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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 January 19th, 2007, 03:50 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Eckstein
I was disappointed to see the normal ENG-type switches for gain/wb are missing on the V1, but I see they are located differently as you describe Tony. My question is, though, can you have gain on even if you are not at the widest aperture? You seem to describe that gain and f-stop work hand in hand. Sometimes I want gain even if I do not need it and have room on the aperture to open up. For instance when I shoot multi-cam concerts, I typically set the gain to 3 or 6 for the whole show because I know I need it at some points. At other points I don't need it and have room on the aperture to open wider, but keeping all my cams the same with the gain maintains the texture throughout the whole show. So, can I have gain on, even if I am at 3.7, for instance?
Yes of course you can have any amount of gain at any aperture. The Exposure1 setting was just a solution that might have interested John Poore.

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Old January 19th, 2007, 11:30 PM   #47
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I would Agree

I too have the PD150 and the FX1. I would also describe my take of the V1 after having used it for a few hours as ok but not great.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 11:47 PM   #48
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I think "exposure 1" mode is a great idea. The topic has come up before in the Z1 forum and a number of people (myself included) have wished we had that option on the Z1.

This is how my PDX-10 and VX-2000 behave; when you reach the maximum aperture, further clicks add gain in 3dB increments. I like being able to use the physical switch on the Z1 sometimes, but the exposure 1 option would be helpful for shooting performances which have a large range from bright to dark scenes. The 3 position switch doesn't give you enough choices for that kind of situation.... sometimes I need to shoot at F4 with 0dB gain, and other times I need to be wide open at +12dB. With the 3 position switch there is no way to make this transition in a live shoot without a noticeable "bump" and I wouldn't want to shoot the whole performance at +12dB.

Sounds like a great upgrade from the Z1 and another indication that Sony listened to input from users during the design process.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 12:22 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff

Sounds like a great upgrade from the Z1 and another indication that Sony listened to input from users during the design process.
Boyd:

Seems to me that the answer to the problem you have is to let the autogain run with limits set at the menu. With autogain on, you can still adjust Fstop and shutter if desired, only the gain will be auto. Have I got that right ?
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Old January 20th, 2007, 03:08 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
sometimes I need to shoot at F4 with 0dB gain, and other times I need to be wide open at +12dB. With the 3 position switch there is no way to make this transition in a live shoot without a noticeable "bump" and I wouldn't want to shoot the whole performance at +12dB.
I'm pretty certain that the Z1 allows you to do a "smooth" gain shift when you switch gain levels.

But I can see there would certainly be run-and-gun situations where exposure mode would be very useful.

Personally I'm not certain about an image that gets progressively noisier in front of my eyes.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 04:33 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos
Boyd:

Seems to me that the answer to the problem you have is to let the autogain run with limits set at the menu. With autogain on, you can still adjust F-stop and shutter if desired, only the gain will be auto. Have I got that right ?
Not really.

It probably would help to understand that Sony chose the word EXPOSURE because it correctly describes what you are adjusting. In other words, stop thinking in terms of the parts of the camera that are doing the work.

Once you choose your frame-rate -- the shutter-speed is determined: 24p, it will be either 180 or 216 degrees. 60i, it will be 1/60th or 1/30th second. Sure for some crazy FX you might use something else, but its not going to change very often.

Now you have the ND filter which the camera uses to keep the iris from going too small or too large. Ideally, you need to keep the iris larger than f/5.6 to keep detail high. So you've got to use the ND -- no creative choice here. It's optics.

That means you have iris and gain to adjust. Most folks will not apply gain until the iris is fully open. This is theory of E1. Once the iris is open, if you want to increase exposure you must increase gain. No choice about it -- unless you add light. So E1 simply lets you monitor "exposure" and control as needed. You can clearly see what the gain level is and how noisy it is. Nothing is out of your control.

If possible, I prefer to use AES not E1. To use this mode correctly, you set the AGC Limit (I use +12dB or +6dB) and set AT IRIS LIMIT (I use either f/5.6 or f/11.) You must also set the AE Response speed to SLOW.

Now what happens is the camera uses its AE system to yield an optimal exposure. If the light level changes briefly it will be ignored. If the light changes fast -- the camera will slowly and accurately alter the exposure -- just as you would need to do. The AE system will respect the gain and iris limits.

Now what happens when YOU want the exposure to be lighter or darker. Simply tweak the iris dial to get the look you want. Because of the V1's wide lattitude, you will find you do not often NEED to make any correction. But, you may WANT to for creative reasons or because the camera AE system has been fooled. For example, in a Backlite situation the AE will, of course, under-expose. All you do is dial in the correction you want.

Why would you want to directly adjust the F-stop? For maximum picture detail, with a 1/4-inch chip, you want to shoot at f/4. Worst case, f/2.8 to f/5.6. To do so you need to control iris AND gain AND shutter-speed PLUS add/subtract light. If you don't shoot this way,and I very much doubt many of us do, you have no reason to not use E1 or AES. You are just needlessly twiddling dials cause that's what you've always done.

You may think you need to set the F-stop to increase or decrease DOF. Sorry, the DOF is so great that you really have almost no control of it.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 04:47 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Alex Leith
Personally I'm not certain about an image that gets progressively noisier in front of my eyes.
The noise is related to gain level. How you adjust gain has nothing to with the amount of noise. So your comment is a bit silly isn't it? Isn't it better to see the gradual increase?

I'm beginning to wonder if the V1 is flying over the heads of many of posters. Folks are so locked into the way they do things, they can't seem to see a new way as offering a better way.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 04:58 AM   #53
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Just my $0,02 on some ergonomics aspects of the two wonderful machines: while the A1 is loaded with more (perhaps even too much) image tweaking possibilities than the V1, it lacks some useful operational aids that the V1 has:

- B&W possible, but only on both the LCD and EVF; with Sony you can set the LCD for color control and the VF for B&W focus control with peaking

- peaking is only white and only has one level on the A1; stupid because when the LCD/EVF are in B&W, red or yellow peaking would be much, much more distinct!

- peaking switches zebra off on A1; pity because due to smaller latitude and the lack of histogram, the zebra should always be on - on the V1 you can have all three aids on all the time (with the great latitude, perhaps an overkill - but nice)

- not many enough of important functions assignable to not large enough number of custom keys; one of them is Magnify: why on earth, it has its own button on the A1!

EDIT on the last one: actually, the Magn function assignable to cutom butons is only changing the way tha dedicated button works - sorry.

Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; January 20th, 2007 at 04:05 PM.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 05:27 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen

I'm beginning to wonder if the V1 is flying over the heads of many of posters. Folks are so locked into the way they do things, they can't seem to see a new way as offering a better way.
Another way of putting it is that the V1 offers many different ways of operating the camera some that don't have equivalents on other cameras in its class. Those that favour a semi automatic shoot to those that favour full manual control are well served. There is nothing missing just a different approach is needed to achieving the same goal.

I am sure we could all sit down a find a situation where a compact camera is lacking in one particular control but I am sure 99% of people will be happy with this camera 99% of the time.

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Old January 20th, 2007, 08:53 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross
You can add to that most HD documentaries & theme shows (virtually everything on HDNet), nature shows (Discovery HD, National Geographic HD etc.), talk shows such as Leno, Leterman....I could go on. I myself much prefer the look of reality that 60i brings to the screen. To my eyes there's nothing like looking at an HDTV and feeling as if you're looking through a window. Progressive just doesn't do that for me. Each to his own. :)
Actually I'm pretty sure National Geographic does 30P. They shoot on Varicam and deliver 30P for US. I know someone who works there. My guess is the Discovery is the same. Just because it is delivered in 1080i doesn't mean it was shot in 1080i. You can show a progressive scan image on an interlaced format (just not the other way around) To me 60i looks too live. But that's an aesthetic opinion of which there are many.

I think it's not necessarily progressive that you don't like, but less temporal detail of a 30P image. 60P will replace 60i at some point. Which will give the same window effect, but not have the problems that interlaced introduces.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 09:01 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bussey
I too have the PD150 and the FX1. I would also describe my take of the V1 after having used it for a few hours as ok but not great.

By the way B&H has a special price on the V1U from the Mac World Conference in San Francisco last week. If you mention Promotion Code #MW07251 you get the V1U for $3999.95. The price is good through January 23, 2007

I have a PD 150 and an FX1 and a PDX 10 and now a V1.. Yes, the V1, is not as good in Low light as the 150, but what camera is? That was the best low light camera ever made. Period! The image from the V1 is simply stunning. To me that means more than learning a new way to work with the camera (which really isn't all that different then the other Sony Cams). The new ways and options are a huge benefit and if you don't like them, you can go back to the old ways, most everything is selectable.

The image quality of this camera is the best of any that I own. I'll still use the FX1 in low light situations and where I need a wider angle of view (Until I can get the wide angle attachment). My PDX 10 is now used as a feeder deck for SD DV. The 150 is used for SD low light situations.

I'm still waiting for one of these companies to custom build "My perfect camera" but they all have comprimises. The best thing to do is try the models out you are interested in and see what suits you best. None will be the perfect match....trust me! Make a checklist with plusses and minuses and the one with the most checks wins.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 09:04 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Cline
The V1 is fully three stops less sensitive than the PD150 and the V1 audio section is considerably lower quality than the PD150, which had a marginal audio section to begin with. Otherwise, the V1 is an amazing piece of work and produces a great picture (if you give it enough light.)John
Yes we will remember this era as "light challenged HD". All small chip HD cameras (even larger chip) have light sensitivity problems. Which is why I opted to go with the cheaper V1U over the more expensive but still light challenged XDCAM HD. In a few years we'll have more sensitive cameras.

As far as audio, I'd like to know what specifically you are talking about that is bad. I haven't found any major issues with the audio section. Are you saying the preamps are noisy? Lack of adequate gain? The other thing to remember is that it is recording MP3 audio as opposed to the PD150 uncompressed. MP3 compression will take the edge off a bit.

My complaints about the audio are that Auto-gain sucks, but I'd never use it on any camera. Using the menu to change things can be a little time consuming. And I wish they had put a limiter in. But none of these things are major issues that can't be dealt with.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 09:12 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
"i" has a *lot* of life left. A lot of life. It's not going anywhere soon. Psf will be more likely to take its place, as the two can work well together.
But either way, with all the broadcast support in place for a while to come, "I" broadcasts will be with us. Web is but a *very* small destination for watching content, and until televisions and computers converge more conveniently, they'll be separate.
I wish that wasn't so, but it is...
Acquiring in 'i' might not have such a future left, however...
I couldn't agree with you more Douglas. Broadcasting isn't going anywhere for quite some time and the bandwidth required for 1080p broadcasts is such that you won't see that any time soon either.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 09:15 AM   #59
 
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Guys, once again this particular thread has required heavy pruning. All posts debating the merits of 720p vs 1080i vs 1080p, using framerates of 24p, 30p, 25p, 50i, and 60i may be found in the General HD category.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=84281
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Old January 21st, 2007, 02:02 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
The noise is related to gain level. How you adjust gain has nothing to with the amount of noise. So your comment is a bit silly isn't it? Isn't it better to see the gradual increase?
Oh yes! How daft of me ;-D ...

Seriously, I don't think my comment was silly. I've never used variable gain 'cause I usually don't work in a situation that requires me to shoot without first being able to plan. It wasn't that I was doubting the V1... I was simply questioning what sort of an image you'd get as you went into some progressively darker location, and whether it would just look disconcerting to the viewer that the image got progressively noiser as the camera pushed up the gain to mitigate the disappearing light.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
I'm beginning to wonder if the V1 is flying over the heads of many of posters. Folks are so locked into the way they do things, they can't seem to see a new way as offering a better way.
I'm not some gnarled camera op "locked" into any way of doing things and incapable of accepting that technology has moved on. (Tube cameras were good enough for my grandfather and they're good enough for me...). I love things to be convenient and to make things easier. I'm a fairly frequent user of AE on my FX1.

Seriously But the V1 is not some magic genie. There's nothing new about this camera. ATW, AGC, AE, AF are not suddenly flawless. The V1's CMOS sensors provides a slightly wider dynamic range than CCD cameras IN THIS PRICE RANGE, and it's got a reasonably "inteligent" set of automatic and semi-automatic controls.

But then almost any camcorder can do a reasonable job of getting "nice" shots if you're shooting fairly bland cinematography. But if you want to do something artistic you want to use the manual controls as your tools. And if you want to be consistent then you want to use manual controls to ensure the timbre of your image remains the same.

When it comes down to it the V1 is a fairly nice prosumer camcorder. It's got a nice image, but it's missing physical controls. And no amount of AUTO is going to make up for that.
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