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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
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Old June 14th, 2005, 10:16 AM   #1
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Problems shooting PAL with Z1 in the U.S.

Does anyone regularly shoot PAL with the Z1 in an NTSC country? I am about to do several days of shooting in PAL mode here in the U.S. for a client living in Europe. And I just read an article about some potential flickering problems when shooting PAL in the U.S. using tungsten light. Also, how about fluorescents? Any thoughts on that?


<<Because shooting in Region 60 mode in a region 50 country and vice versa yields a 10Hz beat flicker from artificial light, the solution is to remember to use 1/60 or 1/100 shutter speed as appropriate. Sony, since the days of Hi8 Handycam, has offered a Flicker Filter that attenuates the 10Hz beat.>>
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Old June 14th, 2005, 12:39 PM   #2
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That's interesting. The Z-1 has a flicker reduction setting, but the manual says it doesn't work in 50i mode. Personally it would surprise me if the latency of an incandescent lamp filament wasn't enough to smooth out any flickering. Flourescents, HMI, etc. could be a problem though...
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Old June 14th, 2005, 02:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Augusto Manuel
Does anyone regularly shoot PAL with the Z1 in an NTSC country? I am about to do several days of shooting in PAL mode here in the U.S. for a client living in Europe. And I just read an article about some potential flickering problems when shooting PAL in the U.S. using tungsten light. Also, how about fluorescents? Any thoughts on that?


<<Because shooting in Region 60 mode in a region 50 country and vice versa yields a 10Hz beat flicker from artificial light, the solution is to remember to use 1/60 or 1/100 shutter speed as appropriate. Sony, since the days of Hi8 Handycam, has offered a Flicker Filter that attenuates the 10Hz beat.>>
My interpretation of that paragraph is that flicker is only valid for fluorescent lighting, never for tungsten. That 10Hz beat is the shutter difference.

If it wasn't so that had been a more serious problem with film cameras, where even shooting in their own countries, using 1/50 or 1/60 shutters, you got flickering. Crystal motors improved that problem, but only up to a point.

Video usually has no problem when shooting NTSC in a 60Hz country or PAL in a 50Hz country.

But tungsten is not a charge/discharge system, like fluorescents or HMIs are. You will never have a flickering problem with tungsten.

On a practical note, that certainly will interest Boyd, I recently shot a documentary in Buenos Aires, using an NTSC PD170. I did have problems with regular fluos, but not with high-frequency types. That is something you have to be very careful on, because the problem didn't look as serious on the camera LCD screen. Increasing shutter speed may help alleviate the problem, as long as the fluo lamp is not on the screen.

In many places I used available lighting, mostly from those small 50w small lamps used in decoration, and never had a single flicker.


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Old June 14th, 2005, 03:14 PM   #4
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All electricity in the US being 60 Hertz.
Had the opposite prblem in Europe years ago. Was getting flickering from light fixtures and chandaliers until I dialed in 1/100th shutter setting. Lost at least a stop, but no flicker.

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Old June 14th, 2005, 04:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jeff Patnaude
All electricity in the US being 60 Hertz.
Had the opposite prblem in Europe years ago. Was getting flickering from light fixtures and chandaliers until I dialed in 1/100th shutter setting. Lost at least a stop, but no flicker.

Yes, Jeff. But that only happens when you are using fluorescent lighting, not tungsten.

Another important thing is, if you plan to shoot a video that might be transferred to film, you have to shoot only at 1/50 or 1/60. This is something a lab told me.


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Old June 14th, 2005, 05:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
That's interesting. The Z-1 has a flicker reduction setting, but the manual says it doesn't work in 50i mode.
I always shoot 1/100th in any 50Hz country -- and it solved the problem long before any any flicker filter. I never bought a camera that didn't offer 1/100th -- 1/120th won't help!

But, obviously I never had a PAL camera in the USA. There will still be a 10Hz difference beat. Did Japan think only of Japanese traveling to Europe? Is the manual wrong? Is there a a 1/60th or 1/20th setting on the PAL unit? Or, is th 60Hz fast enough not to show a problem?

If not that is a very serious problem.
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Old June 14th, 2005, 06:06 PM   #7
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I currently have my Z1 set to 50i (PAL) mode. It allows me to choose 1/50, 1/60, 1/100 and 1/120 shutter speeds....
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 04:04 PM   #8
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Pal flicker in US

Hi just got done with a shoot in the US using the Pd150 Pal, and yes there is a flicker, that makes it pretty much unusable for the French TV networks ( they hated it)
Opening the shutter will give you a slower motion and unless shooting something creative, you won't be able to use it.

The addition of a light, 12v on top of the camera will in most cases get rid of this flicker, since it's a 12v direct electricity ( not alternating), as long as you make sure that no light ( fluos/tungsten) is in the frame, on the item filmed.

We shot indoors, and the flicker did not appear on the camera's LCD, because "LCD displays do not have a refresh per se (the image only needs updating if it is changed)" Manufacturer.

So you are pretty much S.O.L if you don't take all these factors into consideration. You might want to bring with you a portable regular Pal broadcast monitor, so you can see what the viewers will see of your footage.

Hope it helped
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 11:33 PM   #9
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As long as a fluorescent lightsource is not illuminating any part of your frame then you should be fine. Other lights may cause problems but fluorescents are the main concern. Dialing the shutter speed to 1/100 is a good idea but I have never done this as my output for the FX1E is film so if you are shooting to go to film or 24p then no matter what use 50i@1/50 and 60i@1/60

Regards - Ainslie Davies www.duality-productions.com
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