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Sony HVR-Z7 / HVR-S270
Handheld and shoulder mount versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old February 11th, 2008, 02:34 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
I feel you're showing your wishful thing there Ryan when you say, 'I tested the Z7 in low light and it was as good as the PD170. Far superior to the Z1 and even better than the EX-1 (or around the same).'

Even Sony don't go that far. They listed the PD150 as 1.5 lux (the PD170 as 1 lux), and the Z7 as 1.5 lux - but at 1/25th sec shutter speed as I said. Of course the Z7's amplifiers will be quieter than the PD170s which will help you in the gain levels.

The EX1 has chips (at 30.72 sq mm) that are just under twice the surface area of the Z7's chips (17.28 sq mm), so each pixel will easily take in far more light. They're both CMOS of course.

tom.
Well the EX1 has true 1920x1080 cmos sensors whereas the Z7 has half that with 960x540 sensors (offset, interpolated and rotated to different angles, but half sized none-the-less). Because of this, the Z7 should be a pretty good match with the 1440x1080i recorded resolution that is what I always use. For you progressive scan fans, the EX1 will have quite an advantage.

Anyway, the point is that 1/3" 960x540 sensors should actually pick up a hair more light than 1/2" 1920x1080 ones, so it would make sense that the Z7 would at least match the EX1 for low light.

For true cinematic progressive scan shooting, I really think the EX is the way to go. For 60i, the difference should be minimal.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 03:41 PM   #47
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Wait a minute

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Originally Posted by Laurence Kingston View Post
Well the EX1 has true 1920x1080 cmos sensors whereas the Z7 has half that with 960x540 sensors (offset, interpolated and rotated to different angles, but half sized none-the-less). Because of this, the Z7 should be a pretty good match with the 1440x1080i recorded resolution that is what I always use. For you progressive scan fans, the EX1 will have quite an advantage.

Anyway, the point is that 1/3" 960x540 sensors should actually pick up a hair more light than 1/2" 1920x1080 ones, so it would make sense that the Z7 would at least match the EX1 for low light.

For true cinematic progressive scan shooting, I really think the EX is the way to go. For 60i, the difference should be minimal.
I haven't yet heard the res comming off the sensors for this unit but I do know that the v1u chips send off 960x1080. The hvx has been bashed many times for their chips being 960x540. Seems to be that sony wouldn't be that foolish to move to bigger chips but lesser resolution. If Sony maintains their track record, we'll see a second gen ex1 within a few years that incorporates many of the v7u improvements. I canhardly wait for that!
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Old February 11th, 2008, 03:47 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Laurence Kingston View Post
Well the EX1 has true 1920x1080 cmos sensors whereas the Z7 has half that with 960x540 sensors (offset, interpolated and rotated to different angles, but half sized none-the-less). Because of this, the Z7 should be a pretty good match with the 1440x1080i recorded resolution that is what I always use. For you progressive scan fans, the EX1 will have quite an advantage.

Anyway, the point is that 1/3" 960x540 sensors should actually pick up a hair more light than 1/2" 1920x1080 ones, so it would make sense that the Z7 would at least match the EX1 for low light.

For true cinematic progressive scan shooting, I really think the EX is the way to go. For 60i, the difference should be minimal.
i have compared the ex1 and z7 side by side and the ex1 was a clear winner. didn't realise the z7 used pixel shifting type thing!
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Old February 11th, 2008, 04:21 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Phil Bloom View Post
i have compared the ex1 and z7 side by side and the ex1 was a clear winner
Enough said.

If anyone hasn't seen Phil's work, this guy knows his way around a good image and therefore the gear that makes the images. If he say's the EX1 is a clear winner (in image quality) then I'd take that as gospel.

And btw, I've never met or spoken with Phil, I've just got a videography man-crush on him.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 04:26 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Phil Bloom View Post
i have compared the ex1 and z7 side by side and the ex1 was a clear winner. didn't realise the z7 used pixel shifting type thing!
It is supposed to be a little better than the type of pixel shifting used on HDV cameras like the Z1 and V1. As far as I know, the Ex1 is the only camera that uses true 1920x1080 sensors.

The process that the Z7 uses is explained in the brochure that was posted earlier in this forum.

Quote:
The newly developed 1/3-inch type 3 ClearVid CMOS Sensor™ system has 45-degree rotated pixels on each chip in order to increase the signal density,while each pixel maintains sufficient surface area. In combination with Enhanced Imaging Processor™ (EIP), the 3 ClearVid CMOS Sensor system achieves high resolution, high sensitivity,wide dynamic range, and excellent color reproduction.

The pixel shift interpolation technique has been traditionally used in small 3CCD camcorders. However, it normally requires the combination of all three color element (RGB) signals to maximize resolution. If an object lacks one or more color elements, the resolution of the object may be degraded. The 3 ClearVid CMOS Sensor system is different. It can always produce maximum resolution, regardless of the balance between color elements, thanks to its unique and sophisticated interpolation technology.
I imagine that an EX1 at 60i and in SD mode would look almost exactly the same as a Z7 at 60i. At 24p or 30p the EX1 would look a lot sharper due to double the pixels vs interpolation. I also would guess that the 1280x720x60p mode on the EX1 would be very nice.

For me, my end product will continue to be SD DVDs for the majority of my customers, and Blu-ray compatible 1440x1080x60i AVCHD discs for the tiny sliver of my customers that want HD. I do mostly shoulder mount shooting (with frequent use of post stabilization) and just interviews and wide shots done on tripods. 60i is way more friendly to my style of shooting than 24p or 30p, so the extra resolution of the progressive modes wouldn't do that much for me.

I have no doubt that my next camera after the Z7 will be of EX1 lineage, but for me right here right now, the Z7 is a better fit.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 04:27 PM   #51
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The ex1 would always win with image quality. It is in a whole different league, 1/2 inch. Full raster blah blah...it's the low light that I wanted to comment on. It's amazing, although the Z7 is the best HDV camera I have seen in low light.

Am shooting a project soon which will all be at night. The ex1 was my number one camera of choice for that.

If I had 4k I would totally get a z7 to replace my z1. Love the photo of it with a zeiss digi prime on it!

Ethan, am very flattered. Call me.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 04:34 PM   #52
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If I had 4k I would totally get a z7 to replace my z1.
Is that 4k in Euros or Pounds? 'Cause it's more like 6k in US dollars.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 04:41 PM   #53
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oh thats pounds! Our progressive society won't let us move to the Euro (my mum is French so am very continental!)
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Old February 11th, 2008, 05:03 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Laurence Kingston View Post
Well the EX1 has true 1920x1080 cmos sensors whereas the Z7 has half that with 960x540 sensors (offset, interpolated and rotated to different angles, but half sized none-the-less).
I'm pretty sure the Z7 has 960x1080 sensors, not 960x540. The specs are at http://www.sony.co.uk/biz/view/ShowP...=HDVCamcorders and they talk of "Approx. 1,037,000 pixels (effective), ....". (And 960x1080=1,036,800, so.....!!)

Hence no need to interpolate in the vertical direction (which makes the processing much easier than H & V pixel shift, especially in an interlace case) and H pixel shifting should take the res up to about 1.2-1.3x 960, so around the 1200 mark.

Sounds a good match for the recording format, and the 1 megapixel on 1/3" and 2 megapixel on 1/2" (EX) should indeed mean the physical size of the pixels is similar in each case. From that, if all else was equal, I'd expect them to have similar sensitivities, but the EX to be sharper.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 05:57 PM   #55
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I'm pretty sure the Z7 has 960x1080 sensors, not 960x540. The specs are at http://www.sony.co.uk/biz/view/ShowP...=HDVCamcorders and they talk of "Approx. 1,037,000 pixels (effective), ....". (And 960x1080=1,036,800, so.....!!)

Hence no need to interpolate in the vertical direction (which makes the processing much easier than H & V pixel shift, especially in an interlace case) and H pixel shifting should take the res up to about 1.2-1.3x 960, so around the 1200 mark.

Sounds a good match for the recording format, and the 1 megapixel on 1/3" and 2 megapixel on 1/2" (EX) should indeed mean the physical size of the pixels is similar in each case. From that, if all else was equal, I'd expect them to have similar sensitivities, but the EX to be sharper.
You are absolutey right. My mistake. So the progressive modes on the Z7 should look very good as well. It makes sense to do it this way on a camera limited to 1440 format recording.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 06:16 PM   #56
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I think it's important to note that the xdcamhd specification utilizes the same 1440x1080 specification as hdv or hdcam for that matter. I think the draw of the full raster chips in the ex1 is due to the hd-sdi outputting uncompressed full res hd. Also, sony's clearvid technology doesn't shift pixels, but interpolate the areas between pixels (basically the corners of each pixel) to get increased resolution for each color, not just overall resolution, which is what pixel shifting effectively does. I don't think we can make any definitive arguments until somebody stacks these two cams side by side and shoots grayscale, color and resolution charts. Arguments notwithstanding, both cameras offer huge improvements to cameras in this price range.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 06:53 PM   #57
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WHOA! Hang on there fellas.

I'm only saying that looking through the LCD screen testing the cameras side by side, the Z7 IN LOW LIGHT is equal to the PD150-170 range, far better than the Z1 or V1 and about equal to the EX.

In terms of image quality, the EX is probably the best option you got! I never said anything in regards to that, i was only talking about Low Light with my cajun mate Chad.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 09:07 PM   #58
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@ Gabriel - would a rolling record function make you feel better about solid state recording over yards and yards of tape of 'not very much happening'?
Rolling record would be a great feature, as well as the 'instant-on' recording that CF cards should make possible on the Z7. I have had to tell whole roomfulls of people, many times, "hang on, just a sec... any second now...really..." while waiting for the FX-1 to spin up after I hit record. But neither feature is a substitute for being able to run tons of tape through the cam.

Ok, honestly, one of my only issues with the Z7 is that it doesn't look as pretty as the EX-1. There, I said it. The Z7 looks like a meatloaf on a stick. Granted, if it has low-light performance like the pd170, it will be a very handy meatloaf on a stick.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 09:20 PM   #59
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Have you guys seen this size comparison of EX-1, Z7, and Z1?

http://blog.so-net.ne.jp/hamapro/2008-02-08

Look how gigantic the EX-1 is! Waahaha!
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Old February 11th, 2008, 11:29 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
. They listed the PD150 as 1.5 lux (the PD170 as 1 lux), and the Z7 as 1.5 lux - but at 1/25th sec shutter speed as I said. Of course the Z7's amplifiers will be quieter than the PD170s which will help you in the gain levels.
tom.
**Slow kid question ahead**

So if the camera was rated at 1.5 lux at 1/25th sec shutter speed, what would that be at 1/60th? Sorry for the noobish question, but I'm kinda new to this.

Thanks,

Chad
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