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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 September 7th, 2008, 02:46 AM   #1
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How's the Z7 s270 going?

I keep going back and forth between the s270 and the EX3.
The s270 is my first choice. For me a shoulder mount at this price and the ability to record SD,HD both to card and tapes is just what Iím after.
The s270 matches my Z1 and the workflow for me as I use Vegas fits right in.
But then I keep going back to the EX3 for it's picture quality which is awesome at least viewing in camera.
But one thing is the different recording sizes 1920 vs. 1440. Will I see much change in final delivery considering all my work is down converted to MPEG-2 SD anyway.

Anyway the EX3 is cheaper.
Iím wondering why TV stations havenít gone with the s270 as they did with the Z1 ( maybe they have ).

Simon

Last edited by Simon Denny; September 7th, 2008 at 06:11 AM.
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Old September 7th, 2008, 02:49 AM   #2
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How many SxS cards will you need? Have you priced them up yet?
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Old September 7th, 2008, 03:49 AM   #3
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Yeah John,

The SxS cards for the EX3 really blow the budget out.
I tend to shoot leaving the camera in record at all times at a gig. I currently use the Z1 and just when you need a quick record the Z1 takes for ever to cycle up to record and by then the action has gone. Tape is cheap. The EX3 because of the cost of cards is a big turn off in a purchase.

Simon
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Old September 7th, 2008, 04:14 AM   #4
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Also not just the cards on the EX-3 you will need major grunt to edit it too and esata drives.

I am really happy with my Z7 for its workflow and I am about to add an S270 as a second camera. I shoot 1080i 50i (25p too jerky and I can do this in post if needed) HDV in tape for archive and CF for ingest into final cut via clipwrap. I then edit and output the final master as pro res 422 HQ at 1920x1080i.

This is a really efficient workflow and I am very happy with the final pictures even once compressed for web use have a look at this one:http://www.vimeo.com/1672101
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Old September 7th, 2008, 04:39 AM   #5
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Thanks Gary,
It's good to hear a positive response about these cameras.
I looked at your Vimeo footage prior today and loved the look and this has really confirmed to me that this camera can produce great results.

Simon
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Old September 7th, 2008, 10:33 AM   #6
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I just picked up my new Z7 4 days ago and i have shot 2 weddings so far all i can say Fantastic love it love it i wish i could afford one more as a back up picture quality super.the feel of the camera is great full manual control professional feel all i need is a shade for my LCD screen.
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Old September 7th, 2008, 11:35 AM   #7
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Gary you said "I shoot 1080i 50i (25p too jerky and I can do this in post if needed)."

In your experience, what are the advantages/disadvantes of doing this in post? A lot of people rave about 'native 25p' whilst others say it is not smooth - no matter how careful you are with pans etc.,

I recently saw several similar 'takes' shot in progressive then recorded again from exactly the same position in interlaced from the Z7. Neither myself or the Z7 owner could see the difference (large screen) although the motion contained in the shots was fairly pedestrian!

Is the difference only noticeable during the editing process?

Paul
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Old September 7th, 2008, 12:12 PM   #8
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You can see the jerky smearing in the viewfinder during shooting, it is more noticeable on pans, I want to keep everything full bandwidth and find that 1080i 50i is more robust in post.

I have tried 50i and 25p and prefer to shoot in 50i and then if I need filmic fx I use Nattress filters to give the desired effect, I can also tweak lots of parameters in the filter or even drop it down to 24p for real film rates.
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Old September 7th, 2008, 12:24 PM   #9
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Simon - you will see a difference, yes.

Iím pretty sure Iíve said that our standard definition DVD carrier medium is the great leveller. Itís cheap, convenient, fairly robust, and now ubiquitous Ė all good news for us film makers. Iím here to tell you that Iím pretty pleased with the way my wedding DVDs look shot on the Sony Z1. They upscale beautifully and I reasoned that whatever the quality level of the clientís replay equipment the images couldn'tí look much better because our DVDs were the lowest common denominator in the replay chain.

You know what I'm going to say, don't you? I used a Sony EX1 to film a recent wedding and of course it comes with the obvious pros and cons. The EX1 will film where the A1 will need video lights or gain-up, the EX1ís weight will mean keeping up your gym membership, SxS cards are incredibly expensive alongside tape and with far more buttons to push itís a camera that will need you to keep wide awake and very alert.

But hey, in the great big overall scheme of things called a wedding film, this is but nothing compared to the input contributed by the imagination and skill of cameraman and editor, and anyway, the image off the final DVD will be so compressed there wonít be a smidgeonís worth of difference between the EX1 and the Z1 on the clientís screen.

Wrong.

The up-scaling DVD player feeding a full HD TV shows that the EX1 Ė even in its lower quality SP mode (1440 x 1080) grabs footage with ease that the Z1 struggles to obtain. The fine Fuji lens feeding the big ĹĒ chips makes light work capturing very fine detail, and custom presets allow the highlights to retain detail that the Z1 just gives up on. Weíre still talking standard definition DVDs, remember.

Normally an A/B test is very revealing simply because the instant switchover gives a ruthless display of the truth, yet I was watching the Z1 DVD, then ejecting the disc, inserting the EX1 disc, going past the menu and pushing play. It all takes time, but not to worry, the on-screen results make it quite plain that the EX1 is in a different league. The cameras almost look like twins, yet in reality theyíre DeVito and Schwarzenegger twins.

tom.
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Old September 7th, 2008, 05:02 PM   #10
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IT will be interesting to see if the newly announced HDR FX1000 and Z5 have similar improvements using likely the same 1/3" CMOS chips as the Z7 and S270..

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Old September 7th, 2008, 05:50 PM   #11
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Tom,
Your are right about the Z1 and losing detail in highlights. The 1/2 inch chips gives a beautiful clear response. How many cards do you carry? I keep forgetting that the EX3 can record in different quality modes.

So many cameras out on the market it's great to see but a headache to choose given,budget,look,feel,workflow and the most important: did I buy the right one.

Simon
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Old September 7th, 2008, 06:16 PM   #12
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um, IF you plan on shooting in SQ mode, pick up some Lexar SSD 8gb cards for $45 a piece.
this is my plan, possibly even some of the Samsungs and see how they do. I don't currently plan to shoot all my weddings in HQ, most likely SQ, until BDR delivery is everyday, than charge more for true progressive picture quality.
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