Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › 3 chip vs 1 chip
March 29, 2011 at 11:23 PM #48991
Sony is coming out this summer with the HXR-NX70U designed for outdoor and documentary shooting. It only has a single 1/2.88″ back-illuminated R CMOS sensor. How is this going to compare especially in color accuracyto the older 3 chip cameras such as the Sony HVR-Z!U? I need a camera for an outdoor documentary by July.
March 31, 2011 at 4:39 AM #200797
From what I’ve hearda single CMOS chip is a lot better than a single CCD.
You should definitely check the low light capabilities of this camcorder.
April 1, 2011 at 10:15 PM #200798
Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately it is scheduled to come out this summer – June 21?? My need may be a day early as well as several dollars short.
April 2, 2011 at 1:01 AM #200799
I have a Sony HDR-HC1 camcorder (2005) with a single (1/3″) CMOS sensor, and I haven’t had much of a problem in low light, and the best part is that it did well in contrast. You could light up half of the image, half of it appears bright and half of it dark but you could at least make something out of it.
April 2, 2011 at 4:54 AM #200800
Good to know. They are touting the low light performance. The chip is a bit smaller at 1/2.88″. Have you had a chance to compare the color performance to any 3 chip cams? that was a supposed to be a major reason for going to 3 chip.
April 2, 2011 at 8:55 PM #200801
I thought 1/2.88″ was supposed to be better, since it’s a bigger CMOS chip.
April 3, 2011 at 4:48 PM #200802RobParticipant
Since you specifically mentioned the Z1U, I’m assuming your question is 1 CMOS vs 3 CCD?
In general, 3 sensors is better than 1 because each sensor handles 1 primary color – red, green or blue. If you have a single sensor, it’s doing 3 times as much work.
That said, CMOS sensors have pretty darn good color reproduction. They’re used in still cameras, and it’s basically the same technology, although, not all sensors are created equal.
At the end of the day, I think you’re splitting hairs. After you record something, you’re not going to look at your footage and say, “Gee, I wish I had go with a 3 CCD camera,” and neither will your viewer.
April 3, 2011 at 4:58 PM #200803CharlesParticipant
There is one problem you may encounter with the CMOS sensor that is not inherent with the CCD sensor; vertical shifting can be a problem during panning. For instance, if you are panning through some trees the top may be canted a little bit; as long as you have a slow enough pan and a fast shutter speed it should not be a problem, just something you need to be aware of before purchasing.
April 3, 2011 at 8:25 PM #200804RobParticipant
Good point cschultz, but increasing shutter speed doesn’t reduce the ‘symptoms’ of CMOS sensors. You have to record a higher frame rate. If we’re going to get into the different artifacts of CMOS sensors, then it’s also worth noting that the lower end cameras will suffer more than the higher end cameras
April 3, 2011 at 8:29 PM #200805CharlesParticipant
Rob you are correct, I got my thinking backwards. I did mean frame rate. As far as the higher end cameras, I can’t say I have played with one. I do use a Panasonic AG-HMC80 at work and it does suffer from the affects if I am not careful with my panning and frame rate.
April 3, 2011 at 8:58 PM #200806D0nParticipant
I have the hdr hc1, and sr12…
now the sr12 handily beats the hc1 in low light, and with colors such as reds.
in good light they are both excellent.
to the op… an sr 11 or 12 and underwater housing won’t bust your bank account esp if you go used and shoot to memory card.
one other option you may not have thought of… if you are shooting long takes or short clips? if you intend to keep the clips short, you can get TWO Pentax k5 d-slrs a couple weather sealed zooms and primes for under $5000.00… that gets you weather sealing, image stabilization, and incredible low light performance and a cinematic 35 mm film look….. for about the price of a pro camcorder…
April 4, 2011 at 7:45 PM #200807
Back to you XTR 91. Oops!got my math backwards. You are correct of course.
I am also appreciating all the other input and ideas.
I am really looking for a dedicated semipro cam and if it does stills that is ok too. My Z1U has been remarkably dependable in some pretty iffy weather situations including back country back packing but I worry about it. Since it is getting older and has been abused I am looking for a backup to take to the Shetlands to continue documenting the canoe journey. The NX70U looks like a good candidate but it may not be ready in time. I think I will contact Sony and see what they have to say.
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