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02-13-2012, 11:43 AM   #136
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QuoteOriginally posted by fuent104 Quote
The FS100, AF100, and C300 are all far too expensive to be considered replacements for SLRs. The VG20 is competitive, in terms of price, but I've never met anyone who has even used it. I honestly don't know why it isn't more popular. Maybe it's the selection of lenses.

Competitive video cameras would come in at different price points, and give people a reason to buy them instead of, for example, a GH2, T2i, 7D, or 5D. To my knowledge, this really hasn't happened with any of the dedicated video cameras.

To think of it another way, I don't think there are many people out there who are torn between buying either a T2i or "x" camera. The T2i has its strengths, and dedicated video cameras have their strengths, and there isn't a ton of overlap.
Keep in mind that the T2i is an entry level video camera, so no, there isn't a lot of competition between it and professional quality video cameras, which is what you're asking for with the features sets we're talking about. The capabilities of the T2i for the price are already mind boggling. But the fact that Sony can come along and offer a package that give a level of image quality and features that would have been $100,000 5 years ago, and people all say, "$5,000 is too expensive, I want all those features for the same price as my entry level DSLR", is equally mind boggling.

As for the VG20, I don't know why it hasn't gotten any traction. It seems really great on paper. I've held one, and the form factor is sure way nicer than a DSLR, and I think it's the same sensor as the K-5, which is always good news. I think with a few more features, and better PR, it could have really been a hit. But I think Sony was too afraid of it being popular and robbing sales from their upper line, so they crippled it a bit, and never pushed it like they could have. In which case, why even make it...

There's still a part of me that wants the VG-20. I think the vast majority of DSLR only video shooters (myself included) drastically underestimate the difference in ergonomics of a really video camera. Holding the VG-20 just really really good. Almost, you know, like it was designed to shoot video...

02-13-2012, 12:10 PM   #137
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QuoteOriginally posted by FullertonImages Quote
As for the VG20, I don't know why it hasn't gotten any traction.
I believe, the VG10 raised high expectations and then people discovered many small shortcomings (for the given price). The VG20 addressed many but not all of them.

I am still confident that the VG series will eventually be a hit.
02-13-2012, 01:14 PM   #138
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
I believe, the VG10 raised high expectations and then people discovered many small shortcomings (for the given price). The VG20 addressed many but not all of them.

I am still confident that the VG series will eventually be a hit.
Right. But I think it's mostly the thing I was just talking about. The biggest complaint I've heard about either of these cameras, is the Sony "crippled them to pretect their professional". Really? You think? So you're trying to tell me that Sony didn't put all the professional features of their $5k FS100, $8k EX3 or $13k F3 into a $2k camcorder? No, that doesn't surprise me, and no it doesn't seem "crippled". The VG20 is a hell of a lot of features and image quality for only $2,000, and just because there are some things missing that could be useful, doesn't mean the camera is crippled. YOu can have those features if you want; you just have to buy a more expensive camera that has them. I don't really know why everyone just wants everything for free.

It's like saying that Subaru crippled their base level Impreza because they didn't put in the same 300hp, 6-speed powertrain, and sport tuned suspension that is in the STI model. You can have those features if you want them, you just have to pay for them...
02-13-2012, 02:11 PM   #139
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The problem with the VG20 is that it really offers very little over the 5n other than a more video friendly form factor for $900 more (body only $1598) than a 5n with the 18-55 lens ($699). The mic is prone to lots of handling noise and it lacks the basics any decent video camera has - built in ND filters and XLR mic inputs. Sony doesn't even offer an XLR module as some goofy proprietary accessory - shocking since its some kind of corporate mission to make as much hardware as possible add-on accessories. If Sony added ND filters and scrapped the mic on the front and turned that into an XLR input this camera would be very popular with pro's. I would buy one in a heartbeat. If you go the 5n route, for about $300 you can add a small rig base, carry handle and a really nice audio recorder like the H1 - then you can shoot identical video to the VG20 and have lots of cash leftover for a wireless mic system, a nice fluid video tripod, steadicam or a couple nice primes.

02-13-2012, 02:20 PM   #140
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True. It does seem to be in a weird spot between pro and amateur. It's not pro enough for the the pros, and it doesn't offer enough over other amateur options to entice people to step up. Seem to be like it's almost the right tool for everybody, but not actually the right tool for anybody.
02-13-2012, 02:22 PM   #141
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QuoteOriginally posted by FullertonImages Quote
Right. But I think it's mostly the thing I was just talking about. The biggest complaint I've heard about either of these cameras, is the Sony "crippled them to pretect their professional". Really? You think? So you're trying to tell me that Sony didn't put all the professional features of their $5k FS100, $8k EX3 or $13k F3 into a $2k camcorder? No, that doesn't surprise me, and no it doesn't seem "crippled". The VG20 is a hell of a lot of features and image quality for only $2,000, and just because there are some things missing that could be useful, doesn't mean the camera is crippled. YOu can have those features if you want; you just have to buy a more expensive camera that has them. I don't really know why everyone just wants everything for free.

It's like saying that Subaru crippled their base level Impreza because they didn't put in the same 300hp, 6-speed powertrain, and sport tuned suspension that is in the STI model. You can have those features if you want them, you just have to pay for them...
the biggest complaint i have seen is the video quality is on par with a nex at 3 times the price.

Personally if I was committed to shooting a lot of video I'd look at the FS100 before i'd look at the Canon 5dmkII or the Nikon D800. It's just much better suited to shooting video (and for that matter so is the VG20). DSLR as a Video tool works but it really is not the best option IMO

If I'm primarily a still guy and want to shoot some video then it's a different story, some of the DSLR options are an excellent back up
02-13-2012, 02:55 PM   #142
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QuoteOriginally posted by FullertonImages Quote
Keep in mind that the T2i is an entry level video camera, so no, there isn't a lot of competition between it and professional quality video cameras, which is what you're asking for with the features sets we're talking about. The capabilities of the T2i for the price are already mind boggling. But the fact that Sony can come along and offer a package that give a level of image quality and features that would have been $100,000 5 years ago, and people all say, "$5,000 is too expensive, I want all those features for the same price as my entry level DSLR", is equally mind boggling.

...
I would not expect the overall feature set of a T2i to compete with a $5000 camera, but I would expect a $700 camcorder to compete with t2i. To my knowledge, there is no $700 camcorder that offers an APS-C sensor, 1080p, and 24 fps with an interchangeable lens mount. That is what I meant when I said nobody has marketed a video camera to replace the dslr. If I am wrong, I would love to know about the camera in question, because I will probably buy it.
02-13-2012, 03:34 PM   #143
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QuoteOriginally posted by fuent104 Quote
I would not expect the overall feature set of a T2i to compete with a $5000 camera.
You're not geting my point. This...

QuoteOriginally posted by fuent104 Quote
...an APS-C sensor, 1080p, and 24 fps with an interchangeable lens mount.
...is the feature set of a $5,000 camera, or the feature set of a $100,000 camera not too long ago. It's crazy enough that it even exists in a $5,000 camera, let alone a $2,000 VG20 or $700 T2i. It's not the anomoly that there's no camcorder offering these things at $700; it's the anomaly that there is anything offering these things for under $10k. The camcorder you want will probably exist in the near future, but I'm just trying to put things in perspective. That since the DSLR world came and let the cat out of the bag with big sensor, interchangeable lens, cinematic quality video capture for under $3,000; everyone is basically expecting the camcorder industry to just suck it up and start giving away technology and features for 10's of thousands of dollars less than a mere 3 years ago.

02-13-2012, 04:06 PM   #144
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
the biggest complaint i have seen is the video quality is on par with a nex at 3 times the price.
There are other complaints, but this one I find the most interesting.

Video from a system camera sensor (mirrorless or SLR) must use some kind of line skipping (more precisely, truncate readout to a subset of pixels aka subsampling) in order to sustain frame rates between 24fps and 60fps. Additionally, they use a Bayer filter which has less efficiency than a three chip sensor as is used by many camcorders. The overall effect is that, ignoring DoF for a second, quality improvement over a small chip camcorder can be disappointing. Esp. if color moiré and line flickr caused by subsampling becomes too obvious. Both problems are more serious in video because the artefact patterns move and catch the observers attention.

This problem is actually intensified by high MP cameras like NEX7 or D800. There is a growing gap between still and HD video quality. This is why I expect to see dedicated 8MP video APSC sensors from Sony with full 60fps readout and true downsampling to 2MP HD. As soon as a forthcoming VG will feature one of those, HDSLRs may get into trouble.

Some may remember that I described a testing procedure to figure out the amount of subsampling done by an HDSLR.
02-13-2012, 04:29 PM   #145
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QuoteQuote:
...That since the DSLR world came and let the cat out of the bag with big sensor, interchangeable lens, cinematic quality video capture for under $3,000; everyone is basically expecting the camcorder industry to just suck it up and start giving away technology and features for 10's of thousands of dollars less than a mere 3 years ago.
You're right, I wasn't getting what you were saying before. I understand, now.

I do expect the camcorder industry to adapt to survive, though. I can't believe companies like Sony and Panasonic will be content knowing that they don't offer camcorder products that seriously compete with cameras like the T2i (by my previous definition of "competing with the T2i"). I don't think such a camcorder would undercut broadcast cameras, as they feature a lot more than just a sensor and a lens. It would be interesting to see how sales of high-end camcorders have been since HDSLR cinematography became popular. I doubt professional grade ENG camera sales have been heavily affected, but my guess would be that sales of lower-end 2/3" and 1/2" chip cameras have declined.
02-13-2012, 04:45 PM   #146
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QuoteOriginally posted by fuent104 Quote
You're right, I wasn't getting what you were saying before. I understand, now.

I do expect the camcorder industry to adapt to survive, though. I can't believe companies like Sony and Panasonic will be content knowing that they don't offer camcorder products that seriously compete with cameras like the T2i (by my previous definition of "competing with the T2i"). I don't think such a camcorder would undercut broadcast cameras, as they feature a lot more than just a sensor and a lens. It would be interesting to see how sales of high-end camcorders have been since HDSLR cinematography became popular. I doubt professional grade ENG camera sales have been heavily affected, but my guess would be that sales of lower-end 2/3" and 1/2" chip cameras have declined.
Perhaps, but dSLRs have some serious usability handicaps at the moment and have to be festooned with all manner of accessories to even approach the functionality of a good high end consumer cam. Still, they're not the best solution for run and gun or other very dynamic situations. Yet still we use them because that OOF from the DOF is so damn alluring.

At this point, AF is the biggest bugbear, the other side of the DOF coin. AFAIK, Panasonic is closest to having workable AF for serious amateurs looking to shoot family video and non-paying gigs. But I've got the GH2 and some nice M43 glass like the Oly 45/1.8, and it's still quite a ways away. I suspect that it's a couple of generations still before AF starts to rival what I can get at BestBuy for $700...
02-13-2012, 10:02 PM   #147
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I guess the real issue I see with the VG20 is what Falk said a few posts up. It's really ineffective to have these high megapixel sensors, and then having to downsample the crap out of them to get 1080p. Obviously, no one wants to have a 2mp DSLR, so I understand why HDSLRs have to make that sacrifice. But when the VG10/20 came out, it was like Super35 sensor? awesome. interchangeable lenses? awesome. great lowl-light shooting? awesome. 16 megapixels stills? WHY???

DSLRs crossing over into video land, makes sense to me. Camcorders crossing over into camera land, makes no sense to me. The VG cameras could have been so much better if they were just video cameras, and optimized for 1080p.
02-14-2012, 04:03 AM   #148
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what the DSLR revolution has tought me is that people are ready to jump through any knd of hoops if the image is a lot better for the price

for two years, the only cameras that could compete, IQ wise, with DSLRs, had a price tag around 50 times as big

does it have line skipping issues? does it lack XLR inputs? headphone jack? video-oriented controls? ergonomy? even a viewfinder?
indeed, it does
and lots of people didn't care, because the image is a lot better than anything else they could buy - because the sensor is bigger, and, don't forget that, a lot better (DR on small sensor cameras just can't compare)

since then, some big sensor videocameras have appeared, but they all have issues: construction quality (FS100), sensor quality (for some, AF100), and, barring everything else, price (F3, C300)

go on protecting your high-end offerings, and someone else will eat your lunch

going back on topic: Pentax could be that one, with the K-01, but from what we know so far it seems like it will need a hack to achieve that: the standard codec is not up to par
02-14-2012, 04:43 AM   #149
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QuoteOriginally posted by FullertonImages Quote
Obviously, no one wants to have a 2mp DSLR
I suggested 8MP though (with full readout).

The reason behind is to create a 2MP RGB image from an 8MP Bayer mosaic which then would be w/o sacrifice and tac sharp at the 2MP pixel level. If you "only" have 2MP HD video, you want the pixels to have best quaiity. The 8->2MP downsampling (4:1) would be done by supersampling preventing AA blur, line flickr and moiré and giving full light gathering capability. A side effect would be the capability for 8MP stills which is good enough anyway. Another side effect is better focus accuracy (auto or manual in magnified view) using the signal before downsampling.

Note that three chips camcorders are unaffected by the Bayer mosaic problems.

A full 8MP 12bit 30fps readout is 356 MByte/s and should be rather doable. E.g., the K-5 readout at 7fps is already 200 MByte/s.

Last edited by falconeye; 02-14-2012 at 05:10 AM.
02-14-2012, 07:31 AM   #150
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^
that's precisely what the canon C300 does: downsample 8mpix bayer to super sharp 2mpix 4:2:2 video
but keep in mind that storing those 8mpix in RAW, as you suggest, can be problematic: those 360 Mbyte/s can be "easily" compressed with a 5:1 near-lossless RAW codec (e.g. what cineform RAW does in the SI-2K), but then it is still 600 Mbps, 72 MB/s, and less than 30 minutes of footage on a 128 GB SSD drive
Silicon Imaging

I'm fine with downsampling in camera to 2K 4:2:2 12-bit or even just 10-bit, as long as you then save that with a very nice codec (100 Mbps, probably all-intra)
and if you're going to do that anyway, you can foresee it in your bayer sensor design, and use my RGBWK pattern with in-built 4:2:2 color subsampling, for nicely extended dynamic range
An idea for RGBWK Bayer pattern sensors - www.similaar.com
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