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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 April 17th, 2008, 11:16 PM   #1
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FX7, to buy or not to buy?

Hi guys. My friend has a FX7 with nice case, etc for $2500, used once.

My intention for the cam would be long shots at weddings (20x zoom) and to have a 16:9 camera for use on small business videos. Would be my first HD cam which in and of itself is tempting.

My other cams are PD170 and VX2100.

Will the FX7 match up with the older cams at all?

I am certain he is selling it due to the relatively poor low-light capabilities, as he has about 8 vx2100s he used for weddings, along with an FX1.

I have read the reviews over and over and just can't decide whether to buy or not.

Based on my intentions for the cam, anyone care to offer their thoughts?
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Old April 17th, 2008, 11:25 PM   #2
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dont know the camera - but if he has problems at weddings, what are you going to have?

that said, you'll be cutting between hd and dv? or are you going to shoot dv? if so, you'll have 1 x 16:9, 2 x 4:3. how will you edit?

finally, in good light, almost ALL hdv cameras blow sd out of the water.....

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Old April 17th, 2008, 11:28 PM   #3
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Hi Leslie. I thought that the FX7 shot in either 16:9 or 4:3. I need to find out for sure, don't I? Thanks for you input.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 01:28 AM   #4
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Jeff -
Yes the FX7 has DV and 4:3. In any sort of decent light, it's an awesome camera. If you set the shutter to 30 instead of 60, it's usable and does OK in low light. Since it's a friend, take a little time to play with the cam, it's underrated, and has quite a few handy features, the price is about right, and it's a good introduction to HD.

Practically speaking there's a BIG gap in the low midrange camera market right now - the Canons have it mostly to themselves at the moment with the aging FX1 (and the Z1) hanging in there. Unless you've got the money to go to the Z7 or EX1, the choices are a bit sparse... Panasonic looks like they have some interesting offerings coming soon, but Sony seems strangely quiet...

I was tempted to sell my FX7, but practically speaking I can't find anything affordable to "step up" to and I really like the way the FX7 feels and is easy to control. I got a great deal on it, and I think they actually are going UP in value now they are discontinued...
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Old April 18th, 2008, 06:43 AM   #5
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Hi Dave, thank you for sharing. A new Z1 can be found for around $3300 plus a $400 rebate at broadway photo, who I haven't dealt with, and it looks great. Lacks the 20x zoom, but the limitations of the 20x zoom lens on the FX7 creates it own set of issues.

Really appreciate you helping me to narrow it down, I love this place!

(If anyone can provide feedback on Broadway Photo please share or e-mail me, thanks!)
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Old April 18th, 2008, 07:13 AM   #6
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Jeff, Just looked into the price from Broadway seems too low for this camera.

I called B&H last week and they told the lowest price for the Z1 would be 4300 US and a 400 dollar rebate. The reason I mention this is because in New York B&H has the lowest prices because of amount of merchandise they move.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 07:19 AM   #7
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Hi Carlos,

You are absolutely right, I suspect. I always check B&H first, and I saw the price, then Broadway's. Seemed to low. I have seen them around on internet, but never purchased with them. Totally trust B&H, and I understand their prices are usually the lowest of all reputable sellers.

(This post is not meant to disparage Broadway photo in any way as I'm sure they are a fine company, price just seems to low to be true). If I was in NY I would stop in and physically see the cam, but I'm not!
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Old April 18th, 2008, 09:00 AM   #8
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I have seen a lot of bad things about broadway on the net. Do a search for products bought from there. It will turn up a lot of negative remarks. From what I read they are con artists.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 09:13 AM   #9
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So you're saying you can pick up a new fully guaranteed Z1 for $3900 and your friend wants $2500 for a secondhand FX7? Even with the 'nice case' it's a no-contest win for the Z1 in my view - and especially if you plan any paid-for work that needs proper XLR microphones.

The Z1 has a far nicer top screen and most importantly far bigger 1''/3 chips, giving you better dof control as well as being better in the gloom. Of course the FX has that nice 20x zoom, CMOS and proper progressive, and it's a current model whereas we all know the Z1 is being morphed into the Z7.

tom
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Old April 18th, 2008, 11:28 AM   #10
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Thanks Tom. The Z1 is a much nicer cam, no doubt. I priced it talked to the wife, and when she went silent I knew it was "no sale". Based on your comment I had actually brought it up on B&H and was ready to have it sent. I KNEW it was better, but the money isn't here for it.

Would love it just based on it's appearance alone...cool cam and I've not had CMOS chipped cam, but would prefer CCDs for sure.

So my friend dropped down to 2350, and since it's been used only once, and knowing he is very good to his equipment, it'll serve it's purpose just fine. Won't be able to Pan, etc as I'm used to doing with the older SD cams.

Thanks all for your guidance. Going to pick it up now.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 11:34 AM   #11
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'Won't be able to Pan, etc as I'm used to doing with the older SD cams'

Don't understand that line Jeff.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 12:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
(This post is not meant to disparage Broadway photo in any way <snip>
Here, let me:
http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Broadway_Photo
Six month rating is 1.96 out of 10. Lifetime rating is 1.18.

To put that in perspective:
http://www.resellerratings.com/store...ideo_Pro_Audio
Six month rating is 9.66 and lifetime rating is 9.43.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 02:27 PM   #13
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Meant I will have to pan much more carefully with FX7, that's all. From my understanding this and similar cameras don't deal quite as well with panning and can get blurry. I did notice that very phenomenom in the viewfinder when playing with it. Is that due to the CMOS chips?
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Old April 18th, 2008, 06:05 PM   #14
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HD is always more sensitive to movement, but you get used to it. Makes you get better camera technique.

Google "new york camera", and hit resellerratings.com. Then if you're smart patronize the sponsors of this forum or the classifieds here, or if you're brave, maybe eBay... if you're CRAZY, then try to actually get a camera from one of those "low price" joints.

I owned a Z1, I actually prefer the FX7 in many respects. It has fewer bells and whistles, but it's lighter and smaller and easy to operate, and for me that's "better". And of course it was easier on the budget.

At the right price, the FX7 is a lot of camera, you'll enjoy it I'm sure!
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Old April 18th, 2008, 06:11 PM   #15
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Well Dave, glad to hear you like your FX7 so much. I'm extremely pleased so far. Having an "extra" cam to cover my wedding tomorrow is the biggest reason for my joy right now. It's a huge wedding and I really wanted a 20x zoom, knew my friend had the camera and I called him.

Initially I didn't know it shoots in both 16:9 and 4:3 so when I learned that it helped clinch the deal.

In decent light, how can I expect the image quality (in SD) to stack up against the PD170? Similar?
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