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Sony NEX-EA50 (all variants)
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Old October 5th, 2013, 10:48 PM   #1
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Is the digital zoom lossless?

After shooting another job with my new camera I have a couple thoughts 1. I am starting to think if I had a lens that would just stay at f 4 that MIGHT be enough with the stock lens its pretty close to being enough light it only gets bad when I zoom in. so maybe that new 18-105 maybe for me. 2. Has anyone thought zooming the stock lens all the way out and using the digital zoom for short range stuff in order to keep a wider aperature? Is the digital zoom really lossless? Is it pretty good?Or unusable?
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Old October 5th, 2013, 11:35 PM   #2
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Re: Is the digital zoom lossless?

I found that if the picture is noisy because of boosting gain all the tiny little artifacts from gain will be larger and more noticeable when digitally zoomed. Any aliasing or moire will be larger as well. Think of a picture zoomed in photoshop all the imperfections are less noticeable when zoomed out but when zoomed in you can see the imperfections of the picture. You need to perform tests. If you are using ideal conditions for your shoot, then naturally you will be able to zoom in digitally with good results.
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Old October 5th, 2013, 11:39 PM   #3
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Re: Is the digital zoom lossless?

Hi Randy

In theory YES .. in practice NO ... Noa posted some clips a while back and they definitely are softer than a non zoomed shot ... The answer here is to do some shots at zero zoom and then step back a bit and do the same shot at 2X zoom and compare the results for yourself

I have been meaning to try that for a while now but eventually I'll also get around to it. I can see the usefulness as my 17 - 50 would now become a 34 - 100 ... nice!! Even my big super wide would go from 11-16 to 22- 32mm

I think the bottom line would be what you personally think and also whether it's going to DVD? My weddings are all SD DVD so I might get away with a 2X zoom with manual lenses!!

Chris
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Old October 6th, 2013, 03:08 AM   #4
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Re: Is the digital zoom lossless?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Johnson View Post
Is it pretty good?Or unusable?

No and no :)

Check out this post:Digital zoom test | Sony nex ea50 user blog where I did perform some tests, if you use the stocklens the digital zoom is worthless if you ask me, if you use sharp primes however you can get away with it if you don't mind the image softening up. I never use the digital zoom, I also have a panasonic gh3 which has a etc mode which magnifies the image by 2.5 so you have 2 different focal lengths with your zoom or prime lenses, the principle is the same as on the ea50, only that the ea50 can perform a slow zoom which is unique but when it comes to image quality it's like day and night compared to the gh3, the gh3 output's a MUCH better quality image when it's magnifying it's image, the same applies for the pana g6.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 03:14 PM   #5
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Re: Is the digital zoom lossless?

When I select digital zoom in the menu I can zoom further than optical zoom? What I'm doing wrong? Zooming with powerzoom or manual makes no difference.

With a prime lens I can digital zoom 2x. But can't find it with the stocklens to zoom further.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 03:28 PM   #6
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Re: Is the digital zoom lossless?

To be honest, I would never use digital zoom on the stocklens as it has a bigger impact on image degradation then with a primelens.

I could however use the digital zoom on the stocklens but I"m not sure how to set in in the menu since I don't have the camera anymore ;)

Here are 2 tests I did


.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 07:49 PM   #7
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Re: Is the digital zoom lossless?

Hi Noa

Did you get rid of your EA-50??? or has it just gone for service to Sony??

Chris
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Old December 6th, 2013, 02:54 AM   #8
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Re: Is the digital zoom lossless?

Yeah, sold it togeher with lenses to Tom who asked about the digital zoom in this thread. :) There was a lot to like about the camera but sizewise it was not the camera for me, I got really tired dragging it along all day at a wedding so now I have invested into Micro four third cameras en lenses which are like night and day if you compare size and weight, got myself several high quality m4/3 lenses to go with my gh3/g6 and bought the sony rx10 for all my run and gun stuff. That rx10 will be used on my last wedding for this year in a week so I"m very curious how it will perform. I know it's a risk as I hardly used it but I do have my other 2 panasonic camera's and my cx730 handicams to take over when needed and my xlr needs will be handled by a Tascam dr60

So now I have all winter to use the camera's on personal projects (most curious about the rx10 performance in general) so I"m fully prepared for the next wedding season. :)

Last edited by Noa Put; December 6th, 2013 at 07:04 AM.
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Old December 7th, 2013, 04:06 AM   #9
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Re: Is the digital zoom lossless?

Hey Noa

I went thru the Micro 2/3rds scenario too with Lumix GH1's that had been hacked so I had a decent bit rate but I just couldn't get to grips with the tiny form factor and awkwardness using a small DSLR to shoot video. I'm pretty happy with the EA-50's still and still prefer a "decent size" camera. What I have done is made up an ENG rig for the 2nd camera that I use at receptions and it is a simple aluminium frame under the EA-50 with a mini ball head on the frame under the lens and that clips into a spring loaded rod which goes into a waist belt. It takes all the front weight off the camera so I don't suffer any backache during long sequences like the dancing etc etc.

Chris
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Old December 8th, 2013, 07:30 AM   #10
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Re: Is the digital zoom lossless?

I'd like to see a picture of that Chris - I'm happy handholding the EA50 but am struggling with my DSLR rig - I get no probs with the EA50 even with a fairly heavy Canon lens on there, but my DSLR rig which is fairly minimal and uses a chest pad as opposed to a shoulder mount, gives me real backache, even after a short period of time - I like the sound of the spring rod/belt idea
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Old December 8th, 2013, 07:49 AM   #11
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Re: Is the digital zoom lossless?

Hi Pete

The original idea was from DVTec but they are really pricey EngRig full size shoulder system for camcorders - DVTEC

What I did is contact CineCity in India and asked them to supply me just the belt and rod from their rig

DSLR Shoulder Rig|Camera Mount|Proaim Alfa

I then made up a simple aluminium frame under the cam and stuck a mini ball head under it and that's it!!

Buying the rod and belt from India and just a mini ball head from eBay cost me less than $100!! The USA rig was something like $700!

Chris
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Old December 11th, 2013, 10:38 AM   #12
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Re: Is the digital zoom lossless?

Tom,

To use the digital zoom with the stock lens it takes two steps:

1. Turn on the D-Zoom

2. Then you set the zoom lever to D zoom.

Randy,

The digital zoom seems to be driving you crazy ;) You want it to double the functionality of your lenses. It is not going to do that. You have mentioned several times that it plays into your plans for lens selection. It should not. Forget it is there when it comes to lens purchases.

I'll summarize my take on it. Am I glad the function is there? Yes. Do I use it often? No, I avoid it. I will change lenses every time I need to even when I could, in theory, push a button instead.

In a perfect world like bright daylight it is pretty damn good. In any other situation where you must induce noise with gain or the like, it falls apart quickly. It is not a substitute for good glass.

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Old October 19th, 2016, 12:54 PM   #13
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Re: Is the digital zoom lossless?

with the stocklens and digital zoom.
I thought i could zoom 11x and after that 2x digital zoom so I have 22x zoom.

I tried this but, maybe I'm wrong, after zooming 11x it stops, the digital zoom doesn't starts after this.

So you have to go into the menu and change this? It doesn't go into 1 long "zoom"?

I tried all in the menu I think but no luck.

I have to film again a soccer game. Nothing paid or something. I filmed with my sony hxr-nx3 which has a 20x zoom and 40x intelligent zoom and a fast lens.

But shooting on a sunny day (which happened before) the LCd screen is not usable and the viewfinder is not so good I found.

I like the extension loupe for sunny days from the ea50. I tries to attach this tube on my nx3 with some tape. It worked but it was not the best solution. the tape begun to loose
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Old October 20th, 2016, 12:25 PM   #14
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Re: Is the digital zoom lossless?

Try setting up the digital zoom on the rocker and using the zoom on the lens for the optical zoom. Then when the optical zoom nears its limits switch to the rocker.
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Old October 20th, 2016, 12:46 PM   #15
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Re: Is the digital zoom lossless?

thx Randy! so optical zooming manually with the zoom ring and digital zooming with the zoom rocker?
a combination of these 2 you mean?
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