Sony SR12 questions at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > High Definition Video Acquisition > AVCHD Format Discussion

AVCHD Format Discussion
Inexpensive High Definition H.264 encoding to DVD, Hard Disc or SD Card.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 18th, 2008, 02:53 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Grass Valley, CA
Posts: 165
Sony SR12 questions

Hello,

I'm intrigued by some of the comments I've seen on the SR12. For my application, however, I can't live with the 10,000 foot elevation limit of the hard disk. So, question #1 is this: Does anyone know if the hard drive is completely off and spun down when you are recording to the flash media? To avoid damage, it would have to always be off in this mode, even when powering the camera on and off.

Question #2 regards the quality of the OIS. I tried a CX7 once and wasn't overly impressed with the OIS compared to, say the Panasonic SD1 (and presumably SD9). Does the SR12 show any improvement?

Thanks in advance.
Dave Rosky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18th, 2008, 03:30 PM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Plainview, N.Y.
Posts: 1,944
Dave, it is my understanding the HDD is parked when recording to the flash drive. If I record to the HDD, I can hear a very very faint clicking as the HDD spins. When I'm recording to memory stick I hear absolutely nothing. So I know it's not spinning and I'm assuming it's parked.

I'm not familiar with the CX7 to give you a comparison between the OIS of both. I have found the OIS of the SR12 to be very good.
Ken Ross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18th, 2008, 04:27 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: central AZ.
Posts: 36
spinning...

I'm fairly sure the hard drive is always spinning. The clicking you hear, are the read/write heads being accessed, & the drive will idle down when not in record/play mode.

PS... what is this 10'000 ft elevation limit on the hard drive? I've not heard of this before.
__________________
tumbleweed

Last edited by Duane Prince; March 18th, 2008 at 04:34 PM. Reason: question...
Duane Prince is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18th, 2008, 04:43 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane Prince View Post
I'm fairly sure the hard drive is always spinning. The clicking you hear, are the read/write heads being accessed, & the drive will idle down when not in record/play mode.

PS... what is this 10'000 ft elevation limit on the hard drive? I've not heard of this before.
http://www.camcorderanswers.com/manuals/canon_hg10.pdf

page 7

Do not use the camcorder at high altitudes

Turn on or using the camcorder in places with low atmospheric pressure such as
at altitudes higher than 3,000m (9,800 ft), may result in hard disk damage.
Brian W. Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18th, 2008, 05:04 PM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Grass Valley, CA
Posts: 165
Hmm. Thanks for the inputs, but it sounds like there might be some uncertainty. If the HDD is not being accessed, it will not make clicking sounds even if it is powered up and spinning, so the lack of clicks alone is probably not enough to tell. Unfortunately, it would have to be all the way off to avoid damage at high el.

A small hard drive that is spinning but not being accessed is fairly quiet, but might make enough noise to be heard if, in a very quiet room, you hold your ear up to the unit in the area where the hard drive is. Better might be to use a stethoscope, but most folks don't have one.

I'm thinking it might be hard to tell in a store like Best Buy or Fry's because of the high ambient noise level. If it's not possible to know for sure, I probably shouldn't take a risk on the SR12.
Dave Rosky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18th, 2008, 05:47 PM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Plainview, N.Y.
Posts: 1,944
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane Prince View Post
I'm fairly sure the hard drive is always spinning. The clicking you hear, are the read/write heads being accessed, & the drive will idle down when not in record/play mode.
Putting my ear up to the unit with the recording mode set to flash drive, I do hear a very slight humming, so I guess you're right, the HDD is spinning. I wonder why they wouldn't just have it parked when recording to flash.
Ken Ross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18th, 2008, 06:44 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Grass Valley, CA
Posts: 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post
Putting my ear up to the unit with the recording mode set to flash drive, I do hear a very slight humming, so I guess you're right, the HDD is spinning. I wonder why they wouldn't just have it parked when recording to flash.
Good question. In addition to getting them around the 10,000 foot limitation (admittedly not a big issue for 99% of people), it would also save power and improve battery life a bit when recording to card.

Anyway, thanks for the help, looks like the question's been answered.
Dave Rosky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18th, 2008, 06:46 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,866
It might depend on how the drive is configured - the key question would be are the heads on the media or "parked" when you're not recording to the HDD - maybe a Sony engineer might know the answer to that, or if you could find out the HDD manufacturer. As long as the heads aren't over the media, the height issue should go away, and you'd record to the MSDuo...
Dave Blackhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18th, 2008, 07:30 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Black Mountain, NC
Posts: 488
I just got my SR12 and listening outside in a very quiet location, I can hear a slight noise both with the movie media set to hard disk and memory stick, though it seems a bit quieter with the memory stick option. I don't know why they couldn't turn the disk off (and the noise) with the memory stick, so it would be possibly to get totally quiet and clean audio recordings. Still, after a couple hours with the camcorder, I am overall very happy with it!
__________________
http://rockfowl.com/
Ruth Happel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18th, 2008, 09:44 PM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Plainview, N.Y.
Posts: 1,944
Ruth, I think you'll find that there is virtually no noise from the camcorder that's recorded in the video. The only sound you'll get is the ambient noise around you.
Ken Ross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18th, 2008, 09:56 PM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Grass Valley, CA
Posts: 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
It might depend on how the drive is configured - the key question would be are the heads on the media or "parked" when you're not recording to the HDD - maybe a Sony engineer might know the answer to that, or if you could find out the HDD manufacturer. As long as the heads aren't over the media, the height issue should go away, and you'd record to the MSDuo...
With modern hard drives, the term "parked" just means that the heads are positioned over the landing zone, which is an area of the disk that does not store data and is designed for the head to make contact when the platter spins down, but is otherwise a normal area of the disk. When the platter begins spinning up (or finishes spinning down), the head is momentarily in contact with the surface while the platter is spinning. The disk is designed for this to occur, but it only occurs for a few hundred mS or so each time the drive spins up or down. The problem with high altitude is that if the pressure gets low enough, there is an insufficient cushion of air and the heads can begin to rub continuously. Even if this happens on the landing zone, the drive wasn't designed to handle this and it can cause damage to the heads. Many people think "parking" means that the heads are physically yanked away from the platter, but that's not the case, at least not with modern drives.

Here's an interesting article describing head parking:

http://www.storagereview.com/guide20...ctParking.html

Hard drives are fairly new in camcorders, but this has actually been a big problem with iPods; you don't have to search the net too long to find lots of stories, despite the warning Apple puts in the manual. Sometimes the iPods worked when they got back down below 10,000 feet (if they were smart enough to turn them off when they first heard funny noises), and sometimes they didn't.

I doubt these big companies listen too well, but what might be worthwhile would be to send a suggestion that they fully power down the hard drive when using cards in their next generation of cameras. The altitude issue probably doesn't affect a large percentage of their users, but everyone would appreciate a little extra battery life.
Dave Rosky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18th, 2008, 10:05 PM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,866
That's where I'd be just as happy with a slightly smaller lighter camera with 16-32G flash and no HDD...

Makes me wonder what the "CX9" will look like - love to see the larger LCD, the control knob, and a VF in 100% flash format... The SR11 looks pretty close, but I realize that HDD bugs me a bit as well - I've grown used to the CX7 size and weight, but a bit more size with more features and not much weight would be nice!
Dave Blackhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18th, 2008, 10:37 PM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Black Mountain, NC
Posts: 488
Well, after it got dark I tore myself away from playing with my new toy to loading the footage onto my computer for review. I am very impressed with the image quality, and think the face detection feature is amazing. The exposure may need to be set manually (there was some evidence of blown highlights with a pale face against a dark background) but in terms of locking onto the face with the right focus, I could hardly believe how well it worked. This will solve a major problem I have in shooting when the on camera talent moves enough to throw out focus that I have in the past preset manually.

There is a very slight clicking sound audible when I REALLY crank up my speakers. This won't be a problem for 90% of my shooting. The only thing is, I would like to record good environmental ambience (my background is in doing natural sound audio), and clearly I will still need my Fostex recorder and Sennheiser mics for this. But for recording voice, and anything but really quiet audio, it seems that the mics are very good, and the noise floor is way below that with tape based camcorders. So I am very pleased with this upgrade (I have had the Sony HC7 and the Canon HV20 for the past year, so was looking to get away from tapes, finally).
__________________
http://rockfowl.com/
Ruth Happel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 19th, 2008, 06:52 AM   #14
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Plainview, N.Y.
Posts: 1,944
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
That's where I'd be just as happy with a slightly smaller lighter camera with 16-32G flash and no HDD...

Makes me wonder what the "CX9" will look like - love to see the larger LCD, the control knob, and a VF in 100% flash format... The SR11 looks pretty close, but I realize that HDD bugs me a bit as well - I've grown used to the CX7 size and weight, but a bit more size with more features and not much weight would be nice!
Judging from the way Sony upgrades their prior models, I'd look for a CX9 to be a physical clone of the CX7, but with 1920X1080 recording, face detection and most importantly the EXMOR and BIONZ processing.
Ken Ross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 19th, 2008, 12:45 PM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Grass Valley, CA
Posts: 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post
Judging from the way Sony upgrades their prior models, I'd look for a CX9 to be a physical clone of the CX7, but with 1920X1080 recording, face detection and most importantly the EXMOR and BIONZ processing.
Hopefully some improvement in the OIS too ;-) (sounds like the SR12 is better, so maybe the CX9 will be too). I haven't heard that any CX9 has been announced (has it?), so it might be a while before we know the answers.
Dave Rosky is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > High Definition Video Acquisition > AVCHD Format Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:13 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network