Sony 4K Handycam FDR-AX100 thread - Page 86 - AVS Forum
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post #2551 of 2576 Old Yesterday, 08:27 AM
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"Why would Sony go backwards on stabilization?"

They didn't. Some were impressed a few models back where they put the lens on a gimbal. I think the result was an active combination of mechanical, optical and electronic stabilization. You could watch the lens wiggle! The cameras were limited to "HD".

With the greater data flow from 4K, the computing power is not (yet) seem to be available to do that at affordable price levels.
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post #2552 of 2576 Old Yesterday, 08:35 AM
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"So, if scanning across grass while walking, it makes no difference as compared with standard stabilization. "

You are going to have to do some personal experimentation to learn what works and does not. Many camcorders will interpret ALL motion as something to be "stabilized". Intentional panning and tilting may be interpreted as motion to be stopped and the result will be jerky.

The vast majority of video that is pleasant to watch has minimal camera motion. Walking around videos are great fun for tests but not great fun to watch. The people that want to shoot with a lot of camera movement buy, make or build a variety of rigs with names like dollies, booms and SteadyCams.

A favorite example was the guy who was filming on a cruise ship. He was sure he would be rock solid with stabilization on and mounted to a tripod. The camera read the ships gentle motion and induce a correction. On playback, his videos were rocking.
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post #2553 of 2576 Old Yesterday, 08:49 AM
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"With video, there is more worry about getting the shutter speed right for "smooth flow of motion"..
I am still hoping that someone responds on my questions on the file structure!

Since this is my first camcorder, I've been doing extensive tests to see how it works. I am about to leave on a three week vacation to northern Arizona, so it is best if I know how it works before I go on that vacation!

But I have not tested various shutter speeds. I am familiar with DSLR shutter speeds when holding a camera by hand. But the concept of a "rolling shutter" and smooth flow of motion is new to me.

What shutter speeds, when coupled with stabilization, do you all aim for? What is the slowest shutter speed that any of you use when hand held? Do you increase the shutter speed when panning, and if so to what setting?
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post #2554 of 2576 Old Yesterday, 08:57 AM
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Many camcorders will interpret ALL motion as something to be "stabilized". Intentional panning and tilting may be interpreted as motion to be stopped and the result will be jerky. The vast majority of video that is pleasant to watch has minimal camera motion. .. .A favorite example was the guy who was filming on a cruise ship. He was sure he would be rock solid with stabilization on and mounted to a tripod. The camera read the ships gentle motion and induce a correction. On playback, his videos were rocking.
Thanks for the excellent feedback and advice! Your suggestions prompt another question. In the case of Canon stabilized lenses, you turn OFF stabilization on some of them, when mounting on a tripod. In later lenses, Canon recommended keeping stabilization on when using a tripod. Which is the case with Sony camcorders like the AX-100?
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post #2555 of 2576 Old Yesterday, 09:06 AM
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When I got AX100 it came with PlayMemories Home, which I think is the software jan dijkgraaff called useless and I agree 100%. It cannot even cut the clip at specified frame, but selects frame that could be a second away from the one you need.
PlayMemories can only cut a long GoP type file (e.g. AVCHD/XAVC S) file with no re-encoding by starting on an I frame. It is a very useful feature provided that its method is understood.
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post #2556 of 2576 Old Yesterday, 09:13 AM
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Because the camera has a smaller sensor than you are used to and the .jpeg compression, 8MB is an adequate file size. Try printing some. No, you won't be as happy at 30"x40" prints as with your DSLRs, but up to about 11x14 you may be impressed.
I recall reading that each individual frame of the 4K video is 8 MB. Is that correct? If so, then there is no reason to take still photos while shooting video. The video already contains the 8 MB individual frames. (Which I assume can be accessed and saved in a program like Premier Pro, but I have not yet tried that.)

That is actually an important point, because Sony let's you either shoot 4K and lower resolution MP4 (dual video recording) *OR* shoot 4K and take still photos -- but NOT both. When shooting dual video, the Ax-100 will not let you shoot still photos.

But if they are already part of the 4K video, then there is no reason to shoot photos, and instead you might as well shoot dual video, so you have a video stream that you can more easily email, etc.
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post #2557 of 2576 Old Yesterday, 09:37 AM
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I recall reading that each individual frame of the 4K video is 8 MB. Is that correct? If so, then there is no reason to take still photos while shooting video. The video already contains the 8 MB individual frames. (Which I assume can be accessed and saved in a program like Premier Pro, but I have not yet tried that.)......
Yes, that is correct. The concept is not new. It has been available with the "old" HD at 60p. I'm pretty sure all common editing software does it. Lightroom is my favorite for that function.

As 4K evolves, the two "features" that I find the most compelling are the improved frame captures and improved editing possibilities.
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post #2558 of 2576 Old Yesterday, 09:44 AM
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..... you might as well shoot dual video, so you have a video stream that you can more easily email, etc.
I'm not so sure that a camera based second video for email makes sense. I've yet to get a clip that I would share with anybody that was not edited by at least a little bit. That means it will go into my editor first. (I use Premier Elements). It will then have to be saved as something. No matter what, it will be bigger than what I would clog a friend's email account with. Instead, I will upload it to YouTube, or better, Vimeo. Then I will send the link, via email, to the friend who may end up watching it on most anything they own.

Not related to your questions, but if you are as new to video as you say, a must read is Steve Stockman's "How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck".
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post #2559 of 2576 Old Yesterday, 09:46 AM
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Marty M

We did a 3 week trip to China in April and the camera was used in auto 98% of the time and in my view produced acceptable videos. The video was edited in 4K using Power Director 12 software. PD12 uses proxy editing , that way I can use a 4 year old W7 i7920, 12GB computer
Below is a short version of the trip to give you some idea..

BTW I too feel that the stabilization is mediocre when compared to cameras owned in the past, especially the Panasonic X900M, it had 5 axis correction!



Hope this helps.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sD1lwj_iGvM
Eugene





This is the video:
4K,FDR AX100,China,Viking River Cruises,Shibaozhai,Viking Emerald

Last edited by Eugene157; Yesterday at 11:05 AM.
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post #2560 of 2576 Old Yesterday, 09:54 AM
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Which is the case with Sony camcorders like the AX-100?
I don't know. You will have to try it to know what works best for you. My suspicion is that stabilization is primarily tuned to hand held shooting. When on a tripod, your video clips may be better with it off. It could also be different for long telephoto settings than wide settings.

Generally, tripod use is different with video. Any tripod works if you want to be still. A school play might be an example. But, if you want any camera motion at all, a decent tripod is big heavy and has an expensive "fluid head". Good video tripods cost more than good consumer priced camcorders.
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post #2561 of 2576 Old Yesterday, 09:58 AM
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... and the camera was used in auto 98% of the time ....
x2! I am in full agreement. Video shooting is harder than still shooting, especially for a devoted photographer. There is more to "worry" about. You don't get to pick the best photo out of a hundred tries on burst. You have to shoot well enough that all the frames look good.

Shooting on "auto" gives amateurs the best opportunity to look for light, color, motion, composition and sounds.
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post #2562 of 2576 Old Yesterday, 10:00 AM
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Shutter speeds

Do not shoot auto - the shutter speeds will be too high in bright light. Learn best practice.


Normally, you want to shoot at double the frame rate. For 4K on the AX100, that means 1/60th shutter, fixed.


Why? too fast a shutter speed and you get jerky motion; too slow and the action will be too blurry. At 1/60th you get enough blur to smooth the action in video - blur is GOOD in video. Video is not just a sequence of stills.

This means the best way to shoot is to use shutter priority mode, setting the shutter at 1/60th.

The AX100 tends to overexpose; you must then set the dial in then front to "AE Shift". That way you can turn the dial to reduce exposure relative to what the camera will choose. You should use zebras (if you do not know what zebras are, you need to read) to tell you if there are large expanses of overexposure.


Shooting good video takes effort.

In bright sunlight, 1/60th shutter will result in very small apertures (and diffraction artifacts) or overexposure. The AX100 built-in ND filters must be used. Set them to manual, and the camera amazingly will suggest to you which ND setting to use. Follow that advice. ND auto actually reduces options for ND filter use.

Shutter-priority, AE shift, manual use of ND filters are the key points in using the AX100. Do not use full auto mode.

Here two videos that used all the techniques:

https://vimeo.com/100464201

And a frame grab from the above:





https://vimeo.com/91245862
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post #2563 of 2576 Old Yesterday, 10:32 AM
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In my case at least, taking family vacation videos for decades, I have regretted many times NOT using the auto mode.
I call it the idiot proof mode.

In some cases like at night I change the settings for example reducing the gain by 3 to 6 Db to reduce noise.

Try to get a feel by looking at the video, note we had very little sun and terrible air pollution.

Gene

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sD1lwj_iGvM

Last edited by Eugene157; Yesterday at 10:59 AM. Reason: problems with video address.
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post #2564 of 2576 Old Yesterday, 11:07 AM
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Not related to your questions, but if you are as new to video as you say, a must read is Steve Stockman's "How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck".
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Shutter-priority, AE shift, manual use of ND filters are the key points in using the AX100. Do not use full auto mode.
Many thanks for the great advice. I haven't tried the manual mode with ND filters, so something else to learn before departing on a vacation. Bsprague, I ordered the book. My goal as a newbie is certainly to avoid video that sucks. I also can relate to the advice from Eugene about auto. When in a rush, auto is the fail-safe to fall back to.

If I may repeat my other question -- When shooting in dual mode, I assume that the 4K XAVC S files are in this folder structure: PRIVATE / M4ROOT / CLIP. Correct?

Those MP4 files can be copied or moved from that file structure and saved separately, just as with Canon DSLRs we all remove the raw files from the Canon file structure, and it is only the raw files that are needed for Lightroom or Photoshop. I assume these MP4 files function the same way -- and none of the other associated files need to be kept? Do the XML files serve a function for future editing in Premier Pro or Final Cut? I am assuming the XML files need NOT be saved, and editing software would recreate them? (But they are tiny so it is not a big deal to save them, I'd just like to know.)

Mark recommends Sony Movie Studio Platinum 13. I can use that on my iMac as I use boot camp to get into Windows 7. But I don't have Windows on my Macbook. Any Mac software recommendations for that? Someone mentioned Premier Elements?
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post #2565 of 2576 Old Yesterday, 11:32 AM
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Audio and auto

Another difference between shooting video and stills is that there is sound. Now, you could just obliterate the sound track in your editor and replace it with music - but what music? and how should it be sequenced with the shots? and what music can you use without violating copyright? and is that free music what you like to listen to, or more importantly, what any other viewers would like?


Better, the sounds of where you shoot video are also evocative of what you experienced. To capture those sounds best, you also need to depart from idiot mode - and set the audio levels manually. If you set the audio to manual and set the levels midway, that should serve you well. You can mostly set and forget. If you come across a heavy metal band, then you can lower the audio, using the meters the camera provides (make sure they do not go red). And yes, you could use an external mic, but that is a whole other topic.


Why not auto audio you ask? Well, what audio in auto mode does is ride the gain so that when there is a quiet scene, it ramps up the volume, and when there is noise it cuts it down. This means that if someone is speaking in a "silent" room, between sentences, or at pauses, the auto gain will pump up the background sounds, then down when there is talk. It sounds ugly. Or, when shooting flowers outside, the ambient background sounds will be very loud and unnatural. Real life sounds are dynamic, auto audio crushes those dynamics, in addition to the artifacts I mentioned.


You can shoot video like an idiot (all auto), or get used to working with the controls. Once you do, it will be relatively easy. If you depend on auto, you will always be shooting like an idiot.


Btw, if you shoot in auto mode in video, it automatically puts you in auto audio mode too. Getting great video with audio takes practice. The AX100 has a great set of controls.
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post #2566 of 2576 Old Yesterday, 11:38 AM
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Thanks markr041, I did not know that there are that many idiots around!!!

Eugene, mostly using auto, thus one of them!
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post #2567 of 2576 Old Yesterday, 11:43 AM
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Thanks markr041, I did not know that there are that many idiots around!!!

Eugene, mostly using auto, thus one of them!

No, no. Your videos show that auto mode can be ok in many circumstances. I was going with your characterization of auto as "idiot proof", so for idiots!


But seriously, I think one gets the best out of the camera by using proper technique, and shutter-priority is an auto exposure mode after all.
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post #2568 of 2576 Old Yesterday, 11:56 AM
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"When shooting in dual mode, I assume that the 4K XAVC S files are in this folder structure: PRIVATE / M4ROOT / CLIP. Correct?"

Probably, if that is where you find the big files. I don't have the camera, so I can't verify for you. My understanding is every camera can use a slightly different structure. Some say you can move a card from one camera to another and the new one will make it's file structure.

It really doesn't matter as long as you find the video files. My routine starts with Lightroom. I put the card in my computer and Lightroom finds them. I use it to copy, "catalog", rate and sort all my photos and videos. I keep separate folders for my different cameras. Once on the computer and backed up to a separate drive, then (if I am going to collect chosen video clips into a "video"), I will use Lightroom to export copies of the original, as original, to a specialized folder I create for the project.

Lightroom has the tools to make basic videos it might be a good place to start if you already know Lightroom. Follow the work patter for a "Slideshow" and use clips instead of photos. Lightroom has supported video for the last two or three versions.
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post #2569 of 2576 Old Yesterday, 12:08 PM
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"Those MP4 files can be copied or moved from that file structure and saved separately, just as with Canon DSLRs we all remove the raw files from the Canon file structure, and it is only the raw files that are needed for Lightroom or Photoshop. I assume these MP4 files function the same way -- and none of the other associated files need to be kept? Do the XML files serve a function for future editing in Premier Pro or Final Cut? I am assuming the XML files need NOT be saved, and editing software would recreate them? "

Unless for some reason I don't know about, I will assume the AX-100 funtions like other cameras and camcorders. With video there are usually extra, small files that go with the primary clips. They are used for some odd thing. For example, one Sony camera I had could function as a media player when plugged into a TV with HDMI. You could move the files to a computer, edit them and return them to the camera. I should write this in caps for emphasis, but it only worked with the limited software that came with the camera. All other software has no use for anything but the primary video clip files.

Yes, the MP4 files function like other image files from your Canons. We don't normally call them "RAW" because that has a unique meaning. Normally, we call them "original" files. Unlike photos, video often goes through a process of "rendering" or "transcoding" to get to a form a view can watch like a movie.

Again, no third party software like Lightroom, Premier of Final Cut use the extra files. (Mark, does Sony Vegas use them for anything? I would guess not, because Vegas is intended to handle footage from any camera.)
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post #2570 of 2576 Old Yesterday, 12:20 PM
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"Mark recommends Sony Movie Studio Platinum 13. I can use that on my iMac as I use boot camp to get into Windows 7. But I don't have Windows on my Macbook. Any Mac software recommendations for that? Someone mentioned Premier Elements?"

There are about 30 Non Linear Editors (NLE) on the market. Using a Mac limits you to a very few good ones. Only Adobe seems to make their software work on both PCs and Macs.

Final Cut Pro X seems to share with Premier CC for the top two spots. Recent news in the editing world was that the BBC has thrown everything else out to focus on FCP. Premier CC can only be "rented" through the Adobe Cloud program.

If you are a Photoshop/Lightroom addict you might find the $50 per month rental for the entire Adobe tool set appealing.

The third credible choice for a Mac is Adobe Premier Elements. There are new versions every year. I use the "old" version 11 on a PC and like it a lot. I've edited some borrowed 4K footage with it. I've read that this year's version 12 is good with all the 4K formats. I've read that version 13, should come on schedule in a few weeks and will be well equipped for 4K.

Video editing is a complex task. My usual suggestion is to pick one that is supposed to work on your machine and stay with it. Trying to learn enough about the various advantages of one over another can waste a lot of time.
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Well Mark, when on vacation there are many point and shoot situations, you fiddle with the camera and you are going to miss your shot. The originator of this thread said vacation and that is why I piped up. When at home or in situations that allow it, I use a tripod and try to get the best settings, even shooting a number of times with different settings, filters etc.

Unfortunately, because of the constant overcast and absence of shadows my video is not a fair example of what the camera can do.

A number of things to mention, especially with a frame rate of 30 is very very slow panning and zooming and better yet not at all.

And to transfer to the computer I never use that nutty USB dongle, using the memory card is so much faster. Never used dual mode, it uses up extra space and can be done much better later with the edited material. And shoot with BOTH hands always, preferably using the EVF and holding the camera firmly to your head.

Gene

Last edited by Eugene157; Yesterday at 12:26 PM.
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post #2572 of 2576 Old Yesterday, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by markr041 View Post
Do not shoot auto - the shutter speeds will be too high in bright light. Learn best practice.....This means the best way to shoot is to use shutter priority mode, setting the shutter at 1/60th.
.....Shutter-priority, AE shift, manual use of ND filters are the key points in using the AX100. Do not use full auto mode.
I just bought screw in filters. It is about time I try your formula on my cameras. I wrote it down!
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I just bought screw in filters. It is about time I try your formula on my cameras. I wrote it down!
I have a variable ND filter to regulate amount of light in bright environment (read: daytime outside). I select shutter speed usually to 1/48 or 1/50 for 24p and 1/60 for 30p and 60p although some say that using 1/100 for 50p or 60p produces sharper video with almost no noticeable increase in jerkiness. Maybe, but then if I conform it to 30p it becomes jerky.

I set aperture to one I like, which for my small Pana is usually F2.8, which means the widest setting that can be kept constant all the way from wide to tele. I have zebras on. The rest is left for the variable ND - I set it according to the zebras. Just one ring to rotate - nice!

But sharpness decreases quite a lot, especially with my cheaper older dustier filter. So this is not for 4K lovers ;-)
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post #2574 of 2576 Old Yesterday, 02:14 PM
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With regards to the ISO/DB settings in low light, what is the max you set the camcorder at before hitting unacceptable noise? My own tests indicated that up to 15 DB was fine, and more noise appeared at 18 or 21 DB, and over 21 there was clear noise in the video. My tests were "artificial" though, and consisted of recording a gray/red brick wall with the camera way out of focus, at various F stops. That way the noise would really show up. The noise would be less evident in a real world video.
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post #2575 of 2576 Old Today, 09:46 AM
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The AX100 tends to overexpose; you must then set the dial in then front to "AE Shift". That way you can turn the dial to reduce exposure relative to what the camera will choose. You should use zebras (if you do not know what zebras are, you need to read) to tell you if there are large expanses of overexposure
Mark, zebra is set to a default of 70. Do you leave it at 70?

Also, the manual button can be set to control either exposure or AE Shift. Do you make use of that button assignment? Or just leave it at the default, so the manual button and dial control exposure?
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post #2576 of 2576 Old Today, 12:13 PM
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Mark, zebra is set to a default of 70. Do you leave it at 70?

Also, the manual button can be set to control either exposure or AE Shift. Do you make use of that button assignment? Or just leave it at the default, so the manual button and dial control exposure?

See my discussion of shutter priority mode above: you fix shutter at 1/60th (shutter is set manual), iris is auto, gain is auto, and set the dial to AE shift. For most conditions, I set zebra at 95% - then you want no zebras showing except in small areas at best.
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