My (very) first FX-1 footage at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
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Old October 17th, 2005, 03:43 PM   #1
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My (very) first FX-1 footage

http://ia300134.us.archive.org/1/ite...ide642x360.mov

this is from a trip i took last week with a friend. from telluride, we drove into the utah desert (secret spot, can't disclose) and found this groovy underground kiva buried in a canyon. ancient Pueblan/Anasazi in origin. on the second night, we hit huge electrical storms so had to shorten the trip and went back to telluride where i took the second set of footage. i thought these two locations contrasted nicely.

i love this camera and it blows my mind that i paid just a bit more than i paid for my first GL2, amazing what a revolution in moving image is taking place!

the form factor is a pleasure to work with, although i used the camera in its most stripped-down form because of the need to pack it into steep and remote canyonlands. most of this footage is shot on a beanbag.

also, most of this is shot in auto mode, because the camera arrived mere moments before i headed out, and i was pretty much shot out of a cannon and into the desert. and my friend, with whom i was backpacking, is not known for her patience, so everything was shot on the fly without a moment to noodle around with functions. the misty morning scenes in telluride were shot manually, because by then, i had a good nights' sleep in a soft bed, and my impatient friend was gone for the morning, so i finally had time to tinker.

i am very happy with the shots of mist. i think mist can really challenge a camera because it is so fine...my GL2 is very poor at shooting mist, and even the XL2 is really only good at it with a 35mm lens, in my opinion. i have not been satisfied with using stock lenses to capture mist until i found this FX-1. i think mist is a bit of an acid test for resolution.

i intentionally shot a lot of motion stuff (on auto, no less), because i was curious to experience the range of motion artifacting/stutter/judder personally. i would say that, while there is a lot of this in editing, in the timeline playback, i don't notice it in the actual finished video. i think the camera handles motion pretty well, and a lot of this would be even more view-able if i had the time to set the manual controls.

anyway, these are pure camera experiments and this is a vacation video which i'm actually posting so that my friend in t-ride can see it. but i thought there might be some interest here in some raw footage.

the colors on this camera are very true. it feels great. the manual controls are easy to operate once you have a spare moment to figure them out. it's relatively lightweight for the images it produces.

i'm excited to *really* put this camera through its paces, now that i've made a basic acquaintance. for wildlife and outdoors, i think it is a breakthrough.

warning and some editorializing: this file is large (45 mb) and in QT 7 H.264 because it's my vacation video, and the primary audience is my friend, so don't murder any hard drives on its behalf. i experimented a bit, and H.264 is the *only* codec which does HDV justice, in my opinion. why spend all this money on the front-end, only to convert it to junk in delivery?? if HDV is the future of video, then H.264 is the future of delivery....
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Old October 17th, 2005, 11:38 PM   #2
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Totally.

Exactly what i thought (referring to your GL2 comment). The FX1 just blows the GL2 away. Heres a 4 min video of 2mbps 540x450 or something WMV or other FX1 motocross footage, as you can see, the quality is TOP NOTCH!(shot in HDV). Http://www.tsrfilms.com/videos/freelin10.16.05.wmv
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Old October 18th, 2005, 08:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz
this file is large (45 mb) and in QT 7 H.264
Just to let you know -- the file is actually 450 MB. I thought I'd give you a heads-up in case your bandwidth is suddenly overburdened.

And I watched the footage -- very, very nice. Your footage makes me very happy that I just ordered an FX1.
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Old October 18th, 2005, 09:37 AM   #4
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ben: that's a nice little video and really tests the motion issues as well. i'm wondering where this reputation for not being able to handle motion originated. some of my favorite motion shots in my own video are of the flywheel and gondola mechanism in motion. they're crystal clear.

today, i am planning to take my XL2 with 35mm lens and FX-1 into the mountains to do a couple more side-by-side tests, the obvious difference being their range. the XL2 with the 70-200mm EF lens is very sharp, and i'm very curious to see how the FX-1 compares. i'm hoping to shoot the same bird with the two different cameras, because, like the mist, bird feathers are a nice real-world test of sharpness, color, and resolution. it is a test which i keep hoping someone on dvinfo will initiate or discuss, but so far i have not seen one.

if there is interest, i will post results. and i promise the file size will be extremely modest! just a few seconds of comparison bird, no bandwidth hogging downloads. let me know if anyone wants to see the results, otherwise i will just keep it for my personal use. it's a bit of extra work to get these things online, unless there's already an existing ulterior motive (like posting for the benefit of my backpacking friend....)

robert, you were right about the embarrassingly gargantuan file size. my hard drive noted it as 45....MB, which i took to mean 45 MB but was really an abbreviation for 450. whoopsy. thanks for tipping me (and anyone else who might read this) off.....
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Old October 18th, 2005, 11:30 AM   #5
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Wow! That's some lovely footage there. Really beautiful. I particularly liked going frame-by-frame through the lightning storm... gorgeous.

Oh - and keep the file size up... no need to see Quicktime compression artefacts ;)

-Steve
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Old October 18th, 2005, 09:14 PM   #6
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Awesome footage!

'Cept I have a problem on my half. I can't even shoot in HDV with my FX1. I always have to switch to DV because my computer wont handle HDV when I edit (I have a Pentium 4 CPU 2.66GHz). I heard I need 2.8+Ghz to handle the power of HDV. This is a problem that upsets me because I spent so much for the camera yet I cant render anything in HD :(
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Old October 18th, 2005, 10:07 PM   #7
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Douglas Spotted Eagle posted some incredible fx1/z1u 1080i footage (at 50i and 60i) of mallard feathers and colors, and also crashing surf/mist shot on the beach in in Hawaii.

I was really surprised also how good the 1080i HDV format handled extreme motion in the water/waves/surf. His clips put the z1u over the top with me.

Edit:
I'm sure Meryem's Utah videos (which I don't have the bandwidth to download) are awesome, but I already got to his secret desert hideouts first

;-)
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Old October 18th, 2005, 10:54 PM   #8
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i upgraded to an iMac G5 2gig ram to work in HDV, and it is only just enough computer to get me up and running in HDV. slow but viable. my feeling was that now was not the time for a big, giant computer upgrade, because apple's Intel machines will be released in a short while. i'm sure apple is working furiously to get machines released which can handle HDV without breaking the bank. i can't capture onto my old (not THAT old, but...!) 1 gig Powerbook G4 at all, i am dismayed to report. i can edit on it, but it is really stuttery and annoying.

tom, do you have a link to DSE's footage? i missed that and would be interested in seeing it, especially now that i have had a few experiences with the cam.

i did do some tests today with my XL2 with a 70-200mm 2.8 lens and the FX-1, and i have to say that, as great as the FX-1 is, the 35mm-mounted XL2 still shines. i would say, the FX-1 does better landscapes, even without wide angle, but for wildlife, the XL2 is as sharp and vibrant as it gets. i don't think the FX-1 can match it. on the other hand, it is soooo much more portable to carry than all the heavy gear required to run the XL2 with 35mm lenses. (extra lenses, big tripod, big camera, adapter, etc.). it's great to have both these tools.
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Old October 18th, 2005, 11:03 PM   #9
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Question

You say your comp is a G5 and still just barely enough. Have you tried Aspect HD or Prospect HD it is supposed to speed up editing time alot, bevause I was on my way to get an FX1 and this got me thinking whether I should invest in a new comp instead.....hmmmm.....(SO BROKE)
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Old October 19th, 2005, 08:07 AM   #10
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The clips are at
http://www.vasst.com

On this whole computer horsepower issue, if you just get your exposure and color correct from within the cam settings, mpeg2ts is very easy to work with and plenty fast for a low power PC if you just don't re-encode or render it. You preserve the native quality too.

CapDVHS is a free program to get the video out of the cam, and Womble MPEG Video Wizard does the edits without any re-encoding if you are just doing cuts and joins, or only re-encodes a few frames on either side of the edit point for transitions, titles, and effects. You can round out the package with the I-O Data AVeL Linkplayer2 which plays back the native TS stream from your pc to your HDTV monitor at 720p or 1080i, or plays the file back from a burned redbook DVD disk.
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Old October 19th, 2005, 08:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Stipek
I can't even shoot in HDV with my FX1. I always have to switch to DV because my computer wont handle HDV when I edit (I have a Pentium 4 CPU 2.66GHz). I heard I need 2.8+Ghz to handle the power of HDV. This is a problem that upsets me because I spent so much for the camera yet I cant render anything in HD :(
Huh? I have a Pentium 4 2.6, and I seem to be able to edit HDV using Vegas 6. Of course, I've been using the m2t footage from VASST and then using the evaluation version of either Gearshift or Connect HD as an intermediary for actual editing. If you do a straight HDV (using the m2t file), it's tough to edit -- at least in Vegas. I get my FX1 soon, so I'll see how well the print to tape works -- but I can't imagine any problems.
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Old October 19th, 2005, 09:31 AM   #12
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Ben Bixby, is that shot yours? if so what did you use for deinterlacing?

Jesse, get you a mac, they have a huge sale right now of the iMacs (Store front only) a friend of mine just got a 2.0GZ with 512 MB and 160GB right at about $1000. Trust me it works nice, that's what I have only that I have 1.5GB memory
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Old October 19th, 2005, 09:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Stipek
Awesome footage!

'Cept I have a problem on my half. I can't even shoot in HDV with my FX1. I always have to switch to DV because my computer wont handle HDV when I edit (I have a Pentium 4 CPU 2.66GHz). I heard I need 2.8+Ghz to handle the power of HDV. This is a problem that upsets me because I spent so much for the camera yet I cant render anything in HD :(
Perhaps you're misreading what it is possible to do with HDV on machines of certain power.

You should have no problem with capturing and editing HDV on your P-IV 2.6Ghz machine.

The down-side for you may be that it'll take longer to do some things... but there are utilities available to help speed HDV editing on PC. If you don't have Cineform's AspectHD (if you use Premiere Pro) or ConnectHD (if you use Vegas), then I'd suggest you get a hold of the demo's.

For those using Macintoshes, there's other utilities like LumiereHD which I believe offers enhanced HDV editing capabilities.

To be honest: the perception of HDV as being beyond even the most powerful multi-processor/dual core systems with massive amounts of high speed memory etc, etc. is totally erroneous.

There's just seems to be too much misunderstanding and lack of adventure in testing out what can be done with HDV...

It's refreshing to see Robert's upbeat and informed approach to what's achievable. I look forward to hearing how his material "printed back to tape" looks!!
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Old October 19th, 2005, 10:08 AM   #14
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i know i have a ton more experimenting to do, this is just my first 45 minutes of tape...HDV is a whole 'nother universe of learning. but my iMac G5 with 2 megs/2 megs RAM, 250 hard drive has its limits. i think it is fine for what i do currently, which is primarily outdoors and wildlife. i can live with editing in iMovie for now because i will most likely do any work with compositing/FX in SD using FCP 4.5, or composite in Livetype and import in iMovie. it is great to get this info on other workarounds, but after buying a new camera and a new computer, i'm willing to let the bank account fill up a bit before buying FCP 5 or even Lumiere HD. i've got to acquire far more HDV footage and find a way to make HDV actually pay before buying all the necessary whirligigs.

the limits of my iMac configuration are that i can't capture 1080i HDV in real-time. it captures it in half-time, so, in iMovie at least, i have to load up a whole tape for capture, instead of capturing individual clips. which is very memory-intensive. also, as i mentioned, playback in the timeline can be stuttery, which worried me most when i was reviewing clips of running water, and some of the gondola-in-motion clips. but none of this shows up in the completed project, so that's all good. also, any compositing will have to take place outside of iMovie, and unless i buy LumiereHD or FCP5, i can only do this in Livetype (i haven't tried it yet, but their set-up seems to allow for it). i'm willing to wait a bit and let some of the bugs iron out of the FCP5/Tiger, while i work more with the camera itself. developments seem to be taking place soooo quickly, it's great! expensive, but great! i think it will not be too long before plug-n-play HDV, without all these add-ons and work-arounds will be complete....which, with little iMovie, at least, it already is...just with certain limits. but for nature stuff, which is more front-end, camera loaded than post-production loaded it's a pretty wonderful breakthrough. these "limits" are simply not that limiting, it's just a slower and more memory-intensive process.
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Old October 19th, 2005, 11:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomas Chinchilla
Ben Bixby, is that shot yours? if so what did you use for deinterlacing?

Jesse, get you a mac, they have a huge sale right now of the iMacs (Store front only) a friend of mine just got a 2.0GZ with 512 MB and 160GB right at about $1000. Trust me it works nice, that's what I have only that I have 1.5GB memory
The WMV from Tsrfilms.com? Yeah thats all my work. I edited it on my Pentium D 3.0 with 2 gig of ram, etc all in Vegas (did not downconvert, just imported the .m2t's and worked with them *kinda freeze framey editing*). It was on my FX1, HDV, iris 1.8, shutter 1/10000-with some custom picture profile settings. I didnt even deinterlace before rendering, just rendered straight out from the .M2t's to 540xsomething at 2mbps WMV9.
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