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


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Old April 4th, 2014, 09:50 PM   #886
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Cliff, saw it over at AVS. It may have come from eoshd. Not sure about the HDMI. Here's what I read, but remember, this is the internet:

"I’ve just had some information from a source that may be of interest to those awaiting Sony’s NAB announcement.

As we know from previous rumours the Sony A7S will feature a 12MP sensor. This is very good news for video.

My source says this will be 4230 x 2820 for stills. The cinema DCI format of 4K as seen in the GH4 is 4096 x 2160 which would mean only a very small crop of the sensor.

However according to the source the A7S features the same codec as the AX100, XAVC-S, which is Sony’s de facto consumer 4K standard. This consumer codec only supports 4K at Ultra HD resolutions in 16:9, which means a slightly larger crop of 3840 x 2160 (around 8MP).

That amounts to a 1.1x crop over full frame in terms of how wide your lenses are… The same crop as Speed Booster on APS-C (E-mount). Still very little difference so we really are going to get real full frame VistaVision 4K out of this beast.

I also did some research on XAVC-S. It records in MP4 format but perhaps rather disturbingly it has a much lower bitrate than the GH4′s 4K codec. It is just 60Mbit/s vs 100Mbit/s on the GH4 in Ultra HD.

I have not yet graded any footage from the Sony AX100 but it will be interesting to see how XAVC-S stands up at that bitrate. It is a very modern codec and bitrate isn’t everything."
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Old April 4th, 2014, 10:17 PM   #887
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
I caught the A7S "announcement" as well, but considering the investment in FF E mount lenses (I'm presuming this will be a Full Frame camera, not APS-C), I think the AX100 looks "good enough", and as much as I've shot with my RX's for the last year for almost everything video (and of course stills), I still have uses for a "real" video camera... though I can wait until I find a "deal" on an AX! Maybe I won't have to wait too long for those "open box deals" <wink>!

Keep in mind that while the E mount has lots of options for adapters, the selection of FF lenses is a bit more limited... Somehow I'm also VERY skeptical of that "12Mpixel" sensor - that would be VERY "un-Sony" when everything else is 20Mp +, but I'll be watching...
I agree Dave. Personally I'm not at all tempted by the A7S. I don't have those lenses and if the rumors are true, the camera will offer essentially the same PQ as what I'm getting now, but for a lot more money than what the AX100 cost me. Of course you'll have the versatility of different lenses if that's what you're looking for. If I were going for the GH4, the 14-140 would be my 'go to' lens to avoid frequent lens changing. I don't see anything like that in the Sony FF lineup.

I'm also happy to avoid lens changing entirely. I've had too many instances of sensor dust as the result of lens changing in the field. The problem is that you generally don't spot the dust until you get home and then see your ruined shots. I've had mixed success with removing sensor dust from my VG30 and NEX7 cameras.
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Old April 4th, 2014, 11:12 PM   #888
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

A 12 megapixel full frame sensor...talk about GIANT photosites? That's a photon sucking sponge.

Will it shoot 4K in APSC crop mode? 4K HDMI will also be a big question.

The picture profiles that are "pre compression" help too. Being able to shoot with lower color saturation and lover contrast is another plus too.

Damn Sony....sooo close! Those Panny folks are breathing a sigh of relief tonight!!

CT
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Old April 5th, 2014, 01:46 AM   #889
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
60Mbs for 4k does *NOT* equate to 15Mbs for HD, you can't do a simple comparison like that.
It's yet another example you can't take slashcam that serious, when you make such a claim you better back it up visually by shooting under those exact conditions and show it is like that, not just say.

It is also clear Sony is aiming this camera at the consumer/prosumer market, the choosen datarate is probably a very good balance between quality, filesizes and easier workflow. By the looks of the videos that appear made with this camera Sony has succeeded in that goal.

Another claim made by them which I question

"Für einen 4K-Ausschnitt ist unser ISO-Testbild erstaunlich scharf. Leider tritt auch eine nicht abstellbare deutliche Nachschärfung zu Tage, ohne die das Sony-Bild deutlich cinematischer ausfallen würde."

Here it more or less says, "for a 4K crop our ISO testimage is remarkably sharp, only there appears to be a apparent and not possible to change after sharpening which would have resulted in a much more cinematic image if that was not the case."

So what are they saying here, cinematic is less sharp?
Here we have a camera capable of delivering very sharp looking through glass images, yet it's not good enough, because it's too sharp and because of that it's not cinematic.
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Old April 5th, 2014, 01:58 AM   #890
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

If a camera being too sharp isn't cinematic than I guess cameras such as the Sony F55 and Red Epic Dragon must be terrible for shooting films. Unless they're trying to imply that their is sharpening going on in the image.

I think we need a German speaking person here to tell us what they really mean.
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Old April 5th, 2014, 02:24 AM   #891
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

That's what they are saying, there is a incamera extra sharpening going on which might explain why people see that the ax100 image appears to be sharper then the one from the gh4.
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Old April 5th, 2014, 06:04 AM   #892
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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Here it more or less says, "for a 4K crop our ISO testimage is remarkably sharp, only there appears to be a apparent and not possible to change after sharpening which would have resulted in a much more cinematic image if that was not the case."

So what are they saying here, cinematic is less sharp?
Here we have a camera capable of delivering very sharp looking through glass images, yet it's not good enough, because it's too sharp and because of that it's not cinematic.
And that Noa, as I've stated before, gets to the heart of the 'problem'. Here we have a $2,000 camera whose main fault (as viewed by a few) is that it's too sharp, too resolved, too window like, too real!

Those same people trip over themselves to buy equipment that's less sharp, almost muddy looking by comparison and then grade it so that the end result looks like color from another planet. OK. I exaggerate, but not by that much if you watch the endless YouTube videos from cameras like that. These folks want anything but the look of reality or their grading skills are really bad. Or perhaps they're Indie film makers and just want some artistic expression...sometimes lots of it.

That's precisely the group that turns their nose at the AX100. Two totally different target audiences in search of two totally different looks. Yes indeed, less sharp=more cinematic. ;)

I so remember when HD was launched a number of years ago, how excited I was. Here we had the promise of getting closer to that 'looking out of the window' feel. Everyone was excited over this. So now we have a small camera that gets us ever so much closer to that very look...much closer to even what those huge megabuck pro cameras were capable of. And this is the 4K down sampled look in HD! Now view this on a UHD display and your jaw drops. I plug the AX100 into my 64" plasma after shooting and I sit there, literally shaking my head at what I'm seeing. THIS is the look I love, this is the 'looking out of the window' feel I so appreciate and this is the look the cinema crowd so dislikes.

Don't get me wrong, I love the cinema look, but I love it when Hollywood does it and it's a movie worth watching. But for me? Nah, I'm never going to produce what Hollywood does, I can't write scripts like Hollywood does, I don't have the actors and I don't have the master colorists. It's just not what I shoot. Hell, I even find that the 'stylized' color that Hollywood is so in love with, is getting old, very old. It's almost a pleasure when you see a movie that isn't tinted a strong shade of amber or blue and actually resembles the world we see.

Give me reality!

Last edited by Ken Ross; April 5th, 2014 at 07:55 AM.
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Old April 5th, 2014, 06:35 AM   #893
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

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That's what they are saying, there is a incamera extra sharpening going on which might explain why people see that the ax100 image appears to be sharper then the one from the gh4.
I think it's more than that, Noa, I really do. In the comparison videos I've seen between the GH4, BMC4K and others, the AX100 is actually resolving more detail than the others...and some of these cameras cost far more than the AX100.

If it was actually aggressive in-camera sharpening, that would destroy detail, not enhance it. No, it's pure resolved detail which is very different and very obvious. In some of these comparison videos you can actually read lettering on the AX100 clip you can't on the other cameras. In one test the irony was that the AX100 shot was actually wider than the BMC4K camera and, despite this, you could read lettering on the AX100 clip you couldn't on the BM. That's not in-camera sharpening doing this, it's the camera resolving more detail.

I also think that's what Slashcam was saying when they said something like 'near perfect 4K'. The camera may be pushing closer to the limits of 4K better than other 4K cams. That's what it looks like to me.

With that said, I wouldn't dismiss the GH4. I think those that have been providing samples from the pre-release models are, again, the Indie types. As such they're using picture profiles I would never use for that 'look of reality'. This may be softening detail and hiding, to some degree, what the camera is capable of.

We shall see. These are fun times!
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Old April 5th, 2014, 06:48 AM   #894
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Ken, I'm with you. I love the "looking out the window" clarity you can get with 4K. Some say the AX100 is too sharp? LOL, never. That makes me want it even more. I'll take high resolution any day.
Now, we'll have to wait and see if the rumored Sony A7s 4K camera is a reality. Full frame goodness in 4K? Nice!
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Old April 5th, 2014, 06:52 AM   #895
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Very well spoken Ken. You summed up exactly what my expectations are. I have a canon XF100, 5dIII, 70D, and waiting on UPS to deliver the AX100. I want my videos to look sharp and like reality. I can get some very nice videos from the Canons and If I add a little bit of sharpening they look great. But the DSLRs are a pain to shoot with.

I am following Andrew Reid's blog on his experience with the GH4. The thing that stands out to me is the videos he shot of the crowd of people. The white balance was off in his ungraded shot, looked to me to cold and very blue. However his graded shots looked horrible to me. Way too warm and did not look natural. For him that was the look he wanted.

I saw some videos from Driftwood and at least those videos looked more natural. It all depends on the look you prefer and my preferences are for the videos to look more natural and real world.

Maybe it is a generational thing. I am in my mid 40s. I think the younger generation all prefer that over saturated, unnatural warm look. All the photos I see on my social sites from the younger generation look that way. Maybe since they are using crappy cameras they feel like adding a bunch of preset filters will hide how crappy the original looks.

Anyway, really excited to be getting my AX100 today!

Last edited by Joseph Kitzmiller; April 5th, 2014 at 07:48 AM.
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Old April 5th, 2014, 07:10 AM   #896
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Well it will be interesting to see the 4K line from Sony next week. They may cover their bases with camcorders and still cameras that shoot 4K and likely if one wants to get a package that shoots all frame rates the total cost will be close to any other product in the line. If the marketing have any sense !!! They could introduce a XQD recorder so that the still cameras with clean HDMI 2.0 output will end up with comparable lens costing more than the PXW-Z100 or the FS700 setup !!! If 30P XAVC-S at 60Mbps meets the requirements it will come stock and compete with the GH4 maybe even better value. XAVC-S does have 30P at 100Mbps so does not need to stay at 60Mbps. Only a day and we will find out.

For consumers there is good reason to only shoot to 30P since the early 4K TV's will not show anything more. If you don't want customer complaints limit capability and 30P is what people are used to on Youtube etc anyway.

For the prosumer or professional they will use the 4K for different reasons. Up the price and give them more. When most 4K TV's and internet downloads go to 60P the whole range will be likely have the full frame rate range. A few years from now I expect when technology of processing and memory are on the next cycle.

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Old April 5th, 2014, 07:19 AM   #897
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

With limited testing the XAVC-S seems easy to edit in Vegas. A cheap laptop and 5 year old desktop seem to handle it like HD footage. Less hard drive requirements and need for high data transfer rates.

Starting to see the advantages of native editing.
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Old April 5th, 2014, 08:02 AM   #898
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Very true Dave. It's a pleasure editing XAVC-S 4K and not nearly as demanding as people might think. Even the encoding times in my Edius Pro 7 are great! The 1:48 second 4K video that I posted a page or two back, took only 2:45 to encode. So this really isn't taxing for most computers.
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Old April 5th, 2014, 02:04 PM   #899
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

For a fair amount of applications, 30p seems to be "good enough" - the additional processing and storage for 4K/60p at higher bitrates are going to be an issue for a while.

Sony chose to go with conservative specs so you had a halfway decent chance of using "off the shelf" memory, TV, computers - wise choice for "consumer" products!

I'm still wondering what Panasonic's "answer" is - I remember they were having to use hand picked and tuned memory for their prototypes - that's NOT going to translate into real world (particularly "consumer") use...

I suspect the processing side of the equation is partially offset by newer, more efficient CODECs, but so far at least, I don't think you can beat the file size problem, either in the sense of requiring LARGER storage, and faster write/read times...
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Old April 5th, 2014, 02:35 PM   #900
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Re: Sony FDR-AX100

Hi

Panasonic are recommending UHS I class III memory cards, these support in excess of 200Mbps. Bit-rates on memory cards are already fast enough to support 60fps in 4K, the problem is the processing power to encode that in real-time at 4K resolutions with enough quality.

It seems unlikely cameras will come with any new codecs any time soon. This is because H265 is very processor intensive and in a portable device creates too much heat and uses too much power. Much like MPEG2 started off being the main recording format for HD (and still is on more professional gear) then H264 will take up a similar position for 4K, with new codecs such as H265 being reserved for distribution. Also these newer more complex codecs will not be good for editing.

Storage probably isn't so much a problem given the size of hard discs theses days.

Regards

Phil
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