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Pro and consumer versions including PXW-Z150, PXW-Z100, PXW-X70 / FDR-AX100


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Old January 15th, 2014, 03:39 PM   #136
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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Originally Posted by Jan Vanhoecke View Post
Hi Paul, can i conclude, does the active mode in the AX100 stabilise the same or even good as the CX790 with his extra balanced eyeball?
It works very well, similar to the 18-200 on the NEX-VG 20, For as good as the magic eyeball is, I have never been happy with the sharpness of the lens at the telephoto end on the 700 series and suspect part is due to the heavy cropping on the chip for the eyeball, not what you want with 4k I suspect.
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Old January 15th, 2014, 03:47 PM   #137
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Question: Do we know yet if this camera is capable of doing a live video out via HDMI for monitoring or recording externally? Sorry if that's been addressed elsewhere.
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Old January 15th, 2014, 05:27 PM   #138
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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@David - There is a substantial difference between sampling every pixel, then crunching ALL the data, some of which will of necessity be "averaged out" in order to produce a downscaled image... vs. tossing out every other (or every 3rd or 4th or whatever) line worth of data. You can't use data that is simply ignored before processing.

Part of the new "X" processor is the capability to deal with ALL the sensor data early in the processing, rather than diverting substantial chunks of the data away from the "input" BEFORE processing. The more data can be preserved along the line, the better (and more free from errors/artifacts) the output should be. I see that there is a HUGE difference between the two approaches, that seems to be "in the pudding" of the output.
You misunderstand me. Firstly, I did say that I do feel this camera does things "properly".

But it's possible to read all the photosites on the chip, but then bin groups together - that is not the same as is believed to be the case here. "Binning" is normally taken to mean just taking a group of values from photosites and doing a simple average - without any consideration of their relative geometry.

That's not is believed to be the case here - full read out, deBayer to form an intermediate image of full sensor dimensions, then downscale.

In the case of line skipping, a typical scenario would be read two lines, skip two - then effectively do the same for columns - read two, skip two. You'd be left with a 2x2 Bayer block out of 4x4, and the resolution would be limited to a quarter of the linear sensor dimensions.

But it's easy to imagine a case where every photosite is read, but the sites for each colour just get simply averaged within a 4x4 block (ie binned). The resolution will still be limited to a quarter of the sensor dimensions.

Do a proper deBayer and it's obviously possible to get far better - probably higher than the target resolution it will be downscaled to.

All I was trying to get at is that just saying "the sensor is fully read, no sites are skipped" only tells a fraction of the story. There are three possible scenarios - tossing data away, reading it all, but notmaking anything like full use of it (ie binning), or making full use.

As said before, I'd like to see proper chart results before being specific, but yes, I'm inclined to agree that this camera probably does do it the best way.
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Old January 15th, 2014, 07:07 PM   #139
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

I agree David, there are many ways to "crack the nut"... and while I think Sony got it right at the sensor and processor stage, there are still a couple gripes of the RX10 being only 1080p (when it sure appears it COULD have had 4K, but it would have stolen the thunder from the AX100 and the A7/7r), and of course it remains to be seen whether 30p 4K will be smooth enough for motion to look good, and if so how much motion will be "too much" for 30p to handle effectively (I far prefer the look of 60p myself). One could say that 30p is tossing out half the temporal "data" vs. 60p...

Any approach has potential compromises in order to keep the massive amounts of data manageable and storable on reasonably priced media - you have to pick and choose what gets tossed and where!

I'm looking forward to seeing real world tests from this camera, the RX10 is performing nicely, this should be a nice complement to it!
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Old January 15th, 2014, 07:20 PM   #140
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

I'm no expert on the math behind "pixel binning". However, it's my basic understanding that binning is simply taking a cluster of pixels, capturing each output values (like "voltage" readings for lack of a better word) and averaging those clusters into one single value. (one value per cluster)

The idea or the goal is to get 1920x1080 single (pixel) values from each their nearby clusters.

Now correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that the same (roughly) technique that Photoshop and other apps would do when scaling a 20mp picture down to a 2.1mp (HD size) image?

If dis guarding high amounts of image data is the goal, wouldn't a pixel averaging scheme (after be Bayer) be the best mathematical way to do it?

I imagine these pixel binning calculations are extremely complex.

CT
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Old January 15th, 2014, 07:24 PM   #141
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Dave it does 1920x1080 60p which will glorious no doubt.
30p at 4k
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Old January 15th, 2014, 07:31 PM   #142
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

I am sure the FDR-AX100 is priced for marketing the 4K TV's without destroying the higher end products. Point and shoot but with the possibility of being used film style shooting at the lower frame rate by enthusiasts. I still think we will see Pro version maybe slightly bigger with 60P etc that we all want but with out other functions in the FDR-AX1 after its firmware upgrade this summer. So I don't expect it until after this upgrade to the FDR-AX1 and PXW-Z100. It will then present me with the dilemma of changing my FDR-AX1 and or NX5U !!!

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Old January 15th, 2014, 11:25 PM   #143
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

The key question for higher data/bit rates is what would it record to... I don't think Sony will swap out the card slot/reader in a pro version, so is there any spec that will allow for a faster SDHC or perhaps MS Pro Duo that can handle the throughput? I'm sure there's stuff coming (that 4K Panny GH will need something to record to!), but Sony needs memory on the shelf...

@Bruce - I'm sure the 1080 60p will be quite nice, and I'm hopeful that even at 30p, the 4K will be usable to crop/pan down to a nice usable 1080p as well. One can still can dream of 60p and ginormous memory cards!
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Old January 16th, 2014, 01:05 AM   #144
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
The key question for higher data/bit rates is what would it record to... I don't think Sony will swap out the card slot/reader in a pro version, so is there any spec that will allow for a faster SDHC or perhaps MS Pro Duo that can handle the throughput? I'm sure there's stuff coming (that 4K Panny GH will need something to record to!), but Sony needs memory on the shelf...
The UHS-III standard for SDXC is supposed to be faster than even MicroP2. Sony has not hopped on that bandwagon though. Sony's opting to keep XQD alive in the pro market. I don't even think the FS700R supports UHS-I.
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Old January 16th, 2014, 05:57 AM   #145
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

The XQD is not much bigger than an SD card and there looks to be plenty of room for it just whether there is room for 2 slots for a Pro version. I still think there will be a heat problem other wise why the fan in the FDR-AX1 and the PXW-Z100 . Unless the processor in these models, maybe from the F5/F55, is less efficient than the consumer BionzX and the drivers for the XQD are power hungry !!! Both these models only work with the 970 batteries not the smaller L series.

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Old January 16th, 2014, 08:55 AM   #146
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

I have a sneaky suspicion that the "new" sensor and processor were a tad unexpected performance wise, and that may have caused a bit of internal friction at Sony.

From the interviews I've read, the RX series is sort of an experimental design exercise - sort of a "come up with an unconventional design concept, and just do it" sort of thing.

Very likely someone in the video camera side of things realized they'd better put all the hardware resulting from these wacky experiments into the "Handycams" somehow, before they became completely irrelevant. The consumer side of things tends to move much faster than the "pro" side, so they might still be "catching up" in that division!

It's entirely possible that we'll see a lot more of this sensor/Bionz X combo - it seems like it falls in a sweet spot performance wise.
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Old January 16th, 2014, 09:26 AM   #147
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

I use Patriot SDXC in my cameras which quote a read speed of 50MBps and write of 35MBps so should be OK for the XAVC-S 60P rate of 150Mbps. Though one still needs a quality class 10 card to meet the 60Mbps for 4K at 30P for reliable performance. This may also figure into the marketing of this camera to keep ownership at the $2000 level for reasonable length video files and time. At 60P one goes through a XQD 64G card in 50 mins on my FDR-AX1 and costs $200. In comparison a Patriot EP SDHX UHS-1 Class 10, 64G card cost $60 and at 30P would record 2 hours !!!

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Old January 16th, 2014, 10:03 AM   #148
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

It's funny. Sony just released two cameras with the BionzX and 1 inch sensor combo. (RX10 & AX100)

Sony seems to have put on hold their traditional practice of "camera crippling" on these two models.

Both of these cameras do a full sensor readout? No line skipping? The RX10 is given practically every feature you could ever want? (variable Zebras, peaking, focus magnification, real audio meters and full IRIS, Gain and Shutter control, ND filter and more)

The AX100 - more full sensor readout, 50Mbp/s HD, zebras, peaking, full manual control, 3 ND filters and more on a $2000 Handycam?

They seem to be suddenly throwing everything + the kichen sink into their "cheap" cameras now. Sony never, ever would have done this two years ago! Sony was the master of feature slicing and dicing. They could play that shell game better than anuone. (very frustrating to the buyer)

Today, the only "crippling" they allowed is on the codec side of both cameras. The RX10's codec looks sharp on slow motion scenes but then looks very "soft" on the fast moving pixels. (I have done ProRes tests and it's true) The AX100 is locked down to 60Mbp/s...the lowest bitrate you would ever want in 4K.

Maybe that is their plan now? Give all features to all cameras (except picture profiles) and let the codec variations seperate the camera models and price points?

Hmmmm....I like it so far.
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Old January 16th, 2014, 02:52 PM   #149
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Keep in mind that there are two market categories that Sony has traditionally sold well in that are nearly dead - compact point and shoot, and consumer video camera, both gunned down by the cell phone, and on life support at best. Those two niches could disappear entirely within a couple years for "lack of interest". Even the SLR/ILC categories took significant hits in sales this year, across the board... probably also wounded by cell phone/tablet/phablets, but also affected by a relatively stagnant level of "innovation".

Into this step new managers trying to keep a company viable financially. There is one fellow in particular that seems to have been the inspiration for these "different" designs.

Literally, companies must create new markets from "nothing", and they can't afford to play games, they have to deliver cameras not just that makes the user "believe". but pinch themselves to make sure they aren't dreaming! It's literally a "do or die" market in digital imaging, Sony has always had a small chunk of the market, and with a shrinking market, crowded with 2 "major" players and a pocketful of "minors", they need to "make every shot count".

Sony got serious shooters attention with the RX100, the M2 version continues the tradition, the RX10 has again caught a lot of people's eye, the AX100 similarly is "expensive", but has it's market to itself, at least for a while. Reviewers scratch their heads, say these cameras are really expensive, but that they are REALLY significantly revolutionary, fun cameras for the guy or gal who has grown tired of "cell phone" or compact P&S "quality".

Market stresses and shifts for the manufacturer are GOOD for the end user! It's nice to see cameras that aren't just minor refreshes of rehashed designs, new ideas, new concepts that are actually useful for pro or casual shooters alike! It's also nice to have the "wish lists" shorter rather than long, almost as though the manufacturer(s) are listening to what users want!
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Old January 16th, 2014, 03:52 PM   #150
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

The CX900 1080p sample video looks soft compared to the AX100 4K sample video of the same scene .
CX900 2560x1600 screen capture :
11984355773_6283318ae3_o.png



AX100 :
11984397983_c09d8062fd_o.png


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