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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 November 19th, 2006, 04:37 AM   #31
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I have seen the two side by side mate and believe me, there is no comparison in lowlight! The FX7 isn't terrbile like the HC1, but compared to the results you can achieve with the A1, it really isn't in the same class. If you look at the recent night footage clips posted on the Canon A1/G1 sections of these forums you will see what the A1 is capable of.

I kinda get the feeling sony tried so hard not to steal sales from their current HDV cameras (FX1/Z1) that they have shot themselves in the foot. I'm pretty sure they could have created something much more comparable, maybe even better with their resources and especially their history of class leading Lowlight camcorders. Canon simply threw caution to the wind and created the best camera they could at the time, without fear of whether people would stop buying the H1.

The proof really is in forums like these. The FX7 has been available for roughly the same amount of time as the A1, yet look at the lack of activity on this forum compared to the A1 forum which is a hive of activity.
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Old November 19th, 2006, 05:42 AM   #32
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I'm on the fence between XH-A1 and V1 and I think this sort of conclusion is premature. FX7 is mainly bought and used by people not usually participating in forums like this. Just wait and see the input of the V1 users, after it hits the shelves.
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Old November 19th, 2006, 06:03 AM   #33
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It will be very interesting as I know a few reviews are creeping out here in the UK and the reponse to the V1 so far has not been that great. As you say, people will start to post the V1 footage and responses fairly soon and we can see.

I've been across every forum going over the last few weeks and can't help feeling a lacklustre response towards sony's new boys and a sense of real excitement about the canon. The fact remains if the FX7/V1 were A1 beaters, we would all know about it by now as enough people have had their hands on them.
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Old November 19th, 2006, 07:09 AM   #34
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Steady on Shaun,

The V1 is not even released yet. It is way too early to be so pessimistic about the Sony cameras.

I would suggest you look at Steve Mullen's excellent articles HDV@Work in particular:

http://digitalcontentproducer.com/hd...titude_111106/

Sony is offering something different. When people get hold of the new cameras you'll start hearing more buzz about the latitude.

The XH-A1 produces a very fine image but it still looks like any other video camera from the last decade only higher in resolution. The images from the Sony V1 don't.

I am amazed that low light is such an issue. How many of us are nocturnal and live and work in near pitch darkness? I realise a camera should have some capability in low light but is it the deal killer many would have you believe? Not to me.

When I was at university I was taught how to light a dark scene and I know this camera will not have a problem. For news and documentaries it would be quite appropriate to put a camera light on it as necessary.

I think you'll find the low light performance of the V1 is actually quite favourable compared to the XDCAM HD cameras. You won't find too many of those owners operators bitching about low light because they'll know how to light a scene correctly.

The V1 will be available in the first week of Dec in the UK. Wait to see more footage before making, frankly, ludicrous statements like, "Sony have dropped a ball and they know it!"

TT
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Old November 19th, 2006, 10:16 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Fields
I have seen the two side by side mate and believe me, there is no comparison in lowlight! The FX7 isn't terrbile like the HC1, but compared to the results you can achieve with the A1, it really isn't in the same class.
THen how do you account for comments on this board in the last few days from long-term and highly-knowledgeable members that include (comparing XH-A1 and FX1 image in lowlight, for eg.) :

"Unless a Canon shooter wants really high shutter speeds in bright light, 12db of gain in low light will produce very grainy video- I've tried all sorts of settings for the last hour and the Sony is noticeably better."

"As far as my limited use of both cameras- I'll have to agree the FX-1 is better in low light video retaining a smooth video albeit darker as where the A1 video becomes noisy and grainy......I've tried 24F and 30F (on the Canon) and the Sony is definitely better at 0-3-6db of gain- at higher gain the FX shows it's advantge even more."

"As much as I like this new A1- the FX-1 seems better at equal settings to that of the A1. At room light and higher levels- they produce good video but the FX1 is noticeably smoother and noise-free as the light drops off. There's a switch on the Canon to turn off the AGC circuit and this easily reveals the FX-1's superior low-light shooting abilities (when comparing db levels)"
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Old November 19th, 2006, 12:34 PM   #36
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Here where I am, on the forums I visit, we use this to stop a situ like this from going too far:

"Stop feeding the troll".

So it's EOT from me.
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Old November 19th, 2006, 12:47 PM   #37
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Okay folks, I've just now removed some rather ugly comments that added nothing to the value of this technical discussion. Perhaps a reminder is once again needed here: personal flames -- and responses to personal flames -- have never been, nor never will be tolerated on this site. We want to keep the signal high and the noise low.

Do NOT respond to flames. INSTEAD you need to use the "report bad post" icon, the exclamation point in a triangle icon which is to the left of every post. That will bring the matter to our attention and we'll deal with it.

Some of you guys who have been here for awhile, I have to say, I'm disappointed in you for responding as you have. For a clueless newbie who has not done his bit to research how this forum works, I can expect them to make a stupid mistake which results in permanent ejection out of here. But the rest of you guys, you should know better that we simply don't tolerate that kind of nonsense so why do you participate in it. Use the cotton-pickin' Report Bad Post function next time. Or else!

This is a quality control issue. Do not flame. Do not respond to flames. Heck, do not respond to THIS message. I'm leaving this topic open for now -- but the first person who makes a comment here about something other than FX7 footage, will be next one to get booted. You'll know that's happened because the thread will then be closed.

This site ain't your typical internet free-for-all, gentlemen. This is a carefully pruned garden. This is a library. Please conduct yourselves accordingly -- and thanks in advance.

And now... back to FX7 footage.
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Old November 20th, 2006, 02:12 AM   #38
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Alright, so... FX7 footage. I went ahead and bought one for myself since nobody has had any solid answers yet from hands-on experience. I'm also an FX1/Z1U so I feel it appropriate to give a mini-review of sorts.

So I used the Z1U and the FX7 side by side on a shoot the other day and the following comments are just my observations on the FX7's comparative performance:

1) Low light - not as good as the Z1, but not that bad. About half an f-stop slower than the Z1.

2) Color reproduction was phenominal, both indoor and out. Colors were rich and accurate, even in low light conditions with gain boosted. Z1 lost it's colors and was mostly yellowish and dull in the same low light - Z1 loves the yellows!

3) Dynamic range on outdoor stuff seemed really impressive. I shot the side of a medium tone, brick church in the middle of the day. every detail on the building was perfect and the sky was not overexposed at all. I didn't shoot the same thing with the Z1, but I've used it enough to know that it couldn't perform quite that well. Also, glare is extremely minimized, even when shooting directly at a light source.

4) Resolution - noticeably sharper than the Z1. It's extremely sharp... however, the sharpness of the image makes it even more difficult for the camera's codec to keep up with the fast motion - I only noticed a problem on one particular frame, so maybe it was just some sort of weird error.

5) Digital zoom on the FX7 is actually pretty impressive. It actually doesn't look like digital zoom at all and seems to retain most of the resolution. Oh, and the 20x lens is awesome as well. Of course if you use that full 30x of the zoom plus digital extender, it's pretty difficult to do any sort of smooth camera movement, even on a good tripod.

6) I'm not sure why anybody would care about the on-board microphone, but I noticed people were asking, so here it goes - it sucks. Sound quality is actually good, but if you zoom, push a button, or basically touch the camera at all, the mic pics it up. It's very sensitive to body noise, although it didn't seem to pick up much transport noise... kind of weird actually.

7) The zoom ring is one thing that is definitely far superior on the Z1. The zoom ring on the FX7 feels laggy and is not at all repeatable.

8) Contrast Enhancer and Cine-Gamma - both super lame and unusable. The Contrast Enhancer is a cool concept but it seems to be all-auto all the time... it's supposed to pull down clipping highlights and, in turn, increase your latitude, but it's totally unusable since you can't lock it to a certain level (at least I couldn't get it to stay). The Cine-Gamma is another worthless tool that further minimizes your latitude by crushing your lows and pushing your highs. I guess it's usable if you are just doing point and shoot straight out to DVD, but if you plan on doing any sort of color correction/grading, then keep the Cine-Gamma off!

Well, I guess that's about all I can think of right now. Again, these are just my observations from one day of shooting. Hopefully this is helpful to somebody! In conclusion, it's a great little camera - whether or not it is a great camera for you simply depends on what you plan on using it for.

-Pasty
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Old November 20th, 2006, 05:29 AM   #39
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Thanks for the report, Pasty. I have a question about this:

"1) Low light - not as good as the Z1, but not that bad. About half an f-stop slower than the Z1.

2) Color reproduction was phenominal, both indoor and out. Colors were rich and accurate, even in low light conditions with gain boosted. Z1 lost it's colors and was mostly yellowish and dull in the same low light - Z1 loves the yellows!"

These seem to contradict each other. Is it that the Z1 can get an image better into lower overall light and that the V1 gets a better image but loses it earlier? For instance, is the V1 producing a nice image in fairly dim light but nothing at all in very dim? Does the FX1, in contrast to the V1, get a yellow image in fairly dim but still gets some useable image in very dim?

Has anyone compared the V1 in 1/30th shutter to the FX7 in it's native 1/60th shutter (due to interlaced only)? Has this same comparison with the V1 been done directly against the FX1? I'm wondering if the V1 may be superior to the FX7 in low light because it won't lose resolution at the slower shutter speed. I know motion blur at low shutter can be a problem, but I don't mind 1/30th shutter.
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Old November 20th, 2006, 07:05 AM   #40
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Thanks Pasty for that review. So based on your impressions so far, do you think you'll be getting the V1 to replace your Z1?
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Old November 20th, 2006, 10:29 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault
Thanks for the report, Pasty. I have a question about this:
These seem to contradict each other.
Guess I could've been a bit more clear with the wording of that... sorry. What I was trying to say is that the FX1/Z1 is more sensitive. As an example, I had the FX7 and the Z1 side by side in a dimly lit room, filming some red flowers. The FX7 required about 6db of gain to be at a fairly matching level to the Z1. However, the FX7 reproduced colors better, even with gain engaged (flowers retained vibrant red color while the white background looked perfect as well), while the Z1 looked washed out and dull in comparison. I still haven't decided which I would prefer - extra gain or flat colors - it's a tradeoff.

I'm still debating whether I'd replace the Z1 with the V1 - again, it's kind of a tradeoff and it's not really meant to be a replacement... as I'm sure is part of the clever planning of Sony. I love a lot of features on the FX7, but that zoom ring totally kills me... it's that bad! If I didn't use the zoom ring so much, I'd probably be quite happy with the FX7 (and V1 for that matter).

-Pasty
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Old November 20th, 2006, 11:27 AM   #42
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It sounds to me like you can tweak the fx7 to get similar results as the z1.

Is that a good conclusion?

Could you get better zoom results with a zoom controller like the Zoe?

I am really interested in the V1 for documentary work.
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Old November 20th, 2006, 01:23 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Ron Little
It sounds to me like you can tweak the fx7 to get similar results as the z1.

Is that a good conclusion?

Could you get better zoom results with a zoom controller like the Zoe?

I am really interested in the V1 for documentary work.
Hmmm... I don't know... similar results (in terms of color reproduction and overall look ) can be achieved under average shooting conditions, but results are quite different under the extremes.

I don't think the zoom is a matter of having a zoom controller. I mean, you can lock your tripod head in place and get great straight in/out zooms, but once you add any sort of pan/tilt action, the lens gets tough to keep smooth on the long end - partially because the camera is relatively small and light.

I'm sure the V1 would work out really great for documentary work... it's probably actually a very fitting application for it.

-Pasty
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Old November 21st, 2006, 09:00 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pasty Jackson
1) Low light - not as good as the Z1, but not that bad. About half an f-stop slower than the Z1.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pasty Jackson
The FX7 required about 6db of gain to be at a fairly matching level to the Z1.
Hi Pasty - I'm pretty sure that a 6db difference equates to one stop difference between the two (more or less..). Good to know - thanks for posting.
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Old November 21st, 2006, 10:14 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Stu Holmes
Hi Pasty - I'm pretty sure that a 6db difference equates to one stop difference between the two (more or less..). Good to know - thanks for posting.
Hey Stu, I guess the reason I said 6db of gain is because I actually used 3db more and it seemed just under where the Z1 was. I never stepped up to 6db more than the Z1, but I'm sure that would have been a good bit brighter. I guess it's more accurate to say somewhere between 3db and 6db of gain to match them.

-Pasty
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