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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 December 19th, 2007, 08:02 AM   #1
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White balance - working method?

I recently shot 6 hours of footage in Beijing - interviews in small locations inside, large indoor sports arenas and outside shots in various lighting conditions from sunny to smog... the whole gamut. Overall, the footage is superb and I am happy for the first time out with the V1.

Yet, WB is the one control I ended up not touching - maybe I am not in command of this yet. On my previous cams I would select a white card, press the WB button to record it, then use this WB setting until I changed scene.

I've read the V1 manual ref WB, but still a little confused about manually setting the WB each time - yet sometimes auto WB is not quite right, as in the sports arena, where the wood floor makes everything look too warm. I know I can tweak the WB, but my question is, do you users make a WB manually and if so, how?
thanks everyone who reads this.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 09:57 AM   #2
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I don`have my V1 anymore, but I found a quick an easy way to set WB. Especially when I was in a hurry.

Press the preset WB for outdoor and then you can adjust by scrolling the little wheel to give you the warmth or cool you like. Press the wheel when done.

Svein Rune
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Old December 19th, 2007, 10:47 AM   #3
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Svein, just curious why did you get rid of your V1?
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Old December 19th, 2007, 12:07 PM   #4
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just set white balance to "a" or "B" the customisable settigns

hold your white card up then hold in the jog wheel till it sets.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 04:37 PM   #5
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Ron.

First of. It was a great camera and gave excellent images. I found it to be better than the Z1 which I used to own.

There were several reasons why I sold the camera or rather why I sold both my V1s.

One was the OIS that gave me a lot of trouble. It ruined my footage and it took a month before I found out what was wrong. Several calls to my dealer and Sony gave no results, until one day when Sony finally admitted that the OIS was causing the problem. ( I never should have turned it on but bad habit I guess ).

Second the audio was very low and I had to turn the levels all the way up on an interview I did. I just couldn`t get the levels up. The room was quiet and I was sitting one meter away from my subject. And I have used this mic for 9 years with my XL1 and DVX100 and never experienced this. The mic is an AKG C 1000. Extremely frustrating.

Third I do a lot of events, concerts and such, and I normally hook up my camera to the sound board to record the audio. Whatever I did I couldn`t get the line- in working. I tried four different V1s and my supplier tried theirs as well. Same result. No audio. Switching it to mic- in I did get audio, but that leaves no room for peaks and the audio is easily distorted.

So I finally sent it to Sony Prime Support, took all summer, which is the prime time for these events and it came back with Sony stating that there was nothing wrong with the camera at all. It is and I quote " supposed to be like this".

So I gave up, because I do this for a living and can`t or rather will not charge my clients for pictures and audio that are not professional.

Even the broadcasting company I work freelance for, complained about my audio, and they haven`t done so in 7 years.

So I sold them. I was tired of not getting the service I expected from Sony.
Today I am the proud owner of a JVC 201 and Panasonic HVX 200 and the problems are gone.

But do I miss the V1s? Yes, sometimes. But I have to say, even though it sounds foolish, that I actually miss my VX2000 more. 4:3 and SD I know, worse lcd and viewfinder but better in low light situations and more robust.

Hope I don`t put anyone off. I had a bad an costly experience with Sony and reading about the vignetting problem on the new EX1 camera I feel sad for the guys who both this camera. It just isn`t supposed to be like this and thinking I could be one of them but I turned my back on Sony and chose the HVX instead.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 05:20 PM   #6
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Svein

- someone else on the board (Ralph Roberts) had some problem with his V1 and sent it into SOny and besides fixing whatever the problm was with it, when he got it back he said the sound (which he had like you, complained about ) had been fixed !

See here :
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=105432

so that would seem to imply that sony are fully aware of the audio problem and are, sometimes, retroactively fixing it on cameras that end up at their repair facility.
i know you dont have your V1s any more, but i thought i'd mention it as a point of interest.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 11:28 PM   #7
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I just picked up a V1U and it came in last night so I haven't had much of a chance to play with it yet. But I have noticed the low audio output on a V1U that I used previously. Interestingly, the owner of the V1U i had borrowed, told me that he could never get the audio to work on "line" so he always used "mic". When I borrowed his V1U, I hooked my Shure field mixer up to it and I had no trouble getting audio on either "line" or "mic" input settings. Both worked fine for me on his camera. I don't know if he has tried it since I returned it. I haven't checked that function on mine, so far.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 06:00 AM   #8
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I tested my V1's line input last night and it worked fine. Perhaps a little shy on the gain from my +4dbm mixer output, but the signal sounded clean.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 08:23 AM   #9
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Thanks Tom , this is the WB method I figured out - the manual is useless (like most Sony manuals). Most times the indoor-outdoor auto settings could not be bettered anyway.
The V1 audio was a worry for me, coming from Pannies, which are all good, but I found my V1 held up well. No complaints at all in strength and quality - I rarely had to change the vol from #7 setting on both my Sennheiser shotgun or Lav mics.
My V1 is only a few weeks old and perhaps Sony made some changes.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 09:42 AM   #10
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Stu.
Thank you for your input. It is of interest because I have two friends who bought the camera at the same time as me and are struggling with these issues as well.

Greg.
The reason for it working could be due to the mixer, I don`t know. I tried 4 different professional sound boards and they never worked. 4 different sound engineers as well.

Lee.
Strange. Perhaps yoy bought the camera later tham me. Different production perhaps.

Jon.
I had the same concern. Unfortunately it didn`t work out for me so I switched back as yoù have probably read.

Seems that Sony has done some alterations of some kind. I am glad for you guys. That you don`t experience the same problems as me.

Svein Rune
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Old December 20th, 2007, 03:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Braeley View Post
My V1 is only a few weeks old and perhaps Sony made some changes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Svein Rune Skilnand View Post
Seems that Sony has done some alterations of some kind.
My guess is that you guys are right on this - that Sony i think may have, quietly, made some design changes to the audio stage on the V1 at some fairly recent point.
Empirical evidence would seem to support this theory.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 04:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Holmes View Post
My guess is that you guys are right on this - that Sony i think may have, quietly, made some design changes to the audio stage on the V1 at some fairly recent point.
Empirical evidence would seem to support this theory.
I've had my V1 since January of 07. It did go back to Sony twice for back focus problems and they could have done a software update. There's no way to know for sure as it's not listed on the repair ticket.
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 05:24 AM   #13
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Regarding the sound thing: while it's true that with the stock microphone it is rather low, I have no problems or reservations with the mic I'm using most often - the Edirol CS 50 (mono shotgun / wide stereo switchable), or with the Sennheiser EW 100 G2; the sound level and quality are excellent. Also, I tried my V1E once with line feed - no problem either!

As to the WB: frankly, the V1E is the only camera I've ever used that actually can be trusted for its ATW. No matter how un-professional that may sound: I only fix the WB (to either a preset, or to the white card measurement) in difficult or changing light situations. Otherwise, I'm always on automatic - so far had seen it spoiling my footage only once (shooting a wedding inside a church with the lamp, then leaving the church and - when switching the lamp off- the ATW got fooled for 2 secs).

This is not bad at all when you compare it to what people are saying about the allegedly missing satisfactory WB control on the higher end EX1. But I'm still waiting for mine, so will not comment on that.
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Old December 24th, 2007, 08:53 AM   #14
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That's why I posted this question - the AWB fooled me - it is so accurate, that I thought I was doing something wrong, compared to my other cameras! I felt I could not trust the viewfinder - but, I was wrong. I hardly need to set the wb manually - just takes some getting used to that's all.
Thanks everyone - happy holidays.
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