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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 October 21st, 2006, 01:40 PM   #1
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Accessories for Z1

I have just bought my Z1 and I am making my accessory shopping list. Besides the essentials, like filters, extra batteries, etc., I am considering getting the following:

1) LED small light head.

What affordable LED lights are around that have performed good service? The ones I have seen around are a bit on the expensive side, and I have also considered a DIY project for this. The job it should perform would be filling light or eye light, so it should have some way to attenuate it.

2) LCD screen support.

I have a 7" LCD which I would like to use with the Z1. The question is how to secure it when the camera is a on tripod. What has worked fine for such application?

3) Cokin products.

Cokin makes filters and an extendable bellows that I think can be used on the Z1. Cokin filters are rectangular and can be fitted in the filter holder on the back of that bellows. Is anyone using or has anyone used any of these?


Carlos
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Old October 21st, 2006, 04:44 PM   #2
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Hi Carlos

I have a Z1 with the following bits.. that make shooting easier and better:

TLS Matte box... (similar to Formatt)
Schneider filters..Polarizer/ND/Blackmist
Cavison shoulder mount
AT897/Rode NTG-2 mics
Sennheiser radio mic
Petrol LCD hood
PAG ligth C6 kit

Lowell video kit..rifa/tota/spot

Regards
Gareth
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Old October 21st, 2006, 06:42 PM   #3
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Hi Gareth,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Watkins
TLS Matte box... (similar to Formatt)
That's a very good matte box!

Quote:
Schneider filters..Polarizer/ND/Blackmist
Blackmists I would like to try.

Quote:
Petrol LCD hood
I'll use my Petrol from PDX10. Fits on the Z1 too.

Quote:
PAG ligth C6 kit
Any idea of affordable portable lights using LEDs?
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Old October 21st, 2006, 07:35 PM   #4
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I don't think you will find a lot of need for an LCD hood on the Z1. The transreflective screen is very vivid under full sunlight. I tried my PDX-10 LCD hood on the Z1 once and wasn't happy with the fit since it's really designed for a different sized 4:3 screen, but I suppose it would work in a pinch...
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 05:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos E. Martinez
Hi Gareth,
That's a very good matte box! .
The TLS matte box is very good...my only criticism would be the french flag...while it is effective it tends to drop down into shot if you're not careful... especially when walking over uneven ground... Also the useless built in mic on the Z1 makes slotting in filters more complicated as you have to feed them in from underneath, and rotating the polarizer is fiddly... good to see the took this stupid mic off the V1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos E. Martinez
Blackmists I would like to try. .
Blackmists are nice for interviews, I got mine in a Schneider three filter kit...



Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos E. Martinez
Any idea of affordable portable lights using LEDs?
Lightwise there seem to be two out there the Litepanel mini and the Zylight... both are quite dear but look good... I'll probably get a set of the mini Litepanels when I have the cash..


Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
I don't think you will find a lot of need for an LCD hood on the Z1. The transreflective screen is very vivid under full sunlight. .
Hi Boyd

I use the Z1 with the Cavision shoulder brace, using the LCD with hood as my viewfinder...this way the camera is more compact and sits better on the shoulder....

Although the LCD is bright in day light I do find the Petrol hood useful for shading the screen however in bright sun..... before getting the hood I used to wear a peaked baseball cap to shield my eyes and the screen..

regards

Gareth
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 08:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Watkins
Although the LCD is bright in day light I do find the Petrol hood useful for shading the screen however in bright sun..... before getting the hood I used to wear a peaked baseball cap to shield my eyes and the screen.
I suppose it might come in handy for that. However my intention was to remind everyone that the LCD on the Z1 is transreflective. In bright direct sunlight you can turn off the LCD backlight. The image is remarkably sharp and clear when the sun shines directly on the screen. But I can see where you might have trouble seeing it if the sun was shining in your eyes.

Personally I have never felt a need for an LCD hood on my Z1 however.
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 08:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Watkins
Lightwise there seem to be two out there the Litepanel mini and the Zylight... both are quite dear but look good... I'll probably get a set of the mini Litepanels when I have the cash..
Prices are absolutely absurd for these products, both Litepanel and Zylight sell theirs in more than $700 each.

I am researching adapting something like this:

http://www.ledtronics.com/DS/GDL002-200/default.asp

Or use a lamp such as this:

http://www.ledtronics.com/ds/B640/

Particularly the latter might turn out something cheap and practical. In both cases, lumens output vs watts used is incredible.

Or perhaps something simpler like this:

http://store.sundancesolarcorp.com/12vdcclliwi1.html

I think you must be getting what I am after. A very affordable and bright battery powered system.


Carlos
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 08:54 AM   #8
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FWIW, Sony showed their own LED light at the V1 press conference. No idea what the cost or availability is, but it uses the same batteries as the Z1.
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 09:03 AM   #9
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Boyd's right - the top screen works fine in direct sunlight - wonderful. It's best to get familliar with the zebra settings you choose and their effect on exposure, but you really don't need a Hoodman any more.

Beware any Cokin filter as none of them are coated. You'd not have bought the Z1 if Sony advertised it as having an uncoated front element, would you? Same goes for the Tiffen filters I've seen, but I assume you can order fully multi-coated ones as well.

At the sort of focal lengths we're dealing with (4,5 mm) be very sure you need to filter up front rather than in post.

tom.
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Old October 24th, 2006, 05:23 PM   #10
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got a great shoulder bracket from cavision, the camera mounts on the rods to the left side of the bracket meaning you can actually use the viewfinder without cocking your head too far to the the right!
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