How are the noise levels on this camera? at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-V1 / HDR-FX7
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old September 1st, 2007, 08:41 PM   #1
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How are the noise levels on this camera?

I've heard that the CMOS chips in this unit result in higher levels of noise than in CCD cameras like the Z1u or Canon units. I'm using a Panasoic HVX200 right now, which is quite noisy itself. Could anyone give me insight on how the V1u might compare in this regard? I never push the HVX200 higher than 9db gain, and even then its noisier than I would like.
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Old September 1st, 2007, 10:45 PM   #2
 
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The V1 in identical circumstances is a less noisy camera, and has better DSP, IMO.
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Old September 1st, 2007, 10:48 PM   #3
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Without gain, there is really no perceptible noise. 6db of gain is perfectly fine and the noise starts to become noticeable at 9db. 15db is the upper limit of acceptable gain noise.

I have noticed a quirk of the V1. It has a built-in noise reduction for the CMOS chips which seems to reduce resolution as the gain is turned up. It's not really a bother because that is similar to what happens with our eyes. The V1 is not the greatest camera in low light, but it really isn't bad. I am planning to put up some video in the next week of a low-light clip. So far, the video is very workable from a dimly-lit restaurant. The V1 needs supplemental light, but it's not so bad that you will need to blind people.
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 12:54 PM   #4
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Here is a Youtube clip taken with the FX7. Like Marcus mentioned, I use maximum of +9 gain. On this clip I actually upped the colors just a bit in editing. It was completely pitch black ans the only thing that was illuminated was the blades and other things on the helicopter.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLYqMjnb514
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 02:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damon Gaskin View Post
Here is a Youtube clip taken with the FX7. Like Marcus mentioned, I use maximum of +9 gain. On this clip I actually upped the colors just a bit in editing. It was completely pitch black ans the only thing that was illuminated was the blades and other things on the helicopter.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLYqMjnb514
Man, the camera video is okay, but the piloting is FAROUT! WOW! (sorry guys, I'm from "that" generation...)

BTW Marcus, the RIO is coming along just fine...
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 03:13 PM   #6
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LOL, farout! Ha Ha Ha! Sorry, I can't help it! And his flight was more mild compared to some of the others.

Yes, it wasn't bad at all. It was the first time I ever shot full night video and especially with those things moving as fast as they were. And the other thing with the clip is that darn youtube compression. It of course looks much better if you resize it down with the little buttons, but then its hard for you to see...
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 05:31 PM   #7
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I'm not sure, but I think the FX7 may lack black compensation setting that is on the V1 which is helpful in night settings. It helps keep things looking right since there is less distracting noise in the blacks. Of course, it only works up to a point and 18db of gain is still noisy in the blacks.
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 08:49 PM   #8
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Hi Marcus, I will check my manual to see if it does. But I actually just got a memory stick for this thing, and the stills I took don't look bad, not bad at all to be honest.
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 08:26 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault View Post
I'm not sure, but I think the FX7 may lack black compensation setting that is on the V1 which is helpful in night settings. It helps keep things looking right since there is less distracting noise in the blacks. Of course, it only works up to a point and 18db of gain is still noisy in the blacks.
Hey Marcus,
Black Compensation function is not on the fx7. I have it and a fx1 and try not to use it in lowlight settings if I can. It's a tough camera in lowlight compared to the fx1. I can only push it to 12db max without the noise being unacceptable for my projects. It's tough sometimes :(
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 09:43 AM   #10
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I found the FX1 to also be difficult in low light. I have not used them together to really know the difference. I find that they both need added light. I suppose the V1 needs more. I got addicted to the VX2000 in low light but I'm not looking back. No, the V1 isn't great in darkness, but it works with a light. In well-lit conditions, there is no discernible noise.
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 10:08 AM   #11
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Marcus I did not say the FX1 was great in lowlight. I only compared the two, the FX1 and the FX7. Between these TWO models I'll take the FX1 over the FX7 in lowlight. I can use up to 18db gain and it's still usable to where I would only go up to 12db on the FX7. From my experience FX1 0db matches FX7 9db in lowlight same environment. I came off of the DVC80 and PD170 and the difference in lowlight was unbelievable. I had to deal with it and get use to how both cams deal in lowlight conditions. You have to use a light period as everyone says. How powerful the light do you need to use is a different story but you need to use one. All this you know as you've been shooting with these HD cams. Take Care

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Old September 3rd, 2007, 10:38 AM   #12
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I actually just saw this thread that is most useful on this very topic and will give answers concretely and is awesome:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=80594

This guy wolfgang is to be commended tremendously for his efforts!
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 06:41 PM   #13
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Sorry, I didn't mean to spark a debate about low-light capabilities.

What I'm getting at is that the V1/FX7 and Z1/FX1 are in the same ballpark. Here is how I would categorize low light capabilities of cameras:

1. Very sensitive - able to see about as well as the human eye in dimly-lit settings. No conventional camera can see the Milky Way, so I'm talking about areas like a dimly-lit ballroom or restaurant.

2. Moderately sensitive - able to get an acceptable image in normal indoor lighting situations. Cams like this require a light in dim areas.

3. Poorly sensitive - Only sunlight will provide a clean image. Indoor lighting requires significant gain. An on-camera light tends to create a visible area near the camera and leaves the background very dark.

The PD170 and it's relatives are very sensitive and can shoot almost any situation without supplemental lighting. Supplemental lighting can reduce gain and improve the image but there is a trade for annoying/influencing the subjects.

Most HDV cameras are moderately sensitive and require a light in dim settings but can produce a decent image in normal indoor light. A decent image means not bringing up the gain past about 6-9db.

Older DV cameras and Hi8 or VHS consumer cameras were plagued by poor low-light sensitivity. Even in normal room lighting the image was very noisy and discolored.

Since HDV cameras all need supplemental light in dim situations, we need to deal with that unfortunate reality. I think that once a camera is not as sensitive as something like the PD170, creative lighting technique may be the only answer to getting decent video with HDV.

BTW, I use the V1 which has an extra trick up it's sleeve for low-light shooting so I may be biased a bit. With progressive recording, 1/30th shutter can be used without reducing framerate. This extra f-stop of exposure may actually make the V1 equal to or slightly surpass the FX1 in low light. It's really hard to say which would be better as the V1 has gain noise very different from the FX1/Z1.
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Old September 4th, 2007, 07:40 PM   #14
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I might enter this debate here as I've been running a FX 7 since December and last week bought a FX 1 as a second camera.

Yes, I had two VX 2000's for five years and I mostly do dance concerts and weddings.

This week I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders!

Last night I put last week's wedding into the computer, my first with the FX 1, and the reception footage reminded me of my Vx 2000's....without the heavy grain.
Using Sony's HVl LBP light, the CCD camera had a much lighter depth of field and was much more natural/pleasant to look at, than footage at the same venue with my FX 7 (yes I've used it at 25fps PAL too) which gets quite soft AND hunts focus when in low light. (let alonne the problems with photgraphers flashes that I have posted before).

Heavier camera, completely unbalanced with the heavy light on the front, but one happy camper here!

Cheers Vaughan
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How are the noise levels on this camera?-clip10.bmp  

Last edited by Vaughan Wood; September 4th, 2007 at 08:12 PM. Reason: added a photo
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Old September 4th, 2007, 08:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaughan Wood View Post
IUsing Sony's HVl LBP light, the CCD camera had a much lighter depth of field and was much more natural/pleasant to look at, than footage at the same venue with my FX 7 (yes I've used it at 25fps PAL too) which gets quite soft AND hunts focus when in low light. (let alonne the problems with photgraphers flashes that I have posted before).
I guess you misunderstood Markus' remark on the full extra stop with 1/25th still giving full framerate; it only applies to the V1 in progressive mode! In 1080/50i you only have on the FX7, 1/25th will brighten the image, but also introduce smear which is not acceptable save for artistic purposes.
With the V1E, I'm always using 1/25th with 25p in dark venues and never have to exceed 6-9dB of gain, which keeps me way on the safe side regarding noise. The left grab was taken in a very dark place indeed, and with lots of movement in a fast dance - yet the smearing looks only natural!
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How are the noise levels on this camera?-image28.jpg   How are the noise levels on this camera?-image29.jpg  

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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; September 5th, 2007 at 03:09 PM.
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