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Sony HVR-HD1000
Sony's single-CMOS shoulder mount HDV camcorder.


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Old May 19th, 2008, 03:18 PM   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
Just shot a concert from the balcony. Here are some working observations:

Exposure: The concert was an exposure nightmare as the lighting kept changing from one song to the next with no consistency in foot-candles. The limited control offered by the camera was a challenge.

Focus: The band was far away enough that I had to shoot with the lens zoomed in for most of the time. The low lighting kept the aperture open so my depth-of-field was very shallow. The low res LCD made manual focusing hard and the auto focus kept going out as the musicians moved around.

Working solution: I set the lens ring to control the exposure, turned on the zebra stripes for 100% and used the spot focus function on the fold-up LCD screen. By watching the zebra stripes I had a good idea of the exposure and could adjust with the lens ring. When I changed shots I used the spot focus to adjust the focus. Spot focus works really well.

A few problems with this method:
The Spot Focus screen removes all normal LCD re-outs except the time code of the tape. No audio levels, no battery count and, worst of all, no exposure bar. This meant that I was entirely in the dark about the gain since that is hooked into the exposure settings. In addition the spot focus screen puts a large white box outline in the center of the screen. This made composing the shot really difficult. Screen clutter is a problem with a lot of cameras but this really altered the way I was composing.

Result: A mostly decent document of the concert. When everything was working well the shots came out really nice.
Do you mind posting that video so that I can see what it came out like?
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Old May 20th, 2008, 11:22 AM   #107
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I ask the client if that's acceptable.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 08:50 AM   #108
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Hi William,

Thanks for the shoot info. I am experimenting with focusing. I like to Zoom in use auto focus to get the focus then change to manual and re frame the shot. I do this using the manual button and the ring to choose between exposure and focus. Takes a little time but seems to work fine. I am going to try the spot focus and see how that works. Can you tell me why you use Zebra at 100 instead of 75. I am also having problems with gain. How do you stop the gain from automatically starting.

Thanks,

John
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Old May 21st, 2008, 11:46 AM   #109
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I find the spot focus is very responsive even when the camera is set at a slower shutter speed. Takes less time time then zooming in and deactivating the focus which is clumsy on this camera, especially if you have the exposure in manual control.

I set the zebra to 100% for one reason, I can't stand the viewfinder screen clutter already and the strobing zebra stripes send me towards the edge.

Unfortunately, this camera's workings are not designed for gain savvy videographers, it's designed for home consumers who want a decent exposure regardless of the noise. The only way to avoid gain is to memorize where on the exposure bar the gain starts and that's very hard to figure out, I really haven't yet. Sony should address this. I hate to say it, especially with my previous comment about screen clutter, but there should be a f-stop and gain readout in the viewfinder.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 12:22 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
The only way to avoid gain is to memorize where on the exposure bar the gain starts and that's very hard to figure out, I really haven't yet.
It's actually pretty easy. In most modes, gain is added last and in 3dB increments. So just count backwards from the right however many clicks you are and do the math.

Our last shoot we decided we wanted no more than 9dB gain under any circumstances, so we were always no more to the right than click #4. (From the rightmost: 18, 15, 12, 9... etc.).

But they absolutely should have the continuous data readout in the FX7 style...
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Old May 21st, 2008, 02:25 PM   #111
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Thanks William and Adam,

I will take a look at the meter and experiment with the gain.

Thanks again,

John
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Old May 21st, 2008, 08:41 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by Adam Gold View Post
It's actually pretty easy. In most modes, gain is added last and in 3dB increments. So just count backwards from the right however many clicks you are and do the math.

Our last shoot we decided we wanted no more than 9dB gain under any circumstances, so we were always no more to the right than click #4. (From the rightmost: 18, 15, 12, 9... etc.).

But they absolutely should have the continuous data readout in the FX7 style...
That does work and I have done that. However doing that while shooting in a live environment results in footage that is unusable. Other Sony cameras have a little arrow on the zoom bar telling you when you have reached the end of the lens zoom and are crossing over into digital zoom land. That would be nice here but since it isn't I am trying to memorize the spot with limited success so far. And yes, 9dB seems to be the limit before the camera starts to really noise up.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 12:47 PM   #113
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...doing that while shooting in a live environment results in footage that is unusable.
Really? Why? Unusable how? Too light? Dark? Noisy? Out of focus?

For us it was a simple matter of using the Zebra to avoid blowing out highlights and having the guy on the HD1000 just ride the exposure ring the whole time. His instructions were to crank up the exposure as far as necessary, but never to exceed position #4. If he saw a lot of Zebra then he dialed down until just a few highlights had stripes. In post, it was easy to tweak minimally to match to the FX1s and FX7s that formed the bulk of the footage. Looking at the Blu-Ray version of the production, it's almost impossible to tell what footage was shot by what cam, unless you knew were each was.

It's easy to tell where you are on the exposure bar since the little indicator line is one click wide, so just look for triple the width of the line to right right of it in the exposure bar. We pretty much left it there all the time and just cranked it down when the lighting was really bright, then back up again as needed. Our shooter had no trouble doing this... and he's a high school junior.

The HD1000 may have problems, but using manual exposure isn't one of them. At least for us.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 02:13 PM   #114
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Remember....

If the spot focus screen is selected, the exposure bar is no longer displayed. You only have the zebra stripes to go by. That works until the light goes low enough that the camera switches to high gain and you don't know it until you get back to the office. I rather underexposed with less gain which I can tweak in editing but while the spot focus is going there is no way to know. Of course I could exit the spot focus function but that opens up another set of problems in an unpredictable live situation.

Also overexposed footage is unusable if it's in the middle of a song and you are running the only camera recording the event. It's not what the client wants. Of course if the lighting was stable everything you suggest is a great way to go.

I post these comments so people can make a decision about buying one or learn a shooting method that is unique to this camera not to demean the camera. Also so someone like you can respond with their own, better, ways to operate what is essentially a compromised camera.

PS. I have been using the camera to shoot a sculpture demolition this past week. Outdoors, with a polarizing filter, this camera works great, auto-focus, zoom, auto-white balance. My shots have a 95% success ratio (not counting bad composition)! Great footage of which I'll post selections soon.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 02:50 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
Remember....

If the spot focus screen is selected, the exposure bar is no longer displayed.
Ah! Now I understand what you mean...

Our case was very different. With the cam locked down on a tripod for our multicam stage shoot, focus was fixed on manual. A very different situation from your conditions.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 04:02 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
Outdoors, with a polarizing filter, this camera works great, auto-focus, zoom, auto-white balance.
What type of polarizer filter works best, circular or linear?
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Old July 25th, 2008, 04:35 AM   #117
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ey

Would this camera be suitable for youtube short comedy films?
I hope so :)
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Old July 25th, 2008, 12:46 PM   #118
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ANY camera would be suitable for anything on YouTube.
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Old March 4th, 2011, 11:48 PM   #119
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Re: First shoot, first impressions for HVR-HD1000

Did anyone figure out if any HDMI capture cards are able to acquire the xvYCC color space ?

Turns out that Blackmagic does not :(
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