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Old September 16th, 2013, 12:22 PM   #181
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

I think it is 4x3 as used in the still cameras. Spec for still from the 1/2.3 sensor in these are 4x3 18.2 Mpixels ( 4896x3672 ) the spec quote for 16x9 is13Mpixels ( 4896x2752 ). For video in these cameras the spec says effective 2M for 16x9 clearly interpolated. For the FDR-AX1 and the PXW-Z100 the lens needs to crop to 1/3 " which I expect to be this 16x9 crop that is also on the CyberShot still cameras. So it will cover the same surface area as the 1/3 chips used in the NX5U and the AX2000 for which the lens was designed. My read is the sensor has approximately 13Mpixels interpolated to 8300K effective 4K video or down to 6500 for HD etc. It is back illuminated so is much better than the original 1/3 sensors in the NX5U or AX2000 and with gain could equal the larger sensors until one gets to really large sensors like APC or S35. My small Sony CX700 and NX30 easily outperform my NX5U in low light and they use a similar sensor type.

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Old September 16th, 2013, 04:11 PM   #182
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

Hi guys:

Finally my account has got approved to post a reply here. Upon viewing this thread, I have so much confusion regarding the selection of my next camera, especially with my pre-order of PMW-300 on BH site for some time. So I come here for help.

The first matter I seriously consider is the *noise*. I have a HVR-Z5U which is similar to this, and it gives me a picture full of noise, sometimes splotches when shooting under low light condition. Most of my shootings are concerts and interviews, and occasionally landscape in the field for documentary use. When I use it in the field, it works well as I thought; but when I am shooting indoor like concerts, the noise becomes not quite acceptable even in the afternoon. On Final Cut Pro X I see a lot of it on the picture, and I have to use post-processing filters like NeatVideo to render for a super long time to eliminate part of them. Not even saying when I use it during the night concerts when there’s little ambient light but strong light beams, it just looks terrible.

Now I wonder if PXW-Z100 is capable of doing all of this. I have seen some demo videos of PMW-300 on Youtube made by Sony, which are impressive with scenes like bonfire and concert in late nights, making me biasing to PMW-300; but when I saw the demo video of Z100, I had the impression of ‘not too bad’ with noise (DR is a bit worse) in dark scenes, and its sharpness seems quite good. I don’t know about the recording time and storage capability when it goes onto 4K/60p, which may easily fill up the entire 64G card. After all, noise has been a bane of existence of my records and I wish to have as less of it as possible.

The 2nd concern is broadcasting capability. As everyone knows, PMW-300 can be a major workhorse of broadcasting, yet such capability of PXW-Z100 is still to be determined. Recently and in the future I have a bunch of concerts to shoot along with live webcasting with at least 720p resolution, and most likely it will be 1080p with the allowance of bandwidth. Originally when I saw PMW-300, I thought ‘oh, this is what I want’ since it has 2 SDI outputs and Genlock interface, which means that it could be connect to most of switchers to perform multi-camera tasks. Suddenly, PXW-Z100 comes also with one SDI interface, and since ATEM 4K switcher does not even need Genlock connection, it strongly pulls my mind back in between. When the live task is finished, often I need to edit and post the record onto Youtube. Do I really need 4K to appreciate the online audience?

Still, there is some more advantages of PMW-300 that Z100 doesn’t have: future wireless accessories that Sony provides for 300 does need dual SDI outputs; multi-camera switching and editing is unrealistic for 4K at some point (unless you can own or rent several Z100s), 1080p will still last for at least 5 years firmly in this realm. 4K live as a bandwidth thug can’t be carried out easily, and no one can even receive it online because of the bandwidth. Noise and DR still better than Z100 hence means better quality especially for broadcasting; Interchangeable lens (yet adds so much budget in the future, should I expect it?) makes more flexibility for later, but yet not feasible for 4K.
So really, which one should I choose? I have last a few points that might be concerns:
1. 1080/60p capability of PMW-300 after XAVC firmware update already included in Z100 out of the factory. Will 60p be included later?
2. Budget concerns of lenses for PMW-300 later. This could be a big money hog. Is standard 14x enough, or can I find cheap deals on eBay?
3. Post-processing time of 4K videos could be extremely long due to larger file size and render time.
4. Is Genlock port still necessary with ATEM switchers everywhere?
5. Will there be a PXW-Z500 or even Z700 later? Will it totally trump PMW-300?
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Old September 16th, 2013, 04:42 PM   #183
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

You will note from several of my posts that there is no comparison in noise between the older sensors ( in your Z5U and my NX5U ) and the new back illuminated sensors. The NX30U or the CX700 I have at max gain ( shown in data code as 28db if I recall ) has less noise than the NX5U at 12db. The sensor in the FDR-AX1 or PXW-Z100 is not the same sensor but of the same family used in the Sony consumer line and I expect the same noise performance. Much better than the old 3 chip 1/3" sensors in our cameras. My take on the FDR-AX1 is an update on the NX5U with 4K as a bonus. Higher data rate for 1920x1080, 60P and the 4K allows cropping in post. The PXW-Z100 without the LongGOP firmware will be a card eater and for me useless for long programs. 720P does not appear to be in spec, at least for the FDR-AX1.

Looking at the PMW300 you will be in a better position for chip size and acceptance for broadcast if that is your goal I expect.

Not sure how XAVCS will edit but I can edit 3 tracks of XAVC in multicam on my i7 2600K , 16G RAM, WIN 7 using Edius Pro7 at full frame rate and native files, preview at 1920x1080. Going to 4 tracks will cause a little stutter so usable. Single track is no problem at all.

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Old September 16th, 2013, 09:26 PM   #184
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

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Originally Posted by Cliff Totten View Post
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
Completely agree with this line of thinking. Will wait for a mass produced prism to be high enough in quality to resolve 4K and a native 4096x2160 1/2'' or 2/3'' sensor(s) before going all in with 4K. I'd still want to see a 100% manual lens with servo zoom and iris that can be toggled.

My EX1R is closing in on 2 years of use, and it's still going strong as a 1080p30 powerhouse. And if I need 50Mbps or higher? I use my Nanoflash.
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Old September 17th, 2013, 09:42 AM   #185
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

I would also be OK with an "FS200" as well. Actually a 4K super 35 to replace my FS100 might be even better!

I would even accept a low cost ($5000-$6000) "FS200" 4k camera even if it was locked down to 8bit 4:2:0 XAVC.

I think this new Z100 will be like the "PMW100" of today in Sony's 4k lineup 12 months from now.

(PMW100 meaning;... low end sensor with high end codec)

CT
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Old September 17th, 2013, 09:52 AM   #186
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

There was totally that chance with the FS700R to offer XAVC-S on SDHC UHS-II cards, but XQD is the only card format XAVC is being focused on. The FS700R was offered too early. Had it been delayed half a year, I would have no doubt it would have XAVC-S.
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Old September 17th, 2013, 10:09 AM   #187
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

I think the PXW-Z100 is more capable than either the PMW 100 or the PMW 160 just shooting 1920x1080 and forgetting about 4K. Just view 4K as a bonus with the present firmware. With the upgrade to shoot LongGOP I find it difficult to see why anyone would buy the PMW100 or the PMW160. Remember that all are really 1/3" sensors. The PXW-Z100 will also shoot 1920x1080 60P 10bit 4:2:2 at 220Mbps too and is lower cost than the PMW 160 !!. If it actually came to market with the promised firmware upgrade it would be a very flexible camera for a large segment of the market including me as a serious hobbyist.

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Old September 17th, 2013, 11:07 AM   #188
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

I just find it hard to get over the sensor density. That many pixels in a APS-C sensor makes more sense, (like the EA50) but a small Cybershot/Xperia sensor is what I'm currently having trouble getting over.
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Old September 17th, 2013, 12:07 PM   #189
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

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I just find it hard to get over the sensor density. That many pixels in a APS-C sensor makes more sense, (like the EA50) but a small Cybershot/Xperia sensor is what I'm currently having trouble getting over.
We will find out in a month or so. I am sure it is the same basic sensor that is in my HX30VB. This camera produces some lovely 1920x1080 60P video in reasonable light, acceptable even in a dimly light restaurant and this with a really small 20x zoom lens with the algorithm set for stills and video compromise. Clearly the low light performance is not going to challenge a large sensor camera of the same technology. But to my knowledge there isn't a large sensor with the same technology as this size is about the range were back illumination cuts off in the present market anyway. Since we now have 4K on the FS700R I am just waiting for the 4K upgrade to the EA50 and the VG30 to complete the set !!! Then next year dip down into the NX30U range and normal Handycams for the consumer with maybe more compression for lower data rates!!!

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Old September 17th, 2013, 12:32 PM   #190
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

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I wonder, could Sony have put the 1/2.3" chip in a PMW-200 body? The lens is designed for a 1/2" sensor. Could the 1/2.3" chip work with that lens?
Difficult, because then you're dealing with the full number of pixels on the chip, (is it 16 or 18 megapixels?)

DeBayering all those at full 60fps means a lot more processing than deBayering the central 3840x2160, and then the resultant will require downconversion. Starting off with 3840x2160 means a much simpler deBayer and no downconversion at the end. Theoretically, what you say would make a lot of sense - but expect such to be a lot more power hungry and expensive than what they've produced. I also suspect the PMW200 is more expensive than what they're using as well.

It's not difficult to find things about the Z100 which could be better - but I think it's pretty good for the money.
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Old September 17th, 2013, 12:43 PM   #191
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

So looks like in this case it's better to keep up with PMW-300 for me and forget about 4K now. Though it would be shiny and maybe cheaper to get 4K onto Youtube, the improvisation if 4K in all the perspective does not quite match the industrial and broadcasting reality.

And I have also done some math calculations. 1/2.33" = 0.42", assuming it's 4:3 and crop it to 16:9 it's about 0.3939", which is slightly larger than 1/3", but not so much.
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Old September 17th, 2013, 03:06 PM   #192
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

If it is the same sensor as in my HX30VB the spec for that at 4x3 4896 x 3672 and the 16x9 crop is 4896 x 2752, about 13Mpixels from which 8300k effective pixels are interpolated. So the width is the same and the center of the height is cropped to get the 16x9. Close to 1/3 " as used in the NX5U/AX2000 that share the lens likely with a different LP filter. About 4 times the pixels of a similar sized HD sensor but it is back illuminated in this case. Still not going to match a PMW300 in low light though and there will be a firmware upgrade next I think for the PMW300 to have XAVC codec. I don't think the PXw is a competitior for the PMW200/300 but the PMW 100 and 160 will be questionable if not used in a group with other PMW cameras for the similar codec.

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Old September 17th, 2013, 04:08 PM   #193
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

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......the 16x9 crop is 4896 x 2752, about 13Mpixels from which 8300k effective pixels are interpolated. So the width is the same and the center of the height is cropped to get the 16x9.
I think it's smaller - the spec on the Sony news page specifically talks of "With 8 million effective pixels, ......" - not 13 Mpixels (though I think they're rounding down from about 8.3 million).

Using the centre 8.3 million (the centre 3840x2160) gives them a far easier engineering job than using 13 million and some form of downscale. Probably better quality than using the 13 million and a downscale unless you've got some pretty powerful processing, and that's unlikely in a camera at this price. I think I've also read it confirmed that is what is happening from somebody who has worked it out from crop factors etc?
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Old September 17th, 2013, 05:27 PM   #194
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

Yes just did some calculations and you are probably correct to crop to the 1/3" size the lens needs. The diagonal is more than 1/3 " for the crop off the square chip .

I was also wondering what the live output would be from the HDMI of the FDR-AX1 if the front ends are the same. Could it too be 10bit 4:2:2 ?

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Old September 18th, 2013, 01:35 PM   #195
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

I would strongly suspect that Sony would cripple the HDMI on the AX1. It's important for them to create some distance between the AX1 and the Z100 so I strongly suspect that it's 8 bit 4:2:0. (maybe 8 bit 4:2:2 if we are very lucky)

Although, I suppose it doesn't make a significant difference being that the video comes from this tiny single Bayer sensor. Heck, I suspect that even XAVC Long GOP 150Mbp/s, 8bit 4:2:0 already captures 99.99% of all this little sensor has to offer. Putting a 10bit 4:2:2 600 Mbp/s intraframe codec behind this tiny sensor is overkill. It's like building a high tech Formula 1 race car but giving it a 1.6 liter Toyota Corolla engine.

Anyway, I was excited about this AX1/Z100 a week ago but that emotion is almost completely gone now.

My first 4K camera will be Sony's new super 35 "FS200" with XAVC-S Long GOP onboard. That's when I jump in the 4K pool. ;-)

I would give $100 right now to see Sony's three year 4k camera R&D plans. Whatever it is, I suspect that in 18 months, the Z100 will be considered the "bottom-end" of their 4K product fleet.

NAB 2014! I'm there!
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