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Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139444 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
22 Oct 2012 - 12:14 PM

Technicalities are no substitute for technique. Pretty much any digicam with HD video will give you decent enough results. You are often better off locking focus rather than relying on AF to do the work for you.

On a small sensor camera, with a very short focal length lens, the DoF is considerable and can be used to keep most of the image in focus even if it's moving around.

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Steppenwolf
22 Oct 2012 - 1:04 PM


Quote: Technicalities are no substitute for technique. Pretty much any digicam with HD video will give you decent enough results. You are often better off locking focus rather than relying on AF to do the work for you.

On a small sensor camera, with a very short focal length lens, the DoF is considerable and can be used to keep most of the image in focus even if it's moving around.

True, but the OP wants a camera that can both shoot good video AND double as a decent stills camera (even in poor light) - for when he wants to carry less (or cheaper) equipment). So I don't think he wants a small sensor camera. The minute you move to a 4/3 or APS-C (or even a CX) sensor you need decent AF. The DSLRs are ruled out because they barely AF at all in video mode. M4/3 are ruled out because they use contrast detection AF. So what's left? Answer: the Sony SLTs, the new NEX-6 or the Nikon 1. The NEX-6 looks like a cracking camera.

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139444 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
22 Oct 2012 - 1:10 PM

If you have ever actually tried a Canon S100, you will, find it gives excellent stills in poor light. That's one of its main attractions. The sensor is larger than in most compacts and the megapixellage has been kept down, which is how it achieves that performance.

You can also put in in your shirt, or trouser, pocket - which could be vital if you want to capture moments spontaneously. Once you move to something larger it becomes yet another camera which is in the wrong place at the wrong time! Wink

ChrisV
ChrisV  7786 forum posts United Kingdom26 Constructive Critique Points
22 Oct 2012 - 1:50 PM

I note the OP talks about portraits with a shallow DoF. That is of course as much subject to the size of the imaging area [sensor] as it is to the speed of the lens. Going to smaller sensors/cheaper lenses is a double-whammy so far as controlling [limiting] the focal plane is concerned. You can still get isolated subjects in macro [in fact usually the challenge is to get enough focal depth there] or using very long telephoto lenses with your subject far away and magnified; but it does make that sort of thing far more problematic. It always seems to me that this is one of the chief characteristics of larger imaging areas most overlooked.

For portraiture in particular, both formal and situational, it is very frequently the hallmark of a professional job - which IMO is a great advantage of the format for that type of work. The other is of course the additional light-gathering capability which means that all other things being equal, large sensor= better low-light capability.

The flip side of this is that that is going to make subject tracking in video [where most SLR's phase-detection focus is slow or inoperative] very difficult. But in professional filming these things are often worked out very carefully beforehand and the shallow depth of field and superb lens performance/great bokeh are actually sought out, so that cameras like the 5DII [for example] can and have been used as 'cheap' substitutes for high-end video work.

Personally I use a variety of cameras - 35mm, APSC, M4/3 and a small sensor/long zoom carry-around. I know that each of these is going to be better in differing situations - I left the bigger stuff at home when I went on holiday for instance, because I knew on the whole I'd have good light and didn't want to lug very heavy kit all day long. I took m4/3 as the best compromise.

The smallest compact is good enough for most snap-shot type video in decent light, so long as you don't want anything particularly artful, it's perfectly adequate and more appropriate than a larger format.

Steppenwolf
22 Oct 2012 - 2:07 PM


Quote: If you have ever actually tried a Canon S100, you will, find it gives excellent stills in poor light. That's one of its main attractions.

Whether it's excellent in low light is subjective - it may be excellent considering its sensor size but compared with APS-C or even m4/3 it's rather less than excellent. Its video is also shot at pretty feeble frame rates. If you want a cheap and cheerful cam to stuff in your pocket then it's fine, but I didn't get the impression that was what the OP wanted.

User_Removed
22 Oct 2012 - 3:30 PM


Quote: Its video is also shot at pretty feeble frame rates

HILARIOUS! Film makers and broadcasters have been getting by just fine for decades at feeble frame rates of between 24fps and 30fps

Something to read before you make a fool of yourself


24p is a progressive format and is now widely adopted by those planning on transferring a video signal to film. Film and video makers use 24p even if their productions are not going to be transferred to film, simply because of the on-screen "look" of the (low) frame rate which matches native film. When transferred to NTSC television, the rate is effectively slowed to 23.976 FPS (2410001001 to be exact), and when transferred to PAL or SECAM it is sped up to 25 FPS. 35 mm movie cameras use a standard exposure rate of 24 FPS, though many cameras offer rates of 23.976 FPS for NTSC television and 25 FPS for PAL/SECAM. The 24 FPS rate became the de facto standard for sound motion pictures in the mid-1920s.[2] Practically all hand-drawn animation is designed to be played at 24 FPS. Actually hand-drawing 24 unique frames per second ("1's") is costly. Even big budget films usually hand-draw animation shooting on "2's" (one hand-drawn frame is shown twice, so only 12 unique frames per second)[4][5] and a lot of animation is drawn on "4's" (one hand-drawn frame is shown four times, so only six unique frames per second).

25p is a progressive format and runs 25 progressive frames per second. This frame rate derives from the PAL television standard of 50i (or 50 interlaced fields per second). Film and Television companies use this rate in 50 Hz regions for direct compatibility with television field and frame rates. Conversion for 60 Hz countries is enabled by slowing down the media to 24p then converted to 60 Hz systems using pulldown. While 25p captures half the temporal resolution or motion that normal 50i PAL registers, it yields a higher vertical spatial resolution per frame. Like 24p, 25p is often used to achieve "cine"-look, albeit with virtually the same motion artifacts. It is also better suited to progressive-scan output (e.g., on LCD displays, computer monitors and projectors) because the interlacing is absent.

30p is a progressive format and produces video at 30 frames per second. Progressive (noninterlaced) scanning mimics a film camera's frame-by-frame image capture. The effects of inter-frame judder are less noticeable than 24p yet retains a cinematic-like appearance. Shooting video in 30p mode gives no interlace artifacts but can introduce judder on image movement and on some camera pans. The widescreen film process Todd-AO used this frame rate in 19541956.[6]

48p is a progressive format and is currently being trialed in the film industry. At twice the traditional rate of 24p, this frame rate attempts to reduce motion blur and flicker found in films. Director James Cameron stated his intention to film the two sequels to his film Avatar at a higher frame rate than 24 frames per second, in order to add a heightened sense of reality.[7] The first film to be filmed at 48 FPS was The Hobbit, a decision made by its director Peter Jackson.[8] At a preview screening at CinemaCon, the audience's reaction was mixed after being shown some of the film's footage at 48p, with some arguing that the feel of the footage was too lifelike (thus breaking the suspension of disbelief).

Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1315362 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
22 Oct 2012 - 4:22 PM


Quote: I note the OP talks about portraits with a shallow DoF. That is of course as much subject to the size of the imaging area [sensor] as it is to the speed of the lens. Going to smaller sensors/cheaper lenses is a double-whammy so far as controlling [limiting] the focal plane is concerned. You can still get isolated subjects in macro [in fact usually the challenge is to get enough focal depth there] or using very long telephoto lenses with your subject far away and magnified; but it does make that sort of thing far more problematic. It always seems to me that this is one of the chief characteristics of larger imaging areas most overlooked


Quote: Technicalities are no substitute for technique

Pretty useless, if the camera lacks even the most basic of features.

Shallow dof is possible but it would never be as good as larger sensor dslr`s. One of the biggest pulling points for me was having a leaf shutter(generally only found on the dearer compacts) this allows benefits of flash sync at all shutter speed, dslr`s can do this but there is a price to pay, reduced output.

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139444 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
22 Oct 2012 - 5:15 PM

In terms of having something with you at all times to record spontaneous events, a camera might not be the answer at all.

The OP might want to consider a camera phone - perhaps even the Nokia 808 with its lossless digi-zoom (4x in video mode). No personal experience of it but may well be worth looking into; reviews on the web suggest it may even be better than the video quality from the Sony NEX-7.

For how it fares in difficult lighting and audio conditions there's a clip here which is interesting.

Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1315362 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
22 Oct 2012 - 7:02 PM


Quote: M4/3 are ruled out because they use contrast detection AF. So what's left? Answer: the Sony SLTs, the new NEX-6 or the Nikon 1. The NEX-6 looks like a cracking camera

How would you know, have you ever used M4/3 Smile

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139444 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
22 Oct 2012 - 7:17 PM

Contrast detection can beat phase detection - see Pete's comment and pic here. Smile

Also hybrid AF can be slower than contrast detection AF.... no such thing as a free lunch, sadly! Wink

Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1315362 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
22 Oct 2012 - 7:29 PM

What are the benefits of using back lit sensors, I`ve heard a lot but not seen a lot ?

Steppenwolf
23 Oct 2012 - 1:45 PM


Quote:
The OP might want to consider a camera phone - perhaps even the Nokia 808 with its lossless digi-zoom (4x in video mode). No personal experience of it but may well be worth looking into; reviews on the web suggest it may even be better than the video quality from the Sony NEX-7.

Got a link - I need a laugh.

You need to remember that when cameras are reviewed they're judged against cameras in the same category. They don't usually compare a compact or a camera phone to a DSLR or a CSC. The NEX-7 does 60p 1920X1080 video and, if it's anything like what the A77 does (which it will be), it's as good as it gets - until we get Ultra HD.

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139444 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
23 Oct 2012 - 1:47 PM

When you get to HD video you are talking about 1920 x 1080 pixels = 2Mp. It evens up the playing field, quite a bit!

Steppenwolf
23 Oct 2012 - 2:31 PM

I found that link comparing the Nokia with the NEX-7. It's output looks very good. There's a lot to be said for these simple small sensor cameras/phones that you just point and shoot. Especially for people who don't read manuals. The modern enthusiast cameras have got very complex to use.

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139444 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
23 Oct 2012 - 3:09 PM


Quote: a lot to be said for these simple small sensor cameras/phones that you just point and shoot.

I agree. I'm sure it helps get more spontaneity. With more complex cameras, by the time you've fiddled around the 'decisive moment', as Cartier-Bresson would have said, may be gone.

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