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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 March 12th, 2008, 10:34 AM   #1
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FX7 vs GL2

How do they compare ?
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Old March 12th, 2008, 12:06 PM   #2
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Well, you must be aware that the GL2 is DV standard def at 720x480 and the FX7 is HDV hi def at 1440x1080. This has all sorts of implications for your editing workflow.

The GL2 is not a bad little camera at all. It is a 3-ccd cam, generally makes good pictures. It is designed to be run on auto for most functions, but can be run partially or fully manually for focus, iris, shutter speed, gain. Like most small prosumer cameras the manual controls are accessed through menus.

The FX7 makes superior pictures, in my opinion. It also is easy to run on auto. I think the manual controls are better laid out, and are more accessible, I'm somewhat biased towards Sony's approach on this. Arguably, it is not as suited to low-light situations. In my experience with the V1, this mostly means working a little harder on camera settings and more likely to need color corr in post (for low light).

Beyond those generalities, I think you need to get into suitability for what you shoot. What do you shoot?

Per other threads, the FX7 is being phased out and is in limited distribution at this time. Still a great camera. If you're serious about new purchase you'd need to think about sooner rather than later.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 01:03 PM   #3
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We film an outdoor show and we are looking to upgrade to HD, we have used the GL2 for the past few years and really like them. However we have had major problems with blue screen in colder weather. We have a friend doing the same thing and runs the older sonys like the GL2 and has never had a problem with his Sony. SO I'm thinking for the price right now it would be a good camera for what we do.

Thank you
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Old March 13th, 2008, 06:06 AM   #4
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I'd have to say that the FX7 is so much better than the GL2... The first thing you'll notice is that the picture is clearer, the colors are accurate, etc... Not to mention the increased number of pixels, which can be useful when doing bluescreen, especially if you shoot and edit in HD, and downconvert to to SD. Go for it!
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Old March 13th, 2008, 08:40 AM   #5
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Remember videoing wildlife at there prime moving period of the day its usually right at breaking light in the morning and dusk in the afternoon. Your GL2 will smoke the HDV camera in lowlight. You can bump the HDV camera gain up but it still doesnt come close to the GL2 in lowlight capabilities and also your GL2 has a 20X zoom where the HDV is 13X zoom. Also with the GL2 you get PCM audio which IMHO is way better than the HDV MPEG audio. Also you will have to get some HD editing software because you dont want to downconvert HDV and edit you HDV footage in a SD form, it looks really bad. Shoot HDV, Edit HDV, then downconvert is the way to go. If I were you I would really look at the V1 Sony or the G1 from cannon. they both have 20X zoom and lowlight a little better than the FX7, but not as good as your GL2. Good Luck
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Old March 13th, 2008, 09:14 AM   #6
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The FX7 has a 20X zoom
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Old March 13th, 2008, 09:15 AM   #7
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your correct, I was thinking of the Z1 with the 13X, Sorry.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 09:58 AM   #8
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Thank you guys, I was wondering about the low light. I think I will try it and see how it does. Most of the filming is done with good light but I will let you know how it preforms in low light. I use FCE HD so I should be good on that part. Thanks for all the help guy I appreciate it very much!
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Old March 13th, 2008, 01:02 PM   #9
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Well, one more thought - it's a great time to be buying used Sony VX-2000, VX-2100, PD150 or PD170. These standard definition cameras are amazing low-light performers, and there are many fine cameras on the market as people move to HD. I've got a PD150 collecting dust right now - its low light is outstanding.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 01:08 PM   #10
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If you're shooting in good light, the FX7 will best the GL2 all day long. It's not even a fair fight.

One thing to consider is that the HDV codec does tend to degrade a bit with very busy backgrounds, say for example a wooded area. If your shot is mostly static from a tripod this wont be a huge problem, but if you're doing a lot of movement with a busy background, the encoder is a bit overloaded and the image suffers a bit. A bit. Not a lot, but a bit.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 01:57 PM   #11
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Also if you have the steady shot option (on) with HDV while on tripod panning, you get a floating type effect along with the HDV codec degrade. I like putting the steady shot option on an assignment button where it can be checked often to make sure its off.
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Old March 14th, 2008, 10:21 PM   #12
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You might also consider the FX7's bigger brother, the V1. With rebate you can get a new V1 for under $3300 in the U.S. The V1 adds progressive scan, so you can possibly get full HD with 4:2:2 color (more color information than hdv's 4:2:0 for better blue/green screen keying) out of its HDMI or component jacks. I know; the FX7 has the same chipset as the V1, but the video signal is processed differently. Anyway, I just thought I would throw that out to give you another option.
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