Saturday, October 13, 2012

NEX 5N Experimenting with Anti Motion Blur

I've been tinkering with the settings on the 5N in an effort to clean up the blurring I found earlier today on the outer edges of all my images. I have configured four camera parameters under Menu | Setup:

  • Steady Shot: - Off (note IS is lens based, not body based)
  • Lens Comp.: Shading - Auto
  • Lens Comp.: Chro. Aber. - Auto (chromatic aberration correction auto)
  • Lens Comp.: Distortion - Auto
I'm turning Steady Shot off to see if it's actually causing issues with the lens. I've seen Olympus IBIS cause problems as well, and I've turned it off on the E-PL1. Unfortunately, when putting the camera into Anti Motion Blur mode it automatically turns Steady Shot back on again. When you press the shutter the 5N fires off six sucessive intermediate exposures, then blends them in-camera into a single final exposure. This is meant to reduce or remove (if possible) the effects of hand-held motion as well as the effects of high ISO noise. According to the EXIF data on the image, the test image shown was taken with the zoom at 50mm, aperture f/5, shutter 1/250 sec, and ISO 4,000. Except for scaling, this image is straight out of the camera.

I note that where the SDHC card is in focus, the lettering is clean and shows no perceptible motion blur (other blurring due to optics is still visible when enlarged). Remarkably there is no noise. Yes, the sensor with a single exposure does have noise at ISO 4,000, but nothing objectionable. There's none here. There does appear to be a bit of "saran wrap" effect in parts of the photo, such as the mouse pad surface.

Would I use it? If I were out documenting an event in low light, probably. As a photographer I'm a pragmatist, not a purist. As a professional engineer I'll always try to be creative with the highest possible quality, but when the objective is to take the photo because that's your only opportunity then you use what you've brought with you to assure success.

I broke down and ordered a Fotodiox OM-to-NEX adapter for $22. I'm going to try some old glass primes next. In the mean time I'm going back to plain old fashioned single exposures with steady shot off. That's tomorrow's experiment. I'll continue to live with the Sony JPEG engine and its results.

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