FX1 & Z1U in Low Light at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
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Old January 30th, 2005, 07:11 AM   #1
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FX1 & Z1U in Low Light

I am looking for some feedback on the low light results for the FX1 & Z1U. I read Shannor Rawls review of the low light results that didn't seem to give any hope at all to the new sony line of hdv's. Kind of sucks for shooting in night conditions underwater....

Specifically how do they compare to the PD150 & PD170?
And the FX1 vs. the Z1U?

I just bought the FX1 a month ago and haven't even touched it since i sent it off to have an underwater housing made for it....and of course in that small amount of time---walah, along came the Z1U, with apparently lower lux lighting requirements. So I'm now considering selling off my FX1 and ordering the Z1U right away. BUT....can anyone give a fair opinion of the low light conditions of FX1 vs. Z1U? It would be interesting to see if there is much of a differance. I'll still get the Z1U for its other options....

Thanks for any help out there. And any insight on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
Johnny
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Old January 30th, 2005, 09:57 AM   #2
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Except for the "hypergain" I don't think there's any difference between the light sensitivity of the FX1 and Z1, but I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong. In another thread there was a comparison between the VX-2000 and FX1 and my recollection was that the FX1 was about 2 stops slower.
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Old January 30th, 2005, 10:34 AM   #3
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Sony claims the following on the two cameras as I recall:
FX1: 3 lux light level
Z1: 2 lux light level

From what I continue to read......that is merely marketing hype and that shooting both in low light produces poor results---more so with hypergain....and using the hpergain is I've used it produces quite a bit of grainy look.
thanks....
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Old January 30th, 2005, 02:46 PM   #4
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Just read Adam Wilt's review in the March DV Magazine. He states the FX-1 is between 1.5 and 2 f-stops slower than the PD-150.
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Old January 30th, 2005, 05:25 PM   #5
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Just read your shortened synopsis of Adam's review.....and I guess that is the case....if either the FX1 or Z1U were what we all wanted it to be, then there would be no need to step into the professional line of Sony HD cameras.
Was hoping there might be some LIGHT of hope for those of us shooting in low light conditions and underwater. But looks like it's the take it or leave it aspect of what's available at the moment.
Since I've already got the FX1 and am considering the Z1U, I might opt for the PD170 instead.....at least it gives reveals a much clearer image in low light without having to play around with gain adjustments.
thanks....
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Old January 30th, 2005, 06:35 PM   #6
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Why not just add light where you need it. Underwater, even.
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Old January 30th, 2005, 06:49 PM   #7
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From all I read, it sounds like the FX1/Z1 is around 1 stop faster than my PDX-10. That would be terrific for almost anything I want to shoot, especially since it sounds like you can add several dB of gain without any problems. And in DV/DVCAM mode you could gain another stop by shooting at either 1/30 or 1/25 shutter speed without significant loss of vertical resolution.

I understand your desire to shoot in very dark places, but to me it sounds like Sony has made some reasonable trade-offs. Another thing which Adam Wilt mentions in his review is that the FX-1 is selling for $3,700 whereas the VX-1000 was introduced for $4,200. Not a bad value, especially if you consider inflation.
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Old January 30th, 2005, 07:23 PM   #8
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Figured someone would mention lights...you're right about that Chris...but lights work well enough underwater in set up macro conditions, but in low light situations at 100+ ft depth and shooting an animal passing in the distance....or in just low light murk at 30ft for that matter---lights do no good and often inhibit every sea creature in the ocean from passing within a reasonable distance. I've shot with the 150 & 170 and loved the low light results in natural conditions and with the vx1000 in those same conditions and the results are literally night and day. So without having tested the fx1 or z1.....i only have the poor feedback that i've heard to go on. I guess I'll soon be able to post those results when I get my housing and camera back two weeks or so. But all was hinging upon me now buying the z1 if the results were favorable--So remains to be seen....

Point take on that Boyd....That's why I'm considering just biting the bullet and picking up the z1 as well.

Cheers....
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Old January 30th, 2005, 10:13 PM   #9
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Look at it this way, for your situation I see how important it is, it will take the FX1 12 to 15 db gain to equal the PD150 at 0db, so if you have been shooting underwater at 0db, the FX1 will do ok, plus you are getting HDV quality, but if you had to gain up on the pd150 6db or more then the FX1 won't be as bright.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 07:17 AM   #10
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I'll be trying that out preety soon when my camera returns....I'm not keen on the resulds of turning up the gain however. HOwever....I'll soon see and post those results.
thanks
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Old February 1st, 2005, 02:34 AM   #11
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low light z1

Is the low light capability of the Z1 good enough to make decent footage in church or living room average ligthing conditions????? I can not imagine that such an expansive cam is that bad!!!! Can someone post some footage from a church or living room?
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Old February 1st, 2005, 02:41 AM   #12
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When I went on the sony road show this month I had a chance to get hands on with a Z1. It was able to get good pictures from the other end of an unlit ballroom, which was darker than every church I have been in, without gain or hypergain. In practical terms it shouldn't be harder to work with than a vx2000. I always use a small light anyway.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 04:56 AM   #13
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What do you mean by good ?? From such a cam I expect exellent quality footage in low light environment like churches, in house, pop concerts, evening city senery etc. To be clear I do not want to film in a dark room!!!
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Old February 1st, 2005, 04:24 PM   #14
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Johnny, where did you send you camera to? What housing maker?

I bought the FX-1 for underwater use as well, but so far, all my footage has been above water.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 06:37 PM   #15
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Hi Mike,
I went with Equinox in MI. They have made some pretty nice hosuings in the past.....for my pd150 and pd170. I used to purchase only the gates housings...but since they changed ownership they no longer have the pro deals and the housings are just way to expensive with them now. I've found the equinox every bit equal to my gates housings but at a fraction of the cost. They are a bit larger I must warn you than some of the other housing manufacturers, but the upside is they are more stable in the water.
The guy I talk to there is TJ.....and he offers a pro deal if you're a professional shooter.
cheers....
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