between 1.0 and 1.05

compared with the Canon SX210 video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kL6OtEvHEHs
which shows only very moderate signs at sec 28

If any body who has a HX5 can try to recreate the barrel distortion or error to refocus from tele to macro and confirm this please leave a comment with your findings or your youtube video here.

my blog post about this problem
http://hx5v.blogspot.com/2010/01/lets-compare-sony-hx5v-with.html
--
http://hx5v.blogspot.com/

chupame Regular Member • Posts: 453
Re: YES it IS bad

the also 25 mm samsung lens has nearly no distortion in video

and the hx1 in 28 mm is also nearly distortion free in video

more see:
http://hx5v.blogspot.com/
http://wb2000-insider.blogspot.com/

cboy7 Regular Member • Posts: 119
Re: YES it IS bad

on mine , when I get to 1.5x zoom , it goes away. hope a firmware patch will fix this. great little camera otherwise.

today i took some pics that had obvious barrel distortion as well. they were all at full wide.

realgeek Senior Member • Posts: 1,385
Re: I have no problem! ... ?!

realgeek wrote:

I don't understand, because I don't see much barrel distortion (if any) in my HX5V videos. I've only taken two so far, but in both I started wide and zoomed in. No problems at either end.

Perhaps I'll run more tests tomorrow ...

So I did some more tests and I was able to detect barrel distortion on the wide end. Not nearly as bad as the samples posted by the OP, but it is there. Not a major deal, IMHO.

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tkrieger Junior Member • Posts: 26
Re: Sony HX5V video barrel distortion

In observing video with the new superzooms, I've noticed the flaws in the following cameras........

  • The Sony HX5v has ghastly barrel distortion at the wide angle in video mode. (About as bad as the Canon S90 doing “raw” photos.) Suggests heavy “lens correction” for stills.

  • The Pana ZS7 has a propensity for pink “vertical banding” if bright lights are present, and has some “pincushion” distortion in video. (The opposite effect to the "barrel distortion" of the HX5v.) The video playback seems “jerky” as well.

  • The Nikon S8000 has a very quick and touchy “zoom” mode during video, and the video quality isn’t quite up to the competition......

  • The Samsung HZ35W has a very noisy zoom motor, loses focus during video zoom, and it too has some crazy geometric “pincushion” distortion in video the wide angle. (More pronounced than that in the Pana ZS7.)

  • The few clips I saw from the FH100 seemed to have the cleanest video, but no zoom.......

  • The Canon SX210 is not quite as wide-angle as the the others (28mm vs. 25 mm.) But it also has clean video and an optical zoom length almost comparable to the HZ35W (14x). And maybe the best "night" video capability.

So far, the SX210 has the edge, with the HX5v in second. How well the cams capture "concert audio" will determine which one I'll end up purchasing.

cboy7 Regular Member • Posts: 119
Re: Sony HX5V video barrel distortion

tkrieger wrote:

So far, the SX210 has the edge, with the HX5v in second. How well the cams capture "concert audio" will determine which one I'll end up purchasing.

here are some pics from a concert . I know u want good audio and video , but these are amazing pics.
http://picasaweb.google.com/workinggirl1969/20100318ConcertIndochineLille#

GaryW Veteran Member • Posts: 8,412
Complain, complain...

chupame wrote:
....

and the hx1 in 28 mm is also nearly distortion free in video

Eh? This distortion looks very noticeable to me. Not exactly distortion free by any stretch. Complain about the HX5V if you want, but I'm not sure it's so unusual.

It's not uncommon to have some barrel distortion at wide angles. You'll even see this on some DSLR lenses.

I'm wondering, though, if in-camera lens correction processing is responsible for some of the loss of detail along the edges of still photos...

With all of the complaints posted here, I have to wonder -- how often do you video at a wide angle? Generally for video, I tend to zoom more, but I do like to use wider angles for stills. I think I could live with this limitation. I think it's the quality of the stills that would make me hesitate wanting the HX5V.

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Gary W.

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Marti58
Marti58 MOD Forum Pro • Posts: 22,052
Sorry to say but history learns differently

cboy7 wrote:

on mine , when I get to 1.5x zoom , it goes away. hope a firmware patch will fix this. great little camera otherwise.

logic because you're leaving the wide when you do that.

i never have seen any FW upgrades in P&S camera's from Sony.... the last 5 years.

instead of FW fixes Sony will make/correct a problem in the next camera if they do.

today i took some pics that had obvious barrel distortion as well. they were all at full wide.

at full wide is where it will be most visible.

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chupame Regular Member • Posts: 453
schnaps

gary, if you look at the horizontales what where bend very bad in the hx5 video they are straight as a brick with the hx1
the woodwork distortion comes from having the camera in a light angle.
so there is nearly no distortion here.
--
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cboy7 Regular Member • Posts: 119
Re: schnaps

Thanks for the reply marti.

My next question. Is this common in small point and shoot wide angle cameras?

I was comparing the hx5 to the soon to be released canon powershot sx210, and now that I was looking for it, found a bit of distortion in those pics as well.

see what you think... about 7 pictures down in this chinese site.
http://mitsunari.blog.so-net.ne.jp/2010-03-16

also 2 of the sample pics at this review have it (wall with flowers mural.)
http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/default.asp?newsID=4302

Marti58
Marti58 MOD Forum Pro • Posts: 22,052
cboy7

cboy7 wrote:

Thanks for the reply marti.

My next question. Is this common in small point and shoot wide angle cameras?

I was comparing the hx5 to the soon to be released canon powershot sx210, and now that I was looking for it, found a bit of distortion in those pics as well.

many will exhibit some .... its more how it is corrected in camera....some do it better then others.

its noticed that this camera is having it more then many others have....with near equal wide.

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Sraal New Member • Posts: 5
Barrel Distortion

Regarding the Barrel distortion, it only appears when You zoom out to the max wide angle. In the end of the video i stepped back, and adjusted the zoom so the distortion is gone

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0R6JxCvbD4

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