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Old September 23rd, 2008, 03:50 PM   #1
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Sony EX1 problem, odd flicker/phase on footage

I'm hoping someone can help me with this or let me know if I am the only one having this problem. I bought a new EX1 a few weeks ago. I have only used it maybe 3 different times and on my last shoot I saw an odd flicker/phase thing happening in the LCD. It recorded onto my footage, see the link below:

Sony EX1 Problems, please help! on Vimeo

It's not from florescent or artificial light as none was used or in the car. I shot in the car for a few more minutes after and it was fine. The flicker occurred a few other times during the shoot for about 20-30 seconds in different lighting conditions (sun, shade) but I didn't shoot one frame under artificial light.

I have contacted Sony and they said they would get back to me. Any idea as to the cause? I got a firmware upgrade just before this and I was shooting on a new 32G Sony card.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 03:59 PM   #2
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Mine also did this, but not as strong, indoors. Got that weird flicker/phasing on blank walls. I think it's something to do with the combination of my shooting mode, shutter speed, and the flicker reduction settings in the menu. I was going to sit down and play with it to figure out what it was, but it hasn't happened to me again so I haven't bothered.

Last edited by Jon Sands; September 23rd, 2008 at 05:04 PM.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 04:16 PM   #3
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That's a really strange effect, clearly not due to artificial lighting. What frame rate were you shooting at and what shutter were you using. Did you have flicker reduction turned on?
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 04:43 PM   #4
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Not sure about Jesse, but I was shooting at 720/24p, 1/32 shutter.

Flicker reduction was on set at 50hz, because for some reason I thought I saw in the manual to set it on the opposite of your country, (50hz for usa, 60hz for pal countries) But looking back I think I'm actually delusional and am pretty sure it doesn't say that anywhere.

So I'm thinking maybe having my flicker reduction set at 50hz in a 60hz country might have done it.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 05:10 PM   #5
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Well here's the conclusion somebody came to in a related forum thread -

"I went to the Sony Service Center in San Jose last week. We recreated the problem on one of their cameras. The consensus was to leave the flicker reduction turned off. If you see flicker then turn it on, if it doesn't go away then adjust the shutter"
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 07:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Sands View Post
Well here's the conclusion somebody came to in a related forum thread -

"I went to the Sony Service Center in San Jose last week. We recreated the problem on one of their cameras. The consensus was to leave the flicker reduction turned off. If you see flicker then turn it on, if it doesn't go away then adjust the shutter"
Flicker reduction is for when you're shooting under flourescents...not for outdoor shooting or shooting under production lights or whatever. So yes, having flicker reduction on when you're not supposed to can/will cause issues with your video.

As far as 50Hz vs. 60Hz these are for PAL (European) and NTSC (Americas) regions. Just like the PAL default shutter is 1/50 and NTSC is 1/60. So if you're under flourescent lights in the NTSC region use 60 on the flicker reduction and for PAL land use 50. It really tends to help if shooting slow mo under these conditions.

It's really about the current of the electricity, like 120v and I think in Europe their electric AC/DC current is only 100v. I may be getting terms wrong but the numbers are right.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 07:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Adam Reuter View Post
As far as 50Hz vs. 60Hz these are for PAL (European) and NTSC (Americas) regions. Just like the PAL default shutter is 1/50 and NTSC is 1/60. So if you're under flourescent lights in the NTSC region use 60 on the flicker reduction and for PAL land use 50. It really tends to help if shooting slow mo under these conditions.

Thats what I figured, but my EX1 shipped to me (in the US) which flicker reduction on and set at 50, so I figured that's what it was supposed to be at.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 07:35 PM   #8
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Hey Adam, it's 220V in EU :)

Flicker reduction: how exactly does it work? Is it trying to detect flickering lights, and then creates counter-phased flicker in camera to counteract?

On my cam, it was on Auto (came as default) all the time with no ill effects so far...
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Old September 24th, 2008, 03:02 AM   #9
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You weren't shooting on Auto exposure were you? Kind of looked a bit like the iris opening and closing to change exposure.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 04:08 AM   #10
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You weren't shooting on Auto exposure were you? Kind of looked a bit like the iris opening and closing to change exposure.
Steve
I suspect the same too. Usually, when flickers occur they, well, flicker in a very short period of time and back and forth between 2 different exposure values. Your clip looked to me like shifting exposure due to changes in iris or shutter in the auto exposure mode.

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Old September 24th, 2008, 06:47 AM   #11
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Actually to my eye, the flicker seems to coincide with the severe vibration the camera was subjected to.

It seems that at the beginning, it's a handheld shot; then the camera is mounted on the window tray, at which point vibration is hardest; then exposure is manually adjusted and vibration subsides as the cam is rested on the tray and the car starts moving.

Flicker only occurs during the initial vibration, which leads me to thinking this may be related to the optical image stabilization system. It was trying to compensate for the vibration by moving the image sensor back and forth in opposite directions too quickly, thus flicker.

Possible?
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Old October 8th, 2008, 12:43 AM   #12
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Update, I took the camera to Sony, they have no idea what was causing it. I they returned it to me, if it happens again, I bring it back. I noticed a few other people in the forum have a similar problem. I tried turning the flicker reduction which was set at "auto" (factory setting? I didn't even open that menu until today) to "off".

Hopefully that will solve the problem.
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