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


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Old June 6th, 2016, 11:39 AM   #1
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Sony FDR-AX53 bug list

Ok, after my previous posts I found another bug with this camcorder:

1.
Lock-On AF doesnīt work if manual exposure and/or manual white balance is set. The user manual only says dual rec has to be deactivated when using 4K. This happens in both firmware versions and should be corrected.

the former issues:

2.
Using firmware 1.01 the camera needs more than 7 turns of the multi wheel to focus from near to far in full tele using manual focus. Thatīs unusable and is far to indirect. Firmware 1.00 only required about 1.3 turns.
Thatīs not stated in the FW update description, only improvements in AF performance are stated. The update canīt be rolled back.


3.
With both firmware versions verified on three camcorders focus may become inaccurate following the focus adjusting method described under the “hint” in the user manual in chapter “focus”.
Adjusting the focus in full tele and framing back to another focal length sometimes leads to misfocus/visible unsharp results.
The AX33 seemed to have a similar problem. There were also some cases where the internal, parfocal correction function completely went into disfunction and had to be reset by taking of the battery for a moment.

4.
Formatting a common and high quality SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SDXC cards takes very long (~32s). Formatting a hard to find 128GB Sony SF-G1UX2 takes less than 7s in comparison.
This may not be a bug but cost time and nerves and may be improved.


Are there any other issues known with this camcorder?! Everybody whoīs interested in improving this camcorders firmware may send this to Sony as I do. The more the better...

I you donīt have these problems feel happy and let me know ;-)!
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Old June 6th, 2016, 02:57 PM   #2
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Re: Sony FDR-AX53 bug list

What do you mean by Lock-On auto focus ? There is no manual exposure on the camera only an exposure control which tells the camera how bright or dark you want the image. It decides on the iris, gain and shutter speed when you use this control and locks them. Once you have locked these controls it has no way of controlling depth of field in auto focus so cannot track an object effectively. There is no way of controlling gain on these small Sony's but you can set iris or shutter speed and use AE shift to do the same as exposure control but give the camera control of gain and whichever it is you have not set. That way in auto focus it has control of depth of field and WB to track faces etc. Which is why I use AE shift with shutter speed set and a limit on gain. That way I have given the camera the control of iris and gain to achieve the brightness level I have set within the gain limit I have imposed. I do not want it to see in the dark !!!

Ron Evans

EDIT: A 128G Sony SDXC U3 SFG1UX2/TQ card takes 13 sec to format on my AX53, same time for a 128GB LEXAR Professional 1000x SDXC II U3
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Old June 6th, 2016, 11:51 PM   #3
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Re: Sony FDR-AX53 bug list

Lock-on is the name convention used in the manual. In AF tap an contrasty object on the screen and the focus windows follows this object while panning...
Lock-on AF should work with exposure and WB manually set. You can set the exposure, but not iris, shutter and gain as you described. The camera chooses this settings by an internal table, but exposure is fixed. I necessary don't see any dependencies with depth of field since aperture control also could be adapted by the camera's table and so on and this restriction is also not described. I donīt guess Lock-On AF needs DOF since there is no hint that the AF system is PDAF. WB also hardly should have any influence.

Interesting - I have 3 of these Sony cards, will check how fast the others format later. The Sandisk is stated as one of the fastest U1 cards available and comes from a reliable warehouse, so I don't think it's fake. It also is fast transfering data with my card reader, even faster than the Sony cards... But that's a minor problem...

Last edited by Roland Schulz; June 7th, 2016 at 12:34 AM.
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Old June 7th, 2016, 05:28 AM   #4
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Re: Sony FDR-AX53 bug list

As an experiment let the camera be in full auto and zoom in and out after selecting the Lock-On tracking focus. Lock-on tracking needs all parameters , including WB, to work as it is intended to maintain focus and WB for faces as its intended use as a consumer camera. Then while viewing the video turn on the camera data code and I think you will see all the parameters change while you zoom if there is sufficient light. The camera is exposing for maximum depth of field and facial WB by changing iris, gain and shutter speed to get the sharpest image in auto focus. The camera will reduce shutter speed or increase gain so that it can close down the iris to increase depth of field when needed. When you set exposure and WB you remove this possibility. I think you are asking too much of a camera at this price to rely just on the lens performance. In AE shift you still leave the camera some flexibility to change parameters depending on your choice of parameter to set. Yes there is a downside to AE shift in that it will maintain brightness even if you would like it to get darker or lighter with the conditions. I am not sure most people would do that though and instead continually change the exposure control to do much what the AE shift does automatically.

Ron Evans
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Old June 7th, 2016, 07:41 AM   #5
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Re: Sony FDR-AX53 bug list

I had so many problems with my PXW-X180 lens, including that zoom in, focus, pull out, out of focus issue, that Sony actually replaced it with a brand new unit. I sold that off for $3000 NIB on eBay........ugh. I also sent back my brand new PXW-X200 to B&H because it immediately began going into full macro in manual focus as you zoomed OUT. Sony quality control is not what it once was.......especially where optics are concerned.

Paul
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Old June 7th, 2016, 09:08 AM   #6
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Re: Sony FDR-AX53 bug list

I now test the expensive cameras I have had from Sony for this in the first few days. So far I have had the lens replaced in the first month on the following cameras, FX1, NX5U and the FDR-AX1 ( which is still poor ). So I agree with you Paul lens quality control is not Sony strong point. I make the assumption on all the small Sony's that they will not stay in focus which is why I always use touch spot focus which I have found is very good and fast. I would have liked the Z150 but it does not have touch focus and does not do 60P in UHD. I expect the introduction of the Panasonic AG-UX180 in the fall will bring down the Z150 price a bit.

I assume that all the fixed lens cameras are electronic control for backfocus.

Ron Evans
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Old June 7th, 2016, 12:00 PM   #7
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Re: Sony FDR-AX53 bug list

Sorry, but disagree with your focus tracking theory. Iīm quite sure itīs "mainly" if not only pattern/silhouette recognition since it also works on plain surfaces like walls.

With lenses Iīm with you. Iīm usally doing photo stuff and there I can write books about tolerances. Over the years I had 10 (ten!!!) Nikon AF-S 24-70 2.8G here and none was as good as my first copy when it was released. The first copy is quite sharp everywhere, but my D4 gets wrong focus when I choose the AF sensors towards left. Most of the other 24-70 didnīt show this problem, but had other flaws.
With all other lenses I have no problems after the camera was adjusted immediately after I bought it new ;-). Same with my D3 that had a misaligned virtual horizon. My D2x had strong front focus out of the box, so nothing new here ;-)!

There were really very few lenses I liked from the beginning. Until now I found hardly any problems with my X70 lens, but my second AX53 was the worst thing I ever tried. Unbelieveable corners in wide, really. That could be seen even on the display. The first was ok but was "bricked" by FW1.01, my current is quite a bit better than the first but thats really pixel peeping. My friends AX53 even shows little more sharpness in tele, but for some reason it shows also more sharpening halos than mine without showing more resolution.

I think the parfocal error is a software bug since it happens not always at the same focal lenght. Seems that some algorithms or routines are working, and sometimes not. Also had the case with the AX33 where the correction completely stopped two time until I put of the battery. I focused in tele and went wide and there was only mud!!

Another shortcoming with the AX53 is the fact that it "canīt" be operated from a monopod using Steady Shot. The closed circuit control becomes unstable (maybe to fast feedback) and the image jumps horizontally. On the other hand the BOSS is somewhat slower and canīt compensate fast movements that common steady shot systems with only one (lighter) lens(-group) can compensate. The complete camera assembly is to heavy to move that fast - inertia!
Nikon stuff seems somewhat advanced with VR systems...
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Old June 7th, 2016, 04:17 PM   #8
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Re: Sony FDR-AX53 bug list

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland Schulz View Post
Sorry, but disagree with your focus tracking theory. Iīm quite sure itīs "mainly" if not only pattern/silhouette recognition since it also works on plain surfaces like walls.

...
Technically it is pattern recognition but the marketing reason is to track kids playing as you can see from all the marketing videos. In this mode the intent is fully automatic operation where the camera has full control of all parameters to get the best results. That is all I was trying to say. Also if you want full manual control and accurate operation the camera you want is not the AX53. Great hand held camera for consumers which I am sure was the intent of the design. I am very happy with mine in the way I use it.

Ron Evans
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