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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 June 19th, 2010, 06:11 AM   #16
Inner Circle
 
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I've been testing my EX1/nanoFlash even more, trying to find a combination of settings to both that would minimize the noise - and thinking...

So far, the only post (in this thread or in the one at the nanoFlash forum: http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/converge...ml#post1533919) that agrees with my observation fully, and doesn't indicate I'm splitting hairs, or using improper comparison methods (like posting jpeg's instead of png's), has been the one by Voitto, above.

I've been wondering:

Is the reason for people not confirming the problem, that they don't want to admit it exists? You know, having spent a lot of cash on an EX1/3 camera, in some cases also on the nanoFlash - it can be sort of difficult to admit openly it doesn't perform as hoped, and expected basing on the nice 54dB S/N figure in the specs...

I could understand such reluctance, but I'd once again ask those knowledgeable EX users to step out and say openly what they think on the subject that's bugging me, like:

- either: yes, the noise is there, and in some cases - especially with high bitrates nanoFlash recordings - it can make the footage unusable without de-noising in post (which in my opinion, can negate the very sense of using high nanoFlash bitrates in the first place)

- or: no, I do not find my EX camera recording particularly noisy (and the higher nanoFlash bitrate I'm using, the better results I'm getting)...

Some feedback like this would help me tremendously - at the current state of affairs, I almost start to feel paranoid... Is my camera noisier than others, and should it be sent in for servicing? Or maybe my SDI cable is to blame?

'Cause you see, the only other explanation of seeing things other people do not see is that I'm editing my stuff using a large, 50" plasma display, hung above my desktop monitor, and watched from 1-1.5m. This way, I'm really seeing individual pixels, and can tell noisy picture from a clean one.

But, isn't using large displays what HD is about?
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Old June 19th, 2010, 07:04 AM   #17
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Piotr,

Yes there is noise with the EXcams, but what are you comparing them with?
900/800's, P2's , RED, DSLR's or HDV's.

I have noticed noise in certain shots not necessary under exposed even at -3db gain. But it is not bad compared to similar cams in this price range. As a matter of fact they are much better in my opinion than any other cams in this price range.

I use calibrated 20" and 24" JCV DT series evaluation monitors in my edit suites, they have true pixel to pixel display. There is a huge difference between these monitors and consumer Plasma/LCD TV's.

I do notice more noise when viewed on a large Plasma, we have 50" 720 Pany and a 46" Pany the 50" introduces its own noise. the 46 is cleaner, in my opinion those Plasmas are not for grading, but definitely good to look at to get an idea of what clients will see. We also use several consumer LCD monitors and they are pretty bad compared to the DT's.

In my subjective opinion, the NanoFlash produces a perceptible sharper and more subtle color picture than the SxS 35mb/s format. I usually shoot at 100mb/s LG with the Nano, and I see an overall improvement especially in landscape shots. Closeup and medium interview shots with soft (out of focus) background shots don't gain much from the higher bit rate in my opinion. Also if you do heavy CC in post the 4:2:2 holds up much better, this is the largest advantage with the NF in my opinion.

That said I have noticed that even darkish 30% areas can be perceptibly grainy/noisy, and yes I think your observations are correct the higher bitrates will emphasize this.
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Old June 19th, 2010, 07:21 AM   #18
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Thanks Olof - your detailed answer does put my mind at ease a little.

To address some of your points I'll just stress it that - as just a "serious hobbyist" (which I am, in spite of producing and even selling music DVDs/BD's) - I'm unable to compare my EX1 picture to anything of the 800/900, or RED, class. Of course I'm talking straight from this sort of cameras, before the post; I just haven't got access to such material.

What I AM comparing the EX1 with is the picture I used to make myself before I purchased it - like HDV from the V1E camera. And I can tell you that with its 1/4" imagers, it produces pictures with a lot more mosquito noise, macroblocking, and other artifacting - but as far as noise is concerned, the difference (if any) is not necessarily in the EX1 favour. Of course, I'm not talking the low-light graininess (it is awful on the V1E) - what I mean are those typical, 30-40% lit, uniform color areas that are typically noisy in the EX1, and quite clean from the V1E!

Oh well - I guess I'll have to permanently include a good NR plug-in into my editing suite...

Cheers

Piotr
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