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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 March 1st, 2005, 11:28 AM   #16
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Hi Dylan - I'm staff, not freelance, and no, we're not expected to buy our own cameras!

Regarding the PD150s, as far as I know the only change to the audio that we made was to substitute the Sony mic for a decent Sennheiser shotgun.
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Old March 1st, 2005, 11:28 AM   #17
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Certainly Dylan,
I won't stand behind my info 100% as it wasn't from the horses mouth, so to speak.
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Old March 1st, 2005, 12:20 PM   #18
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> I gather in the past that BBC has required that
> PD150s/170s had to be altered, in order to bypass
> what the BBC technicians regard as the PDs'
> inadequate sound quality.

No. I understand they did that to VX2000 cams, before the time of the PD150 I think. They bypassed the preamp altogether and wired the audio I/O connector straight to the ADC, which meant great line audio input but loss of audio output capability.

If done to a PD150 or PD170, it would probably also mean better audio, because the AGC and preamp on Sony cams are not the best and when in line mode, an attenuator is inserted and the preamp is still used, god knows why.
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Old March 1st, 2005, 01:22 PM   #19
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<<<-- Originally posted by Robin Davies-Rollinson : I'm shooting a broadcast doc on tree surgeons, so there's lots of branches against sky! I'm shooting in HDV and downconverting and I'm not having any of the problems mentioned...

Robin -->>>

Hi All,

Robin, if you're shooting against the sky what's the luminance of the sky. If it's blowing out then the artifact I'm seeing won't show up as it would be white on white. Black branches against 80-90 ire really shows it. Another question is what sharpness setting are you at. I was pretty high in that shot - 14 or 15. Lowering it may have an effect.

Probably the best way to downconvert is either in software with Procoder, or via the component outs to SDI and digibeta and avoid the additional level of DV compression.
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Old March 1st, 2005, 02:50 PM   #20
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<<<-- Originally posted by David Cherniack : Try downconverting to DV dark branches aganist a light 80-90 IRE BG. The edge is rimmed with a white outline that's very noticeable. It may be taken care of by turning the sharpening filter way down but I don't think so.

This eliminated for me the possibility of using downconverted footage for broadcast. -->>>

Mmmm, I'd just avoid shooting dark branches against bright skies. It's true that sharpness should be turned down to about 5 as opposed to the 11 which is default in PP2. Every camera I've ever owned or shot with has had strong points and weak points - I just avoid shooting certain material with a particular camera if I know it'll accentuate that camera's weakness.

It comes as no surprise that BBC will embrace the Z1. I bought my VX9000 in London from the guys who supplied the BBC with a truckload of VX1000's when they came out. Perfect ENG camera's -lightweight, good quality pics, cheap enough to throw away in a war zone. Imagine shooting on a F900 and coming back without it because you had to flee for your life and had to dump your rig!
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Old March 1st, 2005, 02:56 PM   #21
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>>Mmmm, I'd just avoid shooting dark branches against bright skies. It's true that sharpness should be turned down to about 5 as opposed to the 11 which is default in PP2<<

I think any dark edge against light BG will exhibit the same effect. If it were only trees...

The default sharpness on the Z1 is 13. I found that anything below that degrades the image detail. At a sharpness of 0 the image quality isn't any better than a PD150.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 12:09 AM   #22
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<<<-- Originally posted by David Cherniack : >>Mmmm, I'd just avoid shooting dark branches against bright skies. It's true that sharpness should be turned down to about 5 as opposed to the 11 which is default in PP2<<

I think any dark edge against light BG will exhibit the same effect. If it were only trees...

The default sharpness on the Z1 is 13. I found that anything below that degrades the image detail. At a sharpness of 0 the image quality isn't any better than a PD150. -->>>

That's very interesting - it's 11 on the FX1. Sly of Sony to just turn up the sharpness to create the impression of slightly sharper images on the Z1. I must admit I havn't tested the sharpness control much. I shot stuff using 5 and it looked great - but I don't have a 1080i HD monitor so that may explain that. This warrants more testing.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 01:15 AM   #23
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I've been running the FX1 at a sharpness setting of 13 anyway.
It appears to give the best results (for me) as well as colour up by +1.
Still looking for that effect with tree branches.
Still, if I have to look hard for it, there's certainly no point in worrying about. The subject matter should transcend all that ;-)

BBC Wales has just shot a short drama with the Z1. My mate was the lighting cameraman on in - I'm hoping to see some of it next week.


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Old March 2nd, 2005, 08:41 AM   #24
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I guess the best thing to do is post the frames - the original and the downconvert. I looked at the original again on my HD monitor and there is some atrifacting around the branches - not objectional there but it certainly becomes so when downconverted,

Where's the best site to post stills for this purpose - Ideally I want to post tiffs so they HD pix will be about 5 megs, I guess.
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Old March 3rd, 2005, 07:56 AM   #25
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Can't anyone suggest a site for pix?
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Old March 3rd, 2005, 12:24 PM   #26
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David,

Zip them all up and send them to me via http://www.yousendit.com

I will post them on my site for you.
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Old March 3rd, 2005, 04:39 PM   #27
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APOLOGIES

Well when I created the tiff off the DVCam downconverted tape I didn't see the outlining I was seeing on my PVM component monitor. Puzzled, I checked the setting on the monitor and found that the aperture was turned way up creating the white outlining around the branches.

My bad and I do apologize to all. OTOH I'm quite happy that the downconverted footage is more useable than I thought it was.

OTOOH I'm still convinced the best downconvert would be from the HDV NLE to uncompressed SD and out via SDI to Digibeta. It's gotta be better than compressing to DV.

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Old March 3rd, 2005, 10:56 PM   #28
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Uhumm - don't worry David, apology accepted. By now of course your reservations have been repeated on other boards and are accepted as facts by naysayers and Z1 haters. I read just yesterday that the Sony camera's are "bad with black against white backgrounds" somewhere else. Well, as long as you're happier with the downconvert, it's cool.
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Old March 3rd, 2005, 11:33 PM   #29
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David, please send your images to me as well; I'll be happy to host them for you here at DV Info.
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Old March 4th, 2005, 06:22 AM   #30
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<<<-- Originally posted by Derek Serra : Uhumm - don't worry David, apology accepted. By now of course your reservations have been repeated on other boards and are accepted as facts by naysayers and Z1 haters. I read just yesterday that the Sony camera's are "bad with black against white backgrounds" somewhere else. Well, as long as you're happier with the downconvert, it's cool. -->>>

Derek, as you well know, it's impossible to stop th naysayers and those who are, consciously or not, doing other manufacturers bidding to try to slow this camera's momentum before NAB. It's practically funny. I experimanted with downconverting a few different ways yesterday. The biggest issue seems to be translation of the colour space from 709 to 601. What I can do is post some stills over the weekend
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