On the way from FX7 to AX2000E

HDR-AX2000 / HXR-NX5 (2010).
halfpipe
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Re: On the way from FX7 to AX2000E

Postby halfpipe » 12 Jun 2010 14:30

The gurus say manual focus is the way to go but for me auto focus is more dependable. Once the camcorder hunts for focus and resolves an object to the desired sharp focus I can be reasonably sure that the finished product will be ok. During the 'hunting for focus stage', particularly when the lighting changes dramatically as in the opening moments of a stage show when the lights come up the focus is often way off but shortly corrects itself and stays sharp.
So Arkady is it the "G" lens which is responsible for this improvement?

Arkady Bolotin
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Re: On the way from FX7 to AX2000E

Postby Arkady Bolotin » 13 Jun 2010 16:19

It is hard to say.

In truth, I think, the “back focus” issue is a fault of the FX7 camera firmware rather than a consequence of its inferior lenses. Look, the V1/FX7 was the first Sony model with 1/4 type CMOS sensors, so they (Sony) had to develop an entirely new optical system for that camcorder (62 mm diameter Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens). Perhaps, they rushed the job, and as result, the cameras (especially, first bunch) hit store shelves with the internal bug.

In contrast, with the NX5/AX2000, it was a completely different story. The image device, on which these cameras operate (1/3 type CMOS sensors), was not new at all: Sony introduced it some time ago in their Z5/FX1000, Z7 models along with the new 72 mm G lens system. Effectively, in the NX5/AX2000, they changed only (if we may say so) the media of video acquisition and the codec. In either way, the NX5/AX2000 came from factory lines as a refined and smoothed product.

Speaking of the G-gorgeous Sony lens, I cannot help myself but demonstrating a couple of fragments cut from clips made with the FX7 and AX2000. Despite the fact these shots were taken in the different period of the year and they are brutally compressed by JPEG format, still you can see what I am talking about.
Attachments
FX7-Lawn2.jpg
FX7 screenshot
(95.9 KiB) Not downloaded yet
AX2000-Lawn2.jpg
AX2000 screenshot (the same lawn a year later)
(94.18 KiB) Not downloaded yet

Arkady Bolotin
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Re: On the way from FX7 to AX2000E

Postby Arkady Bolotin » 17 Jun 2010 17:29

After hours of watching side-by-side footage made with the FX7 and AX2000 (saying “side-by-side”, I really mean it: my office computer has three video boards lighting up six monitors, of which two are identical 24’ Phillips LCD Full HD displays, so I can run two different clips on two screens in full resolution at the same time), I have finally grasped what I like about the AX2000 image.

1. When looking from the close distance, the FX7-made pictures are full of artificial movements of any kind: each dark fragment of the picture is covered by fluctuating video noise; fine elements (like electrical lines and plant leaves) are constantly shimmering, and so on. In contrast, the AX2000 picture is incredibly quiet (up until something or someone would enter the frame, naturally); it looks precisely as a still picture.

2. I conclude that the AX2000 camera has a resolving power close to that of human eyes, meaning its picture contains as much elements as I would see with my eyes if I were in the place where the shot was taken. This is just what makes AX2000 pictures so believable.

3. The color reproduction of AX2000 footage (yet in completely automatic white balance mode) is convincing too. I cannot say it is exact; however, the picture colors are acceptable and look very much plausible.

And, to close, one side-note. I must admit the AVCHD format is not a picnic. Even my monster PC barely squeaked through tests showing the temperature rising on one of its cores close to 70 degrees (and this was happening in the liquid-cooling system!).

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Doughie
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Re: On the way from FX7 to AX2000E

Postby Doughie » 17 Jun 2010 18:24

interesting observations.

For sure AVCHD is designed as a capturing format and is not a nice editing format. Editing it natively is incredibly processor-intensive. Recommend transposing to ProRes (if editing on Mac) or Cineform AVI if editing on a PC. there are other transcoding codecs too.

Arkady Bolotin
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Re: On the way from FX7 to AX2000E

Postby Arkady Bolotin » 21 Jun 2010 13:35

Doughie wrote:For sure AVCHD is designed as a capturing format and is not a nice editing format.


Yes Doughie, I agree. And I say more, as a capturing format, AVCHD is very accomplished one.

Maybe it is not only AVCHD per se but also the camera’s Exmor sensors or G lens, however when yesterday’s night I was watching my last AX2000-made clips at the 50’ screen from just a couple of meters away, my mind was refusing to believe this was a LCD glass I was looking at and not a real window.

My recent videos did not do without a few quirks though.

1. Auto White Balance. Unlike the FX7 camera’s Intelligent auto WB mode, which is prone to sudden changes in the color temperature during recording, the AX2000 keeps the same white balance when recording but then again may abruptly change it during standby.

2. Wind noise. The city of Beersheba is not among the Top Ten windiest places in the World; however, the wind noise, which my FX7 recorded occasionally, was like nothing else but the hurricane’s roar. Therefore, I invented a solution: I placed the windscreen I borrowed from ECM-HQP1 mic (which I bought for my HC1) on the FX7 internal microphone (on its protrusion part, of course), and this worked like a charm.

With the AX2000, I did the same. Even with the wind noise reduction activated, out of box I found that the new camera could also turn a feeble wind into a mighty storm. So last weekend before shooting I put the ECM-HQP1 windscreen on the internal AX2000 mic, and the sound came out awful.

I do not know, probably it is something with the mic sensitivity or else, but the sound was completely muffed, loud, echoing now and then. Damn, now I need an external mic…

robhart
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Re: On the way from FX7 to AX2000E

Postby robhart » 11 Oct 2010 16:31

Hi Arkady
Thank you very much for your posts on your new HDR-AX2000. It was very interesting to follow.
I have just purchased a Camera like yours and require your advice if possible. I have been using a HDR-SR11 up to now with all settings on auto. I know want to use my new camera and need help on setting up the camera correctly for sports events like waterpolo, rugby or hockey.
I would prefer to shoot in SD at first.
Please let me know your thoughts on the best setup.
many thanks in advance
Robert

acgold7
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Re: On the way from FX7 to AX2000E

Postby acgold7 » 11 Oct 2010 19:30

Arkady doesn't visit anymore, so I'll jump in...
robhart wrote:I would prefer to shoot in SD at first.

Why? This makes no sense. There is no benefit at all to shooting SD on an HD machine.

Just shoot everything on auto for a while until you get comfortable with the camera. The latest generation of Sony cams does a great job straight out of the box.
Adam

robhart
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Re: On the way from FX7 to AX2000E

Postby robhart » 12 Oct 2010 07:26

Hi Adam
Thank you for your reply.
The reason for shooting in SD is due to me shooting a lot of school sports that are generally put onto a dvd for the boys and coaches to analayze.

Is this not easier with SD and a lot less memory intensive?

Let me know your thoughts.

Rob

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Re: On the way from FX7 to AX2000E

Postby acgold7 » 12 Oct 2010 20:08

Unless you have a very old and slow PC, there's no advantage to shooting in SD. You should shoot and edit in HD and then down convert as you author the DVD. This way you can easily burn a Blu-Ray from your finished project if you need to at some point in the future.

HD and SD take up the same amount of disc space on your PC, but AVCHD does require more horsepower to decompress for playback and editing. But any recent vintage PC with plenty of memory and disk space should work fine.

If you are not doing any editing at all you could get one of those inexpensive direct to DVD burners so you could output instantly from Cam to DVD for quick review.

What are your PC specs and what editing software are you using?
Adam

robhart
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Re: On the way from FX7 to AX2000E

Postby robhart » 13 Oct 2010 11:53

Adam just so that it's clear I am quiet new to this!
I use Pinnacle Studio 14 to edit and have done basic editing for about 3 years. The specs on my PC are as follows:

Mecer Graphie BX2 with Core to Quad Q6600 CPU
Mecer Graphite Cosmos ATX Tower Case
Intel Bad Axe-2 C2E ATX DDR2-800
W/GBT Lan (975X) Motherboard
Kentsfield Core-2-Quad 2.4GHz 8M PC1066 Q6600
Processor with Socket LGA775 Fan(Up to 2.83GHz
Quad Core 1333MHz)
Universal 1010W EPS12V V2.91PSU
Seagate Serial ATA-NCQ 250GB 7200 8MB Hard Drive
2GB PC800 240Pin DDR2 Module Ram
USB Class 1 Bluetooth Wireless Adapter
Mecer 802.11B/G/Super G Wireless PCI Adapter
LG 20X DVD+-RW/DVD-Ram Sata Light Scribe
Super Multi Drive
1.44 3.5 inch Stiffy Drive
Nvidia GeForce 8800GT 512MB W/Dual DVI-I

So to confirm I should shoot all my video, Polo, Hockey and Rugby matches in HD. Then when I make DVD's for the boys I should burn in SD. Blu Ray in South Africa is not common place. I for example do not own a blue ray nor for that matter a HD tv. I have 4 boys and therefore all I earn keeps them being fed and housed. You know what I mean..
So HD does not require more storage space? I need to read more.
Your advice is greatly appreciated.


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