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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 August 28th, 2006, 02:24 AM   #1
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Z-1 PP Settings

I have gotten my feet wet in HDV with a Sony A-1 for about 6 months. Now I am replacing my PD-170 with a Z-1 and am concerned to get my PP settings locked down in advance of an Oct. project.
I'll be shooting bright sunlight, bright colors, outdoor event; dawn, daytime, twilight, and night time (floodlit); interior shots; one and two shot formal interviews, some in sunlight and some in artificial light; some high contrast outdoor and high contrast semi-interior shots as well. I'm not looking for a "film look". Delivery will be on standard DVD. I like punchy color for outdoor/floodlit shots, and nice looking skin for closeups/interviews. I would rather avoid extensive tweaking of the entire movie in post, but don't mind spending time on the tricky shots.
I'm guessing that I'll need at least 3 or 4 different Profiles to cover all of these bases. I've developed some clues from using the A-1, as well as reading comments by DSE, Adam Wilt, and others. I have George Griswold's post of his settings.
I'm wondering if there is any resource that has compiled lots of this info into, say, suggested banks of settings for particular shooting situations, particular lighting, and so forth. There's gotta be a better approach for me than trial and error.
If anyone knows where to look, I would sure appreciate it.
Bob
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Old August 28th, 2006, 08:11 AM   #2
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Mr. Griswold, a while back gave a great starting point in my opinion. We dont use the exact settings he mentioned but with a little manipulating from his starting point settings we found it very easy to find what we were looking for. Below is his post. Good Luck




Picture Profiles for Sony HVR-Z1U
1 2 3 4 5 6
C Level +3 +6 +5 +5 +5 +3
C Phase 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sharpness 13 13 12 13 12 12
Skin Detail OFF OFF OFF OFF OFF OFF
Skin LVL M M M M M M
AE Shift -1 -2 -1 -2 -2 -2
AGC Limit 12 6 0 0 6 6
AT Iris f11 f11 f6.8 f4 f11 f4
WB Shift +3 +4 +4 +4 +4 +4
ATW SENS M M L L L M
Stretch OFF OFF OFF OFF ON OFF
Tone OFF OFF T1 T2 OFF OFF
CineFrame OFF OFF CF30 CF30 OFF CF30

1- Basic Look
"2- Hi-Saturation Color- ""punchy"""
3- Film
4- Film Dark
5- High Contrast Subject
6- Hi-Sat Cineframe 30

"George T. Griswold, Jr."
"New Orleans, Louisiana"
www.videonow.info
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Old August 28th, 2006, 02:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Young
There's gotta be a better approach for me than trial and error.
Personally I doubt that. This is too much a matter of personal taste and also the specific conditions you'll be facing. I have learned a lot by hooking up my camera to an HD LCD monitor and just playing with the settings. It can be hard to see what some of them do by just looking at the little LCD screen on the camera.

And there aren't THAT many things to tweak anyway. I think it will be really useful to hook your camera up to some sort of monitor and just play around for awhile. Like they say, "a picture is worth a thousand words" :-)

Also, don't forget the color correction feature (in the camera menu, not in the Picture Profiles). You can do some interesting things there which might not occur to you otherwise. But you definitely need some playtime with a monitor to discover that those settings can do...
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Old August 28th, 2006, 09:20 PM   #4
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Boyd & John
Thanks for your response. Looks like the trial & error route is the only path to take. Clearly, as you mentioned, a lot of this is personal taste, which accounts for some of the absolutely contradictory info I occasionally see posted. However, it does seem to me that there is a substantial body of knowledge that has collectively accumulated over the last year or so. It's just scattered far and wide, in bits and pieces. It would be terrific if someone could pull it all together in one spot, but I guess that's not going to happen anytime soon.
Onward and upward.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 10:01 PM   #5
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I tried. I posted the defaults on my site, and then only got one person to provide their settings. It just doesn't seem to be something people care to share.

http://www.stevengotz.com/pictureprofiles.htm
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Old August 29th, 2006, 02:55 AM   #6
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Steven
I did go to your site and got some useful info. Also, I remember that DSE was interested in this topic (collecting various presets for different lighting cx, different looks) a while back, but I haven't seen anything for a while.
Actually, I got the camera today and started playing with the PP parameters. It's not as esoteric as I had feared, I really can see what the settings do. For me, the key is being able to scroll thru the presets and get the instant comparison, run some tape and watch it on the big monitor. It's fun actually, and an amazing step up from the PD-170.
I must say that George Griswold's settings are a very clever spread of presets and, as has been said before, an excellent starting point.
There are a lot of combinations and permutations that yield, as Boyd suggested, a very personal "look". Perhaps many people develop a propriatary feeling about their creation that makes them reluctant to publish them.
However, I'll promise that whenever I get mine nailed down and time tested, I'll send them to you.
Bob
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Old August 29th, 2006, 08:01 AM   #7
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I am sure many people would appreciate seeing yours. It never hurts to have a good starting point.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 03:39 PM   #8
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Here's my base

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Gotz
only got one person to provide their settings. It just doesn't seem to be something people care to share.
I'll happily share - just try and shut me up ;D ... These settings are my PP1 - the rest expand, cool, warm or brighten these core values - I am using the AWB shift at 0 now, though most of the time I rely on using the preset Daylight and the + and - keys as this means quick and accurate switches to given white balance situations (essential for run-&-gun situations in mixed lighting)

Picture Profiles
----------------------------------
Color Level = 0 (-8 Monochrome, +7 Overintense, -3 - +3 useful)
Color Phase = 0 (-7 Cold, +7 Warm, VERY SUBTLE -2 removes pink?)
Sharpness = 10 (0-8 too soft, 12-15 too sharp)
Skintone Detail OFF
Skintone Level N/A
AE Shift = -1 (under expose by 1/3rd stop)
AGC Limit = OFF
AT IRIS LIMIT = f6.8
WB Shift = +2 (more subtle control than AWB+/- for warming and cooling)
ATW SENS = LOW
BLACK STRETCH = ON
CINEMATONE = OFF
CINEFRAME = OFF

User Buttons
----------------------------------
P1 = Steadyshot on/off
P2 = White balance +
P3 = White balance -
P4 = AE Override
P5 = Allscan
P6 = Marker type

I'd say the single most important thing was the black-stretch, followed by every assistance available to avoid iris above f6.8, then there's the manual audio settings with the compressor on top, using Ch1 for your gun mic and Ch2 for either lav, wireless or stick mic. Ween yourself off AUTO audio levels, save Auto Everything for special occasions (and even then you'd be better off knowing about hyperfocal distance), and don't go above +12dB video gain.

Hope this helps...

PS: "Don't use CineFrame", "Don't use CineGama" (do it in post), If the iris closes below F8, you'll get soft pictures. Don't use SteadyShot on a tripod, don't use 32k audio, and don't feed a Mugwai after midnight.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 04:21 PM   #9
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I'm not at all reluctant to post settings, but I just don't have anything standardized. I just push buttons until I like the way it looks :-) Then the next time, I change it as needed. I only have 3 picture profiles set. #1 is just the default with black stretch turned on and sharpness punched a bit higher. #2 is pretty much the same but adds Cinegamma type 1. Ditto for #3 but it adds Cinegamma 2.

However, recently playing with these with a decent monitor I noticed that when I selected cinegamma 2 that the resolution of the image dropped very noticeably. That doesn't really show up on the little LCD screen, but it certainly did on the big screen. So I'm not using that setting anymore. I do like the cinegamma 1 setting for bright outdoors scenes where you want a lot of contrast. But it should be avoided for low light because you seem to lose an f-stop or so when you turn it on.

I'm still fascinated by the color correct function, and after lots of experimenting am getting an idea of how to use it for things other than "weird" effects. Unfortunately it's very awkward to set though. I wish you could store different color correction settings in the picture profiles.

I think the most useful user button settings are the white balance + and -. I find myself using the camera in daylight WB mode most of the time now, and punching the white balance up or down to get the effect I like. Especially helpful in a situation with light from different sources, like a window and incandescent or flourescent lights. You can also get more dramatic skies outdoors by shifting the WB towards warm a few clicks.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 04:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Daviss
I'd say the single most important thing was the black-stretch
I agree. I don't mind the CinemaTone, though.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 04:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
I noticed that when I selected cinegamma 2 that the resolution of the image dropped very noticeably.
Really? I never noticed that. I'll have to check that out.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 08:47 AM   #12
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Me too Boyd. I have the white balance preset on daylight, then have the assign buttons 5 and 6 set to + and -. If I click button 5 five times I arrive neatly at the indoor WB setting. This is fast, and of course allows you to warm the picture instantly if filming in the shadows or if daylight's filtering into the room.

tom.
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Old August 30th, 2006, 09:59 AM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick
Me too Boyd. I have the white balance preset on daylight, then have the assign buttons 5 and 6 set to + and -. If I click button 5 five times I arrive neatly at the indoor WB setting. This is fast, and of course allows you to warm the picture instantly if filming in the shadows or if daylight's filtering into the room.

tom.
Not *that* is a clever use. Wouldn't have ever thought of that.
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