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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
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Old March 1st, 2005, 08:42 PM   #1
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Z1u Low light issues

I'm hoping that someone can help me out, with some settings to get rid of the low light issues I've been having with my companies z1u, we're looking to shoot night club footage with a frezzi light attached and when I did some tests last friday the footage still came back really dark. I'm fully willing to accept that it was in fact my fault but I would like to know what to change.

here's the scenario, we were shooting two cameras one z1u and one hdw 750 Both had the same frezzi light with soft box. But when i looked at the footage on the two camera's the z1 was drastically darker. I checked the data settings (thinking I jacked the shutter speed or something) and it would seem that I was using a 30 frame speed with 6db of gain.

That seems like a lot of tweaking to get light in for not fabulous results. The only thing I could thing is maybe the cinestyle setting was on (not to be confused with the cineframe setting) I'm not positive but I believe we had the balcks stretched as well, is there any other advice someone can offer?

I really feel that I shouldn't go lower then 30 for the shutter speed and would like to not use anything higher then 9db of gain (preferable no gain, as it really does add noise if you look at it on a broadcast monitor) So what other settings can I change?
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Old March 1st, 2005, 11:04 PM   #2
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I would try to get closer to your subject so the light from your Frezzi is stronger, go up to 12 db if you have to, I see very little grain at 12db, you either have a little grain or a dark underexpose picture, you have to make a choice, stay at wide f1.6 and try not to zoom in cuz that will cut down your f-stop.
This is obvious but just in case make sure you don't have neutral density on heh. (-:
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 01:36 AM   #3
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Thanks Khoi, I spoke with our editors and they aren't even happy with 9db's of gain, I guess I was just shocked at the light difference between the two camera's. I would've second guessed that I had left the ND filter on (yikes) but the next day I double checked the settings. OH well.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 01:51 AM   #4
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At this price point it's one of the realities - 1/3" ccd's packed with all those pixels is definitely not going to match 2/3" ccd's for light sensitivity. I'm not too concerned, as I just use more lighting when required.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 02:54 AM   #5
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I find it hard to believe that your editors weren't happy with only 9db of gain on the camera. This is one of the few cameras that you will allow you get away with it.
And in a night club as well!
Oh well...

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Old March 2nd, 2005, 08:29 AM   #6
 
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The commercial stuff we shot last month for Mesquite, NV was shot in very dark areas, and we used +12dB in some shots of couples walking in firelight. No grain, blackstretch on. Ironically, these commercials hit television just yesterday, and they looked great. But when an editor that knows the biz hears 6/9/12dB worth of gain, it's gonna freak em' out. If I didn't know this cam, I surely would do the same.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 08:35 AM   #7
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Hi Nick. Your editors have seen the +6, +9 and +12 dB from *this* camera?
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 07:44 PM   #8
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They have seen it from this camera, live actually. ("watch the monitor, is this ok?" "Yes." "This?" "Yes." "This?" "That's pushing it." "This?" "No.") It's not so much the editors as it is HDNET (who we sell our footage to) they have rediculously high standards for their footage. I'll be straight with everyone though I can see the grain (especially in dark areas) when there is over 9db of gain. the idea behind the camera was instead of people spilling beer all over the $70k camera they spill it on the $5k camera. I totally agree that with more lighting the camera performs great, but that wasn't the original intent of this post. I'm just curious to know if anyone has any more ideas as far as getting better low light footage. Also, How many people who can't see the grain are watching this on a broadcast HD monitor? Maybe there is an issue with our camera and it should go back to B&H.
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Old March 6th, 2005, 04:01 AM   #9
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The Z1 is close to 2 stops slower than a PD170 and is one of the worst features (of many) on the camera. In my opinion though I would have have no hestitation in the situation you were shooting in using 18db gain. The Z1 a huge improvement to the days with early Beta SP cameras where 18db was a definite no no. Must say too I'm not a big fan of lights on cameras as it always looks like news footage to me. A battery light rim-lighting from behind and to the side (perhaps with a blue gel) will help keep the nightclub look. In these situation too shooting from low looking up into the clubs lights can also give a nice look with as someone else suggested a slower shutter speed.
At least after the crappy LCD of the 170 Sony have come back with a winner LCD on the Z1 where it really is a useful guide to colour and exposure.
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Old March 6th, 2005, 10:00 PM   #10
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Tony appreciate your advice, the "real" shooters are using it in mexico and perhaps they will fair better then I did, I still think this is a sweet camera, I just don't think ti'll end up being as useable as my boss owuld like it to be.
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Old December 8th, 2005, 01:10 PM   #11
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Hi

I thought i would post this, Just filmed my son's xmas play today with my FX1

I shot it in HDV mode to down convert to SD and although the light was very poor and i needed 18db of gain the results were very good, some parents had there single chip mini dv's and couldn't see a thing.
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Old December 8th, 2005, 04:42 PM   #12
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I agree Ian. I went to the wedding of a friend of my daughters and used both my FX1 and my TRV50. When the lights went low for dancing the TRV50 saw nothing and the output from the FX1 was very acceptable, colour was starting to go and there was some grain but perfectly acceptable for the situation (showing a little bit more than my old eyes remember!!).

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Old December 8th, 2005, 04:44 PM   #13
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For more info on the FX1 and Z1 in low light situations see the links in the following "sticky" thread: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=54414
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Old March 1st, 2006, 11:14 AM   #14
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Sony HDW 750 has 1/2" CCD's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Serra
At this price point it's one of the realities - 1/3" ccd's packed with all those pixels is definitely not going to match 2/3" ccd's for light sensitivity. I'm not too concerned, as I just use more lighting when required.
I believe the Sony HDW 750 has 1/2" ccd's nevertheless you comparison still applies 1/3" are equal to 1/2" ccd's. Sony HDW 750 Brochure.

http://pro.sony.com.hk/product/spec/...e/MK7543V2.pdf
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