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Old September 13th, 2012, 07:05 AM   #16
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Re: VG 30 & Power Zoom 18-200 mm

You would think if Sony actually listens to its customers it would include the adjustable picture profiles, sadly they aren't listed. At least people this time know that before buying. The VG30/900 are undoubtedly fantastic cameras, but why do I have to buy a Nex camera body to have the ability to cut the baked in sharpness? Aye...

Hopefully the reviews show something different, but I'm not holding my breath. I'm holding off on making any purchases until the reviews are out, but I'm going to move out of my FS100 as dialing in an image takes a lot more effort than I have the time to put together. I want to simplify my workflow and right now the A99 is at the top of my list, though I'd rather get a VG.
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Old September 13th, 2012, 05:13 PM   #17
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Re: VG 30 & Power Zoom 18-200 mm

In Sony's defense, the "baked in" sharpness from the charts I have of Sony cameras is optimal. Cutting sharpness simply reduces resolution. You lose fine detail. The NEX cameras already are -- relative to an EX1 -- low rez cameras. So WHY would you want to push rez down to SD? Or, why would you want to boost edge outlines in order to give some unreal sharpness to your video?

Really, this is a non-issue with NEX cameras. Likewise, color control. Do it in post.

The real issue is no ND filters. But, for $1800, that's not a killer problem.

The real avantage is the power zoom lens! But, will it go on a VG20? If not, the VG30 is a deal -- what the VG should have been from day 1. Maybe it will be reviewed. :)

If you want a film LOOK, get a BMC for the same price. In fact, if you have an interest in film, YOU SHOULD ONLY BE LOOKING AT THE BMC. The VG is an ENG camera plain and simple now that the BMC has arrived.
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Old September 13th, 2012, 05:31 PM   #18
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Re: VG 30 & Power Zoom 18-200 mm

Steve Mullen:

Are you saying its a mistake to shoot lower sharpness in any adjustable camera or that contrast and saturation should be baked in any camera ? Are we all chasing ghosts on cameras like the 5D Mark II, when we shoot Cinestyle or other low contrast, low sat and sharpness cameras ? .. Or is this opinion solely about the NEX line of cameras where this does no good ?

I've alway had the opinion that saturation, sharpness and contrast enhancements were electronic enhancements of the raw image, and that adding in post or in camera was the same. In that sense I would have considered the lowest sharpness setting on the 5D for instannce as "0"sharpeness though Canon designates it as -3 (or whatever), and that preserving my ability to add sharpness to post would be better so I can analyze individual clips for needs. I felt the same way about color saturation and contrast. You seem to be saying that is not true.
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Old September 13th, 2012, 08:56 PM   #19
 
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Re: VG 30 & Power Zoom 18-200 mm

I'm a sharpness fanatic. Is that wrong?? I agree with Steve.
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Old September 14th, 2012, 12:38 PM   #20
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Re: VG 30 & Power Zoom 18-200 mm

The SSI on the A99 looks very tempting. Wish the vg line had SSI. I like to zoom in on my subjects from afar without worrying about shaking. I guess I will keep on worrying. I will keep the vg20 for 2013 & hope sony will release more fast e mount lens in the tele range with steadyshot. Happy shooting.
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Old September 14th, 2012, 04:55 PM   #21
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Re: VG 30 & Power Zoom 18-200 mm

Sorry Steve, but I disagree.

I shoot flat because I get more DR out of the camera in post, this is visible when I shoot with my Nex5n, going in to portrait or sunset mode and adjusting everything. Its easy to bump it back up in post and get more shadow detail with less noise. Its not about a film look, I could care less about that. Its about getting the look I want without having to be too heavy handed in post since there isn't a lot to play with in the limited color space.

I really want an ENG camera and the VG is a near perfect form factor and featureset, but I don't want Sony's baked in look. The default settings have that Sony soap opera look. I prefer to shoot a little flat and get my look in post. For me - when shooting with Zeiss lenses I have to tone down the sharpness more than I do with Rokkors or Leica R lenses because of the crazy contrast Zeiss has compared to others.

It just baffles me that I can buy a $500 Nex5n body (I paid $300 used) and make all the adjustments I want to my image and I can't in a $1800 VG30 or $3300 VG900 - despite VG users complaining pretty loudly about that after the 20 shipped. I'd buy one if that were the case. Hell, I would have bought the VG20 instead of the FS100. As it is, I'm looking at the A99 and possibly a Ninja to shoot Prores 422.
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Old September 14th, 2012, 09:39 PM   #22
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Re: VG 30 & Power Zoom 18-200 mm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
Steve Mullen:

Are you saying its a mistake to shoot lower sharpness in any adjustable camera or that contrast and saturation should be baked in any camera ? Are we all chasing ghosts on cameras like the 5D Mark II, when we shoot Cinestyle or other low contrast, low sat and sharpness cameras ? .. Or is this opinion solely about the NEX line of cameras where this does no good ?

I've alway had the opinion that saturation, sharpness and contrast enhancements were electronic enhancements of the raw image, and that adding in post or in camera was the same. In that sense I would have considered the lowest sharpness setting on the 5D for instannce as "0"sharpeness though Canon designates it as -3 (or whatever), and that preserving my ability to add sharpness to post would be better so I can analyze individual clips for needs. I felt the same way about color saturation and contrast. You seem to be saying that is not true.
YES, I'm saying if the camera is designed correctly, zero is the optimal setting. Lower cuts rez. Higher adds too much mid-detail. Likewise, Contrast and Brightness should in a well designed camera place sensor output for full black at 0% and max white at either 100% or 108%.

That is the "look" of the camera and should deliver the maximum information to post. Post is where you alter the camera's look. (Which is the whole point of RAW.)

We are at a time when camcorders and cameras both put the work in post. Gamma and Knee should not be in a special MODE -- just normal. You can create your own gamma curve, black crush or black expand, in post.

By the way, I'm not saying you should tweak in post. It is a lot of work! When I reviewed cameras I always found Sony too blue while Canon was far more my taste. Just like ergonomics. In other words, I chose the camera that I liked.

If you do want to tweak you can do it. If you are really into "looks" the BMC is a wonderful choice. I downloaded both RAW CinemaDNG and ProRes 422 HQ Log files. I'm going to use FXFactory in FCPX to "delog" the PR files on the fly.
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Old September 15th, 2012, 02:48 AM   #23
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Re: VG 30 & Power Zoom 18-200 mm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Joy View Post
Sorry Steve, but I disagree.
It just baffles me that I can buy a $500 Nex5n body and make all the adjustments I want to my image and I can't in a $1800 VG30 or $3300 VG900 - despite VG users complaining pretty loudly about that after the 20 shipped. I'd buy one if that were the case. Hell, I would have bought the VG20 instead of the FS100.
And yet that is the very reason why Sony doesn't give the VG line-up full manual... At least, that's the only reason that makes sense of any kind.

And from Steve:

"YES, I'm saying if the camera is designed correctly, zero is the optimal setting. Lower cuts rez. Higher adds too much mid-detail. Likewise, Contrast and Brightness should in a well designed camera place sensor output for full black at 0% and max white at either 100% or 108%.

That is the "look" of the camera and should deliver the maximum information to post. Post is where you alter the camera's look. (Which is the whole point of RAW.)"

Yes, but that is your particular work flow. Other work flows - particularly TV - require quick turn around time and less ability to nuance in post. Time in post truly equals money, thus a greater need to adjust in-camera. Just one of a bunch of possible reasons why a baked in look just won't work for some productions.

And while I tend to agree with you, the settings are a legit attempt by the programers at Sony to deliver one "ultimate" best baked in look that this series of cameras can deliver, shouldn't the shooter/DP be the ultimate arbiter? Shouldn't they, at this price point, be given the choice? There are so many pro features on these cameras already, from white balance to expand focus, to large sensor size to variable shutter speeds (something the BMC lacks BTW), why not give the VG series contrast and sharpening control? No one from Sony alleges it can't be done - heck, it's already been done one the VG10.

And would a buyer of a now almost 2 years old camera in the form of a FS100 not buy it because the VG20/30/900 has sharpening? They are totally different cameras with totally different feature sets.

I like my VG20 - I plan on shooting a low budget feature with it and perhaps the fact that I come from a film background makes me more comfortable with a baked in look (a feature that all the various film stocks also share), but it's hard not to think that Sony is being perhaps a bit too frugal with their technology given current market conditions/customer expectations.
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Old September 15th, 2012, 04:17 AM   #24
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Re: VG 30 & Power Zoom 18-200 mm

In camera Image sharpening does not increase resolution. It increases contrast around edges or exagerates contrast in fine details and this makes the picture look sharper perhaps, but the resolution does not change. Very often on a Sony camera the zero detail setting is still adding significant edge contrast enhancement and it's not until you get down to -15 or -20 that you get to no added correction.

The problem with excessive detail correction is that it is often added to by TVs and monitors which also incorporate sharpening functions. This can then lead to some very nasty looking images. In addition when you increase contrast in post production the high contrast edge correction gets a further boost and may become problematic.
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Old September 15th, 2012, 07:16 AM   #25
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Re: VG 30 & Power Zoom 18-200 mm

Just to clarify, I disagree with some opinions because of my needs, nothing of course is absolute and everyone's workflow differs. But like I said, with Zeiss' hyper-contrast I have to back off the sharpening or the image looks terrible. Its not as crucial with Leica R lenses and that's the direction I think I'm going to gravitate, but still.

As far as the VG not getting PP's because of the FS, its a different beast with the S35 sensor that doesn't have to chop 85% of its resolution for video, also has built in XLR's and an obscene amount of image customization, no stills capability and so on. The FS100 has better low light capability and is much better with aliasing and moire. I bought mine used, from a guy that bought a C300 so Sony didn't make any money off me. I would have pre ordered a VG30, but like I said - as it stands right now the A99 is more likely.
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Old September 15th, 2012, 12:10 PM   #26
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Re: VG 30 & Power Zoom 18-200 mm

[QUOTE=Alister Chapman;1753536 Very often on a Sony camera the zero detail setting is still adding significant edge contrast enhancement and it's not until you get down to -15 or -20 that you get to no added correction.[/QUOTE]

Totally agree. But, does the VG20 or VG30 have this problem? If not, then there's no issue. If there is, there may be a reason. Compared to the potential > 1000 lines of rez from FullHD, these cameras are 3/4 HD rez. That's why to my eyes ALL these DSLR type cameras look soft. Sony may feel they don't want their cameras to look any softer than they already look. And, certainly don't want more edge ringing.

Or, it's pure marketing. But, I think Sony engineers do know best on these cameras.

So I agree that choosing a camera is really like choosing a film stock.

PS: ProMist filters cut contrast -- reducing sharpening (rez.) really isn't the best solution.
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Old September 15th, 2012, 11:20 PM   #27
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Re: VG 30 & Power Zoom 18-200 mm

Steve, I thought you had actually worked with the VG20 cameras. Have you worked with or edited footage from this camera. Have you done any productions with it ?

As I have said before, I believe Sony left some room in this camera for contrast, saturation and sharpness increases. I have regularly been able to add sharpening to the Sony VG20 in post.

I still believe the reason Sony did not include adjustability for these cameras is that they would compete too closely with the FS100. I think that continues to be the fear with these next cameras in the line.
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Old September 16th, 2012, 12:29 AM   #28
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Re: VG 30 & Power Zoom 18-200 mm

"That's why to my eyes ALL these DSLR type cameras look soft."

What a hyperbolic generalization without any merit. One would have to shoot/edit with ALL the dslr's to make such a statement seriously. Have you even viewed the Nikon d800e video footage? Have you even shot dslr video? Have you shot dslr footage in every type of environment at all f stops? Or is this a pixel peeping eye chart that looks soft?

I wish sony would put these contol options in, but Chris you may be right. This is a serious defining factor between the vg line & the fs line. I guess the nex line & the alpha line get a free pass. My serious bone of contention is the SSI. Why should the A99 get such a great feature for video & the vg line not when the vg line is primarily a video camera? The power zoom means nothing to me because I don't mind zooming in with my hands, but most people don't feel this way. I don't want to switch to the a99 because I like the vg form factor, but I just may.
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Old September 16th, 2012, 02:58 AM   #29
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Re: VG 30 & Power Zoom 18-200 mm

At this point I am experimenting as much as possible to try to define the li its of the VG20 myself. I would hope those making pronouncement on these cameras would actually have some real experience with them, and not be making theoretical pronouncement.

Having shot the 5d since it came out, my experience is that the VG20 has more resolution capability thaan the early EOS line. I Don't know about the most recent Canons.
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Old September 16th, 2012, 03:50 AM   #30
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Re: VG 30 & Power Zoom 18-200 mm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kate Spiegel View Post
"That's why to my eyes ALL these DSLR type cameras look soft."

What a hyperbolic generalization without any merit. One would have to shoot/edit with ALL the dslr's to make such a statement seriously. Have you even viewed the Nikon d800e video footage? Have you even shot dslr video? Have you shot dslr footage in every type of environment at all f stops? Or is this a pixel peeping eye chart that looks soft?
These cameras have been measured by dozens of reviewers and they tend to be about 750-850 lines.Soft compared to the 1000 line EX1. If you understood single chip tek you would know why. Plus the crazy ergonomics for those who don't want dozens upon dozens of photo features and menus.

Anyway, after testing the VG10 I found the NEX-5 to deliver better value -- hence my book on the NEX FAMILY. The VG20 I never bothered with because I knew JVC was about to deliver QuadHD and the NEX-5n still delivered a better value.

Because of the power zoom lens the VG30 may be more interesting. And, the VG900 has interest for those with lots of A-mount lenses, but so far video performance of the 24MP chip has been poor. We'll have to wait for reviews to see.

But all of these are not as interesting as the BMC -- a true DSLR replacement for video shooters
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