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


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Old December 31st, 2015, 07:19 AM   #61
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

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Originally Posted by Wacharapong Chiowanich View Post
Sorry I am new to the FS5's REC.709 800% terminology here. What does it mean that makes it different from the usual REC.709? I'm planning on getting an FS5 myself. Thanks.
They are identical until it starts dealing with highlights. https://www.google.com/search?q=rec7...FxMHd8XQHvM%3A
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Old December 31st, 2015, 10:31 AM   #62
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

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Yeah it shows the nasty edges at 3200 and above on other gammas. Below 3200 and it completely goes away. I think you could get a pretty good look with 709 800% and adjusting the profile if you wanted the baked in look. I actually prefer 800% over the standard 709 gamma
Rec709 800% is great....IF....you dont mind being stuck at 3200 as your lowest ISO. It sucks to be forced to run in a WAY higher ISO than you need only to have to dial all that light back with ND.

It does make you wonder though, if Sony can give you a clear image at rec709 800%, why cant they do that at standard Rec709 at ISO 100-3200?

How is Sony's implementation of this possibly faulty noise reduction system different between these two modes?

Calling all FS5 owners! More test samples please, please, please. ;-)
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Old December 31st, 2015, 12:06 PM   #63
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

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Originally Posted by Josh Swan View Post
Wouldnt proving that the camera can record beautiful images on three gammas prove its not a hardware issue. Gammas are a software change, so it's clearly not the chip.
Yes, changing gammas can also change in the intensity of the noise reduction algorithm who's FUNCTIONAL ALGORITHM, not INTENSITY can't be changed for a new sensor. Gammas are easily tweakable, so is what you tell the chip how MUCH something should be noise reduced, but the function and algorithm is baked into the chip once it's an ASIC.

Imagine this, you try to make a Bitcoin mining ASIC change into a general purpose CPU... You just can't. The function is VERY SPECIFIC and baked inside the chip, and to change instruction sets so that it turns into a general CPU is neigh impossible. (and if it is possible, incredibly inefficent, nullifying the point of changing the specific purpose of a ASIC after it's been made.)
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Old December 31st, 2015, 01:03 PM   #64
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

So, if you are right about these ASIC chips providing "broken" or "improper" noise reduction algorithms to the FS5's image processing, the only way for Sony to fix this is to dial back on its usage amount.

Dong so, might reduce the problem the NR algorithm is causing but will of course, allow more noise back into the image.

I'll take it! Noise I can handle! I can always clean that in post if needed. What we cant do is repair the artifacts this is causing on the image today. Once resolution and detail is destroyed at the image processing level, it cant be recovered in post afterwards.

Maybe this is Sony's only hope for a FS5 firmware fix?

Question for Jack: Could Sony have baked in MULTIPLE noise reduction patterns/algorithms into this ASIC? (Designed for multiple Sony sensor types)

Is it possible the the FS5's firmware is implementing or activating the wrong one? We know the FS5's S35 sensor is not a new one, it's used on the FS5, F5/55 and FS700 too. So we know that Sony has the right noise reduction algorithm for that sensor in it's technology somewhere.

Could this noise reduction ASIC have those S35 sensor noise models baked in too and not being accessed properly? (The FS5 firmware is calling on the wrong NR model in that ASIC?)

CT
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Old December 31st, 2015, 01:53 PM   #65
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

OK I can now reproduce the problem reliable, after extensive pixel peeping and I found the best way to spot the problem. I use my Odyssey O7Q+ in UHD and go pixel to pixel or even 2 to 1. This way I can see the effect w/o going back and forth downloading to my edit suite.

It took a long time for me to even spot this problem as I was working on developing PPs and test shooting outdoors and studio setups. I never saw it in any of my footage. I really had to work at it but now I can see it clearly and reproduce it. I will contact Sony and send them the video below that shows what is happening very clearly.

So my conclusions are:

It is a very special circumstance that causes the problem. A high contrast level edge slightly out of focus moving up and down slowly, fast is fine. In focus seems better but sometimes shows up.

It is interesting that it is not every frame, just some frames, others are fine, and rarely are there 2 bad ones in a row.

It happens UHD in all the CINE gammas 1-4 at 3200 iso and up. It can be seen but rarely at 1600 iso.

All other Gammas are fine in my tests.

It does not happen in HD.

Noise Reduction settings make no difference at all, I tried all the variations.

All my tests were in 29.97.

So here is a short video it is of an UHD, so it is pixel to pixel viewed in HD. I can see this in reference monitors and on my Mac screens, so it is not the same noise you sometimes see in a computer screen when the GPU is overwhelmed.

My bottom line is the 5 is a great camera, but it has a definite problem with CineGammas in UHD at iso 3200 and up, but this will only show up in fairly rare circumstances, at least the way I shoot. Hopefully Sony will look into this and correct it. It can be fixed in post if you get it in a shot and it needs to be used, just do a tracking blur over the affected area with soft edges. It is not stopping me from using Cinegammas at 3200, I will just be aware of what may happen in some rare circumstances.

Anyway Happy New Year to everyone. These are interesting times...


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Old December 31st, 2015, 02:00 PM   #66
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

Just to say thank you Olof for your efforts in establishing these details. Happy New Year!

It will be interesting to see how Sony respond.
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Old December 31st, 2015, 02:56 PM   #67
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

I think that perspective has been lost here, and some of it starting to sound a lot like Sony bashing.

Sony has developed a very nice little HD camera in the fs5, which includes UHD capabilities. It is pleasing to the hand and to the eye and is offered it at an attractive price. It's a bargain...if it meets your requirements. If not move on.

There have been many beautiful examples of the quality images that fs5 can produce posted by a number of professionals on this site and elsewhere.

The 'macro blocking' in the dark could be resolved by throwing a bit of light on the scene and holding the camera steady.

Any camera can be made to look bad if you try hard enough.
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Old December 31st, 2015, 03:40 PM   #68
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

I see no Sony bashing here. In fact, I see people trying to identify a problem so that Sony can fix it and sell more cameras.

Nobody wins if we all try to ignore this problem, pretend it's not there and try to sweep it under the carpet.

This artifact happens in good light and bad light. It ruins edges in UHD and ultimately the hurts the overall resolution potential of the camera.

No other Sony UHD camera has this problem that I know of and it's a shame that a $1300 RX10-II can out resolve a $5600 XDCAM FS5 because of this edging problem.

Let's not "bash" Sony on this. Let's help Sony identify the issue so they can fix it and make the FS5 all that it can really be.

We had a fit about the A7S-II over the "black hole sun" problem. We didn't just sit back and pretend it didn't exist. Sony took notice and fixed in in 3 weeks for their customers.

I have owned 18 Sony cameras in 20 years. I'm certainly in the Sony "fanboy" catagory. I'm about to buy the FS5 in 3 weeks...so no, I'm not a Sony basher...I'm quite the opposite, for sure.
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Old December 31st, 2015, 03:47 PM   #69
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

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Originally Posted by Cliff Totten View Post
Question for Jack: Could Sony have baked in MULTIPLE noise reduction patterns/algorithms into this ASIC? (Designed for multiple Sony sensor types)
DSLR ones, maybe. But not the Super35 sensor.

I didn't know the A7s II had a black sun issue. That must meant they REALLY rushed the firmware and the camera out to market. Usually black sun issues only apply to industrial CMOS sensors or unprocessed raw sensor data. They must have rushed these cameras to market, like the PXW-X200 with it's infamous lens focus issue.
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Old December 31st, 2015, 04:49 PM   #70
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

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Originally Posted by Cliff Totten View Post
Rec709 800% is great....IF....you dont mind being stuck at 3200 as your lowest ISO. It sucks to be forced to run in a WAY higher ISO than you need only to have to dial all that light back with ND.

It does make you wonder though, if Sony can give you a clear image at rec709 800%, why cant they do that at standard Rec709 at ISO 100-3200?

How is Sony's implementation of this possibly faulty noise reduction system different between these two modes?

Calling all FS5 owners! More test samples please, please, please. ;-)
I have been unable to get the issue to show in standard rec 709... and seems like people who have the camera available for testing have not either. (its getting hard to sift through the testing, what people read and re post, and technical "theory" I worry Sony is going to get tons of "samples" and emails that really are not even related to the real issue.

Not sure how its "sucks" to have use ND in this camera and we will have to work at 3200 to use SLOG3 as well, it is not like the ND is causing any color shift or any IQ loss... I can't se any difference with or without ND engaged... sharpness and contrast all look the same to me, but I admit I didn't zoom to an absurd level just 100%-200% UHD on a 1080 time line and I have been watching some on a 60 inch UHD tv.

I have been able to recreate the dancing line issue in CINE gamma at 3200/6400iso at 1 to 1 , hope it can be fixed, I wouldn't want to see busy scenes like tree branches in the background of an image go crazy with artifacts

but as far as the original large blocking issue (the issue News Shooter re-posted) I have not been able to get anywhere near that... with a couple of exceptions grossly underexposing and bringing up in post and/or a combination of under exposure and digital zoom at high ISO values.
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Old December 31st, 2015, 06:31 PM   #71
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

When I sat it "sucks"....I simply mean that I have never...oh let's say: Crank up to 12db of gain only to throw on the ND3 filter on an EX1.

Gain and ND are counter intuitive when used like that.

It's not absurd to want to shoot in a standard Rec.709 gamma and run at 200 ISO or low gain like that.

You don't think it's odd that the FS5 can't do that without getting hit with edge blocks?

I dunno....maybe I'm expecting way way to much from a $5500 camera?

CT
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Old December 31st, 2015, 07:35 PM   #72
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

"When I sat it "sucks"....I simply mean that I have never...oh let's say: Crank up to 12db of gain only to throw on the ND3 filter on an EX1."

I never owned an EX1, but with the FS5 3200 in log or REC709 800% 3200 isn't 12db of gain its the native gain

"Gain and ND are counter intuitive when used like that."

Its not really gain for that gamma just like LOG the native is 3200 so your only options are close iris, add ND or speed up the shutter....in this case ND wont even cause color shifts or any loss of image quality so thats the way I would go

"It's not absurd to want to shoot in a standard Rec.709 gamma and run at 200 ISO or low gain like that."

Nope not at all, but this camera simply wont do it in 709 800% or SLOG (wont do 200 in any setting, 800 is the lowest in Cine1)

"You don't think it's odd that the FS5 can't do that without getting hit with edge blocks?"

Not sure what you mean by "that" I think the line/blinky/artifacts are really F'd up to be 100% honest.... luckily for me even as it sits the pros outweigh the cons.. I desperately needed a smaller camera, the vari ND is going to be amazing for what I shoot (big lenses that are very hard and expensive to filter) and the better HD/SLOG option will be absolutely wonderful.

"I dunno....maybe I'm expecting way way to much from a $5500 camera?"

I have no idea what you expect or how this applies to what I wrote. I personally expect it will get improved but do worry Sony is going to get blasted with strange requests and "issues" that might obscure the real ones.

Seems like maybe I was unclear in my post but I just don't have much time to go on about it so I will just repeat the main point of my post. I am able to replicate the blinking line artifact issues in the CINE modes and at 3200 and up..... but after trying extensively I am unable to replicate the big blocked background look of the footage News Shooter reposted without using digital crop or underexposing

I hope you don't feel I was being rude or anything, just posting what I found with my fs5 and if you disagree with it... or if yours is doing something different than mine so be it... post away I am out :)
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Old December 31st, 2015, 07:46 PM   #73
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

No, you are cool and I dig what you are saying. I don't own an FS5 so I can't say anything conclusive at all about it.

It's funny, on the A7s, the "native" ISO was 3200 with SLOG. On the A7S-II, with the same sensor, that magically changed to 1600 ISO.

Is it correct to say the the FS5's native 3200 ISO is equal to 0db of gain? Is any ISO below that running negative gain?

My brain operates better in "gain" than it does in "ISO"...ha!

Can't wait to test my FS5 for myself soon anyway.

CT
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Old January 1st, 2016, 02:46 AM   #74
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

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Originally Posted by Josh Swan View Post
They are identical until it starts dealing with highlights. https://www.google.com/search?q=rec7...FxMHd8XQHvM%3A
Thanks Josh for making it very clear on this and thanks to Olof too for taking the time and effort to pinpoint exactly where the problem lies. Still a great 4k camera for the price despite all these downsides IMHO. Hopefully I'll keep those in mind and make sure to get around them. Happy New Year to all.
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Old January 1st, 2016, 08:30 PM   #75
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

Have been shooting with my FS5 for only a few days but it's clear the 4K image pipeline on this camera needs a firmware fix.

For now I recommend avoiding the ripped edges by shooting S-LOG 2 and no higher than ISO 6400. Also ITU 709 800% at the base ISO of that profile seems fine too.

What I am most disappointed about is the 10bit 1080p performance. 50Mbit/s is way to low for the smooth gradation 10bit is capable of, it just gets compressed to hell! Macro blocking and banding all over the place and nothing like 10bit on a Blackmagic.
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