Subject: Mars from DV
From: Bruce Barton (b-barton ti com)
Date: June 21 2001
I took advantage of the current apparition of Mars (the best in 13 years) to do some planetary DV photography through my telescope. It works like this:
On 06/09/01, I shot about 10 minutes worth of TRV900 video in progressive scan mode through my 5.6" f/7 refractor telescope from my front driveway, using a 7mm Takahashi eyepiece. As the scope's focal length is about 1000mm, this eyepiece yields about 143X magnification. The camera was on a separate tripod looking into the eyepiece at maximum optical zoom, manually focused. This is known as afocal imaging through the telescope, as opposed to prime focus imaging (no eyepiece or camera lens at all) or telenegative amplification (a fixed, known distance maintained between the eyepiece and the imaging surface, without a camera lens - this is also known as eyepiece projection). Finding and centering the planet's image in the camera this way is very difficult, as the collimated beam coming out of the eyepiece into the camera lens is only about 1 millimeter wide, but it can be done.
Later, I played back the raw video and stepped through each frame looking for particularly good ones to capture on compact flash in the camera. When shown frame by frame, the video is noisy and very rough - the atmosphere boils the image badly, distorting the round Mars disk into all sorts of funny shapes and causing it to dance around the format from moment to moment. I was able to capture about 60 of the better still frames onto compact flash, then download them onto my PC using a Sandisk Imagemate. They were then composite stacked automatically onto a single image with a great little freeware program called Astrostack. This allows the image data that is relatively constant from one frame to the next to be reinforced in an additive process, while at the same time causing the random noise in each frame to 'cancel out'. The result is a much less grainy, smoother image that contains much detail that would otherwise not be present in any particular single image, albeit with somewhat reduced contrast, which can be compensated for later. The Astrostack program allows each digital still to be individually weighted subjectively according to quality and thus its contribution to the overall image. At the same time, I used the same program to perform a Maximum Entropy de-convolution image sharpening on the stacked result. I played around with levels and curves in Photoshop on the resulting stacked image but could not really improve on the results done in Astrostack. This image is straight off of Astrostack.
To give a sense of scale, Mars is about 90 times smaller as imaged here than the full Moon, or about 20 arc-seconds across.
Mars' central meridian in this image runs diagonally from about the 10:30 to 4:30 positions, representing Mars longitude 265 deg.; south is roughly at the 10:30 position on the limb, or planet edge, where the relatively bright south polar cap's edge is just visible. The large dark feature above and slightly right of center is Syrtis Major, the bright promontory feature sticking upward from center image is Libya (not Khadafi's Libya!), and the dark feature Mare Tyrrhenum joins with Syrtis Major and runs down and to the left (east) above Libya. The feature known as Hellas appears to be a general lightening in the dark area between Libya and the south polar cap. Also visible are the features Utopia (bottom right near the limb) and Stymphalius Lacus (at bottom center near the limb). The eastern end of dark Mare Serpentis is just visible at about the 1 o'clock position on the limb.
If you have a telescope, I'd encourage you to try this image stacking technique for planetary photography with your TRV900. Mars doesn't get much better than it is right now, and the TRV900 and Astrostack combination makes it easy.
Attached image: mars.jpg
Subject: Baby HumminbirdsI took with a Sony TRV-900. The nest is 1.75 inches in diameter, about two joints of my index finger, located in a redwood tree next door to my house at eye level near the end of a branch. These are fledgling hummingbirds, two weeks old, rarely observed by humans, I'm told. They are either Annas or Costas, judging by the lichen in the nest. The cam was about a foot from the nest. I screwed on two Nikkor close-up lenses, #'s 1 and 2. I took a bunch with memory stick, but these two were grabbed off of progressive scan video. Just thought you might enjoy them.
From: Weymouth Kirkland (wk sonic net)
Date: June 2 2001
Attached images: hummingbirds1, hummingbirds2.
June 8, 2001: Here's the latest. I tried moving the tripod a bit closer after this memory stick shot with the PD150 from 10 feet and suddenly they were gone, whoosh, flown the coop, their first flight, I believe, right before my blinking eyes, and I missed it. In the two days since I'd last seen them they'd grown noticeably and were more alert. I've checked the empty nest several times since, hoping for another chance. Alas, they haven't returned.
Attached image: hummingbirds3.
Subject: Hoya macro lensesThank you very much for all the great tips on the TRV900. Following your suggestion I have bought a couple of Hoya lenses for macro photos. See attached the result...
From: Laurent (annlaur pacbell net)
Date: May 27 2001
Attached images: macro1, macro3, macro4, macro5, macro6.
Subject: CCD burned by laserWe just having a big party here in china last Fri and Sat. And I'm on the front stage shooting with my TRV900E. The laser behind the DJ booth was a 40W green laser and my Cam got hit by it (only 1 hit) and now I got 2 white spot on the cam. ...did you ever experience this?? See attached photo.
From: anders (anders at faceclub com)
Date: May 23 2001
The white spot looks very obvious on the TV... since that no matter what I shoot. I got these 2 white spot in front of it. I guess my CCD got burn by the laser... now i really hope my fans that work in the Sony can help me.
Please post this on your site and remind every one the LASER is not a toy (also 40W Laser could burn anything... damn) ...it could burn your CCD very easily.
Editors' note: I believe the FDA does not allow such powerful lasers to be used without eye protection in the USA, but in other countries the rules are different. About 5 mW (milliwatts) is the usual threshold of "eye-safe" laser power. Obviously, 40 watts is extremely dangerous to your eyes, and evidently even your camera. -John Beale
Subject: Sony Flash HVL-F10 From: William K Dvorak (billdvorak at mac.com) Date: April 30 2001
I did not find much on your site for the use of flash for the TRV 900 still photos. I finally bought one anyway after nearly two years thinking about it. I paid about 90.00 for the HVL-F10 flash unit which uses the lanc input for power and control. Mostly after three days of use I am very, very pleased with the results. If I had known it would work this good I would have made the purchase right away.
The TRV 900 seems to love this flash. It adjusts the amount of flash itself and is good for a fill flash as well as dark indoor conditions. I was surprised that against a backlit window the picture turned out perfect. The color of the pictures seems to be better than I get with good outdoor lighting. You can override the auto adjust by going into manual exposure but I haven't needed to. It recharges very quickly...about four seconds for me. The sharpness and the skin tones seem to be better with this flash than I get with outdoor light. I will be glad to give you more info or pictures after I have used this longer. Here is one of my indoor shots.
Subject: Solar Eclipse of Dec. 25 2000 From: Mharris (mharris at ross-realty com) Date: Dec. 26 2000
Thanks for all you have done for this great DV cam, and thanks for providing
me with the information to make a educated decision. This is a picture I
took with my TRV 900. The image was shot with a Tiffen UV filter and a
Tiffen polarizer, as well as a Canon 1.4x lens. The shutter was set to F11
and the ND filter was on. It came out pretty good without any additional
Subject: Animals at the Zoo From: Ladydigital (heckjh aol com) Date: Sun, 6 Aug 2000
HI John - just a quick note to update you on my Adventures with my 900.
I wanted to let you know that I get quite a bit of e-mail from visitors to my photo site (www.geocities.com/ladydigital ) from the link on you contributors page. About 1 year ago I sent you some photos I took with my 900 soon after I received it - swan and sports photos. Well, today I use quite a few programs to display the photos & video for family and fun. Slideshows (slides & sounds plus), Photo Albums (Flip Album CD maker), Video (Premiere & Studio DV). My first DV Video commercial is currently playing on "You Made It" (ZDTV channel 354 Direct TV).
I have saved High School wrestling matches to Video CD's for the team (640 x 480 full motion 30 fps video). I've even done a few commercials for local contractors using the time lapse feature then added a few titles and a soundtrack, saved it to tape or CD and the contractor has a product they can use to show off their work.
Recently I've visited the NY Bronx Zoo & NY Botanical Gardens. I've attached a few photos but it hard to choose because I have hundreds of fantastic shots. Keep up the Great Work on your site - I enjoy reading you posts on the TRV 900 mailing list.
Subject: San Francisco Bay Area From: George Zheng (yzheng at email msn com) Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000[...] Attached please find a few images I took using the TRV900.
Attached images: Bay Bridge, SF Bay, Fountain in Sun, Purple Flower, Seeds.
Subject: Flamingos from Montpellier From: Bruno Fournier (bfournier at dms com) Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000[...] the pictures were taken last Sunday, this is where I live (Montpellier, in the south of France, on the Mediterranean Sea). The first one has not been modified in any way, whereas the second one has been retouched: I removed two pink flamingos, and the image was brightened and sharpened under Paint Shop Pro.
Attached images: on the water, in the air
Subject: Astrophotos of Jupiter and Saturn From: Brett Mensh (brett at mensh com) Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 15:55:10 -0500[...] I just got my camera three weeks ago. Look what I got from shooting through my telescope. The telescope, a 6-inch Mak, was mounted on a planet-tracking equatorial mount. The TRV900 was handheld in the place that I would normally put my eye...
1) High-mag view of Jupiter with cloud bands. Coarse turbulence is visible as non-uniform thickness of each band, mainly the upper thick one. The red spot was on the other side of the planet at the time of this photo. Io, the volcanic moon, is transiting in front of the planet. You can see its black-dot shadow on Jupiter, and the white moon itself to the left of Jupiter (we have an angle on Jupiter relative to the Sun right now, which is why the moon and shadow are not in the same place).
2) Low-mag view of Jupiter, with Io to the left and the outer two moons, Ganymede and Callisto, to the right.
3) High-mag view of Saturn. Easily visible are the main 3-D features of the planet: the shading on the planet itself, the shadow of the planet on the back of the ring and the tip of the planet sticking out just beyond the front of the ring. Barely visible are Cassini's division between the main two rings and the shadow of the ring on the planet. These are all much better live, of course....
Subject: stills of people From: "Carle, Scott" (scott.carle at unistudios com) Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 17:30:13 -0800Firstly, many thanks for the tremendous wealth of information. It convinced me to purchase a TRV900 over cheaper alternatives. I am delighted with the camcorder.
The only problem I had was finding a broad range of stills (indoor, people, zoom, etc) to really see the detail and differences. It did appear that although the official resolution of roughly 640x480 was 'low' compared to still cameras, it is actually much better than the pictures I have seen from still cameras supporting 1024x768! It also appeared better (IMHO) than the Sony PC100 stills I have seen. Now I have the camera I am convinced that the low-light capabilities, color reproduction and resolution of the still images is better than many still cameras - without the 'lag' time problem they have. I knew from my previous camcorder (TRV73) that I would come across footage that I wanted stills from and had not taken stills in addition. Even when I had taken stills and video, this was a major hassle and impractical. So buying a camcorder without still capture was not really an option. Now I take one camera (TRV900) and can fire at will, discarding any unwanted stills for almost nothing. My concerns regarding resolution were unfounded!
I bought a 32Meg Lexar Compact Flash card that hold up to 136 images according to the display on the TRV900 for $99, including a USB adapter (Jumpshot) that allows me to copy the images to my laptop or PC at 600K/Second. Under 2 seconds per image! $99 for film and adapter that will last me a minimum of 5 years (that's the Lexar warranty) seems pretty good. Film is $3, plus developing costs around $6. That's for 24 photos, and waiting days to finish the film and process. I now e-mail the pictures instead of sending them. At super-fine or highest possible resolution they are roughly 1Meg in size each.
So I am attaching various stills. These are no works of art, but are mainly of my kids in different lighting situations and different zoom lengths and have fine details and some strong reds in addition to fine hair, which really tests the cameras ability. I have not retouched any.
The one of my one year old on the pier is at maximum optical zoom (digital off ... of course)
The picture by the river shows excellent wood grain for detail, while others show the detail on the blue cardigan that he is wearing in addition to the extremely fine hair strands.
The photo of my kid with a payphone is at Dallas airport, flourescent lighting. He's a bit close, but it's good for checking out the only slight pixelation (around his hand), lots of straight lines, difficult lighting, etc. These were all on AE, in SuperFine.
Attached images: girl1, house, pier, river, boy2, phone.
Subject: Hummingbird From: "Rob Gallagher" (rg at bestweb net) Date: Sat, 4 Dec 1999Attached is a vid-cap I took on a recent trip to Arizona. It's an extremely impressive camcorder that can make an image where you can count the wing feathers of a flying hummingbird.
Attached images: Hummingbird
Subject: A Note from a loyal visitor (goose, football pics) From: (HeckJH at aol com) Date: Wed, 13 Oct 1999 11:20:34 EDTI can only imagine the time and labor that you invested into your site. You helped me decide upon buying and using this camera and have given me the knowledge to make memories that will thrill for a lifetime.
I would like to share a few photos that I took the second weekend with the camera. The first weekend I concentrated on video and the next I go my feet wet with photos. These photos were all taken on a compact flash card with the camera in manual mode with the only changes being made were to the apperature settings.
I'm so thrilled with the photos that I'm putting up my photo gallery online. With the images from the camera I use a slide show program called Slides & Sounds Plus 2.0 ( inmediapresents.com [approx. $40.00 US] ) to make up multimedia shows (video & stills) that I e-mail to family and friends. I results are amazing and no special plug-in is required to view the shows. I think some kind of slideshow program is a very important accessory to fully appreciating this camera. I've also tracked down a Sports Pac and it should be delivered any day - I'll keep you posted.
Attached images: fish1, fish2, goose, sports1, sports2, sports3
Subject: Racing Car action shot From: "Ellis, Mike" (Mike.Ellis at compaq com) Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 13:16:19 -0500This is a shot taken at the Texaco Gran Prix in Houston last weekend. This is a car entered in the Kool/Toyota Atlantic Championship Race. The car is doing around 120-130mph. Details are:
Shutter 2000 F2.8 (wide open) Auto white balance ND filter on Auto Focus Progressive Mode Video Auto Level adjust in Photoshop 5 with brightness +18% and contrast +23%Attached image: COMPAQ 26.
Subject: First Photos- a Spider Date: Tue, 07 Sep 1999 From: "Ron Hargis, Jr."Great site. Definitely was my determining factor in purchasing the 900. I was a little skeptical about the first photos that users had sent in, but I found this spider under my daughter's rabbit hutch last night and was amazed at the results I got. I edited some of these photos using just the brightness filter on paint shop pro (they were a bit dark) and I think the images are pretty impressive. I copied directly from tape to floppy. The first photo is using photo mode, the other using progscan when the spider is wrapping up a little snack.
Subject: VCL-FS1K 10x telephoto lens (spotting scope) Date: Aug. 29 1999If anyone wants a VCL-FS1K, I got mine in just two days... I will be happy to help anyone that would like one. Here are some sample pics from last week.
Attached images: bird, deer
Just back in Utrecht (Holland) from NE France, had a great eclipse.
Filmed it with the trv900. "eclipse1", "eclipse2" is just at the end of
totality when the famous "diamond ring" starts to appear (just before it
is time to put the mylar filter back.....) "eclipse3" uses Olympus
1.45 tele-extender + mylar filter. I also include a few "Puffin" flash
pictures, taken in NW Scotland during my holidays there. (+ one young Scottish
highlander as a bonus).
Equipment: TRV900, Tripod: Polarex. Progressive video on tape, later transferred to flash card (lexar)
LeonardAttached images: eclipse1.jpg ,eclipse2.jpg, eclipse3.jpg, puffin1.jpg, puffin2.jpg, hland.jpg
Subject: Moon through Sigma 5x telex Date: Wed, 04 Aug 1999 08:30:48 -0500 From: Rolf Kevin Zigler (ziggy at essex1 com)I "snapped" this image, of the moon, this morning, right before heading to work. It's great having a tool as flexible as the TRV900 and all of its convenience. 15 minutes was all I had for time, and that's what it took. Now that I know my settings and procedures, five minutes would be enough.
Stats: 8/4/99, TRV900, full zoom, Sigma 5x telex, 7:00a CDT, a few clouds and light haze, 1/500 shutter, progressive scan. Mosquitos were no help at all. After I shot the pic and dropped it onto the floppy disk and copied to my HD, I ran the best image (composition) through some custom macros (scripts) in Corel PhotoPaint 8 to enhance contrast, correct color and slightly enhance edges. I saved the new image as JPG 25:1 compression.
Subject: Backyard pictures From: "Peter N Bao" (pnbao at notes west raytheon com) Date: Tue, 6 Jul 1999 08:33:11 -0700After months of reading your excellent webpage and consideration, I have ordered the camcorder and it arrived last weekend. I took a few pictures in my backyard and the result amazing me. These pictures only set at "fine" mode and the result already marvelous. [...]
Subject: Bird eating From: "Richard McCarty"I'd like to offer an image for your contributions page. I have a small and simple web site with more captures which I hope to add to as I practice with the Sony.
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 1999 14:59:10 -0700
Subject: Purple flower (close-up) From: William Davis (William.Davis at sn wpafb af mil) Date: Thu, 24 Jun 1999 13:29:41 -0400Attached was taken in 'auto everything' mode with a UV filter and a #2 close-up lens in place in front of the stock metal lens hood, in shade near bright sunlight. Looks purple, some indicate this is hard to get. Thinking that UV filter helps (not sure how, but sunlight + purple might be overloading the camera of forcing a phase shift. Maybe this image will generate enough discussion to resolve what's happening with purple and red...!
Note, edge resolution is probably more a function of the wide aperture and lack of depth of focus here than anything else.
[ed.note: I wonder if there is a difference in how the camera records the color purple (which is really blue and red light combined) and the wavelength "violet". Violet is at the top end of the visible spectrum (wavelength 400 nm or shorter) and stimulates both blue and to some degree red receptors in the human eye- but not necessarily in a 3CCD camera. I suspect that YVMV (your violet may vary :-)]
Subject: Yellow Rose From: Michael Brna (brna at cisco com)Thanks to your web page, I bought a trv900 to take to Germany with me. I've returned and thought I might send a photo of a flower from our travels. As usual, a sharpen function only! Enjoy, and thanks again.
Subject: Great camera, outdoor photos From: Ed Davis (daviscon at earthlink net) Date: Wed, 9 Jun 1999 12:11:25 -0400John,
Guys like you bring out the best of the web! Thanks a million for your page which helped me finally decide on the TRV 900. This is a remarkable instrument in many ways, and redefines 'convergence' for me! I am now looking closely at what to buy to do NLE. Why? Well, with the fantastic source material the TRV 900 can produce, there is only one thing to do, and that's make movies!
Attached are three images, but it's impossible to pick a favorite out of the several hundred stills I've captured so far. These are what happen to be on a floppy I have with me at work today, and are just raw from tape.
One complaint: The 'S' in the Sony logo fell off the outside of the LCD door. Now, I have a snaggle-tooth logo, but in the right light it's not too bad.
Seriously, this has been a flawless camera so far, and I'm using all the lens atttachments I had purchased years ago for a Cannon AE-1 that died after falling in the water during the Small World ride at Disney. (kind of them to let me ride thru again to retrieve it!)
What do I love? I love the manual features. A camera without 'knobs' is not really a camera, just a snapshot machine. I also like the fact that Sony decided to make three-ccd machines available to the masses this way.
I'd like to talk to anyone using stop-motion (frame) recording. I've mad a couple 'Gumby' movies to entertain the kids (knife sneaks up on bagel and two pieces end up walking off screen, very sophisticated, and a self-assembling Telletubbies puzzle) and you can get hooked on this stuff!
Thanks again, and please keep on doin what you're doin!
Subject: Photos from Greece/Turkey: Flash Card Results Date: Wed, 02 Jun 1999 14:41:14 -0700 From: Richard McCartney (ramram1 at home com)On a recent trip to Greece and Turkey, I used two 45 meg Flash Cards for a total of 561 pictures, with room left. Attached are a few results. ...I put them through Adobe's "Automatic Adjust levels". I find that the pictures played from the card to a TV set/monitor look great (and I play them directly into my Casablanca via Firewire for video editing purposes) but this optimization results in a relatively flat (low contrast) and low-color-saturation image for Net transmition or printing.. Adobe "Auto" seem an easy and effective fix. I then "Save As" so that I have both both file types available.
Attached images: Myk. Building Myk. Harbor Church #3 Church #5 St. Sophia Ceiling
Subject: First TRV900 picture Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 18:11:49 -0400 From: "Gualbert Hernandez Sierra"[...] Here is a pic I took... one of my first ones. i bought a Kingston 64MB flash card... it works great with capacity for +-320 pics super fine quality. BTW Terrific Homepage Thanks!!!
GualbertP.S. Bought my 900 from cameraworld.com... EXCELLENT SERVICE AND PRICE!!!! $2090 and i got the Camera, A 550 extra battery, 5 yr extended federal warranty, 60 min Sony tape, next day (red label) delivery. I ordered it in the afternoon (4:15PM) and I got it 10:00AM next day!!!
Attached image: candle01.jpg
Subject: TRV900 experience, with photos Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 14:37:50 -0700 (PDT) From: Bruce Barton (b-barton at ti dot com)Kudo's to your fine page about this camera! It was very useful when I was recently going thru the throes of trying to select a new camcorder to replace my 'dinosaur' VHS camera. I received my TRV900 about six weeks ago just prior to leaving for a vacation cruise to Hawaii. Haven't regretted the decision so far.
One of the things I got was a Ewa Marine camcorder snorkeling bag. It was with some trepidation I got this bag, but it seemed to work very well on our snorkeling excursion during the cruise. It sealed out the water very well thanks to its robust clamping mechanism, and internal condensation was no problem due to the provided dessicant bags. It allows one to start/stop, zoom, and switch video/still modes through the semi-flexible plastic of the bag. The window that the camera looks thru is optical glass. Viewing thru the viewfinder was no problem. The only major issue with this camera/bag combination was focus. The camera auto-focus was driven crazy for some reason when under water. Setting the focus to manual was not practical in this situation due to my attempts to chase down the many colorful fish in our snorkeling area. There was also some popping noise recorded on video due to the plastic bag rubbing on the microphone, but this was (to me) not overly objectionable. My max depth was only 5' or so while shooting. I've attached a couple of the better-focused examples. A bit of yellow filtration would have improved the color balance of these shots.
You could also probably use this bag for other high moisture environments like white-water rafting, etc.
My experience seems to bear out the knock on this camera's red focus capability. For illustrative purposes, I've attached some flower closeups from the vacation. You can see the reds are a little softer than other colors. I'm not complaining though, this is a great little camera.
The backlight compensation feature seems to work well for certain tricky lighting situations. I've attached an example of trees shot from below looking into bright sun; the view I didn't capture had the trees almost totally blasted out by the bright sky background.
Subject: Trunk Bay (St. John, USVI) From: Leonard Salonsky Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 08:34:48 PDTThought that you might like this TRV900 snapshot of Trunk Bay, St. John, USVI. Auto mode, progressive scan, no tripod. If you like it you can use it on your site.
Subject: Re: A sound question and one of my images To: Lonnie Dworkin Date: Sun, 28 Feb 1999 12:57:10 -0800 (PST)When I save a still image captured on the mini-DV tape to a floppy in *.jpg, the 7 seconds of sound doesn't seem to make the transfer or perhaps I don't have the right program to listen to sound while viewing on the PC. Is it possible to save the sound with the image?
Also, I've attached a "superfine" image of an eagle. I ran it through PhotoShop. First ran image sharpen, then auto level as recommended.
Attached image: Eagle.
Subject: New Carissa fire Date: Thu Feb 18 11:32:57 1999John,
Great page! You've got a monopoly on the "free advice for this camera" market. What a great camera. I shot the attached photo as video in the auto mode and downloaded to 3.5" disc, superfine resolution. What impressed me was that this was my second day of shooting with the camera, I was in a moving helicopter and it was about 15 minutes after sunset on a cloudy day. The subject is the vessel New Carissa exploding off Coos Bay, Oregon, last week. The image is not enhanced in any way.
Subject: sunset photo To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Sun, 07 Feb 1999Thought you'd like to see a still I took with my TRV900. It was taken at Jones Beach, Long Island, NY a few days ago at sunset. I shot the still in progressive mode on auto (no exposure adjustments) without a tripod. Transfer to PC was via floppy. There were no image enhancements (no sharpening, etc.) of any kind done. You can use it on your site(s) if you like it. This camera sure is fun. Keep up your source of fine info on the TRV900.
Subject: Milk drop splash To: email@example.com Date: Thu, 4 Feb 1999Greeting John,
My name is Chris Custer. I live in the cold north east side of the country. Vermont to be exact. I wanted to take this opportunity to praise and thank you for your web site. I purchased a TRV900 for my business. I may have not done so if it were not for the great information on your web site. Your pictures an information on the camera is outstanding. You are an inspiration to many who use the web in such a constructive manor. Enclosed you will find a picture I do playing around with the 900 last night. Feel free to use it on your web site. It was shot at 1/4000 with a 20 watt video light in progressive video mode. It was then written to memory card and transferred to the PC. No further processing was done to the image.
Subject: Portraits in Mexico Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 From: Brad ChengDear John,
Thank you so much for the work you've put into your website. I've waited for years to purchase a camcorder that would satisfy everything I wanted in a camera, and your authoritative review of the TRV900 convinced me it was the camera to buy. I worked for many years as a professional still photographer and the TRV900 seemed the perfect synthesis of camcorder and still camera for the digital age. Its moving images and stills are beautiful and I want to thank you for providing the incentive to purchase this state-of-the-art camera. I refer back to your page often for your insightful tips as well as useful suggestions from others. I have not regreted my purchase for one moment -- except briefly when I withdrew my credit card from my wallet -- but the pleasure of using this camera has even ironed out even that woeful experience.
I'm sending along a few stills I shot recently in Mexico should you ever expand your reader's submission page. One of the amazing features of this camera is the number of quality stills you can take filming in the progressive mode. It's like having an autowinder on a camera with an unlimited supply of film. I actually shot these pictures while in a moving car! Amazing... Thanks again for your diligent research into the TRV900. You saved me weeks of research and the disappointment of settling for a lesser piece of equipment.
Below are two more TRV900 images contributed by Edmundo Battaglini (firstname.lastname@example.org). The sunset image is compressed more, so some JPEG artifacts are visible. Edmund writes:
The first photo I sent you [on left] was the first I took in my backyard a few minutes after sunset at super fine mode on a regular diskette. The second [at right] was captured from DV Video with my Snappy.
More photos: Clouds, above street House,
back view Roses, by the house
Here are some very nice TRV900 flower pictures contributed by Marc Lerner. He took them in progressive mode, did some minor tweeking after importing to his PC, and then re-saved with JPEG Quality=70.
Title page example
I received the following letter 9/28/98:
[...] Our TRV900 was shipped last Wed. from OneCall; it arrived here in the New England in less than 24 hours! I'm still on the learning curve, but think I have made the correct choice of camera. The progressive scan stills I've taken thus far are excellent, and I'm still using the AE mode. The built-in mic is as good as you say - even when listening through a good pair of Sony studio monitor headphones.
The normal video, when viewed on a Mitsubishi 35" through the S-video input, is mind-boggling...better colors and clarity than anything seen on the fiber- optic cable hookup we have.
Our computer is a PowerMac (603e/200MHZ). After reading your FAQ, I ran some tests with Mavica files on PC to Mac and back again...Actually my Mac opens the TRV900 files (which share the same filenames as Mavica files) more easily than any of the half-dozen PC's I've tried in this experiment.
The JPEG's do look darker on all computer monitors I've tested, as do Mavica JPEGS. The easiest way I've found to fix this problem on the Mac is to open the original JPEG in PhotoDeluxe, hit "Instant Fix", and save the result as a Clarisworks JPEG. The resulting files (super-fine progressive-scan mode; 640X480) are saved on the Mac as relatively small 39K or 77K documents, depending on the complexity of the original image.
I've also experimented with titles. I haven't bought any memory-chip cassettes yet, and from what you've said in your FAQ, I don't think I'll need them - all I do on the Mac is create a 640X480 title in Clarisworks drawing, and save it as a standard Mavica file (Mvc-000n.jpg) to one of the floppies that was formatted by the TRV900's drive. Now, the TRV900 thinks the Claris drawing is one of its own creations, and from there it's just a process of dubbing the titles in sequence onto the DV tape.
The only negative comment I have thus far is the desire for a MENU button located outside the LCD screen...it would be handy when using the viewfinder outdoors to not have to stop, open up the LCD to press Menu, and then close the screen again.
My overall impression of the DCR-TRV900 is that Sony has come up with a well thought-out, useful tool. None of us know yet how well the tiny video drum and moving parts will stand up over time; I just hope that by the time they do wear out, Sony will have come out with an MD-DVD/RAM Walkman Recorder that can be carried in a shirt pocket and plugged into an aging TRV900 via firewire...
Thanks again for the FAQ! - I've attached a couple of my first stills (saved as Clarisworks 5.0 JPEGS) if you care to see them, or post them for the benefit of Mac users.
Richard Roth Fairfield, CT
Same rose, next day Altered rose, with title Yellow flower image pretty blue flower.
The first one is "The Last Rose of Summer". The next one is the same rose 24 hours later; the third is an experimental title using the rose shot overlayed with Claris text and"Neg.Art" + "Lumi." effects from the TRV900. The last one is a yellow flower about 1/2" diameter, showing how easily the TRV900 creates good-looking photos in AE mode.
It would seem that the statement on p.105 of the Manual re: "Files modified with personal computers" isn't true, much to my delight! In addition to the computer generated titles, I've already displayed and recorded images from a friend's Mavica on the TRV900.