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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
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Old June 12th, 2005, 03:18 PM   #1
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New FX1 artifact mystery

I'm a previous sony vx-2000 users who just started using my FX1 this last 2 months. I am seeing artifacts like these in the link below often (10 -15 times in a 60 min tape):

http://www.threegeese.com/FX1stuff.html

I have not learned how the correct the aspect ratio for photoshop yet...

Anyway I never saw artifacts on my VX2000 footage, I mean never. So what is up with this? As I understand it, the data rate on fx1 tape is actually slower than DV so could the artifacts be coming from the compression work. Could it be the Cineform aspect HD software I using for capture?
I am going to look at the tape playing from the camera today to see if they are there as well, but it looks like a tape artifact. I know I should not need to clean my tape heads yet so that's not it.
Other possibilities are: This tapes were used in Hawaii in a humid climate and aslo went thru xray... but I used my vx2000 in even hotter and more humid climates without this problem...

Any ideas would be helpful because I can't have this kind of thing happening in my work.
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Old June 12th, 2005, 03:39 PM   #2
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Jeff,
I've had the same little blocks occasionally when capturing via Cineform, but nothing at all like that when just downconverting - so I'd say it's almost certainly not the camera, so don't worry, ;-)


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Old June 12th, 2005, 03:50 PM   #3
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Jeff - wow , how lucky - I believe you've captured a couple of ufos'. In seriousness , I haven't seen anything like that on my z1. In the left pair of blocks , the one on the right appears to be another image , doubled , one above the other. That's strange. Are you sure there was nothing in the sky that day ? I would contact sony with the images esp. if your camera is still in warranty. It could be some processing or receptor malefuction. It kind of makes the camera unusable if that's going to occur often. sorry for your problem- Kurth
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Old June 12th, 2005, 07:56 PM   #4
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If it shows up on the final output (which I should get to finishing today) then I will be calling sony in the morning. I hope it is not a cineform issue as just bought the license a couple of days ago. I also have to make sure it is not a tape fluke or xray/airport strangeness... which as I mentioned above never happened with vx-2000. Like I said, these were regular mini-DV tapes (pansonic, maxell and sony) in which I am seeing these little suckers appear.
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Old June 12th, 2005, 08:10 PM   #5
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Specifically, what was this captured with? Software and version # are important. This is likely a glitch resulting from an error during *.m2t capture, before being compressed to Cineform. Simply re-capturing will probably clear it up.

I've noticed such errors capturing through Premiere Pro 1.5.1 but none capturing with HDLink (3.1).

-Steve
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Old June 12th, 2005, 08:16 PM   #6
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They are screwed-up macroblocks -- exactly what can hapen with any MPEG-2 format.

Likely from a tiny tape DO that the ECC couldn't fix.

By the way, if you don't ee them when you view video from on the camera doesn't mean they aren't there. DO compensation is in the camera is fixing them. Something software should do, but likely doesn't.
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Old June 12th, 2005, 08:18 PM   #7
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I am using Premeire pro 1.5.1 with Aspect HD 3.1 and capturing through the Premiere interface (F5) on Windows XP SP2.
Interesting, I can try to capture it again or try in vegas as well, I just need to finish a rough cut today before I can go back and tinker...

If it is a DO issue, than I hope Prem Pro 2.0 includes a nice Healing Brush that auto tracks from frame to frame.... :)
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Old June 12th, 2005, 08:40 PM   #8
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I would recommend just using ONE brand of tape. If that is Sony don't use any other tape type. Try also using capDVHS to capture or HDlink as these put the least load on your computer if set to capture m2t( same 25mbs data rate as DV). Then convert to CFHD after for editing in Premiere. The defects look like drop out problems and if you really used three different tape types one of which is Sony then drop outs are very likely and could have permanently damaged one of the tapes. This has happened to me several times especially with Panasonic MQ and Sony tapes ( slow learner!!! I now have an old camera that I use to transfer other than Sony tapes as I only use Sony tapes in my main cameras)

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Old June 13th, 2005, 01:33 AM   #9
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Thank you for contacting Sony Online Support.

We apologize for the difficulties you are experiencing. To ensure normal recording, clear pictures and sound, clean the video head. The video head may be dirty when:

1) Mosaic-pattern noise appears on the playback picture.

2) Playback pictures do not move.

3) Playback pictures do not appear or the sound breaks off.

If the above issue occurs, clean the video heads for 10 seconds with a cleaning cassette. We suggest that you try using a different recommended tape in order to confirm the tape operation.



So I thought the MiniDV tape forumlation issues were history. Is that not so?

thanks for all the ideas and insights!
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Old June 13th, 2005, 03:40 AM   #10
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What tape do you use? i'm still getting the odd 'funny' even with Sony Digital master HDV63 tapes.
I think the problem lies in the codec used for converting to edit and sometimes the buffer being used instead of bringing in to the mac in real time.
If I play my original tape direct to my projector it looks fine with no sign of dropouts etc, when I import the same tape into imovieHD or final cut express two factors seem to come into play- 1, if there is a small dropout the picture slices in half for a second and the bottom half moves slightly to the left for a moment, this throws apples codec and starts a chain reaction where the codec can't find the missing information and starts throwing in the wrong information to fill the space. 2, the same thing seems to happen with a very fast spinning object in the frame or for instance flickering red flames etc.
In both cases I have found that if I rewind the tape and start to reimport just after the first dropout or scene with fast movement I'ts fine.
In my simple terms it seems that the codec for importing needs to be more clever and make up the missing information as I feel that this must to a point be the same with dv but as they got it right to start with we do not notice it.
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Old June 13th, 2005, 05:10 AM   #11
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I used all DVM60 metal tapes - 1 Sony, 1 Maxell and 2 Panasonic.
The panasonic tape is where the example link above came from. The sony and the Maxell I still have to go back and check.
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Old June 13th, 2005, 05:53 AM   #12
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The tape issue is still with us Jeff and I now use Sony exclusively( doesn't seem to matter what tape, quality seems the same so I use the Premium brand, blue boxes). Problems for me occured most with Panasonic tape mixed with Sony. I eventually had my PC10 cleaned and now use for non Sony tapes and have not had any more problems so far ( of course this is with DV, all HDV has been Sony Premium tapes too no problems so far with only about 7 tapes used). Decoding HDV on the computer requires a lot of processor power which is why capDVHS seems to do a much better job of capturing since it does not decode just capture m2t at 25mbs just like DV data rate ( HDlink can also be set to do this). Having the PC then encode to Canopus HQ or Cineform in non realtime seems to create a cleaner file. My Athlon XP2500 will not capture with Premiere 1.5.1 or Edius Pro3 or playback an m2t file BUT will happily play either Canopus HQ or Cineform CFHD intermediate files. I expect that a lot of PC's ( or likely MAC's ) are just on the edge of operation and just a small backround activity will push them over the top and create a momentary defect for realtime operation. Transfering the m2t and then in non realtime creating the intermediate file would thus result in a better file. For the few short HDV videos I have made I have used the native m2t files, my meager XP2500 will not playback but will scrub the timeline at about half speed, enough for me to edit OK, and then just output either to DV or HDV. Even when I upgrade my PC later this year I think I will still stay with m2t.

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Old June 13th, 2005, 12:49 PM   #13
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Stupid intraframe editing...Doh!
All this because of mpeg2, I can't figure out why the HDV spec would not call for a more edit friendly codec.

Yes I will stick to the sony tapes again like I use to a few years back to see if it helps.

Anyway, is there a way to edit by proxy in Premiere pro, so that the tapes are used to create the final output? Cineform creates an easier to use file for editing, but does not seem to keep the .m2t file.

Not that I want to edit by proxy, sounds slow. In fact I always hated having to wait in real-time for DV to get copied to computer. I guess I need to switch to hard drive recording because the sooner I can start editing the better. But disk recording still has a "clunkiness" factor.

I wonder if the new Panasonic with storage cards will be able to get the images to the editing computer faster than real-time?
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Old June 13th, 2005, 07:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Baker
Cineform creates an easier to use file for editing, but does not seem to keep the .m2t file.
I know I'm using ConnectHD, but I'm sure the HDLink Capture Utility ConnectHD has is basically the same as the HDLink Utility within AspectHD.

There's an option within the HDLink Utility to:
Capture as m2t
Capture both m2t and CFHD
Capture as CFHD

If you're capturing directly to the timeline/media pool within Premiere Pro, the options within HDLink may not be available. The same caveat holds true (at the moment) for Vegas users with ConnectHD also.

I must admit that I've not seen any 'artifacts' like those in your frame grab in any of my FX-1e clips... but I've seen plenty of them in JPEGs that have data corruption. Is your hard disk system operating properly?
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Old June 14th, 2005, 01:44 PM   #15
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Jeff,
I'm sorry I found your message only after the thread has evolved so far because I'm pretty sure the real cause of your problem has not been discussed yet.

I had the same problem with macroblocks when using Cineform's HDLink software on my P4 3,06 GHz. The macroblocks wouldn't show up on the camera's viewfinder and everytime I re-run the capture they appeared at different places (or not at all).
It finally turned out that especially version 1.6 of HD Link had some issues when capturing on "slower" computers (whatever that is) or fragmented hard-drives.
According to Cineform, version 1.7 should perform much better but if you really want to be on the safe side I recommend to use the free CAPDVHS utility and convert to the CFHD codec in a second step. That's quite easy to do using HD Link - especially since the new version (1.7) includes scene detection also in off-line conversion. You'll find all of these macroblocks are gone forever.

Basically in my 6 months experience with the FX1 I never ever had any dropouts (I am using Sony's HDV tapes) nor any pixelation nor any other MPEG-2 problems. Truly a terrific camera and an outstanding MPEG-2 encoding engine.

Martin
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