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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 April 8th, 2005, 02:45 PM   #1
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Location: Baja California, Sur, Mexico
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FX1 / Picture distorts with minor vibration

I recently bought an FX1 and had it brought to me in lower Baja where I am living now. I've been making video's with the PD 170 mounted on a GlideCam, mounted on a Quad, ATV. The PD 170 perfomes beautifully. The pictures look like a fly is riding along side of you. So I was very excited to get the FX1, 16x9 HD for the same mount... Surprise... The picture on the FX1 falls to pieces. On first glance you might think I have a focusing problem. Maybe auto focus running wild.. But no.. it's locked down to infinity. The pictures on the FX1 are unusable. Now I know that everyone is going to tell me to take the steady shot off, I've tested the FX1 with all settings. I've even run a long thread on 2-pop forums.

<http://www.uemforums.com/2pop/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=83444&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=all&vc=1

There is no easy fix for my problem. Yes, I've done further shock mounting on the quad.. Let me tell you, the GlideCam is an amazing gizmo, there is nothing out there that separates the camera from it's mount more, at least not that I'm aware of. But in any case, The 170 works great. The problem also exist in DV mode as well. The final result of all my testing ends in failure, and the failure of the 2-pop forum to come up with any solutions, or anyone willing to put their FX1 through a vibration test.

Here is a link to some footage from the FX1 mounted on the quad. Be aware this link is close to 70 megs. I uploaded a 720x480 standard dif. picture for review.

http://www.powervisiondvd.com/asshtml/hdvtest.html

Here is a link to some footage shot with the 170, it was some early footage I took learning my technique. But as you can see, the picture looks pretty good for going over such rugged terrane. 320x240

http://www.powervisiondvd.com/asshtml/microwave.html

The FX1 is extremely sensitive to the smallest vibration and could not be used in many applications. Such as mounted on a car. I bet the picture would distort if you put your elbow on the fender of a running car. I have put it on a mono pod and rested it on an empty cloths dryer. The picture distorts so bad it's unusable.

What I am looking for from this forum is someone who is willing to do some simple vibration testing with there FX1 to see if my problem is the nature of the beast or if it is worth while for me to send mine back to the states for repair. This would be a great help.

At this point I have the opinion it's the nature of the beast. And if so, I can not recommend this camera to anyone.

If anyone is willing to do some vibration test for me, and the rest of the prospective buyers out there, I would be very grateful..

And yes, the camera takes stunning pictures until it encounters even the smallest vibration.

Thank you very much.. kene
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Old April 9th, 2005, 12:42 PM   #2
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Kene,
do the problems also exist when you watch the footage on your camera's LCD ? It seems to me you have problems in your postproduction. Did you change the fieldorder to upper field first ? Have you tried to use the down-rezzed DV output of the FX1 ? Did you turn on anti-shake while recording ?
I've done a test where the camera was mounted on a tripod in my car. I've gone up to 90 mph and believe me the was NO problem whatsoever. The pictures were just perfectly clear and sharp. Ok - my BMW is probably not as shaky as your quad (should have used my wife's Mazda instead ;-)
Please give more infos how you treated the pictures in post.
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Old April 9th, 2005, 12:52 PM   #3
 
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I'll one-up you, Martin. We mounted the Z1 to a motocross bike. Of course it jarred on the bike's landing from a 50' jump, but otherwise it was fine.
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Old April 9th, 2005, 03:42 PM   #4
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Yes, the problem exist on the LCD also. And the direct out via YUV to an 1080i monitor too. The footage posted was down converted in camera to DV and imported into FCP. No field order changes. By anti shake, are you referring to to steady shot? There's the anti flicker, but thats for recording NTSC video monitors without a line. And I've tried that too. As far as steady shot. This kind of footage works best with it off. If you turn it on, it gets worse with each setting. I'm glad to hear it worked in your car. That is somewhat reassuring that I might have a chance at a repair. I'm more interested in the motocross bike mount. On my quad, if I rev the engine the picture distorts from the vibration. And believe me, I can hardly feel the vibration in the camera mount. It's way to sensitive. Maybe put your camera tripod on a cloths dryer?

Thanks for your help guys.. This is promising, you see, I have to send this back to the states with someone on a plane, take it to a friend who can ship it and test it before I find someone else to bring it back to Baja... Big deal unfortunately.. To import tech. into mexico, there is a 33% import duty.. so you have to be creative... Find a Mac in mexico.. no way. I had to drive mine down hidden in a trailer.

So Douglas, on the landing jar, does the picture hold up... if it looks like the camera got bumped, fine, but mine breaks up. If you can do the engine rev. thing, maybe tell me how you have it mounted...

Thanks a lot... kene
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Old April 9th, 2005, 03:48 PM   #5
 
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Picture appears to hold up.
I've got a suction cup mount with a safety clamp, plus a safety strain on the camera, too.
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Old April 9th, 2005, 04:44 PM   #6
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Thanks... That means I might have a chance at getting it repaired. I appreciate your help... kene
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