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


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Old October 7th, 2014, 08:27 PM   #16
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Re: Sony X70 and FCP X

So it should be integrated into FCP X? I am not familiar with how that other (XDCAM?) thingy works, as I don't shoot XDCAM, even though my X70 says XDCAM on the side for some strange reason. :-\

Thanks for the heads up!

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Old October 7th, 2014, 08:42 PM   #17
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Re: Sony X70 and FCP X

FCPX imports directly files from certain Sony cameras once you have installed a plugin from Sony. Similarly, it imports directly from various Canon cameras like the XF100 and XF300 once you've installed a plugin from Canon. So, the Sony plugin just has not been updated yet, but word is that it will come soon.
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Old October 8th, 2014, 01:01 PM   #18
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Re: Sony X70 and FCP X

Thanks, Craig for checking on this.
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Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
Asked Ian Cook from Sony on another forum he visits, about XAVC-L support in FCPX and he said it's coming. Didn't say when. It looks to be an FCPX plugin. It'll have the option to rewrap or transcode the .mxf.
I've been having a very difficult time trying to figure out which cams to get. It's been a start & stop affair and each time I start searching again the landscape has changed. It's been a moving target.

Last week I went to the MTE Media Technology Expo in Seattle to hopefully zero in on, or eliminate, some options, and to gather some more insight. I like being able to use two cams and was thinking along the lines of one smaller cam for portability and "low light" plus a coordinated three ring cam, but probably the same manufacturer for both so they'd (hopefully) have the same bokeh. The Sony X70 is one that I was interested in for the smaller cam so I talked to the guys at the Sony booth. Unfortunately they didn't know how the X70 worked with FCPX.

At the JVC booth the HM650 was set up and it communicates perfectly with FCPX but their HM150, a little brother to the 650, is discontinued and the rep said he didn't know anything about a replacement. "They don't tell us anything" he said.

I called Sony pro tech support (or maybe sales?) and they guy was very helpful about the X70 but when I zeroed in with questions about FCPX workflow he was very apologetic and said he has received a lot of enquiries about FCPX and in talking to him it was very obvious it would help his sales if things worked better. He has mentioned it "to the higher ups."

Based on the financial situation and this sampling of one conversation, it wouldn't surprise me if a better X70 workflow arrives sooner than later. One bummer is my camera light takes the now older style Sony batteries while the X70 has the newer style. Dang.

On the JVC side, I really like their form factor and they've always been a good looking cam, albeit with maybe a quirk or two. When they were acquired by Panasonic and came out with the full hi-def HD7 in 2007, apparently the parent company didn't appreciated being upstaged. Now JVC has been spun off (as JVCKenwood) so it will be interesting to see how it goes. They seem to have some creative engineers but being a smaller company has it's advantages and disadvantages.

Picture of the JVC HM650
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Sony X70 and FCP X-img_1040.jpg  
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Old October 8th, 2014, 03:47 PM   #19
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Re: Sony X70 and FCP X

Okay, so I just spent the last 45 minutes on the phone with Pro Sony and Sony Creative Software. The official word from "Lou" (I think that was his name) is that nobody was really prepared for this surprising new XAVC-Long GOP. He says Apple is supposed to be working on a codec update that is supposed to be released in a month or so. Then Sony will update their plug-in sometime after that for native support.

From the software folks, the "soon to be released" Catalyst Prepare will be able to transcode to many formats including ProRes and be able to do so in batches. But no actual release date.

Sidenote: "Lou" said transcoding to ProRes with Catalyst Browse one file at a time (for 90-some files) is a perfectly fine work-around. Really?
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Old October 8th, 2014, 04:41 PM   #20
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Re: Sony X70 and FCP X

Well, it's a workaround, but evidently "Lou" and I have greatly differing definitions of "perfectly" and "fine." :-)

In the last day or so I've read that some early purchasers are actually using the AVCHD in the camera for now (which of course imports into everything) and they claim that it's surprisingly good. I think I'll wait a bit longer myself.
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Old October 8th, 2014, 05:58 PM   #21
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Re: Sony X70 and FCP X

Perfectly fine workaround? I tried to transcode 3 5 second 1080p files this morning for my DSC chart post, and it took about 10 minutes. Had to do them one at a time, but that's not all. The second transcode would always fail, then the program would say nothing if you tried again. Had to quite Catalyst........then had to force quite it, then reopen, and do each file that way. A force quite and restart, digging through the retarded Sony/Mac folder system to put each file where you want it, extraordinarily irritating. What use did they possibly think that program could have?

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Old October 8th, 2014, 10:49 PM   #22
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Re: Sony X70 and FCP X

Clearly Sony did not pave the way for XAVC-L to be in wide release yet.
It's rather frustrating and a bit amazing that Sony could be so disorganized.
However, I've had the camera for a week now and am very impressed with it.
I purchased the X70 to replace a Canon XA 20- it's looking to be a very good decision.
The feature set is excellent for such a small camera, fit & finish are very good.
It produces rich and detailed imagery in both AVCHD and XAVC- I'm very happy with what I'm seeing.
The image control provided for by the fairly extensive Picture Profile settings is seldom found in this size/price range.
The 1" Exmor backlit sensor is excellent in low light, and provides opportunity, particularly with the ND filters onboard, to create shallow depth of field whenever you need to.
From all I have read, the XAVC 10 bit, 4:2:2 50 mbs codec has been praised very highly and is likely going to be here to stay.
I feel confident that Sony will get the ball rolling pretty quickly- after all, the X180 has been released too, and it shoots XAVC-L (among other codecs) as well.
Anyway, so far, I am a happy camper and would have no hesitation recommending the X70 in spite of the slow roll out of XAVC codec support.
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Old October 9th, 2014, 12:45 AM   #23
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Re: Sony X70 and FCP X

Robert - You have a lot of positives with regard to the X70 and that pretty well mirrors what a lot of reviews are saying. With the X70 it appears Sony has a real winner on their hands because I haven't read any "gotchas" yet, well, unless maybe if you're a FCPX user (like myself). But that'll pass.

After looking at, and reading lots of reviews of cameras over the years, why is it that it seems almost every camera has some "gotcha"? One would think that during the course of development the designers would determine what works good and keep it. What is that saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."? Things like rockers for zoom, for example, come to mind, and there are many others. It seems the X70 has done well.

With regard to Sony appearing to be disorganized, some of that, I'm sure, has to do with corporate restructuring as they've been doing a lot of downsizing and spinning off of divisions. That's enough to cause managers to be doing other things besides being on top of their department. The CEO and CFO are trying hard to get the company back into the black so managing costs and cost cutting is priority, and of course there is always "re-organization". I'd be okay with a delay in the rollout of a smooth workflow with FCPX if the result turns out good, and I hope it does. There's another saying where I used to work: "If you want it bad you get it bad." With regard to 'X", I'd rather see them get it right than get it fast. Let's hope.

Questions I have:
Rolling Shutter: Apparently it is noticeable, but not bad; however, to what degree? The 3CCD cams are becoming a lot fewer so there are hardly any choices except for really expensive ones.

Audio: Haven't read anything about it's audio. What is the noise level like? I've been using a JuicedLink pre and wonder how it would compare.

Otherwise, it's lookin' good.
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Old October 10th, 2014, 06:19 PM   #24
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Re: Sony X70 and FCP X

Catalyst converting one clip at a time kills it as an ENG camera in FCPX for the time being. I may have to hold off until Apple/Sony implements support in FCPX. At that point it may well be close to the 4K upgrade. The potential for this camera, this quality, at this price point, makes it formidable. I do hope FCPX compatibility happens sooner than later.

I am curious about the lens which is f/2.8-f/4.5.
How is the low light performance when zoomed at f/4.5?
How shallow is the depth of field given that it's f/4.5 when zoomed?
How far can one gain up at f/4.5 and still have "reasonable" (I know, subjective) noise?

Online demo video is always at "optimal" conditions. I'd love to see how it handles when lighting is poor. The advantage of 10 bit 4:2:2 is the ability to fix things when grading so I wonder how it looks in problem situations.

For me this is going to be my EX1 replacement (I hope). Smaller camera (a big plus for me), better codec, larger sensor are all big pluses. Low light performance is also important so that's where my concern lies.

Last edited by Craig Seeman; October 10th, 2014 at 11:27 PM.
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Old October 10th, 2014, 08:59 PM   #25
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Re: Sony X70 and FCP X

Sony Professional "Introducing XAVC L!"

Sony Creative Software "XAVC what?!?!!? :-O"

Craig, I shoot ENG on the X70 almost every night, even use the little bugger for live shots. I am sorry to say that what looks clean at wide angle at medium gain looks awful when Clear Image zoom comes into play. All that downsampling goes out the door when the pixels grow on screen, and you are looking at a standard Handycam image with extreme grain and noise. Also, I am shooting in AVCHD mode. I accidentally shot a whole story in XAVC the other night, and had to use my BlackMagic MiniRecorder to ingest via SDI.

I will post some night news stuff for you to evaluate.

Paul
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Old October 11th, 2014, 06:21 AM   #26
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Re: Sony X70 and FCP X

Thanks Paul. Please include F stop and gain setting with the shots if you can. I'm not overly worried about Clear Image so much as what 12x at f/4.5 looks like.
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Old October 11th, 2014, 06:48 AM   #27
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Re: Sony X70 and FCP X

Paul, I know that the X70 offers many custom picture controls that the CX900 does not, but ignoring that aspect for now, do you feel that the image from the two cameras is the same as far as sharpness, depth of field, low light, noise, etc.? I know they should be the same, since I assume they have the same sensor and processor, but there was such inconsistency in early X70 footage that some were speculating that the camera was not as sharp as the CX or the in-camera 1080 from the AX100.

By the way, at my local BestBuy the CX900 was $1299 the other day.
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Old October 11th, 2014, 09:05 PM   #28
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Re: Sony X70 and FCP X

Craig, I will have to custom shoot some footage for you, as I do not make notes of the gain while shooting stories. As for iris, it stays locked in to whatever the widest setting is, there is a very noticeable drop in brightness when zooming in.

David, the cameras look IDENTICAL. Same colors, same yellow skin, same green blues and orange reds. I have a separate post about calibrating the cameras, will be doing some updating on that soon.

Paul
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Old October 12th, 2014, 02:26 PM   #29
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Re: Sony X70 and FCP X

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Anderegg View Post
... I do not make notes of the gain while shooting stories.
Paul
If you look at your original XAVC clips in Sony Catalyst Browse, it will display the iris, shutter and gain settings, along with lots of other metadata for each clip.
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