FS7 focus issues and EVF at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony Digital Cinema Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM PXW-FS7 / FS5

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 18th, 2016, 04:30 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Amsterdam
Posts: 355
FS7 focus issues and EVF

Especially on wide shots (with the Canon 24-105 + SpeedBooster) I am having a hard time nailing focus and I wonder how others cope with this. Peaking is not much help with wide shots and punching in to magnify when the subject is more than 4 meters away makes the image so blocky/soft it's useless.

How do others deal with this?

And is the Zacuto Gratical really the only option if you want a truly better EVF?
__________________
www.imaginevideo.nl Just published the second of my viral mini-doc series '100'
https://youtu.be/ZqHFBrV-oOc
Jeroen Wolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 19th, 2016, 02:01 AM   #2
Contributor
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 867
Re: FS7 focus issues and EVF

I would go for the Odyssey 7Q+ or a similar quality monitor. Nailing focus in 4k on a large sensor camera is never easy especially with a non-parfocal lens. And I'm not even sure the Zacuto would fill that niche as I think the maximum input signal is 1080P - still it would be a lot better than the Sony one. With the O7Q and the Shogun you have the option of 4K in and 1:1 pixel mapping (depending on whether you have the raw option or alternatively use HDMI.

Otherwise I think Zacuto and Kinotechnik are the only ones making anything high end. SmallHD use to make the DP4 but they discontinued that. Be aware both the Zacuto and the Kinotechnik are very susceptable to burnt out pixels from direct exposure to sunlight, You must religiously put the cover over the eyepiece when shooting outdoors. I find my DP4 is less sensitive to this issue.

Oh - hang on Blackmagic make a viewfinder for the URSA Mini and I seem to recall someone was making a conversion kit for the FS7 (maybe wooden camera) - yeah there ya go:

Blackmagic EVF Modification Kit

It's not a simple mod - you need some basic technical skills and I dare say you void your warranty on the EVF. There's a YouTube video of the mod. It would still only be 1080P in I think.
John Mitchell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 19th, 2016, 04:37 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Amsterdam
Posts: 355
Re: FS7 focus issues and EVF

Thanks, John. A big monitor is not really an option for me because most of my work is handheld. I guess that only leaves the Gratical (the Blackmagic plus FS7 kit is almost as expensive so why would anyone opt for that?) and the Kinotechnik.

Kinotechnik -never heard of them before- is one third of the price of the Zacuto and obviously a lot older/dated specs. Have you used this one with a FS7?
__________________
www.imaginevideo.nl Just published the second of my viral mini-doc series '100'
https://youtu.be/ZqHFBrV-oOc
Jeroen Wolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 19th, 2016, 06:06 AM   #4
Contributor
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 867
Re: FS7 focus issues and EVF

Nope my only knowledge of the Kinotechnik is Youtube reviews and you're right - it looks quite dated and I'd hesitate to buy it myself.

As for the reason for choosing the BM monitor over the Zacuto I think you're better off asking BM or the Wooden camera folk. I can see a couple of reasons - you don't have to pay for additional features like you do with the Zacuto - yep that's right, Zacuto makes you fork out extra cash for basic things like peaking, zebras, loop through (which don't get with the ursa vf anyway) etc. The BM viewfinder is 1920x1080 native but I'd think you'd have to check whether after it's adapted it retains all its features. I think it does but I can't be sure.. I also don't know if it's firmware upgradeable unless connected to an URSA.... which you could still do even after the modification.

You could also choose to run it without he modification as it accepts HD-SDI and 4 pin XLR native power but the physical mounting would be quite difficult without the kit.

Weight is another consideration (I own a DP4 and it's pretty heavy) and I know the Zacuto without a battery is quite light and I think with it's normal mount the URSA mini VF is quite heavy but it looks better balanced on the Woooden camera mount - just my observations..
John Mitchell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 19th, 2016, 06:08 AM   #5
Contributor
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 867
Re: FS7 focus issues and EVF

I kind of think with anything but the Zacuto you are better of testing it in a store if you can.. witht he ursa mini at the very least I'd be asking the wooden camera folk if they've used it with an FS7 and what features it has..
John Mitchell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 19th, 2016, 09:27 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Amsterdam
Posts: 355
Re: FS7 focus issues and EVF

Yes, I do resent the fact that I have to pay for peaking or other basic reasons for buying an EVF.

Why doesn't BM just make their EVF a universal one or release one next to their URSA model? That's a big chunk of the market, right?! BlackMagic, are you listening?
__________________
www.imaginevideo.nl Just published the second of my viral mini-doc series '100'
https://youtu.be/ZqHFBrV-oOc
Jeroen Wolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 19th, 2016, 04:48 PM   #7
Vortex Media
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 2,408
Re: FS7 focus issues and EVF

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen Wolf View Post
Especially on wide shots (with the Canon 24-105 + SpeedBooster) I am having a hard time nailing focus and I wonder how others cope with this. Peaking is not much help with wide shots and punching in to magnify when the subject is more than 4 meters away makes the image so blocky/soft it's useless.
That's interesting, I have no complaints whatsoever with peaking on the FS7 and focusing is a pleasure. I don't even use focus magnification. I'd be interested to hear what your peaking settings are and whether or not you are using the EVF's loupe. Zacuto offereed to give me a Gratical if I'd talk about it my FS7 Master Class and I told them no thanks. In my opinion, the stock EVF is excellent and it's not worth the cost and hassle of mounting a 3rd party unit even if it is a little bit better. But that's just my opinion.
__________________
Vortex Media http://www.vortexmedia.com/
Sony FS7, F55, and XDCAM training videos, field guides, and other production tools
Doug Jensen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 20th, 2016, 01:16 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Amsterdam
Posts: 355
Re: FS7 focus issues and EVF

I use the loupe and have Color Peaking on at Normal frequency, set to level 50.

Naturally I'd rather not having anything else mounted to my camera, especially if it's at the cost of a very decent small camera... but I've been reading such good things about the Zacuto I just wondered if it is really such a difference. I'm not saying the stock EVF is bad but if there's an EVF that does it so much better, that would really enhance my shooting experience and give me much more confidence, I would seriously consider that.

Most of the time I don't have an issue focusing, although I would prefer a sharper image when punching in for confidence. (I do wear reading glasses) The problems usually arise in wide shots, where peaking has a hard time separating foreground and background.
__________________
www.imaginevideo.nl Just published the second of my viral mini-doc series '100'
https://youtu.be/ZqHFBrV-oOc
Jeroen Wolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 20th, 2016, 03:40 AM   #9
Vortex Media
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 2,408
Re: FS7 focus issues and EVF

Okay, it's not surprising that you're having focus issues because Color Peaking is awful and quite inferior to the Normal Peaking mode. Before you blow thousands of dollars on a new viewfinder or a monitor, I highly recommend that switch over to Normal and give it a chance. At first you may not be able to see what it is telling you because it is much more subtle than the horrendous color mode. But give it some time and I'm sure you'll get used to it soon enough and wish you'd been using it since day one. The difference is night and day. The problem with peaking cluttering up your wide shots will be eliminated entirely.

One more tip is is to always shoot with the lens within a stop or two of wide open. Not only does that provide nice shallower depth of field to separate the subject from the clutter of the background and foreground, it actually makes focusing much easier because it is easier to tell when you are in focus or not. A lot of people mistakenly think shooting with a small f-stop makes focusing easier becuase the DoF is so deep, but that is completely wrong.


(BTW, I wear reading glasses too.)



https://vimeo.com/ondemand/fs7
__________________
Vortex Media http://www.vortexmedia.com/
Sony FS7, F55, and XDCAM training videos, field guides, and other production tools
Doug Jensen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 20th, 2016, 04:16 AM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Amsterdam
Posts: 355
Re: FS7 focus issues and EVF

Definitely will give it a shot. Well, more than one would probably be advisable ;-)

What are your level settings, Doug? 50?

Thanks for your tips!
__________________
www.imaginevideo.nl Just published the second of my viral mini-doc series '100'
https://youtu.be/ZqHFBrV-oOc
Jeroen Wolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 20th, 2016, 11:59 AM   #11
Vortex Media
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 2,408
Re: FS7 focus issues and EVF

I actually like the default level setting for Normal peaking. I think it is 50, but I'm 1500 miles away from my camera so I can't check.
__________________
Vortex Media http://www.vortexmedia.com/
Sony FS7, F55, and XDCAM training videos, field guides, and other production tools
Doug Jensen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 20th, 2016, 05:23 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 856
Re: FS7 focus issues and EVF

+ 1 on the default peaking as Doug says. For me anywhere between 25-50 depending on subject matter and lighting.

Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney
Christopher Young is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 20th, 2016, 08:50 PM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Poland
Posts: 4,085
Re: FS7 focus issues and EVF

Another vote for "normal" (i.e. non-color) peaking. I first learnt to use it with my old Zacuto EVF Z-Finder Pro on the FS100; had a hard time at fisrt but got used to it. So when I first started using my FS7, after checking how cluttered the EVF is with color peaking, I reverted to "normal" (at default settings) and never looked bad.

Also note that I have eye problems; not only long-sighted but my right eye is weak, easily fatiguing and tearing. I had to replace original EVF diopter with a +4 one, and drop one of those Zacuto anti-fog pieces. All is fine now; the normal peaking requires almost no setting modification depending on the scene brightness and presence of enough contrasty edges - while with color peaking, coming from bright scene to low-light almost always requires lowering peaking intensity and vice versa.

Piotr
__________________
Sony PXW-FS7 | DaVinci Resolve Studio; Magix Vegas Pro; i7-5960X CPU; 64 GB RAM; 2x GTX 1080 8GB GPU; Decklink 4K Extreme 12G; 4x 3TB WD Black in RAID 0; 1TB M.2 NVMe cache drive
Piotr Wozniacki is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony Digital Cinema Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM PXW-FS7 / FS5

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:21 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network