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Sony NXCAM NEX-FS700 CineAlta
4K EXMOR sensor with SDI, slow-motion recording.


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Old February 6th, 2015, 08:24 AM   #31
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Huff View Post
Hey Steven, that video was shot on the C100.
Yes, I was perfectly clear on that fact. Evidently not so clear was my statement, which I should have written to say that if a video like that had been shot on an FS700 utilizing the signal paths that Chris has promoted, even though it wasn't, then the comparisons therein would have answered some of our questions here. ;)
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Old February 6th, 2015, 08:38 AM   #32
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

Ah, thanks for clarifying.
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Old February 7th, 2015, 06:54 AM   #33
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

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Originally Posted by Steven Reid View Post
I think we're still looking to you to prove up your point.
The HD component YUV output of the FS700 complies fully with the SMPTE analogue YPbPr SMPTE-274 standard. That’s my belief so guys please convince me if I’m wrong.

If I understand you correctly Gary I think what you are suggesting is that the analogue output is derived from an 8 -bit conversion somewhere in the chain. Do you have any data to support that hypothesis? I can't see this being the situation with the FS700. I could be wrong but I do not believe so. If so this would be first Sony camera I have come across that does this.

On all previous Sony cameras that I have worked with back to the earliest CCD days in the '80s the analogue component output was derived directly from the analogue RGB off the sensor. This was then sampled and converted to 422 YPbPr. This 422 YPbPr was then available as a 422 analogue output or went straight through as it was in those days to an SP recorder that then recorded that signal as a CTDM color difference signal in a format most of us know as SP Beta.

With later developments like the Sony Exmor R CMOS sensors in the FS700 the electrical charge received at the sensor is converted to an analogue voltage that then goes through stages #1 and #2 of an analogue noise reduction process. After stage #2 the sensor's full uncompressed analogue signal is then converted via an A/D converter.

This full sensor digital stream then goes through to Sony's proprietary BIONZ X image processor where the HD image de-Bayering and processing is done in 444. At this point an HD image from the full sensor's now processed raw digital data is extracted. This extracted HD image is not a down sampled HD image in the case of the FS 700. Hence the appeal of the Odyssey’s 4K for a down sampled HD signal. This BIONZ X processor then out puts both analogue and digital HD streams. The 444 analogue stream is encoded to the full SMPTE -274 component standard and output. This output has to comply with the SMPTE 4:2:2 HD component standard as this is the output required for integration of analogue HD devices into the broadcast world. Is the FS700 considered a broadcast camera?? I don’t think so so things may be different.

Internally the BIONZ X samples the data stream and outputs a compliant 8-bit 420 stream for recording as an H.264 file in a MTS container. It also encodes this to an 8-bit SDI stream for output.

I can only guess that as this camera was designed and built around the 8-bit AVCHD HD format there was no perceived benefit to having a 10-bit SDI output as the processors digital output was configured in hardware for 8-bit.

The FS700 4K upgrade became a service centre job as new firmware AND a chipset had to be installed to open up the RAW path get around the inbuilt 8-bit digital limitation.

From the information I have been given the new 4K chip set accesses the raw digital data after the initial A/D stage and introduces the new PP7 with its RAW S-LOG and 709 800% options so has no involvement with the YPbPr output from the BIONZ X. This new chipset then feeds back to the existing processor so the new options are available for onboard recording as well. When RAW recording is selected the 8-bit SDI output is disabled and switched to Sony's propriety compressed 12-bit RAW stream from the new chipset.

With the advent of the PXW-S7 with its onboard 10-bit recording it makes sense to have 10-bit SDI outputs which it does x 2.


That's all by the bye anyhow. It is still firmly my belief that the output is not an up-converted YPbPr signal from an 8-bit digital encode. This belief is admittedly based on hearsay information received from the Sony techs who did my 4K upgrade, and my own past experience with Sony YPbPr outputs which we have used extensively over the years.

A number of you suggested vision samples for comparison. As Steven suggested I included some blue sky. Rather than using just frame grabs I’ve uploaded two quickly grabbed clips. You can download them from here for your own experiments if you wish:

https://www.sendspace.com/pro/dl/wleh9s (About 600MB)

They are both ProRes HQ and clearly labelled as to which is which

Using the blue sky in the scene I dropped a chroma key on track FX so everything on that track would get the same treatment. Chroma keying is one of the places I see the worst effects of digital blocking and breakup for any codec. The frame grabs below show you the original clips plus the clips with the chroma key applied and the key mask turned on. This chroma key was just applied, no adjustments made to it. Please look at the blocking artefacts between the two. Specifically at the roof of the building on the right and the roof of the car bottom right. I know which one I prefer.

Frame grab examples at the bottom. These were from 50i as most of our work is for broadcast where 50i is the required standard down here.

So Gary and anyone else please download these two clips and have a good push around grade with them and let me know what your conclusions are. I know what my conclusions are. If anyone feels they can demonstrate a different set of outcomes please feel free to show me. I’m always on the ‘learn more’ path. It would be good to see some of you demonstrate your techniques and do similar experiments with some of your own footage, captured both via 8-bit SDI and by analogue component to a Samurai. It would be really good to see someone else’s results. Upload them and let us all have a look. I'm sure there will be a few interested observers.

Steven. Referring to an earlier post of yours you are correct the bars are not off the sensor. What I was talking about was the 8-bit SDI out quality. The bars still come have to come out of the SDI port.

Hey look anyone if there is a shorter way to China show all of us. I guess most of us would be interested in seeing if we can get better images out of the FS700's 8-bit SDI.

BTW one thing that hasn't been considered in this discussion is the quality of the A/D converter used. The quality of these can obviously influence what is going into the Samurai. Cobalt, AJA, Decklink and a host of other companies make these so I guess without checking numerous different makes and models it's probably a bit hard to come up with a definitive answer but it's always interesting to look at different ways to improve output quality. It’s something many of us never stop chasing. The converter used in this example was a Focus Enhancements MCSDI-1 Analogue to 10-bit SDI unit of which we have six. They were very useful in transitioning us from analogue to digital over a number of years.

Yes Steven I am pretty busy and today ducking up the road to grab some shots and coming back and mucking around with them and writing this has blown the best part of a couple of hours. Really can’t spend too much time on these interesting but non paying topics so it’s over to you guys for some examples to change my mind :)

Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney
Attached Thumbnails
Should I buy an FS700 right now?-1-sdi-capture.jpg   Should I buy an FS700 right now?-1a-sdi-chroma-key-no-adjust-showing-mask-capture.jpg  

Should I buy an FS700 right now?-2-analogue-sdi.jpg   Should I buy an FS700 right now?-2a-analogue-sdi-chroma-key-no-adjust-showing-mask-capture.jpg  


Last edited by Christopher Young; February 7th, 2015 at 07:02 AM. Reason: missing word!
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Old August 16th, 2015, 05:27 PM   #34
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

Even with IBC just a month away, I really couldn't delay any more: I just ordered a FS700R. I already have an Odyssey 7Q+ and figure that 4k/120p will have to do for now.;)

Even if something to replace this camera is announced next month, availability could still be several months off. And, chances are, it will still not be any better than this combo.
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Old August 16th, 2015, 05:54 PM   #35
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

I wouldn't worry too much about it. The FS700 isn't going to suddenly become
a worse camera because something new is announced. I think it will become
one of those 'classic' cameras. As in I think Sony kind of 'accidentally' gave us
more than they meant to with this camera. They were hoping to get everyone
to buy the big, bulky Sony 4K recorder.....but when that wasn't happening they
let the Odyssey and Shogun record the 4K out of the FS700. It's just such a
versatile camera. And despite what you hear from everyone, the internal
stuff looks pretty good....the 4K chip downsampled to HD makes it look nice.
I actually like the fact I can record 3 hours of full HD video on a $30 SDHC card
and archive it as a data file onto a $1 Blu Ray disk.
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Old August 17th, 2015, 01:50 PM   #36
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

Ryan, speaking of your network, do you know what the Formula Photographic guys are using to shoot Launch Control? That show looks amazing.
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Old August 17th, 2015, 05:55 PM   #37
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

Speaking of... they actually use FS700s almost exclusively. A 5D Mk II was a second camera in the first season but now serves mostly for backup or tight spaces. They also have a DJI quad copter and a Movi M5 (iirc) that are used in production.

Their experiences with the FS700 was one of the reasons I bought one. They shoot in really poor conditions with regularity and both the FS700 and Odyssey 7Q have held up well.
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Old August 18th, 2015, 04:39 PM   #38
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

Well that pretty much sells me on the idea of getting one. I've long been a fan of Canon and had myself pretty well convinced I was going to get a c100 mk 2 but the slow motion of the 700's would be so money for what I do. And for the prices they are going for it's hard to pass up.
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Old August 18th, 2015, 05:38 PM   #39
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

One thing that pushed me over the edge was the latest high-speed update on the Odyssey. The features this combo will bring is untouchable at this price.
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Old August 31st, 2015, 11:20 PM   #40
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

Been playing with the setup for a week now. Just have to say that shooting 4k at 120fps (ProRes) is going to kill my HDD storage budget.
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Old September 1st, 2015, 01:55 PM   #41
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

That's a good problem to have though, right?
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Old September 2nd, 2015, 09:24 AM   #42
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

Price on the FS700 just dropped AGAIN. Now down to $3999 at B+H. A successor is eminent, I believe. That said, B&H confirmed this morning they'll be crediting me the extra $1000 (I buy a LOT of stuff there and I picked this one up only 2 weeks ago) when I asked about it. :) This camera is killer at that price.
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Old September 3rd, 2015, 12:06 AM   #43
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Re: Should I buy an FS700 right now?

Hope that leads to a big drop on the second hand market!

Still believe the PMW-F3 was a better buy for me personally :-)

Newshooter just blogged about it:
News Shooter | Fancy a S35 sensor camera with a great image, XLR audio, SDI and HDMI outputs, 4:4:4 colour, PL mount and built-in ND filters for under $4K? Read on?
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