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    #11
    Senior Member Cory Braun's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure the AF100 is the first take. You can tell by the way the skin looks.

    Also, I agree that the AF100 noise problems have been over exaggerated. As long as you know how to control the picture profile settings (or whatever the equivalent is called on the AF100) you can get pretty clean images at 3200. I just shot a music video which had a pool scene that we shot at midnight and it was pretty damn clean.


     

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    #12
    Senior Member nyvz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry_Green View Post
    Did you watch the noise comparison video I posted? Using the low-noise settings, there's just ... no noise. At all.
    Yes, it is a bit difficult to tell anything given that the AF100 chart was significantly overexposed compared to the FS100, and it was scaled to 720p (FS100 was 1080p) and appeared significantly softened by comparison. Low contrast charts that fill the screen with no information falling in shadow will tell almost nothing about the noise performance of a particular gain setting.

    The candle-lit scene seems far more indicative of the AF100 noise performance because it shows the full luminance range available to the sensor. iso3200 on the AF100 is obviously not useable for most HD work, and I generally do not consider iso1600 to be either. Perhaps they are, however, useful for overexposing a low contrast scene, but that is rarely what high gain settings are used for, in fact it is usually just the opposite.

    Edit: I just noticed the one-candle video also went through post noise reduction, so I suppose one should expect even more banding noise in camera
    Last edited by nyvz; 08-31-2011 at 10:22 AM.


     

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    #13
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    Completely agree with nyvz. When it first came out, I was totally won over by the af100 based on it's feature set which I still think are great for the price. But after extensive use all over the world for commercial jobs, the image just did not hold up and I sold the camera after only a few months. In fact, i tried to sell to nyc rental house and they said they did not want it because they never rent it but would buy an fs100 in a minute, if that says something. Admittedly the omission of pro features on the fs100 is annoying but image wise it is a much much better camera. Hands down. I have had several union DPs reject the af100 for commercial jobs I was directing based on the blown out highlights and noise even at low isos and we ended up renting another camera. This is real world experience not charts. I myself have decided to go for the f3 because it has all the functionality and image quality for commercial production. But I am aware it is at a different price point. Can someone make a camera with the features of the a f100 and the sensor of the fs100.


     

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    #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyvz View Post
    Yes, it is a bit difficult to tell anything given that the AF100 chart was significantly overexposed compared to the FS100, and it was scaled to 720p (FS100 was 1080p) and appeared significantly softened by comparison.
    Those charts were shot at different times, the AF100 test is an older test. But there was no resizing, they were posted as pixel-for-pixel extracts.

    So, just to satisfy the curious, I re-shot just a couple of minutes ago. Same chart, same lighting, same tripod position, equivalent lenses. FS100 at 18dB, AF100 at 3200 ISO. Pixel-for-pixel and 2x blowups. The noise level, as you'll no doubt observe, is extremely comparable. The noise texture is different, but the amount of noise is about the same.

    Here's a mediafire download of the 1080p render straight from the timeline, no CC, no noise reduction, just raw pixel-for-pixel video.
    http://www.mediafire.com/?o579xuvkiy3z309

    And for those who want to cut to the chase, here's the vimeo:


    Any way you slice it, there's no magical 7x bigger pixel effect happening. These are comparable generation technology products, and they are performing at a comparable level.I don't know why you would say 1600 or 3200 ISO on the AF100 is "not usable for most HD work", I certainly think that 1600 is very clean and totally usable, and 3200 is usable if necessary -- and a light pass of Neat Video noise reduction would render it extremely usable. But that's beyond the point -- the point is, gain for gain, these two are extremely evenly matched.


     

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    In this test I can definitly see more grain on the AF100 in the darker areas, or at least a less "pleasant" noise. The noise on the AF100 is magenta and you can see it "move" around, which is somewhat distractive. However, the noise on the FS100 doesn't exhibit any "chroma" funkiness, and it is somewhat uniform. Overall, I can't tell for sure where there is more noise, I am not an expert on that. But I can definitly said that, as a viewer, I am less distracted by the noise exhibited by the FS100.


     

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    #16
    Senior Member nyvz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry_Green View Post
    Whether the claim is that the pixels are actually that much larger, or they're confusing the issue and calling a red/green/blue/green bayer block an "effective" pixel, or whatever, I cannot currently answer. But in any case, I am quite satisfied that whatever the claimed number of pixels, the actual performance is absolutely directly on par and equivalent.
    They are not confusing, all manufacturers report their photosites in megapixels or some synonym regardless of color filtering, Sony is no different. All we care about are effective pixels. Sony has made it clear in the presentations I've seen and reps I've talked to that their imaging elements cover the full sensor. Panasonic on the other hand, does not report their effective pixels anywhere and it is not clear how they are utilizing the 16MP sensor in their AF100, and no one has ever gotten them to say as far as I have heard. The FS100 may seem to be an evolution from DSLRs in terms of its design, but it takes its sensor from the $13k Sony F3 whereas the AF100 sensor seems to share almost all of its specs with the sensor from the $1k GH2, which has always bothered me a bit.
    Last edited by nyvz; 08-31-2011 at 11:24 AM.


     

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    #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyvz View Post
    They are not confusing, all manufacturers report their photosites in megapixels or some synonym regardless of color filtering, Sony is no different. All we care about are effective pixels. Sony has made it clear in the presentations I've seen and reps I've talked to that their imaging elements cover the full sensor. Panasonic on the other hand, does not report their effective pixels anywhere and it is not clear how they are utilizing the 16MP sensor in their AF100. The FS100 may seem to be an evolution from DSLRs in terms of its design, but it takes its sensor from the $13k Sony F3 whereas the AF100 sensor seems to share almost all of its specs with the sensor from the $1k GH2, which has always bothered me a bit.
    Well, there's marketing, and then there's actual performance. I am more interested in what the products actually DO, than what the manufacturers say about them.

    In my evaluation, I have found them to be extremely comparable in performance. Whether one manufacturer claims "it's the sensor from the F3" or another says that it's a new sensor or whatever, doesn't matter. What DOES matter is: how do they perform? And to that question, after extensive evaluation, I have found the answer -- they perform directly comparably. They are equally sensitive (as far as their ISO ranges go), they deliver comparable sharpness, they deliver comparable dynamic range (FS100 ever so slightly better, but it's a difference of 5%).

    Alan Roberts made some fascinating discoveries in his evaluation of the F3, and concluded that it was probably a 12.9 megapixel sensor. Not the claimed 3.3 megapixels. So yeah, it may sound like good marketing for Sony to say "same sensor as the F3!" but in reality, it performs just like the sensor in the AF100. Either the AF100's sensor is dramatically better than people have been claiming (when they disparage it by saying it's "from the $1k GH2") or the FS100's sensor is nowhere near as good as the vaunted F3, I cannot say. But what I can say, definitively, is that the AF100 and the FS100 perform comparably.


     

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    #18
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    Is there an agenda here? Having owned both, I think it is easy to see that the FS100 provides a cleaner picture. Not that the Af100 is garbage, just easy to see in real world usage. It seems like much energy is being placed into placing the af100 above the fs100.

    Just my thoughts!


     

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    #19
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    All I did was put 'em side by side. I've been using the FS100 for a couple of weeks, I'd heard all the praise and all the excitement, and I kept looking for this magical super-sensitive amazing 3.4-megapixel image boost, and wasn't finding it. So I put the two cameras under the microscope, to get to the bottom of what is actually happening. And posted my results. That was my agenda.

    The FS100 sensor is bigger, which gives it a wider field of view. And it has higher potential gain settings, so for those who need to go into darker conditions, it has the ability to gain up more. Other than that, they are quite comparable in imaging. The main differences between them are in features and design, not in actual video performance.

    My methodology and results are posted. If anyone disagrees, I'd be glad to see their test results, including documenting the settings they used etc., so that I can figure out why they got different results than I did. I hear lots of anecdotal things such as "wow, the gain is so clean" and such, but rarely does anyone put them side by side and quantify the exact differences. That's what I attempted to do here.
    Last edited by Barry_Green; 08-31-2011 at 12:00 PM.


     

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    #20
    Senior Member nyvz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mestizo Devon View Post
    Is there an agenda here? Having owned both, I think it is easy to see that the FS100 provides a cleaner picture. Not that the Af100 is garbage, just easy to see in real world usage. It seems like much energy is being placed into placing the af100 above the fs100.

    Just my thoughts!
    Agreed. I have found the same in my experience after using the AF100 for months and then the FS100, any findings saying somehow they perform the "same" seem a bit suspect. That is not to say that you cant get very nice looking images from the AF100 in certain situations. I've just been incredibly impressed with the way the FS100 allowed me to not worry about most of the imaging issues I've had with the AF100,7D,etc. Clean shadows, lots of useable gain options, very smooth highlights, no color shifting, no oversensitivity to green/magenta, best in class latitude, what more could I ask for? And the ridiculously good battery life doesnt hurt.

    As for Alan Roberts' paper, who knows what happened with his test, but it has enough factual errors in it that it would make me seriously question its validity or at least its usefulness.

    I think it may be difficult to really quantify what some people will feel is too much noise. I looked at that side-by-side video, especially in the black areas on the far sides of the chart and the resolution indicated by the trumpets, and it looks like about what I would expect, the AF100 seems to have quite a bit more noise that is also much more coarse, and you can also see that it lost quite a bit of sharpness because the codec is tied up compressing noise and of course is to some extent smoothing the noise and detail to improve its compression. This softening effect can be seen in the significant discrepancy between the resolution as indicated by the trumpets on the chart. The FS100 on the other hand has very fine noise that seems much more pleasing. It is likely this difference would be even more visible in the uncompressed output of both cameras as the noise and detail might not be softened so much by the encoder. The FS100 seems to also have more latitude in that situation, partly because of the lower noise floor and also partly in that the whites seem further from clipping. Latitude comparisons in these high gain modes is difficult to tell without more contrast, though.

    I agree that it is not as simple as saying the FS100 has the same sensor as the F3, even if it does, because we know both the FS100 and F3 were crippled out of the factory in the sense that unlocking the top 2-3stops of latitude for the sensor can only be done by buying the F3 with the slog upgrade. In this way, some of the performance of the sensor is certainly hindered in both Sony models. What's impressive is that despite crippling their cameras, the FS100 still performs noticeably better in noise performance and in latitude than the AF100 at pretty much all gain modes. For some these are not the most important attribute of a camera. For me, it happens to be very important along with highlight handling.
    Last edited by nyvz; 08-31-2011 at 12:40 PM.


     

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