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Old Jun 3, 2007, 2:17 AM   #1
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Since I bought my C6 I have been telling my relatives and coworkers how good it is as a mini digital camcorder, so several people have eventually bought the C6, CA6 and CG6 (including myself after selling my C6). Now my nephew just bought the latest CG65 model. We agree to let each other have our cameras for a day this weekend to compare it. I have it first on Saturday.

I have taken a few daytime clips with the CG65, and I agree the video quality with plenty of light is as good as the CG6, but with fewer grains/blocks and a smoother look. Sometime fewer grains/blocks makes the video look cleaner and nicer, but sometime make it look kind of soft. It all depends on your taste and the individual scenes. I won't bother uploading these clips because many other users have done that.

Most importantly, I repeated the same test I did in the C6/CA6/CG6 comparison - indoor with one 60W bulb + lamp shade, shooting objects about 7 feet away. This light level is probably stretching the limit of performance of the camera. The CG6 and CG65 are both set at max. ISO 1600, white balance is "incandescence", and metering "center weighed", highest video quality (TV-SHQ), and IS off. All other settings are otherwise identical.

http://s21.quicksharing.com/v/4660220/CG6_1AF.MP4.html (CG6 spot AF)
http://s21.quicksharing.com/v/2773327/1CG6_9AF.MP4.html (CG6 9 point AF)
http://s21.quicksharing.com/v/3898207/CG65_1AF.MP4.html (CG65 spot AF)
http://s21.quicksharing.com/v/8716290/CG65_9AF.MP4.html (CG65 9 point AF)

(about 1 minute and 23 MB each)

(Sorry the CG6_1AF picked up the air conditioning sound in the background)

Comments -

(1) The CG65 video is darker than the CG6 at the same ISO setting.

(2) The CG65 zooms much faster than the CG6. Zooming noise is about the same and very low (much lower than the C6).

(3) As some users have reported, the autofocus of the CG65 hunts excessively in low light, especially at the telephoto end. When I change the focus mode from the default 9-AF (9 point AF) to S-AF (spot AF), the hunting decreases but is still more than the CG6. The CG6 also AF hunts a little bit at the tele end, but not much more than many other P&S digicams.

I have a feeling the autofocus hunting problem in the CG65 may be in part the result of darker screen (reduced contrast for AF) and faster zooming. I also notice a little more AF hunting in good light, especially when zooming right from full wide to full telephoto.

(4) In my opinion, the low light video quality of the CG65 is poorer than the CG6, with softer muddled images (probably because of darker images), made worse by AF hunting.

To reduce AF hunting in the CG65, I suggest (1) setting focus mode to "S-AF" (2) zooming slowly in small steps rather than through the whole range, to allow the AF time to do its job (3) plenty of light of course!
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Old Jun 8, 2007, 9:41 AM   #2
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An interesting comparision. I'm biased since I've got the CG6, but from your samples I'll come out and say that I'd rather have the CG6 than the CG65 which seems to be the so popular on this board. The output differences in good light are actually minimal to my eyes, and the CG6 seems to do a better all around job in lower light. Plus I just don't want to deal with the H.264 format files at this time; plenty of posts here about that.
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Old Jun 11, 2007, 4:22 AM   #3
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I measured about 27 LUX from a 60 watt lamp at 7 feet. This is a very low amount of light for most single CCD camcorder.

I would think the performance would be much better at 60 LUX or so. If you're in a room with only one 60 watt lamp you have trouble.

For the lower LUX settings you really have to do a manual white balance. Not only will it look better but the electronics will be able to reduce the noise better too.

I believe Caelum had good luck in low light by locking the ISO to around 800 or so. (Or was that 400?), their will be less noise but it will be darker.
I have had some nice camcorders and if you don't have 3 1/3" CCD's and supper clean electronics you will have lots of noise at 30 LUX. I had one that had 3 ½" CCD's and it looked great at 10 to 15 LUX but it also weighted 13lbs. (No I'm not kidding)
This is it.
http://pro.jvc.com/prof/attributes/s...;feature_id=03

It shoots SVHS tape. If you captured to digital it would still be a great camera for dark places and can be had for around $500.00.

I would like to see you do the same test again with two 60 watt lamps and a white balance camera. It should look just fine.

Can all the CG6x do PAL at 50fps or NTSC at 60fps? The camera should perform a little in the PAL setting too.

I wish they had a 24fps setting too, the low light performance would be a little better because of the slower shutter speed and most decoders do 2/3 pull down so their is no great loss in PQ.
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Old Jun 12, 2007, 11:03 AM   #4
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Hi blindsight, thanks for posting that. This is exactly why in my mini review I initially wasn't sure if the CG65's video engine smoothed out sensor noise or not when filming in low light. If sensor noise is very high, then the CG65's AVC/H.264 video engine treats sensor noise as image detail so it doesn't smooth it out. But if the sensor noise is under a certain threshold, it will treat it as a uniform area and smooth it out.

The good news is that it's quite easy to keep the sensor noise under this threshold under normal lighting conditions. In fact most normal indoor lighting conditions where people are meant to see fairly clearly will allow you to film even using full-auto and still be under this threshold. Most of the public indoor situations I've filmed under present enough light for this. Here is an example of this situation near that threshold, at night, indoors, in full-auto mode (you can see sensor noise just start to appear on the back green wall at the far left near the end):

http://s26.quicksharing.com/v/5925966/SANY0518.MP4.html

This is much better than what I've gotten with any other video recording devices. Fairly clear picture with much less noise with the CG65.

For more intimate lighting conditions then setting the ISO manually will allow you to keep sensor noise under control, as ArizonaVideo points out. In full auto the CG65 will have a tendency to record dark scenes much brighter than I think they should be, and thus will record sensor noise. Of course, as I mentioned in my mini review, if you want, and you don't mind lots of noise, at ISO 7200 you can actually record dark scenes brighter than they are in real life. I don't have an example at the moment comparing the same scene in full-auto against manual ISO, but here is a full-auto scene I had taken outdoors, at night, where the full auto toggles from what I consider overbright (sensor noise) to normal (less sensor noise). Because of the center weighted auto mode, the in-store lights in the middle is causing it to change. With a fixed ISO, you could control situations like this, or other intimate lighting conditions, to avoid going over that threshold where sensor noise is visible. By the way, if you're wondering, the white pixel moving around at the upper left in the sky is the planet Venus:

http://s26.quicksharing.com/v/2422400/SANY0346.MP4.html

Bottom line, I'm very pleased with the CG65 with low light situations.

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Old Jun 12, 2007, 4:22 PM   #5
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About the file CG6_1AF and CG65_1AF :

they have about the same kb dimension, but H264 will be smaller than mp4........

and the cg6 look like more sharp then cg65, look at thikness of wood.......

I think that they are not record at the same quality.........

What do you think?
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Old Jun 12, 2007, 7:32 PM   #6
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sandan wrote:
Quote:
About the file CG6_1AF and CG65_1AF :

they have about the same kb dimension, but H264 will be smaller than mp4........

and the cg6 look like more sharp then cg65, look at thikness of wood.......

I think that they are not record at the same quality.........

What do you think?
The variable bit-rate AVC/H264 stream will only be smaller (than the fixed bit-rate MPEG-4 SP stream) if theAVC engine can encode the video efficiently. In this particularcase all of the sensor noise is treated as detail and encoded in the video streamthereforethe fullavailable bandwidth is consumed. The CG65 appears to attempt to smooth somewhat thesensor noise but in this case it just looks more muddled as blindsight points out.

(Edit: also, Sanyo makes a specific point about the files being smaller when recordingin TV-HQ with the CG65 becauseit records at a max bit-rate of 1.5Mbps whereas the other SP models record at a fixed 2Mbps in TV-HQ mode.)
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Old Jun 13, 2007, 12:15 AM   #7
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Old Jun 13, 2007, 12:17 AM   #8
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Old Jun 13, 2007, 12:20 AM   #9
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I don't know why the CG6 produces brighter video images than the CG65 in my comparison, when both were manually set to the max. ISO 1600 (= ISO 7200 for videos) setting (as I stated in my post). I always presume they both use the same 6MP CCD.

Another interesting thing is that when I compare the still pictures taken by both cameras, the reverse is true - the CG65 images are brighter and crisper than the CG6. Also there is improvement in the noise reduction algorithym of the CG65, and its images show more detail and less "white speckles" (hot pixels?) - I did not switch on the "noise reduction" function of both cameras in the test, but I doubt if it makes any difference in reducing these "white speckles" if they are indeed hot pixels, because from what I understand the "noise reduction" function only kicks in when the exposure time is long (eg. 1 second or more in night scenes). I think the CG65 may be lighter on noise suppression, but it handles the chroma noise better and preserve image details better.

Examples - these pictures have been reduced in size and resampled for smaller filesize and easy upload, but you can compare the brightness of the two pictures and the quality (grains and details) of the crops.









IMO, in low light situation, the high ISO pictures of the CG65 are much better than the CG6.
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Old Jun 13, 2007, 5:15 AM   #10
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If that is how the camera looks with a 400 watt MH parking lot light that is pretty darn good.

The fact that their is any color left at all is better than most camcorders and the lower gain setting looked OK.

The whole ISO thing is driving me nuts. ISO is for the film speed and lens combo. We don't have film. The ISO on all the digitals is just electronic gain. For most camcorders you don't want to go over 9db of gain but you just find a level of noise that you can expect and don't go over that.

We are lucky that they do let you set the gain because most lower priced camcorders don't let you lock the gain (ISO) at all so every time the light gets low they just pump up the noise.

I had the Panasonic S150 for a week with three CCDs and it would not do any better than the CG65, In-fact it had almost no color in low light and the stills were horrid. I returned it.

I did set up a simple test with the S150 and my Cannon GL-1 with a LUX meter at 19 ,60 and 100 LUX.

When my CG65 gets here I will do the same test again.:-):-)

From what I have seen the CG65 looks close to the $1800 GL-1, well not really but in the same ballpark and a lot smaller and with great stills.



Lock that ISO.









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