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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 January 19th, 2011, 12:27 PM   #16
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As I said in my previous post gain settings are decided by the engineers not some standard. I think that the NX5U gain settings are set high. That is, 0 on the NX5U is more like 6db on the FX1. It's not quite at this level but close and not linear. 12db on the FX1 is about the same as 9 on the NX5U in terms of grain both are a lot noisier than the XR500 at almost any gain setting up to 18db on the XR500. I would not use the NX5U above 9db if I can help it as the grain becomes obvious. I don't think it is much different than the FX1 but since I mix with the XR500 or the EX3 it becomes obvious then.

You may also find that focusing is critical on the NX5U and it will be worth using both the expanded focus aid as well as peaking to get the sharpness you need.

Ron Evans
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Old January 19th, 2011, 12:34 PM   #17
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The NX5 uses 1/3rd inch CMOS chips whereas the Z1 uses 1/3rd inch CCDs. Both zoom lenses have a maximum aperture of f/1.6 and they both ramp (lose speed) equally as you zoom towards telephoto. My tests show the newer camera is very nearly a stop more sensitive than the Z1.

This isnít as much a deal-breaker as youíd imagine, and in practical terms mean that youíd be filming with the Z1 set on +6dB of gain up whereas the NX5 would be on 0dB under the same low light conditions. Both cameras get pretty grainy at +18dB of gain up, but the Z1 Ďs gain is less objectionable on screen, and Iím pretty sure it has to do with the in-built noise-reduction circuitry.

The Z1 gets softer as the gainís applied whereas the NX5 plumps for sharpness retention and the grain looks more objectionable. You canít do much about either situation; thereís no menu option to trade one against the other as there is with digital still cameras. The extra sensitivity of the NX5 means the third neutral density filter is welcome as it absorbs that extra stop out in the sunshine.

tom.
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Old January 19th, 2011, 12:39 PM   #18
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Thanks Ron...12db was all I ever wanted to go on the FX1...i just dropped the shutter as long as no real fast actions or limited to no pans were done. Guess I adjust the NX5s accordingly.

To be honest...although we all like to see significant gains when we move to new camera bodies, I had four succesfull years shooting with my FX1s...granted they didn't have the quality o other cameras (costing more) ...but I made money with them and I was happy, for the most part with the quality. Even a minor rise in quality will be icing for me...as I no longer will have to spend all day Sunday capturing footage from Saturday's gig.

Although they performed flawlessly for all that time...I was concerned of having some kind of tape drive failure at some point... and I knew the shelf life of the camera was coming towards the end.

I did not want a huge learning curve as my shhoting season is about to explode in a few weeks so I wanted a camera similair to what I had but like the idea of tapeless and also the idea of 720/60P.
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Old January 19th, 2011, 01:01 PM   #19
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I moved from the FX1 for similar reasons. I film with others, EX3 and also use my XR500 and SR11. The FX1 was the only tape camera and also looked less sharp and noisier than the others. Time was also important for my theatre shoots so not having tape was also a goal. I have now got a lot more used to the NX5U and now take much greater care to focus as this seems more critical than it was on the FX1. Auto focus is about as poor as on the FX1 when compared to the XR500 or the SR11 and I would love to have the touch spot focus on the NX5U that is on these consumer cameras. As Tom says the NX5U is a little more sensitive whereas a lot of my theatre shoots were at 6 to 12 db on the FX1 they are now 0 to 9 db on the NX5U. Personally I just think the engineers moved the scale when they allowed negative gain !!!!

Gains in moving to the NX5U for me are mainly convenience ( no tape to change ), transfer to PC is faster than tape, better audio than FX1. Picture quality is better too but not startlingly better than the XR500 which is a lot easier to get a spot focus with.

All files are now AVCHD ( other than the few EX3 files) and I put everything into one directory and back up to LTO3 data tape. Backup is very important as there are no video tapes left for you to go to if you erase from the PC.

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Old January 20th, 2011, 07:51 AM   #20
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Ron what are the benefits of backing up to LTO3 data tape other than archiving purposes? Because in this day in age you can get a 1tb hard drive for 69$ at Bestbuy or Futureshop. To me it seems more convenient to purchase 3 or 4 external hard drives then to start backing up to tape. Are LTO3 tapes expensive? What is the process do you need some sort of HDV tape drive in order to do it?
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Old January 20th, 2011, 08:42 AM   #21
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My Quantum HH Ultrium 3 drive cost $1100 Can and the tapes are about $25 for 400G. That is enough for about 40 hours of AVCHD. Software is Retrospect backup software. Tapes are about the size of 3 DV tapes. Backup and restore speed is about as fast as the hard drives will go and in my system that is about 65MBps sustained. So will backup and verify/ compare 2 hours of AVCHD in about 10 mins.

The linear tape is much more reliable than a hard drive and unless you want instant access is easier to manage. Hard drives are not very reliable and one would need a RAID 5 or more to maintain some level of security. I keep source files, editing project and finished output on the tapes. I clean off the hard drives when editing the project is finished. I do keep a DVD and Bluray image on a hard drive for quick access. Don't really care if it fails as I can just load from tape again.

As a bonus it will of course backup the whole PC too.

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Old January 20th, 2011, 11:16 AM   #22
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Ron,
Not meaing to go off topic...but how does battery life compare between the FX1 and the NX5.

I had planned on getting some new 970s...but already have a good array of them...
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Old January 20th, 2011, 11:26 AM   #23
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You won't need more. The NX5 draws 7.7 watts, the FX1 7.9 watts because of the tape deck motor. The catch is this - to make the NX5's top screen match the FX1's and be usable in daylight you have to bump the brightness to full in both menu options, and I'm betting this means it tops 8.5 watts easy.

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Old January 20th, 2011, 11:58 AM   #24
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All my projects are in the theatre so LCD on both FX1 and NX5 are on bright. I haven't really noticed any difference really. Use the same 970 as I used on the FX1 and it seems to run just as long. I can do a two to three hour show and still have several hours left on the battery. I take the 770 that came with the NX5U as a backup but have never used yet. I use the FMU and SDHC cards at times too.

Ron Evans
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Old January 20th, 2011, 10:16 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alec Moreno View Post
Chris...
Lowering your shutter speed will not affect your frame rate. What it does do is brighten the picture at the cost of making it more blurry...and the faster the motion, the more blurry it'll be.

With the NX5, I'm a lot happier with lowering the shutter speed, compared to gaining up too high.

Alec Moreno
Wedding Art Films - Southern California - Los Angeles - Orange County - Video
Alec, I wanna ask you maybe little bit out of topic here, what will happen if I lowering shutter speed and I record some panning and faster moving? will it interlaced?
thanx

AN
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Old January 20th, 2011, 11:54 PM   #26
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Adjusting the shutter speed will not affect the format (interlaced or progressive). The format is selected elsewhere in the menus and will not change (unless you use the slow motion feature).

Lowering shutter speed will cause the image to blur. If the scene and camera are absolutely still, you probably will not be able to see any blurring. However, camera and/or subject movement will cause blurring. The faster the movement, the more the image will blur in that portion of the image. From what I can see, there is a little more blurring when shooting in 720p compared to 1080p. Try some tests though to see how far you can comfortably push the camera for what you're shooting.

As I mentioned though, I'm very happy with the NX5's ability to produce a good image at 1/30 shutter speed.

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Old January 21st, 2011, 01:28 AM   #27
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okay alec, thanx for the information, i will try to make some experiments..
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