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Railfan Technology > Anyone shooting trains with a Sony FDR-AX100?

Date: 12/10/16 01:51
Anyone shooting trains with a Sony FDR-AX100?
Author: Harlock

I'm wondering if you've run into the rolling shutter problem shooting in 4K mode.
I saw one video on YouTube of commuter trains in Japan that was pretty bad, although the shutter speed was cranked way up, exaggerating the effect. It has physical ND filters which could be used to keep the frame sampling rate at 1/60th. It's apparent if you pan to follow a train and then stop when you're perpendicular to it.

I'm debating between the AX100 and the PXW-X70 as the next video camera and so far the X70 is winning if I can cough up the extra dough. They have the same sensor but the higher end camera samples it faster, eliminating the rolling shutter lag effect.


Mike Massee
Tehachapi, CA
Photography, Railroading and more..

Date: 12/10/16 23:28
Re: Anyone shooting trains with a Sony FDR-AX100?
Author: norm1153

Do you shoot video strictly on a tripod?  Since my main interest is traction - streetcars - I began shooting handheld, and have continued ever since.  Things just happen too fast in that area, to have the luxury of time to set up a tripod and compose the shot.  While the AX-100 has a bigger sensor, might I recommend one of Sony's Balance Optical Steadyshot camcorders?  You may already know about those.  They have that feature, which the AX-100 does not.  Here is a video clip I shot that is entirely handheld:


I'm no pro; just a professional rookie.  And if you'll notice, even then I hesitated a microsecond or two, deciding whether to pan or not, here and there. And the streetcar scene in San Francisco is far more intense.  That was shot using an FDR-AX53.  If you point one of them directly at you, and look through the protective lens cover, you'll see the lens assembly actually moving in a kind of liquid fashion, to dampen hand movement. 

There is one thing I cannot explain.  If you play this video online, and then download it, probably 90% of what visible "juttering" there is, disappears when played locally. 

For the most part, I only use zoom to compose the shot (if there's time), and just pan during the shot itself.  Also, I shot this in 4K, but resized during editing.

Both of those camcorders are getting a little long in tooth along about now, but I have not heard rumors of updated models coming out.

BTW, I love that SGI in the photo on your homepage!  I almost got taken in by Bede, way back when.

One more edit: That whole rolling shutter thing disappears if one can afford a global shutter camcorder, of course. But i'm not that rich!

OK, 7th edit:  I used an ND-8 external filter on the FDR-AX53.

Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 12/11/16 00:47 by norm1153.

Date: 12/11/16 09:43
Re: Anyone shooting trains with a Sony FDR-AX100?
Author: cchan006

norm1153 Wrote:
> One more edit: That whole rolling shutter thing
> disappears if one can afford a global shutter
> camcorder, of course. But i'm not that rich!

I was able to snag a Panasonic handheld with 3 CCD sensors (global shutter) last year for under $100, secondhand, but with batteries still good. I had to do a lot of research ahead of time to determine how many global shutter handheld HD camcorders were in the market at the time.. and there are very few. Good thing the "market forces" (consumers ignorant of sensor technologies) were dumping the Panasonics.

Sony announced a global shutter CMOS sensor two years ago, and Panasonic announced theirs in February this year, and now Canon has one, announced this August. I already have what I need (Panasonic HD with "manageable" rolling shutter, and of course the Panasonic 3 CCD with global shutter that I save for shooting Shinkansens) so I can wait very patiently for the right camcorder with the features and ergonomics I want, thanks to the upcoming competition from different manufacturers.

FYI, some video hosting sites might run a "deshaker" filter when they transcode your video for playback, and that might explain the "jitters" being eliminated from your uploaded videos.

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