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Sony Hard Drive and Memory Card Recorders
Including the HVR-MRC1K CF Card Recorder, HVR-DR60 Hard Disk Recorder and others.


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Old December 27th, 2008, 07:09 PM   #226
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Hi Dave. The recorder can't change the video quality, since the video is already compressed by the time it gets to the firewire port. I suppose you won't get tape drop-outs any more though.

The A1 image quality is very good, but it is HDV and therefore has some limitations. Scenes with loads of fine details and some camera movement don't look so good, presumably due to encoder constraints. And it is a bit noisy/grainy in low light as well, so be prepared to use the noise reduction (or even better, get some lights).

But generally I am very happy with the results from my A1, and I have no regrets about buying it 2 years ago. All cameras have their good and not so good points, so it's best not to expect perfection. And at least there is no rolling shutter problem to worry about. :)

Richard
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Old December 29th, 2008, 09:18 AM   #227
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From this forum and others I gathered that the MRC1 recorder would NOT limit the amount of data recorded (less data equal less detail). Some have hinted that is would by pass the hdv compression all together. That is where my main interest in this work flow lies. I have shot with this camera in HDV mode 60i extensively. Drops outs have never been an issue. It is movement blurring. Even in single head shot interviews(when a person is really animated with hands and head movement). A1 has limitations in the HDV mode.(all cameras have limitations) However the overall consensus is that A1 puts out the sharpest image. Sometimes too sharp-so the second it is slightly off you know it. Check out Vimeo under "Canon A1" search and you will see some great films styles shot on A1 video. I have been in the industry a long time however I am not by definition a cinematographer or a camera techy. I am always learning, trying to get the best composition of a shot without lighting or focus issues. If anyone has used the MRC1 recorder and seen less compression artifacts I would like to hear it. Thanks
Jason
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Old December 29th, 2008, 09:45 AM   #228
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Let's just cut all the rumors and spell it out once and for all so nobody get confused.

The MRC1 will record an identical signal on CF card to what the A1 lays down to tape. There is no difference. It is almost like saying a specific jpg image recorded to an SD card looks better than when it is recorded on a CF card. There is no difference. Digital 1s and 0s are identical, assuming the media doesn't fail somehow.

So, in my mind there are 2 primary reasons to use the MRC1.

1. Eliminate the potential for tape dropout
2. Tapeless workflow

I am sure there are a few others but none of them are for the purpose of a better image.

Sorry to break it to you but these are the cold hard facts. If you want less compressed images than on HDV tape from the A1 you need to look elsewhere.

Thanks.
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Old December 29th, 2008, 10:09 AM   #229
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That is why Canon sells the XH-G1 version for those that do not want HDV compression. I aggree with Marty, the firewire is just a network connection for transferring data. The camera has already compressed the video.
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Old December 29th, 2008, 01:50 PM   #230
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Weisner View Post
I have shot with this camera in HDV mode 60i extensively. Drops outs have never been an issue. It is movement blurring. Even in single head shot interviews(when a person is really animated with hands and head movement).
Jason, I'd suggest you check the presets you're using. It's possible you have NR1 active that's causing the "blurring" you mention. Even a low setting will show this but not as pronounced as mid or high, but still noticeable. I've also noticed this (albeit slightly) with NR2 on high depending on how much movement there is with the subject matter.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 01:13 PM   #231
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Help!
Does anybody able to record the "Free Run" Time Code of the XH A1 with this unit.
Is not working for me. I was reading the manual but I dont think that they explain in detail how to do it for other cameras. Do I need to record in the tape in order to capture the timecode thru the firewire on this unit? What are the settings?
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Old December 30th, 2008, 06:58 PM   #232
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Originally Posted by Jose Ortiz View Post
Help!
Does anybody able to record the "Free Run" Time Code of the XH A1 with this unit.
Is not working for me. I was reading the manual but I dont think that they explain in detail how to do it for other cameras. Do I need to record in the tape in order to capture the timecode thru the firewire on this unit? What are the settings?
Well after a couple of diff. testing I have to say the HDv capture "Free run time code" just works when also is recording to tape.
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Old December 31st, 2008, 12:08 AM   #233
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Originally Posted by Richard Hunter View Post
.......The A1 image quality is very good, but it is HDV and therefore has some limitations. Scenes with loads of fine details and some camera movement don't look so good, presumably due to encoder constraints. And it is a bit noisy/grainy in low light as well, so be prepared to use the noise reduction (or even better, get some lights).....
Richard - for you or anyone else - and you might not know - but I am struggling between the A1, the A1s, and the Sony HVR-z5u - so this image quality impacts on me a bit. Out of curiosity, do you think you would have the same HDV limitations with the newer Sony z5u - is it just inherent with HDV - or is it the limitation with the camera ?

Thanks
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Old December 31st, 2008, 01:02 AM   #234
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There are certain limitations that the HDV codec has such as for example, how well motion is handled that will be there regardless of cam manufacturer. Its baked into the codec to a certain extent.

And a lot can be done to reduce grain/gain issues by controlling gain manually. It can make a big diff.

That said, Canon's approach to HDV has pretty much been in my opnion, class leading. Their image processing, 3CCD's and Canon L seies lens would still lead me to select the A1 (or Panasonic HMC150) over the Sony Z5U.

Plus, no rolling shutter issues.... no wobble....Some will say that their customers don't notice, but....since its a variable that I cannot control, that can potentially wreck havoc on my productionss I would rather not have to worry about it, so I will stay with CCD based cams and not have to potentially explain to a client that the rolling shutter effect they see is due to the cam's design and no, I can't do anything about it. I never want to put myself in a sitaution where I would have to say such a thing.

The lens is a big deal to me, anyways. And Canon is an industry leader here. "L" series lenses are known for quality optics. What is "G" series lens anyways?
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Old December 31st, 2008, 01:28 AM   #235
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I posted this very same question 18 months ago

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/canon-xh-...ge-effect.html

I came to the conclusion it is down to MPEG compression. I can't remember the exact figures but I believe MPEG samples the scene every 12 frames, frames are compared and if nothing has changed then elements are duplicated.
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Old December 31st, 2008, 03:15 AM   #236
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Originally Posted by Dave Messinger View Post
Richard - for you or anyone else - and you might not know - but I am struggling between the A1, the A1s, and the Sony HVR-z5u - so this image quality impacts on me a bit. Out of curiosity, do you think you would have the same HDV limitations with the newer Sony z5u - is it just inherent with HDV - or is it the limitation with the camera ?

Thanks
Hi Dave. I bought my XH-A1 because of the colours it "produces", and have never regretted it. Also it has a wonderful lens which is very difficult to match at this price point.

Recently I have been using a friend's Sony EX1 and EX3 cams, and they are in a different league in terms of natural colours and low noise. But of course they are in a different price range too, and require investing in the SxS workflow.

By all means check out the Z5 before deciding. I have doubts whether the optics will be as good as the A1's, but Sony cams tend to have very nice controllability features such as Shot Transition which can really help to get the shot when you need something special. As for HDV quality, I would not expect much improvement here as the HDV data rate is fixed by the standard. In the end, your decision will probably be made based on personal preference rather than the last dB of noise or compression artifact, which is fine because all these cams are capable of fine results if you use them well.

Richard
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Old December 31st, 2008, 01:37 PM   #237
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Originally Posted by Steve Wolla View Post
The lens is a big deal to me, anyways. And Canon is an industry leader here. "L" series lenses are known for quality optics. What is "G" series lens anyways?
I believe that lens is used on Sony's high end cams and has less CA than the Canon lens. However, I don't know of any A/B test between the two in terms of sharpness, resolution and contrast.

Also, from what I've read and seen from posted clips, the Z5's image is closer to the EX series than the A1. So if one prefers that image, you should check out the EX/Z5.

In terms of the advantage of Sony's Z5 approach (CMOS/rolling shutter) vs Canon's (CCD/global shutter), it depends on how you use the cam. The newer Sonys have obviously better low light but in environments with plenty of flashes going off, they're prone to rolling shutter. The Canons with their CCDs, don't have this issue but don't have as good a low light and are, of course, prone to those issues common to CCD. Personally I don't find the rolling shutter issue as bad as some people make it out to be, but everyone needs to make their own decision.

You pick your poison so to speak. Both cams are great and in capable hands will produce terrific images.
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Old January 1st, 2009, 11:06 PM   #238
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My experience using this unit recorder with my Canon hv30 was so cool!!
This is the camera that I use to go out with Family and know I don't have to think anymore on capturing vacation tapes after coming from vacations .

I still not find the way to sync the record button of the camera to automatically stop or record the unit recorder.

There is any setting in the hv30 to make this work?

I know on Canon A1 situation is the DVControl setting on the menu.
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Old January 1st, 2009, 11:42 PM   #239
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Not sure about your specific camera but in my DVC 30 and XH-A1 there is definately a setting in the menu system to turn on "External.....or DV control".
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 06:27 PM   #240
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Originally Posted by Guy Shaddock View Post
Not sure about your specific camera but in my DVC 30 and XH-A1 there is definately a setting in the menu system to turn on "External.....or DV control".
Yes
Canon XH a1 I can make it work but with the hv30 I don't see how to make it.
I was reading the manual last night and I do not find any setting of the camera that could help me with this sync. issue.
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