First shoot, first impressions for HVR-HD1000 at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-HD1000
Sony's single-CMOS shoulder mount HDV camcorder.


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Old December 23rd, 2007, 10:08 PM   #1
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First shoot, first impressions for HVR-HD1000

I unexpectedly received my HD1000 on Friday and instead of a rental I was contemplating I put it to use this weekend as a second camera for a interview and performance shoot. While this isn't a complete review (I'll have to do that tomorrow after I edit the footage and comparing it to my 3 chip HD camera), here is a list of my first impressions.

Positives:

1) Very comfortable on my shoulder. This is well designed although it's quite retro-looking. It really brings back memories of VHS camcorders.

2) Decent lens with a comfortable, responsive zoom toggle when it's hand-held. The toggle is moderately uncomfortable for use with your left hand when the camera is tripod mounted.

3) A decent camera mike which can be removed and replaced with a Beachtek (are they still around?) XLR adapter which works great on this camera.

4) Small but usable viewfinder which actually has a better image than the flip-up LCD.

5) Enough manual control to keep the camera from going off on it's own.

6) Plenty of connections, video and digital.

Negatives:

1) Few on camera controls, everything is controlled by the LCD menu much like the HC5 or HC7. This isn't a real problem in controlled situations, but during a run around shoot, this could be a real headache.

2) There is only one ring on the lens and this shares a multiple of functions; zoom, focus, exposure, shuttle. You have to pick a function on the LCD, adjust and then pick another function. I like manual zoom control but this was pretty much impossible. I set the exposure, switched to manual focus and used the toggle for zooming.

Issues that I haven't made up my mind about yet:

1) A very slight greenish cast in the image. This might be adjustable but I'll work on that in the coming week. It's nothing that I can't fix in the edit.

2) A hollow feel to much of the body. I suspect that much of the camera is empty space. Perhaps the next version can utilize this space for tape storage, extra batteries or even a hard drive.

3) The lens is yet another size so none of my filters from my old cameras work.

That's the thoughts after a day of shooting. I captured a half hour of footage just now and it seems to play fine. The image is really nice on it's own. Tomorrow I'll edit the footage with the other camera (a JVC HD-100, I hear the cries already) and see how it compares. Sorry, can't post any stills, not my project.
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Old December 24th, 2007, 01:24 PM   #2
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This is great info, thanks. I think more than a few of us are curious about this unit.

Say, the cam didn't come with the manual on CD, did it? If by chance it did, can you post the manual somewhere we can download it?
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Old December 24th, 2007, 11:49 PM   #3
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I'll let someone else post the manual. It is copyrighted.

After a day of editing here's my second set of impressions.

Color:
Color is very good with a slight cast to the green when compared to a JVC HD-100 set up with the TrueColor parameters as described in the HD100 board. On it's own, one would be hard pressed to see it.

Detail:
Detail is excellent but when compared to the JVC HD100 you can see a slight harshness to the image coming out of the HVR-HD1000. A casual viewer probably would not notice it.

Noise:
I haven't reviewed the edit on a large HDTV yet but there is more noise to the HVR-HD1000 image.

The two cameras mixed very well with a very small amount of color correction to the HVR-HD1000 image. The HD100 image was more robust but otherwise I say it was a success.

A few notes that I over looked in the first post.

Manual Focus:
This was not easy as neither the viewfinder or the LCD give enough detail to assure me that I was truly in focus. Only by zooming in and moving the focus back and forth was I able to figure out where to leave it.

x.y color:
A mysterious function which I didn't turn on is "x.y. color". Sony describes this as an extended color space standard that they are proposing to the video world. The manual doesn't really explain what this means. I'll play around with it this Thursday during another interview shoot and report.

For those who are wondering how I am editing 720 HDV1 with 1080 HDV2 on the same timeline, I am using Final Cut 6 with a sequence set to Apple ProRes 720. Even my four year old dual 2gh G5 plays the video files back with out a hitch although it'll need a good long render before I can make a DVD or anything else.
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Old December 25th, 2007, 02:21 AM   #4
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William,
An engineer friend of mine who works at Sony once told me they were experimenting with a 6-color standard, to allow defining intense colors "at the unreachable corners" of a 3-color system. So that would allow more highly saturated cyans, magentas, and yellows. This *might* be what "x.y color" is referring to.
I'd like to hear if the HD1000 has indicators for manually setting exposure (zebra? histogram?), mic volume (VU meters?), and focus (peaking?).
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Old December 25th, 2007, 08:19 AM   #5
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What does it weigh? Can't find it's actual weight anywhere on the web.
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Old December 25th, 2007, 11:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
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What does it weigh? Can't find it's actual weight anywhere on the web.
http://www.sony.ca/hdv/HVR-HD1000U_6...000U/spec.html

About 7 pounds with the biggest battery.
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Old December 25th, 2007, 04:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
x.y color:
A mysterious function which I didn't turn on is "x.y. color". Sony describes this as an extended color space standard that they are proposing to the video world. The manual doesn't really explain what this means. I'll play around with it this Thursday during another interview shoot and report.
That gives you up to 1.8 times the colors for a more natural image and itís currently in HD camcorders from Toshiba and Sony but unless you have one of the newer more expensive TVs from Toshiba, Samsung, Sony, Sharp etc, that also has that feature; your colors may be a bit off when displayed on a standard HD TV.
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Old December 25th, 2007, 08:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Hull View Post
William,
An engineer friend of mine who works at Sony once told me they were experimenting with a 6-color standard, to allow defining intense colors "at the unreachable corners" of a 3-color system. So that would allow more highly saturated cyans, magentas, and yellows. This *might* be what "x.y color" is referring to.
I'd like to hear if the HD1000 has indicators for manually setting exposure (zebra? histogram?), mic volume (VU meters?), and focus (peaking?).
Ken Hull
Thanks for that info. I am planning some non-client owned image tests to post later this week. I'll do some with and without "x.y. color".

Zebra stripes, yes. 70 and 100% options. The others I'll check tomorrow as the camera is at the office. Didn't really need them on the shoot.
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Old December 26th, 2007, 08:23 AM   #9
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Just picked up my 1000u this morning. Probably wont get a chance to use it today, but ill definitely put it through its paces. And surprisingly it actually has a nice weight to it. Nice bonus.
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Old December 26th, 2007, 10:25 AM   #10
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Questions:

1. Does the ring also control WB? What choices in WB presets do we have?

2. Does the LCD or Viewfinder display f-stops?

3. Is there a colorbar feature?
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Old December 26th, 2007, 11:18 AM   #11
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It can record colorbars via menu.

WB seems to only be set via menu. Options are for Auto, indoor, outdoor, and one push.

So far I cant see an f-stop reading, but im going to pick up a memory stick duo tonight, so ill see if i can get the reading to come up when the card is inserted, just like with the Canon HV20.
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Old December 26th, 2007, 04:11 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Brian Tori View Post
Questions:

1. Does the ring also control WB? What choices in WB presets do we have?

2. Does the LCD or Viewfinder display f-stops?

3. Is there a colorbar feature?

No f-stops that i could find. Just a mostly useless level bar.

The ring can indeed control the WB functions which are limited to the standard auto, outdoors, indoors and "One Push" which is a standard WB set with a white card. The problem with all the controls in the single ring is that you have to poke the LCD menu several times to get at a specific function before the ring is activated. In certain situations, you are better off letting the camera decide.
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Old December 26th, 2007, 04:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Hull View Post
I'd like to hear if the HD1000 has indicators for manually setting exposure (zebra? histogram?), mic volume (VU meters?), and focus (peaking?).
Ken Hull
Zebra yes.

Histogram, yes. It blocks a small portion of the screen in the lower right. It is a little crude but works.

VU Meters, yes. Stereo with about 15 increments

Focus peaking? Nope but it has a very useful spot focus function that works well with a reasonable amount of light in the image. You can poke the part of the image on the LCD you want in focus and it does it in about 2 seconds. I have experimented with rack focusing this way and it can be done.

By the way Sony uses the term "touch" when they instruct you to use the LCD menus. I prefer the word, "Poke" since with my finger a touch doesn't always seem to activate the function.
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Old December 27th, 2007, 07:06 AM   #14
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I read in another forum that in order to access the ring functions there is a way to do this with the MANUAL button on the side of the camera as opposed
to always accessing the on screen MENU. Supposedly by holding the MANUAL button for a few seconds you are able to get an onscreen menu whose selections are chosen by turning the ring and finally pressing MANUAL to return. Can someone confirm?

That is disappointing about the F-stops not being available. It makes me wonder why this camera is being included in Sony's Pro line. The exposure BAR reminds me of the HV20 which I used to have.
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Old December 27th, 2007, 04:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Tori View Post
I read in another forum that in order to access the ring functions there is a way to do this with the MANUAL button on the side of the camera as opposed
to always accessing the on screen MENU. Supposedly by holding the MANUAL button for a few seconds you are able to get an onscreen menu whose selections are chosen by turning the ring and finally pressing MANUAL to return. Can someone confirm?

That is disappointing about the F-stops not being available. It makes me wonder why this camera is being included in Sony's Pro line. The exposure BAR reminds me of the HV20 which I used to have.
This is indeed accurate.

After holding the manual button for about 2 seconds, you get a list of all the functions available with the ring. Pick one by turning the ring, press the manual button again, wait 2 more seconds and you now have control over that function.

The ring also controls a white balance shift function but I would question using it with the LCD or viewfinder.

The manual focus gives you a focal distance readout in meters which can be useful but the ring to focal shift response is so slow it might be hard to use it for artistic rack focuses.
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