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Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!

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Stephen Crye
Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Dec 8, 2011 at 12:00:50 am

HI;

I'm hoping John Lenihan and others can help.

Still in mourning over the problems with the NX70s. Design flaws, too many to mention - but the killer was horrible chromatic aberration and poor focus quality across the entire image. WAAAAY worse than my little HDR-CX550V!

Some example of the problems here - frame grabs. Look at them in full-screen full res. In particular, the one titled NX70city1.jpg shows the problem that drove me crazy. Notice how the center is perfectly sharp, various areas of the frame are also sharp, but the right left, even near the center, is terribly blurred. And not just that shot, all the footage I shot had the problem. On NX70#1, the problem was on the right side, near the corner! There are some major QC problems at the NX70 factory ....
http://www.huecotanks.com/temp1

So, now that everyone can understand how picky I am about focus from edge to edge, just imagine how even the slightest problem with back-focus would drive me out of my mind.

I've been reading conflicting reports about the back-focus thing. Some say it was a problem with early NX5s, others say "live with it"

back-focus can be adjusted at the factory, and I would expect PERFECT focus throughout the zoom range - my CX550V has zero problems with back-focus.

Can anyone help? $4K for an NX70 will seem insane to my wife ...

Steve

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


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Stephen Crye
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Dec 8, 2011 at 4:25:14 am

Here's the reply from John in the other thread I rudely hijacked to get his attention (sorry people):
---
Stephen,

I just looked at your samples and it is a very nice documation of the product.

Why is the consumer camera look better? I remember from high school photography class that a very good lens is a pin hole in aluminum foil. No aberration, everything is in focus. But, it takes a lot of light. Consumer cameras are basically pin hole lenses. Making a real lens that works well over a zoom range, an aperture range, and across the xy grid on the screen is extremely tough. And it takes compromises to make them inexpensively and small, lightweight, watertight etc. It looks like they picked some trade offs aimed more at blow and go journalists who are covering breaking stories like huricanes or roaming on a football field while it snows.

The 70 appears not to be targeting the crowd who actually care about what the picture looks like, just get something and get out.

I have not done that thorough of a characterization of the nx5 under those various lighting conditions. So I cannot give you an apples to apples comparison.

Probably we should get some charts for comparing cameras and fully document each of these nx cameras.

I can say that I have only rarely noticed any chromatic aberation on the nx5s. The big big concern is it has an "antiface" detector in the autofocus. In other words, it focuses on sharp objects like trees and buildings, even if the a face is taking up 3/4 of the screen sometimes.

I can only add that I bought an nx 100 and returned it and bought a fourth nx5 because:
The nx100 price was more, the form factor is poor, the picture quality no better than the nx5u etc.

John

John Lenihan

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

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


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Stephen Crye
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Dec 8, 2011 at 4:29:20 am

Hi;

"antiface detection" - LOL.

John, let's tackle one potential problem at a time. Have you done any back-focus tests with your units (four NX5's! Awesome)?

The test would be easy - just point it at some kind of a still-life about 30 feet distant, zoom all the way, manual focus sharp, and zoom out.

Here's an example that shows the problem:







Thanks!

Steve

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


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Michael Johnston
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Dec 11, 2011 at 5:41:50 am

I can only speak for my NX5U. I got it in April of 2011 and the backfocus is slightly off. Basically, I zoom in, critical focus, zoom out and turn the focus ring ever so slightly clockwise and it's perfect focus. I've dealt with it for a couple of reasons. One, I've heard horror stories about how long it takes to get the camera back from Sony and, two, some have gotten their NX5's back with the backfocus worse than when they originally sent it in.

I have never noticed a focus issue with my NX5 that you documented with your NX70's.


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Jeff Pulera
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Dec 13, 2011 at 6:23:36 pm

Post deleted by user


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Ian Liuzzi-Fedun
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Dec 17, 2011 at 6:30:03 am

So what's the deal? Is it a sound camera to go with or not?



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john lenihan
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Dec 17, 2011 at 4:07:07 pm

People often ask me what camera they should buy. In fact, my daughter asked for one for Christmas and said I should pick it out.

I tell each of them the same thing. Buying a camera is like buying a pair of shoes, it is a personal choice based on your need, your size, and your price range. Do you want to run in the shoes, do you want to ride a horse, do you want to go to a prom? All shoes have strengths for some things, and weaknesses for others.

Íf you tell us your purpose, and what your budget is, and what features you have liked or question on paper, then we can give you some further experience.

I have a small, growing videography business. In 2010 I bought two NX5u to do weddings. I found the autofocus to sometimes become confused. I work around it.

This summer I bought two more NX5us because the business grew on referrals and I was getting two weddings at a time. I teach my team how to use the cameras to shoot weddings. There is not a better camera on the market for this purpose in my opinion.

John Lenihan

John Lenihan

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


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Ian Liuzzi-Fedun
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Dec 17, 2011 at 8:54:12 pm

I'm not talking about the autofocus - that back focus thing (a completely different issue) is my primary concern



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Michael Johnston
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Dec 18, 2011 at 8:14:50 am

The backfocus is going to be off. All that means is if you zoom in to critical, it won't hold a focus when you pull out. However, there is an expanded focus button beside the zoom rocker and it works great. Push it, focus, push again. Very accurate and quicker than the traditional critical focus method.

All in all, the NX5 is a spectacular camera. I have no regrets buying it and, with my picture profile settings, the image is every bit as good as an EX1 or EX3.


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Ian Liuzzi-Fedun
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Dec 18, 2011 at 8:18:01 am

I am simultaneously astounded and impressed. I don't know how I could get used to that whole focus thing. I do multicamera shoots and holding focus while the shot is moving is beyond critical.



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Michael Johnston
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Dec 18, 2011 at 3:12:06 pm

Well, I've found auto focus to work really well when tracking motion shots such as shooting football games. The issue is when the subject you want in focus is drastically offset to the right or left of center. Keep it near the middle and you should not have a problem. I actually shoot football most of the time in manual focus and have no problems keeping focus. The LCD is really good and the focus ring response is very precise.


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Stephen Crye
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Dec 19, 2011 at 5:19:10 pm

Thanks, everyone.

Now I'm even more worried. Back focus is one thing, it can be compensated with auto-focus.

But the mention of inconsistent focus across the image is horrifying, and is one of the two problems with the NX70 that is the cause for rejection. My CX550V does NOT have that problem.

The other problem is the horrible chromatic aberration at zoom.

I've put a few more examples of the problem here - look at the ones from Dec 19, please. Anyone seeing this with the NX5? You will need to shoot something against a bright background, typically sky.

http://www.huecotanks.com/temp1

I really appreciate the feedback. John, some frame grabs would be great - I would imagine that you have plenty of wedding shots at zoom with bright backgrounds.

The leap from $2.5K for the NX70 to $4K+ for the NX5 is scary, and I will also lose the 1080 60p ...

Thanks,

Steve

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


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john lenihan
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Dec 22, 2011 at 12:21:56 am

Stephen,

Here are some frame grabs from soccer games.
I chose ones that are shot against the sun, and have some sky in them.

They were shot in 1920x 1080 x 60i. ND1 filter on. Approximately 1/180th of a second. Aprox 5.6 f stop, -3db gain.

I hope this is helpful to you.












John Lenihan

John Lenihan

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


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Stephen Crye
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Dec 23, 2011 at 3:24:47 am

Hi;

John, I truly appreciate your taking the time to post these shots. I am studying them closely. Although I see some CA (green edge on the light pole), it seems far, far less that what I experience with either the NX70 or the CX550V.

Question: what was the zoom setting? Any of these at 20x?

I'm adding more shots of CA to http://www.huecotanks.com/temp1 - latest will be uploaded in about an hour; a jet landing at sunset with the sky behind it.

Thanks!

Steve

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


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john lenihan
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Dec 23, 2011 at 4:30:25 pm

Steve,

The zoom on these various from about 10 to 100%. You will have to guess based on me standing next to a soccer field midfield line.

Someone on this forum earlier did a study of outdoor shots with the nx5U and determined that the chromatic aberation was best if the lens aperature was opened more than 5.6 and worse as it got toward f11.

John

John Lenihan

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


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Glyn Gray
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Jan 2, 2012 at 11:22:16 pm

I thought I would jump in here as I have been doing a load of searching to see if other videographers with the NX5U had experienced CA (chromatic aberration). I was blown away by how strong the CA is on my NX5U which was only bought 3 months ago. My tests are all based off subjects on clean white backdrops at full wide zoom 0/100, f2.6, -3db. The CA is present ever so slightly in the center and is rather strong as you move mid way and even worse closer to the edges. Up until this new camera I had been using my trusty Sony FX1 and never saw this (although when I look back it is there but only slightly). I understand the NX5U is of greater quality in many factors than the FX1 but the CA was something I had not seen up until now.

Having all this footage I decided to contact Sony to see what they thought. Their response was not what I had expected, 2 specialists said this is to be expected from a cheap lens. They did say however to take it in to be checked as well. I will be doing that this week. I will give you an update later.

So from my experience and research the quality of the glass is the issue here and with having a fixed lens there is not much else you can do.

I have seen you images and I could safely say that the NX5U would probably produce the same CA.


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Clint Fleckenstein
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Jan 6, 2012 at 2:24:30 pm

I changed jobs in March and want to upgrade to HD here at my new job - reading these reviews leads me to believe that I want to migrate to XDCAM EX cameras like I did my last facility, and skip NXCAM entirely. I appreciate the sample images and diligent reviews.

Cf


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John Fry
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Jan 17, 2012 at 11:33:53 pm

This is similarly worrying and reassuring. I am seriously looking at the NX70 for ski videos due to its water resistant capabilities, but after reading some of the posts here I'm worried the quality & problems may be less than I expect from a professional camcorder.

Having used Z1s and EX3s extensively, will I be sorely disappointed by CA and zoom/focus problems form an NX70? Has anyone had similar experiences with a PAL NX70E?

Thanks in advance! John


John E Fry BA (hons)


UK Steadicam Operator - Lighting
Cameraman - Photographer



http://www.fryfilm.com





http://www.fryfilm.com/ffsteadicam/steadicam.aspx





http://www.fryfilm.com/ffKitCrewHire/RateCard.aspx





http://www.fryfilm.com/ffKitCrewHire/SkiingCameraman.aspx



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Stephen Crye
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Feb 24, 2012 at 8:40:46 pm

John, don't get an NX70! All three that I "owned" had the same horrible problems. It is just a CX700 gussied up with more manual controls and the waterproofing.

I'm so relieved that B&H allowed me to return it.

I just ordered an NX5U - will be here next week. Biting my nails. Wish me luck, everyone!

Steve

Win7 Pro X64 on Dell T3400, MultiTB SATA, 8GB RAM Vegas 10e (and 11) x64 DVDA 5.2(build 133) Sony HDR-CX550V, Sony HXR-NX5U


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Stephen Crye
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Feb 6, 2012 at 6:56:37 pm

Hi Glyn;

Sorry it took me so long to respond.

I really appreciate your feedback on this. I had been seriously considering the NX5, but now I'm not so sure.

Do you have any samples you can provide?

I've posted more samples of problems with the NX70, even worse than the CA is persistent bad focus on the left side of the image - this is not CA, it is something else.

http://www.huecotanks.com/temp1

Thanks again,

Steve

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


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Glyn Gray
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Feb 6, 2012 at 7:50:11 pm

Hi there,

No problems on the slow response my main concern was to get as much info to you as possible seeing as I had already made the purchase. To give you a quick update I actually took the unit in to Sony for a checkup and the focus thing you talk about on the left hand side was actually present too so they ended up replacing the lens to resolve the soft focus on the left and also to realign. The sad news is, that after Sony having the unit for 3 weeks the chromatic aberration is still no better :(

Follow this link to see some examples where it is quite terrible in my eyes:
http://www.stirstudiosdesign.com/nx5u-chromatic-abberations

I will only keep this page for a limited time so you can see the issues I have had.

Cheers

Glyn Gray - Editor/Videographer


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Stephen Crye
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Feb 6, 2012 at 8:46:24 pm

Hi Glyn;

I really appreciate your quick reply. I looked at those images you posted. I have some questions that will help me make a comparison with the NX70. In my quick look, although the CA is apparent, it is much less severe than the NX70.

* How did you obtain the frame grabs - Sony Picture Motion Browser, or via NLE such as Vegas or Premier?
* What is the size of the posted images - height / width pixels?
* What were the zoom settings? (I'm particularly interested in full 20x zoom images, because the CA is always worse at full zoom)

I'm also intrigued that your camera had the soft-focus problem on the left side, and they were able to fix that. Although the CA bugs me, the focus problem makes the camera unusable.

I did not mention it in my previous posts, but temped by a better price and the charger/battery rebate offer, I bought a THIRD NX70. I did extensive tests at various zoom in outdoor light, but only with targets at infinity. The left-side focus problem was not present, so I thought I had lucked out. I cut out the bar-code and sent it in for the rebate.

Then, two weekends ago, I shot some indoor footage - critical - at an orchestra concert. Left side focus problem BIG TIME. Look at the NX70# shots, they are the most recent, at http://www.huecotanks.com/temp1.

I feel really stupid. I cannot use this camera. I'm trying to get B&H and Sony to consent to a refund, I will also turn in the unopened charger and battery. I'm biting my nails and hoping that the legendary B&H customer service will come through for me ...

I'm sick, really physically sick over this problem. I'm not wealthy and this purchase tool all my savings plus a loan.

Ready to throw up,

Steve

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


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Glyn Gray
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Feb 7, 2012 at 1:18:11 am

Hey there,

Sounds very frustrating what you are dealing with right now. I had not really noticed the focus softening until I reviewed some footage and finally saw it. It was ever so slight. Perhaps on an orchestra I may have seen it as you are dealing with a wider shot and more detail.

OK now onto the answers you needed:
1. I grabbed these screen shots straight from my NLE (FCP) but also reviewed these through VLC straight from the card and the conclusion was the same. I convert all files from card to FCP as ProRes 422 LT.
2. Full HD size which means images are 1920x1080.
3. Zoom length is almost wide open, perhaps 95% wide (good enough to be fully wide).

As I do a load of filming on white backdrops this is a huge problem for me. There are ways to help knock the CA prominence down but that is not a solution for me. Sony's final response was that the camera, with the limited lens is within spec :). For some projects I ended up getting a small plugin called "Cheap Lens" by River Rock Studios to remove some of the CA from my footage.

On a side note I just finished up a gig using the Sony FS100 and I have to say I am extremely happy with the results. So I have every reason to believe the CA is not just about the lens it is also about the sensor. I was using the stock lens and there was next to no CA at all. I know this is well out of price range but if this could be an option I would go with it. This is something I am looking at doing now. I mainly deal with indoor, studios and theatres which is where I need great low level light and no CS if I can.

No throwing up please :)

Glyn Gray - Editor/Videographer


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Stephen Crye
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Feb 7, 2012 at 5:24:45 pm

Hi Gyln;

Thanks again for the details!

Your comments about the FS100 and lack of CA are interesting. I would have assumed that a three-sensor system would have better CA than a single-chip. But, the 4/3" large sensor on the FS100 is newer, more advanced, and possibly better over all.

This makes me re-consider something. I *think* that the consumer Sony VG-20 uses the same 4/3" sensor as the FS100. Even though the VG-20 is pretty much a toy when it comes to serious video, if I get it, I can start building a collection of A-mount lenses, and perhaps someday, when a successor to the FS100 comes out that is cheaper (and smaller, as I do a lot of outdoor run-and-gun), I can leverage those lenses. One thing I want to do is night time-lapse - for that I would buy a specialized wide-angle, large aperture lens with great light-gathering power.

I had heard bad things about the Sony "E" lenses - which lens do you have on the FS100?

Thanks,

Steve

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


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Glyn Gray
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Feb 9, 2012 at 12:33:03 am

Hi there,

I think your suggestion is a good idea as lenses last forever. I had heard nasty stories about the stock lens and I do understand the limitations of the low light and slow focus. However as far as detail it far surpasses the NX5U in great detail and color. With the NX5U and various profile tweaks I can create some rather nasty saturation issues on the FS100 it does a superb job. Also the stock lens supports auto focus, iris and gain. Well most E-Mount lenses should. The sensor is the same as the Sony F3 which is also fantastic but of course has the $13,000 price tag.

Anyhow back to topic. Like I said lenses last forever and I believe this is where video is moving as it just gives you so much flexibility in a variety of projects. I have not invested in the FS100 as I have only used it a couple of times now. The plus is that the workflow will be the same as the NX5U, yet another plus.

What troubles me about the NX5U or it may just be my model is that even dead center there is a small amount of CA.

More than happy to share any more info with you. I have played with it quite a bit and I think it is an awesome camera except for the CA issues which unless you are on high contrast areas you would probably never see it :(

Glyn Gray - Editor/Videographer


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Stephen Crye
Re: Just returned NX70 #2; now looking at NX5 but I have a BUNCH of questions!
on Feb 8, 2012 at 11:25:02 pm

Glyn, one caution about that FS100 with the stock 28-300mm zoom. That lens is no faster than 3.5 at wide, so I'm not sure how good it will be in low light. Of course, you could always buy another monster, expensive lens with a huge eyeball - I was looking at some Fuji's in the $6K range ... ;)

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


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