Some HC-7 frame grabs 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 February 14th, 2007, 01:01 AM   #1
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Some HC-7 frame grabs

Set up my PD170 next to the HC-7 which I recieved today and did some frame grabs for comparison. I've found the HC-7 to be very noisy even at 0 gain. You can clearly see the grain some of the close up images that are brightly lit. To be honest I'm a little dissapointed- not so much with it's low light performance but it's overall noisy performance across the board regardless of lighting condition and lack of dynamic range.

File name denotes camera and settings:

http://www.glenelliott.com/HDV/a_PD-...er60Gain12.jpg
http://www.glenelliott.com/HDV/a_HC-...0GainMAXED.jpg


http://www.glenelliott.com/HDV/b_PD-...er60Gain18.jpg
http://www.glenelliott.com/HDV/b_HC-...r30GainMAX.jpg



http://www.glenelliott.com/HDV/c_PD-...ter60Gain0.jpg
http://www.glenelliott.com/HDV/c_HC-7Shutter60Gain0.jpg



http://www.glenelliott.com/HDV/d_PD-...ter60Gain0.jpg
http://www.glenelliott.com/HDV/d_HC-7Shutter60Gain0.jpg


http://www.glenelliott.com/HDV/e_PD-...ter60Gain0.jpg
http://www.glenelliott.com/HDV/e_HC-7Shutter60Gain0.jpg


http://www.glenelliott.com/HDV/f_PD-...ter60Gain0.jpg
http://www.glenelliott.com/HDV/f_HC-7Shutter60Gain0.jpg
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Old February 14th, 2007, 01:11 AM   #2
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PD170 looks good..although I'm really not a Sony fan. But the HC-7...My goodness! that's some really big video...The only problem i noticed was that it had a bit more noise than expected...

Nice comparison there...


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Old February 14th, 2007, 01:24 AM   #3
 
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They're noisy by comparison, but you're not comparing them at identical zoom (which makes some difference) but moreover, you should expect that you'll see noise in low light with the HC7 or any other HDV camcorder for that matter. You've got so many pixels crammed into such a small area, light sensitivity just goes out the window. Comparing to the *king* of low light (the PD 170) is a fair comparison for those thinking of moving from SD to HD, but compare the HC7 with other camcorders for a better sense of accuracy as to the DSP. I don't care for the 30fps override of the HC7, but I rarely shoot in really low light so won't see it much. The HC7 is mostly a crash cam and tight angle cam for us.
On the other hand, this image was captured with the same camera, very low outdoor light (wish a mini-mag or something had been on the cam, but the latitude, white balance, etc all are very broad, very solid in the blacks, no noise at all. Sorry, this wasn't shot with a PD 170 at the same time. :-)
In other words, the HC7 does capture very clean video, but it needs a certain amount of light to do so. This is why the argument can be made that you just can't do HD on the cheap for everyone. If you need low light, you've got to step up to a larger size imager and better glass.
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Some HC-7 frame grabs-wingsuitexit.jpg  
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Old February 14th, 2007, 01:31 AM   #4
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I knew this would be the worst case scenario when I tested it. I'm going to wait I can go outdoors in daylight and do some more shooting before I have my final opinion on it.

I didn't get it to shoot in a professional capacity with it but rather as a vacation/VLOG camera. Up until this point I've been using a TRV-33 single chipper for that purpose.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 01:38 AM   #5
 
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Feed it just a tad more light, get to know the menus a bit, and I think you'll be pretty pleased. I've got two, along with a Canon HV10 and I like em both for outdoor stuff. The HDV format loves light, or you must get used to noise, one or the other. Watching the "Dog the Bounty Hunter" (shot with Z1) gets away with a LOT of noise, which surprised the heck outta me. They're shooting in dark areas while he chases the bad guy. You can occasionally see noise reduction at work, but it's still there. Those small imagers are just darn tough to please. But...the HC7 really is the best of the lot in the noise comparison, beating even much more expensive camcorders in the HDV realm.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 01:51 AM   #6
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Hey Spot, how's the HV10 match up against the HC7?
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Old February 14th, 2007, 09:36 AM   #7
 
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For most purposes, I think it's a little better. Noisy under low light, no mic input, those are the most weak points outside of the OIS. However, everything else is pretty good about it.
The IS is a totally different story. Shooting from any high-vibration platform, be it an ATV or be it a skydive mount, it's horrible. The IS doesn't fully switch off, and it bounces all over the place, giving lots of jitter and jerk in the image.
I've got a short clip here
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Old February 14th, 2007, 09:55 AM   #8
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Nice comparison shots, IMO.

I'd like to ask a general question. I have an HC1 and am wondering if the low-light noise can be worked around in any way. For example, can I use more light when shooting to get rid of the noise and then darken the footage in post?

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Old February 14th, 2007, 12:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Elliott
Set up my PD170 next to the HC-7 which I recieved today and did some frame grabs for comparison. I've found the HC-7 to be very noisy even at 0 gain. You can clearly see the grain some of the close up images that are brightly lit. To be honest I'm a little dissapointed- not so much with it's low light performance but it's overall noisy performance across the board regardless of lighting condition and lack of dynamic range.
Glen, I'd have to agree with you. I tested an HC5 yesterday at Best Buy and brought my HV10 along with me for A/B purposes. The HV10 picture was significantly 'quieter' and more professional looking than the HC5 in the normal store lighting of Best Buy. The HC5 did seem noisier and this could be seen in an A/B with the HV10.

I also saw no real difference with the XV color on and off. Don't get me wrong, the video was nice, but I honestly didn't think it was as solid and transparent as the HV10.

One thing I should add, is it appears to me the HC5 color is better than the HC3. I don't see the same tendency to over-saturate colors in the HC5. I'm assuming the HC7 would behave the same in this respect.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 12:45 PM   #10
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The HC7 is definitely a lot better than the HC5 especially in the pixel area.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 12:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira
Unless I missed it, it’s too bad they didn’t explain the differences between the HC7 and the HV20. If only one of them had at least a focusing ring, it would have been a perfect camcorder.
Yeah, we seem to have lost focusing rings in small HDV camcorders. It seems the HC1 was the last. But I'll bet the bank the HV20 will have better overall PQ than the HC7. There's something about the Canon image sensor and processing that seems to impart a professional look to these cams that I've seen in no other small cam I've owned. To be perfectly honest, the HV10 has a more noise-free image than my Sony FX7....at least in good light.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 01:05 PM   #12
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Ken,
You caught what I wrote before I got to erase it. That post was supposed to be in the other thread.
I’m sorry for the mix up.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 01:13 AM   #13
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More evidence that the HC7 is very noisy... I've seen low light clips of a city street by the HV10 and the noise was pretty minimal.
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