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


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Old April 2nd, 2015, 05:02 PM   #1
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I'm going to compare EA50U and EA50M

Hey Gentlemen,

I have received my new EA50M a few days ago. I will post more information and footage when time allows. Right now I am buried in post production. I have not tested the two cameras yet.

Some quick initial impressions:

Weird stuff – I will get this out of the way first. When I unpacked it I noticed the ID plate on the bottom of the camera still says Model # EA50U. The invoice says EA50M and the serial numbers match. I wondered if they sent me the old model with a “G” lens on it? Nope, it is the EA50M, it defiantly has a different sensor in it. That might not be all. Get this, when I fired it up my first reaction to the viewfinder was OMG they changed the sensor a lot. No again. The dramatic change I see is on the LCD screen. When you go to post the image you shoot is not as dramatically different as the LCD would have you believe. I expected the LCDs to be the same but these two are not. The new one has a beautiful image on it. It looks like an EA50 profile with pumped up saturation and color but it is misleading. That’s not what it shoots. I don’t know what that means? There are no settings other than normal and bright unless I am missing something. Is it a new LCD? I don’t know, it is a big difference.? I do know the two sensors are different as we expected, but I will let you see for yourself when I shoot test footage.

I was also skeptical about the new 18-105mm F4 “G” lens. Not anymore but I will tell you more after I have used it. It is a BIG step up from a kit lens.

I know some of you guys are hoping I can shed some light on exactly what changed with this model because there is so little information available on it. I will try but for now I have a lot of questions myself. When I am able to post footage maybe we can figure it out together.

More to follow,

Steve
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Old April 2nd, 2015, 07:35 PM   #2
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Re: I'm going to compare EA50U and EA50M

Awesome Steve

I think all the enthusiasts here will appreciate your comments but so far they seem to be confusing so we will wait until you have a gap in your bust schedule for your practical test? Sounds like Sony have turned up the LCD brightness to make it appear that the new sensor is really good!! That does have it's advantages as you can see the subject better and maybe peaking is also clearer.

No rush but we will wait with bated breath!!

Chris
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Old April 2nd, 2015, 11:42 PM   #3
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Re: I'm going to compare EA50U and EA50M

please, just make sure EVERY settings on them are the same. mainly color settings.
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Old April 3rd, 2015, 10:52 AM   #4
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Re: I'm going to compare EA50U and EA50M

Awesome and thank you!

I mainly wonder how the original EA5U at full wide f/3.5 compares to low light against the new EA50M at full wide at f/4.0.
I fully expect the M version to be better at low light if any zoom is involved since the U quickly loses light once any zoom is applied

And how aliasing and moire compare
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Old April 7th, 2015, 12:02 PM   #5
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Re: I'm going to compare EA50U and EA50M

Steve I'm also curious as to your findings comparing the old EA50H and EA50M.

I just purchased a EA50M today, but don;t have the EA50H to compare it to.
I will though be sharing my findings about the camera from a fresh perspective.

I currently shoot with Sony NX5Us and some video and photos with Canon 60D.

I'll be using some of my EF lenses (Canon 50mm 1.4, Tamron 17-50mm Di VC 2.8, Rokinon 85mm 1.4, and Sigma 18-200 3.5-6.3 (slow lens) with Metabones adapter as well as the stock 18-105 f4 lens.

Funny that I think I saw Chris call this lens slower than the older stock lens. I would actually call this a faster lens due to the fact that it's a constant f4 aperture. While the older lens, while 3.5 stops down to 5.6 at full zoom.
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Old April 7th, 2015, 07:02 PM   #6
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Re: I'm going to compare EA50U and EA50M

Yeah the EA50M lens is slower at full wide (3.5 vs 4.0), but as you know the 18-200 quickly loses light as soon as you zoom so it's not at f/3.5 very long. If the "M" does indeed have a better sensor than it should be noticably better coupled with the constant 4.0 lens. But most of us are skeptical about the sensor really being differnent. Steven is kind enough to do some tests as time allows.
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Old April 7th, 2015, 07:45 PM   #7
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Re: I'm going to compare EA50U and EA50M

Hi Guys

That's a technical quandary actually ! The new lens is slower at wide but heaps faster at full zoom so what would you call it ? It's definitely a faster lens at full zoom (even at 105mm I think the stock lens will be a bit worse than F4 ...as far as I remember zooming half way seemed to be closer to F5 and at 200 it was definitely F6.3 .... Unless you are always full wide, the 18-200 would very quickly lose the small advantage it has.

Waiting for Steve to give us a comparison now between his old EA-50U and the new EA-50M

Chris
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Old April 8th, 2015, 12:31 AM   #8
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Re: I'm going to compare EA50U and EA50M

I will report some test results tomorrow. I have test video to show you. I do not have good news about the EA50M having an improved sensor!

Steve
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Old April 8th, 2015, 12:36 AM   #9
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Re: I'm going to compare EA50U and EA50M

Also, Michael (when it arrives) and anyone else that has an EA50M, please look at the ID plate on the bottom of the camera where the serial number is and tell me the "model number". Mine says EA50U. I want to know if anyone has one that says EA50M. Very important to me thank you.

Steve
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Old April 8th, 2015, 11:16 AM   #10
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Re: I'm going to compare EA50U and EA50M

Hello Gentlemen,
I went looking for trouble and I found it!
The EA50 has a reputation for having problems with aliasing and moiré. I have been shooting with it for two years and it has not been a problem. I have seen it a few times but not severely. Obviously I was not too concerned or I would not have purchased a second one. The new model of the EA50 is the EA50M. They are identical cameras with one exception. The new EA50M is said to have a new and improved sensor. I read that the new sensor is better in low light and is supposed to be video designed to reduce problems based on sensors from still cameras.
I have limited time right now, so to test the cameras I went into my studio. I picked out about 10 garments that could be problematic when recorded on video. I was literally trying to create aliasing and moiré. If it was going to happen this test should do it. I was also comparing three cameras under the controlled circumstances of my studio. I wanted to look for a match or mismatch, image quality etc. Please comment on these things too. The video is self explanatory. I am going to hold my thoughts at the moment but I would appreciate all of your comments. I am not going to keep this video active for very long. I don’t even want it on a public forum at all. I told you guys I would let you know what I found so I figure I owe it to my fellow DVI community members to give you a look at this. I am not pleased with what I found. I will be glad to answer questions.
I will provide a lot more information later; I’m in hurry right now.
Also, Michael and anyone else with an EA50M would you please look at the ID plate on the bottom of the camera and tell me what model it says it is? Mine says EA50U.
Quote from Sony web site on EA50M:
• “Its new Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor was designed for shooting Full HD video and 16.1 megapixel high-quality still photos without artifacts common to still camera sensors.”

Steve

Password: EA50M

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Old April 8th, 2015, 12:05 PM   #11
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Re: I'm going to compare EA50U and EA50M

Steven thanks for the posting.

Quick question...
You mentioned that all cameras had the same settings and the EA50M and EA50H both had the same stock 18-200mm lenses mounted.

Was the sharpness set to be the same in both EA50 cameras?
I ask because the EA50M images looked much sharper than the EA50H images.

Also, the exposure looked very different between both EA50M and EA50H cameras on the coat shots, with the EA50H looking quite a bit darker in exposure.

Thanks again for taking the time to do some quick tests.
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Old April 8th, 2015, 01:04 PM   #12
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Re: I'm going to compare EA50U and EA50M

Hi Michael,

I double checked the detail setting, it is the same. I did not go through every setting on every profile but I did on PP1. I think all factory settings are identical.

Here is my quick take. It is a different sensor, maybe sharper? I am not sure yet but maybe. I have a lot of Canon "L" glass. When I shoot with those I definitely get an increase in sharpness over Sony. I should, some of those lenses cost as much as a camera.

I think this is what we are seeing in the video. At F6.3 those images are a little under exposed. I did not add gain because I wanted a 0DB comparison. The increase in brightness on the EA50M image is the amount of improvement in the new sensor. It clearly gathered more light, set at the same aperture.

I am disappointed that the moire was not improved. In fact on that one shirt that blew up with rainbows it was worse on the M. That shirt is deceiving on tape. It has a texture of fine micro dots for lack of a better term. I think that is what did it. If it was regular cotton it would not have blown up.

You will love your new camera. There is a bunch of us here that help each other out. There are a few complaints about moire but not a single post where someone said it completely ruined a shot. It does concern me though. Especially because you can't see it in the viewfinder. I wish they would have fixed it.

Here is a link to an Alister Chapman article on aliasing and moire. He is highly respected. He is talking about 2K and 4K but he gives a good explanation of what happens on any sensor to cause it. This issue is not limited to the EA50 of course:

Aliasing and Moiré. What is it and what can be done about it? | XDCAM-USER.COM



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Old April 8th, 2015, 01:29 PM   #13
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Re: I'm going to compare EA50U and EA50M

the problem that you reference is in the lens not the camera I read a review on that lens and that was one of the complaints most users found.
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Old April 8th, 2015, 01:44 PM   #14
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Re: I'm going to compare EA50U and EA50M

Steve thanks for the additional info.
From what you are reporting the EA50M seems to be quite a bit more sensitive than the older EA50H. As well as sharper, at least to me. If the new sensor is more sensitive and sharper then this might be why more movies showed up. It seems that Sony still decided to go with the mechanical shutter for photos, instead of optimizing it for video to reduce aliasing.

Are there any filters out there to cut down the moire being filmed. I saw one that goes on Canon sensors and seemed to work great.

If I did have any moire issues I could fix them in post in FCPX. But I always prefer to shoot clean and leave post for enhancing not correcting.
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Old April 8th, 2015, 02:27 PM   #15
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Re: I'm going to compare EA50U and EA50M

Aliasing takes place on the sensor. On high end cameras they put an optical low pass filter in front of the sensor to reduce it. I believe there are no traditional filters available for any camera to fix it.

Steve
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