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Johnnie Behiri shoots professional work on Sony A99 - sample videos and review

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[url="http://www.eoshd.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/DSC03234.jpg"][img]http://www.eoshd.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/DSC03234.jpg[/img][/url]

An exploded view of the A99 at Photokina

Whilst I was able to record some footage from the Sony A99 at Photokina I didn't really have any spare time to do much with one. The camera to me seems a little bit disappointing on the image quality front with line skipping resulting in quite heavy moire and aliasing. Not acceptable in 2012.

Johnnie (who I had the pleasure of finally meeting at Photokina) is a freelance BBC cameraman and editor based in Vienna. His comments on the new A99 are mixed (as are my feelings about the camera).
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Sony miss the mark again :wacko:

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Does anyone know when GH3 is shipping finally? I had high hopes for Sony A99 uncompressed footage, but after reading this article I have very little incentive to spend $5K and more on a DSLR camera + atomos + lenses to get moire and aliasing when I can clearly shoot pro quality footage on my hacked GH2 and FD lenses... What a bunch of BS from Sony...

I'm also willing to buy Blackmagic Cinema Camera but their production woes are very disheartening.

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Oh man, this is so disappointing, I hate moire. To bad as it was so promising at first. Really hope the GH3 wont disappoint..

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[quote name='EOSHD' timestamp='1349713130' post='19484'] [i]An exploded view of the A99 at Photokina[/i] Whilst I was able to record some footage from the Sony A99 at Photokina I didn't really have any spare time to do much with one. The camera to me seems a little bit disappointing on the image quality front with line skipping resulting in quite heavy moire and aliasing. Not acceptable in 2012. Johnnie (who I had the pleasure of finally meeting at Photokina) is a freelance BBC cameraman and editor based in Vienna. His comments on the new A99 are mixed (as are my feelings about the camera). [/quote]

I agree. The 5D Mark ii was introduced in September 2008. 4 years later, and the video quality, in DSLRs, is exactly the same, albeit some minor, cosmetic changes. Also, the XLR Adapter for US$800 is INSANE. Sony seems to be going the Canon way, producing DSLRs with lousy video quality, at exorbitant prices. Maybe, they should just scrap the video, Altogether, instead of consistently trying to fool consumers.

Also, the Canon 5D Mark iii and the Sony A99 are double the price of the Panasonic GH3 (or more). If video is a necessary governing (factor for) price point, then, they should offer a $1000 discount, without any fuss, on both the Sony AND the Canon.
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[quote name='mastroiani' timestamp='1349716822' post='19487']
Does anyone know when GH3 is shipping finally? I had high hopes for Sony A99 uncompressed footage, but after reading this article I have very little incentive to spend $5K and more on a DSLR camera + atomos + lenses to get moire and aliasing when I can clearly shoot pro quality footage on my hacked GH2 and FD lenses... What a bunch of BS from Sony...

I'm also willing to buy Blackmagic Cinema Camera but their production woes are very disheartening.
[/quote]

Panasonic website lists an estimated ship date of November 30. No clue if the date is also for reseller release and if that date will hold.

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I have really high hopes for the GH3. I want to finally get a camera and the GH3 is my best hope for the money. But from the videos I've seen, this Sony image looks superior to the GH3. Perhaps I just like the full frame image more. I want to like what I've seen from GH3 more. I wonder if any hacks will appear for the GH3 to improve the camera even further.

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[quote name='sanveer' timestamp='1349719677' post='19490']
I agree. The 5D Mark ii was introduced in September 2008. 4 years later, and the video quality, in DSLRs, is exactly the same, albeit some minor, cosmetic changes. Also, the XLR Adapter for US$800 is INSANE. Sony seems to be going the Canon way, producing DSLRs with lousy video quality, at exorbitant prices. Maybe, they should just scrap the video, Altogether, instead of consistently trying to fool consumers.

Also, the Canon 5D Mark iii and the Sony A99 are double the price of the Panasonic GH3 (or more). If video is a necessary governing (factor for) price point, then, they should offer a $1000 discount, without any fuss, on both the Sony AND the Canon.
[/quote]

Yeah, I actually think out of all the video offerings Canon has given us at the cost of appendages, the only 2 that have impressed me image-wise, are the C-100, (no...not the C-300) - and the old Mark 2... Nobody can afford a C-100 though, so it's just disheartening as hell to the whole community. Especially since it plays that whole side of the market at face value... until you see $6500 and you're suddenly not surprised. That's 2 BM cinema cameras that shoot Raw, & a 512gb ssd, or a full tank of gas, whatever $6500 gets you these days...
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Really? In what way does sthe D800 and the Mark 3's internal video quality be any better than the A99's/VG900? They are all compressed h.264s! And Sony's AVCHD is the best of those compressed formats..so really..can you please explain to me how any of those two are any better? I dont get it. You can record externally thru hdmi if you want less compressed image ...you get that from the D800..but NOT on the MK3.

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[quote name='sanveer' timestamp='1349719677' post='19490']
4 years later, and the video quality, in DSLRs, is exactly the same, albeit some minor, cosmetic changes.
[/quote]

I do not expect to have better video quality in a DSLR anytime soon. The concept in itself is far from perfect. To process those high resolution sensors, you would need better DSP chips. At the same time those chips generate so much heat to process all that data that this heat cannot dissipate out of those small body. They are just not created for that.

The easiest solution would be to put in them a low megapixels count in them, kinda 4k, but as they are marketed as DSLR, it would not be a good success as it will not generate enough sales on the photo side (where most the sales are in DSLR). So I will forget a breakthrough in the video quality of DSLRs for a few years.

By now, I thought that we would already have some camera likes the C300 from the competition. I really think this is where the future belong as it is the best form factor of any camera I ever saw.

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[quote name='Germy1979' timestamp='1349746540' post='19500']
Yeah, I actually think out of all the video offerings Canon has given us at the cost of appendages, the only 2 that have impressed me image-wise, are the C-100, (no...not the C-300) - and the old Mark 2... Nobody can afford a C-100 though, so it's just disheartening as hell to the whole community. Especially since it plays that whole side of the market at face value... until you see $6500 and you're suddenly not surprised. That's 2 BM cinema cameras that shoot Raw, & a 512gb ssd, or a full tank of gas, whatever $6500 gets you these days...
[/quote]

Hahaha ... so true. Canon has become defiantly elitist. Maybe all DSLR film-makers should boycott them, for a few months.


[quote name='chauffeurdevan' timestamp='1349755040' post='19509']
I do not expect to have better video quality in a DSLR anytime soon. The concept in itself is far from perfect. To process those high resolution sensors, you would need better DSP chips. At the same time those chips generate so much heat to process all that data that this heat cannot dissipate out of those small body. They are just not created for that.

The easiest solution would be to put in them a low megapixels count in them, kinda 4k, but as they are marketed as DSLR, it would not be a good success as it will not generate enough sales on the photo side (where most the sales are in DSLR). So I will forget a breakthrough in the video quality of DSLRs for a few years.

By now, I thought that we would already have some camera likes the C300 from the competition. I really think this is where the future belong as it is the best form factor of any camera I ever saw.
[/quote]

I don't agree with, what you say, for a moment. The GH2 doesn't heat up, too much. And, I am in India, and stay in a place, where the temperatures hover, mostly around 35-39 (in Mumbai), and around 38-46 (in Delhi), in the summers. In Europe, I don't believe, that it would be reaching anywhere close to those temperatures, that make HD shooting DSLRs and other Cameras shut down. And, I have used it (the GH2), for hours.

About processing power, if the Hacks on the GH2 can push AVCHD to beyond 200 Mbps, then, I don't believe they need more processing power. And, the short-comings on the hacks (like shutting off, or not playing certain formats, or not allowing certain settings), are due to the programmers, creating the hacks, and not the camera (or sensor). Like Andrew showed us, it may be an analogy, on the lines of the Canon 1DX and 1DC. They just want to seriously bifurcate their elitist clients (over-paying idiots), and the Indie (film-making) Consumer. That's why the codec are not up to the mark.
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[quote name='chauffeurdevan' timestamp='1349755040' post='19509']


I do not expect to have better video quality in a DSLR anytime soon. The concept in itself is far from perfect. To process those high resolution sensors, you would need better DSP chips. At the same time those chips generate so much heat to process all that data that this heat cannot dissipate out of those small body. They are just not created for that.

The easiest solution would be to put in them a low megapixels count in them, kinda 4k, but as they are marketed as DSLR, it would not be a good success as it will not generate enough sales on the photo side (where most the sales are in DSLR). So I will forget a breakthrough in the video quality of DSLRs for a few years.

By now, I thought that we would already have some camera likes the C300 from the competition. I really think this is where the future belong as it is the best form factor of any camera I ever saw.
[/quote]

The 1-DC can do it. I wouldn't even say this if Andrew hadn't interviewed the Canon guy that confirmed it was just a badass 1-DX. The sensor has to be downplayed to a lower megapixel count to be optimal for video, but it's supposedly the same 18mp sensor as the 1-DX with a different firmware telling it to work a different way... Which it does:) Without breaking a sweat apparently either. It's not RAW, but it's not moire ridden avchd either... It's 4k for crying out loud & it doesn't look bad at all... So if they can do it with a firmware, (maybe not bump the price $9000 though in the process,lol) - then these other cameras shouldn't have a problem. I honestly think anymore, it's just a rush to get something with a higher model number to the masses and THAT is the primary concern... Whether the technology is a let down or not.
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[quote name='chauffeurdevan' timestamp='1349755040' post='19509']
I do not expect to have better video quality in a DSLR anytime soon. The concept in itself is far from perfect. To process those high resolution sensors, you would need better DSP chips. At the same time those chips generate so much heat to process all that data that this heat cannot dissipate out of those small body. They are just not created for that.

The easiest solution would be to put in them a low megapixels count in them, kinda 4k, but as they are marketed as DSLR, it would not be a good success as it will not generate enough sales on the photo side (where most the sales are in DSLR). So I will forget a breakthrough in the video quality of DSLRs for a few years.

By now, I thought that we would already have some camera likes the C300 from the competition. I really think this is where the future belong as it is the best form factor of any camera I ever saw.
[/quote]

Smaller sensors are better at dealing with moire, aliasing, and rolling shutter, especially, for video, and that's why, I am guessing, they kept the sensor size, small.

I didn't like the look of the C300, when it came out, but, in person, I guess, its so small compact, with all the necessary features, packed in, that its a great innovation, in form factor.


[quote name='Germy1979' timestamp='1349785661' post='19522']
The 1-DC can do it. I wouldn't even say this if Andrew hadn't interviewed the Canon guy that confirmed it was just a badass 1-DX. The sensor has to be downplayed to a lower megapixel count to be optimal for video, but it's supposedly the same 18mp sensor as the 1-DX with a different firmware telling it to work a different way... Which it does:) Without breaking a sweat apparently either. It's not RAW, but it's not moire ridden avchd either... It's 4k for crying out loud & it doesn't look bad at all... So if they can do it with a firmware, (maybe not bump the price $9000 though in the process,lol) - then these other cameras shouldn't have a problem. I honestly think anymore, it's just a rush to get something with a higher model number to the masses and THAT is the primary concern... Whether the technology is a let down or not.
[/quote]

I agree. Its just a matter of re-packing old technology,with newer numbers,sometimes even going backwards. Maybe, people (read the Hackers and companies like Magic Lantern etc) should concentrate on actually making filmware, from scratch, rather than just tweaking a few numbers, here and there, randomly. Then, let them sell their Filmware, for what its worth. It would create a Huge market, and people would have RED and C300 bettering quality codecs, right out of a GH2 or GH3.

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[quote name='quobetah' timestamp='1349748566' post='19503']
Really? In what way does sthe D800 and the Mark 3's internal video quality be any better than the A99's/VG900? They are all compressed h.264s! And Sony's AVCHD is the best of those compressed formats..so really..can you please explain to me how any of those two are any better? I dont get it. You can record externally thru hdmi if you want less compressed image ...you get that from the D800..but NOT on the MK3.
[/quote]

First of all, owning the Sony nex-5n, Canon 7d, Canon 5d mark III and regularly using the FS700...Your text is a load of bullshit. Respectfully.

Just shot a music video with the FS700 and the 5dmkIII as the b-cam. Absolutely gorgeous image on the 5d. Soft but no aliasing, no moire and significantly better compression than previous DSLR's have had. It's significantly better than the internal compression on the Sony nex-5n, though the FS700 does give a good fight. FS700 bands slightly less but it does breakup (as avchd does) when there is a lot of movement. 5dmarkIII does not break up as badly and that is great. Also the lowlight ability of the FS700 was not considerably better. If at all. Though I did not do any scientific tests, it's just how I felt handling it around.

I can say that I do prefer the 5dmarkIII image in certain situations more than the FS700. It's not about technical ability as the FS700 is considerably sharper and has more dynamic range. But the dynamic range difference isn't so big that I can't overcome it while shooting. Also the softness tends to hide our low-budget style quite well.

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I don't know. Are they really doing it ? Without any problem ?

Here is the footnote from the official Canon 1D-C page : [url="http://cinemaeos.usa.canon.com/products.php?type=Camera-1DC"]http://cinemaeos.usa...type=Camera-1DC[/url]
[b]* This device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission.
This device is not and may not be offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained.[/b]

If Canon cannot deliver this high level DSLR camera I don't see a lower end from anybody going in that territory anytime soon.

[quote name='Germy1979' timestamp='1349785661' post='19522']
The 1-DC can do it. I wouldn't even say this if Andrew hadn't interviewed the Canon guy that confirmed it was just a badass 1-DX. The sensor has to be downplayed to a lower megapixel count to be optimal for video, but it's supposedly the same 18mp sensor as the 1-DX with a different firmware telling it to work a different way...
[/quote]

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[quote name='chauffeurdevan' timestamp='1349792555' post='19529']
I don't know. Are they really doing it ? Without any problem ?

Here is the footnote from the official Canon 1D-C page : [url="http://cinemaeos.usa.canon.com/products.php?type=Camera-1DC"]http://cinemaeos.usa...type=Camera-1DC[/url]
[b]* This device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission.
This device is not and may not be offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained.[/b]

If Canon cannot deliver this high level DSLR camera I don't see a lower end from anybody going in that territory anytime soon.
[/quote]

Well..... That sucks. But, that looks like it's just a legal issue on paper. Technically, they're doing it, whether the world lets them sell it is another thing. That could be anything, plus the camera is announced... Sure would be a kick in the taint if they couldn't produce a camera that's been announced.

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[quote name='chauffeurdevan' timestamp='1349792555' post='19529']
I don't know. Are they really doing it ? Without any problem ?

Here is the footnote from the official Canon 1D-C page : [url="http://cinemaeos.usa.canon.com/products.php?type=Camera-1DC"]http://cinemaeos.usa...type=Camera-1DC[/url]
[b]* This device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission.
This device is not and may not be offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained.[/b]

If Canon cannot deliver this high level DSLR camera I don't see a lower end from anybody going in that territory anytime soon.
[/quote]

Relax. Its just regarding, mostly disclose of wi-fi or Bluetooth, or some other radio-frequency related rules. They have to show if there is some level of interference with other devices, and make disclosures regarding the same (in their product manuals), to the customer, as well. Read this:
[url="http://www.cclab.com/fcc-part-15.htm"]http://www.cclab.com/fcc-part-15.htm[/url]

Also, read Page iv of this Nikon Manual:
[url="http://www.webster.edu/acadaffairs/asp/mediacenter/MediaCenter/equipment%20manuals/NikonD50usergide.pdf"]http://www.webster.edu/acadaffairs/asp/mediacenter/MediaCenter/equipment%20manuals/NikonD50usergide.pdf[/url]

Anyways, these rules apply to the US.

Dude, Canon has been around, Far too long, to let these small compliances and disclosures bother them.

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Isn't the a99 still carrying non final firmware?
I would not care too much about the moiree or aliasing. Final viewers, including clients, will not even notice. And, if I have to shoot something like scene at the grocery store, I would use a proper video camera or use a wider aperture, so all those cans on the shelves, that are very distracting anyway, would be slightly softer.
Stick a fast prime or a proper Zeiss/Sony zoom and use this camera for what is meant to be used, you will not even have to worry about moire and aliasing. :)

For stills, the quality of its images is stunning though.
At this stage, I would say, only price is a few hundred dollars of the mark. although the yen lately has been appreciating and that does not bode well for our USD or Euros. I think that is also one of the reasons why the new 5D is 3500 dollars.

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[quote name='ike007' timestamp='1350010330' post='19646']
Isn't the a99 still carrying non final firmware?
I would not care too much about the moiree or aliasing. Final viewers, including clients, will not even notice. And, if I have to shoot something like scene at the grocery store, I would use a proper video camera or use a wider aperture, so all those cans on the shelves, that are very distracting anyway, would be slightly softer.
Stick a fast prime or a proper Zeiss/Sony zoom and use this camera for what is meant to be used, you will not even have to worry about moire and aliasing. :)[/quote]
Ugh.
Throwing everything out of focus doesn't make the image looks nicer.
The cans on the shelves in Punch-Drunk Love's deep-focus grocery store scenes look amazing.

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For me this is also all very disappointing, I think a cleanly resolved image is top of the list. If your stills are shoddy at the per pixel level, you don't rack up the sales, and so I have no idea why it isn't a top priority for Sony in video mode - especially when they went to so much effort on the general video orientated specs list.

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Ike007 simplifies too much but his main point is actually right. A very good fast prime shot wide open, if it is extremely sharp, really helps a camera which has poor resolution and a ton of aliasing. It is the deep depth of field wide angle shots where these cameras fall down, not so much the shallow DOF stuff. 5D Mark III is a different camera altogether with the 135mm F2L for example. But at 24mm F8, focused at infinity it sucks.

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One example on how an A99 should be used.
[url="https://vimeo.com/52031763"]https://vimeo.com/52031763[/url]
Although we could always look for ways of generating moire and aliasing if we like spend our time doing that, but that is just an exercise that will not put bread on the table, unless we run one of those cameras testing sites, of course. ;)
cheers every one.
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Thanks for that inspiring link!! Good to see such a passionate photographer in search of the essential ingredient for good images... light.

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There seems to be a consensus among the companies: separate the still camera and video markets! The DSLR boom was an accident, and they would like to reverse it a little, or at least delay it to make more money. Sony and Canon have both held back video in still cameras so as to create and protect lines of more expensive camcorders.

Having used the C300 and FS700 quite a bit recently, both have wonderful, wonderful image quality and are remarkably consistent. The latter is a bit of a pig ergonomically, but the final image is just great, especially considering the bit rate.

A similar image is easily possible with the hardware in the still bodies, as we all know, but there are plenty of lies peddled to pretend otherwise. Like the famous "5D MKiii can't have a clean out because of the hardware" shortly followed by "it's coming in a firmware update". Only Nikon competition forced their hand here.

It's such a shame they're determined to squeeze every penny out of the old tech rather than innovate. If only the upstarts like BMD could be more reliable in terms of manufacturing, we'd have a challenger. But it's competition that forces innovation, and if you can't actually deliver a product on time, leading to a lack of confidence about support, overall quality assurance and repairs, you aren't competition to people like Canon and Sony, who can churn em out on time, working and in bulk.

Hopefully Canon and Sony won't settle into the same symbiotic, practically innovation-less relationship that Canon and Nikon have, where they take baby steps in perfect synchronisation. That'd be a real shame.

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