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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 December 17th, 2008, 12:07 PM   #16
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Careful guys.
This is starting to sound like a script from last of the summer wine.
;-)
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Old December 17th, 2008, 04:06 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Gary Nattrass View Post
And that just shows the madness of the BBC and other broadcasters. The Z7 or S270 isnt even listed on the BBC site so how can a pen pusher comment on it?
It's combination of various forms of compression during the production/post production/transmission chain that causes the problems. It might look good on your computer screen, but that's not to say that it won't pick up artefacts along the way.

HDV is regarded as SD by the higher end HD broadcasters. That's not to say you couldn't get productions commissioned shooting a 100% on the format because of the subject matter and shooting difficulties, but the workflow I've seen involves doing an on-line using uncompressed HD.

However, if they're giving you the budget to shoot on a better format than HDV, why bother using HDV?

Anyway, in the surreal world of the BBC, which format you're shooting on is the least of your worries.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 05:48 PM   #18
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Its all bullshit and these days there is no need for it. The truth is that the budgets just arent there to shoot on the best formats anymore, besides a master pro res 422 picture going straight to HD-cam or digi beta will be pretty robust for most uses. Most TV has been shot on DVCAM and mastered onto digibeta for years now, I have done lots of things recently and in comparison the DVcam pro stuff looks dreadful compared to my HDV material even after huge compression.

Example 1 shot on Dvcam DSR450 by a pro crew:http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=iyfowftsRu4

Example 2 shot by me on my S270 in HDV:http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=6pzI1aINAzQ

Ok just an example but it shows how bad an SD camera can look put thru the same compression for you tube, they were both uploaded at the same source.

Ive worked in pro audio and video for 28 years and in post for 18 of those.

In audio terms I started on stripe film then mag and video with no noise reduction, then dolby A. Then beta std with no noise reduction then beta sp with dolby C. Then digi beta formats and dat at 44.1 or 48k. No way would MP3 or any compressed sound be accepted and as for music CD at 44.1 was the norm, but these days all my music is on i-tunes and is perfectly acceptable.

The same goes for video and I have lived thru 2 inch, 1 inch, U-matic low and high band, beta, beta sp, digi beta, M2, D1,D2,D3,D5 avid from 1990 with 20-1 off-line to avid on-line at 5-1 and 2-1.

The broadcasters seem to think that moving the goalposts and defining quality as an engineering technical guideline has absolutely nothing to do with content and in an ever competitive market they need to be looking at their content rather than preventing creativity by imposing stupid restrictions based on pen pushers who have never made a programme in their lives.

Dont get me wrong tech quality is very important but in these exciting times this should not be the be all and end all for new formats used by skilled people and delivered on robust master formats such as XD or HD cam.

I do last of the summer wine 10 years ago and Alan Bell the director/producer told me than that he though it would be the last, its still going and shows that content is still what people are after. Its all still shot on 16mm film by the way!
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Old December 17th, 2008, 06:45 PM   #19
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I've now had this response from the quality dept of the BBC


Hi Jonathan,
I have been told that the Sony Z7 isn't an approved HD camera but it is ok for SD.

Not sure if you have seen the following site : .........
That sounds very like a stock response to me - was it made clear that there were sound production reasons for your use of a smallish camera?

If so, can they give an indication of what they would recommend you SHOULD use?

It would be very interesting if they would consider the EX cameras as preferable to the Z7 for this type of work, if a 2/3" camera was impractical - 1/2" chips as opposed to 1/3", and a better codec. The ability to now use cheap SDHC cards with the EX means that the workflow advantages that the Z7 could previously claim over the EX (tape and/or CF) are no longer significant.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 07:43 PM   #20
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Seriously though. It amazes me that someone can say yes to the Z7 when it isn't on the BBC web site.
From what I can tell, it looks like their standards were last updated in October of '06. I don't think the Z7 was around then. Nor was the EX1, EX3 and probably a whole lot of other cameras.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 03:59 AM   #21
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From what I can tell, it looks like their standards were last updated in October of '06. I don't think the Z7 was around then. Nor was the EX1, EX3 and probably a whole lot of other cameras.
The BBC HD standards were updated in Oct 2008.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/dq/p...ery_v01_09.pdf

This is their flagship showcase channel, so I wouldn't expect them to currently commission material shot totally HDV cameras unless these cameras allowed unique material to be shot. The specs are the same for Discovery HD and CH4 HD - I assume to allow sales and co-productions. However, that's not to say that when HD spreads through the UK regions etc., that the lower spec cameras won't be acceptable.

The XDCAM HD is acceptable above 50 mb/s, so ruling out the EX1 and EX3 in the current BBC spec.

Assuming that the camera performs according to the promises of RED, I'd expect the 2/3" Scarlet and similar cameras will fit in quite nicely into the increased demand for HD at lower budgets.

Some of the older 16mm programmes suffer due to the compression on these digital channels. Even recent Super 16 productions that look wonderful on the analogue transmitters suffer going through all the excessive data squeezing and that's just on a SD channel. I've noticed that this appears to look much worse on a LCD than on CRT television.

However, there is an element of BBC engineering department "lets get rid of film" going on: something that you also find cropping up on various on-line forums, so it's not unique to BBC engineers.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 06:08 AM   #22
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Well, just had another short email from the same lady who just states:

"Yes, I have been told that the Z7 is OK for SD".

And that's all she says...
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Old December 18th, 2008, 09:36 AM   #23
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Well at least she took your inquiry seriously, it would seem. You got a second response.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 11:04 AM   #24
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Yes. It seems like this 'pencil pusher' is trying to be helpful.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 01:26 PM   #25
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Yes. It seems like this 'pencil pusher' is trying to be helpful.
But probably thinks the Z7 is the same as the Z1 as the beeb (Alan Roberts) havent tested it yet!
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Old December 18th, 2008, 02:37 PM   #26
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Who knows - quite probably!
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