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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 January 23rd, 2005, 09:40 AM   #1
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Sony HDV cam and strobe light.....

I'm working on a script that includes a scene which is only lit by strobe lighting.
As much as I'm fascinated by the prospects of the sony HDV cam I would need it to perform sufficiently under this condition.

Has anyone had experiences with his sony unit under "strobe-only" lighting?

How do the prime SD cams like the canon XL2 or the Pana DVX100 compare to the sony in terms of strobe light performance?

Thanks to anyone who can provide information.
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Old January 23rd, 2005, 11:39 AM   #2
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how about trying this. shoot with a lighting setup where your camera can do the best jop. then use a strobing plugin to create the effect you want. that way you can set the strobing rate to exactly what you want. if you try to film the strobing, your camera may capture unwanted effects.
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Old January 23rd, 2005, 12:00 PM   #3
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Recently, I worked on a music video, which at some points involved a strobing light. We used PD250P and PDX10P (DVCAM mode, handheld). In the post, after converting from 25 to 24 frames and applying various blurs it came out OK.

What you get is one frame well lit and then dark frames where you don't see much.

It would be quite interesting to know how your footage has turned out.
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Old January 23rd, 2005, 04:00 PM   #4
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I'd say you should absolutely test this first. The Sony may handle it very differently than the other cameras. The other cameras encode each frame individually and discretely, so whether the strobelight was on or off during a particular frame would have no effect on the others.

The Sony, however, encodes frames in groups of 15. It relies on the notion that little will be changing between frames in order to get best performance from its compression engine. However, a strobelight would probably be a nightmare worst-case scenario for HDV, as *every* pixel will change significantly on the frame that changes from "off" to "on", and then back again from "on" to "off".

If you're shooting in HDV mode, I'd say you'd be remiss if you didn't test it first to make sure it can handle it (it may be able to, I'm just saying you'd need to verify it). If you're shooting in DV mode it wouldn't matter.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 04:22 PM   #5
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I tried using a strobe once and it didn't work well at all.

The problem is that the strobe is an extremely short burst of light, and it is out of sync with the shutter.

I did a little test when I was thinking about using it in a music video, and the flashes that made it to video were few and irregular. If you used a long shutter speed you might get more flashes, but to have them appear regular on video you probably need them to be exactly 12/sec (for 24 fps) or 15/sec (for 30 fps), and in-phase with the shutter. And doing that will be difficult to say the least.

The fact that the FX1 shoots interlaced will be a problem also, because you could get half the frame lit and half not.

I came away from my experiment thinking that if I ever needed a strobe in video I would just shoot under a harsh light and strobe it in post. Is there a plug-in for that? I must think so, but haven't looked. It will save you a great deal of problems at shoot time if you do it that way.

Of course you could always change the script :o.

Good luck.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 04:51 PM   #6
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barry gribble, after effects has the effect under effects-stylize-strobe
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Old January 26th, 2005, 04:56 PM   #7
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final cut pro has it under video filters-video-strobe
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