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Old June 2nd, 2017, 03:16 PM   #1
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PXW-Z450 demo footage

After the show, Sony loaned me the Z450 that they had at NAB for a couple of weeks. I loved it. It was like having a 4K version of my old F800.

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Old June 3rd, 2017, 12:23 PM   #2
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Re: PXW-Z450 demo footage

Wow, incredible footage!
Really shows what the camera is capable of. Thanks for sharing!
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Old June 4th, 2017, 02:17 AM   #3
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Re: PXW-Z450 demo footage

What also amazes me is how you manage to find time to gather all that beautiful content in just two weeks. Must be dedication and love for the job.
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Old June 5th, 2017, 06:09 AM   #4
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Re: PXW-Z450 demo footage

Thanks for the kind comments guys. Yes, I am guilty of loving my job. I dream of the day when I can chuck all my other work and just shoot this kind of stuff full time while I travel.
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Old June 20th, 2017, 02:07 PM   #5
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Re: PXW-Z450 demo footage

Well, a great camera just got better. I got confirmation from Sony a few days ago that the Z450 will get a firmware update later this year to add HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) and S-LOG3 capabilities. This is great news for those of use who already shoot with HDR cameras (such as the F55, FS7, and FS5) and who understand the tremendous benefits that S-LOG can bring to a production. So, if you want to keep your post-workflow simple and not be bothered with grading — then shoot with a normal Hypergamma Scene File, as I have done in the video above. But if you want to push the boundaries of performance even further, then you’ll be happy that S-LOG and HLG are coming to the Z450 soon. Personally, I am already looking forward to taking the Z450 out for another round of shooting after the update.
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Old June 21st, 2017, 03:20 PM   #6
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Re: PXW-Z450 demo footage

Nice.

I think this is the very first Sony ENG camera that has ever offered SLog. Is that right?

Not allot of image sensor specs out there other than 2/3 type. Seems to use a basic 1:1 readout. It's an EXMOR-R design.

Doug, what is your opinion of its higher ISO/gain performance? We have seen "OK" performance from Sony's 1 inch-type 20 megapixel lineup. Those are even decent in SLog-2 at 800 ISO with post noise reduction.

Do you know what the minimum SLog ISO that will be mandatory? Hopefully it will be 800 ISO or something lower.

This will be the smallest sensor that has ever had SLog so its going to be facinating to see how clean this will look. Its only a single Bayer chip too instead of a traditional ENG 3 RGB sensor design.

Very, very interesting. Im curious to see what the dynamic will be too and how it will compare to 1 inch type sensors and others.

Last edited by Cliff Totten; June 21st, 2017 at 08:28 PM.
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Old June 21st, 2017, 11:13 PM   #7
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Re: PXW-Z450 demo footage

Nice work Doug! I see you left New England and came out west to my neck of the woods. Yellowstone is one of my favorite places in the world. I would live in that park if I could. Since I have been there six times (once for work, the others for pleasure) I understand what you put into those shots. I know, even though wildlife is abundant you don't just jump in your car, drive up, and get shots like that. You still have to do the work it takes to make it look that good. Great job. I hope the stock pays great dividends for you!

I also dream of the day when I can shoot when I want and what I want without it being my living. But....I don't buy powerball tickets and shooting for a living has been a great way to earn a living for me. I too, am guilty of loving my job no matter what I am shooting.

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old June 22nd, 2017, 04:12 PM   #8
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Re: PXW-Z450 demo footage

@ Cliff

Yes, it is the first ENG camera to offer S-LOG, and it is also the first 2/3" 4K camera as well.

I think the low-light capability was the best I've seen on a professional camcorder. Certainly not in the same class as an A7 mirrorless camera, but I think it's better than any video camera I've used before. In fact, a lot of the wildlife in the video that I posted above were shot well after sunset. For example, the deer at 1:27 was about 15 minutes after sunset; the moose at 2:22 was at least 20 minutes after sunset (I could barely see it with my naked eyes); and the deer at 3:17 was about 15 minutes after sunset. All of those shots are at 0dB. When I'm shooting for stock I never raise my gain above 0db. If it's too dark for 0db then it's too dark to shoot.

However, I did shoot some locked-down test shots where I varied the gain from 0db up to 18db to see how clean it was. It looked great in the viewfinder but I haven't looked at those shots since I got home. I will try to find time to dig them out and and post something.


@ Steven

I try to make it out to Yellowstone at least once every two years and have been there more than 20 times ( I used to live in Utah). There's nothing I'd rather be doing than shooting in Yellowstone or the Tetons. Not only is it different evey time I go, it's different every day. And sometimes every hour. Once my average monthly stock footage sales hit the goal I've set (about half-way there now) I'm going to quit everything else except for teaching workshops and just go out and shoot every day. My version of hanging out the "gone fishing" sign. Maybe I'll see you out there!

BTW, I was even closer than you think to your neck of the woods on this trip. I got some nice footage around Las Cruces, White Sands, El Paso, and Tucson, Saguaro N.P., Kitt Peak, etc. on the way to NAB with my F55. Arizona is a great place for shooting as long as it's not too hot! I think it will be time to hit the Grand Canyon once more on next year's trip. I've got no 4K of it yet!
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Old June 22nd, 2017, 04:38 PM   #9
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Re: PXW-Z450 demo footage

Excellent Doug,

Any guesses as to what the dynamic range is? I guess its hard to know with rec709 and without an SLog mode yet.

Sony's noise reduction is so damn good these days that i'm sure +9 or +12db are perfectly aceptable.

A7? Yeah, thats a thoroughly unfair and unrealistic low light comparison. The A7s-II has a HUGE, sick, wicked, freak of nature image sensor that sucks in light like a black hole. No other camera will compare to that.

This is interesting. Is this targeted solely at "classic" ENG market? Or, is Sony thinking it could have potential in other areas? (Hence the SLog) traditionally TV news doesnt want to mess with SLog in a live or fast turn arround work flow. It could be usefull to offer a rec709 LUT on the HD SDI output for truck feeds. Maybe you could record SLog internally while giving trasmission control a proper signal for air. Hmmm....yeah, dont think allot of stations would go for that.

Will you be buying this camera for yourself? If so, how would you choose it over your FS7 for various different projects and scenerios?

Very nice.
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 10:39 AM   #10
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Re: PXW-Z450 demo footage

I don't know what the dymanic range is of the Z450 because I didn't have a chart to test it. But whatever it is today it is going to change this fall anyway when it gets S-LOG and HLG.

I think the market for the Z450 includes anyone who needs 4K but doesn't want to give up the flexibility of a 2/3" ENG camcorder. That includes high-end freelancers, corporate production, and almost every reality show that wants to start future-proofing for 4K. Not everyone will want S-LOG but a lot of people won't buy one without it. I wouldn't buy it without it. More than 50% of the serious customers I spoke to at NAB asked about S-LOG without me saying anything about it first.

Am I customer? If you had asked me before NAB I would have said no. If you asked me after I spent three weeks shooting with it I would have said maybe because I really, really, like getting back to an ENG camcorder. And now that S-LOG is coming, that improves the chances even more. But it's not just the cost of the camera, I'd also have to drop $25K into a really good lens. Two or three years ago this was the camera I was dreaming of -- basically a 4K version of my old F800 with the addition of XAVC 10-bit codecs and S-LOG. But I'm not shooting the same kind of things I was shooting a few years ago (nor do I want to) so it is hard to justify the investment in yet another camera system. However, if my F55 caught fire today I'd probably replace it with a Z450.
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Old June 25th, 2017, 05:42 AM   #11
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Re: PXW-Z450 demo footage

Do you have another 2/3" camera with a known sensitivity rating to quick compare it against? Am also interested in how B4 lenses work with the single sensor. I had an HPX600 for a few days, and it's single 2/3" sensor with B4 SD and HD CAC lenses produced horrible results. The left side of the image was always at a different focal point than the center and right side! I do have to say the HPX600 single 2/3" MOS sensor was still f12@2000.

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