Z5/1000 Autofocus-The Anti-Christ of Face Detection? - Page 2 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 February 17th, 2009, 12:26 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post
Wow Khoi, I didn't realize the Canon was just as bad! If the larger Canon couldn't get it right, I doubt that any of the larger prosumer cams can. My experience with the small consumer HD cams like the Canon HV20 and my newer HG21 is just superb. Those autofocus systems seem to always 'know' what to focus on...so much so that it's almost uncanny.

But I think something happens to these autofocus systems when mated to larger lenses. Even my Sony SR12 that I sold for the HG21 had a much better autofocus than my Z5. So there must be something about the larger lens and perhaps a narrower depth of field that adversely affects the autofocus.
Well....I have an XHA1 and its autofocus system has been very reliable, accurate for me. I never need to put it in manaul, for what it's worth.
I cannot compare it to a Z5, but can state its much better than my VX2100. Much more selective focus. But it should be its a newer design.
The "Instant Auto Focus" is a pretty cool feature, too.

But it is not perfect, no AF system is, and depending on the environment you are shooting in you may experience some focusing issues. There is still no replacement for your skill and judgement.
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Old February 17th, 2009, 03:39 AM   #17
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I have filmed yesterday a christening in a church with the lights of the chandeliers only using the Z5 and autofocus and I haven't experienced any autofocus problems. The pictures were amazing! and I also enjoyed the wide angle of the Z5 lens. In fact I deliberately left everything in auto mode just to see how the camera performs. It was amazing, no more manual settings for me. Even the white balance was great.

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Old February 17th, 2009, 07:58 PM   #18
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I remember reading in one of the threads in HV20-40 forum that auto focus does not work well (more focus hunting) when the optical image stabilization is ON. Do you usually shoot OIS on? You may try to turn it off and see whether auto-focus improves.
No, I can attest to how great the HV20 autofocus is whether the OIS is on or off. The HG21 is no different. But again, these are small cameras.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 12:47 PM   #19
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Wow... this thread is pretty much busting any hopes that I had of purchasing the FX-1000. I primarily videotape figure skating shows and am currently using a VX-2100. Autofocus is my life. Not only must the AF be able to follow the skater around the entire rink but it must also not get fooled by the typical cluttered background of advertisement banners.

In this regard the VX-2100 is flawless.

It sounds like I'm back to putting an HD-version of the VX-2100 on my wish list.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 12:54 PM   #20
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John
What you read here is the experience of only 4 !!! people with the " auto focus problem" but you might have 100s or many many more that are happy with this camera. What I would recommend is to try the camera yourself before you make any decision.

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Old February 18th, 2009, 01:34 PM   #21
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Has anyone made a comparision of the AF of a FX1/Z1 with the AF of the FX1000/Z5?

Compare a 16:9 camcorder with a 16:9 camcorder...(Not a 4:3 camcorder)

I have used my FX1 for 4 years now, mostly on AF. It probably missed the mark +- 10 times in 4 years.

If the AF on the FX1000/Z5 is worse than the FX1/Z1, I won't buy it.

The Z7 has had a bad rap because of AF problems with it's lens, I hope the Z5 doesn't have the same issues.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 01:50 PM   #22
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I can testify to the slow responding auto-focus on the FX1000. In my experience, particularly in less than ideal lighting it can be slow, and occasionally very slow.

Coming from VX2100 background I believe now that it is possible (POSSIBLE, not certain) that I might have been happier with a Panny.

This has nothing to do with the quality of the FX1000. It is a very nice camera. But

The Panny 150 has CMOS, 12x (ie less lens ramping), close to same low light, and does 60p. It also has built in pro audio. The FX1000 has a better LCD, is a much better looking camera, and the on board audio is superb, IMO.

An operator who has been regarded by some as one of the best in the wedding video business and who was formerly all Sony for years, has switched to the Panasonic 150, and I'm starting to see why.

Unfortunately I didn't have an open enough mind at the time of my purchase to look around at other options...I would have still skipped the Panasonic anyway because of the AVCHD, but as I read more and more, and as the i7 chips are not here, today that would be a moot point.

It is just important to remember none of the cams are perfect and all are quite capable.

I hear the auto focus mode on the EX1 is poor also, but look at the quality. Ya pays yer money and u takes ur chances.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 02:44 PM   #23
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The HMC-150 looks good, but it is only have 960X540 pixel count, offset pixel shift bring them to 1280X720, compared it to Sony or Canon on a good 1920X1080 display makes you wonder is the Panny out of focus, just because somebody is good with wedding doesn't mean that he can test camera, sure the camera has some exellent features, but doesn't mean that Sony and Canon are no good either, I almost got it until I did side by side with my A1, it is no where near the resolution of Canon A1, it is nice and smooth but don't have that wow factor when looking at it on a big 61 inch HDTV.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 02:48 PM   #24
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Some time ago I tested the Pana 151 (Europe, you see . .) and I rejected it because I did not like the colours. Recently tested the FX1000 and fell in love with it. From my frioend the vendor I learned, that he had someone else returning the Pana and switching it to the FX1000.
In the USA there seems to be a country wide rant against Sony products and their after sales service. I do not have that experience. Not after using the VX1000 and VX2000.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 02:57 PM   #25
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I'm just talking, and am not saying any cam is better or worse than the FX1000. I just wish I had looked at the Panasonic more closely.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 03:15 PM   #26
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Yeah what I want is the HMC-150 but with more resolution chips like the Sony but CCD and a big 20X zoom will make my day, for those that bought the Sony, the grass is always greener on the other side, just learn your camera so you can get the best out of it and you will be ok.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 04:05 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Marco Dias View Post
The Z7 has had a bad rap because of AF problems with it's lens, I hope the Z5 doesn't have the same issues.
I have a Z7 and a VX2100. ANY autofocus camcorder is more easily confused under low light. And sometimes they will get fooled with good light, as well. Many on here seem to put the VX2100/PD170 up on a pedistal, IMHO. But the truth is that my VX2100 focus gets "lost" occasionally. As does the Z7. In reality, I would say that the Z7 autofocus is at least as good as my VX2100. Certainly no worse. And the Z5/FX1000 is probably the same autofocus system. BUT the really big difference between the Z7 (and the FX1000/Z5) and many of the other camcorders that have been mentioned in this thread is that the LCD and EVF are so superior on the Z7, Z5 and FX1000, that I can now see when it is in focus or out of focus. I will never willingly go back to a camcorder that has 1/5th or 1/6th the resolution in the EVF and LCD.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 04:14 PM   #28
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The LCD alone is truly worth a lot...you are absolutely right about that.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 08:44 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by John Gayman View Post
Wow... this thread is pretty much busting any hopes that I had of purchasing the FX-1000. I primarily videotape figure skating shows and am currently using a VX-2100. Autofocus is my life. Not only must the AF be able to follow the skater around the entire rink but it must also not get fooled by the typical cluttered background of advertisement banners.
John, I was on my first 'official' shoot today with the Z5 and it actually performed much better than it did in my testing back home. I had two interviews during which I used manual focus (as you should anyway) and a bunch of shots of equipment, people moving objects etc., for which I used autofocus. It appeared the autofocus performed fine. I will have to wait until I return home and examine these shots critically, but based on both the LCD and viewfinder, it seemed fine.

I did try, just for fun, seeing how the autofocus would work during the first interview. My subject was examining some notes he made prior to us beginning the taping. The background behind him was somewhat busy and, predictably, the autofocus had some problems. It looked as if it was focused, but when I immediately switched to manual focus and moved in tight, it was obvious it was not perfectly focused. I'm actually not sure what it was deciding to focus on. As I said, I had intended on using manual focus anyway as I do with all interviews, but I was just curious what it would do here.

By the way, the video itself (as best as I can tell) looks outstanding! So I remain very hopeful about the potential of this camera!
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Old February 18th, 2009, 08:47 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Marco Dias View Post
Has anyone made a comparision of the AF of a FX1/Z1 with the AF of the FX1000/Z5?

Compare a 16:9 camcorder with a 16:9 camcorder...(Not a 4:3 camcorder)

I have used my FX1 for 4 years now, mostly on AF. It probably missed the mark +- 10 times in 4 years.
Marco, although I had the FX1 very briefly, I don't recall how its autofocus performed. However, about 2 weeks before I got the Z5, I was at a Sony store and they still had the FX1 there. My friend and I tried it and found precisely the same issues we've both had with the Z5...no better or worse. Each of us tried to focus on the other and each time the FX1 would refuse to focus on the face but instead focus on the background behind us.
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