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Sony NEX-EA50 (all variants)
Including NEX-EA50UH / EA50EH / EA50H / EA50UK / EA50EK / EA50K


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Old December 22nd, 2012, 09:24 PM   #1
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EA50: first impressions, videos

Hey!

I'm new to this forum, and pretty new to the world of video/film too!
Before acquiring the EA50 my experiences with digital video was using an iPhone and the likes of JVC GY HD200 and Panasonic HPX301e. So the lows and the highs pretty much, with very limited experience with anything between.

Why the EA50?
I'm having very limited finaces at the moment. I had been eyeing the VG20. And when the EA50 was announces it caught my attention. And after a successful show I found myself having just enough money to get the EA50 so I did! I would have prefered the FS100, ofcourse, but it was simply out of reach.
My thought instead was to get the EA50 and then all extras (lenses, adapters, batteries etc) I buy for it, I will be able to use with the FS100/700 whenever I can afford to upgrade.

Some Impressions so far:
Kit lens is too slow for my usual needs.
ND filters: I don't miss them as I almost never film outside/in daylight.
Focus rings on both kit lens and the Sony 50mm 1.8 are not so nice.
It seemed a bit easy to accidentally hit rec which I did once and didn't notice and so missed one act completely. This might not be an issue once I get more used camera.
I've been using manual focus, but with face recognition on and push auto focus. Which seems to be working quite well as a workaround for the less than stellar focus rings.
It has more settings, profiles etc than I can get to grips with ;)
People seem impressed by the looks of the EA50.
Body is quite hollow and noisy, might be an issue in very quiet situations.
Excellent handling and ergonomics.

I like it a lot, but as I shoot mostly indoors, in low light situations, I could really have used the extra 1.5 stops of the FS100, especially with the kit lens.
Other than that I pretty much just wish that it changed the zoom rocker automatically to be set to Digital Zoom when you switch to a lens that's not supported by the zoom rocker and/or a prime lens.
And that the Photo button was assignable, now the button that's one of the most accessable while shooting does nothing in video mode.

Here's a couple of videos I shot:

Here I only used the EA50 with the SEL 50mm/1.8 lens. Gain at 6db. A bit of grading in FCPX.
Sound recorded into Digital Performer with the Sony ECM-XM1 that came with the EA50 as "room-mic".

Used the EA50 with kit lens set to f6.3 to avoid changes in light when zooming and a Gain of 21db.
Cinematone 1 with extra reds rolled off (burlesque acts just love red light!). Some small amounts of grading in FCPX to balance the two cameras.
The b-photo was a VG20 and the 50mm/1.8, which does weird things because it was set up wrong.
Shot live at a rather big venue (700-something capacity)
Sound from the Sony ECM-XM1 that came with the EA50.

Both videos were exported from 1080p to 720p using FCPX, so have that in mind if you're watching in full screen. (bandwidth limitations)

If you have any questions, feel free to ask! (sorry for long, rambling post!)
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 09:31 PM   #2
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Re: EA50: first impressions, videos

That was a most excellent post, Dmitri -- welcome to DV Info Net! Thanks for your patience while I got your account processed.
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 02:57 AM   #3
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Re: EA50: first impressions, videos

Great stuff Dmitri and it's good to read some honest reply about the camera about things that don't work well. I really liked the look from the nomada video, this is one of the reasons why I just ordered the nex50 because it can have that cinematic kind of look or at least something you don't associate with video or cheap camera's at all. Was this music clip shot at 25p or 50P?

In the Victorian circus the stock lens managed very well, I have read that the camera doesn't hold focus if you would lock it and zoom in and out and like you said that the focus ring is all but accurate but that the face detection autofocus does a good job maintaining focus. How does this work in combination with manual focus, can you do manual focus with the camera correcting when it sees a face?

About the noisy body, is it a fan that you here?
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 06:21 AM   #4
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Re: EA50: first impressions, videos

The Nomada video was shot at 25p. The Victorian Circus was shot at 50p. But I have no hard drives that can keep up with 1080p50 without optimizing so I guess I'll only be using that when I know I'm gonna use slow motion from now on ;)

What I did when I shot the Victorian circus show was that when I was zooming I pressed the Push Auto button to have it use auto focus while zooming. And whenever I felt it was needed. As I had to set it to f6.3 it wasn't super shallow depth of field which, in a way, is good in live situations like that when you have no idea where the performers will move to next...

I'm looking to get the Samyang/Rokinon Cine lenses eventually. But for filming live stuff like this burlesque show, and you have only one or two cameras, a power zoom is really handy. Had it only had a fixed aperture of at least f4 it would have been so much more useful. I'm gonna film another show at the same venue on New Years Eve, maybe I'll experiment with the 50mm and the Digital Zoom if I get the chance. Not sure 2x zoom will be enough from where I'll be standing though.

What I meant about the noisy body is that it's just a resonating plastic box. No fan. And it's not like it's loud but maybe (I haven't tested this) if you record something very quiet and have to turn microphone gain up, that is gonna be a problem if you have to puch buttons while recording. It's a very minor issue.
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 06:47 AM   #5
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Re: EA50: first impressions, videos

Thx dmitri for the clarification, what picture profile was used for the Nomada video?

I found another video on vimeo ("https://vimeo.com/55520554") where you need o skip to 04:39 to see some picture profiles in action. For me some profiles do have that "cinema" kind of look and others look more like video which are the more saturated and contrasty ones.

Don't think 25p or 50p would make much difference in such a case, unless you want to add some motion blur on moving objects or while panning which people could associate with "cinema" but for me those presets Sony has implemented + the fact that you can adjust them to your liking is what I"m most excited about :)

You say your harddrives can't keep up with 50p, not sure but harddrives should be fast enough for that but it could be an underpowered pc or a NLE that's not up to the task if you are having issues editing 50p. I don't have any harddrive raid and my 2 year old pc with Edius 6.5 can edit 28mbs avchd 50P without a issue in realtime with no rendering required.
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 07:06 AM   #6
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Re: EA50: first impressions, videos

I think I used the same Picture Profile on both. A modified PP5 with some extra reds rolled off. I just forgot to change it for the Nomada shoot. Rolled off some extra reds because those burlesque people love red light ;)
I've done a fair amount of grading on the Nomada video in post though.

But the picture profiles are highly customizeable. I'm a bit too much of a set-and-forget kinda person. Should do some more experimentation with the settings!

Well, maybe it's the bus and memory speeds of my 6 year old Mac Pro that's the culprit.
But according to the Black Magic Speed Test app the drive is at 200mb/s which it says isn't enough for 1080p50. Hoping to get a MacBook Pro with Retina Display soon though, that should improve things. :D
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Old December 25th, 2012, 08:20 AM   #7
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Re: EA50: first impressions, videos

Terrific videos dmitri and an excellent review of the system that I now have. The video and stills output of the system are stellar and the digital zoom enables one to work with primes and zooms in ways not achievable prior to this disruptive tech Sony installed in both the 50 and VG 30 environments. Interestingly enough, video only cameras cannot do this trick due to the lack of resolution inherent in a 1080 video only camera such as the FS 100. Without question, the FS 100 shoots better video but the difference between it and the 50 is very small. I own the VG 20, which rocks, but in all honesty, the 50's output is better due to, I think, the support tech used to drive the sensor as the sensor's the same as that of the 20. IMHO, Sony has a hit here as the ability to custom tailor video to the nth degree is a non issue and the form factor works thought the system is "fron" heavy when using the powered 18 - 200mm kit lens.
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Old December 25th, 2012, 05:38 PM   #8
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Re: EA50: first impressions, videos

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmitri Zigany View Post
But according to the Black Magic Speed Test app the drive is at 200mb/s which it says isn't enough for 1080p50
That's not correct, that's plenty fast to deal with 1080p50, but you say you have a 6 year old macbook pro, I"m almost sure that laptop is too slow to handle current heavily compressed formats in realtime. What processor is it using?
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Old December 25th, 2012, 07:23 PM   #9
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Re: EA50: first impressions, videos

It's not a laptop, I have a Mac Pro 1,1 that I've upgraded the processor on so it's now effectively a Mac Pro 2,1 with two quad core 3ghz Xeon processors. It's still quite a powerhouse when it comes to processing. But in geekbench it only scores 2100 when it comes to memore speed and memory bus speed (the new MacBook Pro retinas have 7000+, for comparisal).
I believe that it's the memory and/or bus speed that is the bottleneck on this machine.
I'm also having problems when using heavy sampling libraries...
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Old December 26th, 2012, 02:58 AM   #10
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Re: EA50: first impressions, videos

Well, I still believe the processor is the bottleneck, my very first quad qore (a 2,6ghz q6600) was just able to play one stream of avchd in realtime and that system only had a 32bits OS and 4gb of memory, with my 2 year old i7 950 I can do 4 streams realtime in a multicam sequence. Avchd requires a lot of raw processing power.
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Old December 26th, 2012, 05:45 AM   #11
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Re: EA50: first impressions, videos

It's probably a combination. Hopefully I'm getting a new MacBook Pro retina soon.
But this thread isn't about computers but the EA50, so let's forget about that for a while! :)
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