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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 July 3rd, 2008, 07:51 AM   #1
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V1U or HVX200

I currently have an FX1 and am debating on getting a new camera. I say debating because I'm not sure if I really need one or just want one. I've pretty much narrowed my choices to one of these two camera's. I edit in FCP on an HDV 1080i/60 timeline and am interested in shooting and editing in the 24p mode. I've been doing some research into the workflow of editing both and it makes my head start to hurt. The thing I struggle with is quality and cost. How does the V1U 1080i/24p compare to the 720p/24p.
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Old July 4th, 2008, 10:38 PM   #2
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My input on this is second hand. A friend has had the opportunity to shoot with both under similar circumstances. I will mention that he was using the original HVX200 not the newer HVX200a. Before using the V1, I would have to say that he was somewhat prejudiced as he was really a Panasonic fan. At that time, he did not own his own HD camcorder. But he would rent various Panasonics depending on his clients needs. He was always quick to point all of the well publicized "shortcoming" of the V1. Such as rolling shutter, issues with fast pans, photo flash artifacts, tape based vs. card, smaller CMOS vs. larger CCD, etc. After he used both the HVX200 and the V1, he changed his tune. In his words, the V1 produced a clearly better/sharper/more pleasing image than the HVX200. I value his opinion since he is a very descriminating shooter who has won local, regional, national and international awards for his work in HD production.
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Old July 5th, 2008, 12:08 AM   #3
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Thanks so much. I was hoping to get some real world experiences. I'm leaning towards the V1u and have seen some amazing footage from it. Thanks again,
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Old July 5th, 2008, 12:30 AM   #4
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If you have one of the latest FCP (at least 6.0.3), then unwrapping the 1080 24p from 1080 60i should work well through pulldown.

Let's get a couple of misconceptions out of the way. There isn't any 1080i/24p or 720p/24p. It's written as 1080/24p and 720/24p. Sometimes you will see 720p, 1080i or 1080p to encompass all the frame rates for the particular format. The bottom line is whether it is 1080/24p from 1080/60i or 720/24p, you are getting true progressive out of both. You can also get 1080/24p out of the HVX 200a through pulldown.

As far as both cameras are concerned, they both produce very nice images. The HVX 200a is better in low light than the V1, but the V1 still produces a bit sharper image than the 200a; however, it's very hard to tell. The HVX 200a is better with fast motion than the V1 and all HDV cameras for that matter in my opinion.

Now workflow is also another thing to consider. Do you want to stay with tape or deal with tapeless P2 flash cards? If you have to do a lot of archiving, then tape is still your best bet. Archiving methods for P2 is still ify or expensive. The HVX 200a does have a tape deck but only for standard definition DV.

You also have to consider the overall features and design of the camera. The HVX 200a has overcranking and undercranking ability and has uncompressed audio. The audio from the V1 can be frustrating at times. The V1 is not as heavy in your hand as the 200a, making it a bit easier to handle.

Finally, are you planning on keeping the FX1 as a second camera? The V1 might match better than the 200a to the FX1 since they're both made by the same company. So it really comes down to what you're going to use the camera for. I believe either camera will work just fine.

Good luck!
PS - Have you considered the JVC GY-HD110? It looks good in 720/24p and doesn't suffer from the "rolling shutter" effect like the V1, and it's taped base like the V1. It also has a real manual lens and is a shoulder mount design if you prefer that to handheld.

Last edited by John Bosco Jr.; July 5th, 2008 at 12:48 AM. Reason: to add JVC GY-HD110 comment
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Old July 5th, 2008, 11:40 AM   #5
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Thanks for the great info. Already owning an FX-1 was one reason why I was leaning to the V1U. I actually posted to see if I would get any "Don't buy the V1U get the 200 because of...". I'm sure I would get that response if I posted on the DVX user site. As for the JVC, I didn't even consider that. I guess i have a little more research to do.
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Old July 5th, 2008, 02:01 PM   #6
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The HD-110 makes very nice looking pictures. It is substantially larger than the V1, and requires a much more robust power system that is also larger and weighs more.

OTOH, if you do a lot of handheld, the shoulder mount HD110 is very good. And of course it has an excellent lens. No autofocus, if that's something you need.

The 720/30p of the HD-110 vs. the 1080/30p of the V1 - well, they both make very nice pictures, with a low-light edge to the 110. It isn't so simple as "1080 is more than 720", although some people seem to want to see it that way.

I own a V1, and have some experience with the HD-100, the predecessor of the HD-110. For me, I was looking for the form-factor of the V1, and the fact that many of my PD-150 accessories worked (batteries, lan-c controller, case...) was also helpful.

I've not done more than demo the HVX200. It builds on a good legacy of the DVX100, has good acceptance in the indie market... that the tape drive only records DV is a substantial issue for me. I do lots of event coverage - need long record times and good inexpensive archiving - the HVX does not offer this for HD. And then the initial price of the P2 cards, which hasn't come down much, to me relegates the HVX (in hidef) to uses where shooting short takes and offloading P2 cards is practical.

A more proper comparison of the HVX would be to the Sony EX1. No tape drive at all, somewhat less expensive media. I think a better looking camera. But I couldn't consider it for the same reason - I need a tape drive.

Finally, there is the Sony HVR-Z7, sort of a cross between an EX1 and a V1. If I were in the market for a new camera today I'd give it serious consideration. Records to open-standard Compact Flash cards (lower, competitive cost) and/or to HDV tape. Many of the features of both the EX1 and the V1, same infoLithium L power, and interchangeable lenses. I can't wait to see a wide-angle zoom on this camera...

Last edited by Seth Bloombaum; July 6th, 2008 at 10:30 AM. Reason: typo
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Old July 5th, 2008, 07:32 PM   #7
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I have an FX1. I recently shot the HVX in a 7 day shoot. We used an adapter. We shot in 720 24p. We used an adapter.

Benefits include varialbe frame rate, and true 24p, tapeless system, and HDVless codec.

However, just a week ago, I completed a DVChallenge film using my FX1. Frankly, the image had was not as grainy, and seemed sharper with the FX1.

Sometime back, David Newman over at Cineform indicated we you could actually shoot the FX1 in 60i, -- mind you not even using the 24 cineframe mode, and then convert to 24p in HDLink. I did it in this shoot, and was surprised at how nice it looked. You do lose a bit of resolution, but it still looks pretty good.

So my suggestion is to try the Cineform trial of NeoHDV, and see if you like the result, doing a conversion as suggested. My understaniding is that Cineform is available on the MAC side for editing in Final cut. You might find you FX1 is still the right camera.
Chris J. Barcellos
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Old July 5th, 2008, 08:51 PM   #8
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Wow great information, thanks Chris and Seth.
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