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Old June 28th, 2007, 10:07 PM   #1
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First big shoot w/ HD200

I used my HD200 with 17X Fujinon lens for a multi-camera, week-long shoot and I thought I'd post my observations.
We did the whole shoot in DV mode, indoors and out, with the other cameras being 2 Sony DSR-500s, a Panasonic HVX200 and a Sony PD-150 - quite a variety. Interestingly, the cameras that broke down or caused the most problems were the big Sony DSRs; both went out during the shoot.
As far as the HD200, its DV recordings look rather bland - soft and washed out. My camera has been tweaked to the TrueColor settings found in this forum. I've seen this washed out look with other 1/3" DV cameras, but I expected a little more sharpness with the better 17X lens. The Panasonic HVX actually recorded very good DV video. It was sharp and with good color rendition. I was surprised; I thought the HD200 series would better it. The brighter the light, the better the video quality, not surprisingly. I noticed the HD200 tends to white balance in warmer tones. I don't mind that look, but it sometimes stood out against the other cameras.
I also wish I had purchased the HD250. I really could have used the timecode in/out. I managed to sync my timecode with the SDRs through a firewire, but not all cameras will have this feature. Also, the timecode on my camera widely drifted from the SDR master. I'm not sure which camera drifted its timecode, but I suspect it was mine.
The HD200 really stood out when we did extended hand-held shooting. Of all the camera operators, I came out the best for wear during these days.
All in all, I was very pleased with the HD200. Several times, very briefly, the "DDDDDD" reading came across the viewfinder. I just wish its DV video was a bit sharper and richer in color. Its timecode accuracy is a mystery.
Has anyone had similar experiences using these cameras in DV mode?
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Old June 29th, 2007, 12:33 AM   #2
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I use the HD-110 and I have found its the quality of its DV mode to be excellent. However, I also found in general when using the camera with the viewfinder set to color that the image appears to have more contrast and slightly more saturated colors than what I get when I view the video on a properly calibrated study monitor. In black and white mode though the contrast I get through the viewfinder seems to be fairly accurate. I find shooting in black in white mode gives me a pretty accurate representation of the contrast levels I am actually getting.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 07:19 AM   #3
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Adam, when you shoot with the viewfinder in b/w mode, do you mean with the focus assist always on? If so, is there an increase in power drain with focus assist on? I'm used to b/w viewfinders and I might feel more comfortable with focus assist.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 01:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Vandermolen View Post
Adam, when you shoot with the viewfinder in b/w mode, do you mean with the focus assist always on? If so, is there an increase in power drain with focus assist on? I'm used to b/w viewfinders and I might feel more comfortable with focus assist.
Hi Glen,
You can set your LCD and viewfinder to B&W mode in the Menu Screen of your camera under LCD/VF, scroll to page 4.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 09:23 PM   #5
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I never use the focus assist, I just have the viewfinder and LCD set to black and white.
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Old July 5th, 2007, 06:12 PM   #6
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Same Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Vandermolen View Post
I used my HD200 with 17X Fujinon lens for a multi-camera, week-long shoot and I thought I'd post my observations.
We did the whole shoot in DV mode, indoors and out, with the other cameras being 2 Sony DSR-500s, a Panasonic HVX200 and a Sony PD-150 - quite a variety. Interestingly, the cameras that broke down or caused the most problems were the big Sony DSRs; both went out during the shoot.
As far as the HD200, its DV recordings look rather bland - soft and washed out. My camera has been tweaked to the TrueColor settings found in this forum. I've seen this washed out look with other 1/3" DV cameras, but I expected a little more sharpness with the better 17X lens. The Panasonic HVX actually recorded very good DV video. It was sharp and with good color rendition. I was surprised; I thought the HD200 series would better it. The brighter the light, the better the video quality, not surprisingly. I noticed the HD200 tends to white balance in warmer tones. I don't mind that look, but it sometimes stood out against the other cameras.
I also wish I had purchased the HD250. I really could have used the timecode in/out. I managed to sync my timecode with the SDRs through a firewire, but not all cameras will have this feature. Also, the timecode on my camera widely drifted from the SDR master. I'm not sure which camera drifted its timecode, but I suspect it was mine.
The HD200 really stood out when we did extended hand-held shooting. Of all the camera operators, I came out the best for wear during these days.
All in all, I was very pleased with the HD200. Several times, very briefly, the "DDDDDD" reading came across the viewfinder. I just wish its DV video was a bit sharper and richer in color. Its timecode accuracy is a mystery.
Has anyone had similar experiences using these cameras in DV mode?
I'm in the same boat with the 200.
I'm rather frustrated with the image quality in 60i mode.
I tried creating optimum shooting conditions (light, focus, shutter, iris, etc..)
and I'm getting a washed, soft, dull image.
Is there something I'm missing in DV mode?
I did try the True color settings for the camera. The 60p mode looks great of course, but still lacking in richness.

Does anyone have any tips, hints?

Bill
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Old July 5th, 2007, 10:17 PM   #7
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Hi Bill
when you say soft are you talking about the focus of the subject


Joe
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Old July 5th, 2007, 10:57 PM   #8
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In my case, when I zoom in and focus on an object, zooming out makes the whole image soft. I checked my back focus and it seems to be good. (I used the "news photog method" - zoom in to a distant object, like a tree line. Then zoom out to the widest point, twist the back focus until the image looks its sharpest, and lock the back focus down. Hey, it works.) It's most noticable during indoor shooting, with lower light levels. In the field, the camera's monitors don't show this image softening.
I think it might be the limitations of the 1/3" chips. It may just be the way these cameras shoot DV. I used a Sony Z1 and it had the softening, only more so. Plus, the blacks really were crushed on the Sony.
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Old July 8th, 2007, 02:39 AM   #9
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just rented a hd200 for a wedding - I wanted to have 1st hand experience with it to compare it to other HD cams.

Compared to my 1/2" Panasonic DVC200 the DV recordings were exactly like you decribed.

What I did was to record the full thing in HD 720 50p (PAL Land), when I see the playout from the cam (live -> SD resolution) the pics are nice and crips.

Detail setting was -5.

ULI
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