Uncompressed HD capture from FX1-Z1, output to Aspect HD in real time 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 March 7th, 2006, 02:10 PM   #1
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Uncompressed HD capture from FX1-Z1, output to Aspect HD in real time

Finally, a great device for the indie filmmaker.

Focus Enhancements, Rosendahl, and Cineform have joined forces to produce a portable HDV recorder.

It accepts Component out from FX1/Z1 for uncompressed video.

It also features high quality XLR mic preamps with phantom power.

The device multiplexes both video and audio into Cineform's Aspect HD file at "large" setting. The file can be later transferred to a PC for editing via either Firewire or USB 2.0 (many times faster than real time.)

Thus, four issues are resolved:

1. Capturing HDV signal BEFORE mpeg compression by using cam's analog Component out. Helps eliminate all compression artifacts, espicially important for greenscreen and fast-moving scenes. Just plug Z1's Component plugs into the device's HD component In.

2. Professional quality audio no longer requires a double-system and later re-synching in post - just plug a boom mic into the device's XLR in. Line audio input is also accepted.

3. Long conversion times from m2t to avi are not a problem anymore - the device records on its internal HDD in Cineform Aspect HD format on-the-fly. After the shoot, simply drop the files onto your desktop HDD array for editing in PPro.

4. No longer do you have to worry about changing tapes or running out of the firewire cable's length - the device is worn on the belt, and its HDD and battery capacity is enough for 3-hr. continuous recording.

Did I tell you it sells for under $1,000?

...OK, time to wake up. There's no such device on the market. Can someone tell me why not?
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Old March 7th, 2006, 02:36 PM   #2
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You suck. ;o)

This would be worth well over $1,000, especially if it worked with the FX-1.

*sigh*
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Old March 7th, 2006, 02:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Raskin
...OK, time to wake up. There's no such device on the market.
Heartbreaker!
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Old March 8th, 2006, 05:50 PM   #4
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Old March 8th, 2006, 05:51 PM   #5
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http://www.cineform.com/products/WafianHR1.htm?

It's luggable rather than portable, and HD-SDI rather than component, but it seems close to what you're after, isn't it?
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Old March 8th, 2006, 05:58 PM   #6
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YOU "LITTERALLY" SUCK!

You had me going there!!!
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Old March 8th, 2006, 11:37 PM   #7
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Dylan, at $15,000 it is not in my league. Plus, it records Prospect HD whereas I need Aspect HD. Plus, it's not portable - so then why not go for a PC with Decklink - it'll be 4 times cheaper than Wafian.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 05:37 AM   #8
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Alex, then you're asking the impossible, or the incredibly unlikely.

You want something, more complex, with more features, more highly engineered (i.e smaller) and cheaper.

Think economies of scale, if EVERYONE who owned an FX1, Z1 and HD100 bought such a device then maybe they could afford to make it for under $1000.

As it is you're asking for an HD A/D converter, a Cineform enabled compression circuit, and intelligent disc set up, (with some kind of on board OS) plus audio circuitry w/ phantom power, then the processor to mux it, how long are the batteries going to last?

Aja charge $1800 for a capture card that can handle Component HD in, Focus Enhancements another 2 grand for a souped up HD with a firewire socket in the side. Plus it'll need a hell of a RAM buffer to avoid skipping problems aty Cineform datarates.

And of course it's useless to anyone editing on Avid or FCP (a BIG big market you're missing out there).
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Old March 9th, 2006, 09:36 AM   #9
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I state what is needed to me, as indie filmmaker, and it seems to resonate with many other fellow HDVers - look at the comments ;)

Then let manufacturers think about economies of scale and alike.

Please note that such device is currently not available at all, never mind the price point - and it's a travesty.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 10:38 AM   #10
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The Wafian box does a lot more for it price point then the above suggests (including component analog capture.) People often suggest you can build their own for less, but currently you can't. The only less expensive solution is a Prospect HD system with a Xena LH card, which will be close to $10K self-configured, and will not have all the all flexibility the Wafian HR-1 adds to on-set acquistion. So today the HR-1 is the least expensive 10-bit full HD aquistion system that can capture a reasonable length of time.

That all said an 8-bit product aimed for the HDV market sounds very nice, what is missing is a few hundred dollar component sampler than could run off a bus like ExpressCard, then everything could fit into place. So find that sampler and I would consider a product like you describe above.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 12:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Newman
The Wafian box does a lot more for it price point then the above suggests (including component analog capture.) People often suggest you can build their own for less, but currently you can't. The only less expensive solution is a Prospect HD system with a Xena LH card, which will be close to $10K self-configured, and will not have all the all flexibility the Wafian HR-1 adds to on-set acquistion.
I know we've touched on this before, but what exactly does Wafian do which couldn't be done using Prospect HD Ingest ($3500), a component capture card ($500-1500), and about $2-3K worth of computer parts? The hard drives in the base model would cost about $600, a decent dual-core processor is around $300-400, and so on. Until the Wafian is fully portable in a form which can be worn by a camera operator, I don't see what it offers compared to a "DIY" solution -- which would also have the advantage of being able to serve as a complete editing workstation.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 12:57 PM   #12
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The AJA Xena LH is about $1700, not $500-$1500, no other card will work for component capture into Prospect HD. Cutting corners your completed system is still $9k (a great deal BTW.) The capture software for Prospect HD is integrated into Premiere, so it isn't ideal for on-set work (although many have used in for that.) The Wafian interface is setup of on-set capture and review, instant HD digital dailies. This is highly valued for moderate budget projects. There are many custom features currently in or planned for the HR-1, so much so I'm not keeping up. :)
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Old March 9th, 2006, 01:29 PM   #13
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I found the Xena LH on Froogle starting at $1519. Two 500 GB SATA drives is just over $600 (call it $625), and the rest of the components needed to build a decent editing computer start at around $1500 or so these days. Prospect HD is $3500, Premiere Pro 2.0 is $850 -- or $1200 with the Studio bundle. So "cutting corners" I can build a Prospect HD ingest workstation with editing software for around $8K on up, compared to $15K for the Wafian plus another $3K or so for an editing computer. Not that the Wafian isn't probably a fine product, but if I can build two ingest/edit workstations for the same price that's a tough sell.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 02:22 PM   #14
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So when can I expect your two Prospect HD orders? ;)
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Old March 9th, 2006, 02:44 PM   #15
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Ha, ya got me there! I'm not ready for something like this yet, but I like to understand what the current options are.

:-)
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