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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 September 4th, 2005, 06:18 AM   #1
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Sports Doc on Z1U

Hi there,

I am about to embark on a video project that will be sold on dvd world wide. Its a sports documentary on water sports.

I am a professional photographer and shooting video is new to me. I will be using the Z1U and other cams.

I want to end up with the best quality shots I can - I would like to be able to distribute a HD dvd when the dust has settled. Do i shoot in 720p? What about shutter speed? Its all high speed action that I would like to be able to slow right down to show moves etc..

Any other help / comments wellcome.

Thank you.
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Old September 4th, 2005, 08:10 AM   #2
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sports doc with Z1

I am not sure if the Z1 is the best choice for this.

Believe me I have one and love it, but MPEG2 doesn't handle high motion rates real well. If you want HD, I would consider the new Panasonic HVX 200. It records DVCPro HD which is 720p and doesn't use MPEG compression.

Do you need HD footage? There are some other options that might work good for sports shooting.

You might consider renting as well. Most places will rent you a camera for a month for the price of a 10 day rental.

Also you should consider that most small cameras will not give you a long lens. Do you need to pull in shots from a distance, i.e. skiing, surfing, etc?

I made the transition from still photography to video about 8 years ago. Once you get used to shooting video it is a whole new world from still shooting. I have found that some of the best video shooters I know came from a still photography background.
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Old September 4th, 2005, 09:07 AM   #3
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thanks for your reply.

I am going to be using the Century Optics 1.6x tele on the frount for some extra reach. Its going to be a windsurfing video. I will be using a HCR1 in a housing to video from the water.

I chose the Z1U becuase it seemed the best bang for the buck and I would like to do the project in HD so that it is as future proof as possible. I don't think the HCX200 will be out in time (i start in oct and live in uk).

should i use 1080i then ?
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Old September 4th, 2005, 10:41 AM   #4
 
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Brendan,
First, you made a fine choice in the Z1, IMO. I shot windsurfers off of Pittswater, New South Wales a couple weeks ago, from a moving boat, and it looks good.
Second, you can't shoot 720p with the Z1, you can shoot 1080i or DV.
Shoot 1080i, and render to 720p if you want to output 720p. If this is a project that will be around for several years, you'll be glad you have 1080 originated footage.

I grabbed a shot of a windsurfer from my footage, it's not likely remotely as close to highspeed movement as you will be shooting, but I rendered a short bit to 720p from the 1080i 60 footage. The Z1 is handheld in the back of the boat, about halfway through the lens, shot at around 1/250 or so. I had the aperture closed down, I don't recall where it was set, I was changing settings all day, mostly just playing with the cam on a leisure cruise.
http://www.vasst.com/Tempfolder/windsurftemp.png
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Old September 4th, 2005, 01:55 PM   #5
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windsurfer shoot

Maybe what you should do is rent a Z1 and see if you have any problems with the high speed motion of your subjects.

Believe me I love the Z1, but I'm not sure if it is the best option for high speed stuff. I do mainly doc work, so I don't deal with a lot of high speed motion.

Dan Weber
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Old September 4th, 2005, 04:23 PM   #6
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thanks for the posts.

i will also be using a HC1 for water based stuff.

Daniel is the HC1 going to be even worse for high speed action than the Z1?

what other options are there apart from the Z1 - although the HVX200 looks great and at a good price - shame it is not out now. I had pretty much settled on the Z1....
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Old September 4th, 2005, 08:22 PM   #7
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Sports doc with Z1

I don't think that the HC1 will handle the motion any different than the Z1. The issue is with how the HDV format handles motion in the MPEG compression.

I HC1 is a great size, I was able to play with the pro version the A1 at DV East Expo. The Sony rep said that the consumer version didn't have any sort of image stabilization function. I haven't verified this though.

If the HC1 doesn't have this function it might make using a housing difficult.

Could you afford a FX1 as backup instead?

Just a thought.

Dan Weber
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Old September 5th, 2005, 02:40 AM   #8
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you worried me there Dan.

http://www.sonyhdvinfo.com/article.p...HC1-and-HVR-A1

according to this the HC1 does have EIS same as the A1.
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Old September 5th, 2005, 10:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Weber
The Sony rep said that the consumer version didn't have any sort of image stabilization function.
Hmm that is interesting that the rep said that.
He's in fact wrong - the HC1 has EIS and as far as i know the A1 has EIS too.
various people have said that the EIS on the HC1 is adequare but not that thrilling. It's 3 different 'levels' : Wide, Normal, Tele. This is 3 different levels of EIS according to whether you've got a WA or a tele conversion lens attached, but you can set it to any one of these three at any time (or just switch it off altogether).

The only reason i say it is interesting is WHY the Sony rep said that - it could be that he/she knows that the optical stab. on the two cams is different in some way, maybe enhanced on the A1.
Are we 100% sure that the A1 doesn't have OIS?
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Old September 5th, 2005, 11:44 PM   #10
 
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I don't know for sure that it doesn't have OIS, but I know for certain it's got EIS. (does that make sense?)
It's the same in both HC1 and A1, but the A1 has some additional processing going on. I wish I'd had it longer, I would have torn into it. I'd been specifically forbidden from mounting it on a dirtbike. Would have been fun to see how it managed the shocks bouncing on the bike. It might have been better than the Z1, which is pretty darn good until they take big jumps.
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