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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 27th, 2008, 01:13 PM   #1
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Z7 settings to shoot a documentary

Hello All - I just got the HVR-Z7U and am going to be shooting / producing a documentary piece as my first official project with it. What camera settings should I use? The content I will be shooting will be character interviews and ballet dance practice - in studio. I guess the big question I have is should I go for the film look using the HDV Interlaced 24A mode OR one of the other interlaced / progressive modes?

Any and all guidance and advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Dennis St. John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 27th, 2008, 10:59 PM   #2
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Hi Dennis,

You'll get all sorts of opinions. If it was me, I would shoot in normal interlaced HDV format. Downconvert to SD on capture. Edit on an SD timeline and master to normal DVD. Save the HDV tapes should a Blu-Ray version ever be required.

24p and progressive modes blow about as hard as the people who rave about them.
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Old September 29th, 2008, 10:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Knight View Post
24p and progressive modes blow about as hard as the people who rave about them.
Anyways...

I shot a 30 min. observational documentary film this summer in Italy on the Z7. I used 30p, and had MAJOR issues with gain settings. The first half of the summer I struggled to eliminate a bizarre noise problem that I was getting on my blacks. Do a bunch of tests on yours, and figure out how to really eliminate all that flutter in the shadows. Sony jacked everything up at least +6 to make low light level test look better than they are (critics squealed with joy about the industry's NEW PD170...uhhh, not even close).

I captured in HDV, and used a timeline codec of ProRes 442 (because HQ is useless for HDV). I found this to be great, and my output to DVD Studio Pro was perfect. I used ProRes 442 because I knew I would use either Magic Bullet Looks or Nattress Film Effects to finish. It really helped those render speeds.

30p looked great for my images, but any time I was dealing with rapid movement...I was always surprised by how slow a movement could be and still achieve a strobe effect. For ballet...forget it. One jump & spin and you have "Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2". If I were you, I'd shoot 60i (and obviously HDV).

I hope you see something in this post that helps you. Feel free to ask further questions about my experience.
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