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


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Old January 21st, 2013, 08:13 PM   #1
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2x zoom on camera

For those of you who have been using the EA50 with a decent fixed lens, does the 2x zoom rocker on the camera give you a clean image when you zoom in? Sony claims it is lossless and is one of the features that really interests me in this camera over the FS100. It would allow me to do interviews with a low light fixed lens, get the shallow DOF I want and not have to physically move the camera when I want to vary the shot. I have been reading pro and con on this issue and would like more feedback. Thanks.
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Old January 21st, 2013, 09:12 PM   #2
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Re: 2x zoom on camera

Hi Stephen

It actually looks pretty good BUT the manual does in fact state that the image will lose resolution despite "lossless" claims .... It's pretty hard to notice in good lighting and I doubt whether any viewer would notice but the bottom line is yes, the image will have some losses. I'm sure there is a few examples of digital 2X zoom on this forum already. I remember seeing a couple so that might help you make your mind up

Chris
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Old January 21st, 2013, 11:57 PM   #3
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Re: 2x zoom on camera

I can't speak to the EA50, but this feature is showing up across the Sony lines, so I do have some experience with it... A57, A77, RX100, among others...

It is not as sharp as native optical, but it also doesn't degrade so noticeably that you're likely to be offended by the results.

Think of it as a digital doubler - and since I believe the number of pixel sites on the sensor is likely quite a lot larger than the "resolution", there's data there for the processing to munch on and create a fairly clean image result.

Of course if you can stay in the native optical range, that's your "best" option, but having that additional digital "range" does provide a little more "oomph" to your lens range that most viewers will not see as a "bad" image, but consider that it looks quite good.

Hope that is somewhat helpful.
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 12:58 AM   #4
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Re: 2x zoom on camera

Hi Dave

Probably if you are stuck it's a nice feature and also obviously designed to be able to zoom with primes..I can see uses where you are jammed in a corner with nowhere to go and the lady to the left has the rim of her hat in your frame...a tiny digital zoom gets you out of the mess but yes it's not available if the power zoom lens is on ..that's optical only.

The EA-50 has an APS-C sensor which is 16.7 (or 16.5) megapixels so technically the image is way bigger than 1920x1080 so in theory you are not zooming but cropping to a smaller FOV....nevertheless all theory aside it DOES drop off ...end of story but still would be useful IF it was the only option to get out of a mess with a prime lens on the camera.

Chris
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 09:49 AM   #5
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Re: 2x zoom on camera

I used the digital zoom the other day at an event I covered, using a 50mm , 1.4 Nikkor. Not too bad for this doc.

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Old January 22nd, 2013, 11:02 AM   #6
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Re: 2x zoom on camera

Hi Dan, that looks pretty clean. If you can remember, did you do complete 2x zoom or somewhere between 1x - 2x?
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 11:20 AM   #7
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Re: 2x zoom on camera

Hi Stephen,

That was fully zoomed in, but at the start, not quite fully zoomed out. I was about 11 ft. from the subject with the 50mm. I have another shoot tonight at which I will use the Sigma 19mm, f2.8.

I love not having to lug around and set up lighting!

Dan
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 02:55 AM   #8
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Re: 2x zoom on camera

It depends a lot on the subject you shoot, the digital zoom magnifies any artifacts that are in the image such as moire and aliasing, you see the image turn a bit softer when you zoom in which can be fixed but artifacts that are present can ruin your footage for sure. It can be used but with care. In the coalmine video I did a while ago there is a shot with these sheep rubbing it's head against some fine branches, I did use the 2x magnifier to check and could see the image falling apart on all the fine detail.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 02:41 PM   #9
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Re: 2x zoom on camera

By all rights this photo should be as soft as you could ever imagine. I put more stuff in front of the processor than you ever should. I was testing a new metabones adapter last night. This is an unsharpened still.

EA50 / at 2X digital zoom, metabones EF to EX adapter, Canon 2X optical doubler, Canon lens at 350MM = 2800MM x 1.5 = 4200MM

Could my math possibly be correct? That seems outrageous. And of course, there is 250,000 miles of compressed atmosphere between me and the subject. I think it turned out OK.

But to answer your question, I am in the "no average client is going to notice the 2X digital degradation" camp. It is a great tool to have available.

Steve

I will post information about the Metabones (standard version, not speed booster) later. It is not a perfect world.
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2x zoom on camera-moon.jpg  
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 06:47 PM   #10
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Re: 2x zoom on camera


The Winter Light video has several digital zoom sections, applied to a 24mm nikkor and the kit lens. Softening does occur but only slightly. It's a god send for framing. Works like a charm. Seen below is another clip using DZ on the kit lens.

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Old January 23rd, 2013, 07:06 PM   #11
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Re: 2x zoom on camera

Nice shooting Robert!

I challenge anyone to pick out every scene with 2X. I can't see it enough to be sure. If you can't see it it's not there. At least not with Vimeo compression. Do you see it a lot more in HD on a real screen? I don't think it stands out at all on the little bit I have tested.

In three weeks I have shot less than an hour of footage. It is all dumb test shots. I can't wait for a chance to get out of this office and go shoot for fun!

Steve
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 09:09 PM   #12
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Re: 2x zoom on camera

Thank you for the kind comments. DZ can be very effective when you are able to focus carefully. It really works. In the two clips, the ducks taking off was full DZ with the 24. The closeup of the ice on the branch is full DZ on the kit lens extending it to 400mm. In Undercurrent, the two real close in ice shots plus the dam shots are full DZ as well as the last minute of the stream shots as the ice layers seen are tiny save that the kit lens with DZ makes them look large. The 50 really works well and the DZ has become indispensable in shooting. I will be shooting some bluegrass musicians this week and DZ will be used for closeups without question. Best

Bob
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Old January 24th, 2013, 02:26 AM   #13
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Re: 2x zoom on camera

With the 18-200 lens at least I would never use the digital zoom for sure, I have posted a sample here before where you clearly saw what negative effects that DZ had, I"ll try to post it again this evening in this thread and also a shot of some branches from the coalmine video where you can see the side effects of that DZ on the stocklens. Especially on that coalmine video on a big screen in it's native format those branches where full of artifacts. You could see the aliasing on the branches as well without the DZ but the DZ only magnified it. If I would use the power zoom to get the same frame compared to a 2x digital zoom then the problem didn't show.

IF there is moire or aliasing visible in a shot the DZ will make that only much more visible, if you have got a image with no very fine detail then the image only gets a bit softer. That's why I suggested to use the zoom with care.
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Old January 24th, 2013, 08:40 AM   #14
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Re: 2x zoom on camera

Thanks for the shots, Robert. Good work! I could not see any difference with the DZ. Perhaps in some fine detail subjects, degradation might occur, as Noa points out. But I certainly won't be shy about using the DZ.
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Old January 24th, 2013, 08:45 AM   #15
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Re: 2x zoom on camera

Quote:
Perhaps in some fine detail subjects, degradation might occur
It will occur, not might, and it's painfully visible on a big screen.
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