Archive for the ‘Cinedeck’ Category

Sony EX3 Noise & Bits-Resolution

Monday, November 5th, 2012

It looks to me like it is worth recording from a Sony EX3 in 10-bit when there will be subsequent Neat Video -type temporal denoising in post.

I tried a quick-and-dirty experiment, confirming that, despite the relatively high noise of the Sony EX3 (as compared to mainstream broadcast video cameras), high bitrate 10-bit 4:2:2 recording offers a greater potential than 8-bit 4:2:0  when the Neat Video type of temporal denoising (motion-compensated, I think) is applied in post.

I have yet to dig-down into this, e.g. to see how it would be affected by dropping down to “8-bit but still high-bandwidth” recording, hence I can only conclude that the combination of high bandwidth, 10-bit and 4:2:2 is beneficial.

The experiment:

  • Make an extremely low-light recording on the EX3, in 1080 50i mode.
  • Import it to a SD resolution project in Adobe Premiere.
    • No “scale to project size”, hence pixel-for-pixel, with the HD clip therefore appearing to be “zoomed”.
  • Compare the original to a copy that had the following affects applied:
    • Fast Color Corrector
      • Input-range (0, 1.6, 114), to brighten the (deliberately) under-exposed image.
      • Increase Saturation to 200.
    • Remove Noise (Neat Video)
      • Temporal noise reduction only, radius 4 (frames).

Make the comparison via Preview:

  • Set resolution to 100%, image size to Full.
  • Render the result, i.e. so timeline had green lines not red.
  • Compare by eye.
    • The unprocessed 8-bit (XDCAM-EX) and 10-bit (Cineform-High) recordings appeared identical i.e. very noisy.
    • The denoised 8-bit looked slightly better but the denoised 10-bit looked very significantly better, indeed just about usable.

EX3 SDI Output

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

 Worked, but config was not as straightforward as I first (naively) assumed:

The big “Gotcha”:

  • Must first Disable the iLink (IEEE 1394, small FireWire) interface. Otherwise SDI won’t work at all.  I guess EX3’s SDI & iLink might share some circuitry?
    • In EX3 Menu, OTHERS category (last i.e. final category):
      • [i.Link I/O] :Disable.

Then, in EX3 Menu, VIDEO SET category (3rd category), then:

  • [YPbPr/SDI Out Select] : HD
  • [YPbPr/SDI Out Display] : Off

This worked fine in practice.


  • Under EX3 OTHERS Menu-Category:
    • With EX3 [Country] = [NTSC Area]:
      • “HQ 1080/60i” gives [1080 interlaced 59.94fps 4:2:2 YUV10].
      • “HQ 1080/30p” gives [1080 progressive 29.97fps 4:2:2 YUV10 ].
      • “HQ 1080/24p” gives ??? (Cinedeck accepted it only at 30 fps)
    • With (correspondingly) [PAL Area]:
      • “HQ 1080/50i” gives [1080 interlaces 50fps 4:2:2 YUV10]