Jump to content

Looking at Sony ZV E10 as a hands-off b-cam for S1H. Any thoughts?


jgharding
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

It's been a while, I hope everyone is well,

I've been shooting for some time now with an S1H and BMD external recorder, I shoot everything in 6K Braw. The S1H is near perfect for me, but the one thing that just, I'll be honest, doesn't work, is autofocus. As a result an S5 doesn't seem like an ideal B-cam that I can leave to run on its own, as I'll doubtless come back to out of focus or constantly "hunting" footage. I've followed all the various firmware updates, but tbh it's all just polishing the poo.

For my one-man talking head shoots I'd like to have a b-cam that can flawlessly track focus for the "long" shot, a punched in headshot i can occasionally cut too to keep people awake. It seems both Sony and Canon have excellent autofocus. So I saw the ZV-E10, it looks like a simplified A6600 designed for vlogger use, and with an E-mount 85mm or 50mm lens I could likely leave it alone to run wide-open and it would keep face focus, which is its primary purpose.

What worries me is the usual: Sony colour. It's an 8-bit only camera and doesn't have S-Cinetone, so I have a bit of "S-log" fear, of having to cut strange zombie skin with the lovely tones of the S1H. It's also clearly Sony trying to get as much as they can from an old old sensor before they upgrade the APS-C line with a new one.

So i have two questions for the community:

1 - I have cut together 8-bit S-log2 with 12-bit raw before and it can be struggle... Has anyone got an Slog2 file from the ZV E10 I can grab or know anywhere i can get one that includes skintones?

2 - Do you have any other recommendations for such a B-cam? I previously used a GH5 for this "leave it alone to film" role, which you'd think would be ideal but I just had too many out of focus shots, so I'm looking for very good AF. Budget wise I want to keep it under £1K-1.5k total really, as its just to add a little spice to the shoots. I don't want to spend another £4k on an A7S setup tbh.

Thanks all,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

EOSHD Pro Color 5 for Sony cameras EOSHD Z LOG for Nikon CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

P.S. I've also seen a psuedo-Cinetone setting for such Sony cameras, I'm not sure if anyone has tried this and can tell me if they like it?

Black Level: 0
Gamma: Movie Black
Gamma: Range Wide, Level +7
Knee: Mode Manual, 77.5%,Slope 0
Colour Mode: Pro Saturation -2
Color Phase: -2
Colour Depth: R: +5 G: -2 B: -3 C -4 M: +2 Y: +3
Detail: Level -7

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I use an S1H as my A cam and a ZV1 for my static longer form stuff, so an even smaller, simpler and cheaper solution.

However, I don’t mix the footage but use it for a separate purpose.

I picked it up to replace my previous same 1 inch sensor camcorder that had been my workhorse for the same purpose for the previous 5+ years, sacrificing the much longer zoom lens (didn’t need anyway) for the tiny size and better AF.

I think the only way you are going to know if it will work for you however is to try one and see?

I tried my S5 in this role for all of this years 6 jobs (should have been 30 so fuck you Covid, but that’s another matter) with the ZV1 mounted on the hotshoe to capture the same scene.

Used the ZV1 footage only on each occasion.

The Pros:

Smaller, lighter, cheaper, very good 4K 25p footage, excellent AF, no recording limit and can be powered off a power bank whilst recording.

The ‘Cons’:

The footage is not as malleable as it is with the majority of cameras as it is ultimately a 1 inch sensor, but you are looking at it’s newer and slightly larger sensor brother so…

I think as tempted to change myself to the ZV E10 but then asked myself why?

I can’t find enough reason to upgrade but if I was starting from scratch I’d probably go ZV E10.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/20/2021 at 7:50 AM, jgharding said:

P.S. I've also seen a psuedo-Cinetone setting for such Sony cameras, I'm not sure if anyone has tried this and can tell me if they like it?

Black Level: 0
Gamma: Movie Black
Gamma: Range Wide, Level +7
Knee: Mode Manual, 77.5%,Slope 0
Colour Mode: Pro Saturation -2
Color Phase: -2
Colour Depth: R: +5 G: -2 B: -3 C -4 M: +2 Y: +3
Detail: Level -7

I used the fake cinetone to match the a7III with the a7sIII's cinetone and its pretty legit. Its a standard profile so you do take a DR hit, but for talking head stuff it should be fine. Just note, the look is pretty baked in, so make sure you like cinetone LOL!

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/20/2021 at 6:00 PM, Xavier Plagaro Mussard said:

Autofocus for interviews of people seated is not very necessary. Even less in the wide angle. Mixing different camera makers is not a good idea if you want to match shots.

 

I wish this played out in reality, but in my experience sod's law means it is always hunting focus whenever you want to cut to it, just from people leaning forward and back, moving about etc, especially with very animated speakers.

Agreed mixing camera brands is not ideal. I've done it many times though, it just means a LOT of boring post work.

On 12/21/2021 at 6:53 AM, MrSMW said:

Well I use an S1H as my A cam and a ZV1 for my static longer form stuff, so an even smaller, simpler and cheaper solution.

However, I don’t mix the footage but use it for a separate purpose.

I still have an RX100 Mk V which is the same thing as the ZV1, but a little older, and that's what makes me trepidant about the ZV E10. You can cut it with S1H, but it's never perfect. I pretty much only use for really run and gun things, like the subject has wandered into another room I just hit record and follow them and see how it goes.

I just ordered the ZV E10, I figure I'll try it, with some second-hand E-mount primes. If I can get a system down for grading it that makes things close enough for rock and roll it could save a lot of hassle. I guess I can use it for any self-filming too since that is its raison d'être.

It's a bit sad Panasonic can't get their AF sorted out. AFAIK they have a dual-pixel AF patent still unused, I hope they get round to it at some point as I'd love to go 100% Panasonic and not have to use 8-bit Sonys as B-cams.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/23/2021 at 5:48 PM, Trek of Joy said:

I used the fake cinetone to match the a7III with the a7sIII's cinetone and its pretty legit. Its a standard profile so you do take a DR hit, but for talking head stuff it should be fine. Just note, the look is pretty baked in, so make sure you like cinetone LOL!

Chris

Hmmm perhaps I'll go with Slog2 then and just develop my own powergrade preset to match it up as close as possible with the S1H.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/26/2021 at 9:38 PM, jgharding said:

I wish this played out in reality, but in my experience sod's law means it is always hunting focus whenever you want to cut to it, just from people leaning forward and back, moving about etc, especially with very animated speakers.

I think you missed the point that @Xavier Plagaro Mussard was making about AF not being necessary for interviews - which means you shouldn't use it.  

I'd suggest that you use MF and a deep enough DoF so that if the speaker is animated they don't move out of the acceptable focus plane.  I mean, unless you're filming people in a cupboard against a rude/proprietary wallpaper, there's no need for razor thin DoF anyway, other than it being a fad.  

I'm reminded of that saying about continuity...  "if people notice your continuity mistakes, your film is crap".  I'd suggest that if you're needing a shallow DoF to the point that normal movement of someone seated is pushing them out of the focus plane, then maybe you should work on making your interviews more interesting 🙂 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, kye said:

I think you missed the point that @Xavier Plagaro Mussard was making about AF not being necessary for interviews - which means you shouldn't use it.  

I'd suggest that you use MF and a deep enough DoF so that if the speaker is animated they don't move out of the acceptable focus plane.  I mean, unless you're filming people in a cupboard against a rude/proprietary wallpaper, there's no need for razor thin DoF anyway, other than it being a fad.  

I'm reminded of that saying about continuity...  "if people notice your continuity mistakes, your film is crap".  I'd suggest that if you're needing a shallow DoF to the point that normal movement of someone seated is pushing them out of the focus plane, then maybe you should work on making your interviews more interesting 🙂 

I think I need to be clearer about what I'm trying to do as you're both missing the point.

I film with a main wide camera in manual focus 6K raw. I only film it with manual because the autofocus on the S1H is terrible. If it was good, I would let it do the job better than i do, which if it had PDAF it probably would. I want another camera to cut to occasionally that is:

A - always in focus regardless of how animated the interviewer is. On some focal lengths even at F4 it's possible for an interviewee to lean in and out of focus very easily.

B - reasonably shallow DOF so it looks nice and not like a camcorder.

C- unmanned. I want to press go and when i come to edit, know it will be in focus.

Those three factors mean I need autofocus for that other camera. TBH I think the current fashionable dogma of "REAL film-makers don't use autofocus" comes from a sort of aspirational attitude, wanting to have a big crew etc. It's fine if you have enough people and time, but both cost far more money than gear. In reality I shoot lots of interviews a year often entirely alone. Autofocus would mean I don't have to hire someone else, something that would be prohibitively expensive budget-wise to get someone good. If you are on your own only holding focus on a face while moving, that isn't an "artistic" task. It's a technical one. We are at the point where computers do such tasks very well and will only get better.

I have already tried this sort of shoot with a GH5 b-cam and it didn't work. We aren't even talking about razor thing DOF, just not camcorder/mobile-phone deep. And still it always ended up hunting or pulsing at some point, in the end I sold it. Contrast based AF is just not up to the task. That leaves me with Sony or Canon.

My only real worry with Sony was cutting their 8-bit 4:2:0 against the S1H 6K 12-bit raw.

In terms of "making interviews more interesting" you're making the erroneous assumption that I have any control over the content of the interviews, which I almost never do. My job is "make whatever is said, however uninteresting, feel interesting". Things like another angle, shallow DOF etc, can help with this.

Still, I'm used to forums. I know every post about equipment absolutely HAS to have a reply or two that has not to do with the topic, but some sort of "ahhhh you are doing everything wrong" angle or "ooooh content is king". But I really just wanted equipment advice not a sort of abstract critique of working practices.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, jgharding said:

I think I need to be clearer about what I'm trying to do as you're both missing the point.

I film with a main wide camera in manual focus 6K raw. I only film it with manual because the autofocus on the S1H is terrible. If it was good, I would let it do the job better than i do, which if it had PDAF it probably would. I want another camera to cut to occasionally that is:

A - always in focus regardless of how animated the interviewer is. On some focal lengths even at F4 it's possible for an interviewee to lean in and out of focus very easily.

B - reasonably shallow DOF so it looks nice and not like a camcorder.

C- unmanned. I want to press go and when i come to edit, know it will be in focus.

Those three factors mean I need autofocus for that other camera. TBH I think the current fashionable dogma of "REAL film-makers don't use autofocus" comes from a sort of aspirational attitude, wanting to have a big crew etc. It's fine if you have enough people and time, but both cost far more money than gear. In reality I shoot lots of interviews a year often entirely alone. Autofocus would mean I don't have to hire someone else, something that would be prohibitively expensive budget-wise to get someone good. If you are on your own only holding focus on a face while moving, that isn't an "artistic" task. It's a technical one. We are at the point where computers do such tasks very well and will only get better.

I have already tried this sort of shoot with a GH5 b-cam and it didn't work. We aren't even talking about razor thing DOF, just not camcorder/mobile-phone deep. And still it always ended up hunting or pulsing at some point, in the end I sold it. Contrast based AF is just not up to the task. That leaves me with Sony or Canon.

My only real worry with Sony was cutting their 8-bit 4:2:0 against the S1H 6K 12-bit raw.

In terms of "making interviews more interesting" you're making the erroneous assumption that I have any control over the content of the interviews, which I almost never do. My job is "make whatever is said, however uninteresting, feel interesting". Things like another angle, shallow DOF etc, can help with this.

Still, I'm used to forums. I know every post about equipment absolutely HAS to have a reply or two that has not to do with the topic, but some sort of "ahhhh you are doing everything wrong" angle or "ooooh content is king". But I really just wanted equipment advice not a sort of abstract critique of working practices.

Fair enough.

Perhaps my reaction was to your rather polarised stance on a few of these issues.

I'm not against AF at all and I do agree that when you have one face in a static shot that it's a mechanical task and not an artistic one.  However, I find that AF picks the wrong thing to focus on when given multiple subjects, and I also find that the speed of AF is an artistic attribute, at least in some situations.  Maybe not for the content you're creating though.

I was also suggesting that there might be a depth of field that was somewhere between F4 and camcorder/smartphone.   For reference, the DoF of a 70mm lens at F4 at 10ft is 1.47ft, which I can understand a subject *might* move out of.  The 70mm equivalent on a 1-inch camcorder (a larger size camcorder sensor, as I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt here) is a 23mm lens, which at f2.8 (once again, benefit of the doubt) at 10ft gives a DoF of 12.7ft.  
So you said you wanted a DoF deeper than 1.47ft, and when I suggested that you could stop down slightly, you leapt to the assertion that I was suggesting 12.7ft.  In my book there's a reasonable range between 1.47ft and 12.7ft.  Especially if you're willing to recompose, or try some other tricks, like maybe going to a wider lens, having the subject sit slightly closer, and therefore increasing the blur on the background.

I am also familiar with forums, and sadly that means that almost every question has a faulty premise, usually due to lack of knowledge on behalf of the OP who is almost always asking how they can buy their way out of their poor results, and frequently using shallow DoF to cover up for poor quality content.  I didn't immediately assume that you were in this situation, but as your statements also lacked nuance (eg, anything larger than 1.47 is at least 12) and didn't mention that you needed shallow DoF to cover up poor content that you weren't in control over, so that was what caused me to question your approach.

Anyway, now I realise that you're in the unenviable position to be trying to sell video production to people who want videos to be great despite being dull as dishwater and who have swallowed the latest marketing hook-line-and-sinker with the usual "more resolution / sharper footage / shallower DoF".

All the best with your search for great AF, great colour science, great codecs, small form factor, modest price - we're all waiting for the perfect camera too, come join the queue 🙂 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/29/2021 at 8:42 AM, jgharding said:

I want another camera to cut to occasionally that is:

A - always in focus regardless of how animated the interviewer is. On some focal lengths even at F4 it's possible for an interviewee to lean in and out of focus very easily.

B - reasonably shallow DOF so it looks nice and not like a camcorder.

C- unmanned. I want to press go and when i come to edit, know it will be in focus.

Any of the Sony's with Real Time Tracking will fit the bill. That includes the ZV you originally asked about, the a61/4/600's, and all of the latest FF bodies - a7c, a9/a9II, a7rIV a1, a7sIII/fx3 and a7IV. Unfortunately the only 10-bit bodies are the a1, a7sIII/fx3 and the a7IV. I've had the a7IV for a week and I really like it next to the a7sIII, but that's a much larger investment compared to the ZV. I wish Sony would do 10-bit and such with its aps-c bodies, but they've made it clear if you want that level of features in the E-mount, you will have to go FF or the Cine line.

Anyway, I just use the touch to track feature you'll get really great face/eye AF for interviews, and if it can't get the eye it'll still stay locked onto the subject. I stumbled across this video shot with AF and the 50GM. Awesome. There are obviously tons of you tubers showing AF by bouncing in and out of the frame, but as a solo-shooter its just so cool to be able to tap the subject and then do an interview while monitoring audio and exposure without worrying about focus. Sony's AF has made my workflow a lot better.

Cheers

Chris

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Trek of Joy said:

 Unfortunately the only 10-bit bodies are the a1, a7sIII/fx3 and the a7IV. I've had the a7IV for a week and I really like it next to the a7sIII, but that's a much larger investment compared to the ZV. I wish Sony would do 10-bit and such with its aps-c bodies, but they've made it clear if you want that level of features in the E-mount, you will have to go FF or the Cine line.

Well a Sony camera I have does do 10 bit on the cheap. The Sony RX0 ii outputs 4K 422 10bit video from its HDM port (according to Atomos) Lot of DoF @ f4.0 trouble is only 24mm so have to get up and close.

 

Well a Sony camera I have does do 4K 10 bit on the cheap. The Sony RX0 II outputs 4K 422 10bit video from its HDM port (according to Atomos), Has Slog 2 even.  Lot of DoF @ f4.0, trouble is only 24mm so have to get closer than you might want with the rig..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

I use this rig a lot with my Sony AS7s. Kills two birds with one stone. Nice way for me to get 4K without a big recorder. When I am in s35 mode on the A7s with the lens zoomed in at max Both cameras match FOV about perfect. And close aperture wise.

 

 

557922651_IMG_0496(2).thumb.JPG.24fea39fc842d1ae9d12bd440c0ea48b.JPG

What kinds of situations would you use this dual-camera setup?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well sort of the main thing is having atop the A7s adds to more stable shooting experiences. Also I don't have a 4K recorder for the A7s. So I can have the RX0 II fill that void. Now no way the two cameras match hardly at all. The RX0 is Crazy sharp both in photos and video. I have a Smartphone Gimbal but not suited well for the RXO. And as small as the RXO is it is just about impossible to handhold it and get anything that is useful. The tripod I have even though it is Carbon Fiber weighs a ton so not much into that, and the monopod I have, a good one at that, is still a fail using the RXO.

I have a OG BMPCC and a Canon EOS-M also that I use for Magic Lantern. SO I have a pretty crazy mix of stuff that in hardly any way matches. I probably need to sell all of it and buy one great thing and be done lol.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

II have a pretty nice setup for the BMPCC, I have a Tilta cage and am running a Zucuto Pro EVF on it and a Rode Pro VideoMic and I use the 12-32mm Panny lens a lot on it. Makes for a pretty small package. The Canon M I use a lot of crazy, had forever, MF lenses of all kinds of brands. Sort of like Mercer, but he has more high end stuff, he is rich, I am not lol.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am also running a Fujinon B4 15x lens with a 2x on it on the BMPCC. The servo actually works on the lens which is a big plus. So it is my poor man ENG rig. Brings back old trimes. Pretty Dope how much reach it can have and how crazy good the optics are on those lenses, not counting being Parafocal. Even at long a distance it can be pretty good using a good fluid head and good tripod which I have. I am using it mostly for birding.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

Well a Sony camera I have does do 4K 10 bit on the cheap. The Sony RX0 II outputs 4K 422 10bit video from its HDM port (according to Atomos), Has Slog 2 even.  Lot of DoF @ f4.0, trouble is only 24mm so have to get closer than you might want with the rig..

That doesn't meet the OP's stated criteria. Same for any other 10-bit camera without sticky AF and shallow DOF with an interview focal length. 24mm with an action cam isn't close to ideal. So including them is unnecessary.

Cheers.

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...