DSE about the HVR-V1U versus the HVX200 color capture 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 October 7th, 2006, 04:16 PM   #1
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DSE about the HVR-V1U versus the HVX200 color capture

Spot (and others),

I have a couple of shorts coming up in the next few months and I am trying to make final decisions on a HD or HDV cam. I have narrowed it down to either the Sony HVR-V1U HDV or the Pani HVX200. The Sony is not out as of yet, and I have not yet seen the Pani's footage (though I will next week). From what i have read the pani does have better sound and color information that the Sony, but I am uncertain if that is the truth. In truth I will be using separate sound and not relying on the in camera sound as much, so that is not a big stumbling block. However, there is a chance one or more of these shorts may go to the big screen, and as such more and more accurate colors is important to me. Frankly, if the color quality is about the same I will save some cash and go for the Sony, which considering media cost will come in some 2 to 3 grand lower than the pani. I am asking for your opinions both technical and aesthetic because I assume some of you have seen footage from both cams and maybe even blown-up to 35. Thanks again

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Old October 7th, 2006, 06:16 PM   #2
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Moved to V1 forum from Z1 forum.

The primary difference between these two camcorders is that of recording format. For high definition video acquisition, the HVX200 records DVCPRO HD format video to proprietary, removeable flash memory cards. The V1 records HDV format video to Mini DV cassettes. You can bypass either recording medium with an external FireWire hard drive recorder such as the FireStore. Basically you should choose your format first... in this case, HDV vs. DVCPRO HD... and then once you've made that decision, choose your camera. Hope this helps,
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Old October 7th, 2006, 07:46 PM   #3
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Or direct to a PC via HDMI with higher res than either a clear audio: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=76873
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Old October 7th, 2006, 08:27 PM   #4
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Chris, in a sense I am choosing my format first. My basic concern is about the format. Which cam will give me the best color data on a large screen? Is there a dimes worth of difference in how they look after being blown-up to 16 or 35? Are the sometimes annoying artifacts associated with HDV present in the new line of Sony cams? My next concerns are more practical: Is the pani a practical cam if you can't take it on outside location shoots without a $2000 recorder attached? Since DVCPro HD and now HDV are widely known and supported formats, which is going to be easiest to edit and port to a post house like the folks at dvfilm? (of course I am in contact with the post houses to determine what they are prepared to work with). At any rate, Iím just trying to get a sense from those in the know before I pull the trigger on a couple of these puppies. BTW, does anyone happen to know where I can download some comparative footage from both cams? Maybe even a direct comparison? (I am of course searching google for this)

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Old October 7th, 2006, 09:59 PM   #5
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Here's a trailer for a feature shot with the Z1. From what everybody's saying about the V1, it should as good if not better than the Z1's footage, due to it's better dynamic range.


http://www.lumieremedia.com/tomorrowistoday/

I saw a music video shot with the HVX200 a couple of months ago, not transferred to film but projected in a theater. It looked great. But it was mostly closeups and medium shots under very nice controlled lighting. Presumably the V1 would have higher resolution which might be better in a film transfer. Personally, I really like the HVX even though its resolution isn't as good as the HDV cameras; but the P2 workflow doesn't work for the way we work.

The 35mm video-to-film transfer we did last year, we used DVFilm. Great guys, and it was an excellent transfer and perfect print. They didn't want tape--I sent them a hard drive with an Avid Quicktime. They could have used tape but they preferred the files on a firewire drive. They sent the drive back, properly packaged, right after the transfer was made. The thing I did was shot with a DSR500 and a DSR250. The 250 was used for hand held closeups and slow shutter effects. The differences in the two cameras were not any more pronounced in 35mm than on video. Anyway, tape compatibility is not an issue anymore. You send a hard drive, or you release on DVD. The only tapes I've sent out in the past year or two have been for festivals. If it's a big festival, they'll usually want HDCAM, and the V1 or Z1 both will convert nicely to that. Presumably the HVX would too.
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Old October 8th, 2006, 02:39 AM   #6
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Going with Pani's HVX200 will definitely give you more color space and flexibility in post. With all other things being equal, you would be better off shooting in DVCPRO-HD over HDV. The only factor that could tip the scales in favor of the HVR-V1 will be if the image quality produced from the CMOS chips is considerably better in latitude and dynamic range than the HVX. I don't think anyone will know if the color aspect of the image quality will be better until the HVR-V1 comes out officially.

I believe in some instances the footage from the HVX200 has done well in transferring to 35mm film prints.

An important thing to consider is the difference in workflow between the two cameras. The HVX200 requires P2 media for HD recording in native framerates (true 24p recording with no pulldown or interpolated frames added) and requires more costly storage solutions than HDV. If you've got the money in your budget to spend, the HVX workflow can be more of an asset than a hurdle. On the other hand Sony's hard drive solution for the HVR-V1 seems to be a perfect solution for working in HDV and is going to be much cheaper to shoot with.

Here are some links to some really impressive looking HVX200 clips.

http://motivitypictures.com/hvx200/m..._snow_day.html

Movie shot with HVX Cameras http://www.midnight-film.com/

or right click and save http://www.theadagio.com/demovideo/quadhead.mov

EDIT- Another thing to consider is if you could gain anything from using the HVX200's true variable framerates. The wealth of framerate variations in the native film mode (720p) are of a much higher quality than Sony's slow motion feature on the V1. (At least from what has been reported on the V1 thus far). Otherwise, I believe shooting in 1080 would make the HVX more on par with the HVR-V1U in that it shoots in video mode, loses it's undercranking and overcranking abilities and has to store it's frame sequencing in an NTSC wrapper like the V1U does.

Last edited by John Froton; October 8th, 2006 at 03:14 AM.
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Old October 8th, 2006, 03:35 AM   #7
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Considerably better lattitude and dynamic range? Based on? We are talking 1/3" and 1/4" video cameras here, the difference, if any, will be marginal at best. There certainly is no comparative data supporting your position here. As you point out with the color space argument... nobody will know for sure until there are enough units in the marketplace for people to compare and test.



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Old October 8th, 2006, 05:36 AM   #8
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resolution:

hmmm. if you own an hvx200, do this: shoot anythign at 720p, then shoot the same thing again in SD going to tape. upres the SD footage to 720 and add a touch of chroma blur (to smooth out the hi-freq color subsampling edges). now intercut this with the native 720p footage. :) u'll be shocked how little difference there is. from my experience with it, the hvx200 is actually giving you barely more res than SD.

color:

this is where you'll forget about the stuff above. colors are rich and accurate, and with all the internal gamma magic, filmlike. the dvcpro-hd footage handles even wild CC pretty nicely. with a lot of light, the hvx200 output looks pretty damn good.

dvcpro-hd compared to mpeg2:

don't underestimate how good a job you can do in real-time with mpeg2. remember you can pack more encoding smarts into mpeg2 than you can with dvcpro-hd. unless i understand the dvcpro-hd codec wrong (which is a possibility!), we're already at the best encoding quality. on the other hand, real-time mpeg2 encoders now should theoretically be able to do a better job than the encoders from 2-3 years ago. and of course, if you didn't have to encode in real-time, mpeg2 at 25mbps with the best multi-pass codecs would look simply stunning. we'll all have to wait till nov for final judgement.
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Old October 8th, 2006, 05:53 AM   #9
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didn't someoen say they were getting around 10-stops out of the v1? i think sony said they were taking advantage of the better pixel addressing with cmos sensors and scaling the raw signal from what would have been overexposed pixel regions to get better range.

in the footage i've seen so far, total dynamic range seems to be wider than the usual. though it looks like there is somethign slightly funny going on with extreme highlights. the sun, for example, looked octagonal. perhaps this is some lens or aperture artifact. i'm not much of an optics person. anyone care to comment?

i love that someone has (evidently) finally addressed dynamic range issues with these HD cameras. i wonder if it would be an engineering possibility to do somethign like what the fujifilm people are doing with dual-dynamic range pixel elements for still cameras but with video cameras instead. the output is really amazing looking, for example:

http://www.dpreview.com/gallery/phot...mples&photo=25
http://www.dpreview.com/gallery/phot...mples&photo=15

or something shot in the sun with a typical video shutter speed and lower iso:
http://www.dpreview.com/gallery/phot...mples&photo=10

or the whole gallery:

http://www.dpreview.com/gallery/fujifilms3pro_samples/


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash Greyson
Considerably better lattitude and dynamic range? Based on? We are talking 1/3" and 1/4" video cameras here, the difference, if any, will be marginal at best. There certainly is no comparative data supporting your position here. As you point out with the color space argument... nobody will know for sure until there are enough units in the marketplace for people to compare and test.
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Old October 8th, 2006, 06:51 AM   #10
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That last shot with the sun on the wall and chinese lamp, the detail and lightness in the shadow area is impressive. I'm assuming this is straight from the camera with no post processing. One other thing on that same photo, your lens is listed as a 17-35mm and the focal length is 45mm. Typo??
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Old October 8th, 2006, 10:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash Greyson
Considerably better lattitude and dynamic range? Based on? We are talking 1/3" and 1/4" video cameras here, the difference, if any, will be marginal at best. There certainly is no comparative data supporting your position here. As you point out with the color space argument... nobody will know for sure until there are enough units in the marketplace for people to compare and test.



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Most of my optimism for the possibility of improved picture quality from CMOS ccds came from reading this article http://hdtv.videotechnology.com/HDTV-CMOSvsCCD.htm
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Old October 8th, 2006, 10:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali Husain
i love that someone has (evidently) finally addressed dynamic range issues with these HD cameras. i wonder if it would be an engineering possibility to do somethign like what the fujifilm people are doing with dual-dynamic range pixel elements for still cameras but with video cameras instead. the output is really amazing..
I agree but I'm going to be cautious before accepting that CMOS addressibility alone will be the panacea. Case in point, my Canon 5D DSLR has a 12.8mp CMOS sensor, but blowing highlights can still happen. It has not been proved to have more dynamic range in terms of f-stops than Nikon has using Sony's CCD chip. The main advantage of the CMOS on Canon DSLRs doesn't come into play until high ISO where it maintains better sharpness at the extreme limits of ISO speed. At the lower ISO settings, the Nikon noise level is just as good or better if you consider its monochromatic characteristic.

Your Fujifilm uses extra pixels in a new way to take dynamic range to a whole new level. The extra pixels enhance dynamic range but not resolution. If you took that approach with the V1U's 960x1080 chips, you'd sacrifice resolution, just as the Fujifilm DSLR would gain resolution (at the expense of dynamic range) if the pixels were not devoted.

The other observation I would note about the V1U is that the dynamic range appears not unlike what I see already in the Z1U by choosing cinematone 1 gamma setting with black stretch = on.

None of that is to diminish what Sony has done. Just getting rid of highlight-smearing is worthy in itself. But I think there is a little extra excitement going on whenever it's a Sony.
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Old October 8th, 2006, 11:09 AM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Froton
Otherwise, I believe shooting in 1080 would make the HVX more on par with the HVR-V1U in that it shoots in video mode, loses it's undercranking and overcranking abilities and has to store it's frame sequencing in an NTSC wrapper like the V1U does.
To suggest that the HVX in 1080 is on par with the V1U is so far off the mark that it destroys any shred of credibility.
Having had both in my hands, having been somewhat disappointed in our purchase of the HVX, having compared the two side by side, and being very displeased with the HVX at 1080, I can't begin to imagine where this comment comes from.
At 720 24p, the HVX is a very nice camera. However, it is barely more than SD PAL resolution at the sensor and only on the horizontal. It does a great job of upsampling/rescaling that small frame format to 1280 x 720. It doesn't do a great job taking it to 1920 x 1080 by any stretch. Unless you mean the "soft film look" it generates. Having blown up the 1920 x 1080 image on a large screen on multiple occasions with footage shot by amateur, experienced, and super famous people...the 1080 format doesn't hold up from that specific model of camcorder. The V1U does. You'll just have to see it with your own eye when it's available.
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Old October 8th, 2006, 11:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor
Here's a trailer for a feature shot with the Z1. From what everybody's saying about the V1, it should as good if not better than the Z1's footage, due to it's better dynamic range.


http://www.lumieremedia.com/tomorrowistoday/
If you're in L.A. there is a screening of Tomorrow is Today, today!

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Old October 8th, 2006, 11:38 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
To suggest that the HVX in 1080 is on par with the V1U is so far off the mark that it destroys any shred of credibility.
Having had both in my hands, having been somewhat disappointed in our purchase of the HVX, having compared the two side by side, and being very displeased with the HVX at 1080, I can't begin to imagine where this comment comes from.
Truthfully this is where the competiveness of these two cameras come into play for me. I think you are right that the HVX will fall short of the HVR-V1U in terms of resolution. The HVX may be on par with the V1 in terms of color space, if the CMOS chips offset the inferiority of the HDV codec in comparison with the DVCPRO-HD codec.

I think I would have a difficult time in choosing between the two and making tradeoffs. The HVX has DVCPRO-HD and true variable framerates and the HVR-V1U will have better resolution and potentially some better aspects coming from the CMOS chips over CCDs.

Much of what you have been stating about the HVR-V1 has me excited and anxiously awaiting to see if it will indeed be a better choice than the HVX200 for me.
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