Initial setup of the A1U at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony HDV and DV Camera Systems > Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 29th, 2006, 05:28 PM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Avon, CT
Posts: 19
Initial setup of the A1U

So I bought the A1U (following this thread) and have some questions about the initial setup. I'm leaving for vacation with the kids tomorrow, and have perused the manual already, but would love some tips on making sure I've got the basic settings dialed in correctly.

As recommended in Alan Baker's review, I found these settings: set Sharpness to 7, Camera Color to 8, Cinematone to 1, Cineframe Off, and Black Stretch On.

First, when adjusting Sharpness, Color etc. there are no "numbers", just the scale - do you count the number of "green bars" to figure out what "number" your setting is at? How do you set the Sharpness to 7, for instance?

I took some quick video with (I think) these settings, and it looks beautiful overall! I did find the color a little too saturated, and overall a little too sharp. So just dial it down one or two "green bars"? What do most people have Color/Sharpness set to?

Also, does Cinematone affect the Color this way?

Thanks, I appreciate any help in getting me squared away! :)
Mohit Chadha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 29th, 2006, 07:37 PM   #2
New Boot
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Westmoreland, New Hampshire
Posts: 20
Hi,

Just got an A1 one too and love it. Another "setting" to consider is the white balance. There is a thread somewhere here (use the search above) about using warm cards, especially blues. In that thread there is a link to web site where you can print out the blue cards (if you have a color printer). I tried it with my A1, setting the white balance to the warm card, and it made a great difference, especially in skin tones. I also set the black stretch on since then, so I am not sure exactly how the two might interact. I am very much just learning. Good luck.

Bill
_______
Bill Slammon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 29th, 2006, 07:40 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 177
I have my shutter speed set to 60 as well.
Michael Stowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 29th, 2006, 07:42 PM   #4
New Boot
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Westmoreland, New Hampshire
Posts: 20
Here's the link to the warm cards:

http://www.jmtype.com/WBCards.html.

And here's the thread:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...ght=warm+cards

Good discussion.

Bill
Bill Slammon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2006, 09:47 AM   #5
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Avon, CT
Posts: 19
I plan to read the manual in detail on the flight today, so I should hopefully be pretty familiar with the basic controls that I anticipate using. It was easier, I think, on the VX2000 - use Program AES mode and set the shutter to 1/60, then press the Exposure button and dial in the appropriate combination of aperture/gain. On the A1, I see the menu option to set the shutter speed, but looks like the Program AE needs to be in Auto to allow changing of the shutter speed? And then I can press the Exposure button and adjust the gain using the lever, right?

More importantly, about those Sharpness/Color controls - how does one set it to 7, 8 etc? It's just a scale with no numbers ... and does Cinematone 1 result in pretty saturated colors? I need to dial color and sharpness down a little, I think, and want to find the best way to do this. What do others have Cinematone, Sharpness and Color set to - at/near defaults (for the latter two, at least)?

Thanks again!
Mohit Chadha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2006, 10:01 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Europe
Posts: 844
Hi Mohit

No you don't need to be in auto exposure to change or set the shutter.
Way to do it is to set the shutter manually first, and then go into Manual exposure mode and that will retain your fixed shutter-speed, so only iris and/or gain will vary.

I think when Alan Barker in his article talks about level7 or level8 he is referring to units above the MINIMUM setting. thats my understanding.
There aren't to my knowledge any values stated on-screen with A1U - this is just his nomenclature for referring to settings.

You can review what the aperture / gain actually was by replaying the footage and use 'DAta Code' set to 'Camera Data'. This, (only on playback unfortunately.....) will tell you shutter, iris, gain, exposure mode, White-balance etc. of the footage just shot.

Also, there is a little white sticky-thing that someone makes that you can stick on the base of the LCD screen and it is exactly the right size to show what the iris/gain is when in manual expsosure mode. The little blob on the manual exposire bar is the only indicator and the little white sticky thing assists you. Alexander Karol has the link for this i think or i can probably find the link but i gotta zoom off right now.
Stu Holmes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2006, 11:20 AM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 157
OK. When they say 7 Roberts is talking about the 7th little bar, with the lowest setting being '1' (it certainly would be easier if it would just say what number it is, wouldn't it).

Here's a link to the sticker I believe Stu is referring to:
http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~mdlee/fstopmeter.eps

I never use it myself because it's just too small for my bad eyesight.

I din't get into all the white balance stuff (and some other things), because I remember it being way too easy to get overwhelmed with info when just trying to get used to the camera.

And in a sense, the camera itself will teach you its sweet spots for the kind of shot you want, just by playing with it enough.

The bottom line though is even if you go full auto, the picture you'll get will be pretty impressive and anything else you do... well it just 'kicks it up a notch'... So go have fun.
Frank Howard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2006, 11:35 AM   #8
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Avon, CT
Posts: 19
Guys, that's a big help - thanks for the info and pointers! I'll be watching this thread over the next few days, so keep adding stuff that might assist a newbie with this camera :)

Can't wait to get some good footage, what little I saw of my tests (especially outside) was beautiful!
Mohit Chadha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2006, 08:10 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Independence MO.
Posts: 318
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Holmes
Hi Mohit

Also, there is a little white sticky-thing that someone makes that you can stick on the base of the LCD screen and it is exactly the right size to show what the iris/gain is when in manual expsosure mode. The little blob on the manual exposire bar is the only indicator and the little white sticky thing assists you. Alexander Karol has the link for this i think or i can probably find the link but i gotta zoom off right now.
I used a narrow and short strip of black electrical tape. Stays put and works great.

Danny Fye
www.dannyfye.com
Danny Fye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2006, 09:02 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny Fye
I used a narrow and short strip of black electrical tape. Stays put and works great.
www.dannyfye.com
I believe Stu is talking about the 'cheat sheet' that sticks on the screen to make it easier to dial in all the different exposure settings possible.
Frank Howard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2006, 10:28 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Independence MO.
Posts: 318
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Howard
OK. When they say 7 Roberts is talking about the 7th little bar, with the lowest setting being '1' (it certainly would be easier if it would just say what number it is, wouldn't it).

Here's a link to the sticker I believe Stu is referring to:
http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~mdlee/fstopmeter.eps

I never use it myself because it's just too small for my bad eyesight.

I din't get into all the white balance stuff (and some other things), because I remember it being way too easy to get overwhelmed with info when just trying to get used to the camera.

And in a sense, the camera itself will teach you its sweet spots for the kind of shot you want, just by playing with it enough.

The bottom line though is even if you go full auto, the picture you'll get will be pretty impressive and anything else you do... well it just 'kicks it up a notch'... So go have fun.
So what is an EPS file? What do I open it with? When I download it, it has an extension of .ps instead of .eps. Still even after I rename it .eps, it won't open with anything.

Danny Fye
www.dannyfye.com
Danny Fye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 1st, 2006, 12:00 PM   #12
Kino-Eye
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny Fye
So what is an EPS file? What do I open it with? When I download it, it has an extension of .ps instead of .eps. Still even after I rename it .eps, it won't open with anything [...]
Mac OS users can open EPS files with Preview (included with Mac OS) that converts EPS file to PDF when you try to open an EPS file. I'm not sure if Windows comes bundled with something that can open EPS files, but I'm sure someone using windows might chime in with a solution.

BTW, since you asked, EPS (Encapsulated Postscript) is a file format based on the Postscript page description language that is often used by graphic designers who are sending files to printers or want to exchange vector graphics between different programs. EPS files can be opened by a number of programs including Illustrator, Freehand, PageMaker, InDesign, QuarkXPress, Preview, and Photoshop can open some EPS files too.

EPS is an odd choice for distribution of files, typically people who want to exchange files with the largest number of users would create a PDF (Adobe's Portable Document Format) file that can be opened by the widely used Acrobat Reader (free download from Adobe for both Windows and Macintosh computers) or Preview (included with Mac OS).
__________________
David Tames { blog: http://Kino-Eye.com twitter: @cinemakinoeye }
David Tamés is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2006, 10:11 PM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Warren, NJ
Posts: 398
Here is a PDF version. Make sure to turn auto scaling off and set your printer to the absolute best printing. For many (Epson, Canon, and possibly others) you will have to select the best photo paper on the paper menu.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf F-Stop Label for Sony Camera.pdf (22.5 KB, 240 views)
David Ziegelheim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 22nd, 2006, 02:52 AM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 31
but with the .eps file, you just download it directly to the printer...
Lawrence Spurgeon is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony HDV and DV Camera Systems > Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:50 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network