Handheld x20, what's the future? - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Under Water, Over Land

Under Water, Over Land
Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 17th, 2009, 04:33 AM   #16
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 938
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Beckett View Post
In the end, the slightly better reach in the zoom swung it for the Sony for me. .......

And one of these days I'm going to get that Century lens that Alan loves so dearly!
Please elaborate on the Sony zoom reach, Mike? If this is what's involved, how much does it cost both in cash and in quality image @ x30...... "the HVR-V1E has a Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Lens with a 20x optical zoom lens, rated at F2.8 in full-telephoto. The HVR-V1E also features Sony’s Digital Extender feature, a prosumer-level digital zoom that adds 1.5 x magnification to the optical zoom power for a maximum of approximately 30x."

Alan, Please explain how the Century lens effects image quality and is it strictly for tripod use?

And how much sharper would this clip be if it had been shot with V1E instead of XM2?

An adult soaring close to the videographer | the Internet Bird Collection

Last edited by Brendan Marnell; May 17th, 2009 at 04:36 AM. Reason: to make sense
Brendan Marnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2009, 05:53 AM   #17
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Posts: 1,569
Brendan,

Even though the XHA1 and V1E both have 20x zooms the Canon starts wider and therefore cannot zoom in quite so far. It's not vastly different, but a little bit extra can help.

Sony: 37 to 748mm
Canon: 32 to 600mm

I'll have a rummage round and see if I can find any frame grabs that may help you see the image quality. (Bearing in mind I'm not quite at the level of the BBC Life on Earth team!)

I can't comment about the Century lens, Alan is lucky enough to have one though. You'll need a good tripod for it though - I find it hard enough using the Sony at 20x or 30x without doubling the reach.

That's a fab clip - I can't comment on how much better than the clip would be the V1 or A1 though, not having tried it!
__________________
Irish Railway Videos on Youtube
Mike Beckett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2009, 06:06 AM   #18
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Posts: 1,569
This is the only direct comparison I have to hand showing the 20x and extender. It's a cliff in shadow, and it's just from a fragment of footage as I was framing and focusing:

20x-1 - just a test shot showing 20x zoom

20x-1 and 30x - exactly the same shot, before and after 1.5x extender was applied.

As I said above, this isn't necessarily the best shot the camera can give, but it's all I have to hand.
Attached Thumbnails
Handheld x20, what's the future?-20x-1.jpg   Handheld x20, what's the future?-20x-2.jpg  

Handheld x20, what's the future?-30x.jpg  
__________________
Irish Railway Videos on Youtube
Mike Beckett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2009, 06:12 AM   #19
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: York, England
Posts: 502
By "reach", Mike means that the effective focal length of the V1E at its maximum zoom is greater than that of the Canon at maximum zoom. The performance of the V1 lens at maximum zoom shows virtually no deterioration compared with using less zoom, unlike many cameras which show significant chromatic aberration at maximum zoom.

The "digital extender" is what is generally called digital zoom. The effects of using this on the V1 as less dire than they are on the XM2, but they are there. Also the effect applies throughout the optical zoom range on the V1, rather than appearing as an extension to the available zoom as it does on the Canon. As you can apply digital zoom using the editing software, it is a feature to avoid when shooting - recording in HDV, even though your finished video will be DV also helps here during editing.

As for tripod use, I always try to use a tripod with the V1, the images obtained are so much better than when hand-held, even though the optical image stabilisation of the V1 is very good. I have never tried to use the V1 with the Century 2x converter fitted hand held - the combination weights around 3kg, and is very front heavy. I have bought a shoulder pod (see H Preston's website) to try with it but I have not had opportunity to use it yet.

The Century lens fits onto the bayonet connector intended for the lens-hood of the V1, rather than the screw filter thread. This makes it easy to fit and remove, but its weight means that it must risk distorting the camera body, which is simply not designed for this load. The lens comes with a front support to use with the standard 6cm apart rail system. I have made my own purpose-built support from aluminium. This incorporates a Manfrotto sliding plate system, with the long plate, to facilitate balancing the camera with the Century on or off.

I don't feel that comparing image quality using sharpness as the criterion is really valid here; quality depends on so much more, and requires full resolution video and a large monitor screen to assess. This is why people like the BBC's tester use specially designed test charts and hideously expensive monitor equipment.

I think that one can state with confidence that the image quality of the V1 far outstrips that of the XM2 in every respect; but then so it should. It is a three year old design, rather than a ten year old design, and records images that are 1440x1080, rather than 720x576.

There is a forum dedicated to the V1 on this web-board, and this features samples of footage shot with the V1, but I do not really think that viewing would tell you much.

I'm sorry if this appears less than helpful, but I think that if I attempted to supply the assurances that you are asking for, I would be being less than honest. To me, the image quality of the V1 is a given. The features that led me to purchase it were principally the long focal length which it offers, the excellent OIS, the various focus assistance features (peaking is excellent for ensuring your focus is on the bird, rather than the background), and the good control of exposure that it offers.

The sole weakness for me is that the microphone provided gives very low level audio, but then I normally use a Sennheiser K6/ME67 microphone with the camera, and this is far more sensitive.

I'm afraid I have gone on a bit here again.

Later - Mike put up his two posts whilst I was composing my epic!

Last edited by Alan Craven; May 17th, 2009 at 06:14 AM. Reason: Cross-posting
Alan Craven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2009, 06:19 AM   #20
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Posts: 1,569
Agreed with everything you say, Alan. Especially on the point that we can't guarantee that the camera will suit.

And your post was just a little more involved than mine!

Right, back to trying to pull together this UWOL video...
__________________
Irish Railway Videos on Youtube
Mike Beckett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2009, 10:35 AM   #21
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 938
Thank you for sharing the kittiwake (or fulmar?) grabs Mike and I'll be looking out for your V1E on UWOL.

Alan, it's me that's stringing things out here. Please bear with me changing the question again, for the last time, I promise. I am fairly satisfied that the V1E is way ahead of XM2, and marginally more capable than XHA1. Final question: How does the V1E @ x20 compare with the XL2 @ x20 (which has 3 x 1/3" CCDs) specifically on image quality? {Please ignore interchangeable lens and extender factors and the difference in weights.}

You may have answered my question already but I do need it to be spelt out ... Is the difference in image quality between 3 x 1/4" CCDs and 3 x 1/3" CCDs only discernible on super-standard monitors, if at all?

I do appreciate your patience and thoughtful observations.
Brendan Marnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2009, 11:31 AM   #22
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: York, England
Posts: 502
The difference between the V1 and the XM2 is clearly discernible to my eye at all stages of the process - and so it should be. The newer camera is HDV, so there are 4 times as many pixels as the XM2, and the sensors are of a different type (CMOS), which are less prone to vertical smear. As for comparison with the XL2, I cannot say, as I have no personal experience of that camera. I have seen footage on this forum, but that is inevitably low data rate and/or low resolution.

The one problem with the smaller sensor is reduced low light performance, but then as Mike observed, we are not 1 candlepower wedding photographers! We might not always have good weather, but if the light is that poor, the images will likely be poor too.

I did wonder about trying the XL2 at the time I made the changeto the V1, but its greater bulk and mass deterred me - I migrate to New Zealand each winter, and I am not in my first youth!

My reading of the test reports on the V1 and the A1 suggest that the Canon gives a warmer image with a little more image noise than the Sony. Alan Roberts notes that the V1 performance does not deteriorate on zooming in, and that the 25p progressive performance is good, but that sharpness setting needs to be no more than 3 (the default is 7). For the A1 he mentions visible interlace twitter and a reduced vertical resolution for 25p.

Clearly he saw this using his exotic test charts, and his grade 1 broadcast monitor, but in real life. with domestic television I would not expect to see any of these differences other than the slightly warmer image of the Canon.

Neither camera works well as an SD camera, and the in-camera down-conversion is not good either - at least for the standards required for BBC broadcast TV. I have read of people using them professionally recording in SD, and also down-converting in the camera. I have done all my shooting in HDV, captured and edited in HDV and used Procoder 3 to down-convert to DVD compatible mpg files. As far as I am concerned, the results are far better than I was getting with my XM2.

This is very difficult, I know. There are precious few places where one can see these cameras side by side, let alone play with them. I hope my ramblings have helped you along the way.
Alan Craven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2009, 05:19 PM   #23
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sydney
Posts: 552
I have used the A1, V1 and Z7 a fair amount and a brief summary is below:

A1: Better in low light than the V1 (only slightly) great cam, you can tweak the hell out of it, small size and great lens. Absolutely shocking LCD it's crap!

V1: Very similar to the A1, not quite as good in low light, I don't reckon the lens is quite as good. LCD is heaps better.

Z7: By far the best out of the three in low light (in fact reasonably close to the EX1), great cam, great lens however it doesn't have a large zoom..... But you can but an attachment that allows you attach other 35mm lenses so you can really get the exact image you want with various lenses. Also you can record to HD as well.
Jonathan Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2009, 06:09 PM   #24
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 938
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Shaw View Post
I have used the A1, V1 and Z7 a fair amount and a brief summary is below:

A1: Better in low light than the V1 (only slightly) great cam, you can tweak the hell out of it, small size and great lens. Absolutely shocking LCD it's crap!

V1: Very similar to the A1, not quite as good in low light, I don't reckon the lens is quite as good. LCD is heaps better.

Z7: By far the best out of the three in low light (in fact reasonably close to the EX1), great cam, great lens however it doesn't have a large zoom..... But you can but an attachment that allows you attach other 35mm lenses so you can really get the exact image you want with various lenses. Also you can record to HD as well.
There is great potential for further insights tucked away in those paragraphs, Jonathan. It's bedtime for old folk here now but I am looking forward to checking out what the attachment for Z7 is and framing a few more questions in the morning. Don't go away; I still have this childish anxiety that you lower hemi-people may fall off the spinning sphere; that's the last thing I need!
Brendan Marnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 17th, 2009, 07:57 PM   #25
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sydney
Posts: 552
To clarify RE the Z7, the Sony adapter allows you to use Sony Alpha 35mm lenses. But I also believe you can get a letus/ red rock etc which fits.

Looking forward to your Q's

Jon
Jonathan Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18th, 2009, 03:09 AM   #26
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Posts: 1,569
I'm not surprised that the Z7 with all its adapters and lenses is better than the V1 or FX7.

Look at the current (approx) UK prices, including VAT:

FX7E: 2000
V1E: 3000
Z7E: 4800

Add on Letus adapter (1000+) and lenses, and the Z7 option probably hits 7000.

I would hope it is better than the "bare" V1 for that! :)
__________________
Irish Railway Videos on Youtube
Mike Beckett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18th, 2009, 12:48 PM   #27
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 938
I've found Douglas Spotted Eagle's listing of features which V1U has and FX7 has not.

To whittle down the scope of my question I would be delighted to learn which of these V1U features (assuming they are also on V1E) I need to improve my image quality for outdoor birdflight video. Please ignore XLR's ... I don't intend to fine-tune the audio of passing trucks or farting cows.

This should be the original link .... and thank you kindly Douglas.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-hvr-...hlight=V1U+FX7

Last edited by Brendan Marnell; May 18th, 2009 at 01:01 PM. Reason: to give correct link, I hope
Brendan Marnell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 18th, 2009, 04:59 PM   #28
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sydney
Posts: 552
FX7 doesn't shot 25p if your not interested in that the go the FX7, it was on special at B&H a couple of months ago. I think it was $1999 US

Jon
Jonathan Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 19th, 2009, 02:45 AM   #29
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Posts: 1,569
That's a point. 25p probably isn't great for fast moving shots of brids in the air.

The only thing I would miss from the FX7 versus V1 list is the peaking feature (to help you focus).
__________________
Irish Railway Videos on Youtube
Mike Beckett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 19th, 2009, 07:45 AM   #30
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: York, England
Posts: 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Beckett View Post
That's a point. 25p probably isn't great for fast moving shots of brids in the air.

The only thing I would miss from the FX7 versus V1 list is the peaking feature (to help you focus).
I second that!

I would also miss the manual audio level controls - the less delving into menus the better while shooting under pressure. The microphone supplied with the V1 is not very sensitive.
Alan Craven is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Under Water, Over Land

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:19 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network