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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 November 7th, 2004, 10:56 PM   #31
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If you are not going to work in HD, why buy an HD camcorder?

Spend the same money on the XL2, which is a superior DV only camera (More pro controls, better- longer lens, 4 channels of Audio, switchable lens etc.)

This is a great HD camcorder, but folks should buy the tool they need for the job they are doing. HD for HD, DV for DV.

Yes this camer outptuts a DV signal, but the bells and whistles are not there for DV.

DBK
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Old November 7th, 2004, 11:06 PM   #32
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<<<-- Originally posted by Gabor Lacza : Carlos,
this device you suggested seems to record ntsc and pal uncompressed only....
But I still not sure that this component out is not after mpeg2 compression...hmmm -->>>

It doesn't actually matter.

If you like the look of the signal out of component, then great. If you don't then it's not an option for you.

Way too much debate on this subject. From all reports the image quality coming out of the component is great. SO WHO CARES WHERE THE COMPRESSION IS?

DBK

Darren,
but why the trouble going component out when you can get the same image via firewire...that is why it is important where the compression is no ???? I might be wrong.....
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Old November 8th, 2004, 12:00 AM   #33
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maybe because you can convert from 4:2:0 to 4:2:2 uncompressed.?
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Old November 8th, 2004, 04:46 AM   #34
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<<<-- Originally posted by Darren Kelly : If you are not going to work in HD, why buy an HD camcorder?

Spend the same money on the XL2, which is a superior DV only camera (More pro controls, better- longer lens, 4 channels of Audio, switchable lens etc.)

This is a great HD camcorder, but folks should buy the tool they need for the job they are doing. HD for HD, DV for DV.

Yes this camer outptuts a DV signal, but the bells and whistles are not there for DV.
-->>>


Your logic is quite sound, except when you say spend the same money on an XL2. As far as I know the Canon is quite more expensive than an FX1.

In my case I am looking forward using this camera on video and film projects, so the extra resolution might be welcome.


Carlos
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Old November 8th, 2004, 10:42 AM   #35
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Data stream?

Hi,

I think that bypassing the Mpeg compression is important for high speed panning and fast action scenes. Exactly the kind of footage I'll have to produce in a few weeks.

So what is going to be the data rate of that capture? I assume we are talking about uncompressed HD, right?
What is the minimun computer? for Hd I asume we'll need raid 0 if the data rate is like I'm imagining.

Any comments?

Ric
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Old November 8th, 2004, 10:55 AM   #36
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Re: Data stream?

<<<-- Originally posted by Ricardo Renaldi : Hi,

So what is going to be the data rate of that capture? I assume we are talking about uncompressed HD, right?
What is the minimun computer? for Hd I asume we'll need raid 0 if the data rate is like I'm imagining.

Any comments?

Ric -->>>

I personally think reording to the mini dv tape will be fine for 99.999999% of all shooting, but if you are convinced you need to record from the component out.

Buy the Fastest Mac: $3000.00
Add RAM:$1,000.00
Add a SCSI card: $500.00
Add a 10 drives SCSI RAID from Huge Systems:10,000.00

Hope it all works as it should: Priceless.

Total cost: $14,500 - and that will give you about 3 hours of recording.

Frankly, there is no one who bought this camera that needs the extremely small percentage of improvement this will give you. Remember, HDCAM records to MPEG2 compression, so does Varicam. Seems the Networks think it's OK.

If you want the best in quality, buy a Viper System. If you don't know what a Viper System is.....chances are you don't need one and can't afford one.

The Viper is what Lucas uses to do Star Wars.

This is a great camera, records a high quality picture in camera. Use it, learn to manage the controls, and learn how to light and you will be more than happy with the quality of the images.

DBK
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Old November 8th, 2004, 11:03 AM   #37
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<<<except when you say spend the same money on an XL2. As far as I know the Canon is quite more expensive than an FX1.

In my case I am looking forward using this camera on video and film projects, so the extra resolution might be welcome.


Carlos -->>>

Yes the XL2 is more expensive - about $1000 dollars more than the FX1 and , no it doesn't have the resolution nthe FX1 has.

This whole thred is ridiculas.

We have a bunch of people who spent $3600.00 on the latest toy, and are now debating the merits of trying to squeeze out the smallest amount of extra quality by recording the signal component out (live) to a capture card that will cost them atleast $1,000.00 then with an A-D converter that will run them another $2500.00 to a computer and hard drive system that will run over $14,000.00

So you spent $3600 on a camera, and you want to spend an additional $17,500.00 - which will enable you to record about 2.5 hours of uncompressed BTW - because you think the MPEG2 compression is going to screw up your world?

I own the ability to do this. I have all the HD editing and capture settings. I don't plan on EVER doing this.

Like I said in another thred. Learn how to light, learn how to mic, learn the controls and features of the camera and you will go much further with this camera than by recording the uncompressed HD off the component out.

If you want more controls - buy another camera. Something that Pro's use. And while I love the XL2 - that's not the camera I'm talking about. Pro cameras these days are running near $50K. This camera does a great job.

DBK
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Old November 8th, 2004, 01:27 PM   #38
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Darren,

First at all, tks for spending your time writing your suggestions. They are very reasonable and professional.

Still I'd like to try going this way and compare the results. My reasons are:

1-You say that HDCAM also uses Mpeg2 but as you know, the compression ratio is much higher in the FX1.And that will define the quality, right?

2-If you have drops, ( people have reported that) you loose half second of video.

3-PRICE: Still I don't know the data rate needed for capturing. If it's not too high, you could built a system for much less than U$14K. Let's say a PC clone, pentium 4 3.2 in a good motherboard, plus 1 GB ram can be bougth here for less than a grand. I sincerely do not see the advantage of an expensive mac here. We use a G5 2.0 at the ProTools suite, but for rough power, I find a clone PC to be more effective
Storage:If the stream is not enormous, a good raid card can be bought for $250. Add some 300 GB Sata drives with NCQ (almost SCSI) at U$230 each.

I already have such a system that I use every day for digitizing uncompressed SD with a Decklink card and it works just fine. Day by day. How much more in terms of horsepower do we need for capturing the FX1 output? I do not know. That's in the center of this debate.

Cheers

Ric
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Old November 8th, 2004, 01:54 PM   #39
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ricardo Renaldi : Darren,

First at all, tks for spending your time writing your suggestions. They are very reasonable and professional.

Still I'd like to try going this way and compare the results. My reasons are:

1-You say that HDCAM also uses Mpeg2 but as you know, the compression ratio is much higher in the FX1.And that will define the quality, right?

2-If you have drops, ( people have reported that) you loose half second of video.

3-PRICE: Still I don't know the data rate needed for capturing. If it's not too high, you could built a system for much less than U$14K. Let's say a PC clone, pentium 4 3.2 in a good motherboard, plus 1 GB ram can be bougth here for less than a grand. I sincerely do not see the advantage of an expensive mac here. We use a G5 2.0 at the ProTools suite, but for rough power, I find a clone PC to be more effective
Storage:If the stream is not enormous, a good raid card can be bought for $250. Add some 300 GB Sata drives with NCQ (almost SCSI) at U$230 each.

I already have such a system that I use every day for digitizing uncompressed SD with a Decklink card and it works just fine. Day by day. How much more in terms of horsepower do we need for capturing the FX1 output? I do not know. That's in the center of this debate.

Cheers

Ric -->>>

1. Yes the compression is higher on this camera.
2. Uncompressed 1080i - 60 is going to require about 160mbs - plus overhead. Unless you have a very powerful computer/RAID you will not achieve those rates. The "Drop out" will be considerably higher.

3. Starting with 160mbs plus about 25mbs of overhead, the SATA systems won't cut it. They will with empty drives, but I suspect past 50% you will experience dropped frames. No one has done it successfully yet. The SCSI cards required are 320's, the RAID must be 320's and it will require a dual 2 gig or 2.5 gig.

Trust me. I've spent the money, I own such a system. There is no way in the entire world I would want to even attempt to record to this system in the field. I wouldn't do it in my studio!

As to the PC - I don't know enough about the hardware anymore to comment. What I do know is that 95% of the world edits HD on a Mac. Must be some reason for it. The other 5% use HDV and use one of the other solutions, but for Uncompressed HD - MAC - big fast RAID - lots of Cash

So lug 40 pounds worth of computer and 10 pounds worth of LCD monitor and then 50 pounds of RAID with you to do a shoot. Bring that long poer cord with you too. Careful with the RAID, in can be damaged in transit, so can the computer.

Are you getting the point yet?

But like I said, spend the $20K and prove me wrong. Remember, you bought a $3600 camera. There are limitations to the quality. The lens alone is more of a limitation than the MPEG2. You should never have considered this camera if this is going to be a factor for you. You should have spent money on a Cinealta or a varicam if this slight - and I mean slight improvement in quality is going to matter (I am refering to the component struggle)

You will still get farther by learning how to light and shoot than you will boost the quality by recording via component out.

But go ahead.....it's not my time and money. I don't care. Prove me wrong

DBK
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Old November 8th, 2004, 02:09 PM   #40
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Ricardo, I researched this issue and it seems that we need 3 components to effectively capture the... ummm... Component output of the FX1 :)


1. Capture card. Seems that there is no Component capture cards available, but rather they capture SDI (one BNC jack). Decklink HD cards, for instance, start with $595 street price - but they do require SDI input AND dual Pentium MB with PCI-X bus as a *requirement*.

2. SDI from Component: easily done with AJA Kona converter... at the cost of $2200 street. At this point it seems a bit out of control, as the camera itself is about $3500.

3. Dual Pentium 2.8Ghz or 3.06Ghz + MB that supports PCI-X + at least 2Gb memory + case/power supply/iLink and other IO/ + hardware IDE Raid controller + Raid 0 of at least 4 IDE drives, about at least 800 Gb total (the more the better) = about $4000

So we are looking into about $7K for the system that should be able to capture Component in HD resolution. It is up to the capture card which compression to use, or whether to save uncompressed.

At this point, I think it's not a very affordable solution - because 1) it is disproportional to the cam's price AND 2) one can capture the cam's output in 2-sec-delayed real-time via its iLink (firewire) out on ANY PC without all that special power.

Of course, if you already have such system, then you may opt to use it simply because it saves a workflow step - instead of converting m2t's into avi's you get avi's in the first place.

Another plus of having such system is that you can use it with ANY device that produces either HD/SD SDI or HD/SD Component output.

I do not have such devices, so it seems that I'll opt for the following workflow:

- FX1 connected to the (regular) PC via iLink
- PC runs CapDVHS utility that saves program stream mpg files (saves a step in converting m2t's into mpg's.)
- My proprietary software then converts PS mpg's into 2 avi's: one small offline version for real-time edit, another full-rez online version for final onlining of the edit.

I use that same workflow with my JVC HD10 and it works fine, except that this last step takes quite some time depending on the length of the files to be converted to AVIs.

Currently I'm looking into the possibility of running CapDVHS as frameserver for, say, VirtualDub - to produce both offline and online AVIs on-the-fly simultaneously with firewire capture. Should save tons of time. Anyone tried frameserving it yet?
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Old November 8th, 2004, 02:39 PM   #41
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<<<-- Originally posted by Darren Kelly :

3. Starting with 160mbs plus about 25mbs of overhead,

Are you getting the point yet?

But go ahead.....it's not my time and money. I don't care. Prove me wrong

DBK -->>>

Hi Darren,

I really like the passion that you put in your arguments. Anyway, I'll try it. Not to prove you wrong or something childist like that, but because we are half way there yet.
We already have a dual Xeon motherboard, memory and a few other componenets here, originally bought to build a powerfull Avid machine. So we'll do some testing. A friend of mine have a Sata raid of 8 disks that put out 230 Mb/sec sustained. We'll see.
The way I see it is not a black and withe situation, meaning to have to choose between the tape route or the HD route. We'll tape most of the time and for really difficult material we'll use uncompressed capture. We are already doing this in our productions. We tape to Sony 170's and for difficut shots we go SD uncompressed to disk. Works very nice. We do not have the budget for a Viper or something like that (yet).

cheers

Ric

PD: I assume you say 160 megabytes (not megabits) right?
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Old November 8th, 2004, 02:45 PM   #42
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<<<-- Originally posted by Alex Raskin : Ricardo, I researched this issue and it seems that we need 3 components to effectively capture the... ummm... Component output of the FX1 :)

So we are looking into about $7K for the system
At this point, I think it's not a very affordable solution -->>>


Have you noticed that the money you put in such a system buys you a very powerfull uncompressed HD EDITING machine also?

Think about the posibilities...


cheers

Ric
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Old November 8th, 2004, 02:50 PM   #43
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I have... but I see it mostly as a liability because we already have a very good editing PC...

maintaining 2 machines does not seem necessary

while transferring TONS of audio- and video-related stuff from the existing PC to a new one is a full-week affair that's gonna cost us by itself....

I'm not aware of any easy way to just migrate all our software/plugins/settings from the old Win XP machine to the new one...

thus I decided not to do it at this time.
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Old November 8th, 2004, 03:01 PM   #44
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The reason....

And I 'd like to mention again that my main concern with the Mpeg compresion is related to bluring images with fast movement. In a thread they are already discussing this: And if this is true, the improvement to capture uncompressed is huge for us.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?s=&postid=240919#post240919

John Jat wrote:
"My critique is not concerning the steady skills but the very obvious softening of the image. Even when down-converted to an SD stream at MP@ML quality it looks very soft to my eyes - quite possibly unusable

If you're reading this Charles Papert, please post your valued opinion on the image quality in this clip. As before my critique is with the image delivered by the camera and not Kako's stabilser skill.

My concern is also the use of the camera for 'cinematography' where a smooth camera movement may very definitely spoil the image in a popular truck and pan shot."



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Old November 8th, 2004, 04:14 PM   #45
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<<<-- Originally posted by Darren Kelly :
Like I said in another thred. Learn how to light, learn how to mic, learn the controls and features of the camera and you will go much further with this camera than by recording the uncompressed HD off the component out.

If you want more controls - buy another camera. Something that Pro's use. And while I love the XL2 - that's not the camera I'm talking about. Pro cameras these days are running near $50K. This camera does a great job.

-->>>

I do know how to light, and as long as I can get film looking results I don't mind what the camera is.

Also have all the mics I need, as I own an audio rental company.

Neither do I want more internal controls, as long as I can do a slight external adjustment using filters and then do some further processing at post.

In my mind SD video, DV video and probably HDV video have to be dealt with as you did with 16mm until 20/25 years ago. Grain and contrast were a problem, as were as other inconveniences to take that gauge to 35mm.

But my feeling about these HDV cameras, including the pro to follow, is that they may become a missing link like super-16 was. S-16 was developed in the '70s, but only in the mid '90s did it make the major steps with "Leaving Las Vegas".

This Sony HDV application seems to be a major step, and I am very happy with it. I also agree that it does a great job.

There are some minor things to cure though, then we can start using our creativity to use it at its most.

Its greatest advantage is the light weight and the affordable cost, both of the equipment and the media.

Let's get to work on it!



Carllos
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