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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 16th, 2005, 12:55 PM   #1
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Pro and Con

Ok if you Z1 owners could list some of the things you like and dislike about the Sony Z1.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 01:27 PM   #2
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Z1 comments - likes and dislikes

So far...

I like:

The size, placements of buttons, where the LCD is, how the LCD looks compared to other flipouts, the B & W viewfinder option, the menus are pretty cool, more options than the PD series and that's nice....the footage of course is AWESOME when not moving the camera.

I dislike:

MPEG Compression, lack of FCP HD support (coming soon?!), didn't come with a UV protector filter, the "H/L/Off" switch for the handle zoom is definately in a crappy place...I've accidently switched it a few times already.

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being amazing):

I give the Z1 a 8 1/2.....if there was easy editing I'd say 8 3/4. But, for the amount of money and what you get....this thing blows away any thing I've ever seen. I've used a bunch of cameras, but this one is the first one in this class ($5000) - that has so many controls on the outside. It's like Sony heard us complain so much about the JVC HDV cameras...they came through on it. I thank them!

I'm just now getting a chance to digitize footage and try to edit, so I'll need to re-assess my comments later. But, so far this thing kicks ass - IF you aren't shooting an action movie. That's the caveat here folks....if you are action oriented or plan to "run and gun" I'd wait or buy a DV camera. It stinks, but that looks like the deal.....I'm not going to bitch about it to much because I think it's a fair trade off. It's $5000 for a drama-based HD camera...not bad at all. It will shoot action of course, but from what I've seen with my footage just moving panning or tilting to fast blurs the heck out of the footage. Then when you capture it and try to edit...you end up (apparently, from what everyone is saying) using the new AIC codec and it kills the footage more. So, overall it's cool....just seems to be like the JVC thing all over again with editing.

Maybe Lumiere HD will let me beta test again for the Z1???? :)) :))
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Old February 16th, 2005, 01:42 PM   #3
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How is it shooting action using SD with the Z1? Not HD. The same or is the blurring really only in the HD mode?
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Old February 16th, 2005, 01:50 PM   #4
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Bob, I haven't actually tried that yet. When you are looking at the HD stuff it's really hard to even switch it! I'll try and check it out today..

Also, I've got to go back and re-read all the posts where people talk about certain settings that help the blurring. It seems that a few little things help...like faster shutter speed and then slowing it down later. I read that somewhere, but I'm not to sure that's a good idea.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 01:52 PM   #5
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Thanks for your input. One of these days I will decide on the camera to buy.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 01:55 PM   #6
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I really don't think you can go wrong with this camera the Z1. But, it does depend on what you plan to do. I'm pretty sure that it's the new PD-150 of HDV. In 2-3 years they'll upgrade the Z1....and it'll be a smoking camera.

People are starting to talk about the Panny coming out, but Sony is just like Panny...both will be very good cameras for a while.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 02:05 PM   #7
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I've had my camera now for about 23 hours...here's my inital reaction:

-nice lens, but a wide angle is a necessary accessory (say that 3 times fast!)
-18db is dirty
-9db seems clean
-expanded focus is cool, button is misplaced though
-iris knob is nice
-no snap zooms (bummer)
-camera straight out to HD monitor looks awesome
-could be a cheap way to do Hi-Def Imag...using a Folsom or similar device
-price at $4900 is very fair

that's my first impression, more to come. : )
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Old February 16th, 2005, 02:12 PM   #8
 
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My only real complaint is the placement of the WB button over the presets. It's somewhat easy to hit, but not terribly bad.
The lens is about the same as a 19-230 lens in the 35mm world, I have no problems with it at all, but the .8 wide is a very good add.
I wish the built in mic could be removed. It would make matte boxes and other mics easier to place.
The cam in DV mode acts just like a PD 170 with slightly greater saturation.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 02:15 PM   #9
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Oh, I forgot....I like the "Shot Transition" function very much.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 02:45 PM   #10
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<<<-- Originally posted by Christopher C. Murphy : Oh, I forgot....I like the "Shot Transition" function very much. -->>>

Dude, you ain't the only one!

It almosts eliminates the need for a focus puller. Actually...it does!!

I can see it now...a movie we did with an XL1s 2 year ago...

"OK, let's do it again, the acrtress missed her mark."
"OK, once more, the focus went too far"
"OK, again, camera was shakey"
"One more time guys, focus puller was daydreaming"
"OK, that was almost there, we started the pull too early"
"OK, screw it...that's good enough, moving on"

LOL

I'd still like to have a follow focus on my cameras, but it ain't as critical anymore with this new shot transition.

- Shannon W. Rawls
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Old February 16th, 2005, 02:53 PM   #11
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I totally agree with you! When I was in LA my friend and I were racking focus on a coke can and a laptop behind it. The "Shot Transistion" worked flawlessly...it kind of shocked me.

I've got to play a little more with it, but I can't say I've seen that feature on other cameras. Have you seen it? It's new to me...
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Old February 16th, 2005, 03:04 PM   #12
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I have the feeling that pulling focus will come in handy in the ruins of Greece. I am practicing in buildings in my area to get it right before I go.
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Old February 16th, 2005, 11:28 PM   #13
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I like that the camera is larger than DV cams which makes it much easier to handle for me. I hope Sony does not begin to make them small again in the future.

I like the red peaking levels because white peaking is not so easy to see.

I like the LCD where Sony put it.

Also the black stretch seems very useful. Not exacty sure what it does but I see the results when I want more detail in black areas of the shot.

I like how clean the gain is as long as you don't max it out.
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Old February 17th, 2005, 12:27 AM   #14
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Re: Z1 comments - likes and dislikes

<<<-- Originally posted by Christopher C. Murphy : So far...
" But, so far this thing kicks ass - IF you aren't shooting an action movie. That's the caveat here folks....if you are action oriented or plan to "run and gun" I'd wait or buy a DV camera. It stinks, but that looks like the deal.....I'm not going to bitch about it to much because I think it's a fair trade off. It's $5000 for a drama-based HD camera...not bad at all. It will shoot action of course, but from what I've seen with my footage just moving panning or tilting to fast blurs the heck out of the footage."


Christopher, you are saying it gets blurry during action shots because of the compression? Have you found it helps when shooting in CF modes? Just wondering if the CF modes are less demanding on the compressor than when in straight interlaced mode.
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Old February 17th, 2005, 06:12 AM   #15
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this si wierd.. here in PAL land, i was running it in 50i, and i was deliberatly shaking the bastard to get it to fall over and i couldnt.
Motion was as smooth as DV (i kid u not) and not MPG stutter as u see in DVDs, now the thing to consider it might well be mpg2.. but its pumpin out at 25mbps.. so its nowhere near as compressed as a DVD would be.. i AM however afraid that once downconverted, the stutter in motion IS alot mor noticable that from a DV source.. i dont know if this is a codec issue, rendering issue or bitrate issue.. i think its all of the above.. primarily bitrate..

hmm.. well.. what i dont liek about it.. is its fat ass design.. yeah it IS good, but the virefinder seems cheap.. its suepr clear and precise.. but when you look at teh camera.. it jstu feels so cheap.
I hate plastic too.. this thing is built with a plastic shell.. im worried that if i put this into a Sptrom or Pelican case and i take it onto an airplane, id end up with cracks all over the cameras body (if youve ever taken a camera onboard.. youll notice the air pressure will be vaccuumed out of the Storm/pelican and the plastic casing usually sucks inwards, basically you cant open the case, let alone take the cam out until you introduce air from the valve. And considering the build of the unit, and the build of these cases, im paranoid that the pressure will damage the camera. I havent tried it, and i could be worng..

umm.. i hate the fact that my gneric batteries WONT work.. ggrrr.. bloody sony..

umm.. but one thing about this camera is that many people say that its essentially the same as the FX1..
It isnt... the FX1 doesnt give u this much control over the image as does the Z1.. the settings and menu system remind me of the DVX, its actual build also reminds me of the DVX build.. its much heavier and now doubt that in the near future, well prolly see a Z2 with a smaller body..
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