What are you using to capture and what's up with the motion? at DVinfo.net

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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 December 5th, 2005, 01:37 PM   #1
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What are you using to capture and what's up with the motion?

I played with this camera at the Apple store and was quite impressed but I didn't get to play with it as I would like to have. I'll probably have to go to SMS or Zacutos here in Chi-town but I was curious as too how you all are getting your footage into the NLE. Are you using the FireStore or a DTE or tape or both at the same time.

Also, when you shoot in DV mode am I to understand that this is downconverted HD? Considering it has to use the same chips to shoot on would it be technically accurate to say this is downconverted HD (or downconverted HDV)? Basically would I get a cleaner and higher quality DV image from this?

Also hows the motion on that thing. If I hear some people say there's motion artifacts and other say it's not so. I didn't see any motion artifacts when I looked at it in the store but I also didn't capture any fast motion considering the store is mostly people walking around or standing. So what do you guys think?

-Nate
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Old December 5th, 2005, 05:36 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Brendan Masters
I played with this camera at the Apple store and was quite impressed but I didn't get to play with it as I would like to have. I'll probably have to go to SMS or Zacutos here in Chi-town but I was curious as too how you all are getting your footage into the NLE. Are you using the FireStore or a DTE or tape or both at the same time.

Also, when you shoot in DV mode am I to understand that this is downconverted HD? Considering it has to use the same chips to shoot on would it be technically accurate to say this is downconverted HD (or downconverted HDV)? Basically would I get a cleaner and higher quality DV image from this?

Also hows the motion on that thing. If I hear some people say there's motion artifacts and other say it's not so. I didn't see any motion artifacts when I looked at it in the store but I also didn't capture any fast motion considering the store is mostly people walking around or standing. So what do you guys think?

-Nate
This is what one guy thinks...

If I handed my FX-1e to a few of my friends to shoot some clips - I'd end up with different responses from each of them. Why? Because they all think they've "got it down pat" when it comes to technology - so none of them would ask me "what you'd suggest as good settings?" or "explain all the functions of the camera?"

Crikey - even here on this forum, there's not one place to access those settings that experimentation and experience gained from using these HDV camcorders can be accessed. Yeah - there's a few posts from those saying "tried this frame-rate with this shutter speed", but no straight forward stuff like... "reducing motion artifacts - shutter must be above 250th of a second, at f-whatever iris stop. Adjusting iris outside these perameters will require shutter adjustment to avoid motion artifacts"

Bottom line - Hopefully when you got to 'play' with the camera; you also got to see what the camera is capable of providing on a device that it's meant to be viewed on, rather than a computer screen... because that's what these camera's are all about.

If you see 'motion artifacts'; like blurring (big whoop!!), during a very fast pan, and you don't adjust the manual controls too counteract the effect - then you either accept the artifacts, or sell the camera to some one who will appreciate exactly what it can do and will use it appropriately.

You can always pay the extra for the competitions offerings; but there's no guarantee you aren't gonna be pulling your hair out over some so-called Achilles heel that they have.

BTW: I was under the impression that the DV Shooting Mode used a 4:3 area of the CCD. All other DV utilises the full CCD - but I could be wrong... heck; Sony's never really stated lots of things about the cameras!!
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Old December 5th, 2005, 05:51 PM   #3
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Hi Nathan and welcome to DVinfo. Regarding motion artifacts, it has been discussed a great length here in many posts. Just page back through this forum and click on some of them to learn more. As Steve says, different people see this issue through different eyes however.

Yes you can set the camera for SD mode and record regular DV (DV-SP or DVCAM on the Z1). I think it looks very good. See also this thread about the BBC's opinion of the standard definition mode:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?p=284924

You can also shoot in HDV mode but set firewire to send out standard DV on playback. That gives you an HDV master while letting you capture and edit as DV. I think there is a slight quality improvement doing it this way for some reason, and some editing software (such as Vegas) reportedly shows a significant improvement over shooting in SD mode.
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Old December 5th, 2005, 06:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
You can also shoot in HDV mode but set firewire to send out standard DV on playback. That gives you an HDV master while letting you capture and edit as DV. I think there is a slight quality improvement doing it this way for some reason, and some editing software (such as Vegas) reportedly shows a significant improvement over shooting in SD mode.
This does interest me. Please explain more. Do you need to be out putting to a drive while doing this? Like do you need an FS set to record DV while shooting this way in HDV. Is this an in camera downconversion?

-Nate
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Old December 5th, 2005, 06:25 PM   #5
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Yes, there is a simple in-camera setting that configures the output of the firewire port while shooting in HDV mode. You can choose to send either HDV or DV data over firewire. On the Z1 if you select DV mode you can also choose whether to crop to 4:3 or send anamorphic 16:9. This setting works both while shooting and during the playback of an HDV tape. So yes, you could capture to a firestore or a laptop in DV mode while you shoot HDV on tape, or you could playback an HDV tape in the camera and capture it as regular DV. In that case your computer would think it was "talking" to a regular DV camera and treat it accordingly.
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Old December 5th, 2005, 10:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
So yes, you could capture to a firestore or a laptop in DV mode while you shoot HDV on tape, or you could playback an HDV tape in the camera and capture it as regular DV. In that case your computer would think it was "talking" to a regular DV camera and treat it accordingly.
Just to be clear, just shooting in the "DV" setting is not a "down conversion" unless I set it to capture HDV and spit it out as DV? This kind of makes sense but I just want to make sure.

Also has anyone had any problems with tape drop outs? We use Panasonic and Fuji DV tapes. Anything special I should know?

-Nate
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Old December 6th, 2005, 01:05 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Nathan Brendan Masters
Just to be clear, just shooting in the "DV" setting is not a "down conversion" unless I set it to capture HDV and spit it out as DV? This kind of makes sense but I just want to make sure.

Also has anyone had any problems with tape drop outs? We use Panasonic and Fuji DV tapes. Anything special I should know?

-Nate
To be certain: If you decide to shoot DV by setting the camera to DV mode in the on-camera menu, that's what you will get - DV.

If you wish to down-convert - you MUST have the camera set to HDV shooting mode. When the camera is connected by i-Link (firewire, IEEE-1394) to a computer for capture of clips: Set the on camera Output mode to DV (either 4:3, or 16:9) and then capture to your NLE.

You cannot shoot in DV mode and capture HDV... strange that really; isn't it...

Anything still caught up for you in "the fog" of mystery that is 'the New!' ?

You have the choice of different grade and brand petroleum to put in your car... just like the choice of miniDV tape manufacturers. If you choose to use a different brand than that recommended for your camera (or car!) then you are aware of the risks and the responsibilities.

That said, I didn't have the luxury of waiting months. No Sony Premium HDV miniDV cassettes were available at the time, so I used the ones I got with my JVC HD10u... and they have worked fine. Check the forums - given the number of Sony HDV cameras that must now be out and about... the frequency of drop-out reports is remarkably low. You know the risk when you get on a plane - knowing some crash and burn probably won't stop you ridin' on one.

Mind you I'm about out of tapes now, and I need to get more. Bet you can't guess which brand and type I'm gonna get :)
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Old December 6th, 2005, 10:33 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Steve Crisdale
You cannot shoot in DV mode and capture HDV... strange that really; isn't it...
That is strange. As I stated I just figured hey it has to go through the same process to shoot DV right, but when I think about it there probably is some other thing the camera has to go through to shoot HDV, but thanks to all of you for breaking this down because this really helps me with my future plans.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Crisdale
Anything still caught up for you in "the fog" of mystery that is 'the New!' ?
Not yet but I'm sure there will be. I probably won't get this camera until next year. Before I buy anything I want to see is there a way to do an in camera down conversion on the Panasonic HVX200. I really do like the Sony look but I'm trying to decide whether I should buy both it and the Panasonic. I may end up renting or borrowing one versus buying one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Crisdale
Check the forums - given the number of Sony HDV cameras that must now be out and about... the frequency of drop-out reports is remarkably low. You know the risk when you get on a plane - knowing some crash and burn probably won't stop you ridin' on one.
Good point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Crisdale
Mind you I'm about out of tapes now, and I need to get more. Bet you can't guess which brand and type I'm gonna get :)
Probably JVC? I don't usually buy Sony even when using Sony equipment because of the whole wet lubricant thing. We were shooting on a DVX100 and used Panasonic or Fuji all the time. We did you some JVCs once because that's all the store had. They worked fine though.

-Nate
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Old December 6th, 2005, 01:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Brendan Masters
Just to be clear, just shooting in the "DV" setting is not a "down conversion"
I think we're splitting hairs. When you switch between HDV and DV modes the number of pixels on the CCD's don't change. So when you shoot in DV mode the data from the CCD's is downsampled to 720x480. When you shoot HDV but set i.LINK DOWNCONV the 1440x1080 image is downsampled before sending out the firewire port. There have been a number of conflicting opinions on exactly how that happens. In downconvent mode you are taking MPEG2 compressed data and downsampling it. In DV mode presumably the MPEG2 step is omitted. OTOH, you can take the analog component video output of the camera at full resolution. Is this uncompressed? No clear answer on that. On the Z1 you can also get 480/30p and 576/25p via the component port (but not via firewire).

Regarding tapes, you seem to think there's something different with the lubricant on the Sony tapes. I have no idea, but if that is the case then don't you also think that Sony designs their cameras to work with such an emulsion? Why would you use some other brand in a Sony camera? Doesn't make sense to me personally, but let us know how it works out. I have used only Sony Premium tapes in my VX-2000, PDX-10 and HVR-Z1 and have had no problems.
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Old December 6th, 2005, 04:14 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Nathan Brendan Masters
Probably JVC?
-Nate
Nein, nein, nein... Nyet, nyet, nyet... No, no, no!!

I'll be gettin' Sony Premium HDV MiniDV cassettes!!

Just because the JVC tapes worked doesn't mean I'm gonna stick with 'em.

The Sony tape has a small capacity advantage over other MiniDV cassettes, which may go some way towards explaining their benefit if you're really paranoid about the 'drop-out problem'.

Sure the lube gets mentioned - maybe that's a male kinda thing, 'cause women would be more interested in the capacity, which doesn't get many plaudits in providing less likelihood of errors for whatever reason.

Boyd... I understood from the clip that Kaku Ito provided from his FX-1 to AJA KonaHD card that the component out was pre-encoder, so 'technically' uncompressed. All signals from the CCDs would have to pass through the DSP before presentation to the encoder however. The DSP would play a large part in the make-up of the actual image, and Kaku's clip did show that while there is a quality of image boost from capturing 'pre-compression' it's not such a grandiose leap in quality to justify all the extra equipment required to make it possible.

I also seem to remember that very early on in the piece... the word was that the DV mode of the Sony cams did not use the whole CCD. Either way; there's no way that the camera can shoot in the DV mode, and then output HDV via firewire...
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Old December 6th, 2005, 04:30 PM   #11
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I also seem to remember that very early on in the piece... the word was that the DV mode of the Sony cams did not use the whole CCD.
If that were the case then the field of view would change when switching from HDV to DV mode. I don't think it does, but haven't actually tested this.
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Old December 6th, 2005, 04:32 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Regarding tapes, you seem to think there's something different with the lubricant on the Sony tapes. I have no idea, but if that is the case then don't you also think that Sony designs their cameras to work with such an emulsion? Why would you use some other brand in a Sony camera?
The problem is sometimes you have to get other brands of tape and most other brands use a dry lubricant. This has been said to cause problems. I'd rather work with the dry lubes because all brands may not be available at all times. Most times you can find a Panasonic, Fuji or JVC brand. Plus I shoot on the DVX100 too so instead of buying Sony and Panasonic/Fuji I just buy all Panasonic/Fuji. I wish that camera show would come back to the Rosemont convention center. They were selling 5 packs (60 minutes) for $15. It was an incredible deal but for the convention only.

-Nate
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Old December 6th, 2005, 04:35 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
If that were the case then the field of view would change when switching from HDV to DV mode. I don't think it does, but haven't actually tested this.
Actually Canon does something like this to acheive it's "real 16:9" mode on the XL2 so it's possible. I am anxious about being able to shoot 16:9 DV.

-Nate
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Old December 6th, 2005, 04:47 PM   #14
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The XL2's CCD's are in the 4:3 proportion, but the camera acheives true 16:9 by using a letterboxed area in the center. Since the CCD's are high resolution there are still enough pixels for a full quality image. See Chris' explanation and graphic here: http://www.dvinfo.net/canonxl2/articles/article06.php

However on the FX1 and Z1 the situation is different. It has 16:9 shaped CCD's so the full surface area is used. Obviously if you are shooting 4:3 video you would not be using the full area of the CCD's and there would be an unused area to the left and right of the image.

To put this notion to rest, I just switched on my Z1 and framed an image that filled the LCD screen. I then switched between HDV and DV mode and there was no change whatsoever in the field of view. So obviously the camera uses the full CCD for both HDV and 16:9 DV.
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Old December 6th, 2005, 04:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
To put this notion to rest, I just switched on my Z1 and framed an image that filled the LCD screen. I then switched between HDV and DV mode and there was no change whatsoever in the field of view. So obviously the camera uses the full CCD for both HDV and 16:9 DV.
You got the Z1 there? I need to hang out with you. All this is good info.

-Nate
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