z8 users - thoughts on my proposed setup?

ianthom

New member
Hi all, I am a sony a7siii user who is thinking about jumping to the z8 platform and wanted to get the perspective of the hive mind before we jump :)
Essentially we do run and gun interview work, solo operator, on uncontrollable locations. We need often to travel to get there, so weight is a huge priority (as we need to be able to travel with carry-on) We are looking at two z8's to produce content that will sit on a video system. exporting to 4K final product. We are thinking:

A cam - z8 with a 50mm 1.8 (using Hi-Res zoom to get us tighter as we need to ) shooting in 4K prores raw

B cam - z8 24 1.7 (I believe this is a APS-C so 35 equivalent) shooting in 5K prores raw (that way we can use it to 'pan and scan' across the image to give the illusion of a second camera dolly effect.

- We want to shoot in prores raw because the team edits in FCPX, both remotely and in the studio (occasionally even on an ipad) and the raw gives us the ability to fix a lot in post from the crazy locations we shoot in

- We need to be able to simulate the pan and scan with the second cam as we usually only have one operator on site (have a look here for an explanation of the sort of thing I mean)

- The weight is KEY we need the two cameras, lenses and two Ultralite tripods to fit in a backpack for rural/remote work. Thats' one of the reasons the z8 is so enticing as we can shoot prores raw internal without a monitor, which saves us a bunch of weight, and for interview work we should be fine to keep the focus dialled.


I have researched this as much as I can, but would love some real world z8 user input before we jump...can you see anything we are missing? for example does the hi-res zoom actually work with prores raw internal 4K? any other tripping points? any head slap moments you can see me having? any other lens recommendations (keeping in mind the weight considerations, and that good autofocus/de-clicked aperture would be useful for B-roll)

Thanks in advance really appreciate any thoughts or feedback...
 
I haven't shot with a Z8, but here are a few points to consider:

Most mirrorless cameras don't support a Synchro Scan granular shutter speed adjustment to dial out flicker and banding. Some of the Panasonic mirrorless cameras have Synchro Scan, but I don't recall any of them recording Prores RAW internally.

RAW will bypass noise reduction, so you'll likely need to apply noise reduction in the edit.

Have you compared a graded Prores RAW clip with an identical graded 10-bit clip? These recent compressed RAW formats are sometimes referred to as pseudo RAW, because they don't give you as much wiggle room as something like CDNG, so you just want to make sure that Prores RAW will give you substantially more wiggle room than 10-bit video. Also the software can be a factor; Resolve operates in 32-bit floating point, so you might get better 10-bit video results in Resolve than FCPX, but Resolve doesn't support Prores RAW.

If size and weight are a concern, I'd look at APS-C options.

A tripod that fits in a backpack won't be very rigid, so try to rig up a hydration pack as a counterweight on the center post of the tripod.

You might consider the RucPac backpack conversion kit for Pelican cases.
 
I haven't shot with a Z8, but here are a few points to consider:

Most mirrorless cameras don't support a Synchro Scan granular shutter speed adjustment to dial out flicker and banding. Some of the Panasonic mirrorless cameras have Synchro Scan, but I don't recall any of them recording Prores RAW internally.

RAW will bypass noise reduction, so you'll likely need to apply noise reduction in the edit.

Have you compared a graded Prores RAW clip with an identical graded 10-bit clip? These recent compressed RAW formats are sometimes referred to as pseudo RAW, because they don't give you as much wiggle room as something like CDNG, so you just want to make sure that Prores RAW will give you substantially more wiggle room than 10-bit video. Also the software can be a factor; Resolve operates in 32-bit floating point, so you might get better 10-bit video results in Resolve than FCPX, but Resolve doesn't support Prores RAW.

If size and weight are a concern, I'd look at APS-C options.

A tripod that fits in a backpack won't be very rigid, so try to rig up a hydration pack as a counterweight on the center post of the tripod.

You might consider the RucPac backpack conversion kit for Pelican cases.

Thanks so much for that feedback - some interesting points to consider, - particularly around the synchro scan (I have often been able to negate that slightly by using some guerilla lighting techniques) but I like the idea of a direct comparison...I might see if I can hire one locally to really put it through its paces and compare against the sony. Any other user feedback welcome...
 
Back
Top