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Old November 20th, 2004, 01:05 PM   #1
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Sony follows Panasonic's lead

Interesting to note that the new Sony FX1 HD camcorder takes a leaf out of the Panasonic DVX100A book. Sony have replaced the 6mm to 72mm (f1.6 to f2.4) on the PD170 with a 4.5mm to 54mm (f1.6 to f 2.8) lens on the new hi-def FX1 and Z1 - exactly the same spec as the Leica lens. The Zeiss comes with their justly famous T* multi-coating which can do the image nothing but good.

So now Zeiss and Leica match perfectly, although the Sony lens covers (presumably) a smaller 1/3" chip. Smaller? Well, a native 16:9 shape cut out of a 1/3" chip presumably does it within a smaller circle. Are my trigonometry thoughts correct here?

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Old November 20th, 2004, 02:09 PM   #2
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The FX1/Z1 has the same wide angle, but a longer telephoto than the DVX. The DVX is 4.5-45, the FX1/Z1 are 4.5-54, 12x optical instead of 10x.

As far as CCD size, if diagonal is still diagonal, then the Sony chip would be 1/3" but wider and shorter. May still have the same size surface area, just in a different configuration. Canon's XL2 chip is smaller than the DVX's (same width, shorter height) which leads to it being a 1/3.3" chip, but there's no indication that the Sony's is smaller.
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Old November 20th, 2004, 02:18 PM   #3
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I'm an idiot . Thanks Barry for waking me up. Tom - engage brain before tapping keyboard.
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Old November 20th, 2004, 04:06 PM   #4
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According to the specs in the FX-1 manual, the 16:9 shaped CCD has a 6mm diagonal. I don't have the specs for the DVX here, but a 6mm diagonal is standard for a 1/3" type 4:3 CCD. So if you want a level playing field, then you'd have to compare to the DVX shooting in cropped 16:9 mode, and that diagonal would have to be less than 6mm.
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Old November 21st, 2004, 11:07 AM   #5
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Technically, the only time that the XL2 sensor is smaller is if you are shooting in 4:3 mode. If you shot in 16:9 on the XL1s, you'll get the same field of view in 16:9 on the XL2.

I think that would bother me if I planned to shoot in 4:3 mode on the XL2 since I'd loose some of the width on my lenses.
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Old November 23rd, 2004, 06:58 AM   #6
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people seem to forget that theres still ALOT of isues with HDV.. the main one being a consistant "freeze" during recording..

basically the Hardware encoder will "lock up" and your left with a freeze frame of about 0.5seconds

its sporadic, but its a well documented issue. On top of that, SOny has claimed that this is normal behaviour for the format within the unit..

If thats the case, id be using SW NLE's to upsample my footage to HDV.. coz thats what HDV essentialy is.. upsampled footage..
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Old November 23rd, 2004, 05:42 PM   #7
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Hey Peter, can you point to a Sony statement that says that that's normal? That would make for some highly interesting reading...
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Old November 24th, 2004, 01:47 PM   #8
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Just check out the HDR-FX1 forum. The 1/2 second freeze has to do with the MPEG-2 encoding that the HDV format uses, which employs a 15 frame Group Of Pictures (GOP) for compression purposes. If one of the frames fails then you lose 1/2 second in the MPEG-2 data.

It's not that big a problem. After shooting over 120 minutes on my HDR-FX1 with cheepo DV tapes I have only witnessed one such freeze, and I have yet to go back to see if it was just a read error or a write error on the tape.

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Old November 24th, 2004, 02:31 PM   #9
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Better yet, use the tape that Sony actually recommends for this camera (the new DVM-63HD which was made for this format) and you shouldn't have any dropouts at all. See the discussion at http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=35322.
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Old November 24th, 2004, 03:07 PM   #10
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"use the tape that Sony actually recommends for this camera"

That would indeed be a great idea... If I could find one on the shelf. Alas, none were to be found, so Sony Premiums were used.

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Old November 24th, 2004, 05:24 PM   #11
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I was speculating on that happening a few weeks ago, it makes perfect sense why it would happen. But what I'm interested in seeing is if Sony's made an official statement about it, saying "this is the way the format is, just live with it"?

For my purposes, I doubt I'd be happy with a 15-frame scrag, and would probably instead epoxy a Firestore FS-4 to the camera (assuming the FS-4 will be HDV-compatible when it comes out). But I'd sure like to see Sony's response, if they made an official public statement.
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Old November 25th, 2004, 06:15 AM   #12
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"assuming the FS-4 will be HDV-compatible when it comes out"

It will be soon ;)

as for the drop, the new sony tapes seem to be a rebadged Pana MQ (keyword is seems) as i cant find any technical info on the tape itself. As for the tape, i cant see what tape stock has to do with a hardware encoders performance... I may be missing something here...

as for the statement, im tryin to find the email i recieved about it but for the life of me i cant see it anywhere... sorry guys
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Old November 25th, 2004, 02:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
As for the tape, i cant see what tape stock has to do with a hardware encoders performance... I may be missing something here...
I couldn't imagine what tape stock would have to do with a hardware encoder's performance either. That would be a seriously questionable claim to make! :)

No, the thing about tape would be that it would hopefully prevent dropouts, which (because of the nature of MPEG-2 encoding) would be much more disastrous in HDV than they ever were in DV.

Sony's implementation of HDV encodes pictures in groups of 15. If one of those frames gets hit with a dropout, it'll affect all the frames that follow it up until the next group. So it's entirely possible that a tiny little dropout, the kind that caused a one-frame "sparkly" on DV, could cause as much as a 15-frame scrag on HDV.

Obviously one must do everything possible to avoid dropouts. Better tape could help, but I think that with this technology it's probably best to go straight to hard disk. I saw where FireStore announced that they'd support HDV back in April, so hopefully the FS-4 will be the product that supports it, which should make HDV dropout-proof.
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Old December 26th, 2004, 08:35 AM   #14
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But if it was a hardware encoder problem, wouldnt it still get either to the tape or the FS-4? I would figure if it was a hardware encoder problem causing the dropout, that it's happening before the information is reaching whatever media is being used to record it.
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Old December 26th, 2004, 05:03 PM   #15
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If an issue is occuring in the hardware encoder, then yes it would be recorded equally by tape and by hard disk recorder.

I'm 99.99% sure that the half-second freeze-up has nothing to do with the hardware encoder, I'm certain it's to do with dropouts on the tape. And the firestore-type device would eliminate that as a worry.

There are other things that are related to the hardware encoder, such as the blurrier motion video vs. sharper still shots, etc., and those will be recorded equally regardless of the media. But unless someone can point out some evidence otherwise, I'm sure the half-second freeze is due to dropouts on the tape, so it's a tape-only thing.
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