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Why does DSLR's full HD look so less "vibrant, sharp. detailed" than XDCAM ?

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Mark Shepherd
Why does DSLR's full HD look so less "vibrant, sharp. detailed" than XDCAM ?
on Dec 18, 2012 at 11:01:56 pm

I have been watching the Discover Channel and National Geographic channel and I am always amazed with the clarity and richness of the HD imagery, that was probably shot with the 3 CCD XDCAMs or maybe with the old Sony F900's or the Panasonic 3 chip CCD cameras. Why does the "full HD" video out of the DSLR Canon 5D Mark111 look so bad compared with the XDCAMS? All 1920x1080 24p video is not created equal.


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Sareesh Sudhakaran
Re: Why does DSLR's full HD look so less "vibrant, sharp. detailed" than XDCAM ?
on Dec 19, 2012 at 11:26:14 am

Canon DSLRs don't resolve 1080 lines, usually it's about 700 lines or so. By the way, what you probably see on TV is heavily compressed and sharpened, which is very close to consumer grade 1080p camcorder footage.

And yes, 1/2" CCD sensors are magic.

http://www.wolfcrow.com - Workflow information and support for filmmakers, photographers, audiographers and videographers.


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Al Bergstein
Re: Why does DSLR's full HD look so less "vibrant, sharp. detailed" than XDCAM ?
on Dec 19, 2012 at 1:00:11 pm

SS: is there a list anywhere you've seen of cameras that resolve 1080 lines? I'm thinking about xf305, c100, and c300 for example.

Al


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Bill Bruner
Re: Why does DSLR's full HD look so less "vibrant, sharp. detailed" than XDCAM ?
on Dec 19, 2012 at 1:51:52 pm

Al - you may find this helpful. Canon claims 1000 lines for the $15K C300 (the $26K C500 and $6.5K C100 should have similar resolution at 1080p):

http://nofilmschool.com/2011/11/canon-cinema-eos-c300-4k-sensor-outputs-108...

For me, that's a lot of money for 1080p. Unless I needed 4K for theatrical projection, I would spend a lot less money and get the $1299 Panasonic GH3, which outresolves even the top-of-the-line Canon DSLRs.

Best of the holidays,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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Al Bergstein
Re: Why does DSLR's full HD look so less "vibrant, sharp. detailed" than XDCAM ?
on Dec 19, 2012 at 2:34:52 pm

Yes, That makes sense. I tried looking up the specs on the xf305, and they don't list anywhere the lines of resolution but mention that it resolves true 1920x1080, which is likely the same spec stated differently (?). And like the OP stated, the quality off the sensors, when enough light is available, is superb. Often it is better than anything I get, even with my new 5DMkiii. But the benefit of shooting DSLR with DOF and low light abilities, plus portability, puts the 5D in my hands far more than the 305. They are very different tools.

But the new 5D Mkiii images, for anything short of theatrical sized (Which I've not tried yet), is really wonderful. While I like the look of the GH2, I prefer the 5D with L series lenses. It has a very unique look that I don't get with the xf305 or have seen on a GH2 without some kind of color manipulation.

Al


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Bill Bruner
Re: Why does DSLR's full HD look so less "vibrant, sharp. detailed" than XDCAM ?
on Dec 19, 2012 at 2:41:05 pm

I agree with you on the GH2, Al. But the GH3 is a different kettle of fish. Did you get a chance to look at the GH3/5D Mark III test I linked to above? Interesting:

Cheers,

Bill


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Why does DSLR's full HD look so less "vibrant, sharp. detailed" than XDCAM ?
on Dec 19, 2012 at 4:03:51 pm

Hi, Bill:

How do the GH2 and GH3 compare image-wise. I'm mostly interested in moire and low light performance. And, where did you pick up your GH3? Thanks!

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Bill Bruner
Re: Why does DSLR's full HD look so less "vibrant, sharp. detailed" than XDCAM ?
on Dec 19, 2012 at 5:54:38 pm

Hi Jason - I have not had time to do a lot of comparative shooting yet, but the best side-by-side of the GH2 and GH3 that I have seen is from Noam Kroll: http://www.noamkroll.com/gh3-vs-gh2-and-initial-thoughts/

I preordered my camera from Adorama on September 18th and got my camera on December 4th. They are pretty much out of stock in the States, but you may be able to find one in Canada. I am at work right now, but will post links when I get home.

Cheers,

Bill


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Why does DSLR's full HD look so less "vibrant, sharp. detailed" than XDCAM ?
on Dec 19, 2012 at 6:44:35 pm

Thanks, Bill: Great link!

I actually ordered my GH2 from Canada two years ago for that very reason.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Bill Bruner
Re: Why does DSLR's full HD look so less "vibrant, sharp. detailed" than XDCAM ?
on Dec 20, 2012 at 10:46:08 am

Jason - History appears to be repeating itself :) Although sold out in the States, the GH3 is in stock in Canada at Vistek, Henry's and BJ Photo.

Good luck!

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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Al Bergstein
Re: Why does DSLR's full HD look so less "vibrant, sharp. detailed" than XDCAM ?
on Dec 19, 2012 at 11:08:01 pm

Well Bill, I hadn't but just did. I'm not really spending much time in the debate between them, as I've pretty much made my bed with Canon and stick with them. Just added the M to my collection.

The comparison you make, while interesting, is really hard to say anything about but that they both take equally nice footage. And this kind of comparison often has too many variables that can be off to make it much more than an interesting few minutes of break in my day. There are so many variables in the 5D Mkiii. I follow the advice of Philip Bloom on softening the image in camera, and then sharpening it ever so slightly on the edit. After spending a lot of time with the 7D, the 5DMkiii is a much better image. But then again, I'm adding better glass to it than the 7D.

The bottom line for me is that the high end camcorders seem to do a superb job of pulling it all together (speaking about xf30x and competitors), and the DSLRs are just a different tool for a different look. I try to be agnostic about tools, beyond using ones that make me look as good as I can for the budget.

My real work next is to spend next year fine tuning my colour grading skills. There is so much to learn there. There's only so many cameras you can carry at once!

Al


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Sareesh Sudhakaran
Re: Why does DSLR's full HD look so less "vibrant, sharp. detailed" than XDCAM ?
on Dec 19, 2012 at 3:04:10 pm

The EBU tests cameras regularly for broadcast worthiness. It's a great resource. All the cameras you mentioned should resolve 1000 lines. The Canon and Nikon DSLRs line-skip, hence the resolution loss. The GH2/3 resolves 1000 lines.

Funnily, there was a case a few years ago where the 4K RAW from the Red One passed testing, but the uncompressed SMPTE 292M 10 bit 1080p stream failed.

Resolution is important, but not as much as most people seem to think.

http://www.wolfcrow.com - Workflow information and support for filmmakers, photographers, audiographers and videographers.


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Sareesh Sudhakaran
Re: Why does DSLR's full HD look so less "vibrant, sharp. detailed" than XDCAM ?
on Dec 20, 2012 at 1:51:24 am

I don't think it's worth it. Here's my longer answer: http://wolfcrow.com/blog/comprehensive-guide-to-rigging-any-camera-7-extern...

http://www.wolfcrow.com - Workflow information and support for filmmakers, photographers, audiographers and videographers.


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Brent Dunn
Re: Why does DSLR's full HD look so less "vibrant, sharp. detailed" than XDCAM ?
on Dec 19, 2012 at 6:22:37 pm

I have both the EX1 and Canon DSLR's. There is a very distinct difference the the codec that records the image as well as the sensor.

I shot a concert last year with both cameras. The DSLR's didn't come close to the EX1 as far as detail. The XDCAM codec records much more color information allowing me to magnify or zoom my footage in post with no loss of image quality.

The biggest problem is that most new cameras are using the AVCHD format. IT keeps the file size small, but at the expense of detailed color information.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro
with Final Cut Studio Adobe CS6 Production






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