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  • Sony PXW-Z280 – Grainy picture

     Michael Litty updated 5 months, 4 weeks ago 6 Members · 9 Posts
  • Paul Seidel

    October 3, 2018 at 3:17 am

    Not sure if anyone in here has a PXW-Z280, but i’m battling trying to get clean pictures.

    There’s so much grain in the pictures – especially faces – there’s no softening at all.

    I rarely use gain, use the Variable ND a bit, shoot mostly in UHD or HD XAVC-I and STD-5 profile.

    I’m not expecting cinematic, but for some reason I seem to not be able to find a Sony pro or anyone who has gotten cleaner pictures out of their Z280.

    There’s so many various choices in the menus, which I’m sure if tweaked would produce better results, but the manual doesn’t offer much in the way of help except pointing out variables for the choices in menus.

  • Michael Slowe

    October 4, 2018 at 10:34 am

    With all these Sony cameras there is one man who can tell you anything you want to know, that man is Doug Jensen (company name escapes my old brain just now!). He does the workshops for all the camera and is brilliant, wouldn’t start operating any new Sony camera without first consulting his workshop.

    Michael Slowe

  • mark thompson

    October 15, 2018 at 3:50 pm


    some good stuff here:
    and Red Shark have been gushing about it:

    You may have a faulty unit, otherwise getting exposure right is difficult on Sony cameras.
    If you would like to post some footage I would be interested in having a look.

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  • Justin Menzel

    October 17, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    We are also getting a pretty grainy picture with the PXW-Z280. Do you guys know of other people experiencing this?
    Any engineers that could give me their two cents on this would be appreciated. Justin

  • Paul Seidel

    October 18, 2018 at 12:28 am

    I’ve included a still from a recent green screen shoot – this is on neutral settings, STD-5 – the key worked fine, but there’s too much detail on their faces – I’m not expecting cinematic, but I’m also not expecting the coarseness it’s throwing up.

  • mark thompson

    October 18, 2018 at 9:53 am

    I see what you mean. The green screen is quite noisy as well but as you are getting a good key that is of no concern (as you say).

    There is a noise setting in the paint menu that is on and medium by default. You might want to try bumping that up to high.
    The picture is HD, you might want to try filming in UHD and down-scaling in the NLE.

    If you are keeping the camera, one thing to try is to have a large soft-box. It looks though there has been a great job on the lighting and it seems very uniform but it appears to me as being a bit dark.

    In the main studio I go to they plug in a 42 inch TV into the HDMI port. That really shows up the noise and can guide you in lighting.

  • mark thompson

    November 2, 2018 at 8:36 am

    I managed to get a hands-on for a Z280. It looked very nice.
    It was in a relatively dark room and I was looking at dark areas, I could not see much grain – but then again you don’t in the viewfinder.

    I hope to get another look in a few weeks.

    To those seeing grain, are you filming inside or outside?
    Are you seeing grain on both?

  • Ed Mellnik

    December 26, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    I have a Pxw-z280 and am not having any problem with grain at all.
    and I just updated the firmware to 2.0
    One of the things they did mention was that 2.0 was supposed to have less noise…?

    So far with the exception of a few design frustrations, I am very happy with the camera.
    Have not done much in 4K yet. Still recording in 1920 422 and 420 for good compatibility with
    a second camera (EX1R) in editing.

    Good Luck to all.

    Portland Oregon
    [email protected]

  • Michael Litty

    April 27, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    I’m having the same issues. Recording XAVC-L, 4K in sunlight with -3dB gain and still grainy and soft. It looks good in the viewfinder and then grainy and soft on the card. I’ve looked at it through Sony’s Catalyst Browser and Adobe Premiere. I’m consistently disappointed, particularly when compared to my much less expensive Sony A7sii.

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