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Sony HVR-V1 / HDR-FX7
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old August 6th, 2007, 10:24 AM   #1
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Advice on upgrading camera

Hi all,
Iíve had a DCR-VX2100 for 4 years and has worked great for me. Last week l was set up to shoot a interview and one of the CCDs went. I have sent back to SONY which may repair free l hope. Anyways, looking around for new camera to buy. Was thinking the FX1, FX7, or A1U. Any advice on choose?
I would us for: interviews, short movies, and Documentaries. Durability and XLR conection a must.

Thanks, Ron
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Old August 6th, 2007, 10:38 AM   #2
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Hi Ron

I do have same camera with more than 4 years the VX2100. The best to look for is V1 :) FX1, FX7, DON'T Build in XLR input. A1U do have, but a little small cam.
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Old August 6th, 2007, 06:11 PM   #3
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Ron
What KC said.
The FX1 and FX7 don't have XLRs in and the A1u is a single chip camera.
Leaves you with the bigger 3xCCD Z1 or the smaller 3xCMOS V1.

Me, I use an HC1 and an FX7 with a Beachtek DXa8 if I need it, 'cos I like mine that way.
HTH
Cheers
Chris.
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Old August 9th, 2007, 08:22 AM   #4
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Thanks Chris,
Any word on the SONY HVR-V1U? Looks like a great camera.

Ron
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Old August 9th, 2007, 08:47 AM   #5
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You'll love the V1, but you've got to remember you're leaving big 1"/3 chips behind (VX2k1) and going to much smaller 1"/4 in the V1. It's how they can keep a 20x lens of that speed so small, but your DoF control will be much more limited.

As the others have said, XLRs only exist on the A1U, but I think you'd find that 10x zoom, single chipper a disappointment in low light. You also have no control over ND filters, and there's no aperture / gain readout in the v'finders - a real bind in my view. Still, the pictures are splendid.

So if you're staying Sony (and I think you should to use all those batteries and accessories over again) then it's between the Z1 and the V1. The V1 is newer by 2 years, smaller, lighter and cheaper. Its iris control wheel isn't a patch on the Z1's and nor is it's side screen. Still - it's smaller, cheaper etc. You get what you pay for.

The V1 will live another 2 years at least, whereas the Z1 could die this December when the XD-EX arrives.

tom.
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Old August 9th, 2007, 08:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Jones View Post
Last week l was set up to shoot a interview and one of the CCDs went.
Thanks, Ron
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Old August 9th, 2007, 08:59 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info!
Any word on the XD-EX?

Ron
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Old August 9th, 2007, 10:06 AM   #8
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Ron -

I love the form factors of both cameras, since they're more or less identical, and they're the only form factor I like in that sized camera.
(My partner runs a JVC HD100, and I also run an HDR-HC1, so we have small, medium and large...)

The V1 is the professional division's equivalent to the consumer division's FX7 at a lot cheaper. The imaging chain is the same, but the V1 has a ton more image tweaking options, plus balanced audio inputs and a good pre amp stage.

Now I've been in post for years and have always preferred to shoot straight and tweak in post. I have a ton of 4x4 filters and matte boxes, etc., from my stills and film days, so I prefer mechanical image control on location.

Mainly, for exposures, I use the histogram anyway, and don't have much use for actual F stop markings on a lens. I tend to set things by eye and histogram, and using the same field monitors over and over, so I'm probably not shooting at a standard that most video camerafolk would call professional.

Plus 90% of the time I have a 35mm DOF box on the FX7 and so run the FX7 wide open, setting final aperture on the Nikon or Lomo lens, again with a matte box and filters in front of that too for image control.

As far as audio, goes my main audio is going straight to disk in a separate dedicated MATR most of the time.

If I do need final audio on the FX7 I put a Beachtek on it, which gives me two audio gain stages total per channel, double ground lifts, stereo to mono, an 1/8" input, and dual channel soft knee limiting with integral peak lights as well. The audio quality is superb and the noise floor very low, and I don't mind the extra bulk because I have all that other stuff strapped onto the camera anyway.

So bottom line is that I'm not asking the actual camcorder to do very much as far as image control goes, so I can make do with less camcorder to begin with.

Most people don't shoot this way any more.

Cheers
Chris

Last edited by Chris Leong; August 9th, 2007 at 11:31 AM.
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