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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 20th, 2009, 03:13 AM   #1
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V1, 2 questions

I fancy the slo-mo feature on V1, (though I have not tried it,) to lengthen rare brief good quality clips of fast bird-flight. The output may not be up to native HDV (whatever that is) but it should be better than time-stretching it in post. Is this true?

Is "peaking" on V1 able to respond instantly or does it take 2 or 3 seconds like zebra lines?
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Old May 20th, 2009, 07:27 AM   #2
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The slow mo feature in the V1 is kind of a gimmick. It's more useful for analyzing a golf swing than for final output. I would recommend post. If you're using FCP, Compressor is a great slow motion tool.

I use VF peaking a lot and it seems very responsive.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 08:09 AM   #3
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I would concur with Lee. The super slow rec is fiddly to use, and you only get a few seconds of it - you can get longer if you take a hit on image quality.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 04:33 PM   #4
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On page 42, V1 Manual says Shutter speeds can be set between 1/3 of a sec and 1/10000 of a sec.

In my chronic innocence I have a dream that this means that if I have very good daylight and I set my shutter speed to 1/2000 and the gull hangs in the breeze 30 metres in front of me I could, if I was skilled enough using V1, get good realtime footage (as I did last summer with XL2 but not even knowing what my shutter speed was).

If i then edit my V1 footage and stretch it by 30% in post I should get a nice slo-mo effect, shouldn't I? And if not, why not? And what should I do that would produce good slo-mo with V1, please?
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Old May 26th, 2009, 05:34 PM   #5
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It depends on how your NLE handles slo-mo or time remapping, but yes, you can do it in post. But you don't have to adjust your shutter speed that much, if at all. I believe the conventional wisdom is you should adjust the shutter speed by the slo-mo factor; that is, if you are going to slow your footage down 50%, you halve the shutter speed (double the number). So 1/125th for a 50% slowdown (200% duration in screen time is 50% speed). If you were going at 25% speed you could shoot at 1/250th.

Takes a lot of advance planning as you never really know how it's going to look in post. For that reason I always just shoot at 1/60th and no matter what slomo speed I choose later on, it always looks fine.

Hope this makes sense.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 03:59 AM   #6
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Thank you Adam. You are making sense. May I move the subject slightly ...

I really must find V1 threads that explain the purposes of (not just the differences between) frame rate and shutter speed and, while I'm at it, over-cranking?

In PAL I believe that 25, 50, & 100 fps are the numbers to look for, right? I would like to understand the basic functions which a beginner like me might use on V1E to get the benefit of what Chris Medico is discussing in this quote copied from another thread (because 12 seconds of top-class birdflight is often as much as I can get in good focus) >>>>

"The V1 does have one overcranking mode. It will do 120FPS for up to 12 seconds. The result is good for web video but not much else. Its smooth but only about 1/4 resolution. It would work great if you could get away with a PIP effect with the lower res in the inset window. I've done that before and it looks pretty good."

Last edited by Brendan Marnell; May 27th, 2009 at 04:01 AM. Reason: to add quotation marks
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Old May 27th, 2009, 12:45 PM   #7
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Well, no prosumer cams have true overcranking below the PMW-EX level. The "smooth slow rec" mode on many Sony cams is useless for anything real other than, as they say, analyzing a Golf swing. At four times the frame rate, to maintain the same data rate it must necessarily cut your resolution to the reciprocal amount, that is, 1/4. So worse than even SD DV.

Frame rate is the number of pictures per second. If you like the jittery look of film you could use 24 or 30 in NTSC land, 25 in PAL territory, and these modes are traditionally progressive. Many people like them. For smoother motion you use 60 fps in NTSC, 50 in PAL, and these modes are traditionally interlaced because, frankly, they would provide more data than the codec can handle if they were to be progressive. 50 or 60 fps provides smoother motion because there are more pictures per second, even though they are half-resolution (your brain fills in the missing data so you don't really notice). They would be the modes I would choose for slomo.

Shutter speed just affects how much motion blur there is in any given frame as it controls just the amount of time the shutter is open for each individual picture. It is not necessarily related to frame rate, especially in these days of electronic buffers that theoretically allow the shutter to be open for longer than the frame rate would theoretically allow. Faster/shorter shutter speeds allow for less motion blur in each frame, which can result in a jittery, stroby "Saving Private Ryan" look. A great tool if that's the look you want, but I avoid it because it calls attention to itself and pulls your viewers out of the story. But that's an artistic choice only you can make. An advantage is that with less motion blur, you might end up with better slomo, but you should experiment to see what works best for you.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 01:52 PM   #8
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Great help Adam, thank you.

Would you please dare offer an opinion as to how video from the V1, in expert hands, might compare with video from 5D Mk II, also in expert hands and after just-announced upgrade ...

I'm longing to take the jump from XL2 to V1, but before doing so I'm not able to nail down ANY footage from MkII showing its video capability during panning & tilting .... I use 40D for stills, like this ...
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Old May 27th, 2009, 02:56 PM   #9
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I haven't seen the 5D footage but by all accounts it is stunning, mostly because the huge sensor and great lenses make for beautiful pics with very shallow DoF. But my understanding is there are other limitations to the cam -- limited recording time, poor audio, lack of manual controls and I think no 1080 -- that make it somewhat problematic for regular video shooters.

If it were me I'd go for the V1, no question, just for the usability and features, and frankly if you don't need pro audio or progressive, the FX7 is a much better deal. But that's just me.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 05:21 PM   #10
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And pushing my luck once more, please tell me what the FX1000 has that the V1 has not; I'm thinking of performance while handheld and by performance I mean image quality of birds in flight? ... that's the last question, tomorrow I'm deciding whether to buy which of these Sonys (have to be x 20 optical zoom). I've decided against Mk II, XHA1 & FX7, and I can't handhold interchangeable systems.

I am really grateful for your advice, Adam.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 05:46 PM   #11
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I don't know that the FX1000 has anything that the V1 doesn't, except addditonal size and weight and a larger chip. Both are 20x zoom, but the V1 goes "closer." The FX1000/Z5 goes wider.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 03:56 AM   #12
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Would anyone be so kind as to recommend a V1E for Dummies book?

The Operating Guide, on paper and Cd, offers little insight; for example on P.42 there's a Tip*...

"The shutter speed can be stored temporarily by setting the AUTO LOCK switch to HOLD after the manual adjustment."

You all know that that means what it says, yeah, so what's my problem?

My problem with this tiny point (and another 100 tiny points in the same Guide) is that I can find no reference in the Guide to what is the "permanent" (as opposed to temporary) shutter speed setting ?? Is that a fair question? So I look at the Index ... no mention of Default settings, no mention of shutter speed except on P.42. No help, no insight, bugger the customer!!

You may say "Manufacturers make assumptions about the experience level of the users." I'll settle for one assumption ... that I can read and try to understand .... The question is, Where can I read V1E for Dummies?
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Old November 19th, 2009, 02:51 PM   #13
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Check out the links I posted for you at the other site. One from Steve Mullen, the other from Douglas Spotted Eagle, both valued experts and contributors to DVInfo.

Edit: Here are the links:

http://www.knowledge-download.com/V1-FX7/

http://www.vasst.com/store/inside-the-sony-v1/fx7.html
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Old November 19th, 2009, 04:43 PM   #14
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Thank you Adam, again.

Has anyone tried this source of wisdom ...

Inside the Sony V1/FX7
A Closer Look

by Douglas Spotted Eagle ?

Isn't he regarded as a guru in these parts? Sounds like he could contribute to UWOL, one way or another.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 02:49 AM   #15
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Brendan,

Spot's DVD provides a good overview of the camera, I would recommend it to a newcomer to the camera.

As to the Auto-lock, I never actually use it. I just leave everything on manual, and the settings are remembered between recording sessions. Now you're beginning to make me think I'm missing out on something!
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