As soon as I heard about the qscale availability I loaded on my camera a tested every setting, +16 through -16. Here is a video showing them in ascending order according to bitrate. It seems like it records in VBR because -16 only produced around 40 mbit/sec, except for the shot of the carpet where it hit 82mbit/sec! What do you make of the lower than expected bitrates?
Link to firmware:
Main 550d branch:
Note: The video was compressed at 10mbit/sec for web, I will upload a less compressed version later. At q-15 the banding was gone from the wall.
ISO 200 f/3.5 1/50th
It seems that the higher the ISO, the higher the bitrate becomes, which means you must lower the qscale to compensate.
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