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Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


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Old November 3rd, 2008, 12:14 AM   #31
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Yes I should have made it clear which A1 I was referring to, having been confused by this my self, I was talking about the Sony as you figured out. Graham, I was not aware however that the HC1 was the same as the A1U basically, I thought they fundamentally differed. Dave, I will call ahead for two of these stores. I know however that one has these in stock, I will still check before I make the ten hr. drive for sure. Two of these stores cary a lot of pro and prosumer equipment. The reason why I asked about the timecode Adam is that I thought that the FX7 did Not have timecode, but you lead me to believe that it does is that right? 6 did you say 6 V5000s..... Wow, I did love that camera but yes it did not have timecode and I too wished it did would have saved a lot of time. I will have another read on the FX7 specsheet I may have missed this. Thanks, Ed
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 12:55 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Ed Van Thienen View Post
The reason why I asked about the timecode Adam is that I thought that the FX7 did Not have timecode, but you lead me to believe that it does is that right?
Again, all digital formats inherently have TC. It's part of the spec, I believe, so that may be why it might not be mentioned in individual cam specs and descriptions. Even Digital 8 does, I think....

God, what a cam the V5000 was. How I wish there was an HDV equivalent, but my understanding is that Sony killed it during Gulf War I because it was cannibalizing sales of the more expensive Pro cams... news organizations would buy them by the dozen because they were practically disposable.

The Sony HVR-HD1000U has the same form but isn't even close in terms of real controls (real switches and buttons). But for the price it's a great cam if it's what you need. I'm not sure it would be right for your situation, though.
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 01:51 PM   #33
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Isn't the HD1000 just an HC7 (single CMOS) in a pseudo-shoulder mount shell?? Thought it still used the touch screen interface as well, making it rather fiddly for manual control. May as well buy an HC9... not a bad camera, but probably NOT what Ed is looking for...

Again, if Sony would take say the SR11/12 (which is a significant jump from the 7 series sensor block), put buttons and firmware so you could access WB, shutter speed, aperature, gain, and maybe a couple custom preset buttons and put a proper focus ring on it... wouldn't be THAT much larger, and would be a welcome addition.

As it is the control wheel and button aren't bad, and suffice if you know how to use the AE shift to "rough" the cameras preset exposure into the right range, and the "exposure" to fine tune via the knob/wheel.

I suppose it's marketing and market segmentation that prevents such a simple "semi-pro" camera solution - most consumers wouldn't know what to do with the extra buttons (thus the big blue "EASY" atrocity...), and most "pros" seem to want a "big box" for show. It shouldn't be too much to ask for something akin to the old TRV900, with HD... probably not going to happen though... sigh.
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 03:28 PM   #34
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Isn't the HD1000 just an HC7 (single CMOS) in a pseudo-shoulder mount shell?? Thought it still used the touch screen interface as well, making it rather fiddly for manual control. May as well buy an HC9... not a bad camera, but probably NOT what Ed is looking for...
Yes, that's exactly what it is, and unless you specifically want/need that form factor (I do for some of the work I do), you're right about the HC9 being a better choice. But I've always hated small handycams for handheld work.
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 08:27 PM   #35
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Thanks Adam, I found some other spec sheets that do mention time-code, so I think you are right in saying that it may not be mentioned sometimes because it is part of "standard" HD spec. I never heard that Gulf war connection story, very interesting and I can see why they chose this camera as a field camera. I paid about $1800.00 US for mine while in Canada they where about $3200.00 Can. What a deal. No the HVR HD1000U is not what I want way to big and not nearly the camera the FX7 or the FX1 is from what I've seen even the HDR A1U Is a better and certainly more portable choice. So Dave you got that one right. My daughter just bought an SR12 and al though I like the pictures there is still something missing in them and it is actually to small for my liking. also no basic direct controls at all and like Adam says to small and unstable to do good handheld work, you always try to make it bigger with shoulder supports and the like to make it usable. I have another question but I'm not sure If I should start another thread? Someone tell me if I do please, it is about what software to use, I've got a new 24" iMac and was going with the Final Cut Express. Is that enough or should I spend more right now to get FCPro or Adobe premiere pro? I'd rather keep it simple and lower cost but I don't want to waste my money on something too simple. Thanks, Ed
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 09:23 PM   #36
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Sounds like you have a pretty thorough understanding of all your candidates.

In terms of editors, why don't you try out FCE and see how you like it? I bet it does everything you need, at least for now. At some point you could upgrade to Pro or an Adobe product if you needed the extra features. And I believe you could actually import an FCE project into FCP if you did upgrade at some point.

But go on over to the editing forums and do a little reading... tons of very sincere opinions there too....
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 11:00 PM   #37
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Thanks to all the great help here I do feel I have much clearer picture of what I should be looking at and what makes sense for me. In the mean time I have done a lot of reading and clip watching on the net, also of models above and below what I think I want and need and all together it is much more palatable then a week ago. It was largely a matter of playing catchup from the early nineties which was the last time I did anything in video. Also pleased you think FCE is a good starting point, This will also be easier on my wife's health $ and I can sort of stick to a budget. This is where I am new, digital editing but I know that the tools on all levels are fantastic and that I will catch on. I guess its of to the editing Forum, thanks to everyone for all the help, hopefully someday soon I can help some others. Best regards, Ed
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Old March 27th, 2009, 02:58 AM   #38
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I spend the money....

And I came home with the HDR FX1000 from Sony, with some acces. and plenty of tape. That was about a month ago and sofar I am stoked with this camera. We have an older (5yr) HD 52" Toshiba and the video looks great on it, I just started doing some editing on FCE and it is slowly coming together. Thanks all for the help.
Ed
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Old May 7th, 2009, 10:24 AM   #39
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Just read this thread while I was hanging out in a basement jail courtroom (my day job is interesting). I have been curious about the FX7, but hesitant because I shoot most of my commercial stuff with the FX1000 in 24pscan and 30pscan.

I was cutting til really late last night on a small commercial project and I can't say enough great things about the FX1000. The shoot was an interview with a famous artist and a group of "how to" videos (final project was about 40 minutes in length and will be outputted in mpeg for the client). We shot in 24pscan and I tweaked all the particulars manually. I used my big video light kit and lit the scene well.

I used a NADY wireless lav and it produced excellent sound (redunant sound is usually captured by my Zoom, but I've lent it out to a filmmaker bud of mine, so, I had to rely on the cheap NADY). As an aside, I shot for years with the DVX and it was really great, but don't buy anything SD. After 50 or more uses, I can say, the wireless NADY's rival my wired EV using my phantom Beachtek!

Anyway, Adam and fellow posters: Will the FX7 match the FX1000 as a good b-camera even if I shoot with the FX1000 in 24pscan? Progressive Scan is still interlaced and I'm editing in interlaced, of course. The format is automatically digestable in my NLE.

If I open the shutter on the FX7 (like to 1/30) and I use the cinegamma settings on the FX7, will there be a pretty decent meshing of the two video images in the editor?

For TV, I often shoot 30pscan and it is great too. I own the HD1000U and an HC9. I've shot for TV and commercial work with both those cameras, but they are never as sharp as the FX1000. And you can tell in the editor and on the big screen! It is a noticable difference.

I'm considering selling my HD1000U and buying a FX7. Seems like it would be better optics and controls and the cinegamma would be a plus. And I gotta be honest, I bought the HD1000U for looks. Sometimes I take it to a shoot and open the bag and leave it there as a prop. It is funny, because my experience is my HC9 is just as good and with form factor even better. I use the HD1000U for a transfer now mainly. And good luck finding a tripod for it!

But I have to also be honest, I've shot pretty video with the HD1000U, I'd be lying otherwise.

Adam, what's the profile settings on the FX7? Do they match or are similar to the FX1000?

Finally, no one has an FX7 to handle and play with around here in Atlanta. Wolf camera had one and I went there and they had sold it, ha! Sony Style does not carry it in store.
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Old June 7th, 2009, 01:00 PM   #40
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I've just sold my Canon HV30 and am now grappling with the decision of what camera I should get to replace it.

I liked the HV30 but didn't like its lack of manual controls.

I'd really like a Sony FX1000. The Panasonic HMC 150 also looks like a nice camera, but my current PC is relatively underpowered and takes a very long time to render AVCHD files. Neither camera really fits into my budget, being at least $1500 ~ 2000.00 more than I'm looking to spend. Then again, I'd love an EX1 (hey, wouldn't we all love to get one?)

I thought of getting a Sony HD1000U to save some money, but found myself not liking its low-light performance. In fairness though, all single-chip CMOS cameras suffer from this malady to one degree or another, so it's a relative thing. If Vimeo footage was anything to go by, I also found myself not liking the graininess or the lack of warmth in the images it produces.

The FX7 looks like an attractive option - it would give me most of the features I'm looking for in the FX1000 at a price I can afford. I've seen footage coming from it (again, on Vimeo) and it's a real mixed bag. A lot of it looks grainy. Also interlaced (as you would expect with a 1080i camera), with blown-out highlights. And some of it looks fine. I realize
a lot of this may have to do with choice of codecs, shutter speed and failure to make use of the camera's ND filters in bright light.

Here's a couple of samples of FX7 footage I really like from the standpoint of smoothness, clarity and overall image quality, as well as colour space:

Sony FX7 on Vimeo
SimbaCat on Vimeo

The other things stopping me from getting an FX7 are the lack of 24p, 30p and Cinetone modes.

The one camera that I've taken a real liking to lately (mostly because it offers a fair chunk of what I'm looking for and really fits into my budget) is the Sony A1U. The only issues I have with the camera are its bottom-loading of tapes (minor), the fact that the manual focus wheel doesn't work well according to some reports, and its small size. I'd have no hope of ever getting wedding or corporate work with a camera this small, simply because people have been conditioned to believe that big, shoulder-mount cameras necessarily equal big quality video.

Still, the image the A1U can produce in good hands is simply stunning, and I'd dare say better than the Canon HV30. Take a look at this sample:

High Sierra HD - Backpacking the John Muir Trail on Vimeo

So, if I don't end up getting an A1U, my next best bet would probably be a used FX1 or Z1.
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Old June 7th, 2009, 01:04 PM   #41
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The FX7 is probably the best bang for the buck today, although it doesn't do everything and isn't spectacular in low light. It does have Cinematone gamma but, as you said, lacks progressive.

If you're serious about a used FX1, there are a bunch of them for sale in our classified section, including two of mine. Email if interested.
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Old June 7th, 2009, 09:18 PM   #42
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I have an FX7 and an HC1 (the prosumer version of the A1u). The FX7 produces a sharper image with better color, is no worse in low light (neither are stellar of course) and is physically much nicer to handle - less '"cramped feel", with more physical buttons for control.

(I have a Beachtek that I slip on the bottom when I need XLR connections....)
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Old June 14th, 2009, 10:15 AM   #43
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I'd look hard at a Panny TM300 before buying an A1U.
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