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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 May 19th, 2008, 02:51 AM   #1
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V1.. on a horse

I'm consulting for a production company who are in need of a unique angle. They want to attach a small hd camera to a horse..

Now they've been suggested a V1 by someone, and i've been asked to also look into it. Not being the biggest fan of CMOS chip cameras i thought i better do some more research before i went and said no to the V1.

All i know so far about the shoot (tv series actually) is that it will be attached to the horses saddle and by the sounds of things will be used a lot throughout the series ie lotsa horses...

Now all im worried about here is picture quality as the whole series is being shot on Panavision Genesis.. and im not sure how well a CMOS HDV camera is really going to work.

Will the horse's galloping cause wobble/ induce rolling shutter? will it break the codec? im also worried about the chip size.

I suggested p2 when i first spoke to them however they are worried an HVX is to heavy, which is a very good point. The V1 is light a small, and size wise would work perfectly.

..if only i could get hold of an HPX170 sooner but they start shooting next month.

Maybe a Canon XH A1 would work better.. food for thought.

Cheers
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Old May 19th, 2008, 06:17 AM   #2
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I suspect that you will break the codec. This wont be unique to Sony. The A1 won't be any better in this regard.

The chip size won't be a problem. In good light you will get a really good picture.

Rolling shutter will also be a problem. Depending on what is in frame I can imagine some very odd artifacts from the rolling shutter if the camera is mounted to follow the horses movement. Up and down isn't as noticeable as side to side so if most of the movement is up and down it won't be such a problem.

The largest problem I see is the codec. I can easily break HDV with a pan at the race track.

I think you will be better going with a camera like the EX1 (still rolling shutter but a faster processor so its less noticeable than on the V1) or maybe a P2 camera. Neither is going to be as small and light as the V1. Hanging them off the side of a horse will be a neat trick.

Now if you would like an alternative suggestion..

Take a look at this camera - http://www.iconixvideo.com/products.html

Put the electronics in a set of bags and you are free to mount a very small and light camera anywhere you like.

Recorders are also a tricky subject. I don't know how much vibration they will be subjected to in your application. I do a similar type of thing with on-car video but this isn't a horse. Full race cars are trouble and I've had to use flash based recorders because anything with a hard drive just won't work. My gut feeling is this will also be the case for your application.

Here is something I found in doing a search - http://www.colorspaceinc.com/icon/

Just a few thoughts...
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Old May 19th, 2008, 03:43 PM   #3
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Cheers Chris,

When i said A1, i was meaning the XH A1 from Canon.. but yea, there is still a likely hood to break that codec.

Thanks for your help and suggestions, i'll keep thinking.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 05:07 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Joe Lawry View Post
Cheers Chris,

When i said A1, i was meaning the XH A1 from Canon.. but yea, there is still a likely hood to break that codec.

Thanks for your help and suggestions, i'll keep thinking.
Your welcome Joe. I hope it helped.

Yes, I understood the A1 you were referring to was a Canon camera. It will have the same issue as the V1 in CODEC bandwidth. The nature of HDV I'm afraid and no brand is immune.

Good luck with your project. Please post back and let us know what you decide to use and how it worked. I'm always looking for ideas myself! :)

Chris
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Old May 19th, 2008, 06:50 PM   #5
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good lipstick camera recording to well insulated hd or vtr?

many, many years ago i edited some horse stuff that was shot with a sony lipstick recording to a portable hi8 deck.

results were quite acceptable (well, for those days), and they were very, very few 'glitches' on tape, even with the horse galloping over fields, through water, etc.,

leslie
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Old May 19th, 2008, 07:39 PM   #6
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Yea i work with people who use hi8 all the time as its a lot less prone to drop outs than Mini DV for onboard cameras.

Sounds like the client is heading more towards the EX1, which should be alright in the HQ mode, not small though, also sounds like they want the camera to be able to be held by a stunty while on a wire rig.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 06:43 AM   #7
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Is the production company planning to aim the camera at the rider or away from the horse? If it's the latter, imagine what the footage is going to do to viewers' stomachs! An all out gallop over smooth ground may almost be smooth enough, but as soon as the horse slows down to a canter or (egads) a trot, there'll be lost lunches everywhere!
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Old May 21st, 2008, 06:14 PM   #8
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I'm going to point out that rolling shutter can actually be FAR WORSE in up and down motion - you will get substantial compression/stretch in the vertical!! I've been more annoyed by that than the "skew"

I can't see how this concept is going to work offhand, no matter what you use - lots and lots of motion, and depending on where you point the cam (which is a big question), the motion sickness issues would seem to be significant. Something lower resolution and a wide/fisheye lens?
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Old May 21st, 2008, 06:56 PM   #9
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Okay, I've performed stuntwork on horseback, and I've shot 'handheld' on horseback.

Mounting a camera 'to' the saddle simply won't work. The motion will be unacceptable. The camera must be isolated from the horses' motion. This can be done by a very experienced horseman - who is ALSO a very experienced cameraman.
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