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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 February 6th, 2011, 03:28 AM   #1
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Best Z7 Camera Settings

Hi Guys, I have found the Z7 an amazing Camera in the short time I have had it. As this is my First Camera and after looking at some of the other Threads on here,(which a lot of them does not make sense yet) could I ask for some help with MENU SETTINGS.The Best ones for the Z7 or are any wrong on My Camera....

I have not touched much in the MENU as I don't know what is what exactly, it works and I won't touch anything just in case, My Settings are - (but are these the best and any Tips would be Helpful)

Gain - H 6db, M 0db, L -3db
Smooth Gain - Middle
Hyper Gain - Off
AGC Limit - Off
Black Balance - ?
WB Preset - Manual WB Temp
WB Outdoor Lvl - 0
WB Temp Set - 3200K
ATW Sens - Intelligent
Smooth WB - Off
AE Shift - 0
AE Window - Type 2 (just changed this Today, it was on Type 4)
AE Response - Fast
AT Iris Limit - F11
ECS Freq. (greyed out) - 50.00Hz
Flicker Reduce - Off
Contrast Enhancer - Off
Backlight (greyed out) - Off
Spotlight (greyed out) - Off
Steadyshot - Off
AF Assist - Off
Focus Macro (greyed out, but changes when I change mode on Focus Ring) - Off
Handle Zoom - 3
D.Extender (greyed out) - off
Fader (greyed out) - Off
Smooth Slow Record (greyed out)
Interval record (greyed out) - Off
DV Frame Record - Off
Shot Transition - ?
S.Trans/F.Mark - Shot Transition
X.V. Color - Off
Color Bar - Off
Flange Back - ? I need a Chart for this???

AUDIO SET

DV AU Mode - FS48K
Audio Limit - Off

XLR SET

XLR AGC LINK - Separate
AU.Man Gain - Separate
Input1 MIC NR - ON
Input1 Trim - 0db
Input1 Wind - Off

Same Settings for Input2.

DISPLAY SET

Zebra - On (But unsure on how best to use this yet)
Histogram - Off (I don't know how to use this)
Peaking - Off (but set to 90)
Marker - On (center-on, Aspect Off, Safety Zone 90%, Guideframe Off)
Camera Levelling - Off
EXPFOCUS Type - Type 1
Camera Data Display - On
AU. Level Display - On
Zoom Display - Bar
Focus Display - Meter
Shutter Display - Second
LCD Brightness - Halfway
LCD Color - Halfway
LCD Black Level - Normal
VF B Light - Normal
VF Color - On
VF Powermode - On
Letter Size - Normal
Tape Remaining - Normal
Display Out - V-Out/Panel

IN/OUT REC

Record Format - HDV1080i
HDV Progressive - (Rec Type-Progressive, Scan Type 25)
Video Out - (Component 1080i/576i, Down Convert & DV Wide Conv Both set to Squeeze)
i.Link Set - Off
EXT Rec Control - Synchronus

TC/UB SET

TC Preset - 00:00:00:00
TC RUN - Rec Run
TC Make - Preset
UB Time Rec - Off

Thanks a lot for any help as it was scary the first time I seen all these MENU SETTINGS, as I said above that is why I have not really touched anything, but IF I have something wrong and if someone could help.

Thanks for reading.
Steven
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Old February 6th, 2011, 05:52 AM   #2
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Steven,

It's not that simple. The best settings to use on your camera will be constantly changing from shoot to shoot, location to location, shot to shot, and even sometimes during a single shot.

Instead of focusing right now on WHICH camera settings someone else recommends, (which might not even be right for you), I suggest that you spend the time to educate yourself about what those settings do and WHY you might want to change. It's the WHY that is most important. That is the key to getting the best results with your camera.

Once you understand the WHY, then you'll be able to come to your own conclusions based on the actual results you get. The bottom line is that there's nothing wrong with seeking the advice of others, but it is of little value if you don't understand what those suggestions mean so you can reject or accept them . . . and who is giving them to you.

May I suggest my own 3 hour training DVD? :-)
Vortex Media: VIDEO & PHOTO Tools and Training
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Last edited by Doug Jensen; February 6th, 2011 at 07:46 AM. Reason: typos
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Old February 6th, 2011, 11:45 AM   #3
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Hi, Steven . . .

The advice Doug Jensen gave you is bang on. You will feel overwhelmed by all of the settings and choices - especially IF you don't understand them - or more-to-the-point - don't yet have a means to even develop a "starting point" on how and when to use the various settings and menu options, etc.

It's interesting that Doug Jensen wrote to you, since his advice to get a copy of his training DVD is the way to go. I have several of the cameras that Doug has produced training materials for. And it's so worth the purchase price that I wouldn't hesitate for one second - buy the DVD. You will walk away after watching the DVD with not only a lot more knowledge - but you will also have the confidence to quickly develop the skill-set to quickly get more out of the camera than you would otherwise. Guaranteed. Doug's on-camera style is so laid back, and common sense, that the training is super easy to follow and benefit from.

I've got three Vortex camera training DVD's plus their "How to Setup, Light, & Shoot Great Looking Interviews" and their warm cards too. It's all value added - and cheap when considering what the result would have been for me by not getting (and using) them.

Doug (of Vortex Media) is the best guy out there offering this kind of training - each title that Vortex offers is essentially a well thought out master class. The DVD's are a great resource that I find worth revisiting often.

Just my $0.02.

Ian
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Old February 6th, 2011, 06:20 PM   #4
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Hi Thanks, for the feedback. I knew that asking for settings I would get taht response, as this Forum everyone has what works for them? already in place.

I am new to all this so my real question should have been are the settings I listed Normal?

I also had a look into your DVD Doug, I watched some samples and I ordered a Copy via my Friend (cheers for the Sub) I will have a watch and see how it can help me.

Thanks again for your Time.

Steven
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 07:34 PM   #5
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Re: Best Z7 Camera Settings

Hi Guys, sorry I have not been back on sooner Family problems BIG if i knew 100% and was confident with the Z7 a few films I could get out of the Drama?

I have the Vortex Media DVD set and I admit a lot of it I am in the dark with, I am new to all this and IT has helped me So Thanks for that Doug. The understanding I got from the DVd was getting used to the functions on the Z7 as a whole, I never realised the options available.

I also agree with the statments made on settings, I thought I could get some settings and apply these somehow to a location, I do have one question Filming at night in a Neighbourhood setting?

I filmed at night on my Z7 LCD I thought this looks amazing, then when I took the footage into Final Cut :(

The noise/grain in the footage was not expected, I had taken the tips from the DVD and some from other users as I have no right or wrong setting - I had my Z7 set to

f1.6 or 1.8 when zooming it can also change to 2.0 or 2.2?
-3db or -6db on the gain (-6 via this forum)
50 or 25 on the shutter
White Balance? 4300 as mixed sources of light or Outdoor preset.

In looking at the footage I deleted it all as the settings I tried I hated the results, I could not achieve the looks from the DVD, or from the posts on Youtube I had seen???

Any tips on getting a better image under Night settings, the only reason i ask is I have a Music concert too Film and if thsi is the quality I may just use my cheap Handycam or Put the Z7 on FULL AUTO....

Steven
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 05:50 AM   #6
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Re: Best Z7 Camera Settings

I run my Z7 around about those settings for night/low light shooting and it comes out pretty dam good with no extra light sources used, are you positive you have it in manual and your AGC is not overriding? I put my AGC on -6 or 0, not that I use auto anyways, but thats what I leave it on if I need a real quick shot change, where going into manual settings would not cut it as I may need to change a shot in a couple seconds.

Setting AGC at -6 to 0, You can just slide it to auto and just look at difference, as the AGC is set to lowest or near abouts it cannot over compensate with the gain and add unwanted noise.

With the nice screen on the Z7 it is sometimes hard to even see the noise, while my first trials on the Z7 I would look for a black surface and turn my gain down until all noise vanished, as on a pitch black surface you can see noise better, use night sky if you can, if someone asks what ure filming, just say stars lol, funny though, thats how I learnt my AGC limits for my Z7, maybe they vary a little from camera to camera I dont know, but people seem to get best results on many different AGC limits from -6 to even +6 on the Z7. You just need to do test shots on different settings and maybe document each setting as you go through them on your camera mic until you find what is near the best result for you, and then use that as a bench mark for future night shots with little tweeks depending on the situation, as Doug says above, each shot is different.

Cheers

Wayne Dear
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Old May 5th, 2011, 08:40 AM   #7
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Re: Best Z7 Camera Settings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Campbell View Post
I filmed at night on my Z7 LCD I thought this looks amazing, then when I took the footage into Final Cut :(

The noise/grain in the footage was not expected, I had taken the tips from the DVD and some from other users as I have no right or wrong setting - I had my Z7 set to

f1.6 or 1.8 when zooming it can also change to 2.0 or 2.2?
-3db or -6db on the gain (-6 via this forum)
50 or 25 on the shutter
White Balance? 4300 as mixed sources of light or Outdoor preset.

Any tips on getting a better image under Night settings, the only reason i ask is I have a Music concert too Film and if thsi is the quality I may just use my cheap Handycam or Put the Z7 on FULL AUTO....

Steven
I know exactly where you are coming from. It looks amazing on the LCD, but when you get it in post it looks like VHS footage. The way I solved it on my end was to turn the sharpness way down when you are using gain. It sounds counterintuitive to reduce sharpness to make the image look sharper in low light, but the sharpness setting actually sharpens the noise and makes it even more visible. Unfortunately the viewfinder is not high enough resolution to show this to you. If you shoot with peaking on, you can get a better idea of how noisy your image will be. With sharpness all the way down and peaking on, your image in the viewfinder shouldn't look too 'snowy'.

Manually adjusting the white balance also makes a big difference.

hope that helps. Let me know if you come across any other solutions.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 05:30 PM   #8
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Re: Best Z7 Camera Settings

YES as Sony told me after sending them some examples get a better Camera one with a bigger sensor? I said to Sony my Friends little 500 Sony Handycam gets better results in low light?

James
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Old March 7th, 2012, 06:55 AM   #9
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Re: Best Z7 Camera Settings

I'm wrestling with a similar problem to Steven (maybe it's a Scottish thing!) but I am struggling with noise in low light. I've done all the usual checks, watched Doug's video again, been through as many forums as I can find but I haven't found the answer. (If it wasn't for Neat Video's de-noiser, I'd be in real trouble.)

Daryl mentions that the way he solved it was "to turn the sharpness way down when you are using gain". Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but I can't see how to adjust sharpness in the camera settings.

I'm self taught and beginning to suffer from a lack of self confidence! If anyone is still following this thread and can tell me how to adjust the sharpness, I'm keen to give it a try.
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Old March 7th, 2012, 11:55 AM   #10
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Re: Best Z7 Camera Settings

DETAIL, page 39.
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