BMPC-4K Video - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 61 Old 01-09-2014, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
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There are just a few examples posted to the world from this unreleased camera. But, unlike Sony, BMC has made available original footage from the camera (4K Pro Res HQ at 880Mbps, 10-bit 4:2:2) for download.

I downloaded some clips, shot by the CEO of Black Magic Design, graded them in Resolve and output a video at 1920x1080. I could have made a 4K video to upload, but then your HD viewing devices would have to downsample it anyway and my software can do it better. Only if you actually have a 4K viewing device are you missing anything. Why did I do this? Because once again, most of the "grades" of this material that have been posted were terrible, lacking color or with bizarre colors.

Here is what I uploaded to Youtube:



Obviously, select 1080p.

Now, how does this sample video compare to the official Sony 4K Youtube sample?

First some comments on that video, and sample videos in general: Sony chose relatively low dynamic range shots and what I would call some cheap shots - close ups of flowers and fruits, for example: Any decent HD camcorder will do those well as they have little detail. Shots with shallow DOF are also cheap shots that almost always look good. It is why those DSLRs, with horrible resolution, can produce good looking video. Close-ups with shallow dof almost always look good. Tricks I also used when shooting video with P&S cameras and the Canon EOS M.

But, when you just look at the highly detailed, non close up shots, the Sony does fine. But so does the BMPC-4K. Lots of detail (and one very high contrast shot to look at as well, not seen in the Sony video).

The key difference is the control one has in post with the BMPC-4K video. Not enough color pizzaz for you, or too colorful? - I can up or lower the saturation with no cost. Not sharp enough (the camera does no sharpening - you can bet the Sony does)? - I can increase the sharpness a lot with no halos. Whatever you taste - more contrast, more color, more sharpness, I can do it, and without much work. Computers can alter video better than camera processors, and the 10-bit, 4:2:2 sampling with high dynamic range and high bitrates gives you lots of latitude.

And this is without shooting RAW (no samples of that yet), which ups the ante even more for resolution and color.

Does this make the BMPC-4K a better choice than the Sony 4K camcorder for UHD shooting? Not necessarily, as the former needs a lot more effort, and is bulkier and more expensive. And the Sony 4K video looks good, even for those non cheap shots.
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post #2 of 61 Old 01-09-2014, 07:44 PM
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Mark, to be perfectly honest I think the Sony looks better than this. I really do. No oddball colors (greenish skies etc.) and it has tons of detail which I think either match or surpass what I'm seeing here.

I also disagree about the characterization of 'cheap shots'. There are several wide angle shots in the Sony video and it was those that impressed me the most. Frankly I see more detail in those than in the BMPCC 4K video above. I think the differences are pretty obvious IMO. I think the video you posted is very good, but I don't think it's as good as what I've seen in the Sony. The fact that Sony didn't release 'original' footage is nothing new and nothing sinister. I don't think it's usually Sony's policy to release original footage.

As for the close ups, almost every camera's promo shots I've ever seen prior to release (from consumer to prosumer to professional) have close ups with shallow DOF. In the case of the Sony I'd suspect it was done to show the beautiful color (without any work I might add).

Remember too we have no idea what the dynamic range of the Sony is (forgetting the fact that I think this is such an overdone characteristic). I've seen many blown areas in BMPCC scenes. I've said many times to our mutual friend how megabuck professional cameras as well as most Hollywood movies have blown skies, windows etc. It's done because most of the time there simply isn't the need for excessive dynamic range when you are drawing the audience's attention to the subject.

Also, the Sony is using a new codec that should be quite a bit better than the HD AVCHD. Time will tell.

Of course the Sony will also have built-in OIS, an OLED VF and a far more ergonomic style than the BM.

The only thing I'll say is that, IMO, and almost every comment I've read across the internet agreed, the Sony promo video looked utterly superb and that was without color grading (as far as I know). Having seen their promotional video from the RX10, most owners know they can and have produced results that were quite a bit better than the RX10 promo video. So I don't think Sony's promo video will be the best video we'll see from the AX100.
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post #3 of 61 Old 01-09-2014, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
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"Mark, to be perfectly honest I think the Sony looks better than this. I really do. No oddball colors (greenish skies etc.) and it has tons of detail which I think surpass what I'm seeing here.

I also disagree about the characterization of 'cheap shots'. There are several wide angle shots in the Sony video and it was those that impressed me the most."

There are cheap shots and there are wide shots in the Sony video. I am not sure what you are disagreeing with (a close up of a rose is uninformative (a cheap shot)). The wide shots are fine, and that is what is telling about the gains from UHD. But there are cheap shots.

"Frankly I see more detail in those than in the BMPCC 4K video above."

As I said, it is not possible to make a judgment since one can sharpen as much as one likes. And, we really need a shootout with the same subject matter at the same time, as I know you agree with.

"I think the differences are pretty obvious IMO. I think the video you posted is very good, but I don't think it's as good as what I've seen in the Sony. The fact that Sony didn't release 'original' footage is nothing new and nothing sinister. I don't think it's usually Sony's policy to release original footage."

It is not sinister; it is just not informative. And withholding information cannot be defended. Also, what exactly is the sampling? is it 10-bit? 8-bit? 4:2:2? 4:2:0? Why does Sony not say? It is not sinister to withhold information, but it is not to be forgiven or defended. Times have changed.

"As for the close ups, almost every camera's promo shots I've ever seen prior to release (from consumer to prosumer to professional) have close ups with shallow DOF. In the case of the Sony I'd suspect it was done to show the beautiful color (much better than I've seen in almost any video from the BMPCC and without any work)."

Yes, most videos have close ups, as I said. They are always beautiful and impressive, no matter which camera. So they are used to seduce buyers. They are just not informative about resolution or the gains from UHD. I agree they can be there to show color, but color has nothing to do with resolution (the number of pixels and thus the benefits from going to UHD). It is important to know about color though in choosing the camera. The colors look good.

"Remember too we have no idea what the dynamic range of the Sony is (forgetting the fact that I think this is such an overdone characteristic). I've seen many blown areas in BMPCC scenes. Many."

The fact that there are blown highlights in any video is uninformative about camera dynamic range. There is simply no question that the dynamic range of BMCx cameras is higher than from Sony consumer cameras. I agree that this is emphasized too much. But we do have an idea what the dynamic range is for the new Sony - we know that the sensor is the same as the RX10 and the RX100 II, and the dynamic range is known. This is not conclusive, of course. But why do we not know for sure? because Sony does not tell us. Sony is again withholding relevant information: no original video, no full specs. BMC reveals everything. There is no need to defend Sony's traditional practice. Sony is innovating way more now than they did in this area - they have really changed their practice from their deliberately slow-paced advances. But they are still acting like Chinese officials in controlling information, likely only revealing that which makes them look good.

Worse are the internet "journalists" who do not ask Sony (or any reps) hard questions in the posted interviews. Why do we not see them ask - "what exactly is the color sampling? what exactly is the dynamic range?" And if they did ask, do you think a Sony rep would answer? No.

"I've said many times to our mutual friend how megabuck professional cameras as well as most Hollywood movies have blown skies, windows etc. It's done because most of the time there simply isn't the need for excessive dynamic range when you are drawing the audience's attention to the subject. "

I agree, but that does not say anything about which camera has greater dynamic range.

"Also, the Sony is using a new codec that should be quite a bit better than the HD AVCHD. Time will tell."

I think you are right.

"Of course the Sony will also have built-in OIS, an OLED VF and a far more ergonomic style than the BM."

Absolutely.

"The only thing I'll say is that, IMO, and almost every comment I've read across the internet agreed, the Sony promo video looked utterly superb and that was without color grading (as far as I know)."

I am sure there was no color grading, because that would have reduced visibly the quality. The codec used, and the sampling, cannot take color grading. That is the price for the heavy compression, and the likely low color info. It must be correct from the camera or there will be problems. Everyone praises the BMPC videos too, and some are just awful (as we agree). I think many people see what they want to see.

"Having seen their promotional video from the RX10, most owners know they can and have produced results that were quite a bit better than the RX10 promo video. So I don't think Sony's promo video will be the best video we'll see from the AX100."

I agree.
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post #4 of 61 Old 01-09-2014, 08:55 PM
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There are cheap shots and there are wide shots in the Sony video. I am not sure what you are disagreeing with (a close up of a rose is uninformative (a cheap shot)). The wide shots are fine, and that is what is telling about the gains from UHD. But there are cheap shots.

As I said, I think these are shots merely to demonstrate some beautiful color. Nothing more nothing less and used with virtually any promotional video from any camera I've ever seen.
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As I said, it is not possible to make a judgment since one can sharpen as much as one likes. And, we really need a shootout with the same subject matter at the same time, as I know you agree with.

If there's any sharpening going on in the video, it's subtle as the tell tale signs of any significant sharpening just aren't there. But yes, I'd love to see an A/B from these. I'd also like to see a comparison of the cost and effort to get good looking videos from the BM. You know my feeling about RAW, but that's another subject. wink.gif
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It is not sinister; it is just not informative. And withholding information cannot be defended. Also, what exactly is the sampling? is it 10-bit? 8-bit? 4:2:2? 4:2:0? Why does Sony not say? It is not sinister to withhold information, but it is not to be forgiven or defended. Times have changed.

Mark, to be honest I worry less about the original footage since if the YouTube looks this good, I can say with almost 100% certainty, the original will look better. Just as I said, the Sony promo video from the RX10 looked good, the actual original videos are much better.
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Yes, most videos have close ups, as I said. They are always beautiful and impressive, no matter which camera. So they are used to seduce buyers. They are just not informative about resolution or the gains from UHD. I agree they can be there to show color, but color has nothing to do with resolution (the number of pixels and thus the benefits from going to UHD). It is important to know about color though in choosing the camera. The colors look good.
As I'm sure you'll agree, every shot isn't intended to show a resolution advantage. Some may be there to show a color advantage as the result of an expanded color space.
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The fact that there are blown highlights in any video is uninformative about camera dynamic range. There is simply no question that the dynamic range of BMCx cameras is higher than from Sony consumer cameras. I agree that this is emphasized too much. But we do have an idea what the dynamic range is for the new Sony - we know that the sensor is the same as the RX10 and the RX100 II, and the dynamic range is known. This is not conclusive, of course. But why do we not know for sure? because Sony does not tell us. Sony is again withholding relevant information: no original video, no full specs. BMC reveals everything. There is no need to defend Sony's traditional practice. Sony is innovating way more now than they did in this area - they have really changed their practice from their deliberately slow-paced advances. But they are still acting like Chinese officials in controlling information, likely only revealing that which makes them look good.

Mark, I think you're being a bit 'conspiratorial' about all of this. This has almost always been Sony's MO. You may not like it, but it is what it is. I frankly care less about what they're withholding and more about PQ. If the PQ looks superb, I get less concerned about whether it's 8 bit or 10 bit. It's the end result that is inevitably what earns my $$$, not the data sheet.
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"I've said many times to our mutual friend how megabuck professional cameras as well as most Hollywood movies have blown skies, windows etc. It's done because most of the time there simply isn't the need for excessive dynamic range when you are drawing the audience's attention to the subject. "

I agree, but that does not say anything about which camera has greater dynamic range.

Here's my take on this. I'm very happy with the results from the RX10. I could count on one hand the number of scenes where I looked and said "Damn, I wish I had 3 more stops of dynamic range". The AX100 should be at least as good, likely better with the new codec. I don't anticipate any worries here. Dynamic range is only one aspect of PQ and frankly I'll take excellent, effortless color, over a couple of more stops of dynamic range every day of the week.
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"Also, the Sony is using a new codec that should be quite a bit better than the HD AVCHD. Time will tell."

I think you are right.

"Of course the Sony will also have built-in OIS, an OLED VF and a far more ergonomic style than the BM."

Absolutely.

"The only thing I'll say is that, IMO, and almost every comment I've read across the internet agreed, the Sony promo video looked utterly superb and that was without color grading (as far as I know)."

I am sure there was no color grading, because that would have reduced visibly the quality. The codec used, and the sampling, cannot take color grading. That is the price for the heavy compression, and the likely low color info. It must be correct from the camera or there will be problems. Everyone praises the BMPC videos too, and some are just awful (as we agree). I think many people see what they want to see.

"Having seen their promotional video from the RX10, most owners know they can and have produced results that were quite a bit better than the RX10 promo video. So I don't think Sony's promo video will be the best video we'll see from the AX100."

I agree.

Agreed. smile.gif
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post #5 of 61 Old 01-09-2014, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
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This is a good discussion. Just one point: the color sampling and bitrate issues are mostly relevant to whether or not one can successfully color grade the video. If one is not interested in that, and happy with the OOC colors and white balance and exposure, then it is not very important.

It is odd that Sony does not reveal this info, and one does not need to be conspiratorial to surmise it is because they will be criticized for what the specs are and why they in fact do not choose the higher color sampling. True conspiratorial types will believe it is because Sony does not want to undermine their more-profitable sales of pro cameras. But I do not know anything about the motivation for being uninformative.
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post #6 of 61 Old 01-10-2014, 12:26 AM
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It would be this http://www.photographyblog.com/news/sony_4k_handycam_fdr_ax100e/ Sony for me,good footage without having to PLAY with it every time,if DSLRS have horrible resolution so does most normal HD,my EOS M has as much as the previous GH2.
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post #7 of 61 Old 01-10-2014, 01:16 AM
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Keep in mind that you can still use an external recorder if uncompressed output is what you want.
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post #8 of 61 Old 01-10-2014, 04:57 AM
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This is a good discussion. Just one point: the color sampling and bitrate issues are mostly relevant to whether or not one can successfully color grade the video. If one is not interested in that, and happy with the OOC colors and white balance and exposure, then it is not very important.

It is odd that Sony does not reveal this info, and one does not need to be conspiratorial to surmise it is because they will be criticized for what the specs are and why they in fact do not choose the higher color sampling. True conspiratorial types will believe it is because Sony does not want to undermine their more-profitable sales of pro cameras. But I do not know anything about the motivation for being uninformative.

Mark, like you, I wouldn't pretend to know Sony's motivation for not releasing all the specs. I do believe that regardless of what the specs are, Sony does run the risk of undermining some of the sales of their higher priced 4K cam. Some have even speculated that with the larger imager in the AX100, it's PQ might even be better. Who knows at this point.

However back to your point, I most definitely fall in the category of being very satisfied with the OOC color. Honestly Mark, I still think your best, most consistent color results came from your EOS. I really believe that. So yes, bitrate and color sampling are not as important to me. In fact, it often amuses me how much effort people expend with RAW, to simply get back to the quality of what a good camera would give them without all this extra effort. As you and I know, they seldom succeed. To my eyes, the best most people can hope for with RAW (assuming they're not after the 'stylistic' amber videos wink.gif) is to just have color look as good as properly WB'd OOC footage (forgetting dynamic range).

Amusingly, judging from so much of the weird color I see with RAW, you can get much the same look by using one of the color 'styles' that cameras like the Sony and others offer. As you know, I stay away from those like the plague. Of course doing it that way bakes in the look, but judging from what I typically see with RAW shooters, would they really care?

Finally, a camera like the RX10 has an uncompressed output if one wishes to take it to the next level and bypass AVCHD. For those that don't mind carrying an external recorder and losing 60p, it's a viable option. For me, judging from the results I see, I don't think it's worth it. But If you're shooting style is such that you're likely to show the limitations of AVCHD, it's there.
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post #9 of 61 Old 01-10-2014, 05:03 AM
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Keep in mind that you can still use an external recorder if uncompressed output is what you want.

We're thinking alike here. smile.gif
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post #10 of 61 Old 01-10-2014, 06:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Keep in mind that you can still use an external recorder if uncompressed output is what you want.

But we do not know the specs of that output - is it 10-bit or 8-bit? 4:2:2 or 4:2:0? External recorders usually record at 4:2:2 and 10-bit, but they will do that no matter what the output is (even if it is 8-bit and 4:2:0). No consumer cam or camcorder I know of, including the GH3, output 10-bit 4:2:2. It could be the new Sony does, but of course Sony does not reveal this definitively.
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post #11 of 61 Old 01-10-2014, 11:28 AM
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Worse are the internet "journalists" who do not ask Sony (or any reps) hard questions in the posted interviews. Why do we not see them ask - "what exactly is the color sampling? what exactly is the dynamic range?" And if they did ask, do you think a Sony rep would answer? No.
I tried asking direct questions on an industry show and on another forum. Was quickly booted from the forum and they started to ignore my questions on the show.
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post #12 of 61 Old 01-10-2014, 11:28 AM
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The Canon XA-25 definitely does 4:2:2 output (they say so on their website). I imagine that the XA-20 and G30 do as well, since those are essentially the same camera with a few less external interfaces and controls. The 2013 model consumer cameras use the same processer, so they likely do as well. They don't say if it is 8 or 10 bits though. It doesn't matter too much though since you would edit in 16 or 32 bits anyway, followed by conversion back to 8 bits for delivery. The main thing to avoid excessive artifacts is to work with uncompressed data.

I believe Ken mentioned in another thread that it has been shown that the R10 outputs as 4:2:2 as well.

It makes sense that modern cameras would do this since they would output the data stream prior to compression for storage (otherwise the processor would have to do double duty while recording, since it would have to be decompressed for live view).
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post #13 of 61 Old 01-10-2014, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Let's not use "someone said that someone said" on the internet as evidence. There is nothing that indicates the Sony 4K outputs 10-bit 4:2:2. You would need special equipment to test that, or company specs. And a production camera, not a prototype.

It is good to know the top Canon prosumer camcorders do it.

And 10-bit, 4:2:2 does matter if you are editing; that is the whole point. Mucking around with video that has more color information can result in better output than an original 8-bit. Conversely, editing with less information(8-bit) can result in poor output.

You are ignoring color artifacts, like blooming - it is not just "compression" artifacts like macroblocking.

I guess everyone has their thing as to what is important. It's all important: dynamic range, color resolution, overall resolution, lack of compression artifacts.

The move to 4K is a jump up in only one dimension. RAW video gives you a jump up in four areas: more color information, more dynamic range, less compression artifacts, and more real resolution (closer to the 1080 spec). 4K RAW; well, that is ....
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post #14 of 61 Old 01-10-2014, 05:20 PM
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The move to 4K is a jump up in only one dimension.

Not necessarily. The 4K standard comes with an expanded color gamut not available in HD. Even if a 2K camera advertised an expanded color gamut, it would mean little since anything beyond Rec709 would be nothing more than extrapolation and the production of colors that were never called for. 4K actually does allow for colors we've never seen in 2K HD.
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Well, most of these cameras use HDMI for their output, and the HDMI specification up to version 1.4 does not support 4:2:0 (version 2.0 does support it, but I don't think that many devices have implemented that yet). It only supports 4:2:2 and 4:4:4. So, I am guessing that all of these cameras are outputting 4:2:2 as processed raw if they use a precompression data stream. The only difference is that with RAW you are doing the processing after it has left the camera. But at the end, if you do the same thing as the camera would have done, you should end up with more or less the same result.
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"The 4K standard comes with an expanded color gamut not available in HD."

Please explain. I do not understand this, and I am sure most others do not. What does this mean? What is the source for this? I have not seen any reference to this anywhere, which is why I am interested, as I am sure others are.
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post #17 of 61 Old 01-10-2014, 06:57 PM
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" I do not understand this, and I am sure most others do not. "

As a matter of fact, I'm not understanding much of anything I'm reading lately! I'm quite confused except for it seems picture quality is destined to improve somehow.
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post #18 of 61 Old 01-10-2014, 09:05 PM
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One of the much touted benefits of 4k is improved color. It's mentioned in many blurbs on 4k. Rec709 is the HD standard for color and is replaced by an expanded color gamut that offers color points beyond Rec709. I've forgotten what the new standard is called

Now I'm not sure if the below reference from the Sony AX100 site addresses the true expanded color points allowed in the UHD standard, or it's some proprietary marketing speak.

"The supports Sony’s “TRILUMINOS Color,” allowing you to view photos and movies in rich, natural colors on any TV equipped with a “TRILUMINOS Display.” The expanded color gamut lets you immerse yourself once again in those unforgettably colorful moments, from the complex shades in a shimmering blue sky to the natural tones of a rosy complexion."
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One of the much touted benefits of 4k is improved color. It's mentioned in many blurbs on 4k. Rec709 is the HD standard for color and is replaced by an expanded color gamut that offers color points beyond Rec709. I've forgotten what the new standard is called
It is a ITU Recommendation called Rec.2020 that is not supported in any equipment yet.
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Now I'm not sure if the below reference from the Sony AX100 site addresses the true expanded color points allowed in the UHD standard, or it's some proprietary marketing speak.

"The supports Sony’s “TRILUMINOS Color,” allowing you to view photos and movies in rich, natural colors on any TV equipped with a “TRILUMINOS Display.” The expanded color gamut lets you immerse yourself once again in those unforgettably colorful moments, from the complex shades in a shimmering blue sky to the natural tones of a rosy complexion."
Sony’s “TRILUMINOS Color,” has nothing to do with expanded color space or Rec.2020, but is Sony's Marketing name for Quantum Dot technology used in LED illumination for TVs, which Sony has licensed from QD Vision and gives a better color reproduction from the LEDs.

Sony will continue using the TRILUMINOS marketing name in their 2014 model TVs, even though they have for the time being dropped the Quantum-dot Tech and its better color reproduction.
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post #20 of 61 Old 01-12-2014, 02:49 AM
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Hi
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Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

I tried asking direct questions on an industry show and on another forum. Was quickly booted from the forum and they started to ignore my questions on the show.

If a manufacturer avoids an answer it is always because it is one we don't want to here. I'm not sure they will go as far as providing 4.2.2 on a consumer aimed camcorder. The Sony AX100 is an interesting camera but at bit rates of 60Mbits/sec using H264 it isn't going to be 4K, just something better than 1080P in a 4K frame. The BMPC-4K is capturing 4.2.2 to Pro-Res at 800Mbits/sec, you can't compare the Sony AX100 to the BMPC-4K, the differences when seen on a large 4K panel will be noticeable. The amount of picture detail discarded to get 4K into 60Mbits/sec will hit you in the face.

If you look at the the Sony PXW-Z100 HD 4K camcorder which is better comparison to the BMPC-4K camera and it is recording at much higher bit-rates than the AX100 and does 600Mbits/sec for 60P and 300Mbits/sec for 30P. Compared to the lowly 60Mbits/sec for the AX100 at 4K, it is looking more like a toy 4K camera than anything else.

Once Sony has a 4K consumer handy-cam that shoots 60fps at realistic bit-rates to have a chance of actually capturing something approaching 4K of info, it will be worth looking at or comparing to more professional cameras.

In terms of Sony's 4K demo clip on YouTube, take what you are watching with a pinch of salt, for a start it is a demo, and I agree with Mark it is very carefully shot and doesn't contain anything challenging. Notice the asterisk against the resolution, what is that a get out clause for? Could it be we are missing a footnote that says: * Captured from the AX-100 HDMI output to an external encoder and shows the quality of the lens and sensor only

4K at 60Mbits/sec (the equivalent of 15Mbits/sec for each 1920x1080 quadrant) is just a toy where 4K is concerned.

Regards

Phil
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post #21 of 61 Old 01-12-2014, 04:16 AM
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We cannot just compare bit rates of 2 very different H.264 codecs. The Z100's codec is Intra frame based while the AX100's codec is GOP based. A fairer comparison is against the AX1 that also uses a GOP based codec. 2160 / 30p is 100Mbps for the highest setting and 60Mbps for the lower setting. With that said, it would be nice if Sony offered a 100Mbps setting for the AX100. It's a given that people will try to hack the GH 4K camera. No guarantee of being successful but we'll see. Hopefully they also try hacking the AX100 as well.
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post #22 of 61 Old 01-12-2014, 06:31 AM
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Yes I've ignored the Intra and GOP and that makes them different. Still 60Mbits/sec is not much for 4K even if with a long GOP and that just means the quality can be variable depending on the footage shot. Fast moving action or complex scenes are going to struggle with longer GOPs where more I frames are going to be wanted to keep the quality and there will not be the bit-rate available for that.

For a start Sony are offering 50Mbits/sec HD long GOP recording on the camera, but only allowing an extra 10Mbits/sec for 4 times the resolution. It does not compute biggrin.gif I'd want to see 120Mbits/sec min for 4K at 30P. There is no point in 4K if 50% of the resolution gets lost in visually lossy compression for anything except the most "easy on the codec" scenes.

This is Sony trying to get in first by rushing out a consumer 4K camera, this is good, it starts the competition, but as always with the first, it has come with a few compromises. I'm looking forward to the AX200 though.

Regards

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post #23 of 61 Old 01-12-2014, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Philip_L View Post

Hi
If a manufacturer avoids an answer it is always because it is one we don't want to here. I'm not sure they will go as far as providing 4.2.2 on a consumer aimed camcorder. The Sony AX100 is an interesting camera but at bit rates of 60Mbits/sec using H264 it isn't going to be 4K, just something better than 1080P in a 4K frame. The BMPC-4K is capturing 4.2.2 to Pro-Res at 800Mbits/sec, you can't compare the Sony AX100 to the BMPC-4K, the differences when seen on a large 4K panel will be noticeable. The amount of picture detail discarded to get 4K into 60Mbits/sec will hit you in the face.

I will wait to see those A/Bs, before I prejudge. Based on the demo down-sampled to 2K vs the down-sampled 4K BMPCC video, the Sony demo looked better to me. Once again I have this odd behavior of actually watching the output as opposed to watching the data sheets. Data sheets are useful, but actual video is infinitely more so. wink.gif
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If you look at the the Sony PXW-Z100 HD 4K camcorder which is better comparison to the BMPC-4K camera and it is recording at much higher bit-rates than the AX100 and does 600Mbits/sec for 60P and 300Mbits/sec for 30P. Compared to the lowly 60Mbits/sec for the AX100 at 4K, it is looking more like a toy 4K camera than anything else.

If what I saw was generated by a 'toy', I'd love to have a bunch of those 'toys'. Really, the hyperbole is getting more than a bit silly.
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Once Sony has a 4K consumer handy-cam that shoots 60fps at realistic bit-rates to have a chance of actually capturing something approaching 4K of info, it will be worth looking at or comparing to more professional cameras.

Some have no need to compare a handicam to a professional camera Phil. Really, you need to know your target audience, everyone is not looking for or needing a professional 4K cam anymore than they need a professional 2K camera. If the target audience wants a professional camera, they'll lug around a 5-10lb camera with adjustments for knee, gamma and the like along with a tripod, XLR mikes etc. To me it's amazing that consumer equipment can get as close as it does to higher end equipment.
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In terms of Sony's 4K demo clip on YouTube, take what you are watching with a pinch of salt, for a start it is a demo, and I agree with Mark it is very carefully shot and doesn't contain anything challenging. Notice the asterisk against the resolution, what is that a get out clause for? Could it be we are missing a footnote that says: * Captured from the AX-100 HDMI output to an external encoder and shows the quality of the lens and sensor only

C'mon Phil, really? May I suggest you watch the Sony demo for the AX1 and its 150mbps capability? Guess what, wait for it, it too has that 'suspicious' asterisk and resolution. Precisely the same as the AX100. Further, may I suggest you also watch the demo for the PXW-Z100? If that demo was shot with the A100, you guys would be making the same 'carefully shot, nothing challenging' remarks. I mean honestly guys, do you folks ever watch demos for cameras? I mean really watch? They're ALL carefully shot, they're ALL pretty much non-challenging. Man, the conspiracy theories here are hysterical. They really are.

Here, let me provide some assistance. Here are the demos for these high bitrate "non-toy" 4K shooters. See a difference between the material shot and the A100? Hint-There is none.
PXW-Z100 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YNmVKTNTJM
A1 (same "scary asterisk' here)- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50pJ-dvTHIM

Once again I'll take that very odd approach of getting the cam in my hand and actually shooting with it. Then I'll determine the quality or lack thereof. Weird, I know.
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post #24 of 61 Old 01-13-2014, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip_L View Post

Hi
If a manufacturer avoids an answer it is always because it is one we don't want to here. I'm not sure they will go as far as providing 4.2.2 on a consumer aimed camcorder. The Sony AX100 is an interesting camera but at bit rates of 60Mbits/sec using H264 it isn't going to be 4K, just something better than 1080P in a 4K frame. The BMPC-4K is capturing 4.2.2 to Pro-Res at 800Mbits/sec, you can't compare the Sony AX100 to the BMPC-4K, the differences when seen on a large 4K panel will be noticeable. The amount of picture detail discarded to get 4K into 60Mbits/sec will hit you in the face.

If you look at the the Sony PXW-Z100 HD 4K camcorder which is better comparison to the BMPC-4K camera and it is recording at much higher bit-rates than the AX100 and does 600Mbits/sec for 60P and 300Mbits/sec for 30P. Compared to the lowly 60Mbits/sec for the AX100 at 4K, it is looking more like a toy 4K camera than anything else.

Once Sony has a 4K consumer handy-cam that shoots 60fps at realistic bit-rates to have a chance of actually capturing something approaching 4K of info, it will be worth looking at or comparing to more professional cameras.

In terms of Sony's 4K demo clip on YouTube, take what you are watching with a pinch of salt, for a start it is a demo, and I agree with Mark it is very carefully shot and doesn't contain anything challenging. Notice the asterisk against the resolution, what is that a get out clause for? Could it be we are missing a footnote that says: * Captured from the AX-100 HDMI output to an external encoder and shows the quality of the lens and sensor only

4K at 60Mbits/sec (the equivalent of 15Mbits/sec for each 1920x1080 quadrant) is just a toy where 4K is concerned.

Regards

Phil
I agree that 4k at 60Mbps is worrisome in theory. But the fact is that the AX100 4k footage even at a ridiculously low youtube bit rate looks better than the BMPC-4k uncompressed footage downloaded direct from Grant Perry, and far better than any footage we've seen out of the AX1 or Z100 even at ten times the bit rate. So while bit rate is a part of the image quality equation, it is only a part. The BMPC-4k suffers from low dynamic range and the AX1/Z100 from a ridiculously small sensor with poor low light performance. The AX100 has the best 1" sensor ever manufactured and now it looks like Sony has finally coupled it with a good video processor. We need to see more footage from all of these cameras to be sure, but the initial indications are that the AX100 is the clear image quality leader.
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post #25 of 61 Old 01-13-2014, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post

Here are the demos for these high bitrate "non-toy" 4K shooters. See a difference between the material shot and the A100? Hint-There is none.
PXW-Z100 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YNmVKTNTJM
A1 (same "scary asterisk' here)- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50pJ-dvTHIM

P.S. Talk about suspicious... Sony didn't even upload 4k footage from the AX1 and Z100! They only uploaded 1080p footage to youtube. And it doesn't even look like good 1080p. No one is going to buy those cameras after seeing that footage.
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post #26 of 61 Old 01-13-2014, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Conclusions are being made based on very little, and are in fact incorrect.

1. "But the fact is that the AX100 4k footage even at a ridiculously low youtube bit rate looks better than the BMPC-4k uncompressed footage."

What "fact" is this? Where does this conclusion come from? You need to state exactly how it looks better. As I have tried to say, the BMPC-4K footage can be changed in many ways - if you think the sharpness is less, it can be sharpened. If you think the colors are too dull, they can be made more vibrant. What cannot be changed is the Sony 4K video without bigger loss. One should not make any decision about cameras based on these comparisons of one sample footage made by Sony and one particular grading of one video offered by BMD with an unknown lens.


2. The BMP-4K "suffers from low dynamic range." (!) Where does this conclusion come from? It has 12-stops of dynamic range. This is larger than any consumer camcorder ever made by Sony. It is one stop less than the BMPCC (which is why BMD users are complaining) but that camera has the highest dynamic range of any camcorder or any camera used for video costing $10,000. What is the dynamic range of the new Sony? You do not know, because Sony is not telling, and why do you think they are not telling?

The Sony video looks good, such as it is. But leaping to conclusions comparing cameras based on two observations is not warranted. The Sony has some theoretical deficiencies, which may or may not matter much for most of what people will do with the camera. That point about the practical unimportance of these theoretical issued is a valid one. The BMP-4K has less theoretical deficiencies than the Sony 4K, including higher dynamic range, and thus is harder to use, but these may still in practice for most shooting not be important.
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post #27 of 61 Old 01-13-2014, 11:51 AM
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It is irrelevant. By the end of the year there will be at least 20 4K cameras on the consumer/prosumer market. In that market segment mobility is key, so I doubt BM is going to make much inroad on that unless they upgrade their pocket camera to version 2. The BM4K is not going to cut it, it is strictly a studio camera. These new 4K cameras are going to blow everything else out of the water when it comes to visual quality and by 2015 1080p only cameras are going to be considered low end entry devices. The vast majority of people who use these cameras are not going to be doing any significant grading, they might make minor changes but other than that "editing" will be cutting/splicing, adding music and adding titles/text overlays.

The AX100 is among the first of these cameras, and no doubt will have significant issues. That is the nature of early adoption when it comes to technology. The main issue as far as I can tell is the bit rate that is offered, which is low. That will of course limit what you can do with the footage, but by the standards of what we are used to even that output is still very, very good, certainly far better than any current camera in that price range is capable of. The 4K cameras to come, certainly in 2015 an beyond, will have higher bit rates and bit depths. The bottlenecks for development are the heat envelope and reliability of data transfer, and in both of those areas improved technology can be anticipated in the years to come.
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post #28 of 61 Old 01-13-2014, 02:23 PM
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Well let's be honest, at this time the AX100 has no competition. A camera like the 4K BM is a big, hulking device. Not something that any casual user will ever 'carry' with them. It's twice the weight with no lens, twice the price with no lens and simply meant for uses other than what any typical user here would be interested in. To me it's thus totally irrelevant what its dynamic range or bitrate is. It might as well be, as Tugela described it, a 'studio camera'. And I believe the 4K BM still doesn't shoot 4K @60p. Hell, I don't think it even shoot 2K @60p and yet it's the Sony that gets criticism for not shooting 4K @60p in its diminutive size? Funny. The bottom line is I'm not in the habit of comparing small portable consumer/prosumer cameras with studio cameras. With that said, it's utterly stunning that the AX100 demo stood up so well to the 4K BM...just amazing.

If we want to compare the AX100 with something else, right now the only real camera in its niche is the older JVC with 4 HDMI outputs. The JVC is, dimensionally, not that much different than the new Sony, but requires 4 HDMI outputs to play a 4K video. As I was saying, there really is no competition at this point. Of course that will change before too long.

From my standpoint the AX100's biggest limitation is not its bitrate, not its dynamic range but rather its limitation to 30fps...just like the BMPCC and the far more expensive BM 4K camera. This is without a doubt not a plus, but I'm willing to work with it based on what I've seen and the promise of 4K. Certainly based on the demo video (100% similarly shot material to the other demo videos from far more expensive cameras), this was the sharpest down scaled, 1080p video I've ever seen. Period.

We live in interesting times. smile.gif
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post #29 of 61 Old 01-13-2014, 03:37 PM
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These new 4K cameras are going to blow everything else out of the water when it comes to visual quality.
Blow away everything that's not a BMCC or BMPCC maybe. BMCC & BMPCCs can intercut perfectly with Arri Alexas, which not even the Canon C100 did as well, so I highly doubt there is any dangers of being blow away by a consumer/prosumer camcorder anytime soon unless those cameras start packing RAW or LOG video on board. Higher pixel count won't make up for the most likely 3+ stops dynamic range difference that will most likely be present, but I'm really hoping these big manufacturers will give an upgrade in that department instead of milking gradual 4k upgrades over the next decade.
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post #30 of 61 Old 01-13-2014, 04:08 PM
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To be honest, I'm far more impressed with the far higher resolution of the 4K camera than I am 3+ additional stops of dynamic range. The additional resolution can be used in virtually every shot whereas the additional dynamic range can only be effectively used in some shots. With 4K you have the added advantage of being able to zoom in on a 4K shot and still maintain HD resolution. So if the 4K demo video is any indication (and I usually see far better videos from actual users of the camera that Sony is demoing), then I am, and will be, far more impressed with the AX100 than anything 2K, including the BM cameras.

So it boils down to what's more important for you. I'd guess for 4K shooters it would resolution, for BM shooters, dynamic range.

Choices, we're fortunate to have such good ones. smile.gif
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