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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 15th, 2010, 08:04 PM   #1
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Accelerate Getting Up to Speed

Several years ago forum members were very helpful assisting me distill all the articles I had read to select my VX2000 (next step beyond my TRV9) and providing valuable tips and "do's and don't." I learned a lot from forum members and even made a few contributions to forum info. However, increasing job demands led me away from video shooting and editing. I recently retired and want to shoot video again using HD. Things have dramatically changed since I last researched SD Canon and Sony 3 CCD camcorders including now all the different file formats and means of recording (mini-dv; DVD; HDD, memory cards, etc).

I want to get going again pretty soon and rather than spend too much time getting up to speed, I would appreciate references to key articles and would be most appreciative of "do's and don't" regarding cameras I should be looking at. The HDR-FX7 is the sort of price range I could consider and I expect I will want to get a 3 CCD or 3 CMOS or whatever rather than go back to single CCD or CMOS? Thank you, Dennis
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Old April 16th, 2010, 12:36 AM   #2
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About HD video tips, do's and don'ts, Google for 'hdr-fx7 tutorial' - that should get you started. Cheers
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Old April 16th, 2010, 08:52 AM   #3
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HD camcorder purchase guides

Thank you Stephan and I will review the article. I am just beginning to shop for a suitable HD camcorder and all the "new" (to me) technology is a bit daunting--should I buy a camcorder using mini-DV tape or HDD or various capture cards--which "format" should I look for (AVCHD, MPEG2, MPEG4, etc) considering I will also be using some video editing software--do 3 CMOS vs one CMOS still provide big improvement in low light, color clarity, etc. when videotaping in HD that I noted when I moved from single CCD TRV9 to 3 CCD VX2000 in SD days and so forth. So on first glance the HDR-FX7 looks to be a good choice I am just beginning the shopping phase. Sony camcorders usually don't disappoint and I suppose I could just rely on a brand to provide good price/performance. I just don't want to buy something and find out there was some obvious feature I did not consider due to my lack of knowledge and experience concerning HD camcorders.

There has also been recent talk I have seen about "dual use" DSLR's (if that is the right term) which seem to be high quality still cameras which also do a good job with video? Just an example of how new all this is to me.

I imagine many of the same criteria I used when shopping for the VX2000 will of course still apply to HD cameras; (1) degree of manual control over iris and so forth; (2) low light performance; (3) ease of use for various controls and so forth. However, I expect there will be new features unique to HD that I don't yet know about that will now be important to consider. Regards, Dennis
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Old April 16th, 2010, 02:29 PM   #4
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Hey I'm new to all of this too, and this is the camera i was first looking at. from what i can tell you may want to go up t the fx1000, because it has better low light and it also shoots in 24p and 30p unlike the fx7 which only shoots in 60i. I'm very confused as to what i should get considering i mostly will film skateboarding in the daylight I'm leaning more towards the fx7 due to price. I am just like you tho i really don't wanna buy a camera then find out I should have gotten something else.
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Old April 16th, 2010, 09:37 PM   #5
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Confused in HD Land

Matt, good to know I have company in HD confusion land. Lots more to understand vs the SD days when I bought the VX2000--or maybe now I am just more aware of how much I don't know. Since I am also looking at what software and computer equipment I will need to edit HD footage my antenna is up regarding the various compression schemes and differences between AVCHD and HD for instance. I don't know if I would really see the differences, but I did not know previously that HD is 1440X1080i and uses one type of MPEG 2 compression to be able to record on miniDV tapes whereas AVCHD is 1920X1080i and uses hard drives or SD type cards to record to and maybe with lower loss compression scheme. Again, don't know if our viewers would really notice a difference if we opt for HD vs AVCHD (seems AVCHD camcorders are more costly), but certainly one of the things we need to at least be aware of. Hopefully some expert will jump in here and alert us to some key "decision points" we at least need to consider as we enter the HD camcorder world. Regards, Dennis
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Old April 18th, 2010, 11:30 AM   #6
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the VU1

the VU1 is not the highest resolution camera out there...

or the best in low light.

but it yield an incredible image, is prosumer friendly, records to tape or disk, shoots true 30P and 24P, has decent sound, is compatible with Final Cut Pro, can be completely manual, is extremely affordable and is the LIGHTEST camera in its size.

both of these projects were shot 100% manual with available light! and these are only the SD encodes...480P at best.

YouTube - Compassionate Eye Foundation / Getty Images 2008 Summer Solstice Shoot

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ENJOY!
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Old April 18th, 2010, 01:17 PM   #7
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Note that Justin is referring to the V1 (U/E/P/N, etc.).

The FX7 is basically the same cam and is priced even lower... by far the best bang for the buck in the HDV world if you don't need XLR audio or progressive....
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Old April 18th, 2010, 05:45 PM   #8
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The FX7, while getting a bit outdated, is still an excellent cam and great value. It should be very familiar to you coming from the VX2000. My FX7 has never let me down and has been the perfect camera for some of what I shoot.

If low light is one of your main criteria, however, I would look at either the FX1000 or the Canon XH-A1. Both are 1/3 inch chip cameras and offer significantly better low light performance, as well as increased sharpness.

Tapeless cameras are the way of the future and AVCHD is becoming far more popular amongst professionals. If you want to go this route, keep in mind that you'll need a powerful computer to edit and may need to transcode the files to another codec as well. There are some attractive cameras recording to avchd now (Sony AX-2000, NX5, Panny HMC-40) and I think this will be the year that I finally give up my FX7 as my main workhorse and go tapeless.

At the pricepoint, the FX7 is unbeatable but there are definitely better cams out there now. If you can stretch a little for something better then do, but I doubt you'll be dissapointed by the FX7.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 03:56 PM   #9
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FX7 -
Sony | HDR-FX7 3CMOS HDV 1080i Camcorder | HDRFX7 | B&H Photo


V1 -
Sony | HVR-V1U HDV Camcorder | HVRV1U | B&H Photo Video


I agree that the FX7 is a great camera for the money but note the differences between the two (and there are MANY) here:

http://www.sundancemediagroup.com/ar...comparison.htm

and please read the REVIEW I posted above as it too talks about coming off the VX2000 to the V1U...

good luck!
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Old April 19th, 2010, 04:27 PM   #10
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VASST has great info and there's no doubt the V1 has more features than the FX7, but the chart linked to above is very wrong in many ways. I don't have a V1, but having used the FX7 extensively I can tell you the grid lines regarding WB, Color Bars, Last Scene Review, Data rec (whatever that is -- do they mean DATE REC?), Cinematone gamma/color, Focus Display and Peaking Display are all either flat out wrong or are misleading.

Meaning no disrespect to either Justin, VASST or the V1, your best bet is always to download the manuals before purchase and read them thoroughly.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 04:53 PM   #11
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no disrespect taken...I didn't make the chart! :)

still, the V1 has the following, which i could NEVER live without...

TRUE progressive 24P and 30P recording
XLR inputs
external volume controls
b+w viewfinder

-

if these things don't matter, go get yourself a 2 grand FX7. you'll love it.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 05:08 PM   #12
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No question... if you need/want those features, as well as the advanced Time Code and other functions of the V1, it's a great cam to have. A while ago B&H had them for about $2700 plus a $500 rebate from Sony, which brought the two cams so close in price that the V1 was a no-brainer. But for $1300 difference, you could easily buy an external XLR adapter and still save yourself a grand by going with the FX7 if you don't need the other features. I don't think there's another $2000 cam with all those features at present, but I could be wrong.

But both are still very capable performers.
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