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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 August 14th, 2006, 09:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang Winne
Here the FX1/HC1/HC3 camera comparison: http://www.fxsupport.de/02.html

Thats a good comparison just wished I could read German.
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Old August 14th, 2006, 09:33 PM   #17
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Fred, have you ran it thru AltaVista's free Babel Fish translation site? Just enter the German URL into the "Translate a Web page" section and select German to English from the languages drop-down.

http://babelfish.altavista.com/

Even after its translated it still might not be 100% clear but you'll be better off than you were before.
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Old August 14th, 2006, 09:50 PM   #18
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Got it thanks!!!
I viewed the footages of all three. I currently have a fx1 but need a second hdv cam to take on trips. The fx1 is a tad big and attracts attention. I noticed that the hc1 indoor footage looks better than the hc3. On the other hand the hc3 outdoor footage looks better than the hc1. Its gonna be a hard decision to make.
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Old August 14th, 2006, 10:22 PM   #19
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Tough choice between the HC1 and HC3. If only the A1U's price would drop again. That would make the choice a lot easier. :)
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Old August 15th, 2006, 03:23 AM   #20
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David,

Some people like over saturation of colour, which is really colour inaccuracy. As when you push colours in invariably loss the top end/and or colour definition. For 8 bits not so good.

As Wolfgang's site (the other one) shows there is problems with some colours on the HC1, but I notice a nice tonality and subtlety to the images I have seen (which I have seen on other cmos cameras).

The HC1 suffers a bit on the resolution side, then again the FX! is pixel shifted. I think this may have something to do with downscaling a 1920*1080 image to the 1440 mode, as the boundaries of pixels between the two formats does not match producing some blurring unless extensive picture processing is used.

I do not have one, I examine cameras throughly before deciding to buy them, and I would say the FX1 has the advantages of Low light, and nicer controls. The HC1 has the advantages of nicer/natural image (except for the odd colour problem and some loss of details on some surfaces, see the distant cabbage/lettuce example somewhere on Wolfgang's sites) and smaller size, but needs more lighting, and better controllability of the lens.

I would normally say the latitude of the HC1 is nicer, but I see some very borderline shot at the bottom of his page quoted above. But then again, this could be because the exposure on the HC1 looks noticeably higher (have a look at the differences in the shadows around the building stonework).


I am here to look for information on the next camera, something 7, I have seen a list that mentions it. I don't know when exactly, but from the details maybe next month it will be announced.

Depending on your use, I would look at the Canon NV10 and the Sony AVC models as well.
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Old August 15th, 2006, 05:11 AM   #21
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I take it back. I have examined a number of the jpegs at the top of that page from Wolfgang's site. He has done a good job. these are some of the best FX1 shots I have seen so far. Either he just sets up well so they are close together, or maybe Sony has also improved the performance of the sensor since introduction (which is likely) producing a better image.

He has the saturation close to each other, the FX1 is still more than the HC1 and slightly more than real life I think (though I was not there). the HC1 is possibly slightly more. It is hard to tell because it was most murky colors of the city shot, and then light was not super bright as we have here. With the AI you can increase saturation.

The latitude of the HC1 is possibly more but it is so close, it could possibly be because the FX1 is adjusted for a brighter picture, but it maybe better.

The HC1 looked like it had less detail, but this maybe because of the focus on many HC1 pictures (and some FX1s) and that the FX1 pictures provided a closer/zoomed view, and different time frames. So, it was very heard to tell.

So the HC1 has hardly any advantage except for size.

To put it simply, the HC1 looks more film like, the FX1 is more glossy and brighter, it is upto the user which he prefers. I definitely think it makes the FX1 look much better than what I previously witnessed.

Have fun.
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Old August 15th, 2006, 11:23 AM   #22
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Hey Wayne,

The HC1 is a soft camera compared to higher HDV units. I think the detail level is most noticeable when compared to FX1 (at least from comparisons that I've seen). I suppose turning down the detail or edging in the FX1 would help match things up. Then I guess you could use an HC1 as a B-camera or intermix.

I also think the HC1 is more closer to a filmic look than video. Maybe the flat colors and soft images lend to that. However, the limited lighting qualities of this camera would make for a challenge when trying to paint in the usual tricks for filmic looks, i.e. filters, 35mm adaptors, etc. Best to light the scene evenly and do some majic in post.

I used it for a portion of the DV Challenge, (before breaking it on the tripod). I took advantage of the small form factor. Very light to carry, and easily mounts onto a car, etc.

In the great outdoors in F4 land, it was wonderful. Go into a dim lit hall, and it was gain to grain city. Places that my XL1s would easily capture clean.

Focus is a tough one on this, however. With such a soft image to begin with, it's hard to judge on a tiny screen. It was more like very blurry, and a little blurry. I even had a challenge with a 6" LCD. I had to cross my fingers, and many times I'd tweak a little and reshoot the scene just to be sure I got it.

Locked off to the scene, it was acceptable. Following motion, it was tricky. My son, whom helped, pickup up better shots on the XL1s (which I had to resort to) than on the HC1. I had to trash the HC1's motion stuff and reshoot with the XL1s.

After this final test (and when the camera comes back from repairs), I'm encouraged to hand it over to my wife and to look elsewhere.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 05:25 PM   #23
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Remember that wolfgang has altered the cameras color saturations in those shots, they are not at default.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 11:57 PM   #24
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In my new test, http://www.fxsupport.de/02.html , all cameras in default modus......
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Old August 20th, 2006, 09:54 PM   #25
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Very nice work Wolfgang. Much of it I've already seen from personal experience, and it proves my desire to drop the HC1 in favor of a Z1U, or FX1. (Well, I did actually drop my HC1, and I'll get it back for the $500 ransom the repair facility demands for it's return). Example #13 is the drop dead answer, the difference in low light is convincing enough.

I have been somewhat anxious to wait for the new canon HDV's. However, circumstances and a bloated work schedule dictate my need for a new camera now, and I'm going for the Z1U as rental is out of the question, (the closest resource is a two-hour drive). Your research has done much to convince me in that decision. Tommorrow I'll be submiting a budget request.

Take care.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 11:05 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang Winne
In my new test, http://www.fxsupport.de/02.html , all cameras in default modus......
Yeah that was the one I was comparing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Ferling
Hey Wayne,
..
I also think the HC1 is more closer to a filmic look than video. Maybe the flat colors and soft images lend to that.
A lot to do with latitude and rendering. As I said, I am impressed with the footage compared to the footage I saw from earlier FX1's. I hate the VX2000 and PD150 look, that I could still see a bit in that footage.

Still, Canon MV10 is reportedly better in low, light then the HC3, which is better then the HC1. Depending on how F24 works, and controls, it might be a more suitable handheld.

Quote:
However, the limited lighting qualities of this camera would make for a challenge when trying to paint in the usual tricks for filmic looks, i.e. filters, 35mm adaptors, etc.
I would still like to see if a condenser based 35mm adaptor would solve this (a condenser on it's own is supposed to be able to give you 35mm depth of field plus extra stops) but I haven't researched to find out if the internal camera iris would limit this (as well as the microlens in front of the sensor).


Thanks

Wayne.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 02:20 PM   #27
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Since "upper spatial frequencies" (fine details) of video are practically imperceptible to viewers from normal viewing distances (a zoomed in resolution chart or section of video frame from a few inches away on a computer monitor is not normal viewing), I would bet most viewers wouldn't notice unless you placed two televisions side by side (FX1 video on one and HC1 video on the other), paused the frame, zoomed in to the offending image, and pointed out the differences. I turn down the sharpness and try to soften the video even more on purpose... silly me.

In his article "Aliasing In Detail" (DV Magazine, May 2006) Adam Wilt explains that "while pixel shift improves image quality, aliasing isn't affected". In tests on the FX1E, Alan Roberts (BBC) shows that undersampling does indeed cause the FX1 (sensors of 960 x 1080 pixels) to show alias above 1000 l/pw (actually from about 960) . His tests with the A1U show alias above 1440 l/pw due to too sharp a lens (for the sensors) and the downsampled recording from 1920 to 1440. Vertical tests are about the same for both cameras.

No argument from me about low light comparisons but I don't think that the images from the HC1 look too bad, especially considering the price and where we were just a couple of years ago. Each camera has its purpose and its limits (But try taking the FX1 or Z1U on vacation or backpacking). :-)
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 01:25 PM   #28
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What people don't realise is that their is a paradigm shift to movie viewing habits. Already THX certification is recommending something like a 60 inch (or was that 80 inch) screen at a minimum size, and proper size is way big, probably as tall as a person, from memory. Where as we viewed a small box before, now we are moving to viewing a image from relative short distance. OEL/OLED TV's are expected to drastically cut the price of large screen TV's, so expect those 60 inch TV's to go below $1K, well below. I am looking at a projection technology that could undercut that even further.

So, in the short term we should be considering what it will look like on Cinema fields of view, where 720p starts to look chunky. In the long term (after 5 years) we already have 8 mpixel film formats, and people are working on 32mp TV formats, which is positively screaming for Imax like field of view. I still think 2mp is a good compromise, but 8mp might be the good compromise by the time 32mp TV, ever, gets here (otherwise why would anybody by a Red camera ;).

On an amusing note, somebody over at the MV10 sub forum was suggesting that somebody should do a film with the camera (which I now understand does not have a frame mode :( , my apologies). If they do that I would love to make a short on a Sanyo HD1 in comparison, for a laugh ;).
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Old August 24th, 2006, 06:33 PM   #29
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Something that's been bothering me about frame captures of hdv material. Are those pictures taken at the key frames or intermediate frames? Key frames look a lot better compression wise than intermediate so if you happen to compare a key frame to an intermediate frame then the key frame will look nicer. Especially if the image is upconverted to 1920x1080. Then it's so big that compression artifacts are easily seen.

If you happen to compare a key frame hc1 pic with a "not keyframe" (like the last frame of a 15-gop) of a fx1 then the hc1 will look better.
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