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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 April 11th, 2007, 12:52 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by John Cash View Post
Thank You for the input Marcus. As I say Im just learning. In fact with the zebra I was doing the exact oppisite. Setting it to 100 and trying to remove all the bars by using AS which is AE shift (sorry for the confusion) I set it to -3 to keep from wshing out the snow(wanted to leave some detail) it makes the scene darker than I like so I will put that back at zero., the white balance I set to daylight and a plus 2 to keep it from looking blue. Got home and watched it on an HD tv and it just looked like another dv camcorder ( big dissapointment) .
I didnt feel it was right to ask questions here but I really do thank you. This will take some time for me as I have only had consumer camcorders up till now. Also my shoot islike this: climb 6-8 hours with big pack. Shoot 5 minutes on the run as my friends (subjects ) continue to climb at their pace , cacth up , shoot again , drive home 7 hours put it on the TV and check settings. Very slow process. Im thinking I should spend a day shooting at a ski resort just so I dont have to climb so fast and I can shoot several hours instead of several minutes.
One thing to consider with the V1 is that it handles video up to about 110 IRE. Let the snow go slightly over the 100% mark and you can easily use the correction tools in your NLE to compress the dynamic range back into the safe range. This will give you brighter midtones and better overall luminance balance.

Just a thought...

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Old April 11th, 2007, 07:17 PM   #32
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Quote "So would a V1 be in any way suitable for use at a reception with no light? It's really only the dancing scenes that i'm worried about as most reception centres seem to dim the lights quite by quite a bit."

Ryan, I used a VX 2000 for years and now have a FX7.

I do not personally find the picture siutable for low light reception work without a light. On the Vx 2000 we only used sony's 10 (or 20) watt light and have now found we have had to go to the new bigger Sony light to get a reasonable picture.

I too regard myself as a "fly on the wall" videographer, but no-one seems to care about my light.

I have a subbie who uses a Z1 and his picture in receptions I think is VERY similar to mine, nothing is like the old VX/PD series I'm afraid.

I guess you should rent one to try it out!

Cheers Vaughan
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Old April 11th, 2007, 11:55 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Vaughan Wood View Post
Quote "So would a V1 be in any way suitable for use at a reception with no light? It's really only the dancing scenes that i'm worried about as most reception centres seem to dim the lights quite by quite a bit."

Ryan, I used a VX 2000 for years and now have a FX7.

I do not personally find the picture siutable for low light reception work without a light. On the Vx 2000 we only used sony's 10 (or 20) watt light and have now found we have had to go to the new bigger Sony light to get a reasonable picture.

I too regard myself as a "fly on the wall" videographer, but no-one seems to care about my light.

I have a subbie who uses a Z1 and his picture in receptions I think is VERY similar to mine, nothing is like the old VX/PD series I'm afraid.

I guess you should rent one to try it out!

Cheers Vaughan
yeah i ALMOST got my hands on one for the weekend but some other [edit] rented it before me..................bugger! Was so looking forward to doing a full-on review of it.

Last edited by Douglas Spotted Eagle; April 12th, 2007 at 12:03 AM. Reason: language
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Old April 12th, 2007, 08:34 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Vaughan Wood View Post
Quote

Ryan, I used a VX 2000 for years and now have a FX7.

I do not personally find the picture siutable for low light reception work without a light. On the Vx 2000 we only used sony's 10 (or 20) watt light and have now found we have had to go to the new bigger Sony light to get a reasonable picture.

Cheers Vaughan
Vaughn, are you using the new Sony HVL-LBP LED light?
If so how do you like the throw on it?
Too shallow or good?
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Old April 12th, 2007, 08:39 PM   #35
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Hi Michael,

If you go back to March 21st on this forum (page 2) you will find some photos I put up showing the Sony HVL-LBP LED light's throw.

Having three different options, diffuser, normal and focuser lenses, is just terrific, and has helped counter the four lux minimum of my FX 7 quite a bit.

However, this is a bad morning to be asking me, as I've just finished looking at the footage of a reception in a very dark hall with dark wooden beams and panels everywhere and no bounce, with very little lighting.

It's not nice!!!!!!

Cheers Vaughan
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Old April 13th, 2007, 10:33 PM   #36
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Quote "So would a V1 be in any way suitable for use at a reception with no light? It's really only the dancing scenes that i'm worried about as most reception centres seem to dim the lights quite by quite a bit."


Ryan,

In my opinion the V1 would not be good without a camera light in a dim setting.

Simply put the V1 does not perform well in low light. Unfortunately, jamming all those pixels on the tiny 1/4 inch CMOS sensors hurts its light sensitivity. The V1 shines in normal light and in its progressive 24p 1080 mode. The camera drastically starts to lose resolution as gain is added, especially in the progressive mode (1080 24P). My guess is Sony uses some sort of NR to minimize the grainy look in low light situations. Anyway, in my opinion, the best low-light HDV camcorder is the Canon XH A1. It is reported to have a bit over a stop advantage when compared to the V1. The Canon also looks cleaner in 1080i (subjective), but looks softer in 24F (again subjective) compared to The V1's 24P. If Sony only used their larger 1/3rd inch CMOS sensors and native resolution like the XH A1, then, I believe, they would have had something. I do prefer the look of the CMOS chips over CCDs.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 12:53 AM   #37
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I don't think the V1 could go without additional light. I think a little creativity could allow the V1 to get a good image in fairly low illumination. A combination of a mild on-camera light and some communication with the event coordinator or facility manager could easily have the V1 producing nice images. Let's not forget that there are still people using the XL1 series of cameras and those are even worse in low-light than the V1. The V1 also has a benefit that I think people overlook. It retains good color at high gain. In addition, the progressive shooting at 30p with 1/30 shutter looks fairly good since there is still a full 30fps as opposed to the PD/VX cameras that switched to 15fps when going to 1/30 shutter.

Here are some settings to consider when shooting with the V1 in low light:

30p with 1/30 shutter

Black compensation: compress

Color saturation: +3 as the intense colors make things seem brighter

Cinegamma: OFF It kills a lot of light.

Gain: 12db with an absolute maximum of 15db. 18db is a big jump in noise.

Sharpening: at times when less noise is more important than detail, reduce sharpening to de-accentuate noise.

Iris: fully open. That means shooting wide as a zoom will decrease aperture. Get your butt closer to your subject!

I also think there may be something that can be done in post. Since the underlying image of the V1 beyond the noise is so good, a noise-reduction algorithm may make a nice difference. The noise on the V1 is so..."predictable?" in it's pattern that there might be a way for software to compensate. If this ends up being true, reducing sharpness may not be a good idea since noise pixels would need good isolation.

Have you guys noticed how clean and square the noise pixels are? They are so defined and obvious that it just seems like they could be replaced with preceding information. They also seem to appear at any given pixel only once per several frames. It's like a noise charge builds up in a pixel and it just lets go every once in a while. Beyond the noise pixels, there is still a nice colorful image. My VX2000 almost completely dumped color as gain increased. Even worse, it turned everything a urine-yellow color. It may have had more sensitivity than the V1, but gain had a more unpleasant impact on the image.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 01:13 AM   #38
 
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Terrific post, Marcus!
Hope to see you soon; we're shooting end of may/first of june in your neck of the woods.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 01:54 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by John Bosco Jr. View Post
Simply put the V1 does not perform well in low light. Unfortunately, jamming all those pixels on the tiny 1/4 inch CMOS sensors hurts its light sensitivity. The V1 shines in normal light and in its progressive 24p 1080 mode. The camera drastically starts to lose resolution as gain is added, especially in the progressive mode (1080 24P). My guess is Sony uses some sort of NR to minimize the grainy look in low light situations. Anyway, in my opinion, the best low-light HDV camcorder is the Canon XH A1. It is reported to have a bit over a stop advantage when compared to the V1. The Canon also looks cleaner in 1080i (subjective), but looks softer in 24F (again subjective) compared to The V1's 24P. If Sony only used their larger 1/3rd inch CMOS sensors and native resolution like the XH A1, then, I believe, they would have had something. I do prefer the look of the CMOS chips over CCDs.
I don't mean no offence, but you're almost quoting Adam Wilt's article. I have thorougly tested both cameras you're mentioning, and can assure you first-hand that the V1 is not noticeably worse a low-light performer than the Canon. Yes it gives a bit darker (more natural) picture, but where I was getting spots of grain with the A1, the V1's picture is still clean - up to 9dB of gain. Also, in spite of Adam Wilt's measurements, the perceived resolution of the V1 does not drop - at least not below 12dB.

Of course it needs lighting in extreme situations, but so does Canon. If the V1 progressive picture is "worse" than the Canon's, it's somewhere quite else: lots of fine detail in full light and with high sharpness.

Also, I can't agree with Marcus' advise to increase colour in low light - quite the opposite, as intense colours increase chroma noise.
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; April 14th, 2007 at 02:25 AM.
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Old April 14th, 2007, 03:38 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault View Post
It may have had more sensitivity than the V1, but gain had a more unpleasant impact on the image.
All are VERY good suggestions. The test for sensitivity, even when standardized, is useless with today's DSP based camcorders. The simple claims of 1 lux less sensitive or evem 1 stop, mean nearly nothing. Even Adam's resolution tests do not tell you what you really want to know:

1) What happens in near full black?

2) What happens to color in the shadow areas?

3) What happens in the brighest levels of a dim situation?

4) What type of detail is filtered out? Fine detail? Edge detail? Color detail?

5) What does CMOS noise look like? What does gain noise look like?

6) Will the EYE notice the noise or ignore it? I often go back and see noise that I never saw when actually watching the brighter content.

7) Is the monitor calibrated for 0IRE?
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Old April 14th, 2007, 07:56 AM   #41
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Terrific post, Marcus!
Hope to see you soon; we're shooting end of may/first of june in your neck of the woods.
Spot, are you going to be throwing perfectly good cameras out of perfectly good airplanes? Let me know if you need crew.

Steve, the length of your list shows that there are so many variables to consider that it is going to be individual preference as to which camera is better in low light. One camera is better one way and another has advantages in a different area. We aren't in a situation like the days of the XL1 and the VX2000 coming out to trounce it's low-light sensitivity. There is now a fairly decent list of the "prosumer" cameras that are all fairly close in many areas yet all still retain very distinct "looks".
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Old April 15th, 2007, 11:58 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
I don't mean no offence, but you're almost quoting Adam Wilt's article. I have thorougly tested both cameras you're mentioning, and can assure you first-hand that the V1 is not noticeably worse a low-light performer than the Canon. Yes it gives a bit darker (more natural) picture, but where I was getting spots of grain with the A1, the V1's picture is still clean - up to 9dB of gain. Also, in spite of Adam Wilt's measurements, the perceived resolution of the V1 does not drop - at least not below 12dB.

Of course it needs lighting in extreme situations, but so does Canon. If the V1 progressive picture is "worse" than the Canon's, it's somewhere quite else: lots of fine detail in full light and with high sharpness.

Also, I can't agree with Marcus' advise to increase colour in low light - quite the opposite, as intense colours increase chroma noise.
No offense taken. Yes, I did borrowed a line from Adam Wilt's article to back up my claim that the Canon is the better of the two in low light. My experience with the two cameras was pointing both in dim light and seeing which one had the brighter and sharper image. Although the Canon was more grainy, it was sharper and brighter than the V1 (1080i, 18db gain on both cameras). I did not test the V1 in 1080 24p in dim light with high gain. I relied on Adam Wilt's low light 24P test.

Outdoor tests showed both cameras looked really good. The Canon's picture looked cleaner in my opinion in 1080i (both cameras - 0db with ND 1 on, the color gain on the canon raised to +35).

Also, I did say that the V1 looked better in its progressive 24P than the Canon in 24F, so I don't know where you got the idea that I thought the V1's progressive picture is worse than the Canon's.

Anyway, I was just stating my opinion that the Canon is better in low light. Had Sony used its larger 1/3rd inch CMOS sensors, then I believe the Sony would have been the champ in low light and most of the other areas (of course, in my opinion).
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