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Old December 22nd, 2014, 08:14 PM   #541
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 announced: Pro XDCAM version of AX100

Mike, heading in to my station a few hours early tonight to do some more extensive vectorscoping of my X70. I should have post-able finalized ITU709 and Cinematone PP calibrations. I have learned a lot about how these cameras are adjusted, and will also post a how to tutorial on the best ways to eyeball calibrate the settings without a vectorscope or chart/monitor etc.

Paul
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Old December 22nd, 2014, 10:50 PM   #542
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 announced: Pro XDCAM version of AX100

Paul,
Thanks
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Old December 31st, 2014, 05:02 PM   #543
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 announced: Pro XDCAM version of AX100

After my dismal experience with the AX100, some of which I fully lay on my own lack of knowledge, then an even more frustrating couple of day stint with Sony's new X-180 (which went back due to a myriad of defects and quirks), I bought the X70. Initially this purchase was a gap filler due to the delay in Sony releasing the X200 camera, but the X 70 has turned out to be a very good choice.

I received it a day before a three week still shooting assignment on the east coast, so I packed it and it's manual in my carry on for some in flight familiarization. The X70 is one of those cameras that just fits and behaves right. Two hours into my flight it had become an old friend and I had shot beautiful, stabilized clips of the sky scapes we were navigating. All of the buttons, toggle switch menu navigation, varying functions, made sense and once I had gone through them a couple of times, they became old hat.

I reviewed the clips on the camera display, but because of a hectic schedule and the holidays, I had not been able to see them on an appropriate display. Today I plugged the X70 into a 65" flat screen and watched everything that I have shot on it. The subject matter ranged from clips of beautiful cloud formations slipping by the Gulfstream, to dusk city skylines with bright fountains dancing in the frame, to my Grandchildren on Christmas morning in a poor light mix of daylight and incandescent . The Sony handled all of this very capably with no blown highlights and very little noise in the night scenes. Based upon my experiences, for $2,200 this little camera was a very pleasant surprise.

I have an Atomos Shogun arriving in a few days that should really round out this system nicely, while I wait for someone else to be the test bench on the X-200 when it is finally released.

A side note, were it not for all of you here, and your willingness to share your vast equipment and technical experience, I would still be at the starting gate wondering what to do and which way to go. This is an invaluable forum, populated with great people and I for one very much appreciate you all. And to the sponsors, because of this thread and the knowledge I have gleaned here, Y'All have sold some nice gear.

Sincerely,

Jim Wilson

P.S. A Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2015 to everyone here!
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Old December 31st, 2014, 08:10 PM   #544
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 announced: Pro XDCAM version of AX100

Glad you're happy with the results - what settings did you use? Did you adjust the Picture Profiles, Knee, exposure, etc.?? Please share!
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Old December 31st, 2014, 10:34 PM   #545
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 announced: Pro XDCAM version of AX100

Hi David,

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I didn't fiddle with any custom settings/profiles at this point. My clips look very good, but they have that untweaked, little bit neutral flat character that a RAW file has before one shines it up. This was just my initial shakedown cruise, I need to become much more familiar with what the X70 can do. Oddly, while we were at a movie tonight, B&H sent me an email notifying me that the Sony X-200 is now in stock. I'm sure it's a great camera, but I think I'll hold off and get to know the X-70 before I decide to jump off with the 200.

I'll get back to you on any settings that I find beneficial, please let me know if you find any that you like.

Happy New Year!

JW
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Old December 31st, 2014, 10:58 PM   #546
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 announced: Pro XDCAM version of AX100

you mean the pmw x-200? that thing is 6300...quite a price bump.
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Old December 31st, 2014, 11:55 PM   #547
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 announced: Pro XDCAM version of AX100

Hi Josh,

Yes, I realize that we're not talking apples to apples. I bought the X-180, but it failed miserably right off the bat. A great Sony Tech person convinced me to hold out for the X-200 which was to be released in late October or early November, which turned into 12/31/14. The 200 was a couple grand bump from the 180, but supposedly it had the chops to justify it. So, I was comfortable with the investment, just not sure about the tool. Something that additionally complicates my decision is that I have an upcoming project that may require something like the Red Dragon product, again a huge step into yet another world.
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Old January 1st, 2015, 12:05 AM   #548
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 announced: Pro XDCAM version of AX100

oh im sure for that price its amazing!

anyway, anyone have input on how low light is on the 70, compared to, again, an ex1? Im thinking of how its an f4 lens, wondering how much gain you can get away with on the 70 before it gets nasty.
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Old January 1st, 2015, 12:18 AM   #549
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 announced: Pro XDCAM version of AX100

Josh, I shot some clips of the Jacksonville Florida city skyline at night with very slight gain bump and they were virtually noise free. I don't have the video handy, but I can show you the lighting scenario in a still image.................
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Old January 1st, 2015, 12:41 AM   #550
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 announced: Pro XDCAM version of AX100

That'd be great, thanks. I think the other major drawback to me with this cam was the limited zoom. . .many claim the 24x digital zoom is next to noise free. . .any thoughts on that?
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Old January 1st, 2015, 01:03 AM   #551
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 announced: Pro XDCAM version of AX100

Jim, could you elaborate what it was that you didn't like about the PXW-180? I tried a demo unit at a local dealer recently and the files both at the legacy XDcam EX 4:2:0 level and the newer XAVC 4:2:2 options seemed to be noticeably superior to what I got from my workhorse EX-1R in terms of noise and detail at about +6 dB gain and up.

The overall control and handling felt better too though it was a little bigger and heavier which I didn't like. The longer zoom range, faster and surer AF performance, the continuously variable ND etc. makes run and gun or ENG use a lot easier to me.
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Old January 1st, 2015, 05:27 PM   #552
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 announced: Pro XDCAM version of AX100

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bass View Post
That'd be great, thanks. I think the other major drawback to me with this cam was the limited zoom. . .many claim the 24x digital zoom is next to noise free. . .any thoughts on that?
The "24x" Clear Image zoom renders the image quality to that of a $200 bottom of the line camcorder when you hit it. With the gain pumped up, the noise increases as the pixels are magnified. It is VERY NOTICABLE at night.

I set the AGC to 24db, and shoot at 1/60 at night. It gets dark really really fast. f3.5-4.0 are just a little zoom in away.

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Old January 2nd, 2015, 12:28 AM   #553
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 announced: Pro XDCAM version of AX100

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Originally Posted by Wacharapong Chiowanich View Post
could you elaborate what it was that you didn't like about the PXW-180?
Not the 180 but I tried out the 160, same thing sensor wise. There is a lot to like about these cameras but like all things beautiful nothing is perfect.

What I didn't like about it was the noticeable softening of the image if you went much below f5.6. F11 looks very ordinary almost SD reso on a large screen. Looks like the typical diffraction you get on 1/3" type cameras when you stop down a fair way, especially at the longer end of this particular lens.

Another other thing I didn't like much was the amount of light loss on the lens when fully zoomed in. Sure it is nice to have a 25 x zoom but its miles from being constant aperture. We all know broadcast B4 lenses tend to drop off at the long end a little in spite of their claims to being constant aperture glass. But if you think B4s are bad for this then try this lens. If running manual iris while zooming the light loss is quite noticeable. If on auto then the iris will compensate. If you want to use it manually then develop your skills of riding the iris up and down while zooming.

Highlight handling was also not a strong point on the camera. We all know that dynamic range suffers the smaller the sensor. So there is not much one can do about this on these little sensors.

Lastly anything above 9dB the noise floor was getting quite noticeable. Again most of us know that the signal to noise ratio on smaller sensors is nowhere near as good as it is on larger sensors. 1/3" 17 sq mm up against 1/2" 30 sq mm per sesnosr so roughly only half the light gathering capacity. Up against its bigger PMW 1/2" brothers there is no comparison in my opinion. There are a number of YouTube vids out there now of 160s up against PMWs and some of them demonstrate this quite well. This will only get worse as the new PXW-X200 is now landing.

All in all I found it a good camera to use and codecs wise you will get no argument from me but it didn't ring my bell in the important areas of dynamic range, gain noise in low light and worst of all the big drop in the light gathering capacity of that 25 x lens as you zoomed in to the long end.

Chris Young
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Old January 2nd, 2015, 05:29 AM   #554
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 announced: Pro XDCAM version of AX100

That's too bad about the 24x zoom. Most of what I've read swears up and down that the quality is almost imperceptibly different from the normal zoom range.
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Old January 2nd, 2015, 05:36 AM   #555
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 announced: Pro XDCAM version of AX100

Chis, never seen a 2/3" lens claiming constant aperture. I can tell you the only thing I like about my HM790 is the 1/3" HTs18x4.2BERM which has a CONSTANT f1.4 aperture. I will be getting an 890 some day, and the bump to f11@2000 with f1.4 at maximum telephoto is something to look forward to. :-)

How would I test my HTs18's diffraction level? I would like to find out what the sharpest f-stop and the smallest I can dial in to avoid image degradation.

Paul
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