HVR-Z1U Prototype at DVinfo.net

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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 December 14th, 2004, 03:14 AM   #1
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HVR-Z1U Prototype

Well I got to put my grubby hands on one of these at the Vegas user group during DVExpo on Dec 8th. I was not really that impressed with the Bali footage they were showing the day of. Any images coming out of this camera which aren't moving much look fantastic. It'd work great for a talking head documentary. Any kind of motion and the images blurs quite a bit and it's a bit disorienting but comes back to clarity when still. The prototype they had was very nice to hold, the LCD fantastically placed, the XLRs perhaps not very well situated. Interestingly, there were two sets of lights that indicated when it was shooting in HDV mode or DVCAM mode, and one of those sets didn't switch properly. It was however, just a prototype.

I'm sure people will do great things with this camera. Shooting car chases will probably not be one of them.

I for one, like the XL2 better, but getting HD for 500 more or so isn't a bad deal.

Just MHO
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Old December 15th, 2004, 12:18 AM   #2
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Hey Paul,

Are you familiar with the performance of the JVC HD1? It doesn't seem to have many motion issues so I didn't worry about the FX1 on that score until I saw the bicycle footage that was shot in Tokyo and posted on this site. Would you say the FX1's motion problems are significantly more or less than the HD1's?

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Old December 15th, 2004, 08:36 AM   #3
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I noticed no artifacts with the FX1 I used extensively for 4 days, Paul. However, I've heard mixed thoughts on the XL2, but that's a discussion best left for the XL2 page.

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Old December 15th, 2004, 09:56 AM   #4
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The Z1U footage didn't have artifacts, it was simply really blurry when there was any kind of motion. It was disconcerting to go from really crisp to really blurry when something stationary moved.
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Old December 15th, 2004, 10:02 AM   #5
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I can't make a judgment call on the Z1 other than footage I saw that looked good. But we shot handheld (with OIS) and Glidecam (V16, like a SteadiCam Jr.) and on sticks and discovered that, unlike the HD10 and HD1, the FX1 (and HDV in general) is PERFECT for that kind of stuff. Even slightly lower light stuff, too.

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Old December 15th, 2004, 02:59 PM   #6
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The HD10 would have an entirely different level of motion artifacts, and less motion-introduced blur, for a couple of reasons:

1) it uses a GOP that's only six frames long, as opposed to the 15-frame GOP on the Sony.

2) it's progressive-scan at 30fps, vs. interlaced at 60 fields per second. This provides a) a very different look during motion, and b) perhaps more efficient frame-based compression.

3) While the JVC has less bandwidth (19mbps vs. 25mbps for the Sony) it gets more bandwidth per pixel (i.e., the JVC pumps 1280x720x30 into 19mbps, vs. the Sony pumping 1440x540x60 into 25mbps). So 27.6 million pixels per second (JVC) vs. 46.7 million pixels per second for the Sony. That's a ratio of pixels-to-bits of around 1.45 for the JVC, vs. 1.87 for the Sony -- so the Sony is a lot more compressed, by comparison. That would probably contribute to more compression-induced blur during motion vs. the JVC (although the JVC will have 30P strobing, vs. the fluid motion of the 60i Sony).
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Old December 15th, 2004, 07:26 PM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Barry Green : The HD10 would have an entirely different level of motion artifacts, and less motion-introduced blur, for a couple of reasons:

1) it uses a GOP that's only six frames long, as opposed to the 15-frame GOP on the Sony.

2) it's progressive-scan at 30fps, vs. interlaced at 60 fields per second. This provides a) a very different look during motion, and b) perhaps more efficient frame-based compression.

3) While the JVC has less bandwidth (19mbps vs. 25mbps for the Sony) it gets more bandwidth per pixel (i.e., the JVC pumps 1280x720x30 into 19mbps, vs. the Sony pumping 1440x540x60 into 25mbps). So 27.6 million pixels per second (JVC) vs. 46.7 million pixels per second for the Sony. That's a ratio of pixels-to-bits of around 1.45 for the JVC, vs. 1.87 for the Sony -- so the Sony is a lot more compressed, by comparison. That would probably contribute to more compression-induced blur during motion vs. the JVC (although the JVC will have 30P strobing, vs. the fluid motion of the 60i Sony). -->>>

I think Barry is on the mark with his assessment. I've looked at high motion material from both cameras, and I can honestly say that the FX1 is marginally more 'blurry' than the HD10.

I'd suggest to those who are assessing these differences on smaller computer screens, that they should be wary of making final value judgements about quality, until they view for comparison on a full HD 16:9 large screen monitor.

To me, the 'blurring' (when viewed on an 82cm 1080 WS HDTV) equates to the human eye's inability to focus sharply on objects in motion until a target object is concentrated upon. Is this a bad thing? For some people - yes...... For myself - no..... For my friends who have watched FX1 and HD10 stuff on my Sharp Aquos it hasn't been either. Without judgemental comment on the source material from me, they noted only the differences I've spotted myself.

From my perspective, the level of motion 'blur' in both cameras is less distracting than the other differences that are evident in comparing material from the FX1 and HD10; such as the FX1's greatly reduced chroma noise, improved low-light performance and clarity of image.
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