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-   -   Is Sony SR 11/12 really that good? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/avchd-format-discussion/127323-sony-sr-11-12-really-good.html)

Hans Ledel August 4th, 2008 12:53 AM

Is Sony SR 11/12 really that good?
 
Hi

I wonder one thing.
One the cover of Steve Mullen´s E-Book about the Sony SR11/12 it says that the cam can be used as a B-Cam to Sony EX1 and Z7.

Is the cam really that good ?

Has anyone actually used it as a B-Cam to Sony EX1 or Z7 ?

Cheers

Hans

Konstantin Serafimov August 4th, 2008 02:21 AM

I would suggest you to decidse yourself. Search vimeo for "ex1 test" and "sr12 test". By the way, there is (at least) one person that published very good looking footage from EX1 and hf100. worth watchin imho.

Robert Young August 4th, 2008 03:19 PM

The SR12 images are surprisingly good. I think they are on a par with my Sony V1 3 chip HDV, but not really close to my EX. I have a Blu Ray Disk with shorts from all 3 cams- all look great on HDTV, but I can always pick out the EX footage.
That being said, I do think the SR12 AVCHD images are quite credible and could be carefully intercut with EX HQ, and certainly with HDV.
I think what you can get away with will also depend on your delivery format: web, DVD, BD, 35mm film- the higher rez the output, the more the EX will stand out IMO.
For a consumer level cam, the SR12 is pretty amazing though.
If you want to see a Flash comparison, look here:
http://www.irondocvideo.com/Refuge%2...0Frameset.html
The first short is EX1, second one is SR12, third one is Sony V1
All three shorts were cobbled together from test footage from the three cameras.

Steve Mullen August 4th, 2008 06:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robert Young (Post 916417)
The SR12 images are surprisingly good. I think they are on a par with my Sony V1 3 chip HDV, but not really close to my EX..

That's a good comparison. The EX1 captures with 6MP and is always going to provide REAL FullHD resolution compared to all the other PSUEDO FullHD camcorders.

TV Technology has a good story on just this issue. Pro NTSC camcorders have three 520,000-pixel chips. That about 1,100 samples for a 720-pixel line. That's OVERSAMPLING -- even without green-shift.

Today, we have supposed HD camcorders that not only don't oversample -- like the EX1 -- but, in most other cases, UNDER-sample. The V1 is soft and so is the SR12 -- compared to the EX1.

But, the SR12 and EX1 share the same EXMOR tech CMOS chips so they share the wide lattitude and color response -- as compared to CCD-based cameras.

Sony could have tuned the SR12 to better match the EX1. But, the consumer division seems to have no interest except selling to "consumers." Or, the Pro group could have used a tuned version, as did Panasonic, but it seems to want to sell only in the $4000 and up category because that feeds their sales channel with exclusive products.

Ken Ross August 5th, 2008 08:21 AM

If the pro-division had used a 'tuned' version of the SR12, people would have been screaming that they got the guts of a cheap consumer cam and spent lots more money for it. You can't win either way, someobody will always bitch. In the meantime, for the market it's aimed at and the price point it's at, the SR series does its job very well. Anyone that's expecting pro resolution & sharpness with either a Canon or Sony consumer AVCHD or HDV camcorder, is kidding themselves.

Does marketing come in to play? Of course! What company that wants to earn profits doesn't use this kind of marketing?

Mircea Voinea August 5th, 2008 09:27 AM

Well, I still wait for a consumer camera with really good auto function. For me SR11 is quite close, but at the end I don't want to be bothered anymore with manual controls in a consumer camera.
Why can be so difficult to make a very good AWB? You know your sensor response (suppose) so you could make your program to make compensations and make a lifelike recording (I know, it's subjective what is lifelike recording).
And with manual focus in HD... I really don't know how you can judge focus in a tiny LCD without some assist... It's more worse than DSLR, the distance is always relative (subject is moving), so you must adjust focus (or choose a safe distance).
Of course today implementation of AF is somehow good in proper light and not so good in lowlight...

So to response, yes, I think with it's imperfections this camera is good. It's the first right step from Sony in consumer avchd...

Hans Ledel August 5th, 2008 11:13 AM

Thank you very much.

Iīve just ordered the SR11, hopefully it will be here on Friday.

Robert, I loved your movies. I wish I was there.
I never really thought it would match the EX but if it will intercut more or less good with something like the V1 then it will be good for me.

I have one question and that is about the Sony aperture range.
I have been using a Panasonic GS wich is completly manual and in order to open up the aperture I have always used external ND8X (3 stop) to keep it open.

I think I read somewhere that Sony is using internal ND filters to keep the aperture open in order to get the sweatspot.

What I am wondering about is if Sony also raise the shutterspeeed together with internal ND filters to open up the aperture?
If they do that then I guess it would be good to use my ND filters on this cam also.

So my question will be like this.

Will I gain anything by using external ND filters with th SR11?

Once again

Thank You

Hans

Robert Young August 5th, 2008 12:18 PM

I believe that Steve Mullen has addressed Sony's exposure strategy for the SR 12. You can search his posts on this forum, or check out his book. My understanding is that the camera makes every attempt to keep the aperture around f4, does have an internal ND filter, and probably there are situations that an add on ND filter would be useful.

Ken Steadman August 5th, 2008 04:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hans Ledel (Post 916820)
Thank you very much.

So my question will be like this.

Will I gain anything by using external ND filters with th SR11?

Once again

Thank You

Hans

Not much I just shot a test video with a SR12 this last weekend. I was using the portrait mode to decrease the depth of field in conjunction with a couple of ND filters you can see for yourself but they dont make a huge difference. The video is labeled with which filters are being used.http://www.vimeo.com/1456775

Dave Blackhurst August 5th, 2008 07:29 PM

Crazy trick I just tried to pull more DoF out of the SR11 - two circular polarizers stacked so that they could block as much light (or all of it...) as I wanted - then used the spot focus function. Seemed pretty effective from my tests, thought I'd pass it along... Probably a nutty idea that's somehow flawed, but I was getting decent DoF from what I could tell, at least for a small camera!

Steve Mullen August 6th, 2008 01:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ken Steadman (Post 916934)
Not much I just shot a test video with a SR12 this last weekend. I was using the portrait mode to decrease the depth of field in conjunction with a couple of ND filters you can see for yourself but they dont make a huge difference. The video is labeled with which filters are being used.http://www.vimeo.com/1456775

One more step is needed -- zoom in further. You need f/2 and about a 75% zoom. In other word a MCU or CU.

Ken Ross August 6th, 2008 05:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst (Post 917011)
Crazy trick I just tried to pull more DoF out of the SR11 - two circular polarizers stacked so that they could block as much light (or all of it...) as I wanted - then used the spot focus function. Seemed pretty effective from my tests, thought I'd pass it along... Probably a nutty idea that's somehow flawed, but I was getting decent DoF from what I could tell, at least for a small camera!

If it works Dave, go for it. Not such a nutty idea. :)

Ken Steadman August 6th, 2008 08:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Mullen (Post 917074)
One more step is needed -- zoom in further. You need f/2 and about a 75% zoom. In other word a MCU or CU.

Not sure you watched the whole thing the last part is just that.

Hans Ledel August 6th, 2008 08:33 AM

I will give it a try when I get the camera to see if there is any advantage of using external ND filter.

Steve Mullen August 6th, 2008 12:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hans Ledel (Post 917171)
I will give it a try when I get the camera to see if there is any advantage of using external ND filter.

What makes a min DOF is a small, but not too small, iris.

Ideally, one would simply set the iris to f/2 or f/2.4.

Since you can't, you have 2 choices (both fully covered in my book):

1) Use Portrait Mode. It will push the iris open as far as it can -- within the limits of the camera's maximum shutter-speed. This is NOT a good way to achieve min DOF because any fast movement will strobe.

2) Use an ND filter. There is no advantage to using anything but an ordinary ND filter. All you want to do is make a huge reduction in the light entering the lens. This will cause BOTH the iris to open AND the shutter-speed to drop. You want to choose an ND filter that bring shutter-speed to 1/60th to 1/125th and the iris to f/2 or f/2.4.

And, you want to use the maximum possible telephoto. You may need to backup from the subject if you want a "wide" shot.

Hans Ledel August 7th, 2008 08:00 AM

Thank you Steve

I was suspecting that they raised the shutterspeed aswell.

I´m actually not very interested in short DOF I just want the cam to use 1/50 if possible.
So I will use my ND filters


Cheers

Hans

Steve Mullen August 7th, 2008 12:24 PM

I sold my JVC HD1 because one had to use the ND trick to keep shutter-speed at the correct -- or at least near the correct -- value. So I wasn't happy to find the several years newer Sony had to be used the same way. There is a neat filter box for the Sony, however.

Wacharapong Chiowanich August 7th, 2008 09:30 PM

Here it is. The absence of low-tech controls like iris, shutter speed etc. are driving people nuts (or more creative, depending on how one looks at it). Has anyone ever calculated how many missed shots you have had in your shooting lifetime are a direct result of this?

This may also be why some people like me who really likes the small form factor, and even the footage, of the new tapeless cams have had to put up with the tape, weight, size etc. of cameras like Sony FX1 or FX7 for holiday shooting.

Wacharapong

Ken Ross August 8th, 2008 06:18 AM

Used intelligently, one can get around some of the missing controls. As an example, the SR series has a number of controls such as AE shift and exposure that can get you around some difficult lighting situations. So even though there is no 'iris' control per se, one can get the shot in the vast majority of situations. Shutter speed may be more problematic, but having had cameras such as the FX1 & FX7, I'll take the small form factor and lose the shutter speed any day of the week. There have been many many situations where on a weekend I simply would not have taken a camera as large as even the FX7. As they say, the best camera is the one you take with you.

Keep in mind too that even with an iris & shutter speed control, if the camera you're using is not good in low light, you'll have trouble getting the shot regardless, if you didn't bring auxilliary lighting.

Mike Burgess August 8th, 2008 09:47 AM

Well, I for one, miss having any kind of shutter control with the SR11. I video fast moving objects, and with the SR11, as the objects move past me (and not moving the cam), the resulting image is somewhat blurry. It is just something I will have to live with.

Mike

Hans Ledel August 8th, 2008 11:43 AM

I got the SR11 today and guess what?

I´ts RAINING and RAINING all the time!!!!
Sigh!
Hopefully it will be OK tomorrow so that I can the test the cam

In the meantime I´m going true the menus but one thing that I can´t find is how to show sound/Mic levels on the screen.

Is that not possible?

Ken Ross August 8th, 2008 11:49 AM

Hans, I think 80% of the time I get a new cam, it rains on the day I receive it! You're not alone. :)

Hans Ledel August 8th, 2008 12:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ken Ross (Post 918208)
Hans, I think 80% of the time I get a new cam, it rains on the day I receive it! You're not alone. :)


Knowing that makes me feel better, becuse I felt very lonely :-)

Cheers

Hans

Steve Mullen August 8th, 2008 12:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike Burgess (Post 918151)
Well, I for one, miss having any kind of shutter control with the SR11. I video fast moving objects, and with the SR11, as the objects move past me (and not moving the cam), the resulting image is somewhat blurry. It is just something I will have to live with.

Mike

My now several year old JVC HD7 has full manual controls so I'm used to locking shutter-speed at 1/60th -- just as I would on any camera. What I first noticed with the SR was that rapidly moving cars "strobed." This I expected -- as you have found.

What I noticed next was that there is, of course, no difference between an object moving through a frame and the frame moving. So, any kind of rapid zoom or a fast pan on static subject causes a kind of "acid trip" look that AMPLIFIES the inherent jiggle of a tiny cam.

And, if you have rapid camera movement PLUS rapid object movement -- you get the Private Ryan look. Very nasty. But, also very common. All our local news in LV is HD. I'm always amazed to see supposedly "pro" cameramen shoot traffic on the freeway with a huge amount of strobing.

Which brings-up another reason why shutter-speed control is so important. The closer we are to a moving object OR the more we zoom into a moving object -- geometry explains that the motion vector of the OBJECT or FRAME or BOTH increases significantly. Which means, even 1/60th second can be too fast a shutter-speed! One may need to drop to 1/30th to ADD motion blur.

The ability to continuously adjust shutter-speed is so wonderful on film camera. On a video camera we get steps. For example, I always shoot 24fps with a 213-degree shutter to avoid strobing when objects will be moving through the frame.

I always teach that shutter-speed is NOT just an exposure control. It controls an "in-camera" FX. Whenever you set shutter-speed you are adding an FX to your video. One that can't be undone in post.

Because the SR works very hard to not let the iris go smaller than f/4 -- over a wide range of light -- the shutter-speed is continuously cycling from 1/60th 1/250th, then dropping back to 1/60th and then up to 1/250th. So, the FX applied is always changing. Depending the light you may have 1/60th. A cloud may go away and and the speed may increase WHILE you are shooting to 1/250th.

Uncontrolled shutter-speed, the non-accurate WB, red-push, and the multi-level menu system you often can't see -- are why it took a month of research to write a book that presents ways of using the Sony to MINIMIZE it's problems and MAXIMIZE its potential. Used correctly, however, it does very very well.

Of course, all my comments assume one cares about getting the BEST possible video -- which is what THIS thread is about. And, frankly, the only thing I care about. (I, like others posting, want it all -- a small camera AND the best possible video.) However, even if one doesn't care about getting the best possible picture -- the Sony still has the advantage of a VF. I don't often use it, but sometimes it is critical to use it. (Too bad the menus can't be viewed in the VF.) So really, the Sony wins on both counts.

Dave Blackhurst August 8th, 2008 07:45 PM

The menus can be VIEWED in the VF, it's just a little awkward accessing the touch screen interface <wink>!

Actually having a usable VF is a bit more of an advantage of this cam that often realized. I use a CX7 as well, and it's great, but shooting through a VF in bright sunlight is certainly easier.

I have no doubt that Sony COULD, if they wanted to open up the firmware, add adjustments to the SR11/12 to allow additional functions/features. The HC9 added a couple "pro" features to the HC7, and it's almost 100% certainty that they were nothing more than a firmware "tweak". I'd certainly like to see the functions available, just like on a DSLR, for shutter and iris, even if they were clunky to access (as we've all noted, add a couple buttons and there would be much cheering).

There is a HUGE gap in the Sony lineup between the SR's at around $1K and the Z7U and EX1 above $5K, with only the aging FX1 - if it's even still in production?
I can't believe that there is NO market for a camera between $1K and 5K with basic manual functionality...

I remember the venerable TRV900, not a lot of foo-foo, but compact and relatively easy to carry, plus you could access everything off the buttons on the rear panel, everything you needed anyway. The FX7 is very reminiscent of that user interface. I'm just waiting for the Sony response to the Panny 150 to see if they "get it right". I don't want a "big cam", but a bigger lens for better light gathering, and access to the basic functions...

Let's see a show of hands... all hands in room go up... SONY???? Fill in the gap?!?!

Hans Ledel August 9th, 2008 12:50 AM

The fact that the SR11 had a VF that you could tilt up is one of the most important reasons I bought the cam.

While going true the menus there seems to be one more thing misssing other than the fact that you can not see Mic. levels.

The only way I have found to adjust the mic levels when using a external mic seems to be the settings "Normal" or "Low" .

That is really sad.

Cheers

Hans

Wacharapong Chiowanich August 9th, 2008 03:31 AM

Hans, mic level control has gone along with iris (or a combined physical exposure control knob) and shutter speed from Sony's consumer cams for sometime. Like precise depth of field control as attempted by some of us in this thread, shutting down the automatic audio gain ("High" and "Low" just meaning different levels of automatic gain limit, I guess) is probably too much too ask on this class of Sony cams nowadays.

For us who used to shoot with cameras like Sony TRV 900 series or Panasonic GS-400, shooting today's small handycams to be unbelievably creative with getting around all the limitations or "forced FXs" in Steve's terms only to get the plain, basic shooting right.

Wacharapong

Ken Ross August 9th, 2008 05:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hans Ledel (Post 918435)
The fact that the SR11 had a VF that you could tilt up is one of the most important reasons I bought the cam.

Agreed. It's very tough to do serious composition on a bright day with any LCD I've ever seen. This is the problem I'll have to wrestle with if the HF11 turns out to have superior video. The only cam I ever had without a viewfinder was the HV10 and it was a challenge at times to use it. Lacking a viewfinder is one of the most serious omissions I can think of in a camcorder.

But if the HF11's video quality is so good.............................

Steve Mullen August 9th, 2008 01:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wacharapong Chiowanich (Post 918460)
For us who used to shoot with cameras like Sony TRV 900 series or Panasonic GS-400, shooting today's small handycams to be unbelievably creative with getting around all the limitations or "forced FXs" in Steve's terms only to get the plain, basic shooting right.

Wacharapong

The gap between Consumer and Prosumer is now so huge it must have a reason. I suspect the Japanese realized that IF they put controls on consumer camcorders far too many of us would buy them and not their prosumer cameras. Likewise, they realized that eventually prosumers would give-up trying to use consumer camcorders and spend $3000 to $4000.

(By the way, this protects two different sales channels!)

The problem is that the these prosumer camcorders are too big. So even if I get a great $ deal on the new Pana -- the V1 replacement, or a likely JVC or Canon -- they aren't what I really want. They don't understand it's not the money -- its the size and weight.

PS: the Canon HG21 -- which no one seems interested in -- at least has a VF. But, the review of the HG20 reported terrible 24p.

Chris Hurd August 9th, 2008 04:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Mullen (Post 918586)
... the review of the HG20 reported terrible 24p.

I'm pretty sure you mean the HG10, Steve.

There was "a" review of the HG10 (I would not call it "the" review, not by a long shot) elsewhere on the web which made a bizarre claim of "terrible 24p" without providing any visual evidence whatsoever to back it up.

Here at DV Info Net, we proved conclusively that such a claim was completely bogus, and we validated our assertion by providing for public review the raw data which proves that 24p from the HG10 is no different than 24p from Canon's consumer HDV camcorders (the HV10, HV20 and HV30) or Canon's other consumer AVCHD camcorders. As expected, they all use the exact same 24p implementation. The HG10 is no different from other Canon camcorders in this regard.

See http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=101059

See also http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...=106626&page=2

Always take DV Info Net's word over any other online source, because we're usually right (with the track record to prove it). Hope this helps,

Hans Ledel August 10th, 2008 12:09 PM

At last no rain!

I was finally able to test my new cam.

First test on Saturday was a disaster, the material looked like DV.
I didnīt understand a thing.
I knew that I had the highest settings and I had a stepup ring 37-52mm so that I could use my ND8X, I had been using it with my Pana GS400, and it was during daytime.

I used Imovie 08 to download the material as full HD, yet it looked like crap.

I was sitting there like an idiot looking at the cam, not understanding a thing.

Then something came to my mind. Could it possibly be that the ND filter I had used with my Pana 400, it was a Hoya HMC, was not any good when using a HD camera?
It was to late to test the cam without the ND filter becuse it had started to rain again!!!

Today: I did a new test today without the filter and I could say a lot about the quality of my clips, but i think one word is best.

AMAZING, let me say that again, AMAZING!!!

I canīt believe that this little cam can produce such wonderful picture.

I am so happy

Ken Ross August 10th, 2008 04:09 PM

Hans, glad to see you had success after some scary moments! The quality that you can get out of this thing with a minimal amount of fuss is indeed amazing. My shots at the Baloon Festival yesterday were just amazing from a color perspective, amazingly true to life...unquestionably one of the strong points of the Sony.

Chris Hurd August 10th, 2008 08:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Mullen (Post 918586)
the Canon HG21 -- which no one seems interested in...

Try this: http://www.dvinfo.net/articles/camco...structure1.php

Hans Ledel August 11th, 2008 03:27 PM

I just want to say Thank You very much for the input I got from everybody.

I did some more filming today and this cam is really a black little jewel

Cheers

Hans


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