Report from Sony's HD For All Fall Tour at DVinfo.net

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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 25th, 2006, 12:39 AM   #1
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Took a day off work today and I finally got to play with the V1U @ the Sony's HD For all Fall Tour (Toronto Canada). My starter/current camera that I work with is the HC1 and have been looking/deciding upon a new primary camera and like many of us here are debating between the HVR-V1/XH-A1.

I was also fortunate enough to play with FX7 as well as the Canon XH-A1 2 weekends ago @ the Henry's photo show so here are so of my (non-indepth) insights regarding HVR-V1/XH-A1.

- HVR-V1U & HDR-FX7. I think about half the people who attended todays how attended just to get a glimpse of the V1, I know I did. The V1 demo footage looked to be pretty much what I expected it to be; that is, it could pass for Z1 footage. Colour representation was definately better then my HC1, although I do suppose some of the wideshots of the soccer footage demo did perhaps look a tad soft (or maybe im expecting it from some of the reviews ive read) but overall the footage looked good.

I was screwing around wiht the camera in low light and from what I could tell, @ 18 DB gain I thought the gain looked very very cleanm with little noise. I've played with a Z1 a few times but never in extreme low light situations so unforunately I can't compare real life low light performance between the Z & the V. The sales guy said it's 1/2 a stop diff at most. The LCD screen is also very good, although not as large as the Z1, but much larger screen then the A1U/HC1 with more resolution too.

Coming from an HC1 world, I must say the V1 is just LOADED with features, peaking is fantastic! The camera was a relatively light weight, about the same weight as my fully loaded hc1 (camera+videolight+wideangle adapter+2 large 91 series batteries), felt well balanced and is well sized (for me the Z1 is just too big!), and I predict the camera will be great for my Merlin! One last point, I hate the fact that they painted the FX7 LIGHT GREY. They should have stuck with DARK grey (almost black) paint colour on the FX1/HC1... but I bet Sony uglified the FX7 on purpose as it becomes yet another reason to shell more money for a V1. For my fellow Canadians who are interested, the V1 will have a sticker price of 5600$.

The hard drive attachment is neat too, i esp. like the feature how it automatically buffers 14 seconds of footage, so if you miss an important moment & press the record button a tad late, chances are is that you will have it captured. A great function IMO. However, @ 2 grand for the hard drive unit, I can't help but think of why the hard drive isnt used for overcranking possibilities. I could tell from teh sales guy that they are hoping to compete with the hvx200 as a true progressive 24p independent film camera. I mean if they are writing the V1 to hard drive why not exploit its capabilities and get 48P overcranking??!? The 80 megs/second max transfer rate between the V1 & the hard drive woudl definately support overcranking via the hard drive, or perhaps the 7200rpm hard drive fast enough? Oh well perhaps one day...

- I know this isn't an XH-A1 forum but since most people interested in the V1 are considering the new A1, i'll write a few notes. If i am breaking the rules the moderators can remove this paragraph if needed. The images on the XH-A1 demo tape played looked great, lived up to the 3 CCD HD standards in terms of colour and sharpness reproduction. I can't reeally say how it compares to XL-H1 footage as I've never used the XL, but in general the colour settings on the A1 (and Canon products in general) much more closely resemble film then any of the Sony HD products IMO. However, A1's LCD screen I must say really sucks, it is TINY. The camera itself is surprisingly smaller then expected, and altho it wasnt sitting beside an fx1/z1 it definately looked signifcantly smaller. I'd say the size of the Canon A1 is in between the Sony Z1 & V1.

All in all i'll let the real life reviews and comaprisons of the A1 & V1 to help determine my choice of my next camera, but I am leaning on towards the V1 as performance looks very close, but I am accustomed to a smaller sized camera + Sony.

Michael
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Last edited by Michael Y Wong; October 25th, 2006 at 03:19 AM.
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Old October 25th, 2006, 01:01 AM   #2
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Split out from another thread -- needs to stand as its own subject. Thanks for the great report Michael!
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Old October 25th, 2006, 04:25 AM   #3
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How come I never know about stuff like this when it happens in T-dot?
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Old October 25th, 2006, 08:50 AM   #4
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Good work Michael, we appreciate your taking the time and posting this.
I also have an HC1 to sample/try out HDV and I'm sold on the format. Coming from canon's I'm looking at A1/G1's as well. However, I'm impressed with the image quality from the HC1, which outshines (in my opinion) stuff I've captured from a rented HVX in terms of straight video.

By your report, and others on this forum, the V1 seems to be a logical upgrade. A little larger for handling, and extra manual controls. The fact that it could pass muster with Z1 image quality is the all important issue.

My question is if my local vendor renews his canon agreement and gets A1's in for rental, is it possible to adjust/intercut video from both cams? Hmmmm, next month is going to be very interesting.
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Old October 25th, 2006, 01:09 PM   #5
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Thanks for appreciating the review guys.

Evan if i hear about any more events & shows I'll drop you a pm to let you know. I have an Henrys advantage card so they sent me 3 free tickets to the Henrys show, and while @ the Henrys show I was hangng out @ the Sony area, and got the pamphlet talkiing about the Sony show so I just signed up.

All in all I met quite a few videographers there, some older and a small handful of young guys like myself. It was nice to exchange business cards etc etc, and talk to people that had the same video production interests as myself.

I find found it funny that since I am asian, one videographer automatically assumed I shot for OMNI tv LOL!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Ferling
My question is if my local vendor renews his canon agreement and gets A1's in for rental, is it possible to adjust/intercut video from both cams? Hmmmm, next month is going to be very interesting.
I am assuming you mean an HC1 intercut with an XH-A1? Hmm, I think that would be tough, they have a very different look and feel. My guess is that with some colour correction perhaps, but my guess is that it will be like cutting standard film stock with negative reversal film stock. The look is quite different. However I am not a Magic Bullet Pro & I hear you can do tons iwth that program so perhaps it is easier then I would imagine.

Sometimes I wonder if it is really worth the money to shell out 5 grand for a brand new pro level camera, when compared to my HC1. The V1/Z1 does have great features yes but I am a firm believer that it is never the wand, but the magician, as exemplified by some very skilled videographers on this board. If it wasnt for crapply HC1 low light performance and the important 'big d*ck factor' for impressing clients and potential clients i would gladly buy another A1/HC1 instead of shelling twice as much for the new V....
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Old October 25th, 2006, 01:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Y Wong
Sometimes I wonder if it is really worth the money to shell out 5 grand for a brand new pro level camera, when compared to my HC1. The V1/Z1 does have great features...
The FX1 for ~$3K has been the right answer for many of us in your position as far as price versus features is concerned. One of those plus an HC1 would be a useful combination if you don't have big-budget customers to sustain more expensive gear.
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Old October 25th, 2006, 02:46 PM   #7
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> I mean if they are writing the V1 to hard drive why not exploit its capabilities and get 48P overcranking??!?

After you buy the V1, you'll have to ditch it for the V2 next year, with 48/60P.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 12:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Y Wong
Thanks for appreciating the review guys.

Evan if i hear about any more events & shows I'll drop you a pm to let you know. I have an Henrys advantage card so they sent me 3 free tickets to the Henrys show, and while @ the Henrys show I was hangng out @ the Sony area, and got the pamphlet talkiing about the Sony show so I just signed up.

All in all I met quite a few videographers there, some older and a small handful of young guys like myself. It was nice to exchange business cards etc etc, and talk to people that had the same video production interests as myself.

I find found it funny that since I am asian, one videographer automatically assumed I shot for OMNI tv LOL!!!!



I am assuming you mean an HC1 intercut with an XH-A1? Hmm, I think that would be tough, they have a very different look and feel. My guess is that with some colour correction perhaps, but my guess is that it will be like cutting standard film stock with negative reversal film stock. The look is quite different. However I am not a Magic Bullet Pro & I hear you can do tons iwth that program so perhaps it is easier then I would imagine.

Sometimes I wonder if it is really worth the money to shell out 5 grand for a brand new pro level camera, when compared to my HC1. The V1/Z1 does have great features yes but I am a firm believer that it is never the wand, but the magician, as exemplified by some very skilled videographers on this board. If it wasnt for crapply HC1 low light performance and the important 'big d*ck factor' for impressing clients and potential clients i would gladly buy another A1/HC1 instead of shelling twice as much for the new V....
Thanks Michael for the future pms. Lol at the OMNI tv comment! Did they also release prices for the fx7 and canon a1 as well? One of those 3 is gonna shoot my feature this summer.

But at 5600 I just might drive down to NYC visit my cousin's and buy it there saving myself the probably anywhere between 500-1000 canadian tax camera manufacturers stick us with.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 12:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan C. King
Thanks Michael for the future pms. Lol at the OMNI tv comment! Did they also release prices for the fx7 and canon a1 as well? One of those 3 is gonna shoot my feature this summer.

But at 5600 I just might drive down to NYC visit my cousin's and buy it there saving myself the probably anywhere between 500-1000 canadian tax camera manufacturers stick us with.
@ the Henrys show the Sony guy stated the FX7 was 4700$ I believe, and the XH-A1 @ vistek right now is selling for $4800.

As for buying the V1 @ b&h in the states, not a bad idea. its 4290 usd + 8% tax (if u buy in nyc) + ~15% (current usd->cdn exchange rate) you can get the camera for about $5300 cdn (provided you can get it past customs). This will save you about $1000 cdn.

If your cousin lives outside of NY state you'd save the 8% tax but then would have to pay a little more for shipping (still WAY cheaper then 8% since 8% tax is ~340$), but id guess youd pay $5100 cdn overall this way. Still not TOO bad...

Mind u if you get caught @ customs then get ready for another 14% on top of everything...
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