I apologize if this has been addressed before, but after searching the forums I could not find anything addressing the issue I am having.
The company I work for owns 2 EX-1 and 2 EX-3 cameras, and overall we are very happy with them. However, an issue came up with our EX-3 cameras after analyzing a recent shoot.
We were shooting with our 2 EX-3s and one of our EX-1 cameras, using HD-SDI to send 1080p24 PsF to a For.A Hanabi switcher (beautiful piece of equipment, by the way). This is the first time we have had our system set up in this way, as the switcher is a fairly new piece of equipment and had only been used before in the 1080i mode. After inspecting the footage, I noticed that the video from the EX-3 cameras appeared to be interlaced, not progressive, while the EX-1 footage had no issues. That is, I was seeing temporal distortion between fields where there should be none. Has anybody else noticed this issue with the PsF output from the EX-3?
Just to lay some groundwork, yes I am aware of the toggle between 1080i and 24p Ps4 in the Genlock menu of the EX-3. The Hanabi will not accept 1080i60 sources when in the 23.98PsF mode. I just now did some further tests with the cameras, and confirmed that the switcher itself is not the issue. I fed HD-SDI directly into our Aja Kona LHe from both our EX-1 and an EX-3, and duplicated the results. Actually, the image from the EX-3 was far worse than it had been going through the switcher. The EX-1, however, performed perfectly, resulting in a true progressive image.
I just returned from NAB and talked to as many people there as I could about this issue, including the project manager of the entire EX line, but they were as stumped as I am. They all said they had never heard of this issue before. I would normally think it was an anomaly and that there was something wrong with our camera, but this is happening on both EX-3s that we own. This tells me that something is likely wrong with the EX-3 design, but I would like to know if other people with this camera are having the same issue.
One thing I haven't tried yet is upgrading the firmware. One of our cameras is over a year old and the other, while less then 4 months old, was B stock. It is possible that this is an issue that has been fixed in newer firmware, but the tech I spoke to on the phone who looked at all the notes for previous firmware updates couldn't find anything about it. It would be very helpful, however, to know if this issue is universal to all EX-3 cameras. Thanks!
BTW, I just checked and both our EX-3s are using firmware version 1.02_0078. The latest firmware update posted on Sony's website requires at minimum ver. 1.05, so I know that both cameras have old firmware. I'm hoping updating is all it will take.
I think I figured it out. It turns out that the horizontal phase on the EX-3 defaults to a 90 degree shift, which was apparently causing the problem. By resetting it to 0 degrees, the PSF output lines up perfectly. Apparently what was happening was that the H-phase was causing the cadence to be off by one frame, so instead of aa bb aa etc. it was outputting ab ba ab. Hope that fixes it for ya :)