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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 08:02 AM   #1
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Location: Runcorn, UK
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Hi, now before I start, i'm perfectly aware of Marco Wagner's thread of the same name, and while it asks about the same cameras, my question is actually quite different.

Now, yesterday while I was waiting for my account to be activated, I read around a massive amount of topics, spending a good 7 hours on the forums. However, I didn't manage to find an answer to my questions...

A couple of things...

A HD camera is an absolute necessity. With the next generation of video games pushing the idea of the "HD Era", buying a Standard Definition camera now would be a business mistake...

HD is also a necessity because of the possibility of some video going on Xbox Live Marketplace for download... in which case it needs to be in both standard definition PAL, as well as 720p.

In the event of this camera being used as back up, I will need it to perform in a vast variety of lighting situations... Think, E3, Games Market Europe, PR Events (Such as the Xbox 360 First Play I attended back in Oct 2005)...

Examples of lighting are included below...


The last pic is particularly important, thats a still from a camcorder being used on the exhibition floor, and shows how dark E3 really is...

Pre-E3 Conference (Likely to be where all cameras will struggle or will they?)

Games Market Europe:

However, it will also be being used in Studio situations, outside, in offices etc... it needs to be flexible.

So just what are my questions?


1) While this camera is going to be primarly a personal camera, a new hobby in a sense, it will be used as back up for times when the company I work for requires either two cameras or the HVR-Z1E we are purchasing soon is already in use. Because of this I need to know how flexible it is in terms of lighting... Now, I've read about the gain issue with the A1, specifically the lack of direct control. In lighting situations like those above how poorly or well is the A1E likely to handle the image... remember, this has to be good enough to be used in corporate video and 'broadcast' over Xbo Live.

2) Now, the above question I suspect the FX1 is going to be recommended... However, on the show floor its likely we would be conducting many interviews, now the lack of XLR ports worries me... now I assume something like the Beachtek DXA-4 Dual XLR adaptor for VX / FX series is going to be sufficent, or would I need the phantom power version? I will be likely using a combination of shotgun mike/lapel and boom mics... How well is the FX1 going to handle audio?

3) While size in terms of carrying is not really an issue, although personally, the bigger the camera the better [a) because I prefer bigger camcorders for their stability, and b) walking round the floor with a big HDV camera is likely to get us more interviews that the smaller A1... however, how big is the FX1... are we talking handluggage size or bigger?

Thats all I can think of for the mo... I'm sure i'll remember more as I go along...
Ben Furfie
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AlienPants Ltd
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 10:21 AM   #2
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Not an audio professional but the Beachtek should be fine.

Size is not that bad, Having owned the HC1 (Same size as A1) I personally don't think is that big of a difference, then of course I am 6'5 (Big Boy)

Low light situation w/ A1 = Hell no (Personal HC1 Experience)

Low light situation w/ FX1 = Great (I currently own one)

I personally put this two cameras side by side and they are day and night different when it comes to low light, HC1 was very grainy enven with a 20w light a couple of feet from the subject. The FX1 handles light incredibly well, I have never had to increase the gain in real life except for some tests I performed but even when increasing it to the max it wasn't as bad as the other, not even close.

My (personal) 2 cents!
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 11:00 AM   #3
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It would seem logical if you are likely to be using the second camera along side an Z1... to go for the FX1 as they are indentical in the majority of ways...same body, lens and controls...

As you are in PAL land...adding a Beachtek you'll have 90% of the real usablity of the Z1. It will do everything you need in an interview situation..
I read a post the other day where a chap said he had used both cameras and actually prefered the controls of the Beachtek, as they weren't as fiddly as the Z1.

Anyway I've been using my FX1 for the last year and a bit and it is a really nice camera to use.. the controls especially the iris adjustment would swing it for me if I had your choice.

Size wise it is marginally bigger than the PD170/VX2100 range.

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Old February 22nd, 2006, 02:55 PM   #4
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Cheers guys, thanks for the advice... to be truthful I was pretty much settled on the HDR-FX1E but your advice has just confirmed it for me...

Just one more thing... for interview lighting... what sort of Wattage am I looking at needing?
Ben Furfie
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 04:50 PM   #5
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At least in one regard (black stretch), the A1 offers image aquisition control that the FX1 doesn't.

I'm going with the FX1 for weddings because lighting is so commonly not controlable, but if you can add lighting everywhere you will be shooting, even if the ambient is low, I don't see a huge downside to the the A1.
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Old October 11th, 2007, 03:20 PM   #6
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Frome, Somerset, UK
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Hello all

I'm new to this forum, class my self as an amateur wannabe "pro" type :)

I'm looking for a camcorder that will allow me to video, mostly, birds of prey in flight/hunting, displays at country shows and such as well as various wild life/outdoor activities - virtually anything that I feel/think will be worth capturing and putting to DVD having edited on the PC.

I've done a search using the HVR/HDR and its various extentions, on the forum and on the net to get some ideas as to which would suit my needs - I'm a bit confused as to the variety of extentions such as difference, if any, in HVR & HDR, A1E or P... 7E etc. Any ideas?

Although the FX7 has a 20x optical zoom - which would possibly be better for getting zoomed in on the flights - it doesn't have the macro facility that the A1 does... which would, I'm thinking, allow for a zoom in and fading out of areas around the subject --- as explained in the blurbs for the camcorder. Also the A1 is smaller/lighter.

Being an "amateur" I don't presently take hours of video daily so my camera skills are... "low" - also may be an age thing at 56 ;) so I'd need something that would lessen any camera shake when not using a tripod. A fault of the A1 being bottom loading of the tape. I'm leaning towards the A1 but would appreciate any and all input from others here as I can appreciate that there are many here with far more knowledge of all things videography that I have.

Thanks in advance

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