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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 October 22nd, 2006, 12:35 AM   #1
 
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Size perspective

Today I mounted the V1U on a new helmet, and it's exceptionally well balanced.
OK, so this post doesn't have a lot to suggest or offer about the camcorder, but after filming some recreational vehicle footage from POV, I was really pleased with how well the cam balances and performs.
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 12:47 AM   #2
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Cool, do you have those in white to match the brides veil : )
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 04:35 AM   #3
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Looks nice. So how do you like the HVR-V1 so far? How is the handling compared to the Z1? I have seen the comparison images on the Sony site, but still I have a hard time imagining how the camera handles. Also, you have used the Z1 extensively... at this moment, how do you think the V1 holds up?
(I know your V1 is still a pre-production model...)
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 08:24 AM   #4
 
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I love the V1. It's a tough call, but the Z1 is still my first go-to cam right now, unless 24p is on the ticket. There are some other benefits to the A1 vs the Z1, but on the whole, I like the Z1 a touch better.
Either one fits the bill. I like the heft of the Z1 *much* better overall. But I like the coloration of the V1 as well, with the ability to manage color in cam much better.

So many choices....
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 09:07 AM   #5
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For people like me (a devout and total convert to the top/side screen) I could well do with a removeable viewfinder. The PD170, the Z1 and now the V1 all have this grossly protruding viewfinder that just looks so vulnerable.

Especially so on your helmet DSE. Remove the v'finder and attach a hood, I say.

tom.
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 09:50 AM   #6
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What about progressive (30P vs 60i for example)?
Is the quasi "slow mo" feature of the V1 useful or too much resolution loss?

Is "heft" the only reason you prefer the Z1 to the V1?

Does the size/weight difference hold any serious implications?
"helmet cam" may mean smaller is beter (in those cases).

Any difference in handling HDV codec related motion artifacts (as might become apparent when cam is worn on the head shooting fast motion in a bouncing vehicle)?
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 07:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
I love the V1. It's a tough call, but the Z1 is still my first go-to cam right now, unless 24p is on the ticket. There are some other benefits to the A1 vs the Z1, but on the whole, I like the Z1 a touch better.
Either one fits the bill. I like the heft of the Z1 *much* better overall. But I like the coloration of the V1 as well, with the ability to manage color in cam much better.

So many choices....
Spot, would you say that the Z1's larger size makes it an easier handling camera over the V1? That is, is it because the placement of the manual controls, or is it the extra weight that calms motion?
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 08:14 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
I like the heft of the Z1 *much* better overall.
Interesting -- I felt the V1 became very heavy when held away from my face as was necessary to use the LCD with varifocal glasss that don't focus closer than almost 12-inches.

So I went back to the VF -- like in the old days. :)
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 08:56 AM   #9
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I like the V1 a lot, too, but after using the Z1 for nearly 2 years in filmmaking applications, it's a tough call. Like Spot, having 24p is handy, because converting from 60i or 50i to 24p is always a process. But I still go back to the Z1 because it's such a workhorse.

Then again, I'm sure with enough time, the V1 will become a huge part of my life like the Z1 and the DVX100a.

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Old October 23rd, 2006, 09:06 AM   #10
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Does the V1 have 'focus assist' like the Z1? Whenever I pick up my FX1 and it's in the auto-focus mode it seems such a fiddle of knobs, buttons and rings to get the damn thing to focus on the rose and not the hedge behind. With my Z1 it's just so *easy*.

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Old October 23rd, 2006, 08:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick
Does the V1 have 'focus assist' like the Z1? Whenever I pick up my FX1 and it's in the auto-focus mode it seems such a fiddle of knobs, buttons and rings to get the damn thing to focus on the rose and not the hedge behind. With my Z1 it's just so *easy*.

tom.
The V1 AF combined with its deep DOF is supurb. There was no need to use Extended Focus. I simply monitored focus using peaking.

Likewise, AE is so good I simply monitored with the histogram.

The audio limiter is equally perfect. Simply monitor by watching the meters.

The V1 only requires "monitoring" not "control."
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 09:04 PM   #12
 
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
The audio limiter is equally perfect. Simply monitor by watching the meters.

The V1 only requires "monitoring" not "control."
I'd have to dispute this one small point, the V1 has good audio, but no camcorder (IMO) has good limiting, and limiting should never be used for most dialog situations. The v1 has the same limiters/AGC as the Z1, and while they may serve purposes for some rare situations...I'd never use them, and most audio geeks won't either.

Agreed, combine the histogram with peaking and zebra, and there is little excuse for weak focus or exposure. Very easy to get a great image with the V1.
For those that are in NYC for NAB, I'm showing the cam today, Wed, and Thurs.
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 10:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
I'd have to dispute this one small point, the V1 has good audio, but no camcorder (IMO) has good limiting, and limiting should never be used for most dialog situations. The v1 has the same limiters/AGC as the Z1, and while they may serve purposes for some rare situations...I'd never use them, and most audio geeks won't either.
Are the V1/Z1/FX1 AGC/limiters still analog circuits or digital functions now ?
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 10:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
I'd have to dispute this one small point, the V1 has good audio, but no camcorder (IMO) has good limiting, and limiting should never be used for most dialog situations. The v1 has the same limiters/AGC as the Z1, and while they may serve purposes for some rare situations...I'd never use them, and most audio geeks won't either.
.
There is certainly a bias against limiters, but yet no data that Sony's do anything other than what you want them to do -- protect against distortion. In fact, given the serious distortion caused by clipping with digital audio, I conclude they match this requirement better than any human can do.

With the ability to set mic sensitivity, the mic should be able to be matched to camera's audio system. The supplied Sony mic was perfectly matched. No audio level adjustments were even needed. It picked-up exactly what was there.

Geeks not only hate automation, they are so biased they don't even keep up to date with what today's DSP can do. The plain fact is that today's audio and video DSP -- if well designed and the V1's certainly seems well designed -- can do better than a human because they can make more complex decisions and take action in the 300-400 milliseconds it takes the human to react. By the time any human notices something is wrong, the DSP has already fixed it. Think of anti-lock brakes.

The V1 is perfect for shooters who don't have the time to set up and never get a second chance. Statistically, I'll bet the V1's DSP used CORRECTLY will make better decisions over a month of shooting than will any of its typical buyers.

You are not a typical V1 buyer with your production experience. :)

But, one must understand what the DSP can and can't do. And, when and how to take control. And, always monitor it.

As Regan might say "Trust but Monitor." :)
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 10:36 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Gints Klimanis
Are the V1/Z1/FX1 AGC/limiters still analog circuits or digital functions now ?
Good question. With 16-bit A/Ds there's not much reason to not get a signal into the digital domain as soon as possible. It's so much cheaper.

According to the Sony site, broadband video is entirely digitally processed in the dXp chip. The chip has its own three A/Ds.

I suspect, there's a single audio chip that does everything.
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