Moving from PD150 to Z-1... What to learn? Shoot DV or HDV? at

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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 May 25th, 2008, 03:04 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Moving from PD150 to Z-1... What to learn? Shoot DV or HDV?

I own a Sony PAL PD150 and have been shooting with it for the past 5 or 6 years. I use it for shooting short films and video-art. I'm not a professional videographer, but I do have a good understanding of video and shooting, I have quite a lot of experience shooting and editing DV.

I have been accepted to a film project in Poland where I will be giving a Sony PAL Z-1. I've never shot HDV before and I'm trying to figure out how difficult it will be to make the transition from shooting DV to HDV.

I've shot with a Z-1 briefly, but shot DV not HDV. Being familiar with the PD150, most of the camera's functions and menu were familiar, but of course much of it was new.

What I'd like to ask you guys is - ONE: if you can recommend a website somewhere where I can read about the Z-1, a really comprehensive guide where I can learn about all the little details, settings, functions.... etc. TWO: where would be a good place to learn about the differences between shooting DV and HDV and making the transition. THREE: What do you think about this particular project I'll be facing in Poland? You think I should do my homework best I can and dive into shooting HDV? or stick with DV which I know fairly well. How much of a learning curve have you experienced when you made the move from DV to HDV?

I went through this forum and a few other websites... found some useful info here and there, but haven't yet found a good in-depth site that really has all what I'm looking for. Also, I'd really like to know your experienced opinions.

Adi Head is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 25th, 2008, 05:46 PM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,360
Hi Adi,
I have come from the PD170 to the Z1 and after lots of testing this is what i do.
Shoot in HD and capture HD to your computer. Edit in HD and then render out to MPEG2 if this is for DVD.

When you shoot make sure you use the peaking function and expand focus to fine tune focus, as with HD, a little bit outa focus will hurt when you downconvert later.
I try and get the camera to sit about f4 with just a hint of zebras as this is where i like the look.
I shoot everything with a pitcure profile 1 with the color level at +1.
Zebras at 90%
Manual everything unless i'm chasing people such as Fashion show,sport etc... then i try auto focus but be carefull as this will hunt if a wall,solid object is behind talent, use peaking for this shooting.
I have also done a lot of shooting in DVCAM mode and this also gives great results.

Practice as much as you can and results will happen

Great camera good results.
Simon Denny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 26th, 2008, 07:57 AM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,624
Hi Adi,

If you want to continue working win SD for the time being, set your camera to shoot HDV but also set i.LINK CONV to downconvert the video when you capture. This will give you the best of both worlds - you'll have a hi-def tape but your computer will see the Z1 as a regular standard definition camera. My personal experience is that this will also give somewhat better results than shooting in standard definition mode.

As far as a good site for Z1 info... you're already here :-) Just browse back through our forum and you'll find a wealth of information - 67 pages worth. Also see the articles at here:

You could also take a peek at the urbanfox workbook here:
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 2nd, 2008, 12:37 AM   #4
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Location: Studio Alnitak, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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This question is really three:
1) will my SD expertise be inadequate for shooting HDV?
2) any tricks about using the Z1?
3) any problems I will encounter in post production of HDV (compared to SD)?

Very brief responses:
1) focus is much more critical. Errors that are tolerated in SD will spoil the shot in HDV. Otherwise, if you've been shooting 16:9 SD, no difference. If you have been shoting 4:3, then widescreen can cause problems (rule of thirds still applies). Low angles are effective in widescreen.

2) read through the posts on this site, giving most emphasis to those based on real testing.

3) Post production of HDV is much more compute intensive, so can stress a fine SD system. There are ways through this, in particular using SD proxies (such as through GearShift
or you can downconvert to SD out of the camera (as said above) but the best final result is to edit HDV and downconvert in render.
Serena Steuart is offline   Reply

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