Sony Xperia 10 iii for Video

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VidThreeNorth

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I thought that it would be a good idea to make some frame grabs from a run of the GFXbench. This turned out badly, but I did get some sample frames to upload. In general, the image titles indicate fairly clearly from which benchmark series the frame comes. The indicator "C1" shows highest detail level JPEG compression. "C2" and "C3" files required correspondingly higher compression to create upload-able files (under 2,000 KB).

I was surprised that I ran into problems creating these files. Operating the "Screen Capture" while the benchmark was running resulted in a crash and corrupted the card. I am still in the process of recovering data from that card, which is very annoying. But I did manage to create these sample files.

"01-134107-Tesselation-C1.jpg"

"02-134246-ALU2-C2.jpg"

"03-134410--AztecVul-HT-C2.jpg"

"04-134643-CarChase-C1.jpg"

"05-134949-Manhattan-3_1-C1.jpg"

"06-135029-T-Rex-C3.jpg"
 

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  • 06-135029-T-Rex-C3.jpg
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VidThreeNorth

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Toronto Int. Film Festival:

I wanted to post a video about the "Broker" movie while the Toronto International Film Festival was still on-going. That was a rushed effort and what I wrote about it had some errors which I hope to correct. Meanwhile, I want to take some time and think about the experience.

Making videos with my Sony Xperia 10 iii was an unusual decision. I have been to the festival many times over the years, but in general, I have not made pictures or videos. I attended, saw my movies and went home. After two years "locked down" (not an entirely accurate description), I felt that this year's festival was worth recording.

Using the Xperia 10 iii was a natural choice. I think that if I had pulled out a real camera, I might have been asked to put it away. I do not think anyone would have minded my having the camera, as long as I did not try to record the movie, but it might have "caused some concern".

My target settings were fairly obvious to me. The 10 iii is no flag-ship camera. It only has fairly good controls and capabilities for FHD video, but for 4K video it only has its "main" (wide) camera. My seat was about as far from the stage as you can get in that theatre. I was in the "nose-bleed" high, upper balcony. So that means FHD at 4x zoom, with stabilization on, auto-focus and everything else auto (exposure and colour balance). The camera was held high (above my natural line-of-sight) so pointing the camera in the right direction was hard, but this particular clip turned out acceptably. Some of my other files that night were ok, and some were not. I was lucky to get this particular clip since searches have not shown another clip replicating its content.

After thinking about it more, I think I have changed my mind about one key thing: Is it worth it to buy a better phone/camera? Up till now, my answer has been "no". Now, I am leaning towards saying "yes". In todays prices, the Xperia 10 iv (which replaced my 10 iii) costs about $450 - $500 US, but the new Xperia 5 iv, is around $900 - $1,000 US. In this situation the Xperia 5 iv would have made possible a 4K video, and one that was visibly better than my video. I point this out because, in theory, I could have recorded a 4K video using the Xperia 10 iii, but it would have looked terrible. Because I had enough experience testing this phone (as you can see by me previous posts), I knew better than try the 4K video in this situation.

Overall, the auto-focus was a bit unstable, the stabilization was "float-y", and there was some focus breathing, but it was ok.

[See also: Cannes and The Tower of Babel: Movie "Broker"]

[caps @ 4:25]
 

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VidThreeNorth

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More Technical Notes From the "Broker" Movie Experience:

My previous comments after the event were inconsistent. My first statement was that better phone/cameras could give better results but "not by much." After I thought about it more, I changed my mind. Here is a problem -- no matter how much better the phone/camera, sitting high in the 2nd balcony, at a distance of about 70' - 80' (I worked this out by testing the camera later), hand-held, with that lighting, with people bumping into me and blocking my view, well, I just cannot do that much better. If you think that you can, then show us.

But what can one expect at, say, the "next price level"? That gets interesting. As I mentioned, that "next level" of around $900 - $1,000 US holds Sony's newest "Xperia 5 iv" ("5iv") which is a good representative of that category. And yes, it would have been best used recording at 4K, probably 30 fps. But how different is it? According to GSMarena.com, the "5iv" telephoto camera has a 12 mp 1/3.5" sensor and a fixed focal length f/2.4, 60mm (35mm equivalent), 1/3.5" lens with Dual Pixel Phase detect auto-focus and optical image stabilization, HDR and added 24 and 25 fps frame rates (as well as slow motion, which I would not have used in this situation). My "10iii" has phase detect auto-focus, but it is not clear whether I have "dual pixel" auto-focus, which is a specific technology (I probably have it, but I am not sure). But right now, the biggest missing data is the video bitrate of the cameras. I can report the information I have from my camera file:

"MOV_0009.mp4"
1,102,680,848 bytes
Created Sep 13, 2022, 17:39:42
Length 08:19
Frame width 1920
Frame height 1080
Data rate 17,515 kbps
Total bitrate 17,671 kbps
Frame rate 30 frames/second
Audio
Bit rate 156 kbps
Channels 2 (stereo)
Audio sample rate 48 kHz

This particular file was about 17.5 mbps. So far, my other FHD files have been roughly in that range too. But I still have not found any other test reports that give video bit rates -- anywhere. I could criticize lens reports for camera/phones as well. The top line Sony products apparently have "all glass" lenses. It has never been clear to me whether my "10iii" lenses are "all glass" too.

But get back to the sensor data and the bit rate. At "4x zoom" for my video, I was using the "tele" camera at 2x zoom. That means that my sensor was effectively a "2 megapixel" sensor (8 / (2 x 2)).

If I used the "5iv", the comparison is hard. At "4x zoom", I would effectively have a "3 megapixel" sensor (12 / (2 x 2)). But wait, would I be using it at "4x"? According to the GSMarena data, to get the same composition, my zoom setting on the "5iv" would be "x / 60 * 54". So instead of "4x" zoom, I would have probably used "3.6X zoom", which in turn probably works out to about 3.7 MP. This is much better than my 2.0 MP, but far from the upper line Xperia 1iv (currently about $880 US per GSMarena, but I have doubts about that) which has a true zoom, and thus uses a theoretical 12MP sensor at all these focal lengths.

So having thrown around all these numbers, (and again, still missing the "5iv" bit rate), I can conclude that the "5iv" should give a noticeably better image, but in the end, I would still just have to test it and see the result myself.

Would I recommend buying the "5iv" or a "1iv" today? The most this all moves me to is "maybe". I still look at it all and note that it took over a year before I found a situation where it would have paid off with a better publicly posted "critical" video clip. All for (currently) about 1.7x the price.

[2022-09-22 10:00

While I was preparing this "comment" I eventually realized that I had failed to compensate for the difference between sensor formats (generally 4:3) and movie image formats (16:9). So, all the "effective" megapixel numbers are higher than they should be, but proportionally about right. Since the comparisons are proportionally correct, I decided to finish it with the above numbers. However, if you really need to be more accurate, then you will have to "finish" the calculations yourself.
 
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