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4:2:2 vs. 4:2:0 - is an external recorder beneficial ?

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I'm considering either Sony A7iii or a Fuji XH1. 

Both of them offer 4:2:0 internally and 4:2:2 externally  

FUJI XH1: https://www.cinema5d.com/fujifilm-x-h1-review-and-sample-footage/

Sony A7III: https://www.dpreview.com/news/8128895545/sony-launches-a7-iii-sub-2000-24mp-full-frame-mirrorless-with-a7r-iii-s-advances

 

I want something compact. I can shoot 4k with good AF and IBIS. So I can discreetly steal shots and work quickly. However, I'm wondering if I should get an external recorder so I can shoot 4:2:2. Maybe not for every shot. But where I can be  less discreet and might need extra post processing. 

 

In another post there is a 10bit thread. One extreme: is the 10 bit 4:2:2 vs. 8 bit 4:2:2 vs.  8 bit 4:2:0 that shows a huge jump after simple curve to 4:2:0 vs 4:2:2 and then there is Dave Dugdales GH5 10bit vs. 8 bit 6500 that shows no practical difference. (http://www.4kshooters.net/2017/12/12/gh5-10-bit-vs-sony-a6500-8-bit-video-can-you-spot-the-differences/


I want to know if anyone has done any real test with the Fuji XH1 or the Sony A7Riii (since A7iii is not available yet, but I'm assuming the codec is probably similar). What I've found so far is with A6300 and A6500  https://www.cinema5d.com/working-with-the-sony-a6300-and-atomos-shogun/   showing slight advantage if anything. Which is contradicting the article above with the sever banding differences. 

You can argue, a 7 inch monitor might make shooting easier helping better fame your shot etc, but it defeats the idea of having a discrete system. I most likely shoot with a gimbal (thought the Fuji's IBIS looks very good and might eliminate that need a bit) so a monitor and some wire may not be that big of difference only if the advantages are noticeable. 

I'm looking for actual hands-on experience or real video articles that I might have missed. Too many responses are filled with assumptions and hypothesis and they just add to much noise over real information. Thanks!

   

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15 hours ago, zerocool22 said:

Which will make your life more easier. I use a blackmagic video assist 4K atm (sold my atomos samurai blade for it)

Thanks! I looked into BlackMagic Video Assist 4K. Had no idea they had a recorder too.

1 - What made you choose that over Atomos?  

2 - It seems to me BlackMagic doesn't offer DCI recording, https://forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=54819 

Fuji XH1 has a DCI resolution. So it would be shame to lose that. Do you have not need for DCI? 

I like the SD recording option of black magic, just hope they'll have an update to support DCI. It would make it a no-brainer given the recording options. 

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For the NX1 at least, the difference between 4:2:0 internal and the 4:2:2 external via HDMI (all 8bit) is negligible. This might just be testimate to the HEVC codec though, so for those cams that code to h.264 might see some benefits or advantages going external to Prores. 

Everyone I know that went with external recorders on the NX1 has regretted it. No preceiveable benefit, waste of cash.  That and you lose some features of the camera as soon as you plug anything into that micro HDMI port. You cannot control the camera with any of them as well, like you can on other cams. Samsung crippled the hell out of that port.  

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Stumbled onto this thread a bit late, but maybe this info is useful:

I'm currently shooting with an A7III and the 5-inch Sound Designs Pix-e5 recorder. It keeps the package relatively small (though yes, with extra batteries and cables as always) but the recorder is bulletproof in build and operation. Clearly designed for mission-critical work with all the tools you need for exposure and focus. It doesn't do HDR or even 4k 60p, but neither does any current A7-series body. The m.SSD/USB memory cards are also very slick. Anyhow, another setup to consider. 

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The codec for the HDMI out on my Sony A7s and A7r2 is way better than the internal one. It's not the 4.2.0 vs 4.2.2 but the  compression is way less destructive on ProRes than Sony's internal codec. You can shoot Slog and not worry about banding artefacts in skies. Also for editing in your NLE a codec like ProRes is way easier on your CPU and GPU than a cameras highly compressed codec. 

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5 hours ago, Shirozina said:

The codec for the HDMI out on my Sony A7s and A7r2 is way better than the internal one. It's not the 4.2.0 vs 4.2.2 but the  compression is way less destructive on ProRes than Sony's internal codec. You can shoot Slog and not worry about banding artefacts in skies. Also for editing in your NLE a codec like ProRes is way easier on your CPU and GPU than a cameras highly compressed codec. 

I agree.  I recently filmed a dance recital with two Sony A7R3s side by side.  One was recording internally and the other was with my Shogun Flame.  The ProRes files were huge but it saved my butt.

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I have seen tests on the C100, I know not a camera the OP is asking about, but it really didn't help it much at all.

Now on my Panasonic AF100A it did help with the Clipping on it with a external recorder. So for some cameras a external is great, and some not so much. But like has been said, ProRes is a little easier on older computers. And it has a lot of Flavors to pick from.

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5 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

I have seen tests on the C100, I know not a camera the OP is asking about, but it really didn't help it much at all.

Now on my Panasonic AF100A it did help with the Clipping on it with a external recorder. So for some cameras a external is great, and some not so much. But like has been said, ProRes is a little easier on older computers. And it has a lot of Flavors to pick from.

On my XC10 the HDMI out was no better than the internal - i.e it had identical banding in the skies so maybe Canon are sending a highly compressed signal to their HDMI port?

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2 hours ago, Shirozina said:

On my XC10 the HDMI out was no better than the internal - i.e it had identical banding in the skies so maybe Canon are sending a highly compressed signal to their HDMI port?

Well both are 8 bit so that doesn't help. But the XC10 has a really high data rate, 305Mbps @ 8bit 4.2.2, so I am surprised about that. Now the C100 has a pretty bad Codec. 24mbps @ 8bit 4.2.0 is pretty damn weak. But it can be beautiful. Both can. But not great with bright skies. Big weakness with anything we can afford! Well most BM cameras work, and the ML FF Canons are not bad either. Raw does help a Lot. They have greater bit rates of 12 bit.

One reason Arri Alexa output is so good is their Raw is 16bit. Crazy good stuff.
 

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11 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

I have seen tests on the C100, I know not a camera the OP is asking about, but it really didn't help it much at all.

Now on my Panasonic AF100A it did help with the Clipping on it with a external recorder. So for some cameras a external is great, and some not so much. But like has been said, ProRes is a little easier on older computers. And it has a lot of Flavors to pick from.

Agreed, external recording in the C100 is better only if you are thinking to use a lot of grade in post or in extreme situations, really not much different in normal use, but under low light you can see some difference in color, specially in the sky during sunset.....also to use ProRes during post can be another plus for external recording.....I like to grade and test different looks so I always use an external recording, but that's me, internal recording is OK for most situations....

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6 minutes ago, hijodeibn said:

Agreed, external recording in the C100 is better only if you are thinking to use a lot of grade in post or in extreme situations, really not much different in normal use, but under low light you can see some difference in color, specially in the sky during sunset.....also to use ProRes during post can be another plus for external recording.....I like to grade and test different looks so I always use an external recording, but that's me, internal recording is OK for most situations....

If you are trying to make money doing stuff I think you are way better to be safe than sorry and use an external recorder if you can. The biggest thing is you have a lot bigger screen to look at to catch mistakes, and usually a lot more tools in it at your disposal too help not to screw up. That is a win, win, and on top of it you look a lot more professional, and that is half the battle for a next, or better job from a Client. You have to sell yourself to get a job and to keep one every time.

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6 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

Well both are 8 bit so that doesn't help. But the XC10 has a really high data rate, 305Mbps @ 8bit 4.2.2, so I am surprised about that. Now the C100 has a pretty bad Codec. 24mbps @ 8bit 4.2.0 is pretty damn weak. But it can be beautiful. Both can. But not great with bright skies. Big weakness with anything we can afford! Well most BM cameras work, and the ML FF Canons are not bad either. Raw does help a Lot. They have greater bit rates of 12 bit.

One reason Arri Alexa output is so good is their Raw is 16bit. Crazy good stuff.
 

Theoretically the XC10's high data rate should mean good image quality but I just saw high levels of detail destroying NR and appalling banding in skies so I can only assume Canon did not use a very sophisticated image processing and compression system.

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On 6/20/2018 at 2:58 AM, Shirozina said:

Theoretically the XC10's high data rate should mean good image quality but I just saw high levels of detail destroying NR and appalling banding in skies so I can only assume Canon did not use a very sophisticated image processing and compression system.

I think that is Canon's problem on Every non Cine camera they have, is a piss poor sophisticated image processor and compression system.  And outdated Codecs don't help either on some. I think their Color Science and their Sensors are really good. It is what happens on the computational end is where it goes to crap.

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