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Old February 5th, 2018, 08:20 AM   #1
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Introduction to the Z90, NX80, and AX700

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In case anyone is interested, the first chapter (32 minutes) of my five-hour PXW-Z90 master class training video series can now be streamed at Vimeo.

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Old February 5th, 2018, 11:54 AM   #2
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Re: Introduction to the Z90, NX80, and AX700

Thank you, Doug. That's it rented. I have the X70 but expect a lot will be the same.
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Old February 6th, 2018, 09:52 PM   #3
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Re: Introduction to the Z90, NX80, and AX700

Nice job on that video Doug!

For the outdoor shots, I couldn't see a lav mic anywhere. Did you have an overhead shotgun on you? The sound was good.

When you praised Sony's Phase Detection Auto Focus system....you said the PDAF could "track moving subjects better than I could manually". I almost fell out of my chair on that one! ;-)

I remember you scolding me for saying that same EXACT thing about Sony's PDAF only a few months back. Haha! I'm glad to see you finally agree with me! Just kidding Doug,...you know I gotta have some fun with that! ;-)

Of course I love manual focus and more than half my glass is Sigma, Rokinon and Canon cine manual-only glass. Focusing with "true" geared lenses with actual stops are a real joy. However, endlessly turning "fly by wire" lenses like these little guys?....uggg. It takes ALL the "feeling" of shooting full manual away. So when I grab my NX80 and see this PDAF do that wicked science that it does? I'm happy not to have to pull focus on that little "fly by wire" ring unless I KNOW I need too.

I miss my EX1R. When will Sony release a 1inch ENG camera with constant f2.8 and real geared rings? (or at least fly by wire rings that "feel" like true gears)

We NEED a real 4k, EX1-R replacement today.

I see chapter 15 talks SLog. I hope you have warned people just bow BAD SLog-3 is on these cameras. It's unusable in my opinion. SLog-2 IS "OK" if you are willing to pay the potential 8bit artifacts price for it. If you expose carefully, you can get the big dynamic range benefit from it...but I'd say there will be a 1 in 5 chance that "some" banding could hit you in 8bit 100mbp/s.

Again,..great video. Very, VERY nice job as usual.

CT

Last edited by Cliff Totten; February 7th, 2018 at 07:03 AM.
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Old February 7th, 2018, 10:31 AM   #4
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Re: Introduction to the Z90, NX80, and AX700

Cliff, the various threads about SLog-3 not working out for you... is that just for 8-bit codecs? I'm strongly eyeing the Z90 as an upgrade to my X70. And as I still only capture HD, my footage would all be 10-bit 4:2:2. Thus, assuming any banding or other issues would be minimized or eliminated.
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Old February 7th, 2018, 12:53 PM   #5
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Re: Introduction to the Z90, NX80, and AX700

Well? Let's look at the Sony 1inch-type Exmor RS sensor. Its georgous, for its size, it REALLY kicks ass. However, that guy puts out about 10.5 or possibly 11 stops of dynamic range on a "good" day.

SLog-3 is a 16 stop curve that is loosley based on Cineon gamma curve. What happens when you drop an 11 stop image into the middle of a 16 stop curve? It means you have a TON of 8bit stretching to do get it back to rec709. Plus as much as I love this sensor, its noise floor really shows itself in Slog-3. I invite anybody with these cameras to try SLog-3 and tell me this isnt right.

Now SLog-2 is completely different. SLog-2 maps highlights and blacks based on what the output of "that" actual sensor can provide. It does NOT match Cineon as it is "custom" curved for each sensor Sony makes.

So, on other words, SLog-2 uses the FULL brightness range of your scopes and doesnt leave "wasted" or "unused" bits behind. It doesnt clip whites at 94 IRE, it doesnt raise shadows to 15 or 20 IRE. In 8bit, is uses the full 0-255 bit values.

To say it another way, SLog-2 curves "ONLY" what your sensor can actually do (like 11 stops) and not allot more (16 stops that your sensor cant do) like SLog-3 does.

SLog-3 is ALOTT to ask of an 8bit CODEC. In 10bit?...no need to worry because you got 40 times the color depth (gradient steps) to play with.

Yes...8bit has the same exact noise as 10bit. (But in 10bit, the noise is better sampled...lol)

CT

oh,..p.s. I also owned the X70 and I loved it. I HATE .mxf wrapper with all my might but yeah, overall I loved that X70. I never once shot 1080 with it. For me, I stopped shooting 1080 about 3 years ago? I do everything in UHD today, even for stuff that is 1080 delivery. The NX80 was perfect for me. I take it with me while my Z150 just stays mostly at home now. The Z90/NX80 AF is sick, you will love it. Having HLG is very "interesting" and SLog-2 is nice...if you are very careful with it. You will find that the Z90 will give you much more dynamic range than the X70 ever could with it's mild Cine rec709-ish profiles. (plus, I'm MUCH happier with the NX80's industry standard standard .mp4 wrapper)

Last edited by Cliff Totten; February 7th, 2018 at 09:52 PM.
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Old February 8th, 2018, 08:02 AM   #6
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Re: Introduction to the Z90, NX80, and AX700

I have bought Doug's training series on the EX3, FS100, FS5, and now the Z90.
Everyone of these training series have come in handy. If it weren't for this information, I would of been at a loss trying to figure out some of the changes that are made from camera to camera.
Doug, Thanks for saving me a lot of frustration.
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Old February 8th, 2018, 09:23 AM   #7
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Re: Introduction to the Z90, NX80, and AX700

Having been away from the Sony world for several years, I found Doug's course exactly what I needed (as opposed to the impenetrable Sony manual). The chapters on picture profiles and s-log are well worth the very reasonable price of admission.

Last edited by Bill Ackerman; February 8th, 2018 at 12:16 PM.
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Old February 8th, 2018, 10:21 AM   #8
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Re: Introduction to the Z90, NX80, and AX700

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff Totten View Post
Well? However, that guy puts out about 10.5 or possibly 11 stops of dynamic range on a "good" day.
Doug mentions 14 stops in the video (S-Log I believe). Talking about falling out of my chair.
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Old February 8th, 2018, 10:27 AM   #9
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Re: Introduction to the Z90, NX80, and AX700

I do plan to rent those videos very soon as yes, the Sony manuals are brutal!

If one of the SLog solutions can provide up to 14 stops, that would be incredible. But even if around 12 or 13, I'd be very happy.
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Old February 8th, 2018, 11:12 AM   #10
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Re: Introduction to the Z90, NX80, and AX700

So far I love these classes.
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Old February 8th, 2018, 12:38 PM   #11
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Re: Introduction to the Z90, NX80, and AX700

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Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
Doug mentions 14 stops in the video (S-Log I believe). Talking about falling out of my chair.
14 stops on this 1inch-type Sony Exmor RS sensor? No, no...it was an accidental mistake. Sony FS700, FS7, F5, F55, FS5, A7S-II and A7R-III do "almost" 14 stops. These are large sensor cameras.

This camera will put out 11 if the sun, moon and stars are in perfect alignment.
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Old February 8th, 2018, 01:10 PM   #12
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Re: Introduction to the Z90, NX80, and AX700

30 seconds in on Chapter 15 on S-Log. He states 14 stops.I can't imagine that was a slip.

"If you really want to capture the full dynamic range of the Z90 there's no getting around the use of S-Log. Compared to the other gamma choices S-Log usually offers the best reproduction of deep shadow details, bright highlights and everything in between. The camera has 14 stops of dynamic range. And you need a powerful log curve to capture all that data."
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Old February 8th, 2018, 02:05 PM   #13
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Re: Introduction to the Z90, NX80, and AX700

Im sorry but that sensor has never tested 14 stops on any camera that has ever used it. Not from what I have ever seen or heard of. If anybody Googles it, they can see what it has performed with for everybody else.

It doesnt have the dynamic range of a large sensor Sony FS700, FS7, F5, F55, FS5, A7S or A7R.

If you go to DXO Mark and review their lab tests, you can look at all the cameras that use this 1inch-type RS model chips and they all measure around 12.5 stops in "raw photographs". This is the best measurement you can get on these sensors...raw sensor data in SINGLE captures. In video, these sensors all lose a stop or more.

"IF" Sony somehow pulled 14 stops off this sensor, that would be a big scientific and industry breakthrough. Every camera magizine woud have "Z90- 14 STOPS!!!" on the cover. It would be a HUGE game changer for such a small sensor. Sony would have THAT fact as the #1 headline selling point! They would print "14 stops of DR" right under the "clear image zoom" print. Even Super35 and Full Frame chips have a hard time getting to 14 stops.

It was an accident, I'm sure.

Last edited by Cliff Totten; February 8th, 2018 at 11:04 PM.
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Old February 9th, 2018, 11:54 AM   #14
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Re: Introduction to the Z90, NX80, and AX700

I'm sure Doug will resolve this when it gets back from the Olympics.

Since I have both the X70 and Z90 it look to me that the Z90 has more dynamic range. Nothing scientific but I noticed this when testing the various Z90 PPs in similar controlled condition I had used the X70 in. I thought maybe it was about a stop better but again not scientific. I wasn't comparing to any of the S-Logs though which could be a little bit better.
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Old February 9th, 2018, 12:42 PM   #15
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Re: Introduction to the Z90, NX80, and AX700

So the X70 always had a 10.5 to 11 stop sensor. That was never the problem. Its the rec709-ish Cine profiles that always limited its dynamic range. People have to realize that nobody can get 11 stops of DR with Cine profiles. The only way is to read the sensor and convert it is using a FLAT log curve Thiose Cine curves cant hold 11 stops, not even close. If your image doesn't look like crap, than you DON'T have 11 stops! If your image looks great on a standard monitor, that means you have 7 or 8 stops. Lol

So, the X70 sensor with a raw 11 stop linear readout gets "clipped" the second it's processed into any of the common X70 Cine or other rec709 gamma curves.

With the addition of SLog and HLG, that same linear 11 stop readout is then "bent" or "compressed" into a gamma curve that can actually hold 11 stops.

For this reason alone, I believe the Z90 and NX80 are HUGE upgrades over the X70.

Last edited by Cliff Totten; February 9th, 2018 at 04:40 PM.
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