EIS not so great on HC1 at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


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Old August 31st, 2005, 04:38 PM   #1
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EIS not so great on HC1

I don't like the Electronic Image stabilizer on the HC1 at all. When zoomed in and handheald, forget it, the image stutters. As compared to Optical Image Stabilization which kind of floats (like on the PDX10 for instance).

I love almost everything else on the HC1 though.
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Old August 31st, 2005, 06:47 PM   #2
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It has nothing to do with EIS being insufficient. SONY's EIS is actually very close to what people will get with optical stabilization. The reason why is doesn't seem to be is because of the HDV's drastically sharp resolution. The resolution is so sharp that the slightest shake is a lot more evident. Same thing with focusing. Even though people try to argue that the FX1 has better stabilization because its optical, they don't take into account how much heavier and bulkier the camcorder is. Tests have been done comparing the HC1000's optical stabilization and the HC1's EIS which yield a more accurate comparison due to similar size and weight and has proved that stabilization on both camcorders are very similar, if not identical.

You are not supposed to record at full zoom unless you have a tripod or monopod anyways. I recommend you invest in a monopod. It's portable, effective, and you can also use it as a chest brace for in-motion stability. Tests have been done comparing the HC1000's optical stabilization and the HC1's EIS which yield a much

Finally, have you tried setting the "Lens Conv." setting to "Wide Angle"? Even though it seems counter-intuitive to set it to "Wide Angle" rather than "Telephoto", owners of the HC1 have reported more stability due to less sensitivity. The "Telephoto" option seems to be too sensitive and leads to a lot of jerkyness due to excessive correction. If you set the "Lens Conv." setting to "Wide Angle" and in addition add a wide angle lens, you will have the most stability that the HC1 can provide without a tripod or monopod.
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Old September 1st, 2005, 05:25 AM   #3
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Having both the HC1 and FX1 I feel that Chris has a fair point, the EIS on the HC1 can look very strange at times, you can get a build up of events that make a sudden earth tremor!
Part of the problem is the rolling shutter, if this distorts the image at the same time as the EIS stretching the image upwards you can get a very weird effect. I keep the FX on the tripod 90% of the time but the reason for my HC1 purchase was to have a back up take anywhere 'run and gun' cam hand held most of the time, so I say shame that we have no optical IS on the HC1.
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Old September 1st, 2005, 11:21 AM   #4
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Once again, it is not fair to compare the FX1 to the HC1. Look at the size and weight difference. That alone can account for significant stabilization differences.

I do not have the HC1 personally, but I have done lots of testing at a friend's electronic store. I found that the "jerkyness" is resolved by setting the "Conv. Lens" setting to "Wide Angle". Give it a try!
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Old September 1st, 2005, 11:52 AM   #5
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hang on! - you are saying it's not fair to compare the HC1 to the FX1 (OIS v IES), but the 15 hours+ that I have already taken on the HC1 and have edited in post, watched on a monitor, and a HDTV and projected you want to compare to what you have seen at your friends store?
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Old September 1st, 2005, 01:42 PM   #6
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You can't fairly compared because of the size/weight difference. I have compared the HC1 to the HC1000 (EIS vs. OIS) and is a much better comparison due to the similar size and weight.
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Old September 1st, 2005, 02:01 PM   #7
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Alexander, technically I'm sure you're right about the EIS on the HC1 and how the sharpness plays a factor. But I do think this issue should be pointed out for those that might be looking to buy the camera.

Yes, I tried all the different settings in 'Lens Conv'. It didn't help that much. Thanks for the advice though.

>>>>Tests have been done comparing the HC1000's optical stabilization and the HC1's EIS which yield a more accurate comparison due to similar size and weight and has proved that stabilization on both camcorders are very similar, if not identical. <<<<<

I don't buy this. I've got the pdx10 which is basically the earlier version of the HC1 (nearly the same dimensions and weight), and the pdx10's OIS works far better than the HC1 to my eye. I have to concentrate HARD to try and keep the HC1 steady while zoomed in and handheald. With the PDX10 I don't even think about it.

Like I said though, I really like almost everything about the HC1, but this is a big problem for my shooting style.
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Old September 1st, 2005, 02:42 PM   #8
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Hc1 Eis

I have returned two HC1s because of the electronic image stabiliser.

I noticed there was a problem when I viewed recordings on a TV. The image can shimmer when the recording was made at almost full zoom. After much experimentation I finally found that the shimmer happened when at full zoom and the shutter speed was slower than 1/100 sec. The shimmer could never be seen when the shutter speed was 1/100 sec or faster.

As limiting the shutter speed effectivelly sets a higher minimum light level for using the cam, I decided to stick with my PDX10. I am only surprised that nobody has noticed this limitation until now.


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Old September 1st, 2005, 03:23 PM   #9
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Alexander, I'm cool- just trying to do my bit to keep you guys informed.
I'm going to retire from this one having to agree to disagree. I really like the HC1 but for me the EIS is not up to the job for a small run and gun cam, it's not just the shakes, it has a very strange look on screen.
Cheers
Paul
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Old October 4th, 2007, 09:39 PM   #10
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Hi, John

Thanks for the great suggestion regarding shutter speed and the problem of EIS jitter with lower than 1/100 sec. shutter speed.

I have three HC1 camcorders and the EIS is TERRIBLE! Two of the three cameras have this jitter "problem" big time . . . the third camera is somewhat better. I tried your trick of shooting at 1/100th and it pretty much eliminated the problem. The only issue for me is I always shoot at 1/60th . . . but at least knowing how to get around the issue is great news. Thanks for sharing.

If anyone knows why Sony would let a product go to market with such an obvious flaw I'd love to hear the reason.

Thanks . . .

Ian
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Old October 4th, 2007, 10:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Campbell View Post
If anyone knows why Sony would let a product go to market with such an obvious flaw I'd love to hear the reason.
I've never found it to be "obvious" and have not had any issues with the EIS. Perhaps I just haven't shot under circumstances that cause much of a problem but if it was obvious, I think that I would have noticed after 18 months.
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Old October 5th, 2007, 03:58 AM   #12
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Well, that's an inherent problem of EIS systems. They cannot correct motion blur which happens when the camera shakes under a 1/100 shutter. That's why the hc1 and all other sony cameras that use EIS try to keep the shutter at 1/100 or higher.

Another problem that contributes is the rolling shutter. It will make handheld shots look funny in a way that's hard to see, but the effect is always there. An OIS will not necessarily help (hv20) but it will take down a bit of the effect.

But considering these facts the EIS in hc1 is pretty good otherwise.
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Old November 24th, 2007, 01:44 PM   #13
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As mentioned about EIS "shimmering", the EIS on two of our three HDR-HC1 cameras really sucks. The shimmer that folks are talking about really can ruin otherwise good footage. I just did a test with the cameras on a tripod (with EIS turn on). The shimmering occus even when there is no movement in the shot. I usually don't leave the EIS on when the camera is on a tripod . . . I just wanted to see if the camera's EIS super steadyshot would pose a problem ,even when NO movement was intoduced to a shot. The image just wants to jerk and jump -- even without any camera movement.

As others have suggested, the problem goes away when shooting at at 100th or greater shutter spead. The problem is I like to shoot all my footage at 1/60th. And with low-light performance of the HC1 being poor in low light, I certainly don't like to shoot at 100/th or greater.

Questions:

1. Does anyone know if Sony is aware of this problem with the HC1 or other cameras with EIS?

2. Can this problem be corrected if taken to Sony?

3. Would there be a reason that only two of our three HC1's has this issue? I must admit that the third camera has it . . . but it is so minimal it doesn't bother me.

4. Looking a footage shot a couple of years ago, I don't see the problem with any HC1 footage shot with tany of the three HC1's Does this problem occur with time perhpas? Can the EIS get out of alignment, so to speak, with normal use and handling?

Note: We bought two HVR-V1U camcorders that currently are at Sony of Canada for a hopeful fix. BOTH units have a back focus probem, that Sony does acknowledge is a problem. But between the back focus problems of the V1U's and all three HC1's with fluttery footage, I wonder why Sony doesn't get important features to work correctly before bringing their products to market.

Ian
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Old November 25th, 2007, 07:42 AM   #14
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Well you know.. The HC1 has a better stabiliser than the HV20 that uses an optical stabilising system. So it's not that simple. The HV20 does better with low shutters, but I don't like the way it moves the image. When you add in the fact that these cameras have a rolling shutter the HV20 can look very odd when the stabiliser corrects the footage. The OIS on the HV20 can suddenly jump around and that will introduce some horrible looking bending.

Now the EIS on the HC1 does have its limits. For example 1/25 shutter is not good for it, because it can't correct motion blur. But 1/50 is workable and 1/100 is very good.

But otherwise it works well. The EIS on my HC1 doesn't do anything when the camera doesn't move, the OIS on the HV20 moves all the time a little. So I don't share your experiences at all. Maybe they are broken?
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Old November 26th, 2007, 07:26 AM   #15
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EIS on HC1 - At least mines OK!

I agree, there must be a fault with some of the HC1 cameras out there regarding Steadyshot judging from some of the evidence in this thread but I have to say mine is absolutely fine (touch wood!)

Maybe best to get Sony Service involved for those that are seeing this issue.
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