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Sony HDCam Viewfinder playback


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#1 Tony Yates

Tony Yates
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Posted 02 June 2008 - 10:31 AM

While shooting on my HDW 790P I watched some footage played back through the B&W eyepiece HDVF-20A (I dont like playing back off camera and if I do I would usually watch on a monitor - but there was a crowd around it !). I noticed that the viewfinder picture was completely lacking contrast and sharpness compared to the same image through the viewfinder when I was recording. Checked the next few takes to make sure and compared them to the monitor playback and it was the same - very low contrast and soft in the eyepiece on playback but fine while recording and fine on the monitor when played back.
Eyepiece setup is zebras off, peaking on minimum, VF detail set to maximum, brightness and contrast set by SMPTE bars.
I concluded there was a problem and sent the camera back to be checked over.
Lo and behold I am told by the engineers that this is not unusual and that the PLAYBACK signal to the viewfinder is of inferior quality to the recording signal and to all other playback outputs. It can be made slightly better by turning the peaking up to full but its still not good.
Have not had a chance to check this on a colour eyepiece but would assume it is the same.
So dont make any judgments on viewfinder playback (my poor focus puller thought he was having a really bad day when I kept saying " No that one was soft too !") always use a good quality HDSDI monitor to check stuff if playing back off camera.
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