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Old November 8th, 2013, 05:20 AM   #241
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

Thank you Guys for you help

I better wait for the Next Z500 or Z700 ;)
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Old November 8th, 2013, 11:14 AM   #242
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

When the light is OK, for example normal daylight, even if overcast the Z100 produces a remarkably good 4K picture. It is very low noise, very high resolution (much higher than HD), not over sharpened or enhanced and with good colorimetry. It does have very slightly less dynamic range than a PMW-300, but overall there is no way an upscaled PMW-300 is going to look as good at 4K as a Z100 under normal conditions.

In poor light then maybe the PMW-300, upscaled may be better overall than the Z100, but really in this situation neither is optimal and there are better options.

If you only want HD, don't want to have the flexibility that 4K can offer for re-framing, image stabilising etc then the PMW-300 is undoubtedly the better camera.

Is mainstream 4K a long way off? Maybe if you think 3 years is a long time. Netflix are to start 4K distribution next year. You can buy a surprisingly good 4K TV right now for less than $999. Even a good quality Samsung 4K TV can now be had for around $3,200. 40% of all US cinemas now have 4K capability and there are over 20,000 4K projectors globally. YouTube is available in 4K, Jeopardy is being shot in 4K along with at least 14 other main stream US TV series. Most digital photographs are more than 4K and Sony and others are looking at photo player apps and devices for 4k TV's that can show your digital snaps with amazing clarity. I think 4K will become mainstream much quicker than HD did. The biggest barrier to HD was broadcasting bandwidth. A massive percentage of the content we watch these days comes to the home over the web, largely bypassing the bandwidth bottleneck. It's predicted that in another 6 years time, online delivery of television will become more common that over the air broadcasting.
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Old November 9th, 2013, 10:31 AM   #243
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

Well, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune are Sony Pictures properties so if anyone's getting the F55 as Studio Cameras, they would no doubt do that.

Broadcast may even skip 1080p60 FWIW. The rarity of 60p on web delivery needs to be remedied, but no one in any web consortium seems to be interested in 60p delivery and just say 30p, 25p, and 24p are fine.
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Old November 9th, 2013, 09:30 PM   #244
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

Lots of wonderful information on this camera. I personally only wish the low light aspects of it were better. Here is why. I believe that anyone starting to produce any long format documentary that they want to find a buyer for in say 3 years from now- and thats a short turn around for some docs- would most certainly benefit at the negotiations for the rights to that property if its originatied in 4K. Having just gone through the process of selling a property for distrobution, it was made clear to me that having 4K material will put dollars on your side of the table. If your project started today on 1080 you would certainly be driven down on the price at the time of sales. Its not even relavent what the topic is. Its one of the first hot points when you go to sell it.

I would certainly buy the consumer version , due to longer record times on the current cards, if I were starting a doc today. The buying party will take hammered, noisy, grainy 4k over great looking 1080 anytime.
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Old November 11th, 2013, 11:26 AM   #245
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

I think the buyers will take engaging material over camera specs any day, and i think it's misleading to claim otherwise. The fact is, there is a vast amount of good doco material in circulation shot on cheapish cameras. The idea that film makers need to jump through yet another industry hoop to qualify for broadcast is absurd.
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Old November 11th, 2013, 12:44 PM   #246
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

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I think the buyers will take engaging material over camera specs any day, and i think it's misleading to claim otherwise. The fact is, there is a vast amount of good doco material in circulation shot on cheapish cameras. The idea that film makers need to jump through yet another industry hoop to qualify for broadcast is absurd.
And yet I wish my large library of previously shot footage was all taken in 4k. Even my EX1r footage looks dated and obsolete to me now.
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Old November 11th, 2013, 04:01 PM   #247
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

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And yet I wish my large library of previously shot footage was all taken in 4k. Even my EX1r footage looks dated and obsolete to me now.
I really can't say I can move to 4K without a defined colorimetry (the final release version of Rec. 2020), a good bitrate to capacity ratio (Shooting straight XAVC will require 512GB cards for longform recordings) and the broadcast community to move over to accept it and start broadcasting in it.

Plus, we've pretty much reached the limit of capturing photons to squeeze every pixel out for this camera and cameras like the Lumia 1020. Any smaller pixel density will be exclusively for the consumer market and would totally not benefit the professional in any way, since we're losing too much sensitivity.

Also, I'd much rather see the push for global shutter CMOS fabrication pricing to go down. It took an arm and a leg to use it on the F55, so tech should improve in that direction.

Again, it's the Z1U days of 4K, and that's how I'll view it until we get that EX1 of 4K.
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Old November 11th, 2013, 09:04 PM   #248
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

I don't know the answers but it's hard to believe we'll be transitioning to UHD in 3 years, or that the reason we'll be able to is Netflix, YouTube or the internet. If I was to judge quality today, the latter 2 (at least) would be the WORST quality. Over the air and Blu-ray are the best quality for mainstream consumers. Somebody has to pay for all that broadband arriving at the curb.

Just my opinion, but I don't forsee a transition to UHD as much as I see gradual rollout of non-synergistic, diverse, niche UHD products entering into the mix of blended coexistence with everything else that's still out there and hasn't gone away, SD, HD, DVD, Blu-ray. (DVD still outsells Blu-ray by a wide margin.)

But I honestly feel it's going to be an even harder task for UHD, here's why:

1.) 4k acquisition is perfectly justifiable, makes good sense.

2.) But as a display, UHD viewing benefits are mainly with very large displays, or very close up viewing. <- That is a problem for mainstream acceptance. Many are perfectly happy with HD, or those who prioritize convenience over ultimate quality, or won't be viewing in home theater man-caves.

3.) HEVC (h.265) is twice the compression at the existing bit rates. So even though Rec. 2020 makes possible a wider color gamut as well 10 and 12 bit, what's going to arrive at the display is quite likely 8 bit 4:2:0 color.

4.) Already, many have been reporting that OLED 1080p displays are the winner when pitted against UHD panels displaying 2160p. OLED and plasma have better color purity than LCD. Better pixels trump more pixels at the sizes and viewing distances most consumers prefer.

One other gotcha...Gary Merson, the HD Guru is reporting that 2160/p60 will require HDMI 2.0, and that most current UHDTVs don't carry it. The bigger name brands like Samsung have announced future upgrade paths from HDMI 1.4 but other manufacturers may not.

As a display format, I think the uptake of UHD displays and transmission will be very slow and protracted, certainly not the deliberate transition as was the analog to digital switchover.
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Old November 13th, 2013, 06:45 AM   #249
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

All the same arguments came up in the mid 1990's when HD was on the horizon, yet in Europe it took less than 2 years between the launch of the Z1 and the arrival of full time HD broadcasting (via satellite TV) and a further 2 years before the majority of main stream programme commissions were HD.

Back then we didn't have the kind of internet bandwidth we have today. I have a 100Mb/s fibre connection for my home internet. This is being upgraded to 150Mb/s in the new year. That's enough for 3 simultaneous real time 4K/UHD HEVC streams. In many parts of Asia, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore etc similar speeds are common and the desire for everything hi-tech is hard to grasp (even toilets can be computer controlled with heated seats, auto closing lids and play music).

HD TV's are the norm now. In the future more and more new TV's will be UHD. Those wishing to buy a new high end TV will want to future proof their investment, so many will buy UHD TV's, rightly or wrongly, it's an easy sell for the sales rep, bigger is better. This will creep down to lower cost TV's until eventually UHD becomes the norm for larger screen sizes. Since the launch of HD the size of TV's in the home has increased. In Europe, pre HD a 27" or 32" TV was considered large. Now 42" is common, in the last 10 years TV sizes have doubled and continue to grow by an average 2" per year. TV's will grow to fit the quality of the images delivered to them. In addition home cinema installations are no longer just for the rich and famous and increasing in popularity.

The BBC Natural History unit is already committed to 4K capture. Many documentaries as well as drama are now being shot in 4K. As a big time stock footage shooter, I'm already looking at my HD library as having a now very limited shelf life. When HD came in my SD footage sales took a hit well before HD broadcasting became common place as programme makers wanted to future proof their productions.

Why UHD and not 4K? Simple - scaling. UHD is 4x HD, so any up/down conversion is really simple and most likely look better than the odd scaling from 4K to HD. In addition 4K at 17:9 would require letter boxing for HD or 16:9 viewing. UHD makes a lot of sense for broadcasters. The difference between 4K and UHD is only really the aspect ratio, 4K is slightly wider, but the resolution is the same for the given picture height.

It isn't going to happen overnight. It will take time, but happen it will and probably quicker than many expect as there are fewer barriers to UHD than there were to HD. I'm sure there will be many areas that will hang on to HD or even SD, but if you start at 4K you can cater for all.
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Old November 13th, 2013, 09:22 AM   #250
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

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Why UHD and not 4K? Simple - scaling. UHD is 4x HD, so any up/down conversion is really simple and most likely look better than the odd scaling from 4K to HD. In addition 4K at 17:9 would require letter boxing for HD or 16:9 viewing. UHD makes a lot of sense for broadcasters. The difference between 4K and UHD is only really the aspect ratio, 4K is slightly wider, but the resolution is the same for the given picture height.
I can't fault your logic for nearly all of that post, and fully agree, but I think it's important to draw a big distinction between acquisition and transmission/display.

For high value material with future value - and your stockshots are obviously a prime example - then the argument for 4K/UHD acquisition are obvious.

I agree that UHD makes most sense from a broadcasters point of view for transmission etc, for the reasons you say, but for ACQUISITION isn't 4K the better bet? (With the caveat that it's shot 16:9 shoot and protect?) If 4K is what's later needed, it's what's there. If UHD is needed, it's a simple crop at the sides, but no scaling. And if shot and protected 16:9, you know no essential detail will be lost - exactly the same as the early days of 16:9 in the UK, using shoot and protect to 14:9.

Shoot UHD, and if 4K is later desired, it's not then as satisfactory. It will also mean a crop (this time top and bottom) - but also a rescale as well.
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Old November 13th, 2013, 09:51 AM   #251
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

I fully agree that for shooting, 4K makes the most sense, as you say simple crop to UHD. I was just looking at distribution and how 4K/UHD will creep in to homes in the coming years.
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Old November 13th, 2013, 12:29 PM   #252
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
All the same arguments came up in the mid 1990's when HD was on the horizon, yet in Europe it took less than 2 years between the launch of the Z1 and the arrival of full time HD broadcasting (via satellite TV) and a further 2 years before the majority of main stream programme commissions were
I haven't made arguments against UHD, I'm all in 100% for 4k acquisition.

But I am expressing the reasons why the uptake on the consumer end will be protracted and incomplete just as HD is, only this time the consumer doesn't have a federally mandated analog to digital switchover, isn't switching from heavy curved glass crt and rear projection sets, and will need larger panels or closer viewing distances to see benefits in the home.

Even Netflix have stated they expect the uptake from the subscriber base to be small in the near term, thus only a negligible affect on their bandwidth.

As these panels are shipping now with less desirable LCD display quality compared to OLED and plasma, are shipping without HDMI 2.0 which is necessary for 2160/p60, and are marketed that all your upscaled content will look better in 2160p, we really have seen that before.

To argue against the inevitability of the future is likened to "whistling past the graveyard." Definitely I'm not doing that here, but some skepticism is justified.

Let's see what happens, in the meantime, have a beer!
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Old November 13th, 2013, 06:59 PM   #253
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

I decided on the AX1 and have had it for a few days now from Crutchfield. I posted in the AX1 thread that I am having trouble rendering good quality blurays. Could someone please visit that thread and post some suggestions?

Thank you in advance,

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Old November 27th, 2013, 03:40 PM   #254
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

Now in stock at B&H.
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Old December 2nd, 2013, 12:38 PM   #255
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Re: Sony launches PXW-Z100 4K Handheld XDCAM

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I would suggest that the NX5 and Z100 sensors have similar sensitivity. The NX5 has bigger pixels and uses a prism while the Z100 although it has much smaller pixels see's an approx 8db sensitivity boost per pixel because of the back illumination. Overall they should come out very similar.

However the Z100 has more sophisticated image processing. When I tested the Z100 alongside a PMW-200 I found the Z100 to be 1.5 stops less sensitive than the 200 at 0db, but... and this was the big surprise the Z100 was showing less visible noise (or at least the noise was less apparent). Raising the gain on the Z100 quickly results in more noise and some image softening, especially above +9db. So I think you'll see similar sensitivity to the Z5 at 0db with possibly a cleaner looking image from the Z100. But if you start adding in lots of gain the Z100 performance will start to fall away quite quickly.
Any ideas of how the Z100 compares to a non-sony camera like the HMC150?

Basically, I'm curious to see any updated info on this camera and how it compares to a couple other cams with regards to sensitivity (HMC150 & AX1 for reference). It's now officially out and it seemed like most of these statements I'm reading were done on pre-production models. I'm currently rocking a couple HMC150's for live event shooting and it's time to move on. I am wondering how the Z100 will compare with regards to sensitivity to the HMC150. I never really push the HMC's beyond +9db of gain (maybe 12db if absolutely necessary). With the BSI sensor on this camera, and Alister Chapman's note above that it gives a camera about an 8db boost, I'm curious how it stacks up against the older HMCs in this regard. For example, at 0db, which is more sensitive? And when an HMC150 is at +9db/+12db...what does one have to set the Z100 at to match that? And how is the noise at that level of gain?

I know the initial reports are that the AX1 and Z100 aren't the best in low light compared to the PMW-200, etc. but I need a camera with 60fps and a 3G-HDSDI out which leaves me with only the Z100 and the FS700 at this point. Does the Z100 fare any better at all than the AX1? Or is it the same? I'm hoping to get some updated info now that it appears both of these cams are available.
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