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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 February 12th, 2005, 10:59 PM   #1
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Hvr-z1 16:9 Sd

Can this camera film in 16:9 SD rather than downscaling HDV footage as I have read elsewhere that the downscaled footage is inferior to that from a camera that films 16:9 SD only? I need to buy a new camera for underwater use. My considerations so far are the Sony PD170, Canon XL2 or the HVR-Z1. I would need to wait for Gates to manufacture a housing for this camera though.
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Old February 12th, 2005, 11:13 PM   #2
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Yes it can shoot in SD 16:9. The resolution is about comparable to a Canon XL2 in 16:9/60i mode. You'll get better 16:9 resolution from an FX1/Z1 in 16:9 than you will from a PD170 in 16:9. However, if you're shooting progressive-scan 24p or 30p, the XL2 can deliver much higher resolution in SD/16:9 than the Z1/FX1 in 16:9 mode.
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Old February 12th, 2005, 11:58 PM   #3
 
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The XL2 also "feels" a little more smooth in the image than a Z1 does, too, when in SD mode.
In SD mode, the HDV cams are merely very good, they're not terribly outstanding anywhere. The FX1 has been named #1 in some SD shootouts, but the results are semi-subjective. (I can't believe I'm saying that) There isn't a LOT of growth from the PD170 to the Z1 when you're only looking at DV.
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Old February 13th, 2005, 12:34 AM   #4
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Thanks for the quick response. I currently use a Sony PDX10 for 16:9 underwater work and a Canon XM1. The outlay for a housing especially a Gates with Fathom Imaging Lenses is pretty steep, so I would like to get at least 2-3 yrs out of it. I am not too worried about HDV at present, but 16:9 is a definate must. I think that once HD-DVD becomes available, the HVR-Z1 footage would hopefully match the footage from improved HDV cameras in the next couple of years more closely than trying to uprez SD 16:9 from a XL2 or a PDX10.
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Old February 13th, 2005, 02:44 PM   #5
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I have no experience shooting under water, but you might want to take the FX-1/Z1's lowlight abilities into account. I shot some footage of a small stage last night with an FX-1, and missed the 1 to 2 stops more our old pd-150 had. I 'll find out how it really looks when I see it tonight on a friend's HDTV.

Also, after moving between a dark environment and a poorly lit one, I wish Sony made the H_M_L gain switches change their value based on picture profile. On the FX-1 you can only assign a max gain level within picture profiles. Does the Z1 have gain setup within the profiles menu? Also, does anyone know if you can put a chosen profile under an assignable button on the Z1?
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