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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
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Old December 20th, 2005, 07:57 AM   #1
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Sony Z1: Increasing Zoom?

I've been trying to decide on a new HDV Camera, and I'm leaning toward the Z1. The only problem is the zoom, at x10 it's not enough for some of the work I do (mostly conferences, where the podium is on the other side of large room and I need to be "head & shoulders" close).

I've been looking at the Micro 35 Lens Adaptor, which would seem to solve my problems. I can attach a Nikon 200mm still lens and get all the distance I want.

Does this sound right? Does anybody know how much extra distance I would get? The Sony says x10, what does a 200mm lens translate to? Is it x20, x30? Perhaps someone knows of a chart that has the conversions.

Thanks.

Peter
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Old December 20th, 2005, 08:12 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Reynolds
I've been trying to decide on a new HDV Camera, and I'm leaning toward the Z1. The only problem is the zoom, at x10 it's not enough for some of the work I do (mostly conferences, where the podium is on the other side of large room and I need to be "head & shoulders" close).

I've been looking at the Micro 35 Lens Adaptor, which would seem to solve my problems. I can attach a Nikon 200mm still lens and get all the distance I want.

Does this sound right? Does anybody know how much extra distance I would get? The Sony says x10, what does a 200mm lens translate to? Is it x20, x30? Perhaps someone knows of a chart that has the conversions.

Thanks.

Peter
Peter,

Others will have better advice, but I don't believe that the Z1 has a removable lens. What it comes with is what you get. If you could use your 200mm lens, it would equal about a 1500mm lens when mounted.

Second thought, is how are you going to distribute the footage you take. There is no way at this time to distribute HD, other than to hook your new camera up the the TV, or get a HD deck to do the same. No HD DVDs yet, and most will not have then for years when they do come out.

For conferances and such, I would probably get a standard DV camera.

Good luck,

Mike
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Old December 20th, 2005, 08:19 AM   #3
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Hi Peter, and welcome to DVinfo! Keep in mind that when camcorder makers list a 10x, 12x or 20x zoom lens they aren't telling you anything absolute about focal length. That number means that the telephoto focal length is 10x the wide focal length on the zoom.

Actually, Sony spec's the Z1 as a 12x zoom and not a 10x. On the wide end it's 4.5mm and on the telephoto end it's 54mm (12 x 4.5 = 54). The spec which you're interested in is also generally provided by the camera companies: 35mm still photo equivalent focal length. In the case of the Z1 the wide end would be comparable to a 32.5mm lens and the telephoto would be comparable to a 390mm lens.

Depends on what you're doing as to whether this will work well for you. I had been using a Sony PDX-10 to shoot live performances from over 100' away before. It has a telephoto equivalent of 500mm, so the Z1 doesn't get me quite as close as I'd like, but it's still usable. For the PDX-10 I was also able to get a high quality inexpensive 2x teleconvertor, so that was like a 1000mm lens in 35mm terms.

On the Z1 there are few choices for teleconvertors, and be prepared to spend a lot of money if you need one! Century makes a 1.6x converter which would give you an effective focal length of 1.6 x 390 = 624mm.

http://www.centuryoptics.com/product..._tc/16x_tc.htm

See also the following thread:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=51686
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Old December 20th, 2005, 08:23 AM   #4
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Sorry, I didn't address your other questions. I don't think the micro 35 would make any sense for your application. As stated above, you already have the equivalent of a 390mm lens built into the camera. Products like the micro 35 certainly have their place when it comes to simulating the look of film and also the shallow depth of field which can be obtained with a larger image area.

However they will degrade your image due to the additional optics and ground glass, and you will also lose some light in the process. That sort of product really isn't intended for event work.
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Old December 20th, 2005, 10:37 AM   #5
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Great advice. Thanks

This has been a big help.

Actually, I was looking at the Micro 35 Lens Adaptor for other work where I require a shallow depth of field. I was just wondering whether it would work for both.

To my knowledge, the Z1 isn't particularly good in low light, so I agree that adding a 35mm lens wouldn't help matters. Particularly for event work, where the light is often not optimal.

I wanted to address the post that said "no way to distribute HD... get an SD camera".

Though clients are not banging down my door for HD yet, my understanding is that HDV downconverted to SD is better than original SD content. That is, shooting on a Sony Z1 and downconverting will give me a better quality image than shooting on a PDX-10 or PD-170.

Would everyone agree with that statement? Yes, I could by another SD camera, but I want to get my feet wet with HDV. Though clients don't really know what HDV is, it's a selling feature to have it, even if the final product I give them is downconverted SD material on Mini DV tape.

Any thougths you may have would be appreciated.

Peter
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Old December 20th, 2005, 11:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Reynolds
This has been a big help.

Actually, I was looking at the Micro 35 Lens Adaptor for other work where I require a shallow depth of field. I was just wondering whether it would work for both.

To my knowledge, the Z1 isn't particularly good in low light, so I agree that adding a 35mm lens wouldn't help matters. Particularly for event work, where the light is often not optimal.

I wanted to address the post that said "no way to distribute HD... get an SD camera".

Though clients are not banging down my door for HD yet, my understanding is that HDV downconverted to SD is better than original SD content. That is, shooting on a Sony Z1 and downconverting will give me a better quality image than shooting on a PDX-10 or PD-170.

Would everyone agree with that statement? Yes, I could by another SD camera, but I want to get my feet wet with HDV. Though clients don't really know what HDV is, it's a selling feature to have it, even if the final product I give them is downconverted SD material on Mini DV tape.

Any thougths you may have would be appreciated.

Peter

See, I told you others would know more! I was just trying to help.

I know that the downconverted Z1 footage looks good, but I'm not sure that everyone would agree that it looks better than that of another good 3 chip SD camera. It may be better than a PDX-10, or a PD-170, that I don't know.

Does the Z1 output its own SD, or do you have to capture HD, and then downconvert in post. If it is in post, you will need additional software to download your footage, if you do not already have it. If your client is looking for HD, they probably would not want it downconverted.

Best of luck, the rest is over my head.

Mike
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Old December 20th, 2005, 11:59 AM   #7
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FX1- Different Telephoto equivalent conversion in DV ?

So this raises a question I've been wondering about. So I have the FX1 and the VX2000. It would seem the telephoto conversion to 35 mm equivalent terminology reflects an angle of view provided in the final image. With the FX1 and Z1 we shoot in 16:9. Thus we seem to have a much wider field of view than the VX 2000. However, when I shoot the FX1 in 4:3 the sides are lopped off, and my angle of view is very close to the VX 2000. It would thus appear that we have similar 4:3 zoom lens characteristics on the two cameras. Comments ?
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Old December 20th, 2005, 12:05 PM   #8
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Down converting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch
See, I told you others would know more! I was just trying to help.

I know that the downconverted Z1 footage looks good, but I'm not sure that everyone would agree that it looks better than that of another good 3 chip SD camera. It may be better than a PDX-10, or a PD-170, that I don't know.

Does the Z1 output its own SD, or do you have to capture HD, and then downconvert in post. If it is in post, you will need additional software to download your footage, if you do not already have it. If your client is looking for HD, they probably would not want it downconverted.

Best of luck, the rest is over my head.

Mike
With the FX-1 you can shoot DV or shoot HDV. If you shoot DV, no conversion required. If you shoot HDV, you can downconvert from HDV to DV in camera at the time of capture by menu selection. You can obviously also capture in various Hi Def formats, and down convert in editor. So far the consensus seems to be you get best quality DV by shooting in HDV, and down converting in editor after capture.
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Old December 20th, 2005, 12:41 PM   #9
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Chris, you're right. If you switch your VX2000 into the 16:9 mode you reduce the diagonal angle of view of the lens at all focal lengths. It's still a 12 x zoom with a 6 - 72 mm focal length of course, but the 35 mm equivalent focal lengths have changed, and it's now more telephoto right throughout the zoom range. Cameras such as the PDX10 use more of the 4:3 chip in the 16:9 mode, so gain wide-angle in 16:9.

|In exactly the same way you 'telephoto' the FX1 by shooting in the 4:3 mode, and you often find you can now successfully use converter lenses that habitually vignette in the 16:9 mode.

I still have a Canon Sureshot Multi-tele. This is a compact 35 mm film camera that allows you to shoot in full or half-frame mode. In the latter mode it's much more telephoto, and much better for portrature.

tom.
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Old December 20th, 2005, 12:52 PM   #10
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Step Down to 58 mm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick
Chris, you're right. If you switch your VX2000 into the 16:9 mode you reduce the diagonal angle of view of the lens at all focal lengths. It's still a 12 x zoom with a 6 - 72 mm focal length of course, but the 35 mm equivalent focal lengths have changed, and it's now more telephoto right throughout the zoom range. Cameras such as the PDX10 use more of the 4:3 chip in the 16:9 mode, so gain wide-angle in 16:9.

|In exactly the same way you 'telephoto' the FX1 by shooting in the 4:3 mode, and you often find you can now successfully use converter lenses that habitually vignette in the 16:9 mode.

I still have a Canon Sureshot Multi-tele. This is a compact 35 mm film camera that allows you to shoot in full or half-frame mode. In the latter mode it's much more telephoto, and much better for portrature.

tom.

Tom:

If I used an 72mm to 58mm adapter on my existing Sony 58 mm mount wide angle on the FX-1, do you think I could avoid vignetting in 4:3 ?
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Old December 20th, 2005, 01:24 PM   #11
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It's a suck-it-and-see situation even with lenses that have the correct mounting threads. So my guess is that no, you wouldn't be able to use full wide on the FX1 with a 58 mm converter lens in place.

tom.
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Old December 20th, 2005, 01:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos
However, when I shoot the FX1 in 4:3 the sides are lopped off, and my angle of view is very close to the VX 2000.
In 4:3 mode the Z1 (and FX1) lens has a 35mm equivalent of 40mm to 480mm - compare these to the numbers I posted above. The focal lengths on the VX-2000 are 43.2mm to 518.4mm, so they are similar but not exactly the same.

In addition to downconverting at capture, the Z1 will send standard definition DV via firewire in real time as you record HDV if desired. Another menu switch allows you to shoot HDV and downconvert to either 4:3 or 16:9 DV.

As far as the quality of the downconverted video, it looks very good to me. I think a little better than just shooting in DV mode. Depending on which software you use, you may get even better results by downconverting in post (Vegas is supposed to be good for this) but of course you will use more disk space and rendering time that way.

The possible downside of shooting HDV and downconverting would the an increased risk of dropouts, although I haven't had a problem in my limited experience. But if this worries you then you could shoot DVCAM standard definition for the least chance of dropouts.
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Old December 20th, 2005, 02:07 PM   #13
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Mike Teutsch,

I hate to contradict you because of all of the good work you do around here helping people, but I believe that you are spreading incorrect information without intending to do so.

I have been distributing High Definition material for almost a year now. Yes, I have to buy the very special DVD player for my customers, but when they are told I can supply HDV material on a Big Screen HDTV that looks better than SD material, they don't mind the extra $300 I tack on to the price.

I will admit that my customers all have training rooms with only one big screen, so they only need one DVD player. Also, the material I shoot lends itself quite well to the footage produced by the Sony HDV cameras.

I may start reselling the more expensive JVC version (made for them by I-O-Date) since it appears to uprez SD material, whereas the I-O-Data AVeL Linkplayer2 does not.

There are only a few professionally produced commercial movies available in the WMVHD format, but you really ought to check them out. Take a look at http://www.wmvhd.com

All of those movies can be played on the Linkplayer2 and look fabulous. Better than a uprezzed SD movie.

I highly encourage people with a HDV camera to investigate finding customers who are willing to pay more for HD footage. Go after the better clients with better footage. (Assuming all else is equal, HDV looks better than SD, it really does, especially on a really big screen.)
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Old December 20th, 2005, 02:17 PM   #14
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Wide Angle Adapter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick
It's a suck-it-and-see situation even with lenses that have the correct mounting threads. So my guess is that no, you wouldn't be able to use full wide on the FX1 with a 58 mm converter lens in place.

tom.
I actually now took my wide angle with a 58 mm ring and hand held in front of FX1. First, I note that the rear element on the Kenko .65 wide angle converter I have matches up almost perfectly with front element on the FX1. In other words, though filter ring on FX1 is 72mm, the width of the front element is about 58 mm.

I shot footage in HDV, and note that there was, as Tom expected, some vignetting at wide angle in the 16:9 mode. And the the edges of the image also did not have decent resolution (probably due to lens itself being lower grade.) However, from the look of that footage, and assuming you could get an adapter that put the rear element of the .65 converter fairly close to the front element of the FX 1 lens, it is clear that shooting in 4:3, there would be a decent resolution that would probably match that of the VX 2000 with the wide angle converter.
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Old December 20th, 2005, 02:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Gotz
Mike Teutsch,

I hate to contradict you because of all of the good work you do around here helping people, but I believe that you are spreading incorrect information without intending to do so.
Steven,

You may contradict me at any time, and please do so!

I think the orininal post left me with the impression that Peter was just new, wrong zoom on the Z1, etc., and looking for more basic info, which is about all I can offer. The revelation of his vast experiance and the more detailed explainations changed my view.

You are much more competant to assist him, and therefore I will back out as gracefully as I can.

Best of luck to all----Mike
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