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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Harvey View Post
    Is anyone messing around with any of the other scene files? Curious what the others look like and what their picture emphasis is.
    Okay, time to break the news. There is a reason I haven't spent much time at all on scene files and the like, and that's going to be revealed on 11/16. There's a new firmware update coming for the DVX200, and it makes some rather notable changes in color rendition. The new version is said to be more accurate to the Varicam in VLOG-L, and in all cases it's supposed to reduce the yellow in the skin tones and especially to greatly reduce the shift to yellow that happens in overexposure. It also is going to substantially clean up the grit that can happen in the shadows. And there's another feature they've mentioned that they're adding, but since it doesn't directly have to do with color rendition, I'll leave them to say what that is.


    I don't know if there will be any changes to the default scene file settings I sincerely doubt that the default settings are going to yield glorious beauty. But the way the sensor delivers color to the processing engine is being refined. Better input should lead to better output. I do feel like finally, this new version of the firmware will represent the camera the way that it should be viewed, and that with proper attention to scene file settings, it should be able to make the kind of images that the hardware is capable of. I'll work up an "accurate" scene file for it right away; I'll also try to match it to a GH4 using the "natural" scene file on the GH4, but I can't say how quickly that will get done.


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    That is good news Barry, thanks for sharing


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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry_Green View Post
    And there's another feature they've mentioned that they're adding, but since it doesn't directly have to do with color rendition, I'll leave them to say what that is.
    Great to hear. I know you are fond of this product Barry. I hope this color update does raise the camera to Panasonic's standards. So far this camera has represented a lot of "almost there" and missed opportunities to me. Regarding the yet to be announced feature, one thing that would sway me to a net positive on this camera is a 10bit 4:2:2 1080p recording option. They already own it and it is called AVC-Ultra. Just for 1080p and under, not 4k. Why put such great color controls only to record the footage with 8bit 4:2:0? Such a waste imho and more 'sumer than pro.


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    Thanks for the update. Wish I had waited to buy the camera


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    Thank you for this announcement, Barry.

    I hope we can see a firmware update to make this camera practical for sports shooting. Specifically, the algorithm for Focus Ring Drive Fine setting seems to be fixed and tied to the zoom setting and also seems to become less fine depending on the particular focus range. So when the camera is zoomed to Z99, the Fine control is, well, very fine—the focus numbers change about 10 for every 90 degrees of ring movement. With the zoom at Z00, the focus numbers change from 00 to 99 in the same 90 degrees of ring movement—not very fine at all.

    I shot 7 ice hockey games with the DVX 200 in the past two days and ran into the following problem. Common zoom range for me is Z00-Z60. In those ranges, I am in focus with numbers from MF75-95, most of my adjustments are 88-93. At Z00-Z60 I only get about a 1-2 degree throw to move from MF88-MF93, making manual focus impossible. What I find more exasperating is that the algorithm seems to drastically reduce the fine adjustment in the MF range where I am needing fine control most.

    Numbers at other zoom ranges for both the DVX200 and the AC90 (approximate):

    [SMALLER NUMBERS ARE BETTER. Green shows useable control within my common zoom and focus ranges. Red shows unusable control within my common zoom and focus ranges.]

    Z99 (We are only rarely at Z99, usually for hero shots.)
    DVX200
    MF 10 number change per 90 degrees
    AC90
    MF 10 number change per 90 degrees


    Z75
    DVX200
    MF 5 number change per 90 degrees (16-21)
    MF 30 number changer per 90 degrees (69-99)
    AC90
    MF 30 number change per 90 degrees (19-49)
    MF 10 number changer per 90 degrees (89-99)

    Z50
    DVX200
    MF 15 number change per 90 degrees (00-15)
    MF 70 number change per 90 degrees (29-99)
    AC90
    MF 25 number change per 90 degrees (00-30)
    MF 10 number change per 90 degrees (89-99)

    Z25
    DVX200
    MF 30 number change per 90 degrees (00-30)
    MF 70 number change per 90 degrees (09-99)
    AC90
    MF 25 number change per 90 degrees (00-30)
    MF 10 number change per 90 degrees (89-99)

    Z00
    DVX200
    MF 99 number change per 75 degrees (00-99)

    AC90
    MF 30 number change per 90 degrees (00-30)
    MF 10 number change per 90 degrees (89-99)

    Looking at the red numbers, you can imagine see that fine control really is almost no different than having the ring drive set to coarse. At some ranges it is almost impossible to hit the desired number, for example often skipping from MF92 to MF94, where MF93 is sharp. Now imagine trying to do this in a rapidly changing situation.

    I need to have control over Fine setting, or the algorithm needs to be tweaked.

    My company shoots about 700-1000 hockey games a year and other than the low-light issues associated with the small-sensor we have loved the manual zoom and focus controls of the AC90s. MF is required for several reasons: Anyone coming to shoot for me from the broadcast world is using MF. My trainees coming from broadcast schools are being encouraged to learn and develop MF skills. Most importantly we are shooting through glass, seams, partitions, screens (netting), and other no intelligent auto setting is going to keep AF from hunting on those foreground occlusions. Foreground players and on-ice officials can also occlude the intended focus area and this is all happening in a dynamically changing environment, so manual focus control is imperative. Add to this, the shallow DOF with the 4/3 sensor and the lack of fine manual control is a killer.

    I have been hoping to upgrade our cameras to the DVX200 but as the firmware stands now we cannot recommend this machine for manual focus sports applications. Can we please have a firmware update to fix this problem? You can imagine our disappointment in seeing that our AC90s have better lens control. Please ask the developers to just make it work like the AC90. Can we please get this added to the Nov 16 update?

    Sports shooting is performance art with the camera as the instrument. This lack of fine MF control is like playing a guitar with the action set too high, or a piano with missing keys.
    Last edited by bluesgeek; 11-10-2015 at 11:01 AM.


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    Wonderful news, Barry, thanks. I'm usually extremely tolerant about the quirks of cameras and other technology, and about as far from a pixel-peeper as you can get. Often, I read the critiques here, look at the sample images, and wonder what all the fuss is about, or how much it's reasonable to expect from these mid-priced, mass-produced products. But the DVX200 genuinely surprised me with some really unacceptable color rendering in the default scene file from the very first time I turned it on. Perhaps I've been spoiled by my PX270, which looked great from the beginning, and really superb after a few minor tweaks. But without some major surgery in the scene files, I couldn't see a way to use the DVX together with my other cameras in a real production. Your news gives me hope that it may reach its full potential, and that Panasonic is committed to fixing the problems.

    Thanks for keeping us informed.

    - Greg


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    Thanks for the update Barry. I've been a Sony FX-1 owner for quite sometime and I've been waaaay past due for an upgrade. After getting comfortable with the flexibility of my Nikon D800 I decided that the DVX200 was the camera for me.

    With the FX-1 there were a lot of simple features like built in XLRs that I had been missing and I had to turn down some projects where timecode was mandatory. I really felt that within my basic budget the DVX200 was going to be the right tool for the job. I've only had it a week and my initial footage tempted me to return it but after working with adjustments to the scene files it has certainly improved on the run and gun image quality but it sounds like Panasonic is committed to getting this unit up to it's full potential.

    I'm looking forward to the updated firmware and any offerings from users that are willing to post more refined scene files. I can't think that Panasonic has put this much time into engineering this camera with decent quality components for it not to be as good or better than anything in it's class.


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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesgeek View Post
    Thank you for this announcement, Barry.

    I hope we can see a firmware update to make this camera practical for sports shooting. Specifically, the algorithm for Focus Ring Drive Fine setting seems to be fixed and tied to the zoom setting and also seems to become less fine depending on the particular focus range. So when the camera is zoomed to Z99, the Fine control is, well, very fine—the focus numbers change about 10 for every 90 degrees of ring movement. With the zoom at Z00, the focus numbers change from 00 to 99 in the same 90 degrees of ring movement—not very fine at all.

    I shot 7 ice hockey games with the DVX 200 in the past two days and ran into the following problem. Common zoom range for me is Z00-Z60. In those ranges, I am in focus with numbers from MF75-95, most of my adjustments are 88-93. At Z00-Z60 I only get about a 1-2 degree throw to move from MF88-MF93, making manual focus impossible. What I find more exasperating is that the algorithm seems to drastically reduce the fine adjustment in the MF range where I am needing fine control most.

    Numbers at other zoom ranges for both the DVX200 and the AC90 (approximate):

    [SMALLER NUMBERS ARE BETTER. Green shows useable control within my common zoom and focus ranges. Red shows unusable control within my common zoom and focus ranges.]

    Z99 (We are only rarely at Z99, usually for hero shots.)
    DVX200
    MF 10 number change per 90 degrees
    AC90
    MF 10 number change per 90 degrees


    Z75
    DVX200
    MF 5 number change per 90 degrees (16-21)
    MF 30 number changer per 90 degrees (69-99)
    AC90
    MF 30 number change per 90 degrees (19-49)
    MF 10 number changer per 90 degrees (89-99)

    Z50
    DVX200
    MF 15 number change per 90 degrees (00-15)
    MF 70 number change per 90 degrees (29-99)
    AC90
    MF 25 number change per 90 degrees (00-30)
    MF 10 number change per 90 degrees (89-99)

    Z25
    DVX200
    MF 30 number change per 90 degrees (00-30)
    MF 70 number change per 90 degrees (09-99)
    AC90
    MF 25 number change per 90 degrees (00-30)
    MF 10 number change per 90 degrees (89-99)

    Z00
    DVX200
    MF 99 number change per 75 degrees (00-99)

    AC90
    MF 30 number change per 90 degrees (00-30)
    MF 10 number change per 90 degrees (89-99)

    Looking at the red numbers, you can imagine see that fine control really is almost no different than having the ring drive set to coarse. At some ranges it is almost impossible to hit the desired number, for example often skipping from MF92 to MF94, where MF93 is sharp. Now imagine trying to do this in a rapidly changing situation.

    I need to have control over Fine setting, or the algorithm needs to be tweaked.

    My company shoots about 700-1000 hockey games a year and other than the low-light issues associated with the small-sensor we have loved the manual zoom and focus controls of the AC90s. MF is required for several reasons: Anyone coming to shoot for me from the broadcast world is using MF. My trainees coming from broadcast schools are being encouraged to learn and develop MF skills. Most importantly we are shooting through glass, seams, partitions, screens (netting), and other no intelligent auto setting is going to keep AF from hunting on those foreground occlusions. Foreground players and on-ice officials can also occlude the intended focus area and this is all happening in a dynamically changing environment, so manual focus control is imperative. Add to this, the shallow DOF with the 4/3 sensor and the lack of fine manual control is a killer.

    I have been hoping to upgrade our cameras to the DVX200 but as the firmware stands now we cannot recommend this machine for manual focus sports applications. Can we please have a firmware update to fix this problem? You can imagine our disappointment in seeing that our AC90s have better lens control. Please ask the developers to just make it work like the AC90. Can we please get this added to the Nov 16 update?

    Sports shooting is performance art with the camera as the instrument. This lack of fine MF control is like playing a guitar with the action set too high, or a piano with missing keys.
    Interesting - A very large percentage of my use for the DVX200 was planning on using this camera to shoot hockey games. I also own the AG-AC90 but have recently run into problems with the manual focus. I used to be able to zoom in all the way with the AG-AC90, set focus and then it would be good to throughout the entire focal range. I also tried shooting with the HC-X1000 but the dynamic range and noise from the camera made it less than ideal BUT the lens on that camera had parfocal like performance.

    I remember asking Barry somewhere earlier in this thread whether the lens had par-focal like performance like the AG-AC90. I remember he stated that his initial tests seemed to indicate that the lens was behaving like a parfocal lens.

    When you are using manual focus are you trying to set focus on the fly or are you zooming all the way, setting focus and then shooting from there? I only ask because it sounds like you are trying to set focus on the fly which will be extremely difficult to do in a hockey game.


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    When you do the parfocal trick it only puts you in focus across the zoom range for the subject you have focused on. So, if you are at center ice and you zoom in and focus on the goalie, that goalie should be held in focus as you zoom out. But a player standing at the near side boards at center ice will not be in focus. That's why you have to focus on the fly with sports... you don't have time to set your focus for each subject.

    What I do is to get ideal focus readings for about 6 different subject distances (goalie, center ice face-off, center ice nearside boards, near and farside hashmarks, and for two medium focal lengths—medium wide and medium tele). I also get a reading for a few extreme tight framings. From these 12 readings I put together an approach for the entire surface.

    For example:
    Nearside boards center ice = MF83
    Center ice face-off (wide MF89) (tele MF91)
    Crease (wide MF91) (tele MF93)

    So, you can see that I will be racking between about MF87 and MF93 for the most part... fairly easy to do if you have enough fine control.


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    No disrespect intended, but why in the world would you use this camera for shooting sports primarily? 1/3 inch yes. 2/3 inch yes... but a large sensor cam? Masochism.


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