Panasonic HC-V750 - Poor stills resolution!

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by Steve1M, Jul 22, 2017.

  1. Steve1M

    Steve1M
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    Folks,

    Whilst the video quality/features are superb for this camera, I am somewhat disappointed with the stills video quality.
    So, in stills mode, I select the 24MP option, and shoot away at my daughter's graduation.
    Whilst the shots are reasonably crisp, if I view on PC and zoom in to small extent, it is evident that the resolution really is not that good.
    It is the same for all shots, mostly wide angle, with all in focus.
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    I then notice from the specs that the "effective" stills resolution is only 5MP.
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    Picture size shows W: 6528 x H: 3672, so suggesting ~ 24MP (interpolated??)
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    I should have taken the EOS with me!!
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    Please comment on your experiences.....maybe I am expecting too much.
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    Many Thanks, Steve
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  2. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    I have normally taken the stills from a video using my video editor, they have been usable and I have enhanced them in PSP when needed. If I am going for stills only, I normally take my Olympus E-10 - ancient but takes a good photo.
     
  3. dosdan

    dosdan
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    The quality of the lens in consumer camcorders is not as good as most DSLR lenses, particularly once you get above the kit-lens level. Consumer video lenses offer a 10:1-20:1 optical zoom range. It's extremely difficult to get high quality over such a large zoom range, particularly without spending a lot of money. That's why professional video zoom lenses are big, heavy and very expensive. Consumer video lenses have visible Geometric Distortion, Coma and CA. These lenses don't need to be that sharp for HD Video - the stills capability is just an afterthought. Once you read the V750/V770/V785 manual you won't want to take up-sized 24MP stills.

    5MP can be sufficient for many purposes (up to A5 printing) but you need a good quality lens with it. I've got some lovely A4 prints from my old 6MP Pentax K100D Super DSLR. But these are of tulips and other flowers, and tack sharpness isn't the primary requirement for perceived quality in these shots.

    Moreover, the sharpness requirement is different in a still compared to a video frame. A still needs to be quite sharp. But with a video frame, some motion blur is acceptable, even desirable as it reduces frame-to-frame jerkiness and thus helps to integrate the smoothness of the motion in a sequence. So a still taken from a video sequence is a big compromise.

    While only a concern if you are capturing a single frame afterwards from a video clip, rather than shooting in stills mode on a video camera, MP4 video compression, (in contrast to the less-compressed video stream in the MJPEG format), is much higher than what is typically used in a JPEG still. So the still you can capture afterwards off of a MP4 clip has suffered a lot more from the level of lossy compression used, particularly if the frame you want from the sequence is not a key-frame.

    The other thing is that the optimum AA-filter needed for high-MP stills is different for what is required for a medium-res video frame. (The AA-filter layer is a physical structure situated above the sensor's pixels, so it can't be altered after manufacture.) Aliasing, visible in shots with regular fine detail, is typically an issue with a consumer video camera taking stills.

    The DR in DSLR cameras is better than in consumer video cams, so you can boost the dark bits more in post-production and typically have less chance of posterisation in clouds in the sky, especially if you shoot in raw format.

    For good-quality stills, you're best to use a DSLR.

    Dan.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
  4. 12harry

    12harry
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    This is worrying..... I thought Pana had devised a method of shifting the G=green on their 3-CMOS camcorders and this is what gave them extra resolution.
    The 750 body carries text that says "24mpx recording" - that's not interpolation in my book!
    dosdan....
    Certainly there could be an issue with lens resolution, but that would also show in HD movies - OK at 2Mpx it might go unnoticed ( on screen), but those Pana camcorders have always given sharp images, at least to my critical eye..... so I presumed the Stills resolution was also quite high quality.
    For HD movies a "Still" is only 2Mpx - and whilst this may be OK for a movie-background, I'd be suspicious if it could be expanded much by interpolation - It will vary, depending on the use and viewing conditions.
    IMHO any "Interpolation" -or- pixel-multiplying is a fudge - so I'm surprised Pana would do this in the camera..... Why stop at 20Mpx???

    For me, it also brings into sharp focus their 4K camcorder VX990 which claims 24Mpx Stills capability ( depending on settings ) - Again, the frames from the 4K movie-mode are less.... like 8Mpx - so I guess it is possible they are using interpolation to achieve more . . . but I don't rate that technique at all.... and if they used a simple multiplying algorythum...their 4K camcorder should boast Stills=80Mpx . . . .
    However, I've read the "VX980 combined" pdf - and while is gives several levels of quality, there is no mention of interpolation to achieve these still images.
    Unless you read it differently?

    Steve 1M
    - is the camcorder on a rigid tripod for test stills . . . and using a remote/timer to set the shutter. The Pana PDF for VX990 warns that in low-light the shutter-speed can be quite long ( but they don't give examples )..... so it's possible the poor resolution you are seeing is just camera-movement during exposure . . . . could you try again in "test conditions". If you need something that's convenient and sharp, then an up-market magazine should do....pinned to a tree at the back of the garden, so you can move away to extend the Zoom.

    Movies are very tolerant of minor fuzziness - so a Camcorder+Operator may be very good in movies, but less-so for stills. Hence to remove this possibility a tripod-test is essential. You can include a pad / or numbers to show which Test is recorded, just to be on the safe-side.... as things can become confusing.

    However, all above said.... my CX410 has a long zoom and takes 8.9 Mpx in Stills-mode which I have yet to fault . . . to the extent I don't use the APSC NEX5 (Stills~14Mpx), under normal picture-taking. So I'm really surprised that HD Pana isn't satisfying yr "quality guidelines"

    Perhaps you could post some Test-stills for us to examine....?


    Cheers.


    DSLR:
    Yes = if you must have the sharpest images then the larger-lens + Larger Sensors of a DSLR will give you a very short exposure . . . thereby increasing sharpness by reducing any shake. Most folks can be confident with a shutter set to 1/25, but there is likely to be an improvement if the aperture/light conditions allow 1/250 . . . provided the lens is working at modest iris-settings.
    So, I can understand the desire to have bot Camcorder and Stills cameras . . . but I find I use the "much-longer" zoom, without quality-issues ( BUT I will Look after this Warning ! ). since the extra-zoom means less enlarging/cropping is needed prior to printing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
  5. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    We always seem to get tied up in figures and technical waffle in these discussions. I took a number of stills using the 750 including screen shots of my PC. The clarity was perfect and withstood a couple of zooms in.
    I have actually printed off at A3 from the 750, following a session in PSP, and the results were totally acceptable. The 750 is not a DSLR obviously but, in the real world, will provide excellent results for what it is, a camcorder.
     
  6. 12harry

    12harry
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    I'm inclined to agree with you....so where is OP getting this poor resolution from? Is it possible he's set photo-mode to something low-res? ( Since camcorder Menu can be somewhat confusing ).....

    That's why I suggested using a tripod and self-timer...at least that eliminates the human-input.

    Whilst my HD-Sony only claims 8.9Mpx, when combined with the Stab + Zoom it will easily beat a DSLR whose super-pic needs digital zoom to achieve the same image.
    Most folks only buy a modest-zoom on a DSLR.
    (( Of course, "Bridge Cameras" would be greater competition)).
     
  7. Steve1M

    Steve1M
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    Many thanks for all of your responses, and the wealth of information you have provided.
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    I am absolutely sure that the lens quality is not to blame.
    I will take a look at the exposure settings for these shots to see if they happened to be high (small) aperture and long shutter, although I was very careful to only "squeeze" the shutter release throughout, with no jerky motion.
    I definitely set the stills res to 24M.
    I am going to do some further tests, and post a few examples when I get chance.
    Thanks again for your interest in this thread.
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    Kind Rgds, Steve
     
  8. Steve1M

    Steve1M
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    Does anyone know the max file size I can upload on here?
     
  9. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    Photo from a video taken on my HC-V750. The engine is Gelert fronting a train on the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway in Porthmadog. This was one of the last runs this engine did before being retired as the boiler certificate was due to expire. Pretty clear photo? You can count the rivets! Like this one Harry?
    uvs130907-001.JPG
     
  10. Steve1M

    Steve1M
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    If this is photo from video, is this not 2MP?
    I would be interested in clarity of full supposed 24MPX still.
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    I'll attach one of mine later
     
  11. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    Just fired off this photo at 24M. Reasonable clarity considering that nothing was set up. Could do with a touch of PSP.
     

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  12. 12harry

    12harry
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    Nice Photo Terfyn... - but you said "....from a video taken..."
    Knowing the weather recently I must assume this was taken earlier this year . . . but a "still-frame" - which is incredible as it should be ~2Mpx. Because video is taken a modest frame-rate the shutter-speed is on the "slow" side, so getting this sharpness is somewhat surprising, along with the 2Mp frame-size.

    To confuse me/us further you said "...just fired off this photo at 24Mpx..."
    - so did you mean this was an existing 24Mpx Still, which you had taken when on-site filming... or am I becoming easily confused....?

    Of course there is no reason not to take stills when the opportunity presents itself . . . esp. as you may find a use at some other time..... Also, I tend to use camcorder-stills ( mine are 8.9Mpx), to allow a degree of Pan/Crop, which could be degraded using a single-frame.
     
  13. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    The video was taken two years ago when I "cadged" a ride on Gelert's footplate. The still is lifted from the video in the video editor and has not been enhanced in any way, its a direct print. I often use stills from my videos for title backgrounds or for family albums.
    The default setting for stills on the 750 is 24M, picture size 6528 x 3672 at 16:9 ratio. I literally shot the picture and added it to my post following OPs comments on post #10 Just a simple try out to see what the stills quality was like. It is soft around the edges but everything is quite readable. Normally I would have "sharpened" it up in PSP. The Owls were painted by my Grandkids and the large picture is of Blackrock caves in the moonlight.
    I think it shows that the HC-V750 is quite a competent camera. Trust that explains everything Harry.
     

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