V1 Limitations at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony HDV and DV Camera Systems > Sony HVR-V1 / HDR-FX7

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 8th, 2007, 09:40 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Livingston, TN
Posts: 50
V1 Limitations

Hello all,

It is time for me to upgrade my camera system. The V1 is one of my choices.

I am interested in hearing objective feedback on what limitations V1 users have experienced. For instance, do the 1/4" chips have a real impact in low-lighting situations? Do they have a significant negative impact on DOF, focus etc., in a real way.

Anyone using the Hard Drive accessory? Any issues that haven't been mentioned already?

Every camera has limitations, which ones have caused more frustration for you with this one?

Thanks in advance for any responses.
Joel Chappell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 8th, 2007, 11:36 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Chappell View Post
...For instance, do the 1/4" chips have a real impact in low-lighting situations?...
Yes. However, a gain of 6db will *never* be noticed, as the gain processing is quite clean. 9db is usually acceptable. Then, there are the black stretch/compress settings. This may involve a little more post processing, but IMO, the camera is sensitive enough for general use. If you constantly shoot in dark clubs today's small-chip HDV cameras do present some challenges. See the posts from Piotr Wozniacki for some sample shots. Low-light has been a particular focus for him, he's gotten some great results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Chappell View Post
...Do they have a significant negative impact on DOF, focus etc., in a real way...
HDV on the V1 tends to be a beautiful image with lots of sharp focus. Difficult to get shallow depth of field.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Chappell View Post
...Anyone using the Hard Drive accessory?....
Not me, but people posting on this forum have reported good results - search the forum.

Overall, I'm very happy with the camera. Coming from the PD150/170, a rough equivalent in DV-SD, the low-light performance required some new approaches. Adaptations now made, I'm making some beautiful images with this camera.

I'm also interested to see how the new PMW-EX1 camcorder works for low-light and DOF, it has 1/2" chips and no tape mech. Ships next week for abt. $6500 (but you don't need to buy a hard disk recorder), and has a very interesting lens.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 8th, 2007, 01:50 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cambridge UK
Posts: 2,835
Hi,

We use Sony PD150, HC1 and V1 mostly in a church (actually cathedral) environment where low light can be a common issue, especially at this time of year in the UK.

The 150 is stunning in low light. The HC1's really not good enough for some low light stuff (but very good in outside conditions though) and the V1 is certainly better than the HC1 in low light but still a bit disappointing compared to the old workhorse PD150.

Don't get me wrong, the V1 is a superb camera but in low light you will need to use slower shutter and/or gain increase/stretched blacks to make the most of what's available...we're still learning the best options here so I'll let others with better experience chime in (whereas the PD150 would just "do it" no probs, if you know what I mean.) Seth's post above has good info/recommendations where to look for more.

My only other critisism of the V1 is that the lense won't really zoom out wide enough on the standard camera and thus the Sony wide angle (0.8X) really is necessary. So make sure you factor in the the cost (and extra weight and length of that.) I really wish Sony made the V1 so it was a 12X zoom (not 20X) but wider at the other end. Again, read the threads about the various wide angle options/horror stories.......From what I've read the Sony wide angle is the one to go for if you want to keep sharp images etc. We do see some barrel distortion at times with it on (as we are doing a lot of architectural filming) but it's acceptable, at least to my eyes.

It's a great, great camera the V1 but these are the 2 things I'd say you need to consider carefully. Now if you could stretch your budget to the new XDCAM EX....(!!!)

Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; November 8th, 2007 at 03:48 PM.
Andy Wilkinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 8th, 2007, 04:02 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Livingston, TN
Posts: 50
RE: V1 Limitations

Thanks for the response so far. Great perspective. I too believe the V1 to be a great camera. My post isn't at all to invite folks to put it down, but just like every other camera, there are annoyances that pop up only after you begin to use it everyday.

The wide angle issue is one I haven't investigated a lot. Are you pretty satisfied with it once you install the adapter?

I currently have a Sony HVR-A1U. I have adapted to it's quirks, limited low-light performance, desaturated reds, etc., and I've been happy overall. But I wish I had known then, what I know now.

I have not ruled out the EX as of yet, but it's kind of early. Looks great though.
Joel Chappell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2007, 11:10 AM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
I have to agree with Andy about how good the PD150, PD170, VX2000 and VX2100 are in low light. (these are all essentially the same camera as far as PQ goes).

I came to the V1 after years of experience with the above cameras - with them you can get a nice image in the viewfinder that is brighter than what your eyes are showing you directly!

After initial shock wore off, and as I gained some experience with the V1, this proved not to be much of an issue.

Regarding wide angle, it depends what you're shooting. Scenics, wide shots on interiors, you really need a WA attachment lens. There's one in my bag right now.

This is another issue discussed at length in this forum, do some searches for more info. Those of us who have bought the Raynox HD7062 have been pretty happy with it (don't zoom in past 70%), it is .7x and inexpensive. The Sony also gets good marks at .8x - I wanted something wider.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2007, 11:51 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
Posts: 4,711
Some good objective comments here. I did a test alongside the Z1, and shot for shot the V1 always had more D o F, even though it was generally working at a half-stop wider (due to the lower chip sensitivity).

The 20x lens is great, but oh, it sure needs a wide converter. Canon got the focal lengths right with the A1, so why did Sony back off? Sony's 0.8x is big and heavy, the 16:9 hood is even bigger and when you fit it you have a mild increase in view with noticeable barrel distortion. C'mon Sony.

I loved the slo-mo (if you don't mind the res hit) and the long end of the zoom is a wow.

tom.
Tom Hardwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2007, 12:12 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Europe
Posts: 844
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
Sony's 0.8x is big and heavy, the 16:9 hood is even bigger and when you fit it you have a mild increase in view with noticeable barrel distortion. C'mon Sony.
Tom - could you comment on this Z1 vs V1 comaprison please :
If you attacht he 0.8x Sony WA converter and zoom the V1 out to about 32.5mm (i.e. max wideangle of the Z1) and then compare it to the Z1 image when it is zoomed out to max.wideangle (so both images are approx. same mag), how does the barrel distortion compare?

So essentially : Z1 native vs. V1+HG0862 at similar focal lengths : barrel distortion (and also chromatic aberrations / color fringing?).

many thanks in advance
Stu Holmes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2007, 12:40 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
Posts: 4,711
The Z1 barrel distorts most noticeably down the wide end, as do most other camcorder zooms, so it's no reflection on the V1. It's just that the 0.8x exagerates this distortion, but once fitted to the V1 it now sees slightly wider than the Z1 straight out of the box.

I don't have a V1 to test alongside my Z1 any more, but if you asked me to guess I'd say that in the situation you describe the V1 would come off worse in the barrel distortion stakes.

As far as other lens abberations are concerned you've got to remember that the V1 is cheaper than the Z1 yet has a much longer zoom. My brain says something has to give here, nothing's for free. So the V1 most probably has a couple of extra elements in its lineup, and then you add three more slightly off-axis elements (the 0.8x on the squeaky plastic bayonet).

The Z1 lens designers had more money and less zoom to play with. Ergo, it's quite likely to show less abberations.

tom.
Tom Hardwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2007, 03:50 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Fidjeland, Norway
Posts: 289
Hi Joel. The V1 will give you beautiful and very clean images in both DV and HDV.

But the camera has its limitations. Don`t ever use its OIS when on a tripod, ever. It will completely ruin your shot on a pan or tilt or fast moving action. The picture will appear as if it were jumping and this was present on 4 different V1s I have tested. Even Sony Primesupport Europe confirmes this.

Compared to the old trusty VX2000 / PD150 I found it is not as sharp as these cameras coming straight out of the box, but that can be altered in the menus. I had the VX2000 and the V1 running simultanously on the same object.

It is bad in low light conditions, but that goes for other HD or HDV cameras in this pricerange as well. I used to own a Z1 and two V1s but I am currently using the HVX200 from Panasonic and the JVC201.

The gain however is very useful and acceptable up to 9 DB. If you are doing broadcast ENG they will accept 18DB as well if there is no other choice.

It is narrow in the wide department but I found the 20 x zoom on a good tripod very, very good. If you plan to use an external mic ie the ECM 674 with a windjammer, it will not appear in the viewfinder but it will appear when you play back the footage on a monitor. The micholder is placed to close to the lens.

I found the sound to be too weak or low for interviews and the bass is completely absent. But this is compared with my Panasonic. I do a lot of live events and usually hook the camera to the soundmixer and line in. The line- in never worked on the 4 cameras, neither my suppliers fifth camera. No sound. Swithing it to mic was a different ball game. Instant sound. I tried 4 different soundmixers. But doing concerts you have to lower the levels, and I mean really lower the levels when using the mic in function. But it works if not perfect.

It has extremely good battery life and using a NPF970 battery it will never ever go empty. I did a concert recording with 3 V1s and it kept on running all day and night. I bought 3 batteries but ended up using 1.

It is extremely good in high contrast scenes and it is hard to get washed out or burnt out images. It is very easy to use. The lcd- screen is fenomenal. The competitors are way behind there.

All in all a very good camera, I found it way better than the Z1, but I did not have the Z1 for more than a month and never tried to tweak it in any way.

But it has its limitations. I am doing broadcast work and it just had to many flaws for me to keep them. So I sold them and went back to Panasonic and I will not switch to Sony again.

I hope I have not put you off, but the last year I have tried and owned a A1, two V1s and a Z1 and I was disappointed. I have also tried the XLH1 by Canon but the best cameras for me were the Panasonic and JVC. I have been doing this for a long time and it could be me trying to be to perfect. Then again if my clients aren`t happy, I am not happy and when the broadcaster called and complained about the sound I had to sell them. Pity though, because its images won`t let you down.
Svein Rune Skilnand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2007, 05:10 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Livingston, TN
Posts: 50
Svein,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Svein Rune Skilnand View Post
Hi Joel. The V1 will give you beautiful and very clean images in both DV and HDV.

But the camera has its limitations. Don`t ever use its OIS when on a tripod, ever. It will completely ruin your shot on a pan or tilt or fast moving action. The picture will appear as if it were jumping and this was present on 4 different V1s I have tested. Even Sony Primesupport Europe confirmes this.
That has been my experience with my HVR-A1 as well. I never use OIS.



Quote:
I hope I have not put you off, but the last year I have tried and owned a A1, two V1s and a Z1 and I was disappointed. I have also tried the XLH1 by Canon but the best cameras for me were the Panasonic and JVC. I have been doing this for a long time and it could be me trying to be to perfect. Then again if my clients aren`t happy, I am not happy and when the broadcaster called and complained about the sound I had to sell them. Pity though, because its images won`t let you down.
You won't put me off. I am trying to be very open minded about my next camera. I know the "brand P is better than brand S and vice versa" has been done to death on this and other forums. I'm not trying to go there. And I know my title is V1 limitations. But if I could just ask you this question since you have the other two I'm looking at... the HVX200 and JVC 100/200... is there that much difference in performance between these 2 and the V1?

I would welcome elaboration, solely based on your own personal experience. Any details would be great.
Joel Chappell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 10th, 2007, 05:19 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Fidjeland, Norway
Posts: 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Chappell View Post
Svein,

But if I could just ask you this question since you have the other two I'm looking at... the HVX200 and JVC 100/200... is there that much difference in performance between these 2 and the V1?

I would welcome elaboration, solely based on your own personal experience. Any details would be great.
Yes there is. It depends what you intend to use it for. It is great for live- events, easy to use and great picture quality. And it is a bit cleaner or less noisier in DV- mode than the HVX200. But it is ever so slight. You probably wouldn`t notice it but I have direct comparisons of the same image.

The HVX200 is more flexible and has better bitrate in HD- mode. It is easier to hold it steady compared to the V1, though the HVX is more frontheavy and heavier on the shoulder. It is no where close to the battery life, neither is the JVC.

The images produced by the HVX and 201 will give you more clarity. It is hard to explain but the images by the V1 does not look quite like broadcast images. If you intend to go into broadcast, Panasonic and JVC will be the way to go. Do not opt for the 100 or 101 by JVC, they had a lof of issues I have been told.

If you intend to use it for documentaries or as a good travelcompanion the V1 is an excellent choice. But the audio is bad or somewhat strange to deal with. It is extremely easy to to get distorted audio even at low levels.

I did like the V1 and would have kept had it not been for the flaws. But I do like the HVX and JVC better. More professional, more choices, better handling and overall better picture quality due to better lenses. And more durable it seems.

I had a few issues with Final Cut as well because it insisted I had shot progressive even though I shot interlaced.

Which leads me to the next issue. I don`t know what it is like in the States but the broadcasters here will probably opt for the 720/50 p standard as recommended by the EBU. Makes sense though, as all plasma and lcd displays are progressive. And progressive shooting makes great images.

The V1 is a great camera but the JVC and Panasonic are better. I find the professional performance better by these two, which actually became quite clear to me when I had to call Sony Prime Support Europe, regarding the Z1 and asked them a simple question regarding the audio. I was told that the Z1, more expensive than the V1, WAS NOT considered a professional camera by Sony and therefore had to accept its flaws. Not the kind of answer I was looking for.

Have you seen the new cameras by Sony to be released in March? Two new HDV cameras including one handheld HDV camera with interchangeable lenses?
Looks great and should be considered. Though I would still opt for panasonic and JVC. They will not let you down at all.
Svein Rune Skilnand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 11th, 2007, 02:22 AM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
Posts: 4,711
Quote:
Originally Posted by Svein Rune Skilnand View Post
I was told that the Z1, more expensive than the V1, WAS NOT considered a professional camera by Sony and therefore had to accept its flaws. Not the kind of answer I was looking for.
I know that Sony Professional admit that the Z1 has compromises galore and that the BBC (for instance) are not happy with the HDV route towards HD, but to suggest the Z1 is 'not professional' is just silly. The BBC have bought very many Z1s and the camera is being used 'professionally' by hundreds of people every single day. I am one of those people.

tom.
Tom Hardwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 11th, 2007, 02:24 AM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
Posts: 4,711
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Chappell View Post
That has been my experience with my HVR-A1 as well. I never use OIS.
I say this with a smile, but I'm not surprised you don't use OIS with your Sony A1 as it has EIS.
Tom Hardwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 11th, 2007, 05:27 AM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: yeovil uk
Posts: 72
i only have the humbler fx-7 but for me the 20x with d extender is great as its the only camcorder i have had that i can get good wildlife shots without conversion lenses.
Chris Hull is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 11th, 2007, 06:58 AM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Tallahassee, Florida
Posts: 326
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
The BBC have bought very many Z1s and the camera is being used 'professionally' by hundreds of people every single day.
Add a few shows here in the States including Survivorman, Ice Road Truckers, and Deadliest Catch. I like to say Content is King, Codec is Queen.

To add my two cents, I recently shot with the Z1U while my V1U is in the shop. While the Z1 has more professional features, I like the V1 image better, especially on scenic shots. To me it looks sharper.
__________________
www.leebergermedia.com
Lee Berger is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony HDV and DV Camera Systems > Sony HVR-V1 / HDR-FX7

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:54 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network