F800 Pixel Issues
Wondering if anyone out there with F800s is having pixel issues. Took delivery on the 3rd of August and didnt put it to use til the end of the month. I have 33 hous on the lazer and 127 total hours. Last week a big dead pixel shows up in the middle of the screen. Right where you can't frame around it. I sent it out to the seller and they did either auto conceal or conceal 2 and may have done a manual PRN. The service ticket is not clear on that. It was returned. I put a lens on it and just quickly checked to see that it was gone. All looked good. Later that day I put the camera on a test chart to check back focus and prep it for a shoot the following day. Yikes! not 1 not 2 but 4 pixels showing. All of them different from the original issue. As it would happen I was on a multi-F800 shoot yesterday. One of the other owners asked me if I was having any problems with pixels. His were worse than mine. This camera also relatively new.
I did the standard black "balance until your fingers get numb" and they are all still there. I'll deal with the dealer tomorrow as well but Ive got to tell you it shakes confidence in the camera line. Just wondering if
I got a Friday camera. or at least a Friday chip block.
Sing out if you have any suggestions.
Dale West Video
North Miami, FL
Wow I thought I might get a little something something of a discussion going here.
Let me update everyone and see if that gets anything going.
Camera has been back to the reseller TWICE now. The first time results are posted above. Today I got the bill for the second round of masking. Im told they did black balances and it took a long time and the camera concealed first only 2 then the other 2. I asked about why Im being billed again for the same work. "Well, your camera traveled on an airplane and Sony says that air travel is not good for pixels". I have owned in my career a 400a, 3 HLV59Ws, VariCam 27F, VariCam 2700, PDW530,F3 assorted small 3chip and 1 chip cameras and the F800. All of them have flown. The Ikegamis, the 27F and the F3 have logged lots of miles. Getting close to George Clooney miles over the years. Only the F800 has shown pixel issues. Is this a new Sony problem? I wonder how Im supposed to get it home. I guess I could drive to get it. Probably cheaper than fed ex. Im into it right now for $900.00 and still have one more leg to go. Plus almost $500 in service charges. All for a camera with152 hours on it.
So my question is has anyone else heard about the flying issue? Anyone else have pixel issues?
Anything? Anyone? Bueller?
Dale West Video
North Miami, FL
Let's close this discussion out. Camera is home and all seems to be back or normal. Some things I've learned:
1. Sony says that pixel issues can result from air travel. Don't know if there is a particular formula for that and would love to hear more about it from Sony. I know a lot of guys travel and I haven't heard a lot of screaming so it can't be all that bad.
2. Apparently the 800 (not sure on other cameras) does not have a cashe that when filled prevents more masking. According to my sales rep you can mask all of them. Of course there will come a time when the image is compromised
3. If you have pixels showing in your camera the old tried and true black balance until your fingers bleed seems to work. Each one of my issues was corrected this way. It apparently was not done by attaching it to a computer.
That is all at this time
Happy New Year all
Dale West Video
North Miami, FL
I thought i would share with you the experiences I have had with noisy pixel's normally always involving Xdcam.
It's not really a massive issue, even though it sound's a massive problem. Normally all xdcam camcorders have noisy pixel's at some point, it hard to avoid. I have had brand new camera's coming out of the box which have had several noisy pixel present upon powering up the camera. In fact it's the newest one's that normally have the biggest issue's when you first power them up.
The good news is as you correctly pointed out by operating extend multi black balances you can normally always guarantee you can mask them. I remember having to black balance one PDW 800 over 30 times and eventually it was masked.I also had to do this once to HDW 750 camcorder. (tape based HDCAM)
I suppose when you consider there is over 2 million pixels on the block it's only natural that some will fail, and this will normally not cause any affect to the camera in question.
I have had only one camera in 6 years that was beyond repair due to a noisy pixel and this was the earlier PDW- 350 model. The damage occurred to the camera was caused by flying too. It's Something to do with the earth's cosmic ray's which caused the damage to the CCD block.
This of course is so so rare but it can happen, The block of PDW 350 was 3x 1/2"CCD I was told that it was impossible to fix without a new block to replacement (even though rare) with this size.
The PDW 800 has a larger block Of 3x 2/3" and in a similar horror story it's muck more likely they can mask the pixel on the block as it's of bigger size.
The company I work for have clients that use and fly our range of PDW 800's xdcam camcorders all over the world for shoots and upon return I have never had a camera taken out like in the same manner of PDW 350, I have discovered noisy pixel on return sometimes but they have always been successful masked with the conventional black balance.
I believe that sony will always ship brand new models rather then fly them to there various dealers to try to avoid pixel issues in flight.
What normally happens when we notices a noisy pixel, we perform the auto black balance, this sequence will copy the pixel next to it and mask it automatically. If after multi black balances the pixel is still present, it's usually because, there are two noisy pixels stuck together. The camera in affect can't mask the pixel as the one pixel next to is is also noisy.
99.9% of the time this problem can be fixed in the service menu of the camera. As you pointed out you perform an auto conceal, which in effect is a another black balance. If this still fails to mask the pixel, you last step is too record a manual RPN.
It almost like playing space invaders, you have a cursor, which you line up and it should automatically zap the pixel, upon this happening you have to then operate the Record RPN to save the masking.
It can be a quite a time consuming exercise to do this and even after performing an auto conceal it can bring out other noisy pixels, but eventually they will be masked with a manual RPN.
I would like to add that I believe the PDW 800 is a excellent work horse of a camera and produces fantastic results in imagery and provided first rate thumb nail technology which only assists positively for operator's using the camera. With all good things there is always a trade off and in this case it's noisy pixel's.
I know this sound like it's a huge problem but they all can be sorted out very readily without the need for expensive block replacements, If Course I also realise that, there is a cost to getting the pixel masked beyond conventional operator masking but I would say almost any video engineer can fix this problem, without two much expensive cost to the ever hard working camera operator.
I hope this may help you dale if you encounter any other pixel issues in the future