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Old May 21, 2008, 7:55 PM   #21
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I just confirmed it occurs on full telephoto. The lower f-stop at x3 zoom should protect from this, as the ND4 filter totally stopped the problem. But it doesn't. I guess the aperture control somehow opens the aperture wide open, and a servo overloads.

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Old May 21, 2008, 9:11 PM   #22
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Trevmar wrote:
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I just confirmed it occurs on full telephoto. The lower f-stop at x3 zoom should protect from this, as the ND4 filter totally stopped the problem. But it doesn't. I guess the aperture control somehow opens the aperture wide open, and a servo overloads.
I'm not an expert in photo, as you, so what do you think finally - is it hardware problem or it can be fixed by firmware update?
In the second case I guess we should attract Kodak's attention at least. My attemts to do that were not successful so far. First of all, I've tried to chat with them from the Kodak's official site. Total waste of time. The guy suggested to clean up lense, when I told him that camera is new, he simply told me that he doesn't know.
Then I've emailed to Kodak with full description of the problem, link to the video and defective frames. Even worse. The guy even didn't understand that I'm talking about video, not a picture mode! Suggested me to set Flash to Auto and Exposure to 0.0 :-) :-). I've answered him as polite as I could :-). Still waiting the responce.
All of that doesn't make any sense for me. So promising camera, so nice video and so stupid problems and so ... (ok, ok, be polite :-) ) strange personnel from the Support.
I'm going to call Kodak tomorrow if it will be no email responce from them.
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Old May 21, 2008, 9:42 PM   #23
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My guess is that the aperture servo stops right down, and still can't get the intensity low enough, and at that point the servo software is faulty, and causes the aperture to traverse its full range to open (the click), rather than staying shut. I designed servos for disk drives some time ago, and this range-limit mistake is easy to make.

I suspect it can be fixed with firmware, but as you say, Kodak is too large a company to respond to individuals, even when they swell to 100 or so in number. I would doubt that 1% of the people buying this camera would use its video capability.

I am guessing that the problem arises because signals from multiple pixels are combined in the video mode, in order to reduce noise, and the increased max sensitivity, or the dynamic range, overloads a servo which had been designed a year or two ago, designed for a much less capable range of cameras.

Since my usage is almost always going to be indoors, and the low light performance is paramount, I am going to work around this by figuring out how to attach a Neutral Density filter if I have to shoot outdoors.

Incidentally, I just confirmed that the 'flash during zoom', which I reported earlier, only happens out of doors, when zooming at bright backgrounds, and I suspect it is due to the same cause.


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Old May 22, 2008, 2:36 PM   #24
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Another weird thing.
Video mode, Continuous AF, 3x Zoom, indoor, slow panning. Almost all the time the camera trying to re-focus. So, biggest part of the footage is blurred. Ok, I can accept this (but doesn't like too much). But two things are really weird:
1) Permanent sound of lenses (or whatever). Why?
2. During the re-focusing, I can see some sort of micro-zoom (in and out, could be 2-3 times, even if I stop panning). As result - the footage if shaky, not by the usual way (left-right, up-down), but back-forward. Or, in other words, zoom-shaky.
Is it by any physical reason, or this is just another (firmware?) bug from Kodak?
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Old May 22, 2008, 5:27 PM   #25
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Trevmar wrote:
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I suspect it can be fixed with firmware, but as you say, Kodak is too large a company to respond to individuals, even when they swell to 100 or so in number. I would doubt that 1% of the people buying this camera would use its video capability.
It's hard to agree with you in this point. May be I'm wrong, but I think the high quality HD video is one of key features of this camera, and only in this niche Kodak can compete with zillions another cameras. In any other area so many cameras can easy beat Kodak.
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Old May 22, 2008, 7:26 PM   #26
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I have owned Sanyo C6, HD700, HD1000 hybrids and a host of older cameras and camcorders. The only ones that focus quickly and reliably are my Canon HV20s and my new Canon HF100, with their combination optical/sharpness dual focus mechanisms. The Sanyos were all a pain in the neck with focus hunting at low light levels. With Sanyo, you end up using "focus lock" all the time. I note that the Kodak has a similar lock capability, and had made a mental note to use it if focus ever became a problem.

I must say that I haven't yet seen autofocus hunting with the Kodak, it is quick to change when panning, certainly by comparison with its direct competitors (the Sanyos). When zooming, the Kodak goes out of focus, so do the Sanyos. Only the real camcorders do that properly.

The fixed lens Aiptek and DXG obviously never vary their focus point:-)

I use the HV20s whenever I can, and now that I have the HF100, which is smaller, lighter, and can record 3+ hours of excellent continuous 24p video, I see the Kodak simply as a camera which is always in my pocket, whereas my Canon is in the briefcase I also see that it may often be easier to take spur-of-the moment B-roll with the Kodak rather than shift the tripod-mounted Canon.

If I notice any situations where the focus becomes a problem I will post the video, but, for now, that has not been a problem for me.

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Old May 22, 2008, 7:56 PM   #27
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I haven't been using the telephoto portion of the lens very much so far, and I just noticed that, if you are not at wide angle, as the focus hunts so does the size of the image. Hadn't noticed this. I can see why it would be a big annoyance.

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Old May 22, 2008, 8:50 PM   #28
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drd403 wrote:
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Another weird thing.
Video mode, Continuous AF, 3x Zoom, indoor, slow panning. Almost all the time the camera trying to re-focus. So, biggest part of the footage is blurred. Ok, I can accept this (but doesn't like too much). But two things are really weird:
1) Permanent sound of lenses (or whatever). Why?
2. During the re-focusing, I can see some sort of micro-zoom (in and out, could be 2-3 times, even if I stop panning). As result - the footage if shaky, not by the usual way (left-right, up-down), but back-forward. Or, in other words, zoom-shaky.
Is it by any physical reason, or this is just another (firmware?) bug from Kodak?
Here is the example:

http://www.vimeo.com/1053463

AF - Continuous, OIS - on (but doesn't matter), Full Zoom.
Without zoom everything is ok.

Trevmar, could you please check out that on your camera? Is it normal for this class of cameras?
For me, it's not acceptable, so my conclusion - to use zoom I have to set AF to Single. But in this case I'll have out of focus when I zoom. So - zoom in video mode is completely useless. What do you think? Is there any settings, or tricks or special conditions when I can use zoom? Thanks!

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Old May 22, 2008, 9:35 PM   #29
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I will get some spare time to test this tomorrow.
I know that the Panasonic TZ5 will not allow you to zoom once you start the video recording, so this might be a problem with the class of lenses used on these small cameras. Anyway, I will take alook tomorrow.

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Old May 22, 2008, 10:04 PM   #30
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Trevmar wrote:
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I will get some spare time to test this tomorrow.
I know that the Panasonic TZ5 will not allow you to zoom once you start the video recording, so this might be a problem with the class of lenses used on these small cameras. Anyway, I will take alook tomorrow.
Interesting. But I didn't use zoom during recording, just before.
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