HVR-V1U: Sony unveils new 24P HDV camcorder - Page 4 at DVinfo.net

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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 September 20th, 2006, 12:25 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
the 20x zoom and 1.5x digital extender.
I remember, Boyd and I both jumped when Spot used the 1.5 digital zoom to zoom into one of the para-glider's boots, the image is amazingly clean, and looks very usable. That's probably the first time I've ever seen a digital zoom that I felt was good enough to be truly usable.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 03:28 AM   #47
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AVCHD vs MPEG2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
Frankly, I thought the BEST part of the day was seeing a very true to life depiction of AVCHD vs MPEG 2, and why you won't see useful AVC in any format in any professional camcorder for some time to come.
Hi there!

Excuse my ignorance but would it be possible to elaborate a bit more on this?
Which presentation was this, who delivered it and what were the reasons presented that indicate AVCHD will not make it in the next foreseeable future into the professional camcorder market?

My apologies if this is common knowledge to the other members of this thread but I am rather new in this forum (this is only my 2nd post!) and I was waiting until now for someone (probably Panasonic, given the discontinuation of DVC30) to come up with a small AVCHD camcorder recording long hours in solid media, as this suits better my needs.

Thanks a lot,

Thanasis
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Old September 20th, 2006, 07:54 AM   #48
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Sorry if we were being obtuse.

The portion of the presentation that I thought was very interesting was made by Hugo Giaggioni, Sony's Chief Technical Officer. Boyd took several pictures of the slides, so you should be able to see some of it.

It was very interesting because he explained how the V1 was implemented, why they chose certain technologies, and what we can probably expect down the road.

His main reasons for using MPEG-2 are:
- it is a mature technology across the entire workflow, which means they can provide quality solutions from acquisition to delivery at every stage
- it currently provides better quality at a lower date rate
- specifically, it holds up better than AVCHD over several generations of compression/decompression, he showed us a simple comparision of a difficult image over 5 generations, MPEG-2 held up decently, the AVCHD image was completely degraded.

He did say that he thinks AVCHD will mature much more quickly and that we should see it in the future. But from where I was sitting, it looked like it didn't really deliver at certain points of the workflow, and if it ever did, it would be competing with other maturing technologies.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 08:55 AM   #49
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I think that AVCHD is targeted at a consumer market where editing at most is likely to be cutting out scenes ( shots of feet!!!) and adding titles. I for one would like to know how AVCHD stands up to this use. The SR1 at 15mbs might do very well with this scenario, even as a B camera!!!
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Old September 20th, 2006, 11:06 AM   #50
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Attention! Long post following!

Hi Michael!

Thanks very much for taking the time to reply!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski
Sorry if we were being obtuse.
Not at all! If you were, this must be the most knowledgeable and generous group of "obtuse" people I have ever seen :) (by the way, where did you get this word? I had to look it up in the dictionary to know what it means! English is not my first language... )


Very interesting the points Mr Giaggioni made. It is quite surprising that these are coming from Sony though, don't you think? I mean, they are the ones who, along with Panasonic, have defined AVCHD as the next "universal" HD format. Granted, they called it a "consumer" format, but so was DV and HDV called, when they were first introduced, no? One would expect Sony would be a bit more cautious and not exposing the current flaws of this format in the most official way...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski
But from where I was sitting, it looked like it didn't really deliver at certain points of the workflow, and if it ever did, it would be competing with other maturing technologies.
I am aware of the issues with AVCHD's great editing difficulties for the time being. Is this what you meant by "certain points of the workflow"? Or is there something else as well?


Given the AVCHD quality issues Mr. Giaggioni presented, what strikes me is that Panasonic has chosen to commit to AVCHD without having any other "cheap" backup options (such as HDV). I was thinking that they MUST have some kind of a trick up their sleeve to be so persistent in not using HDV. I mean, obviously they are loosing such a big market share by not providing cheap long HD recording hours (documentaries, event videography, weddings, to name a part of this lost market). P2 is definitely not ideal for such projects and it looks like it needs a lot of time to arrive to this point (recording hours and cost wise). Do they honestly believe that the "filmmaking" market is so big that it can cover the loss? I would be very surprised if they do!

So?

So, maybe it is just Sony who has not invested a lot in AVCHD yet. Maybe they actually do intent AVCHD in their products to be consumer only. But Panasonic?

What I mean to say with this 2-hours-long monologue is that maybe it is just Sony's implementation of AVCHD that cannot stand the test of comparing with HDV at this moment. Or maybe Panasonic is heading for their biggest blunder in their camcorder history! (and maybe if I use the word "maybe" again, my post will be moved to area 51 :))

By the way: I am not a Panasonic "lover". I am using whatever covers my needs (and too bad nothing is covering all my needs at the moment!). I am just expressing my puzzlement... ( I looked this up in the dictionary as well!)


OK, more to the point of this thread:

Having watched this presentation, what are your conclusions regarding this new technology employed in V1, as opposed to the H1/XH technology? Are we witnessing a real step in front here in terms of quality or is Sony merely testing the market to see if it would accept a new (cheaper to produce) technology with similar image results to their existing products? I am asking this because they did not withdraw their previous models (FX1, Z1). If they were so sure of their new product (I mean, if it was such a leap in front), there would be no need for them to keep their previous models in the market, would there?

Hmmm. this should be the first time someone judges a camcorder based on marketing strategy :)


So, you've managed to read until here! Sorry if I wasted your time!

I promise next post will be shorter!

Thanks a lot,

Thanasis
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Old September 20th, 2006, 11:34 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thanasis Grigoropoulos
I am aware of the issues with AVCHD's great editing difficulties for the time being. Is this what you meant by "certain points of the workflow"?
I think from Mr. Giaggoni's point of view, workflow includes all possible uses of the video after it's been shot. Sony is thinking in broad terms of all the different ways to acquire video, all the different ways people manipulate it, and finally all the different methods people use to deliver it to the consumer. From that broad perspective, Mr. Giaggoni showed us why he though MPEG-2 was currently the best compromise between video quality and price for the V1's target market.

He was very enthusiastic about AVCHD, and was postive about it's future at Sony, but he did note that it was very new, the algorithm is much more complicated than MPEG-2, and much of the real world implementation had yet to be worked out. MPEG-2 which has been around since 1984 and is a much more mature technology. So basically it's easier and cheaper for Sony to provide professional solutions today using MPEG-2 at all the different levels of the "workflow" above.

Or as it's been said before, AVCHD is great if your doing basic editing, but if you need a professional solution, where almost anything can happen to the video at any stage of the production, HDV is a better solution.





... well,then there's always the XDCAM and CineAlta series after that.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 12:00 PM   #52
 
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First, it should be pointed out that NO ONE has the financial investment in AVCHD that Sony has at this point. No one. But it's their consumer division for now, that is offering AVC-HD, just as it's Panasonic's consumer division that will first ship AVC-HD.

Second, Hugo Gaggioni's points were made almost exclusively towards AVC Interframe, pointing out that such a format loses the value of what makes MPEG tick efficiently, increases bitrate requirements to ridiculous levels for zero gain in quality, and mathematically cannot resolve itself. Not to mention the decoding requirements that currently cannot be affordably met by the average Joe. All that adds up to a pretty weak picture, as displayed in the presentation. Normally you wouldn't see this sort of a scientific/technical presentation at a press release, but Sony was left no choice but to publically respond to a white paper that Panasonic recently issued that said anyone using MPEG 2 is foolish. Since the release of that white paper, Sony has announced a new camcorder and deck, Canon has announced 3 new camcorders, and JVC has done the same. Grass Valley announced their MPEG2 module, and other new MPEG 2 devices. In other words, only Panasonic thinks "MPEG 2 is dead" to exactly quote the white paper. Canon, Sony, Grass Valley, JVC, and Ikegami account for virtually all of the broadcast industry, so I'd submit that their statement is far more weighty.

AVC HD stands to eventually be the new "DV." That's a long way off, IMO.

I feel you hit the nail on the head, and I believe this is why Canon, Sony, and JVC are *all* addressing the myth of AVC-I at this point. Panasonic does not have a low-cost/high quality answer to HD, and to prevent potential buyers from purchasing the excellent offerings of all three companies, they issue what the industry calls a "take-out" statement. By confusing the market by announcing a "new" format, potential buyers of the HDV offerings might be enticed to wait for whatever is forthcoming, if anything is forthcoming. In other words, potential buyers are "taken out" of the market because they might want to wait for whatever is coming next. It might be 6 days, 6 months, 6 years or 6 decades before there ever is an AVC Interframe camera that is worthy of being called "professional." It may happen tomorrow and it may happen on the twelfth of never.

However, if you're a shooter casual or not, you live in the *now* and *now* we have HDV, we can edit with HDV, we can deliver HDV, and we can broadcast HDV. Most NLE's treat HDV just like DV, and most editors are quite comfortable with editing DV.

And with that, we're significantly off topic, and probably should split this out as a new thread to the AVCHD forum.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 12:08 PM   #53
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Good idea, Spot--put the AVCHD stuff in that forum.

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Old September 20th, 2006, 01:08 PM   #54
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Excellent comments, Douglas. It does, indeed, seem to be a human failing to always be waiting for the Holy Grail of 1/3" chip camcorders. I really haven't seen that attitude much in the pro realm. Like, you need a new camera you go get the one that best fits what you do in terms of quality/price/reliability/compatibility with existing systems. It only seems to be in the "prosumer" realm that we get the Holy Grail mentality, and the manufacturers have learned to take advantage of that. Sony, for example, announces the new 1/4" chip 24p camera just in time to stop those who were ready to go with the new Canon next month and cause them to reconsider. Panasonic does it, Sony does it, everybody does it, and it will be an effective marketing technique until people quit thinking of a 1/3" chip camera as a lifestyle statement instead of a tool.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 03:36 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thanasis Grigoropoulos
I promise next post will be shorter!
I could not have hopped for a more clear answer to my "puzzlement"! Thanks a lot for taking the time to help me understand the situation. It makes things more clear for me now as I can see much better my available choices.

BTW, the reason I was waiting for the "upcoming-small-size-solid-state-long-time-hd-recording-camera" is because the project I need it for starts in February. If it was starting now, I would have finalised my choices already! But Bill, I can see your point very well. It is indeed a characteristic of the low-to-no budget market to wait for the "perfect" camera, since the decision to invest this amount of money is not an easy one for everyone.

Thanks a lot for your input,

Thanasis

P.S. Sorry for diverting this thread!
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Old September 20th, 2006, 04:25 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor
Excellent comments, Douglas. It does, indeed, seem to be a human failing to always be waiting for the Holy Grail of 1/3" chip camcorders. I really haven't seen that attitude much in the pro realm. Like, you need a new camera you go get the one that best fits what you do in terms of quality/price/reliability/compatibility with existing systems. It only seems to be in the "prosumer" realm that we get the Holy Grail mentality, and the manufacturers have learned to take advantage of that. Sony, for example, announces the new 1/4" chip 24p camera just in time to stop those who were ready to go with the new Canon next month and cause them to reconsider. Panasonic does it, Sony does it, everybody does it, and it will be an effective marketing technique until people quit thinking of a 1/3" chip camera as a lifestyle statement instead of a tool.
Bill's post above is 'Post of the Day' in my opinion.

- If you need/want a new cam, look at whats currently available and match it as close to your own requirements and make your choice cos this is The Reality Of What Is Currently Available. Of course next year will be something newer shinier and improved but thats the nature of the game.
If any company ever gave us the Perfect Camcorder, or Perfect Car, or Perfect Software.... the company would go broke cos nobody would need to upgrade/replace it!
I do think some people 'worry' that they have to have the Latest Thing or else somehow their 'status' is devalued in some way. Whatever new machine comes out, it doesn't mean your current cam suddenly performs any less capably overnight..
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Old September 20th, 2006, 05:45 PM   #57
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Well said. What I ought to do is put this in the agreement clause for all new members registering here.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 06:09 PM   #58
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Douglas Spotted Eagle may find this surprising coming from me but he does have a point about the editing factor since all of the NLEs are very good at editing RAW HDV files and it may take a while until AVCHD becomes editable and I still think AVCHD may be a good alternative in the future but at the rate things are going, you cant really tell which will be better in the long run.

At least for now, the Vlu is the best camcorder to get out of all of the HDV camcorders and Iím still hoping Panasonic shows us something before Christmas because so many people including myself will have bought either the XH-G1 or the Vlu and it will be a little too late if they waited until after Christmas.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 06:36 PM   #59
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The ľ inch imager issue reminds me about the time I bought the HC1 in the first few days of August of last year. You had so many people saying that the HC1 will fail because it had only 1 imager and I myself have always thought 3 chips were going to always be better, but for spending some time researching about the CMOS chip I came to realize that it has the potential to have a better picture than the GS400 even in DV mode and sure enough, the HC1 became a classic.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 06:56 PM   #60
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I think there is a second point of view to the holy grail mentality, and that is 'prosumer features' such as for example, HDMI, or progressive output from a natively progressive camera, or something as simple as an external microphone jack are left off the cheaper models. While prosumers constantly feel exploited they will always dream of a product that throws in a mic jack for free and has HDMI, and can be tweaked to do 24p at no extra cost and where the extra money directly reflects the extra quality they get in the output.

If the V1e/V1u actually needed different hardware to the FX7, or implimented a true 24p encoding system there might be an argument, but all it does is enter a different sequence of fields to the existing interlaced (half a frame) encoder from the data it has allready. Moving to a true 25p or 24p encoding and storage system for the 24p sensor output would bring real improvements to the quality for a given bitrate, its how MPEG2 is designed to work.

To justify a steep price gradient the companies maintain a features gradient that often bears no relation to the extra cost. This is true with almost all technology. While consumers are at the bottom of a slope and pretty much on the flat (there is very little left to remove from a camcorder and still have it function as one) and the pros are on a totally seperate flat way up high (there simply isn't anything to add nomatter how much money you throw until the technology improves), prosumers are perpetually clinging to a cliff face where one extra feature can mean spending as much as an entire consumer camera.
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