Other: The Sony ILME-FX6V Owners Club

I've had limited success with Catalyst Browse, probably owing to the fact that I like to keep my shutter speed at 1/48 and I almost always shoot at 24fps which creates a weird motion effect when stabilized in Catalyst. TBH I've only tried it with my a7siii. If you shoot at 180 on the FX6 can you avoid this?

So I shoot to a 180 degree shutter at 24p primarily on the FX6 and I haven’t ran into any issues when using the gyro sensor data in Catalyst Browse. I just shoot like I normally would and if something feels a bit shaky for my taste, I pull that clip up in CB and am able to fix it right up. It’s been pretty great in my experience and doesn’t require me to crop much to get the footage to look nice. My only complaint is that I wish it was available directly in Premiere.
 
When I've tried gyro stabilisation before I've generally used a 90 degree shutter and I've still seen occasional ugly smearing that I assumed was motion blur weirdness. Maybe I need to play with the settings in Catalyst a bit more. I'll be testing it with 180 degree shutter tomorrow and if it doesn't work (16-35 GM walking shots) I'll have to use the a7Siii for a doc shoot instead of the FX6.
 
I shoot 50fps @ 360 degree shutter, and Catalyst stab results looks weird. I've borrowed a 16-35GM so will test it vs the OSS 16-35 Zeiss.
 
I guess no surprise after playing with both the GM 16-35 vs the Zeiss 16-35 OSS. I did three comparisons all hand held:

Static:
- Zeiss: Great out of camera
- GM: OK but still moved around
- Catalyst on GM: looked good
- Resolve on GM: looked good (better than Catalyst)


Panning:
- Zeiss: Good out of camera
- GM: Marginal but still useable
- Catalyst on GM: looked good
- Resolve on GM: looked good (better than Catalyst)- Zeiss: Great out of camera

Walking: It all was pretty poor. Zeiss was the "best" of a band bunch. Trying to use Catalyst or Resolve to stabilise the video gave all sorts of weird jello bending of straight lines and weird blur in details. This is what a gimbal etc is for.

Anyway, for video use I'm still disappointed that the latest lens releases from Sony (like the C and PZ 16-35) Sony don't have OSS. I'd like the "better glass" but not over shaky handled video. OSS works and works well on the FX6. I'll be sticking with the Zeiss 16-35, 28-135 OSS, and 100-400 OSS.
 
For me the gyro sensor data is a real treat on the FX6 and I get great results from it pretty much every time. But, I'm also not trying to smooth out walking shots with it. For me that's what a gimbal is for. I use the gyro sensor data for smoothing out handheld shots that get just a touch shakier than what I might be going for, but again, not for trying to fix anything extreme. I think that's largely why I get such good results as I'm not asking the software to do anything crazy.

You did say in your post above that you used it for static shots in your test and that's more in line with what I would use it for. Static or maybe even me moving to the camera handheld to follow some action, but none of that is extreme.
 
Have you done any testing to compare the stabilization in CB to what can be done within Resolve?

No sir, I have not. I have been pretty happy with CB, so I haven't felt the need to test it against anything else. Plus, I recently purchase Catalyst Prepare (subscribed to rather) and am trying to use that program as part of my workflow moving forward.
 
Let us know if you ever do some testing. I did, and have chosen to use Resolve for a number of reasons. I was curious if you had done any comparison yourself. You might like one, but you might like the other even better. Just saying.
 
FWIW, I think that Resolve is a Better choice for me than Catalyst as:
- The stabilisation produces (slightly) better results (and this was with stock settings)
- No need to pre-process creating a separate render (all in one package)
- Works on all footage including those without Gyro data and/or Lens with OSS turned on (eg I can future stabilise footage from OSS lens which you can not do with Catalyst)
 
Used the a7Siii as the A-cam on a doc shoot recently instead of the FX6. We did a lot of handheld tracking shots and the Sony GM 16-35 f2.8 was perfect for the look we wanted. No OSS on the lens though, so a combination of the a7Siii having IBIS and it being possible to hold it closer to the body made it the better choice.

I missed all the expected things about the FX6 (ND, side handle, viewfinder - I use the FX9 loupe). Surprisingly though, a few days into the shoot I realised I preferred plenty of things about the ergonomics of the smaller camera.

The a7Siii has 14 customisable buttons, aka "all of them". They are actually very cleverly differentiated in terms of size, position and feel. You'll never accidentally hit the button next to the one you want. And there is something about the smaller body - the front / top / right buttons might only be an inch away from the back / top / right buttons but clearly you are never going to get them mixed up. And your hands are always in the same position relative to the controls (while shooting handheld) as there is nowhere else for them to go.

So after a few hours of setup and a few hours of shooting, you can find everything instantly by touch alone. Given the current (excellent) state of AF this is a big deal. Predictably, I had six buttons dedicated to AF / MF. What I didn't expect was how quickly they all became second nature while filming.

The FX6 looks like it should be way ahead in this regard, with proper video-specific controls. The AF / MF toggle is a sliding switch, for example - This is nice design and it seems churlish to complain about it. Unfortunately, this means that it can't be remapped. Having AF / MF toggle directly under the natural position of my thumb on the a7Siii works so much better! I'd like the option of having it somewhere similar on the FX6 (button 5).

I'm not sure what the solution is apart from allowing ALL of the buttons on the FX6 to be remapped. Why is this a feature of the more consumer-oriented camera rather than the pro version?

In other news - the external monitor / EVF situation with the a7Siii is an absolute shit%##w.

No touch tracking through an external monitor? ok, no surprise there. Send camera info to external monitor so I can at least monitor what's being tracked? Image shrinks to the size of a stamp and the camera's LCD turns off so now I can't use touch tracking at all. I wish this was because Sony were ripping us off with some proprietary solution, I really do. Sell me something that works, Sony.
 
The FX6 looks like it should be way ahead in this regard, with proper video-specific controls. The AF / MF toggle is a sliding switch, for example - This is nice design and it seems churlish to complain about it. Unfortunately, this means that it can't be remapped. Having AF / MF toggle directly under the natural position of my thumb on the a7Siii works so much better! I'd like the option of having it somewhere similar on the FX6 (button 5)

The FX6 IS way ahead in this regard. So far ahead, in fact, that the AF/MF toggle switch isn't really even needed on the FX6 if you have firmware 2.0 loaded. The switch on my camera is always set for MF even though I'm using some form of AF most of the time these days. With the switch in the MF position I can still use touch-tracking and face/eye detect, as well as always having access to push-auto and full manual -- all at the same time. If you slide the switch to AF you will be giving too much control to the camera and it will **** you too often. The other focusing modes are damn near perfect with the right settings and techniques. As far as I'm concerned the AF/MF switch is completely unnecessary.

 
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The FX6 IS way ahead in this regard. So far ahead, in fact, that the AF/MF toggle switch isn't really even needed on the FX6 if you have firmware 2.0 loaded. The switch on my camera is always set for MF even though I'm using some form of AF most of the time these days. With the switch in the MF position I can still use touch-tracking and face/eye detect, as well as always having access to push-auto and full manual -- all at the same time. If you slide the switch to AF you will be giving too much control to the camera and it will **** you too often. The other focusing modes are damn near perfect with the right settings and techniques. As far as I'm concerned the AF/MF switch is completely unnecessary.


Right, but you can do all of those things with the a7Siii and you can also assign a button to AF / MF toggle.
 
Have you done any testing to compare the stabilization in CB to what can be done within Resolve?

I've done many stabilization tests comparing Catalyst on FX6 material to optical and post stabilization in FCP (see below). I haven't compared those to Resolve's stabilizer.

The problem with Sony's gyro stabilization is you must decide up front to use that and turn off lens OIS or (for mirrorless cameras) IBIS. In general at 60 fps it works very well, but my documentary team usually shoots at 23.98 at 180 degrees, and due to frame blurring Catalyst works less well for that.

I shoot a lot of shoulder-mount material with the FX6 using the Sony 70-200 2.8 GM II, and for that I prefer the lens OIS combined with NLE stabilization. The reason is that works at both 23.98 and 59.94 and I don't have to think about switching methods. Resolve Studio has a more comprehensive stabilizer so I've used that but not in a back-to-back comparison vs the gyro/Catalyst method.

Here are some early FX6 tests I did, mostly at 200 and 280mm hand held, but one at 28mm using the Sony 28-135 PZ lens. BTW thanks Doug for your great master class on the FX6 -- that has helped a lot!!

FX6 Catalyst stabilization at 280mm, 23.98 vs 59.94 fps (shows frame blurring at 23.98): https://vimeo.com/598896853/2bde2933ac

FX6 unstabilized vs Catalyst vs Catalyst+FCP stabilization at 28mm: https://vimeo.com/617097074/aa54cef30c

Numerous FX6 stabilization tests at 200mm, various combinations of Catalyst vs OIS vs FCP: https://youtu.be/u81AGWEqEog
 
Here are some early FX6 tests I did, mostly at 200 and 280mm hand held, but one at 28mm using the Sony 28-135 PZ lens. BTW thanks Doug for your great master class on the FX6 -- that has helped a lot!!
l]

Thanks for posting the tests. I think the Catalyst results look better than Premiere, but ultimately I still think the workflow to use CB is not worth the huge hassle. It would be interesting to see some comparisons between CB and Resolve. The stabilization in Resolve is super easy to use and produces excellent results with several parameters that can be modified. All my footage goes through Resolve for grading before I edit in Premiere, so adding some stabilization is not big deal.
 
Heck, I don't mind sharing. After trimming and grading, I export from Resolve all the clips as individual 4K ProRes 422 files, and then I import those files into Premiere and use them as my raw footage for the edit. Sometimes I will drop it down to ProRes LT or even MP4 for interviews and other simple stuff where there's no advantage to the better codec. But usually it is Prores 422.
 
I've never tried using Catalyst because it seems like a waste of time to stabilize everything I've shot handheld before editing rather than waiting till Post where you would only need to stabilize short moments. Is there a good argument for doing it ahead of time? How fast is it?
Also i guess most of time I'm shooting for others and they just want me to hand off footage rather than process it first. I guess it would be advantageous to look incredibly stable at 280mmm though.
 
You're right, it would be a waste of time to use Catalyst. It's possible that changes have been made to how Catalyst works since I produced my FX6 master class more than a year ago, but here's what I said about it back then, and it is probably still true.

First of all, f you try to stabilize a clip that was shot with SteadyShot turned on, you'll get an error message. So, even though a clip might have the stabilized metadata icon superimposed over the thumbnail -- that is no guarantee that the clip can actually be stabilized.

A second "gotcha", is that you can only use lenses that can communicate electronically with the camera because the camera needs to know the focal length of the lens. Without that vital piece of information, Catalyst Browse will not be able to properly counteract unwanted motion. So obviously, you're probably going to be limited to shooting with e-mount lenses -- or adapters that allow communication between the camera and lens. But that's not all, there are other issues to be aware of as well:


Stabilized clips have to be rendered out from Catalyst Browse as new stand-alone video files, thus increasing the amount of data that you need to store, backup, and deal with during editing.

Clips can only be stabilized and exported one at a time. So, you can't just select a group of clips and tell Catalyst to do them as a batch.

I have a pretty fast computer and exporting takes three times longer than real time -- meaning that a 20 second clip that needs stabilization is going to take more than a minute to render . . . while you sit there and wait for it to finish so you can setup the next clip that needs to stabilized

Stabilization is accomplished by magnifying the image, so there will always be a measurable loss of resolution and image quality.

You can use the MANUAL mode to modify the amount of stabilization that is applied, but that stabilization data is not stored anywhere, so once you have exported a clip, you will have to start all over again from scratch if you ever decide that you want to make changes at a later time.
 
The FX6 IS way ahead in this regard. So far ahead, in fact, that the AF/MF toggle switch isn't really even needed on the FX6 if you have firmware 2.0 loaded. The switch on my camera is always set for MF even though I'm using some form of AF most of the time these days. With the switch in the MF position I can still use touch-tracking and face/eye detect, as well as always having access to push-auto and full manual -- all at the same time. If you slide the switch to AF you will be giving too much control to the camera and it will **** you too often. The other focusing modes are damn near perfect with the right settings and techniques. As far as I'm concerned the AF/MF switch is completely unnecessary.


This works fine and I will probably use it in future. The only problem for me is that it's not possible to change the Eye AF setting when in MF mode. Apologies if you deal with this in the linked video - I'm out on a job today and can't check.

In other news, I discovered the other day that cache record on the FX6 works without a memory card in the camera! So if you're about to start recording and realise - DOH! No card. It's no problem, just hit cache record and you should have plenty of time to get a card out of the bag, perhaps while whistling an annoying tune and ruining the take.
 
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