Z7P - HDV Issues when filming 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 October 6th, 2010, 04:32 AM   #1
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Z7P - HDV Issues when filming

Greetings,

I have recently been having issues with HDV recordings on this camera, and was wondering if anyone else has similar issues.

When filming a Wedding I started noticing when shooting in HDV, when a photographers camera flash would go off, it would distort my picture sometimes, not allways but more often than not, now I believe its 3 frames for the flash to be on footage, thats not a problem, its what the flash does to my picture, pixelates the footage, and it can last up to 15 frames before it corrects itself. Some flashes do it more than others as well I noticed, I also did some trials on this issue and I cannot replicate this problem on SD, so to me this may be a camera fault, in all my cameras I have had in 15 years I have never had this issue.

This is not a low light problem, this happens outside in full sunlight and also inside with full lighting, I had some footage that was totally unusable in a dance scene when a DJ had his stobe light going off every 30 seconds and would last for 15 seconds and in the 15 seconds the picture was totally pixelated, like a cheap camera would do in a low light condition, where you would see the pixel squares all over the screen.

Anyways I sent this camer to a repair dealer in melbourne and they also had a Sony tech come and look at it and they did all there tests and say nothing is wrong, but they changed the lense... So after about 4 weeks I finally received my camera back and it still does it.

So now Ive resorted to just filming in SD at the moment and I dont have any issues at all, even in the lowest lighting condition thru manual control of iris and gain/shutter speeds.

Its got me stumped, never had an issue like this before, any ideas of why would be appreciated, or should I ask Sony to just replace the dam thing if they cannot fix it, but my experiences with Sony fixing stuff has been pretty poor standards.

If I had x2 of these I would be able to test it more but I dont think I will buy another of this model.

This is in full Auto in daylight, night times I use manual controls, and yes I did an Auto test as well, as I thought it may have been my shutter speed incorrectly set, but this was not the case as it did it in manual and auto, in all shooting conditions a Wedding may bring upon you in a days shooting.

Cheers
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Old October 7th, 2010, 02:18 PM   #2
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I have bought my cameras at B & H in the past but starting buying from Armato's partly for just this reason. B & H has never given me a problem and has always had excellent service but last year I started buying from Armato's even though the prices are slightly higher. I bought a Z7 from Armato's for $5,600 when I would have paid $150 less from B & H.

If my Z7 had displayed these problems I would have had a better chance at exchanging the thing but certainly there would be no guarantees. Going straight to Sony would be like being a goldfish in the ocean and they could blow you off and say, "Too bad, so sad." It would be a total killer for me if my Z7 started doing those thing, I depend on it so much.

The fact that you only see this in HDV suggests to me that you are getting dropouts in DV as well but just don't see it. I would try to get more information. There is a chance that it might help identify where to look. Try shooting outside with the different ND filters selected one at a time. See what happens at -3dB and other video gains. Try different frame rates not neglecting even 1/8 and even go way above 1/60 and shoot at both interlaced, progressive, and pseudo-progressive. There are other things to try if you think about it.

This is a lot of work and will take a lot of time. However, if you stumble on something that isolates the problem or eliminates it only for that condition, you will have something to give the technician to look at.
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Old October 7th, 2010, 02:47 PM   #3
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Another thing to try: Try using the HDMI output which bypasses the camera's electronics and see if you still see the issue. If you still see it there I would say it is in the imager itself. These can be replaced but they are super expensive. I had one replaced in my Sony A1 for $900 earlier this year.
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Old October 7th, 2010, 03:05 PM   #4
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This is normal, the flash is taxing the hdv codec, it didn't do it in SD because it is a different codec, when I had my Z1 and XH A1, both HDV, I've seen in a few occasions.
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Old October 7th, 2010, 06:04 PM   #5
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Wayne,

This sounds like it could be a flash-banding issue. Have you shot in these same conditions before without a problem? All CMOS sensor cameras suffer this effect when exposed to a strobe type of light, and lightning. Try shooting in 60i at a slower shutter speed light 1/30. I own a Z7 but mainly use it as a b-camera and for underwater. I shoot outdoor and documentary type of run and gun so I very seldom run into flash photography. I did a test on my PMW-350 and even it suffers from this flash banding phenomenon. If you think this could be the problem do a search for flash banding. I know there are some work arounds.

If I wasn't on the road, I do a test tomorrow myself to see if I can get the same effect. I'm very interested in seeing how this turn out.....
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Old October 7th, 2010, 06:45 PM   #6
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Dan is 100% correct. This is the problem with CMOS chips. It is called rolling shutter. However, there are some softwares that will "deflash" the scene in regards to a photo flash.

In regards to SONY service. A friend of mine had an issue with his HVR-270 as it was "eating" tapes.

He dropped of the camera in New Jersey and within a week it was returned to him repaired and working fine.
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Old October 7th, 2010, 08:20 PM   #7
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I will try a few of these things this weekend, as I only have a footy game to film, replicating the environment though may be an issue, as I need constant camera flashes going off, ill see what I can come up with and keep you posted of the results.

Filmed a Deb ball in HD on this camera on the weekend just gone, and same again, 50% of the time when flash goes off, the picture will pixelate and takes about 5-15 frames to correct.
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Old October 7th, 2010, 08:36 PM   #8
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Wayne,

I don't think that any of the people who posted really read what you wrote. You did describe the rolling flash syndrome which is classic and very normal CMOS operation but that is unrelated to the problem your camera is having.

Your camera has a problem of such a nature that you cannot use its HDV footage from a typical wedding.

Try calling Armato's Pro Video and ask to speak to Anton.

Armato's Pro Video
800 628-6801
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Old October 8th, 2010, 03:27 PM   #9
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Skip the dealer for the repair, especially if you did not purchase from that dealer. You live in Australia, so the cost to send it to New York, USA would be excessive in my opinion.

This camera needs to be sent to SONY REPAIR directly to the SONY facility. Be firm with them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Dear View Post
I will try a few of these things this weekend, as I only have a footy game to film, replicating the environment though may be an issue, as I need constant camera flashes going off, ill see what I can come up with and keep you posted of the results.

Filmed a Deb ball in HD on this camera on the weekend just gone, and same again, 50% of the time when flash goes off, the picture will pixelate and takes about 5-15 frames to correct.
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Old October 9th, 2010, 07:51 AM   #10
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Ya I have some tests to do tommorow, have a concert lined up that I can go to at Performing Arts Centre in Albury, where I will run some tests, as its not a job, just want to replicate my environment so I can do some playing around, I dont think I will solve it, as I do think its hardware related, but I spose it will help Sony knowing what settings I have used in each different shot I do.

I bought it off Tasman AV, they are prolly the biggest dealer in professional video equipment in Australia, they put me onto Pro-Hightech for repairs, Sony also linked me to them on an email I sent them, That was a few months ago though, and since I am back in the Wedding Season, I havnt had to use HDV, but upon using it, it still fails after they replaced the lens, the service dealer said it could be " Quote from Service report" - It's been a little hard to fault-find your camera so far. We've tried a few things and updated the Firmware.
It's possible that the iris is intermittently not closing quickly enough, being that your camera is under wty I will replace the lens as a precaution.

I have also sent Sony AU an email, requesting they look at it themselves about 3 days ago, still waiting on a reply, having to cut 3-15 frames when a flash goes off is un-usable in my line of work.

I will see what tommorows testings bring me, and I will also post some pictures of the problem

Cheers
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Old October 9th, 2010, 08:31 AM   #11
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@ Dan

Regarding the flash Banding, nothing like what I am experiencing with my Z7

Cheers
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Old October 9th, 2010, 08:55 AM   #12
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Yeah I reread your original post and saw that you said it last up to 15 frames, that is not right, when it happen to me, very few times, only 1 frame is pixelated and maybe half of the picture were affected and so very hard to see, but it is codec related and so they should maybe replace your encoder.
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Old October 10th, 2010, 11:00 AM   #13
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This may sound like a stupid question but this is happening on your outputted media, such as a finished DVD, and not what you're seeing on your monitor correct? That is not a rolling shutter issue at all.
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Old October 12th, 2010, 02:14 AM   #14
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This is happening on the original tape going straight from a recording, first thing I did was check if it was a capturing issue from tape to Computer, on the real bad parts of this happening, I can play it back from the tape to viewfinder in camera and you can see it on the view finder as well, so to me this has to do with maybe the imager as someone mentioned.

I still want to test to see if this happens recording to the memory unit, I will try this week, or early next week, as at present I have to many jobs on to run hours of testing, I am still waiting on a reply back from Sony Australia, typical of them, they say within 48 hours, it has now been a week :) and no reply or call from them, will ring them tommorow. I seem to allways have issues on customer service with Sony, is it only me? or is it just Sony Australia.

Cheers
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 05:05 AM   #15
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Sony contacted me yesterday and want me to send the unit to there Sydney office to look at, will post it Monday, hopefully a fix soon.
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