AX2000 Rainbow effect in viewfinder at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony NXCAM / AVCHD Camcorders

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 29th, 2010, 05:13 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 309
AX2000 Rainbow effect in viewfinder

I just got the HDR-AX2000 and for the most part I'm happy with it, but there's something odd that I don't know if it's a design flaw or if I got a faulty unit.

When I use the viewfinder I can see this weird rainbow effect in the contours of objects, but it's not there all the time, it's like it "flashes" at certain times, every second or two. I can notice it most when I blink, although I can still see it without blinking. This problem is more noticeable when I use the guide frame, and it becomes very easy to tell around the edges of the white lines of the grid. Also, moving the camera makes this more evident, even if it's a slow panning.

This problem doesn't show at all in the LCD screen.

I googled hdr-ax2000 rainbow effect and I got nothing about this, however if I google viewfinder rainbow effect I get some results talking about this same problem, but it seems to be a problem of photo cameras exclusively.

So I'm puzzled about this. I haven't seen this problem in any viewfinder in neither consumer nor professional cameras in twenty years. I've seen poor quality viewfinders, and some that showed a bit of a rainbow effect, but it was there all the time due to the poor quality of the viewfinder, it wouldn't flash the rainbow effect. So it would seem very unlikely that a $3500 camcorder would have this, although I wouldn't put it past Sony, since they always seem to release products that are great overall but with a shortcoming here and there.

So can anybody with the AX-2000 please go outdoors tomorrow (or today if you are in a part of the world where the sun is still shining) and start panning around looking through the viewfinder to see if you can observe this problem and let me know. I would really really appreciate it, since I don't want to have to send it back for an exchange if the replacement is going to be the same.

Thanks,

Sebastian
Sebastian Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29th, 2010, 06:20 PM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Beersheba, Israel
Posts: 111
What you report in your post is the very well-known anomaly exhibited by many DLP-based HDTV’s and it’s called “the color wheel rainbow effect”.

This anomaly is described as flickers of red, blue and green “shadows” especially noticeable in high contrast areas of the picture or on the bright objects moving fast over a dark background. Besides, momentarily perceptible color separation can be visible during rapid eye movements.

As a matter of fact, the AX2000 EVF (as well as the viewfinder of the NX5) is build on LCoS technology (Liquid Crystal on Silicon): it contains 3 852x480 LCoS panels. The LCoS technology is a reflective technology similar to DLP projectors; but it uses liquid crystals instead of individual mirrors of DLP.

However, even with this difference, the LCoS technology suffers from the same “rainbow effect” as the DLP does.

The good news is that only small percentage of people perceives these rainbow artifacts frequently, while many others never see them at all. The bad news is that you, Sebastian, are in that small percentage, unfortunately.
Arkady Bolotin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 29th, 2010, 08:10 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkady Bolotin View Post
What you report in your post is the very well-known anomaly exhibited by many DLP-based HDTV’s and it’s called “the color wheel rainbow effect”.

The good news is that only small percentage of people perceives these rainbow artifacts frequently, while many others never see them at all. The bad news is that you, Sebastian, are in that small percentage, unfortunately.
Interesting. What I don't understand is, how come I've never seen this effect in any viewfinder before in my life? Do they use this "LCoS technology" because it's cheaper or why? Again, it's kind of puzzling to see that they used this technology in a top of the line prosumer camera, when their cheapest prosumer, the HVR-HD1000U, which I also have, doesn't have this annoyance at all. I mean, even if a small percentage of people see this effect, you would think that Sony would use in their pro camcorders a technology that doesn't produce these RGB flashes to anybody at all.
Sebastian Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 30th, 2010, 09:05 AM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Beersheba, Israel
Posts: 111
I believe you do not expect me answering for the Sony’s decision making policy. For my part, I can only speculate why they did this and did not that.

I assume the NX5/AX2000 EVF is built on the LCoS technology because this technology can produce higher resolution and higher contrast images than standard LCD viewfinders. Furthermore, due to high fill factors (minimal space between pixels), visible pixelation on an LCOS EVF is nonexistent. That is, the pixel structure is less visible than you get with a high resolution LCD EVF. And what’s more, LCoS-based viewfinders are less expensive to produce.

Of course, the LCoS EVF’s exhibit the “rainbow effect” which can be very distractible for some people, but the tradeoff is you get a smooth and naturalistic image, one of the best in business.
Arkady Bolotin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 30th, 2010, 09:39 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkady Bolotin View Post
I believe you do not expect me answering for the Sony’s decision making policy. For my part, I can only speculate why they did this and did not that.

I assume the NX5/AX2000 EVF is built on the LCoS technology because this technology can produce higher resolution and higher contrast images than standard LCD viewfinders. Furthermore, due to high fill factors (minimal space between pixels), visible pixelation on an LCOS EVF is nonexistent. That is, the pixel structure is less visible than you get with a high resolution LCD EVF. And what’s more, LCoS-based viewfinders are less expensive to produce.

Of course, the LCoS EVF’s exhibit the “rainbow effect” which can be very distractible for some people, but the tradeoff is you get a smooth and naturalistic image, one of the best in business.
See, that's my problem. You say you get a smooth and naturalistic image, but since apparently I belong to that minority that can observe this problem, to me it's neither smooth nor naturalistic. It's more like "I just spent $3381 on a state of the art camcorder but I can't use the viewfinder because it flashes rainbows on edges of objects."

Now, if I would have been born with an eye anomaly such as being colorblind or anything else that doesn't allow me to see TV sets and other viewfinders properly, then I wouldn't be so upset about it, but if it's known that a small percentage of people can observe this problem in this display technology, then why does Sony use it instead of using some other technology that maybe doesn't look so crisp, but that doesn't display any anomaly for anybody?
Sebastian Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 30th, 2010, 10:28 AM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Beersheba, Israel
Posts: 111
In the perfect world a manufacturer would have to care about each and every customer’s opinion and needs. But unfortunately we do not leave in that perfect world.

So, some people always will be an injured party of every new technology and innovation.
Arkady Bolotin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2010, 03:46 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: PERTH. W.A. AUSTRALIA.
Posts: 4,356
Sebastian.


Consider yourself as having a rare gift. You would probably make one hell of a baseball or cricket player in another life if you do not already excell in bat/ball sports.

One small question. It is not a joke comment and hopefully not interpreted as stupid. Do you use both eyes when operating the camera, one for situation and one for the viewfinder?
Bob Hart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2010, 09:26 AM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Iasi, Romania
Posts: 121
My advice is to ask a friend or more to see if they notice same as you do. Maybe your camera really has a problem. Then check another AX2000 or NX5 for the same problem.
Cristian Adrian Olariu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2010, 11:05 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Hart View Post
Consider yourself as having a rare gift. You would probably make one hell of a baseball or cricket player in another life if you do not already excell in bat/ball sports.

One small question. It is not a joke comment and hopefully not interpreted as stupid. Do you use both eyes when operating the camera, one for situation and one for the viewfinder?
Bob, how would this problem relate to being a good baseball or cricket player? I don't understand. In any case, more than a gift it's a curse.

Normally I close my left eye when I look through the viewfinder, although I have tried opening the other eye and the problem is still there.
Sebastian Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2010, 11:08 AM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cristian Adrian Olariu View Post
My advice is to ask a friend or more to see if they notice same as you do. Maybe your camera really has a problem. Then check another AX2000 or NX5 for the same problem.
I wish I could see another AX2000 for this problem, but the only way to do that would be to request a replacement from the dealer, and judging by what Arkady said, it's because of the type of display that I'm seeing this problem, so exchanging it would mean being without it for two weeks and in the end it would be the same.
Sebastian Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2010, 11:59 AM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: PERTH. W.A. AUSTRALIA.
Posts: 4,356
Sebastian.


My comment makes two assumptions, probably wrong.

One is that your eyesight has the ability to see fast or momentary things most of us can't. - Perhaps analagous to faster shutter speeds which can freeze motion and make moving objects discernable.

The late legendary batsman Don Bradman also "the little master" batsman Sachin Tendulkar, apparently share such a gift.

As for the using of the second eye question, I was wondering if eye movements themselves would make the viewfinder artifact less or more more apparent. I speculated on whether using or closing the left eye might have an effect on being able to see the artifact through affecting the movements of the right eye.


Out of all this, I should be so lucky. I am short-sighted and partially colour blind. Sometimes I am a bit too clever for my own good. This might have been one of those times.


Cristian's suggestion of trying another camera of the same type makes good sense.

Last edited by Bob Hart; October 31st, 2010 at 12:02 PM. Reason: error
Bob Hart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2010, 12:58 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 309
I just asked my girlfriend to go outside with me and the camera to test this and she also sees it. So either she's in the same minority that sees this problem, or the viewfinder really has a problem. I'll keep doing some more research on this, but let me ask this in case anyone knows: is there a chance that the viewfinder is not calibrated properly in factory and therefore exhibits this issue? Or is this, without a doubt, simply a side effect of the technology used for it? Because again, I had never seen this problem in any viewfinder of any camcorder I ever had or looked through before in my entire life, consumer or professional.
Sebastian Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2010, 03:14 PM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,866
Sebastian -
It's a well known and rather more pedestrian (common) effect with the particular technology they are using in the viewfinders - I see it in my CX550V VF (curent model), it's been widely reported in the latest SLT (Sony's new Alpha) EVF.

I'm going to guess that the technology allows for higher numbers of pixels in the tiny display, and so was regarded as "superior" (or maybe it was just cheaper).

I too particularly notice the RBG artifacts with the gridlines on, and it has to do with my eye moving, as some have noted. It was a little strange the first time I saw it, but haven't given it a thought beyond that!
Dave Blackhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2010, 03:28 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 309
To me it's just really upsetting that a company like Sony designs a professional camcorder with a price tag of $3500 and they don't put a decent viewfinder in it. I can't even remember how many camcorders I've had in my hands during my life, and never before have I seen this problem.
Sebastian Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2010, 11:40 PM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: PERTH. W.A. AUSTRALIA.
Posts: 4,356
Sebastian.


Your second person's observations and the comments in this thread pretty much nails it.

Sony perhaps should have upfront made it plain that the particular design has a characteristic, which if observed, is "normal" in an easily found disclaimer statement in the promotional flyers,

It is a bit like "rolling shutter" and CMOS sensors. The consumer becomes the crash-test dummy owner of a product which cannot be returned because it is performing to specification.

At the price points, people will accept that consumer-prosumer gear will not perform at the level of a Panavision Genesis. However people also like to be able to make informed decisions.

Sites like dvinfo.net become defacto points of disclosure and many thanks to Chris and the team for that. Unfortunately, it can only be after a buyer of a product has already been nipped.

We should therefore be appreciative that you have informed the rest of this community via this forum.
Bob Hart is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony NXCAM / AVCHD Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:10 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network