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Old September 9th, 2011, 07:04 PM   #16
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Re: A clue regarding HDMI output?

I'm a little curious as to why it keeps coming up that "there's no ND filter" - I think that's at least to some degree inherent in the design of an interchangeable lens camera?

While traditional video cameras with sealed construction can easily have a bit of glass slide into place to provide ND filtering between the sensor and the lens, in the case of these large sensors, you can't exactly have a chunk of glass come flying in from somewhere, can you??

I see two problems, one being the physical size of an INTERNAL ND filter would prohibit you from finding a good place to put it, along with a sufficiently substantial mechanism to fling said glass around inside the camera...

Second this would mean another piece of glass that is susceptable to dust... one that could not be easily accessed/cleaned, as presumably it would mostly be out of the way... but potentially exposed each time the lens was off...

For those reasons, I don't think an ND filter could have been incorporated internally? Other than electronically reducing the sensitivity of the sensor ("anti-gain", if you will, which would seem to make sense at first glance, if counterintuitive to the goal of a sensor that performs well in low light), the obvious "solution" is a ND, either fixed or variable, mounted to the FRONT of the lens... which of course is the solution that SLR shooters have to and do use.



The VG20, as the VG10 was, is a strange little animal - part still camera (moreso now that it has RAW stills), yet with one paw (two? three?) firmly in the video camera realm. It takes a bit to wrap one's head around shooting video with a still camera, as there are some things that just aren't "videocamera like". The "reward" is of course the ability to achieve large sensor, shallow DoF, and a choice of lenses instead of being "stuck" with whatever lens was attached at the factory.

I'm sure at least a few of us saw a short NEX7 clip with the new translucent alpha adapter, and a HUUUUUUGE professional lens attached... anyone else go "where's the camera?!" Point being that the IMAGING MODULE, be it a NEX still camera, or a VG10/20 is but ONE part of an image acquisition equation...

With the new adapters and the improved user controls, I think Sony may have hit a home run, or more like several innings of home runs. Just a matter of whether enough people start thinking outside the box as to how they can be used. Sony certainly pushed the walls off the box when they released the 1st generation NEX cameras, this time looks like they blew the walls clean off...

Now we just have to figure out how these new toys fit into whatever creative schemes we all have!
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Old September 9th, 2011, 11:47 PM   #17
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Re: A clue regarding HDMI output?

The AF100 performs at the same quality as the FS100. Yet it has an ND filter, large chip, and interchangeable lens. There's no reason not to have an ND filter. Note the wonderful F3 has an ND filter plus it has a big sensor and an inter-changable lens. Sony doesn't fool around with it's pro products.

Read the AF100 vs FS100 review and see what a bit of extra money buys you.
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Old September 10th, 2011, 05:46 AM   #18
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Re: A clue regarding HDMI output?

I agree, Steve. If I get a VG20, I will have to spend a couple of hundred bucks for a matte box or screw in ND filter, $299 for a
JuicedLink
for XLR inputs and a
$384 HDMI to HD-SDI adapter
(assuming the HDMI out is clean). Total price will still be less than an out-of-the-box AF-100 or FS100, but Sony could have put all of these features in the camera and charged me for them instead of giving up the money to accessory manufacturers. Maybe in the VG30 :-)

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Old September 14th, 2011, 12:12 AM   #19
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Re: A clue regarding HDMI output?

"We also managed to record from the new Sony VG-20 at the Sony booth. It has clean out and unlike other bloggers I’m quite interested in this camera as the Sony A77 and the 5N both didn’t offer a clean hdmi out to us"
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Old September 14th, 2011, 03:42 PM   #20
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Re: A clue regarding HDMI output?

That alone starts to justify the price difference between the VG20 and the 5n...
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Old September 14th, 2011, 06:06 PM   #21
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Re: A clue regarding HDMI output?

Don't tell Sony, but for recordable HDMI out, manual sound levels and a headphone jack, I'll gladly pay the extra $1K ;-)
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Old September 14th, 2011, 07:16 PM   #22
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Re: A clue regarding HDMI output?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Bruner View Post
It has clean out and unlike other bloggers Iím quite interested in this camera as the Sony A77 and the 5N both didnít offer a clean hdmi out to us"
Interesting because the 5N has a display setting that offers the option of NO DATA.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 03:37 AM   #23
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Re: A clue regarding HDMI output?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
Interesting because the 5N has a display setting that offers the option of NO DATA.
That setting is most likely for clean playback from the camera to an external display after recording. I am much more interested in clean HDMI in record mode.


"...We had even worse issues with the new Sony NEX-5N. The camera menu is constantly displayed on the right hand side of the feed."

and

"Only the new and yet unreleased Sony VG-20 offers a clean hdmi output. I will post a detailed report and test results in the next days."

Really looking forward to that report.
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Old September 16th, 2011, 01:59 AM   #24
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Re: A clue regarding HDMI output?

So it does have clean HDMI out.... but the results are indeed disappointing. I still hope that somehow, Sony can rectify, or else - what's the point?
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Old September 16th, 2011, 02:20 AM   #25
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Re: A clue regarding HDMI output?

James -- I really appreciate the work that Sebastian put into this test, but I'm reserving judgment on his conclusions. It is sometimes a challenge to get clean progressive video straight out of HDMI on the Ninja, even from the FS100.

Here is the explanation from Atomos: ATOMOS News+Updates / Edition 1. May 2011

Quote:
Many cameras output their video signals differently through HDMI than they do to their own internal storage. Cameras “wrap” their progressive internal signals as an interlaced video output for transmission over HDMI.

This is simply to ensure compatibility with all displays new and old even though HDMI supports 24, 25 and 30p natively.

The Ninja can and does record and store your 24, 25 and 30p images perfectly, “wrapped” in an interlaced signal. You will see some different frame-rates reported by your Ninja compared to the settings on your camera. This is normal.

For example, if your camera is set to 25p (in Europe) you may see 1080i50 on your Ninja. Or (in America and former NTSC countries) you may see 1080i59.94 on your Ninja instead of 23.98p.

It’s worth repeating this.You will probably find that the framerate you have your camera set to record to is not the same as the video signal coming out of the HDMI connection.

The situation in Europe and other parts of the world where 25/50 frames/fields are the standard is simple.

The 1080i50 footage recorded from 25p is identical in 50i form. A single progressive frame is split into 2 progressive fields making the format 50i. There are no interlace artifacts because there is no movement between the fields.

In NTSC regions (eg the USA and Japan) it can be more complicated, because a 24p signal is turned into a 60i one using a process called 3:2 pulldown, which maps the 24 fames in the progressive footage into a 60i stream using a 3:2 pattern (or “cadence”).

You can use the interlaced signal produced by your camera as it is, or you can remove the pulldown using a “reverse telecine” program like Cinetools, supplied with Final Cut Pro, or our fast, simple “Stripper” application that will be available soon.
I'm still waiting for a review from someone who has a few days with the camera outside of a convention hall ;-)

Cheers,

Bill
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Old September 16th, 2011, 02:31 AM   #26
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Re: A clue regarding HDMI output?

Still some reason for hope - just like the reviled 1st review from an outside website, this footage was sourced from a pre-pro camera on a demo floor. No handbook, no real alone time with the camera, no full blown review from a place like this one.

In other words, worst possible scenario. With a pre-pro camera (well, most likely).

The image is going to be massaged, that much is already certain. What remains to be seen is just pleasing that process will be to the eye.

It's still encouraging that the signal is clean at all - otherwise, the whole issue of quality would be moot.
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Old September 16th, 2011, 02:32 AM   #27
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Re: A clue regarding HDMI output?

Pardon me if I am perhaps a little more blunt than Bill. I would take this report, if you can call it that, with a huge grain of salt. The comment is made in the text referring to ‘the bad internal AVCHD compression’ that being the 28mbps codec also used in the FS100 as I understand it and he also admits that this was ‘not a scientific test, just a quick grab of some footage’ and then concludes ‘I’d suggest not to buy this camera’.

Scary huh!

While the text is sensational, and that’s perhaps the nature, the deliberate style employed at this web site, I would suggest not to not buy this camera based on this information.

I for one will hold my horses on a decision awaiting a review. No offense to James and the web site. Sort of hilarious really.
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Old September 16th, 2011, 03:50 AM   #28
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Re: A clue regarding HDMI output?

No, not all.... no offense taken! I really like this camera, and hope to get it. There's nothing like it at this price point. So we shall see how it performs in a proper review - and at least take heart that the hdmi out is clean.
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Old September 16th, 2011, 12:58 PM   #29
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Re: A clue regarding HDMI output?

1) Looking at video that's been uploaded (how?) and compressed again (how) is not a great way to check camera quality. For example the macroblocking on the dark wall.

2) However, the fact that the Canon always looks "better" suggests that no matter what he may have done wrong -- the VG20 PROTOTYPE is not doing all that well.

3) I think he's using ProRes LT which is exactly what I would try for 4:2:0 HDMI output. (Note, I am assuming only 4:2:0 8-bit because there is no need to compute 4:2:2 during recording.) If it is 4:2:2, he should have recorded using ProRes 422.

4) It makes no sense to output video that has been compressed UNLESS Sony decided that it wanted to have the LCD and VF have data display while outputting a clean HDMI. Circuitwise it might be cheaper not to use the NEX LCD and VF recording circuit which is not clean RGB and use the playback YCrCb circuit to feed the HDMI jack since it is designed to be clean. Since the playback circuit inputs compressed video, Sony could feed it with compressed video while recording. When you attach a Sony monitor it would switch to RGB with the overlays. This would need to be confirmed with a shipping model.

5) I'm not totally surprised there is so little DIFFERENCE between AVCHD and ProRes at 1080i60 because 24Mbps is very good. On the other hand, why does it look so bad?

And, why would Sony allow recording on a PROTOTYPE?

PS; And I still want to know why Juan told us that Sony would not reveal the full set of specs for the FS100/F3 chip? (I continue to think the same 16MP is being used but with 4x4 binning to get the 2-stops of extra sensitivity for the FS100/F3.) Marketing games?
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