The color green with the FX7 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 October 27th, 2007, 10:06 AM   #1
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The color green with the FX7

Hi all. Have been playing around with my friends FX7 a little. Have not done any adjustments to the picture, instead am looking through the viewfinder with the camera set on automatic.

Here is my question: When I look at bright green grass through the viewfinder, it doesn't look green, but rather brownish green. Even when I switch the ND filters very little difference occurs. Is there a way to adjust this camcorder to record accurate greens? Can this camcorder record good greens, the way my eyes normally see it? All the other colors seem pretty close, but not green.

What I am worried about is that my old DV Sony cam does all the colors well except green, and I was hoping that the FX7 would not have this problem and do the greens much better. I am looking forward to shooting some footage of the bright, light, spring green of the woods when the leaves are just popping out around here this next spring. Need accurate reproduction of those green colors.

Thanks.
Mike
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Old October 27th, 2007, 11:37 AM   #2
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Dear Mike,

Try connecting the camera to a good monitor, or even an HDTV to judge for color.

The viewfinder is not usually calibrated or capable of showing all of the colors properly.

The proof is in the picture on a good monitor or HDTV.
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Old October 27th, 2007, 01:07 PM   #3
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all automatic might not be the way to go for best color reproduction - try the white balance presets for tungsten or sunlight and see how your green glass looks. If that seems better, you'll want to learn how to custom white balance.

ND filter does not affect color at all, merely reduces the amount of light, treating color nuetrally - ND stands for Nuetral Density.

And Dan is certainly right - it matters more how it looks on a reference monitor.
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Old October 27th, 2007, 05:42 PM   #4
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Thanks Seth and Dan. I can't try any white balance or whatever yet because the camcorder is not mine and I don't think I should be adjusting anything without permission. I'm not even sure the owner knows how to adjust white balance, since the camcorder is so new and he has not had time to learn it. Whenever I get my own, then I will try the white balance. I just didn't want to spend the money and then find out that the camcorder can't get a good, true, green color.

Mike
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Old October 27th, 2007, 10:01 PM   #5
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Dear Mike,

White Balance is a normal, user setting or adjustment of the camera.

Do not be afraid to use it.

I am not familar with your camera, but to set it, just focus on a pure white board (or paper), under the exact lighting conditions that you will be filming, and press the White Balance button.

Some user's use an off-white board to fool the white balance, which adjusts the camera for warmer or cooler color tones.

I suggest that you find a copy of the manual on-line and read up about white balance. This is a key step in getting great video.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 05:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Burgess View Post
Hi all. Have been playing around with my friends FX7 a little. Have not done any adjustments to the picture, instead am looking through the viewfinder with the camera set on automatic.

Here is my question: When I look at bright green grass through the viewfinder, it doesn't look green, but rather brownish green. Even when I switch the ND filters very little difference occurs. Is there a way to adjust this camcorder to record accurate greens? Can this camcorder record good greens, the way my eyes normally see it? All the other colors seem pretty close, but not green.

What I am worried about is that my old DV Sony cam does all the colors well except green, and I was hoping that the FX7 would not have this problem and do the greens much better. I am looking forward to shooting some footage of the bright, light, spring green of the woods when the leaves are just popping out around here this next spring. Need accurate reproduction of those green colors.

Thanks.
Mike
mike i have the fx-7 and hc-1 i have always said the hc-1 gives better greens than the fx-7.with the hc-1 if manual white balance is used i get very good greens[fields etc]with the fx-7 manual is too red for me, auto is best, but even with all the adjustments i can find the greens are not as good as the hc-1.all other colors are fine and i find the fx-7 a good all round cam.chris
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 04:19 PM   #7
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I want to build the best Picture Profile setting for low light shooting.

So far I have found that setting the Knee Point to low and the Black Compnstn to stretch helps get more light into the shot.

Any one else want to share tips for low light shooting wiht the V1?

Thx

Kevin
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 04:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kevin Boyd View Post
I want to build the best Picture Profile setting for low light shooting.

So far I have found that setting the Knee Point to low and the Black Compnstn to stretch helps get more light into the shot.

Any one else want to share tips for low light shooting wiht the V1?

Thx

Kevin
Kevin,

If you mean low-light AND low-contrast situations, then on the contrary - use:

- Blacks compressed (to get deeper blacks and less noise)
- Knee high (to get as much highlight as possible, thus improving contrast)
- cinegamma OFF
- colour at 2-3

Also, you might get one full additional stop by shooting 25p and using 1/25th shutter speed. On top of that, set gain to manual and only add as much of it as needed to get picture brightness identical to the scenery you're shooting - never let the gain to brighten it, or you'll get a lot of noise and lower resolution. If you're lucky and the gain required is no more that 9-12dB, you should get excellent pictures even with quite dim scenery.

Good luck!
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 06:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Chris Hull View Post
mike i have the fx-7 and hc-1 i have always said the hc-1 gives better greens than the fx-7.with the hc-1 if manual white balance is used i get very good greens[fields etc]with the fx-7 manual is too red for me, auto is best, but even with all the adjustments i can find the greens are not as good as the hc-1.all other colors are fine and i find the fx-7 a good all round cam.chris

I am sorry to hear this. My old Sony DV camcorder is very limiting when accurately handling the color green and I was hoping the FX7 would fix this problem. From what I can see of the footage from my friends FX7, many of the greens are much better, but not all of them. White balance may fix some of it, I certainly hope so. As for the HC1 handling greens better than the FX7, I wonder why this would be so. It can't be the sensors, since they both use CMOS sensors. So it must be internal processing, right? Can anybody shed any light (no pun intended) on this?

Thanks.
Mike
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 06:42 PM   #10
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I've honestly found while comparing 3CCD (Z1) vs 1CMOS (HC3) that the single CMOS gave much more vivid colors, while the 3CCD gave a more realistic image.

I personally thought at the time that the HC3 was overcompensating for it's lack of 'true' color information by oversaturating to give a vivid picture. I may very well be wrong, but it was the impression I got.

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Old November 3rd, 2007, 05:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Burgess View Post
I am sorry to hear this. My old Sony DV camcorder is very limiting when accurately handling the color green and I was hoping the FX7 would fix this problem. From what I can see of the footage from my friends FX7, many of the greens are much better, but not all of them. White balance may fix some of it, I certainly hope so. As for the HC1 handling greens better than the FX7, I wonder why this would be so. It can't be the sensors, since they both use CMOS sensors. So it must be internal processing, right? Can anybody shed any light (no pun intended) on this?

Thanks.
Mike
mike i dont think any consumer prosumer cam is perfect,my fx-7 and the one i had first and changed give too red a look when white balence is set manualy,auto is best but green is the week link,just being out in the field with a shade on the lcd shows how much green is out not a mile but its out.with my hc-1 manual setting is best and greens have the edge but with all other colors the fx-7 is as good and better with some ie red.unfortuantly green country is one of my main filming subjects.
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 05:23 AM   #12
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Thanks Piotr, that's a great list of settings, make sense that a low light situation is usally also a low contrast situation!

Just to clarify a few points:

when you state; colour at 2-3 do you mean color level or color phase?

when you say; you might get one full additional stop by shooting 25(30)p and using 1/25(30)th shutter speed. Do you mean shoot progressive and a shutter speed of 25 fps instead of the normal 50fps for PAL?

What about sharpness, does changing that setting help in low light?

Cheers

Kevin
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 05:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Boyd View Post
Thanks Piotr, that's a great list of settings, make sense that a low light situation is usally also a low contrast situation!

Just to clarify a few points:

when you state; colour at 2-3 do you mean color level or color phase?

when you say; you might get one full additional stop by shooting 25(30)p and using 1/25(30)th shutter speed. Do you mean shoot progressive and a shutter speed of 25 fps instead of the normal 50fps for PAL?

What about sharpness, does changing that setting help in low light?

Cheers

Kevin
Yes Kevin, I do mean progressive 25p mode indeed, with shutter speed of 1/25th of a second. Do not confuse fps with shutter speed:), it so happens the numbers are the same in this situation as you're shooting with 25 fps as well. This is BTW a setting called "Shutter Off" i.e. no electronic shutter, on higher-end, professional cameras.

And of course, colour saturation not phase; saturating colour more helps with low contrast, dull scenery (you could also improve it with cinegamma, but this steals a lot of light not just in the shadows, so I steer away from it in low-light situations).
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Old November 5th, 2007, 02:51 PM   #14
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So is there anything that can be done, short of getting another brand of camcorder? I really like the FX7, except for the greens. Probably for most shots, the greens of the trees, grass, etc. will pass muster. But in the spring when that new bright, light, fresh green is everywhere, I want to be able to capture it, as accurately as possible. And the same goes for the fall, when some of the trees turn a particular shade of light green as they begin to turn yellow. I want that on video.
Someday (in a couple dozen years), I won't be able to get out anymore. I'll be trapped "at the home" with only my TV and wife for company (best not go there). I'll want to play all that footage of the places I've been, and see once again, the spectacular scenery of the Rocky Mountain West and of the Great Lakes. It will be my only escape....from tedium.
So I need to get out there and capture it all now, getting all the shots with all the color and grandeur that I'll remember.

So, can anything be done to the FX7 to help correct the faulty color green?
If not, what other prosumer, multichip camcorder for under $3000.00 is out there that would be equal (or better) than the FX7 in PQ?
(But I really want and can afford the FX7)

I need direction. I need advice. I need hope. Perhaps I need a nap.

Thanks.
Mike
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Old November 5th, 2007, 03:22 PM   #15
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So is there anything that can be done, short of getting another brand of camcorder? I really like the FX7, except for the greens.
1) If you have LOTS of green -- or any other color -- in the picture, you don't want to use AUTO. As others have said, use MANUAL or OUTDOORS.

2) Many monitors are either weak on green or try to get a stronger green by going to a lime-green. (Green is dark and hard to make bright.) This is especially true on DLP.

3) When you say brownish -- I tend to think of a strong yellows. Now the thing I like about the V1 is that Sony switched the calibration. Up until the V1. Sony used blue-push which made green pop, but was inaccurate. It also weakened yellow. With the V1, the blue-push was eliminated making yellow stronger.

Post a pix.
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