Thanks for your observation Gordon:
You're hitting one of the technical nails on the head when you make the zoom setting observations.
Again, I threw myself into this project, and slightly evolved in how the material was mechanically captured using the two cameras.
Below are some of the technical issues I had to resolve, or try to resolve, along the way.
Lens Wide Open - No Zoom
This setting was easy, just back up the zoom all the way, or set the cameras at no zoom, align the frames, and shoot. Those clips are any clips which are not zoomed. I tried to restrict any zooming to 0 or 10x. I figured that there would be issues in zooming, and there were as discussed below.
Zoom Setting Numerical Indicator - Hard to Fine Tune / Inconsistent between cameras
I started noticing that the camera's numerical scale for zoom was difficult to get on 10x (perhaps not for the Sony - Just zoom until it stops. But for the Panasonic TZ10 SZ7, I had to "dial" it in.
The numerical indicator would hit the 10x mark, but allowed me a couple of more ticks of zoom before it actually cleared the 10x numerical indicator. Just take a camera that can go past 10X, or any mark, and watch that it will stay at the mark, for a couple of ticks, and then increment to the next zoom level.
Differences in what "x" really means per camera.
What I mean here is that when I needed perhaps a shallower zoom, perhaps 5x, I tried zooming each of the cameras to 5x, well, that was an interesting challenge, adventure and discovery.
What happened was that, and I can't remember which one did what, but if you zoom both the cameras to 5x (which isn't easy to do by the way, the slight zoom setting is hard to find using the zoom lever, especially if the zoom motor isn't a variable speed zoom), you will notice that the framed scene is not the same. One frame either had a bit more zoom, or was further away from the scene, etc.
So in other words, the Pansonic's 5x soom is not the same as the Sony's 5x soom. If you step back and think about it, from 0-10x zoom, each camera's lens action, settings, optics, all impact what is eveually landing on the sensor
By the way - what does 10x really mean? Is it 10x from some universal standard rule book? Is it 10x from what I see with my eye? Or is it 10x from the cameras' starting point?
In light of this inconsistent numerical zoom indicator discovery, on my second day of filming (using the alternative rec formats for each) I think I started using a different approach where I would just zoom each camera to what ever it took to have equal amounts of scene information in each screen - the importance being the focus of the project in the side by side videos.
Remember, at all times I tried to limit my zoom to either 0 or 10x. I wanted to avoid the zoom factor coming into the discussion. However, if the scene required it, I may have not gone all the way to 10x, but I would at least try to stop at 5x only.
However, since the zoom x factor's were different along each camera's zoom scale, I would have had to make minor zoom adjustments to the scene, simply trying to frame each one equally. This is how I would do it today, and on future multi camera view tests.
Back in the editing room, I noticed this was a problem as well, so keeping the framing as equal as possible has to take priority to matching the zoom x factor.
I think it would be an interesting test to also uncover what each camera's zoom x factor was along the way to its max zoom. (Study would take the camera, place it on one side of the room. Place a target on the wall, and with large paper cutouts put the distance along the way to the wall. Then zoom each camera to its max, stopping along the way, taking a picture, to study what the frame differences are along the way.
Pencil in front of your Nose Issue
The other issue is simple camera positioning on my rig. Each camera was placed within 12 inches of each other. Perhaps on longer shots, thier angle of perspective would not be too noticeable However, in the tighter shots, this made a difference as in the close shots of the flowers.
Even if I tried "framing" the shots equally around the flower, due to each camera's slight distance from each other, they would see a difference view of the flower. Imagine putting a pencil in front of your face, and looking at it with each eye.
If you close the right eye, then the left eye will see perhaps the 6-9 oclock side of the pencil, if you closed the left eye, the right eye will see the 3-6 oclock side of the pencil.
More noticeably, and you can see in the samples, what changes more dramatically is the background when doing the close multi-camera video work.
So for close up work, the distance between the two cameras need to be reduced as much as possible to avoid perspective shifts.
Video Resolution Decisions and AVCHD, MOV, MP4 formats:
I almost rendered Part 7 at 1440x1080, assuming the Sony HX5v simply changed recording format when set to MP4. But I did a quick check, and the source files for the sony MP4's were 1280x720. I had to catch myself, and make sure I rendered the side by side video at 1280x720.
Don't know if it was just me and a sony setting. But I'd be curious to know if the Sony can in fact record at its advertised HD rez for both AVCHD and its alternative, MP4 formats. I know there are many settings when recording in either formats, so perhaps it just defaulted to 1280x720. I will note that in AVCHD, I couldn't set it to record at 1280x720 oddly enough. Or I just was too stupid to figure it out.
Individual Clips to be rendered separately.
The individual clips of my side by side videos will be rendered separately, and in their native resolutions. I elected to process the side by side videos first, thinking these would be the most informative. Then I'll go back and render each of the parts of the series as stand alone clips.
This will mean that the Sony HX5, and Panasonic TZ10 ZS7's clips will be rendered in their original source rez or at 1440x1080, and 1280x720 respectively. I did not record any of the Sony clips in 1920x1080 format, perhaps because I felt that was way too far off for the side by side with Pana's 1280x720 max/source resolutions. And secretely, between you and me, and the million other people on you forum, I don't usually work with 1920x1080 unless I really have too. The hardware and software requirements to make the rendering and editing times reasonable, are a bit demanding.
To Wrap up.
I was fooling around with my Canon XH-A1, Nikon D3s, and my old Panasonic TZ1 for a side by side by side (side x 3) comparison footage to see what the results would be.
Surprisingly the little TZ1 seemed to hold its own, where the Canon and Nikon footage was nice, but required extra camera settings and attention to make the comparison worth while, at least between the Canon and Nikon. The Canon shoots at 1440x1080i, and the Nikon at 1280x720p.
Well, right off the bat I'll tell you the Nikon D3s was very nice, especially with the Shallow Depth of Field from its F2.8 lenses. But low light seems to challenge these cameras, unless my settings need to be tweeked, which is quite possible.
However, the Nikon D3s had a bunch of zoom noise, which sounded like a wood pecker banging on the side of the lens. That is why you probably see these cameras being used with External mics when engaged in video production. Wonderful shallow depth of field though (Nikon), way more than the Canon XH-A1.
Well I'll stop here, don't want to wonder too far off topic.