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Sony HVR-Z5 / HDR-FX1000
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old January 14th, 2009, 01:31 PM   #91
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Ron, I did it both ways. First I watched it from the timeline on my CRT monitor and then spit both versions back to tape. The results were the same both ways, the HV20 looked sharper and more detailed with native DV than the HDV downconvert.

In fact, the native DV from the HV20 looked sharper than my VX2100! However the colors on the VX2100 looked better in some instances (especially indoors), but not always. I shot the same scenes with both cams in DV mode and it was really surprising to see how well the HV20 held up to the 2100 just viewing the tape out to a 4:3 TV.

It just may be that the in-camera downconvert is done better than Edius. Let's face it, I'm sure they are using entirely different methodologies to achieve the 4:3.

It's also possible that Canon has a better means of downconverting in-camera than Sony's in-camera downconvert. The physical makeup of their chips might come in to play or hardware/software differences in the camera...who knows? In the next few weeks I'd like to get down to B&H and do an in-store test of either the FX1000, Z5 or both, testing this issue specifically.

I think your results with the FX1 were consistent with mine when I had the FX1. Although I really don't recall, my friend reminded me that the FX1 didn't look great in DV mode.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 08:40 AM   #92
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Here's some REALLY nice footage from the FX1000. The snowy test on the bottom of the page shows how really sharp this cam can be. The two at the top do have evidence of rolling shutter, but I'll tell you the truth, I just don't see this as a big deal, I really don't.

The footage is just so good otherwise, I can't imagine any client getting upset.

HDR-FX1000 / HVR-Z5 on Vimeo
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Old January 16th, 2009, 11:14 AM   #93
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I agree - it's no big deal that practically every other scene in the wedding shoot is a 'half-exposed' CMOS flash shot. I may not like it, but it's certainly the way ahead if you buy a Sony camera.

The snow shots were lovely and show the capabilities of that long lens - and oh the relief - not a half-flash frame in sight.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 12:18 PM   #94
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Tom, I guess we perceive things differently in this case. When I see flash shots with CCD, I see 'ruined frames' too, just a different form of 'ruined'. Exposure is whacked in either case and I just can't get nuts about this.

The overall picture is excellent and that's what people will focus on.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 03:51 PM   #95
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My biggest concern with the rolling shutter issue is my clients not knowing what the heck it is. With CCD you know a flash just went off...no big deal. With CMOS, if just one flash goes off that covers half or 1/4 of the screen, some people might think something is wrong with the video. I'm sure it won't be hard to figure out by the time there finished with the DVD, but the first time.... they gotta wonder. And with the way photogs shoot rapid fire now, there's not many times where there's just one flash.

My view on this is, at least you still see half or even 3/4 of the frame, compared to CCD where you lose the whole frame.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 06:21 PM   #96
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And Tim, I'll just bet it will be a very rare client that notices anything is wrong. The vast majority of clients will interpret this as nothing more than 'flashes going off'. The effect is just as fleeting as the effect with CCD. Unless you're focusing on slo mo, I just won't get too excited about this.

I'll take the enhanced low light and overall picture quality of these cams every time.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 07:28 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post
Here's some REALLY nice footage from the FX1000. The snowy test on the bottom of the page shows how really sharp this cam can be. The two at the top do have evidence of rolling shutter, but I'll tell you the truth, I just don't see this as a big deal, I really don't.

The footage is just so good otherwise, I can't imagine any client getting upset.

HDR-FX1000 / HVR-Z5 on Vimeo
Ken,
I would say your skills here behind the cam trump the rolling shutter--good job!
SW
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Old January 16th, 2009, 07:32 PM   #98
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Steve, thanks, I'd agree with you IF I had taken those videos! It wasn't me, but they are nice. :)
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 02:54 PM   #99
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How is the SD quality of the HVR-Z5/HDR-FX1000 in both 4:3 and 16:9?

Hi everyone. I've been renting mostly an XL-1 and a Panny DX100 and shooting in 4:3 but I need a new camera next month.
I'm considering these 2 new Sony cameras (along with the Canon XHA1) and I understand that to get the best results, I should record in HDV, edit in HDV and downconvert to SD for delivery at the end. No problem there.

However, there have been instances when some clients just wanted the raw footage on plain vanilla SD and so I would like to hear your opinions about the SD quality (not downconverted) that I can expect from either the HVR-Z5 or the FX100.
How would footage recorded with either camera in SD would compare against footage shot with a Panny dvx100? Not the same ratio I understand, but in terms of clarity, definition, sharpness..etc.
I asked the same question about the SD quality of the XHA1 in another forum, and the responses where not very encouraging. Some users have described the quality of the XH A1 in 4:3 SD as "muddy" and too soft and a somewhat better in 16:9 SD.

Would the SD quality of the Sony cameras be better? Would my non-HDV clients be happy with the SD footage? Same or better than what I get with a Panny dvx100?

I really don't want to buy a SD only camera at this point of the game.

Your opinions would be appreciated.
thanks

E
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 03:25 PM   #100
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An HDV camera has 1"/3 16:9 chips so you effectively mask down the chip to produce 4:3 SD footage. Reducing the size of the chip immediately loses you wide-angle coverage, but at the same time means you're using less of the chips pixels to form the image.

If you switch an HDV camera to shoot SD, then the downconversion takes place between the chips and the tape, in real time. If you shoot HDV but output DV down Firewire, then downconvertion takes place in camera, again in real time.

Neither of these two downconverters cost much to fit to the camera. They do the job, but that's about it. NLE downconverters do give real benefits, and so they should considering they don't have to work in real time, the PCBs can take up a lot of space and consume far more power.

Having said that I often find myself in your position - where a client wants me to shoot 16:9 SD in my Sony Z1. I do so happily because the Z1 does a very passable job indeed and anyway - slight differences in downconverter quality are far outweighed by my abilities as a cameraman.

tom.
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 03:26 PM   #101
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Erick, I don't own the Z5 or the FX1000, but I'm planning to get one in the near future.

I was just at Sony Style in N.Y. yesterday to test the FX1000. One of the tests I ran was a 4:3 SD test since that is still the bulk of my shooting. I didn't have my VX2100 with me, so I couldn't do an A/B. I can tell you, looking at the 4:3 footage I shot on its own, it looked fine. I would not call it muddy at all when I played it back on both my 19" Sony and 14" JVC editing monitor. I wish I could tell you how the FX1000 measured up to the 2100 in terms of clarity and sharpness, but without the same 2100 footage I can't. I will say this, I think the color on the 1000 is more accurate than the 2100.

I'll add one thing to what Tom just said above, the 1000 will not allow 4:3 downconversion when shooting in HDV, it will only be 16:9.
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 09:46 PM   #102
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My experience is that my V1, my Z7 and a friends FX1000 have a superior image to the VX2100, PD170, DVX100 and probably even my BetacamSP when shot in HD and downconverted to SD in a good edit system. And they seem to be at least as good to my eyes, when downconverted in the camera.
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