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Sony XDCAM PXW-FS7 / FS5
Super 35 CMOS recording 4K to XQD media cards.


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Old December 24th, 2015, 05:47 PM   #31
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

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Originally Posted by Olof Ekbergh View Post
I have not been able to reproduce the noisy edges others are reporting, I am not saying it is not real. I have just not seen it in my footage yet. So I think it is limited to high ISO somewhat shaky cam, possible a bit under exposed.
Interesting... I can see it really clearly just using the focus magnification. It is most apparent on underexposed edges – although EVERY shot has areas that are underexposed (they're called shadows ;-D)... I wonder if this effects different units to different degrees.

I'm finding it frustrating now - I can see it making edges around things (like people in interviews) look a little bit more messy as they move. I didn't initially notice it... Now I can't stop seeing it. :-(

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Old December 24th, 2015, 06:01 PM   #32
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

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I haven't tested this myself, but someone just commented on my Vimeo clip to say that they were seeing the problem at all of the following (and above) ISO settings:

Gamma - ISO
Standard - 2500
Still - 2000
Cine1 - 2000
Cine2 - 1600
Cine3 - 2500
Cine4 - 2500
ITU709 - 2500
ITU709 (800%) - 8000
SLOG2 - 8000
SLOG3 - 8000
This is signs this is noise reduction related. Again, the algorithms are hard coded into the hardware ASICs so the image processing ASICs have to be revised and replaced before this issue is fixed. A FPGA is re-programmable with firmware, and the FS7 has a FPGA.
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Old December 24th, 2015, 06:50 PM   #33
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

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Crippled firmware options... not sounding good. Looks like the only way to bypass the noise reduction is to use S-Log.

Unfortunately this is a bug in the hardware that the firmware cannot fix unless noise reduction is entirely turned off. A new revision of the ASICs with better noise reduction algorithms is required to solve the problem on standard gamma.
I have done many 100% crops on UHD recordings on my RX10-II, A7s-II and X70. None of them have ever displayed these artifacts.

I don't know but I strongly suspect that the FS5 uses a similar motherboard or chipset as these guys.

I bet it's fixable in firmware
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Old December 24th, 2015, 07:57 PM   #34
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

ASICs are fixed function. Unless the image processor is an FPGA it cannot be modified cause it's been optimized and engineered for a specific setup. ASICs once configured for one configuration have to be re-engineered for a different configuration from the hardware level. I doubt a simple firmware fix will do. It'll be like the EX1 going to Firmware V1.20 where you send the camera in for a firmware and hardware upgrade that fixes the issue.

Hate to admit it, but the engineers at Sony cut corners in this cam to meet market demand.
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Old December 24th, 2015, 09:53 PM   #35
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

If Sony already has circuits and logic (A7s-II, RX10-II and X70) that can already do what the FS5 does, it would make financial sense to re purpose them into a new FS5 design. Just change the sensor and keep a motherboard design that you already buy and manufacture chips for and are well tested on other cameras.

It could be a coincidence but notice how the FS5's (firmware 1.1) monitor, HDMI and internal recording limitations are exactly identical to the RX10-II and A7S-II.

If they don't have this FS5 artifact problem on any other model, than I suspect the fundemental hardware is fine.

Again, I don't know if the FS5 is a repackaged A7s-II with different sensor or not.....just guessing here.

Last edited by Cliff Totten; December 24th, 2015 at 10:30 PM.
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Old December 25th, 2015, 05:09 AM   #36
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

Those were all actual DSLR sensors with sometimes better SNR ratios. But when the noise reduction algorithm was "made" for the FS5, they just figured the same ones from the DSLR would work equally well on a Super35 sensor. They're not the same. The X70 takes the sensor from the RX100, a 1'' type point and shoot stills camera, so the ASICs don't need to be changed much.

Going from a DSLR sensor to a Super35 sensor is probably what caused the fixed function ASIC to behave differently. It's like the X200's lens issue. They assumed the optics were close to the same as the old PMW-200 for a higher zoom ratio, but it's not the same calibrations.
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Old December 25th, 2015, 11:02 AM   #37
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

Wow.....well? Its going to be very interesting to see how this plays out:

Will more samples come forward with this same problem?

Will Sony become aware of this at some point?

If they can't fix it, how will it affect future FS5 sales?

Could Sony issue a FS5 recall to save the product?

Oh man....I'm still hoping for the best: Either no more reports of the problem or a Sony firmware fix.

Maybe you are right....I just hope not.
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Old December 25th, 2015, 12:18 PM   #38
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

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Could Sony issue a FS5 recall to save the product?
The turkey on my plate has as much hope not being eaten as your hope the fs5 might be recalled. With a bit of luck Sony might provide a firmware fix, if this is possible at all and otherwise will make you happy with a more expensive mark 2 version in a year that doesn't have this problem. I could swear the turkey in front of me just nodded so he agrees. Happy Christmas all :)
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Old December 25th, 2015, 12:39 PM   #39
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

Shot using Cine4 Gamma iso 3200 UHD factory settings for detail.

This is on a HD timeline, but I blow it up first 200% then 400%.

Interesting is that viewed on my iMac screen I see all kinds of strange aliasing etc when played back full screen, but on my eval monitor SDI out it is very clean. I think maybe the problem some are seeing is how they are viewing it. You need to see it on on a Pro evaluation monitor. On my MBP I get some strange aliasing as well but I think that is the GPU coping badly with the 100mb/s UHD Long GOP.

Or maybe I got lucky with my FS5. Bottom line is I am not seeing anything terrible. Remember this is 4X HD in other words it is like a 420 8bit HD stream at 25mb/s how good can it possible be, something has to give. And I think of iso 3200 as pretty high iso. EX1 and EX3 cams are only good to about 1600 before getting noisy and the is at 35mb/s.

This is with the kit lens, no image stabilize and all the way wide, slightly out of focus.

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Old December 25th, 2015, 09:31 PM   #40
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

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With a bit of luck Sony might provide a firmware fix, if this is possible at all and otherwise will make you happy with a more expensive mark 2 version in a year that doesn't have this problem.
Most likely they'll be fixed with the Mark II version with UHS-II and 4K60p. It'll still be 8-bit though. If Sony really wanted to be greedy, they'd lock the RAW capabilities to the Mark II. I have severe doubts the RAW upgrade will be in the current FS5 if no new hardware is added. (Like the FS700)

Also, Mark II would solve the EVF issue IF THEY BASED IT OFF A CAMCORDER DESIGN, NOT A DSLR DESIGN. (Bad Sony! Bad!)
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Old December 26th, 2015, 08:03 AM   #41
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

"Also, Mark II would solve the EVF issue IF THEY BASED IT OFF A CAMCORDER DESIGN, NOT A DSLR DESIGN. (Bad Sony! Bad!)"

What do you mean, camcorder design or DSLR design?

The electronic principles are the same. Raw sensor readout, deBayer and gama/color and noise reduction processing and codec encoding. Aside from programmed time recording restrictions, the same circuits will be used for either DSLR or Camcorder.

Yes, sensor noise will be different when you change that out. Noise reduction algorithms will be different but everything else will be the same.

A DSLR is just a software crippled camcorder in a photo camera body. (A photo camera body that is less capable of handling heat too)

Last edited by Cliff Totten; December 26th, 2015 at 09:27 AM.
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Old December 26th, 2015, 12:02 PM   #42
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

In the case of the A7s II, they have to do that so as to not overuse power or overheat the chips. It's not simply the case of swap the heatsinks and it should work, the chips were engineered with limitations in mind. Camcorders have more FPGAs than ASICs, and those can handle way more heat and load over time.

Only active cooling in the FS5 is the Sensor. On the FS7 I believe it's both on the main FPGA and the Sensor.
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Old December 26th, 2015, 12:15 PM   #43
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

Just curious, how come you know so much about this? Are you an engineer at a cameracompany?
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Old December 26th, 2015, 05:25 PM   #44
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

I would really hope we can get more FS5 sample uploads here. I'm ready to pull the trigger and buy the FS5 next month and I really want to see if this is a real problem or not.

Could there be some models out there with bad sensors and others that are fine? (A simple quality control issue)

If you purchased your FS5 within the last 30 days, you seriously might want to inspect closely what your camera is recording around the edges. Maybe you have a unit that has this problem?

If anybody does see something, please upload some samples! Sony understandably is not going to lift a finger to do anything if they only see two or three bad videos out there.

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Old December 26th, 2015, 07:09 PM   #45
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

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Just curious, how come you know so much about this? Are you an engineer at a cameracompany?
My friend is working on his own portable high speed camera to rival the Phantom. If you're an engineer, you should check out "tesla500" on YouTube.
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