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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, 08:58 AM   #1
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Time Lapse Recording on FX1/Z1

Okay, this might be a newbie-type question, but my curiosity is relentless. For interval, or time-lapse recording, which camera of these two would be the better (or only) choice? I'm assuming you'd need a third-party dongle of some kind. I'm looking to do some time-lapse landscape shots and don't want to sit there all day and manually trigger things! Recommendations of said dongle would be greatly appreciated as well.
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Old December 14th, 2004, 09:44 AM   #2
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You won't be able to do this with either camera as is, so there is no preference I see directly relating to your question.

You'll need to capture via external firewire device (or component using computer) There are reports of external firewire capture drives being developed. It'd be nice if they offered a time lapse feature where they'd grab a firewire frame and stored them as TIFF or TGA or JPEG sequences on the drive. You could then encode them into a MPEG 2 file or AVI file.

I'm not aware of any software you can put on a laptop that can grab a frame from a HDV firewire input at a certain interval. That's another route to investigate.
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Old December 14th, 2004, 10:11 AM   #3
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The FireStore FS-3 and FS-4 Pro external hard-disk recorders from Focus Enhancements have built-in intervalometers. Now all they need are firmware upgrades to record in HDV. I'm pretty sure they're working on that.
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Old December 14th, 2004, 10:17 AM   #4
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An alternative is simply to sit there and let the camera run for a full tape (1 hour) and then speed it up in Adobe After Effects. or a similar program, (though I don't think After Effects can handle HDV - you'd have to convert it to an editable quicktime or .avi file).

Since it's for time lapse, drop outs won't be such a problem so you could just use and reuse a $5 miniDV cassette without much worry, couldn't you?
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Old December 14th, 2004, 10:18 AM   #5
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I'm not sure they'll ever be able to interval record with HDV. Isn't it impossible to timelapse record with a MPEG-2 format? It would need to record in some other format or an image sequence right?
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Old December 14th, 2004, 10:22 AM   #6
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what would be interesting is if the FW input could somehow be set to grab only the discretely compressed I-frames (there's two a second if I remember rightly).

If the shutter speed was set to 1/3 second it wouldn't make that much difference in terms of the overall image.
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Old December 14th, 2004, 10:09 PM   #7
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Thanks a bunch for the tips, February seems _so_ far away!
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Old December 15th, 2004, 09:11 PM   #8
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An yet un-tested method

I am keen on time lapse and while acknowledging that on the FX1 it is only supported in DV format I thought the following would work.

As the camera can be triggered by the remote control, why not use a universal remote control to 1) learn the code string for record, 2) setup a macro on the universal remote to repeat the command at what ever interval you require.

I understand that in frame mode (DV) each record trigger takes approximately 6 frames. So if I can program my universal remote to send the record code every minute, the result should be timelpased footage? Basically turn the universal remote into an intervalometer.

Do does the forum think?

Tony
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Old December 17th, 2004, 07:47 AM   #9
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For HQ timelapse shooting I suggest DSLR still camera.
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