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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 July 22nd, 2006, 12:59 PM   #1
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Comment on 16:9 quallity - A1

Could someone comment on the quality of the 16:9 image on the HVR-A1. Is there a big difference between the 4:3 image and the 16:9 - I supppose the question should be "is the 16:9 image native?"

I once owned a Cannon Xl1s which I sold in disgust when I realised how poor the 16:9 image was. Since I produce virtually everything in 16:9, this is important to me.

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Old July 22nd, 2006, 01:59 PM   #2
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All HD is 16:9 native. It's not cropped from a 4:3 image. Many SD cameras are now 16:9 native. The XL2 is a fine example.
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 09:04 PM   #3
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The cmos sensor on the HC1/A1U is actually 4:3 at 1920x1440 effective pixels, but in HDV your pulling off a 16:9 portion at 1440x1080 (which also gives wiggle room for the electronic method of stabilization or "steadyshot").

Switch to camera mode for stills and you'll be using the full sensor surface.
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 09:18 PM   #4
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So the quality of the 16:9 image in video mode is as good as in the 4:3 mode...or not?
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Old July 22nd, 2006, 10:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Steele
So the quality of the 16:9 image in video mode is as good as in the 4:3 mode...or not?
I have FX1, which has true 16:9, and it is my understanding that the A-1 is the same. They don't use the "fake" generated 16:9 that the VXs, PDs, XL1's used.

On the FX1, I have shot both 16:9 and 4:3 in SD mode, and get a great SD result.
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 01:16 AM   #6
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The image is cropped across the CMOS sensor, using pixel for pixel, where a portion of the upper and lower on the sensor is ignored. You don't stretch/scale/double the image was you would with the XL1s, and other 4:3 imagers. Even so, it's scales down to 1440 on the verticle for HDV compression. So the pixels are there, it just doesn't use them all.

Now in 4:3 DV(SD) mode, I would suppose that it uses the entire effective sensor surface, but what good is that when it's scaled down/compressed to DV25 before it hits the tape?

The CMOS sensor in the HC1/A1U is similiar to a still camera imager. The higher end FX1/Z1U cousins use Sony HAD 3 chip CCD's.

I've read other post, however, that video shot from an A1U can intercut nicely with that from an FX1\Z1U. My only guess is whether they are 16:9 or 4:3 imagers, pixel for pixel they both meet the HDV spec.
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 12:06 PM   #7
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Its true that the physical sensor on FX1 is 16:9 aspect ratio and physical sensor on A1 is 4:3 aspect ratio, but A1 DOES shoot 'true' 16:9 as Peter said, as for video it uses a 16:9 chunk of the sensor. HDV is always max. 1440 x 1080 pixels.
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Old July 24th, 2006, 09:20 AM   #8
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It looks great in native 16:9 and best in HD. The non-square pixels of the Sony HDV cameras allow it to go to 1920x1080 very nicely.

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