Alan Roberts Reviews the A1 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 April 26th, 2006, 12:38 PM   #1
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Alan Roberts Reviews the A1

There's a pretty in depth review of the A1 done by Alan Roberts who was involved with R & D at BBC.
Interesting...

http://img.hexus.net/v2/lifestyle/al...n_res_sets.pdf
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Old April 26th, 2006, 04:01 PM   #2
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I am in awe of the testing method. I wonder what software was used and if its specific to those zone plates.

I wonder what the same system would make of the HC3.
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Old April 27th, 2006, 01:15 AM   #3
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Thanks for the post!

This is by far the most detailed review of any camcorder I have seen. Really cool to own the camcorder he reviewed. :)

Thanks again!
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Old April 27th, 2006, 10:38 AM   #4
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Glad you found it useful!

What I thought was an interesting departure was how he recommended using CineTone 1 for getting a better gamma curve.
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Old April 27th, 2006, 10:41 AM   #5
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looks good. summarizing what I learned from the article:

1. always shoot in HDV.
2. Set your sharpness to level 7.
3. Use Black Stretch for normal video production
4. Use Film Look 1 for film look

Am I missing anything here?
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Old April 27th, 2006, 10:51 AM   #6
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Well, according to the article, the sharpness wants to be between 4 for SD and 7 for HD. For instance, I have a feeling I'm going to end up keeping my sharpness a little lower to avoid that harsh 'video look' that always looks a little odd to me.

Roberts also recommends setting the shutter speed to 50 fps (PAL) which would translate to 60 fps on this side of the pond. This will avoid some of the weirdness that the auto setting can cause when bright. Keep the Zebra on though so you don't clip. Digital doesn't distort 'nice' like film.

But he does give a great simple starting point, lopping off a good number of the settings, bells and whistles that don't do that much good. Which is great for people like me who like simplicity.

Last edited by Frank Howard; April 27th, 2006 at 02:45 PM.
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Old April 27th, 2006, 12:42 PM   #7
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I noticed, in his article, that his tests revealed a problem with red (magenta). He mentioned it rather matter-of-factly, I might add.

--Dave.
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Old April 27th, 2006, 01:11 PM   #8
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Yep. I noticed that in his article too. Of course, with such an in depth study of the A1 it would have been surprising if he hadn't seen the red oversaturation issue. Of course, the only workaround he suggested was to drop the Camera Color setting one or two steps...

But I must admit I *was* surprised to see the problem occur on a movie shot on *film* (Storytellering).

But, for a camera that comes in under the 2K mark and is so small, the A1 is still very, very impressive.

Last edited by Frank Howard; April 27th, 2006 at 02:48 PM.
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