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Sony 4K Ultra HD Handhelds
Pro and consumer versions including PXW-Z150, PXW-Z100, PXW-X70 / FDR-AX100


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Old May 22nd, 2015, 04:10 AM   #1
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Tips for updating to firmware v2.0 ?

I am getting an x70 in three weeks time, and I asked whether, if the new firmware is out by then, could I buy one with the new firmware already installed. They said no, because it is a paid upgrade - of course - I expected them to add the cost to the camera price!

Anyway, in case they can't do this, I want to prepare myself for the Firmware upgrading process, as I've never done this before.

Could anyone please run through the process, and any tips ?
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Old May 22nd, 2015, 06:30 AM   #2
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Re: Tips for updating to firmware v2.0 ?

It's my understanding that there will probably be two flavors of the update. The paid flavor will enable certain aspects (or all aspects?) of 4K recording.

Thankfully, they didn't force this on everyone by raising the cam price. For myself, I never will use this cam to record 4K.

The version 1.0.2 download is at the following link. After unzipping the file, you'll find full instructions in PDF, an OS X disk image for Mac users, and an EXE for Windows PC users.

Version 1.0.2
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Old May 22nd, 2015, 06:41 AM   #3
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Re: Tips for updating to firmware v2.0 ?

I received my x70 yesterday. How do I know if I already have 1.0.2?
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Old May 22nd, 2015, 09:14 AM   #4
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Re: Tips for updating to firmware v2.0 ?

In the menu, select 'OTHERS', then select 'VERSION DISPLAY'.

Refer to page 102 (at least in the US English version) of the operations manual for details.
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Old May 22nd, 2015, 09:17 AM   #5
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Re: Tips for updating to firmware v2.0 ?

" For myself, I never will use this cam to record 4K.":

Ricky - for what reasons?
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Old May 22nd, 2015, 09:58 AM   #6
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Re: Tips for updating to firmware v2.0 ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wright View Post
" For myself, I never will use this cam to record 4K.":

Ricky - for what reasons?
Over the past several years I failed to understand why my consumer "HD" cam wasn't producing HD resolution. I've only recently (last four months), got into more serious video production and research. That's when I learned about Bayer pattern sensors and why sometimes the cam specs are just marketing hype.

My previous cam (Canon HF G20), is labeled as having an HD sensor. But that's not true, It doesn't have 2 million each of red, green and blue sensor sites. Intead, it uses a Bayer pattern. So for each "pixel" on that sensor, it can only capture either red, or green, or blue data and not all three. There are some very clever algorithms to fill in the gaps, but the result isn't good.

I then learned about Canon's cinema series that also used a Bayer pattern sensor. But these have 3840 x 2160 "pixels" also in a Bayer pattern. But for HD recording, each HD pixel is now made up of 1 red, 1 blue and 2 green sites.

I cannot speak to the pattern being used by the X70, but it must be similar. I do know that the resultant HD footage is incredibly detailed and has virtually no aliasing.

But if these cams were to record 4K, you are once again not getting enough data from the sensor. Algorithms must be used to fill in the gaps again.

Taking things further... Don't have the model number handy, but in one of Sony's high-end units, it basically has an "8K" sensor and uses a pretty elaborate diamond-pattern layout of its sensor sites. This results in what I'll call "true" 4K capture.

Long story short, from what I have been reading and now experiencing, using a "4K" sensor to record HD material yields excellent results. And one would really need an "8K" sensor to get the same high quality in a 4K capture.

Beyond that main reason (limitations of the sensor), there are a couple other gotchas with 4K recording in the X70 (at least for me):

1. Only 8-bit 4:2:0 vs. 10-bit 4:2:2
2. Only a 60 Mbps rate vs. HD's max rate of 50 Mbps.

All these points combined lead me to believe that the 4K footage will be more interpolated (not having a sensor with 8 million each of red, green and blue sites), higher compression ratio, more heavily chroma subsampled and less bit depth.

But by all means, If I'm completely off-base in any of these point, please point them out. Still very new to this new world of video.
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Old May 22nd, 2015, 11:03 AM   #7
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Re: Tips for updating to firmware v2.0 ?

Yeah, mathematical analyses are one thing,

Look at the picture - what do you think?
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Old May 22nd, 2015, 12:43 PM   #8
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Re: Tips for updating to firmware v2.0 ?

I don't have the equipment necessary to view 4K; nor do I have footage from that Sony (or other cam) that either uses an "8K" sensor or three "4K" sensors.

Having said that, as I wrote above, I see a _huge_ difference in HD footage between an "HD" sensor vs "4K" sensor. So I'm taking it on assumption that a similar difference will exist if looking at interpolated 4K footage vs true 4K footage. Here, I'm using "interpolated" to mean 4K sensors having only 8 million total photo sites. And "true" are those offering 8 million each of RGB.

I can also see differences (though not always) in 4:2:2 vs. 4:2:0.
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