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Old November 7th, 2007, 05:14 PM   #1
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Tell me about the noise, please

Hello. I've been busying myself reading reivews of the HVX200 and other cameras in it's price range and I keep encountering comments about noise. The Panny has a reputation of being noisy compared to other cams in it's class.

Are we talking noticeably noisy or noisy in the sense of sitting at home enlarging the heck out of screen grabs until the image looks lousy!? And are we talking "noisy if you don't use common sense with lighting" or noisy all the time regardless of what you do?

I ask because for every time I see this mentioned in a review, I also see that people are using them in the news media (some tv stations and papers, National Geographic, according to an article in HD Video Pro) and for independent films. It seems counterintuitive that so many outlets would be using this camera if there were serious issues with image quality and noise. Am I missing something?

Just how awful is the problem? Has anyone here returned their camera because they found the image quality lacking?

Thanks
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Old November 7th, 2007, 09:30 PM   #2
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Noise is only present in HVX202 if you shoot in HD. If you want to eliminate the noise, shoot in SD (DVCPro 50) - and you will get beautiful pictures. Having said that, I have just came back from Nepal - shooting in 720p (that's HD) - inside monasteries using just available lighting - and I previewed the clips on my Panasonic 17" broadcast monitor. Well, the image is noisy - yes. Is it so bad that it detracts the overall image? No. I would say - it is good ... knowing that the alternative will be carry the much larger HPX500 up - and that will be a no-no. Too heavy and impossible to lug up a 4200m mountain pass with gradients approaching 75-80 degrees. If I show people the footage I shot in monasteries using HVX202, their first impression was "Wow ...". Nothing on noise. It really depends on what you are shooting. Somehow, the interior of monasteries has the incense "smoke" that filters out the fine details ... and that helps mask the noise from the camera.

In normal light, the camera performs beautifully - in both HD and SD. It is only in low light - and worse, if you enable the GAIN control - that noise becomes noticeable.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 12:10 PM   #3
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Hmm. Only one person has issues with noise with this camera?
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Old November 10th, 2007, 05:25 PM   #4
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Bob,

If you do a search in this forum you'll see literally dozens of posts about visible noise in the HVX, how to handle it and what causes it.

I can tell you from over 2 years of shooting this camera for our commercial gigs the noise has never been a deal-killer nor prevented us from getting a shot planned for the camera.

If you simply don't want to see any visible noise or get as "noiseless" as possible in a video camera, then you'd need to look at a 2/3" inch body that has at least a native 720p chipset, such as the HPX2000.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 06:58 PM   #5
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I've had clips from the HVX in National Geographic programs as well as in Disney's Jungle Book DisneyPedia.

So, I figure if they don't have issues with noise from the HVX most people shouldn't

I still think allot of the issues come from people viewing the footage on their computers.

When I play a HD clip from the HVX on my Mac PowerBook it looks horrible. I mean HORRIBLE! It looks like it was shot with the gain maxed and more.

But, you play the same clip on a HD TV and it's stunning.

Now, I'm not saying that the HVX doesn't have noise but I wonder when people say it's so bad as to be unusable exactly what it is that they are viewing the footage on.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 08:19 PM   #6
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Thank you. Kevin, your comments are particularly helpful. Noise is present in all devices, whether you're shooting stills with a DSLR or video. At then end of the day, what you want to know is if it renders the device unfit for the intended task and I think you've answered that for me.

I agree with your final comment too. Even on my cinema display, my HV20 projects look ok, but on a big sceen tv they are just glorious. The same issue besets still photographers who never print their work, only view it on a monitor. They don't get to see how wonderful it really is.

Thanks gain
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Old November 10th, 2007, 08:25 PM   #7
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Bob,

If you have the ability to use MXF files, I can always write a couple seconds of footage to a P2 volume and you can download it and see for yourself.
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Old November 10th, 2007, 09:16 PM   #8
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Bob,

Try judging the output from HVX202 (that's the PAL version) on a HD broadcast TV monitor (such as Panasonic 17" LCD) - not your computer monitor. The issue of noise is basically a non starter if you view the footage on a HD TV.

TS
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Old November 12th, 2007, 11:04 AM   #9
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I have tested Neat Video (www.neatvideo.com) - an After Effects Plugin. You can get it for some NLE as well. It is spectacular ... Try it.
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Old November 12th, 2007, 12:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Railsback View Post
Now, I'm not saying that the HVX doesn't have noise but I wonder when people say it's so bad as to be unusable exactly what it is that they are viewing the footage on.
Is it neccessarily the noise on normal footage that people have objected to though? Or the fact that it becomes objectionable as soon as any gain has to be added, to a greater degree than other cameras?

Some users may be able to increase lighting levels and avoid any need for gain anyway, for others it may be unavoidable.
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Old November 12th, 2007, 08:09 PM   #11
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Under normal lighting, noise on HVX202 is not the problem. It is under low available light (gain or no gain) - where additional lighting is not an option - when it becomes noticeable. I am assuming you are filming in HD. I won't say it is objectable (not to the extent of distracting the viewer from the video) - but, if I can reduce or eliminate the noise, so much the better.
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Old November 17th, 2007, 07:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TingSern Wong View Post
Bob,

Try judging the output from HVX202 (that's the PAL version) on a HD broadcast TV monitor (such as Panasonic 17" LCD) - not your computer monitor. The issue of noise is basically a non starter if you view the footage on a HD TV.

TS
I thought the same thing viewing on my DELL 24" 2405.
Viewing the HVX200 and JVC HD100 showed more noise than I liked while viewing on this monitor. The HVX200 was the worst of them both.

I thought it might of been that the DELL LCD somehow made it real easy to see noise, possibly more than normal, but after viewing some high end video stuff on the DELL, this footage shot that idea down. Very clean edge to edge.

The problem is our expectations for these 1/3" CCD cams are real high.
We are hearing more info everyday from users who have tried the Sony XDCAM EX1 at the shows. The 1/2" sensors are making a big difference in noise levels. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on one of these.
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showpost.p...&postcount=346
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Old November 18th, 2007, 01:05 AM   #13
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Try reading the other post http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=108125

Where the issue of Long GOP of the Sony's EX1 was surfaced.

I supposed there is NO free lunch here. Every product has its own limitations. I liked the P2 and DVCProHD compression because it looks great on the Editor. And so much easier to edit - no more messy tape acquisition.

I personally found the noise not really that bad. If it is objectable, I simply wiped it off (using Neat Video).
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Old November 18th, 2007, 08:49 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by TingSern Wong View Post
Try reading the other post http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=108125

Where the issue of Long GOP of the Sony's EX1 was surfaced.

I don't follow you. That thread has no info on the EX1 that is not already known.
Also, the long GOP is advertized as such and is known by everyone.
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Old November 18th, 2007, 09:05 AM   #15
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Some people do have issues with the long GOP - such as David Saraceno. Bill Edmunds does not have that issue. So - it depends on the user - if you have issues with long GOP, then the Sony EX1 might not be for you.
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