Sony NEX-VG10 AVCHD E-Mount Lens Camcorder - Page 30 at DVinfo.net

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Sony NEX-VG10 / VG20 / VG30 / VG900
Interchangeable lens AVCHD camcorders using E-Mount lenses.


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Old September 24th, 2010, 01:25 AM   #436
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
PS: I used AF on the V1 and it was great, although I'm well aware that AF is a taboo option to many!
This is definitely true, but I must confess: I shoot a lot of run n' gun and I actually do use autofocus a lot on the EX and the CX550. The auto features are pretty smart, and I've sort of learned the situations in which they can't be trusted. For that, it is so quick to pull the EX lens to MF and tweak it, and the CX has on-screen "touch focus" which is magic. I'm not proud.
Sony definitely has good "smart auto" stuff- great to hear that they're using it in the VG10.
BTW, I was going to resist and wait for the VG11, then I noticed that the Sony site had the VG10 in stock again...
I was powerless.
It took, like, 12 sec to drink the KoolAid. It should arrive Monday.
P.S.
I'm always concerned about low light perfomance in these smaller cams- here's a terrific candlelit short, shot with the VG. The images look fantastic. Sound track is good too- very creepy :)

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Old September 24th, 2010, 04:03 AM   #437
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Once lenses were designed (inner-focus) to make AF faster and more accurate -- the direct connection to the focus elements was eliminated thus almost forcing AF to be the only way one can focus. Thankfully, DSP can now read the chip -- divide the pixels into zones -- and the compute the contrast in each.

Then using some process I don't understand, zones with the highest contrast, become the zones used for focus control. Now as I read the description, the motor in the lens makes minor steps. If contrast increases, then focus is getting sharper. If contrast gets lower, the stepping is reversed. (We can't see these steps.)

Now, in a way I don't understand, the zones track a portion of the image. Since they track the object, they follow its movement. As they track, they keep maximize contrast.

When an object moves off the frame, the focus is NOT changed for a period of time. If in this period, another object is "captured" then focus is smoothly changed to the new object.

This "locking" occurs even if someone walks in front of the camera or the camera pans from one subject to another. With a quick pan, the camera will not try to focus on the background -- and the more shallow the DOF, the less likely the camera will even try to focus on the background (or a person walking close to the camera.

When you press the FORCE FOCUS button, the stepping motor runs through its entire range to find the best focus.

As you say, there are times this can't work. My black cat in a CU simply has no contrast to measure. :)
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Old September 24th, 2010, 05:46 AM   #438
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UPDATE: Sony is correct. If you manually focus on a distant object, you can indeed zoom back and closer objects and they will be in focus.

You can zoom back to the distant object and it remains in focus.

But, if you zoom into the closer object -- focus will be lost.

This means you can zoom into a subject -- guitar strings for example so it is large and easier to focus on -- and then zoom back to frame -- the player.

You can then start to shoot and know you can safely zoom back into the strings.

Thank you Robert!

PS: AF offers you the option of zooming freely.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 08:01 AM   #439
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Young View Post
This is definitely true, but I must confess: I shoot a lot of run n' gun and I actually do use autofocus a lot on the EX and the CX550. The auto features are pretty smart, and I've sort of learned the situations in which they can't be trusted. For that, it is so quick to pull the EX lens to MF and tweak it, and the CX has on-screen "touch focus" which is magic. I'm not proud.
Sony definitely has good "smart auto" stuff- great to hear that they're using it in the VG10.
BTW, I was going to resist and wait for the VG11, then I noticed that the Sony site had the VG10 in stock again...
I was powerless.
It took, like, 12 sec to drink the KoolAid. It should arrive Monday.
P.S.
I'm always concerned about low light perfomance in these smaller cams- here's a terrific candlelit short, shot with the VG. The images look fantastic. Sound track is good too- very creepy :)

Dolls - NEX VG10 low light test on Vimeo
Moire badly at 50 seconds, just like the Canon.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 08:17 AM   #440
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
UPDATE: Sony is correct. If you manually focus on a distant object, you can indeed zoom back and closer objects and they will be in focus.

You can zoom back to the distant object and it remains in focus.

But, if you zoom into the closer object -- focus will be lost.
I just want to be sure I understand what you mean. Are you saying that if I focus on an object while the lens is zoomed OUT, and then zoom IN, the object remains in focus. BUT if I zoom IN and focus, and then zoom out, it will be out of focus?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
Then using some process I don't understand, zones with the highest contrast, become the zones used for focus control.
I think most auto-focus systems that don't use an active system (i.e. bounce some sort of radio/light beam off the object) search for maximum contrast in a scene to determine when it is "in focus." Even face recognition systems I think first find the face, then try to get maximum contrast in the region that is designated the "face"

HowStuffWorks "How Autofocus Cameras Work"
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Old September 24th, 2010, 10:56 AM   #441
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Moire badly at 50 seconds, just like the Canon.
Noticeable in the small area of the dolls dress, yep...

FWIW, I was watching the news the other night, I presume they have "good" cameras, and a particual announcer had a light suit, with some sort of pattern to it... the moire was so bad it looked like he was wearing "electric herringbone"... it was actually a bit disconcerting! Not normally a big issue (although I've noticed it on that channels newscast a few times, never this bad), but sure was obvious with that one particular suit/coat!

Methinks that there's potentially a moire problem with HD in general, and one must be aware of it and avoid specific sorts of repeating patterns when shooting (tile roofs, certain fabrics, brick walls, etc...). It's showing up too often to be strictly a "design flaw" per se. May just be one of those things like having to be careful with "reds"...

The low light footage was pretty impressive otherwise. The VG10 still catches my eye as a useful tool for certain types of shooting, hoping I'll get lucky and pick a used one up from some guy who bought it "because it looked cool and was the most expensive cam they had" and doesn't realize it takes some chops to operate!

FWIW, supposedly there's a firmware update coming for the NEX3/5 and I presume the VG10 that will allow the AF to work with Alpha glass - apparently also have to update a ship in the adapter too. THAT will open this camera up a lot as there's lots of great A mount lenses available!
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Old September 24th, 2010, 11:39 AM   #442
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Please, I am dying to know if the HDMI connection puts out uncompressed HD that can be used with a Nanoflash. Has anyone tested it?
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Old September 24th, 2010, 04:41 PM   #443
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Originally Posted by Michael Murie View Post
I just want to be sure I understand what you mean. Are you saying that if I focus on an object while the lens is zoomed OUT, and then zoom IN, the object remains in focus. BUT if I zoom IN and focus, and then zoom out, it will be out of focus?]
The reverse. Zoom to Tele and focus and you can zoom to Wide and all be in focus. You can even zoom back the original subject and it will be in focus -- as long as the distance remains the same.

=====

Cross-color -- where fine detail becomes color artifacts -- has been with us from the beginning of TV. It's still with us in HD.

Moire is aliasing from fine horizontal lines and results when a low-pass filter isn't used -- as is the case with any camera that also shoots stills. It's too bad the VG10 shoots stills because it could have had a LPF and beat the HDSLRs. Perhaps someone will make a filter we can put on our lenses. :)
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Old September 24th, 2010, 05:09 PM   #444
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Regarding zoom and focus procedure

That's good news since that's the way it's always been with the old style zoom lenses. Zoom in, focus, pull and and shoot knowing that everything is safe to then zoom into! Whew.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 07:56 PM   #445
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After pulling back you can zoom into the original subject, but you can NOT zoom into anything closer to you.

Only AF allows free zooming.

======

HDMI is live when shooting -- of course you cannot see your on-screen display since the LCD and VF are turned off. You can turn them on but they'll show-up on the HDMI signal.

Personally, I think 24Mb AVCHD for progressive video is good enough for a $2000 camera.

Likewise, I don't see any value to buying lenses for an adaptor. If you have a collection and want to play, thats fine. But, you really want old lenses that have focus and aperture rings. And, I don't know if these early lenses can be mounted on the A-mount adaptor or other adaptors. Im thinking of early Nikon, Canon, Minolta, and Sigma lenses. Anyone?
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Old September 24th, 2010, 08:07 PM   #446
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Does the 18mm--55mm Sony lens you recommend for better balance also feature the internal stabilization? And is this the sort of camera you can hold in front of your face for an hour and not get achy muscles?
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Old September 24th, 2010, 08:27 PM   #447
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Sony of course has their adapter for the Alpha mount lenses, which means a HUGE selection of glass from old Minolta stuff through current Sony lenses, plus lots of 3rd party glass. Not all features will work, so you need to do some homework on the exact lens, but it opens up lots of options including some pretty extreme Zeiss lenses.

Since the NEX series hit the street, 3rd party adapters are popping up for just about any mount - do a pass on eBay, you'll probably find adapters for just about anything I suspect... you won't have the AF and all since the lens can't "talk" to the body, but you'd have lots of choices for things to play with for effect!

One of the oddities with these NEX cameras is that they are still crippling the "secondary function" - lower bitrate in the NEX3/5, no RAW for stills in the VG10.

BUT there's already beta firmware updates floating about for the NEX cams, and the VG10 firmware is supposed to be updated mid November. Part of me wonders how long before some of the creative people out in the field "hack" the firmware and open up some of the "hidden" or "locked" features...
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Old September 25th, 2010, 07:50 AM   #448
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The difference in balance is huge when hand-held! Sony should have made the long-zoom a step-up. It could have brought the price down to a very competitive $1600.

The 18-55 uses only OIS.

The 180-200 can use OIS plus EIS.

Found the difference described on DVINFO as:

"Ron's quite correct, the Active SS is an EIS that's applied on top of the much nicer OIS. You can't fault the effectiveness of having both on together, but the EIS loses you a very noticeable amount of wide-angle coverage - and at the same time loses you resolution. On top of that the stabilisation artifacts become much more apparent when both are on, with lag and overshoot making pans look 'sleepy'. But hand-held it's a revelation, quite amazingly effective."

Wow! Turns out I really don't want ACTIVE and don't need active on the 18-55.
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Old September 25th, 2010, 10:47 AM   #449
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Sony of course has their adapter for the Alpha mount lenses, which means a HUGE selection of glass from old Minolta stuff through current Sony lenses, plus lots of 3rd party glass.
I read that the old fully manual (with Exposure Ring) MC/MD may, or may not, work with the Sony adaptor. Being able to dial exposure via the lens rather than via the VG10 dial would be great.

Does anyone know?
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Old September 25th, 2010, 11:03 AM   #450
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The more zoomed in, the more stabilization becomes a necessary evil, and the more agressive/effective it has to be.

Sony has traditionally relied on "in body" stabilization in the Alpha series still cameras, rather than having to "repeat" buy expensive stabilization in the lenses. With the E mount, they've changed things around in hopes of "better" video performance, and added in lens stabilization (thus explaining part of the price of the 18-200) into the equation.

I think those of us who have used the CX500 and later "handy" cameras are particularly "spoiled" by how effective the stabilization truly is for handheld use (ability to take out "roll" is especially amazing!), but as a practical matter, if you're on tripod or other relatively stable shooting platform, particularly if you can move closer to the subject and shoot with a wider angle, you can get away with "less".

I think this is why I'm actually more intrigued by the soon to be released Alpha bodies with video. For what I want to use and interchangeable lens/body combo for, I already have ways to stabilize the camera physically to reduce the need for IS, my main interest is in being able to get shallow DoF for shots that would benefit, plus hopefully low light performance. While the VG10 is sexy and would do the trick, I'm really looking at the a55, where I can use old Minolta glass...
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