Anyone have a Sony NEX7? - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 226 Old 06-21-2012, 12:12 PM
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A quick google search reveals the VG20 does work with the LA-EA2 and auto focuses. It will still be limited to F/3.5 or max aperture, whichever is lower in AF mode, but you could switch to MF and get some sweet shallow shots.

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post #182 of 226 Old 06-21-2012, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Shield View Post

Ken, Ken, Ken. I'm not talking about Alpha glass for "greater than 1920x1080" - a 4 megapixel camera already achieves this - I'm talking about for low light and shallow DOF. Alpha glass has 30mm F/1.4's, 16-50mm F/2.8's, 70-200mm F/2.8's, 50mm F/1.4, etc. I'm talking about fast glass to allow more light to the sensor and for shallow DOF if you want it.
There is nothing in E mount that is the equivalent to 24-70 F/2.8 or even close. E mount has 2 fast lenses - the 50mm F/1.8 (75mm FF equiv) and the 24mm ($1000) F1.8. And the troubled but acceptable 16mm F/2.8 pancake. I don't know what you're shooting, but what do you do for reach? The slow 18-200? I wasn't a fan of that lens at all on the NEX body.
Very glad to hear they've improved the handle noise on the VG20 - it was unacceptable on the VG10. One could not record via-a-vis the handle and not get extreme noises in the recording.

Geesh Shield, I really wish you would stop with that "Ken, Ken, Ken" thing, you really sound like you're preaching. I don't think you realize how demeaning it sounds...we're not 5 year old kids here.

No, I'm not using it for really low-light. In the kind of light I'm shooting in, even the 18-200 works fine. Very little to no noise, and very nice imagery. I'm really using the VG20 now for video and the NEX7 for stills.

I was at a client a couple of days ago and they were actually looking for stills (very unusual for what I do). I brought both the VG20 and the NEX7 with the intention of using the 7 and just trying the VG20 for video in the client's location even though video was not called for. I typically shoot in office and manufacturing type lighting environments. There you have enough light for very nice results with a lens like the 18-200 or the 18-55.

As far as DOF, there already is more than enough for what I do. Sometimes I'm finding there is actually too much of a good thing with the shallow DOF. The focus obviously becomes much more challenging and misses are more common. When I'm doing a paid shoot, misfocusing is not tolerated in video. Fortunately my stuff (other than pleasure videos) is not run & gun.
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post #183 of 226 Old 06-21-2012, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Shield View Post

To be fair Ken you should at least admit you didn't upgrade your GH2 to the 1080p30 high bitrate firmware. But I agree - 60p is the bee's knees, and both your handcam and NEX now do it.

I didn't do the hack, but I did install the latest firmware prior to selling it.
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post #184 of 226 Old 06-21-2012, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Shield View Post

Ken, the LA-EA2 allows full time phase shift AF on NEX/E-mount cameras for Alpha glass. Who told you the above? Phase shift AF in video mode is amazing. Whatever you point the camera at it focuses smoothly and doesn't "hunt" like contrast detect AF.
Don't know 100% if the LA-EA2 works perfectly with the VG20, but I know first hand it does with the NEX7 / NEX5n / etc. It should work.
It also give you AF micro focus adjustment in case you have a lens that front or backfocuses and a tripod mount. Highly recommend the LA-EA2.

I wasn't talking about using those lenses with the adapter. I was talking about using the A-mount lenses without the AF adapter and thus losing the AF ability. I may not have been clear on that point. What I was talking about with the adapter was whether the autofocus of an E-mount lens would work with the adapter. Obviously there's not much utility with that configuration since it's a bit redundant. Why use an AF adapter on system that already has AF? But yes, for A-mount it obviously is a great thing.

To be honest, I actually like the way the autofocus on the E-mount lenses 'eases' into the proper focus as you shift your focal points. Rather than the 'snap' focus I've always been accustomed to, the 'easing' approach looks kind of cool to me. What I don't like is what I've found with almost every Sony autofocus system I've ever used, the occasional times when the autofocus just gets confused and doesn't know what to do. It's usually not a case of the typical areas where autofocus systems get confused, but just seemingly easy situations where it should work but doesn't. This has become a running joke with a buddy of mine who always buys Sony camcorders. We usually refer to it as 'typical Sony AF'.

This is an area where I think Canon has Sony beat. On my Canon XA10, I almost never see the AF get confused.
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post #185 of 226 Old 06-21-2012, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

Geesh Shield, I really wish you would stop with that "Ken, Ken, Ken" thing, you really sound like you're preaching. I don't think you realize how demeaning it sounds...we're not 5 year old kids here.
No, I'm not using it for really low-light. In the kind of light I'm shooting in, even the 18-200 works fine. Very little to no noise, and very nice imagery. I'm really using the VG20 now for video and the NEX7 for stills.
I was at a client a couple of days ago and they were actually looking for stills (very unusual for what I do). I brought both the VG20 and the NEX7 with the intention of using the 7 and just trying the VG20 for video in the client's location even though video was not called for. I typically shoot in office and manufacturing type lighting environments. There you have enough light for very nice results with a lens like the 18-200 or the 18-55.
As far as DOF, there already is more than enough for what I do. Sometimes I'm finding there is actually too much of a good thing with the shallow DOF. The focus obviously becomes much more challenging and misses are more common. When I'm doing a paid shoot, misfocusing is not tolerated in video. Fortunately my stuff (other than pleasure videos) is not run & gun.

I say Ken Ken Ken more tongue and cheek, but clearly it sounds like you're not really aware of even what the LA-EA2 is or what it does based on your last few posts. All it does in convert Sony/Konica-Minolta A mount lenses to E-Mount. It does provide phase shift super quick autofocus as well, along with AF micro adjust. No Ken, it will not do anything for your E-Mount lenses. To start talking about "enough for 1920x1080 resolution" makes me scratch my head a bit. That's only 2.07 megapixels! Ken, we shoot fast glass so we can shoot in lower light or have high shutter speeds outdoors (more stills here than video, but still). Anyway, read about the LA-EA2 and you might decide you want more options for glass and I'm telling you the AF is lightning quick with the LA-EA2. Lightning.
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post #186 of 226 Old 06-21-2012, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

I didn't do the hack, but I did install the latest firmware prior to selling it.

Did you ever try shooting in 1080p30 HBR mode and viewing the results back on a large TV?
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post #187 of 226 Old 06-21-2012, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

I wasn't talking about using those lenses with the adapter. I was talking about using the A-mount lenses without the AF adapter and thus losing the AF ability. I may not have been clear on that point. What I was talking about with the adapter was whether the autofocus of an E-mount lens would work with the adapter. Obviously there's not much utility with that configuration since it's a bit redundant. .

Speaking of confused, I'm really confused now. Sony makes two adapters for A-mount lenses to work on E-mount bodies.

1. LA-EA2 - newer, phase shift AF, AF micro adjust, limited to F/3.5, $300
2. LA-EA1 - older, contrast detect, AF may or may not work (slowly if it does, like 3-4 seconds slow). No SLT mirror so you can use this wide open. Great for MF video; too slow for AF video. About $100

What adapter on earth could you be talking about for an E-mount lens? Both the NEX-7 and VG20 are "native" E-mount cameras. My head hurts.
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post #188 of 226 Old 06-21-2012, 01:10 PM
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Ken (all) - here's a good example of showing off the Sony A77 autofocus. Would be the same with a NEX + the LA-EA2.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnIri9PkJC8

Watch how he focuses on ducks etc.

Shawn
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post #189 of 226 Old 06-21-2012, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Shield View Post

I say Ken Ken Ken more tongue and cheek, but clearly it sounds like you're not really aware of even what the LA-EA2 is or what it does based on your last few posts. All it does in convert Sony/Konica-Minolta A mount lenses to E-Mount. It does provide phase shift super quick autofocus as well, along with AF micro adjust. No Ken, it will not do anything for your E-Mount lenses. To start talking about "enough for 1920x1080 resolution" makes me scratch my head a bit. That's only 2.07 megapixels! Ken, we shoot fast glass so we can shoot in lower light or have high shutter speeds outdoors (more stills here than video, but still). Anyway, read about the LA-EA2 and you might decide you want more options for glass and I'm telling you the AF is lightning quick with the LA-EA2. Lightning.

I am aware of the what the adapter does, but I was not aware of how it handled native-E mount lenses. When you first mentioned the A-mount lenses, it sounded like you were talking about sharpness & detail so that's why I mentioned about 2 megapixel resolution. Nothing overly complicated here Shield.

I'm well aware of the greater light-gathering ability of the faster glass, I just don't have much of a need for it as I've stated before. The only thing I'd like to improve upon is the occasional misfocuses that seem to be inherent in every Sony AF system I've ever used. Even with the adapter, I saw a comment from an owner on DPReview that said he had occasional focus inaccuracies. He liked the adapter in general, but implied it was not foolproof. I think that's just the nature of Sony AF in general.
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post #190 of 226 Old 06-21-2012, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Shield View Post

Did you ever try shooting in 1080p30 HBR mode and viewing the results back on a large TV?

No, but I'm not sure how that would turn 30p into 60p/60i fluidity.
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post #191 of 226 Old 06-21-2012, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Shield View Post

Speaking of confused, I'm really confused now. Sony makes two adapters for A-mount lenses to work on E-mount bodies.
1. LA-EA2 - newer, phase shift AF, AF micro adjust, limited to F/3.5, $300
2. LA-EA1 - older, contrast detect, AF may or may not work (slowly if it does, like 3-4 seconds slow). No SLT mirror so you can use this wide open. Great for MF video; too slow for AF video. About $100
What adapter on earth could you be talking about for an E-mount lens? Both the NEX-7 and VG20 are "native" E-mount cameras. My head hurts.

I am confused on one point regarding the adapter. Is the max aperture limited to 3.5 regardless of how large the lens is?

My question was does the adapter turn the contrast detection E-mount system to phase detection. Thus, does it quicken the AF response. Obviously the adapter would somehow need to turn off the AF of the AF E-mount lenses.
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post #192 of 226 Old 06-21-2012, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Shield View Post

Ken (all) - here's a good example of showing off the Sony A77 autofocus. Would be the same with a NEX + the LA-EA2.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnIri9PkJC8
Watch how he focuses on ducks etc.
Shawn

Yes, the duck did snap focus.

What I thought funny (and I'm not being critical of the A77, but rather the typical Sony AF behavior) were the misses of the peacock at 6:27 and the duck at 7:13 never seeming to have locked in and looking out of focus. As I said, the Canons with the better AF just don't do that. I'm used to it having owned more Sonys than other brands, but it seems odd to me that Sony never gets to Canon's level year after year. Really bizarre.
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post #193 of 226 Old 06-21-2012, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

I am confused on one point regarding the adapter. Is the max aperture limited to 3.5 regardless of how large the lens is?
My question was does the adapter turn the contrast detection E-mount system to phase detection. Thus, does it quicken the AF response. Obviously the adapter would somehow need to turn off the AF of the AF E-mount lenses.

Yep, limited to F/3.5 in video mode when using AF.

Yes it turns it into phase detect when using A mount lenses. Ken, no offense, but I still think you're confused.

The adapter DOES not, and I repeat, does not work with E-mount LENSES. It is for E-Mount cameras to use Alpha (a-mount) GLASS. There is no "AF to turn off" on the E-mount as you wouldn't have an E-Mount lens mounted (nor could you) with the LA-EA2 or LA-EA1.
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post #194 of 226 Old 06-21-2012, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
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OK. I thought there might be an electronic methodology to turn off AF on an E-mount lens and turn it into a phase detection AF via the adapter. I really wasn't sure and I guess since the adapter mount is different anyway, it simply wouldn't accommodate an E-mount lens. Hey, I guess I was confused. smile.gif

I am kind of thinking of testing out an A65 Shawn. I don't need the larger A77. I'm really curious to see how it performs.
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post #195 of 226 Old 06-21-2012, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

Shawn, I'm also a bit confused about the A65 & A77. I see lenses advertised for the Alpha cameras that say they have 'autofocus'. Why would you need an autofocus lens if the camera has in-body AF? The same would apply to IS. Some lenses for the Alpha are labeled as image stabilized, but why would you need that if the body has IS built-in? Are these for an older style Alpha camera?

The lens does the autofocus, not the camera. There's a switch on the side to toggle AF/MF. The body just controls the AF through the mount. The camera body has a focus motor though. The LA-EA2 has a focus motor as well. If what you said was true, then ALL Minolta/Sony lenses would be autofocus. There are older Minolta lenses that are MF only and use the (Minolta) Alpha mount. There is an 85mm F/1.4 Rokinson? lens that is new that does not AF.

Now the lens stabilization, that's another can of worms. You're in luck as I've gone down that path already.

For Sony branded Alpha mount lenses, none that I know of have IS built into the lens, as all Alpha mount cameras have it in the body.
Some Sigma branded Alpha mount lenses have IS; others do not.
Here's where it gets fun:
Take the Sigma 17-50 F/2.8. Up until late 2011, the Sigma version had IS built-in on the Sony mount. Now the "new" version of the same lens does not in Sony or Pentax mount, but DOES in Canon/Nikon mount. As Canon / Nikon DSLR's don't have in-body IS, this makes sense.
However, the Sigma 70-200mm F/2.8 (4 versions since inception) has never had IS until the newest version (all in Sony mount). This is a head scratchier as it as adds length and weight to the lens. I have "version 3" of this lens, the HSM II Sigma 70-200, without OS.

Sigma makes a handful of other lenses for Sony DSLR cameras that have IS in body; I think there's a 18-50 F/2.8-F/4 that does, and perhaps others.
Tamron does not AFAIK.

When I still used the Nex5n and Nex-7 with the LA-EA2 adapter I searched all over for lenses that had in-body stabilization as I'm not a very steady photographer. Had the Sigma 17-50 F/2.8 for a while; it was sharp but the zoom ring was stiff.

Only other thing I'd like to add about this:

For autofocus lenses there are two types of af mechanisms - older, noisy "screw drive" type that are loud and terrible for video. I have some myself, like the Sigma 30mm F/1.4, which I use in MF only video mode. Then there's the HSM or hyper sonic motors, or Sony's SSM (Super Silent motor) lenses that are great for video. Examples; 16-50mm F/2.8, 70-200 F/2.8 (SAL70-200G), 70-300 F/4 - F/5.6 (SAL70400G), Some of their cheaper lenses, like the 35mm SAL F/1.8 are not SSM but not too overly loud, and it's $199 and sharp as a tack wide open.
But none of them are as quiet (except for the SSM lenses I listed) as your E-Mount lenses. None of them.
Also Tamron has a nice 70-300mm lens, the USD (Ultra silent drive) that is very quiet as well.

Enough for now. Also, if you're seriously thinking about the A65/A77, get the A77. Same 24mp sensor, but the A77 has AF micro focus adjustment, 2 controls, better articulating screen, weatherproof, top LCD etc.
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post #196 of 226 Old 06-21-2012, 02:57 PM
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Also, one more thing Ken, that I find slick as hell with the phase detect. I reassigned a button to "AF lock". I leave the camera in AF mode; if I find a subject I want, I can lock the focus and it will then stay on the subject. This doesn't work for everything, but for relatively stationary objects it's great. In the aforementioned linked video, he could have focused on the duck, hit AF lock, and then reframed it however he wanted.
Also for pictures - I rely usually on the center point for AF, but who wants every picture to have the center object in focus all the time? No big deal; acquire focus, hit focus lock, and frame accordingly.

Shawn
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post #197 of 226 Old 06-21-2012, 03:06 PM
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Here's a video on the NEX-VG20 by the same guy. Haven't watched it yet; I'm letting it queue up in HD.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jABGw1ydjuw
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post #198 of 226 Old 06-22-2012, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shield View Post

Also, one more thing Ken, that I find slick as hell with the phase detect. I reassigned a button to "AF lock". I leave the camera in AF mode; if I find a subject I want, I can lock the focus and it will then stay on the subject. This doesn't work for everything, but for relatively stationary objects it's great. In the aforementioned linked video, he could have focused on the duck, hit AF lock, and then reframed it however he wanted.
Also for pictures - I rely usually on the center point for AF, but who wants every picture to have the center object in focus all the time? No big deal; acquire focus, hit focus lock, and frame accordingly.
Shawn

The NEX7 has that same feature. It is nice and can also prevent hunting.
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post #199 of 226 Old 06-22-2012, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Shawn, I went out and got the A65. I couldn't rationalize the almost double price of the A77. The differences were not important enough for me and the smaller size made the A65 a better choice for me. Best Buy didn't have the A77 in stock either. BTW, thanks for the info you provided on all of this.

Some initial observations on the A65 relative to the VG20 & NEX7:

* Video imagery is very nice. The gamma is a bit different on the VG20 than either the NEX7 or the A65. Thus shadows are a bit 'starker' than they are on the VG20. This can be good and bad. The good is that the A65 provides a bit more 'dramatic' look as the result of some additional apparent depth. The downside is that the you lose just a bit more detail in shadows. But I think I actually prefer the A65 video to that of the NEX7, but I'm not yet sure about how I like it relative to the VG20. There is much more control over image parameters on the A65 than you get with the VG20. That's very nice. I've taken no stills yet, so I'm not sure about that aspect of performance. I'm guessing they'll be essentially the same with the same quality lens.

* DOF- This one caught me by surprise. There is a much shallower DOF with the kit lens on the A65 than the 18-200 kit lens on the VG20. Not sure why the difference is so dramatic, but it is. I had my friend over to look and we were both surprised. At times this might be 'too much of a good thing', but I'm sure a smaller f-stop can be used to increase the DOF where needed.

* Autofocus- This is the aspect of performance that had me looking for alternatives to the VG20. I found the VG20 was missing a bit too much. My buddy showed me clips from a shoot he had with the VG20 and his too showed some misses that were a bit concerning. There is definitely more flexibility with the A65 relative to autofocus, but I did have a couple of misses here too. My feeling is that the A65 will be overall better in a variety of shooting conditions, but more testing is needed.

* Low light- This is, so far, the biggest disappointment and another surprise...again with the kit lens. What was surprising was how much better the VG20 was with the 18-200 zoom lens (not exactly a low light lens) relative to the A65 with the 18-55. My buddy and I were a bit disappointed with this. Even almost fully zoomed with the 18-200, the resulting video was cleaner than the 18-55 on the A65. I'm really not sure why the disparity is this great.

I'm overall impressed with the camera, but it's only day 1 and I need to check out the low light a bit more as well as how the camera stacks up against the VG20 and NEX7.

Shawn, what have your impressions been of low light with a decent zoom lens. Am I just spoiled by the very good low light of the VG20?

Also, how have you found the autofocus under a variety of conditions?

Thanks for your help.
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post #200 of 226 Old 06-22-2012, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I did some further testing at a shopping mall and outside at sunset with a cloud cover. I've become somewhat disappointed in that I'm getting overall better results with the VG20. I shot my wife outside at sunset and the clip started out fine, but when I panned the 65 didn't focus on buildings in the distance for several seconds. When I panned back to my wife, it again had some trouble getting the correct focus. Additionally, the 20 was quite a bit sharper than the 65 under these less than ideal lighting conditions even when both were in proper focus. It was even obvious to my wife. I didn't see this in brighter light.

The low light of the 20 is really significantly better than the 65 and I'm guessing this is due to the translucent mirror of the 65 that diverts some of the light away from the sensor. Even the NEX7 with the same sensor is somewhat better than the 65 in low light but not nearly as good as the VG20.

The 65's mall shots were much better but still prone to some focus misses. So my major motivation for the 65 was to improve upon the VG20's focusing and I'm really not seeing that happening. Of course the OLED VF of the 65 blows away the VG20's VF, but that's not enough.

I have been pleasantly surprised by the sound of the 65, it's better than I expected. However I was kind of shocked at how loud the autofocus was at times. I know the kit lens doesn't have the more subdued mechanicals of the quieter lenses, but I was still surprised.

More testing tomorrow. smile.gif
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post #201 of 226 Old 06-22-2012, 07:22 PM
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Ken I read your posts earlier but it was a rare date night here so couldn't respond up until now.

Here's the deal with the A65/A77 - it's not quite as good in low light as the A57, which is what I highly recommend you get in lieu of the A65. The A57 is 16 megapixel, and slightly smaller / lighter than the A65. But, from all the testing I've read about, does much better at higher ISO's.

Note the A65/A77 is limited to ISO 1600 in video mode. The A57 with the latest BIONZ processor and less pixel density (larger pixels) goes all the way up to ISO 3200 in video mode.

I very strongly suspect it will whet your whistle more, unless you must have 24mp pics. If you're going to do both as I do, get the A57. There's a reason Sony limited the ISO on the A65; they probably didn't want the Internet flooded with noisy ISO3200 video.

A57 has OIS, 1080p60 28 megabit video, Built in HDR, great sound, articulating LCD, and better in low light. No GPS though if that's important to you.

Also the A57 is a few hundred bucks cheaper. smile.gif

Good luck!

Shawn
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post #202 of 226 Old 06-22-2012, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

* Low light- This is, so far, the biggest disappointment and another surprise...again with the kit lens. What was surprising was how much better the VG20 was with the 18-200 zoom lens (not exactly a low light lens) relative to the A65 with the 18-55. My buddy and I were a bit disappointed with this. Even almost fully zoomed with the 18-200, the resulting video was cleaner than the 18-55 on the A65. I'm really not sure why the disparity is this great.
.

Also keep this in mind Ken - the 18-200 lens is about $800 street price stand alone and the kit lens with the A65 is about $100. Also at full telephoto for the kit you're at F/5.6 (55mm) while you're at what, F/4 - F/4.5 on the 18-200? That's 3/4 to a full stop of light extra you're getting with the 18-200. I realize you did say even at full telephoto, but the field of view is so drastically different at 55mm vs 200mm. Perhaps "seeing" 55mm @ F/4 on the 18-200 and then at F/5.6 on the kit played mind games somewhat.

If you get an A57 I'll bet you it's much better. Best Buy should have them in stock; at least give one a whirl. I can send you link after link of people who bought both and returned the A65 due to the noisy high ISO and kept the A57.

Good luck; curious to hear what you find.
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post #203 of 226 Old 06-23-2012, 12:06 AM
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Kid warning:

Here's another video of my big t-ball boy. This is what I love so much about 60p; the ability with all those full frames to slow everything down.

This was shot with the Sony A57 + Sigma 70-200mm F/2.8 at around F/4.

Not graded, just trimmed and slowmo'd.

https://vimeo.com/44560616

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post #204 of 226 Old 06-23-2012, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

I was using it correctly. I prefer smooth motion (60i or 60p) not 24p or 30p and at the higher frame rates, I was not wowed by the results. I'm not saying it isn't very good, but I think the NEX at the higher frame rates is better. I prefer not only the imagery of the NEX, but I also prefer the form factor of the VG20 and most certainly the audio. The camcorder form factor is much better IMO for video shooting than a DSLR.
The audio simply blows away the GH2 and most any other camera/camcorder I've used. The stills from these cams are also excellent.
Both great tools Flinty, it just a matter of preference.

Yes true Ken,with correct lenses the GH did do pretty well in that shoot out though,Having said that for my passion widlife i find my little cheapy FZ150 better for the job and i use it for all wildlife always.
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post #205 of 226 Old 06-23-2012, 04:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Shield View Post

Ken I read your posts earlier but it was a rare date night here so couldn't respond up until now.
Here's the deal with the A65/A77 - it's not quite as good in low light as the A57, which is what I highly recommend you get in lieu of the A65. The A57 is 16 megapixel, and slightly smaller / lighter than the A65. But, from all the testing I've read about, does much better at higher ISO's.
Note the A65/A77 is limited to ISO 1600 in video mode. The A57 with the latest BIONZ processor and less pixel density (larger pixels) goes all the way up to ISO 3200 in video mode.
I very strongly suspect it will whet your whistle more, unless you must have 24mp pics. If you're going to do both as I do, get the A57. There's a reason Sony limited the ISO on the A65; they probably didn't want the Internet flooded with noisy ISO3200 video.
A57 has OIS, 1080p60 28 megabit video, Built in HDR, great sound, articulating LCD, and better in low light. No GPS though if that's important to you.
Also the A57 is a few hundred bucks cheaper. smile.gif
Good luck!
Shawn

Thanks Shawn. Looking at some info, it would appear the 57 uses the same sensor as the VG20. That's a good thing in my book. Yes, I really have little need for the 24mp stills. Low light is far more critical and given that I'll often be using a zoom, there's even more of a need for good low light.

To clarify my point on my tests, both lenses (18-200 & 18-55) were at full zoom and thus at the same theoretical f value. If anything, the FOV of the 18-55 was allowing more light to come in than the more limited FOV of the 18-200 which took in a darker area. The difference was really dramatic to say the least. I just wasn't expecting that level of disparity.

The A57 is exactly the same size and weight of the 67 according to Sony's specs, so that's good. What I am losing is the OLED VF. That's a bit disappointing, but I'll check out how good the LCD VF is on the 57.

But inevitably, assuming the low light is as good as it is on the VG20 (I have more and more respect for its PQ every day Shawn!), It will come down to the autofocus on the A57. I mentioned how it seemed that the 67 was missing about as much as the VG20. Perhaps I still wasn't using the A67's focusing optimally, perhaps it was the poor low light, or perhaps the autofocus just isnt much better than the VG20, I'm just not sure.

Shawn, I'm curious, given the better low light, why did you opt for the 77 over the 57? Do you tend not to shoot much in low light?

Edit: OK, I just watched the T-ball video and see you did use the 57.. Didn't you have the 77, I'm confused. BTW, I well remember those T-ball days. Your kid has a nice swing. Get ready for travel baseball down the road! Those days were a blast and I never minded the travel, especially when my son was pitching.
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post #206 of 226 Old 06-23-2012, 11:04 AM
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I've had 3 Sony cameras - the Nex5n, the Nex7, and now the A57. That's all. Stopped with the A57 since it does almost everything I want it to do. Check one out; the EVF isn't terrible or anything and Best Buy has no restocking fees...smile.gif
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post #207 of 226 Old 06-23-2012, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Well Shawn, I've spent the better part of the day playing with the A57. My observations thus far:

* The A57 is unquestionably better for video than the A65 was. The low light is indeed much better than the A65. However with that said, it's still not in the same league as the VG20. The VG20 is truly amazing in low light. The NEX7 is also better in low light than the A57, but it's not the same disparity as with the VG20.

* The VF is fine. Not as good as the OLED, but fine.

* This is what I'm finding as the most important 'issue'. Both the VG20 & NEX7 (especially the VG20) have a very polished, relaxed look to them. There are tons of detail, but without any apparent sharpening artifacts. With the A65 I'm finding (even at a sharpness of -3), there is a kind of 'edginess' to the video (I'm not sure if you know what I mean). It's more of a look of in-camera sharpening. I can see it in tree limbs and other objects with hard edges (grass). There's no more detail in the picture, but I'd bet some people would think there's more apparent sharpness. Interestingly my wife picked up on this to my surprise. She picked the VG20 as the most natural looking picture of the bunch. She also felt she was seeing more real detail in the picture. I think that's true since often adding in-camera sharpening does nothing more than actual get in the way of real detail. This is not to say the A65 picture isn't sharp and detailed, it is, but the VG20 has the same detail or more, but in a more relaxed 'organic' look. It just looks more natural as in the way you see the world. I know, I'm rambling here. This even applies to the NEX7's video too, although I find the VG20 a bit more natural.

* I really haven't seen any dramatic differences in autofocus between the two systems (NEX 7 & VG20 vs the A65). Both missed at times, but both were quite reliable in most situations. What I do like about the way the VG20 focuses (and the NEX7) is that they kind of 'ease' into a focus slot. Rather than an abrupt 'snap to focus', there is a natural easing that your eye almost doesn't detect. The A65 is quicker as it jumps from foreground to background, but it's very apparent. Each has its advantages, but the way the VG20 does it is more like you'd see in a movie where focus transitions are a bit more subtle.

I'm going to try to get together with my video buddy tomorrow to see what he thinks. But my thoughts thus far are to stay with both the NEX7 and VG20. I've grown to appreciate them more to be honest.

These are all great cameras and each has their strengths and weaknesses. I'd love to see the same menu system on the NEX series that the Alpha series has. As I've said before, I'd also like to see more adjustment capabilities on the VG20. But I have to admit that Sony really got the defaults right on the VG20. There's little need to tinker that much.

I'll see if I feel any differently tomorrow, but you were right about the A57's video, it is better than the 65, especially in low light.

Shawn, one thing I noticed with the A57, is that adjusting the sharpness in the custom setting doesn't seem to have much of an effect in the video mode (P mode is what I'm using). I did a few test clips at +3 down to -3 and really saw very little difference. When I do that with the NEX7, the results are more obvious. Do you find this? I really wanted to back off on the A57 sharpening, but even at -3 it still looked too 'edgy'.
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post #208 of 226 Old 06-23-2012, 05:29 PM
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I haven't done any tests with the sharpness in video mode - I have in stills mode and it makes a big difference.

Ken, it sounds like you're sold on the VG20. Again I will remind you the 18-200 E-mount lens is $800 and the 18-55 "kit" lens that comes with the A65/A57 is about $100. There's a reason for that. I strongly suspect if you put some better glass on the A57 it might replace both the VG20 and NEX-7 for you in one fell swoop.

The VG20 has undeniable great video camera ergonomics though, and I think that combo might make you the happiest. Both it and the NEX-7 both use the same lenses.

Before you return the A57 - read the manual, and play with some of the settings. Check out the Multi-Noise ISO (it's amazing) and the high speed burst modes.

At the end of the day, any of these will take great pics and videos, and I'm so in love with 60p that I am sticking with Sony.
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post #209 of 226 Old 06-23-2012, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shield View Post

I haven't done any tests with the sharpness in video mode - I have in stills mode and it makes a big difference.
Ken, it sounds like you're sold on the VG20. Again I will remind you the 18-200 E-mount lens is $800 and the 18-55 "kit" lens that comes with the A65/A57 is about $100. There's a reason for that. I strongly suspect if you put some better glass on the A57 it might replace both the VG20 and NEX-7 for you in one fell swoop.
The VG20 has undeniable great video camera ergonomics though, and I think that combo might make you the happiest. Both it and the NEX-7 both use the same lenses.
Before you return the A57 - read the manual, and play with some of the settings. Check out the Multi-Noise ISO (it's amazing) and the high speed burst modes.
At the end of the day, any of these will take great pics and videos, and I'm so in love with 60p that I am sticking with Sony.

I really think it's the processing of the A57 Shawn and not the lens. I've seen that same edgy effect in many videocameras when they apply a bit too much over sharpening and contrast (I found myself reducing contrast in the Standard mode as well as putting sharpness at -3). As I said, I just wasn't successful in taming the look to a level I was happy with. Don't get me wrong, the video was great, but just a bit too 'edgy' for me. Most probably would never notice this and I suspect many would like the very contrasty, sharpened image.

To my eyes the VG20 is just such a 'natural' non-pushed look. It's probably the most natural looking, yet very detailed imagery I've seen from any cam I've used. You should take a look at one, I think you'd agree.

You really need to see the two videos in an A/B mode to see what I mean. Either way, the low light of the VG20 is better (sharper with less chroma and luma noise) at the same f-stop regardless of lens quality. It's really not a marginal difference. I have no doubt the mirror in the Alphas plays a significant role, diverting some of the light from the sensor to the autofocus. As I said, the NEX7 is also better in low light with a cleaner image, but to a lesser degree than the 20.

In the end, it's hard to make a wrong decision with these Sonys Shawn, they're all so good. But for me, from what I've seen, the NEX imagery just suits my taste better.

I'll be doing more testing tomorrow with my friend. BTW, I believe the Multi-Noise only works in still mode and not video. I'll be using the cam for about 90% video and 10% stills. So my quality assessment is weighted heavily towards video. I'm pretty much sold on the NEX7 for my still shots after my shoot last week with it. I got superb results in literally all of my 110 shots at my client. I'm sure the A65 could have done it too, but the NEX7 portability/quality formula really does wow me.

My major motivation in this search has been improved autofocus, but I'm just not seeing big differences. Both systems seem to have their misses and occasional hunting and the Alphas are noisier as you said. For accuracy, I was always spoiled by the autofocus in my trusty old VX2100. I'm convinced that was the best autofocus Sony ever made even though it was SD! smile.gif

Other than that issue, Sony is just turning out such really great cameras these days!
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post #210 of 226 Old 06-23-2012, 09:51 PM
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A/B tests are good, but not always the end. When I first got the NEX7 I did an A/B video test (NEX with the 50mm F/1.8 (75mm FF) and the GH2 with the Olympus 45mm F/1.8 (90mm FF) and found the GH2 to look quite a bit better. Sharper, the leaves were more crisp etc.

But...I like the colors of the Sony so much better, and the 60p so much better than I switched to Sony.

The last argument I'll make for the A57 is the in body stabilization, but you might have a steadier hand than I do. I would love to see you try the A57 with better glass, but the VG20 is a remarkable camera as well. I think the video output from the NEX5N/VG20/NEX7/Alphas are probably within 10% overall, so you can't go wrong.

Took these stills today with the A57 of my kids (Click on them for the larger shot) I graded the first one; 2nd is straight out of the camera jpg

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