Video Accessories Misc
- Written by John E. Johnson, Jr.
- Published on 20 August 2009
On the Bench
With the lens set to wide angle, the f/stop spread is very low, with the worst falloff was at the corners (vignetting), being 0.243 f/stops.
At telephoto, the worst falloff was also at the corners, being0.432 f/stops. This is excellent performance.
Resolution (MTF50) results are shown below. The Panasonic clocks in at 488 LW/PH (Line Widths per Picture Height), which is pretty good, but not as good as some other cameras that only have one sensor, such as the VIXIA HF11, which had an MTF50 of 612 LW/PH. In measuring digital snaphot cameras, including DSLR's, the cycles per pixel data are often mentioned, with 0.25 cycles per pixel being the minimum acceptable and 0.5 cycles per pixel being the theoretical maximum. The Panasonic's test result is 0.226 cycles per pixel, while the Canon HF11 is 0.283 cycles per pixel. Note that the sensors in the Panasonic camera have 560,000 pixels each, which totals 1,680,000 pixels. For true 1920x1080 native resolution, you need 2,073,600 pixels, so, pixel shift notwithstanding, part of the reason (maybe the entire reason) that the AG-HSC1UP has a lower MTF50 value than the HF11 is that the Panasonic does not have enough pixels to encompass the full 1920x1080 field, while the HF11 does have the full number of pixels.
Chromatic aberration was 0.662 pixels, which is lower than the Canon VIXIA HF11. At twice the price of the HF11, this is probably due to simply having a better lens.
Here is a screenshot of the gray scale test pattern. The Auto White Balance has it looking a little greenish, but all the patches are clearly delineated (some cameras might "crush" the grays so that the last few darkest patches all look black).
Analysis of the gray scale test pattern shows that the curve follows the first order gamma very well. There is no tendency to dampen the whites. So, you have to be careful when taking videos in bright scenes that have deep shadows to be sure not to clip the whites. The noise analysis (lower half of screenshot) indicates that the noise is about the same in the bright areas as well as the dark areas, suggesting some use of noise reduction.
Using the SG color checker, I got the following results. It looks quite good, especially in the fleshtones and grays.
Another way of looking at the color data is called a 2D axbx chart, shown below. It illustrates where the color should be, indicated by the squares, and where the camera reproduced that color, indicated by circles. You can see that the reds are undersaturated and there is a shift towards the yellows and blues being too green. This could be seen in the gray scale test pattern shown above.