LIBRARY: Tutorials Reviews Interviews Editorials Features Business Authors RSS Feed

Sony FX1-Z1U Made Easy

Sony FX1-Z1U Made Easy

A Creative COW Training Product Review



Steven Gotz takes a look at Elite Video tutorials for Sony FX1-Z1U
Steven Gotz
Steven Gotz
http://www.stevengotz.com/premiere
Garland, Texas, USA
©2005 Steven Gotz and Creativecow.net. All rights reserved.

Article Focus:
CreativeCOW leader and Video enthusiast Steven Gotz takes a look at the
Elite Video tutorials Sony FX1-Z1U Made Easy and concludes ''..these training DVDs really cover all of the necessary topics for anyone who has purchased, or is thinking of purchasing either one of these Sony HDV camcorders.''


When I found out that there was going to be competition in the market for tutorials about the Sony HDV cameras (the prosumer HDR-FX1 HDV HandycamR Camcorder and the professional version, the HVR-Z1U), I was interested in seeing just how different the tutorials would be, so I volunteered to review the Elite Video tutorials "Sony FX1-Z1U Made Easy".
I am usually the sort of person who reads the manual before putting things together or using them. But since I have already had some great training on the Sony HDR-FX1/Z1U from another DVD training series (reviewed in May by Jim Harvey), I thought I would poke around the DVDs a bit before I started watching them in order. One of the chapters on the menu, "Bob's Big Brain", caught my attention right away. In about three minutes I learned something new. I must admit to being pretty happy about that. I was initially worried that this might be a "me too" tutorial. It turned out to be nothing of the kind. It really has an interesting feel to it. And there are a few items included that make this product special.

It is not my intention to compare different training DVDs, but I do want to point out some of the unique features of this set. As you might expect, EliteVideo has done a fine job of explaining every button and setting, so it is only the additional features that differentiate the Made Easy DVDs from the competition.

When I popped in the first of the two DVDs, the initial thing I noticed was that these guys are not hired talent. The tutorials are presented by video veterans Bob Nagy, Zac Smith and John Cooksey. Much of it felt like I was sitting with some old friends who were teaching me all about the camera I just bought. Like I had finally joined their club and they were giving me the grand tour of the clubhouse. The second thing I noticed was that while the production values of the DVD are good, they are not polished. The version I reviewed was not the final version and I was able to point out a few things that they promised to change. I fully expect that the released version will eliminate all of the minor issues I found.

There are a few "In Depth" sections, like the one for White Balance that explain some of the more difficult concepts. A more thorough explanation of the two presets (Indoor and Outdoor) would have been nice, but the explanation of how to use the A and B settings was quite welcome. And then there are "Tech Tips" like the one that explains some different ways of setting the gain switch parameters to suit your needs. Showing the different settings using a room with normal, ambient lighting, it was very clear what the numbers really mean. The tech tip on Expanded Focus even gave a little history on how focusing was done before this feature was added.

Back to "Bob's Big Brain". All of the general tips were things I already happen to know, but it was nice to see them in the tutorials anyway. Subjects like dealing with condensation, sticking to one type of tape stock, and using the tape head cleaner, are important to a new user.

The chapter on the difference between the FX1 and the Z1 was easy to follow, and I found myself listening closely to make sure I thought my decision to stick with the FX1 was still a good idea. (It is - at least for me.) I also enjoyed the explanation of how to use the ND filters to help with Depth of Focus. I finally feel like I understand how to get the background slightly out of focus to enhance to foreground image. Additional information on this topic is included in the bonus section "High-Definition Film School" at the end of the second DVD.

The bonus section also covers the differences in composition when shooting 16:9 instead of 4:3, as well as provi
ding information on composition angles, panning, pivoting and using horizon lines.




In conclusion, these training DVDs really cover all of the necessary topics for anyone who has purchased, or is thinking of purchasing either one of these Sony HDV camcorders. And, they provide a lot of additional information that will prove to be invaluable to most users. The look and feel of the DVD is different than the competition, but I believe that the material is presented in just as effective a manner.

I hope they get right to work producing a tutorial on the less expensive Sony HDR-HC1 coming out in soon (July, 2005).

I give Sony FX1-Z1U Made Easy DVDs 4.5 cows, and I would not be surprised if people who buy the released version argue with me and give it 5 cows.





Click here to visit Creative COW's user forums and many other articles if you got here by a direct link to this page





Related Articles / Tutorials:
HDV Format
Demystifying HDV Workflows

Demystifying HDV Workflows

Creative COW Leader Tim Kolb uses his HDV expertise to explore the technology behind HDV, and show how it applies inside Final Cut Pro and other NLEs, with a special focus on longer projects. As Tim notes, this is a modified version of a post he made in the HDV forum responding to a question about FCP, but anyone who wants to know about editing HDV needs to check this out.

Tutorial, Feature
Tim Kolb
HDV Format
Building the Perfect HDV KeyBuilding the Perfect HDV Key

In the first of our Creative COW Magazine Web Extras, we begin with Stephen Smiths outstanding article on setting up an area for proper keying from the May-June 2007 edition. His article covers every option for setting up and lighting perfect keys. Here, we look at the best advice around The COWs online communities for pulling keys from HDV footage.

Tutorial, Feature
Tim Wilson
HDV Format
VisionLab Studio/CompositeLab/Effects Lab from Fxhome

VisionLab Studio/CompositeLab/Effects Lab from Fxhome

In this article, CreativeCOW.net contributing editor Jim Harvey takes a look at Vision Lab Studio, Composite Lab and Effects Lab from Fxhome. Read on to find out why Jim calls it 'professional compositing on a budget.'

Review
Jim Harvey
HDV Format
Sony Vegas 7

Sony Vegas 7

In this article, CreativeCOW.net contributing editor Jim Harvey reviews Sony Vegas 7 and concludes, ''...It Just Keeps Getting Better. For the money, you 'd be hard pressed to find a better editing program.''

Review
Jim Harvey
HDV Format
HandsOn HDV Training DVD for Sony HDR-HC1

HandsOn HDV Training DVD for Sony HDR-HC1

In this article, CreativeCOW.net contributing editor Jim Harvey reviews HandsOn HDV Training DVD for Sony HDR-HC1. HandsOn HDV has produced a DVD training for trhe new Sony HC1, which Jim finds ''...very Informative for the target market and a well produced package.''

Review
Jim Harvey
HDV Format
Taking Sony's HDV Camera to the Outer Limits of Performance

Taking Sony's HDV Camera to the Outer Limits of Performance

Sony has made a big splash in the video world with the release of their HDV camcorder the HVR-Z1U. By itself, it is capable of images that will amaze even the most jaded video professional. But as with all things, there's always room for improvement. By not having a microphone or wide angle supplied, you can choose better components that will enhance the performance of an already incredible camera. In this article, CreativeCOW.net contributing editor Jim Harvey walks CreativeCOW members through what they need to build the Ultimate Z1U set up.

Feature
Jim Harvey
HDV Format
HDV/DV Rack by Serious Magic

HDV/DV Rack by Serious Magic

There are times when a piece of software or hardware comes along that changes your thinking about what tools are critical in your work. DV Rack was one of those pieces for Emmy Award winner, Tim Kolb. The ability to have accurate and comprehensive image and audio quality measurement via FireWire anywhere you can power a laptop changed the way Tim thought about acquiring video. With the arrival of the HDV Power Pak upgrade module, the same technical control is now available for those of us shooting HDV. Read the rest of Tim's review.....

Review
Tim Kolb
HDV Format
High Definition for the Road

High Definition for the Road

Thanks to formats like DVCPro HD and HDV, High Definition can now be edited pretty much anywhere on just about any computer. Yeah, this is cool and you can really make your friends jealous just cutting away with your super slick laptop. But you know what's really slick? Editing Uncompressed High Definition anywhere. How about an Uncompressed editing workstation in a 25'' square box? No way? Way! Read on to find out about Wally's Traveling Box of Mystery and Intrigue...

Tutorial, Feature
Walter Biscardi
HDV Format
HDV vs HD: A Primer

HDV vs HD: A Primer

Emmy Award winner, Tim Kolb discusses HDV and its place in the greater scope of HD production formats. Since the inception of the HDV format, we have seen many responces regarding the HDV format and how it fits alongside HDCam, DVCProHD, XDCam and other formats in the greater scope of the HD picture. In this article (which is taken from an HDV Format forum responce), Creative Cow's Tim Kolb gives what we feel is an exemplary job of dissecting the subject and clarifying the many components of the HD universe, HDV being one of those parts....

Tutorial, Feature
Tim Kolb
HDV Format
Sony HVR-Z1U and HDR-FX1: First Impressions

Sony HVR-Z1U and HDR-FX1: First Impressions

CreativeCOW.net contributing editor Jim Harvey just made the leap to HDV by acquiring one of SONYs new HDV Cameras the HVR-Z1U. Then he was faced with learning his new camera. In this article, Jim takes a look at HandsOnHDV and has determined that they have put together the definitive training DVD for Sonys New HDV Cameras.

Review
Jim Harvey
MORE
© 2016 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]