To settle the record, can the FS100 record 8bit RGB? at DVinfo.net

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Sony NXCAM NEX-FS100 CineAlta
An interchangeable lens AVCHD camcorder using E-Mount lenses.


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Old September 12th, 2012, 05:11 PM   #1
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To settle the record, can the FS100 record 8bit RGB?

I've been trying to find information about this for awhile but only recently started emailing, making calls, etc.

I'm trying to find either an external recorder, studio recorder, or even a PCIe card that could capture 8bit RGB off of my FS100.

recently I emailed Cinedeck, and they got back to me almost immediately with this reply

"Hi Tim,

They all support 422 recording because no one supports Sony's proprietary 8bit RGB pixel format, including us, unfortunately.

You could possibly use an AJA 'HDMI to dual link' converter and record dual link 4:4:4 to the RX or EX"

A few days later I called abelcine, and the representitive said that the FS100 only supported 4:2:2 output.

I also called AJA, and the representitive at AJA said because it is the live, uncompressed signal out of the HDMI port, it doesn't have any format be that YUV or RGB, 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 that it was all decided on the recording end.

BHphotovideo's page on the FS100 still states

"Uncompressed 4:2:2 & RGB Output via HDMI" as a feature point

BHPhotovideo here

Sony's page however states

"HDMI Output with Embedded Time code for 4:2:2 Uncompressed digital output. For extra convenience when using external recorders, the NEX-FS100 provides an HDMI Output with Embedded Time code and pull down markers Signal Output al Output."

Sony Product Detail Page NEXFS100U

I've tried contacting Sony directly but I've received no email reply, and when I call their phone line and select "Sony Professional Products" the automated system tells me to go to their website.

Does anyone know for a fact that the FS100 is even capable of a true RGB signal? or would it just be YUV converted to RGB after camera processing.

And if it does, is there ANY product that can capture that RGB signal from HDMI, or losslessly convert it from HDMI to SDI.

every product I've seen from Blackmagic, Atomos, Cinedeck, Cinemartin, AJA. They all only take a 4:2:2 signal.

Let me know if you know otherwise, I'd like to get this settled once and for all, and if it isn't capable, this becomes a matter of false advertising.

Thanks for your time.
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Old September 13th, 2012, 02:45 AM   #2
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Re: To settle the record, can the FS100 record 8bit RGB?

Part of the issue is that to record RGB instead of 4:2:2 you will need a recorder that can record double the data rate required for 422 and this would limit you to one of the 4:4:4 Dual Link or 3G capable recorders like the Cinedeck or Gemini or a Dual Link capture card and as high end products these are based around Dual Link and 3G HDSDI for RGB (4:4:4). The normal lower cost recorders like the Samurai, Shuttle or Pix240 cannot manage the data rates needed for RGB (4:4:4).

All HDMI devices are supposed to support 8 bit RGB as standard, so the FS100's output should include RGB capability. However I suspect the FS100 only outputs RGB when connected to an RGB monitor and switches to YCbCr when connected to other devices. A simple test would be to take the HDMI output from the FS100 and connect it to a 1920x1080 DVI monitor via a simple HDMI - DVI adapter. DVI is RGB using the same protocols as HDMI. If the DVI monitor works then that would confirm that RGB is coming from the FS100.
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Old September 13th, 2012, 06:45 AM   #3
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Re: To settle the record, can the FS100 record 8bit RGB?

The HDMI chipset will convert the video to RGB if you connect it to an RGB monitor but it won't include any additional information.
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Old September 13th, 2012, 12:26 PM   #4
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Re: To settle the record, can the FS100 record 8bit RGB?

Thanks Alister and Chris.

@Alister

So in theory I could use an HDMI > SDI adapter box, except all the ones I've seen, like from AJA only accept a 4:2:2 signal over HDMI. It sounds like I wouldn't gain anything though even if I did do this.

@Chris

This is good to know, so it is capable of outputting it for compatibility, but as far as quality, I'm not losing any of the original data off of the sensor if I use a 4:2:2 recorder, right?

so for usable RGB (aka the sensor is actually capturing RGB data, not just upsampling 4:2:2) you would need a camera like the Sony PMW F3, right? That would make sense.
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Old September 13th, 2012, 02:26 PM   #5
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Re: To settle the record, can the FS100 record 8bit RGB?

Right. You won't gain any quality with RGB. Recording the normal 4:2:2 is as goodo as it gets.
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Old September 13th, 2012, 04:45 PM   #6
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Re: To settle the record, can the FS100 record 8bit RGB?

Thanks Chris,

Now I can buy an external recorder with more information and confidence. I just wanted to get the most from my camera and future proof my footage as much as possible. Thanks for clearing that up.
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Old September 16th, 2012, 05:21 AM   #7
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Re: To settle the record, can the FS100 record 8bit RGB?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
All HDMI devices are supposed to support 8 bit RGB as standard, so the FS100's output should include RGB capability. However I suspect the FS100 only outputs RGB when connected to an RGB monitor and switches to YCbCr when connected to other devices. A simple test would be to take the HDMI output from the FS100 and connect it to a 1920x1080 DVI monitor via a simple HDMI - DVI adapter. DVI is RGB using the same protocols as HDMI. If the DVI monitor works then that would confirm that RGB is coming from the FS100.
I've done that, and indeed it works.
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Old September 27th, 2012, 03:23 PM   #8
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Re: To settle the record, can the FS100 record 8bit RGB?

An update:

I don't know where I went on the website before that I couldn't find the number, but I found the professional contact number for Sony and gave them a call. I got transferred to the technical department and asked about RGB recording. The serviceman asked I hold, and I was on hold for about 8 minutes. After doing his research he came back and explained that this feature is not available on the FS100 but will be on the FS700. So it's official from Sony's mouth, the FS100 is a 4:2:2 YUV camera only, no RGB.
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