Does the FX7 need a lot of light or what? 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 November 19th, 2006, 06:43 PM   #1
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Does the FX7 need a lot of light or what?

I just received the FX-7 the other day and shot my first footage with it. I shot some inside footage of our little boy running around with every light on in the house and when I played it back, it was really grainy. I shot it in the factory setting of 1080i HDV and I am using Panasonics MQ series master mini-dv tape. Is there something I'm doing wrong? I have this one really brightly lit room but the wall color is a chocolate brown so the walls are dark and I wonder if that was causing a problem. I haven't had the chance to shoot outside in the day yet since it has been overcast and rainy. If this is the way this camera performs indoor under regular lighting, then it isn't worth the money. My old XL1 and GL1 shot a clearer picture. I was even using the HDMI cable between the camera and my 45" Sharp 1080p Flat panel. Any suggestions would be appreciated before I ship this thing back.

Thanks!
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Old November 19th, 2006, 07:54 PM   #2
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Have you tried white balancing the camcorder?
Maybe the camcorders exposure is to closed, if it is than try opening it up as well as increasing the gain.
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Old November 19th, 2006, 08:49 PM   #3
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I'm going to go give it a try and see if the results improve. Does it matter that i'm hooking it up to a 1080p tv since the camera is acquiring an interlace picture. I did try and hook it up to my 720p panasonic 32inch hdtv in my bedroom and it didn't help. I double checked all the settings. It just seems odd that even my coffee table in my living room and anything that was dark looked grainy. the picture they get at circuit city and best buy with there little HC3 looked clearer on their display tv than this camera does. Could it be those lights they have at the store?
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Old November 19th, 2006, 09:33 PM   #4
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I;m also guessing something is off with your exposure settings. Are you on automatic exposure?
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Old November 19th, 2006, 09:48 PM   #5
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Kurt
Could you post some footage shot in a dim lite room and a night shot? I am pre-ordering two V1's next week and I want to see how the cam preforms in low-light.
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Old November 20th, 2006, 10:02 PM   #6
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Franks right, Check your auto exposure I got my hands on the FX-7 today @ my local Fry's Electronics Store. I purchased a Dv tape and shot some footage with auto settings. I persuaded the sales to un-hook the security device and I preceded to the home theater section and shot some low light footage.
When I zoomed in on the dark brown walls the picture got grainy. This was caused by the exposure auto setting. Over-all The FX-7 performed well in low-light.

The salesman informed me that there putting out the Canon A1 tomorrow.

I try to take my FX1 or Z1 to the store and compare the three cams and post the footage.
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Old November 20th, 2006, 11:20 PM   #7
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I am going to put my money down that there isn't nearly enough light in the room as you think there is. Cams (esp HD cams with those small pixels) need a ton of light or it will look grainy. Honestly, you need either really well lit conditions or a 2/3" cam to get a good picture.
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Old November 22nd, 2006, 10:01 AM   #8
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Heres some clips I took with the HDR-FX7 in the store.


http://www.dvdaction.net/index_004.htm
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Old November 22nd, 2006, 05:11 PM   #9
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To answer your initial question, yes it appears that the FX7 would need a lot of light. All the small-chip HD camcorders need more light than their standard-def counterparts require, and the FX7 is slower than the others; Adam Wilt says it's about 1.5 stops slower than the Z1 (which would mean it would require 3x as much light for equivalent brightness), two stops slower than the HVX200 (meaning it'd need 4x as much light) and three stops slower than the PD150 (meaning it'd need 8x as much light).

Small-chip HD camcorders need light, so feed it and it will reward you; starve it and it won't treat you kindly.
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Old November 22nd, 2006, 08:22 PM   #10
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Clips #16 looks horrifying but i guess since its auto mode the camera has push the gain to 18db which i think most cameras will produce this kind of grain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Rhodes
Heres some clips I took with the HDR-FX7 in the store.


http://www.dvdaction.net/index_004.htm
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Old November 25th, 2006, 09:19 AM   #11
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Night Traffic Scene / Manual Settings

http://www.dvdaction.net/index_005.htm
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Old November 25th, 2006, 10:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Green
To answer your initial question, yes it appears that the FX7 would need a lot of light. All the small-chip HD camcorders need more light than their standard-def counterparts require, and the FX7 is slower than the others; Adam Wilt says it's about 1.5 stops slower than the Z1 (which would mean it would require 3x as much light for equivalent brightness), two stops slower than the HVX200 (meaning it'd need 4x as much light) and three stops slower than the PD150 (meaning it'd need 8x as much light).

Small-chip HD camcorders need light, so feed it and it will reward you; starve it and it won't treat you kindly.
Where is you datum? Out of interest, perhaps you could provide a detailed methodology of how you came to those figures.

One of the decisions of a camera designer is how much noise to trade for an apparently greater ISO. Panasonic appears to have decided to wind up the gain to give an apparent higher ISO whereas other manufacturers have been less enthusiastic with the gain. It's just a design decision an not necessarily indicative of actual low light performance.

The HVX is even noisy in good light (I know I've had to composite the wretched stuff) so how would that make is superior in low light? My understanding is that the Z1 is the superior low light performer.

Perhaps you wouldn't mind explaining Barry. BTW I am a compositor not a camera operator by profession and will bow to greater knowledge if it can be shown I have overlooked something obvious.

thanks

TT
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Old November 25th, 2006, 11:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Tremble
Where is you datum? Out of interest, perhaps you could provide a detailed methodology of how you came to those figures.
It's stated right in the first line of my post: Adam Wilt came up with those numbers, as part of his V1U "first look" review, and it's posted in his article online at www.dv.com.

As far as how much more light one would need, that's a simple mathematical calculation; if a camera is 1 stop slower, it will need twice as much light to deliver comparable brightness on output. If it's 2 stops slower, it will need twice as much again (or 4x total). If it's three stops slower, it'll need twice as much again, or 8x total.
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Old November 25th, 2006, 12:19 PM   #14
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Why is it the HVX is faster than the Z1 yet the Z1 is a superior low light performing camera?

It's a simple question.

Where is your datum? What is the absolute value by which you measure a camera's low light capability?

Why is the HVX more noisy than the Z1 or canon A1?

How are you measuring ISO and how are you normalising the measurements. Are you simply regurgitating someone else's pontification without knowing how they conducted the measurements?

TT

BTW, I know the relationship between stops and light thanks.
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Old November 25th, 2006, 03:13 PM   #15
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If you know all that, why are you asking me for *my* datum, when I said right up front that it was Adam Wilt's test that shows the relative speed etc? I didn't claim to have that info first-hand, I said "according to Adam Wilt." So if you want the criteria that went into making that determination, you'll have to ask the guy who made the determination.
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