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Old December 23rd, 2013, 03:00 PM   #46
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

I agree the OIS is not that great, better than nothing though. Just not in the same league as the HX200v but then the image quality is way better. I have gotten into the habit of turning Steadyshot off, both active and standard, when shooting with the cam mounted on a tripod and immediately I remove it to shoot hand held I turn on Steadyshot active mode. The quality loss that might result is not a problem for me. The ‘micro-wobbles’, and they are there, I easily fix in post.
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 03:20 PM   #47
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

Ken -

The VG30 would have a mass several times that of the RX10, and a very different form factor - so it wouldn't be unexpected that the IS had an easier time of it. I've been shooting smaller cameras and still cams shooting video for a while, so I'm a little more used to it.

Any time you're shooting a "still camera" style cam, you've got all the glass hanging "forward" - while the VG series is also inherently "nose heavy" with the 18-200, it's a particular quirk of an "SLR" format - and it gets worse the farther you zoom.... you constantly must counter forces tending to induce "pitch".

One thing that helps noticeably is the addition of a small flash bracket sticking out to the left side - sort of a mini "fig rig".. The second vertical "grip" is effective against "roll" and "pitch" that tend to be the most distracting. I use a folding one from Stratos that takes little room in the bag and weighs almost nothing. My initial tests with the RX10 looked good on the small screen, but I had "active" on... will have to experiment a bit more, and of course put the results on bigger screens and scrutinize mercilessly!
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 06:03 PM   #48
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

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It appears to me that the traditional Sony "two step" slow/fast zoom action becomes a "one step", AKA: SLOW when you hit record - this may be intentional, or perhaps could be a firmware "glitch" in record mode (this is after all an "all new" camera, there may be glitches!) It's not the hardware, it CAN zoom faster, it's the way the firmware was designed from the factory - sort of like a throttle limiter to keep a car below a certain speed
It's *possible* that it may be down to power issues - power to the zoom motor being more limited when the camera is in record mode?

From your comments about the "fly by wire ring" being even slower, can I take it the answer to my question is a total "no". No way (whilst recording of going from wide to tele quickly, even if the zoom is not intended to be used? (So camera doesn't have to remain framed.)
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 08:45 PM   #49
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

Interesting hypothesis, but I don't think it's power related.... here's why....

When not in record mode, you can in fact be aggressive with the "fly by wire" ring, and get a "crash zoom" - you can hear the motor, same as if you use the lever, you distinctly hear the two "steps"... and the ring actually can be forced to a pretty snappy zoom....

Once you hit that record button, you can do the exact same thing, and the camera actually IGNORES the aggressive input entirely! It will however let you do a nice smooth slow (and Interestingly QUIET) zoom. IOW, the firmware is clearly intentionally set up to prevent fast zooming while recording from what I can see... AKA it's a feature not a bug....

And I'll concur with the 12 second W to T optical while recording, which is longer if you are using clear and or digital zoom ranges. I did just notice that the DIGITAL (meaning both Clear and digital) DOES seem to zoom faster, which in combination with the above leads me to an additional hypothesis.... I still think part of it is to maintain video quality with a novice operator... BUT...

The zoom motor is "barely" audible in slow mode, and fairly noticeable in "fast"... so methinks there's a strong possibility that the "throttling" (and this would mean that is LITERALLY what it is!) is intentional for the purposes of keeping usable AUDIO while recording! IOW, you'd hear the zoom motor in your audio if you could and did execute a "crash zoom" rendering the audio marginal or unusable, but the slower setting maintains an acceptable S/N ratio!


BOTH these hypotheses (preservation of video and audio quality) make sense, and I can see where they might make such an engineering decision - from a "marketing" and support standpoint, there have of course been complaints about zoom (and focus) motor noise showing up in recordings and of course breakup from stressing the CODEC with overly rapid movement, in theory this would reduce those "complaints", and improve market perceptions of the camera's quality.

I think I can live with the "slow" zoom, but will have to do more actual shooting before I know for sure - the slower speed felt very "smooth", and to me actually more natural in some way in admittedly brief testing, but I have not had time to shoot more tests due to personal events...

I try to plan my framing ahead and avoid fast zooms if at all possible anyway, so I don't see it as a "deal breaker" in an otherwise "fun" camera that is getting images that are making me VERY happy. If you were to say to me "you can ONLY have ONE camera" (yeah, I know you all out there just twitched at THAT thought <wink>), I'd grab this one without hesitating... and secretly pocket an RX100M2 while you weren't looking!
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Old December 31st, 2013, 09:06 PM   #50
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

Just to update the zoom "issue" - got the handle from a VPR10, which has the multi-USB connection...

Works nicely with both the RX10 and 100M2 (and the HX300 as well!). It has a "slow zoom" switch on the side, and It appears that is the ONLY zoom speed when in record mode with the RX10, even though there are clearly two steps while in standby, as per usual Sony remotes. I think using one of the adapter cables and an RMAV2 would be just as effective in practical use, and I have those "old" LANC controls laying around anyway...

I was hoping that there might be more access to zoom speed controls, but no luck, at least with this remote - I have to dig around and see if any other cheap LANCs I have control zoom speeds, and figure out if they can be hacked into the multi-port. Not sure it's really necessary to have access, it's just so tempting to try to hack the design!



At this point I firmly believe the slow zoom speed in record mode is a "feature", not a "bug", to both "improve" video quality and prevent the zoom motor from being "too" loud in the audio channels. Have had almost no time to do further shooting, but thought I would pass these quick observations along, FWIW. Still not a deal breaker in my book. I'd have done more testing, but my "second shooter" grabbed the cam and started shooting stills with it... she seems to like the camera rather a lot... good thing the 100M2 was in the bag and worked fine!
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Old January 2nd, 2014, 10:23 AM   #51
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

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At this point I firmly believe the slow zoom speed in record mode is a "feature", not a "bug", to both "improve" video quality and prevent the zoom motor from being "too" loud in the audio channels. Have had almost no time to do further shooting, but thought I would pass these quick observations along, FWIW. Still not a deal breaker in my book.
Unfortunately for me it is, to me it looks like yet another limitation put there on purpose, I really hope Sony will come to their senses and give a option to choose zoomspeeds, in record mode it's unusable now in any run and gun situation. Really too bad as the camera is very close to perfect but the party is ruined by the zoomspeed.
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Old January 2nd, 2014, 11:19 PM   #52
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

I've got to get more shooting time in with this, had a few too many personal crisis going on... but I think it's a livable design "feature"... and IMO, it's an "easy" fix - all that would need to be added is a menu item for "slow zoom" while recording, with an "off" option so if you didn't care about crash zoom and zoom noise, you could just allow the camera to have the "fast" option... there are so many other options buried in the menus, it's actually a bit of a surprise this isn't in there! OK, I'll admit I'd like variable speed zoom settings TOO, but...

The switch on the remote offers a clue... somehow it was thought desirable to not have the option to fast zoom...

I hope perhaps there will be some effort to hack or open the firmware, as something like this would be a snap to "fix"!
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Old January 3rd, 2014, 10:28 AM   #53
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

Is the smoothness of the zoom mechanism the same in standby and record mode? Any wobbles or wiggles during zooming while in standby?
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Old January 3rd, 2014, 07:07 PM   #54
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

I tested just in standby, and I'd say that you can detect the zoom motor kick in and out just a little, and there is a "pause" at the transition from optical to digital rages... all things I would be able to work with. I've tried to learn to avoid "unmotivated zooms/pans" and anticipate framing anyway. I do see Noa's point that being able to crash zoom has the advantage of faster reframing when that IS necessary, but I'm still thinking it can be worked with... when the dust settles, I'll get more time in with it... rough holiday season this year...

I fiddled with turning steadyshot off/standard/active, you definitely lose some on the edges of the frame in active, but it looks to smooth out all the little jiggly/wobblies fairly well. Active is probably the better choice much of the time... It may not match the "magic eyeball" Handycams, but then again that's a fairly high bar.

Of course at higher ends of the zoom, even tiny movements like blood pumping through your body will be amplified enough to show up at least a little!

I can't "smooth zoom" with any SLR/SLT lenses anyway, and they all exhibit varying degrees of "play" - I think it's a function of the physics of a lens on a "still" camera. IMO, the RX10 is covering the still and video sides with fairly equal grace, which was what I was looking for and expected.
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Old January 3rd, 2014, 10:19 PM   #55
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

I guarantee you that if Sony opens up the zoom speeds, people will be complaining about motor noise ruining their audio. Bank on it. ;)
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Old January 3rd, 2014, 11:41 PM   #56
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

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I guarantee you that if Sony opens up the zoom speeds,..
I would wager a bottle, make that a case, of fine Chilean Cab Sav that they won’t, not in regards the RX10. Maybe the ‘Pro’ version coming soon but not the consumer RX10. I doubt very much that it’s just a matter of writing some code. It may well be that the hardware, motors and so on, are just not up to it, not designed for faster speeds...but of course I don’t know.

I sympathize with Noa and those for whom the zoom speed is problematic. I have no issue in that regard but I’m not really a run ‘n gun sort of bloke. I like it just the way it is. But then I'm in it just for the fun:-)
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Old January 4th, 2014, 02:53 AM   #57
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

I'm with Ken on this - when you fast zoom, it's noticeably louder... but it occurred to me to do a little rummaging down "memory lane"... will do more later, but the RX100M2 and HX300 (which I think were in the RX10 DNA) both behave EXACTLY the same way - in standby you can fast zoom... as soon as they are in record mode, slow zoom is it, there is a pattern... I've shot a fair amount with these cameras, and never even noticed the "restricted" zoom speed, so I think I can live with it!

And the more I think on how often I've hit "fast" while trying to do a subtle zoom, the more I'm actually warming to the "slow zoom" restriction, and I think I'd rather have (more) usable audio as well - the motors in all these cams in fast zoom speed make a fair racket! I'm sticking with "it's a feature, not a bug".

Some of us naturally think in terms of modifying/hacking/adapting our "toys"... when your brain works that way, the modification is usually feasible IF you can gain access - but manufacturers don't usually "open" these things (like firmware!) up to make it easy!
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Old January 9th, 2014, 02:57 AM   #58
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

More RX10 user experience...

I commented earlier that I was seeing jerkiness in footage shot with the RX10 shooting 50p in PAL mode (the version sold here in New Zealand is PAL/NTSC switchable, fortunately). I viewed the footage on various computer monitors and always the same jerkiness was evident. I also noted the exact same jerky problem when I set my EX1 to PAL mode and shot 720 50p. I had not noted that with the EX1 before as I invariably shoot 1080 30p.

Couple of days ago I had the opportunity to view the RX10 50p ‘jerky’ footage on a PAL/NTSC switchable TV and lo and behold with the TV set to PAL mode the footage was fine, smooth as it should be.

Am I correct in assuming that computer monitors generally only enable NTSC footage to be displayed correctly and without the jerky motion artifact? I should point out that the jerky problem when 50p is viewed on a typical computer monitor is only really apparent in particular situations most notably when objects are moving across the screen i.e. motor vehicles several hundred meters away. Normal shots of people walking, talking, flowers, bees and birds sitting around do no exhibit the problem.

I wonder if that is why Sony in their wisdom have enabled both PAL and NTSC recording on the RX10!

I shall never purchase a PAL only cam again.
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Old January 9th, 2014, 01:21 PM   #59
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

As a general rule, it's best to work in a format that ties in with your own countries frame rate - so 25/50 based frame rates in 50Hz mains countries, and 24/30/60 in 60Hz mains countries. ("PAL" and "NTSC" only really refer to SD systems, and the analogue versions of them at that. The terms don't really have a meaning once you start to talk about HD.)

There are various reasons for using such framerates, general standardisation and helping to ensure mains light sources don't flicker amongst them.

What you describe sounds more like an issue of computer video playback in itself, and the problems of showing one framerate on a system running at a different frequency. It's possible that another situation may yield exactly the same problem for a 60Hz based framerate. Far better to display on a TV.
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Old January 9th, 2014, 01:49 PM   #60
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Re: Sony RX10 user experience thread

David, many thanks for your input; most appreciated. Yes, I understand the PAL vs NTSC terminology is perhaps not the most appropriate way of describing things and I should have referred to 50Hz vs 60Hz countries. I also understand the ‘light flicker’ issue however by and large my shooting is outdoor daytime and the light flicker issue is a non-issue for me. I would be most interested to know of any other possible issues you are referring to.

You say it is far better to display on a TV. The thing is that’s not how my vids are viewed by my audience; friends, family and so forth. Generally my output is shared on USB sticks and played on computers or viewed on my Vimeo site. In fact I have uploaded a sample of 50p and 60p shot using my RX10 same location and time which you can view John McCully on Vimeo and see the difference, or not. I have viewed those two files, the two most recent additions, 00353 and 00017, using various computer/monitor configurations here in New Zealand and always the 50p jerkiness is in your face annoyingly apparent.

Seems to me the simple solution is to always shoot 30p and 60p and, given my shooting behavior, I know of no impediments to that approach. I am most interested in your further thoughts.

Oh, by the way; I don’t even have a TV :-)

Last edited by John McCully; January 9th, 2014 at 08:20 PM.
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