How much longer to keep the Z5? - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony HDV and DV Camera Systems > Sony HVR-Z5 / HDR-FX1000

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 12th, 2011, 03:22 AM   #31
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: sydney
Posts: 304
Re: How much longer to keep the Z5?

Did anyone have a definitive answer to which is higher quality - the atomos HDD via HDMI or the MRC1 ?
Chris Duczynski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12th, 2011, 06:35 AM   #32
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 576
Re: How much longer to keep the Z5?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leslie Wand View Post
wouldn't give jvc equipment a second look. i know mike has some jvc cameras he's happy with, but my experience of jvc equipment has been abysmal, from the knobs falling off their pro d7 vtrs and tacky knobs on their pro cameras, through to proprietary .mod files and wayward crt colour monitors....
Cannot say I agree with this at all.
Lee Mullen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12th, 2011, 11:26 AM   #33
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Milwaukee WI
Posts: 626
Re: How much longer to keep the Z5?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Duczynski View Post
Did anyone have a definitive answer to which is higher quality - the atomos HDD via HDMI or the MRC1 ?
I do ;-)

DV video is 25Mbps. Now, 1080i HDV is being recorded to the SAME TAPE. How is that possible, when a 1440x1080 frame of video has 5x the info of DV video? COMPRESSION! Doesn't matter if you have a $500 HDV camera, or a $5000 HDV camera with much better optics and sensors - in the end, HDV compression is "throwing away" a huge amount of picture quality.

HDV records at 25Mbps using Long-GOP MPEG-2 compression with 4:2:0 color, which discards half the color info that you would've had with a 4:2:2 recording. HDV only records two FULL frames of video each second - the remaining frames record only partial image data - basically just the changes occurring in each frame compared to the complete reference frame. Therefore, only a small fraction of what you shot actually gets recorded. There is a lot of guessing and patching things together with the HDV codec, and with movement and detail, the image can break down rather quickly with a lot of artifacting.

Have you ever noticed that when you get a dropout with HDV, that it takes out at least 15 frames of video - a full half second? That's because all the frames in the GOP (Group of Pictures) need to reference one another for playback and if one frame gets corrupted, it takes all its neighbors with it.

Regardless of how many pixels are on your 1080i HDV camcorder's image sensor, when shooting live the camera will output a video signal via HDMI at 1920x1080, before any compression takes place. Therefore, if you connect the Ninja or similar device, you have the opportunity to capture a MUCH better image than if you let the camera apply HDV compression, retaining the color, detail and clarity that the sensor saw.

Ninja records directly to the Apple ProRes codec using 10-bit 4:2:2 color, at one of three quality settings - LT at 100Mbps, 422 at 150, or HQ at 220. This will squeeze every possible bit of quality out of your camera, without the HDV codec hurting or limiting the image quality.

One could just as well connect a laptop computer with a capture card in the field and get similar results, but of course you lose the portability factor of the Ninja.

I have shot stage plays and dance recitals with the Ninja using my Sony HDV camera at 1080i, simultaneously recording to HDV tape and ProRes. I put both clips in my Adobe Premiere CS5 timeline so I could compare image quality and there is a very definite difference!

To further compare, I grabbed stills from the HDV and ProRes clips (of the same frame) and layered them in Photoshop. I use the Zoom tool to blow up an area of interest, and then toggled back and forth and the difference is very apparent when viewed that way.

In areas of similar color, HDV will simply create large blocks of color in just a few different shades, while the same area in the ProRes clip is made up of individual pixels on many shades, showing fine details apparent that are soft and muddy, if not entirely gone, with HDV.

I hope this answers the question. Yes, you CAN get much better quality out of your current camera. I don't have a laptop, but actually took my desktop PC to an all-day shoot and connected the HDMI out from the HDV camera into my Matrox MXO2 Mini capture device and captured direct to the computer hard drive in the Matrox MPEG-2 I-Frame codec at 125Mbps with 4:2:2 color, and this saved me many hours of capture time as well as providing a better image quality. So it doesn't have to be Ninja, but use anything you can to get away from HDV compression if you have the opportunity. Color correction, keying and compositing work will all benefit, in addition to a better image overall.

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Jeff Pulera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12th, 2011, 12:40 PM   #34
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: WI
Posts: 364
Re: How much longer to keep the Z5?

How is an external hd like the Ninja like in terms of portability anf field use? Is there a boot up time? Battery life? I wonder how well it would work for run and gun shooting where the cam is turned on/off for clips as needed. Otherwise I can see the 442 would be great.
__________________
Mark Goodsell
Mark Goodsell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12th, 2011, 05:41 PM   #35
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: sydney
Posts: 304
Re: How much longer to keep the Z5?

Thanks Jeff that is an encyclopedic answer - appreciate it. So there sounds like a significant difference between the MRC1 recorder and a HDD device via HDMI.
Finally, did you have any problems using pro-res on your PPro Cs5 timeline ?
And yes I would also be very interested to hear about the poratbility and flexibility of field recording with a device like Ninja.
Chris Duczynski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 12th, 2011, 11:45 PM   #36
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: WI
Posts: 364
Re: How much longer to keep the Z5?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Pulera View Post
Yes, you CAN get much better quality out of your current camera. I don't have a laptop, but actually took my desktop PC to an all-day shoot and connected the HDMI out from the HDV camera into my Matrox MXO2 Mini capture device and captured direct to the computer hard drive in the Matrox MPEG-2 I-Frame codec at 125Mbps with 4:2:2 color, and this saved me many hours of capture time as well as providing a better image quality. So it doesn't have to be Ninja, but use anything you can to get away from HDV compression if you have the opportunity. Color correction, keying and compositing work will all benefit, in addition to a better image overall.
Not to mention that 4:4:2 is the MINIMUM requirements for certain broadcast outlets, if that it a direction you think your work might someday end up at. I'm so glad this came up about the 442 out of the HDMI. Something I think I will explore more. I was thinking about buying a MRC1. Would really like to hear more about the field usability and any unique hassles of a H/D recorder. Do some of these recorders start/stop automatically when it senses a signal?
__________________
Mark Goodsell
Mark Goodsell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 13th, 2011, 02:45 AM   #37
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: upper hunter, australia
Posts: 1,369
Re: How much longer to keep the Z5?

i've been very happy with my mrc1 (though i always shoot to tape as well for instant archiving). i bought a couple of 16gb sandisks as recommended in this forum, and which have worked flawlessly for a couple of years now. however, i just bough an adata 32gb cf card for about $80 which has worked without problem so far.

as for the op thread - yes, you can get 4:2:2 out of hdmi, but in all honesty what for? ok. if you're green screening, or likely to be doing some seriously HEAVY cc'ing and post there might be justification, but for everyday projects (and a lot of mine end up on tv) i really think it completely unnecessary.

i shoot for a couple of national broadcasters and they're happy enough with hdv...

of course, if i were embarking on a full blown tv production i'd hire a proper hd camera and use my z5 as b-roll.
__________________
www.lesliewand.com.au
Leslie Wand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 13th, 2011, 09:38 AM   #38
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Milwaukee WI
Posts: 626
Re: How much longer to keep the Z5?

The Ninja has LANC ports on it, haven't tried it though since my Sony FX7 HDV and Canon HV20 lack LANC. The new Atomos Samurai with SDI in/out also has LANC jacks, but in addition, there are a few different methods of triggering that unit through the SDI stream, based on time code and other factors.

I've only used the Ninja for long tripod shoots and have not done any "run and gun" - was using demo unit from the shop for some big stage projects I had to shoot. In my situation, I would need to physically activate Ninja recording, so I don't think it would be great for shooting all my 5-second pre-ceremony shots, unless I just let it run and cut it up later. Nice thing about the long shoots in not having to change HDV tapes mid-performance!

Regarding the importance of 4:2:2 - ok, forget about color for a moment, HDV compression is still nasty and the ProRes footage is MUCH cleaner. I guess one wouldn't realize the difference until comparing side by side. I've shot enough HDV footage over the last 4 years to know firsthand how good, and how bad, HDV can look. Lock down shot at ceremony looks good. Dance footage with flashing lights and strobes = bad news, block city!

The ProRes clips captured by Ninja work fine in CS5 and CS5.5 (I use PC versions). There was an issue with Premiere and ProRes clips with 4-channel audio, but Adobe fixed this in CS5.5 with a recent update. Note that the 2-channel clips were always fine. If you have QuickTime installed on the PC, you already have the ProRes codec, nothing else to buy or install, and of course ProRes is fully supported on Macs.

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor
Jeff Pulera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 13th, 2011, 02:04 PM   #39
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Woodinville, WA USA
Posts: 3,464
Re: How much longer to keep the Z5?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Pulera View Post
... my Sony FX7 HDV and Canon HV20 lack LANC...
The FX7 certainly has a LANC port. But the MRC is controlled via FW; if you shoot with a tape in the cam, it reads the START/STOP signal automatically and follows suit as long as you have it in FOLLOW mode. If you shoot without a tape, you must use the controls on the MRC itself.
__________________
"It can only be attributable to human error... This sort of thing has cropped up before, and it has always been due to human error."
Adam Gold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 18th, 2012, 09:34 AM   #40
Contributor
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Nottingham, MD
Posts: 66
Re: How much longer to keep the Z5?

To Jeff or anyone else in the know: I am seriously thinking about getting the Atomos Ninja. Using Premiere Pro 5.5 (Windows) with Matrox Mini, can I import the ProRes footage from Ninja directly into a Matrox HDV project, or do I have to convert the footage to Matrox HDV codec first? Also, is ProRes LT good enough to match already existing HDV footage on the timeline or do you need to use ProRes 4:2:2 or ProRes HQ to get as good or better quality? Basically, which of these codecs best match the HDV footage (say, from 2 other camers shooting HDV), at least until I can afford to purchase numerous Ninja's?
__________________
Stephen Gradin
Dockside Video Productions
Stephen Gradin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 18th, 2012, 12:37 PM   #41
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Red Lodge, Montana
Posts: 889
Re: How much longer to keep the Z5?

No need to worry.

If your three cams have been matching up well aready, you will not have any new problems by adding a Ninja recorder to one of them.

I'm wondering if you have been capturing from HDV tape via the Matrox Mini? If so, you probably have been capturing via the Mini to a Matrox 1440 HDV format. That codec is what you get when you use the Mini, but you could just as well have captured via Firewire and gotten a standard HDV file. It makes no difference to the preset in PPRo. You can still do captures with the Mini from
your other two cameras and mix that footage with the Ninja files and not need to make any changes to your PPro work-flow.

In PPro CS 5.5 (and prior versions), the Matrox Mini is simply a display/monitoring device. You only use Matrox presets so that your timeline goes out to your external monitor. The timeline accepts whatever I've you put in it --- I had one with DV, HDV, AVCHD, XDCam, Cineform AVI, and Quicktime, footage. I've never tried ProRes but, in my experience, the Matrox preset is completely agnostic about the kind of video you put on the timeline. You do not have to convert anything.

In terms of matching footage from HDV with Ninja files, the differing codecs will not make any practical difference in most situations. Camera settings and white balance are far more important.

I regularly mix 1440x1080i HDV (from MRC units) with 24 mbps 1920x1080i AVCHD without a problem. (Well, I do spend some time making sure I have similar settings for say, the FX1000, NX5 and CX cams that I use). But the 1440 andd 1920 numbers only reflect differences in pixel shape. They make no practical difference for resolution or color in most situations. Adding a Ninja will not change this for you..

I generally use a 1920x1080i timeline preset and let CS 5.5 takes care of adjustments. And, when I say I mix HDV and AVCHD, I'm talking about multi-cam shoots with as many as seven cameras and venues as different as outdoor weddings and dance recitals in dark theaters.

In theory, the greater color space with the Niinja could yield footgae that is enough sharper/cleaner etc. to be noticably different from footage recorded with lesser colorspace, and sometimes it can be distinct for the reasons that Jeff has pointed out. Mostly, though, a Ninja can make some editing easier --- for example, the more robust color space may give you more flexibility in matching with your other two cameras (as opposed to trying to make editing adjustments of the standard HDV footage to match the Ninja footage). But, as Adam and Leslie have pointed out, the differences to viewers are only likely to make a practical difference if you are editing for large-screen theatrical releases, green screening, doing heavy color grading (as opposed to simple matching between cams), and the like.

This is not to suggest or imply that you should skip the Ninja. Tapeless recording has major advantages. (I use a mix of MRC-HDV cams and AVCHD cams and no longer shoot tape, at all). The Ninja can give you more robust images, too. The cost difference over an MRC is not large. If I did not already have MRC units, I probably would be getting Ninjas, myself.

So, as a practical matter, you will not have to do anything different with your CS 5.5/Matrox Mini editing set-up except that you might want to use a Matrox HD 1920x1080i sequence preset rather than the HDV presets you have been using. I've found going the other way (using 1920 AVCHD in a 1440 sequence) sometimes makes for odd scaling in the the external monitor view from the Mini. This might just be a peculiarity my computer system, but it does not occur when I use a 1920 preset.
Jay West is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 18th, 2012, 05:47 PM   #42
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: upper hunter, australia
Posts: 1,369
Re: How much longer to keep the Z5?

nice summation jay ;-)
__________________
www.lesliewand.com.au
Leslie Wand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 18th, 2012, 07:01 PM   #43
Contributor
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Nottingham, MD
Posts: 66
Re: How much longer to keep the Z5?

Thank you Jay West.
I have 2 Sony Z7U's and 1 Z5U. I have 2 MRC HDV recorders for the Z7U's. I think getting the Ninja would make everything tapeless and then I could also offer more robust codec for clients that want it. I would rather do this then getting another MRC unit. Now, I mostly shoot 1080 30P on the MRC's. Any issues with mixing the Ninja footage with the other cams this way? My understanding is that the HDMI output for both the Z7U and the Z5U is strictly 1080 60i.
__________________
Stephen Gradin
Dockside Video Productions
Stephen Gradin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 18th, 2012, 10:59 PM   #44
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Red Lodge, Montana
Posts: 889
Re: How much longer to keep the Z5?

My admittedly hazy recollection is that the Ninja records what your camera shoots. The Z5 and Z7 record in 1080/30/p. The Ninja will record it. Try a search on "Sony Z5 + 1080/30p + ninja" and I think you'll find confirmation of this.
Jay West is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 19th, 2012, 12:48 AM   #45
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Central Coast Australia
Posts: 1,008
Re: How much longer to keep the Z5?

Hi guys,
Can I ask a question of the Ninja owners....
Has anyone had issues at loud venues with the hard drives stopping because of vibration errors due to the bass sound waves?
I had a HDD camcorder that suffered terribly from this which made it all but unusable for concerts.
I know SSD would be better, but kind of blows out the cost a bit.
__________________
http://vimeo.com/livewebvideo
Gerald Webb is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony HDV and DV Camera Systems > Sony HVR-Z5 / HDR-FX1000

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:32 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network