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Old March 9th, 2009, 04:45 AM   #1
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HD-200 Footage 'Noisy'

Hey,

Waaay back when I purchased my HD-200, I posted here about my 200's picture quality compared to my HD-100 when shooting in SD - I even went as far as exchanging the camera. I never was able to get the HD-200 to capture footage in SD that was as clean and crisp as the HD-100, but I let it go. I continued to shoot mostly in SD (long story) until about a month ago. Here's the issue:

Shooting HDV on the 200 (in any mode - 60p, 30p, 24p), the image is not nearly as crisp as the HD-100. There is a significant amount of video 'noise' throughout the entire frame (not to mention the couple of dead pixels, but I read how to fix those).

I have both cameras set up as follows:

- Paulo's True Color Scene files with some minor mods of my own (yes, I used the different scene files for the appropriate cameras. I've tried other scene files, but the result is the same).

- Both have been back focused accurately

- I've tried various iris levels and shutter speeds, all with the same result.

- I've also tried swapping the lenses of the cameras - same result.

It almost looks like it is the type of noise one might associate with added gain, though the gain is set at 0db. For the heck of it, I shot some test footage and increased the gain on the 200 by the 2 preset amounts (9 & 18?). At Gain +18db, it's positively unwatachable (is that a word?).

I know, I know - I've had the unit almost a year and I should have addressed these issues earlier, but I didn't so here I am. FWIW, I have about 1000 hours on th 100's drum and about 30 on the 200's drum. I actually pull out the 100 instead of the 200 for most things because of the significantly better picture quality. I don't know why, but I though when I started acquiring footage in HDV that everything would be fine. I was wrong.

Is anyone else prepared to say that the 100's picture quality is better than the 200's in HDV? I'm not talking by a little, either - it's very, very noticeable. So bad, in fact, that I have to apply a noise filter to all of the 200's footage (the Neat filter) or I can't even watch it.

Happy to post stills, short pieces of footage under any lighting condition, etc. if it will help someone here with my problem. It's really hard to swallow the fact that my 100 shoots cleaner than my 200 - something must be amiss, right?

I think I'm creeping up quickly on my warranty expiration, so any input would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance ~ Lee
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Old March 9th, 2009, 07:30 AM   #2
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Whats your detail settings on the hd200?
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Old March 9th, 2009, 08:03 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ted Ramasola View Post
Whats your detail settings on the hd200?
Detail = Normal
V/H Balance = Normal
H Freq. = Middle
V Freq. = High

Thanks...
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Old March 9th, 2009, 08:20 AM   #4
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How about your black stretch settings lee? For a test, I suggest you try and load Tim's superwide settings, BUT after dialing in the settings use normal blacks. Tell me what you think with the footage.

I have both 100 and 200. Its strange that your 200 is noisy since its supposed to be way better.

Ted
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Old March 9th, 2009, 08:50 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ted Ramasola View Post
How about your black stretch settings lee? For a test, I suggest you try and load Tim's superwide settings, BUT after dialing in the settings use normal blacks. Tell me what you think with the footage.

I have both 100 and 200. Its strange that your 200 is noisy since its supposed to be way better.

Ted
Thanks, Ted - I'll give that a try right now.

One of the reasons I am using Paulo's (with some minor tweaks on the 200) is to get both camera's 'raw' footage to match as closely as possible. Even with scopes, I've not been able to get a match that didn't need SOME cc'ing in post (aside from the effects I may add after I get the 2 cams matched).

Are you saying that your 200 in HD mode (I usually shoot in 60p) is at least as good as your 100? Not the case with me....it's not even close. The 100 just blows the 200 away. I'll try Tim's setting that you suggested, then I'll post some screen caps so everyone can see what I mean.

Thanks again ~ Lee

P.S. On another note: I see that JVC has lowered the list price on the 200 to ~ $3995, while keeping the 110 at $4295. Maybe there's something I missed (I just glanced over it this morning).

P.P.S. One other thing I've noted: I can put a new battery on both cameras at night, leave them off, and the 200's battery will be drained in the morning, while the 100's is still full. I've done this several times...very odd.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 09:05 AM   #6
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Lee,

that p.p.s is very odd indeed. You know what, its like everything you said is inverted. I mean , what you describe as the quirks of 200 are supposedly from the 100!

I also use 60p for slo mo work but its not recommended for all your scenes since its pushes the codec really hard. The bit rate remains the same so the compression suffers. You should stick with 30p or 24p for normal scenes. unless your shooting sports or effects shots.
Shooting 60p might have partially exacerbated the grain.

A note on Tim's settings. Its not a scene file meant to look great right after shooting. Its not like Paolo's TCV3 for HD100. Which I use on my 100.

I tried paolo's tc file for the hd200 but the reds on my hd200 shot through the roof. Very difficult to fix in post.

Tim's superwide gives the best latitude in post when you follow the black stretch at 5. I toggle the stretch on and off by assigning stretch 5 and normal on the user buttons.

Tim's settings gives a color chart a near accurate palette rendering. I confirmed this with my own chart plus skin tones.

This is in no way a means of getting the same color from both cams. I am suggesting this as a way to get something neutral into your settings so we can see where your noise issue is coming from.

Ted

Last edited by Ted Ramasola; March 9th, 2009 at 09:09 AM. Reason: added text
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Old March 10th, 2009, 02:28 PM   #7
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But why SD?

For what it may or may not be worth...

Why would you shoot SD over HD anyway? Wouldn't it be better to just drop the HD stuff into an SD timeline? Much more flexible; many more post options, too. I wouldn't look back or get hung up on why. Of course it's a good mind-bender...I'm just suggesting that you never, ever shoot SD again...even if you need it - b/c you can get it from the HD stuff; even if you have to down convert it after the fact. But you cannot go up from it; and you know you'll get better HD from the 200 than the 110, so...
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Old March 10th, 2009, 04:53 PM   #8
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For what it may or may not be worth...

Why would you shoot SD over HD anyway? .... and you know you'll get better HD from the 200 than the 110, so...
I don't get better HD from the 200 - that's the point of the op. As for why I ever shoot SD, that's what my primary client wants, and since they edit the footage, it really isn't my place to tell them how to handle post. They've long ago paid for both cameras, so who am I to argue?

I've decided to scrap the 200 and go with the new 700. I'm tired of fighting the graininess in the 200's image. After I created this post, I went back and read a post of mine from a year ago where Dashwood replied with 'the 200 seems to emit a noiser image' comment - I had forgotten about that.

Take care ~ Lee
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Old March 10th, 2009, 07:11 PM   #9
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Lee this

was a known issue when the 200 first came out that it's a noisier camera than the 100, even though I think Stephen Noe did a test and the blue channel was cleaner, the only way you tap into the cameras ability is bypassing the hdv, and using a HDSDI type option. I shoot exclusively with the 251, and get no complaints in 720 25p. But agree the noise is somewhat distracting to discerning eyes, but have you ever closely watched TV programmes, its amazing how much noise you find if you go looking for it.
Even the new Bond movie's opening scene was noisy as all heck, and look at the budget they had.

regards

Adam
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Old March 11th, 2009, 02:01 AM   #10
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noisy 200 series

Lee I could not agree with you more.
I purchased one of the first 101e cameras in australia and loved it, I still had it when I purchased the 251e, I was sooo disappointed with the noisy picture of the 251e, and it is not as good in low light as the 101 in sd and about the same in hd.
Like you I perservered with it because it does have a superior viewfinder, but it has a noisier picture, does not have as much VISIBLE resolution (the 251 looks good on paper though), the 251 runs hotter, it is also an audibly noisier camera when running.

I could agree with adams comments about a noisy picture being acceptable if the resolution is satisfactory, but as mention when I put my two cameras side by side I find the 101 resolves more detail than the 251.

I found the only way to disguise the noisy picture was to set master black to -3.
I later found that paoulo suggest the same, this surely suggest that the camera suffers from excess noise.(also when having to do this through neccessity the camera becomes a way less sensitive camera than the 101).
But hey maybe you and I Lee are the only two unlucky guys to receive dud cameras.
..I give the 251 my emperor with no clothes award.

I hope jvc are redeaming themselves with the 700, Tim has said "we wont be disappointed about low light performance."
I have seen comments of lack of noise with the hm100, but still don't see anything singing the praises of the 700 and low noise.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 03:03 AM   #11
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But hey maybe you and I Lee are the only two unlucky guys to receive dud cameras.

..... but still don't see anything singing the praises of the 700 and low noise.
FWIW, it's everyone, whether they admit it or not. I sent my 1st 200 back because of the audible noise you describe (as you know, it has that dastardly fan that the 100's don't have) and the noisy pic. I used a loaner 250 until my replacement came in, but they all three ended up having the same issues.

As far as the 700 and low noise, these are my plans:

- Take a broadcast monitor to the dealer before paying
- Test until he gets annoyed with me (think I'll ask my 20-something daughter and several of her, umm, attractive friends to come along. That should buy me a couple of hours)
- If the 700 isn't exponentially better than the 200 (which really shouldn't be that hard...HD glass, no noisy pic, and I'm sold), I'm walking with no camera.

I've ordered the camera with the Fuji. 17x, so I should have it in a week or two.

I have a low hours 200 with a new nNovia 120gb unit in case anyone is interested (AB mount with IDX plate). Never shot outside and only driven on Sundays by my great-great-great grandmother (She never speeds!). Seriously, it is in pristine condition...I'm wondering what an online auction will fetch. Sure wish JVC hadn't just dumped the suggested retail to $3995 - that can't help my cause.

In response to the comment about big productions having 'noisy' scenes, I know what you mean, but that's no excuse for the camera not performing - it just speaks to the team involved in the shoot (barring details beyond their control). If my dinky 100 can pull of a noise free picture, it's a reasonable expectation that the same manufacturer's better models should do the same.

And one last note: Plesae don't get me wrong - I've shot some great footage with my 200 - but my 100 is my 'A' camera. Also, I am not a pro (at least not by the definition that most DVInfoer's would apply), so take everything I say with a grain of salt. You don't see me posting my stuff for the world to view...I can only take so much humiliation!

Best regards ~ Lee
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Old March 11th, 2009, 07:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Lee Roberts View Post
F
As far as the 700 and low noise, these are my plans:

- Take a broadcast monitor to the dealer before paying
- Test until he gets annoyed with me (think I'll ask my 20-something daughter and several of her, umm, attractive friends to come along. That should buy me a couple of hours)
- If the 700 isn't exponentially better than the 200 (which really shouldn't be that hard...HD glass, no noisy pic, and I'm sold), I'm walking with no camera.

I've ordered the camera with the Fuji. 17x, so I should have it in a week or two.
Are you my twin brother??? thats exactly what I am going to do... but seriously, when you get the camera, i'll pay you for a review.
I mean isn't that what this list is all about, honest appraisals, no agendas, for the common good of all our comrades...but, you'll tell me for free right?
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Old March 11th, 2009, 09:48 AM   #13
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... but seriously, when you get the camera, i'll pay you for a review.
I mean isn't that what this list is all about, honest appraisals, no agendas, for the common good of all our comrades...but, you'll tell me for free right?
Ha...that's what guys like Dashwood and Hurd do so well :)

I don't mind posting my results, but please don't take anything I say on true authority. As I've said before, I'm a cinematographack - I don't know what the hell I'm doing! Yet I get paid...go figure.

So, by low light testing you mean you want me to light a candle at mid-court at the FedEx Forum and shoot the nose bleeds, right? I can do that.

If there is a noise issue, I won't be writing about anything ;)

Best ~ Lee
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Old March 13th, 2009, 04:51 AM   #14
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It's kind've a relief to find this thread, cos I'm feeling the same. I like using the 200- sits better on the shoulder, I don't trust the AB mount on the 100 the same (often just take a couple of small batteries) and it should be a better pic.
But it's not. It's just a little washed-out, where the 100 has a lovely dynamic range, as well as noisier. It's weird and frustrating how hard it is to get the two to match (I bought them together thinking AB cams).
I'm not deeply concerned, but still wish I'd got 2 100s (I could keep and AB mount on one, and have the other for quick jobs...) and kept a bit of cash...
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Old March 15th, 2009, 04:13 AM   #15
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251 noisy

hi rob,
thanks for joining in,
I feel pretty cheated about this inferior 251 issue, I sang the praises of the 101 in the early days and probably was responsible for 6 or more sales for dealers for this camera.

I can't say the same for the 251 and it cost us all significantly more money.
It is one thing that the camera is noisy, it is another all together to have less resolution.

I did a test side by side, same fujinon lens with the 251e and 101e with the brevis dof adapter, guess which looks better, no contest the 101e leaves it for dead, I spent a week shooting a film clip with the brevis and 251e battling focus, i just could not get it sharp,
I spent days stuffing around, blaming cinevate, but the side by side test soon revealed its the bloody camera, soft as all f...
you can rectify somewhat, just dial in some more detail, but hey then there is more noise,
what a pain in the arse this camera is.

I would dearly love craig from jvc to chime in and say.. "yeh sorry it was a bit of a stuff up, but we now have got it right with the hm 700", I could live with that.. companies make mistakes, I don't even want a refund, I just want it acknowledged.

I mean I have not seen anyone assuring us there are no noise issues with the hm700 nothing from Tim dashwood addressing this concern or anyone else, (Im sorry I don't mean it is Tim's responsibility to do so).

But it has got to be someones, after my experience with the 251 I am not going to purchase another camera from jvc till someone assures me the hm700... HAS NO NOISE ISSUES and has better resolution and is as good as or hopefully better than the sony ex3).

I am not going to believe jvc hype, glossy pdf brochures, I trusted jvc's record with the 101e and blindly purchased the 251e, I want to hear the opinion of someone who has done the test and will honestly compare the hm700 to the hd251.

Adam leitch says.."the only way to tap into the 251's ability is to bypass the hdv and use the hdsdi option."(how sad is that).....however I am also seriously thinking of the nano from convergent design, sdi out from 251e 422 color space no more issues.....maybe.

Sorry for such a long rave, but I really do want to believe in this new camera from jvc, but have just lost a lot of confidence in the company and its technology, I would love the hm700 to be a camera that was superior to the ex3, I mean one of the reasons I purchased the jvc 101e was because it was simply great to see Sony being challenged for leadership in video technology and quality.

steven lyons
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