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Sony XDCAM PXW-FS7 / FS5
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 09:17 AM   #76
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

@Olof: Thanks so much for narrowing down the issues. It's very helpful to know when these artifacts happen and how to avoid them. I did a shoot in Cine the other day and was wondering why the edges of interviewees seemed a bit weird, and this explains it. Cine gammas are my go-to settings at this point as they offer higher dynamic range but avoid the log workflow. But for now I may choose log or rec709 800. Hopefully Sony will address these issues soon, I was pleasantly surprised when they issued firmware updates so quickly for the A7sII and FS5, which means they either responded very quickly or they knew of the issues and had the fixes in the pipeline and were just QA'ing them further.

I'll be discussing this in an upcoming issue of my cinematography podcast, TechMove.

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Old January 2nd, 2016, 10:06 AM   #77
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

I'd love for Sony to issue a statement that acknowledges the problem and states that they are working on a solution.

They did this recently for the A7s-II "black hole sun" problem and fix.

At this point, we don't even know if Sony is even really aware of this today. However, If they do know about it, they might not want to say anything about because they are afraid it could hurt FS5 sales. Who knows? I certainly believe that being upfront with product problems improves your brand reputation and is a very noble way to handle these things. In the end, I think this strategy improves customer relations and increases consumer confidence too. How many people where impressed when Sony talked about that A&S-II firmware problem and fixed that thing in 3 weeks? I know I was very impressed.

If this thread topic hasn't arrived on Sony firmware programmers desks yet, at least it's getting the warning flag up for the FS5 user community.

There is nothing worse than shooting in a mode that you think is OK in the field only to get home and find out that you recorded a nasty problem with edges in your UHD Rec709 shots.

CT

Last edited by Cliff Totten; January 2nd, 2016 at 03:13 PM.
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Old January 4th, 2016, 11:05 AM   #78
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

More information is starting to come out:

Sony FS5 user reports artifact issues triggered by changing exposure, ND. Visible on HDMI output

And more samples and here along with other issues discussed:

Sony FS5 codec problems and 4K ripped edges bug - EOSHD

I REALLY hope that Sony in Tokyo is aware of this and is working on it.

CT
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Old January 4th, 2016, 12:01 PM   #79
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

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Originally Posted by Cliff Totten View Post
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
That EOSHD post is just what they (he) does, look no further than the NX1 review (better than the RED epic and a few other $10k-$20k cameras) I worry crap like this is going to hurt our chances of getting any improvements via firmware.... just to many people confusing normal 8bit compressed UHD issues with the actually problems that probably could be improved on.

NewsShooter should be ashamed, they could easily get a camera and test for themselves but they just repost someones video and write an article... they will both get thousands of hits and I guess thats what counts but starting to look like the "sky is falling" pack has taken over and I can't see any reason for Sony to fix anything now... its over, the damage is done, even if they could fix all the issues why would they? The camera is dead, those posts will get thousands and thousands of hits... and keep getting hits even after an firmware fix came out.

Bummed, I just wanted a better image in the LCD when I used focus mag and to be able assign AF on to the grip along with some other easy firmware tweaks to make the camera even more usable.. bet its not going to happen now
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Old January 4th, 2016, 01:04 PM   #80
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

"its over, the damage is done, even if they could fix all the issues why would they? The camera is dead,"

Not sure what you mean. The camera is not "dead", it's a brand new model and I'm guessing they CAN fix it in firmware.

Sony plans these XDCAM models to have at least a 3 year shelf life. So, I'm sure they have allot planned for this in 2016.

Let's hope they are aware of these problems in Tokyo
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Old January 4th, 2016, 09:33 PM   #81
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

More developments from two important industry groups:

Alister Chapman:
My response to all the FS5 artefact issue complainers. | XDCAM-USER.COM

EOSHD:
My response to Alister Chapman's response to all the Sony FS5 complainers! - EOSHD

I must say that I LOVE Alister's work and his teachings. I have been following him for years and I have learned allot from his work. However, I must disagree with him on this one issue.

I don't feel at all that this FS5 and it's "ragged edges" problem is "normal" or OK in any way. I'm not sure why he is trying so hard to defend this. Maybe he has not seen many problem samples yet?

Anyway, I suspect that Sony is now aware of this problem and I have faith that they will fix this problem soon.


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Old January 5th, 2016, 02:24 AM   #82
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

It looks to me that the "heavyweights" in the industry are having a totally different opinion on the matter, I"m sure Sony will take Alistair's comment more seriously, he says small improvements might occur trough a firmware update in the future but to not expect miracles and especially no fs7 performance since its a totally different camera. How fast this will be implemented by Sony will probably depend if all this negative response will have a impact on sales.
Also Alistar owns the fs5 and fs7 so he knows what he is talking about. I also wouldn't call the eoshd blog a "important industry group", it's just a blog owned by and for video enthusiasts, the reason why he shouts out now is that his first fs5 post was to tell everyone why he thinks this camera was the best money could buy but he made the mistake basing his conclusions on specs only (like he always does) and when he finally got the camera he saw it looked different then expected so now he wants Sony to fix it. I think Alistar accurately described it on his own blog that the article on eoshd was full of incorrect or sensationalist statements that really do show how little the blogowner understands video cameras, this is going to be an interesting discussion to follow :)

I personally feel people are overeacting, from what I have seen so far the fs5 can produce some lovely images and if you still think it's not good enough, invest 2k more on a fs7 and be done with it. The fs7 is actually a bargain if you compare it to a c100 user looking to upgrade to a c300 for better image quality and/or features, the c300 is 3 times the price of a c100 so it's unlikely for most c100 users to upgrade as the extra investment is too high, I also read about fs5 users thinking about getting an external recorder to improve on IQ but don't understand why as you will loose all benefits of that small formfactor + the extra cost will bring it close or at the same level as a fs7 body and that would be a no-brainer for me if I had to choose.

Last edited by Noa Put; January 5th, 2016 at 04:43 AM.
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Old January 5th, 2016, 04:13 PM   #83
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

Everyone's complaining about it being a codec problem when it is not a codec problem. As Alister said, the FS5 uses half the power of the FS7, so the image processing is therefore crippled into fixed function ASICs that work well with DSLR sensors, but not the Super35 sensor. The FS7 uses more power cause it has more high logic FPGAs that are reprogrammable and can handle the image load.

I agree with the first point in the EOSHD article. An off switch is needed but on specific types of noise reduction. Fixed pattern noise reduction needs to remain on, because without that kind of noise reduction, your footage will be full of nasty lines. Random noise reduction needs to be off. That is what is causing the issues observed. And overload correction (black sun issue) needs to remain on.

Codec is moot point in this discussion since this is clearly an image processing issue.
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Old January 5th, 2016, 06:24 PM   #84
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

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Originally Posted by Jack Zhang View Post
I agree with the first point in the EOSHD article. An off switch is needed but on specific types of noise reduction.
Yes, assuming it is (as Alister thinks) due to inter-frame noise reduction, it's the obvious answer, and should be pretty easily implemented(?)

Perhaps the most unfortunate thing (if the above is true) is the way it was initially incorrectly reported as a codec issue. I believe I've read that a few people have tried an external recorder and it not making any difference? Which certainly seems to back up what Alister Chapman is saying about noise reduction.
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Old January 5th, 2016, 07:52 PM   #85
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

Any way to change the name of this thread and get the "codec" part of the title out?

We have come a long way with this issue in the last few days!
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Old January 6th, 2016, 04:51 AM   #86
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

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Perhaps the most unfortunate thing (if the above is true) is the way it was initially incorrectly reported as a codec issue.
Agreed. I haven't seen this type of edge artefact noise even on X70 XAVC-L 4K footage at 60Mbps. Which is intrinsically the same as the FS5 being that its XAVC-L 26/30p. The only difference being on the FS5 you do have the option of 100Mbps.

Interestingly on a 4K upgraded FS700 the 4K S-LOG2 ISO3200 appears to have less noise than the FS5. even though the S-LOG2 default is ISO2000 on the FS700. Added to which the FS700 doesn't exhibit these torn flecking horizontal edges at any ISO even in AVCHD. It has to be something in the way this four year old S35 sensor has been married to the encoding processor. Be it in the temporal noise reduction circuit or what.

Tonight via a colleague I heard of an FS5 being returned tomorrow because of this issue and the fact that the 18-105 kit lens will not hold focus when you re-frame. Being a parfocal lens it should. As I mentioned in another post elsewhere even changing to another kit lens doesn't solve the problem. You cannot quickly reframe using the camera zoom servo while rolling without having to re-focus. Oddly the problem is not there with the FF 28-135 or the original 18-200 servo lens that became a later option on the FS700.

All of the above was all physically demonstrated to Sony on one of their own demo FS5s yesterday so we are doing our bit down here in Oz to get some traction on these issues.

Hope Sony are listening.

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Old January 6th, 2016, 07:24 AM   #87
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

"All of the above was all physically demonstrated to Sony on one of their own demo FS5s yesterday so we are doing our bit down here in Oz to get some traction on these issues".

Thanks for doing this Christopher. There have been some very ugly discussions about this whole FS5 debacle flying around on some blogs and other web forums (not on here thankfully - which is why I often turn to this forum for information).

The "heat" on the interwebs will no doubt get Sony's attention - but the method you've chosen is by far the better way. I imagine FS5s being returned is also going to raise the profile with Sony too.

I'm patient enough to wait for Sony's official response to all this.
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Old January 6th, 2016, 01:00 PM   #88
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

I got my FS5 at the end of November, I think I would be called an 'early adopter'. After reading these posts, I'm going to try to avoid Cine and normal Rec709 (PP3) until further notice. I did a recording yesterday in Rec709, and then switched it today to Rec709 800% (PP4). I can't scientifically prove it, but in viewing in through a SmallHD 501 monitor (excellent monitor BTW for general checking of focus and exposure) I 'feel' that the image is a lot better and is also a bit brighter. I'm at ISO 4000 because I have to be. I'm doing this with a FS5 with a Metabones Speedbooster Ultra and a Canon 70-200 f4.0 L IS lens and I'm effectively shooting at f2.8. I'm also using the 'clear image zoom' to get even closer or reframing without having to zoom the Canon lens which isn't parfocal. I started with the 18-105 kit lens, and while this lens is 'ok', it's not as sharp and the image is not great, and manual focusing is pretty terrible and unusable because of the 'focus by wire' feature of the lens. I feel that all the 'focus by wire' lenses by Sony are at a disadvantage to manual or EF lenses, the only thing they do better is autofocus, because even with the 'cadillac' of electronic EF-Emount adapters, Metabones, the autofocusing feature seems to be non-functional with the FS5.

I'm using just one FS5 rather than what I did before which was to use a Sony EX1 for closeups, and a GH4 for a wider view. I'm using this gig to see if I can replace my EX1 + GH4 with just one camcorder and then crop in post for the closeups. The image quality being superlative isn't a requirement for this gig so I'm using it as a "test" for the FS5, profiles, and workflow. The 'bug' of the FS5's internal LCD/EVF being disabled is tolerable since the 1.10 firmware update. Having info on the FS5 and image on the external monitor works, though when the SmallHD suddenly shuts off due to batteries running out is inconvenient because you are basically blind! You can't switch of the FS5 setting that turns on the internal LCD in lieu of the 4K HDMI output while recording! That should be a button assignable function and should be switchable while recording but I doubt it's technically possible.

In doing this, I feel I can replace my trusty old EX1. I feel the image quality with this combo I have now is way better than the EX1, more light sensitive, and almost as versatile and certainly more versatile in post. This gig extends to tomorrow and I plan to try out some SLog profiles along with trying to get a LUT into my SmallHD 501 for previewing the final image.

All all, I'm kind of OK with the FS5. I'd like it to be perfect, I feel a little bit fooled by the advanced marketing, including the filmmakers / paid promoters reports on the FS5. I feel Alistar Chapman is an awesome and amazing resource for all of us, I've been following him since the EX1 introduction. I'm slightly perplexed by his stance on the FS5 as I feel that it should be at least as good as a A7rII or A7sII, Canon C100 or C300 in low light and I don't feel it is at this point. For example, for this gig, I have a very 'fast' lens setup with a 2.8 and I still need to be at 4000 iso because of the environment. Seminars are often like this. I feel the my new A7sII (and even the old A7s) is better, out of the box, image wise, than the FS5, which is a bit disappointing to me. But using the A7sII as a camcorder (I've tried) is a hassle compared to the FS5. Having dual SDXC slots with mirror or relay recording (I'm using relay recording for this current gig) unlimited recording time, electronic ND, Clear Image Zoom, large battery capability, and ergonomics of the FS5 is awesome! But we are early in the FS5. Within a month of the release, we've already had a significant HDMI output update that makes the FS5 much more usable in the real world.

I knew going in that the FS5 might not be a 'Cinema' camcorder like the FS7 or the C300MkII or the upcoming Ursa Mini 4.6K. I was hoping for a bit more initially, and we may get closer, and if Sony comes out with a Raw output update it may get there, but then it loses it's portability advantage.

I'm not sure if I've ever seen as many posts, blogs and reports about a new camcorder's problems as this new FS5, I feel Sony has to be hearing these reports and will take them seriously. But we shouldn't hold back! If you see problems let Sony (via this and other forums) know!

I'll be discussing all this and more on my podcast about Cinematography, Post Production and Workflow, TechMove, TechMove is the Podcast all about Digital Filmmaking, Gear, Mac Computers, and iOS Devices from a Unique Perspective!.

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Old January 6th, 2016, 02:50 PM   #89
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

It wouldn't be fair to expect the FS5 to match the A7s-II or A7R-II. The A7x cameras have much larger sensors that completely out class the FS5's Super35 sensor.

The FS5's noise reduction issue is reported to happen at any gamma setting. For now, try to run at 0db only or as close as you can to 0db. Avoid high gain as best you can, even if it means slowing down to 1/30 shutter...in my opinion.

I'm sure Sony will try to do something in firmware soon. If they do nothing, the community will continue to harass and scold this model to its early death.

Some want to say the problem is perfectly fine and normal to see. It's just par for the course to live with that atrifact. However, I don't believe the rest of the market agrees with that concept.

Sony traditionally has done very well with +6dB or +9dB or +12db gain with other camera models in the past 4 years. The FS5 cannot be the only exception to Sony's great noise reduction technology.

I think Sony will fix it. I just hope they don't try to "wish it away" and they will put their engineering teams on it as a top priority.
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Old January 6th, 2016, 03:44 PM   #90
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

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It wouldn't be fair to expect the FS5 to match the A7s-II or A7R-II. The A7x cameras have much larger sensors that completely out class the FS5's Super35 sensor.
Sorry but that makes no sense, a full frame sensor alone does not automatically mean a superior image quality, if I would follow your logic a canon 5d mark 2 would outclass a Canon c300 mark 2.

Quote:
The FS5's noise reduction issue is reported to happen at any gamma setting.
Like it does on any camera out there that uses gain, like Alister said, "use gain and you get artifacts", saying to people now to not shoot higher then 0db gain is silly, ofcourse you can and will have to go higher then 0db gain for most uncontrolled shoots, like a wedding, but don't expect squeaky clean footage, my gh4 is noisy at 3200 iso and even noisier beyond that but I don't go complain this is not acceptable, it's just the best this camera can do in these circumstances and I and my clients can live with that. The fs5, even with it's artifacts still looks better at 3200 iso then what my gh4 can do. Most people did not even see the noise issue on the fs5 when the camera came out but that might be because they didn't wave their camera constantly up and down at 3200 iso to prove a point.

Quote:
If they do nothing, the community will continue to harass and scold this model to its early death.
Sony won't loose much sleep over it, Sony does do small firmware improvements but Sony prefers to do improved mark 2 versions on their bestsellers so you can go out and buy a new camera again and if it's not a bestseller they just forget about it, just like they did with the nex-ea50, or vg900.

Quote:
Sony traditionally has done very well with +6dB or +9dB or +12db gain with other camera models in the past 4 years.
Not all sony's are great at high gain, my ax100 is very noisy at high gains, same applied for my nex-ea50 and my rx10's image turns to mush at high gains as well.

Quote:
I think Sony will fix it. I just hope they don't try to "wish it away" and they will put their engineering teams on it as a top priority.
I think in about every response you gave about the fs5 you hope Sony will fix this but look at it from the bright side, you at least have not wasted any money yet on the fs5 with it's dreadful image so you can still choose any camera you want :)
Just kidding but I think by now Sony knows what the problem is and maybe it's time people just start to use the camera, after all, it's not as bad as it looks, it might get fixed or it might not but in the meantime I"m selling yet another wedding to a happy client that's full of noisy 6400 iso gh4 footage, I just put black bars on top and bottom and say it's cinematic, that helps a lot too. :)
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