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


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Old August 30th, 2013, 11:38 PM   #1
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Moire and aliasing (best in-camera settings)

I'm wondering if anyone has experience/advice/tests with the EA50 MANUAL detail settings, specifically for minimizing-reducing moire and aliasing artifacts. I would rather (re) sharpen in post. Having a difficult time dealing with these 'DSLR' weaknesses!!!
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Old August 31st, 2013, 12:40 AM   #2
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Re: Moire and aliasing (best in-camera settings)

Hi Jon

First things first. What mode are you shooting in? I shoot everything in 50i and then de-interlace in my NLE during edits. I have occasionally seen the odd bit of moire on items that but have a very tight pattern but they are rare. I shoot a lot in Churches with continuous brick patterns and it never appears there either.

As for aliasing never seen it in any footage to be worried about it and on either issue the clients have never said a thing. Watch a bit of TV. Drama shoots and any professionally produced series and watch carefully for moire and you will see tons of it produced by cameras costing many many times more than the EA-50

I think Noa showed an example way back on this forum of roof tiles with moire .. I have an idea that Noa drops his detail setting quite low and then sharpens in post ... I just use the PP3 setting with saturation lifted +2 indoors and +4 outdoors and it works for me but I leave detail alone. Most of my weddings go down to SD for a DVD so in Sony Vegas I add a tiny amount of sharpen.

Read this post from Noa : Sony nex-ea50 moire and aliasing

Chris
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Old August 31st, 2013, 03:56 AM   #3
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Re: Moire and aliasing (best in-camera settings)

Why use interlaced format on a progressive camera?
Use 25p or 50p.

To avoid moirés:
I used PP3 at the beginnig but had some bad experience with shirts with fine patterns.
After that I just turned down the detail to -3/-4 and used one of the abel cine profiles converted from the FS100 to the EA50. It was the AB_JR45_CINE2. That was better then.

Now I bought the FS100... ;)
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Old August 31st, 2013, 05:00 AM   #4
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Re: Moire and aliasing (best in-camera settings)

Hi Erik

If the EA-50 is a progressive camera then why is the primary format 50i ?? I've shot weddings in 25P ...awful stutter when you pan and also in 50P ..great for slomo but other than that I get the best results from 50i and it seems to be the safest route too. I'm quite happy with it!!

I have done tests on quite a few cams using every format and then rendering back to MPEG2 and randomly putting the clips onto a DVD and I cannot visually tell the difference and neither can many others who I asked to watch them too. For me it's the simplest and easiest route ... now if shooting in 50P gave me an extra two exposure stops THEN I would shoot in 50P

Why do you shoot progressive?

Chris
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Old August 31st, 2013, 05:17 AM   #5
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Re: Moire and aliasing (best in-camera settings)

I shoot progressive, because the camera is progressive.
The interlaced mode is more or less a simulated interlaced mode.

Nobody works with interlaced anymore. No flatscreen/LCD can show
interlaced formats. They deinterlace again.

There is really no reason for going interlaced anymore.
I shoot 25p since 2007 and have never had any problems with awful shutter
or anything similar. If I had to shoot something with fast movements or pans
I would go 50p.

In the end it's your choice and if you and your clients are happy. Why not?
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Old August 31st, 2013, 08:09 AM   #6
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Re: Moire and aliasing (best in-camera settings)

Chris, thanks for posting the link to Noa's thread.

I only shoot progressive. My work (primarily documentaries and non-fiction shorts for non-profit agencies) goes online, broadcast, theatrical HD digital projection (and DVD and Blu-ray of course),. So there is no reason for me to work interlaced. One of the main reasons I purchased the EA50 is that it shoots 28Mbps full HD in 60P.

Most of my work is 'spontaneous' run and gun going into people's homes and offices and shooting IMMEDIATELY without much time for 'setup'. I have to shoot what's there, and VERY quickly. In 5 years and hundreds of hours of tape working this way (30P progressive with the Canon XH A1) I can't remember even one instance I had an issue with moire or aliasing. But with the EA50 it's all over the place. Shot some stuff last week, and I could see issues everywhere. I'm just seeing stuff I've never had to deal with before in 40 years of shooting, either in 16mm, super8mm, super-VHS, or DV.

I've also noticed it is MORE pronounced when hand-held versus tripod, and this worries me since I'm NOT a tripod shooter. I may have to switch to at least a monopod if I'm not able to reduce these DSLR deficiencies IN the camera by changing the detail settings, which was my question in the original post. There ARE options in the EA50 detail manual settings which might help! These manual settings exist for a reason, right??? I just thought someone on this board may have had some experience with these settings.

If there is a way to reduce moire and aliasing IN camera, before shooting, that obviously is the way to go. So I think I'm going to have to do some testing on my own.

I've been shooting with pp3 for very flat image, which I love, and grading everything in Premiere Pro (my preferred method).

One thing I haven't tried yet is to shoot 30P with the EA50 and see if that "decreases" these DSLR deficiencies. I only have occasional requirements for slow-motion, so maybe returning to 30p would help me out here.
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Old August 31st, 2013, 09:19 AM   #7
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Re: Moire and aliasing (best in-camera settings)

As I wrote before, try the JR45CINE2 from Abel Cine which was transferred to the EA50 here:

Porting Abel cine profiles from the Sony fs100 to the Sony nex-ea50 | Sony nex ea50 user blog

I did not have that much moire problems since then. It's specialy the detail settings which adress the moire, but you can't avoid it. It's often easier to avoid small patterns (i.e. shirts with small patterns).

In the end, I purchased a used FS100 and will sell my EA50...
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Old August 31st, 2013, 02:45 PM   #8
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Re: Moire and aliasing (best in-camera settings)

Well, I just finished 2 hours of testing EA50, on some difficult outdoor patterns, etc. On tripod, not so bad at all. Pretty minor stuff, so overall I pleased. Handheld (with stabilization), on about half the material, moire and aliasing are ugly. So moving the camera is a no no in some instances.

Slightly less garbage shooting in 30p versus 60p, so that was wonderful to discover. Detail is knocked down to -2 and -3, which helps immensely. As many others have confirmed (and in reference to DSLR video in general), default sharpening is way too high!
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Old August 31st, 2013, 03:15 PM   #9
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Re: Moire and aliasing (best in-camera settings)

Jon,

If I remember correctly aren't you using a Metabones adapter and a Canon lens? Did you test it with that set up VS. the stock lens? Maybe the speed booster is magnifying the problem?

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Old August 31st, 2013, 05:12 PM   #10
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Re: Moire and aliasing (best in-camera settings)

Steven, today I tested with just the stock lens. Tomorrow I'm testing with the Metabones and Canon zoom. Last weekend I did shoot about ten minutes at a wedding with the metabones and canon 24-105 (only in wide angle, 24mm), and I must say, no tripod, was dancing with the quests, and it did look SUPER... The stabilizer in the Canon is incredibly good. And getting extra f/stop is incredible. Very little moire-aliasing garbage........
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Old August 31st, 2013, 09:01 PM   #11
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Re: Moire and aliasing (best in-camera settings)

Hi Guys

Maybe I'm running behind the times here. I admit that I haven't shot any footage on my EA-50's in progressive. The reason is that when I still had my Panasonics, I shot a wedding in 50P and found that the centre of the images (especially cheekbones on faces) had quite bad pixellation so I simply stopped shooting progressive on the Panny's and stuck with 50i

Now all my weddings are downconverted to SD DVD as well and I was under the impression (which could be totally wrong) that domestic DVD players NEEDED interlaced VOB files and if connected to an LCD TV just stripped the interlacing so the TV go a progressive signal. Am I wrong here??? My preset render option in Sony Vegas for "DVD PAL" makes an MPEG2 file that is interlaced with lower field first.

Will domestic DVD players play VOB files that are progressive without any issues .... maybe I'm running behind the times now?? For those that are supplying clients with footage on DVD, are you rendering your progressive footage out to MPEG2 still as progressive and is the DVD player quite happy with it??

Chris
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Old August 31st, 2013, 09:46 PM   #12
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Re: Moire and aliasing (best in-camera settings)

Chris,

I've been rendering out progressive MPEG 2 (VOBs through Adobe Encore) for several years now without a problem for SD DVD. More than half of my clients now also order a Blu-ray as well as a standalone MP4 HD file which I deliver on a low cost thumb-drive. Everything progressive now, for quite a few years. I talk them into HD final because it's over 300% better video than standard definition. Why shoot in HD and then deliver in SD? All of my commercial documentary work delivery, progressive (for both DVD, Blu-ray, and broadcast. Haven't dealt with interlaced since 2007.
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Old September 1st, 2013, 01:33 AM   #13
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Re: Moire and aliasing (best in-camera settings)

Thanks Jon

I have been slow on the DVD side cos I hoped that brides would gravitate to BD but sadly not!

Yep, on my own DVD player it works perfectly thank you with the MPEG2's rendered progressive ..I'm not sure how the player might react to a CRT TV which is interlaced but shucks we don't even sell them here so those cases would be isolated !

Shooting progressive on the Sony gives a nice result without any issues to so I might as well sick to 1080 50P BUT how do you guys get around the fact that SD DVD files don't support 50P?? When I render in Sony Vegas the decoder does the MPEG2 file at 25 fps not 50 so half the frames are discarded by the decoder.

Chris
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Old September 1st, 2013, 05:41 AM   #14
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Re: Moire and aliasing (best in-camera settings)

Hi - haven't contributed for a while as still very busy in corporate land. I also use NEX-5N's (same sensor apparently as the EA50) and a77's for pick ups and inserts and I originally was very worried about the EA50 aliasing/moire when I first took delivery.

Interestingly, direct comparison of the 'consumer' cameras and the EA50 shows that aliasing/moire is less 'visible' on the NEX-5N/a77. BUT the sharpness (detail) of the 5N/a77 is less when you start zooming into pixels. I shoot a great deal of stuff with the detail dialled right down to -7 which does make for a less 'jiggly pixels' result. But I really wish you could dial in even less detail on the EA50 (-14!).

-7 works for me and none of my clients is telling me that the video is soft. This opens up the whole discussion of perceived sharpness - e.g. HD TV drama often shot amazingly soft - and, of course, HD can often be too sharp!

If I do have a really serious aliasing issue that's unavoidable on the EA50 (e.g. by reframing or changing subject distance/focusing) then I'd use the NEX-5N/a77. Interestingly, I haven't got into that situation yet.

BUT... and this is a really important BUT... I have now shot a lot of shows with the EA50's for big picky corporates who know what they're looking at and not one has complained/noticed the generally occasional and small amount of aliasing/moire. In fact, I'm regularly getting compliments on how good the footage looks.

I must admit the aliasing/moire did exercise me initially but the proof of the pudding, in my sphere, is are the clients happy with it. And so far so good.

There are a number of aliasing/moire comparisons on the web of EA50 vs FS100 vs FS700 and I'm not sure that the FS100 is significantly better - I was expecting much more from the no line-skipped sensor in the FS100. Perhaps someone can say definitively how much better the FS100 is???

Now the FS700 is, of course, line skipped but I don't mind especially with the paths to 4k - now there's a whole new topic!

One final thing is we use a wide range of Sony and old Minolta glass. Aliasing/moire seems to be more of an issue with the ultra sharp primes vs, say, the run of the mill zooms. Did some stuff on the old f3.5 Minolta 50mm macro (because we needed perfectly distortion-free repro of some documents) and finally ended up doing it on a Minolta zoom as it was a tiny bit less sharp and that mitigated a lot of the aliasing/moire.

Regs, Neil.
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Old September 1st, 2013, 11:22 AM   #15
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Re: Moire and aliasing (best in-camera settings)

Thank you for your input Richard. Much appreciated!

I'm still just beginning my journey with the EA50. I purchased the camera primarily because of its form factor. It's NOT a DSLR body, with all that required RIG garbage needed, which would be totally useless for me as a documentary filmmaker. It works and feels like a real video camera! The LCD is incredibly sharp and useful. So in this respect I am extremely pleased so far.

I've turned down my sharpness to -3 using the kit zoom lens and that has lessened the moire-aliasing issue for me, particularly if on a tripod. I may go to -4. From my initial tests, -7 with the kit lens in wide angle is way too soft. But again, I haven't really begun my Premiere Pro sharpening tests, so I won't know exactly what will work for me. The NEW Premiere Pro-After Effects Sapphire plugin pack includes a brand new and improved smart-sharpening filter which blows away the standard Adobe unsharp mask method. I will be performing tests soon. Again, I would rather bring back some sharpness in post. Interestingly, I never had to deal with this nonsense with my Canon XH A1 and XL1. But this IS the world of low cost DSLR they say!

Handheld is a slightly different and more difficult story, but I will have to learn to live with it. Again, the form factor is absolutely beautiful with the EA50 (as long as you have some weight on the back of the shoulder pad). EA50 steadyshot, as I've noted elsewhere, could be a LOT better, nothing like the old Canons. I miss this the most.

I'm also using the Canon 24-105 with metabones adapter, which is much sharper than the kit lens and much more beautiful bokeh and versatile. Here I will be turning down sharpness to the full -7. Have to, or it's a wreck waiting to happen. I will be in need of a wider zoom soon and am researching that now. Neither the Canon or the SONY kit lens is wide enough for the kind of interiors I do. I have no need for primes at the moment.

Overall, for a $3,000 camera (not including the metabones adapter and Canon L glass), this is the best bang for the buck out there. And it's not a still camera distinguished as a video camera. As you noted, the footage is absolutely stunning..........
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