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James Miller adds £167 hardware 4K scaler box to Sony A7S with stunning results


Andrew Reid

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buddy-james-miller---cyp-4k-hdmi-scaler

 

Picture courtesy of James Miller, inset - the CYP 4K HDMI scaler

The picture above (click for 1080p original) is from the 4K full frame sensor inside the Sony A7S (ISO 3200, S-LOG2).

Internally the camera does a simple downscale of the 4K signal to 2K for standard 1080p XAVC or HDMI recording - but James discovered adding a hardware scaler on the end of the 4K HDMI signal results in a more detailed 1080p image which is light and day different. The great news is this scaler is only £167 in the UK.

Add to that an Atomos Ninja Blade or Ninja Star for taking the image from the scaler and recording it to ProRes - and you have one of the best 1080p images available at any price.

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Does anyone else think the color science in this camera is still complete crap? I haven't seen anything to make me think otherwise. 

I think he's talking about IS lenses.

I would wager that some of you are on PC and others are on Mac.   I will share that on a calibrated PC monitor, the OP's image appears washed-out (elevated gamma).   I have quietly thought this si

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Yep almost all ways apart from the rolling shutter, which is a result of having the full pixel read out, so worth it in my view. There's always the APS-C mode & IS for more violent handheld work.

 

In future Sony plan to read 4 lines at once on their CMOS sensors to speed up the full pixel readout. They have filed a patent for it.

 

Miles ahead of Canon? Looking like it.

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It would be good to see if merely converting the signal into a superior codec, ProRes, accounts for the increased detail (after all the 1080 HD signal is downsized from 4K even when fed to the internal codec) or if it is superior downscaling.  Please someone run a test with XVAC-S vs ProRes at HD resolution.

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It would be good to see if merely converting the signal into a superior codec, ProRes, accounts for the increased detail (after all the 1080 HD signal is downsized from 4K even when fed to the internal codec) or if it is superior downscaling.  Please someone run a test with XVAC-S vs ProRes at HD resolution.

 

Likely no gain, I think it uses the same internal downscaling from the 4K sensor output to make the XAVC encoder and HDMI signal.

 

But you do gain compression quality and a file that grades better.

 

Also better motion blur with less macro blocking.

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The aliasing gives the "apparent" sharpness look. Same thing as with watching 4k videos on a 1080p screen. The scaling is done so fast that it creates those aliased lines. A good scaler would make that look smooth but then we would miss the "OMG LOOK AT THAT SHARPNESS!"- effect.

 

I'm more impressed by the colors.

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Guest d5f8611fa423d0e628c016f9d5c93b47

I'm confused. Why can't you just output 4K straight to the Ninja and record 1080, as with the GH4? Why does the A7s require the scaler and the GH4 doesn't?

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I'm confused. Why can't you just output 4K straight to the Ninja and record 1080, as with the GH4? Why does the A7s require the scaler and the GH4 doesn't?

 

It already does scaling for a 1080p output from 4K sensor feed, just like the GH4. However this external box takes over the job from the camera's image processor and does it better.

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The aliasing gives the "apparent" sharpness look. Same thing as with watching 4k videos on a 1080p screen. The scaling is done so fast that it creates those aliased lines. A good scaler would make that look smooth but then we would miss the "OMG LOOK AT THAT SHARPNESS!"- effect.

 

I'm more impressed by the colors.

 

It does have more actual detail though. Look closely.

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Guest d5f8611fa423d0e628c016f9d5c93b47

It already does scaling for a 1080p output from 4K sensor feed, just like the GH4. However this external box takes over the job from the camera's image processor and does it better.

 

Ah ok. So we need to see a comparison of straight to Ninja vs scaler+Ninja? 

I'd rather just have the Star attached than the scaler and battery too.

 

The colours in James Miller's clip look like they could  be  better to me.

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VERY exciting news.  For those in the US, the only one I could find was by Avenview - looks like the same build but more expensive at $325.  

 

http://www.avenview.com/4k-hdmi-scaler-p-1608.html

 

Also found a less expensive option ($160) for a different scaler on B&H but not sure of the quality of the processing.

 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1054513-REG/shinybow_sb_5652k_1x2_hdmi_4k2k_distribution.html

 

With the aps-c mode helping solve the RS issue and now this in terms of detail, the scale for my upcoming camera purchase is slowly tipping from the GH4 to the A7s.  Still gonna hold off 'til the thorough reviews of the A7s are out and the Canon 7DM2 announcement at Photokina (not much hope there but I'd be happy to be surprised by an amazing aps-c offering from them).  Good times.d

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