HVR-S270 as an everyday news camera? - Page 3 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 September 26th, 2008, 05:40 PM   #31
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All it says on the data code is:


and then a number above the F reading that changes constantly during the shot if the scene changes. 600, 300, 25, 50, 425, 215, 100 etc.

But the vision is definitely jittery with panning, tilting and any movement within the shot. And the pictures look very contrasty.

The problem with not being familiar with a camera!

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Old September 26th, 2008, 08:09 PM   #32
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I have not used the S270 but I would have to guess that the number that is changing is the shutter speed, since shudder speed usually is one of the bits of information that is displayed when data code is turned on. That would indicate that your shutter speeds were all over the map and could have been causing some of the issues you saw. Plus I have found that the "normal" setting for the steadyshot produces little jolts if your pan covers too many degress of rotation. The image has to catch up from time to time and makes the image jump. The soft setting on steadyshot produces better results to my eye. If you are shooting off of sticks, I would turn steadyshot off.
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Old September 27th, 2008, 12:58 AM   #33
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So I wonder why the shutter speed was changing with every shot I was taking.

Every new shot had a different number there. I must have had a setting wrong.
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Old September 27th, 2008, 03:57 AM   #34
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If the s270 is like the Z7 then you have to switch each setting into manual. I had this when I started as I switched to manual but then could not understand why gain was also being added. You need to switch each function manually, in the case of the shutter speed you should see it displayed in the viewfinder if it is in manual. The same goes for all the other settings so at the bottom you will see the gain the f-stop shutter speed and colour balance.

Its actually very flexible as it allows you to leave certain things in auto, I personally use auto white balance a lot of the time and sometimes switch the iris into auto or use the quick exposure set button near the zoom control.
Over 15 minutes in Broadcast Film and TV production: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1044352/
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Old September 27th, 2008, 04:32 AM   #35
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if the 270 is like the 250 then there should be a switch on the front of the camera that reads 'shutter' this switch needs to be set to the 'on' position. Though it seems counter-intuitive this places control of the shutter into the hands of the operator. I don't think the 500 series had this.

I could be wrong, it's way early in the morning and I haven't had any coffee yet :-(

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Old September 27th, 2008, 10:09 AM   #36
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I tried my 270 in 25P and it does look jittery ....so called film effect but basically rubbish. Try taking it out of 25P and go to interlaced...I would bet it will disappear. I have no problem on my 270 with jitter and I dont think its the shutter unless you have changed the normal setting. I have had a letter published in Zerb, the magazine of the UK Guild of TV cameramen, about the cameras shortcomings. I still like the camera but dont like the viewfinder at all, and the lens is just about Ok when you get used to it.
Cameraman BBC and ITV since 1966
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Old November 19th, 2008, 05:10 AM   #37
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another alternative?

Hi David

I'm coming late to this discussion - maybe you've made a decision by now, but here's a thought for you.

I use a JVC HD111 for news and docs all over Africa and the Middle East. It's not perfect, but it might be worth your while having a look at it (or the 200/250, which is the current equivalent.) I shoot approx 10 days a month on mine, and have owned it since Jan 07. I moved to it from a DXCD30/DSR rig, rather like the 570.

1: Well within your price range - i got an HD111, Sennheiser radio mic set, Swit batteries and charger, Vinten sticks, and a clutch of other bits and pieces for GBP4500 - about AUSD10,500.
2: fairly robust, for what it is - mine gets hauled around some stupid places, in awful conditions (dust, rain, sand-storms, fire-fights, helicopters - you can imagine) and it's held up pretty well over two years.
3: SD and HDV, tape or an easily mountable firestore.
4: Big enough (just) to look like a serious camera, and with proper shoulder mounted ergonomics.
5: The stock lens is adequate. But there is a superb Fujinon 13x wide angle that would still come in under your budget - they're around USD6000 at the moment.
6: excellent support from an very active user community on this board.


1: pretty average low-light performaance. Actually, not good low-light performance.
2: Problems with editing JVC's HDV codec in final cut pro - though this is being worked out. There's masses of discussion on the Pro HD board at DV info.
3: You'll want to change your XLR jacks to L shaped plugs, as the mounting position means standard jacks catch on stuff.
4: A propensity to blow firewire ports when using Macs - something to do with static discharge. Again, a 30 dollar fix can work around this.
5: The view finder is pretty crappy.

It's not perfect, for sure. But I really like the camera - I've worked in news and docs for getting on for 20 years, with all kinds of cameras (mostly beta SP format) - and this one is a pleasure to use.

Have a look at it before you open your wallet.

Best wishes

Rob Adams
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Old November 19th, 2008, 07:35 PM   #38
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not many options

I'm following this discussion intently as these are decisions I am making right now.

I'm looking for a shoulder-mount camera that's going to go the distance. From what I've seen and heard here and elsewhere, it's really a two brand race at this budget, Sony S270 or JVC 111/201.

From a build point of view the JVC is solid, I've used the 101 and it was great, ergonomically and structurally. Nice pictures in SD too. Robert's point about low light performance concerns me a bit, how bad can it be? Is there any footage online to give me some idea?

I've got a job interstate next week and would rather hire a 101 or 201, unfortunately I can only find a 251, which I don't have the deck for nor firestore, so it looks like I'm using a S270.

At least this will give me an idea to test out what it's like.

I'm interested to hear what the verdict is David.
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Old November 19th, 2008, 09:46 PM   #39
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hi Tyler,

I think the low light performance on the JVC is a function of chip size. According the Shaun Roemich on the JVC ProHD board on this site, "The sensitivity of the HD2xx series is F8 at 2000 lux, I believe. Professional SD cameras have been at least F11 at 2000 lux for more than 10 years. The 1/3" chips will rob you of light."

Here's the discussion that comment came from:


How bad can it be? well, I'm ok, I mostly work in brightly-lit countries. But on an overcast afternoon, under trees, in buildings, I find myself running out of stops about two stops before I'd expect to on a Betacam AP400.

But the gain is pretty good, not too noisy, so I have my Gain control set to 3db and 6db, which (at a pinch) gives me back those two stops.
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