Sharing my experience with the Z7 for wildlife at DVinfo.net

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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 May 12th, 2008, 12:22 AM   #1
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Sharing my experience with the Z7 for wildlife

I am not happy to hear about all the problems some people have with the camera/lens and I hope these issue will be addressed and fixed. However, I only use the Z7 for wildlife with Nikon still lenses mounted on it and I am very pleased with the results.

Focusing is very easy when using the 'peaking' function and the viewfinder set to B&W.
Getting the exposure right is also easy with the histogram and zebra (set to 100).

The image quality is superb - especially when using top quality lenses. The Nikon 80-200 f2.8 still lens which is my main lens is performing very well with excellent image quality. An even better result I get with the Nikon 300 f2.8 manual focus fixed lens. I find it a bit problematic to work with a fixed lens though so I am looking to get a longer zoom lens to complement my Nikon 80-200 f2.8.

I consider getting the Nikon 200-400 f4 which is supposed to be a fantastic zoom lens although it is not cheap. (5 grand or so.)
Keep in mind that these still lenses when mounted on the Z7 become 7-8 times longer - the 80-200 behaves like 600-1600mm or so and the 200-400 like 1600-3200mm lense !!!! You must get a solid support for such long telephoto lenses. I use Miller carbon fibres tripod with a Vinten - Vision 3 fluid head which seem to deliver the goods.

I though I won't be able to use any lens which doesn't have an aperture ring but I think this is probably not true: the default position of a lens when mounted on a camera is wide open. By using the 4 ND built in filters and three levels of gain (-6, -3, 0) I can control the light in any day light even in a relatively slow ss of 1/50.

Everything is done manually. I shoot 1080i, 25p, 1/50, gain (-6, -3, 0).

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Cheers,

Ofer Levy
Sydney, Australia
http://www.oferlevyphotography.com

Last edited by Ofer Levy; May 12th, 2008 at 01:12 AM.
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Old May 12th, 2008, 10:58 AM   #2
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Nikon lens adapter?

Ofer,

What adapter do you use to mount your Nikon lenses on the Z7, and where did you get it? Thanks.

Tom Valens
Forest Knolls, California
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Old May 12th, 2008, 05:15 PM   #3
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Hi Tom,

Got it from Mike Tapa - http://www.mtfservices.com

Cheers,
Ofer
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Old May 12th, 2008, 05:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ofer Levy View Post
Hi Tom,

Got it from Mike Tapa - http://www.mtfservices.com

Cheers,
Ofer
I got mine from there too, a really nicely made adaptor.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 10:19 AM   #5
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I too bought my dapter from Mike Tapa...it arrived from the UK in three days!!!
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Old May 13th, 2008, 01:15 PM   #6
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Ofer, regarding image quality in shooting wildlife scenery with the Z7- are you seeing any excess noise are macro-blocking in the image?

I ask because panning on trees and shrubbery are the best way to break down a codec such as HDV.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 05:02 PM   #7
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Hey Ofer,

When will you be posting up some video clips? Dying to see some of your work with the nikon and z7u.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 05:30 PM   #8
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Be aware that although the Nikon 200-400 does indead have a superb rep, it's not got an aperture ring, it's a "G" lens.
Steve
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Old May 13th, 2008, 05:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Ferar View Post
Ofer, regarding image quality in shooting wildlife scenery with the Z7- are you seeing any excess noise are macro-blocking in the image?

I ask because panning on trees and shrubbery are the best way to break down a codec such as HDV.
Hi Justin, I am afraid I don't understand the term - macro-blocking- please explain this to me.
Regarding noise, I don't see any excessive noise - keep in mind I mostly use -6 gain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Hartzell View Post
Hey Ofer,

When will you be posting up some video clips? Dying to see some of your work with the nikon and z7u.
Hi Greg, I promise you I am as keen to post some clips as I would love to hear your comments and critique however, I still don't have the proper computer nor the software to do it. I am hoping to organize it in a few weeks.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 05:48 PM   #10
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the best way to describe macro-blocking is that mpeg compression creates artifacts along a grid pattern throughout the frame. Some people are really picky and sometimes it takes a keen eye to see this, not that it is a bad thing.

Any body have a more technical description?

Can't wait to see the footage!
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Old May 13th, 2008, 06:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Hartzell View Post
the best way to describe macro-blocking is that mpeg compression creates artifacts along a grid pattern throughout the frame. Some people are really picky and sometimes it takes a keen eye to see this, not that it is a bad thing.

Any body have a more technical description?

Can't wait to see the footage!
I don't think I can see this artefact and I believe I have a reasonably keen eye....(-:

Some of the shots I get - especially using the Nikon 300 f2.8 manual focus lens are truly awesome. Sharpness and detail are the standards I am used to from my still photography.
I have noticed a phenomenon which I am not happy with: when I get the subject big in the frame and the BG is very blurred - especially when it has some bright patches in it, I get many small dots or little circles, which I find distracting. It looks similar to the effect you get with a mirror lens.

I have a feeling it has something to do with the fact I shoot wide open so I will have to test it.

Does anyone have a better explanation for this?
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