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Old September 6th, 2016, 04:15 PM   #1
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Comparison of Internal Recording on FS5 vs. RAW output to Odyssey 7Q+

In the months since I completed production of my 6-hour Sony FS5 Master Class training video I've had a lot of people write to ask me if I thought there were any advantages to recording the 4K RAW output of the FS5 to an external recorder vs. recording internally on SDXC cards. So, I decided to shoot some test footage one day with both at the same time and do a split-screen comparison. The camera only allows internal recording in HD resolution (not 4K) while 4K RAW is being output, so, in some ways, the test is also a comparison of HD vs. 4K. The camera was set for Picture Profile 7 (S-LOG2/S-Gamut) with the default settings. I exposed with the camera rated at ISO 1250 by exposing for white at 70%.

The 4K ProRes footage (on the left side of the screen) was lightly graded in Davinci Resolve 12.5 by compensating for exposure on one node and then applying Convergent Design's "SONY_EE_Slog2_LC709A" LUT on a second node. The XAVC HD footage (on the right) was also graded in Resolve using the same "SONY_EE_Slog2_LC709A" LUT, plus a few other tweaks to attempt a quick & dirty match with the corresponding ProRes file. I didn't spend a lot of time getting them to match perfectly so there are some remaining differences that I believe could easily be compensated for with a little more effort on most clips. No sharpening or noise reduction has been applied to any of the clips.

At 3:12 and 5:06 there are comparisons between internal recorded 4K XAVC vs. externally recorded ProRes 4K.

Lenses used were a Canon 200mm f/2.8 and an old Konica-Hexanon 28mm f/1.4.

FYI, outputting RAW from the FS5 requires several optional upgrades: First, you must purchase Sony's PXW-FS5 FS RAW Output Upgrade License which costs $500. Then you must have an external recorder that is capable of receiving the camera's RAW 4K output and either recording it as Cinema DNG files or various flavors of ProRes. I own a Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q+ which is ideally suited for capturing RAW output from both the FS5 and FS7. An Odyssey 7Q+ costs $1800 plus SSD media cards. But you also need the RAW BUNDLE license for the 7Q+ which adds another $995 to the cost. So, gearing up to record the RAW output of the FS5 requires an investment of at least $3500 over and above the cost of the camera itself. Is it worth it to shoot RAW? I'll leave that for other people to decide for themselves, my intent here was just provided some footage that may help with that decision.

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Old September 6th, 2016, 06:06 PM   #2
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Re: Comparison of Internal Recording on FS5 vs. RAW output to Odyssey 7Q+

Very interesting Doug
Thanks for posting this!

On my viewing screen, I was really surprised to see the extent of difference between the two, particularly in the color gradations in many of the darker areas and mid-tone lower chroma regions. It really felt like in many cases the colors popped with the Odyssey while the internal recording went a little mushy. Of course there were other shots where it really felt like a mirror (though I don't think there were any times that I thought the Odyssey side paled by comparison, the way I sometimes felt about the internal record side...)

I also really liked the way you assembled it, since the center line made it really easy to immediately see differences -- and it was downright pretty!
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Old September 6th, 2016, 06:54 PM   #3
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Re: Comparison of Internal Recording on FS5 vs. RAW output to Odyssey 7Q+

The FS5's shares the same sensor as the FS700, F5 and the FS7.

The FS5's implementation of this sensor has it mapped for a 3200 ISO readout. Interestingly enough, the FS7 and the FS700 both are mapped at 2000 ISO while their big brother, the F5 has it even lower at 1250 ISO.

I wonder what Sony was doing when they decided to do this with the FS5. Why did they find this necessary on a sensor that is proven to work beautifully well at lower ISO readout for years, long before the FS5 was born? It's been said by many that the FS5 shares a large portion of the same electronics as the FS700.

Now....I'm not into conspiracy theorys but I seem to think that the FS700 RAW seems to be implemented better,...or optimized better for this sensor than the FS5? I mean, yes, the FS5 RAW to ProRes looks OK but aftter seeing a decent amount of FS5 raw output, I actually think now the the FS700 beats it. The FS700 4k raw just seems to look a bit cleaner and smoother.

I cant say for sure yet, it's just a funny feeling I'm starting to get the more I see the FS5 raw and raw to ProRes.

We can say one thing about the FS700r raw output. It was built before there were any other 4k Sony models in the lineup that would have caused Sony to compromise the FS700. So, they could have given the FS700 100% of it's imaging ability with no worry about protecting a higher model at that time.

We cannot say this about the FS5 today. Certainly not!!!! The FS5 has two models above it with the same sensor that cost up to several thousands more. So, this surely was a careful consideration when the FS5's firmware was being programmed.

Thanks for posting this Doug. If you still have an FS700r and can do a side by side raw with the FS5, that would be groundbreaking.

Still thinking about this one........
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Old September 7th, 2016, 03:10 AM   #4
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Re: Comparison of Internal Recording on FS5 vs. RAW output to Odyssey 7Q+

It's probably the lower res on my laptop screen, but I'm really not seeing a lot of difference. Doug, any chance you can put the original file on Dropbox et al or make the your Vimeo 'original' version downloadable?
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Old September 7th, 2016, 10:55 AM   #5
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Re: Comparison of Internal Recording on FS5 vs. RAW output to Odyssey 7Q+

It might be important to note that when it comes to color, raw sensor data doesn't have "color" in it. It only has 12bit grayscale pixel "voltage readings" that carry a RGGB "flag" with them.

It's the recieving device like the Shogun or Odyssey that deBayers that RGGB checkerboard and make a full color image for ProRes to record.

So colors can and will be influenced by that raw decoding and image assembly device....or software if it's DNG or something else.

CT
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Old September 8th, 2016, 02:02 AM   #6
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Re: Comparison of Internal Recording on FS5 vs. RAW output to Odyssey 7Q+

What about a comparison 4k with raw update + external recorder and internal 4k to the SD card?

Does it really worth investing aprox 2500 usd or more of the Shogun or Odyssey + raw update? I mean, how much better/ noticeable could the 4k difference be...
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Old September 8th, 2016, 05:02 AM   #7
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Re: Comparison of Internal Recording on FS5 vs. RAW output to Odyssey 7Q+

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Rafael View Post
What about a comparison 4k with raw update + external recorder and internal 4k to the SD card?
That comparison is not be as easy to do because 4K internal and 4K/RAW external cannot be recorded simultaneously. Nevertheless, in the video above at 3:12 and 5:06 there are comparisons between internal recorded 4K XAVC vs. externally recorded ProRes 4K that were recorded a few seconds apart.
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Old September 8th, 2016, 05:04 AM   #8
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Re: Comparison of Internal Recording on FS5 vs. RAW output to Odyssey 7Q+

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Davey View Post
It's probably the lower res on my laptop screen, but I'm really not seeing a lot of difference. Doug, any chance you can put the original file on Dropbox et al or make the your Vimeo 'original' version downloadable?
Yes, that is a reasonable request. I'll see what I can do if I can find the time to organize it.
But you are correct, there is not a big difference between the files and that's about all you'd learn from looking at the originals. The ProRes files are noiser but they have more pleasing colors to my eyes. Resolution and sharpness seems very much the same.
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Old September 8th, 2016, 05:09 AM   #9
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Re: Comparison of Internal Recording on FS5 vs. RAW output to Odyssey 7Q+

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Originally Posted by Cliff Totten View Post
The FS5's implementation of this sensor has it mapped for a 3200 ISO readout. Interestingly enough, the FS7 and the FS700 both are mapped at 2000 ISO while their big brother, the F5 has it even lower at 1250 ISO
I don't mean to quibble, but this is incorrect. The F5's base ISO is 2000, the same as the FS7. It is the F55 that has a base ISO of 1250 because of the global shutter. Of course, it doesn't really matter because none of these numbers from any of the cameras holds up to real world testing. They are all lower than whatever number is shown onboard the camera. For example, the FS5 in S-LOG is actually only 2500. And when it is exposed a couple of stops lower than that, as I did in the is test, and as I do with all S-LOG and RAW from all of the cameras, the ISO was more like 800. That is quite different from 3200.
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Old September 8th, 2016, 12:36 PM   #10
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Re: Comparison of Internal Recording on FS5 vs. RAW output to Odyssey 7Q+

So, I must admit that I am a little confused on the FS5. When set for SLOG-2/3, the FS5 will jump to a 3200 ISO minimum. This setting is mandatory when running raw sensor data to a translating device because it re-maps pixel readings into that log curve for raw output. (Otherwise, you will get your sensor values in rec709 with much lower DR)

So, in theory, the FS5 in LOG will run at 3200 ISO which should = "0db."

Yes Doug, you are right, I meant to type "F55" at 1250 ISO and not "F5". I do that with those numbers all the time! Good catch!

What you are saying is that you are comparing the camera settings/display to your actual light meter readings?

The other point that I'm making that could be right or could very well be wrong is that I'm thinking the FS700 has its LOG readout mapping from its sensor that is truly identical to the FS7. Meanwhile, the FS5 is mapping it's LOG with more internal gain at the raw sensor readout point. I guess the only way to verify this would be to do a side by side of the FS700 and the FS5 with raw data out at 0db. If the FS5 is brighter then there is more "gain" applied at the FS5's sensor readout....an that would explain it having more noise than an FS700 or FS7 or F5. I have no way of testing this myself.

I do NOT claim to know this. I'm merely speculating this and I feel like I'm missing pieces to the puzzle.

Where is Alister Chapman when you need him?

CT :-)

Last edited by Cliff Totten; September 8th, 2016 at 05:30 PM.
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Old September 11th, 2016, 04:09 PM   #11
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Re: Comparison of Internal Recording on FS5 vs. RAW output to Odyssey 7Q+

@Doug - would you hazard a calculated guess at what my best option would be in trying to match picture profiles to the best of its limitations between a FS5 and RED. Until I can afford a second RED Im trying to use a fs5 as my B cam and although Im asking a lot of the camera I'd like to give it my best shot. Would you offer up any advice on what the best picture profile would be in an attempt to get close?
P.S - I loved the video masterclass thank you.
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Old September 11th, 2016, 06:08 PM   #12
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Re: Comparison of Internal Recording on FS5 vs. RAW output to Odyssey 7Q+

Hi Jon,

I'm glad you liked the master class, but sorry, I can't answer your question because I have no experience at all with any of the REDs. If possible, I'd try to shoot both of them in LOG and grade in post.
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Old September 17th, 2016, 11:14 PM   #13
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Re: Comparison of Internal Recording on FS5 vs. RAW output to Odyssey 7Q+

Thanks Doug for the comparison video, interesting. After watching it on a very good monitor, I personally wouldn't think it's worth the expensive upgrade. I did notice the blacks were darker on the external recording. Maybe darkening the blacks just a tiny bit would bring it closer to the 4k raw. Funny how some of the colors were quite different, like one of the fire clips. It would be nice to see the same comparison with close up skin tones, I wonder if we would see more of a difference? Or the same?
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Old September 22nd, 2016, 09:09 AM   #14
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Re: Comparison of Internal Recording on FS5 vs. RAW output to Odyssey 7Q+

Here's another (and final) round of testing to compare the FS5 internal vs. RAW output to the Odyssey. Some people said they wanted to see more gradients, motion, action, and fine detail, so this is the best I could come up with yesterday afternoon.

I also took the opportunity to compare some other format options as well:

Internal HD vs. external 4K via the camera's RAW output
Internal 4K vs. external HD via the camera's SDI output
Internal 4K vs. external 4K via the camera's HDMI output
Internal 4K vs. external HD via the camera's HDMI output
Internal HD vs. external HD via the camera's SDI output

If you want details about how I did the tests you can find more info on the Vimeo page.

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Old September 22nd, 2016, 08:10 PM   #15
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Re: Comparison of Internal Recording on FS5 vs. RAW output to Odyssey 7Q+

OMG,....your shots from 3:05 to the end show almost no resolution difference whatsoever. You have 4k on 1 side and 1080 on the other and although there are slight color variations, the resolution is basically identical!

Is anybody else seeing this too?

Jeez,....I mean, I always thought the FS5 was a very "soft" 4k camera but damn!

Maybe I'm just starting to get "spoiled" by Sony's other 4k models that start with a significant sensor readout oversample.

Did you master that in 4K or just 1080?

Thanks for doing this!

CT

Last edited by Cliff Totten; September 22nd, 2016 at 10:50 PM.
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