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Are Sony sensors ruining video with the 'Sony look'?


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On 3/29/2021 at 9:35 PM, TomTheDP said:

Lowlight and dynamic range have been improving though. Sony’s full frame and dual iso sensors are doing well on both fronts. The richness in older Blackmagic cameras might have more to do with CDNG than dual gain output. I personally find the dynamic range on Sony’s current full frame sensors adequate. Something I wouldn’t want to give up is high ISO performance. In fact unless I have to I’d not purchase another camera that doesn’t have dual ISO. 

You're right that low light and DR are improving, but in comparison to the Alexa, 10 years has delivered 1600% of the pixels, and <100% of the DR.  No-one in their right mind could suggest they're balancing those priorities, and this is in a world where people watch a large percentage of stuff on their phones, in 1080p.

A good deal of the richness in the older BM footage is still there in the Prores files, even the low bitrate ones.  Even with the 5K sensor and downsampling on the GH5, I'm still only able to approach (and not exceed) the look from the Prores 422 or LT files from the Micro.

The DR of recent Sony cameras is very good, but more would also be useful.  Think about a shot that is backlit - in order to not blow out the sky you are forced to underexpose the foreground, which is hardly the ideal in terms of exposure.  I'd suggest that the phrase is "borderline usable".  No-one is talking about 6K and saying we really need 8K and that 6K is "borderline usable".

The high ISO performance is great, but once again, they've delivered a 1500% increase in the number of pixels while also raising the ISO performance, it's not like focusing on DR would have been to the exclusion of every other parameter in the whole device.

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On 3/29/2021 at 10:00 PM, Matins 2 said:

I'm pretty sure Sony is able to mass-produce a cheap CCD-based consumer camera that can record 16-bit RAW internally, but it would screw their entire camera business.

Yeah.  The limitations that Sony deliberately put in their imaging devices really places limitations on the wider industry, all the people that use them, and all the images that come from those imaging devices.

 

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32 minutes ago, kye said:

You're right that low light and DR are improving, but in comparison to the Alexa, 10 years has delivered 1600% of the pixels, and <100% of the DR.  No-one in their right mind could suggest they're balancing those priorities, and this is in a world where people watch a large percentage of stuff on their phones, in 1080p.

A good deal of the richness in the older BM footage is still there in the Prores files, even the low bitrate ones.  Even with the 5K sensor and downsampling on the GH5, I'm still only able to approach (and not exceed) the look from the Prores 422 or LT files from the Micro.

The DR of recent Sony cameras is very good, but more would also be useful.  Think about a shot that is backlit - in order to not blow out the sky you are forced to underexpose the foreground, which is hardly the ideal in terms of exposure.  I'd suggest that the phrase is "borderline usable".  No-one is talking about 6K and saying we really need 8K and that 6K is "borderline usable".

The high ISO performance is great, but once again, they've delivered a 1500% increase in the number of pixels while also raising the ISO performance, it's not like focusing on DR would have been to the exclusion of every other parameter in the whole device.

I shoot backlit a lot with no issues, the S1 has amazing latitude. I personally owned the Ursa 4.6k and didn’t really see the hype with the dual gain. I can say with a lot of practical shooting experience that I rarely have issues with dynamic range.  Not having 4000 iso would cause a lot of issues though. The types of shots where the S1 (insert Sony sensor here) fails is inside if you have a bright window and very little bounced or ambient light. That’s when you use lights or just let it blow out, which I sometimes do for stylistic reasons. 

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10 hours ago, kye said:

Yeah.  The limitations that Sony deliberately put in their imaging devices really places limitations on the wider industry, all the people that use them, and all the images that come from those imaging devices.

Unfortunately, the low and mid-tier camera market is stuck in the mud.

Quality wise, Sony is the McDonald's of the camera industry.

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2 hours ago, MicahMahaffey said:

This is why I think the Lumix S Series cams stand out to me.. 

They're not using sony technology and have a pretty amazing image in vlog. 

Coming from sony, I totally get what you're saying. 

The Lumix S line uses Sony sensors. Panasonic's processing is way better though. 

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19 hours ago, TomTheDP said:

The Lumix S line uses Sony sensors. Panasonic's processing is way better though. 

I'm pretty sure Panasonic is NOT using Sony sensors in their S1/S1r/S1h/S5 

I just googled it to double check, I couldn't find anything about them having sony sensors. But I did find discussions about them having custom sensors that are not Sony.. 

 

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14 minutes ago, MicahMahaffey said:

I'm pretty sure Panasonic is NOT using Sony sensors in their S1/S1r/S1h/S5 

I just googled it to double check, I couldn't find anything about them having sony sensors. But I did find discussions about them having custom sensors that are not Sony.. 

 

Panasonic, Nikon, Fuji, Z-cam, and Blackmagic all use Sony sensors. Canon is really the only company not using them right now. Blackmagic's Ursa sensors aren't Sony either and neither were their older cameras which were all Fairchild. 

This isn't information Panasonic tells people. @androidlad could give you more exact information on this type of stuff 

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16 hours ago, omega1978 said:

I think thats DR in Vlog is top, Prores minimize the video Look

 

That looked quite nice, but still had the 'video' look to me.

I wonder if everyone is so used to seeing stuff with the same look that people are now blind to it.

Here's some things that don't share the same look, for contrast.

 

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7 hours ago, TomTheDP said:

Panasonic, Nikon, Fuji, Z-cam, and Blackmagic all use Sony sensors. Canon is really the only company not using them right now. Blackmagic's Ursa sensors aren't Sony either and neither were their older cameras which were all Fairchild. 

This isn't information Panasonic tells people. @androidlad could give you more exact information on this type of stuff 

Wasnt the sensor in the s1 and s1h made by TowerJazz? 

That name has been thrown around here a lot when the cams came out. Although it is a bit curious that the cams of that generation all have pretty much the same specs, i.e. Sony a73 / Nikon z6 / S1(h). 

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5 hours ago, kye said:

That looked quite nice, but still had the 'video' look to me.

I wonder if everyone is so used to seeing stuff with the same look that people are now blind to it.

Here's some things that don't share the same look, for contrast.

 

Thank you. Ok when you compare Arri Alexa Classic( with some vintage lens ) with S1 and a 24-70 Tamron( that ads a lot of Contras ) i think as consumer we are in a good position for what we pay 😜

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Theres no definitive proof that the S series uses sony sensors, but lets say they do, because that's obviously very possible. 

I think they still look good and different than my sony cams not just because of how its processes, but the fact that theres no phase detect autofocus on the sensor. 

Looking at side by side comparisons of current sensors, the contrast detect autofocus on the lumix cams gives the footage a much more pleasing look. 

If you crop in on a sony, you get like halos on edges from the sensors auto focus system. This gives sony cams a subtle feeling of digital sharpness. 

Although cams like the red komodo share similar auto focus tech, it somehow doesn't have this problem. Or maybe it does? Idk I've never used it. 

But as a mirrorless camera the s series cams imo avoid this issue by having contrast detect autofocus. 

Of course this is just my point of view, but I think someone could plop and arri beside the S1h,S1,S5 and grade them to match and nobody would notice which cam is which.. 

Although, the motion cadence of the Arri will likely stand out as better. But again, I really dont know for sure. 

 

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5 hours ago, MicahMahaffey said:

Theres no definitive proof that the S series uses sony sensors, but lets say they do, because that's obviously very possible. 

I think they still look good and different than my sony cams not just because of how its processes, but the fact that theres no phase detect autofocus on the sensor. 

Looking at side by side comparisons of current sensors, the contrast detect autofocus on the lumix cams gives the footage a much more pleasing look. 

If you crop in on a sony, you get like halos on edges from the sensors auto focus system. This gives sony cams a subtle feeling of digital sharpness. 

Although cams like the red komodo share similar auto focus tech, it somehow doesn't have this problem. Or maybe it does? Idk I've never used it. 

But as a mirrorless camera the s series cams imo avoid this issue by having contrast detect autofocus. 

Of course this is just my point of view, but I think someone could plop and arri beside the S1h,S1,S5 and grade them to match and nobody would notice which cam is which.. 

Although, the motion cadence of the Arri will likely stand out as better. But again, I really dont know for sure. 

 

Sony A7s ii is only CDAF (as are the first version A7s and first A7R though that was not so much a camera for video).

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10 hours ago, MicahMahaffey said:

Theres no definitive proof that the S series uses sony sensors, but lets say they do, because that's obviously very possible. 

I think they still look good and different than my sony cams not just because of how its processes, but the fact that theres no phase detect autofocus on the sensor. 

Looking at side by side comparisons of current sensors, the contrast detect autofocus on the lumix cams gives the footage a much more pleasing look. 

If you crop in on a sony, you get like halos on edges from the sensors auto focus system. This gives sony cams a subtle feeling of digital sharpness. 

Although cams like the red komodo share similar auto focus tech, it somehow doesn't have this problem. Or maybe it does? Idk I've never used it. 

But as a mirrorless camera the s series cams imo avoid this issue by having contrast detect autofocus. 

Of course this is just my point of view, but I think someone could plop and arri beside the S1h,S1,S5 and grade them to match and nobody would notice which cam is which.. 

Although, the motion cadence of the Arri will likely stand out as better. But again, I really dont know for sure. 

 

I’m pretty sure the exact sensor had been posted on here by @androidladbefore. I’m just too lazy to dig through a million threads right now 

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