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Sony a5100 vs a6000. Does both do line skipping or full sensor binning readout?


alexO
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There are plenty of discussions about a6000, but there are only few touching a5100. Is there a big difference between both in terms of video quality beside an XAVC-S 50mbit in a5100?

I am kind of confused if a5100 has an identical video engine/readout as a6000. In the initial a5100 press release Sony had the following statement:

"Additionally, with the power of the BIONZ X processor, the camera is able to read, process and output data from all of the sensor’s pixels during video recording, ensuring that it produces the highest quality video possible by eliminating aliasing, moiré and false color artifacts."

Which was later revised and removed. Not sure if it was a copy/paste error from A7s or there was some improvement made in the readout(potentially pixel binning of the whole sensor without any line skipping). But since the wording was ambiguous and kind of implied the direct pixel readout they decided just to get rid of this statement altogether.

I’ve seen some footages/test results/reports showing a significant improvement compared to older NEX’es and some showing very little. I suspect inconsistency could be attributed to different binning methods used for 24/25/30p and 50/60p modes. In the later mode engine might do line skipping to be able to keep up. Not sure how plausible is this theory.

 

In addition, I found this test which I am taking with a grain of salt since I couldn’t verify who did it. It shows the noise level of a5100 to be significantly lower at ISO 6400 compared to both A5000 and 5R. If this improvement is real, it should indicate that a5100 does in fact have less line skipping. And while pixel binning wouldn’t completely get rid of moire and wouldn’t produce same image as direct pixel readout, I will take it anytime over line skipping.

 

P.S. At this point I am basically deliberating if I should upgrade from my Nex 5R to either A5100 or Panasonic LX100, which would be better suited for non-professional work in moderate light conditions. In the case of LX100 I would probably film in 4K with intention to downsample it to get a razor sharp 1080p.

 
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Thanks, I’ve seen those comparisons Inazuma, and also followed threads:

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I believe the difference in details/sharpness between GX7 and a6000 is not very significant compared to what you get from real 4K downsampled to 1080p(I use ffmpeg with lanczos resampling). Even if you compare 1080p from LX100 with 4K which you would downsample yourself the difference is quite significant. I believe at this point only A7S does a proper downsampling to razor sharp 1080p. Others (GH4, LX100) despite doing a full readout are not producing that sharp image straight from the camera. I read that GX7 is doing pixel mixing, which is some sort of pixel binning.

In addition, in your examples I felt comparison of Panasonic’s superb 12-35mm f/2.8 to either pancake style 16-50mm or 16mm is not fair even at 1080p. In fact, I found your snapshot of A6000 with Konika 40mm to be sharper than GX7’s.

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I have a 5R too, and would like to upgrade it. My main requirement for upgrading that one is XAVC-S (and preferrably 720p 120fps). Even though the aliasing & moire could be noticeable on shots from the 5R, what really killed the video quality of 5R was the codec.

 

No way I'm upgrading to an A6000 or any other alternatives unless they have XAVC-S - it's such a huge improvement codec-wise. It's really sad that the A6000 hasn't gotten a firmware update with XAVC-S yet, only the A5100 has it. Hopefully A6000 will get the codec it ought to have soon enough. 

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