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HDR-FX1 = HDV1 or HDV2?


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#1 Daniel Andreas

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 12:04 AM

When the FX1 was introduced at NAB last year the new Sony booth was buzzing and full of enthusiastic early adapters. I walked into the Sony booth with a client who wanted to see what HDV was all about. The HDV Kiosk featured several large HD Plasma Displays arranged around the booth in a circle. The loop showed nicely composed high-rez images dissolving to classical music. My client was impressed until I poped the question: "you notice anything" and then he did. "Nothing moves". True, in every shot of the demo loop the camera was completely locked down, not pans, no tilts no zooms.

I am certain the DP was instructed to NOT MOVE the camera and have no movement within the frame. You have to wonder how it makes no sense to have a motion picture camera that can't handle motion and why Sony rushed to maket with a mediocre camera. I had heard rumors about the motion artifacts that haunted that 60:1 compression method. But over at the Sony booth the world was still at peace: there was no motion and there were no artifacts until.... I found the server and hit the space bar right in the middle of a dissolve....

The compression is at it's weakest when a lot of information changes from one frame to the next -- the result was large digital "blocks" pixelating the entire screen. I went frame-by-frame to show that the ugly artifact was happening throughout the entire dissolve with blocks the size of a postage stamp.

Soon an angry Sony sales rep who felt he was caught with his pants down rushed over, pushing me away to hit the space bar and get the loop going again.

So here is my question -- I heard that the new Canon XH-H1 is using the improved HDV2 algorithm which has a dynamic compression allocation and supposedly handles motion considerably better.
Has anybody seen that being true and can confirm that Sony's FX1 is in fact only using the HDV1 method where as the Canon HD is using HDV2? Anybody done any comparative tests between those two cameras?

Edited by Daniel Andreas, 24 January 2006 - 12:05 AM.

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#2 Jonathan Bryant

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 05:45 AM

HDV1=720p at 19.4mbps HDV2=1080i at 25mbps

Sony is using HDV2 as well as Canon, both are 1080i cams though the Canon will record progressive too but using the 1080i codec.

The HDV1 codec is actually more efficient, one because it is progressive, and two its gop is only 6 frames vs sonys 15 frames.

Yeah I think the sony cameras look good,but they could have done better but they are choosing to protect their high end market. Heck they have DVCAM where the tape travels 50% faster why couldn't they use that technology to have a 50% higher bandwith ie 37.5 mbps. I think alot of these companys intentionally cripple their low end to protect the high end.
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