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Sony NXCAM / AVCHD Camcorders
Sony HXR-NX100, HXR-NX70, NX30, NX5, NX3/1, HXR-MC2500, HDR-AX2000, etc.


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Old June 9th, 2010, 04:30 AM   #1
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NX5 shooting modes

I've not had my NX5 long and have shot two weddings with it in it's default mode, AVCHD top whack, 50i. But the plethora of menu settings is somewhat mind-boggling and I've no idea where to start. It was easy on my Z1, I simply engaged black stretch and away I went.

I bet this has been discussed here at length, and you guys who have owned the camera for some time will know a lot more about it than me.

tom.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 12:26 PM   #2
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Well, first . . .

I'd say shoot progressive. ALWAYS. Interlaced footage is ugly to begin with, and on top of the, I don't think AVCHD handles it all that well (at least from what I've heard). I am using NTSC, and am experimenting with 30p and 24p. You'll probably want to do 25p.

Other than that, I like to shoot pretty clean and natural with the lowest gain setting possible given the situation and the white balance set correctly. Anything else I try to do in post.

I might start playing with gammas and such later on. For instance, in bright sunlight, you one might want to raise black levels to increase perceived dynamic range. Anyway. My two cents.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 12:34 PM   #3
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Well I have the exact opposite view. I do not like the motion artifacts of slow frame rates so until we get 1920x1080x60P I will shoot 60i. Just try some of the PP settings and see what you like. I found mine matches well with the SR11 and XR500 I have with detail and chroma up a little . Change the settings in PP1 to your choice and see what you like.

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Old June 10th, 2010, 12:51 PM   #4
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I'm with you on this Ron - I want the wedding to look as real as I can get it, and shooting 50p means I have to drop to 1280x720, and would this downconvert as nicely for DVD? So many tests, so little time.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 01:19 PM   #5
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I agree with Ron. Every time I try 'progressive', I go back to interleave. I understand very well the difference and why they came about. Interleaved was designed for CRT's and Progressive for solid state monitors. I will take 60 poor quality interleave frames per second over 30,24,etc. quality frames per second any day that I must record video that has motion involved. Sony calls progressive mode 'like film'. That, I call a true statement.

As for the NX5U, I can not see or tell any difference between FX and FH mode. I have one piece of video equipment that does not accept FX mode, so I stick with FH.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 08:51 PM   #6
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Well when I was shooting with my Canon XL2, I've always used interlaced 60i.

One of the reason, I've bought the NX5U was that I was able to shoot 720p/60. I've done it filming sport events and one wedding and I have to say that I was impressed with the outcome. If I wanted to go in 1080, I would probably also select the interlaced format 60i.

Unless, I knew for sure I would not do any panning. 24p and and 30p do not look that great when panning. I find it good when you have to move your camera gently (front to back). Left to right (panning) is totally another story.

As for editing your clip, what is your computing environment (PC or MAC)? Some PC software like EDIUS (Ron would say) can read the AVCHD file without any conversion. MAC with FinalCut Pro will require to do a log and transfer, preferably in ProRes 422 LT. Also, you should not set the recording in LPCM as it would take way to long to perform a log and transfer in FCP.

On a MAC to perform a down convert with Compressor (HD to SD 4:3) is a peace of cake.

One thing Progressive filming will allow to take frame and save them as very nice still images. If you intend to create still images from your filming do not use interlace. In using interlace, you will require to do a de-interlace on the still picture in software such as Photoshop CS. De-interlace in still image is a must and unfortunately you will loose in quality. When filming I now often create still images from the filming specially because I like to use them on DVD covert and DVD media itself.
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Old June 11th, 2010, 05:58 AM   #7
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I have pulled still images off my NX5U 60i media using software ( not using the camera ) and 60i was never an issue. I will say, that pulling still images off does require the subject to be still. If the subject or object is moving at all, the image is not sharp due to the frame speed of 60, not becuase it is i or p.
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Old June 11th, 2010, 07:25 AM   #8
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Theoretically a still from a progressive shoot will provide a better image than interlace. However if the frame rate is slow ( 30P or 24P) then the subject cannot be moving as there will be motion blur( unless the shutter speed is higher, in which case the video will look bad with judder !!!). At 60P the image will be better as the exposure will be at 1/60 sec but now image is 1280x720 and deinterlacing software may get just as good an image from an interlaced 1920x1080 set of fields. Both Vegas and Edius will extract a good quality still frame without using any other software, that I use for backgrounds etc on DVD or Bluray.

Ron Evans
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