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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 27th, 2007, 10:56 AM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Leith
Although to be fair Steve, you did several times say that there wasn't a "problem". Now that we're closer to working out what the cause of the "problem" might be you're saying there is a problem and you noticed it first (which you did - but not as a "problem".)

But people don't want softer in cine mode... they want less edge enhancement.
You are a 100% correct -- when I put photos 0 1 3 4 up it was to show there was NO difference between 30 and 60i. And, no one could pick out which was which. It was a response to the first 25p reports. I still see no difference. Hence no problem.

When I put up A B C it was 24p, 30p, vs 60i. It was clear to me in these shots there was a difference. But a difference is not a problem unless it is to the shooter.

Here's why I disagree with your statement "But people don't want softer in cine mode."

1) For the last three years many cinematographers have chosen the Varicam because it looks more "filmic." DVCPRO HD in 720p mode has only 960x720 resolution verses HDCAM's 1440x1080. They have expressed that the LOWER resolution looks more like film than does the HIGHER resolution format. This choice is not about EE, because you can adjust it on both cameras.

2) Many looking for a film look put softening filters on to cut fine detail.

Bottom-line -- given the clear preference for soft images for a film look, I believe that most such shooters will welcome the softer look for P. Hence "no problem."

There are shooters who will find this to be a problem -- and that's those going to film. I'm sorry, but the percent of those who will ever go to film is so small as to not be a real market for Sony. They will/should be shooting with a JVC camcorder. The vast majority will be using 24p for a film look -- in which motion judder, temporal aliasing, and softness will be critical to the "it's not video illusion."

The Problem I do see is the excessive EE in these photos. But since I used Sony's Cine preset -- I never ran into this. Which is why I'm suggesting using the two presets from Sony.

But, I still blown away that anyone would shoot 30p and boost EE to 9. Why? Those of us who have lived with the JVC HD1 for years have wished they could get away from motion judder and excessive EE. Now someone spends $5K and creates the HD1 look?!?

It's time for those who care about this -- to shoot correctly some scenes. Use 24p and 5. And, use gamma 1 (not gamma 2!) because it increases contrast which inceases apparent sharpness. Now see if you are unhappy.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 11:14 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen

Here's why I disagree with your statement "But people don't want softer in cine mode."
Softness, sharpness, resolution are terms very relative and subjective - often used by DPs, viewer etc. to mean different things.

However, some things have a high degree of certainty:

(1) Anyone (DP, director) shooting narrative 24p will want as much resolution and contrast in the image as possible while keeping the image naturalistic. Currently, 35mm film has been the standard.

(2) Video has traditionally suffered from electronic artifacts (often called sharpness) - edge enhancements, aliasing, interlacing that cause people to attempt to use softening techniques to remove the electronic feel. However, this does not mean "softness" is desired. It's naturalistic images that is desired by most narrative image makers.

(3) The SI, RED camera and current DSLR tech points where we are going with this. Plenty of resolution, fully adjustable settings for noise, NR, etc. but the goal is a naturalistic image with electronic artifacts and lacking the grain of 35mm. "Grainless film".

So, with the V1, let's hope Sony can tune the CMOS images, DSP, firmware so that we can have a baseline image as artifact free as possible and allow shooters to tune to taste and shooting environment.

It may not fully happen with the V1 - perhaps a later model, but CMOS has enough promising features that I expect it will happen, sooner or later.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 11:49 AM   #93
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Well, I guess this is getting academic. At least one person on this thread feels that the progressive mode is softening the image to please people wanting a film look.

Some of us see instead that parts of the image are turned into mushy macro blocks while other parts of the image become sharpened and noisy (just noticed the noise in the tree branches last night - almost looks like a post processed film grain filter).

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so if someone buys this camcorder and enjoys the 24/30P I suppose more power to them. I certainly wouldn't accept what's coming out of this $4,000 camcorder, but that's just me.

I'm just glad that Canon has finally stepped up with an affordable 24P camcorder. And I'm sure that Panasonic is working on a killer 24P cam in this range too.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 11:56 AM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Williams
I'm just glad that Canon has finally stepped up with an affordable 24P camcorder. And I'm sure that Panasonic is working on a killer 24P cam in this range too.
And I will still wait with my trusty DVX100. I canceled my early HVX pre-order (and still glad that I did). I borrow/rent a camera when I must have HD but have not been really impressed with the new low cost cams(except for RED and SI but still to pricey for my budget) until the V1 with it's CMOS, no smear and wide latitude. However, it's clear it's suffering some growing pains as first low-cost 3-CMOS out of the gate. Like the SSE and other early issues on the HD100, the images could well be improved, so I have not given up yet.

I also would not be surprised with a non-P2 low cost Panny HD 24p cam at NAB. I think there is a huge market for it. The Canon A1 is interesting but a couple of issues are show stoppers for me still. So I will stay on the fence.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 12:37 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Williams
Well, I guess this is getting academic. At least one person on this thread feels that the progressive mode is softening the image to please people wanting a film look.

Some of us see instead that parts of the image are turned into mushy macro blocks while other parts of the image become sharpened and noisy (just noticed the noise in the tree branches last night - almost looks like a post processed film grain filter).
Try reading before you post. P is not softening the image to "please" anyone. P simply "looks" softer. (It may not measure softer by the way.) That may "please" some film look shooters. It may not "please" others -- who are free to buy another camcorder. When you sell 50,000 to 100,000 camcorders world-wide, this is not a big deal.

Moreover, there are no "mushy macro blocks" nor "noisey edges" in properly shot 24p or 30p. In fact the only sin in Brett's images is too much EE -- which he had control over. All the claimed V1U "problems" have appeared in video that was poorly shot. I've got many hours of correctly shot 24p video and so does DSE -- and we don't see problems.

Shoot Sh*t and you should expect it will look like Sh*t.

In fact there are now thousands of V1U being used. Where are all the complaints? In fact, of all the folks posting -- how many own V1Us? Who are you? Why are you commenting on someone elses poorly shot video and not posting your own?

We are now in the seeing "faces in the clouds" world where reality no longer has any role. This is the internet at its worst.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 01:00 PM   #96
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It is senseless to keep on plugging away at the notion that the oil paint effect is not a problem. The V1 simply cannot produce progressive footage to the same quality as interlaced and the idea that somehow Sony made the progressive mode softer on purpose is too look more like film is crazy. I've never seen a oil paint effect on any film! Sony are being quite open about the problem, well, at least with dealers. Nobody has to pretend the issue doesn't exist any more.

Steve you show two scenes where the "feature" is tough to spot but equally I can show many scene where the issue is all too noticeable to the point where the footage is unusable. I can show progressive footage completely falling apart. Let us at least get some balance into this. Now that the problem has been acknowledged why not use your undoubted intelligence and skill to quantify the problem and feedback your findings to your contacts at Sony? It might make the difference to the next product.

***
I will say for the record anyone wanting a 50i or 60i only camera you will find the V1 a match for any other camera on the market. I think the interlace footage is about as good as it gets. So if you have no interest in progressive shooting get this camera or at least give it a serious look. On the other hand if you requiring progressive be aware that there are known issues particularly in less than ideal light and with fine detail. If you don't see the artefacts or do see them and you don't find them a deal breaker fine enjoy an excellent camera. Otherwise look elsewhere.
***

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Old January 27th, 2007, 01:14 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
We are now in the seeing "faces in the clouds" world where reality no longer has any role. This is the internet at its worst.
No Steve, what you are seeing is a debate where there are people with an equally strong but diametrically opposite opinion. Just because you and DSE don't see the problem doesn't mean other people who have are shooting sh*t as you eloquently put it.

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Old January 27th, 2007, 01:58 PM   #98
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How many posting about problems are watching their own V1U video -- note I said "U" not "E" or "P" video on a calibrated monitor?

And some people are clearly trolling here when they keep posting the same things over and over. Especially when they don't even own a V1U!

P is not softening the image to "please" anyone. P simply "looks" softer. Who cares why? It just does.

P's useability is a judgement call. If you don't accept it, buy another camcorder and please go post on its forum.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 01:58 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
Moreover, there are no "mushy macro blocks" nor "noisey edges" in properly shot 24p or 30p.
I'm sorry that's absolute hogwash. "P" IS turning the image to mush under CERTAIN circumstances. But Bretts footage should not look like that under ANY circumstances! No other 24P / 24F camera would ever show that marked a difference - no matter HOW badly you pushed the settings away from where the sweet spot is.

I don't care who Sony's market is. I don't care whether Sony think they can let this ride. And I don't care that some people think it's acceptable. I'm not going to start apologising for a large company who should be providing solid, predictable, dependable tools.

There is a problem with the way Sony has set this camera up, and it can't deal with high detail images properly in "p". What are we supposed to do? Only shoot close ups? No landscapes? Don't go near grass or trees with this camera?
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Old January 27th, 2007, 02:07 PM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
And some people are clearly trolling here when they keep posting the same things over and over. Especially when they don't even own a V1U!
Some of us don't own a V1, but most of us can make pretty objective assessments of what we've seen.

Just because you don't agree, doesn't make it wrong.

We all agree that the images show undesirable artefacts under certain circumstances. What we don't agree on is whether that's acceptable from an (apparently) progressive camcorder like the V1.

I know what I see. And I don't think it's acceptable. I don't care whether it's on a calibrated A grade monitor, or my granny's TV. But in everything appart from the image behaviour in "p" this is a camera that I would like to own.

I am interested in this thread because I would like to see some answers and suggestions to come from this meeting of minds.

Your suggestion of "go away if you don't like it" isn't really the answer I'm looking for.

I respect your opinion, and I'm very happy that you are content with the way this camera works. But there are many people here who are concerned about this.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 02:29 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
P's useability is a judgement call. If you don't accept it, buy another camcorder and please go post on its forum.
I have purchased another camera. I doubt I'll have the time to post much as now I can get the two projects, that were on hold, off the ground at last.

I took the tape I had recorded to my dealer today and we watched the output on a Sony LMD 32" HD monitor. We both saw the features on the same monitor. His opinion was the same as mine and he was extremely pleased to have the footage that so clearly demonstrated the problems. My dealer has only just got their stock of V1Es back from Sony so hadn't seen the "fixed" issues. He will not be selling the V1Es as a progressive camera. Period. I showed him several scenes that only the sharpening could be seen to others where the arse falls out of the image. His comment, based on the footage I'd shot, it was clear that you couldn't maintain consistency. Kerching!!! He was surprised how variable the effect could be. He would instruct his staff not to sell the camera as a progressive camera from this point forward.

I'll see if I can find the time to rapidshare some m2ts for independent review for those that are interested in the facts.

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Old January 27th, 2007, 02:38 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Tony Tremble
II'll see if I can find the time to rapidshare some m2ts for independent review for those that are interested in the facts.
I would love to see them and would love to return to a factual discussion of the issues with P mode that I have verified on my end. I am still interested in the V1 though fortunately, don't have to buy immediately. But I think there is opportunity for learning that is getting lost amongst the noise.

I would love to see much more P and P vs I footage posted than what we have, especially some standard charts, controlled but varied lighting.

I know it's work for the shooters but I would be willing to host if DV Info had bandwidth issues as I think it would benefit the community. I've got a VPS server with tons of unused bandwidth.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 02:44 PM   #103
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I have purchased another camera.
Just out of interest, what did you get, Tony?
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Old January 27th, 2007, 04:00 PM   #104
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Chris raised a perfectly valid point that Steve has followed up on, that this camera is only a tool, how we use it and the story we use to tell it is what matters. Steve went on to cite the issue of people shooting waterfalls and posting examples of macroblocking and how terrible it was and yet today tens of thousands of Z1s are used to shoot images for movies and HD broadcast. I could extend the same analogy to cover the HVX 200, heck even go back in time to when stuff was shot on VHS.

Yes people watched it, people even enjoyed what they watched, whole careers and businesses were built using nothing more than VHS cameras, despite what the res charts said, despite the lousy S/N ratio. All those debates were I have to agree pretty dumb cause the public didn't care, they came to watch a story.

Even now there's people who think they can't make a movie until they get a RED or their story would simply tank if it was shot on a Z1 and not a HVX and it's all BS, I agree wholeheartedly. Which is not to say I don't think it matters, we should all strive to deliver the best quality image possible and at times that'll involve many compromises based on our skills and our budgets.

But there's a reason why VHS or whatever was acceptable. It was consistent. It's part of how our sense of sight and sound works that we are very sensitive to anything unusual within what we hear or see. We'll put up with horrid amounts of distortion in what we hear if it's all the same and yet one distorted or out of tune note in something that's otherwise pristine demands our attention.

The same goes for our sense of vision. The first part of an image our eyes and brain processes is the edges, that's why mostly people prefer images with unnatural sharpness, more often than not they even prefer a lower resolution image that's sharper than a higher resolution image that isn't artificially sharpened.

At the moment I'm cutting a project where in at least half of the footage I've got 'talent' wearing dayglow orange vests over blue shirts. The chroma crawl is hideous. Does it matter, no. No one will ever complain even though I'd be happier if it wasn't there. But sure I'm not going to go into 'the sky is falling down' mode over it. It is what it is, DV.

But the problem being discussed here is a very different beast. I wouldn't give a rats if the image was a bit softer or the gamma wasn't film like or it was typical Sony colors compared to Panny colors. I'd even not suggest there's a real problem if the image was noisy, heck, OK, we'll just call it "grain", Joe Average sure doesn't seem to know the difference anyway so why wear out my fingers complaining about it.

If this issue was like any of those, I agree, it all comes down to how you feel your image should look and in the end it really doesn't matter much, no ones going to walk out of the cinema or change channels over it.

However what we're talking about here isn't a lack of resolution over the whole frame or a bit more than desirable noise. We're talking about an electronic artifact that isn't consistent accross the frame or over time. If it was as minor as the stuff in Steve's wonderful shots in the coffee shop no one will notice, heck I had to look pretty hard to find it.

It's when that becomes a major part of the whole image and there's nothing to mask it, no motion blur that pretty much masks the macroblocking in most HDV, no excuse that "nah it's not noise, it's grain mate"

In pretty well everyone of the frame grabs that people have posted and the small amount of test footage I've shot my eye has been drawn immediately to the part of the frame that exhibits the problem. It's way too visually distracting for the eye to ignore it. This is not the way to shoot an image that tells a story, I'd even go so far as to say if it affected the entire frame all the time it'd be less of a problem, Joe Average would see it as something intended, some new fangled special FX if you will, I think A Scanner Darkly could have saved 1000s of hours in post if they had a camera that'd do this for them.

I do agree with some of what Steve has said, the aliasing isn't a problem, I do agree no one stares at branches against the sky, sure it'd be better if it wasn't there but it's no show stopper. Having large parts of the frame turn to mush and for reasons we have little to no control over is going to impact our ability to use this tool to tell a convincing story. To equate this issue to macroblocking in HDV or noise in the HVX200 or any of the other such issues is simply wrong. The differences between how one part of the frame looks compared to other parts of the frame is simply way too dramatic for the eye to ignore.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 04:14 PM   #105
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Bob, I couldn't agree more with your point, bravo! My English is probably too limited to express it the way you did, but it's as if you were reading my thoughts.

Consistency and repeatability is the key to controlled creativeness, and that's why I prefer the "pseudo" progressive 25f of the Canon A1 over the "truly" progressive 25p of the V1 - even though it has some 10% less resolution than in the I mode, it's consistent in doing so, and I can treat the 25f mode as an additional creativity tool, not a gadged for performance measurement purposes.
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