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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old May 16th, 2008, 01:32 AM   #31
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Looks good to me. Pretty place, Seattle.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 03:38 AM   #32
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Thanks Serena, Mark. First thing I notice in your clip Mark is just how bloody sharp this camera is, it really does produce tremendous pictures with amazing clarity and nice colours. But look at the shot of the cormorant for instance and I see the background very juddery and blurred, not nice at all, just what I'm getting on my tests. Serena, to me it shouldn't matter if the bird is small in the frame or not, I'm not after something I can put up with, or that's OK if the subject's big enough in the frame that the background won't be too distracting - either it's working or it's not. The camera's not mine, it's on loan, I just got it to evaluate thinkingabout maybe getting an EX3. I'd mostly use this for personal work, as most of my broadcast work is still with 2/3" cams (notably Varicam and Sony 750, but also some Digibeta still).
Thanks as always for the replies.
Steve
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Old May 16th, 2008, 07:51 AM   #33
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There does seem to be what looks like unsteady panning during the cormorant, but the bird is followed well. Couldn't detect that in any other shot. Interesting.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 08:01 AM   #34
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Yeah that's the thing, the bird is followed OK and stays sharp, it's just the background that's juddery, same as my tests. Very noticeable on a diagonal pan from 1 object to another too.
Just extracted some stills to do a pseudo grade in Photoshop and they come out great, in fact they look pretty much like a reasonble quality DSLR (as you'd probably expect froma CMOS chip I suppose). I shot it flat with Cine gamma, and extended knee etc. so looks washed out in camera just like BBC set-ups for Varicam / 750 etc. then alter levels in PS and it looks great with detail and blacks and whites. Just wish I could get around this movement issue.
Hmmm.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 09:24 AM   #35
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What am I missing here?
Fast pans = judder on any video camera. As Serena mentioned, this is simple math.
The only solution is to slow your pan down.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 09:25 AM   #36
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The video on Vimeo looks pretty good. I do see jumps. My opinion is that its not the camera.

To judge the motion quality of the camera you need a real video monitor and not rely on a computer monitor.

I have noticed on my computers that the motion of the image looks more harsh than it does once I've set up to preview it on my HDTV.

I've not experienced any jumpiness with the EX1 as described here. I have had some issues with pans on the V1U but only when the codec runs out of bandwidth. You don't get jumps but you do get macroblocking.

I do not see macroblocking on the posted footage from the park. I do not think its an issue with the camera but one in the computer if you are seeing jumpiness. Computers do not match the refresh rate of video and you will have judder any time you have a frame rate mismatch between the source footage and the display.

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Old May 16th, 2008, 09:38 AM   #37
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It's all about temporal motion. That's why sports is often shot at 720p60 or 1080i60.

The rules of panning have little to do with the camera and everything to do with frame rate (and shutter speed).

With CMOS it's possible to see rolling shutter on fast pans but that has nothing to do with judder.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 09:59 AM   #38
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Thing is I'm used to shooting 720/60P on Varicam & HPX2100 and don't see this sort of effect. Nothing has changed in my working or viewing practice. I'm used to seeing blur on these cams and on Sony 750 at 25P, but it's smooth blur not jumpy. I know viewing footage over the net is prone to slow/interrupted downloading, but I'm seeing the same effect on the LCD and TV screen. I just keep coming back to the thought that I'm looking at the reason why this camera that's specced up better than a Varicam (virtually twice the res) costs a fraction of its price.
Steve
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Old May 16th, 2008, 10:40 AM   #39
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I don't think the cormorant is a shot to use as an example because the pan is too inconsistent. I get behind and then rush to catch up. The oddness in the motion there is due to the shooter (hey, it was cold that day!) and maybe the head on the tripod, not the greatest.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 10:51 AM   #40
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I don't agree Mark, I think you've done an OK job keeping up there! And even if you were trying to catch up it shouldn't be juddery like that, it should still be smooth by blurry.
Struggling to get to the bottom of this, it's not something I've seen before in 15 years as a wildlife cameraman, it just doesn't look smooth to me at all - and yet the camera otherwise is close to stellar (clumsy, fiddly buttons an plasticky feel notwithstanding)!
I've looked through clips of mine that I've shot of similar stuff on Super 16, Digibeta, HDCam, Varicam and even Phantom HD and don't see anything similar.
Again, Hmmm.
If anyone wants me to email them a clip to look at just let me know, just it'll be a big file as there is no way for me to downsize it not having FCP.
Steve
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Old May 16th, 2008, 10:54 AM   #41
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There are many reasons why this costs less. CMOS vs CCD. 1/2" vs 2/3." Fixed piece of glass easier to engineer than interchangeable lenses (good glass is expensive as you know). Frame rate does not vary while recording like Varicam. Tape mechanisms are more expensive than card mechanism (note the new Varicam models will use P2) especially when it comes to variable frame rate.

The market is changing radically and there certainly are some compromises in lower priced cameras and CMOS isn't CCD and there are technical reasons why Sony couldn't do 1/2" CCD chips in a camera this small but none of these things result in jumpiness. Rolling shutter skew maybe but not jumpiness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
Thing is I'm used to shooting 720/60P on Varicam & HPX2100 and don't see this sort of effect. Nothing has changed in my working or viewing practice. I'm used to seeing blur on these cams and on Sony 750 at 25P, but it's smooth blur not jumpy. I know viewing footage over the net is prone to slow/interrupted downloading, but I'm seeing the same effect on the LCD and TV screen. I just keep coming back to the thought that I'm looking at the reason why this camera that's specced up better than a Varicam (virtually twice the res) costs a fraction of its price.
Steve
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Old May 16th, 2008, 10:54 AM   #42
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Can you post an example so we can actually see what you're talking about?

We've all used many different cameras. Based on frame rate, I'm seeing nothing but the expected using a given frame rate and 180 shutter.

Regardless of any camera, I have noticed that some software players can cause weird playback such as VLC.
But rendered to the output media or played back on a monitor, it looks great.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 11:03 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
There are many reasons why this costs less. CMOS vs CCD. 1/2" vs 2/3." Fixed piece of glass easier to engineer than interchangeable lenses (good glass is expensive as you know). Frame rate does not vary while recording like Varicam. Tape mechanisms are more expensive than card mechanism (note the new Varicam models will use P2) especially when it comes to variable frame rate.

The market is changing radically and there certainly are some compromises in lower priced cameras and CMOS isn't CCD and there are technical reasons why Sony couldn't do 1/2" CCD chips in a camera this small but none of these things result in jumpiness. Rolling shutter skew maybe but not jumpiness.
It's still very cheap though, compare the EX3 (srp 6000 with lens) to HPX2000 (rrp 19000 with no lens which'll add another 15000ish) - both use cards, no variable frame rate, actually higher res in EX3. So why's it so cheap? Lower bit rate, sure, but not when you put a Flash XDR on it, then they're the sam 100mb/sec, and for 2700.
Very much the same situation with RED too, a seemingly world-beating camera at a ridiculously low price. BUT...
Steve
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Old May 17th, 2008, 03:46 AM   #44
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Steve, you got me curious about this and I've just completed a number of fastish pans (without the assistance of birds) at 24P, 180 deg shutter and don't see any "uneven pan" effect. Of course there is the 25 fps flicker, as expected. Done on tripod with fluid head, being careful about steady pan velocity. Progressive display. Cineform DI, incidentally, rather than long GOP.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 04:16 AM   #45
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Serena can you post examples? Ideally something I can download so there won't be any lag by viewing it online.
Thanks,
Steve
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