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Under Water, Over Land
Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.


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Old September 20th, 2005, 05:24 AM   #61
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The following site might be of use to some of you www.wildeye.co.uk.
They are particulaly keen on the xl2
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Old October 18th, 2005, 08:09 PM   #62
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this is without a doubt my favorite thread on this site. there hasn't been much action on it lately. everyone must be out shooting fall colors or something.

anyway, i am wondering if anyone else has thoughts or opinions on using the FX-1 for shooting outdoors and wildlife. i did some tests today with the FX-1 to compare it to the XL2 mounted with a 70-200mm 2.8 EOS lens today. to some extent, it is an apples and oranges comparison because one is a 12x zoom and the other a telephoto. but i fully expected the FX-1 to blow away the XL2 and it absolutely didn't. with the 35mm lens, the XL2 displays a sharpness and clarity and detail which even HDV can't match.

i would say, for landscapes, the FX-1 wins even without a wide angle. it is tremendous. the colors and detail are the best i've seen. but for wildlife and leaf/pinecone detail, the XL2 is still without peer.

for portability, the FX-1 wins hands-down, though. for the portability in outdoors shooting, measured against the still-wonderful quality of the footage, it is matchless. i need a llama or something to carry all the associated XL2 gear and the big fat tripod needed to keep the shot steady.

anyway, i was just wondering how or if the outdoors and wildlife videographers, specifically, were making the leap to HDV, and what has the experience been?

anyone?
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Old October 19th, 2005, 10:14 AM   #63
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In order for the Sony FX1 to compete with the Canon XL2 the Sony must be displayed on a name brand full high definition
television that has the complete 1920 x 1080 pixel count. These are called 1080p televisions and are available as LCD, LCOS, IDLA and Plasma. A 720p television will not have the pixel count to make an adequate comparison.
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Old October 19th, 2005, 10:17 AM   #64
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that's a really good point. i was only thinking about the image on the front-end, in camera. hm...
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Old October 19th, 2005, 12:15 PM   #65
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I think John Junor has been trying out Canon lenses on his fx1 to create a monster zoom. Look in the hdv forums.
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Old October 20th, 2005, 05:46 AM   #66
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Tripod for FX1?

Quote:
for portability, the FX-1 wins hands-down, though. for the portability in outdoors shooting, measured against the still-wonderful quality of the footage, it is matchless. i need a llama or something to carry all the associated XL2 gear and the big fat tripod needed to keep the shot steady.
Meryem (or anyone with a Sony FX1/Z1) - I assume your 'big fat tripod' is for the XL2 - yes? What tripod are you using with the FX1? I have a Bogen/Manfrotto 440 CarbonOne Tripod (very similar to Jeff Sayre's 441) and it's great except I'm wondering how stable that tripod will be for FX1 HDV footage. Have you noticed the need for a heavier tripod (more stable) with the FX1 just to make sure that the High-Def footage isn't shaky?
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Old October 20th, 2005, 07:37 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy James
In order for the Sony FX1 to compete with the Canon XL2, the Sony must be displayed on a name brand full high-definition television that has the complete 1920 x 1080 pixel count. These are called 1080p televisions and are available as LCD, LCOS, IDLA and Plasma. A 720p television will not have the pixel count to make an adequate comparison.
---------------------------------------------

The fact is that with the exception of some very special non-production HDTVs, the ones currently available just can't display anything near 1080 scanning lines. The dot-pitch on HD-CRT sets is too large to resolve more than 670 scanning lines and some models can't deliver more than about 570 lines. The better CRTs have a dot-pitch of .64mm and others have an .84mm size on the phosphor screen dots.
Compare that to computer monitors that commonly have a dot-pitch of .25mm, allowing for a much sharper picture to be displayed with the smaller and more numerous dots.

Plasma and LCD sets with a display of 720 progressive lines are somewhat sharper than the best CRTs and some of them use up to 760 scanning lines. This is as high a number of scanning lines that the plasma and LCD sets can display.

Because of this, a 720-line source can look just as good on most HD sets as one that has 1080 lines. Only when they start producing HD monitors with smaller dot-pitches, will you be able to see all the resolution from a 1080-line source. For now, those 720p camcorders will display just as good a picture on most home HDTV sets. I'm not familiar with how fine a dot-pitch is available on expensive broadcast HD monitors.

The bottom line is that for the masses, HDTV is not yet all that it's cracked up to be.
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Old October 20th, 2005, 10:25 AM   #68
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shawn: before i purchased the fx-1, i owned a bogen 701rc2 head on 3001pro legs and a bogen 516 head on 3246 legs. the smaller head still runs the XL2 using the 20x or 3x lens but not the 35mm lens (too much shake) and is also not good with the XL2 in wind. but i can carry it pretty far. since i am female, i can't carry the same weight as jeff's set-up, which he considers light for him, but would not be light at all for me.

the tripod/camera weight question is always a big trade depending on how far/how vertical/how ugly the hike in is. i feel like i'm constantly experimenting with sacrifices of quality measured against the weight and distance i can carry.

as far as the fx-1, i think it works pretty well with the lighter set-up, which is one reason i am so happy to have found it. i can take it up the big peaks around here, which i hope to do next summer. it is actually more stable in some ways than the XL2, because with its 12x lens, it has less available zoom, so the zoomed-in footage has less range, but therefore requires less stabilizing as well. i shot a bunch of footage using mostly a beanbag and a velbon DF-10ML, which is as minimalist as you can possibly get, and i don't think it is too bad at all. my conclusion with my first FX-1 camera test is that the FX-1's reputation for shake is absolutely undeserved, and it is a breakthrough for outdoors shooting, because its quality in some circumstances, exceeds the XL2 (even though the XL2 with a 35mm lens is unbeatable in other circumstances). but since i almost only take the XL2 35mm set-up to places where i can drive the gear in, which is preferable? if anything, shawn, i'm absolutely delighted with how little i can get away with, in terms of a light tripod, and still get nice footage.

anyway, these are the issues that i'm recently grappling with and some current thoughts. i used to prefer my GL2 over my XL2 for portability, but the FX-1 is almost as easy to carry and use as my GL2, which is why it is such a miracle. and the footage is fabulous.

if you're inclined, my FX-1 upload can be viewed at:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=52904

but i'm interested in whether anyone else is doing comparisons of the FX-1 versus XL2/35mm set-up. if i had to choose between an FX-1 and an XL2 with a 20x stock lens, i'd take the FX-1, i believe, for both portability and quality. but the 35mm option puts the XL2 in a whole different class for sharpness and vibrancy. (but also for anti-portability....)

so if anyone else has any ideas or experiments with the FX-1 versus XL2 with a 35mm set-up, i'd really be interested to hear or see them.
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Old October 23rd, 2005, 04:07 AM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Sayre
I use a Bogen/Manfrotto 441 CarbonOne Video Tripod with a 3443 Bogen head. ... I believe that this series has been replaced by Bogen's Mag Fiber Tripods. Here are some links:
http://www.procam.com/shop/product_i...roducts_id=233
Hey Jeff - Have you noticed that B&H still sells a CarbonOne 3445 (shown here at B&H) that has a 75mm bowl. Does your 441 'video tripod' have a bowl or does it look like the photo in the procam link you gave? The reason I'm asking is because I have Bogan CarbonOne 440/3444 (4-extension leg version of what you have - probably a little less stable than your 441), and it has that same "center column that can be converted to lateral arm" (which is really cool for photos - do you use that for video?). Anyway, I'm mostly curious if you have ever tried removing the three hexnuts underneath the legs to see if that would fit a 75mm bowl somehow? Or does Bogan sell anything that will allow a 75mm bowl to fit in there? I can't imagine that the 3445 is anything more than the same basic tripod with a slightly different piece to fit the bowl. Do you think that would be a benefit if the tripod could be converted to a bowl design? - or do you prefer the center column design?

Also, have you ever used the "snow shoes" (part #230) and if so, do they work well?

Thanks, Shawn
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Old October 23rd, 2005, 04:33 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz
shawn: before i purchased the fx-1 ... the tripod/camera weight question is always a big trade depending on how far/how vertical/how ugly the hike in is. i feel like i'm constantly experimenting with sacrifices of quality measured against the weight and distance i can carry. ... as far as the fx-1, i think it works pretty well with the lighter set-up, which is one reason i am so happy to have found it. i can take it up the big peaks around here, which i hope to do next summer. ... if you're inclined, my FX-1 upload can be viewed at:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=52904
... so if anyone else has any ideas or experiments with the FX-1 versus XL2 with a 35mm set-up, i'd really be interested to hear or see them.
Hey Meryem - thanks for the very helpful post. This makes me think that carrying a CarbonOne might be overkill! :) I assume you're shooting on top of available rocks with the beanbag and a velbon DF-10ML - or doing ground level work?

As far as the experimenting goes, you've probably heard of RedRock micro's 35 mm add on for the FX1/Z1 (http://www.redrockmicro.com/). I almost won one of these at a Sony Vegas/FX1/Z1 group (I was picked as one of four people from different cities where DSE toured, but lost in the final drawing - many tears ...). Anyway the adapter is $500 I think and you can make use of your 35mm lenses, but I have no idea how good it is - also the image is inverted. Have you considered using one of these or checked them out? If so, I'd be interested in your reveiw of it for the outdoors. It's one way to get a long lens going into HDV.
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Old October 23rd, 2005, 03:12 PM   #71
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Here in Pal land I have just finished shooting the red deer rut. I used a the ZX1 with a 1.6 centuary tele plus a Miller trekker with 75mm bowl. I managed to get all the shots I required with this combination, but of course the had to be patient.

The results are great with excellent autumn colour.
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Old October 23rd, 2005, 04:54 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve McDonald
I have 3 telextenders, with 1.4X, 1.7X and 2.2X, which give me good enough magnification for most needs, on the 12X basic lens. A .5X, 58mm WA lens gives me good indoor capabilities, when I need them. This model does very well indoors, without added video lighting.
Steve - can you share a little more about your 1.4X, 1.7X ad 2.2X telextenders - like the brand/model#/cost and your feelings about the quality of each of them? Would really appreciate that.
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Old October 24th, 2005, 11:50 AM   #73
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I maybe wrong but adding low cost/quality tele converters to a lens designed for HDV is going to produce poor images.

I did some tests and opted for the century 1.6 VS-16TC-HDS, and I certainly would'nt try more than one.

Last edited by Mick Jenner; October 24th, 2005 at 02:26 PM.
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Old October 24th, 2005, 02:14 PM   #74
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hi shawn: i may be wrong about this, but the 35mm adapter you are describing is primarily for close-in, studio use, to obtain shallow DOF and a more film-like look from objects closer to the camera. i don't think they are really designed for telephoto use, although maybe someone else has done some experimenting of this nature and can talk about this.
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Old October 24th, 2005, 10:28 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn Redford
Hey Jeff - Have you noticed that B&H still sells a CarbonOne 3445 (shown here at B&H) that has a 75mm bowl. Does your 441 'video tripod' have a bowl or does it look like the photo in the procam link you gave? The reason I'm asking is because I have Bogan CarbonOne 440/3444 (4-extension leg version of what you have - probably a little less stable than your 441), and it has that same "center column that can be converted to lateral arm" (which is really cool for photos - do you use that for video?). Anyway, I'm mostly curious if you have ever tried removing the three hexnuts underneath the legs to see if that would fit a 75mm bowl somehow? Or does Bogan sell anything that will allow a 75mm bowl to fit in there? I can't imagine that the 3445 is anything more than the same basic tripod with a slightly different piece to fit the bowl. Do you think that would be a benefit if the tripod could be converted to a bowl design? - or do you prefer the center column design?

Also, have you ever used the "snow shoes" (part #230) and if so, do they work well?

Thanks, Shawn

Shawn:

I have noticed that B & H is still selling the CarbonOne 3445. My tripod does not have the 75mm bowl and I have not tried removing the hexnuts. Niether have I tried the snow shoes. I usually have no problem in snow.

By the way, Shawn, I now have a Sony Z1 and it also is very stable on my CarbonOne 441. I use this field tripod for both video and digital still photography.

Jeff
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