VideoHelp Forum

+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 25 of 25
Thread
  1. First: My apologises if this is posted in the wrong place.

    I run a website with free instructional videomaterial, which has started to reach a substatial amount of visitors.

    I about to launch a new "non-free" section where I want to have higher video quality.

    So I have bought a Panasonic NV-GS250 3CCD camera - which has turned out to be a huge dissapointment. I record indoors with a semi-professional light setup.

    Here is the thing: The new panasonic camera doesn't come anywhere near my old Sony Digital8 (DCR-TR7000E/TR7100E) handycam. At first I thought I had received a deffective camera, so I returned it and got a new one (!) - but the problem remains. Problem: The image quality is poor.

    I have tried shooting outdoors - the result is ok (still not better than my old one) but I am starting to believe the 3 CCD thing "marketing trick".

    I have also tried all the different settings and modes on the camera - but the people I have talked to say that with good light conditions the automatic settings should be enough.

    When I talk to the stores here in Sweden they all say my camera should produce awesome quality - so I am really confused.

    Should I return the camera and buy a 2000 $ cam? After all this mess I actually would be happy to be a camera which is as good my old one (as long as it has an lcd display - my old one doesn't, and this makes harder to shoot myself).

    If you guys could help me clear this out I would undescribably happy.

    Regards

    /Kristofer
    Quote Quote  
  2. Banned
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Canada
    Search Comp PM
    Looks like your model has rather high minimal lighting requirements (poor low light performance). Other thing is a switch from Sony to Panasonic, a bit different animal. Your cam may be OK though.

    http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Panasonic-PV-GS250-Camcorder-Review.htm

    and check low light performance section, it explains exactly what you experience.

    3CCD is not a "marketing trick". You've just happened to pick the least expensive one and what follows less then stallar performance. Check the website and pick something more suitable. ...or place some more lights in your studio.

    Generally Sony (among consumer camcorders) has been a better choice IMHO offering consistently better low light picture then other makers.
    Whatever you choose you should still add some extra bulbs. It equals a better picture indoors.
    Quote Quote  
  3. I have a 2x36 W photo lamp (refered to as "halogen lamp" in Swedish) which is more than enough for my old cam. With this lamp I use to choose a "sun" setting for best video quality. I sincerely do not think the light is the problem - here is an example of an old recording.

    http://www.freelicks.net/Sultans1.htm

    /Kris
    Quote Quote  
  4. Banned
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Canada
    Search Comp PM
    I admit that in this flick there's plenty of light (too much hands are overexposed) and the image is very good. How does it look with a new one (post a pic)?

    Btw. nice playing!

    You should move away from the light source to avoid cliopping (your fingers) or place it differently so that your whole body is more uniformly lit.

    I can't imagine that it's not enough for Panasonic.
    Quote Quote  
  5. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Northern California, USA
    Search Comp PM
    Something isn't adding up here. The GS-250 should easily outperform a TR-7000E. I have a similar vintage Digital8 (dcr-trv310 and those aren't that great and had poor low light performance).

    How are you judging quality?
    Camcorderinfo.com raves about the GS-250.

    http://www.camcorderinfo.com/ratings.php
    http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/2004-CamInfo-Select-Best-Camcorder-Under-$1000-.htm
    Quote Quote  
  6. Banned
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Canada
    Search Comp PM
    I also checked some other videos on your site and would say that there's too much light. Your hands (most important part in this video, at least for a guitar player) are consistently overexposed, you are too close to the light. Guitar peghead is a blur, strings are invlisible due too overexposure and what follows color clipping. Your t-shirt is properly exposed and it should be the other way around. Freatboard is here 100% proirity. I have some guitar DVD's so I speak from experience


    Camcorderinfo.com raves about the GS-250.
    Not so, also read some comments below. It is a poor performer when it comes to low light as per the same review.

    Also we need to weigh in user expectations... Let's see some footage or stills from this Pana videos.

    In their best camcorder info 2004 EDDV links to they say:
    "At 15 lux, the image is considerably less noisy than other camcorders in this range" and that is under Sony. All Pana comments are about GS200 not GS250.

    From DCR-HC90 review:
    The low light performance (READ: INDOOR) on the DCR-HC90 is quite good, and comes in better than other camcorders in this price range including Panasonic's PV-GS150 and PV-GS250, as well as the Canon models in this price range as well. In all, the DCR-HC90's low light performance is one of its strong points
    Just to add. I, at some point wanted to buy a Pana 3CCD GS700 as I recall. Local store manager (at Henry's) told me: "fugghetaboutit !!, in real life Panasonic doesn't come close to Sony in the same price range". I tested it, agreed and followed the advice. Forgot about it. Been happy again with my Sony.

    Keep in mind that if I understand correctly the Sony 7000E is a Hi8 camcorder. No miniDV camcorder can compete with hi8 or digital8 low light capabilities, period. They had 1lux standard while best miniDV are 3lux (costing 6 times more). Average miniDV is 7-9 lux range. Pretty bad.
    Quote Quote  
  7. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Northern California, USA
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by InXess

    Keep in mind that if I understand correctly the Sony 7000E is a Hi8 camcorder. No miniDV camcorder can compete with hi8 or digital8 low light capabilities, period. They had 1lux standard while best miniDV are 3lux (costing 6 times more). Average miniDV is 7-9 lux range. Pretty bad.
    The TR-7000 (no LCD) was the first Digital8 in the same family with the tcv-103 to 510 (with LCD viewfinder).

    My Hi8 was the much more expensive CCD-V5000 model which performed much better as a camera than the TRV-310 but also was priced >2x higher.

    I've used the GS-400 and it seemed quite good. It was much closer to my upper end Sony PD-150 in outdoor light but I didn't have enough time with it to evaluate low light performance. The GS-250 has smaller 1/6" CCDs so low light performance would suffer.
    Quote Quote  
  8. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    dFAQ.us/lordsmurf
    Search Comp PM
    Last time I bought a DV camera, Canon won out over anything Panasonic could do, 3CCD or not.
    Quote Quote  
  9. Banned
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Canada
    Search Comp PM
    No doubt. GS-400 is overall decent but I simply don't like Panasonics. I think they are overrated, they look good only on paper, for some strange reason. Their LCD display oversharpens and is much inferior to Sony. It has been brought up so many times that caomcorderinfo.com is somewhat skewed towards Panasonics which miraculously always seem to have upperhand. Their reviews are inconsistent. Compare HC-90 and GS250 low light sections. They say exactly opposite things. These guys have some serious issues or are on Panasonic payroll.

    Btw.edDV PD150 is some serious contender and GS400 shouldn't be even mentioned in the same paragraph, For God's Sake.
    Quote Quote  
  10. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Northern California, USA
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by InXess

    Btw.edDV PD150 is some serious contender and GS400 shouldn't be even mentioned in the same paragraph, For God's Sake.
    It was just a refernce point. I borrowed a GS-400 while on a trip. The resulting video (bright day) was very good for a consumer model. I'd put it close to a Canon GL1 that I once borrowed from a public access cable TV station.
    Quote Quote  
  11. Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Japan
    Search Comp PM
    I have and use Pany GS100 and the picture quality in good light is fantastic - period! Compared to the Sony old TRV10 for example the difference in resolution is extreme.
    As it was mentioned though I agree the 3CCD has its good and bad points and it is really lots of marketing in it for this class of cams. Well GS100 & GS400 are a bit different beasts - at the top of the consumer tree, while GS70 and 250 are of lower class.
    One thing is they miss the so called pro functions.
    All of this cams have very small CCD sensors thus their low light is not great. Give em light and you will blow even prosumer cams like PD150 (talking of GS100 & 400).
    2x36W is a joke! Get some 2x150 and you can have very sharp images!
    If you've been to a production site or at a live shooting event check out what the pro guys are carring for their lighting. And they use pro cams with sharp lenses and huge CCDs that will shoot in very dim cnditions. And get a book to educate your self about video shooting and lighting - seriosly if you are going to have profit do something to improve!

    Edit: You can start from this spot: http://www.pana3ccduser.com/article.php?filename=ReviewV-GS150-and-PV-GS250
    Check around this site and the forum - you'll find many answers to your questions
    Quote Quote  
  12. Originally Posted by b-string
    I have a 2x36 W photo lamp ... I sincerely do not think the light is the problem - here is an example of an old recording.
    I agree that the lighting should not be the issue. I am also not sure what quality problems you have with the Pana. Can you post an example of the Pana footage in as high quality as possible so that we can see it.

    I have not used the 250, but I own the 400 which is a fantastic camcorder for the price.

    Generally, 3CCD is not at all overrated, 3CCDs give far better color representation than does a single CCD. Given the limits of video resolution the rest comes down to the size of the CCD (which gives better low-light performance) and optics and circuitry which handles the forming of the image.
    Terje A. Bergesen
    Quote Quote  
  13. Sorry for my late reply, I have been away during the day.

    Thank you very much for your advice, I will go through all the links and suggestions.

    You are also right I should definately spend more time learning about shooting film! Especially now that I will be charging fo the vids.

    This is one of many attempts to get the right light and sharpness with my new cam.




    Now when I do a close-up it works better, although it isn't very practical as the whole fretboard needs to be visible:



    /Kris
    Quote Quote  
  14. Member
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Search Comp PM
    Looking at those shots, nowhere near enough light and what there is is way too close to the subject. The auto exposure on the camcorder is winding the gain up as far as it will go to get something like the correct exposure. The result is very high contrast. This is what is causing the fingertips to burn out. The fretboard isn't in focus along it's length because the depth of focus is very small. This is caused by the lens aperture being very large, also as a result of not enough light.

    You want much more light (I wouldn't tackle something like that with less than a kilowatt), diffused and placed further away from the subject.

    Incidentally, I have a Sony TR8000E (as well as a pair of VX1000E's) and will agree that the low light performance is superb. 3 CCDs may give better colour rendition but one big one needs a lot less light than 3 little ones!
    Quote Quote  
  15. Banned
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Canada
    Search Comp PM
    Not too bad but lacks some definition. You probably use auto exposure and that is an average of the frame or measuring field of the camera. To get better results you would need to experiment with not only object (guitar, hands) ligting but also ambient/room lighting (bit dark...). Setting camera to manual exposure/gain and focus should give more refined look. You may take a digital picture with a still camera and then manipulate camcorder settings, lights etc. to arrive at the combination that is close to it. Compare the output, color fidelity of both still cam and camcorder.

    And again, lights and camcorder are too close. You probably have some DVD's or VHS tapes like HotLicks. This would be a good starting point to explore diffrent setup options (lighting, shooting distance and angle (shooting from the angle you chose is not the best for left hand although I understand you want to cover both hands), zoom etc.).
    Quote Quote  
  16. Originally Posted by b-string
    You are also right I should definately spend more time learning about shooting film! Especially now that I will be charging fo the vids.
    As others have been pointing out, your new camcorder has three relatively small CCDs which require more light than does one large CCD, so your lighting is too low. If you still have the sony, shoot some footage outside on a bright day and you will see the difference.

    To get good shots you need more lights, and you should try to diffuse the light a little more than in your example shots. I would recommend lighting he background as well, to create more contrast with the guitar neck.

    Since you are doing close-ups like this, and you need good sharp images, I would recommend getting a wide converter. Check pana3ccduser.com for a lot of reviews of wide converters. This should give you better depth of field as well.

    Somewhat simplyfied, but... Do note that a 3CCD camcorder will not necessarily give sharper images, that is not why you have 3 CCDs. Everything staying the same, 3 CCDs will give you better color representation only. To me that is hugely important since I shoot different situations than you do. Going by your subject matter, it wouldn't really matter if your stuff was color or black and white, so for these particular shots 3 CCDs are not going to give you a huge advantage over 1 CCD. I assume you will use the camcorder for other things as well, and then it will matter.
    Terje A. Bergesen
    Quote Quote  
  17. Originally Posted by InXess
    It has been brought up so many times that caomcorderinfo.com is somewhat skewed towards Panasonics which miraculously always seem to have upperhand.
    I really don't think camcorderinfo.com is that biased, I just think they have different priorities than many, and that Panasonic has been creating camcorders that are priced reasonably and that caters to the desires of the camcorderinfo crowd. An example.

    The best, by far, camcorder for the prosumer market a few years back was the Sony TRV-900. It had everything a prosumer could want. The right number of CCDs, good low-light performance for the price etc. Then came the TRV-950, somewhat dissappointing for many of us with a worse low-light performance, but it wasn't too bad. The 950 was then replaced by the Sony DCR-HC1000. Quite frankly, that camcorder was junk from one end to the other. Sony completely missed their TRV900/950 audience. They moved all controls to the horrible touch screen. Nothing worked the way the prosumer marked wanted etc. Suddenly Sony didn't even offer anything for the prosumer in a reasonable price range.

    Along comes Panasonic with the 400. It has most of what the TRVs had, and adds anamorphic 16x9 etc. It has a focus ring. It has a zoom ring (OK, it is the same ring... etc). In other words, the Panasonic was aimed squarely at the market which was pulling out of, the prosumer market.

    Now, the question, to tie this into perceived bias at camcorderinfo.com, who writes for camcorderinfo.com? The prosumers. The people who adored the TRV900, who loved the 950, and who, rightfully scorned the HC1000 over the Pana 400. Is that bias? Perhaps, but not in favor of a particular company. It is bias in favor of certain features and capabilities in a camcorder priced reasonably.
    Terje A. Bergesen
    Quote Quote  
  18. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Northern California, USA
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by BogieV

    All of this cams have very small CCD sensors thus their low light is not great. Give em light and you will blow even prosumer cams like PD150 (talking of GS100 & 400).
    2x36W is a joke! Get some 2x150 and you can have very sharp images!
    Let's not get carried away, the GS400 can produce good pictures with good light, but comes nowhere near PD-150 performance in contrasty light (the gamma knee curve* kicks in with the PD-150 compressing highlights) and in low light (1/3" CCDs and huge fast lens).

    Shooting and lighting for TV is fundamentally about contrast control. You need to keep the interesting elements of your scene within the severe contrast limits of video. If you are using consumer gear, the job gets tougher because of noise in the blacks and the lack of automatic highlight control.

    The advice given to light the background (not backlight) is a key to controlling contrast to the video limits. You are raising the reference black level by lighting the background. You are setting the zero IRE point. Key and fill lighting are then relative to this black and control the subject's contrast within the camera's contrast range.

    Your pictures above could also benefit from a Back (highlight) from above. This gives edge definition between the forground subject (shirt and guatar neck) and the background. (see http://www.3drender.com/light/3point.html)


    This shows traditional 3 point setup where the fill lights the background and sets subject black levels. Additional background lighting may be needed for larger sets to control black level.

    * higher end camcorders have strategies for controlling highlights and therefore overall contrast.
    See Gamma heading in this link http://www.adamwilt.com/24p/

    Since consumer camera's have primitive highlight control, you need to be better at lighting (more diffused ) to contol highlight saturation (>100IRE overshoots).
    Quote Quote  
  19. Thanks - these advice are priceless to me!

    Addition: In order to get some warm colors with the Panasonic I needed to choose the "outdoor" setting. Could that be the reason why light is insufficent? If I don't choose that mode that mode the colors become very "hospitalish" (= no warmth).

    I understand from this thread that the 3 ccd camera probably wasn't an optimal choice for me - I should have done more "pre-esearching".

    Especially since some of you agree that the sony tr series have very good low-light capabilities.

    Hopfully I will be able to return the camera.

    thanks!

    /K

    PS I understand there is no "one answer" to this question, but now that you know my "needs", what camera do you reccomend me to buy in the same price-category as the panasonic? ( I'll definately check out pana3ccduser.com for wide converters)
    Quote Quote  
  20. Member
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Search Comp PM
    You are getting "warmth" to the colours by setting the camcorder to outdoor, because of the lights you are using. Tungsten bulbs (which includes tungsten/halogen) give a light that is towards the red end of the visible spectrum compared to daylight. Consequently, by setting the camcorder white balance to outdoor, you are setting a nominal white balance that equates to midday daylight (as daylight changes colour depending on the time of day). By setting to indoor lighting, it sounds as though the camcorder is balancing too far the other way, hence everything has a blueish hue.

    Does the GS250 have manual white balance? If so, set it manually using a piece of white card under your lighting setup. If it doesn't, it isn't really suitable for what you want to do with it. You are trying to do studio work with a camcorder that wasn't designed for it. If you do look at changing the camcorder, get the best you can afford with manual everything (white balance, focus, exposure). As these sort of features usually only come on the top of the range camcorders, you may find that a top of the range single CCD unit is far better suited to what you are trying to do than the rock bottom of the range 3 CCD camcorder you have.
    Quote Quote  
  21. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Northern California, USA
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by Richard_G

    If you do look at changing the camcorder, get the best you can afford with manual everything (white balance, focus, exposure).
    I concur and will add "Manual Audio Levels". It is impossible to get professional sounding audio with consumer AGC pumping. The GS400 (and up) has manual audio levels and white balance.
    Quote Quote  
  22. Banned
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Canada
    Search Comp PM
    Finally we arrive at the question which camera is best suited for the job. Your needs are very specific. Your Sony will without a doubt perform better then GS250. Your issue is not a lack of 3CCD camera but rather mastering what you already own, looking for guidance and ideas to perfect your craft as a filmmaker. You've also got some good advice from Richard_G and edDV.

    Keep in mind that digital8 is equivalent to miniDV (on a bigger tape) so you are getting about 500 lines horizontal resolution. No immediate improvement by switching to miniDV and as pointed out 3CCD cam for this job is an overkill. Keep your old Sony and learn about how to better set it up for this job. Gwitch to manual settings for better control and predictability of results.

    PS. wide and tele lens adapters are available everywhere but I don't think you will need any.
    Quote Quote  
  23. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Northern California, USA
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by InXess
    ...

    Keep in mind that digital8 is equivalent to miniDV (on a bigger tape) so you are getting about 500 lines horizontal resolution. No immediate improvement by switching to miniDV and as pointed out 3CCD cam for this job is an overkill.
    The camera section of the TR7000 won't get that resolution but the "corder" half will. I've used the Digital8 to dub S-Video off of Betacam decks with very good results.

    The GS250 is clearly the better camera but you might consider the extra features and larger CCDs of the GS400 or going to a good single CCD model like the Canon Optura 600 or JVC GR-X5 (great pictures but both lack most manual controls) or step up to one of the prosumer models.
    Quote Quote  
  24. of course, 3 DOES NOT mean better.....this is just a BIG crap that panasonic sponsors.

    and www.camcorderinfo.com praises that much thhose crappy pannies that I think they are paid to do it...

    1 big fella is a lot better than 3 little suckers.....
    Quote Quote  
  25. Originally Posted by lenti_75
    of course, 3 DOES NOT mean better.....this is just a BIG crap that panasonic sponsors....1 big fella is a lot better than 3 little suckers....
    You may believe that, but it is bs. 3 smaller ones are in most cases better than 1 big one. One big one will give you good low-light footage, but crap regular light footage. 3 smaller ones will give you significantly better daylight or well-lit footage.
    Terje A. Bergesen
    Quote Quote  



Similar Threads