When the Z1 was introduced at NAB last year the Sony booth was buzzing and full of enthusiastic early adapters. I walked into the Sony booth with a client who wanted to see what HDV was all about. The HDV Kiosk featured several large HD Plasma Displays arranged around the booth in a circle. The loop showed nicely composed high-rez images dissolving to classical music. My client was impressed until I poped the question: "you notice anything" and then he did. "Nothing moves". True, in every shot of the demo loop the camera was completely locked down, not pans, no tilts no zooms.
I am certain the DP who shot the demo for Sony was instructed to NOT MOVE the camera and have no movement within the frame. You have to wonder how it makes any sense to have a motion picture camera that can't handle motion and why Sony decided to rush to maket with a mediocre camera. I had heard rumors about the motion artifacts that haunted that 60:1 compression method. But over at the Sony booth the world was still at peace: there was no motion and there were no artifacts until.... I found the server and hit the space bar right in the middle of a dissolve....
The compression is at it's weakest when a lot of information changes from one frame to the next -- the result was large digital "blocks" pixelating the entire screen. I went frame-by-frame to show that the ugly artifact was happening throughout the entire dissolve with blocks the size of a postage stamp.
Soon an angry Sony sales rep who felt he was caught with his pants down rushed over, pushing me away to hit the space bar and get the loop going again.
Back to today:
Canon's new HDV camera the XL-H1 is using the improved HDV2 algorithm which has a dynamic compression allocation and supposedly handles motion considerably better.
Has anybody seen that being true and can confirm that Sony's Z1 pales in comparison because it is still using the inferior HDV1 method, where as the Canon HD is using HDV2?
Has anybody done any comparative tests between those two cameras on motion and digital blocking?
Edited by Daniel Andreas, 24 January 2006 - 04:09 AM.