Should the Expanded focus work while on REC? 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 November 23rd, 2004, 01:52 AM   #1
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Should the Expanded focus work while on REC?

Should the HDR-FX1E Expanded focus work while recording?

On the pre-production model that I tested, they said that the expanded focus doesn't get recorder to the tape. And it did work while Recording. But when I reviewed my tape, I found that the image flashed whenever I had pressed the expanded focus button. So I figured they'd fix this on the production model.

BUT... it seems that on my camera the expanded focus doesn't work while recording! It only works when I'm not recording. Is this supposed to be this way? It doesn't mention it specificly in the manual.

The next is propably nothing... just wondering:
Another thing I'm wondering is the viewfinder. If I look at it, there's this little darkening to the upper-right of the image. It's not on the viewfinder-LCD, but on the optical parts of it. So I have to look from little bit lower-left to see it properly (and no it's not the fact that LCD blacks go grey when you look from the wrong angle). And if I put my eye tightly on to the viewfinder it almost disappeares. And and, it's only visible on a very dark situation. When there's enough light, I can't see it. When I take the viewfinder of and look at it against some light, it's perfectly clean. Also the the viewfinder-LCD is clean.
So, It could be just some weird optical flare, that get's there because I have glasses and don't want to touch the viewfinder with them? But I'm just wondering if it's normal.
(I've used PD150:s, Digibetas, super8 and super16mm film cameras, and haven't ever seen this kind of thing.)

Otherwise it's a great camera!
Joonas Kiviharju is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 23rd, 2004, 06:35 AM   #2
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Expanded focus doesn't work while recording. I wish it did.. and I don't know why they say "it won't get recorded to tape" when you can't even use it when recording.

one of my biggest pet peeves about this camera.
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Old November 23rd, 2004, 07:47 AM   #3
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Sad to hear. I was already "hoping that my camera wasn't working!" :)

I think they originally planned it to be available also while recording. But as they didn't get it to work without the flashes on the pre-production model, sony choose to disable the whole thing. Otherwise they wouldn't have lived up to their promises:

Sonystyle says in

"The camera‘s LCD image is magnified, temporarily, up to 4X its original size without any loss of distortion. This allows the user more finite control while focusing the camera for greater detail and clarity."

That's funny that "loss of distortion". I think they meant "loss of resolution". But it's absurd, because nothing is recorded anyway when you're using the expanded focus!

I made my buying decision based on the pre-production model, so guess I can't complain. But this unclear marketing is what annoys me. I'm not sure if we could get some compensation... maybe a free firmware update to have some of the functions of the Z1!! Like the ability to get all the markings disappear on the displays. And black stretch, and another gamma...etc. (I'm getting greedy :) )

For now, it seems, that the Z1 will not have this expanded focus REC, because it doesn't say so in any of the comparisons, official nor speculative. So maybe they didn't come up with a way to do it at all. Hopefully there will be some real service updates, that will get bugs or disabled functionalities like this working.

Thanks Mike, for replying me on two forums, at the same time!
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Old November 23rd, 2004, 08:13 AM   #4
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"No loss of distortion" should really mean "No loss of resolution."
That's what happens when Japanese is translated to English.

The only official statement I've been able to find about Expanded Focus on the Z1U is a note about it's off-mode at the Sony Z1U Press Release:

"Expand focus can be changed to normal with two selections: "Auto Off" and "Manual Off." In addition to the "Auto Off" mode provided on the HDV consumer camcorder, "Manual Off" mode is added for the HVR-Z1U. When "Manual Off" is selected, the expanded focus will change to normal when the Expand Focus button is pushed again."

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