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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, 12:13 AM   #1
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The Z1 vs FX1 diffs, and fine points

According to the pdf's comparison charts (starting on p.37) here's what we know so far:
http://videoacademy.com/file/camera...-HDV-HVR-Z1.pdf
--Thanks to J-E Bilodeau for the link--

The main diffs:
Z1 has switchable 60i/50i,
DVCAM,
XLR phantom powered inputs, 2ch ind audio control and addt'l audio controls incl limiter,
TC controls

WB: FX1 - Outdoor Fix Z1 - Outdoor variable
(*what is this "variable" outdoor WB, sunny to shady? Or more likely , an outdoor shady and/or deep shade setting in addition to sunny?)

Z1 has additional control for:
Hypergain, setup level, an extra Cinematone gamma setting,
VF on + b/w, all displays off, numerical zoom display, levels of peaking and colors it displays, date rec ...

also,
Expand focus mode Off manually,
Safety Zone (*what is this??)
Simple All Display (Under Scan) (*what is that?)
Audio Noise Reduction (*really? different than in FX1? pdf notes a handling/wind reduction process)
Audio Monitoring (*?? what's diff here than hdphone feed on FX1?)
output level, input trim, AGC Seperate (assume means for each channel), audio limiter
Audio Lock Mode (*?)
Quick Record (*?)
Time Code settable

not to mention,
Hours Meter (I think it's the battery meter button viewable w/camera off)
Exposure Override
addt'l assignable functions
and possibly more...

Any actual info/informed guesses about the *marked items are appreciated.
Other than the 50/60i switching, the significant diffs look to be pretty much like those of VX- vs. PD- cams. (Except bigger price diff...)
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Old November 9th, 2004, 08:10 AM   #2
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So no 24p?
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Old November 9th, 2004, 08:26 AM   #3
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Re: The Z1 vs FX1 diffs, and fine points

<<<-- Originally posted by Vlad Manning :

Safety Zone (*what is this??)
Simple All Display (Under Scan) (*what is that?)


Sounds like you can set the viewfinder/LCD for underscan such that it shows the entire frame. That would be pretty cool. The PD-150/170, PDX-10, DVX-100a and XL-2 cannot do this. Their viewfinders cut off some of the image from the edges such that you can discover unwanted things in the frame when you go to edit. The safety zone implies that the viewfinder will show a border that indicates the overscan or "TV safe" area.

Audio Monitoring (*?? what's diff here than hdphone feed on FX1?)

Thought I read somewhere that you can't adjust the headphone volume on FX-1

Hours Meter (I think it's the battery meter button viewable w/camera off)

Sounds like the menu item on the PD-150/170 and PDX-10 that displays how many hours the camera has been used.
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Old November 9th, 2004, 10:03 AM   #4
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<<<-- Originally posted by Peter Moore : So no 24p? -->>>


Sony doesn't even want their cinema mode referred to as 24p because it's not.

It has 2 different Cine moodes, but they are just the same thing, creating a film type look.


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Old November 9th, 2004, 12:01 PM   #5
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Fine, but is the footage that is created in Cineframe 24 mode able to be edited and saved in a 24p format? Does it use 2:3:3:2 pulldown and can that be removed? That's really what I want to know and if the answer is yes, the camera is still going to be lightyears more useful to me than the XL2 or JVC HD10.
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Old November 9th, 2004, 12:22 PM   #6
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No. There's no 2:3:3:2 pulldown involved.

According to Kaku Ito's CineFrame 24 clip, there's 2:3 pulldown introduced. You should be able to use AfterEffects or some other type of program to remove the pulldown. Vegas can remove 2:3 pulldown from DV files, but not from HDV files (currently). I converted Kaku's clip to DV, then removed the pulldown and put it on a 24P timeline. It worked, but the motion rendition was kind of funky, not like regular 24P.
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Old November 9th, 2004, 03:28 PM   #7
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Peter, here's how the Cineframe24 and 24p works.

24p miniDV: It "captures" the footage at 24p from the CCD to the buffer then pulls it down to 60i and records it to tape. Like film transferred to tape, you can remove th epulldown and re-create the full 24p footage in Fcp or whatever NLE you are using.

Cineframe24: It captures the footage at 60i, applys a 'Magic Bullet" type of frame blending to remove the interlace artifacts and drops every 5th frame or so (12 fields are dropped per second) to create a fake 24fps in buffer, a pulldown is then applied to the footage so that it is recorded at the HDV-compliant 60i format. What result is shit. Footage is very jerky and the loss of resolution is 2 to 3 times as big between 60i>Cine24 as it is between 60i>Cine30.

Cineframe24 is just a toy. It's a "look" filter for amateurs. Same as the old frame movie mode in the XL1.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 08:09 AM   #8
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Thanks for the subjective analysis, but I really would just like an answer to my question. Can it be edited in 24p?
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Old November 10th, 2004, 08:19 AM   #9
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Donal,

Could you direct us to where you found the white papers that outline the Cineframe24 technical points you just gave us? I'd be interested in reading the information first hand.

And just to throw in an opinion:

"Toy" or not, any "look filter" that can be used to achieve a desired aesthetic or effect is another tool at your disposal regardless of the level of quality, cost, or sophistication.

While Frame Mode is nowhere near the level of quality of true Progressive Scan and the loss of vertical resolution is obvious to the naked, Frame Mode has been (and probrably will continue to be) an acceptable way of getting a motion signature that is (to some eyes) more pleasing than interlaced video. I've never been a big fan of the XL1 personally. But I've shot my share of jobs with it. And I've shot plenty of jobs using the Frame Mode option to get that non interlaced motion signature. Not to mention that before true progressive scan was widely available on a number a MiniDV cameras, the XL1's Frame Mode was the best way to capture decent quality, low cost, non interlaced video for a variety of applications other than just a "look".

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Old November 10th, 2004, 10:43 AM   #10
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On Danny Boyle's 28 days later they used the PAL XL1 with frame mode, after doing some test's with filmout. This info is from an interview with the director of photography for that film, but I can't remember where it was, or find it. It was a big interview and I don't think I remember incorrectly.

So, I don't think it's a toy. But I think you get far better results with the PAL FX1E Cineframe25. There's no pulldown or discarding fields involved. Just blending fields like in Cineframe30. It's still not 25p, but it's better than deinterlaced SD resolution wise.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 11:38 AM   #11
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It was in American Cinematographer magazine - July 03 issue.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 11:45 AM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Peter Moore : Thanks for the subjective analysis, but I really would just like an answer to my question. Can it be edited in 24p? -->>>

Maybe not today, but probably soon in the future if the NLE manufacturers include the functionality.

Vegas can edit a 3:2 pulldown file that doesn't have pulldown flags in it (such as a film transfer to video)... it has a mode which will let you remove the pulldown on the fly and reconstitute the 24P sequence. However, near as I can tell, that functionality only works with DV files. It would seem reasonable that they could extend that functionality to HDV files as well.

You have to manually instruct the program as to what the pulldown sequence is, so it's not as easy as, say, XL2 or DVX footage. But AfterEffects can "guess" a pulldown sequence, so maybe the HDV-aware NLE's will add a pulldown guess option as well.

So to answer your question directly: yes and no. No, no editor will do it today, as far as I know. Yes you could do it, if you processed the footage through AfterEffects to remove the pulldown and restore it to its 24P state (which we all know isn't "real" 24P, but that's not the question here). And yes, some time in the future I expect that editors will allow on-the-fly pulldown removal, but I don't think there are any that allow it yet.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 12:21 PM   #13
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Thanks Barry. I was really hoping the camera would have pulldown removal flags for the CF24 mode that an updated Vegas would recognize. I guess no such luck.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 12:39 PM   #14
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Well, actually I'm not sure whether it will or not... I guess it's possible, especially with Vegas working directly with Sony.

I'm basing what I say on having downloaded Kaku's CineFrame 24 clip and using it in Vegas... but maybe Vegas 5.0b will have updates that will support that?

I think it's not unreasonable to expect that maybe Sony will have adopted the "flags" technology -- they took many other good ideas from the DVX, maybe they took that too!
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