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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 December 16th, 2007, 06:00 AM   #1
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Sony V1/Fx7 performance for corporate work

I am currently looking at purchasing 2 Sony v1's for doing corporate events.

I would like hear from the videographers on this forum who have used this camera for this type of work. What are the pros and cons of these cameras for corporate work?

Most of the time a person can not adjust the lighting at these events and I am just concerned about the performance of the cmos chips under low light situations in general.

I am a novice, so any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old December 16th, 2007, 07:03 AM   #2
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when you say Corporate events could you be abit more specific?

I do a lot of corp work but some are seminars, somes might be discussion groups, might be a dinner dance (popular this time of year for the holidays) could be an expo, might be a talking heads or a scripted training video.

Each calls for some different gear. Most call for something that is decent in low or bad lighting { they NEVER think about that :-( } and of course audio is important as well. For as much as possible I plug into the sound board as there might be 2 to up to 8 mics used but for run and gun, it's either a hypercaroid on the camera or a shotgun on a boom. For lighting well, you got what you got except for news style run and gun interviews at say an expo-then I use either a 75W on camera OR will drag a 575W softbox use a very flat lighting (light pretty much next to the camera) and go. Of course there is a helper with me in that case as well as if booming a mic.
Anyway, point is, different scenarios call for different stuff. Depends on what you're doing.
BTW for some of the seminars I've been set up so far back that anything less than a 21X lens on a 1/2 or 2/3 camera wouldn't come close to getting anything but a wide shot so that leaves out the good old 170,250 and most other cameras in that class. Need something like a DXC30 or 50 or a DSR 400/450 or 500/570 or JVC5000 or 5100 with a 21 or 22X lens or more.
Don
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Old December 16th, 2007, 07:40 AM   #3
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Thanks for all the valuable tip Don. Much appreciated.

I need to decide which 2 cameras to purchase by Jan 2008. I need something that will give good performance in general. I would just like to be able to deal with any situation that presents itself. The V1 fits my budget very nicely. I am also considering 2 170's but I am concerned about the fact the pd170's are sd and I don't want to upgrade for at least the next 2 years.

Another option is the Z1 but it more than what I would like to spend. The fx1 has been discontinued in my country.

I like the V1 for its portability.
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Old December 16th, 2007, 07:57 AM   #4
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Maybe I must just add that the majority of the work will be seminars and maybe weddings too. I would like to do some studio work and here I can control the lighting so, the V1 will be fine for this.

Will the the Sony V1 be good enough for seminars and weddings?
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Old December 16th, 2007, 08:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antonie Koen View Post
Maybe I must just add that the majority of the work will be seminars and maybe weddings too. I would like to do some studio work and here I can control the lighting so, the V1 will be fine for this.

Will the the Sony V1 be good enough for seminars and weddings?
It might be; then again it might not be. Have you considered the XHA1 from Cannon. It is being used a lot for weddings and corporate events. In my opinion, out of the cheapies, it is the best bang for the buck. Also, the 20x zoom lens will bid you well if you are some distance from the action.

The V1, also with a 20x lens, is a very nice camera, but I'm mostly hung up on the small 1/4" size for its sensors. Had they put in the 1/3rd inch sensors, like the upcoming Z7, then I would recommend it. The Canon XHA1 gives you a bit more low light performance, although, not as clean as the V1 in high definition.

Hope this helps
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Old December 16th, 2007, 09:14 AM   #6
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thanks for your reply John.

I have thought about the Canon A1 and I agree, it's great value for money, but for some reason I just don't like it. I have always felt comfortable when using Sony video cameras and their button layout seems more natural to me. Another thing I like about the V1 is its size, especially when having to travel with a single cam via airplane. Nice for onboard luggage.
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Old December 16th, 2007, 10:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Antonie Koen View Post
thanks for your reply John.

I have thought about the Canon A1 and I agree, it's great value for money, but for some reason I just don't like it. I have always felt comfortable when using Sony video cameras and their button layout seems more natural to me. Another thing I like about the V1 is its size, especially when having to travel with a single cam via airplane. Nice for onboard luggage.
The Canon XHA1 is similar in size; I'm not talking about the high def XLH1, which is the same form factor as the XL2 standard definition model. However, I agree; you have to go with whatever you're most comfortable shooting with. I believe with the correct settings you can achieve enough low light performance out of the V1 for what you're shooting.

There's always the Z7, planned release in February, three 1/3rd inch CMOS, but you'll need a deeper pocket because it looks like the price will be 1/3rd steeper than the V1. Of course, it does give you interchangeable lens, but the standard lens, I understand, is only 12x for your situation. So, I guess the V1 is the way to go.

Good luck.
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Old December 16th, 2007, 11:01 AM   #8
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Thanks John

As far as the sony z7 is concerned, does anyone know how much the memory cards will cost? Will a person be able to use the sony dr60 portable hdd with the z7?

What I like about using the dr60 portable hdd with the V1 is that you can simultaniously record to tape, and that's nice to have as a backup, should anything go wrong.
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Old December 16th, 2007, 04:03 PM   #9
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Two V1s is the way to go.

Hi Antonie

I just read your query about the two V1's you consider buying for corporate work. I am using two V1's since February 2007 and am very pleased with them. I do not understand all the noise going around about the so called low light that the V1 can not handle. I never experienced any of these problems. I used to have a Sony DSR 130P (Called the D30) and still have a DSR 570, but I am more and more impressed with the 2 V1's. They are great camcorders with the best of lenses I ever saw. A friend of mine wanted to buy one, but was convinced by a sales person to rather buy the Canon A1. We did thorough tests with the two camcorders and he was very disappointed in the choice he made. With all respects to the Canon, the V1 won every comparison we tried. I only became involved after he went through all the tests he wanted to do and then called me in to show me the results. We then captured all the test footage of both cameras so that we could compare everything on the edit suite and on the output monitors. I can only say that I am very pleased with the V1. It is your choice, but I believe the V1 is the way to go.

As for low light, I keep on reading that the PD 170 is better. I had more than one person bringing their PD 170 for a test and I can not see in which way it is better. Yes, the 170's footage appeared brighter on the LCD screen, but then it is full of noise. Well, if you can use noisy footage, why do you want to pay more than a 170's price? I can not use footage like that. I just return from an end of year celebration shot with a V1 in a dark restaurant where they refused me to use a light. If anyone would ever like to shoot in a darker situation than this, then he must use the CH 7 night vision or something else. One do not use a camcorder in darker situations like this. This was the darkest I ever had to shoot in AND the footage is 100% the same as the actual situation in the restaurant. Why must the camera lie to the customer by giving the picture brighter than it was? The customers are going to have their DVD without noise, but as it was while it was shot and I believe they will like it. The V1 is a great camcorder! BTW, I am only shooting in HDV.

It is also great for taking with you on board while flying. Since I have these two V1's I was never over weight as with the larger camcorders and with the lenshood off and the mic unscrewed, I succeed in shooting in different situations where I was never allowed with the bigger camcorders, and all this with better, sharper and clearer footage than before!

Thus one can only look forward to the next camcorders Sony plan to release, but this 20x lens of the V1 is very powerful. When zoomed full out the picture is as crisp as if one is standing on the spot. Although I miss the focus ability of a professional lens, I would still like to see the footage shot by a professional lens as crisp and clear at 20x and at this price.

I hope this is of help to you.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 01:39 AM   #10
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Thanks for your response Naas. I found it very helpful. I like the comparison between the Canon A1 and the V1.

I am leaning very strongly towards the V1 and I do appreciate all the suggestions from the other guys too. I have the oppertunity try out the fx7 this week and I am sure that it will only confirm my decision to go with the V1.

Once again, thanks to all who responded to my question. It is much appreciated.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 11:49 PM   #11
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The first opportunity I had to see a V1U was at a dance recital. It was very dark. Much darker than I would have liked to have had. 6 100w colored spots for the whole dance floor. I was shooting with a VX2100. When it was edited, I had to take some color out of the VX2100 footage in order to better match the V1U footage. And the V1U footage had more grain. But I would hope that any customer would realize that they are not going to get beautifully saturated grain free footage under those circumstance. I have shot corporate seminars with other camcorders and I think the V1U would have done just fine for the light levels that were available at the events I have attended.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 02:09 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Antonie Koen View Post
Thanks John

As far as the sony z7 is concerned, does anyone know how much the memory cards will cost? Will a person be able to use the sony dr60 portable hdd with the z7?

What I like about using the dr60 portable hdd with the V1 is that you can simultaniously record to tape, and that's nice to have as a backup, should anything go wrong.
The Z7 and its bigger brother, S270, will use compact flash cards, so the cards will be fairly reasonably priced. The Z7 and S270 are hybrid systems; both will record on mini dv and compact flash simutanously, so there's no need for the dr60. I don't have information on whether the dr60 will work with these cameras. The really nice thing is the flash recording unit will run on the camcorder's battery.

The Z7's bigger brother, the S270, will have the capability of recording to large dv tapes. That means over 4 hours of record time. It will also have HD-SDI and SD-SDI; whereas, the Z7 will have HDMI. It will also be capable of recording 4 channels of audio; the Z7 will record to two channels. Both cameras will employ an interchangeable lens system. Of course the price might discourage quite a few buyers. The Z7 is expected to be available in Feb '08 at $6500 USD. The S270 will set you back a whopping $10,500 USD. The low light performance of these cameras is expected to be good, about 1.5 lux minimum illumination. That's almost 2 stops better than the V1.

Anyway, getting back to the cost of compact flash. It will run you around $210 USD for an 8 gig card.

Oh, by the way, the Z7 is a handycam model, and the S270 is a shoulder mount. Both cameras are rumored to have some of the same technology used in the xdcam ex to help minimize noise.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 03:05 PM   #13
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The Z7 is expected to be available in Feb '08 at $6500 USD.
My opinion is that it might well be available 'on the street' for a little less than that in Feb. - perhaps around $5500-$6000 at a guess.
Feb 9th is the current quoted sales date for the European version of the Z7. (Z7E).

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Bosco Jr. View Post
The low light performance of these cameras is expected to be good, about 1.5 lux minimum illumination. That's almost 2 stops better than the V1.
1.5lux is the quoted spec, but that is at 1/30th sec, and the V1's 4lux is quoted at 1/60th sec I believe. Reports are that the lowlight really is quite nice though (for a 1/3in sensor HDV model). Quite why they can't stick to one shutter speed to quote these lux values at - i really don't know !
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Old December 20th, 2007, 05:40 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Naas le Roux View Post
Hi Antonie

I just read your query about the two V1's you consider buying for corporate work. I am using two V1's since February 2007 and am very pleased with them. I do not understand all the noise going around about the so called low light that the V1 can not handle. I never experienced any of these problems. I used to have a Sony DSR 130P (Called the D30) and still have a DSR 570, but I am more and more impressed with the 2 V1's. They are great camcorders with the best of lenses I ever saw. A friend of mine wanted to buy one, but was convinced by a sales person to rather buy the Canon A1. We did thorough tests with the two camcorders and he was very disappointed in the choice he made. With all respects to the Canon, the V1 won every comparison we tried. I only became involved after he went through all the tests he wanted to do and then called me in to show me the results. We then captured all the test footage of both cameras so that we could compare everything on the edit suite and on the output monitors. I can only say that I am very pleased with the V1. It is your choice, but I believe the V1 is the way to go.

As for low light, I keep on reading that the PD 170 is better. I had more than one person bringing their PD 170 for a test and I can not see in which way it is better. Yes, the 170's footage appeared brighter on the LCD screen, but then it is full of noise. Well, if you can use noisy footage, why do you want to pay more than a 170's price? I can not use footage like that. I just return from an end of year celebration shot with a V1 in a dark restaurant where they refused me to use a light. If anyone would ever like to shoot in a darker situation than this, then he must use the CH 7 night vision or something else. One do not use a camcorder in darker situations like this. This was the darkest I ever had to shoot in AND the footage is 100% the same as the actual situation in the restaurant. Why must the camera lie to the customer by giving the picture brighter than it was? The customers are going to have their DVD without noise, but as it was while it was shot and I believe they will like it. The V1 is a great camcorder! BTW, I am only shooting in HDV.

It is also great for taking with you on board while flying. Since I have these two V1's I was never over weight as with the larger camcorders and with the lenshood off and the mic unscrewed, I succeed in shooting in different situations where I was never allowed with the bigger camcorders, and all this with better, sharper and clearer footage than before!

Thus one can only look forward to the next camcorders Sony plan to release, but this 20x lens of the V1 is very powerful. When zoomed full out the picture is as crisp as if one is standing on the spot. Although I miss the focus ability of a professional lens, I would still like to see the footage shot by a professional lens as crisp and clear at 20x and at this price.

I hope this is of help to you.
I have quoted Naas'es message in full, because I second it fully. The V1 is by all means capable of producing better images that the Canon - I learned this hard way (see my sig). And I am admitting this even though currently I'm a bit angry with Sony (my flagship model of Vaio laptop turning out to be made in China which shows - looks cheap and fragile; my ordered almost 3 months ago EX1 is delayed and I still have reservations weather its problems can be fully resolved, etc).
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; December 21st, 2007 at 05:18 AM.
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Old December 21st, 2007, 10:33 AM   #15
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The V1's very good for the bucks. You'd be hard pressed to beat the output in most circumstances. If you can control lighting in any way, you'll be very pleasantly surprised at how good the final output looks.

The lack of professonal level focus controls is not nice, but there are so many other pluses there for the $$, it's very hard to beat.

It's seems like it's almost worth the V1 focus hassles to buy 2 V1's for the price of one EX1! In a few months, many here will be able to make that call.

One more thing: if you can do HDMI captures directly from the V1 using Cinefrom's codec, you'll be stunned at how good it can get from that cam.

In January, we hope to post some clips from direct V1 captures (via HDMI) in many different settings. These are being done to a very small, custom-made recorder device, much like the "Solid" the CF forum is discussing.

If you want to see some "near-final production" material made exclusively with the V1 (though not done via the HDMI captures) using the CF codec for editing, check out the website on my signature below: (sorry, the HD link is not up yet)
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