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Old September 13th, 2013, 06:26 AM   #166
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Lipetz View Post
Thanks Matt.

Now I wonder if this cam is ready for doc work. WB on the fly seems impossible as there seems to be only presets. And the WB does not go less than 3200K. Hey this is the land of fluorescent bulbs at 2900 and below. Even the KinoFlos we use are 2900K. No way to quickly reset WB to be accurate. Have to go into menus.

Delibrately leaving out Cine Modes,

No WFM or histograms.

Still have to see image quality but it seems like a cam designed by a marketing department, a cam with pro codec thrown on top of a delibrately down scaled consumer cam. Neither fish nor fowl.

And we really really need a Compact 10 bit 4K ENG cam.

Agree and also need a compact 10 bit 4:2:2 4K camera...

Also wish for a pre-record buffer of 5 or 10'... and a good image quality at end zoom range...
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Old September 13th, 2013, 07:37 AM   #167
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

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And we really really need a Compact 10 bit 4K ENG cam.
And 10bit goes to waste if the source image is noisy. Remember the HPX300? 10bit codec but any gain kills the grading advantage. 2/3'' may be a better domain for a 4K ENG cam. bigger pixels means more light gets captured per pixel.

With a single sensor design, it doesn't necessarily have to be full shoulder sized.
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Old September 13th, 2013, 07:52 AM   #168
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

How about the Sony PXW-Z100 with a 4/3 size sensor. Now that makes much more sense. that about 5.7 times the size of the little 1/2" sensor on this 4k camera. then it could have upgrade models that take 4/3 style lenses.

Sensor Sizes:
Image sensor size comparison
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Old September 13th, 2013, 08:12 AM   #169
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

Keep in mind Sony had the G lens ready already for the 1/3'' chip size. To make a zoom lens for a 4/3'' design that doesn't extend like a typical 18-200mm may be more R&D than they were able to do.

2/3'' sounds more within the range of possibility. My only hope is that it is not limited to a full shoulder design and that it could be fitted in a compact body similar to the PMW-200. (which is possible if it's only a single sensor design)
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Old September 13th, 2013, 11:48 AM   #170
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

Nice review Matt. If the firmware set for next year was in the camera at launch it would be my choice. I need long record times and as was mentioned in your review my main use will be to crop a HD image from the 4K for my theatre shoots just like I used my FX1 when it first came out. In fact at first I shot the FX1 in 4X3 DV for a while !!! The FDR-AX1 is a better NX5U in some respects, newer sensor , even though its only 1 chip, better codec than AVCHD and will do 60P to match my other cameras. I will choose the FDR-AX1 for my use as the other cameras in the multicam shoot will be my NX5U, NX30U and occasionally EX3. They should all match up for this use quite well.

I am trying to note the difference between the kit supplied for the FDR-AX1 and the PXW-Z100. When I bought my NX5U the differences to the AX2000 were the NX5U included the mic, a bigger battery, HD-SDI, timecode interface, connection for FMU128 and some settings in the menus that were excluded from the AX2000. This time I would like to know if the menu settings will be the same for the two cameras and the real difference is the codec and SDI/timecode interfaces. The spec in Canada for the FDR-AX1 are still showing all the frame rates which was something I thought may also be a difference.

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Old September 15th, 2013, 02:52 PM   #171
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

Having played with the Z100 now, I have to say I am pleasantly impressed. It is not a sensitive as the PMW300 or an EX1, I estimate it's about 1.5 stops less sensitive at 0db. But it is remarkably noise free. Even at +9bd the (which brings it back up to similar sensitivity to a PMW-300/EX1) the noise is not too bad. Fast pans at +9 or +12db will reveal some image smear due to the 3D noise reduction having to work harder, but it's not too bad.

I thought it would be worse than this.There must be a lot of noise reduction and processing taking place to produce this clean image but overall the NR is very transparent and well executed. I estimate dynamic range at about 10 stops.The PMW300 on the Sony booth is showing more dynamic range than the Z100 and I did expect this due to the small pixel size. The standard 709 gamma curve with knee works quite well. The Cinematone gammas don't bring any more dynamic range as far as I can tell,but the highlight roll of is more pleasing and a little more natural looking with the Cinematone gammas.

My biggest reservation is focussing the camera with the built in viewfinder or LCD. The rear finder is really not up to the task of focussing for 4K. The LCD panel is better, but with no magnifier or monocular your going to have to have damn good eyesight to be able to use it for accurate focus at 4K. This is not an issue unique to this camera, as no camera I know of has a viewfinder better than 1080P and most are only 720P or 1/4HD 960x540. But not having a magnifier makes this even worse than most. So, your almost certainly going to have to rely on autofocus to get the focus spot on in many situations. Fortunately the autofocus is fast and accurate. I think with these smaller cameras the use of autofocus will be common even for us old "I never use autofocus" operators, just as autofocus is now normal even for professional photographers.

Build quality is good, the camera feels very solid yet lightweight. Minor gripes are that the shoe on the handle in front of the LCD means that if you have a large light or radio mic attached to the shoe you can't open and close the LCD panel.

The menu system is lifted straight from the PMW-F5 and F55 and most of the menu pages are very similar. Scene file settings are quite comprehensive and there is a lot of scope for fine tuning the pictures with matrix, detail and gamma settings. However no extended dynamic range Cinegammas or Hypergammas.

Overall, it's better than I expected. The 4K images are sharp and clear, not overly sharpened and they look quite natural. AT 0db the noise levels are very low and the image is quite clean, but sensitivity is lower than we expect from a modern HD camera (no big surprise). Dynamic range is also a little lower than you can get from a good 1/2" camera but not significantly so.
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Old September 15th, 2013, 07:14 PM   #172
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

Of course, if the camera is recording at a resolution significantly higher then can be produced by the EVF, auto focus would become essential. So this would mean that a system that's generally been ignored and unused on this level of camera, the auto focus, will suddenly become one of the most critical systems on the camera; because if you can't focus it the camera is pretty much useless.
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Old September 15th, 2013, 08:33 PM   #173
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

That is where spot focus on the other consumer Sony's is so useful and which I use all the time on my CX700 and NX30U. I miss this on my NX5U and clearly it is not on these new 4K cameras which is a pity. My NX5U is very difficult to get a crisp focus and I always use the expanded focus to finally check as well as peaking. The autofocus on NX5U is not that great so I hope it has been improved for these new PXW-Z100 and the FDR-AX1.

Was the FDR-AX1 on the Sony a well as the PXW-Z100 ?

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Old September 15th, 2013, 09:38 PM   #174
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

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Originally Posted by Glen Vandermolen View Post
Nice review, Matt. Very informative.

I'm amazed at all the codecs this camera will be able to utilize, after next year's upgrade. XAVC HD, XAVC 4K, XAVC-S HD, XAVC-S 4K and AVCHD. That pretty much covers most shooting situations.
There isn't much information about the upgrade but everything I read referred to a Long-GOP codec, which I assumed would just be a 10-bit 4:2:2 Long-GOP XAVC. Does that exist on the F55? Or would it be 8-bit 4:2:0 Long-GOP XAVC-S

Burning through 64GB cards in under 15 minutes is going to be an expensive habit to support!
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Old September 15th, 2013, 09:38 PM   #175
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

In looking at this AX100 and Z100 sensor, it looks like Sony used a 18-19 megapixel count chip.

But why so high and so dense? Wouldnt 10-12mp been a far better choice for 4k?

At 4k / 8 mp...wouldnt a 20% over sample be all that was needed for good de Bayer processing?

I wonder if this sensor was used from ther Sony Cyber-Shot point and shoot camera line.

Interseting!
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Old September 15th, 2013, 09:58 PM   #176
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

Whoa, that is significantly higher count than expected.

The only issue I see from some sample footage is low light high contrast de-bayering, A strong light source can overwhelm the debayer process and cause pixels to bloom.

Is this a standard Bayer pattern or the ClearVid pattern? If it's Clearvid, the extra resolution is actually needed, since a ton of pixels in a Clearvid pattern are interpolated.

I'm willing to bet some of the new Sony Android phones are also using this same sensor: (Coincidentally called the Xperia Z1. That states a 20.7 Megapixel resolution.) Sony's Xperia Z1 aims to be the biggest and best Android cameraphone yet | The Verge
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Old September 16th, 2013, 05:00 AM   #177
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

Hi Alister,

Thanks for your little "review"...

Can you please tell us what is the quality of the lens? Does it behave well at end zoom range?
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Old September 16th, 2013, 07:58 AM   #178
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

My CyberShot HX30VB appears to have the same sensor spec !!! If you look at the specs for Z100 or the AX1 they clearly say " effective " pixels 8300K. There is a crop down as mentioned elsewhere to a 1/3" size when looking at the lens dimensions/spec. I have not done the cropped sensor calculation assuming uniform sensor arrangement which is a big assume with Sony !!! What this means in actual sensor elements and arrangement is unknown unless Sony explain to us sometime. I expect it is a Clearvid pattern of some sort though.

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Old September 16th, 2013, 09:22 AM   #179
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
My biggest reservation is focussing the camera with the built in viewfinder or LCD. The rear finder is really not up to the task of focussing for 4K. The LCD panel is better, but with no magnifier or monocular your going to have to have damn good eyesight to be able to use it for accurate focus at 4K. This is not an issue unique to this camera, as no camera I know of has a viewfinder better than 1080P and most are only 720P or 1/4HD 960x540. But not having a magnifier makes this even worse than most. So, your almost certainly going to have to rely on autofocus to get the focus spot on in many situations. Fortunately the autofocus is fast and accurate. I think with these smaller cameras the use of autofocus will be common even for us old "I never use autofocus" operators, just as autofocus is now normal even for professional photographers.
Do you think that the new Sony 1920x1080 DVFL-700 mini-monitor
Sony Product Detail Page DVFL700
that has built in Contrast, Peaking, Focus Magnification and high Brightness function controls would work correctly on the SDI connector? Maybe that could help in getting better focus.
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Old September 16th, 2013, 11:59 AM   #180
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

Wait, this AX1/Z100 sensor,...."IF" it truly is a Cybershot-type 18+mp sensor, can anyone confirm if it's a native 4x3 aspect or a 16x9?

I don't think Sony would put a 4x3 sensor and crop it to 16x9. (hopefully) If so, that shows Sony REALLY wanted to keep this camera in a true "entry level" 4k market. Something that would easily be outclassed on the day when the "Z200" was finally released. ("Z200 = 1/2 inch, THREE sensor with PMW 200 Fujinon lens)

I was a bit excited about this Z100 but if I'm going to drop $600-7000 on a new camera, it's going to have to be one that I feel will have a long shelf life. (like the EX1 had)

From the early specs that we have, this camera has a AWESOME codec but it's sensor is too small and has an unnecessarily high pixel count. (10-12mp in a 16x9 aspect would have been fine...not 18+mp)

Will wait for NAB 2013!

CT
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