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(MPG4) Sanyo Xacti (all models)
A compact 720p MPEG4 digital media camera recording to SD Card.


 
 
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Old April 8th, 2006, 11:24 PM   #1
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Making your HD1 produce the best quality

There are many tips and tricks for getting the video from the HD1 to look great. The problem is, they are randomly dispursed throughout the threads on this site. Time to pull them together. Here are the ones I use, many of which I learned from this site.

1. When indoors, set the ISO to 1600 to produce video that is brighter
2. Turn stabilization off and use tripod when possible to increase resolution and decreases edge blurr
3. Manual white-balance eliminates over-saturation and reduces noise
4. Use 640X480/60fps when shooting fast moving scenes in moderate to good light so your images are more crisp
5. Install VLC player if your PC isn't playing 720p effectively (just learned this one... thanks Bo!)
6. Carry a mini-tripod with you (Gorillapod?) because this camera won't stand well on its base. Find a real tiny one (mine is as small as a felt pen when closed) so it's convenient
7. Hold the camera with two hands to reduce camera shake and prevent drifting
8. Don't shoot pictures at higher than 1.2MP when recording video because the video will pause
9. Install brighter lights in your house if you have poor lighting (I replaced 60 watt bulbs with 100s and saw a huge difference in video quality)
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Old April 12th, 2006, 03:00 PM   #2
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From what I gather here are the camera setting that should obtain the best video for general purpose:

Camera Settings:

HD-SHQ
Manual Exposure Shutter - 1/30
Use the ND filter if the sun is strong.
Image Stabilizer - Off
Exposure meter - Center
ISO - Auto
White Balance - Manual

Options:

Image Settings - Soft

Did I miss any settings? Am I off on anything?
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Old April 12th, 2006, 05:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Wells
1. When indoors, set the ISO to 1600 to produce video that is brighter
Actually Im not entirely sold on this one, I did a few tests using instead iso 200 (or I guess acording to the book that would be 800?) and discovered that the dark areas are much nicer... I think its worth experimenting with this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Wells
2. Turn stabilization off and use tripod when possible to increase resolution and decreases edge blurr
YES Positively..!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Wells
3. Manual white-balance eliminates over-saturation and reduces noise
It seems to me that while manual white balance do control color blooming a bit, it does not really affect the noice significantly, other than maybe making the noice less noticable colors. ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Wells
6. Carry a mini-tripod with you (Gorillapod?) because this camera won't stand well on its base. Find a real tiny one (mine is as small as a felt pen when closed) so it's convenient
7. Hold the camera with two hands to reduce camera shake and prevent drifting
YUP, 100% camera support is essential. funny thing is that images also look sharper when the camera is nicely stabilized. must be a visual trick the mind is playing on me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Wells
8. Don't shoot pictures at higher than 1.2MP when recording video because the video will pause
9. Install brighter lights in your house if you have poor lighting (I replaced 60 watt bulbs with 100s and saw a huge difference in video quality)
Yeah, I agree, it seems like a little kick does wonders for this camera, once it gets in the comfort range things really look a lot better. Try the 100w bulbs with ISO200 and see if not that looks even better.?

Well - this is just my experiences, it would be very interesting to get everybody to chime in on this, maybe its possible to agree on a SOP for much improved ownership experience with the HD1...?


Bo

www.bophoto.com/HDV
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Old April 14th, 2006, 06:52 AM   #4
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Not sure about the 1/30 shutter speed thing.

I always thought you needed shutter to be at least twice the framerate.

If your shutter matches your frame rate, how can you be sure you'll even get 30 frames - unless each shutter opening matches each frame. I've heard it's not normally recommended...

But it's been recommended so much in conjunction with this cam that I tried it today. It was sunny. I manually set white balance, used ND filter, set shutter at 1/30, frame rate 30p, HD-SHQ, Image Stabiliser OFF etc. etc.

Footage was quite pixelated and sometimes slightly jumpy - not something that I've experienced much.
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Last edited by Graham Jones; April 14th, 2006 at 02:10 PM.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 02:56 PM   #5
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OK Revised:

From what I gather here are the camera setting that should obtain the best video for general purpose:


Camera Settings:

HD-SHQ
Manual Exposure Shutter - 1/60
Use the ND filter if the sun is strong.
Image Stabilizer - Off
Exposure meter - Center
ISO - Auto
White Balance - Manual

Options:

Image Settings - Soft


Also:

Use a tripod!

If it is dark, add more light for best results!

To avoid the camera hunting for the the exposure, the on screen settings from the Manual Exposure Shutter mode can be set in manual mode to lock in the settings.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 03:30 PM   #6
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Joseph,

Revise it one more time. (smile)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Aurili
Camera Settings:

HD-SHQ
Manual Exposure Shutter - 1/60
Use the ND filter if the sun is strong.
Image Stabilizer - Off
Exposure meter - Center
ISO - Auto
White Balance - Manual

Set the ISO manually to the lowest value you can get away with.

Personally I don't understand the urge to set a particular shutterspeed, how about setting -1/3 exposure comp that seems to give pretty good results protecting the highlights a bit.

Alternatively, get a good exposure which look beautiful and set it manually, but I do not think that 1/60th particularly deliver better results. The most important issue with the HD1 is to get the exposure right in the first place. (smile)

Personally I feel that the "Soft" really should not be a option but just the default, the camera look better in that mode (to MY eyes)

BTW. amazingly, the HD1 was able to balance on my Merlin, thats a quick way to get steady shots. (smile) I moved the handle all the way front and removed most of the weights....


Bo

www.bophoto.com/panos
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Old April 14th, 2006, 08:05 PM   #7
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I leave mine on full auto except the ISO

for ISO I use 50 in daylight 400 when 50 wont work etc..

I use center focus and exposure etc..

I set mine to vivid (Have not tried soft I dont like soft video but I will try it and see how it looks)

So far I have been very impressed with the results. maybe this is because of what I am comparing it too :-) (IE my past camera's) or maybe I am blinded by the amazing resolution and not see its other flaws. either way I like it a lot :-)

What I DO wish is that we could save "profiles" so I can jump from pne "Customised" set of options to another set.

Chris Taylor
http://www.nerys.com/
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Old April 14th, 2006, 11:14 PM   #8
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My reasoning for not manually selecting the ISO setting is that the auto ISO should use the lowest setting for the available light. I don't thing the ISO would ever move above 50 in daylight. I may be wrong.

My reasoning for using shutter priority is that in full auto mode I got mixed results, and much better results in semi-manual modes. I still need to try auto mode with manual white balance to see how much better the results are. Also used semi-manual modes try and reduce the exposure hunting the camera does when the record button is pressed. I would just start with full manual mode except for the fact that the camera gives no live feedback to see how the picture will look.
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Old April 15th, 2006, 01:45 AM   #9
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I could be wrong (will have to test) but I believe if you half press the picture button it does give you a live view ???

Not sure how usable that is for video though. I just press record and have at it :-)

Chris Taylor
http://www.nerys.com/
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Old April 15th, 2006, 02:33 PM   #10
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Holding the button seems to work fine to preview pictures, but video comes out a good deal brighter.
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Old April 21st, 2006, 08:15 AM   #11
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I have found the following gives rich, detailed and balanced results. If the day is sufficiently overcast, you could leave out the ND filter part. Obviously any setting not mentionned is left as factory preset.

WHITE BALANCE:
MANUALLY SET WITH EYE-DROPPER ICON AND CLEAN WHITE SURFACE FILLING FRAME

ND FILTER:
SWITCH ON

ISO:
SWITCH TO 50

FOCUS:
SWITCH TO STANDARD

EXPOSURE:
SWITCH TO CENTER

It yields a somewhat contrasty image but the richest, most detailed and balanced I have seen from this cam.

The more I use the cam, the more I feel the main thing they botched was the automatic function which seems grossly inferior to the cam's overall capability. The automatic capabilities are so bad, you could almost say they are non-existent. I suppose it's quite tough to get automatic right on a camcorder.

Maybe they were able to supply high definition you can hold in your hand a few months before a matching auto mode but couldn't wait!
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Last edited by Graham Jones; April 21st, 2006 at 10:05 AM.
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Old April 21st, 2006, 09:03 AM   #12
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Thanks Graham.

Seems like if they could fix the auto white balance, it would be real close to working in auto mode.

I'm not sure what you mean by "ENTER SHUTTER MODE BUT LEAVE SHUTTER ON AUTO", because the shutter would always be in manual in that mode.

Do you prefer soft or normal image mode?
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Old April 21st, 2006, 09:22 AM   #13
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<< I'm not sure what you mean by "ENTER SHUTTER MODE BUT LEAVE SHUTTER ON AUTO", because the shutter would always be in manual in that mode >>

Sorry, I've edited the above. I was just trying to say that it's only the ND filter I'm concerned with.

I prefer normal to soft, but it's personal I guess!
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Last edited by Graham Jones; April 21st, 2006 at 10:06 AM.
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Old April 21st, 2006, 02:09 PM   #14
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Graham,

Sooo you are saying that you find the camera to actually need the ND filter in average daylight with clear skies..? I would have guessed that the ND would only be used at high-altitude, snow and for DOF effects.

Hmm gotta play with this.


Bo
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Old April 21st, 2006, 02:18 PM   #15
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"are saying that you find the camera to actually need the ND filter in average daylight with clear skies..?"

I would not normally advocate this and it will yield a contrasty image but... YES.

Manual white balance/ND filter on/ISO 50/Exposure Centre/Focus Standard - it's the best way I've found to work with the HD1.
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