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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 16th, 2010, 11:39 AM   #1
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Opinions! V1 vs the world! Help!

Hey everyone..
Basically i am a UK based film maker / Film Student trying to make the best dint i can in the industry.
After a string of SD camera's VX2k etc.. i am going to make the costly and annoying leap to HDV..
I'm the typical poor student saved about 1.5k already and looking into a V1.
Now my questions are how does the V1 compared up to Z1, Z5 and other camera's on the market.
Also how does footage match up to these camera's? (I work with people with both a Z1 and Z5, Do Not want harsh difference between footage quality)
Im buying from Creative Video.. V1 is tagged at about 2,700.
Will this be a sound investment or should i plunge for something else?
Just your opinions and any info you could drop me would be awesome!
Cheers everyone
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Old July 16th, 2010, 11:46 AM   #2
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Apart from the lack of RGB audio the sony FX1000 is a superior cam in my opinion regarding their PQ and low light abilities.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 01:05 PM   #3
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Thomas,

The V1 is a fine camera, and I loved mine. But I probably wouldn't buy one today unless it was an incredible offer (even the similar, less "pro" FX7 wouldn't appeal to me now). It's getting quite old, technology from 2006, and newer generally is better. This was pretty much the first generation of CMOS from Sony, times have moved on.

I hesitate to offer a specific alternative without knowing what you need from a camera.

Personally, I have a Panasonic HMC41 now, which is around 2200, and the picture quality totally out-performs the V1, with the loss of some manal control features. JVC's HM100 is similar, and there is an offer on at the moment meaning it is around the same price. These cams are great starting points.

If budget is no problem, definitely, a Z5 is a great choice. The extra 500-700 could buy you some useful accessories instead - or just be a good saving for a poor student!

Do you still want to use tapes in the year 2010? You need to add on a Compact Flash unit to the Z5 if you want solid state.

Do you need XLR audio? If not, as Martyn says the FX1000 is a good choice.

This may be better asked in the "Open DV Discussion" forum's "what camera should I buy" thread.

If someone gives you a V1 or FX7 for a bargain price, then it is still a decent camera. But I would urge you to think carefully before buying it in 2010.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 02:19 PM   #4
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I have a fx7 and it has great footage for me, but I am not a film professional and i have not seen the examples of the cam your talking about. the only thing i dislike is that it only shoots in 60i, but im pretty sure the v1 does 24p.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 02:23 PM   #5
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As Matt says, in the UK (and the rest of PAL-land), the V1 shoots 25p or 50i. The FX7 will only shoot 50i.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 09:07 PM   #6
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I have two V1U's and love the camera. However I agree wih the poster who noted that this camera is three or four years old now and technology rolls on at a quick pace.

I think if you can buy a slightly used one at a good price it would be a great camera for you. However if you can swing it one of the newer cameras recording to memory cards would be better.

If I were buying today I would probably get the new Sony NX5A or the Panny HMC150. Street price in the USA on them are about $4000 for the Sony and $3200 for the Panny. I don't know what they go for in the UK.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 01:21 AM   #7
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The thing that sets the V1E apart from all the other cameras mentioned here is its focal length range. It has a 20x zoom lens, whereas 12x is far more common, and the combination of actual lens focal lengths and small (1/4") sensors means that it offers very long focal lengths, the 35mm camera equivalent of nearly 800 mm at maximum zoom (16:9).

This is great for wildlife photography, but as its minimum F (in 35mm terms) is around 40mm it is far less good for much indoor work. Also as has been noted above, its low light performance is far poorer than many competing cameras.

I bought my V1E 2 years ago from H Preston when it had very low hours on the meters and it has been completely trouble free.

The fitted microphone (ECM-NV1) is not sensitive enough for the mic input, nor has it a very good frequency range. More recent Sony cameras in this price range have the far better ECM-XM1. It is possible that a new V1E would come with the later microphone.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 03:05 AM   #8
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Agreed 100% with Alan. The reach on the V1 lens is incredible! Even the 1.5x digital extender isn't too shabby either.

Prestons are worth a call to see if you can pick up a second hand V1 as well. That's where mine went when I part-exchanged. Give John or one of the staff a call or email and see if they have anything on offer, if you're still set on a V1, they are still great cameras if you get a good price and don't mind tape.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 05:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Beckett View Post
Agreed 100% with Alan. The reach on the V1 lens is incredible! Even the 1.5x digital extender isn't too shabby either.

Prestons are worth a call to see if you can pick up a second hand V1 as well. That's where mine went when I part-exchanged. Give John or one of the staff a call or email and see if they have anything on offer, if you're still set on a V1, they are still great cameras if you get a good price and don't mind tape.
You should try it with the Century 2X converter, which is specifically designed for the V1. It does make things a trifle front heavy though!

I have made a mount for the system which supports the front of the converter, and uses a Manfrotto sliding plate to enable balance with/without the converter in place.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 05:45 AM   #10
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I would have loved that adapter, Alan! Almost 1000 quid for a "bit of glass" and then rods as well... yikes! But then you do pay for high quality.

I was really impressed with the setup I saw on the old sonyhdvinfo.com forum, and the quality of the images - if my maths was correct, it was around 1600mm focal length, or 2400-ish with the 1.5x extender. 60x zoom!
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Old July 17th, 2010, 07:30 AM   #11
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If you ever need to move beyond HDV quality, you could always record from the HDMI feed that is straight off the sensor block in the V1 (before the compression stage).

Andrew
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Old July 17th, 2010, 08:37 AM   #12
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Cheers everyone for the solid support! Your views are really putting everything into perspective!
As for what i use it for mainly short film, music, gigs and sports (skateboarding).. i need the XLR inputs for audio.. which is annoying as i've seen the FX series allot cheaper about! and the handle on top to make shooting easier at speed!
I have usal dilemma of not being able to afford new equipment and always being in the second place in the technology race.
Personal opinions do you think the V1 will stand its ground professionally for say the next half decade or will it look dated in 2 years time?
Cheers again
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Old July 17th, 2010, 08:53 AM   #13
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It shoots HDV in progressive mode, so it will travel better than cams that only shoot interlaced.

Andrew
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Old July 17th, 2010, 11:37 AM   #14
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Thomas,

If you're on a budget, the JVC HM100 has a top handle, XLR inputs, good optics and is available for 2000 incl. VAT at the moment from retailers like Pro AV. In 5 years' time it will be a 5 year old camera. In 5 years' time, the V1 will be 9 years old (in technology terms). You'll be using tapes in the year 2015! Sure you can add a CF unit to the V1, but it costs about 600 quid. To me, it is dated already - but that's not saying it doesn't work, as it is clearly a good camera and continues to make money for people!

The JVC has twin SDHC card slots too, so you can record forever!

I know this is a Sony V1 forum (and I did say that I really, really loved mine!), but I really wouldn't buy it now. (Google for Philip Bloom's HM100 review - or for HMC41 reviews for the Panny).

The main thing for me would be the budget. I would rather get a brand new camera like the HM100 or HMC41 with much better imaging sensors (CCD on the JVC, CMOS on the Panasonic) with one or two fewer features than get a second hand, old-technology camera. You would pay more to get infereior pictures, which doesn't make sense to me. Also you get a 3-year warranty with the Panasonic - not sure about the JVC.

The two cams I've mentioned are also great for being low profile, the JVC in particular. Whip off the handle and XLR units and you've got a consumer camera that wouldn't draw too much attention, which can be useful at times. Also, both cams have so many more picture format options than the V1, including recording at full frame 1920x1080, as well as offering 50fps at 720p, which can be great for slow motion. The JVC also (I think) allows you record at 30p, 60p and other US frame rates.

I'm not saying the V1 isn't the right choice, just don't rush into it until you've looked at the options.
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Old July 19th, 2010, 02:24 AM   #15
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I'm an FX7 owner and I'd also vote against the V1 these days. It's just getting a bit old. It definitely won't be in line with other cameras in 5 years... probably will look very outclassed in 2.

I got the FX7 a few years ago mainly for shooting surfing but now that I've transitioned into weddings and other things I really do realise how bad the lowlight performance is. I wouldn't recommend anything smaller than 1/3 inch chips if you will be shooting indoors/lowlight often.

Other cameras to consider would be the Canon XH-A1 (about the same price as the V1 in Aus), the FX1000 (you can always add an XLR adaptor like the Beachtek) or the AX2000 (shoots AVCHD so will require a beefy editing system).
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