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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 June 21st, 2010, 09:58 AM   #1
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Quick Question on MiniDV and 4:3 recording

Hi,
I'm getting my Z5u today...just waiting for that big brown truck to come knocking at my door. I have a small minor shoot tomorrow morning and I'm thinking of using this camera. It's a 5 minute indoor speech and the client doesn't want it in HD, but just the regular 4:3 on DVD.

Can I just go and buy some Minidv tapes and slap it in the Z5U and it will record 4:3? Or do I have to change some settings to make this happen? I'm not recording on CF just yet, just on tape, and later transfer it over to regular DVD.

Thanks.

BTW: B&H had my camera in stock!! It's been only 3 business days and I'm getting it today....yahooooo!
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Old June 21st, 2010, 12:36 PM   #2
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It has nothing to do with the tape. Any MiniDV tape will record either format just fine.

When your cam arrives, see page 85 and 86 of the manual to set it to shoot DV 4:3 rather than HDV 16:9. Or better yet, shoot HDV and down-convert in post. Use the 4:3 marker as specified on page 81.

Also note that when you decide to record to CF you need the MRC1k recorder to snap onto the back of the Z5 in order to do this.
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Old June 21st, 2010, 01:31 PM   #3
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Thanks Adam... I'll be hitting the ground running with this cam..I hope I won't be reading the manual with the client around lol....just joking eh!!..Thanks for the heads up.
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Old June 21st, 2010, 03:11 PM   #4
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Unfortunately there is no substitute for knowing your gear, what it can and cannot do, and how to get the best from it. If you think it would be embarrassing to be seen reading the manual in front of the client, it's nothing compared to screwing up the client's shoot because you don't know your equipment.

In your case I would urge you to shoot HDV with the 4:3 marker; if the client is demanding 4:3 SD it just means he lacks the vision to foresee a time he might want it in 16:9 HD, and once you record a degraded image you can never make it better. You can always take a great picture and make it crappy but not the other way around. There's no downside to shooting real HDV in this case. You can downconvert and crop it in post, or if your PC lacks the horsepower to edit HD, you can downconvert and crop on capture. In either case, you will have a pristine HDV source tape for archives if the needs ever change.
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Old June 21st, 2010, 03:29 PM   #5
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I JUST GOT THE CAMERA!!!!

Man, that was quick!
The battery charger is way too cool..a dual! wow..didn't expect that at all...I also got a MRC1K but I didn't order the CF card :( ... I even got a miniDV tape for DVCAM recording (???) I come from a panasonic world...

I quickly went to page 85-86...
I have a i7 core pc.

So, you think I should leave the settings as is...shoot 16:9 on tape...and downconvert...okay stupid question, how do I downconvert? I use Vegas Pro V9e..is this done in the editing phase, capturing phase?

Dam...I wish I had ordered that CF card

Thanks Adam, your a life-saver for this beginner...I have soo much reading to do. I also bought the vortex tranning DVD.

Ohh, just notice when turning on the White Balance, I see the WB icon and A (or B) and below that I see <2300, which is the kalvins, but then it goes away..anyway to make that stay. I prefer reading the kalvins than just seeing a A or B.
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Old June 21st, 2010, 03:39 PM   #6
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An hour with the manual and a cup of coffee will answer all. You can downconvert upon capture using i.LINK SET (page 87-88) or in Vegas while exporting to your final format, whether it's DVD or something else. You can set manual custom WB (that's what the A and B are for) or dial in the actual number or use the indoor or outdoor presets. To have the number stay you follow the instructions on page 70. To do a manual WB and save it as a preset you follow the instructions on page 33. Note that the cam displays the Kelvin temp only if you set that temp yourself, not if it does the WB for you.

This device is more complicated than your car. It's worth spending an hour with the book, playing with all the settings.

The Vortex DVDs are great. Definitely spend some time with them as well.

And don't cheap out on the CF cards. Use Sandisk Extreme IIIs as a minimum, preferably the 60MB/s or even the 90MB/s cards. I had horrible luck with the Kingstons -- 6 out of 7 went DOA on me. It was rumored they had a bad batch. I got refunds or replacements on all of them and the three I still have work fine, but I never trust them and never use them for anything important. I have one Transcend that works fine as well, but mainly use the Sandisks.

And BTW, congrats on your new baby. I have four of them and I love my quadruplets more than my bio-kids.
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Old June 21st, 2010, 07:23 PM   #7
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I've managed to do some testing tonight before my filming tomorrow morning..

I left the HDV defaults and recorded on a miniDV tape.

I now try and capture the footage by using the 1394 firewire output (iLink).

I've been using Sclive for years and it see's the camera when I plug it in and I hear the audio but no video can be captured. I can even control the camera (FF,RW, play, etc) thru Sclive.

I then try and capture thru Sony Vegas and I get a device error.

Now, if I switch the I.LINK SET (PAGE 87) to HDV-->DV Conv to ON, then I'm able to capture using SCLIVE or Sony Vegas (but the image isn't as clear).

Is there a capturing software that I must use with the Z5U? Maybe a missing codec somewhere??

Thanks again for helping me out here on this very short notice, it's very much appreciated.

I can't wait to go tapeless....
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Old June 21st, 2010, 09:32 PM   #8
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If it captures fine when you set i.link set to DV, then you have likely set up a DV project in your software; it is looking for a DV signal and/or a DV device rather than HDV. Make sure you set up an HDV project in Vegas and you should be fine.
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Last edited by Adam Gold; June 21st, 2010 at 10:55 PM.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 09:28 PM   #9
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So I filmed my first speech...
Overall it went okay and the footage looks great...now I have to import it into Vegas.

What should the default recording be in Z5U? I noticed after the shoot I was in Interlace scan type 30 (rec format: HDV1080i). Is this good enough?

Before I head off into the Vegas Forum, maybe you guys can tell me which best settings I should be using in Vegas to capture.
Yes I was able to bring it into Vegas using HDV and using pre-defined preset..which one to use I dunno, they all kinda look good.

Some that were available were:
HDV 720-30p(1280X720)
HD 1080-60i (1440X1080) 30 fps <---- The one I picked
HD 1080-60i (1920X1080) 30 fps

Thanks
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 11:21 PM   #10
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Some don't agree with me, but I believe you should shoot in the format you will deliver in. You are really complicating this IMO. Shoot in sd 4:3 and edit and deliver, if that is what the client wants.

Some of us have tried shooting HD and downcoverting and have found for the most part it is pointless. I just don't see the purpose unless you need to archive or can upsell your client later.
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