RX10 'motor' noise recorded in video - what can I do?

Started Dec 29, 2013 | Discussions
lancespring Veteran Member • Posts: 3,974
P.S. --What was the serial number of your RX10?

Mine is # 0984250

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OP 2eyesee Senior Member • Posts: 2,159
Re: P.S. --What was the serial number of your RX10?

lancespring wrote:

Mine is # 0984250

Sorry, the unit has been returned to Sony and there is no serial number on my original invoice so I can't help you there.

OP 2eyesee Senior Member • Posts: 2,159
Re: I think that there is a quality control issue here

lancespring wrote:

There may indeed be a quality control problem with the audio in the RX10. I am going to call Sony Support as well, as the hissing level that I am getting is not acceptable either.

The founder of the RX10 User Group on Facebook just posted this tonight, which I think you will find most interesting:

.

Guy Bodin:

FYI -

Just a bit of info regarding my RX10 that was purchased a few weeks ago.....I am pretty familiar with the video and audio capabilities of Sony cameras/camcorders since I own 3 of them. During my first 2 weeks of owning the RX10 I videoed 3 events...each with small music performances. The video was wonderful, but the audio was terrible....too much hissing, cracks, distortion, cutouts, etc.

Checking all my audio settings, I continued to test to see if I could sort out the audio problem. Nothing worked for me. I even went out and bought a Rode Video Pro mic and gave that a try......the Rode is very good and improved certain issues, but the hissing, cracking, etc. continued even with the Rode. I finally gave up and returned to my local Pro Photo Supply store in Portland Oregon USA and discussed the issue with my expert salesperson. He replaced my RX10 with a new one that they had in stock.

I went home and tried everything out and the audio problem was solved...the on-camera audio was excellent and the Rode even worked perfect. I am so happy that I buy all my equipment from my local pro dealer. Note: Now here is something strange about the 2 cameras....my first RX10 had a very speedy zoom when using the zoom toggle near the shutter button.....my new RX10 has a much slower zoom speed.....there is a definite difference......now I see why some reviewers complain about the zoom toggle speed. But for me....great audio trumps that zoom speed issue. I love my RX10 and even love it more since the audio sounds so great.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/rx10photo/permalink/802706786412649/

That is very interesting - thanks for drawing it to my attention. I will pass this on to my Sony salesman.

Sorry to hear you are in the same predicament as me - but it's just as well you checked it out rather than just accepting it is normal for the RX10.

Would you say your unit sounds as bad as mine, based on the sample I provided?

The link you provided and your own experience suggests there may be a more widespread problem than just my faulty unit. Please keep this thread updated with any feedback you get from Sony - I'll of course do likewise.

edform
edform Senior Member • Posts: 4,821
Re: I think that there is a quality control issue here

lancespring wrote:Note: Now here is something strange about the 2 cameras....my first RX10 had a very speedy zoom when using the zoom toggle near the shutter button.....my new RX10 has a much slower zoom speed.....there is a definite difference......now I see why some reviewers complain about the zoom toggle speed.

Are you sure you aren't comparing the zoom speed in stills mode with the much, much slower zoom speed in video mode here? The speed difference seems to be about 3 or even 4 to 1 and is plainly a deliberate design choice on Sony's part.

Ed Form

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lancespring Veteran Member • Posts: 3,974
Re: I think that there is a quality control issue here

edform wrote:

lancespring wrote:Note: Now here is something strange about the 2 cameras....my first RX10 had a very speedy zoom when using the zoom toggle near the shutter button.....my new RX10 has a much slower zoom speed.....there is a definite difference......now I see why some reviewers complain about the zoom toggle speed.

Are you sure you aren't comparing the zoom speed in stills mode with the much, much slower zoom speed in video mode here? The speed difference seems to be about 3 or even 4 to 1 and is plainly a deliberate design choice on Sony's part.

Those remarks I posted are a quote from Guy Bodin, who made that comment on the RX10 Photography Facebook Group.

I've not yet returned my RX10 myself.

.

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lancespring Veteran Member • Posts: 3,974
Re: I think that there is a quality control issue here

2eyesee wrote:

That is very interesting - thanks for drawing it to my attention. I will pass this on to my Sony salesman.

Sorry to hear you are in the same predicament as me - but it's just as well you checked it out rather than just accepting it is normal for the RX10.

Would you say your unit sounds as bad as mine, based on the sample I provided?

The link you provided and your own experience suggests there may be a more widespread problem than just my faulty unit. Please keep this thread updated with any feedback you get from Sony - I'll of course do likewise.

Yes, it is indeed good that you brought this subject up, as I had not really taken a close look at the audio performance on my own camera.  I did not realize just how awful it was, until I did a recording in a quiet room.  I had looked at a lot of RX10 videos posted online, though, and noticed that they appeared to have acceptable audio.

I also own two camcorders: a Panasonic and a Canon, as well as a Panasonic GH3 that I have shot video with.  And none of them are remotely like what I am experiencing with the RX10.

The performance is just too substandard from my other cameras, for me to consider it to be acceptable.

.

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gskolenda
gskolenda Senior Member • Posts: 1,105
Re: RX10 'motor' noise recorded in video - what can I do?

edform wrote:

2eyesee wrote:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxLLFMCS8jrCSWVvQ2ZVSnBveHM/edit?usp=sharing

The noise I hear when putting my ear to the camera is a faint whirring, but maybe this is not related to the noise recorded in the video which is a hiss sound.

OK! That has nothing to do with the mechanical sound in the camera; that's amplifier noise, generated by the microphone amplifiers of the camera. The only possible cure is to use an external microphone and amplifier.

Ed Form

That can easily be fixed in post with a good audio program, many of them can in crease the signal to noise ratio. In fact I do it a lot, and I don't use in camera mics, I use a Audio-Technic short shotgun mic, I love it it works very well. I do this for just my own personal stuff, If I have a client that is paying me for video service, then I use a H4N Zoom recorder and sync in post.

I also use the in camera mics to help sync in post faster.

Most of the DSlr cameras, and mirror less cameras have pretty poor pre-amps in them. So that would not discourage me from getting one or shooting with it.

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lancespring Veteran Member • Posts: 3,974
Read the thread further

gskolenda wrote:

That can easily be fixed in post with a good audio program, many of them can in crease the signal to noise ratio. In fact I do it a lot, and I don't use in camera mics, I use a Audio-Technic short shotgun mic, I love it it works very well. I do this for just my own personal stuff, If I have a client that is paying me for video service, then I use a H4N Zoom recorder and sync in post.

I also use the in camera mics to help sync in post faster.

Most of the DSlr cameras, and mirror less cameras have pretty poor pre-amps in them. So that would not discourage me from getting one or shooting with it.

It is apparent that some RX10's are experiencing significant problems.  Issues that could not be easily fixed in post processing.

Read the rest of this thread, and you will better understand the situation.

.

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edform
edform Senior Member • Posts: 4,821
Re: Read the thread further

lancespring wrote:

gskolenda wrote:

That can easily be fixed in post with a good audio program, many of them can in crease the signal to noise ratio. In fact I do it a lot, and I don't use in camera mics, I use a Audio-Technic short shotgun mic, I love it it works very well. I do this for just my own personal stuff, If I have a client that is paying me for video service, then I use a H4N Zoom recorder and sync in post.

I also use the in camera mics to help sync in post faster.

Most of the DSlr cameras, and mirror less cameras have pretty poor pre-amps in them. So that would not discourage me from getting one or shooting with it.

It is apparent that some RX10's are experiencing significant problems. Issues that could not be easily fixed in post processing.

Read the rest of this thread, and you will better understand the situation.

I've been involved with Pro and HiFi audio at a professional level for longer than some contributors here have been breathing and believe me, 2eyesee's camera had glaringly faulty microphone amps. A filter setup good enough to loose the noise would have savaged the sound quality and still would not have dealt with the shot noise. My personal RX10 has no hiss at all and has to be pushed pretty hard to reveal any damaging audio signature at which point it's just the usual nonsense that low bit-rate digital processing produces. To actually bring up the noise floor so that hiss becomes audible needs as much as 5-7 dB more than that.

Ed Form

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OP 2eyesee Senior Member • Posts: 2,159
Re: I think that there is a quality control issue here

lancespring wrote:

2eyesee wrote:

That is very interesting - thanks for drawing it to my attention. I will pass this on to my Sony salesman.

Sorry to hear you are in the same predicament as me - but it's just as well you checked it out rather than just accepting it is normal for the RX10.

Would you say your unit sounds as bad as mine, based on the sample I provided?

The link you provided and your own experience suggests there may be a more widespread problem than just my faulty unit. Please keep this thread updated with any feedback you get from Sony - I'll of course do likewise.

Yes, it is indeed good that you brought this subject up, as I had not really taken a close look at the audio performance on my own camera. I did not realize just how awful it was, until I did a recording in a quiet room. I had looked at a lot of RX10 videos posted online, though, and noticed that they appeared to have acceptable audio.

I also own two camcorders: a Panasonic and a Canon, as well as a Panasonic GH3 that I have shot video with. And none of them are remotely like what I am experiencing with the RX10.

The performance is just too substandard from my other cameras, for me to consider it to be acceptable.

I received my replacement RX10 yesterday and immediately did another audio test but unfortunately experienced similar problems. By this stage I just wanted to return it for a refund and I'm relieved to say the Sony store have done this for me.

Maybe I should have hung in there with the RX10 to get to the bottom of this but I've got better things to do with my time than being a tester for Sony. The RX10 is a stretch for my budget and I really didn't want to be stuck with a device that had such poor audio performance. If there are some early production issues I'll wait until they are sorted out and may have another look at it down the track.

I'm very happy with the service I got form the local Sony store though. We don't have the generous return policies here in New Zealand that you do in the USA so I'm very relieved that they let me return it. They've said they have passed all the information that I have provided to them (from myself and this thread) onto their techs, so hopefully they will be looking into the issue.

By the way, the Sony salesman said that he did check the serial number of my original faulty unit against yours and they were completely different, so it doesn't seem like we are just talking about a faulty batch.

Ken Ross Contributing Member • Posts: 934
Re: Did Sony deliberately cripple the RX10's audio?

lancespring wrote:

To encourage us to buy their XLR microphone adapter??? I wonder.

That adapter costs $800, though, and requires use of a bracket in order to use on the RX10.

.

I think it's a bit of an overstatement based on a few users that obviously have an issue with audio from the RX10. I don't have that issue and Ed's clip demonstrates he doesn't either. I don't this is any great conspiracy on the part of Sony.

Those of you familiar with Sony camcorders will remember that Sony has had issues like this on some of their far more expensive prosumer units, that were present in all of the units for some models (not just a random unit defect)...it was just the way the preamps were engineered. In fact, in some instances Sony had a firmware update that helped. But this situation is different since it would appear the OP had an issue that was pretty much unique to his sample.

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OP 2eyesee Senior Member • Posts: 2,159
Re: Did Sony deliberately cripple the RX10's audio?

Ken Ross wrote:

lancespring wrote:

To encourage us to buy their XLR microphone adapter??? I wonder.

That adapter costs $800, though, and requires use of a bracket in order to use on the RX10.

.

I think it's a bit of an overstatement based on a few users that obviously have an issue with audio from the RX10. I don't have that issue and Ed's clip demonstrates he doesn't either. I don't this is any great conspiracy on the part of Sony.

Those of you familiar with Sony camcorders will remember that Sony has had issues like this on some of their far more expensive prosumer units, that were present in all of the units for some models (not just a random unit defect)...it was just the way the preamps were engineered. In fact, in some instances Sony had a firmware update that helped. But this situation is different since it would appear the OP had an issue that was pretty much unique to his sample.

The problem is not unique to my RX10 though - the replacement unit exhibited the same problem. The Facebook link Lancespring posted describes the exact issue I experienced too, so I'm sure there will be others out there.

It's early days for the RX10, and its pricing means to won't really be a mass-market item so it may take some time for an issue like this to come to the surface. I'm just happy to have been able to return RX10 (both of them!), as the audio performance was unacceptable at its price for a device targeted at videographers.

I guess RX10 owners that are serious about video are also using external mics. For me, however, the appeal of the RX10 was what if offered in a relatively compact package, and a decent mic not only adds more bulk to my kit but also puts me over a budget that was already stretched.

I will be interested to see (or should I say hear?) how this issue develops because I would consider revisiting the RX10 in the future if I can be confident I won't have any more audio problems.

necamica New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Read the thread further

Just got one last week and play with it for some time.

First, I can hear the fan motor like sound (it is like purring) from mine.  It is not loud, but audible.  In fact, I was holding at my chest level and heard it for the first time - but it was dead quiet room.

Does my RX10 record this sound?  Yes, it does.  The factory default mic level was set to 26 and I think it was way too high.  First, I monitored with headphone and the sound from my camera can be heard easily.  When mic level was set to 20 or lower, I can still hear it but very faint.  At 16 or lower, I need to crank up the headphone volume to hear it.   Then, when I listen the recordings - they are much quieter than live monitoring.  I think mic level at 20 was fine - I can only hear when I crank up the volume really high.  I don't think I will go close to 26, though - it started to get little noisy..   I am still learning and figuring out the proper mic level for my recordings.

Anyway, the recorded sound is very low and it may not cause any problem in normal use.

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Stephen McDonald
Stephen McDonald Forum Pro • Posts: 13,511
Try the ECM-XYST1M

This hotshoe stereo mike doesn't pick up any operational sounds that I can hear. There's a furry windscreen supplied with it.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/913245-REG/sony_ecmxyst1m_stereo_microphone_for_multi.html

necamica New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Try the ECM-XYST1M

I have one.  It does pick up the sound from my RX10 as well.  Now I want to make sure mine is louder than other or not.

BUT, As I mentioned earlier that the purr sound is very faint and may not bother most of time.  As long as the mic level is set not too high (and speaker volume is not extreme high), it will be hard to notice.

Now, the problem of ECM-XYST1M:  As far as I know mic level can not be adjusted.  Even worse, it always set mic level very high - I think it is at 26.  Only way to lower it is to connect mic as an external mic using cable.   (kind of disappointment - losing simplicity)  Once it was hook up through external mic input and lower the mic level setting, I was able to get clean recording.

My question to all of you:  what is your mic level setting for normal use?

Stephen McDonald wrote:

This hotshoe stereo mike doesn't pick up any operational sounds that I can hear. There's a furry windscreen supplied with it.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/913245-REG/sony_ecmxyst1m_stereo_microphone_for_multi.html

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Stephen McDonald
Stephen McDonald Forum Pro • Posts: 13,511
Re: Try the ECM-XYST1M

necamica wrote:

I have one. It does pick up the sound from my RX10 as well. Now I want to make sure mine is louder than other or not.

BUT, As I mentioned earlier that the purr sound is very faint and may not bother most of time. As long as the mic level is set not too high (and speaker volume is not extreme high), it will be hard to notice.

Now, the problem of ECM-XYST1M: As far as I know mic level can not be adjusted. Even worse, it always set mic level very high - I think it is at 26. Only way to lower it is to connect mic as an external mic using cable. (kind of disappointment - losing simplicity) Once it was hook up through external mic input and lower the mic level setting, I was able to get clean recording.

My question to all of you: what is your mic level setting for normal use?

It may be that the RX10 is a noisier camera than the HX400V. But the HX400V has no separate mike input, besides the hotshoe, to use the stereo cord. There is a high/low mike input choice in the Menu, but since I want to pick up distant birdcalls, I need to keep it on the high position. There is no other level adjustment, as the RX10 has.

The RX10 might pick up better and cleaner sound, using a shotgun mike mounted above or to the right of the camera. The Rode Videomic seems to be the most popular mid-price model for that purpose. You can use the hotshoe simply as a mechanical coldshoe, to mount a foot for an extended microphone mounting arm. There are some places on these cameras, where a second coldshoe could be attached with 3M VHB double-sided mounting tape (after the warranty expires).

OP 2eyesee Senior Member • Posts: 2,159
Re: Try the ECM-XYST1M

necamica wrote:

I have one. It does pick up the sound from my RX10 as well. Now I want to make sure mine is louder than other or not.

BUT, As I mentioned earlier that the purr sound is very faint and may not bother most of time. As long as the mic level is set not too high (and speaker volume is not extreme high), it will be hard to notice.

Now, the problem of ECM-XYST1M: As far as I know mic level can not be adjusted. Even worse, it always set mic level very high - I think it is at 26. Only way to lower it is to connect mic as an external mic using cable. (kind of disappointment - losing simplicity) Once it was hook up through external mic input and lower the mic level setting, I was able to get clean recording.

My question to all of you: what is your mic level setting for normal use?

I'm surprised your ECM-XYST1M (who came up with that name?) picks up noise from the RX10.

I had an NEX-6 last year and found the internal mic picked the noise made by the 16-50mm Power Zoom lens. I got an ECM-XYST1M and it completely resolved the problem, being a directional mic.

Just so everyone is clear, there are actually 3 separate sources of noise that are being discussed on this thread:

1. The whirring motor noise on the RX10. As the OP, this is what I initially thought my problem was - but it was actually nothing to do with it.

2. Hiss from the amps - this is what my problem was.

3. The sound of the lens zooming.

necamica New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Try the ECM-XYST1M

2eyesee wrote:

necamica wrote:

I have one. It does pick up the sound from my RX10 as well. Now I want to make sure mine is louder than other or not.

BUT, As I mentioned earlier that the purr sound is very faint and may not bother most of time. As long as the mic level is set not too high (and speaker volume is not extreme high), it will be hard to notice.

Now, the problem of ECM-XYST1M: As far as I know mic level can not be adjusted. Even worse, it always set mic level very high - I think it is at 26. Only way to lower it is to connect mic as an external mic using cable. (kind of disappointment - losing simplicity) Once it was hook up through external mic input and lower the mic level setting, I was able to get clean recording.

My question to all of you: what is your mic level setting for normal use?

I'm surprised your ECM-XYST1M (who came up with that name?) picks up noise from the RX10.

I had an NEX-6 last year and found the internal mic picked the noise made by the 16-50mm Power Zoom lens. I got an ECM-XYST1M and it completely resolved the problem, being a directional mic.

Just so everyone is clear, there are actually 3 separate sources of noise that are being discussed on this thread:

1. The whirring motor noise on the RX10. As the OP, this is what I initially thought my problem was - but it was actually nothing to do with it.

2. Hiss from the amps - this is what my problem was.

3. The sound of the lens zooming.

Well, at least I am dealing with problem #1 and #2.  Bigger issue is #2 as I can ignore #1 in most cases.

In my case, any hiss starts when mic level was set to about 16 or above.  Noticeable hiss at level 22 or higher.  Same goes to when I using external mic.  I would like to know if my RX10 is normal or not.  (I doubt it will go all the way to 29 without any hiss, though).

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OP 2eyesee Senior Member • Posts: 2,159
Re: Try the ECM-XYST1M

necamica wrote:

2eyesee wrote:

I'm surprised your ECM-XYST1M (who came up with that name?) picks up noise from the RX10.

I had an NEX-6 last year and found the internal mic picked the noise made by the 16-50mm Power Zoom lens. I got an ECM-XYST1M and it completely resolved the problem, being a directional mic.

Just so everyone is clear, there are actually 3 separate sources of noise that are being discussed on this thread:

1. The whirring motor noise on the RX10. As the OP, this is what I initially thought my problem was - but it was actually nothing to do with it.

2. Hiss from the amps - this is what my problem was.

3. The sound of the lens zooming.

Well, at least I am dealing with problem #1 and #2. Bigger issue is #2 as I can ignore #1 in most cases.

In my case, any hiss starts when mic level was set to about 16 or above. Noticeable hiss at level 22 or higher. Same goes to when I using external mic. I would like to know if my RX10 is normal or not. (I doubt it will go all the way to 29 without any hiss, though).

Yes, reducing the mic level does reduce the hiss - but it also reduces the signal so I found that really didn't help at all. I too experienced no improvement using an external mic - in my case the Zoom H1.

Did you check the samples earlier in this thread:

My 'problem' RX10:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxLLFMCS8jrCSWVvQ2ZVSnBveHM/edit?usp=sharing

Ed Form's 'normal', RX10:
http://www.theformsonline.com/pics/test.m2ts

The only issue with Ed's sample is there is not really anything audible in it to compare against the hiss. Although as he points out you can faintly hear the sound of his son snoring behind a closed door 30 feet away - the hiss in my RX10 was so bad it drowned out any background noise.

lacix
lacix Contributing Member • Posts: 609
Re: RX10 'motor' noise recorded in video - what can I do?

Problem with the little brother too!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzaqS3fRvOU

Could be the same type of focusing motor (is it a linear stepper motor?)in the RX10?

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