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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 9th, 2004, 08:06 PM   #61
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Actually another Sony cam, HDC-X300, produces HD Component output at only $17.5K street with lens. The cam/lens are of higher quality than FX1, with three 2/3" sensors etc. This is nowhere near $50K quoted.
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Old November 9th, 2004, 09:36 PM   #62
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The Viper is what Lucas uses to do Star Wars

Actually, Lucas does not use the Viper. Episode II was shot with a Sony HDW-F900, and Episode III was shot with a Sony HDC-F950 which you get a 4:4:4 recording when you use an HDCAM SR recording deck.
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Old November 9th, 2004, 10:29 PM   #63
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<<<-- Originally posted by Alex Raskin : Actually another Sony cam, HDC-X300, produces HD Component output at only $17.5K street with lens. The cam/lens are of higher quality than FX1, with three 2/3" sensors etc. This is nowhere near $50K quoted. -->>>

Really? For about $17K or so? Hmmm.... I'll be seriously looking into purchasing a new camera this spring and I'm still not yet sure of what my budget will allow, but if the HDC-X300 is under $20K it may make more sense for me. I was considering the Z1 as a possibility, but it just doesn't seem to live up to what I would really like to have, but I was under the impression that everything else started at about $35K and it would be more like $50K to really get something that's versatile enought to justify owning it. I guess I will have to look a little closer when the time comes.

Hmmm... Decisions, decisions... I already have systems powerful enough to handle uncompressed HD editing. I just need a decent capture solution (and I even have those scoped out to some extent) and a nice drive array since my paltry 740GB on my main workstation wouldn't give me much breathing room. Hehe... Anyway, storage is simple enough.. 8x300GB Maxtor 7200rpm SATA units on a 64bit PCI[-X] multi-channel SATA RAID controller should be more than adequate.

I wouldn't consider the hassle/expense of the capture card and drive array for the FX1/Z1, but if the X300 can send out video that has been unaltered by compression over component or SDI, then I may consider it if I can fit it all in the budget. Even if it still sends out a signal after compression, if I can get 3X the image quality for about 3X the price in relation to the FX1/Z1, I may consider it, because HDCAM-50 and most the mid-range HD formats would be perfectly wondeful to capture and work with.
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Old November 9th, 2004, 10:56 PM   #64
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<<<-- Originally posted by Anhar Miah : I was just wondering that sounds a bit odd that the componet output is mpeg2 and not just plain anolouge beacuse if you think about it this would mean that the DSP would not only have too do RT mpeg2 coding in the first place but also simultaenoulsy decode that mpeg2 and convert to Anolouge! thats a lot of work..... just my thought....

is there any conclusive way we can fid out? -->>>

Why is that a lot of work? All our DV camcorders do it... The image coming out over firewire or via s.video or composite or however we have it connected is all post-compression.

I spent less than an hour with the FX1, but what I found is that the image coming out via the component connection as we shot some in-store video looked identical to the image we saw when we played back from the tape. Leaving the tape out of the camcorder and simply whatching what the camera "sees" didn't give any different results. I'm willing to say that I'm 95% sure that what we're seeing over the component output is exactly what this camera is writing to tape. I would be absolutely shocked if Sony didn't cripple the this way, otherwise they're seriously de-valuing their more expensive broadcast cameras.

For me to be 100% sure, I'd have to take it for a more serious test drive. But I don't have the time to go hang out at the camera shop all day and they probalby wouldn't let me play with it all day... The guy there was a little annoyed with me as it was and couldn't understand what I was trying to figure out (it took me 10 minutes of attempted explainations and requests for their sales manager to get out the component cable). I have no intention of buying an FX1/Z1 just yet - my DVX100 will last me at least a few more months (I'm trying to get a full 2 years out of it) and I would really like to see at least a couple more HDV offerings from Panasonic, JVC or others before I comit. and I may even consider going to the next level to HDCAM, preferably something that will shoot 720p.
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Old November 12th, 2004, 12:05 PM   #65
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You're probably forgetting to take into account the displays internal error correction, and image processing. Unless you're going down to B&H photo and testing it out on a professional HD monitor. You won't know whats the camera and what's the monitor.

And on a side note you can't even begin to compare the amount of power required to compute mpeg-2 and mini-dv. Intra frame compression in any form whether it be divx or h.264 requires a lot more work encoding and decoding than mini-dv.

As far as to why to record from the component analogue out ? Blue screen. If you can capture HD elements without the 4:2:0 compression. Pulling keys becomes actually possible.
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Old November 12th, 2004, 02:41 PM   #66
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jeff Brue : You're probably forgetting to take into account the displays internal error correction, and image processing. Unless you're going down to B&H photo and testing it out on a professional HD monitor. You won't know whats the camera and what's the monitor. -->>>

Excellent point. Although, some of the artifacting I saw in the video looked like typical MPEG noise and I doubt most of it was a function of the TV. The real problem there was it was all shot in-store under crappy fluorescent lighting so the video was horrible to begin with. I'd love to get a chance to demo an FX1, but so far the few local shops I've contacted aren't very receptive. Only two places in town (that I have found) actually have got any in stock and I already made the one store mad when I played with it there. They didn't have an FX1 out or a display model and had to break open a box for me to see it. I guess they figured I would buy it or something because the sales manager was pretty steamed when I thanked him for his time and headed for the door.

<<<-- And on a side note you can't even begin to compare the amount of power required to compute mpeg-2 and mini-dv. Intra frame compression in any form whether it be divx or h.264 requires a lot more work encoding and decoding than mini-dv. -->>>

I'm fully aware of the amount of power it takes to process and edit Iframe compressed HD as well as uncompressed HD. Video work is mostly a hobby that I can put into some of my professional work, but I have done enough 3D animation work for delivery in HD to know what I'm getting into. Actually, I have been working at 1080p24 internally here for all my animation projects for over 2 years now. It all stays uncompressed until the very end and I either deliver the final MPEG2 compressed clip saved onto DVD or I take a DVD or DAT wth the uncompressed frames and audio to have them mastered in the appropriate DVCAM format for delivery to my clients.

<<<-- As far as to why to record from the component analogue out ? Blue screen. If you can capture HD elements without the 4:2:0 compression. Pulling keys becomes actually possible. -->>>

True, but if the compression artifacting is already present in the video and you're combining that with a digital to analog to digital workflow, you're just jerking off. If you're going to spend the money and put in the effort to assemble an uncompressed HD capture and edit system, why not buy a real camera to match? I don't want to step on anyone's toes with this statement, but when you spend $3700 on a video camera, you're buying a toy.
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Old November 12th, 2004, 03:09 PM   #67
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" when you spend $3700 on a video camera, you're buying a toy"

i happen to LOVE these little camera's .. i will only shoot these toys or FILM - IMO it's all those camera's between hand size dv camera and film camera's that i find annoying -

toy vs non toy - guess it depends on where you're sitting ?
if you're using ( or own a) 100-250K camera's then i guess these hand size camera's would seem like toys ..BUT note that these toys make it possible for persons with just the dream of making their movie possible ...
note that the cinematography award at sundance last year went to a movie that was shot on the dvx100 toy !!! so it must be more then just shooting on all those $100K HD 's + 250K film camera's ?
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Old November 12th, 2004, 03:22 PM   #68
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<<<-- Originally posted by Don Donatello : " when you spend $3700 on a video camera, you're buying a toy"

i happen to LOVE these little camera's .. i will only shoot these toys or FILM - IMO it's all those camera's between hand size dv camera and film camera's that i find annoying -

toy vs non toy - guess it depends on where you're sitting ?
if you're using ( or own a) 100-250K camera's then i guess these hand size camera's would seem like toys ..BUT note that these toys make it possible for persons with just the dream of making their movie possible ...
note that the cinematography award at sundance last year went to a movie that was shot on the dvx100 toy !!! so it must be more then just shooting on all those $100K HD 's + 250K film camera's ? -->>>

A lot of people called the VX-1000 a toy as well....
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Old November 12th, 2004, 07:59 PM   #69
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hehe :) i suppose you could consider 35mm film a toy compared with 75mm hehe oh well, its all relative
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Old November 13th, 2004, 06:23 PM   #70
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<<<-- Originally posted by Anhar Miah : hehe :) i suppose you could consider 35mm film a toy compared with 75mm hehe oh well, its all relative -->>>

Of course it's all relative... And I knew that a lot of people would be offended when I said a $3700 camera is a toy.

But you have to admit, that when gadget people go looking for that cool new camcorder that can do HD, they're going to view the FX1 as the expensive toy that fits their needs. There will be plenty of tech-saavy, yuppie soccer dads buying the FX1.

On the other hand, for the independent event and corporate videographer looking to go HD, or the indie filmmaker with a tight budget, cameras like the FX1/Z1 and DVX100 are an opportunity.

...And toy or not, the next best thing to an FX1 (in terms of overall features and capability) that anyone can buy right now is 10X the price. It was pointed out that the HDCX300 is available for < $18K street, but it's not a camcorder - it's a compact camera and lens package to be mounted on a controllable base or boom or other apparatus... It's one of the low-quality HDCams you see at sporting events like the ones at the top of the glass on an NHL ice arena or at the side of a basketball court that are controlled remotely to follow the action. Realistically, the next step up from the FX1 is something like the HDWF730 which is a camcorder and 50i/60i switchable like the Z1 - actually with much of the same features, but it's more of a broadcast camera design with proper shoulder mount. Unfortunately, it seems the street price on one of these is about $35K and that's the camera alone without a lens.
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Old November 13th, 2004, 06:30 PM   #71
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It seems that component out in FX1 is done BEFORE mpeg compression.

Current consensus is that IF it was done AFTER, then it would:

1. Require additional Decoding right after the mpeg Encoding - which seems too much processing power for the current prosumer chips; and
2. There would be at least the same signal Delay (or likely twice as much) as we see coming out of the firewire. Such delay would come from mpeg encoding (15 frame GOP) and then decoding at the D/A step if there was one.

However Component out on FX1 does *not* exhibit a delay against the live picture.

Thus the conclusion is that Component out is BEFORE any MPEG compression - which is great for bluescreen works etc.

Of course we are talking Component out NOT PLAYED FROM THE TAPE, but produced by the camera live. Obviously tape is already MPEG encoded in any case.

Here's the link to another forum's thread on the subject: click here and scroll down to Kerr Cooks answer
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Old November 13th, 2004, 09:11 PM   #72
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Alex,

Don't try to answer this one. No matter how many times people try to explain it, no one will believe it.

It seems most people think and MPEG2 stream leaves the component out feed and somehow uncompress before they hit a garden variety HD TV/

Now you can explain this as many times as you like and no one will believe you.

It's almost as if they would rather not believe it. It would be better if they could keep the concept that a digital signal, unexplicably uncompresses within the confines of a 6 foot cable before it hits the TV.

Additionally, they don't want to look at the picture and evaluate it. They would rather debate it needlessly until it has been beaten to death.

You see, the statistics mean more than the actual image it self.

So please don't try and answer this. IT WON'T DO ANY GOOD!

DBK
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Old November 14th, 2004, 05:24 AM   #73
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Darren,


No need to be paternalistic about this. Perhaps everything was clear to you from the start, but it was not so to everyone.

And it's not a matter of not being wise or intelligent. A great deal of it is due to Sony itself.

Instead of explaining things ad-infinitum until people get it, they preferred to let misinterpretations stand by.

The so called Cineframe modes has generated several mails from people not getting if these new cameras did or did not do 24p. I even heard myself, at a Sony equipment show, a salesman explain to a small crowd around the camera that the Z1 did 24 frames, when I knew it did not.

The problem with MPEG compression is a bit different. The company that first brought it into the market was JVC, with their HDV cameras. JVC was worst than Sony in dealing with explanations, perhaps because that format was not expected to be a pro mode and they were probably intersted in the the big-money home-video market.

MPEG and its artifacts can be really bad-looking. DVD and satellite transmissions are a proof of that.

In my case, after reading the first impressions and comments from most people in the pro and semi-pro area, which were not very good, didn't care for it too much.

So I was quite scared when I knew these Sony HDV cameras compressed to MPEG to record onto the DV tape. But this time things seems to have been done right this time, and the market seems to be following Sony's lead.

What I saw at the shows were actual images recorded with those cameras, and they looked fantastic. It remains to be known how we can now capture those images and edit it, which was not properly provided on the JVC previous era.

We will get there, some sooner, some later. But we will grasp the concept and get it to work probably better than Sony is expecting to. Things are blurry yet, but they will clear up.


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