FX1/Z1 Flipout Screen and Downconverting 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 August 31st, 2006, 08:02 PM   #1
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FX1/Z1 Flipout Screen and Downconverting

Trying to make a decision between the two. I'm planning to shoot almost exclusively in SD so I want to know how the flipout screen handles it. I'd like the added quality without the cost of upgrading software and the added space/processing time requirements for HD.

-I've also read the Z1 displays title safe indicator, does this feature work well?
-For best looking SD do I shoot with DV or HDV tape?
-Is there a noticble quality difference between downconverting from the camera versus capturing HD exporting in NLE editor to SD? (note: I have no interest in keeping HD master)
-For recording to direct to disk is best to record with HDV and downconvert or does this put a strain on the processor?
-I have FCP5 do I need to upgrade to FCPHD inorder to downconvert or is this a function of the camera?
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Old August 31st, 2006, 08:17 PM   #2
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Pete, I still don't understand your question about the flip out screen. As has already been stated, it only has about 250,000 pixels. An HD image has over 2 million pixels. In fact, a widescreen SD image has over 400,000 pixels so the LCD can't even show you that at full resolution. But as others have said, none of the affordable HD cameras are capable of this. The screen is native 16:9 however, and it looks really nice. But there's no way that it can show you all the detail in the image you're capturing.

The Z1 can display safe areas in the viewfinder but personally I find this pretty useless. It's a very conservative idea of safe areas. In normal mode the LCD and viewfinder overscan, which means it doesn't show all the way to the edge of the image. The Z1 has something called "all scan" mode which puts a black border around the image and shows the full frame all the way to the edge. Note that this feature is only available when shooting in HDV mode though, and not in DV mode.

The type of tape you use makes no difference in the image quality on the Z1 or any other DV/HDV camcorder. Binary data is getting written to tape (1's and 0's) and it's the same regardless what kind of tape you use. But there can be differences in how reliable different kinds of tape are.

The Z1 can downconvert "on the fly" which allows you to shoot in HDV mode while sending regular DV over firewire. I don't think this puts any "strain on the processor." As I understand, on the FX1 when you do this you will have about a 2 second delay on the firewire port, but I have a Z1 so I'm not completely sure on this.

FCP5 is FCP HD (that name was coined with FCP 4 actually). The camera itself does the downconversion if you want it to. But of course you could also capture as HDV and downconvert on the computer if you wanted to.
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Old August 31st, 2006, 08:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Pete, I still don't understand your question about the flip out screen. As has already been stated, it only has about 250,000 pixels. An HD image has over 2 million pixels. In fact, a widescreen SD image has over 400,000 pixels so the LCD can't even show you that at full resolution.
I'm not asking about the resolution quality of the flipout. I want to know how it handles SD? Will I have problems composing if the flipout screen shows 16x9 and I'm downconverting to 4:3? Will it clip the ends? Does the camera have a setting to show me 4:3 in the viewfinder so I'll know what the final output will look like?
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Old August 31st, 2006, 08:56 PM   #4
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Yes, you can shoot 4:3 and it will be "pillarboxed" on the LCD screen with a black bar on either side. Sorry, your thread has a title very similar to another one where this is being discussed so I was getting confused...
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Old August 31st, 2006, 08:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Yes, you can shoot 4:3 and it will be "pillarboxed" on the LCD screen with a black bar on either side.
thx thats what i wanted to know.
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