Z1's iris control 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 March 6th, 2007, 05:14 AM   #1
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Z1's iris control

hello,

i had a job for a weekend and my client rented a sony z1. Overall nice camera, i shot from shoulder 80% of time, big enaugh for that(we had wide angle lens and matte box attached). But i couldn't understand the iris control thing. It didnt matter if i set iris on f2,8 or f11, the LCD still showed same bright picture? How could i turn it off to show the real brightness on LCD?

and one more thing, i haven't seen the results, so, how Z1 copes in low light?

thnx
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Old March 6th, 2007, 05:55 AM   #2
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There are multiple automatic exposure compensation modes and you need to turn them all off if you want to control exposure with the iris. There are buttons and a switch on the left rear of the camera to help with that and a little wheel in the back that helps with the shutter speed. Settings should be visible in the viewfinder as you shoot.

The camera has an ASA of about 160. Gain helps but the low light performance isn't reputed to be that great.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 07:58 AM   #3
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I think the most firect cause for what you were seeing was that you had AGC - auto gain control, turned on.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 08:25 AM   #4
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yep.... if the shutter speed, gain, iris numbers are not showing on the screen, then they are on auto....

iris is the knob under the lens, and the rest use the thumb wheel at the back of the cam.

low light's better than I expected..... here's something I shot last friday night.... avail light, at night..... on a merlin steadycam.

I locked the shutter at 1/60th ( as always ) but the rest let auto. no blackstretch, cineframe, or cinegamma.

http://www.witzke-studio.com/hd/firstfriday.html
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Old March 6th, 2007, 10:51 AM   #5
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Andzei, I'm afraid if you have not noticed any change on the viewfinder, there was no change in the video either - regardless of where your iris button was set... you had it on auto. Have you checked those tapes yet?
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Last edited by Ervin Farkas; March 6th, 2007 at 09:58 PM.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 02:57 PM   #6
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There is an easy way to find out what happened. Play your tape back with the DATA CODE button set to display the settings. Either you'll see that nothing changed or that the gain and/or shutter speed automatically changed in response to your iris changes.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 01:05 AM   #7
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thanks guys, i dont have tapes anymore, neither the camera, but they will broadcast it tonight, so i'll see there....

Probably it was some kind of auto control, i had a control over gain though...

Thanks again, next time i'll try to switch all auto modes off
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Old March 7th, 2007, 01:23 AM   #8
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The Z1 auto is pretty good, so the pictures should be fine... The only issue I can see is that you weren't making the decision on exposure you thought you were...
As always auto somethimes does stuff you don't want it too...but doesn't really get it wrong.

This not being in manual thing seems to crop up regularly with Sony cameras... one to watch out for, for those who've not used them before.

Regards
Gareth
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Old March 7th, 2007, 10:22 AM   #9
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I guess it's common with other camcorders, but I think it's bad design to have modal pushbuttons for things like iris, gain and shutter. Push once you're on auto, push again you're on manual - no visual cue as to what's happening like you'd have with a two position switch. You need to get in the habit of looking for the indicators on the LCD/viewfinder.

My PDX-10 and VX-2000 are even worse in this regard, with fewer discreet controls than the Z1. But these are the tradeoffs we make to get high quality images from relatively inexpensive cameras :-)
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Old March 8th, 2007, 01:57 AM   #10
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i've checked the footage, Z1's auto did good job, everything was fine
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Old March 12th, 2007, 06:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Witzke View Post
yep.... if the shutter speed, gain, iris numbers are not showing on the screen, then they are on auto....

iris is the knob under the lens, and the rest use the thumb wheel at the back of the cam.

low light's better than I expected..... here's something I shot last friday night.... avail light, at night..... on a merlin steadycam.

I locked the shutter at 1/60th ( as always ) but the rest let auto. no blackstretch, cineframe, or cinegamma.

http://www.witzke-studio.com/hd/firstfriday.html
Is there anyway you could post all your settings for the video - I thought it looked really good for the low light you were shooting in. Also do you have a link for the merlin steadycam?
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Old March 12th, 2007, 07:52 AM   #12
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sure...

1st off, I want to thank everyone here on dvinfo..... I've learned so much here.... and I'm an addict!

for the night shot.... just the shutter was locked on 1/60th ( I leave it there always ) and the iris, gain, and wb were left to do as they liked. ( normally I shoot in complete manual control of all settings.... but thought I'd see what the cam would do in the low light on it's own ) color bumped to +3, shapness at 7, no profiles used, OIS on hard.

nothing done in post other than natress smart deinterlace.

exported from FCP as 1080 quictime default, then exported from quicktime at 640X360 h264.

the merlin is by sold by tiffen.... go ot the steadycam forum here for more info.
google is your friend!

ciao
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