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Old March 16th, 2012, 06:54 PM   #31
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

I started with computers with 4096 words of 12-bit core. That's 4K. No disk. Only paper-tape. Big expansion, another bank of 4K words. Naturally there was no operating system.

Then the wonder of a 4K hard disk and an operating system.

My feeling is that AVCHD was speced assuming high storage costs. By the time it was fully to market, storage had become so cheap that we now want/need 36Mbps to 72Mbps.

Canon has taken advantage of lower cost storage by offering I-frame only H.264. But, it's still 8-bit 4:2:0.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 07:12 PM   #32
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
So a VG30 may have 18.3MP.

That, however, is an interesting number.
And another interesting number would be 18,662,400 - whatever that works out to in megapixels.

Why? Because it's (3x1920)x(3x1080) and could make for an easy direct read to full 1080 resolution with no need to pixel skip - similar to the C300 but in blocks of 9 rather than 4. For many reasons it's not as good as the 2x2 approach (uneven nos of R,G,B photosites block to block) but for a camera at this level it could lead to a very good compromise between stills and video performance.

It assumes a 16:9 sensor, or at least to have that many photosites in the 16:9 window of a larger sensor.
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Old March 17th, 2012, 12:15 AM   #33
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

Interesting approach to use 9 rather than 4. How does that work?

I'm still stuck on the idea that the F3/FS100 chip that has 3.6 mega "pixels" but which Sony will not provide the specs for -- really is has many times more photosites.

I've got to think how 9 would work into 18.6 to get to 3.6 (for 1080p) and 4K2K.

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Old March 17th, 2012, 03:23 PM   #34
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

So I wasn't the only one thinking on the possibility of a "Superpixel" approach with a 3x3 matrix that could then be used to improve the accuracy of the "interpolated pixels" (you could also possibly overlay each superpixel in such a matrix, and get lots of overlapping data points).

think of it like this:

xxx
xXx
xxx

The center "pixel" is the "target", but you can draw additional information from the surrounding 8 pixels in a higher resolution chip, plus exchange info beteen adjoining "superpixels". Combined with some fancy mathematics, could yield some interesting results...

My thoughts were that with sufficient processing capability and the rigtht algorithms, you could do quite a bit with improving interframe accuracy, as you'd have some motion data that could be used to "predict" moving objects in frames.

Ideally, I guess there needs to be an "upgrade" to the AVCHD codec to allow for the extended information in both colorspace and motion. As with all things computer related, it's a function of how much processing horsepower you can throw at the "problem", at what speed, tied to how much data storage is available, and again how fast 1's ands 0's can be processed/written.

It only gets "better" as technology progresses, because some of us just can't resist pushing the envelope!
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Old March 17th, 2012, 06:27 PM   #35
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

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Interesting approach to use 9 rather than 4. How does that work?
I was thinking of a much simpler approach than Daves last post - use 3x3 blocks, but directly read the R,G,B values of the photosites (as the C300 does), binning and averaging all the R,G,B within the block.

So:
RGR GRG RGR
GBG BGB GBG
RGR GRG RGR

GBG BGB GBG
RGR GRG RGR
GBG BGB GBG


etc
If you read Alan Roberts report on the C300 he speculates that the C300 may be deriving it's 720p output by a similar method. In other words, derives 1080 from 2x2 basic blocks, 720 from 3x3. See http://blog.creativevideo.co.uk/wp-c...an_roberts.pdf , bottom of page 13.As he says:
Quote:
Figure 7 shows the Bayer pattern with a 1280x720 grid superimposed. Each pixel group contains either 4 or 5 green photo-sites, 1 2 or 4 red, and 1 2 or 4 blue. Clearly, it is not possible to read from the sensor in a simple way to get a 1280x720 structure, and more complex processing is needed. In principle, it would be possible to sum relevant photo-sites in each pixel and normalise the values pixel by pixel, but this would produce a fixed pattern of coloured noise which would probably not be acceptable.
What "probably wouldn't be acceptable" for a broadcast standard camera and a consumer stills/video camera may be two very different things! It may give a very acceptable compreomise between stills and video performance.
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I'm still stuck on the idea that the F3/FS100 chip that has 3.6 mega "pixels" but which Sony will not provide the specs for -- really is has many times more photosites.
From charts I've seen, I'm in no doubt that the F3 has a Bayer chip of about 2456x1372 (or 3.36megapixels) - have you seen this thread? http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...ce-manual.html

Apart from what the service manual says, the F3 charts show all the signs of a Bayer matrix of that resolution. Diagonal lines give slight out of band magenta-green aliasing, and horizontal and vertical give cyan-yellow - exactly as would be expected. The frequency at which this occurs is where it would be expected if the dimensions were 2456x1372.

I believe it to be doing a full deBayer, and if we assume that'll give about 80% of the sensor dimensions as luminance resolution, that would give about 1965x1100 - exactly what you'd hope a 1080 camera to give. What makes you think it has a lot more 3.36MP? From the (relatively high) power requirements of the F3, I'd take that as further evidence od deBayering and downconversion.

I confess the FS100 does puzzle me though. I can't think of a mechanism by which that same chip could give the results it does in the FS100. The much lower than F3 power requirements seem to indicate it's not deBayering like the F3, and that's backed up by the apparent total lack of coloured aliasing. It would seem that the FS100 must be employing a simpler readout mechanism than the F3, but is still managing to turn in far better results than I'd expect, even if not up to F3 standard. Can the FS100 and F3 be using different chips? Seems unlikely, Sony have said it's the same chip and it seems most logical it would be for economies of scale. I'm sure I'm missing something, but can't think what.....?
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I've got to think how 9 would work into 18.6 to get to 3.6 (for 1080p) and 4K2K.
Sorry, I don't follow your meaning?
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Old March 17th, 2012, 08:56 PM   #36
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

My FEELING that the chip had many more pixels was Juan's comment that Sony won't allow him to give the sensor spec. Why I asked myself? My GUESS was that the the chip had enough photosite resolution to support 4K2K in a future camera and Sony didn't want to make it obvious they would have such a camera announced in the next year (NAB 2012).

I was mainly looking at the FS100 which -- as you said -- seems to be "different."

But the Service info seems to eliminate my idea of a super high rez chip. pixels = photocites -- I guess. :)

So same chip -- perhaps two radically different ways of debayering? The F3 can output RAW S-log 4:4:4 data. That means the debayer likely can't be done as part of the readout process. It would be a post readout process on a FRAME of sequential RGB data. By hving a complete frame of data both the debayer and downscale can be performed over many pixels in all directions. A powerful DSP could do real magic in turning these data into 2MP of YCrCb values.

The FS100 might not do this -- so less heat and power and lower cost. It would need only a few video-lines of memory and so the debayer interpolation would be restricted to nearest neighbor.

Since the sensor line is longer than a recorded line, YCrCb vales must interpolated to create a downscale. That's EZ. Harder is the fact lines must interpolated to downscale the number of lines. This might require 3 lines of memory.
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Old March 18th, 2012, 06:20 PM   #37
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

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I was mainly looking at the FS100 which -- as you said -- seems to be "different."

But the Service info seems to eliminate my idea of a super high rez chip. pixels = photocites -- I guess. :)

So same chip -- perhaps two radically different ways of debayering?
The more I think about all this, the more significant I feel it may be.

What is crucial is to think fully about the sort of alising seen from the F3. It's slight enough to not be a problem in use - but it does act as a "fingerprint" to inner workings. Just imagine a Bayer sensor illuminated by a pattern of horizontal lines such that alternate sensor rows are white, alternate black. It follows that in one case the "white" rows will be RGRGRGRG etc, the "black" rows will be GBGBGBGB etc. It further follows that the resultant will consist solely of red and green (hence yellow) with no blue. Move the pattern down by one line and the "white" photosites will all be green and blue (hence cyan) and no red.

But this situation will be a function solely of the sensor geometry - not how it is read. If only red, green photosites are illuminated then no matter what the read mechanism you'll NEVER see any blue in the output.

And cyan/yellow aliasing on hor/vert lines is EXACTLY what you see with the F3, and EXACTLY where you'd expect to see them with dimensions of about 2456x1372. It agrees with the service manual info, and with what Sony were originally saying about the sensor.

So why aren't we seeing the same on the FS100 charts? By the previous reasoning, the readout method shouldn't matter.

But what if we assume the FS100 and the F3 DON'T have the same sensor? It's what has been generally believed for the last year - but what if it's wrong? It would explain the conflicting measurements.
And it may even give a clue to why Sony initially said the F3 sensor was 3.36 megapixel and then suddenly became coy. Easier to say nothing at all. The reason for the coyness about the F3 sensor is not to do with the F3 - it's that they don't want to release details of what the FS100 sensor is, as you suspected. If the general assumption is that the F3/FS100 have the same sensor - well, that's up to the people who think it - it's not actually been said.

Is this real? Is the assumption that the F3/FS100 have the same sensor really been wrong all along? I don't know, I admit that. But if the sensor is the same, it's very difficult to reconcile some of the measurements that have been made. If it isn't, a lot of pieces of a puzzle start fitting into place.

Of course, the question then would be if not 3.36 megapixel, what is it? It's reasonable to assume "a lot more" so that the cyan/yellow alias effect will occur at a far higher frequency and not be seen in the examples we've seen. It may not even be Bayer. Can I ask what originally made you suspect a high photosite count, and what Juans comment was?
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Old March 18th, 2012, 10:59 PM   #38
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

I'll add a "clue" from Sony cameras I'm familiar with - the current P&S line, which all are SUPPOSED to use the same 16.2 Mpixel sensor... for some reason I'm getting cleaner output and about 1-1 1/2 stops better low light (subjectively) out of the TX100V than ANY of the other TX, HX, or WX cameras I've had in hand to play with.

IOW, SAME sensor, likely the same processing, yet one camera performs enough differently from the others to be quite noticeable. Some of the cameras (top of each T/H/X line, the TX100 being the top of that heap) have 60p, but this doesn't account for the differences from my testing.

I'm always impressed by the results the TX100 delivers in "bad" light - lower noise, with little or no "blotchy" or blue noise (something which I really notice ever since the HC1... it seems to come and go in Sony products!), sharper overall picture (I'd chalk that up to lens differences, maybe), and just overall better performance (better even than the late model year issue TX55 I'm using because it's super compact).

My point being that there may be different "teams" within Sony who "tweak" the various hardware somewhat differently. I've noticed that in the past, they seem to "fine tune" sensors later in the product cycle, sometimes managing to squeeze a little more out of "identical" hardware, but there also may be some internal competition to make each product line "better" than the other product lines or something.

I only add the experience as a "FWIW"...
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Old March 19th, 2012, 03:13 AM   #39
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

Now that I have the latest 1080p Apple TV connected to my 63" HDTV -- I've been exploring camera tests.

1) Don't kill me, but the NEX series are -- to my eyes -- painfully soft. The NEX-7 is equally soft, but has aliasing on any thin line.

2) Interestingly, the NEX do look more detailed when Zeiss primes are used. This suggests the obvious -- the sensor is better than the stock lenses.

3) After watching many clips I decided that "softness" MAY BE a matter of taste. For many, the softness is what makes them feel the NEX shoot images more like film. But then I watched several NEX vs Canon 5D II comparisons.

Canon 5D Mark II vs Sony NEX-5 (Low Light Test) - YouTube
Sony NEX-5 vs Canon 5D-MkII - YouTube

4) Certainly no one has claimed the 5D looks like video! Yet, it has far more detail. (But, yes it has the same aliasing as the NEX.) In other words, clarity doesn't signal video. So, IMO, lack of clarity should not be taken as a a sign of film.

5) Nevertheless, there is a very clear difference between the Canon 5D and the JVC PX-10 (shooting 1080p60). In every test, the JVC blows all the others away in terms of detail and zero aliasing.

It clearly doesn't look like film. It has the "looking through a window with no glass" look. It looks, perhaps, too much like video. I'm looking for something in the middle. The stills from the S8 have that look.

PS: The NEX-5n, the A-adaptor, and a set of Zeiss primes MAY be a better way to spending $2000+.
Attached Thumbnails
New NEX camcorder on March 31?-s0050_uncompressed_kineraw-s8p_10mm_026.bmp   New NEX camcorder on March 31?-s0057_uncompressed_kineraw-s8p_5mm_029.bmp  

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Old March 19th, 2012, 05:42 AM   #40
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

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I'll add a "clue" from Sony cameras I'm familiar with - the current P&S line, which all are SUPPOSED to use the same 16.2 Mpixel sensor... for some reason I'm getting cleaner output and about 1-1 1/2 stops better low light (subjectively) out of the TX100V than ANY of the other TX, HX, or WX cameras I've had in hand to play with...
Interesting, but somewhat different to the case I was referring to. I can well believe that (subjective) low light sensitivity will vary with processing as well as fundamental sensor. It could be as simple as lower noise processing chips, or be down to noise reduction processing. (Think of the Panasonic cameras, the HPX370 and 250. They appeared at first to be astonishingly low noise with a 1/3" chip compared to such as an EX, but then the "noise ghost" issue came up. Interframe noise reduction was being used to give a very clean result - the problem being that it works well on static scenes, but falls down with movement. Hence the noise ghosts.)

In the case I referred to, such as zone plates give a look directly at characteristics of the sensor itself. You'd expect the
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Old March 20th, 2012, 02:55 AM   #41
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

I'm sorry David. Rather than start another OT thread -- which this is t0 some degree -- I tossed my observations on the NEX into it.

The way it connected -- was not stated.

Bottom-line, if I had to buy a camcorder right now I would go with the JVC PX10 because of it's amazing detail. BUT, I won't buy it because -- like the NEX series -- it simply can't handle "normal" NV or India sunlight. This failure suggests that 12-bit RAW may be necessary in addition to fine detail and shallow DOF.

Of course, an F3 is beyond many of our budgets. So, I've been posting about what would be at the $3000 to $6000. I don't think Japan is going to give us that, although maybe the Canon 5D III comes close.
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Old March 20th, 2012, 03:47 AM   #42
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

I'd be REALLY careful about using those video "tests" from UTooB... there are some pretty obvious methodology flaws... MP4?!?! at 1440x1080?? And the first video just plain looks out of focus in several spots, with improperly set exposure (Sonys need to be pulled back a bit on exposure... nature of the beast).

I don't have the NEX5n (though if I decide to "test" the E mount waters, it's a logical choice), but Sony designed these to shoot 1080 60p - THAT would be a proper side by side, and not reduced/degraded resolutions...

As for the handling of high brightness situations, I think you have to consider a variable ND for most any of these big chippers! Thanks for the reminder, as I've got an SLT-A65 inbound (darn vintage Minolta glass collection!). Cheapest way I found to get hands on the new 24Mpixel sensor!
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Old March 20th, 2012, 06:40 AM   #43
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

The point is not one or two comps, but watching many as one would watch a BD 1080p movie -- on a big HDTV. The NEX images simply are less clear than that from other cameras. The lens does matter -- the terribly soft NEX in the church is the 16mm pancake. Go to any PHOTO review and the comments are IT'S SOFT. But Sony had to know that because it tried a revision before shipping.

Tonight I looked at Panasonic GH2 and it matched the clarity of the 5D II, but with no aliasing. Once again this is what others say, but until I could feed 1080p to an HDTV I saw no point at looking.

Yes, an ND filter is a must, but does nothing about dynamic range. Without sensor, processing, and codec dynamic range -- all one can do is bring the brights down to prevent over-exposure -- while crushing the rest of the picture. (And, looking at the aliasing, why do you want 24MP?)

Of course, if the VGs had proper CAMCORDER controls one could adjust knee to help. (Better to have no knee and record either log 10 bit or 12-bit RAW.)

PS: The GH2 looks far better when it's been hacked to record at 65Mbps and even better when running at 176Mbps. Amazing detail increases. Which may be why the JVC at 36Mbps looks so clear.

As I said earlier, I think a whole bunch of video shooters followed Sony down a carefully guided path to big chips -- for shallow DOF -- only for some to realize that many other critical shooting aspects were sacrificed to keep the FS100 safe. They've given us a great sensor and that's it.

But, attach a $1000 Atomos ProRes 422 recorder, an adaptor for all those fine Minolta lenses, run full manual, and I suspect you've got an FS100 at a far lower cost. :)

An alternative is what's looking like a great buy -- the GH2 hacked to about 65Mbps.

PS: Watching the Digital Bolex samples last night, for better or worse, they look just like what I used to shoot. This could be a very fun camera!
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Old March 20th, 2012, 01:19 PM   #44
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

I own both the Canon 5D II, and the Sony VG 20. I will confess that I have had other things going on since I bought on the first day the Sony was available, so testing was limited to a few situations, but I feel I can comfortably make a judgement between the two.

I use the same lens system on both cameras, with the exception of course, of the Sony stock zoom. In testing I have done, I have no doubt that the Sony VG20 has a little bit more low light capability than the 5D, and that in the low light situations, its not near as noisy. In addition, the noise seem to be a fine grain on the VG20, as a opposed to the more blooming looking grain in the 5D.

In a normal lighting situation, the cameras come closer. However, I think the VG20 resolves better, in tests with a two sister Nikons, a 35mm for the VG20, and a 50mm for the 5DII, I showed the Canon resolving somewhere around 550 lines while the Vg20 resolved around 700. As a result, images appear to provide finer detail in foliage and background. (Of course some of that might be attributable to the shallower depth of field in the 5DII.)
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Old March 20th, 2012, 08:47 PM   #45
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Re: New NEX camcorder on March 31?

I saw several 5D II tests where the shallow DOF made the background go very soft.

Your number seem right for the VG because it is somewhat less than the FS100 which is somewhat less than the F3. All these cameras are less than provided by the EX3 -- at 1000. Of course, you were using a Nikon lens.

Your number seems wrong for the 5D. It seems unlikely a camera that can capture only 550 lines could be used by filmmakers when the RED provides 1600 lines (1.78:1). 550 is HDV resolution!

My GUESS would be your Nikon lens is not as good as the lenses those shooting with the 5D normally use.

But, in any case, my point is that capturing 1000 to 1600 lines yields a picture that is significantly clearer. And, log 10 bit 4:4:4 RAW or 12 bit 4:4:4 RAW record dynamic range and color that 24Mbps AVCHD can't. I feel the market is shifting away from looking at only chip size and toward lens-quality and avoiding low bit rate codecs -- or codecs entirely.
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