I'm Testing the difference between A1U and the FX1 - what kind of tests should I do? at DVinfo.net

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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 February 16th, 2006, 09:22 PM   #1
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I'm Testing the difference between A1U and the FX1 - what kind of tests should I do?

I'm Testing the difference between A1U and the FX1 - what kind of tests should I do?

I personally own an A1U and have borrowed the FX1 from a friend. What kind of tests or comparisons would really strain both cameras and possibly show the difference. Personally I don't own any charts, links to where I could download one would be great.

Currently I have some ideas for general indoor lighting, green screen and sunset shots. What other kinds of tests do we want to see?
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Old February 16th, 2006, 09:40 PM   #2
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Where you are going to see the difference is in low light, and any shots that require quick manual changes. You might also see some difference in the clarity of stabilized shots. I wouldn't worry about charts. Just shoot what you shoot and compare how both cameras do with that.
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Old February 16th, 2006, 09:44 PM   #3
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How about http://www.belle-nuit.com/testchart.html ?

I haven't used an A1 (I have a Z1), but it seems like image tests would only be part of the story. You should also play around with all the controls and observe their effect while watching on a monitor. The nice iris knob in and of itself might be enough to sway a purchase decision. The LCD panel on the FX1/Z1 is also excellent.
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Old February 16th, 2006, 10:21 PM   #4
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I have FX1, but am curiuos about A1 as second Hi def cam. Is it heavy enough to create some stability, hand held. More important, how close are they to each other in color reprodoction of a vaious scenes indoor and out.
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Old February 16th, 2006, 11:06 PM   #5
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Resolution Test

Thanks for the chart link. I found also a 5 line resolution test wedge chart by John Beale. I'll be shooting some action and indoor events this weekend and will make still's of my results. I will post the results here.

Keep the ideas coming. I just setup both cameras tonight. For some reason and I'm not being bias here, but the A1U looks pretty sharp next to the FX1 in terms of picture quality via LCD Panel. We'll let actual use decide...
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Old February 17th, 2006, 02:55 AM   #6
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Guys,

I have a Z1 and an A1. I haven't tested the two cameras in any way other than shooting with both under many different conditions. I have to say that there is very little between the two in good light. The Z1 is nicer to use on a tripod and of course is much easier to tweak and control manually. THe A1 is a great cam to use for run and gun - conveniet light size and more than acceptable performance in auto everything mode. Audio on both is very similar, and also quite good (XLR).

In low light as Laurence says - there is a big difference. The A1 just does not cut it when the light fades, whilst the Z1 performs admirably (despite what a lot of people say) and takes gain very gracefully.

If you intercut the footage from the 2 (which I do all of the time) you will have a lot of trouble telling the difference in good lighting conditions. The A1 has remarkably good colour saturation and can be set up to look very much like the Z1 (as can the Z1 to look like the A1).

I am sure that there are several people like me that own both. I bought the A1 to use as a deck as well as a back up cam - and I am very happy with my choice.

Hope this helps.

I believe that this is a better test than anything based on charts.
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Old February 17th, 2006, 10:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Zimmerman
the A1U looks pretty sharp next to the FX1 in terms of picture quality via LCD Panel.
I don't see how you could make a meaningful judgement that way. The A1's LCD panel only has 123,200 pixels while the Z1 has 250,000... more than twice as many! Their viewfinders are the same however.
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Old February 18th, 2006, 02:08 PM   #8
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Graeme - Do you use black stretch much with the A1?
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Old February 18th, 2006, 02:13 PM   #9
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I'm also curious to know how EIS on the A1 compares to OIS on the Z1.
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Old February 18th, 2006, 03:00 PM   #10
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Robert,

I have used the black stretch on the A1 - and still was not impressed with it's low light abilities - here it it is not a patch on the Z1. If you are thinking low light for a lot of your shooting do not buy the A1.

The image stabilisation on the A1 is very good. I am hugely impressed with the stability of this little camera which I use hand held most of the time. It is hard to compare directly to the Z1 as I almost always use my Z1 on a tripod with the stabiliser off, but I have to say that I think that the A1 would be close.

Hope this helps.
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Old February 18th, 2006, 04:53 PM   #11
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Thanks Graeme. My (tentative) plan is to go with an FX1 (or maybe Z1) along with an A1 to use as a second camera for ceremonies, and use just one camera for receptions, unless the lighting is real good. The rebate on the A1 makes it look very attractive for a second (and backup) camera. My HD10U will be the emergency backup camera (along with my DV300U), but I might actually use it as a third camera on occasion, for PIP shots like a closeup of the exchange of rings.
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