How to get rid of grainy video?

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    • #48038

      I recently bought the HDR FX7 and it is great except even in 1080i I still can get grainy footage at times. Even though it is HD the footage can look almost like my old SD camcorder. I am going to make a stab at it here from whatI have known in the past. Is it lighting or controls set improperly?


    • #197569
      Luis Maymi Lopez

      When you recorded did you set the gain level to values higher than 0db? If so your footage could be recorded grainy looking. Why?, because you are telling the camera to duplicate “artificially” the amount of light is receiving. You can open the iris more to receive more light without the problem of grain or you can light your set the best you can. Your footage is not lost, there are post production tools for Noise Reduction and I think NeatVideo is among the best. Of course, be sure to record everything at its best and try to avoid as much as possible the “fix it in post” approach.

    • #197570

      Along with Sarge’s suggestions above, what kind of environment were you recording? Inside, outside, day or night, lighting conditions at the time etc? I think that camera is rated to 4 lux if I remember right…

    • #197571

      My friend and I are separate wedding videographers and ALSO have the same cameras (HDR-FX7) and have the same problems. Didn’t raise the gain or anything, had decent lighting. But, it still looks very grainy. I would LOVE to know why this is.

    • #197572

      Unless you manually have ways to limit the gain – it will automatically raise on it’s own, and often to unwanted levels.

      Make sure you are either manually adjusting the iris and gain and visibly see the “dB” on your display. If there are manual gain hold switches, set them and use them and you can set the iris to your heart’s content without worrying about the gain going anywhere. I am not sure how the FX7 works, but the Z5 has 3 settings High/Medium/Low. I have mine set -3, 3, and 9. Most would set the highest at 6, but doing weddings myself I know how dark some venues are. The last option would be to set the AGC (automatic gain control) to keep the camera from going too high period.

      Personally, using the iris ring to control everything is the best, but in dark situations when I may be zooming a bit more, I will turn on my 9dB to make sure a long zoom doesnt crank it up out of control. Once I have a shot set, I make sure to turn off the gain switch feature again, otherwise I may end up needlessly using 9dB gain in a shot that I may get away with even no gain or -3 or -6 by mistake.

      Another good use for the pre-set gain settings I have found is when I am solo-shooting with multiple cameras outdoors. I will often set un manned cameras to full automatic, especially partly cloudy days when the light is constantly changing. The problem is the camera, no matter what the lighting, when set to automatic will default to 0dB gain at its lowest setting. So, I just turn on manual gain only, and make sure it is at its lowest setting (-6dB).

      I have not had any experience with the FX7, but with the Z5 I absolutely hate having to go above 9dB unless absolutely necessary. I have done 12dB at times, but more often than not I and up throwing heavy effects on those shots to cover up the grain.

    • #197573
      Grinner Hester

      the FX7 only gets grainy when you have the ugly stick on and that’s only when it’s required. It’s as easy as throwing it preset when in doubt. The FX7 doesnt go beyond 11db. Even if you adjust a ppp setting cranked as far as it’ll go, the grain just aint that bad.

    • #197574

      That helped doublehamm, thank you very much!

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