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Old January 26th, 2007, 01:51 PM   #1
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Is any SSE normal?

I just picked up my new HD110, finally! Still waiting on the IDX kit though. Anyway, while testing the camera out in low lighting, I found it exhibiting the infamous SSE with the gain turned on, (either at 9 or 18db). I could not notice any SSE without the gain switched on, and when i did notice it, it was only very slight and when pointed at a greatly under exposed solid colored surface.

My question is this- Is any amount of SSE normal under any conditions? Or if I send my camera back will it be possible to rid it of the dreaded SSE for good?
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Old January 26th, 2007, 01:56 PM   #2
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There is a threshold that JVC QC probably considers to be 'normal' or impossible to completely calibrate for. I don't know what this threshold is, but I would assume it is around +9dB or +12dB.

If you want to shoot in really low light try increasing your gamma and leave the gain alone.
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Old January 26th, 2007, 02:15 PM   #3
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Short answer: No.

Long answer: This technology's been out long enough, and enough cameras (the vast majority at this point) do not have the SSE, even with the gain up, that an apperance at 9db in with your camera should be considered a defect.

A year and a half ago, Tim's answer might have been more appropriate. But since then there has been the "A" recall/upgrade, a procedure that apparently altered firmware and some minor hardware. Clearly JVC recognized the problem and in a responsible way dealt with it. I've jacked my camera's gain through the roof w/no SSE. Why should you have to have a camera that performs in a worse way than the majority of other owners with similar cameras?

If your camera has a 9/18db gain "switch" you ought to be able to use that function. I agree with Tim that usually (ie - narrative/commercial work) you would not want to use the gain boost, but there are many scenarios where it's be necessary - like documentaries. Or maybe you want to achieve a certain look, say old news reels, and you want to do it with in-camera grain. Regardless, a 9db gain boost is not outside the realm of normal usage.

Call your area's service center - this all might be a moot point if they tell to just ship it in for a tune-up. But, with all respect due to Tim, I'd say that at 9dbs, it's a defect.
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Old January 26th, 2007, 02:24 PM   #4
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I just called JVC Tech support and spoke with them about the SSE my camera is experiencing. According to the guy I talked to, when the camera is very first turned on it can take the circuit that balances the two halves of the CCDs a very short amount of time to warm up, less than a minute. However, durring this "warm up" period a very slight SSE may be noticeable in areas that are extremely underexposed or overexposed. This should, according to the guy on the phone, go away within a minute of turning the camera on.

Also the SSE that I noticed was very very slight, and did indeed occur immediately after powering up the camera.

I am going to do some further tests and see how it performes after it has had some more time to warm up.
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Old January 26th, 2007, 03:59 PM   #5
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Try turning off every image setting that is "auto", including knee. Also see if there is a difference between using pre-set white balance (3200K or 5600K) versus manually-set white balance.

My experience has been that, since I've locked down every "auto" setting to a fixed setting (i.e. not letting the camera make any adjustments itself), I've never seen SSE even with gain in low light situations (and I had BAD SSE when I first got the camera).

This may be just coincidental, but it's worth a try in your experiments.

P.S. Auto Iris is okay, as that's just a function of the lens.
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Old January 26th, 2007, 04:21 PM   #6
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My HD100E is 14 months old. It started exhibiting SSE about six months ago. The image is fine on start up then after about two minutes one half of the image turns magenta and develops so much noise as to look solarized - and all this at 0db with all settings on manual.

JVC took the it back, upgraded the firmware and recalibrated the camera. They sent it back with a delivery note proudly stating EVERYTHING OK. Which it was, except for the SSE at 0db.

The camera's going back as soon as I can book it in. In the meantime the only work around I know is to switch the camera on for ten minutes before you need to shoot, switch to 12db or more and white balance, then switch back to 0db.

I don't know if my camera is repairable, but hopefully the firmware upgrade should sort yours out.

Cheers,

Liam.
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Old January 26th, 2007, 07:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Vincent
Short answer: No.
since then there has been the "A" recall/upgrade, a procedure that apparently altered firmware and some minor hardware. Clearly JVC recognized the problem and in a responsible way dealt with it. I've jacked my camera's gain through the roof w/no SSE.
You are wrong. The "A" upgrade does not address SSE.

If you have SSE under "normal" lighting conditions then it may need calibration.

I can crank the gain to +18db without SSE, assuming their is some form of lighting on the subject, however, if I point it at a solid white wall and turn all the lights off, then plug the camera into my 27 inch TV, I can see a slight line down the middle.
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Old January 26th, 2007, 08:41 PM   #8
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After playing around with some more with my new camera, I do not think the SSE is not that major.

I have determined it only occurs when I power up the camera in a low light situation, never show it anything that is properly exposed, and even then it goes away within a minute after power up.

If I point the camera at something lighter or something with more detail in it first, before pointing it at a solid colored surface, I am unable to get it to produce any sort of SSE, even at 18db gain.

It seems as if the camera needs some sort of decently lit scene, or sufficiently detailed scene to help it calibrate both halves of the picture properly. Otherwise it will still go away, it just takes a couple minutes to "warm up".
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Old January 26th, 2007, 10:07 PM   #9
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When the HD100 was first released, there were in fact some legitimate problems with SSE occurring in broad daylight shots.

As long as they use Dual Pipe technology to achieve the 720/60p, there will always be a slight difference if you hunt for it. Ironically, since the camera can only record 30 frames, it makes me wonder whey they made this trade-off? I guess they wanted to at least offer 720/60p via analog component out, so it would be up to HD broadcast spec.
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Old January 28th, 2007, 02:24 AM   #10
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60p sampling would also be beneficial to its frame blending function (motion smoothing) wouldn't it?
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Old January 28th, 2007, 11:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Barwood
60p sampling would also be beneficial to its frame blending function (motion smoothing) wouldn't it?
That is true also. I have found the Motion Smoothing helps with medium pans.
I don't get as much strobe effect.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 11:31 AM   #12
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something odd happened last week.

I use the HD100 for 8 and 16mm film transfers with a cinemate-20.

The last few months I've been using the HD100 I have noticed a very slight split in the screen when the projector is off and its black.

Of course when the bulb of the projector is on it goes away and doesn't show itself even in really dark scenes on the films.

Anyway, last week I turned on the camera and there was a hot pixel
at about mid 9 o'clock on the screen.

I ran the procedure to mask the hot pixel (2nd time I've done it in a year)
and after I was done, the hot pixel was of course gone, but so was the slight SSE when the projector is off.
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