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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 23rd, 2005, 04:50 AM   #1
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Regional BBC - we're getting Z1s.

Morning all

I just heard we VJs at the Beeb (in the North, anyway) are getting Z1s to replace our PD150s. If you're interested, our guidance at the moment is to continue to shoot in DVCam as the downconverted HD option isn't thought to yield significantly better results.

I'm glad we're getting the new cameras. Having tested one for a few days, I think the only area where it loses out to the PD150 is in ease of handling. The Z1 feels cumbersome by comparison, if like me you do most of your work hand-held.

Cheers
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 07:43 AM   #2
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But if it comes to "repairing" a shot from shaking, rescaling or simply rolling some degree you'd be happy to have more resolution in stock. On the other hand, there is really no good experience about dropouts with hdv.

But it's good to know, as one could say: If the bbc uses z1 then it's good enough for broadcast. I am still hearing the roumors that absolutely everything is shot on Digibeta.

Peter
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 08:43 AM   #3
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I'm interested that they say downconverting doesn't give good enough quality results not be worth the bother. I understand that in news speed is of the essence, therefore waiting for a computer to render an SD version to edit might take too long, but there is the option of a live downconvert, the camera itself can do that. I would have thought that would mean footage shot today could be broadcast as SD and future proofed as HD for the archive.

Does this mean that downconverting in camera is seen as having lower picture quality than native DV on the Z1 by the BBC tech' mandarins, or is it that at the moment they're only investing in HDV cameras and not HDV decks (like the M10)?
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 08:59 AM   #4
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This is something I've also wondered about. I assume that when you downconvert HDV you're going from MPEG-2 > DV. When you shoot directly in DV SP or DVCAM mode does it skip the MPEG-2 compression and go directly to DV? Does that help create a "cleaner" SD image?
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 09:05 AM   #5
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Good question Dylan, and I don't know the answer although I suspect it's the former. Of course, these cameras are very new and I'll bet a lot of things will come out in the wash as things progress, and maybe we'll end up downconverting from HD in the future.

I'll definitely be trying it out myself, although if it adds greatly to the workflow it'll be a no-no. We often have to turn around two items a day - one for lunch, one for the 6.30, so time can be very precious.

Cheers

Damian
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