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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
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Old December 8th, 2006, 03:01 PM   #1
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Z1 low light/night shot examples?

I am on the fence right now about the Z1 and Canon's A1. One big deciding factor will be the low-light capabilities. Does anyone here have any examples of footage shot on the Z1?

I found two examples over in the A1 forums that look very nice, but I want to see what the brand leader in low-light performance has to show.
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Old December 10th, 2006, 11:45 AM   #2
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got my Z1E 1 1/2 weeks ago. So I couldnt capture very much footage, but Ill try to upload some night/low light footage tomorrow. Im pretty satisfied with the results i achieved yet, but I dont have a possibillity to do a side by side comparison with the A1
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Old December 10th, 2006, 08:00 PM   #3
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Here's some stuff I shot with my Fx1, so it'd be pretty close to the results you might get.

www.hornermusic.com/alex/parkingramp.mov

The only lighting I was using were car lights.
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Old December 10th, 2006, 11:21 PM   #4
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Thanks Alex.

I am wondering if the black stretch function on the Z1 would have a noticeable effect.
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Old December 11th, 2006, 12:08 AM   #5
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I had my gain all the way up , and for what I had for lighting, it turned out pretty good.
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Old December 11th, 2006, 01:06 AM   #6
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Colin, black stretch does make a noticable difference. I always leave it on. I'll post a frame if I get the chance tomorrow.
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Old December 11th, 2006, 03:25 AM   #7
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If you go to Youtube and search for "agus35monk" or use keywords "agus35" or "Kill Devil Hills" you will find two live music videos shot at the Fly By Night Music club in Fremantle.

The band prefers to use low light for ambience so it is was not too camera-friendly.

Both Kill Devil Hills clips, "Boneyard Rider" and "Nasty Business" were shot direct-to-camera on Z1P/FX1 and the roving camera was a PD150 with AGUS35 on front. The PD150 was chosen for its low light performance to compensate for the 2-stop loss in the adaptor.

The Z1P and FX1 were both set to 0db gain to minimise gain noise but resolution still took a hit. The lighting with reds and blues did not help.The cameras did hang on to the colours however under these conditions. I allowed the PD150 6db of gain.

Another clip you will find there is "the b-movie heroes". Don't confuse this with another unrelated band also named B'Movie heroes. This clip was shot with a mix of direct-to-camera Z1P, direct-to-camera XL1 and XL2 with Letus35 on front.

YouTube resolution doesn't do any favours.
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Old December 11th, 2006, 10:08 AM   #8
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I just finished a nighttime shoot in Buffalo, NY last week during a snowstorm. This is a task I normally reserve for my VX2100, but since I had some extra time to work with, I decided to put the FX1 up to the task. This was the first time I put the FX1 into 'nighttime' revenue service and it did just fine. I didn't have to use gain or any post adjustments. I may start using the FX1 for more nighttime projects, reserving the VX for the worst lighting situations. I'll try to scrape up a couple of grabs to post here.
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Old December 11th, 2006, 12:09 PM   #9
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This was shot with available light (i.e. two fire poi!) by two Z1s (in front) and an A1 (behind) the guy:

http://www.headspin.plus.com/hosting...ter/index.html

Also: compressed for web (H.264) so not truly representative of image quality!!

I wouldn't call the Z1 the brand leader - that was the PD-170 in this class of camera, but it was 4:3 and SD... :-(
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Old December 20th, 2006, 12:07 PM   #10
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OK, so I finally made the decision for the Z1U (instead of the XHA1). I also have an XL2, so after the holidays when I have some time, I will post some comparative footage in various lighting setups to help out anyone else out there.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 12:12 PM   #11
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So Colin - first thing to do is menu-dig and get that black stretch turned on. You can toggle it on/off and really see what it's doing even in the low-res v'finder.

tom.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 12:19 PM   #12
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Impressive clip!

[QUOTE=Martin Mayer]This was shot with available light (i.e. two fire poi!) by two Z1s (in front) and an A1 (behind) the guy:

http://www.headspin.plus.com/hosting...ter/index.html

Well done,Martin !
I take it the A1 was a lock-down camera with operators on the other 2 Z1 cameras? I would think the A1 footage would be very noisy against the Z1's, being a single chip camera. Footage seemed to cut right in.

Bravo.
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Old December 20th, 2006, 12:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick
So Colin - first thing to do is menu-dig and get that black stretch turned on. You can toggle it on/off and really see what it's doing even in the low-res v'finder.

tom.
:) That was the second thing that I dug to find (first was gain presets).
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Old December 21st, 2006, 10:25 AM   #14
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both HDV cameras are much less light sensitive then the PD-170...

I think both are rated at 125 ASA!

but I had a lot of luck with adding Gain in the sony camera and being very exceptable even at +18db!.... because of the 1080i and the camera starting out at a very low noise level...


on the feature that i did with the FX1 we often shot down town with available light... (http://www.thegovernormovie.com/)


martin love the little fire starter video...wish I shot that with HVX slow mo...


VP

www.vincentpascoe.com

www.myspace.com/vincentpascoe
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