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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 30th, 2006, 08:57 AM   #46
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OK, what this thread leads me to think is that we need some new terms. A "professional" camera has always meant a "broadcast quality" (which is now a meaningless term) camera with 2/3" chips, shoulder mount, interchangeable lenses, full controls with standard toggle switches, NTSC color bars. Today, with the better capabilities of the 1/3" chip cameras, the main differentiation between "prosumer" and "professional," in my opinion, is the lens. Not that it's removable or not, rather that you have smooth aperture adjustment rather than click stops, and repeatable focus shift with markings so an assistant can do that. However, the new HDV cameras can do repeatable focus shifts, so even that difference is about gone. The "professional" lenses still have an edge in that it's a lot faster to snap into focus and set aperture accurately. But the electronic lenses have another edge--auto focus when you need it, as well as stabilization.

When I categorize a camera into the "professional" realm, I'm always referring to 1/2" 2/3" chip ENG type cameras. It's not meant as any attempt to say one thing is better than another, just different and sometimes for different purpses. The problem is that when somebody uses the word "professional," then there is the implication, to some, that he's saying that other things are "nonprofessional," and therefore inferior. That's not the case, at least it wasn't intended to be.

What we need is a word that means "high end 1/3" chip handycam style camcorder," and a word that means "larger 1/2" or 2/3" chip shoulder mount style ENG type camcorder." I guess you could say "ENG camcorder" for the big ones, and that, actually, is pretty accurate and has been used for a long time. But what do we call the smaller ones? I hate the non-word, "prosumer." For two reasons. First, it's not a real word. Second, it implies the cameras under discussion are partially consumer cameras, and they really aren't. How many people spend over $5K for a home movie camera to shoot video of their kids? Maybe some hobbyists, I dunno. I also don't like calling them "handycams" because that sounds dumb.
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Old October 30th, 2006, 09:17 AM   #47
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Important enough, Bill, that perhaps this should become its own discussion topic.

I'm feeling rather militant about this non-word "prosumer" these days and I'm considering its complete eradication from our forum message database. Plus, a two-strike warning system for anybody that ever mentions it again (oops, one strike against me already).

In addition to the real need for new terms that accurately reflect what these camcorders are, I'm also proposing that we eliminate these poorly outdated and completely inaccurate descriptors for chip sizes. Because a 1/3rd-inch chip isn't really one-third of an inch, nor is any chip size nomenclature actually the size it says it is (they're all much smaller). Plus, a 1/3rd-inch native 4:3 chip is not the same size as a 1/3rd-inch native 16:9 chip. I think we need to refer to image sensor sizes in millimeters, and in actual diagonal measurements too, not in imaginary circles drawn around these rectangular chips just because, well, "that's how we measured tubes back in the day." Ancient history. No significant relevance to the current state of technology today either (yeah, I know, the lens mounts are relevant, but not for too much longer).

As for the people who really do spend over $5,000 for a home movie camera to shoot video of their kids, there's already a term for the camcorders they use. They're called Dentist Cams. Because you've got to be a dentist (or a doctor, or a lawyer) to afford that kind of a luxury item.

This range of gear is one of two things... either it's a business tool or it's a luxury item. If it's not being used to generate some kind of revenue, that is, if it doesn't pay for itself... then it's strictly a luxury item. To me, that's where the distinction lies between "professional" and "consumer." From my point of view, it's all about how it's used.
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Old October 30th, 2006, 10:40 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
In addition to the real need for new terms that accurately reflect what these camcorders are, I'm also proposing that we eliminate these poorly outdated and completely inaccurate descriptors for chip sizes. Because a 1/3rd-inch chip isn't really one-third of an inch, nor is any chip size nomenclature actually the size it says it is (they're all much smaller). Plus, a 1/3rd-inch native 4:3 chip is not the same size as a 1/3rd-inch native 16:9 chip. I think we need to refer to image sensor sizes in millimeters
Good idea.
To kick off, here's a table with some sizes (diagonal, widt, height for a variety of 4:3 aspect ratio sensors) :
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Old October 30th, 2006, 12:02 PM   #49
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Great. The (your word here) cameras we talk a lot about have 6mm chips (diagonally measured). What about the 16:9 chip ones? That's the real figure, since all of them native are 16:9 now. I think the (your word here) cameras probably shouldn't be based on chip size, since the new Sony V1 (your word here) camera has smaller chips but is a camera in the same (your word here) category.

Henceforth, I will not say "prosumer."

Prosumer.

'Ey! Off with 'is ead! 'E said "prosumer," the bloody bloke said "prosumer!" ("Life of Brian," Monty Python).
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Old October 30th, 2006, 12:49 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd

As for the people who really do spend over $5,000 for a home movie camera to shoot video of their kids, there's already a term for the camcorders they use. They're called Dentist Cams. Because you've got to be a dentist (or a doctor, or a lawyer) to afford that kind of a luxury item.
Chris:

I have to disagree with you. While I am an attorney, I know plenty of people out their, wage earners and the rest, who spend $5,000 and
$ 10,000 on spare time pursuits annually. Golfing, RV and motorcycles, off road racing, and big screen t.v.s all come to mind immediately And, not all attorneys make more than videographers or plumber or dentists. I don't know if you have actually done the demographics, but from my view of the people on this forum is that there are about 15% here who actually earn a decent living from video production. Another 20% fool around and make a little money, now and then. Another 25% are looking for a carreer, and a balance of the regulars are doing this out of a "love" for the process and an enjoyment of "film" making. There are a select few who get the latest cameras because they are the latest (NBA basketball players seem to be into it big time, ala Chris Webber) Nothing scientific about estimate, just a feeling from my experience here. Your site serves and benefits all of these people, and I think you might be underestimating who and what type of person other than professional would invest in a $5,000 camera..
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Old October 30th, 2006, 01:38 PM   #51
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Chris B. is right. I just shot a big international event last week. All the pro media were credentialed & tagged around the neck. The number of DVX 100s, Z-1s, XLs, etc. on bare necks was staggering. They couldn't all be dentists.

Last edited by Robert Young; October 30th, 2006 at 07:48 PM.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 04:30 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Tony Tremble
There is nothing professional about an inanimate object. Cameras cannot be professional.
TT
Apparently, the professionalism of the inanimate camera is indeed significant.

I tried to get a Sony Z1U "Accidental Damage" extended warranty from the Sony Style store and was turned down because my camera was "professional" product from the "professional" division. I will drive there tomorrow and tell them that my Sony Z1U can not be "professional" as it is an inanimate object. Surely, they will then sell me their comprehensive extended warranty.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 08:09 AM   #53
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Glint, very much agreed. I've sold pieces shot using mpeg4 clips from my still camera with sync sound off of a consumer voice recorder plugged into a $29.95 mini-jack lav. That was "professional." And I make my living from my Sony A1U, which, aside from the fact that it has XLR inputs, is almost certainly not a professional camera by *anyone's* definitions.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 08:28 AM   #54
 
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jeeez!! here we go, again, with the labels. why can't we just let go of all this BS. If video is your passion, what does it matter. Is there some resent against dentists? Seems to me, many times, a dentist can afford much nicer equipment than a struggling cameraman waiting tables to pay the rent. It's all so much of a waste of time to categorize, label and descriminate.

having said that, I'll add that from a purely subjective opinion, I really, really like my new HD110. It's so much more of a pleasure to use than my XL2. and it's infinitely adjustable....automatic....what's that?
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Old October 31st, 2006, 12:20 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gints Klimanis
I tried to get a Sony Z1U "Accidental Damage" extended warranty from the Sony Style store and was turned down because my camera was "professional" product from the "professional" division.
The fact is, these cameras come from completely different divisions of the company. Sales, warranty support and service for the professional products is handled completely differently. SonyStyle is strictly a consumer outlet. You can't buy a Z1 or a PD-170 from SonyStyle, so why would they sell you a warranty for one?
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Old October 31st, 2006, 02:02 PM   #56
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The combination uses of business and luxury consumer that were pointed out by Chris Hurd have been known for years. Due to this, I have been calling my VX2000 (recently sold) a "biZluX" camera since before the google was popular. It has both a Z and an X making the word totally hip and if you capitalize those letters it looks like 1337-speak which is far more useful in today's world than standard English. Ya gotta know how to talk to teh kids these days. If you call it "prosumer", you are just a square.

The truly funny thing is that with the number of professionals using this forum, we could change the word that "prosumer" cameras are called. :)
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Old October 31st, 2006, 03:24 PM   #57
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I don't think the definition will disappear simply because it was banned from this forum. Of course we could simply stick our heads in the sand and pretend we're still living in the stone age:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosumer
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Old October 31st, 2006, 04:14 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Dave Ferdinand
I don't think the definition will disappear simply because it was banned from this forum.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 05:33 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
The fact is, these cameras come from completely different divisions of the company. Sales, warranty support and service for the professional products is handled completely differently. SonyStyle is strictly a consumer outlet. You can't buy a Z1 or a PD-170 from SonyStyle, so why would they sell you a warranty for one?
When I was shopping around for an HDV camcorder, I noticed that the Sony Store offered an accidental damage warranty for the FX1. I liked Sony's terms better than Mack's . So, I asked the Sony Style store if they would sell me a warranty for an FX1 that I purchased from another source (BH Photo). No problem. One salesperson actually provided me with quotes for both the FX1 and Z1U. When I went back for the Z1U, they asked me for my sales slip so that they could FAX it to their parent division. I was close to the 30-day deadline, and they couldn't get the Z1U warranty in time, so I just bought a Mack warranty.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 04:42 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Dave Ferdinand
I don't think the definition will disappear simply because it was banned from this forum. Of course we could simply stick our heads in the sand and pretend we're still living in the stone age:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosumer
I checked the Oxford English Dictionary and found that "Prosumer" had been added. Further checking also revealed the word "gullible" had been removed.

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