comparing the HD100 to the Z1 at DVinfo.net

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Old March 16th, 2006, 08:10 PM   #1
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comparing the HD100 to the Z1

These two cameras are similarly priced. I have read in various places that the image produced by the two cameras is similar. What I am wondering about it manipulating the image in camera.

What sorts of internal image manipulation controls exist inside the HD100? Are they easy to use? Powerful, flexible?

Shoddy? Temperamental? Useless, clumsy?
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Old March 16th, 2006, 08:52 PM   #2
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The HD100 wins this contest hands down. It has extensive image manipulation controls, a lot more than the Z1 does.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 11:39 PM   #3
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Barry,

I have the sense that (without being a real DVX user) the DVX became as popular as it did largely because it was well designed.

Do you think that the HD100 is "designed" better than the Z1U? I know that's a subjective question, but I'm curious to just throw it out there.

Can you elaborate on how the HD100 wins this contest hands down? Can you describe the extensive image manipulation controls, and contrast them to the Z1U's? This is a subject I haven't really seen addressed, and am curious to learn more about.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 11:47 PM   #4
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The Z1 and the HD100 are nearly polar opposites in all ways. Everything they do is completely opposite.

HD100 = interchangeable lens, Z1 = fixed lens
HD100 = shoulder-mount, Z1 = small handheld form factor
HD100 = 720p only, Z1 = 1080i only
HD100 = 24p/30p, Z1 = 50i/60i
HD100 = no autofocus or OIS, Z1 = autofocus + OIS
HD100 = true manual focus & zoom, Z1 = servo manual focus & servo zoom
HD100 = 30 minute battery load, Z1 = 7-hour battery load
HD100 = long telephoto and weak wide-angle, Z1 = great wide-angle and medium telephoto

They're just opposite. Doesn't make one "better" than the other, but it almost certainly makes one of them more suitable for YOUR purposes than the other one is. Choosing between these two should be very easy -- just identify your needs, because one will most likely be much more appropriate for your needs than the other is. Both have some very nice design elements; the LCD on the Sony is great, the battery life is excellent, etc. The JVC chose an industry-standard lens mount instead of the proprietary Canon lens mount. Then there's things they both got wrong -- I have no use for interlaced 60i video, so that's the biggest deal-killer for me on the Z1, and the lens on the HD100 is the source of much discussion and consternation, what with breathing and chromatic aberrations and blurry edges at telephoto, etc. Neither is perfect, but one is probably much more suitable than the other for any particular given job.

But when it comes to image controls, download the manual and look at what the HD100 has to offer. Multiple gamma curves at multiple levels, three levels of black stretch and three levels of black compress, detail level adjustable for horz & vert balance, individual channels of red, green & blue gain, and individual controls for red, green & blue rotation...

I'm not a big fan of the JVC, so it's not like I'm trying to promote it over the Sony. But I'm referencing your specific question, and you gotta give props where props are due, and the JVC has extensive paintability in its image control menus. More than the Sony, more than the Panasonic, but I don't know how extensive it is as compared to the Canon.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 12:04 AM   #5
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I have both cameras here right now, as it happened... the Z1U is borrowed for a shoot I just returned from, the HD100 is mine.

Ergonomics and user controls - HD100 is the winner. Reliability, at this point I have to say the Z1U is a very strong contender. This one unit here went through hell over the last year being used as a second camera on a Discovery-Times series and it's still great. The cleaning tape that the producer bought with the camera has not been even unwrapped yet and I haven't seen a single dropout! Also, I like the LCD and VF on the Z1U much better than the HD100 - I think that JVC went really cheap there - too bad. I would have been happy to pay up to $1,000 more for better VF and LCD. On the other hand, the focus assist on the HD100 is hard to beat.

I am basically waiting for the growing pains of the HD100 to be dealt with and I think (hope) that ultimately the HD100 will be a better camera. It certainly has much more potential than the Z1U - unfortunately JVC brought it to the market too soon, without enough testing and correcting various, by now notorious, bugs.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 12:38 AM   #6
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Wow, thanks for the specific and thoughtful answers guys--much appreciated, and better than the usual answers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Green
But when it comes to image controls, download the manual and look at what the HD100 has to offer. Multiple gamma curves at multiple levels, three levels of black stretch and three levels of black compress, detail level adjustable for horz & vert balance, individual channels of red, green & blue gain, and individual controls for red, green & blue rotation...
Great answer. So, gamma control, black stretch + compress, and RGB gain + rotation; does that cover everything, as far as image manipulation features go? What is RGB rotation?
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Old March 17th, 2006, 12:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fischer Spooner
Wow, thanks for the specific and thoughtful answers guys--much appreciated, and better than the usual answers.



Great answer. So, gamma control, black stretch + compress, and RGB gain + rotation; does that cover everything, as far as image manipulation features go? What is RGB rotation?
from what i've been told, rgb rotation means changing the color (like on a color wheel) between the different colors that form that particular color. i think. if i'm wrong, somebody please correct me.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 10:24 AM   #8
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hate to play devils advocate: But the z1 does not have the sse issue, the lens though not interchangable is much more stable, and does not breath like the lens included with the hd100. Tape drop outs are virtually nil, where the hd100 can't handle very much movement at all when shooting, the viewfinder on the z1 is vastly superior and you can run both the eyepiece, and lcd screen similtaneously. Also, sony's got your back should you have any issues, and there hasn't been one single firmware update necessairy. Additionally, plugging a firestore into the z1 is a dream, the two play nicely with one another, which gives you piece of mind while shooting. I also think you would be suprised by how many variable you can alter on the z1. It is quite amazing that such a robust, and seemingly simple camera can pack so much professional feature punch. Oh yeah, and the z1 won't randomly switch modes on you. I also doubt if you will receive a refurbished z1 from sony. There are literally hundreds of hd100's that have been returned, that are finding their way back on the streets as new units. Lastly, the battery life on the hd100 is atrocious. 40 minutes. Where you can milk an entire day (up to 7 hours, using the lcd screen) out of a sony battery which will charge quite rapidly. I own both cameras and my hd100 has become my backup unit to the z1. It just didn't deem itself reliable enough for me to shoot confidently. I'm hoping with the upcoming release of the hd100a, that the bugs are finally worked out. I doubt sony will be releasing a revised version of the z1.

Seriously, I would say you should go out and test both cameras before purchasing. The hd100 is novel because of it's shoulder mount ergonomics, but it may be worth sacrificing if you want long term peace of mind.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 12:35 PM   #9
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If you want to advocate anything, go to the Sony Z1 forum and read all the problems. There are always problems with every camera.

The HD100 is a huge leap and it will take some time to iron out issues. You could argue that the Z1 is just a PD150 with some pixel shifting. Come on.

If you have used any professional cameras before then you will appreciate the form factor of the HD100. It feels right on your shoulder and has things in the right place. Even if the little batteries lasted twice as long I'd still buy a pro power system like the Anton because it balances the camera and it's what I've used on all previous systems.

If you want the little run and gun, palm pilot of cameras then get one. If you want to put real lenses on, real matte boxes, and look in a real view finder than consider the HD100.

Don't listen to any of us. Go use the cameras as we all have personal prefrences. However, there is no way the Z1 image compares to the HD100. I've rented the Z1 before having my HD100 and looking at the footage now makes me laugh.

P.S. The HD100 doesn't switch modes on it's own. Since you can recored VARIOUS different formats to tape - which you have to switch by hand by the way, it does need to change playback mode on the fly if it encounters a different format on the same tape. Stop with the hate agenda.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 12:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert Henson
hate to play devils advocate: But the z1 does not have the sse issue...Tape drop outs are virtually nil, where the hd100 can't handle very much movement at all when shooting...Oh yeah, and the z1 won't randomly switch modes on you.
I love that you play devil's advocate. What's sse? Are you saying moving the camera causes dropouts? Or is it that moving the image causes dropouts (i.e., the electronics of the camera can't handle the information of the image changing too much--for example, as with a rapid tracking movement where the camera itself is stable)?

Finally, you seem to be implying the HD100 switches modes?
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Old March 17th, 2006, 12:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Holtermann
However, there is no way the Z1 image compares to the HD100. I've rented the Z1 before having my HD100 and looking at the footage now makes me laugh.
Tim, I've read in a couple head to head tests now that the overall HDV image of these to cameras are similar in their default modes. seeing is believing, and I've only read--not seen--this. I am intrigued by this point of view. Are you suggesting that the JVC produces an superior image in its default mode, or that the JVC's more robust and professional feature set *allows* a proficient operator to achieve superior results?
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Old March 17th, 2006, 12:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert Henson
hate to play devils advocate: But the z1 does not have the sse issue, the lens though not interchangable is much more stable, and does not breath like the lens included with the hd100. Tape drop outs are virtually nil, where the hd100 can't handle very much movement at all when shooting, the viewfinder on the z1 is vastly superior and you can run both the eyepiece, and lcd screen similtaneously.

The SSE issue has been really picked on but really it isn't as major as some think it is. If it is a major problem with your camera you need to send it in to get fixed.

Again with the dropout issue I think you need to send it in. HDV2 with a 15GOP can have more dropout problems than a 6GOP from the JVC's HDV1. I know the JVC has been used in wilderness shooting where it has gone though water rapids fell in the water and still worked with never any dropouts. I would say that is pretty robust. I think your camera may have some issues that need to be fixed.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 12:44 PM   #13
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Are we talking progressive or Interlace? Make a progressive image out of the Z1 and see what happens.

There are plenty of head to head tests that show the true resolutions of these cameras.

...And yes, the tweaking ability of the HD100 does wonders for getting a great image. The Z1 lacks in this area big time.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 01:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Holtermann
...And yes, the tweaking ability of the HD100 does wonders for getting a great image. The Z1 lacks in this area big time.
That, for me, is huge. Is there some way to definitively quantify or even save settings?
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Old March 17th, 2006, 01:49 PM   #15
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You can save your settings on the HD100 to a SD Card.
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