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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 February 27th, 2007, 08:19 AM   #1
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Got my accessories

I just received the wide angle adapter and LCD hood last week. I'll post some thoughts on those.

The wide angle adapter seems to work pretty well. I haven't noticed any optical problems and it is very fast to attach and disconnect. It gives me the wide angle I've been sorely missing and doesn't reduce light any noticeable amount. However, there are some practical issues with it. It makes the camera very front heavy. It is very difficult to hold it with the handhold and level. You pretty much need both hands. The hood is enormous. It might be good for impressing clients, but it is a little unwieldy and you need a fairly large case to set the camera in without taking it apart. To be able to attach and detach the adapter quickly, I've eliminated the use of UV filters. It makes me a little nervous having an exposed lens, but I don't see an alternative. Sony's clever lens cap built into the hood though is a plus with this.

The LCD hood is a pleasant surprise. To me LCD hoods are absolutely essential for a handheld camcorder. This one beats all others I've used. You can leave it attached and close the LCD! This accessory is easily worth the cost.

After receiving the wide angle adapter and working with it. I can no longer recommend the V1. In fact, I'm specing a system for a client (camera, edit system, etc.). I will be recommending the Canon A1. I hoped for great things with the V1, however it has been a bit of a disappointment for me. Had Sony included a 32mm native wide angle, my decision would have been closer, but I can't recommend the camera because of it's lack of a native wide angle. Also the progressive performance has been to say the least disappointing, so that selling point for the V1 is gone. For me, the only significant remaining advantage of the V1 over the A1 is the 3.5" LCD versus 2.8" LCD. At this point the performance and ergonomic differences between the V1 and the A1 are close enough that it is not worth the cost of exchanging cameras. However, if I could do it again, I'd get the A1.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 08:29 AM   #2
 
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Have you shot with the A1 yet? IMO, the progressive performance of the A1 vs the V1 is identical. There are plenty of differences, one being the wide angle vs longer zoom that you point out, but I'd not hang my hat on the progressive performance of one vs the other.
They're both great cams, I don't know that the decision between the two of them is that cut/dry.
I'd suppose that's why we bought both.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 09:46 AM   #3
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Yes, I noticed at the London Video Forum that Sony had fitted all their V1s with the mild 0.7x wide-angle converter, so they obviously feel it's a bit light in the wide-angle stakes right out of the box. The barrelk distortion is fairly well controlled, but in my view not well controlled enough for the size, weight, cost penalty.

Like DSE says, the progressive performance difference between the two cameras (now Sony have sorted the V1) will be less of a difference than the slower Canon lens vs the smaller Sony chips.

tom.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 10:01 AM   #4
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Are there any HQ pictures of the V1U fitted with the wide-angle lens somewhere? I'd love to get an idea on how it looks.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 11:00 AM   #5
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Wow, I know that all the HDV cameras out there are all great with the right amount of light, but there are so many little differences that can persuade a buyer. I have been thinking of upgrading from the Z1 to the V1 or the Z1 to the new G1 but I have yet to hear strong enough support for a upgrade to the Z1. getting the V1 or G1 wouldn"t in fact be an upgrade from the Z1(when will we see that happen?) or is it here XDHD. I would love to see Sony make a HDV camera with the 20X zoom, CMOS, and be able to run the DVCam Size HDV master tape, they have a deck for that tape.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 11:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
Have you shot with the A1 yet? IMO, the progressive performance of the A1 vs the V1 is identical. There are plenty of differences, one being the wide angle vs longer zoom that you point out, but I'd not hang my hat on the progressive performance of one vs the other.
They're both great cams, I don't know that the decision between the two of them is that cut/dry. I'd suppose that's why we bought both.
I have not shot with the A1. My point is that if the picture quality is comparable, even if the V1 is slightly better. The A1 is a better camera because of ergonomics and the fact that you don't have to put on a wide angle adapter for most shooting situations. I'm not saying it's cut and dry. But for my needs the A1 would have been a better option. To me a native progressive camera like the V1 SHOULD have better progressive performance than a Frame mode camera like the A1. That's why I bought the V1, however, it appears that it does not. In fact, I'd probably be more comfortable shooting in 30F with the Canon than 30P with the V1 because of the watercolor effect that happens when you have gain up on the V1.

I'm not sure why I would recommend the V1 over the A1 when the A1 is cheaper, does not require an expensive wide angle adapter, is easier to work with in the field yet delivers similar performance.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 11:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett Sherman
The LCD hood is a pleasant surprise. To me LCD hoods are absolutely essential for a handheld camcorder. This one beats all others I've used. You can leave it attached and close the LCD! This accessory is easily worth the cost.

Agreed. I was a little hesitant because of the cost, and Hoodman told me that widescreen versions "are in development," but the Sony hood seems great. As long as you're OK with going through the motion of flipping the LCD screen over to the front and then closing it inside-out, so that the LCD is really only protected by the folded hood flaps -- which I guess depends on how nicely you treat your camera. Also, not sure what the constant screen flipping might eventually do the screen's hinges.

Otherwise, detaching and reattaching the hood is incredibly easy and only takes 2 seconds, and then you can close the LCD panel normally (just don't lose your $55 hood). Of course, eventually the little springs on the hood's bottom grabby feet will fail, but better that than your screen hinge.

Last edited by Brent Kolitz; February 27th, 2007 at 12:34 PM.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 01:06 PM   #8
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John M M - I don't think many folk here - or even Sony themselves - would consider using the verb 'upgrade' when moving from the Z1 to a V1. A camera with a faster and longer zoom that comes in well under the Z1's price means that even with modern production engineering on its side, something's had to give. There's no two ways about it.

The next point is I was talking to the Hoodman rep at the Video Forum and he too agreed with me that sales have drooped in the last couple of years. Why? Well because the FX1 and Z1 have shown the world that you can indeed build an LCD screen that works pretty darn well in direct summer sunlight, and simply doesn't need a hood except for privacy purposes.

Next thing is that anyone who's moved from a PD170 to a Z1 delights in the position of the Z1's top screen. It's a slap-your-forehead sensible place to put the screen, and when double-flipped is on axis with the lens for accurate tracking shots. The Canon XL H1's teeny screen is a halfwway joke, and the A1's foldout screen is too small and looks like they were simply avoiding the Z1's patents.

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Old February 27th, 2007, 03:51 PM   #9
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Totally agree with you with the term upgrade between the Z1 to the V1 but when you own a camera and a new one comes out with similar bells and whistles to the prior, people are going to take into consideration how the new camera performs compaired to the camera they have been using thus is it better than what I have been using. So I guess a better term for upgrade would be VS. Cant waite to see what Sony comes out with next hopefully something HDV, larger than a Z1 but smaller than the XDHD cam which will take the DVCam size Master HDV tape.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 05:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett Sherman
I just received the wide angle adapter and LCD hood last week. I'll post some thoughts on those..
Where did you order them from?
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Old February 27th, 2007, 06:38 PM   #11
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I have received my 0.8 Sony wide angle lens and the LCD hood in December together with the V1E from the UK online store (I may give the link in email).
The 0.8 lens is useless, no much noticable wide, but bulky and heavy.
The LCD hood is really nice, just as explained above.

In the meantime I have purchased a Raynox 6600 0.6 lens (with a step ring) and it works perfect for wide (cannot zoom much though, as it gets soft on the sides). The lens produces crystal clear images, not heavy and the price was surprisingly low (in Singapore).
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Old February 28th, 2007, 04:19 AM   #12
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I too have owned and admired the Raynox 6600Pro, using it on my TRV900 and VX2000. The best thing about the lens is the almost complete lack of barrel distortion for such a powerful lens (0.6x), but the downside is that you can only use about 60% of your zoom range - beyond that it takes on a certain softness.

This softness is not the usual 'out of focus' look though. It's a combination of flare and chromatic aberation that adds a soft-focus look and the portraits are surprisiingly liked by women of a certain age (and above).

The lens is only single coated as far as I can see, but for the price I thought it was a goodie. What it needs though is a camera with a numerical zoom readout like the Z1 has - that way you can avoid going into the soft zone should you wish to. My VX had only a bar-chart zoom indicator, which made this top limit more difficult to determine.

tom.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 07:25 AM   #13
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anyone else using the Raynox 6600Pro on their V1?
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Old February 28th, 2007, 07:34 AM   #14
 
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If memory serves, isn't the 6600 an SD lens? and 72mm mount?
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Old February 28th, 2007, 10:33 AM   #15
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Noting Zsolt Gordos' disappointment with the focal length of Sony's 0.8 adapter, I did a cursory search for HD capable adapters for the V1 but didn't get satisfactory results. Does anyone here have any alternative suggestions for the V1's 62mm thread? I'm willing to pay for quality coated glass as in the Century line, and would like zoom through capability. Thanks.

Lee
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