Z7 Bad Autofocus 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-Z7 / HVR-S270

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 20th, 2008, 11:22 PM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16
Z7 Bad Autofocus

While most of my shooting is in manual focus, I did like the ability to switch to auto if I was changing distance from my subjects while gliding. The Z1's AF was pretty good.

However, my Z7 has a real problem with its autofocus as shown in this raw footage.

http://dvideography.com/client/Z7/

F 2.6, 30th shutter, 12 db gain

What bothers me most is that it's not even HUNTING. It's just ALL out of focus - background as well as my subjects.
__________________
Dave Williams
DVideography
Dave Williams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 20th, 2008, 11:27 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Maryland
Posts: 304
Wow, that's beyond horrendous. I was looking through some footage of our filmfest and what I filmed looked fine (manual) but when I handed the camera to someone else to film, which was then in auto, it loved to hunt all over the place.

I hope all of these issues are synonomous whereby the lens will be fixed and all of these issues will be corrected.

We'll see.
Marshall Levy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 20th, 2008, 11:43 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Jacksonville Fl
Posts: 107
I was so jacked about this camera when I saw it at a tradeshow being demoed by the project manager who also invented the Z1U. I was almost kissing the guy because the Z1 was and still is such a great camera that was a large part of my initial success. I was like an Apple fanboy just selling the hell out of this new Z7, which really is an event videographer's dream cam.

But after practical use on several major jobs this Zeiss lens, which I was very excited about using since I love the true manual features, is really falling down. I love shooting handheld with a real manual lens, but I also do a LOT of Steadicam work with Lanc control and the focus/zoom servo is TERRIBLE the speed is incredibly slow. I rarely use autofocus, but when I have it was HORRIBLE as well and Dave's clip is a prime example of what to expect if you depend on auto focus.
Bruce Ostrout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 20th, 2008, 11:51 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Maryland
Posts: 304
on behalf of bruceo....

on behalf of bruceo since he's been banned for whatever reason....
---
"I was so jacked about this camera when I saw it at a tradeshow being demoed by the project manager who also invented the Z1U. I was almost kissing the guy because the Z1 was ands till is such a great camera that was a large part of my initial success. I was like an Apple fanboy just selling the hell out of this new Z7, which really is an event videographer's dream cam.

But after practical use on several major jobs this Zeiss lens, which I was very excited about using since I love the true manual features, is really falling down. I love shooting handheld with a real manual lens, but I also do a LOT of steadicam work with lanc control and the focus/zoom servo is TERRIBLE the speed is incredibly slow. I rarely use autofocus, but when I have it was HORRIBLE as well and Dave's clip is a prime example of what to expect if you depend on auto focus.
---end per bruceo
Marshall Levy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 21st, 2008, 12:56 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 899
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Williams View Post
While most of my shooting is in manual focus, I did like the ability to switch to auto if I was changing distance from my subjects while gliding. The Z1's AF was pretty good.

However, my Z7 has a real problem with its autofocus as shown in this raw footage.

http://dvideography.com/client/Z7/

F 2.6, 30th shutter, 12 db gain

What bothers me most is that it's not even HUNTING. It's just ALL out of focus - background as well as my subjects.
Try turning off 'Focus Macro' in the 'Camera Set' menu. It appears the camera has a bad time trying to maintain focus when moved, panned etc especially if you are carrying a bit of zoom with it. The camera hunts from macro through to the long end... not a good look! With the 'Focus Macro' set to 'Off' the problem is nowhere near as bad. Not brilliant but not as bad for sure.

If you wish to have the macro function quickly available you can under the 'Others' menu assign 'Focus Macro' to one of the camera body 'Assign' buttons. Buttons #1,2,3 don't have any 'default' setting assigned to them so maybe one of those.

Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney, Aust
Christopher Young is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2008, 10:00 AM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Oshkosh, WI
Posts: 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Williams View Post
While most of my shooting is in manual focus, I did like the ability to switch to auto if I was changing distance from my subjects while gliding. The Z1's AF was pretty good.

However, my Z7 has a real problem with its autofocus as shown in this raw footage.

http://dvideography.com/client/Z7/

F 2.6, 30th shutter, 12 db gain

What bothers me most is that it's not even HUNTING. It's just ALL out of focus - background as well as my subjects.
Dave that almost looks like a spoof of the problem. I can't believe unless something is set up terribly wrong that the auto focus could be that bad.

Bruce Cleveland
Bruce G. Cleveland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2008, 10:39 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 410
Bruce,

What would you suggest as "terribly wrong" with the camera setup? I've had some reception footage that looks like that. Its seems like the camera has ADD and is constantly looking for something to focus on.

-Chad
Chad Dyle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2008, 11:31 AM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Oshkosh, WI
Posts: 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Dyle View Post
Bruce,

What would you suggest as "terribly wrong" with the camera setup? I've had some reception footage that looks like that. Its seems like the camera has ADD and is constantly looking for something to focus on.

-Chad
I am not sure what could be wrong. Maybe the auto macro is turned on. I have seen focus problems like that as well, but in much lower lighting. I am going to be putting mine through the tests tomorrow night at a social benefit, so I sure hope I get better results. I will post what I get.

Bruce Cleveland
Bruce G. Cleveland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2008, 03:22 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Charleston, IL
Posts: 231
Bruce ... I'll be interested to see how your unit does in low light. I won't really get the opportunity to check mine out till Monday night.
Scott Brooks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2008, 03:37 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 2,222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Ostrout View Post
I was so jacked about this camera when I saw it at a tradeshow being demoed by the project manager who also invented the Z1U. I was almost kissing the guy because the Z1 was and still is such a great camera that was a large part of my initial success. I was like an Apple fanboy just selling the hell out of this new Z7, which really is an event videographer's dream cam.
Have you considered the EX1 ? I just got it, so I can't comment on general autofocus. With the smaller battery, it's very similar in feel to the Z1. You get WAY better video quality although you do give up tape and the interchangeable lens.

Some of the early EX1s were plagued with a backfocus issue when using the built-in ND filters. A firmware upgrade is purported to fix this.
Gints Klimanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2008, 04:38 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 621
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gints Klimanis View Post
Have you considered the EX1 ?
Just for the record, 'cause this comes up a lot, when you compare apples to apples, the EX 1 and the Z7 are NOT even remotely comparable in price.

You can get the Z7 and 32gb of compact flash media for about $US 5,900.

The EX1 and 32gb of SxS media costs around $US 11,000.

(And that's not even counting the time and cost of archiving.)

Sony's SxS media is dreadfully overpriced.
__________________
http://www.prolefeedstudios.com/blog/
Documentary for the masses!
Brian Standing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2008, 05:44 PM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 2,222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Standing View Post
The EX1 and 32gb of SxS media costs around $US 11,000.
(And that's not even counting the time and cost of archiving.)

Sony's SxS media is dreadfully overpriced.
The EX1 package price seems a bit high. Check the prices at BH Photo, and you'll find that you're about $4k too high. A 16 GB SxS is less than $1k. I agree that the SxS prices are very high. Also, if you don't have a laptop with an ExpressCard slot, you have to drop $250 on the SxS card reader.

Don't you have to archive for Z7U flash media as well? Are you talking about using HDV tape for archiving ? The cost of a 1TByte drive is now about $200. Even archiving on two drives is cheaper than on $10 HDV tapes.

Last edited by Gints Klimanis; April 23rd, 2008 at 06:40 PM.
Gints Klimanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2008, 06:24 PM   #13
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce G. Cleveland View Post
Dave that almost looks like a spoof of the problem. I can't believe unless something is set up terribly wrong that the auto focus could be that bad.

Bruce Cleveland
Bruce - How many jobs have you had your Z7 on?
__________________
Dave Williams
DVideography
Dave Williams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2008, 09:30 PM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Oshkosh, WI
Posts: 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Williams View Post
Bruce - How many jobs have you had your Z7 on?
We have our first one tomorrow night, so I will post everything I experience.

Bruce Cleveland
Bruce G. Cleveland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2008, 11:20 PM   #15
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Manchester, NH
Posts: 23
I believe the camera is too sensitive to hot spots like the lights on the wall in the background. Adding movement is the final blow to this camera.

Sad, very sad.

Paul
Paul Therrien 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-Z7 / HVR-S270

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:22 AM.


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