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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 August 23rd, 2005, 12:22 AM   #16
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Okay, maybe your right, it's not a major problem. But then again, what if you want to shoot a shot from a car and you want to simply put a mono pod to the floor board, oops, there goes that days production. What if you are placing a camera behind a driver in a race car, a common usage. You can forget it if the problem I am having is universal in the HDV format... Don't you think you'd appreciate a warning before you bought the camera for such a production.. I did, and so far I'm set back six months. I guess that isn't a major problem either.

Left field: Yes, I have considered the electrical aspect of the application. So I tried it sitting on the clothes dryer, other atv's and motor cycles. Now keep in mind, I'm stuck down her in lower Baja where I can't rent another unit and do a comparison test. So my perspective is that any moving object with an engine or other prominent vibration would render the camera useless.

Thanks for the ideas, I held the camera here is Mexico for two extra months to perform test on it and try to find out if it was worth sending back to the states for repair. This posting is after Sony gave up on it. The tech at Sony said it had a definite problem and replaced the whole lens assembly, then the stabilizer circuit board. My associate and he talked on the phone directly. They put a lot of effort into fixing this camera, in the end they refused to replace it saying the problem is the nature of the product. With no way to reach higher personnel at Sony to urge Sony to replace the unit, my only real option for a comparison test, I am obliged to post this message. "Buyer Beware"
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 12:47 AM   #17
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"Recording in DV mode has the same artifacts."
It's not recording in MPEG 2 when you're in DV mode so it's not the HDV format that's causing issues.

If you're saying it looks smooth as you're shooting it, but looks like poo on recorded tape in HDV and DV mode, it's not the compression, it may be the tape mechanism on the camera that's not handling the vibration, so a tapless disc solution strapped to your body might do the trick. You'd have to secure the firewire cable and get one that was shielded well. But it doesn't sound like you have a B&H photo right down the street from you.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 01:05 AM   #18
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Tapeless recording, an excellent suggestion. Pretty soon the FireStore FS-4 will accomodate HDV direct to disk. Serious Magic offers HDV recording straight to a laptop right now. It's unfortunate that Ken may not have access to these options at this particular moment, but your suggestion may indeed be a viable solution.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 01:11 AM   #19
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It's hard to be sure, but it also seems to appear on the LCD. So that would eliminate the tape mechanism. I would be willing to try. Is there a drive that runs on batteries that has the bandwidth for HDV? I can go search on the net and find out myself. My associate has the camera in the states now so he can try the solution before I fly it back down. But I don't think that will fix it.

That was one reason I tried to have it repaired, the problem happens in DV mode too. I considered accepting the camera as is and looking to buy up to regular HD for my production. But I thought it could be fixed. Only to find out it can't be. Are you sure the camera doesn't first produce a compressed MP2 file and then convert it to DV? It has a real time converter on it for output.

By the way, any HD camera purchase suggestions under ten grand? Doesn't Panasonic have one coming out soon?
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 01:19 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Eberhard
Is there a drive that runs on batteries that has the bandwidth for HDV?
Not at this time. The best solution would be the (H)DV Rack software for a laptop PC from Serious Magic.

Quote:
By the way, any HD camera purchase suggestions under ten grand? Doesn't Panasonic have one coming out soon?
There are at least two. One is the JVC GY-HD100, a shoulder-mount camera, shipping now. See our forum for this camera at:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisp...?s=&forumid=98

The other is the Panasonic AG-HVX200. It ships in November and is closer in form factor to the Sony FX1. See our forum for this camera at:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisp...?s=&forumid=80
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 01:47 AM   #21
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The JVC you listed is HDV.. At this time, I don't trust the format.. The panasonic looks interesting, its DVCPRO50... but we drift from the subject... Thanks for the info... Ken
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 01:54 AM   #22
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Ken:

This probably won't help all that much with the camera issue, but...

I haven't upgraded to Tiger/QT7 yet, so I can't see your footage, but if you are experiencing any VISIBLE vibration issues, make sure to check through all the components of your Glidecam to ensure everything is tightened down (it's really easy to miss a pivot or adjustment bolt somewhere), and detuning your arm a bit so that you have to hold it up to level using your arms will also help smooth out vibration. And you may already know this, but it can help a lot with stabilizer vehicle mounts if you use a long drop time, i.e. more neutrally balanced top to bottom, to reduce the pendulum effect that can occur during acceleration/deceleration.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 01:56 AM   #23
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Quote:
The panasonic looks interesting, its DVCPRO50...
Actually it is first and foremost DVCPRO HD.

It just happens to record DVCPRO 50 as well.

At any rate, you asked for your currently available HD options under $10K and there they are. Earlier I neglected to mention the Sony HDR-HC1 and HVR-A1U, which are smaller palmcorder-style HDV camcorders.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 02:18 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Eberhard
Are you sure the camera doesn't first produce a compressed MP2 file and then convert it to DV? It has a real time converter on it for output.
As far as I know it only does that when you set the camera to downconvert an HDV taped shot out the firewire, but if it's in DV record mode, it's not going through MPEG 2 before going to tape. It records DV straight to the tape.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 03:05 AM   #25
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If recording in DV mode you encounter the same artifacts then I would not call this a problem of the HDV format. One more thing. If you are putting the camera to a more demanding use, it would have made more sense you got a Z1 instead of a FX-1.

You are dealing with the consumer division of Sony which is known to neglect problems with their products specially when subjected to professional use or demanding situations.

If you had contacted the Sony Professional Division if you had bought the Z1, you would have gotten a different type of response or a more elaborate support (up to a point) from them.

For example if you had issues with the FX1 like white or dead pixels in the CCD let's say at 12db, Sony Consumer Division would tend to tell you that this is normal in a camera of this nature. While in the same situation, Sony Professional may even replace the CCD free of charge (depending on the situation) if you had bought a Z1u instead, even if it was out of warranty and assuming you had explained and documented your case. It has happened to me in more than one situation with Sony when I insisted on a problem. Remember also the audio issue of the VX200 and PD150? Sony Consumer Div. neglected the problem and said it was under specs while Sony Professional Div. recalled all of their PD150s and repaired them FREE OF CHARGE.

And who knows, maybe the Z1 has better shielding against electromagnetic or electric interference. And don't tell me I am wrong by telling you this because I have bought both "consumer" and "professional" products (the distinction Sony makes) and had always more luck with professional grade cameras maybe because of the better design and construction in addition to the features. This is, of course, not always the case, but you are less likely to have problems with products coming from the professional division. By the way, these two divisions are really separate divisions of Sony competing sometimes against each other like if they were separate companies.

You have bought a product designed for amateur or advanced amateur use. Expect the treatment of Sony Consumer Division as such. It maybe crazy but it is that way.

That's why in the realm of smaller cheaper cameras I decided a long time ago to purchase from the professional division of Sony regardless if the CCDs are the same. The additional expense is worth every penny.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Eberhard
Recording in DV mode has the same artifacts. That was one of the reasons we all thought it was the camera itself, rather than the format... but that was wrong... it must convert the HDV to DV. That would be my guess with the results I have had.

Last edited by Augusto Manuel; August 23rd, 2005 at 10:44 AM.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 08:30 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Eberhard
Recording in DV mode has the same artifacts. That was one of the reasons we all thought it was the camera itself, rather than the format... but that was wrong... it must convert the HDV to DV. That would be my guess with the results I have had.
Hey dude... Have you read the camera's manual? It says on page20 under the 'Recording' chapter heading...
"You can record movies in either the HDV or DV format."

Further to this, the DV format can be recorded using the LP mode, which indicates a non-HDV format is being written to tape.

This means: if you have selected DV as the recording mode via the camera's recording menu options, then it's DV that is recorded to tape. No recording of HDV can occur when the DV mode has been selected for recording via the camera's menu options.

So, if you set the camera up correctly for recording DV, and still saw the vibration errors in DV mode - it ain't HDV encoding that's a causin' it!!
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 08:34 AM   #27
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I understand your reasoning on the Pro Division. But then again, Maybe I would be out more money. Also, I have lots of good mobile and studio recording gear for sound. The difference in the money wasn't worth two XLR plugs. I have no need to go to a 24 frame rate. I'm a private producer who does not go to film and frankly, I don't like the slower frame rate, especially with the camera in motion all the time. Besides, I bought the FX-1 before the Z1 was out. That's how long I've been dealing with this problem. I thought I would be well on my way with my project. I am not acting rashly or unreasonably about this problem. I gave Sony every chance to fix it before I cryed foul.

It still sounds to me that it is conjecture that the picture isn't first seen by the camera as MP2. Of course it records the DV to tape, but does it go through a real time conversion on the way? I argued your side of the problem in the beginning. But at this time, I'm not sure. Are you? I don't mean to be giving you a hard time. But to dismiss this problem as being unique to my unit may be cutting the solution short. Sony says it's the nature of the format. And it is not electrical interference. I'm sure my clothes dryer is clear of such interference.

So if someone at Sony cares about things like this, how do I get hold of them? Maybe they care about discussion groups questioning weather the unit is worth a purchase because to some of us it has an unacceptable major problem. I'd love to speak to someone who actually cares. I'd love to find out it is only my unit. Even if I sell this unit. At least I can get on with my work. It's beginning to look like a year's lost time to get my cross peninsula DVD out.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 09:19 AM   #28
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No problems driving and shooting with the FX1. CF24 may be a problem.

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Old August 23rd, 2005, 09:33 AM   #29
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Are you driving with the camera hand held, I'm sure there is no problem. Have you tried it with a mono pod touching the floorboards? It's vibration that sets it off. Not the motion.

And no it is not CF24. Read the rest of the postings before you take us back to a subject already covered please.
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 09:48 AM   #30
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Ken,

I mentioned the CF24 because I get tons of emails asking about CF24, because we did a movie with CF24. And it will be only a matter of time before someone asks the question here about driving in CF24 mode. I'm going to test CF24 while driving soon enough.

No issues really with either the FX1 or the DVX100A driving (in a VERY OLD car) while on a tripod, on the floor board. But, both cameras in the same very old automatic transmission car had issues while idling or at a stop (the vibrations are bad all around). No problems in a manual transmission car at a stop.

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