Z5 / FX1000 Veiwfinder... How is yours? at DVinfo.net

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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 9th, 2009, 02:05 PM   #1
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Z5 / FX1000 Veiwfinder... How is yours?

Hi,

I am thinking about buying a z5 to replace my v1. I shoot exclusively using the viewfinder - I shoot in conditions where i have to have my cam covered.

I read Sony's blurb on how great the new viewfinder was but then I read a couple of different people saying the viewfinder was milky!!

If you own one of these or have tried one can you tell me your opinions on the viewfinder?

Thanks alot.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 03:39 PM   #2
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LCD's the way to go

If you own one of these or have tried one can you tell me your opinions on the viewfinder?



It sure is "Milky". Lucky I am an LCD man and the LCD on this camera is exceptional.

I guess you could get use to it but it really is pretty lacking colour and vibrance. You will have to see for your-self. I guess we just expect a bit more these days and given the fact Sony got the LCD right well then why not with the viewfinder as well? Maybe most people are using LCD screens these days?

Certainly a viewfinder is the traditional way of filming but really if shooting conditions permit I argue why look with one eye when two is better? The squint is really not natural. Just ask any 50 year old cameraman who has been "squinting" for 30 years. They all tell you "my eyes are stuffed".

Throw the LCD hoodman on the FX1000/Z5 and you almost have a viewfinder anyway expect its big, beautiful and a natural way to film.

Join the club I say all you viewfinder addicts.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 09:30 PM   #3
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Well to be fair, we've had opinions both ways on the viewfinder. A couple say 'milky' and a couple say excellent. I haven't seen one yet, so I'll reserve judgment. I thought the viewfinder on my old FX1 was pretty good and I'd be surprised if Sony took a step backwards from there.

I for one need the viewfinder since it's a pain to put on my reading glasses every time I use the LCD.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 12:31 AM   #4
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I have a FX1000 that I am borrowing right now and I guess this is one of the lucky ones because the viewfinder looks great. Color bars, for example, look really bright and vibrant. But I have noticed that I need to have my eye in the right place when viewing it. It seems like when you get off axis, it starts to look less than great. But I noticed that my VX2100 did that also.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 05:50 AM   #5
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Just checked my Z5 against a FX1 viewfinder and the blacks on the colour bars from the FX1 are better.

If anyone is going to post their views just look at the colour bars and decide if the black really is black.

I don't know what the technical way is of calibration but all I can say is that it was the first thing I noticed on the Z5 viewfinder that it was milky/hazy somehow compared to what I have been using (PD170/VX2100/FX1).

Brendan, if this is a major issue then you really do need to test drive one yourself first.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 07:08 AM   #6
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Just compared the VX2100 and Z5. The Z5 viewfinder has definitely has a higher res image that I would think helps with the focusing. The picture is a little less in contrast, so milky seems to be a fair description.
From intitial comparison with my older cam, I favour the Z5.

What I dont favour with the Z5 though is the height of where the viewfinder is - it's a little high from where I find comfortable to hand hold it. I might get used to this.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 08:04 AM   #7
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thanks for the replies.

I use the viewfinder for composition and focusing. so i wonder if this milkyness will be a problem.

I shoot on beaches in windy conditions so using the lcd is a problem - it is another thing for the wind to vibrate the cam with and if I don't have the cam covered the cam gets covered in sand, dust and sea spray. so for me it is the view finder only!

i use zebra to check exposure and peaking to help with focus. I hear the z5 has color selectable peaking - white peaking is not much help when videoing objects on the sea as there is so much white (white water). I use red peaking on my v1.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 09:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Laves View Post
I have a FX1000 that I am borrowing right now and I guess this is one of the lucky ones because the viewfinder looks great. Color bars, for example, look really bright and vibrant. But I have noticed that I need to have my eye in the right place when viewing it. It seems like when you get off axis, it starts to look less than great. But I noticed that my VX2100 did that also.
Greg, that's exactly what I experience with my VX2100. For some reason I never had that issue with the VX2000. Sony made some change with the viewfinder that really requires you to be directly on axis for proper viewing.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 09:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Burton View Post
Just checked my Z5 against a FX1 viewfinder and the blacks on the colour bars from the FX1 are better.

If anyone is going to post their views just look at the colour bars and decide if the black really is black.

I don't know what the technical way is of calibration but all I can say is that it was the first thing I noticed on the Z5 viewfinder that it was milky/hazy somehow compared to what I have been using (PD170/VX2100/FX1).

Brendan, if this is a major issue then you really do need to test drive one yourself first.
Phil and others, have you tried dropping the VF brightness to get blacker blacks when viewing the color bars? Maybe Sony set the brightness too high on these as the default setup?

I also think, as Billy observed, part of the 'issue' may be that those coming from the VX2100 are actually seeing what the camera is delivering, a somewhat less contrasty picture. That's not necessarily a bad thing. By comparison to the 2100, the viewfinder displaying the FX1000's/Z5's less contrasty image, may simply be showing an accurate portrayal of what the camera is delivering.

It's the same thing when an HDTV is ISF'd to show an accurately calibrated picture, most people will find the picture to have lost 'punch' relative to the inaccurate, improperly setup HDTV picture. So having all that contrast does not mean the image is accurate or 'better'.

Just a thought.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 09:54 AM   #10
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Martin,

Can you post a link to the LCD Hoodman you mentioned ?

Thanks.
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Old January 12th, 2009, 07:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Laves View Post
I have a FX1000 that I am borrowing right now and I guess this is one of the lucky ones because the viewfinder looks great. Color bars, for example, look really bright and vibrant. But I have noticed that I need to have my eye in the right place when viewing it. It seems like when you get off axis, it starts to look less than great. But I noticed that my VX2100 did that also.
Right, IMHO that was one of the things Sony screwed up on the VX2100. The VX2000 viewfinder was simply amazing by comparison. That goofy magnifier was a constant source of frustration as unless your eye was perfectly centered the image was distorted. Even the "Hybrid" LCD on the VX2100 was inferior to the VX2000.

Why is it that a lot of new technology is 2 steps forward and 1 step back?
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Old January 19th, 2009, 07:34 AM   #12
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Viewfinder

Brendan, use a kata rain bag. I shoot on beaches all the time and just came back from using it in force 8 storms off the Cornish coast. The clear top of the bag means you can open the LCD screen and use it with the bag sealed around the lens hood, mic, viewfinder and tripod or seal it without a tripod and still access with your fingers.

They are about 90 pounds and the Z1 version fits the Z5 and FX1000.

I love the viewfinder but mine unfortunately is very jerky for some reason. Almost as though its a slower shutter speed.

I am investigating this.
Robin
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