View Full Version : XL2 vs. DVX100A 24p 16:9 Cinegamma footage up
09-29-2004, 05:39 PM
So I got out at lunchtime today and shot some footage with the XL2 and the DVX100A, Cinegamma, Cinematrix, 16:9, 24pA (2:3:3:2).
DVX: F6 (custom), 24PA, 16:9 Squeeze
Master Ped: -5
WB: 56k preset
XL2: Custom_C (custom), 24P 2:3:3:2, 16:9
Color Gain: +4
Setup Level: -2
Master Ped: -5
WB: 56k preset
Digitized in Premiere Pro 1.5 using Panasonic 24p 16:9 preset.
Now here's the problem: I setup the XL2 in my office, looking through the viewfinder. I tried to get the most "filmlike," or "dvxlike," or "smooth" look. After I shot this footage and looked at it on the broadcast monitor I realized that the LCD on the XL2 ships quite a bit brighter and desaturated then reality. So the XL2 footage is oversaturated and the blacks are pressed. Still, I didn't want to color-correct anything, so here it is (please "save as" so you don't kill the server):
--XL2 sharpness needs to be turned down... the resolution is insanely great, but the regular setting shows a lot of aliasing. Shoulda turned it down for this test.
--XL2 resolution is insanely great, did I mention that. It's not fair to the DVX to do 16:9 without the anamorphic, but we're talking a big jump in resolution...
--Because of this the XL2 had gotta be a no-brainer if you're making the next 28 Days Later/Open Water/Full Frontal/The Idiots/etc. On a 50-foot screen, we're talking a big difference.
--DVX footage still has that altered reality, hyper-real colors and smoothness that the XL2 does not.
--Given that anything you're doing seriously is going to have some form of color-correction, the loss in initial "wow" factor of the DVX's colors are pretty easily overcome by the increase in the XL2's image fidelity.
--Highlight handling on both is good, XL2 may be even better than DVX (didn't mess too much with knee control though).
--XL2 defaults to 1/24 shutter speed, once set to 1/48, motion rendering is same as DVX.
--XL2 viewfinder does flicker, only noticed it in 16:9 mode on the black bars. It's not annoying to me.
--What is annoying is the viewfinder itself, I think it just needs a lot of tweaking, but it's stock setup is a) too bright, b) too desaturated, and c) too hard to focus with. Peaking is necessary.
--What is also annoying is the shutter/iris control, which is the lamest damn thing I've seen since the... XL1. It's not actually a wheel, it's the same as it is on my MOM'S Optura Xi, which costs less than a grand. This is where Canon's consumer roots show up in a bad way. This wouldn't be so bad if the transitions were smooth, but they're not. The granularity of the DVX's wheel is fine enough to do smooth adjustments, which I've always thought was a tremendous improvement over cameras like the PD150. Two steps forward, one step back.
--Why did I press the blacks on the XL2? Idiot! It's hard to compare w/ the blacks pressed. Moron.
--Due to price, size, 4:3, and incredible “out of the box” look, I’d still use the DVX to shoot a reality TV show.
--If I wanted to look legit, and/or increase my chance of getting laid, I’d get the XL2. The damn thing makes the DVX look and feel like a toy. Even more so than the Sony DSR-500 I use all the time—Betacam-sized cameras scream “videographer,” while the XL2 screams “filmmaker,” or at least “pornographer.”
--If I didn’t own either (I don’t own the XL2, it’s at work) and I was making up my mind which to buy, I’d take the XL2 in a second (if I had the flow). NOT because of the sex potential. Really.
--If I already owned a DVX (I do), I’d stick with it (I am). For now.
If I didn't have 3 editing projects ramming me from behind I'd go out and re-shoot this comparison, with better settings. Hindsight is 20/20...
Still, hope this helps until someone publishes a real comparison.
EDIT: I would like to add one thing. If the reason we all love film is that it has that instantly-transporting, elusive "feel" to it--for me it means that what you're watching looks like an interpretation of the world rather than, well, just the world, I do think Panasonic nailed it with the DVX. And Canon did not. Like I said above, the difference in gamma/smoothness/color rendition can be overcome with your choice of color-corrector. And should. I know a lot of you guys on this board are going to write off the XL2 because of this, but let me suggest... don't. The great 16:9 resolution and lens options of the XL2 just give you more FLEXIBILITY with your footage, and that's what we all want.
09-29-2004, 05:48 PM
Well, it would have been easier to compare if the comps and subjects would have been identical, but wow, I think there's a marked difference.
They're both lovely pictures in their own ways. The XL2 didn't stutter as much on the pan, but its master ped must be deeper than the DVX's. Looks like the XL2 loves the reds, too.
I think those who say the XL2 has a sharper picture are probably right. Those who say it's much more video-like are correct, too. Still looks like 30p to me. Or . . . what was that someone said? 48i?
09-29-2004, 06:11 PM
Thanks! Good job on Duping the same images. I pretty much agree with what David said. One thing I have a question about is the focusing you did with the DVX100.
The DVX infinity focus setting is not entirely accurate and one must actually bring it back a little to achieve a true infinity focus. IF you have it at 99 objects will not beentirely in focus.
It should be set at 93 (NOT sure about DVXA; maybe 95?). It appears in the shots that you didnt really have things in focus EVEN THOUGH you probally had it set at infinity.
Is this correct?
09-29-2004, 06:19 PM
Yes John, it's about 95 on the DVX100A
09-29-2004, 06:24 PM
Barry gave us a lecture on this once *:P
I'd like to see this footage re-done with the correct focus job to see a fair example of the clarity. *(I'm not doubting the Xl2 is indeed sharper; but how much?)
Here's a question?
What makes the 100 93 and the 100A 95?
09-29-2004, 06:25 PM
That is definitely the best footage I have seen so far from the XL2. However, I have to agree with both David and John. First, even at 24p, that footage looks like overly sharp video. Sure you can manipulate the hell out of the colors in post, but you still have to deal with motion and to me, the XL2 just does not have it. Also, I have to say, my DVX footage never looked that soft, neither with the original model or the "A" model.
09-29-2004, 06:42 PM
Yeah I noticed my DVX looks pretty soft there... remember I was just doing this on my lunch break, so it's possible I might have gotten one or two shots slightly off... Or, then again, this is the same DVX that came back from the Amazon jungle a couple months ago, it could be there's still some residue on my B+W UV filter.
I'm still waiting for someone (Jarred) to release some more scientific, controlled tests, but I might take the XL2 home this weekend and do some better comparisons.
Interesting about the 93/95... didn't know that.
Also remember this is in squeeze mode... I don't have an anamorphic.
09-29-2004, 06:48 PM
remember I was just doing this on my lunch break, so it's possible I might have gotten one or two shots slightly off...
No worries at all! FInally someone is contributing what we all want to see! As mentioned, the XL2 is going to be a fine camera for whomever chooses it. I too am waiting for the Jarred masta to post his comps!
09-29-2004, 07:11 PM
Indeed, very good work, the footage I and many others have been waiting to see so far. At least now we know that 24p does exist on the camera :D
09-29-2004, 08:14 PM
Thanks for doing the comparison, but it still raises a lot of questions. *I'm definitely wondering why your DVX100 footage looks softer than most of the other stuff I've seen at the same size. *Since you were shooting in full daylight, I would think that the good depth of field would have negated any minor focus errors. *Unless, you were shooting completely stopped down and diffraction was kicking in. *What apertures did you shoot at?
The XL2 footage looks significantly sharper, but it has a harsh "video" feel. *What sort of sharpening setting did you have the XL-2 set on? *I'll agree that it was set way too high and it makes me want to reach for a dreaded ProMist filter. *Some of the sharpness definitely seems attributable to digital edge sharpening, not system resolution. *I'd still like to see someone achieve the organic 24p look of the DVX without post processing.
09-29-2004, 08:36 PM
thanks for the video rb! ;D
Both of these cameras are great. I'll probably get the DVX because I'm trying to maximize my accessories.
Damn, its a great time to be a filmmaker. We have no excuses anymore. I need to get off my ass. :-[
09-29-2004, 10:48 PM
Also recognize some of the softness comes from the fact that he used squeeze mode on the DVX.
Thanks for taking the time to run some tests! Can't wait to see what the J-Dogg posts!
09-29-2004, 11:29 PM
Great stuff there rb! :D
09-30-2004, 01:51 AM
This is the best footage I have seen from the XL2. It is so crisp.
Nice one rbilsbor.
All the best
09-30-2004, 07:41 AM
Thanks guys... kind of ironic that the camera I screwed up with was the one I own.
But looking at it again, only the last two DVX shots are soft, I think. And really, this is a compressed .wmv file, so it's not the best sharpness judge; I think we're looking more at color rendition, gamma, 24p, etc. Trust me on the sharpness... the XL2 is very, very noticeably higher in resolution. We've got a $7k Sanyo projector here and I'm gonna take a look at both when I get the chance.
09-30-2004, 07:59 AM
Keep us updated.
09-30-2004, 10:34 AM
Trust me on the sharpness... the XL2 is very, very noticeably higher in resolution. *
I have no doubts about this.
09-30-2004, 10:58 AM
Oh yeah, forgot to mention... was going for the "smoothest" (read: most dvx-like) look on the XL2, so I was shooting with gain at -3dB. For what it's worth.
09-30-2004, 11:24 AM
thanks for the footage rbilsbor! ;D
All i gotta say is that the xl2 screams video to me. The XL2 is much shaper then the out of focus dvx and to me that just makes it look even more like video. As for the colors I think the dvx looks much more cinematic then the XL2. I would like to see how the XL2 with the mini35 will look when blown up to the big screen since I think the dvx looks to soft in that situation. I only wish the dvx body was set up more like the xl2 :'(. Anyone know how to fit the dvx into a xl1 body? ;D
09-30-2004, 12:02 PM
I only wish the dvx body was set up more like the xl2 :'(. Anyone know how to fit the dvx into a xl1 body? ;D
Why? You want to lug that beast around? You want to put that beast on a stabilizer? Add a Mattebox and Rods and the beast becomes beastier.
I used to thin kthe same thing about the DVX (Why cant it look more like a FILM CAMERA :P )
But I have got myself into tight spaces with this little dude and cant even imagine having the beast that is the XL2 in my hands all day.
09-30-2004, 12:07 PM
Truthfully, I don't think there is such thing as a *"too detailed" image. *I don't think the fact that the dvx footage does not look as sharp has anything to do with the XL2 and it's "lack" of film look. *Before, when it was the Xl1 and the DVX, i heard so many people say, the Xl1 looks way more like film becasue it is much softer. *Well, we all know that is'nt true, however, if we wanted to soften the image more, all you have to do is turn down the detail settings. *I am sure the same is true for the XL2, while I am in know way promoting the XL2, and will never buy one, DVX all the way, I am sure it is just a matter of in camera settings that will get the XL2 camera looking good. *Remember, way back when, when everybody said the the XL2 lacked the color finess of the DVX. *Well, just turn up the saturation, Barry on the DV info forum showed how to do this. *Give the camera some time, I'm sure people will be making some pretty great looking footage with it soon enough.
09-30-2004, 12:29 PM
You make very good points. I can't argue with that logic.
09-30-2004, 12:52 PM
You want to lug that beast around?
The size of the dvx is great! However if I had a choice i would prefer that it was a shoulder mount camera similar to the xl. I like how the xl cameras are set up, its not the best design ever, but if i could get the dvx quality and price into a shoulder mount body, with interchangeable lenses similar to the xl series cameras, I wouldn’t mind lugging around the DVX beast a.k.a. DVX100ABeast. ;D
I am sure it is just a matter of in camera settings that will get the XL2 camera looking good.
I totally agree, and dont get me wrong im not bashing the xl2 in anyway. I would like to use the xl2 on my next mini35 project, its just all the footage I have seen so far has looked like very sharp video to me. The sharpness isn’t bad especially when using the mini35 since it softens the image quite a bit and having the extra resolution is great for blowing up to the big screen. I understand the camera is new and I’m sure soon there will be some great footage shot and I can’t wait to see it! But as of right now all the footage I have seen so far has looked like corporate video to me.
09-30-2004, 01:25 PM
Yeah... no one's gonna complain about too much resolution (except, they did when HD came out, they had to re-do all the sitcom sets... and makeup... but that's another issue).
My problem was just that artificial sharpening settings in-camera are not necessarily a good thing, and the XL2 stock setup has quite a bit of it. Turn it down and you're golden.
09-30-2004, 02:53 PM
I have no problems. The DVX looks good to me. The only thing that would change my mind is when prosumer HD is totally standardized and the DVXHD is announced for under $5000. Is that too much to ask?
09-30-2004, 03:04 PM
I want one of those too!
I'd buy one! Panasonic makes some great cameras. If Panasonic could give me an HD camera (especially since they aren't too keen on the HDV format) I would almost certainly buy one.
Realistically though, do you think this will happen and if so, when? I would give a lot to get my hands on one by next spring...
09-30-2004, 04:10 PM
I think something like that is at least 2 years away. But what do I know?
09-30-2004, 04:40 PM
A version of the DVX, 24p HD (not HDV), under $5 large?
Why don't we throw in a mint '57 'Vette, too? *::)
09-30-2004, 05:31 PM
Don't crush my dream ::)
I'd be willing to pay up to 10k for that sort of a camera :)
The chances are unlikely that we will get a "true" HD camera for that price range (in the next year or so at least) but I think Panasonic will have to come out with _something_ HD fairly soon. With many of the major manufacturers going to some form of HD (Canon for example) Panasonic won't be able to continue designing SD cameras...
So I'm very curious to find out what Panasonic will do..... any Pana insiders on this board? ;)
10-01-2004, 12:05 AM
As this test was done using DVX squeeze, I'd love to see how DVX anamorphic adapter footage compares with the XL2's 16:9.
Has anyone seen such a comparison yet?
Technically, it's 460,800 (XL2) vs. 380,000 (DVX) effective pixels, right?
10-01-2004, 01:02 AM
And also a comparison between XL2 and DVX Pal with anamorhic lens would be interesting. The pixel count would be evened out, as well as the 16:9 aspect ratio.
Though the only really fair way to make that comparison would be to use the XL2 pal camera which would boost the res back up
10-01-2004, 02:17 PM
No... actually we'd just be comparing true 16:9 vs. true 16:9, both NTSC.
Okay I brought home the XL2 for the weekend, so I can probably do some more tests. Any requests?
10-01-2004, 05:54 PM
Yea, stairway to heaven please. :D
10-01-2004, 05:59 PM
"XL2 defaults to 1/24 shutter speed, once set to 1/48, motion rendering is same as DVX"
Are you sure about that? The brochure says that the frame rate is 1/48 with 24P to match the frame rate of film. 1/24 is kinda (actually really) slow and is hard to believe as the default.
Aejaz was refering to a test between the XL2 and DVX PAL with anamorphic adapter. It was there that my comments were directed :)
10-01-2004, 08:32 PM
Oh, yeah, heh heh. Whoops.
It's possible that the XL2 doesn't default to 1/24, but whenever I've switched it to 24p, that's what I've initally found myself at. Either way it's not a major issue, as it does do 1/48 correctly.
10-01-2004, 11:07 PM
Well, the difference isnt very big when I compared them on an regular TV. If you dont count the difference on master ped wich was almost the only thing I could notice. On an monitor its easier to see flaws of the cams.
10-02-2004, 08:15 AM
Oh, yeah, heh heh. *Whoops.
It's possible that the XL2 doesn't default to 1/24, but whenever I've switched it to 24p, that's what I've initally found myself at. *Either way it's not a major issue, as it does do 1/48 correctly.
According to Marty Hudzik from DVinfo,
"But I would like to comment on something that others have pointed out. Everyone says that 24p defaults to 1/24 shutter speed. I have not had that experience. However I have turned my camera to 24p postion and never changed it. So maybe once you change it from 24-30-60i and back it goes there....I don't know.
It seems odd as the way the XL2 functions is it will turn on a little red light inside the viewfinder to remind you that you are in a "non-default" shutter speed....for example in 30P it is off when you are at 1/60th. Any other shutter speed and the light turnd on to warn you.
So even if the camera defaults to1/24 you are warned and can correct before shooting. However I really don;t think this is an issue unless you are changing frame rates all the time."
10-02-2004, 11:19 PM
Not only is it hard to believe it would be the default (at 1/24) because it's non-standard with film cameras, but I don't think it's even possible, if shooting in 24 frames per second. There needs to be time for the shutter to engage, and the next frame to be brought into the aperture to BE exposed, and that takes SOME time. And *any* time means it can't be 1/24 if you're recording in 24 frames per second, as far as I know...
10-03-2004, 02:25 AM
Sure, you can shoot at 1/24th shutter speed. You have to remember that on DV cameras there is an electronic shutter and not an actual physical shutter. On the 100a you can even shoot at 1/12th shutter speed. I don't do it often but it works great for time laps footage.
10-03-2004, 06:50 PM
Oh, I know - on video cameras you definitely can, if it's an electronic shutter.
I was meaning though, that people trying to go for the "film look" shouldn't use it, because if you *did* have a mechanical shutter, it would be impossible to get such a slow shutter speed while still shooting at 24 frames per second. You'd need a slower frame rate for a slower shutter speed to work (on a film camera)
10-04-2004, 03:58 AM
Mike's right, on a film camera the shutter needs to be shut in order for the film to advance, or you'll get some terrible streaking. So the slowest I can think of, offhand, would be about a 230-degree shutter, which would give an exposure speed of about 1/30. I don't think you go much slower than 1/30 on a film camera...