HC1 - does it have problems with reds? 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 December 11th, 2006, 02:34 PM   #1
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HC1 - does it have problems with reds?

I have been reading some post about the HC1 having problem with banding or streaking or something with reds. Is this true of all HC1? How can you tell if it is true only for older versions?
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Old December 11th, 2006, 07:52 PM   #2
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Well my HC1 doesn't "band or streak" reds, so I guess the answer is no.

There's been numerous posts about the HC1 not reproducing the color of some reds accurately, and there does seem to be variation between individual cameras in that regard. Not necessarily a "newer" vs. "older" thing however.
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Old December 12th, 2006, 11:12 AM   #3
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It has basically been fixed. I've read reports from people who have sent their HC1 to Sony for some other small fault and they have reported basically a complete fix for this pinky/lilac-y red problem. My guess is its a firmware upgrade that is automatically done by Sony to any incoming HC1's or A1's for repair.

Caveat : I don't KNOW exactly the nature of the fix but people say it's unequivocally better after it's been to Sony repair center...
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Old December 12th, 2006, 03:48 PM   #4
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Hi,

I personally can confirm that the red color rendering problem can be solved if you happen to have a bad unit. My HDR-HC1 serial number is 1075723 and I purchased it in November 2005. From day one it had the red rendring problem. Now, precisely on year later I sent it for warranty repair. My only complaint was the poor red color rendering. There were no deep reds, they just turned out red-lilac. The problem was completely gone when I got the cam back 5 days later!!! Gee was I happy :)

I should have sent the cam earlier for service, but I was sceptic since I never got a confirmation from Sony that something could be done to help the problem. Sending it to service just to get no help was one thing that I wanted to avoid.

The HC1 is now color perfect and this annoying problem is just a faint memory - if I do not take in consideration the already recorded tapes that will always remind me of this now fixed problem :)

You can find some before and after images in the following thread (at the end of it)...

http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=55503

Best regards,

Christian
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Old December 13th, 2006, 09:10 PM   #5
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IS there a way to update the firmware myself?
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Old December 14th, 2006, 09:10 AM   #6
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Hi,

Nope - no way that I have heard of.

Probably it can be done via Lanc or Firewire or USB, but that is just a wild guess. And you should have the proper sw and/or hw to do it... and from wheren do you get it Sony is not leaking such things out...

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Old December 19th, 2006, 04:46 PM   #7
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So is there a way to confirm which models have this 'red' problem? IS there a certain serial number sequence that has the red's problem?
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Old December 21st, 2006, 10:00 AM   #8
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CMOS - sweet spot for exposure

I purchased my HC1 over a year ago and thought that I had a problem with the reds. Turns out I just didn't know how to use the camera yet. Being a first generation product, it does have some quirks. The main problem I was having was with exposure. If you overexpose even a little bit with the CMOS chip, it starts to wash out reds making them look pinkish. General rule that I use is to back off the exposure at least two notches from where the camera auto-exposes. It's also important to make sure you white balance before pretty much EVERY shot. Taking those two items into consideration, I don't have any problems with the reds created by the HC1. Really bright reds may have some artifacts in them, but this is normal for Digital Video and can be seen in broadcast footage all the time.
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Old December 21st, 2006, 10:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan Dowling
I purchased my HC1 over a year ago and thought that I had a problem with the reds. Turns out I just didn't know how to use the camera yet. Being a first generation product, it does have some quirks. The main problem I was having was with exposure. If you overexpose even a little bit with the CMOS chip, it starts to wash out reds making them look pinkish. General rule that I use is to back off the exposure at least two notches from where the camera auto-exposes. It's also important to make sure you white balance before pretty much EVERY shot. Taking those two items into consideration, I don't have any problems with the reds created by the HC1. Really bright reds may have some artifacts in them, but this is normal for Digital Video and can be seen in broadcast footage all the time.

yeah good points. i see it the same way , two notches seems to be the key
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Old December 21st, 2006, 10:06 PM   #10
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There is a red to magenta/lilac problem that occurred with a number of the HC1s and A1Us that shipped, including mine among many. That is a known issue that Sony has fixed.

There is also exposing correctly, and many of us tend to bring down the exposure a little from the auto-exposure settings.

And with proper lighting, exposure, etc., you get a wonderful picture that even surpasses the resolution of the FX1/Z1 due to its superior glass and with a little work you can match its color saturation.
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Old December 21st, 2006, 11:54 PM   #11
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Has anyone had the fix done outside of warrenty? (I ask because I bought my camera used). If so, what did it cost and how long did it take?

Thanks!
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Old December 22nd, 2006, 09:42 AM   #12
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I'm looking to send my camera in for the red fix, how do I do this?
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Old December 22nd, 2006, 10:20 AM   #13
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Here is the link to the Sony Serivce Website:

http://eservice.sony.com/webrma/web/index.do

You can schedule repairs there or find a local repair facility. Evidently there are no Sony repair facilities anywhere near me (south florida). If you have to send it in and it's out of warranty, it looks like it will be at least $500.
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Old December 22nd, 2006, 10:26 AM   #14
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Just go to the Sony pro site and click on Service and Support and... Voila!
A 30 second Google search got me these...

A list of their repair facilities for under warranty:
http://bssc.sel.sony.com/Broadcastan...eCenters.shtml

If you have to send it in:
http://bssc.sel.sony.com/Broadcastan...8/repair.shtml

And for the HC1:

Graham, I would call your nearest repair facility and/or all of them. Tell them it was an existing defect that is just a quick firmware fix. Who knows, if you get the right person they just might still do it for free. Heck, the worst they can do is say no. Good luck!
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Old December 22nd, 2006, 11:23 AM   #15
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Check out my attempt at getting this addressed today at this thread.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=55503
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