FX1 bugs -- are they fixed? at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
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Old March 15th, 2006, 01:49 PM   #1
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FX1 bugs -- are they fixed?

I had grafted some questions about the FX1 onto the end of another post on the Open DV forum, but I haven't gotten much response. I've read of several bugs with the FX1, and I'm wondering if they've been fixed in more recent units.

1) Its seems like a fair number of people have had problems with motherboard failures, potentially linked to power surges. I've seen the advice about running off batteries, but I'm wondering if this has been fixed?

2) Iíve seen reference to a 1/2 second or 2 second delay between the action and the Firewire-out signal (at least in HD). Is this true, and does it create complications with using a Firestore? It would be horrible if I had to break for at least 2 seconds before starting the next clip.

3) Iíve read of Z1Uís (and presumably FX1ís) sometimes taking as much as 5 seconds to cycle between record stop and start. Has this bug been fixed?

4) Thereís a cryptic reference to the FX1 having problems in bright light on camcorderinfo.comís review of the Sony HC1. Anyone have any problems in full sunlight?

5) will the FX1 run a Firestore tapeless with the on-camera record button?

Thanks for the input!

-Terence
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Old March 15th, 2006, 02:07 PM   #2
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I always add the following comment to someone like yourself who has questions about the FX1 or even Z1 - Go out and hire one for a day.

That way, you can probably answer 99% of your questions yourself with your own experience.

The opinions you will get from this forum are mostly from people who own these cams (and yes, i own one) and obviously will defend.

Cheers
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Old March 15th, 2006, 02:32 PM   #3
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1) Already under discussion in this thread: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=44855

2) That's not a bug - it's a feature! :-) See: http://hdvinfo.net/articles/sonyhdrfx1/compare.php. If I understand this correctly, it's one of the things Sony has done to differentiate between the Z1. I suppose you could also consider the FX-1' s lack of an underscan mode, color correction and 480p component outputs "bugs" also since I suspect these are all implemented in firmware.

3) It does take awhile for the Z1 to go into record mode after the drum spins down. Don't know about the FX1 - does it shut off completely if you don't use it or does the drum just spin down? The VX-2000 shuts off completely if you don't use it for awhile whereas the PD-150 just spins down the drum. The Z1 has a QUICK REC function which reduces this time but evidently can result in timecode breaks (haven't tried it myself yet).

4) No idea what that means. What sort of problem? My Z1 seems to perform very well in bright conditions when properly set; you will need to use ND2 however. But I always use manual exposure so maybe the reference had to do with auto exposure?

5) Don't know.
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Old March 15th, 2006, 03:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terence Murphy
3) Iíve read of Z1Uís (and presumably FX1ís) sometimes taking as much as 5 seconds to cycle between record stop and start. Has this bug been fixed?
I believe this 'bug' is simply a limitation of the HDV format, and more specifically, mpeg-2 compression. From what I have heard, all HDV cameras suffer from this issue (when used in HDV mode). You can always record in DV mode to avoid this issue.
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Old March 15th, 2006, 03:18 PM   #5
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Personally I doubt that it has anything to do with HDV or MPEG. The drum has physically stopped rotating when this happens (gone to "sleep") and it takes time to spin it back up. This would be roughly comparable to the amount of time it takes for the camera to come up when you first switch it on. If the camera is in "standby" mode with the drum spinning then recording starts very quickly. The Z1 lets you know what to expect by displaying "standby" on the LCD while the drum is spinning. When it spins down then this message is no longer displayed, so you know to allow a little extra time.
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Old March 15th, 2006, 03:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Pike
I believe this 'bug' is simply a limitation of the HDV format, and more specifically, mpeg-2 compression. From what I have heard, all HDV cameras suffer from this issue (when used in HDV mode). You can always record in DV mode to avoid this issue.
Well not with my XL-H1.. No delay at all.
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Old March 15th, 2006, 10:37 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input.

Can anyone comment from personal experience if the FX1 really has the delay in the Firewire out signal? One first-hand mention of it made it sound like an artifact of the TVs that the FX1s were attached to, so I'm wondering if the delay really exists.

The other question about occasional lags between record stop and start didn't sound like they were caused by the drum being spun down, but I can't find the thread again (it had a list of ~9 reasons not to buy the Z1U, which generated some heated discussion). I film a lot of separate clips, often separated by as little as one second, so the problem stuck in my head. Maybe it was just a problem with early production units?

-Terence
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Old March 16th, 2006, 12:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terence Murphy
Thanks for the input.

Can anyone comment from personal experience if the FX1 really has the delay in the Firewire out signal? One first-hand mention of it made it sound like an artifact of the TVs that the FX1s were attached to, so I'm wondering if the delay really exists.

The other question about occasional lags between record stop and start didn't sound like they were caused by the drum being spun down, but I can't find the thread again (it had a list of ~9 reasons not to buy the Z1U, which generated some heated discussion). I film a lot of separate clips, often separated by as little as one second, so the problem stuck in my head. Maybe it was just a problem with early production units?

-Terence
I have an FX1

Yes there is a delay when I output from my tape to the capture program. It is a very small lag. I get the same lag too when I capture DV from my normal DV camera. Remember, the capture device whether it be the capture computer or the HD TV has to take the .m2t or DV stream and convert it to its own display format. A lag is inherent with the process. You can see same thing on your system with whatever capture system you use. Just have volume up on output camera and on captur monitor and you will see hear an echo. Its the same with al digital signals. My DirecTV local channel conversion is about 2 seconds behind the regular broadcast when it streams through my DVR.

As record start lag after stop, it is there. So plan not to stop unless you are sure you have at least 5 seconds between next shot. You can probably get restarted in about 2 secs with practice, but what's the point any way. If want separate clips, log them in at capture
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Old March 16th, 2006, 12:10 AM   #9
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Tape is cheap...

I leave the Z1 rolling if I think I am going to miss something. Tape, really, is cheap, especially if you think about the critical shot you might miss by turning the camera off when something is about to happen.

Last edited by Jack D. Hubbard; March 16th, 2006 at 12:18 AM. Reason: phrase fix
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Old March 16th, 2006, 09:02 AM   #10
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There will always be a lag between the actual event and an output from any of the digital camcorders even DV. The camera has to encode the input from the CCD and then the display device has to decode before display. With DV this is quick since the encode and decode is always of a single frame but it is still there. For HDV or any more compressed format it will take longer to encode and decode the signal. For MPEG2 HDV there is a 15 frame GOP which takes half a second. The decoder cannot display anything until it has decoded this first GOP--half a second. In fact it will always be a little longer than this due to other electronic delays. I have not found this to be any problem worth worrying about.

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Old March 17th, 2006, 06:58 AM   #11
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It sounds like the FX1's output delay to iLink is probably more like 1/2 second, and not the 2 seconds listed on the HDV info FX1 vs. Z1U comparison chart, which is much more tolerable. I wonder if there is even a difference between the FX1 and Z1U in this regard. Definitely good to know when thinking about capturing tapeless....

As far as the record stop/start lag, I wish it wasn't so long. For the events I film I need to break ~6 hours of footage a day into 300-400 clips. Its also easiest if they are physically separate files once imported so I can sort them into separate projects. That's automatic if I've stopped the tape between every clip, otherwise I have to watch the computer while importing and manually break the clips (which requires another 6 hours). I've been concerned about reliability with all the stopping and starting, and would ultimately like to go tapeless, but that won't happen for another year.

I know the easiest way to answer all of my questions would be to rent one for a day. But $350 is a pretty steep price to pay for a test drive (plus the drive to DC to get one, since no one in Baltimore even carries the FX1). So thanks for answering my questions. You've all been really helpful!

-Terence
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Old March 17th, 2006, 10:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D. Hubbard
I leave the Z1 rolling if I think I am going to miss something. Tape, really, is cheap, especially if you think about the critical shot you might miss by turning the camera off when something is about to happen.
Jack-

Thats the best solution I have found. If its live, let it roll. If I am setting up the shot, well then it doesnt matter.
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Old March 20th, 2006, 03:30 AM   #13
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Just pray that when you're changin tape, nothing happens
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