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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 January 8th, 2008, 01:32 PM   #1
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What do you think?

I am on the fence about getting the FX-7 and want to know how you like yours? I am looking hear what you think about low light, set up, how it stands up to abuse? I am part owner of an outdoors video production company and we film in low light, cold temps. For hunting and then in bright light and on the water for fishing. I need a camera that will stand up to all we dish out and work ALL the time. We have 2 GL-2's and 1 Sony VX2100 and like them both! But it is time to move to HD

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Old January 9th, 2008, 03:41 PM   #2
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I'm in a somewhat similar boat (no pun intended). I'm curious what your delivery media is? Mine is primarily DVD and while I would love to start shooting everything in HD it's going to be quite a while before there are enough Blu-ray players in family rooms to even make it worth my while to author that format.

I thought about at least taking advantage of the 16:9 format but since DVD still needs to conform to a 720x480 frame it would seem that I'm loosing a bit of vertical resolution (16:9 SD would be 720x405).
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Old January 9th, 2008, 03:44 PM   #3
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One advantage of HD is that you can shoot all HD, edit HD, then downres to SD. Later, when everything is cheap and stable - burn that project to HD without having to re-edit original footage...
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Old January 9th, 2008, 04:25 PM   #4
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If the majority of what you do is low light hunting stuff then this is probably the wrong camera for you. For now the best "affordable" HD camera for low light is the EX1 with it's 1/2" chips. The FX7 has 1/4" chips and can get pretty noisy. If you're editing on PC's maybe you could try the NeatVideo plugin to reduce some grain. I hear good things about it, but alas, I'm a FCP guy.
I've never used one myself, but I hear the XHA1 is slightly better in low light, but you need to get deep into the settings to pull some of that out.
Rent or borrow someone's gear if you can. It's always best to test for yourself before you buy. You may find that the FX7 is suitable for your needs. I can tell you from owning both that the FX7 isn't even close to the VX2000 for low light though. If you get one thinking it'll be comparable, you'll be disappointed.

In good light, the FX looks pretty freakin fantastic, but then again so does the HV20. Good luck.
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 08:24 AM   #5
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Thanks! I have someone who has a FX-7 and I will get the chance to try it out but I don't know anyone with the Canon. The EX1 is well out of my price range. Would love to have one!
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 03:04 PM   #6
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Matt, It depends what you mean by "low light". FX7 specs give it min. 4 lux that's really low light. I used it outdoors to film some wild animals in a S. Africa just after sunset and the pictures were great. But as Ethan suggested try it out and see. FX7 is a great camera for its price.

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Old January 22nd, 2008, 03:24 PM   #7
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I agree, and if you must use gain...it's very clean on the FX7/V1U. At 3db and 6db it's barely noticeable to me.

I've shot concerts with it that have been dark and they've been great. Not much different than shooting with an FX1 or a Z1U in my opinion.

That said, I understand the PD150/170s were fantastic for low-light. Personally I'm willing to accept a setback in sensitivity to get HD.
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