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


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Old January 5th, 2013, 08:48 AM   #1
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Sony nex-ea50 moire and aliasing

tadaa, here's one for starters:


Shot with the standard 18-200 powerzoom, the lens was struggling at F3.5 with the very first shots as it was too dark. For those first shots the iso was at 3200+ (see below) and I used a very flat ITU709 Gamma preset as it increases dynamic range considerably and at very dark location shows much more detail in shadows. For most other shots iso 1600 was used and ofcourse lower iso when sufficient light was available. The footage has not been colorcorrected and shot at 50P.

I would not go beyond 3200 iso with this camera, grain is quite visible in shadows while 1600 iso seemed like the sweet spot. Moire is not such an issue like my Canon 550d displays, it is there but if you look at the rooftiles you hardly notice it in wide shots. 5000 to 6400 iso just looks ugly, the noise is very visible then, maybe for those "I need to get it shots" and fix with neatvideo later but not for general use.

Some of those very first shots I had the camera set to display gain values insterad of iso, as there are much more smaller increments for ISO values it can be that the ISO was at that moment more then 3200 iso because the noise was quite present. After those shots I switched to ISO and didn't go beyond 3200 iso.

I will post some more aliasing and moire shots where it shows a bit better how bad it is, my Canon 550d at least has worse moire issues then the nex ea50. In this video there was a lot of fine detail that could cause aliasing or moire and if you look closely you will see it here and there. I"ll also provide some raw footage of that for anyone that might be interested, then at least you get to see it before any form of compression is applied.

I also plan to do some low light camparison with my 550d and sony cx730, next week my adapter arrives so I can attach some faster primes.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 10:12 AM   #2
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Re: Sony nex-ea50 moire and aliasing

... I thought I was about to watch a horror movie there for a second. LOL Creepy location.

Footage looks good to me. There are so many good cameras in the $4000 +- range that it's hard to choose these days!
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Old January 5th, 2013, 10:57 AM   #3
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Re: Sony nex-ea50 moire and aliasing

Great demo. A great deal of work went into it I'm sure. Thanks!
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Old January 5th, 2013, 11:16 AM   #4
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Re: Sony nex-ea50 moire and aliasing

Quote:
A great deal of work went into it I'm sure
Not realy, I filmed it this morning (was about 1 hour in the casino) and just did a quick edit :) It has been raining all day, very light rain so couldn't do more outside recordings, I do have more filmed from inside through the windows (without glass) that show the moire and aliasing issue better, especially when using the digital zoom which enhances teh problem.
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Old January 5th, 2013, 12:40 PM   #5
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Re: Sony nex-ea50 moire and aliasing

I got a second one, this one is interesting, in this sample you can here the noise from the power zoom as well as handling noise when you touch the camera body, I didn't use the shotgun but the build in microphone.

You here me babbling in Dutch but I was giving myself some reference points to know what was going on when I would do the edit, therefore I included some tekst to show when the powerzoom or when the digital zoom was active.

The first part looks ok, there is some small moire on the house roof at the end when zoomed out but in general I"d say that looked good, the second part however when viewing the rooftiles at a sharp angle you can see that the digital zoom is magnifying the moire in a very nasty way, I saw it while filming which is why I tried different focal lenghts to see what would happen.

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Old January 5th, 2013, 08:06 PM   #6
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Re: Sony nex-ea50 moire and aliasing

Hi Noa

Thanks for that very technical test. I really think in real life no-one is going to see any issues at all with moire or and slight resolution loss using digital zoom. For me the camera came thru with flying colours.

I have seen worse moire on my CMOS 3 chip cameras especially on roof tiles and usually don't worry about it.

Just for interest what settings does the camera have for a "default" picture pofile (if there is one??) The one you are using seems a little flat (as you want it) but any suggestions what to use for a nice bright and saturated picture that you don't intend to colour correct. Sometimes my wedding footage just needs top and tailing so a nice vibrant picture profile would be great as default.

I will shoot some actual wedding footage on Saturday... I did a wild 500++ guest wedding yesterday with brightly dressed Congolese patrons ..would have liked to see how the Sony did with that!!

Still patiently waiting for delivery

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Old January 6th, 2013, 02:49 AM   #7
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Re: Sony nex-ea50 moire and aliasing

The camera has a few other factory default profiles that give a much more saturated and contrasty look plus you can dial in your own values. So yes, you can make those colors pop. I only used this very flat setting because for dark areas it does the same as the technicolor cinestyle preset does on my canon 550d, it gives you much more details in shadows. I do have a yuv preset in Edius that brings back the basic color and contrast for the cinestyle preset but I noticed it works well on the flat settings from the Sony. You only will see the grain better in the shadows at high iso's, what can be seen in the first video I posted but if you crush the blacks a bit the grain will be a bit less noticeable.

As soon as we have got a dry day here I want to go out and film in some brighter conditions as well, in that casino I"m actually showing the camera at it worst with that slow lens because you can't expect noise free, vibrant color and sharp footage at those high gains. Maybe a fs100 can do that but if you are used to working with a xh-a1 the nex ea50 does wonders in low light compared to that camera. I have not done a side by side comparison yet but I would say it performs the same as my canon 550d. As soon as I get my adapter (next week) I can use the same lenses on both cameras and see what it can do.

The aliasing and moire thing, if you can't live with that you shouldn't buy this camera, my cx730 also shows signs of moire but from what I see it's better controlled on the ea50 then on my 550d, I can film small brick walls without it going berserk. I only want to find an example what I would classify as unacceptable with my 550d and then put the nex-ea50 beside it, I will try to see if I can get such an example but again if it stops raining here. I never will get used to the Belgian climate and it's only getting worse, I might have to move to Australia...

I have also gotten a response about the zoom not being very useful because it's too slow, too noisy and not that controllable. If you plan to buy this camera for fast action sports where you would have to zoom in and out to follow the action and use those zoom movements in the edit I also would say this is the wrong camera. You can use this power zoom to choose a frame or to at least have some form of controllable zoom if you would need it, I would be able to use this zoom to zoom in on a bride walking down the isle and then slowly zoom out as she walks towards me, in the edit I would only use the part where I am doing the zoom movement and that at least would be nice and smooth, something that was not possible before on a large sensor camera with photolenzes. So it has it's place but it will never replace or even come close to even the zoom lens of my cx730 but it was also not designed for that purpose.

Only with the digital zoom you need to be careful as it does make the moire much worse on the stock lens, if there is no fine detail in the shot you can use it with the image getting a bit softer but I would never use it with the stocklens as it only impacts the image quality in a negative way. With some prime lenses it might come in handy to reframe if necessary but I need to see how it would affect the image quality on my 14, 35 and 85mm lens once I have the adapter.The extended zoom on my cx730 also looses quality a bit which for some users is unacceptable but I found it acceptable in some cases and useful if you need a 17x instead of a 10x zoom so that might be the same when using the digital zoom with the primes, well see.

Last edited by Noa Put; January 6th, 2013 at 03:32 AM.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 03:34 AM   #8
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Re: Sony nex-ea50 moire and aliasing

Hi Noa

During weddings the only zoom I will do is a tilt and zoom into when the bride signs the marriage certificate and also when they cut the cake..otherwise I only use zoom for framing really.

I'm thinking (hopefully) that the low light performance will blow me away ..It looks like it's still quite adequate even with the stock lens .... Churches should be a big improvement too...On my little 1/4" chips I found the iris open on auto and grain already at 11db and that is during an afternoon with lights on in the Church too!!

I'll shoot a bit prior to my weekend wedding around and about with the default PP and see what it looks like first (providing our stupid National Carrier actually gets around to making a delivery!!)

I think if you were here last week you would have got on the next plane to Belgium after we had 7 days of temps between 38 and 42 (Celcius!!) Otherwise yes the weather is great here for wedding videographers ...mainly fine from August to the end of May!! I had two weddings with a bit of rain this season but in 2011-2012 not one single day was wet...and that includes 3 weddings in June too!!

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Old January 6th, 2013, 12:49 PM   #9
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Re: Sony nex-ea50 moire and aliasing

Hi Noa,

I believe I have read every post you have made about the EA50 prior to your delivery. You seemed to have great concerns about aliasing and moiré the whole time. Is it safe for me to assume you are hyper critical about this? Now that you have the camera and I read your comments I am not clear on what you think about it because you’re making statements like “not useable”.

As a shooter and technician I appreciate all of the details us professionals discuss about the capabilities (or lack of them) of today’s technological wonders (that’s the way I see them).

Let’s say you skillfully nail the perfect follow zoom shot as the bride turns from the alter and exits the church down the aisle. Your latest post makes it sound like you would not use the shot because of zoom noise and picture noise. My reaction to that is “are you kidding me!” Is the camera that bad? Would you really not use it? I have not used a camera in years with zoom noise so bad it would prevent me from delivery to a bride.

First, I will remind you guys I am not a wedding guy, I am a corporate guy, so you know your clients better than I do. My experience over the last fifteen years of pro video shooting is that the clients have a much more realistic expectation of “video quality” than we do. Clearly, the vast majority of complaints I ever received from clients were about things within my control. Not the things I may have been stressing about in post. They have never once called me and said why are those bricks moving?

So….I ask:
Are you happy with the camera? Does it meet or exceed your expectations?

Is the zoom noise really so bad it is unusable?

Is moiré and aliasing so bad it is unusable in a dim church if you zoom?

What media are weddings delivered on? I am assuming DVD? In which case you give them a choice between HD and SD because, at least here in the states, many people still have a standard DVD player hooked up to their HD wide screen?

Noa…I am looking for clarification on the technical details you are giving us and real world impression of the camera please.

Steve
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Old January 6th, 2013, 01:52 PM   #10
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Re: Sony nex-ea50 moire and aliasing

I'm happy with it! It's not perfect, but all of the cameras in this price range have some tradeoffs. Would love to have a faster zoom (f2.8 would be nice), but that's an expensive accessory. I use the supplied shotgun mic and not the internal microphones so zoom noise isn't an issue. As I noted in other posts, the servo zoom is not very good, even for this class of camcorder, and the digital zoom, while quite smooth is not lossless as Sony claims. For weddings and corporate this is an excellent choice.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 01:56 PM   #11
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Re: Sony nex-ea50 moire and aliasing

Quote:
Is the camera that bad?
Or you are misunderstanding me or I am not making myself clear enough :D

First you need to know I have very, very limited experience with the camera, I took it out for a day and shot with it in a abandoned dark casino. That's it, so I can't comment how the camera would do in a paid assignment, yet.

What I have experienced so far, from that one time use is the following:

Moire and aliasing, yes it's there and no, it's seems not as bad as on my canon 550d BUT I will go out this week to find a building, rooftop or whatever that will make my canon 550d with the wide angle lens go wild in terms of moire and then I will place my ea50 next to it and then I will know 100% sure.

So far moire or aliasing does not seem a problem for my kind of work which is weddings, events and a occasional company video, you can check the first video I posted where there are several scenes moire or aliasing could be an issue but for my first experience it's not because if it's there, you hardly notice it.

The zoom, it is slow and it is noisy but you can manually zoom as well which can provide you with a faster zoom and still quite smooth. For me that's not an issue, I only use zooms for reframing or in a very rare case to follow a bride when so comes down the isle, other then that I don't use it. Would the zoom be useless to follow fast action sports where you continuously need to reframe (like rally sports), I think yes, this lens is not build for that kind of fast action.

Would the noisy lens be an issue, again, I checked with the internal mike only, not with teh shotgun so can't comment yet how and if it picks up the zoom sound but for the inbuild micro, yes, it would be a problem if you have no other audio source then your camera and if it's a quite environment. Here also listen to the powerzoom in my second video, I think that's also pretty clear it's too loud.

Is it an issue for me, no, I mainly use external microphones, either connected through xlr to my camera or independent recorders like a tascam dr24, yamaha c24 etc. Since I only use the zoom to choose my frame and if I would use the internal micro I would not use the zoom when recording critical audio for sure.

Could the digital zoom be a issue, I"d say yes, with the stock lens at least, just look at the second video I posted and that should be pretty clear, the digital zoom seems to enhance the moire, if it's there. I guess you can use it with certain shots which don't display moire or aliasing but even then it looks like the image degrades, but I have not done any further test with frame grabs and magnifying them to see (and compare to a normal zoom at the same focal length) if it really looses detail or not, it only looks like that. Again next week I should have my adapterring to fit my primes because the digital zoom is really something I plan to use with those lenses and then I can say more about it.

Quote:
Is it safe for me to assume you are hyper critical about this?
Yes, it's safe to say that :) I knew the camera had issues with aliasing and moire but as long as it would be anything inbetween my 550d and my sony cx730 (and preferably closer to my cx730) I would be happy.

Am I happy with my camera so far, yes, but "so far" has just been a day. :)

Also, take my opinion for what it is, it's just the way I see it and that might be totally different how someone else would see it and also depends on what your end client is, I do plan to do more company videos with it but less weddings because it's too big to drag along all day. I just got the confirmation I can test my camera at an interview on a well lit stage on the 18th of Januari (a colleague of mine had that shoot planned and said I could come in for a test) so I know how it performs in those circumstanses as I plan to cover dance performances with it as well. As soon as I can share more personal experiences I sure will.

Quote:
What media are weddings delivered on? I am assuming DVD? In which case you give them a choice between HD and SD because, at least here in the states, many people still have a standard DVD player hooked up to their HD wide screen?
I deliver on dvd and blu-ray.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 02:22 PM   #12
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Re: Sony nex-ea50 moire and aliasing

In the few weddings I have done in my career, I have to say that moire and aliasing are far from the brides mind and IMO opinion would only be mentioned by her or someone else connected to the wedding if it ws really horrible but since most weddings are slow and fairly static (at least the ceremonys) for me it is really a none issue. Not to mention that I don't think Siny or any other manufacturer out there is going to let a product out that is that bad. Now while I say this I realize of course and have preached that no one piece of gear, camera, audio, editing whatever is all things to all people and even at a price 2 times or 4 times or 8 times as high as this camera is something can always be found to criticize. Now having said that, one must determine if this camera is one that can be worked with, be happy with, produce quality work with and bottom line, make money with while fulfilling the other demands I jsut mentioned.
So far I haven't seen anything so bad as to keep me away from the camera. Do I wish it had built in NDs or had a fater kit lens or a faster zoom? Sure, but it doesn't so I either learn to work with what it has or I don't get the camera. Even an old dog can learn new tricks and I think I can figure out how to use the camera to it's best quality.
The only place I have any concern at all is at receptions and since I'm probably going to get the SELP50 to go with it even that's not a big concern, so as soon as I get back from my trip, my favorite dealer is going to get somemore of my money.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 03:51 PM   #13
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Re: Sony nex-ea50 moire and aliasing

Noa, Thank you for the clarification. It was the term unusable that scared me. Especially since mine is due to arrive Tuesday. I can never imagine a case when I would use the built in Mic, and rarely even the shotgun. If the noise is not picked up by the shotgun then I am fine with that.

I have looked at your videos several times and like what I see. In the second one however, when you are shooting the roof tiles from a window, it seems your point of focus is in the foreground. The tiles beyond that are out of DOF so it was hard to judge those shots.

I came from the analog days. To me these cameras are digital wonders. Our old $30.000.00 BetaSP cameras could not match the image quality we are getting today for much less!

Chris, Good luck on your delivery.

Don, My VL312 arrived yesterday (ordered on Thursday) I think I am going to love it. The diffusion needs to be knocked way back, as you said. But that's ok, you can always go back but you can't add power when you need it.

Steve
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Old January 6th, 2013, 04:56 PM   #14
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Re: Sony nex-ea50 moire and aliasing

Gentlemen,

Here is how I deal with moire and aliasing in interviews; I shoot a ton of them. I know it does not apply to weddings but you said you’re not limited to that genre. Few of us are limited to just one thing. I cover all kinds of stuff.

I could not make this up if I tried. Around 1993 I went to Alabama, USA to shoot a two person interview. A male and a female. When they arrived on set the man was wearing a plaid sport coat, a pinstriped shirt, and a black and red checkered tie. The woman was wearing a bright red “power dress”! I about died right on the spot. Nothing was going to save me from Bozo the clown, his attire burst into life and her red dress was bleeding all over the place. The final delivery was VHS dups. Lesson learned.

To this day I have a very simple word document I forward to every client to give to the on camera subjects. It is a list of Wardrobe Suggestions for a Successful Video Shoot. And I get it to them as early as possible because many people not used to being on camera purchase new clothes just because they are going to be interviewed. You can’t imagine how well received it is. I hear it all the time once I am on set, “Hey that paper you sent me changed everything I was going to do.”. A little education and prevention goes a long way. I find amateur subjects want our input and guidance. I won’t comment on professional talent! The color red still scares me as much as herring bone even though it is not much of an issue today.

Steve
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Old January 6th, 2013, 05:45 PM   #15
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Re: Sony nex-ea50 moire and aliasing

(not to hijack this thread about the ea50, a camera i'm interested in as a possible b cam to my fs100 but...)

steve-

i read your response and smiled as i remembered my own omg-what-are-they-wearing moments.

one of my mantras i offer clients is:

"pre-production planning saves post-productions dollars"

perhaps you care to share your clothing info doc?

be well.

rob
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