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Poor HDMI Out Quality

RebornDixie
Apprentice

Hello all.  I'm currently using a Vixia HF M41 as a camera for my twitch streaming, but am less than impressed with the video quality.  Even with good, even lighting, the output is very grainy/poor quality.  Is there a setting I'm missing?  I have 1080p output enabled in the settings.  I also recorded some videos, connected directly to the TV (circumventing the streaming software) and found the quality just as bad.  What gives?

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

rs-eos
Whiz

Try to link to some examples.

 

However, I'm pretty sure (and it's unfortunate to say), that it's most likely a limitation of the equipment.

 

First, do check to ensure you're recording mode (size of video recordings) is set to MXP or FXP.  In all other settings (XP+, SP or LP) video will be recorded only with information from 1440 x 1080 sensor sites and then stretched to 1920 x 1080.

 

Limitations are due to the following:

  • The sensor is tiny (thus light-capturing ability will not be that good and risk of noise is quite high)
  • The sensor only has 1920 x 1080 sensor sites.  Note I'm not using the term "pixels" here.  The issue with this is that due to the Bayer filter, each sensor site can only capture one of red, green, or blue.   The camcorder will attempt to fill in the gaps, but it can only do so much.  For such setups, the resultant footage will not be very crisp/sharp.
  • A large amount of compression is being used along with throwing away lots of color information.  A very common thing to do in consumer camcorders.

Looking at the User Manual, I don't see any specifications on what the maximum gain value is.  But even if allowed to be set to a high value, that will indeed generate lots of noise.

 

Other tips:

  • If possible, use the widest angle possible on the lens.  This will allow for the aperture to be f/1.8.  If you're completely zoomed in, aperture will be f/3 and thus be letting on only around 1/3 the amount of light.
  • Lower the shutter speed.  If this is say 1/60 second or faster (say 1/120 second), that's going to force gain to increase and thus noise increases.

Finally, here's a short list of what can lead to much higher video quality.  Though all really add to the cost of equipment:

  • Larger sensor (but more importantly, the size of individual sensor sites)
  • If the sensor has 4K worth of sensor sites, it can then use oversampling to produce very nice HD.  And ideally 8K worth of sensor sites with oversampling to produce very nice 4K.
  • Less compression.
  • Tosses out far less color information.
--
Ricky

EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS, EF-EOS R 0.71x

View solution in original post

5 REPLIES 5

rs-eos
Whiz

Try to link to some examples.

 

However, I'm pretty sure (and it's unfortunate to say), that it's most likely a limitation of the equipment.

 

First, do check to ensure you're recording mode (size of video recordings) is set to MXP or FXP.  In all other settings (XP+, SP or LP) video will be recorded only with information from 1440 x 1080 sensor sites and then stretched to 1920 x 1080.

 

Limitations are due to the following:

  • The sensor is tiny (thus light-capturing ability will not be that good and risk of noise is quite high)
  • The sensor only has 1920 x 1080 sensor sites.  Note I'm not using the term "pixels" here.  The issue with this is that due to the Bayer filter, each sensor site can only capture one of red, green, or blue.   The camcorder will attempt to fill in the gaps, but it can only do so much.  For such setups, the resultant footage will not be very crisp/sharp.
  • A large amount of compression is being used along with throwing away lots of color information.  A very common thing to do in consumer camcorders.

Looking at the User Manual, I don't see any specifications on what the maximum gain value is.  But even if allowed to be set to a high value, that will indeed generate lots of noise.

 

Other tips:

  • If possible, use the widest angle possible on the lens.  This will allow for the aperture to be f/1.8.  If you're completely zoomed in, aperture will be f/3 and thus be letting on only around 1/3 the amount of light.
  • Lower the shutter speed.  If this is say 1/60 second or faster (say 1/120 second), that's going to force gain to increase and thus noise increases.

Finally, here's a short list of what can lead to much higher video quality.  Though all really add to the cost of equipment:

  • Larger sensor (but more importantly, the size of individual sensor sites)
  • If the sensor has 4K worth of sensor sites, it can then use oversampling to produce very nice HD.  And ideally 8K worth of sensor sites with oversampling to produce very nice 4K.
  • Less compression.
  • Tosses out far less color information.
--
Ricky

EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS, EF-EOS R 0.71x

Ricky,

 

Thank you so much for the detailed reply.  I'm new to cameras and camcorders and to me, something advertised as being "full HD/1080P" should produce reasonably crisp video at that resolution.  I'm disappointed to find out this is not the case.  I've tried the troubleshooting steps you mentioned to no avail.

I started with a Canon T5 trying to get decent cam quality, and I still feel a little conned over that deal - Canon released the EOS webcam utility and I purchased the T5 for that reason.The Webcam utility is, frankly, comically bad.  My entry level Razer webcam outperforms the T5.

All is not lost, however, as I discovered I *really* like photography.  So I've really only wasted the money on the M41, I got that used.

Can you recommend a product that can produce crisp video at 1080p with clean HDMI?  I actually really like both of the pieces of gear I bought and would like to stick with Canon.

Yea, unfortunately I got hit with marketing hype as well years ago.  So called "True HD" wasn't that at all.

 

I'm enjoying the Canon Vixia HF G50 as it will oversample HD footage leading to very crisp lines.  I think it has clean HDMI out, though haven't tried that.

 

I'm currently looking at moving to a EOS C70, but the cost is significantly higher.

 

In addition to the HF G50, do check out the G60.  I think the feature set as compared to the G50 is well worth the increase in price.

--
Ricky

EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS, EF-EOS R 0.71x

Vdanny
Apprentice

Hi RebornDixie,

 I apologize for resurrecting this older post but I am curious. I just finished a live stream event using a Vixia M400 which is basically the same camcorder as yours minus the internal storage and viewfinder. The image from the clean HDMI possible with this camera seemed sharp and detailed with little noise. It has the same HD CMOS sensor as yours and the G20 and I have joined footage shot between the two without glaring differences. If you still have the camera I was wondering if it looks poor if you import the footage directly into a computer and if perhaps the HDMI port or the cable is at fault? 

I do still have the camera but its stashed away in a box somewhere at this point.  I ended up just using my iPhone as a webcam which isn't ideal but looks significantly sharper, even when using the forward facing camera.   I think I may just be picky on production quality because its the one thing I can objectively control in my stream.

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