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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 July 20th, 2011, 02:30 PM   #1
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Fuzzy image

So I purchased my HVR-V1U about three years ago and shot on it for about a year. Since then I have switched over the the 7d and 5d while my sony sat in the closet. I pulled it out over the weekend to shoot some interviews and I am really not happy with the fuzziness. Does this look normal or does my camera need to be serviced?
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Brandon Barnard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 21st, 2011, 08:14 AM   #2
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Re: Fuzzy image

Hi, Brandon . . .

It looks like you may have a back focus problem with the camera (even though it's a fixed lens camera) - which I had with BOTH my V1U's. If you do a search here, you should find some postings by me (and others) about the problem. Sony here in Canada couldn't fix the problems with my cams and they replaced them with another model, since ultimately they couldn't repair them. Apparently Sony Japan is aware of the issue.

Try a test . . . shoot a close-up (tight shot) of an object and get good focus when zoomed all the way in. Then zoom out to see if the shot soft (like the wide shot you posted). If so, this is what both my V1U's did. Sony opened other new V1U stock (some months after I bought the cams) to find new V1U's to swap mine out for. Interestingly, the cameras at Sony that they tested for me all had this problem.

If this problem affects your camera, I would at least try to have Sony look at it. But, I found that after at least six repair attempts, the camera always came back looking the same - even though (each time) they said it was "repaired" - when it was not.

Good luck.

Ian Campbell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 21st, 2011, 08:16 AM   #3
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Re: Fuzzy image

In absence of other responses here is a first thought. Please do not pay much heed to my comments as there should be better answers come along soon enough.

My first thought is that since you bought your V1, something better ( despite its other problems ) has come along and you have become accustomed to it.

My guess is that you might have been pushing optical limits if you had the lens iris wide-open. HDV is not as sharp as HD or as potentially sharp as your Canons with their higher pixel count per frame, albeit downsampled.

The blurring appears to be in a vertical direction which makes me to wonder if the wide-open iris aggravates anything the camera's prism block does. with a prism issue I would also expect to see chromatic separation as well and that was not apparent to me. If you could take closer look at the bright highlights on the chairs there might be chromatic separation that I cannot observe on the downloaded frame grab. If it is along a vertical direction, this might hint at a prism issue which might just be part of a design versus cost trade-off. These cameras are not F23s. The V1 is also a CMOS camera ?? If it is, the flourescent lighting might be doing something to your image as well.

The backfocus issue referenced in the above post which popped in whilst I was writing my own, certainly would be more apparent with the lens iris wide-open. In your testing, maybe try some gain and closing the lens iris to match to see if this sharpens things a bit. There wikll be a compromise due to gain noise which tends to cause image to soften due to the limits of what the video compression can cope with.

Sony were also doing some sort of trick with their pixel layouts which oriented the pixel rows diagonally. There might have been a sharpness trade-off.

Or, as you suggest, your camera might have a fault.

Last edited by Bob Hart; July 21st, 2011 at 08:27 AM. Reason: error
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Old August 14th, 2011, 05:02 AM   #4
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Re: Fuzzy image

Maybe this thread may be a hint:
Quality of footage beyond f.4

Your screenshots are typical of what I see with lens "too open". And yes, we do become much more sensitive to it after having become used to something better...
Andre Bernet is offline   Reply

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