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Old January 6th, 2015, 08:10 AM   #1
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Sony PXW-X70 Pro's and Con's Review

Here's a Pro's and Con's review I made of the PXW-X70:
Any comments and opinions welcome.
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Old January 6th, 2015, 09:07 AM   #2
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 Pro's and Con's Review

Watched it right through. Excellent overview and highly useful regarding the cameras features, operation etc. Thanks for posting Rob.

How are you finding the image quality? Some have mentioned "lack of detail" with this camera.
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Old January 6th, 2015, 09:43 AM   #3
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 Pro's and Con's Review

I haven't noticed the "lack of detail" perhaps someone could provide an example.
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Old January 6th, 2015, 06:35 PM   #4
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 Pro's and Con's Review

Rob
Thanks for the great video review.
I really enjoyed it and appreciated the detail.
I have one comment on the Audio CH1/CH2 issue you mentioned in the cons section:
The switch in question is labeled "Input 1", so I read it as sending input 1 to only CH1, or to CH1 + CH2 (such that both the R and L tracks are filled if you drop this audio onto a stereo track in your NLE)
Anyway, to me it makes sense to be set up as it is.
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Old January 6th, 2015, 07:49 PM   #5
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 Low Light

Thank you for shooting the charts as it was helpful. I thought that I would add to this discussion with footage of a typical special job. Here is a video of an event that took place on the shortest day of the year. The Kensington Market Winter Solstice Festival took place in Toronto and started at 7:00 pm. It was shot under typical street lighting. The parade moved to a park for the fiery finale with the fire performers.

I wanted to try this camera instead of my DSLR or F-3. I got the camera from Joe Sutherland Rentals because Andrew suggested that I try it with a Raynox 0.5 Super Wide Angle Lens adaptor: The adaptor was perfect for a few wide shots. The camera took a few seconds to focus occassionally. I used a Steadi-Pod monopod that I got from NAB last year to quickly get different angles. The Steady Shot feature on the camera was very effective in smoothing things out.
It was a fun and easy shoot. Everything was on auto including the audio. I had a boom mic but decided to see what the camera could do with the internal audio.
AVHD 60i FX was used as I did not have one of the new cards.
I did restrict the gain to 28db but changed it a few times when it was very dark.
The reach of the zoom lens was very good. I was able to get close ups from the edge of the inner baseball field. I basically shot from one spot at the end.

Judge for youself to see if the footage is acceptable. I know that I had a good time because the camera was such a joy to use.

Last edited by Peter Mykusz; January 6th, 2015 at 08:06 PM. Reason: Add additional info
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Old January 8th, 2015, 03:30 AM   #6
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 Pro's and Con's Review

On my X70, when I put the switch up to CH1/CH2 it sends channel 1 XLR audio to CH 2 and also keeps CH1. Switch down, only get CH1.

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Old January 8th, 2015, 10:48 AM   #7
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 Pro's and Con's Review

Great video Rob, really appreciate such an in-depth look at this camera.
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Old January 8th, 2015, 01:57 PM   #8
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 Pro's and Con's Review

Very useful review. Thanks.
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Old January 9th, 2015, 02:35 AM   #9
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 Low Light

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Mykusz View Post
Thank you for shooting the charts as it was helpful. I thought that I would add to this discussion with footage of a typical special job. Here is a video of an event that took place on the shortest day of the year. The Kensington Market Winter Solstice Festival took place in Toronto and started at 7:00 pm. It was shot under typical street lighting. The parade moved to a park for the fiery finale with the fire performers.

I wanted to try this camera instead of my DSLR or F-3. I got the camera from Joe Sutherland Rentals because Andrew suggested that I try it with a Raynox 0.5 Super Wide Angle Lens adaptor: The adaptor was perfect for a few wide shots. The camera took a few seconds to focus occassionally. I used a Steadi-Pod monopod that I got from NAB last year to quickly get different angles. The Steady Shot feature on the camera was very effective in smoothing things out.
It was a fun and easy shoot. Everything was on auto including the audio. I had a boom mic but decided to see what the camera could do with the internal audio.
AVHD 60i FX was used as I did not have one of the new cards.
I did restrict the gain to 28db but changed it a few times when it was very dark.
The reach of the zoom lens was very good. I was able to get close ups from the edge of the inner baseball field. I basically shot from one spot at the end.

Judge for youself to see if the footage is acceptable. I know that I had a good time because the camera was such a joy to use.
Winter Solstice Parade in Kensington Market by Red Pepper Spectacle Arts, Toronto, Sunday, December 21, 2014 on Vimeo
You have the same problem as I had when filming Thai monks in low light- NOISE. I, by mistake on iA, went up to +33dB which is hopeless, I now restrict to +21dB and have invested in 'Neat' noise reduction prog.
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Last edited by Mike Griffiths; January 9th, 2015 at 02:35 AM. Reason: typo!
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Old January 10th, 2015, 08:42 AM   #10
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 Pro's and Con's Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Young View Post
I have one comment on the Audio CH1/CH2 issue you mentioned in the cons section:
The observation in the test is correct. In AVCHD mode only there was a bug. L & R channels were reversed.
This has since been corrected with a firmware upgrade. Rumor has it that there were some other 'tweaks' to the camera's performance. As yet I have seen no evidence of this. The upgrade has definitely fixed the swapped audio channels though.

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Old January 10th, 2015, 09:08 AM   #11
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 Low Light

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Originally Posted by Mike Griffiths View Post
I now restrict to +21dB and have invested in 'Neat' noise reduction prog.
Mike I use Neat video here as well but don't bother with Neat if the end product is purely for MP4 web delivery. Obviously I try to avoid to much noise in the footage in the first instance but I just render out the master as is. If shooting AVCHD then that becomes an XDCAm 8-bit 422 master. If it's shot in XAVC then the master render out is XAVC - I frame 422 10-bit.

For the output for the web I use Handbrake. In Handbrake there is an option menu for noise reduction. Depending on the amount of noise in the video I use Weak or Medium and it does an amazing job of killing noise with minimal effect on detail. It does this dynamically frame by frame as it renders the final MP4. The two pass render gives me a better noise reduced product than I can get with Neat Video. Using the noise reduction in Handbrake adds very little extra time to the Handbrake render times.

As you know with Neat Video to get the best results you have to process each clip individually by picking suitable areas for noise sampling which often means numerous attempts to get the best selection. The other big downside with Neat is it dramatically increases render time. Bypassing Neat on the timeline dramatically speeds up output, now add that to the better dynamic noise reduction in Handbrake and for me it's a win all round.

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Old January 11th, 2015, 08:31 AM   #12
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 Pro's and Con's Review

Chris,,
interesting, I'l do a comparison soon, when I get back from Oz ( Perth WA ) in 2 weeks, but likely the footage will be in bright sunshine!
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Old January 17th, 2015, 09:09 AM   #13
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Rob Hargreaves: Sony PXW-X70 telephoto stabilization

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Hargreaves View Post
Excellent review: it's a reference work. Some people say that stabilization is not that hard on the wide end. Could you comment on the efficiency of the stabilization on the telephoto end? I've watched the section starting at 14:40 a number of times. Thank you, Miklos
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Old January 17th, 2015, 11:15 AM   #14
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 Pro's and Con's Review

I expect the stabilization in this camera to perform the same as the ax100 and I don't find it very good, even at the wide end I still get small jitters when shooting in 4K. I am somewhat spoiled though with the boss stabilization Sony had implemented on the smaller cx line.

Noise seems to be the same issue as well, the ax100 is also noisier then my cx730 at high iso's yet the low lightperformance is the same. A few weddings back I had to apply neat video on some scenes during a ceremony which I never had to do with any of my other camera's.

About lack of detail, I imagine people start comparing 4K camera's downsampled to 1080p with native 1080p camera's, once the x70 gets 4K you will understand why people think the x70 currently is not so detailed.
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Old January 29th, 2015, 02:09 AM   #15
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Re: Sony PXW-X70 Pro's and Con's Review

Thanks for the review. Very helpful as I'm in the market for a new camera and this is currently at the top of my list.

In general, are X70 owners happy with their purchase? Or are there other cameras in this price range that are worth looking at?

Thanks in advance.
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