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Sony HVR-V1U


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#1 TJ Fry

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 12:00 AM

alright here's the deal. I'm looking at upgrading to this camera from my Sony HDR-FX1. Its got everything mine does and then some. Namely the XLR inputs, 24p recording, interval recording (timelapse), and "super slow motion" (whatever that means). I've spent plenty of time researching this camera and from what I hear it should be pretty nifty to say the least. However I still have some questions.

A. It uses 2:3 pulldown for the 24p, but is still sampled at the HDV res of 1080i. Does that mean (like usual) that every 5 frames there is an image compiled from 2 interlaced images. basically, how valid is the 24p if its recorded to tape at 60i?

B. super slo-mo. haven't heard or seen much about it technical aspects or specs. All they say is that is super slow and really "sexy" according to one review. I also read somewhere that due to the slight drop in res, it is able to shoot 12 seconds of slo-mo at 240 fields per second. that was not on a sony site, but if that is true does that mean its shooting at 120fps? if not how fast is it?

C. The optional drive. According to Sony, the camera picks up images in 1080p. However, due to the downsampling to the 1440x1080 HDV res, that really has no bearing on the image imported into the NLE. So the 1080p claim if shooting on tape is basicall null/void. However, is it possible to record 24p at 1080p res directly onto the hard drive? If not, what is the highest res supported by the hard drive? does it allow uncompressed HD like the Panasonic HVX200 with the P2 cards?

Thanks for any and all input and info. If you have any personal opinions on the camera itself, qustions to ask, or really any input at all, it would be appreciated. Hopefully we'll tap the gurus here and find answers to any and all questions. THANKS!
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#2 Robert Ducon

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 04:13 AM

A: Not sure.. if this link doesn't help, I'm sure someone else here will step up to the plate. Here's the official Sony link:

http://bssc.sel.sony...rogressive.html


B. From what I've seen, it's useless for real production.. makes the video some ulta-low quality stuff. Again, hope someone else can get into that.

C. I'm very sure it's still HDV - 25Mbs, MPEG-GOP, and that's 1440-1080 res. Just good 'ole HDV. Hey, that hard drive is still a great idea!

Edited by Robert Ducon, 12 December 2006 - 04:18 AM.

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#3 Greg Kowal

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 02:47 PM

i`m very much surprised in the lack of interest in this camera by everybody... i`m looking into getting it as well... i`m just concerned with the depth of field as in other low budget camers... need to see how it performs... I love all the specs, and i was concerned with the wide shots because i read somewhere about the lens but they are already selling Sony 0.8x Wide Angle Conversion for it so i`m not worried no more... :)

Edited by Greg Kowal, 14 December 2006 - 02:49 PM.

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#4 Michael Collier

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 03:40 PM

I shot a feature on the ZU1 (not the V1U) and was under-impressed with the images. The resolution boost is great, it does look much nicer than DV images, and I didn't notice any artifacting (well some, but nothing that would be visible on an SD monitor, and even on HD it would be minimal)

Color correction latitude was terrible, especially in the shadow areas, where that camera has problems. I also noticed in some low-light scenes the camera would have a visible exposure shift, where it would go darker for one or two frames. I am not entirely sure that was the camera...the DoP on the shoot was very inexperienced and I am not sure he took auto-exposure off every time (and didn't white ballance properly every time...making my coloring work even harder.)

Its a decent camera for somethings, slightly better than some DV cameras, but on the whole I would recomend a DVX-100 over the ZU1 if your finnishing to SD (or the DVX with andromeda if you need HD)
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#5 Sandy Thomson

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Posted 23 December 2006 - 03:25 PM

A: Not sure.. if this link doesn't help, I'm sure someone else here will step up to the plate. Here's the official Sony link:

http://bssc.sel.sony...rogressive.html
B. From what I've seen, it's useless for real production.. makes the video some ulta-low quality stuff. Again, hope someone else can get into that.

C. I'm very sure it's still HDV - 25Mbs, MPEG-GOP, and that's 1440-1080 res. Just good 'ole HDV. Hey, that hard drive is still a great idea!


I've been shooting with an FX1 for a couple of productions now and now an associate wants to buy an HD camera. I could sell him mine and upgrade to a HVR-VU1. But am I really upgrading or am I better to stay with what I have? Anyone know what a good used FX1 is worth?

Sandyt
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#6 Laura Redpath

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 01:49 PM

i'm glad there is a topic on this camera. i'm looking into buying it myself in feb, i was considering the Z1 before i found out about the V1U, could anyone tell me how it compairs to the Z1? i'm also curious as to how well it handles low-light situations as i'll be using it for concert filming some of the time.
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#7 Mitch Gross

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 02:05 PM

Just did some comparison testing between this camera and the new Canon cameras. I was seriously underwhelmed by the Sony's performance.
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#8 ArturKummer

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 02:19 PM

Hi Mitch,if its possible I would like to hear your take on the new Sony HDV in comparison with the HVX -200

Thanks
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#9 Laura Redpath

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 05:07 PM

Just did some comparison testing between this camera and the new Canon cameras. I was seriously underwhelmed by the Sony's performance.


if you don't mind me asking which canon camera's did you test? and what elements in them did you find superior.
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#10 Mitch Gross

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 03:14 PM

Canon doesn't exactly have a lot of HD cameras out there...

The new XH-A1 is about the same price point as the Sony V1. Point them both at a test chart and the difference is readily apparent. Noise, artifacting, effective resolution -- the Canon wins easily to even the casual viewer. The only points where the Sony wins out is the LCD screen (Sony's is excellent, same as the Z1) and Sony's true 24p, as opposed to Canon's 24f. In theory, among other things this should mean greater resolution in these modes on the Sony, although this isn't necessarily so (read the new issue of Showreel magazine for some detailed reviews).
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#11 Troy Warr

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 04:43 PM

Hi TJ,

I don't know about 'A' but I have a bit of input on 'B' & 'C.'

B. I'm fairly sure that the super slow-mo is just a gimmicky thing - not really adequate for HD production, though *maybe* fair for SD if you down-sample resolution. It is a pretty smooth effect, but I'm inclined to say that you're not getting full quality out of the images when you shoot. I saw a clip of the slow-mo, but it wasn't raw footage - recompressed into .wmv format so I can't really judge the quality, but the motion looked OK.

C. As Robert mentioned, the drive is definitely limited to HDV as are the tapes. So, you're still going to be limited by the 25mb/s data rate, though you'll have footage ready to edit with and won't need to ingest into your NLE like you will with the miniDV tape. As I understand it you're basically shooting an archive (tape) simultaneously with your editable footage (HDD).

To be exact, the Panasonic HVX-200 doesn't allow for uncompressed HD either. It shoots onto P2 at a substantially higher data rate than miniDV (DVCPRO HD), but you're still limited by the recording format in terms of sampling rate and resolution.

Though I haven't used it myself, I have done some research into the Blackmagic Intensity PCI card. Stop reading now if portability is a serious concern - but if you can handle being tethered to a PC workstation by an HDMI cable (e.g. in a studio situation, as part of a dolly, or even strapped to your back if you're strong), it's worth looking at. If your PC can handle it, you can bypass the HVR-V1U's compression stage and draw uncompressed HD straight from the camera's HDMI port. You can then work with uncompressed HD (surprisingly processor-lenient, but very storage/bandwidth intensive) or apply a lower-compression codec than HDV to the footage.
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