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Old Jun 25, 2004, 8:58 PM   #41
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Yes the quarter second sound lag is real although often barely noticable. Yes it can be easily fix after the fact. I just don't think this adds up to be a major problem. If I had known about this problem before buying the Z2 I would still have bought the camera. I don't know if trying to discourage other potential buyers is in anyone's best interest. In actual usage the low light focus issue although common to most digital camerasismuch bigger annoyance. Overall I remain very pleased with the Z2 and its flexiblity.
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Old Jun 26, 2004, 4:42 AM   #42
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Kilbride wrote:
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Yes the quarter second sound lag is real although often barely noticable. Yes it can be easily fix after the fact. I just don't think this adds up to be a major problem. If I had known about this problem before buying the Z2 I would still have bought the camera. I don't know if trying to discourage other potential buyers is in anyone's best interest. In actual usage the low light focus issue although common to most digital cameras is much bigger annoyance. Overall I remain very pleased with the Z2 and its flexiblity.
I have come to realise that for some people there is no notcable problem at all, and for others it just seems a minor thing, but to me a quarter second mismatch is vast and renders the videos unwatchable (without converting them).
Personally i think i would notice a 10th of a second lag (or even less). and in the modern digital age there should be no excuse for any lag at all.

It's like watching someone sing a song and be totally out of time with the music.

If a bit of bad publicity will encourage minolta to address the issue then it should be done.
And i would definately not have bought it had i known about the problem.
i knew about the low light focusing problem before i bought it.
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Old Jul 5, 2004, 7:36 AM   #43
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Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if any other cameras also face this problem? Or is minolta the only one that has it as a problem. I watched that clip, and there seems to be no major distortion, maybe its just me, i dont know. Anyway, I would be intersted if any one knows if the Canon S1 IS or the Olympus 765 has the same problem.

Hope minolta adresses the problem, the bad publicity thing might work, some guys did it with the Apple Ipod and they responded to a battery issue.

Thanks!
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Old Jul 5, 2004, 2:15 PM   #44
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billybob1863 wrote:
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Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if any other cameras also face this problem? Or is minolta the only one that has it as a problem. I watched that clip, and there seems to be no major distortion, maybe its just me, i dont know. Anyway, I would be intersted if any one knows if the Canon S1 IS or the Olympus 765 has the same problem.
Currently at home I have a Olypus C4040Z, Kodak Dx 6490, Sony DSC85 and my Z2. ONLY the Z2 exhibits this audio sync issue of the cameras I have. Some of themare inaa .avi format and some the QT format. Watching movies from my Z2 is like watching a Milli Vanilli's lip syncing concert go bad! It is like watching a Chineese martial art's film with English dubbed in where the actors mouth has stopped moving and the words keep coming. I am sure you have all seen the type I am talking about it.

The only time this isn't SUPER annoying is when you are doing a narrative of a scene or there is nothing within the scene to give you some clue as to what a sound should be sync'd with. I took a video of a band playing and you can hear the sound from the drummer well after you seen his sticks hit the drum head. For the record I have fast SD cards with the minimum being my 1GB 45X transfer speed.

FYI, I ran testing on the supplied Panasonic SD card (16MB) and it had access times of 1.3 ms and an avg. throughput of 6.1 MB/s. My 1 GB SD card had access times of 1.8 ms and avg. throughput of7 MB/s.So now I know there should be no issues with throughput of my 1GB card and Minolta can't claim it's performance is not adequate to record the video without issue. My 1GB SD card is a Tanscend and I've been quite happy with its performance and reliability in ever device I've used it in. I would highly recommend it.

Forgot to add one thing, the CPU utlization for the Panasonic SD card during testing was almost 30% and the Transcend was 20%.

T.

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Old Jul 5, 2004, 4:21 PM   #45
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I just checked the firmware on my Z2 and it appears I have the 1.03 (that is correct 1.03) firmware and I still have the audio sync problem. My camera shipped with newer firmware than what Minolta has on their website.

What firmware do you have? Is it having the problem too? This is really starting to bug me.

T.

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Old Jul 5, 2004, 4:45 PM   #46
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Kilbride wrote:
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The good news is I found a solution on another forum. If you use Rad Video Tool (free download) to convert the mov format to an avi format you can set the option "start input at (ms) " to 280 to fix the sound lag. There are a number of compression options available. I find that the Indeo video 5.10 compression does good job. I retest the video after conversion and no sound lag. It really does work !!Bonus the resulting avi files arecompatible with more video editing software than mov files anyway.
I just downloaded this tool, thanks for the tip! I do have a question though, I used the Indeo codec and while it seems to do a good job, I found that my file sizes are bigger than the .mov format was. What quality setting did you use? I used 85 which is the default setting I think. Any other codecs that do a good job of keeping the quality while reducing the file size? It is definitely nice to be able to correct the sync issues!

T.
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Old Jul 5, 2004, 5:20 PM   #47
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Wavshrdr wrote:
I just downloaded this tool, thanks for the tip! I do have a question though, I used the Indeo codec and while it seems to do a good job, I found that my file sizes are bigger than the .mov format was. What quality setting did you use? I used 85 which is the default setting I think. Any other codecs that do a good job of keeping the quality while reducing the file size? It is definitely nice to be able to correct the sync issues!

T.
[/quote]

There are numerous codecs available, all with their pros and cons. I use xvid, which is an mpeg4 codec. I can get videos almost indistinguishable from the original with about the same file size, or even smaller for very little degradation. most of the higher quality codecs need a bit of experience to get the most out of them.
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Old Jul 6, 2004, 12:51 AM   #48
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Can you use these codecs with Rad Video Tool? For example if I install them will the RVT see that they are installed and give me a choice to use them? I recently saw a DVD ripped with a new Media Player 9 codec and was surprised at the quality of it. Is the xvid codec free?

Thanks!
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Old Jul 6, 2004, 3:24 AM   #49
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the xvid codec is free and is in my opinion the best codec out there. if it's installed then it should come up with it in the codec list when you come to select the codec.
i'm not sure it you can use the 2-pass method with rad video tools though, but this would give the best results (probs not worth the bother with this situation)

a good place to go to learn about this stuff is

www.doom9.org
they also have comparisons of the different codecs
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Old Jul 6, 2004, 1:25 PM   #50
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Here is the response I received from Minolta when I submitted my question about the audio sync issues.



Dear Customer,
In response to the question that you have submitted...
Question is : Hi, I love my camera BUT I have a major issue with the audio sync when I shoot a movie. Regardless of what quality setting I use the audio lags the video. I am using a very high speed SD card and it is played back on a highend PC. What`s up? Any firmware upgrades to address this? Any fix soon for the low-light focusing issues this camera has as well? Will one of your aux program flashes illuminators work or will I forever have unfocused photos in low light conditions? These two issues mar an otherwise excellent camera.

Answer is : Thank you for your question, however a firmware upgrade is not available to correct these issues.

So by their answer, it is apparent to me that they know there is an issue but they have no fix. I asked another more direct followup question asking what fix they have for it if a firmware upgrade will not do it and I specifically pointed them to this forum to see some of the negative impact their design defect is having on their reputation. I personally am about ready to return my camera and I would think twice about buying another Minolta if something as major as this issue can't be rectified.

What is the point in advertising how good the video is on your camera if it can't even sync the audio with it? The Z2 has so much promise and then to be let down in the final few details is inexcusable. It still amazes me that people can view the video posted in this thread and NOT hear the sync issues. The sound of bottle being struck should be almost simultaneous with the video. Maybe it would be better if there were fewer hits and more time between them so it might be more obvious.

On a different note, I bought this camera because of the very good review by Steve. What surprised me is he never caught the sync issue. Perhaps checking AV sync should be part of the testing procedure...

-T.

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