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Old October 12th, 2005, 05:13 PM   #1
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Split screen still present on new cameras in the US

I just came out of a Matrox AXIO semminar at my local dealer(Pro Audio & Video in Miami) were they had seven HD100s abailable for sale.
I played with the camera for about an hour and the first thing that I checked for was the split screen. I hate to say it but I could see it at 0 db with a solid color background and it gets worst with the increase db gain.
That said, it wouldn't stop me from buying the camera. I was monitoring on a true 1080 42" Plasma and with no gain I had to play with iris to get it to show. I even tried in front of the owner of the dealer and he had trouble seeing it until I raised the dbs. Non of the other videographer there saw it unless I tell them about the problem.
Another thing that I was concern about was the viewfinder been sharp enough to focus. I've got to say that it was easier for me to focus without the focus assist. It was actually a lot easyer to focus than the JVC DV300 and maybe a litlle easyer than the JVC 500.
I thing that the camera is as good as the DV500 in low light (I have the 1st D500 model that came out). As far as sharpness I think that it is as sharp as the DV500 looks in SD monitor, but on a 1080 plasma. If you have seen how soft a DV camera looks in very sharp plasma. The camera is sharp enough but not a WOW sharpness. I wasn't expecting WOW from a $5.5K camera package. I have paid more than that for a single still camera lens (hasselblad).
I am trying to sell both my JVC DV-300 and 500 to buy at least 2 of them. I do mostly Live and Stage events (mostly highend weddings) and I think that the camera would do good under the conditions that I work under. My customers understand that for a good image you need good lighting.
If money wasn't a problem I would get 3 of them right now.

Douglas Villalba
Miami, FL USA
http://www.dvtvproductions.com
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Old October 12th, 2005, 05:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Villalba
I hate to say it but I could see it at 0 db with a solid color background ...
The "white wall" shot -- as owners of the XL1 found -- presents a special case as covered under (4b or 4c) of my current "Rules of Thumb" to minimize SSE:

1) Do NOT shoot with the Iris at OPEN!

2) Do not use a gain level greater than +12dB. Better: keep gain to +6dB.

3) Manually White Balance at the gain you'll use.

4) Be sure the AE system reads-out:

a) F2, or greater, if your scene is Bright with High Contrast.

b) F2.8, or greater, if your scene is Dim with High Contrast or Bright with Low Contrast (such as a blank wall).

c) F4, or greater, if your scene is Dim with Low Contrast (such as a blank wall).

I'd like to know what exposure you were at.

JVC USA has also informed me the HD100 must be powered-up and allowed to warm-up before shooting as that will minimize the possibility of SSE.
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Old October 12th, 2005, 05:39 PM   #3
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1. Don't shoot at dusk and dawn
2. Don't shoot the sun
3. Don't shoot the moon
4. Don't shoot vehicle headlights
5. Don't shoot if it's too cold
6. Don't shoot if it's too hot
7. feel free to add

...ah, maybe we should create a list of when the camera COULD be used, it might be shorter :-)
And Chris could move the whole thread into the Area 51... it was just too tempting, I promise I will stay outa here now...:-)
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Old October 12th, 2005, 05:57 PM   #4
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Very constructive Jiri!

Steve is trying to give some tips&tricks to people that are trying to make the best of it, and all you can do is come up with this and disturb that?
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Old October 12th, 2005, 05:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiri Bakala
1. Don't shoot at dusk and dawn
2. Don't shoot the sun
3. Don't shoot the moon
4. Don't shoot vehicle headlights
5. Don't shoot if it's too cold
6. Don't shoot if it's too hot
7. feel free to add

...ah, maybe we should create a list of when the camera COULD be used, it might be shorter :-)
And Chris could move the whole thread into the Area 51... it was just too tempting, I promise I will stay outa here now...:-)
Jiri, that's already trolling. Everybody who HAVE one of those cameras is trying to work the issues and get the best out of it. If you do not have one, do not think the camera is for you, please buy something else and leave us alone already!
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Old October 12th, 2005, 06:10 PM   #6
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Thanks michael, I could use a little help here :-)
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Old October 12th, 2005, 06:16 PM   #7
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Hey guys, I am with you. Yeah, it's a great camera and I am going to get one eventually too but from a practical point of view, the 'restrictions' that Steve is suggesting as suggestions are just not going to work. If this camera is to be used in day-to-day operations shooting docs and you name it everything under the sun, one cannot be restricted and always worried about the SSE to show up unexpectedly. The problem simply has to be resolved to the point where we don't have to worry about shooting wide open (that's why the lens has the ability) and having white walls on out sets (i.e. a documentary with people in some non-descript office), etc. I think that these 'rules' are just cute and dandy for now but long-term it's simply ridiculous to be subjected to them. Not in the real world. Sorry if I offended anyone but I am a shooter of more than 15 years and I might like to control my set but in reality on many projects it's simply not possible/practical/affordable/etc.
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Old October 12th, 2005, 06:23 PM   #8
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I most agree with Jiri without exaggerating. If I can't use the camera at a full range of f stops then the camera is not ready for professional work.
That said I most disagree with most of what people think that you should do to get the SSE to disappear.
When it showed on the brand new camera just out of the case with one of my batteries from my DV300 it showed at 0db at about 5.6-8 with a flat BG.
Again I'll say that I had to force it to do it and did not show in VF. That is the risk when filming under run and gun. If you have a monitor all you have to do is either under or over expose less than 1/2f to correct it. I don't find it to be a huge problem. Even thou I would wait to have fixed if I don't have to shoot HD to get it.
If I get a job for HD, I would buy today and make enough to buy it now. Let the people thinking about the problems wait to make extra money.

Douglas Villalba
Miami, FL USA
http://www.dvtvproductions.com
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Old October 12th, 2005, 06:42 PM   #9
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I highly recommend both: Steve's tips and Jiri's humour. And for myself it is clear: I do not buy an HD100, until there is an official statement of JVC, that split screen is no longer a problem.
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Old October 12th, 2005, 06:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiri Bakala
If this camera is to be used in day-to-day operations shooting docs and you name it everything under the sun, one cannot be restricted.
Jiri, if I give you $5500, can you buy me a HD progressive camera with an exhangeable lens that can "!be used in day-to-day operations shooting docs and you name it everything under the sun" etc?
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Old October 12th, 2005, 06:44 PM   #11
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Can someone please tell me how to get the SSE appear on my camera? I have tried everything and I can't see it anywhere. I just got mine, so it could be one of the "good ones." =) Is there a test to see if you have SSE?

Duke
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Old October 12th, 2005, 07:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Duke
Can someone please tell me how to get the SSE appear on my camera? I have tried everything and I can't see it anywhere. I just got mine, so it could be one of the "good ones." =) Is there a test to see if you have SSE?
Point your camera at a wall (one color no texture) and as you monitor on a HD monitor (Plasma, HD LCD) slowly open and close the iris.
Start at 18db gain so you see what it looks like and then start reducing the gain to see how far down you can see it.

Douglas Villalba
Miami, FL USA
http://www.dvtvproductions.com
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Old October 12th, 2005, 07:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Villalba
Point your camera at a wall (one color no texture) and as you monitor on a HD monitor (Plasma, HD LCD) slowly open and close the iris.
Start at 18db gain so you see what it looks like and then start reducing the gain to see how far down you can see it.

Douglas Villalba
Miami, FL USA
http://www.dvtvproductions.com
I only see it when I put the gain all the way up (high). IN MID its very difficult to see and in LOW there is nothing. But I owuldn't want to shoot at high gain anyway =)
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Old October 12th, 2005, 07:55 PM   #14
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did you try moving the iris ring to see if it went away?
I can find it if I look for it but, just as easy I can make it go away by making it a little darker or lighter with the aperture ring.
What are you using to monitor?
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Old October 12th, 2005, 08:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiri Bakala
The problem simply has to be resolved to the point where we don't have to worry about shooting wide open (that's why the lens has the ability) and having white walls on out sets (i.e. a documentary with people in some non-descript office), etc.
1. The lens also has a CLOSED reading -- I suppose you want to be able to shoot fully closed too.

2. When the lens is OPEN it means you don't have sufficient light. When you don't have sufficient light -- of course you can shoot -- but you should expect poor results with ANY camera.

3. Of course you can shoot a real office with white walls! You can't shoot a TEST of a BLANK wall. If you did with the Canon XL1 you got "contours" that initially scared everone. Made no real difference because it was an artifical condition.

HERE ARE MORE RULES:

A) As the iris opens fully -- more than F4, the HD100 lens becomes very slightly less sharp. So you want to stay in the range of F2.8 or smaller -- with the ideal being F4 or smaller.

B) As the iris closes down, "Diffraction Errors" caused by the small iris cause the image to be less sharp. Since the iris is a physical hole, it defracts red light first: then blue: then green. So you don't want to close down the lens too much or the colors become differentially less sharp. The F stop at which this begins to occur is a function of the CCD size. The smaller the CCD, the lower the point at which diffraction of red begins. With 1/3-inch CCDs, Red may start to have errors starting at F2.8. So you would like to not stop down below F4. Worst case, no smaller than F8, where even Green starts to defract.

SO YOU SHOULD SHOOT BETWEEN F2.8 AND F8. IDEALLY, YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SHOOT AT F4! And, indeed, many D.P.s decree an entire film be shot at one F-stop! This helps image continuity as well. How do they accomplish this? They add and subtract light to get the exposure to the correct one.

When you say you want to shoot without "worry" or "rules" you simply are in fantasy land. Cinematography is all about worry and rules -- it's called craft. That's why there are film schools.

And don't tell me you shoot now without worry. When you shoot a room lit by a candle -- do you simply ignore vertical smear -- or do you work to avoid the smear?

Perhaps it's because I see this as a CineAlta for $6000 that I expect to work very hard to get the results I want. If I just want to shoot video -- why shoot HD? Why shoot low-temporal rate HD? We've all got DV for these situations. :)
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