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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 10th, 2004, 11:23 AM   #1
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HVR-Z1U Sony America press release!

Here is the Sony usa press release on the HVR-Z1U


http://news.sel.sony.com/pressrelease/5327

http://news.sel.sony.com/pressrelease/5331
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Old November 10th, 2004, 11:55 AM   #2
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Very cool, and the price is even lower than the earlier rumors suggested. There are some nice upgrades on the FX-1, like being able to see the full frame in the viewfinder. I assume that "all display off" will turn off almost all of the annoying indicators that crowd the displays on other Sony camcorders (why do they have to use such large fonts for these?... one of my pet peeves on the PDX-10 and VX-2000 ;-)

BTW Michael, I made the links in your post "clickable"... you can do this yourself in the future with the following technique:

[ url ] http://www.anywebsite.com [ /url ]

When doing this, delete the whitespace between the brackets and url tags.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 12:00 PM   #3
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Well it's nice to see the price isn't going to be the rediculous $7K that keeps getting tossed about. "about $4900" according to the press release. Which means we should be able to pick this up for about $1200 more than the FX1. Definitely worth the extra money, IMO. The XLR jacks, 50i/60i switchable and DVCAM support seem to justify it if you need it.

For those looking for conversion to 24p or doing indy film work, I'm thinking that it makes most sense to shoot in 50i. With 50i, it's still compressed to 25Mbps, but with the lower FPS and therefore less data, it should give fewer compression artifacts and a smaller level of detail loss within that 25Mbps stream. 50i still gives plenty of information to convert to 24p in post. The Cineframe modes just seem silly to me... Although, I actually got some good results playing with Kaku's Cineframe24 clip last night. There are no usable (by Vegas, anyway) pulldown markers within the M2T stream. I had to re-encode to a lossless format at 1080i and then clip the first frame to make the 2:3 pulldown line up properly and that seemed to help the motion greatly. The others who have posted about strange motion and other problems when doing pulldown also converted down to SD res and DV before doing the pulldown, which the conversion introduces a whole new area of issues. I think we should let the jury stay out on the Cineframe modes until our editing softwares can deal with pulldown directly from the native M2T streams.

I'm still going to hold off until March or so before I start thinking about buying, but at less than $5K, the Z1U is looking pretty darn good for entry level HD. ...In the meantime, everyone getting the FX1 now can serve as guinnea pigs. hehe.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 12:51 PM   #4
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Someone else (sorry, can't remember who) predicted a price in this range quite awhile ago. His logic was that the FX-1 was priced to be a DVX-100a killer while the ZU-1 would be priced as an XL-2 killer. Sure looks like this might be what they had in mind...
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Old November 10th, 2004, 01:31 PM   #5
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Yeah!

Woohoo! That's all I'll say right now...until, I read everything on Sony's site of course!

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Old November 10th, 2004, 01:35 PM   #6
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Audio sucks, but otherwise amazing.

Bummer about audio on HDV, but cool on DV:

This stinks:
"32 KHz and 48 KHz can be selected when the Rec Mode is set to either DVCAM or DV SP. When HDV is selected, audio is always 48 KHz and it is compressed with MPEG1 Layer2."

and this too:

"Audio Lock mode or Unlock mode can be selected when the Rec mode is set to DV SP. When HDV is selected, Audio is unlocked. When DVCAM is selected, audio is locked."

and yes, this stinks too:

"Audio Limiter On and Off can be selected. With the HDV consumer camcorder, the audio limiter is always on."

Murph
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Old November 10th, 2004, 01:42 PM   #7
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Re: Audio sucks, but otherwise amazing.

That is Sony going at audio again. They did it on the PD150, slipped at first on the PD170 and now do it with those presets.

I expected some TC out connection on the pro version, so you can at least jam sync an external TC generator to it. Nothing of that though.

Sony and others manufacturers still think with "TV mind", instead of providing a way to do quality double system sound.



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Old November 10th, 2004, 01:49 PM   #8
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Hey Carlos, can you elaborate more on the "jam sync an external TC generator to it"? Can you point us in the right direction of a unit that'll take care of it?

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Old November 10th, 2004, 02:24 PM   #9
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>>Someone else (sorry, can't remember who) predicted a price in this range quite awhile ago. His logic was that the FX-1 was priced to be a DVX-100a killer while the ZU-1 would be priced as an XL-2 killer. Sure looks like this might be what they had in mind...
<<

More likely a preemptive strike at future competition. If the new JVC is coming out at 20K, Sony already has 3 less expensive alternatives (including the HDC 300).

Being PAL/NTSC compatible is a great move. You can go basically anywhere in the world and get your camera fixed. At least in theory.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 02:38 PM   #10
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What in hells bells would anyone do with 24fps interlaced. How can this camera run at 24fps and not do it progressive. Sony crippled this camera just to piss me off.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 04:08 PM   #11
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<<<-- Originally posted by Joshua Herrell : What in hells bells would anyone do with 24fps interlaced. How can this camera run at 24fps and not do it progressive. Sony crippled this camera just to piss me off. -->>>

This camera doesn't do anything at 24fps... The Cineframe24 mode on the FX1 (and most likely on the Z1 as well) is still 60i. There is just something trickery going on with the shutter speed and they're doing an in-camera reverse 3:2 pulldown and tossing away some of the fields and it gives the video a simulated (poorly) appearance of 24p footaget after it has been converted to 60i. 24p can be reconstructed in an editing program by doing a 2:3 pulldown on the video to convert from 60i to 24p. However, equal or better results with more control should be attainable by using standard 60i footage from the camera as that has more temporal/field information to work with for the conversion.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 04:34 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Christopher C. Murphy : Hey Carlos, can you elaborate more on the "jam sync an external TC generator to it"? Can you point us in the right direction of a unit that'll take care of it?

-->>>


Certainly.

For a long time I have been advocating for a system that would allow TC syncing with DV equipment for double system audio. I imagine everybody here knows what DS audio is and the advantages (and disadvantages) of doing location audio with it.

One part of the equation (editing) seems to have been solved with the latest FCP version, which allows inputting an external TC track along with your audio. But that has to be in sync with the internal DV's TC track.

Sony cameras allow access to this TC through their LANC jack, using a box like this to convert to LTC:

http://www.spcomms.com/ltcexport/

I was expeting the HDV pro version should have a proper TC output, but once again it's not so.

Using the TC out connection we can use any portable external TC generator, like Denecke or Horita, to jam sync to and then feed into a TC capable audio recorder.

As it is now we still have to use an external in-between box as above.



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Old November 10th, 2004, 04:57 PM   #13
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Re: 24fps...isn't that what the XL2 and DVX100 both do--a pulldown thing. They don't really run at 24fps either.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 10:04 PM   #14
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<<<-- Originally posted by Bill Pryor : Re: 24fps...isn't that what the XL2 and DVX100 both do--a pulldown thing. They don't really run at 24fps either. -->>>

Yes, and no... The DVX100 and XL2 both have CCDs capable of progressive scan imaging. So they can take the progressive frame image and then encode it to DV in 60i format using a pulldown, which we can reverse in a good editing program that properly supports their pulldown modes -- and reconstruct the full 24fps progressive image.

The FX1 does not have progressive capable CCDs, it essentially uses a reverse pulldown on the interlaced video to give the illusion that it is 60i video converted from a 24p source - which it isn't.

I think the jury is still out on just how good Sony's Cineframe24 implementation really is. I've worked with Kaku's clip and have had some pretty good results even though I haven't really worked with it much, so I'm hopeful. Yet something in the back of my head (the technical knowledge section of my brain) keeps telling me that Sony's implementation can't be as good as what I can do in post. Of the very few people who have actually bought or spent a fair amount of time with this camera so far, opinions are mixed and there isn't much info yet. I'm sure we will all get this sorted out pretty soon, though. :)
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Old November 10th, 2004, 10:33 PM   #15
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<<<-- Originally posted by Bill Pryor : Re: 24fps...isn't that what the XL2 and DVX100 both do--a pulldown thing. They don't really run at 24fps either. -->>>

Incorrect. The DVX and XL2 run the CCD at 24Hz, capturing 24 progressive frames per second. They then record it to tape using pulldown to fit it into a 60i video stream, just like film transferred to tape.

The DVX and the XL2 do "the real deal", pure 24P progressive footage.
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