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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 August 19th, 2009, 04:07 PM   #31
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Wow. Don't know about you guys, but this has been a very good thread for me. Lots of info and food for thought...and I might add, in a very respectful manner (wouldn't expect anything less from you all)

When I heard about the Nano it really peaked my interest in a lot of ways and hope to explore it at some point but all points are well taken. The Z7 has been a good system for me at this time and I love the workflow with the CF cards. As I said, my idea was to maybe get a little bit more out of it with the Nano. And hopefully the Nano would have a relatively long shelf life as well.

I shoot/edit short films and corporate videos and the Z7 is a great fit at this time until the next gen cameras like the Scarlet or Sparta come along if/when?? But I do like the idea of maybe breathing life in the 7Z. I just hate havin' all those old cameras around that I don't want to give up or sell but don't use just because the I have newer better model now....oh well what a problem to have.
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Old September 6th, 2009, 04:47 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Laves View Post
Since I have gotten the Z7, I have not been tempted once to get an EX1. Frankly, I just don't see it as a big enough step up. David, you seem to think it is a night and day difference but that leads me to believe that you have never actually seen any Z7 footage in a good HD environment. But I could be wrong about that.
In another thread on this forum (about the 5D2) a link has been provided to the BBC test reports, and amongst them are the ones for the Z7 and the EX1.

See: http://thebrownings.name/WHP034/pdf/...-Z5_and_Z7.pdf for the Z7 and http://thebrownings.name/WHP034/pdf/...X1_and_EX3.pdf for the EX1.

I consider the differences between the two may now indeed be considered night and day. That's not to say the Z7 isn't capable of good results - it's to say that the EX is capable of even better. I am virtually certain after seeing those that my initial feelings - upgrading a Z7 to an EX will give a bigger quality boost than adding a nanoFlash to a Z7 - are correct.
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Old September 20th, 2009, 07:39 AM   #33
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David, sorry if this is a bit off thread, but in light of these tests, I have to ask a somewhat ambiguous question:

in your opinion (maybe based on what Alan Roberts tested) is the EX3 worth the difference in price over the EX1 for field production? It seems from Alan's data, that the lens of the EX1 is quite good, "as is"? Where is the real gain, except ergonomics?
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Old September 20th, 2009, 10:39 AM   #34
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in your opinion ...... is the EX3 worth the difference in price over the EX1 for field production? Where is the real gain, except ergonomics?
The answer has to be "depends what you're using it for".

I get the impression that you're willing to pay the higher price of the EX3 if you can see a quality difference on screen, and in that case the answer is probably "no". What you get for the extra money are what can best be described as "more professional features".

One example which was relevant to a job I worked on was timecode and genlocking abilities. That ability was *ESSENTIAL* for this particular job, and it was something the EX3 did fully, the EX1 didn't. For other people, that ability might be completely irrelevant. Same with the ability to change lenses, proper HD-SDI output, and various other things I don't remember offhand.

I also wouldn't dismiss the ergonomics too lightly, though it depends how often you expect to use it handheld. It affects other things too though, since it's far more satisfactory to use an adaptor to use pro V-lock batteries on an EX3 than an EX1. That makes the use of accessories such as on-camera lights, radio mic receivers etc far easier.
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Old September 20th, 2009, 06:55 PM   #35
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Thanks for the honest answer. I'd have been disappointed if it had of been different! I was purposely vague, and was curious as to any new light you might shed on your take of the two cams.

For sure it would depend on our needs. We are a non-profit, and our current, long term, international productions are mostly a mix of teaching/documentary style with somewhat cinematic outdoor "film" style.

We usually use a production box (with a custom capture unit/audio receivers/mixer/19" HD mon) utilizing the Cineform codec (currently from HDMI outs on cams, but easily switchable to HDSDI in unit) where practical, but also use a Merlin (which would have to be switched to something heavier duty) and 12ft crane. The HDMI really only benefits our current workflow for chroma work, but any gain in quality is always appreciated.

I've been struggling with this EX3 vs EX1 question as the difference in price would pay for a decent new HD lens with some other cam configurations. A Cineform workflow is very much a part of our 4 person operation, especially with a good deal of VFX in AE with color grading. The lack of lighting control in outdoor shooting means any gain in exposure range is quite welcome, as is the better DOF control , so the upgrade for us from little Sony V1's could be significant. The genlock would be used if we can swing the upgrade to two cams, and obviously then so would the timecode.

For non-profits, upgrades like this can be a serious stretch, but we'd certainly welcome gaining the lower end pro feature set of the EX series.

BTW, our NTSC HD output is expanding in outreach and currently needs to cover everything from DVD/Bluray, to web, and more recently to direct satellite broadcasts to some Middle Eastern countries (in PAL SD).

Thanks again for your comments, any words of wisdom are quite welcome!
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Old November 9th, 2009, 08:57 AM   #36
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S270 and nanoflash or flash XDR

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Originally Posted by Mike Schell View Post
Hi Mark-
The nanoFlash should work fine with the Z7. We have not tested the unit specifically with this camera, but we test with the HDMI output form the Canon HV30 on a daily basis.

We are developing a small battery to attach to the nanoFlash, which will provide 3 hours of operating time. The battery should be available later this month.

Best-
Dear Mike,

I was seeking for a good info regarding the problem I have clashed with. I have found it on this forum. Thanks for that guys. Recently I've purchased S270 Sony camcorder. Before that I worked in SD with my DSR-400 as in our country (Ukraine) we almost had no "Blu-ray" orders. But things change very quickly and I had to go HD. So I was looking for an HDV camera that resembles my DSR-400. I found that S270 was a good one for me because of the price and quality aspect. But, actually, maybe it was my mistake, I have not tested it in different shooting situations before buying: disco, flashing lights of photocameras, fireworks, quick zooming in and out etc. I didn't know that MPEG codec has an ability to disintegrate into micro and macroblocks when shooting HDV in situations I've mentioned. I was shocked when I saw a face that went into pieces for a second after a photoflash. I understand that for some people my post will seem funny but everybody makes mistakes sometimes and gains experience on that. Anyway I have some questions regarding the product of yours: nanoflash and flash XDR. I beleive, no I hope, that these recorders will help me to overcome this problem.

1. The Problem. Will it disapper if I begin to work with a recorder? I beleive higher bitrates will give more "freedom" to codec and it will be able to record fast changing events without frames disintegration?
2. 1440x1080 or 1920x1080 on the output?
3. Does image go directly from CMOS to HD-SDI bypassing camera HDV codec?

I would appreciate your comments and answers very much.

Best Regards,
Alex
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Old November 9th, 2009, 10:59 AM   #37
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1. Yes, your problems with blocking should disappear. The difference between heavily compressed HDV and 100 mb/sec Long GOP on the Nanoflash should be night and day.
2. You should see a small increase in resolution as you'll be recording full raster (if your camera can do it)
3. Yes, it goes straight from SDI to Nano bypassing HDV codec.

With flashes there is the issue of CMOS rolling shutters, could that be part of your problem? Do a search for EX1 and flashes.
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Old November 9th, 2009, 05:04 PM   #38
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Steve,

Thanks for your prompt reply.

As far as I understood rolling shutter itself does not cause image blocking, does it? I believe it is "a part of the blocking problem". First there's a photo flash (disco lights, scanners, fast manual zoom) + rolling shutter+ mpeg2 codec's constant bitrate + no capability to increase bitrate during major and fast image change (due to tape recording) = micro and macro blocks appear as it is mpeg's nature.

I've red about rolling shutter issue but there was no info regarding blocking caused by it.
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Old November 9th, 2009, 05:37 PM   #39
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You're quite right, the rolling shutter cuts off part of the picture on flashes I believe, no effect on blockiness.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 11:38 AM   #40
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Steve,

Thanks for your message.

Rolling shutter does not bother me to much (I mean the issue with cutting picture in half). This defect does not catch an eye of a regular viewer I believe. Blocking is the biggest problem for me and I believe for many other cameramen too. And I hope NANO devices can solve this "Sony's marketing move" perfectly. It would be great if someone from Convergent Design runs Sony's HVR-S270 or Z7 full test with nanofalsh and flash XDR and posts results here for better understanding. For example I could not find exact information regarding HD-SDI output of my S270. I don't know wether it outputs 1440 or 1920 at HD-SDI. Manual does not have it. Maybe you know?

Regards,
Alex
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Old November 10th, 2009, 11:49 AM   #41
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Alexander,
Try posting a question in the forum for the Flash XDR as Dan and Mike keep eagle eyes on it and will answer your questions straight away I'm sure.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 12:08 PM   #42
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Ok, Steve. I'll follow your advice.
Once agian I would like to thank you for your comments and recomendations.Had some good practice of English with you as well. ;-)

Regards,
Alex
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Old November 10th, 2009, 04:54 PM   #43
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Dear Alexander,

I can answer your last question.

HD-SDI is always 1920 x 1080 in 1080 mode.

Even if your camera has a 1440 x 1080 sensor, the HD-SDI is always 1920 x 1080.

This is part of the magic of the nanoFlash and Flash XDR, but is not of our doing, HD-SDI was just designed that way. Someone was thinking properly.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 04:56 PM   #44
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Dear Alexander,

Our recorders can not help with rolling shutter, or problems with flashes, with CMOS sensors, but we can help with almost everything else.

Recording at 4:2:2 is dramatically better, especially with a higher bit-rate, full raster efficient codec.
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Old November 11th, 2009, 04:51 AM   #45
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Dear Dan,

Thank you for your answer. You've inspired me, because I was almost broke with this blocking issue. I really hoped that your answer would be that way. Rolling shutter does not bother me. The only question is: blocking after a flash or fast changing lights? Will it dissapear due to higher bitrate used in nanoflash?
An one more thing: how I can get nanoflash in Ukraine?

Regards,
Alex
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