Sony 4K Handycam FDR-AX100 thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 2545 Old 01-07-2014, 05:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Since the 4K FDR-AX100 looks like the first 4K camcorder under $2,000 I think it will be very popular here so we could put all sample 4K videos in this thread. BTW I pre-ordered it from B&H yesterday.
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post #2 of 2545 Old 01-07-2014, 09:37 AM
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Unbelievable detail and this on a 2K monitor. I may actually have to order this thing.
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post #3 of 2545 Old 01-07-2014, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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post #4 of 2545 Old 01-07-2014, 10:41 AM
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Hi

If only it did 60P at 4K. As it only does 30P/24P it isn't really quite there yet in my opinion. 60P frame rates gives a realism that coupled with 4K resolutions opens a window, but with 30P it's just not really there yet to get the best out of 4K. 4K is only half the story, we need the frame rates to go with it. With 4K at 30P/24P the judder is even more noticeable due to the sharpness and detail and the fact we will want to sit closer to bigger screens to get the benefit of the resolution.

The sample video has bad judder on some of the pans, even though it is quite clear the sample video has been shot carefully to avoid fast movement or fast camera pans, but it is there and makes the 4K aspect not as stunning as it should be.

Unless you take this camcorder and shoot like it's film to avoid judder, the 30P/24P isn't going to look that good at 4K resolutions on a big screen as it should. If you are having to shot like its film to avoid judder, then one way or another that means letting motion blur, and sports action isn't going to look good. If you introduce blur to make it more comfortable with the lower frame rates, then what's the point of 4K if it means detail is lost on anything that moves?

This camcorder is just a half way house. It's Sony's attempt at getting 4K out there, they wanted 60P, of course they did, but the technology wasn't up to it.

Still even on a 1080P monitor the images look stunning (judder aside), and I would think the 1080/60P at 50Mbits/sec will capture some super footage for those still working in HD resolutions, however then the next model down is the one to go for and wait for full support of 4K.

Still it is in the right direction.

Regards

Phil
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post #5 of 2545 Old 01-07-2014, 11:07 AM
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60P is available in the professional version of the camera, so it is not as though it can't be done. It not being in this camera is probably a marketing decision. No doubt it will be in next years version however.

I imagine that the NEX cameras will have it when they update those to 4K towards the end of the year.
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post #6 of 2545 Old 01-07-2014, 11:15 AM
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Ok, had a look at it on my laptop. The quality is stunning. All old 1080p cameras are officially obsolete now IMO smile.gif
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post #7 of 2545 Old 01-07-2014, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tugela View Post

60P is available in the professional version of the camera, so it is not as though it can't be done. It not being in this camera is probably a marketing decision. No doubt it will be in next years version however.

I imagine that the NEX cameras will have it when they update those to 4K towards the end of the year.

I think it's more of a heat issue. This was apparently a challenge for Sony in this size package. 60p, at this stage, might have been tough for the processing and heat generation.
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post #8 of 2545 Old 01-07-2014, 12:47 PM
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Phil, I don't know if your TV display has an implementation of a frane doubler. This is what results in the dreaded soap opera effect with film. However, when used with video, the SOE is moot. Most newer TVs have this feature.

What I've found this does with 30p video, is to smooth out the video, making it look like 60p...almost.
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post #9 of 2545 Old 01-07-2014, 01:35 PM
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Hi

Yes frame doubling happens, but it isn't the same thing as real 60P. With modern LCD TVs 30P would not be frame doubled anyway, it would be frame quadrupled up to 120Hz (or even 240Hz) in an attempt to overcome the problems of LCDs and persistence of vision that we see as blurring on moving objects. 60P frame doubles to 120P much better than 30P to 120P of course. smile.gif

Frame interpolation is in the same realm as up-scaling, and with 4K should be a time we can leave those tricks behind.

It's odd how Sony's action cam will do 4K at 60fps, I'm guessing the viewers of that will be less critical of compression artefacts and the lens/sensor of that action cam probably doesn't resolve enough detail for it to be 4K, more like good HD in a 4K frame.

I'm sure Sony will soon have a 60fps 4K camcorder model out to supplement or replace this one, I suspect they are waiting the silicon to implement H265 and/or VP9, and the 30fps is just a limitation of the hardware and having to work with H264 Level 5.1.

Don't get me wrong the pictures are stunning, but 30fps (25fps in 50Hz land) is a step back to yesterday for some of us. Still 60P will of course arrive soon to camcorders of these types, and I can't wait.

Regards

Phil
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post #10 of 2545 Old 01-07-2014, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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It looks like low cost SDXC cards is all you need to shoot 4K with it.
Quote:
"Addition of a compact "FDR-AX100" model to Sony's consumer 4K Handycam® lineup
Approximately one quarter the size of the current "FDR-AX1" model, the "FDR-AX100" features a 14.2 effective megapixel back-illuminated 1.0-type Exmor R™ CMOS sensor, and captures images with the realism, detail and depth that only 4K can deliver, all in a compact, handheld body.
Records in the XAVC S format, enabling approximately 130 minutes of 4K video recording (when using a 64GB SDXC memory card Class 10)
In addition to recording 4K footage, the FDR-AX100 is capable of down-converting 4K images to very high quality 2K (Full HD), using the enormous amounts of data in every 4K frame for spectacular results. It also allows the user to freely select and cut out part of a 4K image to be "trimmed" and then enjoyed on a Full HD 2K TV."
http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/News/Press/201401/14-002E/index.html
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/917679-REG/sony_sf64ux_tqn_64gb_sdxc_uhs_1_memory_card.html
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post #11 of 2545 Old 01-07-2014, 01:59 PM
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Phil, the 4K of the Action Cam was apparently a misprint. It's actually only 2K.

But going back to the processing in the LED displays (and in my case I'm talking about a frame doubling in the Samsung F8500 plasma), the effect is really very very close to a true 60p. I've been amazed with 30p video coming from a cellphone (that to me was almost unwatchable due to stutter in 30p) that when processed by the TV, would make you think it was a true 60p. It really does work. I could probably live with this with the Sony until they come out with true 60p.

I was exploring an IMac as a possible purchase and there too I saw the difference. Apparently the files generated by the Mac are 30p only in IMovie. I fed the timeline 2K 60p files and generated a movie. I was a bit surprised when I saw it could only output a 30p file. Without processing, the motion had the stutter effect you expect with low frame rates, but when I turned on the frame processing, bam, it looked like normal 60p.

For me it's potentially a great stop gap since I really dislike 24 & 30p.
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post #12 of 2545 Old 01-07-2014, 01:59 PM
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Quote:

That's correct jogiba. You don't need the expensive cards necessary with its big brother.
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post #13 of 2545 Old 01-07-2014, 02:17 PM
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•Records in the XAVC S format, enabling approximately 130 minutes of 4K video recording (when using a 64GB SDXC memory card Class 10)

It isn't clear what the bit rate is from the specifications, but that amount of recording time on a 64GB card at 30p implies a maximum bit rate of 100 mbps. So, the compression would be the equivalent of 1080p30 AVCHD at 24 mbps.
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post #14 of 2545 Old 01-07-2014, 03:37 PM
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^ We just dont know how the compression efficiencies compare given this is a new format.
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post #15 of 2545 Old 01-07-2014, 05:02 PM
 
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There's no way I'm buying camera that records 4K at jst 30fps. 60fps or bust!
I'd rather save $500 and get its little brother, the HDR-CX900 which drives 1080p/60fps.

...I won't have a 4K TV for at least 3 more years (or when my Pioneer 500M brakes).
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post #16 of 2545 Old 01-08-2014, 03:16 AM
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Oh was that me that just quick clicked pre-ordered?! OMG eek.gif 4K just under 2 grand! Wow Sony first out the gate I thought it would of been Canon first with a semi prosumer 4K cam under $2K or are we to expect Canon to announce one really soon? Yes I wish the AX100 could do 4K @ 60fps, i'll take 4K 30fps for the time being:D It still can do 1080P 60fps. One issue i have though is that it does not have at least two Memory Card Slots no doubt Canon will have @ least 2 slots
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post #17 of 2545 Old 01-08-2014, 06:43 AM
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It wouldn't surprise me if heating issues is one of the issues for it to not have 2160 60p eighter. Just look at the size of the AX1 for example. Having a 20x lens is one reason why it's so big and the 2160 60p could have been another reason. If it had a 1 inch chip, the body might have had to be even bigger. Granted in the future, when technology gets better, we should see a 60p version of the AX100.

I do wonder how the manual controls are. If you can't adjust the aperture and shutter independently without issue than that right their would be a marketing move.

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post #18 of 2545 Old 01-08-2014, 07:11 AM
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As with img eL, I had a sudden finger spasm and also hit 'pre-order'. There was no other choice after seeing that video. In fact the quality looks much like its bigger brother, sans the 60p @4K.

Didn't think I'd be returning to the camcorder style. Never say never. smile.gif
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post #19 of 2545 Old 01-08-2014, 07:19 AM
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It sort of reminds me of the HC1, my first HD camcorder.

Anyway, it wouldn't surprise me if the GH 4K didn't do 60p eighter. It would be interesting comparing the 2 when it comes to the 4k video quality.

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post #20 of 2545 Old 01-08-2014, 07:47 AM
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I had the HC1 too Paulo. It was a pretty chunky cam as I recall.

I just watched the 4K Sony video on my 64" Samsung plasma and even though it was wirelessly streaming the YouTube video with occasional breakup, the PQ was utterly stunning. I can't even imagine how this will look on a true 4K display. I brought my wife in to look at it and after about 10 seconds she said "WOW!".

She couldn't understand how 4K could look better than our HD cam when it's only displayed on a 2K display. I admit to having trouble explaining that one. wink.gif

I agree, I'd be surprised if the GH4 has 4K @60p. I think at this stage there's just too much heat generation in relatively small bodies. I agree though, it would be really fun to compare the two with 4K.
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post #21 of 2545 Old 01-08-2014, 08:12 AM
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I wonder why Sony stuck with h.264 and didn't move on to h.265. Isn't H.265 supposed to be more efficient?
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post #22 of 2545 Old 01-08-2014, 08:54 AM
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Hi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

I had the HC1 too Paulo. It was a pretty chunky cam as I recall.

I just watched the 4K Sony video on my 64" Samsung plasma and even though it was wirelessly streaming the YouTube video with occasional breakup, the PQ was utterly stunning. I can't even imagine how this will look on a true 4K display. I brought my wife in to look at it and after about 10 seconds she said "WOW!".

She couldn't understand how 4K could look better than our HD cam when it's only displayed on a 2K display. I admit to having trouble explaining that one. wink.gif

I agree, I'd be surprised if the GH4 has 4K @60p. I think at this stage there's just too much heat generation in relatively small bodies. I agree though, it would be really fun to compare the two with 4K.

It simply looks better at 2K due to less compression relative to the resolution (and size) it is being displayed at and the content is carefully chosen to show the best demo. Once 4K is mainstream and bit-rates have been reduced to the absolute minimum for broadcasters and streaming companies to save costs, and that is then shown full resolution on a large 4K display it will not look quite as good! Your wife will probably say exactly the same when she sees 8K content on your 4K TV. That super image and detail you see now on the 2K panel is what we should all be seeing anyway if it wasn't for compression.

Essentially where streaming and broadcasting any resolution, be it SD, HD or UHD, the actual picture detail that is resolved is nowhere near the level the pixels allow.

A trick I use in the UK to demonstrate this is switching my PVR HDMI output on a braodcast HD channel to 576P so downscaling to standard definition. You can't tell the difference sometimes. But compare that to the same simulcast SD channel and the improvement in the downscaled HD to SD is a million times better than the actual SD channel and so still looks HD in comparison. If we watch a Blu-ray movie and go back to a so called broadcast HD channel it looks dreadful after seeing real HD. This means the SD channel is of course resolving no where near the detail it is capable of, and as they use MPEG2 reduced down to around 3Mbits/sec, it should be no surprise. However the vast majority of the population don't realise they are being sold short, and quantity, not quality, is what drives broadcasting and streaming. Streaming and broadcasting of 4K will just achieve something similar to what we see now on a decent transfer of content to a HD Blu-ray disc.

Camcorders that use decent bit-rates at 4K are possibly the only way most people will get to see on their own 4K TVs the true ability of 4K outside of a technology exhibition or demo.

Regards

Phil
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post #23 of 2545 Old 01-08-2014, 09:50 AM
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I hear ya Phil. I knew the technicalities, but my wife's eyes glaze over when I begin explanations like that. You also have to add the fact that depending on your source provider (Directv, cable etc.) they may have to do an mpeg4>mpeg2 conversion...or the reverse. I used to have FIOS, but we're in an area now that they don't serve. So I went with Directv and some channels were better on FIOS than D* and some are better on D* than FIOS. Generally, where the 'premium' movie channels originate as mpeg4, which is what D* uses for their compression, those channels look better. However for the broadcast channels that originate as mpeg2, D* must do the mpeg2>mpeg4 conversion and those channels look a bit worse. Of course this doesn't take into account differences in bitrates.

I remember the first days of HD broadcasting and how good the PQ was back then. CBS broadcast some stunning imagery as did HDNet. But as time went on and bandwidth decreased due to multicasting and other factors, PQ diminished. It's sad that our best HD days are behind us. What's just as bad is the fact that content is moving away from hard discs and toward streaming.

I agree, the best 4K we see may well be that which originates from our own sources like camcorders.
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post #24 of 2545 Old 01-08-2014, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross 
I remember the first days of HD broadcasting and how good the PQ was back then. CBS broadcast some stunning imagery as did HDNet. But as time went on and bandwidth decreased due to multicasting and other factors, PQ diminished. It's sad that our best HD days are behind us. What's just as bad is the fact that content is moving away from hard discs and toward streaming.

I agree, the best 4K we see may well be that which originates from our own sources like camcorders.

I agree with this absolutely. Also kind of makes one wonder, if we were still seeing the best that HD is capable of, how much would that temper the enthusiasm for 4k which some people might then argue was not necessary? It is strange that 4k viewed on HD looks better, but at that point, it's still HD that's being watched. But truly sad how regular old HD programming has declined in quality. I remember those early days of HDNet as well, when they didn't have graphic overlays available, but the imagery was stunning.

As regards to cameras, we've already reached the point with 4k, that to maintain the qualities of low light performance in particular, that sensor sizes have to be large, which has caused the industry to move away from 3 chip and into single sensor bayer pattern chips. Before 8k can flourish, technical breakthroughs will be needed in order to maintain the current DR and sensitivity in practical sensor sizes. I tend to think at that point (8k) the practical limits will have matured, and the resolution race ended, pretty much as has already happened with DSLRs in still photography.

Many people have observed only slight benefits from 4k resolution (on 4k displays), and the industry responds with ever larger displays, where the benefit can be truly realized. But I think the biggest frustration for 4k camera enthusiasts would be the difficulty presented by viewing it on their own UHD sets. We've moved away from optical formats, we've created new codecs (HEVC) and the big content providers would prefer you stream everything. Hooking up a camcorder directly to a tv's HDMI port has never been very satisfactory, but the conventional alternative solutions (for 4k) like playstation have abandoned support for personal UHD content, some Sony UHD tvs themselves seem loathe to play anything that doesn't stream or originate from an X1, perhaps even DRP is playing a role with HDMI to thwart alternative methods of UHD playback on some UHDs. Only Panasonic at this point seems to embrace h.264 decoding of 4k content, ironic that from the company that has yet to introduce any 4k cameras.

It would have to suck to be a 4k wedding videographer. How would they deliver their content? Here it is, you can stream it from YouTube or Netflix? I tend to think UHD has arrived too early. It's certainly here. People will buy it.

Sorry for the long post, but I had one anecdote to share, my niece was playing FM the radio on a CD boombox. I said, "imagine if you could press a button and record your favorite tunes for free, right off the airwaves. Wouldn't that be cool?" <-- "Oh yes! Wow!" Of course never mind that was a feature we left behind years ago when we quit using cassette tapes.
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post #25 of 2545 Old 01-08-2014, 02:01 PM
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The reason the AX100 does not have a 4K 60p mode is absolutely an issue of HEAT, as opposed to protecting other products in the lineup (at least on this occasion).

I own the much larger FDR-AX1, and it has, and absolutely requires, a cooling fan. When running in even just an average warm environment, the exhaust air is very, very hot.

For the record, the AX1 feels like a production prototype in terms of firmware & functionality (build quality is fine, although how long the little fan will last is questionable). The dual SD card slots don't even work yet (listed as "future use" in the "engrish" manual), and when running in auto-exposure mode, someone forgot to allow the dial to be set for AE over-ride. Oooops!!! The camera has absolutely no extra features at all. Nothing. Maybe there will be a future firmware upgrade, but Sony isn't known for those. Dump & run is their preferred strategy. Would never have bought it, except I'm going on a bucket list trip in a few weeks, and it feels like the extra resolution over HD will be worth it.

Hopefully, the AX100 has moved things forward a bit, cause the AX1 definitely "ain't it".
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post #26 of 2545 Old 01-08-2014, 02:09 PM
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You might not see a huge difference on something like a 40 inch TV at normal viewing distances, but you definitely will see the difference on a monitor, which typically are viewed at a much closer range.

I was looking at the 4K TV screens at the local electronics store the other day, and on a 55 inch screen the difference is noticeable as well. The 1080p 55 inch screens showed obvious jagged edges, since the pixel size is large enough to be resolved visually at viewing ranges.

Broadcast HD of course is never going to do a modern TV justice since the bandwidth is just too low for that. The real reason for a 4K TV is for viewing packaged content, such as DVD (or whatever media is used to store 4K files in the future) or camcorder/camera output.
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post #27 of 2545 Old 01-08-2014, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeeHex905 View Post

The reason the AX100 does not have a 4K 60p mode is absolutely an issue of HEAT, as opposed to protecting other products in the lineup (at least on this occasion).

I own the much larger FDR-AX1, and it has, and absolutely requires, a cooling fan. When running in even just an average warm environment, the exhaust air is very, very hot.

For the record, the AX1 feels like a production prototype in terms of firmware & functionality (build quality is fine, although how long the little fan will last is questionable). The dual SD card slots don't even work yet (listed as "future use" in the "engrish" manual), and when running in auto-exposure mode, someone forgot to allow the dial to be set for AE over-ride. Oooops!!! The camera has absolutely no extra features at all. Nothing. Maybe there will be a future firmware upgrade, but Sony isn't known for those. Dump & run is their preferred strategy. Would never have bought it, except I'm going on a bucket list trip in a few weeks, and it feels like the extra resolution over HD will be worth it.

Hopefully, the AX100 has moved things forward a bit, cause the AX1 definitely "ain't it".

Buying one of the first cameras on the market with a new technology is always going to a problem because teething issues will be numerous. In a year or two things will settle down as manufacturers address the practicality aspect, right now their main objective is to be in the game or lose out to the competition. The primary near term issues are going to be the cooling solution and bandwidth/storage limitations IMO.
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post #28 of 2545 Old 01-08-2014, 02:53 PM
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IMO, frame rate is more important than pixel density. Unless one wants to shoot movies (for which 24p is still a must), a camera must shoot at full 60fps progressive (hopefully, with 4K interlaced will die for good). I don't care that it is 4K, but I do care that it is only 30p. Upsampling to 60p is a gimmick, and does not add real info. I tried watching formula One ripped into 30p upsampled to 60p - it breaks apart, too much movement. At every step of the technology race this gimmick was ultimately replaced with actual frames, be it first-gen JVC 30p HDV cam or 30p AVCHD Lite or JVC's interlaced-only cams with 60p output via HDMI. It was a stop-gap solution then, and it is a stop-gap solution now.

Also, AFIK the Kuro does not have frame rate upsampler a.k.a. "soap opera effect" ;-)
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post #29 of 2545 Old 01-08-2014, 03:20 PM
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post #30 of 2545 Old 01-08-2014, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

IMO, frame rate is more important than pixel density. Unless one wants to shoot movies (for which 24p is still a must), a camera must shoot at full 60fps progressive (hopefully, with 4K interlaced will die for good). I don't care that it is 4K, but I do care that it is only 30p. Upsampling to 60p is a gimmick, and does not add real info. I tried watching formula One ripped into 30p upsampled to 60p - it breaks apart, too much movement. At every step of the technology race this gimmick was ultimately replaced with actual frames, be it first-gen JVC 30p HDV cam or 30p AVCHD Lite or JVC's interlaced-only cams with 60p output via HDMI. It was a stop-gap solution then, and it is a stop-gap solution now.

Also, AFIK the Kuro does not have frame rate upsampler a.k.a. "soap opera effect" ;-)

The Kuro is old. Most TVs today have some form of frame rate increase. I'm totally unconcerned about a lack of information as the result of 30p. If the videos I've seen, shot at 30p, demonstrate a lack of information, I'll take that lack of info every time. The promo video is the most detailed video I've ever seen on my monitor or plasma. It's utterly stunning.

Sure I'd prefer 60p, no doubt about it. But with the frame rate doubling on my Samsung, it's no gimmick, it makes 30p look essentially like 60p. Stuttery movement becomes smooth. I've seen it with my 30p videos from my cellphone and 30p output from a Mac. Add to that my shooting style does not consist of whip pans or shooting sports, so no real issues there either.

We shall see. If it doesn't measure up, I'll return it. But based on what I've seen, I think I'll be very pleased to shoot with this kind of unprecedented detail...even when displayed on an 'old fashioned' 2K HDTV. wink.gif
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