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Brad White
NX70u High Def
on May 3, 2012 at 11:25:04 pm

I have two NX70u's and have been shooting in SD only. I now want to use the various HD modes and trying to understand the differences. The camera has five "quality" setting: PS, FX, FH, HQ & LP, each option with various sub-options such as 1080/60i, 1080/24p, 1080/30p & 720/60p. What I don't understand is the difference between the highest quality AVCHD 28Mbps, to 24Mbps, to 17Mbps, to 9Mbps, to the lowest quality, 5Mbps. As an example: In FX Mode, 1920x1080/60i is 24Mbps, whereas FH Mode is 1920x1080/60i but at 17Mbps. I believe Mbps means "Mega bits per second" but I don't know if this is the recording rate or transfer rate and if selecting one over the other has to do with the amount of storage required, or what.
Brad


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john lenihan
Re: NX70u High Def
on May 3, 2012 at 11:36:36 pm

Brad,
The lower bit rate are the storage rate. The sensors take the information into a compressor chip. The compressor compresses it into avchd. However, it can limit the maximum bit rate during the compression. If it does, the good things are:

1. Takes longer to fill up your storage.
2. Takes shorter to transfer to your computer.

The bad things are:
1. You lose some details of the picture. Where there are sharp edges in the picture, it takes more bits per second to describe those details. If you lower the bits per second, then some of the sharp edges will be softer (or blurry).

With as much work as it is to get the location, the lighting, the set, the focus, the subject all ready. I would never use lower than the highest possible bit rate.

Oh maybe one.

If you are stuck on a shoot that is going longer than you planned, have no way of dumping your storage, can't get to a store to buy more storage, and the subject of your dreams is just around the corner and you either lower the bit rate or lose the shoot altogether.

John Lenihan

John Lenihan

LeniCam Video Productions
http://www.lenicamvideoproductions.com


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Brad White
Re: NX70u High Def
on May 4, 2012 at 1:06:05 am

Thanks for the info John.

Pretty much as I expected. I guess I'll do some trial and error with the different settings and compare the results.

Most of my shoots result in a DVD to the client, which is the reason I have stayed with SD. Recently I was asked to upload some of these videos to a file sharing site (Vimeo). This caused me to recompress my original video files to MP4 (required for upload). This changed the frame size from 720x480 (mpeg2) to 640x480 (MP4), further degrading the video. A sample video which was about 2Gb in MPEG2 ended up as a 450Mb file in MP4, resulting in a not so crisp image on the internet. Client called it "fuzzy".
The Vimeo site will now accept HD at 1280x720/60p so I'm going to try my next shoots in this format for upload, and down-res to make the DVD's.


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Stephen Crye
Re: NX70u High Def
on May 4, 2012 at 5:29:32 am

Hi;

I had three of these cameras over a 3 month period. Although I eventually rejected them because I am very picky about image quality, they are not horrible units.

One big advantage is they support the new AVCHD 2.0 standards, which features the new PS mode - records full 1080 at 60p, with a max bit rate of 28 Mbps.

I strongly recommend that you shoot everything in PS mode. One big advantage is that you never know when a bit of slow-motion will be cool in post! With 60p, you can slow down by a factor of 2.5 without loosing quality. Have a look at this sample - I had no idea while shooting that a horse would run through the stadium!







Other reasons to use PS mode all the time:
* Drive space is cheap
* Reality is high-def. Why limit your options?
* PS mode, in addition to capturing motion better, will also capture more detail due to the higher bit rate (this is not obvious from the physics but my tests show it to be true, and other testers agree).

Have you applied the firmware update that came out in April that added the 1080 30p and also speed settings for the zoom rocker?

More info about the AVCHD 2.0 standard here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVCHD
and here:
http://www.avchd-info.org/

Steve

Win7 Pro X64 on Dell T3400, MultiTB SATA, 8GB RAM, nVidia FX 570, Vegas 10e (and 11) x64 DVDA 5.2(build 133) Sony HDR-CX550V


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Michael Johnston
Re: NX70u High Def
on May 4, 2012 at 8:42:56 am

For news or anything where I won't be messing with the image in post, I shoot in FH mode on my NX5. If it's a high end shoot with corrections in post, I shoot at the highest quality possible.


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Brad White
Re: NX70u High Def
on May 5, 2012 at 4:16:27 am

Hi Steve,
I remember your postings when you were struggling with the decision to keep or return your NX70's. I'm satisfied with mine considering my intended usage.
Thanks for the info on using the PS mode. Does Vegas 10 have any problem with editing this format, and is it different than AVCHD?
Yes, I did update both my NX70's with the new firmware. The rocked zoom is improved, but not to the degree I'd like. However, all my shoots are tripod with a remote LANC controller that does improve zoom performance.
I do like the other features in the new firmware, notably the simultaneous record mode and the ability to "assign" functions to hard buttons, especially the "last scene review" feature. There may be an issue with the assign feature and I'm working with Sony on this.
Thanks again for the "PS" encouragment. I'll go shoot some footage now.
Brad


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Stephen Crye
Re: NX70u High Def
on May 9, 2012 at 4:24:05 am

Hi Brad;

Yeah, I really wanted the NX70 to be the "one". I actually bought and tested three of them, hoping to get lucky! The last one I kept waaay past the B&H return window. I had learned to live with the problems of CA and fringing. But I discovered too late that it had problems with inconsistent edge focus; had a critical orchestra shoot ruined. To make things worse I had cut out the bar code proof of purchase on the box and sent it in for the free battery and charger.

I'm very pleased that after working with B&H and Sony for about three weeks they agreed to a full refund! I sent everything back + the rebate stuff. I was very, very happy. B&H has won me as a customer for life. I *highly* recommend B&H.

Still looking for a cam, kind of bummed. The NX70 was actually a better cam than that Panny AC160 I just sent back - HORRIBLE zoom servo noise and vignetting. Yuk!

Here is the best stuff I shot with the NX70. All the slow-mo parts at the end are from the NX70 - loved that PS mode! About half was shot with the trusty CX550V, half with the NX70. (you can tell the difference in that the CX550V stuff is crisper at the edges). Watch in 1080 mode if your connection is fast enough!







Steve

Win7 Pro X64 on Dell T3400, MultiTB SATA, 8GB RAM, nVidia FX 570, Vegas 10e (and 11) x64 DVDA 5.2(build 133) Sony HDR-CX550V


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Michael Johnston
Re: NX70u High Def
on May 9, 2012 at 5:00:50 pm

Steve,

I'm really surprised at how you're buying cams and returning them. B&H is not going to continue letting you do this. You're expecting way too much out of cameras in this price range. You seem to expect a $3k camera to perform like a $40k camera. That's not going to happen. You get what you pay for. I mean, what are you expecting from a single chip cam like the NX70? It sounds like you need to go all in and spend $50k for a camera that performs the way you want or stop complaining and live with the shortcomings of the cheaper cams.


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Stephen Crye
Re: NX70u High Def
on May 13, 2012 at 6:47:26 am

I must respectfully disagree.

Each of the cameras I have tested has a different problem. Each of the cams I have tried came close to meeting my needs, but each one had a different defect - the fact that one camera met my specs in one aspect, but then fell down in another, is an indication that it is possible to build a cam without that particular defect.

Also, keep in mind that my standard of comparison is a $1200.00 Sony HDR-CX550V consumer cam. It does not have problems with vignetting at full zoom, nor does it have noisy zoom servos, cheap rattly buttons, inconsistent focus at the frame edges. Surely asking for a camera with it's level of quality but also some pro features such as fully manual adjustments is reasonable?

The Sony NX5U was WAAAY better built than the Panny AC-160. Beautiful, solid construction. Quality buttons and switches. Silky-smooth, quiet rings. No vignetting at full zoom. Wisper-quiet variable zoom. But it had a too-small LCD (and it was not TruBlack), no dual SDXC and the resolution was not as good as the CX550V. Also it is too old, (2009 engineering) and it lacks AVCHD 2.0 (like the Panny AC-160 or the Sony NX70)

No $40K camera will be light enough for my purposes. Besides, no camera at ANY price right now (that have not tested) meets my specs on paper. The AC160 had all the features I need, at a price I can afford ... but I refuse to live with vignetting, poor build quality and noisy zoom servos!

So far, the cam that came closest was the NX70 ... if it just had as good image quality as the little old CX550V - a cam costing 1/3 as much - I would have been willing to live with some of the minor annoyances like the worse purple fringing or the crappier Active Steady Shot.

I have discussed the return thing with B&H and they are cool with it. I pay for the return shipping, I use the cameras very gently for only a day or two. (Not counting the debacle with the NX70, and they were most gracious about that after I engaged Sony to help.)

For the record, here is what I am looking for:

* Can't be larger or weigh more than an NX5
* At least 14x effective zoom (the NX70 and CX550V meet this in Active Steady Shot mode)
* Uses SDXC cards
* AVCHD 2.0 (i.e. 1080 60p)
* Image Quality must not be worse than $1200.00 CX550V consumer cam. This includes coma, CA, vignetting, fringing and low-light noise
* minimum 3.2" LCD
* LCD and EVF simultaneous operation
* Zoom servos must not be noisier than CX550V
* Build quality no worse than CX550V
* Fully Manual controls (will accept selectable function for rings)
* Vari-zoom on the handle would be nice

If Sony would just release an upgraded NX5 with 1000 TV lines of res, a 3.5" viewfinder and AVCHD 2.0 I would buy it right away!

So there!

Win7 Pro X64 on Dell T3400, MultiTB SATA, 8GB RAM, nVidia FX 570, Vegas 10e (and 11) x64 DVDA 5.2(build 133) Sony HDR-CX550V


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