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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 December 27th, 2005, 07:36 AM   #16
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I sent you my e-mail address. Unfortunately I don't know how I can shoot those colorcards.
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Old December 29th, 2005, 06:52 AM   #17
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You can download the pictures from this folder:

http://www.apollologic.com/dvinfo/hc1colors/
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Old November 15th, 2006, 06:25 AM   #18
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Warranty period ends - HC1E goes for checkup

Hi,

The red color problem has really bothered me, even if I have been quite quiet on this subjet for a while.

I have been able to manage, avoiding dark shooting and doing some postproduction color correction. However, the problem is still there.

Now when the warranty is ending I am giving Sony a try to fix the problem. Hope to get the HC1E back until x-mas...

How have you all been coping with this problem?

Regards,

Christian
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Old November 15th, 2006, 03:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian de Godzinsky
1) Interlace-based artifacts (jagged edges) during panning. These are clearly visible and more prominent than in my cheaper Canon camcorder... De-interlacing during edit probably can remove partially this but not completely.
That is interlacing. It should appear everywhere where there is motion. Deinterlacing doesn't remove it partially but completely. Here's a couple of movie files I've done with the hc1 and I love it. I live in Helsinki too. No problems with color accuracy, except bright reds are a bit pinkish.

Action/Fight scene. Testing of the rolling shutter and some color correction to make it look older and more filmic. About 200 megs in wmv format.

http://hmcindie.pp.fi/suomenlinna/En...%20quality.wmv

Some fireworks testing. Really lowlight at times.

http://www.hmcindie.com/movies/Ilotulitukset%202006.avi

Shooting an action scene under big lights.

http://www.hmcindie.com/movies/Taikk...%20quality.wmv

etc. This camera is great and it gives for example the dvx100 a run for its money. Except in low light and bright reds.
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Old November 15th, 2006, 03:56 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Christian de Godzinsky
I did my tests shooting pics to the memory card, not filming video. I guess that is ok - or is it?
Uh oh! The pics always look way different in color compared to the video. It uses a different scanning style when taking pictures, for example there is no rolling shutter when taking pics.
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Old November 15th, 2006, 04:13 PM   #21
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http://hmcindie.pp.fi/esim/

Couple of small videocaptures from the hc1. The reds on the shirt don't look too bad. Atleast on my monitor.
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Old November 16th, 2006, 04:46 AM   #22
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Moikka Mikko !

Thank's for your input. You are right, the stills are taken under very different circumstances than live video. However, the problem shows up on both. Therefore I decided to use stills for comparison, just to test the sensor's function, not the video codec's...

COMPARED to my Canon MVX2i the HC1E reds are lousy. Sony is known to bee little on the blue side in general, but the reds (at least in my unit - please Sony - fix it) are really lousy.

Mikko - what NLE program are you using with your HC1?? Nice video clips you provided :)

Regards,

Chrisse
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Old November 16th, 2006, 08:12 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian de Godzinsky
Mikko - what NLE program are you using with your HC1?? Nice video clips you provided :)
I'm using Abode Premiere 2. Works pretty well. I've edited everything natively.
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Old November 20th, 2006, 02:38 PM   #24
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HC1 back from service - red color issue solved!

Hi,

Finally - after waiting for almost a year - I sent my HC1E for service. The reason was the poor red color rendering, and unsatisfactory color saturation in general. And the warranry was just ending.

The camera did its round-trip from Helsinki to France in only 4 days - quite a remarkable achievement. Great work Tele Niinimaa Vantaa!! And Sony :)

The firmware was updated and the HC1E recalibrated. Best of all - the repair that I suspected would be just another unnecessary trip payed off - THE PROBLEM IS NOW FIXED!! The colors are now more vivid and natural - compared to the washed out bluish color rendering before.

What a great day today is - finally this beast lives up to the last expectation that I had before I made the decision to purchase.

You CAN live with the rolling shutter, the artefacts produced by it are normally so subtle that they go unnoticed - if you do not know where to look for them.

I thought that Sony would have fixed the zoom speed issue at the same time - but no. The zoom lever is still ridiculously fast as its slowest. Well - I am shooting mostly using a LANC-enabled tripod where I get 24 second zooms...but it would have been nice if they would have fixed this at the same time - it is just a software issue.

I could afford to wait this long for the service, since I have not been shooting during this summer. Some earlier recordings with poor reds I was able to fix during post edit. This very late update guaranteed that I got now the latest firmware available. Probably there are no newer ones coming for this discontinued cam.

To proove my experience and for you to see yourselves, I have added couple of stills (of a professional GretagMacbeth Color checker chart) - taken with the HC1 before and after the service. The color behaviour in the HDV and DV modes are very similar. I have just included the stills for the sake of simplicity and size:

Before the service:
HC1 OLD AUTO: Fluorescent low light condition, FULL AUTO
HC1 OLD MANUAL: Fluorescent low light condition, manual WB
HC1 OLD INDOOR: Fluorescent low light condition, Indoor WB

After the service:
HC1 FIXED MAN FL LL: Fluorescent low light condition, manual WB
HC1 FIXED AUTO: 2700K 2000Lx Halogen lighting, auto WB
HC1 FIXED INDOOR: 2700K 2000Lx Halogen lighting, indoow WB
HC1 FIXED AUTO WB+2 AE-1: 2700K 2000Lx Halogen lighting, auto WB but tweaed so that WB+2 and AE-1.


Comparing to my Canon MVX2i the colors are still somewhat "cooler" in the HC1 - but that is typical for Sony. Overall - I am now very satisfied and the difference is remarkable. To be fair, please only compare the pics with each other that are shot in Fluorescent lighting (HC1 OLD AUTO, HC1 FIDEX AUTO FL LL).

To match with my personal taste I have noticed that I get the most natural exposure and color balance (using full auto) if I tweak WB+2 and AE-1. This gives a little warmer tones and avoids the slight overexposure tendency in the HC1. Setting the AE slightly negative also limits the HC1 gain boost at low light levels - not a bad idea at all.

Now I smile again :) Thanks Sony for making my day !!!

Best regards,

Christian

PS: I was so happy that I immediately pre-ordered a Sony PS3 (for my kids - ofcourse ;)
Attached Thumbnails
Help! Lousy color rendering, especially red tones -anyone else than me?-hc1-fixed-auto.jpg   Help! Lousy color rendering, especially red tones -anyone else than me?-hc1-fixed-man-fl-ll.jpg  

Help! Lousy color rendering, especially red tones -anyone else than me?-hc1-fixed-auto-wb-2-ae-1.jpg   Help! Lousy color rendering, especially red tones -anyone else than me?-hc1-old-auto.jpg  

Help! Lousy color rendering, especially red tones -anyone else than me?-hc1-old-indoor.jpg   Help! Lousy color rendering, especially red tones -anyone else than me?-hc1-old-manual.jpg  

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Old November 20th, 2006, 03:16 PM   #25
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Nice that you got it working! :)
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Old November 20th, 2006, 05:52 PM   #26
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Good News!

I have a couple of A1Us which I will be sending in soon. I hope to see a quality increase there as well. Reds are sometimes downright painful IMHO.
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Old November 21st, 2006, 03:55 AM   #27
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What is the process to sending in the HC1/A1 to specifically fix the red problem? I'd like to do the same.
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Old November 21st, 2006, 06:43 AM   #28
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Hi,

I just took my HC1 personally to the local Sony service - together with my purchasing receipt and warranty card. I explained that I brought it to the service due to the poor red color rendering. The warranty was still valid for a couple of days. That was all. No other questions were asked - I got the feeling that the guy at the other side of the counter knew about this from before - just a feeling however. The cam was shipped to France (where the european head office for servicing this camcoder seems to be located).

5 days later I got the HC1 back with the info that the firmware was updated and the camera completely checked. Nothing else was revealed in the official papers. And I paid nothing - obviously.

My color card test before and after clearly shows the improvement. Needless to say, I see the difference by my naked eye shooting any red colored object. The reds are not as saturated at low light as in other CCD based cams that I have , but at least the lilac overall tone has disappeared. Colors are more vibrant and natural, especially in the red-yellow range.

Probably only a small number of HC1's suffer from this problem. I am now convinced that those units that does have this problem CAN really be fixed. That's good news for those of you that struggle with the same problem. This is a great way for Sony to earn back the trust and it's reputation for quality. And for us to get the full performance from this wonderful cam.

Hope my experience helps those of you with similar problems. Would be nice to hear other similar stories. Please keep me posted :)

Best regards,

Christian
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Old November 21st, 2006, 07:40 AM   #29
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Where would we find where the local Sony service center be in the US?
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Old November 21st, 2006, 08:37 AM   #30
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Hi

I Googled the Sony Service pages and found a toll free number: 1-800-222-7669. Try that.

Probably they can lead you in the right direction for a service location. The company from where you bought your CAM (if domestic) might give you also valuable information. Evern the warranty cards sometimes lists service points in different locations...

Should not be a big problem...

Christian
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