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Old February 3rd, 2005, 07:04 PM   #1
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Need very import Advice on HDV cam replacement

All right you guys I have been struggling with this camera decision for weeks on end now. I currently have a GS 400 but I am having to send it in for repairs after 5 months use. I have all of the accessories and attachments including UW housing for filming the fishing show I host on Fox Sports called The Chew On This Saltwater Fishing Show. I know I need to purchase a new camera and here are the options I am contemplating but I can't decide which one has more pros than cons for a nationally broadcasted fishing show.

Option #1
Purchase another GS 400 preferrably the PV US version considering I have all the the accessories for it and it will allow me to have a backup camera of the same quality and specs as the current one I have. The color and performance of the GS 400 was great and came out very well on FOX SPORTS for last years complete season.

Option #2
Finance a Sony HDV FX-1 for 12 months no interest and be able to advertise the "Chew On This Saltwater Fishing Show" is shot in HD. I believe converting to HD as soon as possible would be a great benefit for my show, especially if the show ever goes to a national network such as ESPN or OLN. It would be real nice to have HD footage to use for years to come. I can then use the GS 400 strictly for UW shots in the show.

My concerns are:

I have to get something now and I would like to go with the best my budget can currently handle. However, I have heard the Sony is temperamental in a warm FL humid climate and that it may be missing some features that I need. I really don't know if I should wait for a better HDV camera to come out or not.

Thanks to all who decide to post and help me out with a very difficult decision.

Regards,
Capt Ben
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 10:41 PM   #2
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The HDV cam is not so "point and shoot" like other cams. You really need to use manual focus or else it will look like sheeeet.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 02:35 AM   #3
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Re: Need very import Advice on HDV cam replacement

Do you do the editing yourself? If you do you'll need to consider the necessity to upgrade software and possibly hardware to handle HD/HDV.

You may also prefer to consider the Z-1 rather than the FX-1 for the extra flexibility it provides in shooting PAL as well as NTSC, as well as the XLRs for improved audio capability....

I have the FX-1e and it produces an image quality when viewed on HD capable monitors and TVs that is equal to the best being currently broadcast.

Considering you are producing a broadcast video production, is it not plausible to demo the Sony cams to see how they fit into your workflow? To be honest; asking this sort of question here is likely to confuse you even more, and given that you're the ultimate arbiter, it would be worth doing yourself the favour of trying the options out.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 09:33 AM   #4
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Steve thanks for the input. I use Vegas 5.0 to edit the show and I believe it has the capabilities of editing HD. As far as editing equipment goes I have been contemplating buying a new system that I know will handle the HD editing. Personally I would really like to have the HD footage now. I just didn't want to get the Sony if is tempermental considering all I will be doing with it is shooting outside in the humidity. I have an XLR adapter on my current cam. Does the Z-1 have an already built in XLR?
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Old February 4th, 2005, 11:13 AM   #5
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Yeah, the Z1 has built in XLR's. But I think you should just get another GS 400. The FX1 and Z1 aren't too good in low light and, yes, they do need to be manually configured quite a bit depending on what you're trying to do.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 12:32 PM   #6
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Jack one of the biggest problems with going with a GS again though is the money comes directly out of my pocket and this first one has already malfunctioned in the first 5 months. The Sony can be financed thus reducing out of pocket expenses greatly. Is the Sony that tough to set up? or can it shoot good outdoor footage and better low light by increasing the db gain to a higher Fstop value.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 01:59 PM   #7
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Ben, that is a tough decision.

I've got a FX1 coming in next week and hopefully I can share some information with you. Sorry to hear about your GS400 as I remember discussing the purchase with you back when I was selling my GS100.

As for low light on the FX1 and Z1... Unfortunately, I haven't had the luxury of using either cam but I have no doubt that either will be better in dim lighting than your current GS400. I have read that the FX1's low light performance falls between a PDX10 and a VX2100. Since the PDX10 and GS400 both have three 1/4.7" CCDs with 1070k pixels each I would think that you would actually do better with a FX1. Curious though, don't you shoot mostly during the bright part of the day?
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Old February 4th, 2005, 02:00 PM   #8
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Where are you getting the finance from? Sony only ran the offer on sd dvcam in the UK. They could have told me that before I put the deposit down!
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Old February 4th, 2005, 02:15 PM   #9
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SonyStyle.com has 0% for 12 months on all Sony products over $499 or something like that.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 02:43 PM   #10
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Well if you can get the finance, I would go for the Z1/FX1. One of the benefits of the Z1 for me was that it gets supported from the pro division, which is worth the extra for the peace of mind over repairs.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 02:47 PM   #11
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Tommy when it comes to fishing you have to shoot all kinds of different lighting. Sometimes cloudy sometimes dawn and sometimes dusk. I really like what you just said about the low light situation though.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 05:44 PM   #12
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Well, shoot, why didn't you say you could get financing for the Z1?! Go for it then! The only thing that you might have to do is either turn the gain up or use an underwater light or something if it gets too dark. Bright days should be just fine and gorgeous with the Z1.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 11:26 PM   #13
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Ben,

It sounds like you already made the decision. just remember to use the ND filters!

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Old February 6th, 2005, 02:16 PM   #14
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I dont think you can get the financing for the Z1---at least not at the sonystyle site--only the F1
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Old February 6th, 2005, 11:09 PM   #15
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David you are very right about the Z1. Heath I am still not sure. I do have VEGAS 5.0 though and I do need a new camera. I already have an XLR adapter do I still need the one on the Z1 or can I just buy the F1 and use the XLR I currently have.

I really appreciate the help and suggestions I get from you guys. You are the only pro voices I know of.

Regards,
Capt Ben
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