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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 September 18th, 2008, 04:10 AM   #31
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Jeff i said the fx-7 has great resolution because i own one and have used a lot of other hd cams,for nature filming which i like the lens is great and its best for the price for sure.If i have to knock it for me the greens ie wild country type are not as good as my sr12.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 06:32 AM   #32
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I bought said camera at said bargain price and it's been worth every penny. I'd buy another at $2K any day of the week. Any day of the week that I had $2K just falling out of my pockets.

Mine just went up for sale for $1700 in classifieds.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 01:59 PM   #33
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FX7 in low light

I am in a very similat situatio to Jeff.

I shoot weddings full time using an FX7, PD150 VX2000 and a TRV 950 (small version on the VX2000)

IMHO, the FX7 is good for weddings, until you go indoors, especially if its in low light.

I much prefer the FX7 to the VX/PD for its colour, sharpness and adjutable picture settings (yes i know you can do the same on the PD/VX but I think you get better results with the FX7, as long as your outdoors or have decent, nay GOOD lighting)

Rigging up external lights isn't really an option for me. I have lights that i use for other gigs (interviews etc...), but brides and grooms just dont want that sort of 'intrusion' on their day. Other wedding videographers may disagree, it may be a geographical thing. But i'd put money on the fact that bride and grooms do not want big (or even small) lights set up at their wedding, its just too intrusive.

I tend to film everything except the dancing with the FX7, then I'll switch to the PD150 fof its low light greatness.

My plan is to sell my PD150, VX2000 and TRV 950 and get either an FX1000 and/or Z5 and a HC-1 or (Sony) A1 secong hand to use along with my FX7, as I want to be fully HD (well, HDV).

So if anyone in the UK is looking for a vX2000, a PD150 or a TRV 950 get in touch, I'll be posting in the classifieds once the new FX1000/Z5 comes out.

On that same note, if anyone in the UK has a sony HC1 of SOny A1 for sale get in touch :)


In conclusion, I agree with Jeff, I regret buying my FX7 soley for its poor low light capabilities.


I just hope the FX1000/Z5 really are as good as sony says they are. They (sony) even say the Z5 is the natural progression for PD170 users (cant find the link, its on Sony somewhere), I hope its not just Hype.

Theres a camera expo near me in a couple of weeks where I've been told they'll have a Z5, so if they do, I'll have a shot side by side with my FX7 and post some stills/shots.

James
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Old September 18th, 2008, 07:06 PM   #34
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I'll have a shot side by side with my FX7 and post some stills/shots.
The difference won't be any surprise. They're really 2 different beasts (And priced accordingly).

But the one thing that FX7 does for you now is at least give you native 16:9 to work with (unlike your PD/VX cams).

I know a few videographers that use the FX7 for weddings and dark receptions. Sure, they might curse the tiny 1/4" sensors in these things but they're getting by.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 07:47 AM   #35
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I really don't see how people can compare the FX7 and the PD/VX cameras. They are only the same in form factor. The PD/VX are great for getting a decent image in varying conditions but they can not come CLOSE AT ALL to the quality color images the FX7/V1 produce in decent light. I include studio light and daylight in my assertions. The color of the older cameras is so far from ideal compared to the CMOS HD cameras that they are simply not the same type of camera. I used to own the VX2000 and it picks up great detail in low light but the color is pale. In bright light it is overwhelmed by contrast ranges and bleeds bright backgrounds into the foreground elements. I now have the V1 and it is vastly superior to the VX in all aspects but pulling workable images out of the darkness.

"For a good idea of what the FX7 can and cannot do, watch this little video I made about a recent flood in my area of the country."

Great video. I think it has a really great ending with the people walking down the flooded street. You might want to cut the last clip of the sign to keep the drama you established.

BTW, Ethan, levees are contributing to the problem instead of alleviating flooding. South LA is made of Mississippi silt and it will all melt away if natural rebuilding processes are not restored. Just like the beaches in Hawaii that disappear when illegal seawalls are put in and put all the homes in the area in jeopardy, the natural forces in LA can not be ignored. If the flood waters were allowed to seep slowly through over a larger area, they would deposit silt during every flood and rejuvenate the land. Levees force the water into fast-moving channels that cut through and destroy the land. It would be cheaper and probably much safer to put houses on stilts than to rely on a giant levee and pumps to keep the water out. Houses on stilts having a single failure won't wipe out thousands of homes like a single levee break. If one house goes, the problem is solved by going to the neighbor's. I would rather trust my own house and my neighbors as a backup instead of hoping for a region-wide solution. I haven't been impressed by evacuation efforts so far because of traffic jams and the high cost of fuel making people reluctant to leave every time a storm approaches. Regardless, your video shows that something must be done beautifully.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 08:22 AM   #36
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I view the image of the FX7 to be much softer and almost Panasonic like.

Because of my work, I view whites and blacks as the keystone for judging image quality (white wedding dresses and black tuxedos). And in that way, the 2100/PD cameras are fine. White wedding dresses rarely look as white and life-like on my FX7 as they do on the PD150 or 2100, not even close. Much softer.

Unfortunately on the older cams black can be are often washed out, but without a black balance there isn't much to be done when shooting on the run.

Regarding lights, bright lights at weddings in my area are usually used by concientious videographers who are more heavy-handed, less discreete.

My customers value no lights or low lights. And while we are not high-end videgraphers, my company tries to emulate the high-end videographers in a few different ways, and that includes using as little light as possible.

Bright lights are strongly associated with pre-digital era videographers, and we avoid them whenever possible.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 08:39 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post

Regarding lights, bright lights at weddings in my area are usually used by concientious videographers who are more heavy-handed, less discreete.

My customers value no lights or low lights. And while we are not high-end videgraphers, my company tries to emulate the high-end videographers in a few different ways, and that includes using as little light as possible.

Bright lights are strongly associated with pre-digital era videographers, and we avoid them whenever possible.
Jeff sorry I have to disagree with you with the comment on lights at a reception.
We use 2 small portable light setups, that we put together. This consists of a Bogen 11 foot tall light stand, Bescor light (with 50w bulb), Bescor Battery belt (wrapped around the base), and a remote control to turn the light on and off as needed.

We use 2 of these units by the dance floor, usually next to the DJ's table or stage.
These lights aren't overly bright, so they don't ruin the mood or are powerful enough to overpower the DJ's light setup (if he has one). They are raised 10-11 feet in the air so they are not in direct view of any guests, and add just enough light to the dance floor to get some nice added depth to the image, and enable us to gain our FX1's comfortably up to around 12db if needed. Setup time is only 10 minutes for both lights, and the battery belt keeps the light stand very stable. But it's light enough (and not cabled with any power cords) to move where ever I need at a a moments notice.

Guests usually think that our lights are part of the DJ or bands setup and pay no mind to it. And even photographers have thanked us for using these, as it makes their job easier.

We also use onboard lighting (Dimmable Sony HVL-LVP lights) on our cameras for fill light when needed (which isn't often). We only find ourselves using the onboard lighting (which is much more distracting to guests) for those situations where we are not on the dance floor, like for interviews, table greetings, and maybe cake cutting and such.

BTW, this is the site that gave me the idea to build the portable lighting setup.

It's called the reception light
The Wireless RECEPTION LIGHT by Darrell Boeck

I built the units at B&H and ordered two remote controls for the lighting from Darrel at Reception Light.

I don't want to sound like I'm preaching about lighting and my way being best. But I like to control the environment (lighting, audio which I mic accordingly and feed to various recorders etc.) as much as I can when needed, without having to ask the venue to turn the lights up so I can shoot.

It's not anywhere near as obnoxious a setup as what the stereotype of wedding video used to be.

You really have to see it to appreciate it.

Edit: just a quick note. I don't always use the lights at weddings, but do bring them to ALL of my shoots and set them up. I'll only use them if needed. And I have worked a few receptions lately, where if I didn't have the lights, then the guests wouldn't have been able to see who they were dancing with. No joke, they were that dark. I'm all for mood and ambiance, but come on, guests shouldn't need a miners helmet to see where they are going.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 09:29 AM   #38
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I view the image of the FX7 to be much softer and almost Panasonic like.

Because of my work, I view whites and blacks as the keystone for judging image quality (white wedding dresses and black tuxedos). And in that way, the 2100/PD cameras are fine. White wedding dresses rarely look as white and life-like on my FX7 as they do on the PD150 or 2100, not even close. Much softer.
Jeff, when you are saying that the image of the FX7 is softer than the PD170/FX2100 then your results are certainly not representitive of the whole FX7/V1 family of camcorders. Something is wrong somewhere. And there is no doubt that the white/black balance is much more tuneable on the FX7/V1 than the PD170/VX2100. But, in some cases, it might be fortunate that the PD170/VX2100 doesn't have all of that tuneablity. So if you can't get a good white balance and you have images that are really soft, I would conclude that either you have a defective camcorder or it is a situration of operator error.

BTW, I asked earlier if you had checked the back focus on your FX7 and you never answered. Have you?
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Old September 19th, 2008, 09:40 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault View Post
I really don't see how people can compare the FX7 and the PD/VX cameras. They are only the same in form factor. The PD/VX are great for getting a decent image in varying conditions but they can not come CLOSE AT ALL to the quality color images the FX7/V1 produce in decent light.
I agree 100% i used to own a 2100 and outdoors the fx-7 is far superior, i think jeffs cam
was born disabled certainly in the sharpness department.ALso agree about the great video.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 10:07 AM   #40
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Michael, nice lighting setup. I do like the stands, and agree they would be perfect at any reception. I will definitely look into putting together a similar setup...very nice, and definitely would be plenty discreete for most any situation!

Have I checked the back focus? No. The footage on my camera looks the same as others I have seen. I don't care for it, unless lighting conditions are just right.

I think the true test of a camera is to see how easy it is to sell. I'm interested to see how low I'll have to go to get rid of it. I've seen PD170's sell used for barely less than the price of new...(though that has been awhile). So far at $1700 I've gotten not one inquiry. And that despite this camera is like brand new with less than 20 hours on it. I'll lower price and see what happens. I have a feeling I will nearly have to give it away to sell it.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 10:33 AM   #41
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Michael, nice lighting setup. I do like the stands, and agree they would be perfect at any reception. I will definitely look into putting together a similar setup...very nice, and definitely would be plenty discreete for most any situation!
Jeff, thanks it works well and is easy to setup and break down. I was even lookng into mounting my Sony HVL-LBP lights on a stand, but couldn't wire them up for a remote.

BTW, if you wanted to put together your own kit, then here's my list of items that I used to put together my kit from B&H. As I said I purchased the remote controls from Darrell at Reception Light.

https://secure.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/...&li=24793931C4
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Old September 19th, 2008, 10:42 AM   #42
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Thank you for the information, Michael. Actually, I own a Lowell ID light with variable dimmer, and a lead acid battery, so I would just need a stand to top it off! Then I would just assemble the second kit! Thanks again for your link to your wish list!
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Old September 19th, 2008, 02:20 PM   #43
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I think the true test of a camera is to see how easy it is to sell. I'm interested to see how low I'll have to go to get rid of it. I've seen PD170's sell used for barely less than the price of new...(though that has been awhile). So far at $1700 I've gotten not one inquiry. And that despite this camera is like brand new with less than 20 hours on it. I'll lower price and see what happens. I have a feeling I will nearly have to give it away to sell it.
I'm not sure the price it eventually sells at is purely a reflection of how much people value the camera's ability. I think it's more an economic supply and demand decision. When everyone thought these were discontinued they were going for obscene prices in relation to the original MSRP. But when a new one can be had for under $2K -- probably well under once a normal street price is established -- $1700 used is uncomfortably close to the new price and not, perhaps, perceived as a bargain.

I'm guessing if it wasn't being re-released, $1700 used would be seen as a great bargain and it would be snapped up fairly quickly -- what with Sony trying to sell refurbs at their outlet for almost $2600 (!).

For me, the strike price for a used one would be in the $1000-$1200 range, not because I don't think it's a great camera -- I do -- but because that represents the sort of margin between new and used prices that seems like a great deal.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 03:40 PM   #44
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You might be right, I don't know. If you can only get close to half price for a camera that is like brand new with low hours, I think it says something.

If a PD 170 with 20 hours on it appeared in the classifieds, how much do you reckon it would bring?

Unfair comparison? Maybe. The Panasonic GS400 still sells for close to $1000 (just saw one on EBay for $995) and it has been out of production for a long while. And no the GS400 isn't near the camera of the FX7, but it is still an interesting fact.

I dunno. I just want to sell it and place my order for a new cam. The FX1000 seems to be a great value, the viewfinder alone is amazing, 24p, 1.5 lux rating, 1/3 inch chips, shoots SD in HD natively, the list just goes on.

Actually, I might need to put my FX7 on Ebay. I avoid using ebay any more, but I might need to go there in this case.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 07:40 PM   #45
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Jeff, I think you probably do have a back focus problem with your FX7. If you use manual focus and you are in the habit of zooming all of the way in and focusing and then zooming back out to frame your shot, you will get soft focus if the back focus is out of adjustment. My big gripe with the V1/FX7 is that everyone of them that I have seen has the back focus screwed up from the factory. If you sell the camera before it is repaired then the second owner will not be able to get it covered under warranty (according to Sony). So even if you are determined to sell it, for your sake and the sake of the next owner, send it in and get it fixed under warranty before it is too late.
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