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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 July 16th, 2005, 09:26 PM   #46
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Point taken Mr Eagle. Apologies.

I know what you mean Boyd. About 15 years ago I paid what seemed like a small fortune to see something at La Scala and I honestly thought the lighting people were on strike. There was just a main light either side of stage and if anyone came further forward or back from the light pattern you hardly saw them. Nothing from front of house at all.
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Old July 17th, 2005, 03:15 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Tony Wilson
You seem to forget I have consistently said how great the pictures were from the camera and have also noted other good features. My point in placing this post is simply to make folk aware of some of it's limitations before jumping in.
Tony, I have no problem at all with your critique, since I feel you are sincere and honest about it. In my impression you are not here to rant. People may disagree with your opinions, but then we also have a fruitful discussion. I value your (and other) opinions.

Just praising our Sonys wont make us learn anything. We all know that the Z1/FX1 kicks ass, so why do some feel the need to get in a defensive mode? The cams dont need any defence, they can stand up for themselves.
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Old July 17th, 2005, 04:05 AM   #48
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All right gents.

Maybe I should set the record straight.

Tony, please don't feel that I am attacking you personally. I have no doubt as to your expertise, professionalism and as to the quality of work you deliver and my postings were never directed in a personal way. Yes, I am miffed at the comment but this in no way means that you now move to the bottom of my food chain!

If anyone has taken a personal offence to my comments, my apologies.

Maybe I just had a bad day yesterday because I got chucked out of one of SA's very large department stores - yes, chucked out! Why you ask. I was trying to be an informed consumer.

I had walked in to view their 42" plasma monitor they had - yummmmm. Very nice one since it supported HDTV for DVI as well as Component and I thought - finally!!!! Anyhow, I queried the obviously ill-informed and untrained floor salesman as to the specifications of the unit and after much searching a manual for the unit was found.

After paging and seeing the resolution specifications, I queried the salesman as to whether I would be allowed to plug my camera into the unit and do some live testing via component - after all, when one spends that kind of money on a unit, you want to be sure the thing works to your satisfaction. "No problem" came from the salesmen so yours truly promptly returns home, grabs the Z1 and a tape and races back to the store. After stopping outside and grabbing some footage before going into the store, I walk in.

As a point of background to the story, you folks must understand that this particular department store group (hell I'd love to mention their name - grrrrr) had just a few days before suffered a rather unsavioury strike action by their unhappy staff because of managements policy not to include staff in the selection of staff process - yeah! Customers had been locked in the store - some for up to two hours!!!

As a further point of background info, from the store I had called a friend on his cell phone to tell him of the monitor since we both are looking for suitable monitors and have been searching and testing units for the last few months to find the right solution.

After reaching security at the entrance to the store, I point out to the resident and nonchalant security person that the camera as well as the cables sticking out of my back pocket belonged to me and off I went to the appropiate department. Said ill-informed staff member promptly helps me to plug in my component cables and I switch on and start reviewing my footage just shot outside - wow, finally, a monitor which shows me great viewing of footage at the right resolution and its simply plug n play - wow - yum - drool.

I also at this point need to point out that I had now asked ill-informed salesperson to check on stock levels and he promptly returns and gleefully informs me that they have two in stock - and at this point I pat my backside pocket to make sure my wallet is there - yum.

Now folks, its at this point when the excitement and anticipation comes to a mind shattering and soul numbing halt!!

The next minute, a burly and obviously gleefull security chap appears at my side and promptly queries as to whether I have permission to bring the camera into the store. You all know what the answer to that is so I politely point out our ill-informed salesperson and turn back to my cam and do some zooms and pans to see how this monitor performs.

Poof - next to me appears the "I am the acting store manager and why do you have a camera in the store?". Now normally I am a mild-mannered individual and not normally prone to losing my rag easily - well, not relatively easily :)

I promptly point our resident ill-informed salesperson and pass the buck to him to which our "acting store manager" replies, "You don't have MY permission". Now thats when this mild-mannered and normally calm individual just simply becomes a fully deflated individual and the neck hairs start taking on a form of their own. No amount of explanation or protest from my side would persuade this now VERY IMPORTANT "I am the acting store manager". He continues with much pomp and ceremony as to the fact that HIS permission was not obtained and blah blah blah.

By this time, I have become so dejected and deflated that the obviously alluring and so beautifull monitor becomes a blur. He also raises the point that "I want the tape in the camera". I know some choice words were uttered amongst others - "over my dead body". Our "I am the acting store manager" methinks realises that the only way he will get the tape will probably be over my dead body and chooses in the face of defeat to promptly ORDER his security staff, which by now had swelled in numbers to about 8, to "escort this man out of the store"!

Yours truly is promptly 'escorted' out of the store by two security staff members and to add insult to injury am stopped AGAIN at the exit by two MORE security staff members and they wanted to know where I purchased the camera! Now the phrase - "I just lost it" comes to mind and proceeded with telling the "i am an important security person" that "over HIS dead body" comes to mind and to step aside or be stepped upon.

Anyhow, that was my Saturday morningand top crown it all, I find myself reading Tony's post a few hours later.

Tony, as I said before, please don't take offense and I will try and adjust my comments so that at least you don't feel "over my dead body" - lol.

Enjoy YOUR day folks!

Cheers

Now sadly for the "I am the acting store manager", I had chosen to keep the camera on record so all his rants and raves ARE ON TAPE. I will be visiting the store's group head office on Monday.
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Old July 17th, 2005, 05:52 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Jeremy Rochefort
Yours truly is promptly 'escorted' out of the store by two security staff members and to add insult to injury am stopped AGAIN at the exit by two MORE security staff members and they wanted to know where I purchased the camera! Now the phrase - "I just lost it" comes to mind and proceeded with telling the "i am an important security person" that "over HIS dead body" comes to mind and to step aside or be stepped upon.
My god, Jeremy! I've encountered some rude people in stores but never to this degree! I've not even been thrown out of a bar.

I'm sure you will get generously compensated come monday at the head office. Could be handy to have an ace up your sleeve, that some potential buyers are watching this case on an Internet forum.

Dunno about South Africa, but generally I find salespeople in the US are bit more polite than in here in Sweden.
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Old July 17th, 2005, 07:01 AM   #50
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My god, Jeremy! I've encountered some rude people in stores but never to this degree! I've not even been thrown out of a bar.
Now a bar hmmm... - that I'll live with :)

Cheers
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Old July 18th, 2005, 10:21 AM   #51
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Keep after the clowns, Jeremy! These self-important corporate dweebs really p*** me off. I had a run-in with one last year. I was shooting on a public sidewalk with a women's clothing store in the background. I couldn't even see their sign or logo, just stuff in the window. The scene was two women walking down the sidewalk and talking. I was a transitional scene. They stop to look in the window and I move around behind them to see their backs, and then through the magic of trite transitional editing techniques, when the camera moves on back around to the front of them we see that they are in a different location. It was all hand held with a DSR250, no Steadycam.

So, this arrogant corporate conglomerate employee came out of the store and inquired as to what I was doing shooting in front of their store, I didn't have permission to include their store in my shot, etcetcetc. I ignored her and got the shot. Then she started ranting about their proprietary logos and stuff, and her attitude sort of caused me to lose my cool. Normally I'm polite to people, but her I-Am-Superior-to-You-Because-I-Work-In-KorporateAmerika attitude p***ed me off big time.

So I pointed out that it was a public sidewalk and if a permit was required for shooting on a public sidewalk I would have got one from the city. She kept saying I couldn't shoot her store. I pointed out that her store was in the way of my sight and therefore would be in the background of my shot and it would be her responsibility to move it if she didn't want it in the shot. Then I pointed out that the show I was working on was a corporate motivational show designed mainly for women and was going to be sold to people in business, and the only reason I stopped to shoot in front of her store was because of the corporate type women's clothes in the window. I also said that I figured her store's owners would appreciate the free advertising to their target clientele, but that since she was so insistent that I not identify her store, I would most definitely use the shot that EXcluded, rather than included, the store's logo.

I've mentioned this before but will do so again--Lawrence Lessig has a book called something like "The Death of Ideas." I don't think that's the exact title, but you can track it down if you're interested. It's all about how KorporateAmerika is stifling the free flow of information by these tactics--like, in Hollywood movies, the studios always cave in to the corporations, and if there's a scene of a car driving down the street and a McDonald's in the background, the studio will avoid the sign. There is no legal reason why they should have to do so, but the corporate lawyers have made such an issue of trying to make them do so that they do it without even fighting any more. If a company builds a building, it's in a public space, most likely financed with tax breaks, meaning public money. They don't own the air space over the street or the view. Everybody has to fight against this type of coprorate control just as strongly as we have to fight against government censorship. I'll grant that this is a little different from you taking a camera into the store. Maybe they have a right to prohibit that. However, you had permission. If the weasel who threw you out had half a brain in his head, he would have realized you were a customer. So this is really about decent behavior and customer service, or the lack thereof. I didn't mean to hijack the topic, but I think my point is related. It's all about that corporate mentality that tries to control thought.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 08:36 PM   #52
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So, er, Jeremy... didja buy the plasma?

"No I didn't buy the bloody plasma!"

Bloody -- plasma. Get it?
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Old July 18th, 2005, 08:47 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Bill Pryor

So, this arrogant corporate conglomerate employee came out of the store and inquired as to what I was doing shooting in front of their store, I didn't have permission to include their store in my shot, etcetcetc. I ignored her and got the shot. Then she started ranting about their proprietary logos and stuff, and her attitude sort of caused me to lose my cool. Normally I'm polite to people, but her I-Am-Superior-to-You-Because-I-Work-In-KorporateAmerika attitude p***ed me off big time.
Bill, even though this is completely off topic, I thought I'd follow up on your message. A few years back I made a doco series about a group of Apple computer resellers. They were merging their 35 stores in order to form a big company which would then list on the Australian Stock Exchange. It all ended very badly for the resellers, and there was great fear and anger on the part of Apple that Apple would come out looking bad. Naturally I had a legitimate reason to depict the Apple logos throughout the series.

The advice my lawyers gave me, was that the 'depiction' of a logo or trademarked image was legitimate because we weren't attempting to use the Apple logo or artwork to promote another business. We weren't suggesting by the depiction that we were an Apple-affiliated company, or that Apple endorsed us, and so on. Of course, we weren't defaming Apple either. The series went to air with all of the various company logos depicted throughout.

I certainly know what it's like to have a big multi-national breathing down your neck.

Keep up the good fight.

Nigel
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Old July 19th, 2005, 11:48 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
So, er, Jeremy... didja buy the plasma?

"No I didn't buy the bloody plasma!"

Bloody -- plasma. Get it?
Hehe - actually my motivation is not to get something physically out of this scenario, what I would love to see is a greater awareness of consumers (especially the more technologically educated ones like the great people who visit these forums) and a better training and selection process for the management members who are "climbing the ranks". I don't want the individual fired, thats not my intention to see someone on the street, just a lesson deeply learnt that the consumer HAS got a voice and MUST be heard!

As a follow-up to the story - I am receiving a personal visit tommorrow from one of there senior management members so we'll see what the outcome will be.

I'll keep you guys posted

Cheers
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Old July 19th, 2005, 12:34 PM   #55
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It's so sad to hear such 'horror' stories. It's even sadder that the corporate attitudes described are borne out of fear - the fear of losing something; whether it's money, respect, corporate edge or reputation... the result is the same.

i.e. Honest, thinking people decide to just walk away...

Unfortunately, by walking away honest people give these morons the impression that any resistance to their sanctimonious, supercilious and dictatorial misconceptions has been eliminated, and they have free license to then treat everyone with equal disdain.

It'd be nice to think that these pieces of human efluent will just simply go broke due to their appaling behaviour... but the truth is they only seem to profit more.

On the other hand....

I was fortunate enough to find a small electronics retailer of the Sharp Aquos LCD HDTV that I was interested in, and he was more than pleased to let me hitch my HD-10u and FX-1e up to it for testing. Not only did I get to see what I needed to see prior to deciding to purchase, but other browsing 'potential customers' were attracted by what was going on.

The store owner was very happy to let me answer questions about what was going on as he realised the value to his business of people seeing exactly what a HDTV could do when set up and used with supplemental HD quality gear.

In certain circumstances, small businesses are definitely superior to large corporate outlets for these more 'exotic' hardware purchases. Large corporations cater to the mind-numbed herd, so thinking individuals are aberations they just can't - and won't tolerate.

Bottom line: purchase as much as you can from smaller personalised businesses.
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Old July 19th, 2005, 02:31 PM   #56
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Bottom line: purchase as much as you can from smaller personalised businesses.
Steve - I wish it were that simple. The sad matter of fact is that in SA, this is the first monitor I have seen readily available (other stores say "waiting for stock sometime in the future") and the first to truly support 1080i - sad but true - and what makes it even sadder is that this store group are the only ones selling this monitor which makes it even more aggravating.

I, like you, also prefer the smaller retailer for a very simple reason, your needs are better served by the smaller guy purely because he takes an INTEREST in what you are after and customer service levels increases 10 fold.

Cheers
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Old September 21st, 2005, 02:28 AM   #57
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Boyd, I stand corrected about 1/25

Of course you were right about the loss in vertical resolution when shooting at 1/25 sec shutter and slower. I was just too ignorant too see it in my own experiments.

What fooled me most was that I couldn't see pixel jaggedness; alternating pixel lines weren't identical, which I thought they would be if field doubling was used. Instead the cam does bilinear sampling to recreate the dropped field from the kept one. A thrown away odd line is recreated from averageing between two adjacent even lines. This is of course still half resolution, but smooths the image out, and if I had studied the effect on a proper monitor it is obviously a reduction in vertical resolution. I was too obsessed with finding aliasing in blown-up snaps, which are never there due to the smoothing out.

Thanks for your input Boyd, youre always a helpful guy. :-)
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Old September 21st, 2005, 07:03 AM   #58
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Ot..

Slightly off topic, but just a strange coincedence perhaps, but we have a guy working in our organization named Tony Wilson. Also an Aussie, and also from Sydney.

Any relation perhaps?

James
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