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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 March 29th, 2007, 02:32 PM   #1
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Excellent Review of V1...

Adam Wilt has an excellent review of a "Production Model" V1, giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

http://www.dv.com/reviews/reviews_it...leId=196602843

Included are some excellent test charts and this about loss of resolution as gain is increased which I found very interesting:

Boosting gain affects the V1's sharpness more than one might expect. Interlaced images start losing high-frequency detail around +12 to +15 dB, but it's a fairly harmless softening of fine detail in the 800-line region. Progressive images show substantial softening (and, on test charts, wildly different moiré patterns) as gain is raised. At 6 dB, resolution is down to 600 lines. At 9 dB and above resolution is down to 540 lines or less. In all cases, both H and V resolution are affected.

The resolution loss sounds dramatic, but consider that at 6 dB the V1's progressive images are still sharper than those from an HVX200, though they degrade from there. What's happening? The V1's design engineer, when asked, had this to say:

"As gain increases, generally, noise will become visible. To reduce this noise, the V1 applies a proprietary noise reduction. The V1's NR algorithm is optimized for both interlace and progressive modes, and automatically senses which mode is being used. Also, different NR processes at high gain may cause the issues experienced, but any such effects would not be visible when shooting natural pictures."
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Old March 30th, 2007, 09:12 AM   #2
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In the review it states that resolution is higher with the progressive mode since the processing is inherently progressive, meaning 30p is sharper than 60i.

I recall reading in the forums here a while ago that people felt the camera performed best at 60i.

Am I confusing things, or is it just subjective?

When I shoot 24P or 30P I do notice a softer image, but then I probably wasn't tweaking the sharpness settings in-camera.
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Old March 31st, 2007, 04:20 AM   #3
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The perceived resolution is neither higher nor lower in progressive. However, one *may* need to turn sharpness down a bit from default 7, in order to avoid aliasing in progressive mode. After quite a bit of testing, it's been established that sharpness at 5 is the best compromise, especially for PAL models.

And don't forget that the overall sore of 4.5 starts from Adam Wilt is quite impressing!
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 04:37 AM   #4
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to DSE: LUT table and the V1

[...]
"if you want to match a specific film look, it's not very hard to do, as the camcorder uses a 3D color Look Up Table (LUT)."
[...]

Spot, could you please elaborate a bit more on the above statement from your early review of the V1? Coming from the Canon XH, I'm finding the picture tweaking capabilities pretty limited!
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 08:05 AM   #5
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Hehe, nice review, but he didn't tell me wether or not I should buy the V1 over another Z1. Drat.
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 08:21 AM   #6
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I see Adam measures the V1's dynamic range as much the same as the Canon A1 on his Stouffer chart. What a surprise! I thought this camera had superior latitude to other small cameras.

I wonder what DSE and Steve Mullen have to say about this?
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 08:32 AM   #7
 
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When I did my V1 review, the A1 wasn't available. The V1 has greater latitude than the camcorders that were available at the time.

Having both an A1 and a V1, the A1 manages bright to dark very nicely, and perhaps more smoothly than does the V1; I've only looked at images I've shot, not charts, but if numbers vs your eye are what makes the difference for you...then go by the numbers. Numbers-wise, the Canon HV10 beats the V1 as well, but it's completely unusable for at least 30-40% of the work I do. AFAIC, they're both exceptionally great values, one can't go wrong with a purchase of either. Each has it's values and downsides. FWIW, we've purchased six V1U's and two A1's. It's possible that had the Canon A1 been shipping at the time we needed what the V1U offered, I might have purchased differently. The project we were working at the time, required I have the cams at that point in time. You can read the story and see stills/vid at this link if you'd like. Notice the Canon XL H1 in several shots; it's the only usable HDV camcorder Canon offered at the time.

Steve has a pre-production model of the camcorder that Sony gave him back in October, so I doubt he's had opportunity to compare an off-the-shelf HVR V1U to the XH A1.
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 09:58 AM   #8
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I owned a V1 and now own a XH-A1 and I can assure readers from a wholely independent view point that the V1 has no more lattitude than the XH-A1. Perhaps we should give Steve Mullen the benefit of the doubt and ask him he still stands by those claims?

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Old April 2nd, 2007, 10:26 AM   #9
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 10:30 AM   #10
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Piotr

I asked the same question before buying the V1 and I never got an answer from Douglas even though that is a quote from his article. My eyes lit up when I read.

The real answer is that the 3d LUT of the V1 is fixed. Cinematone on/off. That's all you get. I forget which film stock the cinetone is supposed to replicate.

Sony should seriously think about giving the user access to the functions that Canon do in their cameras. With relatively high compression and limited latitude it is useful to be able to shoot footage close to the final graded look one is after.

You have some ability to change the look of V1 footage by altering the Hue, saturation and WB shift all at the same time. Nowhere near the flexibility of the Canon but I created some interesting looks nevertheless.

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Old April 2nd, 2007, 10:55 AM   #11
 
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Tony, I agree, it would be nice if Sony gave that sort of access. However, both cameras are limited in the number of characters they can offer, and Sony opted to make theirs more user-friendly, apparently. Canon's profiles and setups use a binary access, where Sony uses an Alphanumeric access. I don't have any information as to why Sony chose that route, but I would expect most users to find it more intuitive to work with.

We both know you're selling the V1 short on what parameters may be adjusted, but obviously the XHA1 and XHG1 offer greater controllability.

Frankly, that aspect doesn't matter much to me; but it might to some users. We white balance to slightly warm, kick in some bottom, and that's about all we do with the cameras. I'm not a big fan of using deep film looks in the camcorder; when it comes to breakfast, I'd much rather be the chicken than the pig.
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 11:14 AM   #12
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Sony's setup is more user friendly agree compared to Canon's almost impossible to visualise matrix colour setup system. I haven't got the faintest idea what binary access vs alphanumeric access means??? Can you elaborate?

I wasn't selling the V1 short on purpose if you can think of any colour control I left off please include it. It is a while since I had the V1 now.

I too shoot with as neutrally as possible but there are those, some posting on this site, that have made an art form of developing presets for the Canon.
Horses for courses as always.

I rather think Sony over played the 3D LUT in their marketing literature and I for one expected a helluva lot more than just on/off...

TT
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 11:19 AM   #13
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I'm myself a control-freak, so I loved the multitude of tweakable parameters of the XH - particularly when used from within Console 1.1. Were they of a great practical importance, is another matter. No matter how I tried, all the results I got were somewhat flat and less juicy than the V1 offers, especially with the cine settings.

Of course, an artist may consider the XH tools invaluable, but I think that when someone really knows what kind of look he's after, he may get it in post. And what is done in post is reversible!

Anyway, if I started this thread it was because "the V1 uses the 3D LUT" promise sounded very concrete, so I've had a feeling of being unable to see something which is supposed to be there. That the gamma settings, colour gain and hue plus the WB shift can yield a picture different than the default one is obvious, but where can you see a LUT here?
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; April 2nd, 2007 at 12:00 PM.
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 11:55 AM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Tremble View Post

I rather think Sony over played the 3D LUT in their marketing literature and I for one expected a helluva lot more than just on/off...

TT

Just because Sony hasn't mapped to more than one stock doesn't make it useless. It may not be as useful to you, but apparently others are pleased with it. That said, there are also people not happy with the LUTs provided in Final Touch, either, so I guess there is just no pleasing of everyone, ever.
Sorry you're displeased with my opinion of the pre-production model of the camera; feel free to return it for a full refund.
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 12:12 PM   #15
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I haven't worked with the A1 or G1 yet, but they're similar in many ways to the XL H1. I agree with what Spot said earlier--that either camera is a great choice. Again, I'm going off the assumption that other than the removable lens and the jack pack (vs. A1), the cameras are similar.

I'd be happy with any one of these camcorders. My personal preference is to shoot with the Z1 or V1 in the HDV world, and the DVX100a/b in the DV world. A lot of these decisions are based on which cameras I use the most every day, which are those.

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