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Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts
Sony PDW-F800, PDW-700, PDW-850, PXW-X500 (XDCAM HD) and PMW-400, PMW-320 (XDCAM EX).


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Old February 28th, 2008, 10:36 AM   #2
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Thanks Dan,

Nice job, it really shows the effect on each setting.

Thierry.
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Old February 29th, 2008, 02:41 AM   #3
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For these kind of tests - maybe the file format shouldn't be JPG though as this may well have some effect on the visible noise. Better to use a bitmap uncompressed format (BMP etc) :)
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Old February 29th, 2008, 02:54 AM   #4
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Just out of interest - here's a couple of stills from a shoot I did yesterday with NR=1. Cinegamma 4, 25P HQ:

http://www.siliconpixel.com/xdcam/still1.bmp

http://www.siliconpixel.com/xdcam/still3.bmp
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Old February 29th, 2008, 06:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Paul Gale View Post
For these kind of tests - maybe the file format shouldn't be JPG though as this may well have some effect on the visible noise. Better to use a bitmap uncompressed format (BMP etc) :)
True but the test I was doing was a comparison between no Low Noise Filter and the 2 stages of low noise filters under the same lighting conditions. As long as the stills are fairly hi-rez, you'll see it as plain as day regardless of .bmp vs .jpg.
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Old February 29th, 2008, 07:31 AM   #6
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OK sure thanks.
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Old February 29th, 2008, 10:14 AM   #7
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Dan - many thanks for taking the time to do that, I was going to leave updating the firmware on our 350 until later, but having seen those tests, that looks very impressive.

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Old March 6th, 2008, 07:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Stewart Menelaws View Post
Dan - many thanks for taking the time to do that, I was going to leave updating the firmware on our 350 until later, but having seen those tests, that looks very impressive.

Regards: Stu
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You won't be disappointed Stewart. We now have a camera that is 1-1.5 stops faster than it was before this upgrade. Yes, I realize there is a slight softening going on to achieve this "low noise" look but I always though the 350 could use a little softening in the first place.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 09:02 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dan Brazda View Post
You won't be disappointed Stewart. We now have a camera that is 1-1.5 stops faster than it was before this upgrade. Yes, I realize there is a slight softening going on to achieve this "low noise" look but I always though the 350 could use a little softening in the first place.
I'm seriously considering changing my recently bought EX1 (due to its lack of SD filming capabilities) for a 330 or 350. The only thing so far that kept me back is the sensitivity of f9@2000 lux as compared to f10@2000 lux of the EX1. Low light filming is extremely important for me.

So, if I understood right, has there been any upgrade for the 330 / 350 that actually improves the sensitivity? Can you confirm this please?

Thanks
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Old March 12th, 2008, 10:52 AM   #10
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I'm seriously considering changing my recently bought EX1 (due to its lack of SD filming capabilities) for a 330 or 350. The only thing so far that kept me back is the sensitivity of f9@2000 lux as compared to f10@2000 lux of the EX1. Low light filming is extremely important for me.

So, if I understood right, has there been any upgrade for the 330 / 350 that actually improves the sensitivity? Can you confirm this please?

Thanks
The base sensitivity of the 350 is the same, HOWEVER, what is now "acceptable" with regard to gain and noise is MUCH improved. So, effectively speaking, yes the camera is now faster than it was. In order to take advantage of this you need to implement the Low Noise filter(s) when using gain.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 12:41 PM   #11
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Sorry, have to disagree with you Dan. I have both an EX1 and F350 with the low noise firmware and the EX1 is still far better in low light. You need +6db of gain on the F350 to match the EX1. Also the low noise mode very slightly decreases the sensitivity of the F350 so to get similar sensitivity you end up at +9db which defeats the object of using the low noise mode. Sure you could use mode 2 but then you have a much reduced dynamic range.

Can't say I've noticed any softening when using mode 1.

If low light performance is important to you then the EX1 may be the better choice.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 01:33 PM   #12
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Sorry, have to disagree with you Dan. I have both an EX1 and F350 with the low noise firmware and the EX1 is still far better in low light. You need +6db of gain on the F350 to match the EX1. Also the low noise mode very slightly decreases the sensitivity of the F350 so to get similar sensitivity you end up at +9db which defeats the object of using the low noise mode. Sure you could use mode 2 but then you have a much reduced dynamic range.

Can't say I've noticed any softening when using mode 1.

If low light performance is important to you then the EX1 may be the better choice.
Are we saying the same thing? I'm saying the 350 at +6db gain with the Low Noise 1 filter gets you the same low light performance as the EX-1 at 0 db. If you look at the test stills I left on this thread I think you'll see there is no exposure change using Low Noise 1 (about 1/2 stop with Low noise 2).
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Old March 12th, 2008, 05:30 PM   #13
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There is a small loss in sensitivity in mode 1 and a larger drop in mode 2. If you look on a waveform monitor it is clear to see. I believe it takes 9db to get the F350 up to EX performance and even with Low noise mode 1 selected the F350 is a lot more noisy. When I did the northern lights shoot with both my EX and F350 I gave up with the F350 as the images were too noisy to be of any use while the EX1 produced perfectly acceptable results. The F350 was marred by both noise and amp glow while the EX1 produced images that I was more than happy with.

The noise level in the EX1 is low enough to allow the use of up to 9db gain before it becomes objectionable and trust me the difference between an EX1 at 9db and an F350 at 9db is massive, the EX1 walks all over the F350 in terms of usable sensitivity and low light performance.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 07:46 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
There is a small loss in sensitivity in mode 1 and a larger drop in mode 2. If you look on a waveform monitor it is clear to see. I believe it takes 9db to get the F350 up to EX performance and even with Low noise mode 1 selected the F350 is a lot more noisy. When I did the northern lights shoot with both my EX and F350 I gave up with the F350 as the images were too noisy to be of any use while the EX1 produced perfectly acceptable results. The F350 was marred by both noise and amp glow while the EX1 produced images that I was more than happy with.

The noise level in the EX1 is low enough to allow the use of up to 9db gain before it becomes objectionable and trust me the difference between an EX1 at 9db and an F350 at 9db is massive, the EX1 walks all over the F350 in terms of usable sensitivity and low light performance.
Thanks for your in-field test results Alistar- greatly appreciated. I did side by side tests with the 350 and the EX-1 BEFORE the 1.93 firmware upgrade to the 350. In every lighting scenario the EX-1 was consistently 1 stop faster than the 350. When proper exposure was available to both cameras this was really not an issue but it's when you fall below the threshold of the 350's capabilities that the difference kicks in.

Based on your feedback I am motivated to duplicate the tests I did prior to the firmware upgrade to the 350 now that I am at 1.93. What I was expecting to see was a match between the 350 and the EX-1 when exposure fell 1 stop below the 350's reach. I was hoping I could kick in +6db gain in that scenario with Low Noise 1 and get the same results as the EX-1 with no gain. Can't wait to check it out...
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Old March 13th, 2008, 08:42 PM   #15
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I am very sure Alister is right in what he says, but I have a little remark.
By reading around the threads I start believing that we are creating the impression that there is a choice between the F3xx and the EX1, or that someone would actually sell his F3xx to buy the EX1.
Maybe so for the demanding amateur, but for the professional there is no such choice. The EX1 is just an excellent B-camera, but apart from the greater sensitivity, there is also an army of shortcomings to it compared to a professional camcorder from the F3xx series
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