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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old February 5th, 2008, 02:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
Now I see what you mean. This is a disco - a very unnatural happening in very unnatural light - they'll think you added those blocks as special effects.

Yes, that's the softbox I use. It comes with self-adhesive velcro and after a time the heat tends to make the velcro 'creep'. Not a problem in the slightest, and the diffuser remains in place and unmelted. It fits the lamp perfectly. With both filaments lit and the diffuser in place harsh shadows melt away.

It does rob you of some light, but the extra diffusion right in front of both lamps means it covers a much wider angle - useful as I use a super-wide to float with the b & g on their first dance. Best is that guests can look right into the light with no squinting - invaluable.

Follow Matt's advice re black stretch and manual everything, including the white balance. Don't worry about over or under exposure - this is an unnatural occurrence, and practically anything goes.

I don't advocate the 1/25th sec shutter speed though. You claw back a stop ok, but the stuttery look to the footage is not worth it in my view. Give it a go and decide for yourself.

For exteriors at night I often use 1/3rd sec so as to dial out the gain completely, but of course movement (camera and subject) can look odd.

tom.

Thanks again Tom, you are great.

Simon Ash recommended to use a widescreen light, so, using 20-DW2 with the softbox will I get a wide light ?

Thanks again.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 02:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Ash View Post
shoot and i gave this 3db of extra light and this also looked good.

The Z1 can handle low lighting but with all cameras grain will creep in. Get yourself a light and stick it on the camera for your wedding shoots but make sure it's a widescreen light, you will be very suprised at how good the results are from the Z1.

Regards
Simon
Thanks Simon.

As recommend, I will try to use the Sony Light 20-DW2 with Lumiquest Mini Softbox, with the softbox my light will become wide.

Regards.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 02:48 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asaf Benatia View Post
i know you said you can't use it, but can you test and see if you start using Sony HVL-LBP will you get a better pic on the dance floor?
Asaf, thanks a lot

As recommend, I will try to use the Sony Light 20-DW2 with Lumiquest Mini Softbox

Regards
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Old February 5th, 2008, 03:00 PM   #19
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There's no such thing as a 'widescreen light'. There's light, and that's it. The diffuser will spread it wider and more evenly, but with a big hit in lost light. What's good though is that you can rip off the diffuser in one second if you suddenly need more light.

Always have both filaments lit to reduce harsh shadows, as an NP-F960 runs well over an hour like this. I mount mine horizontally sometimes because it looks more 16:9, but in reality the effect is no different from vertical mounting.

I leave mine on for lots of the time at weddings - that way the guests get used to you and your light, and you're not suddenly blowing away the darkness by turning it on.

I bought an LED light last week but oh dear - far more localised lighting (like a torch) and the light is horribly green in comparison to the over-run tungsten. Of course you can white balance the green to look good, but then the people in the background are shades of purple. It's going back.

tom.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 03:31 PM   #20
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Lots of steps...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcelo Costa View Post
What is AIC, ProRez ? Are these editor programs or codecs to use with Final Cut?
These are codecs that you can use when setting up your project in Final Cut Pro. You'll be shooting in HDV whatever you do, but you can choose to use one of three codecs for your edit in HD: HDV, AIC or ProRez. I find HDV fine for quick editing, but bogs down with multilayer effects, which is why I quickly switched to AIC which is great but there's a barely noticable quality loss (nobody saw it). I am now moving to ProRez now that I have the horsepower to deal with it. I can't really do Multicam in ProRez HQ, so I'm finding standard ProRez is great - but it's not as fast as AIC. If nobody was watching, and my output was SD, I might still use AIC if working against the clock (Apple Intermediate Codec - as used in iMovie HD and Final Cut Express HD).

Having shot with 60i on a Z1, select either the AIC HDV 60i Easy Setup, or the ProRez 60i Easy Setup. Now... when you come to capture, you'll need to check that the capture settings are also set to these Settings. Unless the process is done right (it's a bit like a scene from Harry Potter), the Capture settings don't seem to be kicked over to your new settings, so just check it manually. AIC 60i or ProRez from HDV 60i.

The capture will happen in a sort of Zen 'it's not really happening' way, but it's fairly robust so long as you don't try symultaneously burn a DVD, surf DVinfo.net, download software upgrades and check for email every 30 seconds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcelo Costa View Post
Are my steps ok?
Do your edit in whatever, export using current settings and MAKE MOVIE SELF CONTAINED, then offer this movie to Compressor on a bed of reeds using your favourite settings (DVD 120 minutes High Quality seems to do the job for everyone), then incorporate using DVD Studio Pro. Don't let DVDSP do the compression management.

There are things to do, tweaks to make, but quite frankly, it's gilding lillies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcelo Costa View Post
Holding off High Gain, what do you mean? Work with gain as 0 or to use gain at 9db (tops)?
Use up to 12 dB of gain, but remember that your Edit system is better at pulling levels around than your camera as the camera must do it real time, whilst the edit system has all the time it needs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcelo Costa View Post
could you please send me the link of the plugin Colorista?
With absolute pleasure - Colorista blows the doors off all the tools in FCP, and makes Color seem like a 'Pimp My Software' ride to upgrade hell:

Here's the official home of Colorista:
http://redgiantsoftware.com/magicbulletcolorista.html

Here's the basic tutorial:
http://redgiantsoftware2.com/Downloa..._Intro_web.mov (there was a better one with a guy in an airline seat but I can't find it now)

Here's the zen of Colorista: you'll learn a lot.
http://redgiantsoftware2.com/Downloa...vanced_web.mov

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcelo Costa View Post
I use the filter Color Corrector 3 Ways (FCP default filter).
After Colorista you won't. And FWIW, if you ever do green screen, don't bother with FCP controls - check out Zmatte and DVmattePro. The built-in tools of FCP are the bare bones basics and can be bettered.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 04:06 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcelo Costa View Post
Thanks for your tip... Should I use this program with my edited movie after compressed it to MPEG-2 (m2v) ?

Thanks again.
The MSU Deblocking Filter is a filter for use with Virtual Dub. Virtual Dub is written for PCs.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 04:23 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
There's no such thing as a 'widescreen light'. There's light, and that's it. The diffuser will spread it wider and more evenly, but with a big hit in lost light. What's good though is that you can rip off the diffuser in one second if you suddenly need more light.

Always have both filaments lit to reduce harsh shadows, as an NP-F960 runs well over an hour like this. I mount mine horizontally sometimes because it looks more 16:9, but in reality the effect is no different from vertical mounting.

I leave mine on for lots of the time at weddings - that way the guests get used to you and your light, and you're not suddenly blowing away the darkness by turning it on.

I bought an LED light last week but oh dear - far more localised lighting (like a torch) and the light is horribly green in comparison to the over-run tungsten. Of course you can white balance the green to look good, but then the people in the background are shades of purple. It's going back.

tom.

Tom thanks again...

I will do your advices, thanks a lot... Just curiosity, how do you mount your light horizontally? I think it will produce a nice look for who is watching you when you are working.

In the past I had a bad led light experience, and never more... It is terrible...

Thanks again,

regards

Marcelo
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Old February 5th, 2008, 04:32 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Daviss View Post
These are codecs that you can use when setting up your project in Final Cut Pro. You'll be shooting in HDV whatever you do, but you can choose to use one of three codecs for your edit in HD: HDV, AIC or ProRez. I find HDV fine for quick editing, but bogs down with multilayer effects, which is why I quickly switched to AIC which is great but there's a barely noticable quality loss (nobody saw it). I am now moving to ProRez now that I have the horsepower to deal with it. I can't really do Multicam in ProRez HQ, so I'm finding standard ProRez is great - but it's not as fast as AIC. If nobody was watching, and my output was SD, I might still use AIC if working against the clock (Apple Intermediate Codec - as used in iMovie HD and Final Cut Express HD).

Having shot with 60i on a Z1, select either the AIC HDV 60i Easy Setup, or the ProRez 60i Easy Setup. Now... when you come to capture, you'll need to check that the capture settings are also set to these Settings. Unless the process is done right (it's a bit like a scene from Harry Potter), the Capture settings don't seem to be kicked over to your new settings, so just check it manually. AIC 60i or ProRez from HDV 60i.

The capture will happen in a sort of Zen 'it's not really happening' way, but it's fairly robust so long as you don't try symultaneously burn a DVD, surf DVinfo.net, download software upgrades and check for email every 30 seconds.



Do your edit in whatever, export using current settings and MAKE MOVIE SELF CONTAINED, then offer this movie to Compressor on a bed of reeds using your favourite settings (DVD 120 minutes High Quality seems to do the job for everyone), then incorporate using DVD Studio Pro. Don't let DVDSP do the compression management.

There are things to do, tweaks to make, but quite frankly, it's gilding lillies.



Use up to 12 dB of gain, but remember that your Edit system is better at pulling levels around than your camera as the camera must do it real time, whilst the edit system has all the time it needs.



With absolute pleasure - Colorista blows the doors off all the tools in FCP, and makes Color seem like a 'Pimp My Software' ride to upgrade hell:

Here's the official home of Colorista:
http://redgiantsoftware.com/magicbulletcolorista.html

Here's the basic tutorial:
http://redgiantsoftware2.com/Downloa..._Intro_web.mov (there was a better one with a guy in an airline seat but I can't find it now)

Here's the zen of Colorista: you'll learn a lot.
http://redgiantsoftware2.com/Downloa...vanced_web.mov



After Colorista you won't. And FWIW, if you ever do green screen, don't bother with FCP controls - check out Zmatte and DVmattePro. The built-in tools of FCP are the bare bones basics and can be bettered.


Thanks again Matt, I will try to work with AIC... To save some Hard Disk space, can I capture using HDV and render the sequences with AIC?

The ProRez codec I could not find in my FCP 5, anyway, you said that you need a powerfull computer to run it, and I just have a MacBook Pro with Core2 Duo, 2.33 ghz and 2 gb ram...

Thanks a lot for your help.

Regards

Marcelo
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Old February 5th, 2008, 04:33 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert M Wright View Post
The MSU Deblocking Filter is a filter for use with Virtual Dub. Virtual Dub is written for PCs.
Thanks a lot.

Regards

Marcelo
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Old February 5th, 2008, 04:41 PM   #25
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I've reversed the order of your questions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcelo Costa View Post
The ProRez codec I could not find in my FCP 5, anyway, you said that you need a powerfull computer to run it, and I just have a MacBook Pro with Core2 Duo, 2.33 ghz and 2 gb ram...
The Mac is fine. It matches mine. ProRez comes with FCP version 6 (aka FCS2).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcelo Costa View Post
I will try to work with AIC... To save some Hard Disk space, can I capture using HDV and render the sequences with AIC?
I'd use an all-AIC workflow until you switch to FCP6. Hard disks are cheap! Then you can capture HDV and opt to just do renders in ProRez. This is probably the optimal setting for MacBook Pro users.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 04:45 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Daviss View Post
Disco lighting - drive in manual for everything, yes to open iris and gain (+9 dB tops). The square blocking is an HDV 'thing'.

The main cause of square blocking (very fine blocking, looking fuzzy) in Disco light is very strong colour - try desaturating the image slightly. But your images also show larger squares - 'macroblocks'. This is when too much is changing from one frame to another, and parts of the image are 'downrezzed' to make things work.
Matt, it is me again, a last doubt, I shot the sweet 15, in HDV mode, but using Mini DV tape (not HDV tape)... When I record HDV with mini DV tape, do I get a worse image? Using HDV tape (instead of mini dv tape) should it reduce the squares blocking ?

I checked another thread before and they said that MiniDV tapes and HDV tapes are the samething... But it looks strange to me...

Thanks again.

Marcelo
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Old February 5th, 2008, 04:46 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Daviss View Post
I've reversed the order of your questions:



The Mac is fine. It matches mine. ProRez comes with FCP version 6 (aka FCS2).



I'd use an all-AIC workflow until you switch to FCP6. Hard disks are cheap! Then you can capture HDV and opt to just do renders in ProRez. This is probably the optimal setting for MacBook Pro users.
Thanks again, you are the master.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 05:26 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcelo Costa View Post
When I record HDV with mini DV tape, do I get a worse image? Using HDV tape (instead of mini dv tape) should it reduce the squares blocking?
Tape is tape. It's either reliable or it isn't reliable. If you record DV, it's just a string of 1 and 0 numbers, but if the tape is unreliable, a few 1s and 0s may go astray. That, with DV, will lead to some interesting block patterns for a frame or two (or several, or many).

If the same imperfect tape were to be used to record HDV, the same little upset may be only for a fraction of a second, but it will knock out half a second of your video (in my experience, everything freezes with no sound for half a second).

HDV master tape is the 'best bits' or prime steak of a big body of metal rust glued to plastic. DV tape isn't quite prime steak, but is good for most duties and probably may never give you problems with HDV.

Cheap tape (neck end or oxtial) will probably mess up your system with artificial additives that make pictures lock up and tape wrinkle (this is bad).

There are big debates about this, but I'll come clean and admit I use Sony Premium tapes for EVERYTHING (DV, DVCAM and HDV) and have not had a problem. No problems, just examples. I've had drop-outs (two in HDV) but they have been in a run-up and an outtake so it's not a problem yet. I've had two DVCAM tapes chew up (one Sony, one Panasonic).

Therefore I'm going tapeless. HDV takes ages to get going on tape but is instantaneous on solid state or hard disk. No dropouts, no tape mangles, no delays.

On the other hand, I used to have a non-optimal system setup that created errors/problems that looked just like tape issues, but they were just system setup issues. Now with MacBook Pro and FCP, I have no problems like that any more.

I'm aware this sounds like an optician saying 'here, use these spectacles, they work great for me' which is blatantly wrong. Just test, test and test again. And try Colorista - it's great! :)
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Old February 5th, 2008, 05:26 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John M. McCloskey View Post
"- Shoot and edit HD, deliver SD"(Quote) Matt Daviss
I totally agree with Matt on this also, it is amazing the difference when edited in SD compaired to edited in HD. From what I have heard editing HDV in at DV25 you loose 60% of your raw HDV signal. Which is another question all in itself,"Why would anyone edit HDV in at DV25 for a finished project?" I have seen it and dont understand why someone would do that.
John, it is me again, just for curiosity, why is it better to shoot in HDV, edit in HDV then convert to SD... than shoot in HDV, downconvert to SD and edit in SD ?

Thanks again

Marcelo
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Old February 6th, 2008, 12:02 AM   #30
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Try shutter = 1/30 for additional low-light response. This may result in some blurred motion but usually not too bad; you can even go to 1/15 if you don't mind a noticeably blurry look. Push the gain to at least +12 or even let it go all the way to +18. That may look grainy to you but chances are most wedding customers won't notice as much as they'd notice dark footage.
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