I am basically trying to decide what best camera to use for my shooting. I am creating a TV commercial and will be entirely shoot inside a white infinite studio. I will be filming three characters dressed in white war uniforms, the camera will fly from one character to the next.
I have been told that the sony HVR-Z1U camera can do the job. Do you think this is the right camera to use? Will the whites look fine? Will I be able to make this look like film? Do you recommend other cameras to use instead like the XL1s or the panasonic AG-HVX200?
I see you're from the UK. As long as you shoot 25p with the Sony, you'll be okay. But DO NOT attempt to shoot 24p with that camera!
I don't know if it's an issue with PAL Z1's, but here in NTSC-land we know all too well that the Z1 uses a pulldown scheme that matches no other mixture of frame blending and pulldown known to man. You simply can not properly remove the pulldown to edit at 24 frames/sec.
On the other hand, I've heard VERY good things about the HVX 200.
If you're going to use the lens that the camera comes with, keep the light levels on the low side, thus restricting depth of field -- shallow depth of field is a hallmark of film cameras with cine lenses.
And get a good lighting specialist who can add shadows to the subject without turning the lighting too contrasty.
Thank for your answer. So you say its better to film at 25fps with the sony and then bullet it on my PC to bring it down to 24fps? If you had one day to shoot, would you use the sony, an XL1s or a super 16mm baring in mind the 16mm needs constant attention by a focus puller, changing the magazines, etc and will stretch the budget. Do you know any links where I can view samples of video done in the sony Z1?
When European movie makers shoot film at 24fps, they ALMOST ALWAYS conform their film to PAL 25fps for television. They deal with it.
There are plenty of factors contributing to the look of film, frame rate being one of them. But how important is one less frame per second in terms of motion? I've never understood the allure of a film frame rate when a PAL frame rate is so close to it.
I still say that shooting 25p will take care of the film-like motion aspect. If you want to shoot film, then get a film camera that will shoot at 25fps, because that's the frame rate at which your work eventually will be seen.
You seem to have eliminated the HVX 200 from your camera choices. So which is better, the Z1 or the XL1s? I frankly have no idea; I'd have to rely on my friend Google for additional facts. If I had to speculate, I would say this: if the Z1 shoots progressive-scan video, thus allowing you to shoot at 25p, go for it.
DON'T SHOOT AT 24 FRAMES PER SECOND!!! IT'S MORE TROUBLE THAN IT'S WORTH!!! SHOOT 25P!!!
I presume you know the difference between progressive scan and interlaced scan (or field scan) video. When you shoot using fields in PAL, the apparent motion is 50 frames/sec because there are 50 fields every second in PAL. The picture -- okay, half the picture -- changes once every fiftieth of a second... and that's enough to give the illusion of smoother motion.
However, when you shoot progressive scan, both fields of the picture are scanned at the same instant. The motion that's recorded is 25 pictures per second. It's half the apparent motion of interlaced PAL video, and just 1 frame per second more than a film frame rate.
And I challenge you to distinguish the difference in motion between PAL progressive-scan video and 24fps film.
Considering that television commercials in the UK are played at 25fps, and that you are shooting a television commercial, I know what frame rate I'd use if I were you.
I would not use the HVR. I own one and whenever I use it to shoot with white backgrounds it drives me crazy. I still haven't figured it out yet, but when I shoot say a talking head in front of a white seamless, the gammas go go goofy. The camera sensors see all the white and clmap the gammas so I cannot get a proper exposure or black to white spread. Enven when I use manual iris.