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Sony XDCAM EX CineAlta
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Old March 31st, 2010, 02:55 AM   #1
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EX1 vs. EX1R sharpness test

We made a short sharpness test between EX1 and EX1R . The EX 1 is sharper(noticeable in the corners) than EX1r but a bit darker. Here are the test pictures made in same conditions both camera with same settings: 1/50, f1,9, 0db, PP off
Attached Thumbnails
EX1 vs. EX1R sharpness test-02-ex1.bmp   EX1 vs. EX1R sharpness test-02-ex1r.bmp  

EX1 vs. EX1R sharpness test-02-ex1-ex1r-crop-200-.jpg  
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Old March 31st, 2010, 09:21 AM   #2
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But the "why" is critical.
Could it be the defaults have changed? I doubt they made hardware changes that would make the image softer or more light sensitive.

Another question is would the firmware upgrade on the EX-1 to 1.20 impact such defaults. What firmware was the EX-1 at?
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Old March 31st, 2010, 11:31 AM   #3
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That's pretty extreme, IMHO. Were both cameras recently back-focused on an identical object from the same distance? Just guessing it might be a focus issue?
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Old March 31st, 2010, 11:52 AM   #4
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Only in the conditions were the same , the EX1 test is from a few months ago. The firmware on EX1 was 1.1 . We chosen the most obvious difference the upper left corner, the difference on the other corners is not so striking. We made also a test with continuous focus movement but we have not analyzed the result yet.
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Old March 31st, 2010, 01:10 PM   #5
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I find it extremly difficult to reproduce the same conditions between two cameras. Today, at the evening before I will send my EX1 (FW 1.11) to the new owner (I'll keep the EX1R FW 1.00) after reading this thread, I tried to do a comparison too.

Its even difficult to find the same Z-stop. Z58 is not always exactly the same. You can get closer to Z57 or to Z59. Although I tried several times you see that I was not able to find exactly the same size of the picture.
I had to use Z58-stop because being closer I wasn't sure if I could find the best focus. So I was around 1m away from the test image, normal yellowish indoor-light, filming in 720/50p, PP, shutter, steady-shot, WA-conversion all off, -3db, 3200K.

I did several tests, always trying to find the best focus with peaking, exporting a frame with ClipBrowser. Afterwards I tried to find the best and sharpest still from the EX1, then the best from the EX1R.

Although this is not scientific and probably I forgot something (I've resetted both cameras before tests) I would conclude it like this:

the EX1 is slightly better and I beat myself paying 1800 Euro for changing the EX1 to the EX1R. Its not that bad as I thought after the images by Zoltan, but in all tests the EX1 was somehow sharper - and brighter. The EX1R has a yellowish tint and together with the slightly better sharpness the EX1 looks clearer and better, in all my tests. The lower right corner of my EX1R seems to be worst, maybe because of the not perfect lighting in this low light scenario.
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EX1 vs. EX1R sharpness test-720p_ex1.jpg   EX1 vs. EX1R sharpness test-720p_ex1r.jpg  

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Old March 31st, 2010, 01:19 PM   #6
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It still may be a matter of Sony simply changing the defaults on the EX1R camera.

It would be interesting to see how the EX1 behaved after upgrading the firmware to 1.20.

It may also be a result of something that improved the IR contamination issue.

You'd really need to test the EX1 and EX1R with both having the new current firmware.
Then you would need to see if modifying a PP of EX1 to match the default of EX1R.

I wouldn't say the above means the EX1 is better in any respect as it may be that Sony just changes the default settings.
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Old March 31st, 2010, 07:45 PM   #7
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This would mean that Picture Profiles made specifically for the EX1 won't precisely work with the EX1R and viceversa, right? If this is the case, then it should be noted!

I guess "PP off" means out of the box PP, right? Maybe you could look through the PP menu and see if there are any differences. If there are no differences... well, that's just plain trouble for picture profile's compatibility.
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Old March 31st, 2010, 09:16 PM   #8
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Odd , the first person to post about EX1R here said it was a bit faster than the EX-1.

It does stand to reason that there may be some filtration added to mitigate the IR problem and that could affect color & speed.
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Old April 1st, 2010, 12:47 AM   #9
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The extra IR filtration on the EX3 compared to an EX1 makes a very slight color difference to the pictures from the two cameras and the EX1R is slightly different again. You can't cut down on the red light reaching the sensor without some small effect on the final image.
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Old April 1st, 2010, 02:35 AM   #10
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Was the sharpness setting the same on both cameras?
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Old April 1st, 2010, 02:39 AM   #11
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In my case: none, PP off.
BTW - I did another test with the EX1R - result is the same but the "16:9" in the lower right corner is little sharper, so I am not afraid anymore that this corner of my EX1R is worse than the others.
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 04:45 AM   #12
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Interesting. I have been actually having the impression my EX1 looks softer since I upgraded it to V1.20 even though I know this is probably not possible.
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 11:49 AM   #13
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Michael, this is why I brought up the importance of knowing the firmware version. It's not that anything got softer though. It's quite possible that the defaults are different now. That "0" (or STD 3 for example) means something different. Of course this would mean PP are not directly comparable when copied. It may well have been the result of Sony hearing "too sharp" complaints and didn't want to lose sales as a result. Of course this is all speculative but seeing EX1 1.11 or thereabouts vs EX1 1.20 vs EX1R at "default" settings might tell the story.
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 12:06 PM   #14
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After the first shock in this thread I checked again all my test footage and stills I made that evening. I had some 1080 shots too, but in 50i only. I forgot to shoot in 1080p and now the camera is gone to its new owner.

But switching on a good 24'' monitor back and forth between several very similar stills of the EX1 and EX1R I am now relaxed again. The sharpness/resolution-capatibilities between the 2 cams are so close, I do not find a real difference anymore. In some frames maybe, yes, but changing to a another frame with little different focus the fine lines within the stars and the numbers seem to be exactly the same.

What remains obvious is, that in my tests the EX1R is in any case more yellowish and seem to be not that clear as the EX1. But maybe this was even more neutral and "better", since my tests took place in a real low light condition with warm soda colored tungsten lights. There is no possibility for me to repeat my tests in brighter situations, maybe under neon light and with 1080p.
So I will remember to decrease WB for 100 to 300 Kelvin for being closer to the "expected" results till I am used to the new settings of the EX1R.
(And maybe I really forgot to reset a setting in the EX1R, although ClipBrowser shows identical values.)

Thanks especially to Craig for calming me down...
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 05:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
It's quite possible that the defaults are different now. ^^ It may well have been the result of Sony hearing "too sharp" complaints and didn't want to lose sales as a result. Of course this is all speculative but seeing EX1 1.11 or thereabouts vs EX1 1.20 vs EX1R at "default" settings might tell the story.
Seasoned to my taste, I usually set my EX1 ver 1.11 to about -30 detail. The same look on my new EX1R is about -5. My EX1 rung like a bell at detail 0, the new EX1R, hardly at all. Much less over enhancement on my EX1R, ver 1.0 and 1.10.

Pick two different test cameras and you may get different results.
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