Locking exposure on the V1 at DVinfo.net

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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 May 27th, 2007, 12:19 PM   #1
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Locking exposure on the V1

Hi, is it possible to temporarily lock all exposure controls on the V1?

Panning upwards introduces sky, auto exposure does it's stuff and does its
best to maintain overall exposure.

This is not always desired.

Scenario 1,

Pan up a tree, the ground view begins perfect and as I pan up, the ever
increasing sky is adjusted for by the V1 but the flowers on the tree are lost
in the dark by the time the top is reached so instead I have take two separate shots,the second one at a custom exposure which just so happens to be virtually the same as the one I started out with (for the base of the tree).

Scenario 2,

Panning up a mountain side to show the spectacular view of the hillside, the
log cabin in the middle and half way up is lost in the dark as the ever
increasing sky turns down the exposure, so instead I have to take several
shots.

Of course I could try and manually alter the iris smoothly as I pan, but I
this is harder to do than it sounds. What I want is to fix the exposure at
the initial scene (at ground level).

To do this it seems I must set the side wheel control to "iris" and have both
gain and shutter speed toggled to manual with the buttons on the rear of the
camera.

This is a lot of fiddling! It works but it I don't feel comfortable especially
since in iris mode I lost my preferred "AE Shift" wheel control which I really
liked. So is it possible to use AE Shift control on the side wheel and somehow
temporarily lock this exposure while I pan?
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Old May 27th, 2007, 05:40 PM   #2
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Sure. Just slide the AUTO LOCK switch to HOLD.

Pages 39-41 of the V1E manual.
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Old May 27th, 2007, 07:59 PM   #3
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Adam, thanks for the reply but this doesn't work for me.

Moving the slide switch to hold locks only the iris, the shutter and/or gain still changes with varying light.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 01:03 AM   #4
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Adam, you don't even need to set to HOLD; in MANUAL mode press any given button once: the corresponding item gets highlighted, ready to be changed with the selection wheel; press its button again: the letter "A" appears next to the current value, and the item can change automatically.

Once you have no "A" letter displayed, nothing should change automatically; the HOLD position is only intended to prevent from accidentally changing anything with the selection wheel.

Note that in Exposure (rather than Iris) mode of the exposure wheel, "E" letter displays rather than "A" (in front of the iris and gain values).
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; May 28th, 2007 at 08:49 AM.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 08:35 AM   #5
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Just leave shutter and gain in manual. You really don't ever want your gain cranking up in a well-lit shot. It will just add unwanted noise. If you leave both of those settings on manual, all you need to do is change the iris back and forth from manual to auto depending on your exposure needs.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 01:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
Adam, you don't even need to set to HOLD; in MANUAL mode press any given button once:
Of course you're right; this is exactly the way it works on my FX1 but I just went by the V1 manual which seemed to imply that going to HOLD would fix all values where the auto had set them. But your way is much better.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 01:25 PM   #7
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If your camera's anthing like the VX, PD, FX and Z1 (and I'm sure it is) the if it isn't visible in the viewfinder then it's in auto. No white balance symbol showing? Then it's in auto. No gain symbol? Then that too is in auto. No steadyshot showing? Then that too is in auto.

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Old May 28th, 2007, 05:37 PM   #8
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Okay, it's apparent that what I am already doing to get full manual seems to be the only option.

ie: Set the side wheel control to iris and toggle gain and shutter speed to manual with the buttons on the rear of the camera. I already observed the letters "A" or "E" that appear in the display to indicate the three functions are on either auto or manual exposure, I just thought there might be a quicker way than going through all these steps.

Seems not.. Yes Adam I also initially thought the V1 manual seemed to imply that "going to HOLD would fix all values where the auto had set them".

Alas this does not seem to be the case and I am left wondering what use the Hold button offers except for disabling the exposure wheel in case it is accidently disturbed?
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Old May 28th, 2007, 05:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
If your camera's anthing like the VX, PD, FX and Z1 (and I'm sure it is) the if it isn't visible in the viewfinder then it's in auto. No white balance symbol showing? Then it's in auto. No gain symbol? Then that too is in auto. No steadyshot showing? Then that too is in auto.

tom.
Tom, for your information the V1 is not quite like that, there is a menu option to show the information for exposure, gain and shutter constantly (and of course the delightfully usefull Histogram). As Piotr already said this information is then prefixed with either an "A" for auto or an "E" for exposure.

Thanks
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Old May 28th, 2007, 07:55 PM   #10
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"I just thought there might be a quicker way than going through all these steps."

Like I said, you only need to do those steps once. After you have put gain and shutter on manual, the only button you need to press for auto exposure is the "exposure/iris". Once you have put shutter and gain on manual, leave them like that for the life of your camera. You can change these settings for circumstances like low light environments or high speed subjects, but for most things you can just leave shutter at 1/60 and gain at 0db (zero). If you shoot progressively at 24p, leave shutter at 1/48 except for special circumstances. Gain should always be at zero unless you just can't get enough exposure without. If you do need to use gain, set it once for that environment so that the noise level will remain constant instead of flaring up whenever it gets a bit darker.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 01:48 AM   #11
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Marcus nails it. And the 'hold' slider works in exactly the same way it worked on the old cassette walkmans - once in that position it disables the other switches and buttons. You could theoretically hand the camcorder to a stranger with the settings all locked down and know that he couldn't disrupt anthing... except the focus and zoom positions. I've never used the Hold position since I first bought my TRV900m in 1997, but it's there should you feel the need for it.

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Old May 29th, 2007, 05:59 AM   #12
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What Marcus has done is confirm what I was already doing seems to be the only way to totally fix exposure on a temporary basis. ie: first ensure shutter and gain are switched to manual and then come in and out of auto iris to obtain a truly fixed exposure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
Marcus nails it. And the 'hold' slider works in exactly the same way it worked on the old cassette walkmans - once in that position it disables the other switches and buttons. You could theoretically hand the camcorder to a stranger with the settings all locked down and know that he couldn't disrupt anthing... except the focus and zoom positions. I've never used the Hold position since I first bought my TRV900m in 1997, but it's there should you feel the need for it.

tom.
Tom, sorry but the V1 is not working like this.

To be completely clear regarding this so called "Hold" control slider on the rear of the cam.. in my experience this will not fix the exposure.

Contrary to what you think it does not disable the other switches and buttons, one must first disable auto iris by using the button on the side of the camera.

I suggest this is not what most users would expect from a switch called "Hold", I guess that most users, like I did initially, would expect this to lock exposure regardless.

Furthermore, if the Hold switch really did work like expected, I would not be forced to choose "Iris" as the function for the exposure wheel as the only means to be able to switch in and out of a true exposure lock. Instead I would be able to use my preferred option for this wheel, which is AE shift.

I have now lost the choice to use that feature since in AE shift mode it is no longer possible to fix exposure anymore as I move around and this is regardless of the so called "Hold" button.

Just for the record though, I am enjoying this camera!
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Old May 29th, 2007, 06:22 AM   #13
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Frankly, I don't understand all this fuss about "holding" or otherwise settings the parameters on the V1. True - I'm not coming from the FX1/Z1 world, but I've tried many other camcorders before my V1 and really do find the logic behind its settings clear and straightforward. Like Tom, I hardly ever use the HOLD position (to be true, the slider is always in the MANUAL position). Having chosen my desired shutter speed, I manually adjust Iris and Gain with the exposure side wheel, or (at rare occasions of run&gun filming in heavily changing lighting environment) use Auto Exposure (one press of the side button). When I need additional control over gain, I change the exposure wheel function to remove gain from any automation (Iris mode), and set it manually just like I do with the shutter speed. It all works as expected!
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; May 29th, 2007 at 08:31 AM.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 08:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
Frankly, I don't understand all this fuss about "holding" or otherwise settings the parameters on the V1.
"Fuss" or not, the fact remains the hold control on the V1 does not do what others here have suggested so it's apparent I'm not the only one who was initially mistaken as to it's correct function.

If a person wants to have AE shift on the wheel rather than Iris - and for my work I do - and still need a way to temporarily and quickly lock exposure, then you might better understand the reason behind my "fussy" in depth exploration of the V1 controls.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 08:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire Watson View Post
"Fuss" or not, the fact remains the hold control on the V1 does not do what others here have suggested so it's apparent I'm not the only one who was initially mistaken as to it's correct function.

If a person wants to have AE shift on the wheel rather than Iris - and for my work I do - and still need a way to temporarily and quickly lock exposure, then you might better understand the reason behind my "fussy" in depth exploration of the V1 controls.
Let me see if I'm clear on exactly what you want to do.

You want to have the camera in AE with an offset (shift) and then lock that exposure setting for example, in auto the camera decides that the correct exposure is F8 1/50th 0dB, with your AE shift that becomes F5.6, 1/50th 0dB. You want to hit a button and have it lock that exposure.
Unfortunately I don't think it works that way. You have to switch to manual and then cycle through all the controls to get them into manual and of course while you're doing that the values are changing. I can see why you might want it to work the way you do but unfortunately I can't recall any prosummer camera that works this way.
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