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Old April 24th, 2008, 09:03 AM   #1
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Sony EX1 arrived... question about Expresscard in Macbook Pro and backfocus problem

Hi,

my Sony EX1 just arrived yesterday, with a Vinten Vision 10 tripod, second hand. Nice step-up from my XL1s and cheap tripod...
Ordered Sony EX1 with 2x 8GB cards for free, Vinten Vision 10 tripod, second hand Portabrace bag, and 2x 16GB cards. And an extra long battery.

Good things: I like the detail of the images, the possibilities of the controls (although I don't really like the Sony ergonomics, but I was prepared for that one ;-)), I like the solid state recording.
I have a Macbook Pro 2.4ghz 15.4" of the previous generation.
No vignetting! We have an old firmware version (1.02 or something I believe)

Bad things:Backfocus problem. Definately there, definately bad. I'll try the method of Paul Kellet and Gerard Loidl this afternoon and hope it works.
I really don't like where they put the WB button and the switch for the zoom, completely at the bottom of the camera. What was Sony thinking when they designed this?

Now moving over to the question:
- If I'm right you have to perform the backfocus adjustement with a chart, printed on A4, is that enough? Does it have to hang on a white wall, or does the color not really matter? Other things I have to care about? Will this void the warranty?

- Maybe a stupid question, but I really am curious: is it normal that it is so difficult and clumsy to get the Expresscard back out of the Macbook Pro afterwards? Don't worry, I eject it on the computer, but I have to push it completely in before it recognises the card, and afterwards I really have to pull with my nails to get it properly out. I nowhere see a switch, it doesn't go automatically... Am i doing something wrong or is this normal?

PS: we have a shoot of a music clip next week with the camera! I'll be sure to keep you updated!

Thanks and best regards,

Last edited by Mathieu Ghekiere; April 24th, 2008 at 09:48 AM.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 10:03 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Mathieu Ghekiere View Post
... Bad things:Backfocus problem. Definately there, definately bad.
Sorry to hear that, Mathieu. I really hoped that this issue would be history for new-firmware-cams but obviously this is not the case. I fail to understand why this problem is not TESTED for by Sony before shipment. Good luck to you - and yes, please keep us informed whether you can fix it or not.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 10:32 AM   #3
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Mathieu,

I printed off a bunch of back focus charts and then pasted them on a wall before doing the backfocus adjustment. Don't worry it won't kill your warranty. It worked great for me. I did it with all three ND settings just to be safe.

The card shouldn't be a problem in the Macbook Pro. Push it in all the way and it will click in. Then when finished unmount and then press on it and it should pop out enough to grab and pull out. I have rather large hands and fingers and I have no problem getting the card out. Your machine may have to be broken in. I remember it being a little tough at first, but now it works great.

Good luck with the camera, you will get used to it.

Daniel Weber
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Old April 24th, 2008, 10:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathieu Ghekiere View Post
- If I'm right you have to perform the backfocus adjustement with a chart, printed on A4, is that enough? Does it have to hang on a white wall, or does the color not really matter? Other things I have to care about? Will this void the warranty?
Hi Mathieu,

If you can print A3, that may be better. Make sure you use a Siemens star target, place it 10ft (3m) away from the camera and make sure the target is the only thing the camera can focus on. It is best to use a plain/bare wall.

I don't believe you have to plaster the wall with targets, but just make sure the autofocus has only the target to focus on when wide.

Use the instructions found elswhere on the forum or on Adam Wilts blog at ProVideoCoalition.com.

George/
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Old April 24th, 2008, 12:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Mann View Post
Sorry to hear that, Mathieu. I really hoped that this issue would be history for new-firmware-cams but obviously this is not the case. I fail to understand why this problem is not TESTED for by Sony before shipment. Good luck to you - and yes, please keep us informed whether you can fix it or not.
Hi Michael,
my camera has one of the oldest firmwares actually. Mine has 1.02, while new ones have 1.05 I believe. So I can't speak for newer cams, thanks for your worries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Kroonder View Post
Hi Mathieu,

If you can print A3, that may be better. Make sure you use a Siemens star target, place it 10ft (3m) away from the camera and make sure the target is the only thing the camera can focus on. It is best to use a plain/bare wall.

I don't believe you have to plaster the wall with targets, but just make sure the autofocus has only the target to focus on when wide.

Use the instructions found elswhere on the forum or on Adam Wilts blog at ProVideoCoalition.com.

George/
Hi George, I didn't do it as perfect as I could but maybe I'll do it again sometime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Weber View Post
Mathieu,

I printed off a bunch of back focus charts and then pasted them on a wall before doing the backfocus adjustment. Don't worry it won't kill your warranty. It worked great for me. I did it with all three ND settings just to be safe.

The card shouldn't be a problem in the Macbook Pro. Push it in all the way and it will click in. Then when finished unmount and then press on it and it should pop out enough to grab and pull out. I have rather large hands and fingers and I have no problem getting the card out. Your machine may have to be broken in. I remember it being a little tough at first, but now it works great.

Good luck with the camera, you will get used to it.

Daniel Weber
Thanks Daniel, it indeed works to push it very hard, then it pops out. I was afraid to force something and break a pin or something, so I wanted to check before doing something like that.

I performed the test, and the shot with ND1 on is definately LOTS better. Not perfect, but pretty unnoticable. ND2 isn't perfect, but still much better. I'll have to check if without ND filter is perfect too, I think it's a bit soft, but I'll do more tests to be sure if it's not an operator fault.
Update: without ND filter is fine, now it's also pretty to my eye sharp with ND1 on it. ND2 is a tad less sharp, but that's not so bad.

Thanks for all the feedback.
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Old May 1st, 2008, 05:59 PM   #6
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UPDATE: Tomorrow I have a shoot, and I did some more tests. I noticed that after my tests ND1 and ND2 were sharp, but the images with ND off, was a little less sharp. Not a lot, but I noticed.
I performed the backfocus test again, in better circumstances, but the results now are the same as in the beginning: tacke sharp without ND filters, unscharp with ND filters on.

Luckily I don't need the ND filters for the coming 2 weeks, but afterwards, I'll think about contacting Sony.
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 09:22 AM   #7
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My understanding is the latest v1.05 software will allow correct BF compensation between ND on and off.
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 09:33 AM   #8
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My understanding is the latest v1.05 software will allow correct BF compensation between ND on and off.
Steven, that information only makes me more hesitant whether to perform the "Gerald procedure", as per my thread here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=120402

The thing is I do have back focus problem, but only with ND2 on.

And with the important project really soon now, I will not be using ND at all, as it's going to be shot in low light!

Oh, well... On the other hand, having to send the camera in for the fw upgrade is not anything I'm looking forward to. Sony, why don't you let us upgrade ourselves ?!!
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 03:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Thomas View Post
My understanding is the latest v1.05 software will allow correct BF compensation between ND on and off.
I was also told this by the technician at our local Sony repair facility. My EX does have firmware v.1.0.5 now but I haven't had time to do the back focus test yet with ND filters on/off to see if the firmware upgrade fixed the problem.

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