Z1 soft in Sd compared to other SD cams 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 April 11th, 2006, 05:08 PM   #1
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Z1 soft in Sd compared to other SD cams

Hi Guys,

I've been shooting in SD using my Z1 up until now but always thought the image was soft compared to my DSR-390 and VX2000. I did some testing and it is. Shooting in DV mode is not good....

The whole story is in this thread. Sorry if I'm breaking rules posting to another forum but I think it's easier just to link to the discussion.

http://forums.dvdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=37705

It would be great if some Z1 owners could look over the thread and see what you make of it.

Thanks guys.

John.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 07:40 PM   #2
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John,
I have a related question (maybe Boyd knows the answer). I rented a Z1 this week end, thinking I might buy one. I have an FS-4 with the HD upgrade for capturing to hard drive while shooting. You suggest shooting in hdv and down converting in the camera. How would I do this and still capture to the firestore? Would I capture in sd or hdv?
Thanks
Bruce Yarock
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Old April 11th, 2006, 07:45 PM   #3
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Sorry, I haven't used a firestore so I can't help there. But to my eyes, shooting in HDV mode and down converting in camera looks pretty sharp; I especially notice this on some performance footage I shot in HDV vs DV. The wide shots seemed to have better defined details. As far as shooting 4:3.... that's something I don't need to do. I can use my VX-2000 in the rare event that I need 4:3...
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Old April 12th, 2006, 05:45 AM   #4
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Boyd,
How does "down converting in camera" work? I must have missed that in the manual.Does that mean while shooting, or afterwards, while capturing?
Bruce Yarock
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Old April 12th, 2006, 06:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce S. Yarock
John,
I have a related question (maybe Boyd knows the answer). I rented a Z1 this week end, thinking I might buy one. I have an FS-4 with the HD upgrade for capturing to hard drive while shooting. You suggest shooting in hdv and down converting in the camera. How would I do this and still capture to the firestore? Would I capture in sd or hdv?
Thanks
Bruce Yarock
Hi Bruce, if your target is SD then you can set the cam to shoot HDV then in one of the menus there is an ilink downconvert option. when this is set to on as you play back the footage through the firewire port it will downconvert it in realtime to DV. If you had a firestore connected to the firewire port while downconvert is on then you will be recording downconverted SD, if you want to record SD you would need to make sure the downconvert option is off.

Did that help?

John.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 07:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Steele
If you had a firestore connected to the firewire port while downconvert is on then you will be recording downconverted SD...

John.
You lost me a little there John. I have a Z1 with a FS-4 Pro HD. If I have the camera set to HDV and I have the iLink downconvert option set and I have the FS-4 plugged in and recording, it will downconvert on the fly? Meaning what I have on my FS-4 will be downconverted HDV? Is that right?

If so that would be great. I have read here (from Boyd and others) that downconverted HDV is noticeably better than shooting in SD.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 08:26 AM   #7
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Thanks John. So that means that the tape will be recording in hdv (i always use tape in addition as back up) while the FS 4 will be recording in SD, corect? That would be great, because it means that I could always go back to the hdv tape at a later date.
Also,what about the option of shooting and capturing in hdv, and then converting to sd in post (we use Premiere Pro).? How would that quality compare to doing it the way you describe?
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Old April 12th, 2006, 08:48 AM   #8
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Hey Bruce. Yes, I like shooting HDV and capturing SD with the Z1. But there isn't necessarily a consensus on this so I suggest you try your own tests and see what you think. I use FCP so I don't have any insights on downconverting in post with Premiere. DSE has posted some examples on his site (somewhere!) of downconverted footage using Vegas, which he feels is significantly better than shooting SD.

Of course, the downside to this approach is the extra disk space you'll need for the HDV and DV versions, and of course the rendering time required. Some people are also concerned about HDV's dropout issues (the compression scheme dictates that dropouts are always multi-frame). This scared me from shooting important performance footage in HDV initially, but I've shot about 12 hours this way now and haven't seen any dropouts yet.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 09:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce S. Yarock
Thanks John. So that means that the tape will be recording in hdv (i always use tape in addition as back up) while the FS 4 will be recording in SD, corect? That would be great, because it means that I could always go back to the hdv tape at a later date.
Also,what about the option of shooting and capturing in hdv, and then converting to sd in post (we use Premiere Pro).? How would that quality compare to doing it the way you describe?
Bruce Yarock
Hi Bruce and Scott,

Looks like Boyd beat me to it, so yes if ilink downconvert is on you would record downconverted SD to the firestore and HDV to tape, this in my opinion is the best way to record SD. I've just finished a whole loads of tests with a res chart and I'll be writing it up over the next couple of days. Needless to say I'll only be recording HDV from now on to get good SD.

John.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 10:24 AM   #10
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Thanks John. Looks like I have a new way of recording too. :)

I've said it before, but thanks to Chris and all the other contibutors of this site. it has been a wealth of information for new people like myself.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 04:27 PM   #11
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Is the ilink down convert available on the FX1 also, or only on the Z1? Also, does anyone know if it's available on the Canon XLH1?
Bruce Yarock
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Old April 12th, 2006, 04:48 PM   #12
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The FX1 also downconverts, but will only do it as anamorphic 16:9 DV. The Z1 has an option to output 4:3 DV with the sides of the image chopped off.
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