February 9, 2010 at 11:23 PM #48542tysonsugiharaParticipant
I just purchased a Z5U. Just wondering If anyone has anything good or bad to say about this camera?
February 10, 2010 at 12:42 AM #199324jakeman3Member
Tyson ol’ buddy……I’ve only read about it & seen a few videos on YouTube. I’m in love. I’m anxious to get my hands on it and put it thru some paces. I think Sony has a new winner (in the price range) on their stables. Match that up with Adobe Prem Pro (with Mercury) and you can do just about anything.
Let me know if there’s anything you hate about it.
By your photo I’m guessing you’re in San Francisco which means you’re probably using Final Cut Pro. But if you’re still shopping for an NLE I highly suggest you check out Prem Pro. You know it runs on Apple now.
February 12, 2010 at 4:04 PM #199325
My Z5U just arrived Monday, and yes I am in love with it. I don’t know what the heck I am doing yet with all those vaguely labled dials, switches, and buttons, but I am learning. All I know is I can go throguh my house with very minimal lighting and get almost crystal clear images, and that is what matters most to me.
I was going to purchase the FX1000 with my tax return but over the 2 weeks I was waiting for my refund both B&H and Amazon raised their prices from about $2900 to $3200 and with the new $150 rebate on the Z5U, I figured going to the next level just made sense.
I now have some XLR issues but I will start my own thread on that one (and its not the camera, its me learning it).
February 12, 2010 at 5:57 PM #199326
I have the Sony HVRZ7U. I think they are very similar cameras. I know I love my Z7U and have had it a year now.Good color and as good in low light as my old VX2000. I think it may be the same CMOS sensor in the Z5U and Z7U. I went tapeless with the Z7U and love recording on compact flash.
February 14, 2010 at 4:38 AM #199327
I believe Z7U is the same cam, along with the FX1000. It just depends on what bells and whistles are important to you and fit your budget. Z7U just has a detachable lense system if I am not mistaken. If thereare more differences I would love to know and it may determine my next camera.
I DO like how my MRC1 is seamlessly mounted to the camera body, BUT – you STILL cannot synchronize it with the camera’s record function if there is no tape in the camera. You can do it manually, but it is akward on the fly. I would have hoped that with Sony designing it to be “seamlessly” used with the Z5U, the total functions would also seamless. Unfortunately, its just like very other camera when it comes to that point. On the plus side, you do get the CF information on your LCD display…. While I do record to tape and CF for weddings, if I am shooting short home vids of my son etc, I really don’t want to be wasting the mechanical components of the camera.
February 15, 2010 at 7:35 PM #199328
The MRC1 is seamless with the cam. When I hit “record” on the cam the unit starts recording to CF card. The only time there is an issue is if you hit “standby” and then want to hit “record” again right away. The unit may still be “spooling” the last clip (if it is long) to the CF card and may not start recording again as soon as you want it to. I don’t use tape any more at all.
And yes, the Z7U has a detachable lense. I like this because they also have a wide angle conversion lense for this camera- it’s on my “wish list”.
February 16, 2010 at 6:14 PM #199329
Is there a setting I am missing then? I can NOT get it to synchronize with the camera unless I have a tape in the deck.
February 17, 2010 at 1:25 PM #199330
I have been using the Sony Z1, Z5 and Z7 cameras since they came out and before that VX2000s and I can say that each one is different. For example the VX and Z1 is are CCD devices while the Z5 and Z7 are CMOS. Personally, I do not thing sensor technology is relevant. Either can be good or bad.
The Z7 has a Zeiss removable lens with 12x zoom ratio while Z5 has a built-in Sony lens with a 20x zoom ratio. I like the Z5 better because it zooms faster than the Zeiss lens. The slow zoom – which is too fast for my liking – seems about the same on both. Also, note that alternate lenses for the Z7 are mostly in excess of $1,000. It can use some Sony lenses, but those need an adaptor that is about $600 in addition to the lens price.
The audio inputs are the same, but are configured differently because the Z5 (like the VX and Z1) have camera mounted stereo mics while the Z7 has only the short shotgun that comes with it. The same short shotgun mic comes with the Z5.
A unique feature of the Z7 that I really like is the ability to limit the area of the frame that is used for autoexposure determination. I find it really useful to limit the auto exposure area to the center (in most cases) of the screen rather than including the whole frame.
The Z7 only gives you a choice of white peaking as a focusing aid while Z5 offers red as well as white.
The VX, Z1 and Z5 have the same button configuration for starting and stopping, while the Z7 has separated the record stop-start from the camera-off-VCR power button.
There are other small differences in the menus between the cameras, but the image quality is the same (VX is not HDV) except that the Z1 is low light challenged. The VX is the best low light camera with Z5 and Z7 almost as good.
The need for a tape while recording on a CF card is actually a good thing. Tape is a very reliable medium and CF cards aren’t. I use the CF cards all the time, but have had failures, I have never had a tape failure. Besides, I archive all my footage and the tapes provide an easy way to do that.
Finally, the best camera would be, in my opinion, the Z7 body with the Z5’s lens.
February 17, 2010 at 10:50 PM #199331
I would never NOT use tape at a wedding, but for shooting around the house for non important stuff, I feel it best to be able to limit the mechanical usage of the camera. How do you get it to synchronize with the camera with no tape? Apparently it has been done and am still looking for the answer that I somehow overlooked when setting it up.
My concerns come with using 3 different Sony consumer Mini-DV cameras over the past 11 years. Unless the mechanical parts of the Z5U are a lot more durable than the consumer mechanical parts (and somehow I find that hard to believe), sooner or later I will be playing tapes back and there will be horrid artifacts and distortionall over video. Head cleaning never helped this. The only thing that ever helped to get the tapes to play back correctly was fast forwarding a few min, rewinding a few mins, and getting back to where you left off. Sometimes you had to do this 5 or more times before the tape would play correctly. Almost EVERY tape would do this at some point while playing it back, and having to realign it or whatever got old.
Why did I choose Sony over and over again? Beacuse of the picture and colors. I had a Canon consumer I bought used for very cheap, seemed to work well but the colors were very weak. A JVC I picked up on my honeymoon because I forgot my Sony at home had artifacts on playback that I was unable to get rid of. Probably a lemon to begin with and never worked right. So, that is why I chose Sony for all mymain consumer Mini-DV cams.
Each Sony camera had this issue, and usually it was no more than after I had recorded to 10 tapes, so it was not getting over used.
Those reasons are why I would like to learn how to synchronize the MRC1and Z5U with no tapes.
February 18, 2010 at 1:27 PM #199332
I can’t say it can be synched on the Z5U but I cannot imagine Sony would make the Z7U such that the MRC1 synchs with it and then it not with the Z5U. I have been using the Z7U for over a year this way and cannot remember how I set it up as it is the default operation now. I will look through all my settings and post back if I see anything but it seems I read both manuals and did exactly what it said.
As far as tapes being more reliable. I trust the new technology more than most and have not had a CF card failure. I have 3 cards each 32GB that I rotate using and have a CF card reader on my desktop. The ability to transfer and edit quickly has saved me more than once, but I do understand being reluctant to switch to tapeless.
February 18, 2010 at 5:44 PM #199333
Doublehamm brought up a really good point – using tape puts wear on the the heads. Every tape you record goes over the heads at least twice, once when it’s recorded and once when it’s played back. This represents wear on the heart of the camera. That’s a good reason to use chips with the tape or chips alone if the footage is not important. That way you cut head wear at least in half by not playing back the tapes.
I have something over 600 tapes recorded roughly equally over four Sony cameras and haven’t experienced the heavy artifacts. They are all Sony tapes, mostly HDM-63VG and DVM-63 types. I do run 10 seconds of cleaning tape about every 4 hours of taping and don’t reuse tapes. I did use some JVC tapes a few years ago and did experience artifacts after a few hours of taping. Later, I read in a forum that the lubricant used on Sony tapes may not be compatible with that on other brands of tape and might gum up the camera’s drum. I don’t know if that’s true or not.
Take it for what it’s worth, but it is a good idea to minimize head wear.
February 18, 2010 at 11:07 PM #199334AnonymousInactive
doublehamm – you need to make sure the Z5 “EXT REC CTRL” menu (under “IN/OUT REC”) is set to “EXT ONLY”. And both the Z5 and the MRC1 need to be set to SYNCHRONOUS, not FOLLOW. (The MRC1’s menu for this is under MENU then SETTING then CAMLINK SELECT). This will allow you to activate recording on the MRC1 with both the REC START/STOP triggers, and without needing a tape in the camera.
I absolutely LOVE my Z5U – it is an incredible camera with (almost) everything you will probably need. The Z7 has more professional options and interchangeable lenses, but the Z5 actually has a few slicker menu features and a better overall physical design, IMO. (The FX1000 is almost identical to the Z5, not the Z7, but it is missing a few features that are critical for me, including true native 24p and 30p recording).
HOWEVER… If you are new to Sony cameras, and if you decide to buy either the Z5 or the Z7, PLEASE do yourself a favor and go out and buy both the VASS and VORTEX DVDs (“Inside the Sony HVR-Z7U,” and “Mastering the Sony HVR-Z7U” respectively.) Even though they list the Z7, they are perfectly fine for the Z5 as well, which has almost all of the same menus.
I’m not trying to be an advertisement, but these videos will save you MONTHS of time and poking around trying to figure things out. I would recommend starting with the VASS DVD, which is more boring, and in many ways horribly produced (there are jump frames and audio screw ups all over the thing – can’t believe it was shot by professionals). However, the information is very straight forward, and it gives you a better initial overview since it goes through every menu in order, and spends some time on Picture Profiles.
On the other hand, the VORTEX DVD is incredibly well-produced and very well-shot and organized. However, while it actually has more info than the VASS DVD, it isn’t quite as methodical, and misses some key points that VASS covers.
Individually, these training DVDs are both decent, but together they will give you virtually everything you need to know, and are well worth your time and money.
February 20, 2010 at 1:39 PM #199335
THANK YOU NextEpisode!
I guess I didn’t get the camera settings right and I spent a couple hours messing with settings in the MRC1 thinking hhat is where the issue was. It works now. I will actually use Synchronous for the wedding today, but now I know where the correct setting is.
I will definitely check out those DVDs, wish I had them before the wedding today, but for future reference I think it will be quite handy. Lets hope my aimless poking and prodding around with all the switches and dials yields me some decent footage today! Ihave the general feel for it I think, but I don’t think those DVDs would hurt – as I know I have a LOT to learn as I have never had a camera with so many things to do.
I would like to get into picture profiling more and spend more time on it. I tried creating one that I thought looked great on the LCD but when I played it back I about died laughing at what I had done. I do like using the pre loaded PP6 (my favorite by far) as it seems to give the best blacks and even helps considerably reduce the grain in low lighting – even though the camera overall does exceptionally well in low light to begin with.
Not sure if I sould record the wedding today in PP6 or normal and use Red Giant later for looks to get it to be a bit more picture compatible with my HVR-HD1000u, but I doubt I will get a response before I head out the door on any opinions. Any thoughts on future use though?
My last bit of dilemma is 30p and 24p. I am not really sold on those yet. It sems almost too strobe like for me even when movement is not that fast. But I know all the hype out there seems to be 30p and 24p. I will probably go with 30p for the wedding, as it seems most popular, but personally I still like 60i the best because of the much smoother video. I cannot tell a difference in picture quality when I play it back on my HDTV, just that 60i is a lot smoother, and 30/24p are more strobe like. I guess to each their own.
March 4, 2010 at 11:46 AM #199336AnonymousGuest
For tapeless recording, you might want to consider the new HXR-NX5U. It uses the same imaging block as the Z5U, but records AVCHD to flash SDHC memory cards or an optional 128GB FMU (flash memory unit).
March 4, 2010 at 12:17 PM #199337
Yes I have looked at the NX5U for possibly my next camera,
June 25, 2010 at 11:24 PM #199338
June 27, 2010 at 1:29 PM #199339
You probably have worked things out by now, but in case you haven’t, here’s my experience with both the Z5 and Z7u settings shooting weddings and events.
Nobody has ever told me that they wished I’d used film because the picture is too sharp and clear and the motion is too smooth. So, I’ve settled on using minimal or no in-camera effects and shoot everything at 60i. I use effects like Red Giant, but they all go in during editing. Starting with the cleanist possible original works best for me.
To minimize grain, fix the gain at its lowest setting that works for the lighting conditions. That is, use the gain setting that gives good video with no ND filter and the widest or second widest lens opening and 1/60 sec shutter speed. You can, as a last resort to get more light, lower the shutter speed to 1/30 second. This gives the equivalent of 1 f-stop exposure increase or 3 db gain increase without adding any grain. But it does affect the appearance of the video so try it before shooting something important.
Don’t misunderstand, I am not “against” profiles, even no profile is actually a profile. I have used them under very controlled circumstances where I could shoot a scene multiple times with different profiles and later select the best rendition. But I don’t think a wedding or other one-time events fall into this category.
Thats my 2 cents worth.
July 3, 2010 at 9:55 PM #199340
Thanks for the opinion on profiles. I just received my 2nd Z5U 2 days ago (and completely forgot I was looking at the NX5U as I personally stated in this thread, kind of wish I went with it now, but I know the Z5U and am comfortable with it.).
Honestly I have not shot a wedding without PP6. But I know what you are getting at. I do have a close watch on my gain – my high setting on the manual is topped out at 12db, and I always make sure I use that in a darker room so it does not get out of control. I mainly like the profile because the blacks look so much more crisp. I do shoot in 30p with it, and shutter at 30 when needed.
Since I have never shot at anything other than PP6 – maybe it is time for me to break away from that dirty habiton my next wedding and go straight default 60i.
As for Red Giant, I am having issues installing it correctly for Vegas Pro 9.0 (I had a thread for this as well). I used it all the time as a free addon pack in Pinnacle Studio, and since I have been using Vegas I would really like to use it over there. Right now if I want a looks effect, I am stuck rendering my sections in uncompressed AVI to be fully compatible with the 2 NLE’s (any other format crashes the opposite NLE). This is a huge space waster at about 10GB per minute of video, and needless renders to move from one NLE to the other and then back again.
I have installed and reinstalled it many times and it never shows up in the vegas plugins. I have a feeling I wasted $400 on this software. Any ideas there?
Thanks in advance,
July 4, 2010 at 12:30 PM #199341
You got me interested in PP6 so I will be shooting some stuff in it to see how it works. I’m always interested in the lowest possible noise. I have a tendency to find something that works well for me and repeat that over and over again. I developed this attitude from film days when consistency was the key to good shots. Now, of course, you can often see your results and reshoot.
As far as Red Giant goes, I am using the Lite Looks in Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 – I didn’t spring for $400 for the full package – and my only complaint is that it takes a long time to render. One thing I have found that sometimes helps when I can’t get Premiere to work properly is to deactivate and COMPLETELY delete it and all the plugins and updates. I have found it difficult to be sure that all the temp files as well as register entries related to it are deleted, but nothing must remain except your projects. Defrag the drive and reinstall the original software and activate it. Then apply fresh copies of all updates, then install the third party stuff. This is a big job, but it has worked for me.
July 4, 2010 at 3:28 PM #199342
I did some shooting of a fireworks show last night and some stuff before hand in the normal profile. What I did notice is even though I had the gain stopped right at 0db during the show, and relied soley on exposure and a shutter speed of 30, the “black” sky still seemed to have some noise going on and was a little grey. I have never shot fireworks before, so this was a lot of guess work. Other than black skies turning grey, which I was able to crush a bit in Vegas, it still looks decent.
I think what Idid notice from pre show and allowing the gain to creep to 12 when needed, is that when you use PP6 and there is noise, it looks more like grain. When you use no profile, the noise looks more like.. well… noise!
I never used PP6 because I wanted it to look like film, I just PERSONALLY just liked the picture quality. The tredeoff is, yes, it does darken the shot a tiny bit.
Those are my 2 cents from what I have found, and I will try to get some practice in shooting in more lit conditions with no profile.
BTW – do you have any idea how to set up 2 Z5Us to synch with each other with SMPTE? I have 2 of them now, and I have heard that you can do it, but I have flipped all over the manual and I see no reference to it anywhere.
July 5, 2010 at 7:45 AM #199343David ForresterMember
Want some thoughts on the Z5? Before I bought one, I did a lot of research – compared it to the other makes. It wins hands down for color, cleanliness, no aliasing issues, beautiful rich low light colors. I have used it in a 7 day film shoot and it was stunning. Commercials to the biggest corporations in the land, and theatre work. The G lens is as good as Zeiss. 20X is perfect and razor sharp and clear. If you need to get wider – use a WA adapter. The LCD screen is the best in the industry. The audio is excellent on 16 bit.
Downsides: The little buttons are hard to press. I used a drop of JB Weld on each button to make it pop out and easier to press. The menu wheel is lousy to handle. Take a dremel and cut teeth into it – then it is OK. I could easily use 3 more assign buttons, selective frame rates and larger buttons. I could use a selective focus option – like a point to fixate on for instance. But you learn to work around these issues.
Using it. Keep the gain at -3 if possible. Do as much on manual as you can. Keep your shutter speed at 30-60 sec. unless you want special effects. GEt the training videos from Vortex – they are worth the money. Use the ND as much as you can to keep the lens wide open for the best shallow DOF. You won’t have shallow depth of field – that is where a Canon 5D Mk 2 kicks in (I have one and am learning to tame the BEAST – not an easy job). But focus is still critical at wide open. The on board mics are fantastic for wide open space stereo. For closer audio, get a Sennheiser ME66 or equivalent, or use the mic that came with the camera and get that mic up close. (Or use a line feed if you can get one).
Disregard the comments about mechanical wear – it won’t happen. Tapes are inexpensive, last forever and are archived if you want them to. When you are downloading them, you actually go through a bit of filtering by only downloading the good stuff (usually about 25% of what you take). And then on the NLE, you cut it back another 90%!. Seeing it a second time is a good way to get in the editing groove – I have no problems there.
I use Vegas 9. Sony records the images as a bit flat because it has details in both dark and highlights. When I do the editing, I ALWAYS use the brightness and contrast Event FX option in every clip and with a slight increase in contrast, a small drop in brightness, the colors jump out big time. They are simply stunning.
I compared a image taken from this camera to my Canon 5D with Zeiss glass (in this case a 28-85 f3.3 zoom) taken in movie mode and I can truthfully say the Sony was a bit better! That is outstanding. Why? The Canon gives aliasing issues when it gets dark (using ISO of 1500 and up) as it uses a grid of 1920 x 1200 or something like that. It has a bad noise issue of microlines in dark scenes. The Sony uses a CMOS Exmor technology that uses a 45 degree rotated pixel that eliminated this nasty aliasing issue and results in world class quality, sharpness, clarity. The backgrounds are smooth and velvety and razor sharp. Now If they put that sensor in the Alpha 900 camera and go movie mode – I sell the Canon.
This is a fantastic camera. Buy it and shoot like crazy. BTW, DSLR’s will never replace Video cameras. They are a great B camera, and can do some things the Sony can’t do (shallow DOF – the holy grail of film making, interchangeable lenses, night shots – but are a challenge / difficult to get superb video shots with the ease of a Z5).
Hope this helps.
July 6, 2010 at 2:05 AM #199344
When did you get your Z5U? I got my first in February, and the 2nd one last week. Both have scroll wheels that are extremely easy to operate. I read a lot of reviews on how stiff it is but I am wondering of that problem has been fixed with the newest models. Now to just figure out how to synch these with SMPTE…
I hear your complaint on the needing some more assignable button functions, but I can manage without. Definitely would not hurt!
I used the brightness/contrast FX for a while but I have found the color curves to be easier to dopretty much the same thing with. There is a wider range of what areas you can darken and brighten, and the brilliant contrast is pretty much a gifted side effect. Here is some video of firweorks from the other night, and everything (pre show and during the show) was adjusted with color curves alone. I was easily able to turn the grey noisy sky to Black – which next time I will have to try -3db, because apparently 0db is still just too noisy with so much black.
I never use tape at all any more, and maybe I am asking for a disaster. Why I didn’t get the NX5U for the 2nd camera last week isa question I am still asking myself. In any case I have yet to have any issues with the CF option. I do know from using tapes though in the past the $2 run of the mill tapes worked just as well as the $10+ pemium HD quality tapes. I had dropped frames just as often with the expensive tapes as the cheap ones. I guess that is another reason I am steering away from tapes, the CFs do not drop ANY frames!
July 7, 2010 at 1:35 PM #199345
Nice video! Looks good to me!
I am still experimenting with the PP6 you recommended and I can see it gives attractive results. So far, I like it. I am shooting a stage play next week and I’ll try it out there.
I have also experienced the gray sky effect when shooting fireworks (no fireworks this year in my town due to budget cuts) which I attributed to the smoky cloud fireworks leave in the sky. I got rid of it by stopping the lens down an extra stop manually and slightly raising the “input black level” on one of the color correction effects in Premiere. Also, I suspect that a small amount of noise may be more critical in your projects than in mine. Incidentally, I adjust input black and white as well as saturation of almost everything. I also occasionally use a plugin by Neato which reduces noise.
I shoot both tape and CF cards simultaneously using a Sony MRC recorder and have never had dropped frames on the cards, but I have on the tapes – maybe one tape out of 50 will have a dropout. I have found that CF cards either work or they don’t, nothing in between. CF cards are really good for loading long projects into the PC, but I use the tapes for permanent storage. I am trying to use hard drives for permanent storage but haven’t adopted it exclusively yet.
As an aside on tape – it is a common mistake to use picture quality (sharpness, noise, saturation etc) as a means of comparing digital tapes. The only criterion that matters is dropouts and zero is the ideal number. As long as the tape provides sufficient signal to noise ratio when playing back for the camcorder to tell the difference between a “1”and a “0”, you will get a good picture. When too many bits are confused, you get a dropout. The picture is gone until the camera can sync up again with the tape.
I agree with Dave above that the Sony lens is in no way inferior to the Zeiss lens. In fact, I think it is a little easier to use compared to the Zeiss lens on my Z7u.
Sorry, I don’t know anything about SMPTE sync on the Z5s. I sync mine together by watching for still camera flashes and creating my own if necessary. I carry a small flash and fire it manually.
July 8, 2010 at 12:05 AM #199346
What tapes do you use? I have tried just about all from $2 to $10+ per tape and all of them give me dropped frames at LEAST 1-2 times per ceremony. NO tape seems any better than another – On my Z5U and HVR-HD1000u – same results. I haven’t even opened the tape door on my newest Z5U yet, but I really do not plan on it.
July 8, 2010 at 3:48 PM #199347
I am using Sony HDM-63VG tapes that cost a little under $6 each. I also run a Sony head cleaner tape every couple of hours or whenever I can. I also run the head cleaner every two tapes when I am capturing the tapes into my editor. These aren’t the best tapes, but I have had good luck with them although I eventually will go tapeless.
As a different thought, do you see your drop outs and dropped frames when viewing your tapes on the camera monitor or are you finding them when capturing the tapes into your editor? If it’s the latter, you might be experiencing a capture problem. It takes a fair amount of processor power as well as fast, unfragmented hard drives to flawlessly capture HDV from tape compared to transferring files from a CF card. I ensure that nothing, including virus protection software, is running in the background and I am capturing to a defragged 7200 rpm drive other than C:. Premiere instructions recommend a RAID 0 array for capture, but I have no problems with the single drive.
On the other hand, if what you’re using works well, why bother with tape?
July 8, 2010 at 11:28 PM #199348
I used the HDM-63VG most often. And it is the tape/camera not the capture.
I have about the most powerful computer available. i7-980x 3.33GHz extreme edition. 12GB 1600 DDR3 RAM. My editing drive I always re-format for each wedding I do and make sure it is completely empty before starting a new project. Once I am done with a project, I move it to my storage drives. I have even tried capturing to my main C: drive which is an SSD and is faster than the 7200 RPM editing drive, even with windows running on it. All with the same results. And I have been using head cleaners after every 3 hrs of recordin/playback. Maybe I just have bad luck.
It would be nice to not have this happen as it is still kind of a thorn in my side, but I am pretty much tapeless anyhow. Once again, I am asking myself why I just didnt go NX5U last week!
July 21, 2010 at 6:12 AM #199349CarlosGParticipant
I have had the Z5U for almost a month now and I love it. This is my first professional camera and hope this is the beginning of a long successful career. I am really excited to see what I can do with this machine. Now I’m trying to figure out the different shutter speeds in order to shoot in clear slow motion. If anyone has any tips please let me know. Thanks
July 21, 2010 at 1:02 PM #199350AnonymousInactive
So from what I understand the Z5u’s 2 main advantages over the Z1u is that it is better in low light and can shoot in true 24p. Is there anything I am missing? Thanks in advance for any help!
July 25, 2010 at 11:16 PM #199351Showman1Participant
Well, here’s a real rookie checking in. I’ve had my Z5U for three days. I’m retired and just beginning my video career. I have a couple of small assignments…one to produce a video for someone who will be marketing it and another for a YouTube commercial. The video DVD client wants a Standard Definition video. Is there any upside to taping a SD video onto a HD tape? Will I get a better quality video? Or, simply stick with the $2.00 tape for SD? I edit in Final Cut Express. Maybe SD shot onto a HD tape wouldn’t even be recognized by FCE? I’m a newbie so it’s hard for me to discuss the Z5U technical assets however I love it so far. Only one issue…I can’t open the cover of the LCD monitor when my Azden wireless receiver is mounted.
July 26, 2010 at 3:15 AM #199352
Personally I have had the same luck with $2.00 tapes and $10+ tapes alike. They are all pretty much the same tapes in the end, it doesn’t matter what you shoot with it (HD or SD). Some would suggest otherwise. I highly suggest getting the CF unit for your camera though at some point in the future. You will never get dropped frames from using a CF card.
I would, however,capture it in HD. You can always down convert it to SD in your NLE, and you will always have a great HD master copy. Once you capture in SD, it is SD forever. The quality really will not be any different depending on your tape choice, the higher priced tapes simply are there to cause fewer droppd frames – but again I have seen no difference.
As for the cold shoes, I agree the front cold shoe is not he best thought out design. I always use my wireless recievers on the back cold shoe though, there should be an adapter that came with your camera that you can screw on to that slot. The front one still causes issues if I have a light on there, or my RODE mic, but at least with the light I can just tilt it forward and not have to completely remove it.
My 2 cents
July 26, 2010 at 4:07 PM #199353Showman1Participant
Thanks for the help. I have ordered the CF unit and should have it this week. Your suggested plan sounds perfect. Regarding the wireless remote, I did get the extra shoe for the rear slot. My problem is that the shoot for the client who is going to market a video is entirely outdoors…and walking through fields, etc. Although I have a shoulder brace, there are times I’ll need to grasp the camera by the handle and the receiver on the rear shoe will prevent that. What I think I’ll do eventually is manufacturer a bracket for the front shoe that will carry the receiver in a vertical position and allow the LCD to swing up. Thank you again for your suggestions…I’m learning as fast as I can.
July 28, 2010 at 12:42 PM #199354
I have no idea why you are getting dropped frames, you certainly have the right equipment! One last question, do you positively see the dropped frames with the camera plugged into a TV with no computer of any kind in the loop so you are positively sure it’s the camera that’s dropping frames? If that’s the case, I don’t know what the problem is. I just returned from shooting/capturing 27 tapes of the type mentioned earlier spread across a Z1, Z5 and Z7U cameras and not a single dropped frame. To make matters worse, these tapes each have a single continuous clip that runs 50-60 minutes.
If you suspect that the problem might still be in your computer, try removing any virus software. Don’t just disable it, completely remove from your system – this sometimes a special program from the vendor (free from McAffee). My personal experience has been that virus software can cause frame drops and other file related problems because it is continuously checking.
On the other hand, tapeless capture is the future so don’t worry if you have unresolved tape problems.
July 28, 2010 at 12:54 PM #199355
OOps, I forgot….
Your suggestion of using PP6 works great! Thanks for the idea.
As far as mounting a wireless receiver, I avoid the problems by rubberbanding it to the side of the camera with the short shotgun mic. That is. I loop the rubberband around the shotgun and around the receiver. It holds very solidly and doesn’t obstruct anything.
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