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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 December 7th, 2006, 10:08 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graeme Nattress
Or problems in the test itself. I'd hardly call it a controlled test, and we only get to see a small section of the image that was shot. You can't evaluate a camera from a single image.

Graeme
The test may not be valid, and I don't mean to offend Canon XL-H1 owners (we own one too), but the anecdotal evidence is overwhelming that the Canon XL-H1 has excessive problems with red and green fringing. Sony just pointed this out subtly on their site.

I think this move was gutsy on Sony's part, but I'll bet they are prepared to back this up later, in other comparisons after the camera comes out. These pictures on Sony's site point to problems Canon has with the XL-H1 20x lens, even though they were posted austensibly to point out that the V1U has superior resolution.

Adam Wilt also pointed out this red and green fringing problem in his comparison review of four low cost HD camcorders earlier this year in DV Magazine. Adam Wilt wrote that Canon's XL-H1 20x lens has more problems with red and green fringing (he also called it CA) than it's lower cost competitors.

If you spend as much time working with XL-H1 footage as we have (we used the XL-H1 to shoot over 40 hours of footage for an upcoming film project, and still use it.), and compare that footage with other footage you have shot, you will likely agree that Canon's 20x lens has problems with red and green fringing, more so than it's lower cost competitors.

I have also viewed hundreds of images and clips shot by others with the Canon XL-H1 camera, including many clips on this site. This red and green fringing characteristic appears in shots taken with the XL-H1 that include vertical lines and hard edges where there is a sharp change in color or contrast. This is especially noticable towards the outer edges of the frame.

These red and green fringing problems are the reason we only purchased one XL-H1 for our project. And for obvious reasons, we are looking seriously at the V1U for future projects, instead of the XL-H1's siblings, since the A1 and G1 use essentially the same lens as the XL-H1.

In any case, we use the XL-H1 now, and will continue to use it until something better comes along in our price range. However, we do plan to buy three V1Us if the camera (and lens) are as good as Sony claims.

It will be interesting to see if the Sony V1U gives the XL-H1 a real run for it's money. But until the camera comes out, has gone through extensive testing, and the substantive reviews come out, we are only speculating. Let's see what the reviewers have to say.

I won't argue with anyone about the numbers. I'm only interested in the quality of the footage. The numbers are meaningless in the end.

Last edited by Dave F. Nelson; December 7th, 2006 at 11:15 AM.
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Old December 7th, 2006, 10:57 AM   #47
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I won't argue with anyone about the numbers. I'm only interested in the quality of the footage. The numbers are meaningless in the end.
Dave, you hit the nail on the head with that statement. Chris Hurd will be proud of you for that.

Thanks,

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Old December 7th, 2006, 05:53 PM   #48
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I think your comments about the XL-H1 red/green fringing are right on the mark. Since I own the XH-A1 I would say that more or less it has the same problem too. Where I would take exception is to assume the V1 actually has less, and if it does have less, is it making another trade-off in its place? I owned the Z1 and know that it too had fringing, just not the red/green variety. Especially toward the long end of the zoom, the fringing was actually pretty severe but it was blue/yellow which to my eyes doesn't jump out and scream at you like the red/green, but maybe to someone else it does? The XH-A1 lens stays razor sharp at any focal distance, zoom range or aperture. My Z1 was pleasing but got soft at the long end or at wide open apertures. Will the V1 be improved? Let's hope so but the XH-A1 didn't materially improve on the XL-H1 if at all. And since I've seen the same blue/yellow fringing in the FX7 footage that I saw in the Z1, I would expect the same. So then it comes full circle, what do you like best?

Nobody said it better than when they said all the HDV cams are an embarrassment of riches.
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Old December 7th, 2006, 10:44 PM   #49
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How does the HDX200 fair?
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Old December 7th, 2006, 10:54 PM   #50
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Dave Pope said: ...the quality of the footage. The numbers are meaningless in the end.

(sorry, gotta learn how to use this quote tool with a Mexican keyboard)

In the end, may I suggest, meaning is to be found, for some, in the numbers. I’m not such a numbers person but I would hesitate to judge thems that are as being without meaning and value.

How do you propose we measure, or talk about, learn, about ‘quality’. Have we all read a long time ago Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values Robert M. Pirsig. He convinced a lot of us at the time that quality defys definition. Not a reason not to do it anyway, but he did have a point. But if we are to have conversations that go beyond ‘that’s great, that sucks’, we might be stuck with measuring quality and we simplify things using numbers to indicate points between good and not so good, and…

The bloody numbers bulshit strikes again.

Rhetoric makes me smile.

One and one are, became, always were, again existentially insisting with vigorous candor: 2.

Which is twice one.

Schizophrenia.

What’s quality got to do with it!
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Old December 7th, 2006, 11:03 PM   #51
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Bottom line: how are you measuring quality!
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Old December 8th, 2006, 12:34 AM   #52
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First it's important to understand that the camera itself has nothing to do with image quality. Image quality is determined solely by the person who is operating the camera. In other words, image quality is a product of the actions of a human being, not the actions of equipment. For further clarification, read Ken Rockwell's excellent article "Why Your Camera Does Not Matter" at
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm -- it's written for still photography but the exact same principles apply to video as well.

There are a variety of camcorder image and audio parameters that can be tested, measured and compared, but "image quality" is not one of them. Hope this helps,
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Old December 8th, 2006, 10:18 AM   #53
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Wow Chris! You are sooooo right... That is a great article!

But it's amazing how I can get caught up in the "if I get a better camera the production values will be better. And because we love what we do we are always looking forward towards making a little more beautiful shot, etc. But sometimes I lose sight of just how small the differences REALLY are.

Then there's the natural self-consciousness of attempting to shoot a feature with an A1U... She keeps telling me size doesn't matter, but...
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Old December 8th, 2006, 10:47 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
First it's important to understand that the camera itself has nothing to do with image quality. Image quality is determined solely by the person who is operating the camera. In other words, image quality is a product of the actions of a human being, not the actions of equipment. For further clarification, read Ken Rockwell's excellent article "Why Your Camera Does Not Matter" at
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm -- it's written for still photography but the exact same principles apply to video as well.

There are a variety of camcorder image and audio parameters that can be tested, measured and compared, but "image quality" is not one of them. Hope this helps,
In principal I agree... wholeheartedly. Certainly the skill and creativity of the painter is very important. On the other hand, it also begs the question of why we are here.

Afterall, the painter would be helpless without information upon which to base his decision about which tools, brushes and paint would be best to use to paint a fresco on the ceiling of the Pope's chapel.

He may also wish to consult with engineers to determine the best way to construct scaffolds to support his weight, along with the weight of his assistants and tools, in an advantageous position near the ceiling so he could properly create his work.

He would also have a need to determine the logistics of raising supplies up to his workstation, how to light fires to keep warm and prepare food on this structure, late into the night, or at least how to send out for a cup of Espresso, Latte or Cappuccino. And he would surely want to know which was the best type of rope to use to lower buckets containing who-knows-what to people below to properly dispose of, so he wouldn't have to crawl up and down the ladders in the middle of a creative burst.

So he might talk with all of his painter friends to determine which paint would last the longest, and remain the most true to his artistic requirements for brightness, resistance to cigarette and pipe smoke, insence, and years and years of neglect and poor maintence... and the best tools to purchase to make his job easier and obtain higher "image quality."

And if he obtained the wrong information from the bulletin board where he exchanged information with his friends, he may make poor choices leading to the purchase of poor quality paints for his frescos. And if this were to happen, the Pope may be angry and we wouldn't be able to appreciate his creations today.

And in the end, if all his research led him to the best tools and the best paints to create the most beautiful, long lasting frescos on the ceiling of a chapel at the behest of the Pope, and if for this rendering he chose to use as his subject, a pig, and if he chose to paint the lips of this pig red, he would have created the most beautiful pig ever painted on the ceiling of a chapel, but it would still be a rendering of "lipstick on a pig."

I suggest that it is difficult to separate the skill, the tools, and the quality of the paint from the rendering itself. And certainly everything starts with the skill and creativity of the painter, but websites like this are also necessary to help us make sound buying decisions that effect the quality of our work.

Thanks Chris.

Last edited by Dave F. Nelson; December 8th, 2006 at 01:50 PM.
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Old December 8th, 2006, 10:58 AM   #55
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However, in this forum we are comparing equipment not photographers. Yes, having the best equipment for a photographer's skill and situation is important. Not this issue here.

Generally, subjective evaluations are common when an objective measure is unavailable. Sometimes because one doesn't exists. Sometimes because it is not practical. And clear sensor size in pixel count or area is not the only determinant. For example, Fuji still cameras use a CCD which yields a signficicantly better image than its competitors in many (most?) lighting conditions.

Many times the question is determining the size of the system being measured. You don't just buy a sensor. The sensor is part of camera with specific optics, electronics, software, and recording mechanisms. An entire system. This has been an interesting topic in comparing the environmental impact of styrofoam vs paper cups and hybrid vs. non-hybrid cars. It depends on the size of the system you are measuring. Including manufacture and disposal, the styrofoam vs paper argument is indeterminate at best and hybrid cars are worse for the environment (a function of the batteries).

To me, saying quantitative measures don't matter is a cop out. To say it isn't practical to get objective measures, or that the system being measured isn't valid by itself would be valid.

In this case Sony makes a big point about talking abut 1920x1080 processing in this camera, and relatively buries the 960x1080 sensor size. Is the sensor size significant? Maybe, maybe not...but Sony seems to think it is.

David

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If Ken Rockwell had used different features of his Canon 5D vs A530, he would have been able to get a better result and had more flexibiltiy with the 5D.
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Old December 8th, 2006, 11:37 AM   #56
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Better equipment is always... um... better... But me thinks the most salient points in the article were:
1) We can get overly obsessed with the equipment and forget the important stuff.
2) There will always be 'new' and 'better' stuff coming out.
3) None of it is likely ti make THAT much difference.

Compare our present equipment to that used to make some of the best movies ever made. Our stuff is soooo much better. So why aren't we all making movies as good as that.

Don't get me wrong. I know equipment is important. And I too am drooling over the V1. Believe me.

But I know I can get a little too obsessed over equipment and I find it helpful to be taken back to the basics. In fact, sometimes I wonder if it's even a bad excuse not to work. You know... "I should wait until I get the new Rough Rider 6000, then I'll REALLY tear it up" story.

So again, thank you Chris.
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Old December 8th, 2006, 11:54 AM   #57
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The writer was trying to show the importance of ability over equipment. And a great videographer with a handheld DV could probably out do by best HD efforts. However...

The V1 is a star performer in class of new cameras...'affordable...high definition..acquisition' that viewers here are considering. None are bad: H1, A1, G1, V1, Z1, HDX, HD100/110/200/250...not a bad camera in the bunch. But with different features leading to different results.

The sensor resolution may only be a small part of the total picture, but it does have an impact and is highly used in marketing. Panasonic 'hid' the resolution of the HDX for a while (just track the old posts on another forum). IMHO, Sony may have obsfucated it here. Which is why I started this thread. To find out if there was something I didn't see.
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Old December 8th, 2006, 01:05 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by David Ziegelheim
To me, saying quantitative measures don't matter is a cop out. To say it isn't practical to get objective measures, or that the system being measured isn't valid by itself would be valid.
What you don't seem to understand is that quantitative measures really do not matter at all nearly as much as the far, far more important considerations of ergonomics, specific feature sets, and workflow options... these are the factors that carry the greatest impact as to what one person can achieve with a specific tool vs. another person. As such, that is what this site is all about -- specifically, how to choose and use this gear based on those critical factors of ergonomics, specific feature sets, and workflow options. Because these are the primary things to consider when comparing equipment.

I'll tolerate only a certain amount of measurebating on this site, only because these measurebatory topics are a useful way to expose new visitors to the fundamental concept that the number of pixels do not matter nearly as much ergonomics, feature sets, workflow options, and of course, budgetary concerns. That is the direction in which I am purposefully shaping this site. I'm grateful that when we do succumb to measurebatory topics around here, we're usually able to impress upon misguided folks the reality that resolution is not everything, that interpolation and compression are not bad words, and that tech specs and numbers have little if any bearing upon what a person is actually capable of achieving with a given piece of equipment.

Occasionally I'll run across a measurebator who can't see the light; I usually encourage them to pursue their habitual measurebatory fixations elsewhere on the internet. The web is chock full of other places in which a measurebator can get lost in the numbers. This place is not one of them. Thanks in advance,
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Old December 8th, 2006, 01:09 PM   #59
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Don't mind me. I wonder about that stuff too. But most of it will be pretty much speculation until we can walk into stores, get our hands on them and shoot a little tape under similar conditions to what we'll be actually using the puppies for.

So that's why I particularly thought that article was a nice reality check to hold me over while waiting to play with one outside the little locked down one at DVExpo...
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Old December 8th, 2006, 02:24 PM   #60
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All of this numbers talk would go away if we had more samples to see. Why do you think the numbers game doesn't come up anymore for any of the Canon HDV cameras or the Panasonic HVX200? At first thats all people could talk about was the numbers for the HVX200 but now that we have had enough examples to see what it can do a lot of that has died down.

Right now what else can we do? All we really have to go by are a whole slew or newage numbers and diagrams given to us by SONY to encourage us to talk about the new way of doing things with this camera. Would it be better if everybody just stopped talking about the camera?

In a way SONY is the reason why we talk only about the numbers because they made it so interesting this time to talk about the numbers.


With that said I still could care less about the resolution and am more interested in a clean image with as little artifacts as possible. I still think a lot of these cameras would have been better off if they all went with 720p 60p instead of 1080i. the 720p from a SONY or Canon camera in my opinion would have been great and for the most part have given us just as much detail in the end. In fact the V1 even samples the chips at 1920x1080 at 60p so if it could pull that off then 720p would have been even easier. No matter what chip method you try I think there is a limit of how much detail you can get out of this class of camera.

I still say all these cameras are more like film stocks. In the end they are all HD but each has a different look. The V1/FX7 is like a film stock with more natural color and more latitude but in no way super better then any other film stock. If you need to shoot with a film stock to deal with greater latitude then get a V1. If you want a film stock better for shooting at night then perhaps a Canon or Z1 would be the way to go.

Clearly the V1 will not be a bad camera and in fact be a very good camera but it may not fit the style of everybody on here. Sadly there is no way of knowing that yet without looking at the specs to see how it fits compared to the other cameras people are looking at. As soon as we get to see some samples compared to ther cameras then hopefully we will not have to resort to numbers talk anymore and we can get back to what most of us would rather do which is look at the image itself and judge for ourselves if it looks good enough for us and if it fits our style.
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