A1e demo video with toys 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 October 23rd, 2006, 08:15 AM   #1
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A1e demo video with toys

I have made a demo video using my Sony A1e, Steadicam Merlin, Letus35 flip enhanced and others.

Link is:

http://web.mac.com/philip.bloom/iWeb...o%20video.html
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 02:37 PM   #2
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That's very nice.
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 02:37 PM   #3
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Philip!
Enjoyed watching it, would like to see more of telephoto lens and rack focus, to get more of 35 adapter, which lens have you used on 35? What is the name of the song at the end? It's great! How would you rate A1 to your other cameras? I shot a wedding with it, also using Z1 and Canon H1 and on some shots A1 looks crispier...Regards, Oleg.
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 02:54 PM   #4
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Thanks very much!

I like my A1, I much prefer the Z1, it's far better for the 35mm stuff as you have total manual control over everything. But considering the size the A1 is amazing.

I used a fast f2.6 35-70mm sigma nikon mount lens for the 35mm stuff.

The song is by Jeff Alexander, called Come Wander with Me. It's off the Air compilation CD, late night tales

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_Night_Tales:_Air

Phil
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 04:48 PM   #5
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yeah, thanks for the info
I also have a hvr a1, and Im saving to get an sgpro adapter for a film project next year,
but I guess I would have to save first to upgrade to Z1, considering what you said about the manual control, and the fact of mediocre low light performance of a1...
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 06:45 PM   #6
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Very well done. It left me wanting more... and with enthusiasm about what this little gem can do.
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 11:27 PM   #7
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Kit

Phil,

Very nicely done. I may have missed it; but what kind of fisheye did you use?

jh
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Old October 24th, 2006, 02:09 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone.

The fisheye is the century optics .3x. I got it for about $300 from Adorama.
It's a lovely little lens.
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Old October 24th, 2006, 03:26 AM   #9
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Looking good

Hey Phil, looks great! Very honest-looking video, complemented by your gadgets rather than overwhelmed, like some of the 'rack focus' shots we see on the internet when someone's using a Letus or something.

I have a nearly identical set-up, and although you have titled your video well, letting us know what's being used and when, I was wondering if you used Magic Bullet on these shots. I noticed it listed on your homepage and I'm wondering... LookSuite? Magic Bullet 24p conversion? The opening shot seems to have that trademark 'doubling' of combined fields, so I'm curious if you used Magic Bullet, Natress, or anything at all. And which encoding method did you use to create the 'demo4.mp4' file?

Thanks for the info.


EDIT: I want to clarify that by 'honest-looking' I'm talking about the nature of what we're watching, not whether or not it looks like 'video' or not...
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Old October 24th, 2006, 03:43 AM   #10
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Thanks Bill,

The opening looks like that as it is sped up by about 20000x! But yes I used Natress 2.5.1 to de-interlace the video, using I think the fast de-interlace smart blend. I also crushed the blacks a little more and brought the saturation up a notch or two. The colour setting on my a1e was already up by about 3 notches and I was using cinematone 1.

Surprisingly the de-interlacing on the pure HDV footage played through my HD monitor was much more subtle than I expected, the interlaced footage itself was pretty lovely as it was. The "clean" footage itself from the A1 was great, but as everything from film to minidv a bit of colour grading always helps!

I encoded the .mp4 version directly as an export from Final Cut Pro
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Old October 24th, 2006, 03:53 AM   #11
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Well, it looks good to me...

Most of what I've been doing with my A1U lately is very untreated video for interviews I've been collecting, but I've also invested in a 'narrative' set-up as I call it, following a helpful list from RP Cuenco, with the Letus35 Flip, follow-focus, Cavision rods, Magic Bullet, mics, etc. but I haven't experimented with that set-up too much. As you must know, it's a 20 minute exercise to put that whole thing together and it quadruples the size of the camera!

So I'll take all of those settings into consideration as I mess with my set-up on my next project...

Thanks again.
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Old October 24th, 2006, 04:19 AM   #12
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I would normally recommend shooting the video "clean" if you have the ability it grade it yourself, it gives you so much more flexibility in the edit.

You are one up on me with the follow focus!

The A1 is an amazing bit of kit, I have always been a bit snooty of "toy" cameras coming from a full size broadcast camera background. Finding them useful but never a replacement. That is until I first laid my hands on a z1. The picture quality is incredible, true the buttons are fiddly, the focus ring and iris controls are not great but once you get used to them you have a truly amazing camera and much more flexible and a full size camera...and then I tried the A1. How on earth can a camera this small, with only one chip create pictures that look as good as that?!

Just by using a small camera when you film people makes them so much more relaxed if they aren't used to being filmed. I was amazed at how easy and relaxed people were with my a1 (and letus flip with a fat lens on it), normally they see me with my big camera and run a mile!

I have been basically playing with all the new gear for the past few weeks and it took some of it with me on holiday to the states to give it a proper workout. Hopefully I should be using it, mainly the z1, but definately the letus flip and steadicam merlin on some paid broadcast work in the next couple of weeks. I will be keeping all my cinematone settings, gamma etc to neutral as they will be professionally graded in a post production house after the edit, although if I had time to do it myself FCP and Natress does it just as well!

Magic Bullet is great, but the editors package for Avid and FCP is a grading package only and doesn't de-interlace, you need Magic Bullet suite that only runs on After Effects. The great thing about Natress (although i think it is for FCP only) is for a hundred quid you get grading and lovely de-interlacing. Actually, the best de-interlacer I have used for Avid is by 3prong, called Speed Ramp, it's really lovely, no jagged edges.
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Old October 24th, 2006, 04:28 AM   #13
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one thing, most of the DOF footage in the video, apart from the dancing woman was shot near the beginning of my experiences with the Letus, so there is a sort of film of grain over some of it, this was down to me not having fresh batteries in it. You really don't lose much detail at all with it, I was shocked at how sharp and detailed the image looked using it on a big screen tv!
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Last edited by Phil Bloom; October 24th, 2006 at 05:21 AM.
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Old October 24th, 2006, 04:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Noboa
yeah, thanks for the info
I also have a hvr a1, and Im saving to get an sgpro adapter for a film project next year,
but I guess I would have to save first to upgrade to Z1, considering what you said about the manual control, and the fact of mediocre low light performance of a1...

The SGpro gives lovely footage, the other one I would recommend although a bit more expensive is the Brevis35. It's much smaller, doesn't need rods and Dennis Wood is bringing out a screw on flip adaptor for it by Christmas which would make your life much easier. I basically went with the Letus35 flip enhanced purely because I need the footage to be the right way up. I don't want to be fiddling with magnets, I am certainly not going to hold my camera upside down but most importantly for me is that when I am employed as purely a cameraman for hire I can't give clients footage that needs flipping in the edit, they need to be able to look at and log rushes off the tape without turning the monitor upside down!

don't discount the idea of using the A1 with a 35mm adaptor after all it's what I used to shoot this video, you just have to be really careful as grain creeps in all the time, I also found I kept knocking my zoom control slightly. The z1 would give you much more control, feels much better with an adaptor on it and you won't get any grain (unless you want to!) but if you already have an A1 my advice is buy a 35mm adaptor for it first, giving you time to get used to it, practice with it then when you eventually get a z1 you will be very confident about how much light you need and how to get the best out of it.

Actually instead of buying a z1 if your interest it in making films then you have to get the new V1 (it's also cheaper!) as it shoots lovely progressive, has full manual controls and is a bit smaller and lighter than the z1, it also if you are using it with a DOF adaptor, has a 20x zoom, twice the length of the a1.

The only compromises I can see over the z1 are that it only shoots Pal (or NTSC if you buy the U version) and it doesn't use third inch chips, it uses quarter inch chips which makes it even harder to get shallow depth of field than with an a1 or z1 so you HAVE to buy a 35mm adaptor! Someone on another thread in the V1 are with a brain the size of a small planet worked out that you get 33% more depth of filed with the v1 than a z1/a1 at the same focal length, shooting distance, iris etc... So that is quite a lot, meaning to get a soft background on say a medium close up without a 35mm DOF adaptor you will need to shoot about 2 miles from the subject (well maybe not as far as that!). With a DOF adaptor on my A1 I can get a soft background on a medium close up pretty much from as close or as far from the subject as I want.
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Last edited by Phil Bloom; October 24th, 2006 at 05:17 AM.
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Old October 24th, 2006, 07:51 AM   #15
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thanks man,
I tooked a look at the Sony V1, it looks pretty cool ...not that cheap though,
but I certainly would consider it over the Z1 for film projects!!
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