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Andrew Reid

Sony FS5 - why I bought one

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That is what I thought I asked the guy at Canon, does the C100MKII scale down from a 4k image to produce a 1080 image.  His exact words were, "no, there is no 4k hardware at all inside the camera."  

Regardless, at $4600 with Ninja, do you think the C100mkII a good buy?  I really want to like the FS5 but something inside of me keeps telling me to go with Canon color.  Especially since my B cams are a GH4 and a 60d, 5diii.

He's right. Read the C300 white papers. I forget the details, but what it boils down to is that the 1920X1080 red pixels, 1920X1080 blue pixels, and one set of the two sets of 1920X1080 green pixels are added together as if they were stacked on top of each other (they're not, but close enough). The last set of green pixels is used for noise reduction or oversampling the first set of green pixels. Or something. 

So the 1080p image is derived from 3840X2160 pixels, and all the pixels are used to construct it, but there's never a UHD image anywhere in the pipeline because there's no debayering that takes place. There is UHD raw but it's processed directly to 1080p. This might be why the image is exceptionally sharp, like a Foveon image, but also why there's some aliasing in red and blue fabrics and some people feel the image is over-sharpened.

If your clients demand 4k, get a 4k camera. If they don't, don't get one. The best buy is whatever offers the best return on investment, whether that return is financial (as a pro) or in enjoyment (as a hobbyist). What makes the decision hard is when you're something in between.

What hobbyists admire most about a Red camera–the ability to construct and process an image with no internal noise reduction in high bitrate raw–is what makes it super obnoxious to pros and expensive for producers because of the added time to do that work... The question is: do you want to do the extra work because it's a hobby you enjoy or are you paying, out of your own time or someone else's, to do the extra work? If you're somewhere in between the two, what matters most to you? If I had a 4k tv I might be more inclined to buy a 4k camera, for instance, even if my clients didn't request it.

Notice all the Reds being used on low budget music videos? And all the Canons being used on high end corporate? Corporate pays a lot better than music videos. It's a lot less fun. I'm a very big fan of Canon and Arri, but that's just one opinion.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

He's right. Read the C300 white papers. I forget the details, but what it boils down to is that the 1920X1080 red pixels, 1920X1080 blue pixels, and one set of the two sets of 1920X1080 green pixels are added together as if they were stacked on top of each other (they're not, but close enough). The last set of green pixels is used for noise reduction or oversampling the first set of green pixels. Or something. 

So the 1080p image is derived from 3840X2160 pixels, and all the pixels are used to construct it, but there's never a UHD image anywhere in the pipeline because there's no debayering that takes place. There is UHD raw but it's processed directly to 1080p. This might be why the image is exceptionally sharp, like a Foveon image, but also why there's some aliasing in red and blue fabrics and some people feel the image is over-sharpened.

If your clients demand 4k, get a 4k camera. If they don't, don't get one. The best buy is whatever offers the best return on investment, whether that return is financial (as a pro) or in enjoyment (as a hobbyist). What makes the decision hard is when you're something in between.

What hobbyists admire most about a Red camera–the ability to construct and process an image with no internal noise reduction in high bitrate raw–is what makes it super obnoxious to pros and expensive for producers because of the added time to do that work... The question is: do you want to do the extra work because it's a hobby you enjoy or are you paying, out of your own time or someone else's, to do the extra work? If you're somewhere in between the two, what matters most to you? If I had a 4k tv I might be more inclined to buy a 4k camera, for instance, even if my clients didn't request it.

Notice all the Reds being used on low budget music videos? And all the Canons being used on high end corporate? Corporate pays a lot better than music videos. It's a lot less fun. I'm a very big fan of Canon and Arri, but that's just one opinion.

Thanks so much for your feedback!

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Although the C300 does have 1920x1080 pixels for each colour channel it isn't a Foveon-like image you get out of it, far from it.

I believe the main reason Canon wanted to buy Sigma (they were rebuffed) was to get hold of the Foveon patents.

I believe they are desperately trying to come up with their own design, but had they been successful I would have expected to see it by now.

I am on the verge of buying a Sigma DP3 Quattro for timelapse (nice built in intervalometer). Resolution in terms of detail matches an 8K bayer sensor, maybe even upscales to 10K. Colour is on a whole different planet. It's certainly not the versatile stills camera the Sony RX1R II is but it offers something completely different in terms of how close the images are to film (which is also mutli-layered).

I am so glad Canon did not absorb Sigma.

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Although the C300 does have 1920x1080 pixels for each colour channel it isn't a Foveon-like image you get out of it, far from it.

I believe the main reason Canon wanted to buy Sigma (they were rebuffed) was to get hold of the Foveon patents.

I believe they are desperately trying to come up with their own design, but had they been successful I would have expected to see it by now.

I am on the verge of buying a Sigma DP3 Quattro for timelapse (nice built in intervalometer). Resolution in terms of detail matches an 8K bayer sensor, maybe even upscales to 10K. Colour is on a whole different planet. It's certainly not the versatile stills camera the Sony RX1R II is but it offers something completely different in terms of how close the images are to film (which is also mutli-layered).

I am so glad Canon did not absorb Sigma.

Yeah, that Sigma camera has an organic look to it.  

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What he means is that the sensor outputs all pixels (4K) for extra RGB data when producing the 1080p image on the processor.

Andrew,  if I do go with an FS5, what adapter do you recommend?  I keep hearing horror stories about the metabones.  I have it for the GH4 but Sony users seem to have more issues. 

Also, have you ever tried matching color with FS5 to a GH4 or 5diii?  I imagine it wouldn't be perfect but I am wondering how close.  

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Although the C300 does have 1920x1080 pixels for each colour channel it isn't a Foveon-like image you get out of it, far from it.

I believe the main reason Canon wanted to buy Sigma (they were rebuffed) was to get hold of the Foveon patents.

I believe they are desperately trying to come up with their own design, but had they been successful I would have expected to see it by now.

I am on the verge of buying a Sigma DP3 Quattro for timelapse (nice built in intervalometer). Resolution in terms of detail matches an 8K bayer sensor, maybe even upscales to 10K. Colour is on a whole different planet. It's certainly not the versatile stills camera the Sony RX1R II is but it offers something completely different in terms of how close the images are to film (which is also mutli-layered).

I am so glad Canon did not absorb Sigma.

I'm not sure I agree. The way the image is constructed is pretty similar, with each pixel over-sampled from multiple photo sites rather than interpolated 1:1–it's just that Sigma has the three photosites stacked rather than four adjacent and no AA filter. So there's a bit more sharpness and a bit less error. Both have some aliasing, but aliasing is far more acceptable for stills. But the per-pixel sharpness and look are similar.

As regards sharpness, the C300 has the sharpest and close to the most detailed 1080p image available, assuming your lens is sharp, including the Alexa (which is fairly soft as things go) and 4k downscaled from other cameras. That said, it does exhibit aliasing with red and blue fabrics and the tonality isn't great. And if you downscale a 4k image with nearest neighbor interpolation from another camera, you've got something super sharp, too, but again–not as great as regards tonality. The anti-aliasing filter is also weak on Canon's range. I'm not saying the image is better than the competition–it's worse overall than 4k debayered at 4k and downscaled intelligently–just that per-pixel, it's super sharp. And looks like what you'd see 1:1 on a Foveon-derived image.

I'm not sure in what respect the C300's image isn't more Foveon-like than anything that isn't Foveon-derived. Both images are constructed similarly and oversampled and have good subjective color if slightly inaccurate color, and greater per-pixel sharpness than debayered and/or downscaled images especially when viewed at their native resolution, but fewer pixels in total than the competition.

I get that you don't like Canon's business model, but the objective qualities of their first generation cinema cameras are what they are, for better (low light, color matrix and lack of chroma clipping) or worse (codec, dynamic range compared with the current generation, skew, very limited slow motion options). I'm not saying it's better overall–it isn't. Nor is sharpness that important compared with tonality, which is why I prefer the Alexa to anything else. Just that it's what the image looks closest to, and the closest imagining pipeline for sake of comparison.

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I'm not sure I agree. The way the image is constructed is pretty similar, with each pixel over-sampled from multiple photo sites rather than interpolated 1:1–it's just that Sigma has the three photosites stacked rather than four adjacent and no AA filter. So there's a bit more sharpness and a bit less error. Both have some aliasing, but aliasing is far more acceptable for stills. But the per-pixel sharpness and look are similar.

As regards sharpness, the C300 has the sharpest and close to the most detailed 1080p image available, assuming your lens is sharp, including the Alexa (which is fairly soft as things go) and 4k downscaled from other cameras. That said, it does exhibit aliasing with red and blue fabrics and the tonality isn't great. And if you downscale a 4k image with nearest neighbor interpolation from another camera, you've got something super sharp, too, but again–not as great as regards tonality. The anti-aliasing filter is also weak on Canon's range. I'm not saying the image is better than the competition–it's worse overall than 4k debayered at 4k and downscaled intelligently–just that per-pixel, it's super sharp. And looks like what you'd see 1:1 on a Foveon-derived image.

I'm not sure in what respect the C300's image isn't more Foveon-like than anything that isn't Foveon-derived. Both images are constructed similarly and oversampled and have good subjective color if slightly inaccurate color, and greater per-pixel sharpness than debayered and/or downscaled images especially when viewed at their native resolution, but fewer pixels in total than the competition.

I get that you don't like Canon's business model, but the objective qualities of their first generation cinema cameras are what they are, for better (low light, color matrix and lack of chroma clipping) or worse (codec, dynamic range compared with the current generation, skew, very limited slow motion options). I'm not saying it's better overall–it isn't. Nor is sharpness that important compared with tonality, which is why I prefer the Alexa to anything else. Just that it's what the image looks closest to, and the closest imagining pipeline for sake of comparison.

I agree with the sharpness part.  I almost want to go for the c100 mark 1 because its softer but yet looks pleasing (and not in a 5d kind of way).  If it had the mark ii's color and 60p I would much rather go for the C100.1.  

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ll the pixels are used to construct it, but there's never a UHD image anywhere in the pipeline because there's no debayering that takes place. There is UHD raw but it's processed directly to 1080p. This might be why the image is exceptionally sharp, like a Foveon image, but also why there's some aliasing in red and blue fabrics and some people feel the image is over-sharpened.

That colored aliasing might just be 4:2:0 artifacting.

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Brett, If you go the C100ii route, don't bother with an external recorder. I have an Assassin that I use with the GH4 and I've used a couple of times with the C100. The results from external vs internal are EXTREMELY minor. Like you have to zoom in 400% to see any difference, and the difference isn't noticeable on the final compressed delivery.

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I am starting to think I should just buy the C100 mark I for events and weddings and save my money for the FS5 for music videos.  Does anyone notice any difference in the C100 vs C100 mark ii in terms of quality after color correction?  They look very similar to me with perhaps the Mark ii edging out slightly better detail.  

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I am starting to think I should just buy the C100 mark I for events and weddings and save my money for the FS5 for music videos.  Does anyone notice any difference in the C100 vs C100 mark ii in terms of quality after color correction?  They look very similar to me with perhaps the Mark ii edging out slightly better detail.  

Mark I leans toward a green tint. Still a great image. The best feature  about the Mark II is the DPAF. If you're using it for events and weddings you'll drool over how amazing it is to use. I know they offer the DPAF upgrade for the Mark I so I'd look into that.

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Mark I leans toward a green tint. Still a great image. The best feature  about the Mark II is the DPAF. If you're using it for events and weddings you'll drool over how amazing it is to use. I know they offer the DPAF upgrade for the Mark I so I'd look into that.

That's right, that is a cool feature.  Especially to avoid follow focusing on non-cinema lenses.  Been manually doing it on the 5diii would love to have that but not sure I "need" it.  These are tuff decisions for us peasant folk who can't afford it all.  

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That colored aliasing might just be 4:2:0 artifacting.

It's not. It appears on external recorders, too. 4:2:0 "artifacting" is basically invisible except as slight pixellation around highly saturated high contrast edges and would be invisible at 50% resolution. This is aliasing, there's a moire pattern, visible no matter how much you downscale the image. Fwiw I've seen aliasing on the Alexa under similar circumstances, and it's surprisingly pretty bad at times. Canon is worse, however, and looks different. 

If you think about Nyquist, the AA filter would have to reduce resolution to mtf0 up until 960X540 on a 4k sensor to eliminate aliasing under similar circumstances, so I doubt anything will be immune. But the C300/C100 is a little worse under certain circumstances and I assume it has to do with its imagining pipeline. I would say you'll see this in one shot out of 10,000, though.

The Mk II seems to have a color profile modified closer to Arri's. More magenta rather than yellow in the skin tones. Different blue, less teal. Slightly different red, less orange. Better overall, a bit more accurate. But not a big deal to most people, whereas the better viewfinder, better codec, better low light, and 60p make the $2000 price difference justifiable.

I wouldn't buy two cameras if you only need one. Nothing depreciates in value faster. If you prefer the FS5's image for your own work and can figure out a good workflow for corporate videos or bread and butter work (shoot AVCHD) just do that. 

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I am starting to think I should just buy the C100 mark I for events and weddings and save my money for the FS5 for music videos.  Does anyone notice any difference in the C100 vs C100 mark ii in terms of quality after color correction?  They look very similar to me with perhaps the Mark ii edging out slightly better detail.  

it's the same sensor as c100, but mk ii has slightly better codec @35Mbps, vs 28Mbps on mk1, slightly better ergonomics  and AF included in the price , which is not always 100% reliable, still, for events would be my choice #1;

if majority of your work are events and weddings , C100 is very capable camera with fantastic low light performance and you wouldn't need another camera to shoot a music video, but if you seriously thinking to branch out you'll need a camera with lower compression and decent slow mo,  take a look at Red, you can get used, ready to shoot Scarlet for around the same money, but that's completely different level of image acquisition. Although  you need to be comfortable with the codec - R3D, there are samples in the raw files section of this forum, as well as on the web, but be warned, for me personally, and for many others, opening R3Ds in NLE of your choice becomes a no-return-point after you try it and see how much abuse it can take  -:

 

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it's the same sensor as c100, but mk ii has slightly better codec @35Mbps, vs 28Mbps on mk1, slightly better ergonomics  and AF included in the price , which is not always 100% reliable, still, for events would be my choice #1;

 

 

35Mbps is only for 60p though. 28Mbps for the lower frame rates.

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B+H just put up a used (10 out of 10 condition) c100 MARK II.  I assume it was some sort of return.  It was $4000 with the Ninja.  I had to do it!  Looks like FS5 high frame rates will have to wait and I will be using Twixtor when needed for now.  Regardless though, 60p slo-mo for a music video where vocals are present is plenty.  I am kind of bumbed though, the electronic ND on the FS5 is sexy but on the other hand, it would of been $2200 more with the metabones.  

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B+H just put up a used (10 out of 10 condition) c100 MARK II.  I assume it was some sort of return.  It was $4000 with the Ninja.  I had to do it!  Looks like FS5 high frame rates will have to wait and I will be using Twixtor when needed for now.  Regardless though, 60p slo-mo for a music video where vocals are present is plenty.  I am kind of bumbed though, the electronic ND on the FS5 is sexy but on the other hand, it would of been $2200 more with the metabones.  

Wow great deal. I wouldn't worry about the electronic ND too much. C100 has a good amount of ND strengths and a MASSIVELY versatile ISO range.

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Andrew, thanks for the tip on Edit Ready for XAVC. Before I got rid of my FS5, the XAVC-L was POA on my MBP 2015. Clogged up the system. Even now with the A7s II in 4k, it's easier on the CPU than FS5 codec but still stutters along. Just got Edit Ready. Unbelievable how much faster it is at transcodes than the competition. The time saved is worth 50.00, especially the time saved working in pro rez. Keep em coming.

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Dear Andrew, i still don't believe you brought this camera with mediocre specs, But i respect your choice. 

No XAVC-I

only 8bit 4:2:0 

100Mbit in 4K[Ultra HD]

No DCIP mode...?

In 1080p its 240fps cache record[Buffering] limited  50Mbit/s bitrate...

 

Why do you always support sony? even though their bad user interphase and very bad skin tones.

 

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