Need help with IQ issue on NX5U 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 July 6th, 2011, 02:03 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 52
Need help with IQ issue on NX5U

I'm editing the first shots I took with the NX5 cam I just bought, and I'm just shocked at the horrid image quality I'm getting right now. Granted, I have no experience with this or any other sony cam, but something is definitely off here. Everything just looks extremely soft and grainy. I don't know if it's due to a problem with the camera settings, or if I need to do some post corrections to get the clear, crisp images I've seen others get from this cam, but the video I've just rendered from FCP is no where near the quality I would expect from this camera.

I will try to upload a sample vid later, but until I have time I've attached 2 screen grabs from the video in question. The image quality is exactly the same in the video. You can clearly see the grainy softness I was talking about. I'm hoping someone here has some advice as to what I'm doing wrong with regards to this cam and/or how I can correct it.

BTW, the shot settings for this were 1080 30p. I also had the ND filter on 2 or 3 because it was so bright. Don't know if that had anything to do with things or not.
Attached Thumbnails
Need help with IQ issue on NX5U-beach-1.png   Need help with IQ issue on NX5U-beach-2.png  

Stephen Boss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 6th, 2011, 03:36 PM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 52
Re: Need help with IQ issue on NX5U

So, I went back and checked some other footage I shot and it looks fine. Which now leads me to believe it's the ND filter that messed up my footage.. either that or my cam settings can't handle outdoor sunlight at all because the stuff I shot indoors is much cleaner and crisper. Still trying to get to the bottom of this though, so I'd appreciate any info/insight anyone can provide with regards to this matter.
Stephen Boss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 6th, 2011, 04:13 PM   #3
New Boot
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Hawley PA
Posts: 23
Re: Need help with IQ issue on NX5U

Well sun on the beach at high noon is a tough test. This is shooting that fairly screams for a polarizing filter. That said, I shot for a couple days in very similar circumstances. You be the judge. I suspect that it may be where the sun is coming from more than the camera. Your subject very much more attractive than mine.
Attached Thumbnails
Need help with IQ issue on NX5U-kusimi-island.jpg   Need help with IQ issue on NX5U-monkey-beach-1.jpg  

Marc M. Myers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 6th, 2011, 04:55 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,943
Re: Need help with IQ issue on NX5U

I think they are just out of focus. Focus is very critical on the NX5U, it drives me a little crazy at times compared to the little Sony cams like the CX700 that I have that are always pin sharp. Unfortunately I have come to the conclusion that one must decide what one wants in focus and then allow for depth of field to bring in the rest that one would like to be in focus. Auto focus is mostly wrong so I just don't use at all. I have learned to use the peaking a lot more than before too as well as the expanded focus aid and close look at the distance indication in the LCD as a final check.

Ron Evans
Ron Evans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 6th, 2011, 08:11 PM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 52
Re: Need help with IQ issue on NX5U

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc M. Myers View Post
Well sun on the beach at high noon is a tough test. This is shooting that fairly screams for a polarizing filter. That said, I shot for a couple days in very similar circumstances. You be the judge. I suspect that it may be where the sun is coming from more than the camera. Your subject very much more attractive than mine.
Those shots are much cleaner than mine, to my eyes. Perhaps it's the bright sun that's causing the issues, but in my experience that usually translates to better IQ. I also shot stills from a photo camera that day and those came out great, so I don't know why the sun would effect one and not the other. Now I wish I would've shot a sample with my dslr for comparison, cause this just doesn't make sense to me that the image would come out that poor.

I also have a vid from later in the afternoon, where the sun is still high, but a bit less strong. That also is suffering from the same grain and softness issues, just not quite as bad as the beach scene. I also used less ND filter on that shoot, which still has me thinking the ND filter may be at fault here.
Stephen Boss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 6th, 2011, 08:44 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 52
Re: Need help with IQ issue on NX5U

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
I think they are just out of focus. Focus is very critical on the NX5U, it drives me a little crazy at times compared to the little Sony cams like the CX700 that I have that are always pin sharp. Unfortunately I have come to the conclusion that one must decide what one wants in focus and then allow for depth of field to bring in the rest that one would like to be in focus. Auto focus is mostly wrong so I just don't use at all. I have learned to use the peaking a lot more than before too as well as the expanded focus aid and close look at the distance indication in the LCD as a final check.

Ron Evans
I suppose it could be a focus issue, as I did have it set to auto focus. But we all know what an OOF shot looks like. With my other cameras, if the focus is off, it looks like the focus is off when you play it back... but the video is still clean. That beach video is very grainy and almost looks paint like. This is another screen grab from a vid I took with my dslr. The shot is OOF, but it still looks fairly clean, not grainy and cartoonish like the NX5 grab.

I'm going to do some test tomorrow along side my dslr to try and get a better basis to go on.
Attached Thumbnails
Need help with IQ issue on NX5U-house-1.png  
Stephen Boss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 7th, 2011, 10:30 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Port Orange Fl
Posts: 317
Re: Need help with IQ issue on NX5U

Stephen,

Can you go back and tell us what the shutter speed iris and gain are? It looks out of focus on the wide shot but there is a lot of grain on the girl. That will help to narrow it down. I'm wondering if you had it on auto and the shutter speed was way up there.

Dan
Dan Asseff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 8th, 2011, 12:37 PM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 52
Re: Need help with IQ issue on NX5U

Everything was on manual except for the focus. The record mode was 1080/30p. I know the gain was set to 0, and I believe the ND filter was on 2. I don’t recall exactly what I had the iris and shutter speed set to, but I think I may have increased the shutter to 60, and with so much light I would’ve likely been between f7-11.
Stephen Boss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 8th, 2011, 02:59 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Fontana, CA
Posts: 183
Re: Need help with IQ issue on NX5U

The lighting is not the problem. It's probably a combination of the following issues, though not necessarily all of them.

1. Slightly out of focus. (This camera's LCD is terrible for focusing because the picture is so crisp in comparison to the Z1 generation of cameras a few years ago. You could get away with focusing on those older cameras using only the LCD, but with this one you need to at least use the viewfinder for sure along with the expanded focus feature.)

2. High gain. (Outdoors in sunlight, I drop the gain all the way to -6db. The gain itself is not actually the problem here. It's that using a high gain can force you to close the iris more. See the next item.)

3. Iris (F-stop) too high/closed. (I try to stay out of the 7-11 range. Use a higher ND filter and open the iris more in order to maintain a crisper picture. Just be aware that opening the iris narrows your depth of field, so focus will become even more critical.)

4. Back focus may be off. (My NX5's back focus was off and had to have it repaired by Sony. In that case the problem was a hardware issue with the lens assembly. The root of the problem could be a software issue as well though. Either way, it's not something you can handle yourself on this particular camera. You can see how to check the back focus pretty easily if you do a quick search for instructions on the internet. Caution...You're often not likely to spot a back focus issue in the field, so definitely run a test in a controlled situation before your next shoot. Some early NX5s were prone to this problem, but I have not heard of any issues from more recent purchasers, with the exception of my own camera of course.)
____________________

The shutter speed should not make a big difference in this case if you're going between 1/30 and 1/60 as it's only a difference of one F-stop. I prefer 1/60 outdoors, but 1/30 is completely workable as well.
____________________

Alec Moreno
Wedding Art Films - Southern California - Los Angeles - Orange County - Video
Alec Moreno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 9th, 2011, 10:43 AM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 52
Re: Need help with IQ issue on NX5U

Sounds like you're saying the iris is likely the main culprit here. I honestly don't see how the iris should be making that drastic of a difference on any camera. However, if you're right, then if I were to open the iris more and drop the gain, then I should get a nice crisp image. But I tried that and the image is still grainy. I did some test shots outside in the sun at -6 gain and f4 and it was still grainy like the beach footage... and my focus was spot on so I know that's not the issue.

I had the ND filter on 3, and when I dropped it to 2 there seemed to be a bit less grain, which leads me to believe (as strange as it may be) that the ND filter could be giving me a grainy image (or perhaps it's just that the grain was more noticeable against a few less stops of light. I'll have to do another test to be sure, but other than that, the only logical thing is a software defect, which I would feel better if that were the case cause I have yet to be impressed with any image that has come from this camera thus far.
Stephen Boss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 9th, 2011, 05:17 PM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Nicosia, CYPRUS
Posts: 1,080
Re: Need help with IQ issue on NX5U

Stephen did you connect the camera direct to a HDTV via the HDMI cable? What is the picture then? Try it.

stelios
__________________
My Blog: http://steliosc.blogspot.com
"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free" Nikos Kazantzakis
Stelios Christofides is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 9th, 2011, 08:11 PM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 52
Re: Need help with IQ issue on NX5U

Yes, I was checking all the videos via HDMI cable to HDTV. I have 1 more test left to do to rule out the ND filter, then the only other option that I can see is a camera defect. Unless the images from the NX5 cams just aren't that great to begin with?
Stephen Boss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 10th, 2011, 01:41 AM   #13
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Nicosia, CYPRUS
Posts: 1,080
Re: Need help with IQ issue on NX5U

Stephen if it was me I would take the camera to a Sony dealer and asked to be repaired, especially if it is under warranty. At least this way you eliminate the faulty camera factor.

stelios
__________________
My Blog: http://steliosc.blogspot.com
"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free" Nikos Kazantzakis
Stelios Christofides is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2011, 04:48 AM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 176
Re: Need help with IQ issue on NX5U

I had a similar issue when I first got the NX5 a couple of years back - I also shoot with a Z5 so I had a comparison as both lenses and camera bodies are the same - apart from the codec.

The objective tests I made showed that the ND filters were causing the problems (depth of field and focus issues on a fixed manual setting). The back focus would change on a given setting as I went through the NDs.

I sent both cameras back to Sony. They were returned with NFF - no fault found.

Over here in the UK we don't get the same light intensity as you people in FL or OZ, but if I do have a near similar condition I go no higher than F5.6, go into negative gain or up the shutter speed in order not to slip in the ND. Not always possible. However, if you're running and gunning such niceties are few and far between.

However, most of the time my NX5 is the B camera for interiors with the NDs switched out. For all other shots I prefer the Z5 and the results it produces. My published media is DVD so it does the job.

Good luck

:)
__________________
Women don't hit harder, they just hit lower!
Claire Buckley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2011, 02:09 PM   #15
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Nicosia, CYPRUS
Posts: 1,080
Re: Need help with IQ issue on NX5U

Claire I also have the Z5 and thinking in buying the NX5, but your statement that you use the Z5 as your 1st choice and the NX5 as the B camera really surprised me as I thought that with the NX5 you would get better results. On another note; if you white balance both cameras on the same scene, do you get the same results?

stelios
__________________
My Blog: http://steliosc.blogspot.com
"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free" Nikos Kazantzakis
Stelios Christofides 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 07:49 PM.


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