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Old January 6th, 2016, 07:02 PM   #91
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
......... 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.
I'm somewhat on the fence about this, as I feel that sometimes a slight imperfection can be more annoying than another which is quantifiably greater. And there's a lot of psychology in it. By all accounts the "flaw" in the FS5 is slight. It seems the camera fundamentally performs extremely well (certainly for the price!) with high sensitivity. But I do wonder if here - and assuming it is a noise reduction issue - it may be overall more satisfactory to have a higher level of noise but lose the artefacting.....?

Well, easily done (as said before) - allow the noise reduction to be user switchable.

So whilst on the one hand I do feel there may be an issue for Sony to acknowledge and hopefully introduce such a "switch" via firmware, on the other hand there does seem to have been a lot of over-the-top hysteria from some. The issue is slight, and let's just bear in mind only came to light just before Christmas. There seem to be some voices screaming "why aren't Sony doing something about this!?!" - I can only say that a lot of Sony staff may only now be returning to work after the holidays......

And to Christopher Young - you mention "via a colleague I heard of an FS5 being returned tomorrow because of this issue ...." Which begs the question of what they will get to replace it....? (I'm not expecting you to answer that! :-) ) But just everybody think about it. In sheer quality terms, I've no doubt the FS7 may be better, but it's heavier, bigger and more expensive - if anybody is so unhappy with the FS5 issue, then what is on the market as a direct alternative?
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Old January 6th, 2016, 07:24 PM   #92
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

NOA PUT - "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."

The 5D II has a full frame sensor but it line skips heavily. It scans one line, throws away 3, 4 or 5 lines and scans the next. So, it's really only keeps a very small fraction of it's sensor to make a 1080 image. Even with that, it's still not bad in low light. The C300 does a 1:1 readout and uses it full Super35 surface area. The C300 has the surface area advantage.

On the gain topic, yeah I guess we all have wildly different expectations about what makes an image look noisy or sharp. It's all in what you think looks good to your eyes and brain.

NOA PUT - "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. "

I think this is very true with the Handycam and maybe NXCAM groups. These cameras are a bit less profitable. We know that Sony does significant work on XDCAM updates and we know they are working on FS5 raw firmware. There is certainly significant programming hours involved with that. This is also a perfect time to revisit the FS5 noise reduction process.

NOA PUT - "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."

Again it's all about what we call "high" or "low". What is "high gain" to you? For some that's just +6db. In 2016, I call "high gain" +9db or +12db. For my taste, my AX100 looked fine at +9db and looked good even at +12db. I thought +15db was absolute emergency max.

My FS100 looked good up to +18db, The FS700 looks good up to +15db. The X70 at +15db is "OK". VG20 is OK at 15db. (another big line skipper) My A7s-II? Holy crap, that camera LAUGHS at +18db like it's nothing. Yes, I know this camera is a GIANT exception to the rule.

So for me, I expect the FS5 to at least hold +12db before falling apart. That's not asking much by today's standard.

The FS5? like a ton of other people in the world, I'm super concerned about the samples I see out there. However I WILL ABSOLUTELY BUY ONE at the end of January. I'm going to get that thing onto my charts on my wall, compare it side by side to my other cameras and of course, the most important thing, go out and shoot with it for 2 weeks.

Luckily B&H has an excellent, customer friendly return policy. It's a "no risk" $5,500 purchase. If all this testing reveals that it ranks at the bottom of my camera collection and doesn't even outclass my little, tiny, baby 1 inch-type sensor RX10-II or PXW-X70 in tests....It's going back!

I'm not paying $5k+ for a Super35 camera that doesn't even outclass a small sensor Sony point and shoot with SLOG-2. (I think it should though)

CT ;-)
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Old January 7th, 2016, 02:27 AM   #93
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

Cliff, you can click on the quote button or make your own quotes like [ quote ] [ / quote ] (but without the empty space) which makes it much easier to read.

About sensor size, you don't get what I mean, you said the fs5 was completely outclassed by the a7 series because of their sensor size difference, so that would mean a c300 II would be outclassed as well and we all know that is nonsense. A big sensor alone doesn't automatically mean superior image quality.

About gain performances, sony has done well in some camera categories but to put things into perspective, my oldest camera in my gearbag, my little trusty cx730 outperforms my ax100, rx10 and the nex-ea50 I had when it comes to noise reduction so no, I don't think that Sony has done well with all their cameras the past 4 year. The ax100 is my only camera where I have to apply neatvideo to on occasion and I can tell you that is fun on a 4K source. :)

You know, if that one guy had not been staring at his screen waving his camera up and down and discovering a artifact at 3200 iso everyone would be praising the fs5, over at eoshd I see yet another pointless test where for the half part I don't even see what he is seeing but apparently people do start to see ghosts if you tell them a house is haunted.

Maybe I was tired yesterday but I just get annoyed about all this complaining over what not only I but also some seasoned professionals not even find worth mentioning, but that might be because I work with camera equipment that performs worse at higher gains and I am totally ok with that. I guess the fs5 falls in a category that is just reachable for people that have to stretch their budget to get it and expect nothing less then perfection while someone who is used to working with c300 alike camera's and get's the fs5 as a b or c-roll camera understands that it can't be perfect for it's price. I think the problem lies in the segmentation of different camera models and the odd choices camera manufacturers have to make to protect higher end models. One would expect that in a fs5 price range it would automatically get the best codecs and have the best image processing behind the sensor but no, Sony wants you to get the fs7 for a reason so they deprive you from getting that, same as Canon has been doing on the c range but only with a more ridiculous price difference. In that sense Sony makes it easier for you by offering a "better" camera for not that much more. I would be very happy with the fs5 just the way it is now but that comes from a user that had been shooting on a xh-a1 not so long ago where any added gain made the image almost unusable to today's standards. That helps to put things into perspective.

If you have clients that have such high demands, well then get a fs7 or a c300 II, otherwise I"m pretty sure no-one will ever notice that problem people have been screaming about the past days. I"d say, just get the camera and start shooting. :)
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Old January 7th, 2016, 11:12 AM   #94
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

This issue is just greatly overblown, I feel the need to post my experience with the FS5. It really is a great camera for what it is.

What do I mean by that. Well I use it as a replacement for my C100. And compared to the C100 it is far superior in HD, 422 10bit. I never had any problem emulating the "Canon Colors" with any Sony cam, just a bit of CC. Slomo, VariND, and it actually has 4K so...

Is it a baby FS7, NO. And it was never meant to be a 4K Cine cam. The 4K is a bonus. If I need Cine quality 4K I use my FS7.

In all my tests and shooting, I have had the FS5 since early December the images amaze me. I never spotted the ripping problem until I read about it by pixel peepers. And yes then it took me quite a few tries to replicate it. But the only way I can replicate it is very specific and not my way of shooting anyway, so it is almost a non issue in my mind. However I have contacted Sony and got a response from ( I won't name names here) some senior engineers and they are now looking into what can be done to improve this possible NR problem. And I am sure they will have a statement about it in a while and improvements in FW soon, just like they have on many other Sony Cams.

In the mean time I am having a great time using this very compact cam for winter outdoor shooting here in NH, mostly HD but some UHD and I love the Slomo. I can say I actually prefer the cache recording to the FS7 continuous. I am so used to the FS700 way and it uses much less media, you only record what you want, you don't burn through cards like crazy waiting for something to happen. And the media is a lot cheaper than the FS7 media.

I am sure the dust will settle here soon and shooters will just appreciate this great cam for what it is. Another tool in the quiver.

For low light I use the A7s, I only have V1 but it is great at that. For serious 4K I use the FS7 as A-cam and the FS5 is fine as B-cam in UHD as well. I rate the FS5 at 1200-1600iso for Log and use 800 or 1000 iso in cinemas. Upping the gain a bit is OK but if it gets real dark I use the A7s.

Using the FS5 the way I do you will never see the "horrible ripping" you can see blowing pixels up when looking at shaky cam footage shot underexposed with horizontal high contrast lines.

So I for one am just out there using this innovative cam for what it excels at. And I can't think of another camera that has all the great features in such a small and ergonomically great package.

I must say that if you can't get great images from any of the current available cams it is not the cameras fault. I don't just mean Sony cams, even iPhones can make great images, and I have used iPhone video in commercials intercut with FS7 footage and the client never noticed. You need to understand your camera, light well and you need to tell a great story. And you need to buy the right gear for what you are doing.
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Last edited by Olof Ekbergh; January 7th, 2016 at 12:23 PM.
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Old January 7th, 2016, 11:51 AM   #95
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

Olof, thank you for your excellent comment! I think that you are pretty much right on in many ways. Do you use S-log or Cine mostly? Or Rec709 ever? I was using Rec709 by default at first for lower light shooting, really based on Alistar's excellent Vocas seminar on the FS5 (recommended to all FS5 users) where he suggested that in low light that S-log isn't a good idea because there isn't usually much dynamic range in lower light conditions and you want to use more bit depth allocated to darker areas. But by nature lower light conditions will require more gain.

However, it seems that the noise and artifacts are the worst in Rec709 and Cine gammas with any gain, even as low as +6db. (I'm going to use db instead of ISO because ISO on the FS5 is relative to the picture profile one is using, which I think is confusing everybody, for example 0db gain at Rec709 = ISO 1000, 0 gain at S-Log2 or 3 is 3200 which implies that the native ISO changes and is lower for non-slog gammas.

But what I'm finding is that for the FS5, using Cine or Rec709 with enough gain to get decent exposure seem to result (at least subjectively) in more artifacts at with +6 to +9 db gain.

For example, I've been shooting a technical seminar for the past 3 days. The first day I used standard Rec709 at ISO 4000 which seems to be equivalent to about +6 to +9. I found the image to be a bit grainy, particularly on the edges, at this gain / ISO.

The 2nd day after studying this thread I switched to Rec709 800% and I found the image to be brighter and cleaner with the same gain. At the end of the 3rd day I switched to Slog3 and used my SmallHD 501 along with a 3D LUT for Slog supplied by them to see what that might look like. I thought it looked very pleasing and relatively clean.

So today, on the 3rd day, I'm using Slog3 and using the LUT along with false color to get proper exposure. I'm at +3 to +9 db gain and I find I'm really liking the image quality at this point when viewed through the LUT.

Anyway, just wanted to report my subjective findings on the matter.



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Old January 7th, 2016, 12:15 PM   #96
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

Olof, I absolutely agree with you. I don't have this camera yet but I am planning to buy it within a couple months and just doing my research now...

Originally Posted by Olof Ekbergh View Post
...In all my tests and shooting, I have had the FS7 since early December, the images amaze me...
Do you mean, FS5 here, not FS7?..
Thank you.
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Old January 7th, 2016, 12:29 PM   #97
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

Originally Posted by Ilya Spektor View Post
Olof, I absolutely agree with you. I don't have this camera yet but I am planning to buy it within a couple months and just doing my research now...

Do you mean, FS5 here, not FS7?..
Ops fixed it thanks.
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Old January 7th, 2016, 12:48 PM   #98
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??


I use ISO because a lot of times I actually use a light meter. And I rate all my cams and profiles. So in a multi cam shoot I just take a light reading with the LumaPro and then I can quickly set all the cams the same. A light meter is also a great way to figure out how many stops of DR you need. And it is a lot smaller and faster than setting up scopes. Although I must say that I do often use my Odyssey just for the scopes, it has a great multi cam in function so you can quickly match cams, more cables though.

You are right it is confusing that you can rate either way. Back in the film days it was always ISO, video was always gain. I was happy to go back to the ISO a few years ago as it quickly let me know what amount of light a cam needs to look good. It helps me make lens and lighting choices, before even getting the cam out.

On the FS5 I shoot mostly Cinegamma2 right now, because of an issue with FCPX clipping at 100ire. But if I need more DR I shoot Slog 2 or 3.

Even on my FS7 I use custom most of the time so I can set white point. But CineEI is great when you need it.
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Last edited by Olof Ekbergh; January 7th, 2016 at 07:24 PM.
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Old January 7th, 2016, 03:01 PM   #99
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

Olof, if you ever have the chance to rate the various gamma modes I'd love to compare notes with you. I'm 100% certain the displayed ISO on the camera is not correct for several of them but I'd like a second opinion. Send me a private email with your numbers if you ever check them. If you don't that's cool too. Don't waste your time if you don't want to bother.

BTW, with the right settings the camera performs amazingly well in low light. Much better than a lot of people are giving it credit for.
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Old January 11th, 2016, 03:48 PM   #100
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

I was doing a bit of slow motion testing with the FS5 at 240fps, and was thrilled with the look. I then burned a DVD and viewed it on a samsung 55" led tv and the blocking around each moving image was awful. I was shooting geese landing on a local lake and around each bird was this horrible pixilation so I went back to the NLE and I had to really look but I could sort of see it on my apple 30" monitor. So I decided to do a bit more "testing" and I burned a blu-ray at 1920x1080 and it is as clean as a whistle. Absolutely perfect both on the LED tv and on my plasma. But when I output it to a mov file for youtube there it is, just not as bad as that DVD on a television.
Has anyone who is seeing the pixelation in 4K tried to burn a Blu-ray and view it large? I think I will try to see if I can replicate what people are complaining about and out put some test.
And is there a remedy for a setting to get a clean DVD output? and or a Youtube setting to minimize any pixelation.
It seems like the exporting is having a bit of trouble with these files.
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Old January 12th, 2016, 11:40 AM   #101
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Re: FS5 - Macro blocking codec issue in 4k??

Scott, without wishing to sound condescending, I really don't know what to say if you're judging FS5 image quality with a Standard Definition DVD on a huge 55-inch TV. You need to be much further up the QFHD or Full HD resolution chain with your playback format than that!

Back on topic, it's been about a week now since Sony Japan should have returned to work after the holidays. Has anyone heard any response out of them yet?

We know they have been made fully aware of the complaints that many have highlighted in this thread and elsewhere - I'm just waiting for their official response.
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