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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 February 1st, 2009, 02:08 PM   #1
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Z5 and dropped frames

I'm just editing a theatre show using two Z5s and one FX1.

Filmed in HDV using new Sony mini DV tapes and the first two tapes from the Z5s have a pause which lasted about 35 frames. This is a bit worrying as it is difficult to cover up the lost audio. I have played the tape back and at the point of the missing footage it is just like a pause for a second.

Am I correct in thinking that when shooting HDV a drop out out can last more than the two/three frames when recording DV. I think I can say that I never remember any drop out when filming with PD170, the odd glitch but very rare.

Anyone come across this with the Z5s or FX1000.
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Old February 1st, 2009, 03:00 PM   #2
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A HDV camera compresses in GOP's, Groups Of Pictures, not in single frames. A GOP can be 12 or 15 frames long. When you are encountering a drop out, it could mean, that you will lose 12 or 15 frames.
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 06:42 AM   #3
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You will get Long-GOP dropouts on HDV tape with any HDV camcorder. Any imperfections on the tape coating will cause a dropout of half a second or so in video and audio. Thankfully these dropouts are rare but to get two in one session is bad luck.

When I do stage shows the HDV ouput from my main camera (FX1) goes straight to a laptop running OnLocation with the tape as a backup. This gives me a single clean file to import into Premiere to which I can synch the captured tape footage from 2nd or 3rd HDV cams, adjusting for any tape dropouts that might occur. Recording direct-to-disk also avoids having to change tapes on the main camera in the middle of a performance.
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 08:08 AM   #4
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Most new camera experienced more drop out in its first 50 hrs of use, the best thing you can do for it now is not changing brand of tape, just let it "burn in"
If you continue to have that many drop outs after awhile then could be someting wrong the the tape transport/head path.
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 09:57 AM   #5
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I'm still saving to buy a Z5U, but I do have a canon HV30 which also has a lot of reported dropouts. I cleaned my heads for under 10 seconds with a Panasonic AY-DVMCLC digital Video Head Cleaning tape when I first received the camcorder. Since then I ony use one brand of tape (Maxell DVM60SE) which I pick up at Sams Club. I have never had a dropout so far with 12 one hour tapes recorded. It is really important to stick to the same tapes.
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 12:56 PM   #6
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Just to clear up one point, the drop out has occurred only once on each tape from two different Z5s. What I have never heard of was the length of the drop out at 35-40 frames in real time. I'm hoping Khoi's explanation is the answer. Please report here if you do experience any drop out on these cams.
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