My Z1U headphone output was nice & LOUD.....until now (sad face) at DVinfo.net

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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 19th, 2005, 01:59 PM   #1
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My Z1U headphone output was nice & LOUD.....until now (sad face)

....Before last night, my headphone output was crispy clear and super loud. SO loud that I had to keep the volume level around 50%. if I raised it any higher, my Sony V6 headphoes sounded like there were going going to burst.

Welp....did a Live gig last night at "THE JOINT" on Pico Blvd. to be part of a Music Video, and guess what......crapped out.

I deceided to shoot this one, rather then the director, since I wanted to test out my camera in a real live environment. Plus it was raining like hell, and I couldn't get him to come out anyhow. *smile*

The evening began with nice and loud headphone output. I heard everything perfectly in the cans. But right as she began to perform, here comes the crackling and popping. Major static was in the line.

At first I thought it was the house sending me a bad signal via the wireless feed from my AT U100 system. But then the cracking and popping panned out and became clear again, however the output was 1/4th the power. Volume was waaaay low.

So I unplugged my cans from the Z1U and plugged directly in the Wireless Receiver, and it sounded perfect.

("sounded", is that a word?? LOL)

Anyhow, I plugged back into the camera and the volume was low again. I then switched from XLR input to Internal Camera Mic....Same low sound as XLR. *sad face* It was then that I realized my camera crapped out on me.

BUT I FREAKED OUT, because I thought it was recording like that. I did have the internal limiters on, just in case the DJ decided to do something stupid, and I as I checked my levels, they were bouncing around perfectly in the upper range (but sounded weak in the headphones). I had to hurry back and record the performances, so I finished the night.

I went to my office after the gig to check things out. Low and behold, the audio recorded on the MiniDV cassette is nice and loud, crispy clear. But now my Z1U headpones AND speaker output is LOOOOooooowwwww. I have to turn it up 100% to hear anything decent.

100% is 'sorta' acceptable, but, i don't know. I will call SOny on Monday to find out what's up.

Sidenote:

------- I shot in HDV mode, 60i, Manual Focus, 18db gain, everything else fully automatic -------
1. When I first got my camera, I made a report that the low-light capabilities of this camera sucked.
2. When I first got this camera, I made a report that HYPERGAIN was worthless.

May I retract those statements? I used HYPERGAIN outside to get some b-roll stuff of the artist as she mixes and mingles with her friends, etc.. Dude, Hypergain saved my arse!! The noise is still VERY apparent, but it looks like its SUPPOSED to be night time. I used NO external lighting or anything. Image is worthy of b-roll stuff for the music video.

Inside during the performance, under the horrid lights of the club, along with their color gel lights and dancing lights and stobes that came on occasionally....the camera in 18db of gain...was NIiiiiice! Here are some down-sized clips snap-shotted with Sony Vegas Capture 5.0 then opened in PhotoShop 7.0 and "Saved For The Web" with 85% quality....

http://www.beout.com/hidef/aruna/aruna@thejoint-1.jpg
http://www.beout.com/hidef/aruna/aruna@thejoint-2.jpg

The ABOVE TWO images are outside in the damn near dark, with HYPERGAIN on. The REST BELOW are with 18db of gain...


http://www.beout.com/hidef/aruna/aruna@thejoint-3.jpg
http://www.beout.com/hidef/aruna/aruna@thejoint-4.jpg
http://www.beout.com/hidef/aruna/aruna@thejoint-5.jpg
http://www.beout.com/hidef/aruna/aruna@thejoint-6.jpg
http://www.beout.com/hidef/aruna/aruna@thejoint-7.jpg
http://www.beout.com/hidef/aruna/aruna@thejoint-8.jpg

These were back stage with a 35w hot light on top of the camera...


http://www.beout.com/hidef/aruna/aruna@thejoint-9.jpg
http://www.beout.com/hidef/aruna/aruna@thejoint-10.jpg
http://www.beout.com/hidef/aruna/aruna@thejoint-11.jpg
http://www.beout.com/hidef/aruna/aruna@thejoint-12.jpg

P.S.
Recorded 1 full solid hour, no breaks, didn't touch the button.....no dropouts.

So what do you think I should do about this headphone thing? I presume allot of people are having this problem, and some are having it right out the box.

- ShannonRawls.com
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Old February 19th, 2005, 02:10 PM   #2
 
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Glad to hear you worked out Hypergain, for starters. When I read that on the forum you'd posted that on, I wanted to respond, but since I'm not allowed to post there....:-) I didn't.

As far as the headphone...Did you feed anything besides the headphone from that output? I'm wondering if you put too large a load on it somehow and popped something. I've only had my 7506's and my lil' Etymotics plugged into mine, no issues "yet" but maybe there is something wicked this way coming.
Why are your images so stretched? Are you not using Device Aspect ratio in Vegas? or is that a DV setting but you shot with HDV? It looks more like the latter to me.
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Old February 19th, 2005, 02:29 PM   #3
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Nope, didn't feed anything but my Sony Headphones. I plugged em in like anybody would. All was well at first, then SNAP, CRACKLE POP...then it smoothed out, then was low from now on.

No overloading or anything.

7506's and V6's are identical (except 7506 has a gold plug).

Images are stretched? Heck, I dunno. I never started the actual editing program VEAGS. I only started "Vegas Capture" to extract those images.

I recorded in HDV mode, then turned the downconversion option ON (squeezed) to capture in Vegas Capture. Then I just randomly captured a few clips using the "CAPTURE IMAGE" button. Then opened 'em up in PhotoShop, and saved em for the web.

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Old February 19th, 2005, 02:44 PM   #4
 
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Yup...you likely had Stretch on when you downconverted, rather than letterbox or anamorphic. Vegas Vidcap will auto sniff the anamorphic, or should.
Sounds like the output of your cam definitely had an issue, I'm curious what Sony has to say about it. The FX1 has an audio issue when switching from 12 bit to 16 bit, but that should be an unrelated issue.
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Old February 19th, 2005, 07:19 PM   #5
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Stretch??

What is stretch? I have SQUEEZED, LETTERBOX, and 4:3. I had it on SQUEEZED when downconverting making the pixels 1.212.

Since this camera shoots anamorphic, I figured I should always use "Squeeze" (for widescreen) when downconvering to ensure the pixels are 1.212. Correct? If I put the camera on 'Letterbox" then the downconverted PAR will be .909, and that's not what I want...correct?

Still, I do not know why it made the images 872x480 rather then 720x480.

- Shannon W. Rawls
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Old February 19th, 2005, 07:24 PM   #6
 
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Yes, you want your images at .909 if you're working with DV. Sorry I mis wrote that. If you're on Squeeze, then Vegas will Stretch the image on capture. You can correct this in Vegas, but not in VideoCapture.
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Old February 19th, 2005, 07:36 PM   #7
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OK, STOP THE PRESSES....houston, we have a problem....


.909???

I thought I should want my my PAR at 1.212 for widescreen/anamorphic projects?

So you're saying my camera shouold be set at "Letterbox"?? What about if I capture true HD footage. it is 1.333. How come that gets to be 1.333 but downconverted DV must be .909?

Please explain it to me someone. *sad face*

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Old February 19th, 2005, 07:43 PM   #8
 
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If you're in letterbox mode, your cam is inserting letterboxes, so it's still just .909.

If you're in Squeeze mode, you have the aspect correct, 1.212 but when you pull it into VidCap, it's not seen correctly. If you used Vegas rather than VidCap to capture the images, it would have stretched them accordingly.
You've got the formula right, it's just where you're implementing it that it's a problem. Don't cap stills for widescreen in Vidcap, because it doesn't know to stretch or squeeze the image correctly. Vegas does. I'm not sure why that is.

Forget about HDV and 1.333, that's a very different situation, not related to DV, VideoCapture, or this particular issue.
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Old February 19th, 2005, 07:48 PM   #9
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*Whew*
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Old February 20th, 2005, 05:38 PM   #10
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Douglas : I am glad you noticed the stretching in the otherwise nice stills as well. I thought something was wrong with my eyes LOL
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Old February 21st, 2005, 04:49 PM   #11
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Quite a few macroblock artifacts over there.
Hope they don't bother when image is moving...
Here dtv looks quite the same, just sd, but too many channels per mux.

Or, that could also be considered as an artistic choise!
I think the time has come for new art form: compression art ;-)
If it only would be possible to change macroblocks size, then image could be altered with different artistic ways.
Maybe with AVC's dynamic macroblocks...

Interlaced hypergain looks just great!
In-camera effects are cool.
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 03:10 AM   #12
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Same audio monitor problem

i have the same problem with my fx1, headphone audio was reallly low, but recorded fine on tape, did you get any word from Sony on this Shannon?

Thnks
Mike
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 03:31 PM   #13
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no, i just realized that they were extrodinarily loud when i first bought the camera. I now keep the headphones on MAX, and it is fine. Befoe, anything over 1/2 way would blow my ears. So i am fine with the volume using MDR-V6 headphones. Not to mention I monitor my return using RCA jacks to my sound mixers board. Audio is nice and loud from the rca's.

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Old April 24th, 2005, 11:55 AM   #14
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Hi Shannon, if the audio was loud and now it is not, even though you worked around it, wouldn't that indicate there is still a problem?

Mike
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