panny v pioneer- black level

alancolledge

Novice Member
Originally posted by Galaxy
If you look further into that thread at the second "test" picture of the snow scene, you will notice the Pio looks better, this is merely the fact as I stated earlier that the camera is exposing for more light (the ambient light was turned up) as such the panny is underexposed and looks dull and washed out and the Pio looks great, just happens to be the right exposure for that light level and the Pio screen.........

If this was rocket science I would be on the moon by now! LOL

Best regards David
What a relief!!:thumbsup:

I'll take the silver foil off, that was covering my piano black finish for better contrast.:laugh:

Seriously though watching the Matrix Revolutions last night showed up the black problem on mine especially with the letterbox showing but it was still a joy to watch due to the differing blacks that stood out.

i.e. Trinitys latex suit seemed a deep glossy black, the Oracle's hair seemed a blue black etc. It all stood up rather well I thought.


Shame the story's crap:(
 

MAW

Banned
Alan has once again cut to the chase, here we are refining our gear for the optimal home cinema experience, yet 9/10 of films are a sad disappointment, never mind the black level.
 

StooMonster

Well-known Member
Originally posted by Gordon @ Convergent AV
There was an Alis panelled Fuji. Joe knows model number. It didn't get any votes......

Gordon
It was the worst digital display I have ever seen.

Compared to the others, side by side, equal setups: horrible. No wonder it got no votes.

Gordon, still looking forward to getting the CD-ROM; the Event 2 was an excellent day out.

StooMonster
 

Mr.D

Distinguished Member
Originally posted by Galaxy
If you look further into that thread at the second "test" picture of the snow scene, you will notice the Pio looks better, this is merely the fact as I stated earlier that the camera is exposing for more light (the ambient light was turned up) as such the panny is underexposed and looks dull and washed out and the Pio looks great, just happens to be the right exposure for that light level and the Pio screen.........

If this was rocket science I would be on the moon by now! LOL

Best regards David
I think you are missing the point.
The panels are photographed next to each other. Regardless of whether or not you believe the exposure criteria favour the overall look of one panel or another displaying images of whatever APL. The fact remains that representationally the photos are a good indication of black level comparisson between the two panels. ( especially as both have supposedly been calibrated for optimum black point)

Having seen panny vs pioneer shoot outs ( the one Gordon mentions for a start) not only does the pioneer exhibit lifted blacks relative to the panny it also exhibited crushing in the low end: so not only did it have grey blacks they were as flat as a pancake. I also wasn't blown away by the colour accuracy on the pioneer and felt it exhibited more posterisation but admittedly none of the units were calibrated for grayscale. However for intensity range evaluation I'd say the test was still valid.

In the snow scenes photograph the pioneer still exhibits lifted flat blacks relative to the panny.
 

Galaxy

Active Member
No point was missed, as it was a pointless test!

Sorry Dr.D but if you look at the original picture again on the pioneer the whites are burnt out and he blacks are grey indicated overexposure to that panels output, where as the panny has good blacks and well exposed whites, you just cannot compare the two panels by using photography if one has higher output than the other!

As I said before if the exposure was set for the Pioneer panel we would all be saying how dark and gloomy the panny is......

All this picture is telling us is that the pioneer has greater "light" output than the panny, nothing more nothing less.

I havent missed the point at all, the point is the photograph is totally meaningless!

Best regards David
 

Mr.D

Distinguished Member
Originally posted by Galaxy


All this picture is telling us is that the pioneer has greater "light" output than the panny, nothing more nothing less.

Best regards David

Yes it tells us the pioneer has lifted blacks relative to the panny given that they have both been set to a correct black point for each device and exposed with the same settings in the same scene.

Exposing for the pioneer will no doubt visually improve the look of the pioneer at least as far as the visible contrast of the image goes ( the blacks will still be flat though even if they are representationally darker looking in the image).

However the panny sitting next to it is also going to go down representationally by the same amount so you can still show that the panny has a lower black point and a correspondingly higher percievable contrast range up until the point on lowering exposure where you start to crush the blacks on the panny ( it being the one with the lower and by implication superior black point in the first place).

Of course the pioneer having such an overtly high black point in the first place means its likely you'd have to underexpose it so much you'd clip everything below 18% gray in the first place just to get it to register its blackpoint at Dmin ( thats a joke by the way).

Anyway as we can't underexpose our eyeballs at will without difficulty the only way you are ever going to make the pioneer look as if it has a lower black point that the panny with the two sitting side by side would be to switch the pioneer off!
 

buns

Banned
But given that the original poster of that picture confirmed that his eyes saw something pretty much in agreement with the picture, then any arguement to it being meaningless is akin to saying that any comparison of non identical displays is meaningless..... like it or not, this picture and the experience of the photographer have shown the pioneer to be grey, not black

ad
 

Galaxy

Active Member
Er,,,,I think we ought to stick to my original post which was that you can not "judge" these two plasmas from the photograph shown in the thread.

I certainly agree with the fact that the panny has better contrast ratio apparently than the pioneer, but one can not gain (sic) this information from the picture shown.

I am not trying to say the pioneer is better than the panny at all, just that I know my profession and was hoping that people would not base decisions on that picture.

Lifted blacks? in that picture it has lifted everything! LOL

If the highlights were seen as the the same level then I would agree that it shows an indication (and thats all) that the black levels were different, but it just shows that one panel was brighter than the other, regardless of any calibration that was attempted by vendors etc.

And your correct in the assumption that we cant underexpose our eyeballs, but it is amazing the extent the brain will go to to make us think what we are seeing is correct, just pop some lamps behind a bad screen in the dark and watch the contrast magically soar! LOL

Would'nt it be nice if there were an industry standard for contrast ratios, light output, colour balance etc we could rely upon when reading advertising blurb, so far we have to rely upon what that particular manufacturer thought was the best way to test thier screen for better sales!

Some even give the light output of the screen before the final tinted face plate is installed!

I have seen the two models shown side by side with two other manufacturers screens as well, and of course the pioneer was lower contrast than the panny, but then they were both very soft compared with the hitachi, bolis down to the fact that there is no substitute for seeing them live!

Best regards David
 

Galaxy

Active Member
Buns, if you look at the post with the snow scene you will see that the poster said that the pioneer looked fine.......its all down to ambient light levels and interpretation.

Best regards David
 

Paul D

Well-known Member
I own a Panasonic 42", and have seen both Pannys and Pioneers side by side on many occasions.
Although the black level are better on the Panasonics, the Pioneers are no were near as bad as those pictures(on AVS) make them out to be.
They do glow in the darkest of scenes, but not to the degree those images suggest.
I don't blame the photographer though, as screenshots are near impossible to get right. I have tried time and time again, and can never replicate the true image.

The latest Pioneers are better, but not to an acceptable level to me. Maybe the next generation will finally nail blacks, and we will be then all be focussing on brightness and colours! :D
But as people here have mentioned, there is more to an image than just black levels.
I thought the new Pioneers colours looked great, and they do look brighter.
At the "Event2", i found myself swapping between the Panasonic and the Pioneer depending on what was being shown. So it just goes to show that there is no easy answer which is best!

One thing they didn't mention was "after image". By this i don't mean screenburn, rather bright images lingering when a scene cuts to darkness.
Try some white text on a black background on any plasma, then cut to a blank or black background.
Count how long this takes to totally fade etc.
I won't mention any other brand, but on the Panasonics you will be lucky to get to 1! :devil:
See how long your display takes... ;)

:beer: :thumbsup: :beer:
(had to try my "BEER" smilie)
 

Mr.D

Distinguished Member
And I am adamant in saying that the photographs in question are valid for comparing the commonly discussed attributes of the pannys vs pioneers that is the lower/superior black level on the panasonics.

The original poster states that the panels were calibrated: the simplest step being to calibrate the normal user controls on both panels using something like Avia or VE ; for the purposes of our discussion the most relevant being the brightness (black point) and contrast ( white point).

If both panels are setup to have a correct black point in each case ( that is the lowest setting possible on the brightness control without crushing intensities : albeit in plasma land where all panels do anyway) and both panels are fed the same image through said calbrated signal paths , and both panels are photographed side by side with exposure criteria sufficient enough to show you the lowest level on each panel ( ie not crushing the lowest one). Then there is no reason whatsoever that you cannot make a judgement as to which one has the lowest black level from those photographs.( which they consistently demonstrate regardless of exposure , material and scene lighting conditions)

For our purposes a lower black level equates to a higher visually referential contrast range . If you have two panels and one had a low black point and a sufficient white point to resolve an 8bit video intensity scale ( which isn't particulary difficult and the panny well capable of ) its going to look as if it has more contrast than another panel with a higher black level albeit with even a vastly higher peak white level: because human beings are far more sensitive to intensity variation in the lower intensity range than the upper levels.

The fact that the whites on the pioneer are clipped in the photos does not indicate that the pioneer itself was setup incorrectly it merely indicates the peak whites on the pioneer after white point calibration are high enough to clip on taking a photo with those particular exposure criteria.

The photos are valid for comparison purposes : the only reason they wouldn't be is if the panels were not calibrated ( at least with regard to contrast and brightness) which is not the case according to the original poster and indeed they show exactly the characteristics of each panel I have seen myself.
 

Galaxy

Active Member
I did not say the Pioneer was not set up correctly and that the whites clipped, I said the Pioneer is the "brighter" screen and this shows itself clearly in the photograph as the camera has clearly exposed luckily or otherwise for the level of the Panny.

If you would judge these two panels using this criteria, fine, but it is a flawed example.

You can not rely on the camera to show what the eyes sees or the brain interprets.

If it were this easy then all panels could be compared and graded as such, which it is not and they are not, for good reason.

Best regards David
 
A

ancientgeek

Guest
Plasmas are all a compromise. The lack of proper black is plain to see on Pioneer panels. However, if the panel is being used for all TV watching or for other reasons is frequently viewed in fairly bright ambient lighting, then the extra brightness of the Pio is worth having, and reflections in the screen are less bothersome with the raised black level.

If on the other hand the panel is purely for watching DVD's in a darkened room, many people would prefer a projector.

In my own case, I knew that the screen would frequently be used for casual TV viewing and web surfing in daylight, and I accepted the trade-off.
 

Galaxy

Active Member
Absolutely correct, same here, the Plasma is the "normal" screen and for DVD epic viewing we use the Projector, although having said that we find that many more repeated viewings are being watched on the Plasma rather than get the Projector and HTPC warmed up!

Best regards David
 

Mr.D

Distinguished Member
Originally posted by Galaxy
[B

If you would judge these two panels using this criteria, fine, but it is a flawed example.

You can not rely on the camera to show what the eyes sees or the brain interprets.

If it were this easy then all panels could be compared and graded as such, which it is not and they are not, for good reason.

Best regards David [/B]
And again my point is that its not a flawed example at all.

Putting two displays of any type next to each other that have been calibrated to be as correct as they can be and taking a photograph of them using any exposure criteria that doesn't go to extremes and render the image unusable for appaisal is a perfectly reasonable way of making a record of how certain aspects of said displays compare with each other.

You can most certainly rely on a camera to show you a referential comparisson of certain aspects of given displays especially when the two of them are next to each other in the same photograph. In fact its more useful than viewing them in the flesh individually as at least you can empirically state things like " the Panasonic has a lower black point than the Pioneer".

There would be nothing untoward with taking a bunch of screens , calibrating them , sticking the same image through them all and photographing them. Ignoring differences in refresh techniques on different displays and subject to using relevant images (you would still be able to come up with a set of exposure criteria that ironed this difference out if you had the time or inclination) you would be able to appraise black level , white level, mean output, grayscale , colour rendition, intensity range, gamma in fact every aspect of image criteria that did not rely on looking at a moving sequence.

If you exposed for the lowest mean output device the others would look lifted (unless they had as good low blacks as well as a higher peak white capability than the lowest outputting device).

If you expose for the one in the middle the lower displays will look under exposed and possibly crushed , the higher displays will be washed out.

If you expose for the highest display all the others will look under exposed to greater or lesser degrees possibly to the point where the very lowest displays are so under that the resulting image is of little use for comparrison.

In all these cases you will still be able to look at the photograph and say which displays had the lowest black point , and the highest whitepoint. Unless you expose a completely useless image of course.

So again I say that its a perfectly valid way of appraising these two devices relative to each other with regard to the issues under discussion in this thread and nothing you have said David has suggested otherwise.

And please don't mystify things up with references to the subjective interpretation of the human visual system of which I am well aware and can expound at length on and still have nothing to do with you claiming that a perfectly valid appraisal image isn't as pretty as a beauty shot of your plasma .
 

Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
May as well add another 2p:

As explained by other photographers, the photo does nothing to show which screen is better. Its like saying, the projector screen in the background is supposed to be white, but its yellow - and then its white in the next picture.

The shot of the building at night clearly shows how the Samsung and Pio is over exposed on the camera film - ignoring black levels, you cannot see any detail in the garage door.

It is even difficult to compare when you look at both side by side. In reality, you will only watch one screen at a time, and your eyes will adjust to the light in the room.

Originally posted by Mr.D
However the panny sitting next to it is also going to go down representationally by the same amount so you can still show that the panny has a lower black point and a correspondingly higher percievable contrast range up until the point on lowering exposure where you start to crush the blacks on the panny ( it being the one with the lower and by implication superior black point in the first place).
Having a lower black point is not the same as having a higher percievable contrast range (the Panny's white areas could be less bright than the Pioneer's, which on its own, doesn't indicate which has higher contrast). If you watched the panny on its own, your pupils would dilate more than if you watched the Pioneer on its own, and the difference in perceived black levels would be less.

This is not to say the black levels of the Panny are not better - but on its own, the picture is useless for comparison.
 

Mr.D

Distinguished Member
No its a perfectly valid way of appraising certain aspects of image display criteria relative to the displays that you actually photograph.

Unless you guys who claim to have a passing aquaintance with photography can dispute the issues I've outlined then please stop claiming that the photographic appraisal is invalid.

This is not about whether or not a given display is exposed "correctly" with regard to where its intensity range maps to film/ccd so commenting on the individual image characteristics of an individual screen showing an image of specific intensity detail is irrellevant.

If the Pioneer is shown to be clipped on the photograph after we've been told its had its white point calibrated then all we can say is that the peak output of the pioneer is higher than the displays that don't clip in that photograph.

These images are a reference as to where the different plasmas put black and where they put white and as such they are perfectly valid.
 

Stiesto

Standard Member
All I would say you can tell from that photo is the Panny can achieve, overall, blacker black levels. Cameras can lie about too much to accurately judge how servere the actual difference between the two screens is though.

Hell, look at how good films look through the lens compared to when you see them being shot from behind the scenes. That alone proves how much an optical device adds sparkle (or lack of) when compared to the human eye.

Simply put, you'd have to see the test in person and not from a photo for it to be truly representational as otherwise, its a biased test.
 

Mr.D

Distinguished Member
Originally posted by Triggaaar

Having a lower black point is not the same as having a higher percievable contrast range (the Panny's white areas could be less bright than the Pioneer's, which on its own, doesn't indicate which has higher contrast). If you watched the panny on its own, your pupils would dilate more than if you watched the Pioneer on its own, and the difference in perceived black levels would be less.

This is not to say the black levels of the Panny are not better - but on its own, the picture is useless for comparison.
To all intents and purposes with a human being watching 8 bit video material on a display with an adequate whitepoint the display with the lower black point and adequate whitepoint will be visually percieved as having more contrast than the same image on another display with a higher than desirable black point even if it has a much higher peak white point.

Why?

Because of how human perception varies in sensitivity across the intensity range ( less perceptive in the whites so you don't actually need a display that resolves a lot of intensity variation up there beyond an acceptable level).

Video is also designed to represent more intensity variations in the lower compared with higher intensities as a result.

So is film I hasten to add to an even greater extent ( overexpose to get detail up from the toe and then print down anyone?)

This next bit is getting off topic but its such a useless theory it makes me laugh.
So your eyes dilate more with the panny so you make more of the white level thats there without compromising the blacks. ( dilating eyes don't increase black level they try to make more use of average light level) Whereas if you watch the Pioneer your eyes contract more so not only are the blacks still lifted you don't get the benefit ( which is minimal anyway from the point of view of the human visual system) of the higher peak white level. (as well as having a display so overly bright your eyes have to contract back during bright scenes. ( lots of fun)

Except of course in the dark scenes where everything is a nice comfortable grey.
 

Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
Originally posted by Mr.D
No its a perfectly valid way of appraising certain aspects of image display criteria relative to the displays that you actually photograph.
I agree that certain aspects can be appraised. The picture shows that the Pioneer has a brighter picture, and that the Panny has a lower black level. However, the black level you perceive when watching a screen is also directly affected by the overall screen brightness and other factors, so I do claim that this picture on its own is not useful for showing which screen will 'look' blacker.

Unless you guys who claim to have a passing aquaintance with photography can dispute the issues I've outlined then please stop claiming that the photographic appraisal is invalid.
I personally am not specifially disputing issues that you alone have outlined, but I am disputing that the photo on its own is proof that the Panny gives much better looking black levels. I have seen both plasmas, and believe that the Panny does have better black levels. But not by as much as suggested by the photo. And my point is more that we shouldn't use photos like this, on their own, to make judgements, as they will not always tell the truth.


These images are a reference as to where the different plasmas put black and where they put white and as such they are perfectly valid.
I'm not sure what you mean by this?
 

Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
Originally posted by Mr.D
To all intents and purposes with a human being watching 8 bit video material on a display with an adequate whitepoint the display with the lower black point and adequate whitepoint will be visually percieved as having more contrast than the same image on another display with a higher than desirable black point even if it has a much higher peak white point.
This would depend on how much lower the black point is, and how different the white points are. If they are both changed by the same percentage, you may be right that the screen with the lower black point is visually perceived as having more contrast. But this cannot be identified by the photo in this example.


This next bit is getting off topic but its such a useless theory it makes me laugh.
Not sure insults will help everyone reach agreement.


( dilating eyes don't increase black level they try to make more use of average light level)
Dilating eyes make more use of all light, not just average light. If the black on the screen emitted no light at all, then I agree that dilating eyes would not make the area seem brighter, but I think some light is still being emitted.

Whereas if you watch the Pioneer your eyes contract more so not only are the blacks still lifted you don't get the benefit ( which is minimal anyway from the point of view of the human visual system) of the higher peak white level.
If your eyes contract more, the blacks will appear blacker.

I just do not believe that photo is helpful in comparing the perceived black levels of the two screens.
 

Mr.D

Distinguished Member
Originally posted by Triggaaar
This would depend on how much lower the black point is, and how different the white points are. If they are both changed by the same percentage, you may be right that the screen with the lower black point is visually perceived as having more contrast. But this cannot be identified by the photo in this example.
They ARE changed by the same percentage : real world light is linear. The photo speaks for itself. The panasonic looks as if it has more contrast. Look at the photograph for cripes sake.

I've tried to put this stuff as simply as I can if you guys can't follow whats going on here then I suggest you go back to your basic photography theory.

As I've said before the lower black point on the panny can be identified as such from the photograph given that the panels both have their black points calibrated and are photographed next to each other.

Dispute it if you want but kindly don't label the results as invalid because they are not representative of watching a panel in the flesh. Thats not what the situation is illustrating , none of the so called photographers seems capable of explaining why they think this is so beyond tenuous malformed opinion.
 

Stiesto

Standard Member
At the end of the day, does it even matter?

We all know the Panny has better black levels. We all know the Pioneer doesn't look that washed out in the flesh.

There really is no need for this heated argument because its going to turn ugly. Calm down fellas.
 

Mr.D

Distinguished Member
It turns ugly because some people like to qualify their malformed opinion by stating they are "photographers" and insinuate that their opinion is some how more correct than other people who have gone to the bother of providing the comparisson in the first place.

They then prove themselves incapable of actually understanding the situation they are discussing or explaining why they take the opinion they have in the very terms that they profess to be experienced in.

Read the explanations I've posted. If you still don't understand it fine but please don't claim that its indicative of your expertise rather than your ignorance.
 

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