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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 10:04 AM   #541
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Well...
After having my first camera sent in and coming back not fixed and also now owning a replacement camera with vignetting, I can't say I would agree.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 10:08 AM   #542
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Steven,
Have you gone out shooting real world stuff with it and if so, how's the images and do you notice the shadowy corners... and if you post more clips of your living room walls I'm gonna hurt ya :)

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Old March 3rd, 2008, 10:14 AM   #543
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Dennis,
I'd like to think so, and I'm the guy talking about gambling on it (hell, I live in Vegas!) and not waiting till NAB, but the more seasoned guys have kind of shared their disappointment with the design flaws...

So, not to my usual trait - I'm going to sit idle, and wait for other pros to get their cameras and test... And if Chris Hurd's hints that Sony's fixes trickle out slowly and quietly suddenly surface - then I'll definitely chomp. Upside is, the images from these disappointments still beats out anything in it's class - it's still amazing!

I hate being idle, but here I sit... March 13th was my day to bite - we'll see what happens till then...

Lonnie
I'm thinking of calling sony directly and talking to the department that handles customer complaints to get to the bottom of this and figure out the serial numbers affected. I will be shocked if by the end of this month they are still selling defective cameras, being more than 4 months after their launch. In my opinion, this issue should be cleared out in the next month or so otherwise they will have to scrap this design and just create a new model with the same features with no glitches.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 10:18 AM   #544
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Dennis,
refer them to this link - it's 37 pages of not so positive stuff...
or 37 pages of why to not purchase this Sony Cine Alta until you fix the lens to camera gizmotics (technically speaking of course)...
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 10:19 AM   #545
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Well...
After having my first camera sent in and coming back not fixed and also now owning a replacement camera with vignetting, I can't say I would agree.
What serial number cameras did you get?
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 10:19 AM   #546
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Steven,
Have you gone out shooting real world stuff with it and if so, how's the images and do you notice the shadowy corners...
Lonnie
Only when the focal length is between 10-25 mm and there is a flat background such as sky, walls, ect... So to answer you question, yes.

It's not as bad as my first, but it's there. Also, this is with OIS OFF. With OIS on it's worse due to movement.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 10:20 AM   #547
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I got an EX1 last week, i've had a quick look for vignetting but don't see any. Admittedly i'm only looking on the lcd screen at the moment as i've no time to test properly but i believe it can be seen on the LCD (if i remember previous threads correctly). I've shaken it around a bit for OIS as well but nothing. I think i can detect some lens vignetting but it's very subtle and what i would expect anyway.

This is from serial number that starts 40xxxx

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Old March 3rd, 2008, 10:21 AM   #548
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To say this is disappointing is an understatement, Steven.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 12:38 PM   #549
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After more systematic test with the loaner camera this afternoon I called Sony to complain.
Well, they still do not know what´s going on with my original camera. It is still at the repair shop... I complained about the lens issue of the loaner camera. The problem now is that they do not have any more loaner cameras left they could send me - I got the very last one!!! Looks like I will have to live with it for a while.

What I found out during my tests today:

- Zoom in with ND off - aperture wide open at f1.9 - focus near infinity mark - zoom out - image is o.k. and sharp (did not test this before without ND)

- Zoom in with ND ON - aperture wide open at f1.9 - focus near infinity mark -zoom out - image is extremely blurry

- Zoom in with ND ON - aperture set to f5.6 or higher - focus near infinity mark -zoom out - image is o.k.

It looks like that the ND filter is the only cause for the blurriness?? I bet my camera is not the only with this issue - you can easily try for yourself... Looking through some older footage I shot with my original camera, I guess it might have the same problem (I did not do this zoom test during the 2 days I had it before I sent it back to Sony for repair.)
I´ve retried the suggestion to improve the infinity focus by fully rolling it all the way back to 0.8 - and guess what - to the contrary what I said yesterday - it works! So whenever I want to shoot a wide landscape with ND-filter ON I have to manually set the focus to 0.8 instead of the traditional method of zooming in, focusing and zooming out. So if I want to shoot a zoom from something far away and end in a wide shot, I have to pull the focus during the zoom!! How sick is that? Thats a phenomenon I just cant explain.
The vignetting issue is also visible in real world situations - like when filming a blue sky - so no need to shoot another living room wall ;-)

Sorry for my ramblings and thanks for letting me vent ;-)

cu,
Gerald
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 01:03 PM   #550
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Just a theory - most cameras use a clear filter internally for "ND Off" (or zero) so that the backfocus does not change when a filter is selected. It's sometimes called a compensating filter. (You'll also see it in periscope lenses and long motion picture zooms with internal filters).

Because of the all-servo all the time nature of the EX1 lens (with internal LUTs for backfocus adjustment) is it possible that the EX1 compensates for ND filters electro-mechanically and that this compensation is not working on certain cameras?

I have seen similar complaints on other sites about focus issues which occur "outdoors and not indoors" and I wonder if this is due to there being no clear compensating filter inside the lens for the ND0 "indoor" setting, with the camera relying on a pre-set servo compensation instead (which fails for some reason).

My camera is just as sharp with any of the ND setting, so I know it's not a design issue.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 02:06 PM   #551
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I feel a little guilty as my EX1 serial 40XXXXX delivered in the UK last week seems to be ok. It does prove that Sony can get it right. I have now shot B-Roll pictures for intercutting with HDCAM and it looks good. I have a timeline with HDV,EX1,and HDCAM all ingested via HD-SDI. I am pleased the way the formats mix together. Will try and work out how to post a sequence for viewing over the coming week.

The only downside of the EX1 so far is the constant fear that the flimsy on/off/playback switch will pack up at any second and that the plastic retainer straps on the A/V / USB cover will not last long, the HD-SDI BNC socket cover has long gone awol.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 02:15 PM   #552
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald Loidl View Post
What I found out during my tests today:

- Zoom in with ND off - aperture wide open at f1.9 - focus near infinity mark - zoom out - image is o.k. and sharp (did not test this before without ND)

- Zoom in with ND ON - aperture wide open at f1.9 - focus near infinity mark -zoom out - image is extremely blurry

- Zoom in with ND ON - aperture set to f5.6 or higher - focus near infinity mark -zoom out - image is o.k.

It looks like that the ND filter is the only cause for the blurriness?? I bet my camera is not the only with this issue - you can easily try for yourself... Looking through some older footage I shot with my original camera, I guess it might have the same problem (I did not do this zoom test during the 2 days I had it before I sent it back to Sony for repair.)
Ive retried the suggestion to improve the infinity focus by fully rolling it all the way back to 0.8 - and guess what - to the contrary what I said yesterday - it works! So whenever I want to shoot a wide landscape with ND-filter ON I have to manually set the focus to 0.8 instead of the traditional method of zooming in, focusing and zooming out. So if I want to shoot a zoom from something far away and end in a wide shot, I have to pull the focus during the zoom!! How sick is that? Thats a phenomenon I just cant explain.
The vignetting issue is also visible in real world situations - like when filming a blue sky - so no need to shoot another living room wall ;-)

Sorry for my ramblings and thanks for letting me vent ;-)

cu,
Gerald
Thanks for your feedback, Gerald. Now that I think about it, the ND-2 filter was always engaged when the tracking issue was apparent (bright exteriors). I never thought to test without. That could explain why Sony repair, or anyone besides you and me, have been unable to reproduce the problem. As I said before, the new unit is much improved in this regard, but due to the critical nature of focus with HD, I'm relying more on expanded focus in these instances rather than zoom in/focus/zoom out to frame shot. Not ideal.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 06:41 AM   #553
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Originally Posted by Bill Heslip View Post
Thanks for your feedback, Gerald. Now that I think about it, the ND-2 filter was always engaged when the tracking issue was apparent (bright exteriors). I never thought to test without. That could explain why Sony repair, or anyone besides you and me, have been unable to reproduce the problem. As I said before, the new unit is much improved in this regard, but due to the critical nature of focus with HD, I'm relying more on expanded focus in these instances rather than zoom in/focus/zoom out to frame shot. Not ideal.
I do too rely on expanded focus rather than zoom in / zoom out. This is a must do when working with the macro mode ON, as you will lose the macro if you zoom too far (40mm).
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Old March 4th, 2008, 06:52 AM   #554
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Of course Im using expanded focus as well (I could not live without it) - but also fully zooming in on the subject which is of course useless with this lens issue ;-)
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Old March 4th, 2008, 08:38 AM   #555
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So I called Sony....

I called Sony professional tech support number where they are taking calls about the EX-1. I addressed the issue with the vignetting and backfocus issue and they said that the problem was only in the first batch and all serial numbers above 110,000 are not defective which cant be true. I told them some of your horror stories and even told them to come and take a look at close to 38 pages worth just on the vignetting issue. He assured me that the problem was fixed. If i'm not mistaken, there are people with serial number in the 200,000+ range with this issue.
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