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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 9th, 2006, 09:09 AM   #1
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Bottom line V1 or Z1?

I welcome your opinions.

I am planning to do mostly "TV style" work with my new camera. I will be interviewing people and putting together "mini-documentaries" (packages) of their life story. Although I may occasionally do some mini film-type projects, the main use for the camera will be traditional video work sitting people down and interviewing them and then putting together a package.

What matters to me is getting good resolution pieces that look as close to the work put together by professional broadcast cameras as possible. (If my budget was unlimited, I would get the XD cam or why stop there..the Panasonic Vericam).

Is 24p even that important to me (especially when I can use post editing programs to get the effect)?


Opinions please.

Thanks.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 09:26 AM   #2
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I personally would go for the Z1, but that's just my opinion. The V1's big appeal to most people is 24p, but the tradeout is that you get 1/4" chips. Granted, they'll look better than any other 1/4" chip camera to date, but if you aren't that interested in 24p, then to me the tradeoff isn't worth it. As you say, for a more film type motion you can always do it in post with some of those excellent plug-ins.

A friend of mine has a Z1, and I shoot mostly with a DSR500WS. He shot some local TV spots for our festival that I intercut with some interviews I had shot (also in 16:9). His Z1 footage looked at least as good as my 2/3" chip camera footage, and in some cases slightly better. He had shot HDV, edited with Black Magic codec, and made a DVCAM tape for me to edit into my native DVCAM stuff. So under most conditions, if you're careful, I think the Z1 can intercut very well with SD broadcast cameras. In fact I was all ready to buy a Z1 for my personal documentary work but the Canon XH A1 has caught my interest because it's about a thousand bucks cheaper. I haven't made any firm decision yet, and it would be difficult to abandon the Z1 because it's a proven product. This is not to say the V1 won't be a nice camera too, but going down under 1/3" in chip size is too much of a leap for me. Also, the lens isn't wide enough for my purposes (lots of interviews in cramped spaces) and would require a wide angle adapter, so that makes it right up there in price to the Z1, which I like better.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 10:15 AM   #3
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Bill,

I'm not the originator of this thread, but was glad to see it because I'm in a very similar situation to Sal. So, thanks for your time & input - it definitely helps, and I agree with your thoughts on the Z1.

This site and the community is awesome. It's obvious there are a lot of knowledgeable experts that participate, and for them all to take the time to help out, and answer what are probably dumb (& redundant) questions to them - is just awesome. I've worked with many top notch directors and DPs, and egos fly high a lot of the time. But the people on this site are truly top-notch.

So thanks all. I'm sure I speak for the newbies and the not-so-experienced.

Dave
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Old November 9th, 2006, 12:25 PM   #4
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It's not just the 24P, it's also 30P. To me 30P is the best acquisition format right now because it is compatible with 60i and future proofed for the eventual abandonement of interlaced video. It will happen. Virtually all TVs sold today are natively progressive. At least with the V1 you have the option to decide which format is best for each project. You don't have a choice with the Z1.

The other thing to remember is any post process to make 24P or 30P out of 60i will result in significant loss of resolution.

I'm not convinced that 1/4" vs. 1/3" makes much difference. Both have really deep DOF, so if you're concerned about that you'll need a 2/3" camera to get shallow DOF. If the picture quality is comparable between the Z1 and V1, I'll go for the V1.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 01:36 PM   #5
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I知 also in the same boat. I have an FX1 and I love it; hang on a minute; I love my girlfriend, I like my camera. How could anyone love a camera? Obscene! In any event, the FX1 is serving me well but I need another camera and I知 thinking along the lines of a Z1 or a V1U.

I知 definitely leaning towards the V1U for all the reasons mentioned by you folks above, the least important feature for me is 24p. I知 not too enthusiastic about the so called film look. I知 with you Brett; I imagine 30P will please me more than 24P. I want to see more footage from the V1U but from what I致e seen I知 more or less sold, chip size notwithstanding. I would add that an important consideration for me is the new 20x lens. For what I do that will be most helpful indeed. The smaller form factor is also not unimportant. I知 about to begin a project featuring a nature reserve in the mountains and every kilo less weight saves my aching muscles, and besides, the last thing I want to do is look like a professional! Keeps the costs down.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 02:31 PM   #6
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The first factor I would consider is how you are going to use, and does size matter. I had the Z1 and sold it because it was just too large for the way I, and my family used. The HC1 the wife loves because its nice and small and she can put in her purse. I really want a 3 chip, so am looking at the new cameras to be great middle ground.

Dave
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Old November 9th, 2006, 03:10 PM   #7
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I've been weighing the Canon A1 versus the Sony V1. I'm planning to go Sony V1 for the 24p & HDMI out. Plus, I already have a Sony HC3 that will serve as my deck.

To me, the V1 appears to have it ALL (well, everything except 2/3-inch chips). As a DVX100a owner, it looks like the camera I've been waiting for, yet Panasonic has refused to deliver. Kudos to Sony for giving us what we want!
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Old November 9th, 2006, 03:44 PM   #8
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I struggle with the deck. I have all my DV stuff on full size tapes, so I need a deck that takes full sized tapes. I sold my DHR1000, so I just need to bite the bullet and buy a new one. I would like to stick my HDV on full size tapes allow for storage.

Dave
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Old November 9th, 2006, 04:49 PM   #9
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If the V1 had a higher lux rating, I'd be way more interested. Since I need more of a wide angle, slight loss compared the Z1/FX1. Every bit of native wide angle means that I don't have to add a converter that will soften the entire picture.

The V1 20x zoom isn't a draw for me, either. I'd rather see an interchangeable lens system and a constant aperture f/2.8 zoom. Am I the only one worried about the compromise of optics when the zoom range is extended to 20x ? Nikon and Canon can't make a great zoom that is more than 10x, and their pro zooms are no more than 3x. I'm willing to pay more for better optics or deal with a smaller zoom range.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 07:30 PM   #10
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Video zoom lenses don't have to be as good as still camera lenses. But I always prefer wider to longer. I'll give up 20 millimeters on the long end if I can have two millimeters more on the wide end. The smaller the camera's chips, the more difficult it is to make a wide angle lens. I've used wide angle adapters on cameras like the PD150 and DSR250 and I don't like the added softness and distortion they all seem to have, not to mention the added weight out on the nose. But with a 1/4" chip camera, a wide angle adapter would be necessary for my use.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 08:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor
Video zoom lenses don't have to be as good as still camera lenses. But I always prefer wider to longer. I'll give up 20 millimeters on the long end if I can have two millimeters more on the wide end. The smaller the camera's chips, the more difficult it is to make a wide angle lens.
Why don't video zoom lenses have to be as good ? I don't think that the current video lenses are even good enough for DV, let alone HDV. The lack of a constant f/2.8 zoom makes it difficult to control exposure. Video camera manufacturers could make up for that with smooth auto-ISO or electronic shutter adjustments. I remember watching my Auto-Exposure Sony VX2000 footage with the display on and seeing the additional gain skip around in increments of 6 dB. What ???! Why ?

I'm with you on the preference for wide angle. I just picked up a RedRock M2 adapter for Nikon lenses. Psyched !! I have no idea how they'll work on my Nikon prime lens collection, but that is my ticket to that dreamy look, as well as wonderful access for wildlife videography.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 08:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor
Video zoom lenses don't have to be as good as still camera lenses. But I always prefer wider to longer. I'll give up 20 millimeters on the long end if I can have two millimeters more on the wide end. The smaller the camera's chips, the more difficult it is to make a wide angle lens.
Why don't video zoom lenses have to be as good ? I don't think that the current video lenses are even good enough for DV, let alone HDV. The lack of a constant f/2.8 zoom makes it difficult to control exposure. Video camera manufacturers could make up for that with smooth auto-ISO or electronic shutter adjustments. I remember watching my Auto-Exposure Sony VX2000 footage with the display on and seeing the additional gain skip around in increments of 6 dB. What ???! Why ?

I'm with you on the preference for wide angle. A pleasant surprise with the Z1U is that I can do the same work as the Sony VX2000 *without* a wide-angle adapter. My Z1U footage is incredibly sharp, even though the VX2000 wasn't that bad.

I just picked up a RedRock M2 adapter for Nikon lenses. Psyched !! I have no idea how they'll work on my Nikon prime lens collection, but that is my ticket to that dreamy look, as well as wonderful access for wildlife videography.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 10:05 PM   #13
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Sal,

I definately will say the Z1U would be perfect for what you want to do. Yet, the V1U may be just as good too. Nobody is really sure since it hasn't been released yet, and only a few reviews have been written (although they are good ones - thanks DSE).

There are pros and cons to both cams. The Z1U has a slightly shallower DOF, better low light capability (major plus for me), wider lens, better LCD placement (IMHO), left side tape eject (no need to take the cam outta your hand to replace the tape), built-in stereo mic (you never know when it may come in handy), and can record both 60i and 50i. Those are a few features superior on the Z1U.

On the other hand... The V1U has better resolution, progressive scan, 24 fps, smaller & lighter body (major plus for me - the Z1U/FX1 can numb your hand and arm pretty fast!), expanded image control, longer range lens (maybe a plus for you??), better interface with the DR-60 portable HD unit. Oh, and HDMI output.

You will get knowledgable people from both sides with their own preferences, and try to sell you on why they choose this cam over that cam. Heck, I do the same thing too, but if I had the choice between the Z1U and V1U, I couldn't tell you which one I'd choose. It would be a tough decision! My best advise is to wait until you can actually put a V1U in your hand and try it out first. Despite all the technical specs, each camera model has it's own unique feel and I believe that is one major factor towards your final decision.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 10:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Campbell
The first factor I would consider is how you are going to use, and does size matter. I had the Z1 and sold it because it was just too large for the way I, and my family used. The HC1 the wife loves because its nice and small and she can put in her purse. I really want a 3 chip, so am looking at the new cameras to be great middle ground.

Dave
Dave, since Sony is keeping the A1 (HC1) in their line-up, can you provide some feedback on your Z1 verses HC1 experience. Obviously, the Z1 is much better, but how bad really is the HC1? It has a real size/weight avantage!

HIGH CONTRAST OUTDOORS

1) I found the Z1 almost never bleaches-out bright highlights. Does the HC1?

2) The Z1 (with black streatch OFF) crushes dark shadows a bit. Does the HC1?

3) The Z1 handles bright saturated reds perfectly. Does the HC1?


STORES AND OFFICES -- often lots of bright Halogen lighting

How bad/good does the HC1 do? How much gain and how noisey is the gain?


KITCHEN -- typically bright flouresecents

How bad/good does the HC1 do? How much gain and how noisey is the gain?


LIVINGROOM -- typically a total of 400W of incandesent lights

How bad/good does the HC1 do? How much gain and how noisey is the gain?

BEDROOM -- typically a total of 150W of incandesent lights

How bad/good does the HC1 do? How much gain and how noisey is the gain?

Thank you!
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Old November 10th, 2006, 10:32 AM   #15
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Gints, I'll be interested in how the Redrock works with your Nikkor lenses. I have quite a number of ancient pre-AI Nikkor lenses, and the email I got from Redrock said the M2 would work fine even with my old lenses.
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