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Old April 24th, 2016, 11:49 AM   #46
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

I agree. If it had tunable sharpening levels and a bit more dynamic range, it would be an incredible video camera.

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Old April 24th, 2016, 12:01 PM   #47
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

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Be careful reading random internet reviews..
Thank you Dave for taking the time to reply.
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Old April 25th, 2016, 01:14 AM   #48
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

I'm pretty sure setting the shutter to 50 or 60 depending on your region, then limiting the video AGC to 0dB allows you then to control the exposure without the camera adding gain automatically - appears to work here I'm obtaining totally clean shots in very low light, without using the AE shift at all.

Maybe I'm wrong but it appears to work fine, giving good exposure control and no unwanted noise.

Paul :-)
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Old April 25th, 2016, 01:30 AM   #49
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

How can you shoot in very low light if you don't let the camera add any gain at all?
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Old April 25th, 2016, 05:29 AM   #50
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

Yes you are correct Paul but what you have done is let the camera have auto control of gain but limit its ability to do so. It is what I do for my theatre shoots so that the cameras do not try and see in the dark. Usually limit to 18db or 21db depending on the lighting. But the camera is still in automatic gain control. You cannot set gain to say 6db and shutter to 1/60 and let the camera control iris for example. Which you can do with the AX100. I still think AE shift is the better choice as I have found the camera most of the time will try and place the iris for max depth of field it can and use gain to adjust exposure. Since these are consumer cameras this is of course the best choice. When it has control of shutter too it will of course choose the optimum performance from the sensor and lens.

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Old April 25th, 2016, 11:52 AM   #51
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

I have a CX 760 that I use as a travel cam.
It was cam of the year when it was released, and still IMO sets a high standard for a compact, fairly full featured HD handicam with BOSS stabilization.
I am not interested in UHD for travel shooting at present (I have an X70 if I need UHD capability).
So, I am wondering what's the case that could be made for upgrading to an AX-53?
One important downside for me is that the AX-53 appears to be significantly larger- so it's got to offer some significant functional improvement to make the extra bulk worthwhile
Ron, I know you have a lot of experience with the CX 700 series, what is your opinion??
Thanks
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Old April 25th, 2016, 01:41 PM   #52
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

From what I have seen and heard the ax-53 is close to the ax100 when it comes to IQ, unlike the ax33 which received quite some negative response on IQ. I have a ax100 and a cx730 and if the ax-53 would look much like the ax100 the only reason to get it over a cx730 would be the extra image detail you get. I notice this best when I shoot a wedding and have to match ceremony footage from the ax100 and cx730. The ax100 resolves visible more detail and it's only in that respect you start to see the cx730 is starting to age. This is why I only use the ax100 in 4K set wide so I can crop in post so that it becomes less noticeable against my other HD only camera's. When it comes to ease of shooting, I still much prefer my cx730, even if it does not have the same manual features and image detail as a ax100, that boss stabilization is from another planet and hard to leave behind, especially when I"m shooting handheld, I would always trade 4k resolution for a better OIS.
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Old April 25th, 2016, 03:48 PM   #53
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

Attached are a few photos of size comparison ( AX53 is in the middle in all photos ) to the AX100 and the NX30U ( like your CX760 ). It is midway between the NX30U and the AX100 in size. Wider than the NX30U and a little more heavy. The two things that stand out are longer zoom, wider wide angle and cleaner image in XAVC-S than the NX30U. It also has full data code and time code( in XAVC-S file ) too for integration with other cameras if that is what you want to use for multicam editing sync. Image quality is closer to the AX100 than the NX30U, clean and sharp. It is a lot bigger as you can see but I have changed to use it for family stuff rather than the NX30U. Performance is a little less sensitive than the NX30U ( maybe 1/2 stop and a stop slower than the AX100 ) but a lot cleaner especially at really high gain. I would say a marginal but noticeable improvement over the NX30U. Side by side the image is cleaner and a lot sharper than the AVCHD from the NX30U. Interworks well with the AX100 and both of course shoot UHD 30P. You should note though that the older A/V or LANC with adapters , wired remotes do not work with the AX53 and you will need one of the new Sony wired remotes or it does work with the IR remote from the NX30U but does not come with a wireless remote.

Ron Evans
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New Sony AX-53 Testing-dsc00812.jpg   New Sony AX-53 Testing-dsc00813.jpg  

New Sony AX-53 Testing-dsc00814.jpg  
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Old April 27th, 2016, 06:23 AM   #54
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

I know there has been discussions of managing exposure on these small Sony's especially in low light. In bright light ( like snow ) I have a variable ND that I use. Still set shutter maybe 120 in bright light but use AE shift control at + max, AGC limit 6db. Look at a reasonable scene and rotate the ND until the image starts to go dark. So now the camera has max gain and fully open iris. Back off the ND just a little and turn AE shift to 0 again, set shutter speed to 90. I have found this works fine for me and gives the camera some control range in the snow while limiting the light. The aim is to get the light input so that the camera can control iris and gain in the f3.4 and +6db range for max depth of field. Not great but about all one can do. If you add too much ND the iris will open full and gain will go up and shutter will go down ( if you are in auto shutter it is why I always set shutter speed ). In other words you are forcing the camera into a position of needing max iris and gain and then giving it back ( reducing shutter speed and AE shift since you cannot see what is happening to gain or iris only after the fact in the data code ) Then you can control with AE shift up or down.

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Old April 27th, 2016, 07:16 AM   #55
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

On my sony handicams I prefer to always handle the exposure manually as I get better controlled results out of that. I just don't like AE shift and only use it unless I have no other choice, in such a case you are still letting the camera handle exposure by itself and it doesn't always know what it should be, you can compensate with AE but in quick changing light conditions you are adjusting for the camera not getting it right, that means the exposure can fluctuate a bit all the time while you keep on correcting the camera, something that doesn't occur in manual mode.

With my ax100 it's easy to do it fully manual but with my cx730 turning the dial will affect f-stop, iso and shutter since I never use a nd on that camera but I can live with a too high shutter when I can lock and control my exposure.
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Old April 27th, 2016, 09:57 AM   #56
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

Yes it is always a compromise when you can't control everything. But there is no manual mode on the small Sony's only the "exposure " control which fixes everything but under the control of the auto exposure of the camera. You have no control of what the camera chooses only how you see the brightness of the image with your eyes ( or use Zebras etc ) just like AE shift . With the exposure control the camera will fix these parameters and with AE shift the relative brightness will be maintained. At least with AE shift one has control of shutter speed and AGC limit. With changing scenes levels AE shift will maintain the brightness level but the exposure control will stay the same. With shooting when skiing I do not want to keep adjusting and do not like the shutter to be too fast so hence my approach of forcing the camera into a narrow control band. In the theatre the small cameras are unattended and I do not want to fix exposure but let the camera control based on the stage lighting hence again I use AE shift. Fixing the exposure control doesn't work in the theatre because the lighting swings are too much. Data code shows the full range of exposure on the unattended camera for some plays ie wide open iris and full gain ( I limit gain to 21db) to the exact opposite. The camera is fixed, the stage is fixed and only the level of the stage lighting is changing so AE shift works well to maintain a relative brightness level. Only when a single actor is in a small spotlight on a black stage does the system fall apart !!! But in those instance both my wife and I have that actor in our framing with controlled exposure so there is not a problem. I did start off, years ago, using the exposure control but after some really too dark or totally over exposed video moved to AE shift.

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Old May 24th, 2016, 06:33 PM   #57
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

so ron using the ae shift unmanned, it knows to open up or close just rigth where its not too hot or too dark?
thats really good if it can do that. im always using the dial to adjust the xposure up and down, while manning my ex1r. it would be nice to know i can do the ae shift and i will be happy with the outcome.i know u made an adjustment of the ae, -7? i think i saw that.
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Old May 24th, 2016, 07:02 PM   #58
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

I usually use -0.7. There are of course limitations. The obvious one being, in my case an actor in a spotlight and the rest of the stage black. It will not manage that of course and will over expose as expected, but for normal light changes it works well within a range that can be adjusted later without over exposing or being too dark. My wife uses this all the time with the AX100 as she does the closeups for me and rarely changes this setting, sometimes going to -0.5 if she thinks it is getting a little dark for her liking. Means she can focus on framing and focus rather than also worry about exposure. She watches the zebra to see if it get too hot set at 85%. Unattended I always set at 0.7 as I can lift the shadows later. Remember it is not the only camera as I am full manual with my NX5U and my wife is closeup with the AX100 so wide swings in lighting are usually managed.

For normal family hand held stuff I also have the camera in AE shift at -0.5 with general surrounding as the Sony's are usually too hot in normal auto. With the AX53 and the AX100 it is better to underexpose as the shadows are easy to correct using YUV filter in EDIUS and it is too easy to overexpose the highlights.

Essentially AE shift says to the camera keep the exposure at this difference to what you would normally set as auto default.

Ron Evans
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Old May 31st, 2016, 02:15 AM   #59
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

Hi, I hope I donīt break the topic, but since here is a lively discussion about the AX53 Iīd like to ask a question to the AX53 owners:

My first AX53 showed a strange behaviour while using manual focus especially in full tele (peaking and focus magnifier on). I didnīt find any dependencies to recording mode (using 4K, 25p, 100Mbps) etc., but I had to turn the focus wheel for more than 7 full rotations from nearest focus to farest!! This was nearly unusable!!

I had the camcorder exchanged for a second copy since this unit didnīt show that behaviour in the shop, even Sony couldn't answer me competent after placing that question.
The second copy only needs about 1,2 turns from near to far what is ok for me.

The only difference between these two copies is, that I had updated the first cam to 1.01 directly after the purchase, my second is still 1.00. I donīt know how the first had focused with 1.00.

Could anyone here check that behaviour who already has updated to 1.01?



Beside that a very nice camcorder and good addition to my X70, better than my former AX33 in most regards!
Unluckily the BOSS is still not working using a monopod. The stabilizer always becomes very unstable after a few seconds.
Using a monopod would help avoiding the rotational movement that the BOSS doesnīt compensate in standard mode. Moving the cam slightly for-/backwards with the monopod helps but looks somewhat silly!!
The AX33 had the same problem. I also contacted Sony for this, waiting for a response...
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Old May 31st, 2016, 02:33 AM   #60
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Re: New Sony AX-53 Testing

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Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
I usually use -0.7. There are of course limitations. The obvious one being, in my case an actor in a spotlight and the rest of the stage black. It will not manage that of course and will over expose as expected, but for normal light changes it works well within a range that can be adjusted later without over exposing or being too dark. My wife uses this all the time with the AX100 as she does the closeups for me and rarely changes this setting, sometimes going to -0.5 if she thinks it is getting a little dark for her liking. Means she can focus on framing and focus rather than also worry about exposure. She watches the zebra to see if it get too hot set at 85%. Unattended I always set at 0.7 as I can lift the shadows later. Remember it is not the only camera as I am full manual with my NX5U and my wife is closeup with the AX100 so wide swings in lighting are usually managed.

For normal family hand held stuff I also have the camera in AE shift at -0.5 with general surrounding as the Sony's are usually too hot in normal auto. With the AX53 and the AX100 it is better to underexpose as the shadows are easy to correct using YUV filter in EDIUS and it is too easy to overexpose the highlights.

Essentially AE shift says to the camera keep the exposure at this difference to what you would normally set as auto default.

Ron Evans
I prefer zebra at 100% and follow these rules:
Neutral colored items (white, grey) can easily be recorded with zebra completely showing up. When exposure getīs even higher zebra starts to disappear. This happens from IRE105 on where the camera really clips and looses differentiation!

With colored items I found to go best not to exceed IRE100 (zebra starts showing) since zebra seems to show up until one RGB primary reaches 100% but only disappears when all primaries clip.
When one primary clips and the others not this leads to "distortion" and "ugly appearance".

In post in EDIUS I always correct to IRE0 to IRE100 setting a linear YUV curve from 0,16 to 16,16 (bottom) and 16,16 to 255,235 with a slight buckle in the top.
Going this way should enable me to use the largest DR the camera gives me. This works good for me on both my X70 and my AX53.
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