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Old August 24th, 2008, 11:39 AM   #16
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Ah! The XL2 isn't high def. I'll see if I can get a Sony HVR-Z1, unless anyone has suggestions of a better camera with 16:9 sensor and HD capabilities for a similar price?
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Old August 24th, 2008, 12:24 PM   #17
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Yeah, the XL2 isn't high-def... it's just the next camera up from the DVX100 in that it has 16:9, albeit SD. Anamorphic SD doesn't look that bad. I mean it's not HD, but it is definitely noticeably better when you're on a budget.

Don't get the Z1, get the V1U. It's better, and you should be able to find it even cheaper. Also, this might not be in your price range, but check out the Canon XH-A1, which is also high-def. I've shot many things on it. Maybe there's a used one somewhere for cheap? If not, go for the V1U, which is a great camera.
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Old August 24th, 2008, 04:17 PM   #18
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Thanks for the advice Daniel!

I looked at the Sony Z1E and V1E on the Sony website. What are the advantages to the V1?

I looked at the XH-A1 too.

All three cameras seem to have similar price tags, about 2 - 2500 GBP, but which is best?

Is the V1U different to the V1E?

I'm baffled!

Last edited by Stuart Graham; August 24th, 2008 at 04:19 PM. Reason: mispelt
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Old August 24th, 2008, 06:36 PM   #19
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Daniel,

I'm curious as to how the V1 is better than the Z1? The V1, if I remember correctly, uses 3 x 1/4" "ClearVid" CMOS sensors as opposed to the 3 x 1/3" Super HAD CCD's in the Z1.

I can see how the V1 would have superior battery life and probably $500-1000 cheaper, but I don't understand how it would be "better", especially since CMOS sensors are widely regarded as being less low light sensitive (the exception being the Z7). I would like to understand this since I am about to buy a camcorder in this class and don't want to miss something here.

Unless you are referring to the V1 having "24p" capability:

Sony Electronics News and Information

Then again, the Z1 has the same and can shoot in both NTSC and PAL:

Sony Product Detail Page - HVRZ1U

Then again, I haven't used either, so hands on experience would help me out tremendously!

Thanks for your time.

Best regards,

Scott
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Old August 24th, 2008, 11:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuart Graham View Post
Is the V1U different to the V1E?!
The V1E is the PAL version.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Surbrook View Post
I'm curious as to how the V1 is better than the Z1?
It, of course, depends on your needs. The Z1U is more versatile, whereas the V1U is more specific to 24P filmmaking, and it outperforms the Z1U at that specific task.

I've shot both quite a bit. I will first say they are both truly great cameras. But beyond that...

The Z1U is older and uses Sony's faux-progressive "cineframe" technology. It isn't true 24P, and it is obvious. You lose resolution with the way the frames are interpolated. Furthermore, while the chips are 1/4" CMOS on the V1U and will do worse in low light, the way the chips process the image result in a noticeably sharper image than the Z1U. Also, remember I'm assuming that the purpose is for traditional-style filmmaking, in which case I wouldn't worry as much about low light because I would assume you are lighting your shots. The V1U's sharpness and focal precision were very noticeable, and favorable, in my experience. The V1U has better options in terms of color and gamma, and those options are also less destructive. The V1U is also able to record onto Sony's hard drive system, which is a plus for those wanting to go tapeless. And, as you pointed out, it's smaller, built better, and has better battery life.

So you are right -- I should be more specific and less biased. :) If PAL/NTSC interoperability and low-light performance are huge deals, than perhaps the Z1U is your camera. But of the 2, the V1U is definitely a better choice for someone intending on shooting cinematic 24P films to be sent to festivals or aired on television or something of that nature.
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Old August 25th, 2008, 12:31 AM   #21
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battery life: since you can use the biggest F970 battery , giving you hours of use, i do not think battery is an issue.
Hard disk recording. All hard disk recorder (quickstream,sony, firestore, nnovia etc...) are simply using the firewire stream and are all compatible with most of HDV camera.
The only point is to verify if the disk choosen is compatible with 24p, this special mode can be implemented in many way, not alway compatible with disks .

I do not think you can differentiate these two camera by the points above.
there is less smear with a cmos in favour of he V1, but CCD is rock solid in every situation.
Since i used both camera, I still would keep de Z1 if i had to choose.
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Old August 25th, 2008, 10:40 AM   #22
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Thanks for the info everyone.

Whether the Z1 or V1 is better seems to be debatable. But from Daniel's points I am leaning towards the V1 as I wish to make cinematic style films. True progressive recording is very important to me and the V1 can do this, the Z1 seems to mimic it.

Scott said:

"I'm curious as to how the V1 is better than the Z1? The V1, if I remember correctly, uses 3 x 1/4" "ClearVid" CMOS sensors as opposed to the 3 x 1/3" Super HAD CCD's in the Z1."

Even though the V1 has smaller 1/4" sensors it has roughly the same number of pixels as the Z1's 1/3" sensors (about 1,000,000). So I didn't think resolution is a factor.

It seems from the Sony catalogue that the Z1 and V1 capture 16:9 widescreen in standard def only. Do all DV cameras have this limitation? Does that mean it's better to capture in 4:3 high def then crop to 16:9?

What about the Canon XH-A1? How does that compare with the V1, is it as good?
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Old August 25th, 2008, 11:19 AM   #23
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Quote:
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It seems from the Sony catalogue that the Z1 and V1 capture 16:9 widescreen in standard def only. Do all DV cameras have this limitation? Does that mean it's better to capture in 4:3 high def then crop to 16:9?
Stuart,

I'm a bit puzzled by that. The Z1 and V1 capture in 16:9, always, whether HD or SD. If you want 4:3 you probably have to crop in post. There's no option to physically capture in 4:3, though you can set on-screen guides (at least on the V1) to help you frame your shots.

As to what is better... I've only used the V1, so can't compare.
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Old August 25th, 2008, 11:27 AM   #24
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Ah, I must have misunderstood the brochure, silly me. I've never shot in HD before. Thanks for clearing that up Mike.

Anyone have an opinion on whether the Sony HVR-V1 or Canon XH-A1 is better?
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Old August 25th, 2008, 11:44 AM   #25
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You can't go wrong with either camcorder. The one that's "better" is the one which feels best in your hands, or barring an ability to touch and try, the one that most appeals to you. There is no wrong choice here.
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Old August 25th, 2008, 12:26 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Mike Beckett View Post
I'm a bit puzzled by that. The Z1 and V1 capture in 16:9, always, whether HD or SD. If you want 4:3 you probably have to crop in post. There's no option to physically capture in 4:3, though you can set on-screen guides (at least on the V1) to help you frame your shots.
Not true. On the Z1 you can choose to capture 4:3 standard definition if desired, and record in either DV SP or DVCAM format.See the DV WIDE REC function on page 71 of the Z1 owners manual here: http://ws.sel.sony.com/PIPWebService...al/hvr-z1u.pdf

If you record in HDV you also have several options to downconvert the footage in-camera and send it out over firewire as standard definition DV. See i.LINK CONV on page 73 and settings on page 74. EDGE CROP will send 4:3 SD DV out over firewire - it simply chops off the sides of the 16:9 HDV image.

I don't see the V1 manual online, and have only played around with one for a little while, but I know it's a little different. I believe it lacks the edge crop downconversion, not sure whether it can record 4:3 in DV mode. I also know that the FX1 is a little different too. I'm pretty sure it can record 4:3 DV, but I think it's missing the edge crop feature.
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Old August 25th, 2008, 12:59 PM   #27
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I noticed that the XH-A1 has:

1. A slightly wider angle lens than the Sony HVR-V1 (32.5 - 650 mm versus 37.4 to 748 mm in 16:9 mode - 35mm equivalents)

2. Optical image stabiliser, which the V1 doesn't have

3. Higher resolution sensors than the V1 (1.7 versus 1.1 megapixel)

4. Greater aperture range (f1.6 - 3.5, versus f1.6 - 2.8)

While the Z1 has:

1. CMOS Clearimage rather than CCD sensors.

Does all this make the Canon XH-A1 superior overall?

Is 25F on the Canon XH-A1 the same as 25P on the Sony V1?
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Old August 25th, 2008, 01:38 PM   #28
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I noticed that the XH-A1 has:
2. Optical image stabiliser, which the V1 doesn't have
The V1 certainly does have optical image stabilisation, and you can adjust it: off/soft/normal/hard/wide angle depending on your needs.
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Old August 25th, 2008, 01:48 PM   #29
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4. Greater aperture range (f1.6 - 3.5, versus f1.6 - 2.8)
Actually no this is not "greater aperture range." Both camcorders have the same maximum aperture value (f/1.6) at full wide angle. Unfortunately, neither camcorder uses a constant-aperture lens. The maximum aperture value at full telephoto on the Canon XH series camcorder is worse than the V1 (f/3.5 vs. f/2.8), but this is due to the fact that the Canon XH has a much longer focal length than the Sony V1 at full telephoto.

So no, you cannot make a valid comparison here simply by noting these max. ap. values.

Again: the "better" camcorder is the one which *feels best in your hands* and whose video image *most appeals to you.* If you examine only the technical specs, you are misleading yourself, unfortunately.

Quote:
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Is 25F on the Canon XH-A1 the same as 25P on the Sony V1?
Yes it is the same.
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Old August 25th, 2008, 01:58 PM   #30
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Thanks Chris and Mike!

I am enlightened.

It doesn't mention the OIS in the Sony brochure for the V1 for some reason.

I will find try to find some footage from each camera and see which I prefer.

Thanks again!
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