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


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Old March 13th, 2008, 10:54 AM   #1
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I have two cameras I use to film in my so-so lit church: a Z1 and an FX1. I have to bump up the gain to 6 dB to get the image I need.

Will an HD1000 be usable as a third camera in this context? I am aware that image quality is going to be different because of the difference in technology, and I can correct that to a certain degree with the switcher (Datavideo SE800). Also, I plan on using the HD1000 mostly for wide open shots from the balcony while using the other two cameras for close-ups.

I am looking for advice from people who might have used this camera mix. Is the difference in sensitivity something I won't be able to overcome? Obviously, I would like the three cams to produce the illusion that they are all the same.

Thanks,
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Old March 13th, 2008, 12:18 PM   #2
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I've just finished a four camera shoot (well, really six) with an FX1, HD1000, 2 FX7s and 2 HC3s.

As one might suspect, the FXes matched each other quite nicely despite the differing chips, and the HC3s were very close to the HD1000.

But the HD1000 vs. the FX1, not so much. It was the only tape requiring excessive color correction, because you can't set manual white balance if you're in a SCENE SELECT mode -- in our case, SPOTLIGHT so the faces wouldn't be blown out and the black bg pumped up to a noisy gray. We falsely assumed that in SPOTLIGHT mode the cam would know to WB for indoor, but it didn't.

Adding to this, there's no way to limit the gain automatically, so the cam wants to pump up to 18dB all the time in low light, resulting in pretty grainy footage. We were able to solve this somewhat by going full manual (while still in SPOTLIGHT mode) and riding the exposure ring so as to add no more than 9dB of gain.

Finally, the focus tends to "pulse" in low light -- not hunting, exactly, but just little pulses of being out of focus. We can usually cut around these.

The footage is usable but there is a clear difference in color, sharpness and granularity. I've ended up using the footage only when the other three angles were all unacceptable.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 12:24 PM   #3
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Adam, thanks for the fast response.

Have not looked too close to the HC7... would I be better off with that? How does that compare to the HD1000 as far as manual controls? As I understand, the HD1000 is pretty much a repackaged and slightly modified HC7, correct?

You have not mentioned how the footage from the HC3s looked. I would assume the HC7 would be close to the HC3, right?

Thank you,
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Old March 13th, 2008, 12:32 PM   #4
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My understanding is that the HD1000 basically IS an HC7, so I'd expect them to be the same.

The footage from the HC3s is similar, but as we had them up close it was hard to compare. Overall they looked fine. As we had them mounted on top of the FX7s for the final two performances (picture the space shuttle on the back of a 747) we used the FX7 footage and didn't even bother to capture the tape from the HC3s.

Interestingly, the HC3s DO let you specify indoor white balance while still in SPOTLIGHT mode and controlling exposure manually with the dial.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 01:03 PM   #5
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Hmmm, piggybacking... sounds like something I could use too, never crossed my mind... do you have some photos of that setup? How did you mount the little cam on top of the bigger one?

So the HD1000 has no manual focus? Then it's definitely out for me...
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Old March 13th, 2008, 01:19 PM   #6
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I was actually contemplating taking photos of the piggyback rig because it looked so silly... but I didn't. Doubt I'll ever do it again but maybe I'll set it up just for the humor value.

I just happened to have in my bag a couple of accessory shoe to 1/4" thread adapters. I bought them after reading another thread about someone who wanted to mount an XLR adapter or wireless receiver to his HD1000, and did a search at B&H and came up with several.

Here's one:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...1_4_20_to.html

Two drawbacks -- one is that unless you get an adapter with a ball and socket in it (and I haven't seen one of those), you can't tilt the upper cam, so it's really hard to frame well. The other more obvious drawback is it's hard enough to run one camera well, let alone two simultaneously.

And every time we adjusted the exposure on the upper cam, the whole rig shook. And as the area surrounding the shoe is plastic, I'd be concerned that even a cam as light as an HC could supply enough leverage if hit to snap the whole thing off the FX7. So I guess that's four drawbacks.

So I wouldn't really recommend it. It was a fun experiment, but not of much practical use (at least in our situation).

The HD1000 definitely has manual focus. I thought we had it set but apparently not. On the ring, you can assign one function to that; we had the ring set for exposure, so any manual focusing had to be done through the touchscreen. Not ideal but for the price it's fine. But you can easily fix focus before you shoot and then just leave it alone, or you can "spot focus" while you're shooting.
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