Color Reproduction on the HVR-A1 at

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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 June 19th, 2006, 11:37 PM   #1
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Color Reproduction on the HVR-A1

What's the verdict on this. I keep hearing different opinions about how color is processed through that single chip CMOS. I hear RED comes out kind of PINK. How bad or good is it really compared to a 3 chip camera like the PDX-10?
I am looking to get a camera in this price range soon and I would like some opinions based on actual experience.

Thanks in advance!
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Old June 20th, 2006, 02:10 AM   #2
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As a general rule, the colors of the single HDV cmos cameras are more vivid and vibrant than they are in a three CCD camera such as PD150 or XL1. This is because the colorspace of the MPEG format is better than that of any SD DV camera.

The problem with reds turning sort of purplish is something that drives some people mad, while others such as myself have yet to see it.

My only complaint with this camera is it's low light performance. In decent light, as far as I can see, it's image and performance is just spectacular.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 03:43 PM   #3
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After using a Canon XL1s for four years, I got the HVR-A1 a few weeks ago and have did quite a bit of nature shooting with it in that time frame. I have not tried it on any red objects, except for deer in their summer coat which is somewhat red and it renders this quite well. While I have not done any objective testing and am basing my conclusions on completely subjective observations, I find the following to be true when I play the camera back directly into an HDTV using component video inputs.

1. In good light, the picture is much sharper and more colorful than the XL1s.

2. The low light performance probably doesn't suffer compared to the Xl1s. The footage shot on the Sony in low light looks comparable to Xl1s footage, but it no longer has that super detailed HDV look, it looks more like standard DV.

At this point in time I cannot see how one can go wrong in getting this camera, especially considering the price. If there are any significant issues with it, I have not found them yet. I also realize that the low light capability of the XL1s was not as highly regarded as some of the Sony cameras such as the VX2000 and this may color my outlook on the camera.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 04:36 PM   #4
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I've shot quite a few red peonies and red roses and have had no trouble with reds, yet :)
Perhaps I got a good one.
HVR-A1U | 521Pro LANC | Blue Snowball | Dual 2Ghz G5 | 20" & 23" ACD | MXO | FCP 5.1.4 | Shake 4.1 | AECS3

Last edited by Darren Rousar; June 20th, 2006 at 05:18 PM.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 06:55 PM   #5
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I agree with Laurence completely.
I just got back from shooting my first full project with the A-1; a travel doc in Italy. The color and image quality are amazing. As for low light, it certainly will not match my PD 170, but I did lots of interior shots of cathedrals, etc. that are absolutely acceptable. Also excellent audio thru the XLR circuits.
There are 3 supposed issues with the A-1:
1) color "problems"
2) rolling shutter artifact
3) poor low light performance
Of these, in my personal experience, only the low light issue has actually caught my attention. Candle lit restaurants, clubs, bars, etc.; you better bring a light, or a PD 170.
On balance, considering its size and price, it is an absolutely amazing little camera.
P.S. A totally unexpected benefit: The still photography function of the A-1 is suprisingly good. I took 40-50 stills that are satisfactory for use in the video project, title backgrounds, menus, cover art, etc.
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