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New Canon HDV cameras


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#21 DeanB

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 08:40 AM

I'd make a Hi8 look 'pro' given the chance :D ;)

Expenses will do cheers, but my expenses are expensive and thats one expensive expense... Anyway I'd be under cutting you :)

Dive safe

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#22 DeanB

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 08:44 AM

I've just heard that they have renamed Palau

Thorpe world in honour of their distinguished resident.

They now have a new public holiday and all virgins have to be deflowered by the magnificant one.

Well done Mark on the start of your world domination..

Now wheres me gin ;)

Dive safe

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#23 Drew

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 10:51 AM

The XH series is very definitely going to hurt Sony sales. Both cameras are upgradeable to shoot 1080/50 and 60i, PAL and NTSC. With a few more picture controls than the Z1, a more workable post image quality and higher resolution CCD plus instant AF with IR, it'll be interesting to see if Sony maintains the 3 year model cycle for the prosumer series.
While the lux rating is the same as the Sony, with 1/3" CCD the resolution of the sensor is higher. But the pixel density is also higher, possibly affecting low light performance. October is going to be interesting for HDV shooters.

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#24 NickJ

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 05:20 PM

I would say to anyone contemplating the Sony A1 for underwater work to hang on a bit and see how these new cameras shape up. I'm seriously considering going back to using my TRV 950 in the interim as the low light capabilities of the A1 are just not up to the standards I got used to earlier with the 950.

I'm actually very disappointed with the A1. It produced some great HDV in the sun drenched vineyards of Italy for me in May this year, but take it u/w 15m on an overcast day and it's a very different picture.

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#25 DeanB

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 08:37 AM

I've sold my 950 and I'm keeping the A1..For me NO comparison..

But then I've only mainly filmed in up to 8metres of water..But then again It was a murky quarry.

Will check out the depth situ when I'm on my next trip.. In your neck of the woods Nick.

Dive safe

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P.s if the next generation are 'better' then I'll be first in line with the credit card.
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#26 freediver

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 09:43 AM

I would say to anyone contemplating the Sony A1 for underwater work to hang on a bit and see how these new cameras shape up. I'm seriously considering going back to using my TRV 950 in the interim as the low light capabilities of the A1 are just not up to the standards I got used to earlier with the 950.

I'm actually very disappointed with the A1. It produced some great HDV in the sun drenched vineyards of Italy for me in May this year, but take it u/w 15m on an overcast day and it's a very different picture.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I love my TRV950 !!!

I have been somewhat cynical of HD cameras - With the research I have been doing, I have discovered that the main adopters for shooting HD have been U/W shooters. It seems that the vast majority of documentary, indies, etc are shooting higher end 3 chip minidv like DVX100's, VX2100's, etc. I then read about minidv shooters who take their work to a post house and have it upconverted on an Avid Nitris system and say it looks virtually identical to HDV.

I myself have tried to find a compelling reason to shoot HD - if you look at the cost analysis right now, there isn't really any way to deliver HD content that is worth mentioning - unless you get that dream job working for Discovery HD. Unless you are doing playback straight from your camera to an HD monitor, from what I can surmise, there isn't any reason to shoot HD right now.

Trying to find a low cost solution as an inrerim move to HD, I recently came across a plug-in from Red Giant Software called InstantHD that is said to up convert MiniDV material to HD - have been testing it out in Premiere Pro and so far, I still don't see (literally) a compelling reason to shoot HD.

It may be I'm just old school and can't see changing something that just works right off the bat - then again, things will probably change in the next 6 months to change my views on this... :lol:

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#27 shawnh

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 11:15 AM

Cliff,
Having shot with the 950 extensively underwater in all kinds of conditions, and having made the switch to the FX1; i can say definitively that there is a world of difference in the quality of my footage. Color, crispness and contrast are all substantially improved.

Regarding workflow, there is not much learning required to move to HDV. With a faster processor your existing workflow in Final Cut or Premiere work just fine. What you do get is more options and higher resolutions. You can just as easily export dv level footage. In addition, your SD DvDs will take a noticable step up in quality. I has been thoroughly tested and documented that standard dv cams do not produce anywhere close to the 720x480 they claim. The effective resolution is frequently at best 1/2 this resolution. The HD cams easily fill this resolution.

Here is an excerpt from CamcorderInfo on the baby of HDV...the HC1:

"We tested the video resolution of the HDR-HC1 in its HDV recording mode. Using Imatest Imaging Software, stills from video streams of a standard resolution chart were plugged into the software to assess the camcorder’s “true” resolution, and the HDR-HC1 performed extremely well, though not beyond our expectations. Achieving a resolution nearly triple to most MiniDV camcorders, the new HD Sony showed 656.1 lines of horizontal resolution and 480.9 lines of vertical resolution. ...
The resolution that the DCR-HC1 is producing is double to triple that of MiniDV camcorders. It should be noted that is is effective observed resolution, and it is always significantly lower than the video resolution that a manufacturer is going to report. What's amazing on the HDR-HC1 is that the camcorder is scoring three times better, and while of course that is what we would expect, this test result really proves scientifically that the HDR-HC1 (and HDV) is that much crisper than DV. "

http://www.camcorder...-HC1-Review.htm

So, I am not trying to be confrontational here but I don't really see any basis for suggesting that HDV is in fact not a noticable step up in quality. It has been observed by many and scientifically demonstrated. The issues with the A1 relate to sensor size and the fact that it is singe cmos. One cannot compare 3ccd technology to single chip technology and make broad statements regarding the quality the video format.

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#28 Drew

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 01:11 PM

Cliff
I don't normally agree with Shawn since he never listens to me. But I too find your statements slightly inaccurate. When you say the vast majority of docos, indies are still shooting DV, may I ask in which part of the world? As we speak, at least 5 indie films I know of are being shot in DVC Pro HD with the Pana HVX200. A few production houses use the HDV cams for cheaper commercial shoots. As for docos, I can't speak for the majority since I'm not on tap with Discovery or the Beeb but of the productions I know, prosumer HD cams are being used regularly as B and C cameras. In TV production, the Sony Z1 and Canon XLH1 are very popular C cams, esp for reality shows like Survivor etc. I would say that the main adopters are the broadcast industry and the surrounds, with the indie film industry bringing up the rear.
Upconversions in post can be amazing. Best example with u/w clips is the Deep Blue, whereby many u/w sequences were uprezzed from DV to 35mm. However, they spent over a million dollars in post to clean it up.
The TRV950 is a nice camera for SD. So is the VX2X00/PD1X0/XLX/DVX series and are very relevant for certain productions. However, the resolution of HDV is superior.
It ultimately comes down to use. About 1/2 a year back I wrote about HDV's coming of age. The newest DVD players can now play HDV/WMV/H264 all in full HD resolution, which is better than SD DVD resolution. Many new TV sets are HD ready as well. So even the non-pro home users will have a few friends who will have a HDTV or at least a computer with that capability.

I love my TRV950 !!!

I have been somewhat cynical of HD cameras - With the research I have been doing, I have discovered that the main adopters for shooting HD have been U/W shooters.  It seems that the vast majority of documentary, indies, etc are shooting higher end 3 chip minidv like DVX100's, VX2100's, etc.  I then read about minidv shooters who take their work to a post house and have it upconverted on an Avid Nitris system and say it looks virtually identical to HDV. 


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#29 freediver

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 01:33 PM

Shawn & Dru - you both make a compelling case for HDV :lol:

Something I didn't know was some of the newer generation DVD players being able to play WMV HD - I have a copy of Coral Reef Adventure and the HD version knocks my neoprene socks off!

Thanks for your insights into this expensive but eventual move..

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#30 biminitwist

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 05:37 PM

Ronrosa, I would have to agree with NickJ. I have both a Sony PD 100 (prosumer version of the 900) and an A1U. The A1 is great for high light and macro type work. Unfortunately that comprises only a fraction of my U/W video. Its low light performance is terrible and lacks a true wide angle lense option. Barrett at LM says they'll have one next year but we will see. My understanding is a Fathoms lens previously mentioned weighs (and costs) more than the housing. Sigh. If I'd known these details I would have stuck with the 900 for size and bought the FX Bluefin as my new video. There is no fair comparsion between the FX and A1 as these are different animals but when I bought my A1 no one was talking about the A1's limitations (Sorry DeanB). When you look at the video of a low contrast subject like sharks against a neutral background deeper than say 80 feet, side by side filming the 900 and the A1 you wonder what the hells wrong with the A1. If you dive shallow or film mostly in the range of your lights you can make it work but they should tell you that up front. Just my two cents. John

#31 wagsy

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 07:19 PM

can I add my 2 cents here :lol:

Some DVD players can even play the raw m2t files.
I have upconverted mini DV to mix in with HDV and you can pick the difference. You can get away with it on certain shots but I would not do a full edit with it if you are outputting to 1080 res etc. If you are going to normal DVD then it would be oka but you then have the 4.3 / 16.9 problem.

We have an Amphibico Evo HD PRO housing coming for the A1, so what we will do is take the Phenom, EvoHD PRO and the Navigator 900 with the old TRV900 down and do a side by side comparison of the 3.

One of the jobs I am working on now requires the product to be delivered in the HD wmv format to be displayed on 16.9 Plasma and LCD screens. They will be playing the files on normal DVD disks in a DVD player. If I did not have a true 16.9 camera I would not of got the GIG.

I have sold MINI DV material for a TV commercial but they could not play the commercial at the cinema because the very clear shallow prisitne DV shots looked to grainy? I have had HDV material transfered to 35 mm file and been up onto a huge screen and the poeple watching it did not belvie it was shot with a video camera. Another mob in the UK have mixed HDV in with Digi Betta on the AVID and are really happy with how it looks.

But yes there is going to be some cool HDV cameras comming out in the next few years. Normal 4.3 DV will be gone like the old Hi8. More important is not the fact it was shot in HDV but true 16.9 is what eveyone wants.
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#32 ronrosa

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 05:25 AM

Ronrosa, I would have to agree with NickJ. I have both a Sony PD 100 (prosumer version of the 900) and an A1U. The A1 is great for high light and macro type work. Unfortunately that comprises only a fraction of my U/W video. Its low light performance is terrible and lacks a true wide angle lense option....


Thanks for your opinion John. I really like my 900, but having the finances to go HD this year is something I can't pass up.

As much as I cringe when I hear all the complaints about the Sony A1, I still can bring myself to get a housing/camcorder rig that is twice the size and weight. I just got back from a 4 day weekend of shore diving in Curacao. No way I could do a shore entry/exit carrying something the size of the FX1 and housing.

Come October, unless Sony, Canon etc.. come up with an alternative, I think I'll be getting the A1. But, I really think Sony will be offering something to combat Canon's recent releases.

#33 DeanB

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 06:06 AM

Ronrosa,

Although I'm a fan of the A1 and will argue with anyone who says its shite :lol:

I do think if you can hold on a little while longer it might be a good thing.

I am taking my 950 and the A1 into my U/W studio :lol: to see a comparison for myself. Just to please my 'pea brain'..

If you jump at the A1 you might kick yourself in a few months time if/when the A2 comes out with better low light etc...

If you can..Hold on there...

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#34 Drew

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 06:53 AM

Ron, just go to the gym to work out more. :lol:

Again the A1 is a good camera if there's light. Well documented on the pages of Wetpixel.
Biminitwist, sorry you had a bad time with the Sony A1U, however you can't expect every manufacturer to tell you how to use the camera. Before buying the housing for the A1U, I used it in a room lit by 18 candles spread out. I saw the noise and knew straightaway it wasn't a lowlight performer.
I can't stress this enough, if you're fussy or looking for a specific performance level, testing is the only way to know.

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#35 freediver

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 06:58 AM

good one Dru.. :lol:

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#36 biminitwist

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 07:13 AM

Wait a minute DeanB, you said you sold that 950.... Ronrosa that was my exact thinking on the selection of the the A1 as I couldn't see lugging it's big brother thru customs but now I wish I had gotten the FX. If you have to spend it or lose it I'm sure you'll be happy with the A1, just know it's strengths require lots of light and clear water. Aperture and chip issues you know. If a true wide angle lense is important to you, best check housings for the A1 up front. Wags, if your doing comparisons be sure to try them deeper with less than perfect conditions. Maybe Kelly could kick up a sand cloud to simulate the suspended cr*p I'm dealing with now... Any setup is better than no setup.... Good Diving John

#37 Drew

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 08:13 AM

Bimini
Wags can only check it in less than perfect conditions... it's exmouth LOL.

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#38 ronrosa

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 09:24 AM

Yeah, I'll tell my wife I'm working out to make myself more attractive for her, LOL.

On shore dive exit/entries, I clip my rig to my chest D-ring. Can't see doing that with a 25 pound + FX1 housing. I'm only 5' 6". I think I could live with a camcorder/housing size that was someplace in between the A1 and FX1.

My 900 is in a Gates housing. I'm a fan of their products and service. The Gates A1 housing has the same port size as the 900, so I can re-use my lenses. My Inon wide angle dome works great with my 900, but the corners may be too soft for HD.

#39 biminitwist

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 06:28 PM

Ronrosa- Like I said, thats what decided me on the A1 and I've always liked my previous LM housings. Contrary to Scubadru's sage advice I don't expect any manufactuer to advertise their products weak points but once I had committed to the A1 and saw it's low light issue I was not realistically able to give it away. I don't feel I'm fussy or looking for a specific performance level (well maybe the latter) but just wanted to warn others what I am finding. In fact I believe Dru did post something about the A1's lux issues's but by that time I had bought the camcorder and was/am trying to make the most of it. Since people are asking about whether to wait or get the A1 I would hope my experience with the unit might save them the in home testing Dru favors. The softening around the edges problem with the WA lens was also the reason LM is working on a new WA, had I got the FX it would be an available option (and Shawnh already worked out the best settings). Good luck. John

#40 wagsy

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 07:05 PM

Well we do get hit with swell that stirs everthing thing up so it's no problem in getting dirty conditions. We will take them under the Exmouth Navy Pier and test out as well, dark and dirty down there.

I have watched materail shot with the Z1 and A1 in gates housings and you had to really look to see the difference, although it was on a DVD so low quality. The Z1 had the 120 lens on while the A1 had the 110 lens on. It was also shot in blue water so maybe good light getting down there.

Another reason while the A1 might not be as good in low light due to the narrow FOV compared to the Z and FX. Just allot les light getting in their so a good wide angle will help it out heaps.

Here is something...I just dived yesterday on the Navy Pier with the Phenom with the New Macro Dome Port on and shot full wide. It works fine but after a bit I came up and put the 94 degree lens on and went back down. There is a huge difference in image quality/look with the 94 degree lens on, but it's good to know I have a backup port for an emergency.
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