Unique Shots with Sony’s New Electronic Fader ND / Aperture Function – NAB 2015

At NAB 2015, Sony didn’t have any big camera news – the FS7 had their US premiere but it has already been in the market for a while since it was introduced about 6 months ago.

However, we discovered something really interesting, an easy oversight, when Sony’s Bill Drummond was giving us a walk-through at their booth: the Sony X180, a semi-shoulder camcorder similar to the dated EX3, features an extremely intriguing feature that we have never seen in another camera before:

It’s a unique kind of combination of an electronically controlled fader ND that automatically adjusts to the exposure set by the aperture that can be adjusted manually. The effect is an image that seemingly keeps the same exposure but the depth of field changes as the aperture is adjusted.

sony-fader-nd-aperture-auto

This kind of combination is something we haven’t seen before in a camera and it allows creators to make shots that we truly haven’t seen before. For now, this is only in the X180 camera but we can clearly see this being implemented into future Sony cameras down the line. How and if this can be integrated into interchangeable lens cameras remains to be seen though.
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Emmanuel PlakiotisNAB New Cameras » Revive Media ProductionsJacob LewisUnique Shots with Sony's New Electronic Fader ND / Aperture Function - NAB 2015 | cinema5D - GearJones Recent comment authors
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Jacob Lewis
Member

I don’t get what’s happening…

Johnnie Behiri
Admin

In short, you can achieve “DSLR looking” depth of field from a small sensor camera.

Thanks.

Johnnie

Jacob Lewis
Member

Well, I got that much. How? What’s technically happening?

Member
Jaakko Rinne

Johnnie Behiri is wrong. What this allows is for you to change your iris without affecting your exposure. And while that lets you adjust your DOF, It doesn’t make it any shallower than what you would otherwise get with the same lens/sensor combo.

The technical explanation for what’s happening is that the camera can automatically adjust the strength of the electrical ND filter while the operator adjusts the iris, thus keeping exposure constant. And because the electrical ND doesn’t have steps like optical ND filters do, you can do this even in the middle of a shot.

Jurij Turnšek
Member

This also means you could film with a fixed f stop and shutter speed the whole day, starting in bright sunlight, where ISO 100 would would warrant a strong ND filter and let the cam gradually adjust the fader as the sun sets or it suddenly gets cloudy.

Arie van Dam
Member

I knew they could do this… Want one on all cameras.. NOW! Awesome.
No more fiddling with separate ND filters.
Please one on the A7s please!
No color shifts either I hope..

Cheers.

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