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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 9th, 2006, 03:47 AM   #1
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Quick V1 Summary

When I use the word "emulsion" I'm doing so to avoid suggesting the video looks like "film."

1) The V1 has the lattitude of negative emulsion. Shoot a person in front of an over 100IRE window. Expose for the person's face. People outside are only slightly over-exposed.

Want a hot desert bleached-out look. Just overexpose a few stops as you would with negative emulsion.

Shoot someone against a bright sky, feel free to adjust for the correct exposure. Don't worry about the sky. At worse it will go white, but no color fringes, CA, or smear into the face.

Lock the exposure on a flower pot in shadow -- feel free to pan up to a tree with the bright sun showing through limbs. No problem. No smear from the bright sun spots.

Lock exposure for a black door on the shadow side of a building. Pan up to mountains and bright blue sky with super white clouds. No problem. The sky becomes less saturated and the some detail in the clouds, but nothing really gets blown-away.

2) Like a low contrast emulsion -- nothing looks like video. No hard edges. No white blotches on highlights.

3) In non-cine modes, the colors are muted compared to DV. The Sony "cool" is finally gone. But, it's still neutral. I like CineTone. Try B&W with Gamma1 and low sharpness.

4) Now if the judder issues (see #5) can be solved, this should allow an excellent conversion to film.

5) The DOF is very, very deep. And, here's the issue with any "filmlook." As the BBC report states, both Background and Foreground judder must be controlled at 24p. With very deep DOF, there's no way to limit Background judder even when trying to control Foreground judder by panning with a moving subject. One solution, using a 216-degree shutter. (Unique to Sony I believe.) Since some love judder, these folks will love 24p. Removing pulldown could make judder better or worse.

6) I can find no difference in measured resolution between 60i and 24p. (About 800x700.) However, Simon Wyndham has sent me screen grabs that show 24p to be softer on his V1E. Could this be true? I've already put the V1 into my infamous "math model" but I need to update it today to see HOW/IF progressive could really be softer. UPDATE: I can't find any process basis that generates lower numbers for progressive verical resolution. And, I can't think of any way interlace and progressive are processed differently horizontally. My rez tests and model show there should be no difference. And, in my shooting tests to check this -- I could see NO difference.

7) Low-light seems acceptable. Noise is low to 9dB. A bit more at 12dB. But it's only visible in dark grays. Blacks stay noise free. Chroma has no chroma noise (AM or PM). You can go to +15dB without serious noise. Color stays fine.

8) No smear. Shoot cop car from front with headlights on bright and a rack of flashing lights -- across a parking lot in the dark.

9) Use digital zoom to get close -- works really well. But, HyperGain has too much gain. I would prefer only +24dB for less chroma noise. There's no NightShot mode!

10) The sharpness control has very little effect because there is very little edge enhancement. Sharpness mainly adjusts enhancement on tops of lines. (I can predict a "soft image" review from someone who's used to DV.)

11) Love the histogram function.

12) Auto is so perfect that there's really no need to do anything but adjust AF or AE in very unusual situations. No human can focus faster than the V1 in most situations -- even most snap pans and zooms.

Of course, this is also a function of the huge DOF. And, AE has an easy job given the camera's lattitude. The ATW really does work well too. There's a lot of number crunching going on in Auto mode.

The Backlight function needs to be fixed -- it alters exposure by 0.2 rather than 1.5 stop!

Sorry, I will not be posting screen grabs or videos as because I've no time. I leave for Asia in little over a month and have tons to get done. Subscribe to HDV@Work for several more V1 stories: http://digitalcontentproducer.com/newsletters/
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Last edited by Steve Mullen; October 9th, 2006 at 03:56 PM.
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Old October 9th, 2006, 03:52 AM   #2
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Thanks for that thorough review. However, seems that Simon W's pics show a lack of detail (resolution) in progressive mode. Do you have any clips or stills you can post to demostrate the equality of i vs p mode?
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Old October 9th, 2006, 04:29 AM   #3
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"The ATW really does work well too"

Steve, what does the acronim ATW refer to?
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Old October 9th, 2006, 05:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki
"The ATW really does work well too"

Steve, what does the acronim ATW refer to?
Auto Tracking White balance.
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Old October 9th, 2006, 07:20 AM   #5
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Well, a little over a month or so ago I stated the new Canons would finally be what gets me to move into HDV but I wanted to wait for reviews. Based on what I have been reading it looks like waiting was a good idea. This camera sounds really good. I think the thing that will make me wait a little longer to jump to HDV (since there is no real market here yet) is to see if there is a Z1 replacement that will incorporate 3 CMOS technology using 1/3rd inch chips, hopefully so we can get just a little better DOF and low light perf. It must be just around the corner. If I had to have one now even just to shoot for SD output, based on what I've read to date, I wouldn't hesitate to get this one. Thanks for the info Steve!
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Old October 9th, 2006, 02:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamar Lamb
I think the thing that will make me wait a little longer to jump to HDV (since there is no real market here yet) is to see if there is a Z1 replacement that will incorporate 3 CMOS technology using 1/3rd inch chips, hopefully so we can get just a little better DOF and low light perf.
I expect by NAB 2007.
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