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

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Old October 15th, 2016, 03:33 AM   #31
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Re: PXW-Z150 low light issues - help?

Mark, it's concerning that the EX1 doesn't like LED lights, my info so far was leading me to believe that it was the single sensor cameras with issues primarily, but the EX1 is a 3 sensor camera I believe?

I used a Z1 prior to the NX5, and never had an issue with that either. The Z5 would be quite similar to both those cameras, it seems all of these have quite similar sensor systems, and they don't have an issue. Without testing cameras specifically, it's hard to come up with a rule at the moment that tells me which cameras are good for this, and which aren't. You'd basically need someone with access to the appropriate lights, and access to a variety of cameras, to go and run some tests. It sounds like even the Sony service guys here (Australia) don't have access to a setup where they can replicate this to test, to provide more info.

It seems to me like it is the newer sensor system in the Sony cameras that is having the issue, the real test I guess will be against the new NX5, depending on exactly what it has in it. Other than that, perhaps this is a Sony issue specifically, and time to look at another manufacturer?
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Old October 15th, 2016, 03:53 AM   #32
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Re: PXW-Z150 low light issues - help?

Yes, the EX1 has three 1/2" sensors.
The EX1 was a troublesome camera regarding how it recorded colour towards the IR range: there was a genuine issue with the colour spectrum it recorded. Many black clothes made of synthetic fibres would record on this camera as a purple/brown, which was unfixable in post. So many of us EX1 owners were forced to invest in a IR-cut filter to fix this.

Sony resolved this issue with the EX1R.

I don't know if the EX1R also has this problem with LED lights... perhaps not.

An interesting thought about testing a range of cameras against LED lights... I might run that past the broadcast hire company I use, see if such a thing could be arranged. I certainly need to make sure it's not an issue, as I will have to look at investing in new cameras in the next couple of years.
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Old October 16th, 2016, 08:48 AM   #33
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Re: PXW-Z150 low light issues - help?

Though it may seem like a good idea to test a bunch of cameras simultaneously, I think you'd need to at the same time be testing against a wide spectrum (pun intended) of LED lights as well.
I've been running into these issues ever since venues started replacing their old tungsten stage lights with LEDs and have found that there are some LED lights that can produce proper colors and others that just create bleeding and mush. This has been with a pretty wide variety of camera models - mainly Sony, but also some Panasonic and Canon.

If you've bought/used any of the higher end 1x1 LED panels, you may have noticed that aside from the fact that some brands may produce slightly pinker, bluer or greener lignt, if the camera is color balanced to them the resulting image can be excellent (no matter what camera.) I normally use some color correction gels (such as 1/4 or 1/8 minus green and 1/8 CTO) to provide a better match with normal 3200 Tungsten, and keep a number of precut gels with each LED to be able to adjust better to match available light if necessary. (I even keep 1/4 plusgreen in the kit in case I'm trying to get a match with some overly green overhead fluorescents.) Of course when buying LEDs for video lighting, I always check the specs to make sure that the CRI is at least 90+, and preferably 95+.

Unfortunately when shooting in bars that have a stage off to the side where they probably bought the absolute cheapest colored LEDs available, I sometimes run into lights that have exceptionally low color rendering qualities -- and no matter what cameras are being used my only real solution has been to turn off the offending house 'stage' lights and light the band myself.

My only suggestion when you're stuck with 'unusable' lighting is to shoot with a camera that can do Log recording for both exposure range and for color gamut (such as s-Log & s-Gamut). Then at least you may have a little more range to try to get it to work in post...

In terms of the 'no problem with the Z-1' comment -- I'm wondering if you're talking about footage shot during the last two years with the same lighting conditions? (it seems like the market has been flooded with the cheap, low-CRI 'stage' lights in the past two years, so anything shot before that might not be a proper comparison.)
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Old Yesterday, 09:06 PM   #34
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Re: PXW-Z150 low light issues - help?

Dave, good point about the Z1 - I haven't used it a lot recently. I still use it occasionally as a secondary camera to the NX5, and it really does match it very closely when editing - I'd be quite surprised if they are in fact much different. But I can't say that I've used it at any of the venues that I know have cheap LED lighting specifically, so I can't be sure about exactly what it does there.

I did pick up the new NX5R last week, and I can tell you straight up that it does appear to have different sensors in it - it seems to need a little bit more light than the original NX5, and the image I'm seeing is a little different. I will try setting up a side by side comparison as soon as I can, and will post some images on here.
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