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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 5th, 2007, 09:01 PM   #1
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is the v1 right for me - live training events???

Hello to All -

[NOTE: Sorry for the long post. Figured details would help]

Here's the background - I work for a training company in Raleigh, NC. We do custom training (eLearning, classroom training, live event training, etc).

I work with both the eLearning and live event training sides of the company to help produce audio voiceovers, web video, training dvds, and live event commercial highlights. We aren't close to the complexity of broadcast and I am just a one man show (editing and filming) for my company with the exception of freelancer light people and sound people.

We rent all of our video equipment and currently shoot/edit in SD using firewire and Vegas 7.0d on a Quad Core (2 Xeons) Dell Optiplex with 4GB of Ram, etc (we usually rent PD170s or DVX100bs).

My boss has given me a budget a little under $10K to get basic video package together (camera, a good tripod, a VTR, and a decent monitor for color correcting while editing and use as a field monitor when doing shoots, extra batteries???, camera case, possible wireless mic combo???, etc.)

Because we have over 8 live event (day long pharmaceutical sales rep seminars in various hotel ballroom/conference rooms across the country) to produce and shoot before the end of the year, we want to go ahead and buy the video equipment.

Currently, we shoot in standard 60i and these sales rep seminars usually have a combination of dimmed house lights by 75% with pro stage lighting on light trees to illuminate the stage area and the speakers.

After doing some research with prices, I am STRONGLY leaning toward getting HDV gear as a form of future proofing the equipment since the cost is so similar to a good SD setup.

For now, our deliverables will continue to be all in SD (DVDs, Web Video, etc). But, if we have the money, why wouldn't we go ahead and upgrade and start with HDV stuff?

So, I am leaning toward the Sony HVR-M25U as a VTR to capture and work with footage and the V1 for the camera.

I have been scouring the forums here as elsewhere for pros and cons of the V1. It is definitely in our price range along with the M25U. The Z1 is a little out of the budget at this point.

But, here are the PROS of the V1 and CONS the way I see it -

------------
PROS:

-HDMI OUT (in case we need it in the future)
-20X (stage will sometimes be 100ft away)
-Compatible footage unlike the comparable yet proprietary canon a1 (24f, 30f)
-The V1 shoots 60i, and progressive if we ever need to 24P, 30P
-16:9 (for nice wide audience shots in these conference ballrooms)
-2 XLR (for interviews and house line in mix at these events)
-1080 HDV, DV, DVCAM (for flexibility in shooting)
-Light weight and very user friendly form factor
-Plays very well with vegas 7

------------
CONS:

-Low-light capabilities vs. SD PD170 and even Z1 (4 lux for the V1 (at f/1.6, 18dB) versus 3 lux minimum illumination for the z1)

-Rolling Shutter (Since the majority of the camera's use will not be high action and will be on a tripod shooting stage shots or other planned vignette shots - talking head, interviews, etc, is this really a problem?????)

-CMOS (1/4-inch, 3 ClearVid CMOS Sensor system vs CCD - Should I be concerned about this new CMOS technology for what I am trying to do - 2 frames to make up a picture instead of 1 in CCD's)

-Special Video Out Cables (But is this really a problem???)

------------

With all this said, can someone address my questions about the CONS and let me know whether or not they think the V1 would suit what we are trying to accomplish with a camera?

I would GREATLY appreciate the advice and recommendations from you pros out there.

Kind Regards
NM
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Old April 5th, 2007, 09:21 PM   #2
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Hi Nathan,

I use an FX 7 for weddings, coming from VX 2000's, and the only problem I can see is the low light performance of the FX 7/V1 for your speakers, as I have trouble at dark receptions filming speeches, especially when reception rooms these days have an over abundance of down lights in them, that only create shadows.

If you are a fair way from the speaker, and zoomed in for a mid shot of him/her, in reality you will be shooting at F2.2 or F2.4, and you really struggle to get a nice picture to watch for a long time.

I now have two ways of getting around around this problem.

The new sony HVL-LBP camera light has a "focuser" ring that will light up a speaker significantly at 12 -15 feet away. I have previously posted some photos of this on this board so a search should bring them up for you.

My other solution is to mount my old Sony 10 -20 watt light to a mic or lighting stand and just move it closer to the rostrum, and it's small enough not to be intrusive to either speaker or audience @ 10 watts.

Other than that its a very nice camera to use.

Cheers Vaughan
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Old April 5th, 2007, 09:41 PM   #3
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Vaughn -

Thanks for the timely response. I would definitely love to hear anyone else's thoughts on the other issues.

But, as an fyi, here are some non color corrected shots of the typical events I would be shooting with the actual light conditions. On second thought, after seeing the images, the house lights are probably dimmed only 50% instead of 75%.

This footage was shot with the Panny DVX100b (10x optical) at the back of the ballroom about 75 feet away.

http://www.ibiblio.org/nmitch1/dv/image_1.jpg
http://www.ibiblio.org/nmitch1/dv/image_2.jpg
http://www.ibiblio.org/nmitch1/dv/image_3.jpg
http://www.ibiblio.org/nmitch1/dv/image_4.jpg

Thoughts now about how the V1 may fair in this kind of moderately lit environment?

Thanks Vaughn.
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Old April 6th, 2007, 12:51 AM   #4
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Hi Nathan,

The only picture that worries me a bit is the mid shot of the stage.....the others should be O.K.

I see from your shots that the camera is at the back of the hall..a fair way back.

You will find the dark areas will appear a bit darker with the V1, but the lit areas should be the same. I find that the camera reproduces about what the eye can see, but even when it is struggling at + 18, it is quite a clean picture so you can easily lift the dark areas in post without seeing a lot of grain.

I would suggest hiring a camera for a gig, just to make sure you're happy with it.

Later: I've now uploaded 4 images for you to look at. (wrong order - sorry)

No 00003 - wide shot, wedding in dark room, there were several spots, but they were directed down at the seats, so the B & G were actually in the shadows.

Camera was +18 (PAL - so 50i)

No 00004 - zoomed in on same

No 00001 Shot of room pre dinner drinks (about dusk), windows behind me

No 00000 Dancing at night, wide panning shot, no-one in my light at all.

Hope this helps Vaughan
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Old April 6th, 2007, 09:24 AM   #5
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Nathan

I am in process of completing a training video for an engineering company
I shot four days 8 hrs per day 32hrs of 60i video in HDV format. I used a Green Screen, 2 HVR_V1U’s, HVR- A1u for backup and a Smith Victor / Savage Lighting kit. I also recorded the PowerPoint presentation to avi format using Camtasia to be used as a picture in picture and split screen format rendered and edited in Sony Vegas 7d. My deliverables will be wmv files 1280 x 720 res. Each chapter in the training manual runs about 60min the video files are under 1 GB per chapter. One suggestion if you go with HD get the Cineform software it will make your files easier to manage. Low light should not be and issue if you light your event correctly you will not have a problem with the quality that you get out of the V1u. I will try to post some clips later.
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Old April 6th, 2007, 10:02 AM   #6
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Vaughan -

Great stuff. I may very well just rent one for our next gig just to make sure. Nice to see real still images from the camera too.


Brian -

You are definitely getting closer to how we might potentially be using the V1. This is really helpful to know. So coming down from 1080i to 720p works pretty well in Vegas since you say your final output will be 1280x720???

Also, aside from lighting things well, how does the audio sound when using the XLR ins (any machine noise at all)???

I would really love to see some clips. I hear the footage quality of the V1 is great.

Thanks Again
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Old April 6th, 2007, 10:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Mitchiner View Post
Vaughan -

Great stuff. I may very well just rent one for our next gig just to make sure. Nice to see real still images from the camera too.


Brian -

You are definitely getting closer to how we might potentially be using the V1. This is really helpful to know. So coming down from 1080i to 720p works pretty well in Vegas since you say your final output will be 1280x720???

Also, aside from lighting things well, how does the audio sound when using the XLR ins (any machine noise at all)???

I would really love to see some clips. I hear the footage quality of the V1 is great.

Thanks Again

I used Sennheiser EW100ENG-G2 Wireless Lavalier Microphone Kit on the main speaker. I suggested to the client that we hold all question to the end of each chapter. This did not happen there were several random questions blurted out during the filming it was capture with the B ROLL CAM with the stock Sony XLR mic on the cam. Overall I was very pleased with the audio. I had to twick the audio in Vegas Volumes and levels etc. did not notice any camera noise.
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