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Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts
Sony PDW-F800, PDW-700, PDW-850, PXW-X500 (XDCAM HD) and PMW-400, PMW-320 (XDCAM EX).

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Old October 19th, 2011, 08:52 AM   #1
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Vertical Smear

I'm using an older F330. Last weekend, it started throwing thin vertical CCD smears from the pinpoint highlights off of chrome car parts in direct sun. Looking at the downloaded clips, the smears are green rather than white.

This was the first time I had used the camera since another op shot with it, and he changed many of the menu options. I can' t think of a setting that would create the green smear, but I'm not totally familiar with all the intricacies of the XDCam menu system.

Any thoughts beyond the green CCD block either being out of alignment, or going bad? The camera picture looks great when there's not a small bright object in the frame.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 01:08 AM   #2
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Re: Vertical Smear

My first post!

I have a PDW-700 that I got in May. I shot one assignment with it over the 4th of July and had terrible vertical smear-like artifacting with the fireworks. The next day I was shooting a cop car in a parade and had the severe vertical smear off of the cop car's lights.

Several weeks went by and I ended up emailing Doug Jensen with some frame grabs of the offending problem. His diagnosis was that the camera was very sick and needs to go to hospital--stat! I Fed-Ex'd the camera on Sept 6 and it's still there. Parts on back order. From what I can get out of Sony, they had to replace two cards inside the camera. One card they had in stock; the other had to come from Japan. Evidently, they are still messed up because of the earthquake and tsunami.

I have no idea when the camera will be repaired but last I heard they are hoping to get the part in by the end of October. My only observation--based on my experience--is that true vertical smear is white. I had an old (new at the time) UVW-100 all-in-one Betacam camcorder with a 1/2 inch chip. I had some noticeable white vertical smear with headlights but it was in line with what the instruction manual said to expect and it only exhibited vertical smear once in all the time I had it.

When my 700 exhibited its problem, the vertical smear was blue. And totally not what the camera was supposed to do. Eventually I contacted a Sony guy (Ian Cook @ 800-883-6817 in Teaneck, NJ) based on instruction from Doug. Sony confirmed the sickness. So, I wait. The only good news it the camera is still under warranty.

Anyway, based on my experience I'd say it needs to go to Sony unless you want to live with the problem. Hope that helps. Also, a big shout-out to Doug and his colleague Sally. Very helpful. Thanks!
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Aaron Weaver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 26th, 2011, 10:32 AM   #3
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Re: Vertical Smear

Kinda weird...updated the firmware one click, reloaded the profiles and settings from the Memory Stick...and the camera looks great!

No vertical smearing at all. Go figure.
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Old October 27th, 2011, 10:09 AM   #4
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Re: Vertical Smear

The other op may have cranked up too much gain on the blue channel, causing it to exhibit this issue under certain white balance conditions with strong blue light in the frame.

Glad to hear that all is better.

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