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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 May 22nd, 2007, 01:33 PM   #1
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Your thoughts on "Kit" packages...

Hi everyone!

I haven't seen a post like this yet, even after searching... but if its out there, just let me know. Anyway, I'm in the process of doing some research to eventually purchase some gear. After pouring through as much information as I could find, I've decided that the V1u is most likely the best bet for me. I noticed one particular retailer has a few kits for the V1- namely a grand package costing about $8400 after a small rebate. In addition to the camera itself, this kit comes bundled with several other tools and accessories that I think would be quite useful. Here's a list of the additional items:


HVRDR60 Hard Disk Recording Unit

0.8x Wide Angle Conversion Lens for the Sony HVR-V1U Camera

3 x Impact - NP-F975 Lithium-Ion Battery

10 x PHDVM-63DM DVCAM Master Digital Cassette

AC-VQ1050D AC Power Adapter / Dual Charger

HVL-LBP LED Light System

HVR-V1U LCD Hood

VCT-1BP Tripod Adapter

VCT-PG11RMB Tripod

Vegas 6 Video Editing Software

UWP-C1 (66) True Diversity Wireless Lavalier Microphone System

LCZ1TH Hard Transit Case

I definitely want the DR-60 hard drive, the extra batteries, and the hard case. Some other things, like the charger and the LCD hood would come in handy, but I'm not sure if I should look for a different tripod or if I'll need the on-camera light or wide angle lens adapter.

My question is if any of you out there have had experience with any of these other things. Also, in your opinion, do you think that kits like this are generally worth purchasing? I would think that buying all those components separately would cost much more, but if I'm going to invest a few thousand dollars, I want equipment that works. I'm curious to see what comes up. Thanks!
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 06:16 PM   #2
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forget the sony wa. not worth the money.

tripod a waste of time (is this the sony one?). get a proper one - miller, manfrotto, satchler, vinten....

vegas 6 is old - it's up to 7e now (and 7 is much better for hd work)

is that sony's mic? - prefer senn. evolution....

the other bits are 'bonus' goodies to pad out the package....

leslie
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 07:35 PM   #3
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I'll generally agree with Leslie, excepting:

If Vegas is something you'd use, see if you'll qualify for a free upgrade to 7.

The Sony UW series wireless are generally in the same ballpark for performance as Sennheiser Evolution, even if the Senn. are much more popular you'd not be going wrong with UWP sony wireless. They're both good performers.

Somebody on dvinfo was reporting that impact batts weren't working with a sony light - search for it.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 12:35 AM   #4
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Thank you both for your input! I'm not really concerned about Vegas, since I'm an Adobe user. I can understand dropping the wide angle lens as well. I don't think it would come in very handy, but then again, it might surprise me. The thing that has me scratching my head now is the tripod: The Sony VCT-PG11RMB.

I guess my new question is to ask if anyone out there has used this tripod (or anything else on that list), and if they have, how do they compare/contrast it to the more expensive tripods out there? Also, how did you conclude that this tripod is a waste of time? I'm not trying to be difficult- I'm just curious as to what makes the Sony inferior to say, a Sachler or Manfrotto of similar price.

This Sony VCT-PG11RMB tripod sells for about $1100 US, so I have a hard time believing its garbage. I understand its not the absolute "best" out there, but then again, I don't have the funds to go crazy. I'm looking for quality, but like a lot of people, I need to squeeze as much as I can out of every penny. So, if I can get good performance out of a bundled package and save $1500, that's exactly what I'll do.

Cheers
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 03:29 AM   #5
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i don't think you'll be in for any surprises with the sony wa. more likely disappointment. i bought it and the only 'surprise' i got was the size of the lens hood, and that was it. i'd look elsewhere for value for money re the wa.

go anf find a stockist of the sony tripod. have a play with the head. then do the same with any of the 'recommended' ones. enough said.

btw, it isn't garbage, but vastly overpriced for what it's 'video' worth is. i've used one once. that was enough.

leslie
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Old May 24th, 2007, 01:09 AM   #6
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Thanks again for your input, Leslie. I'll look around and see what I can find in other tripod manufacturers. Unfortunately, I have to base just about all my decisions on info I read online or a printed publication. Living where I do has a few drawbacks when it comes to easy access to gear like this. Namely, the nearest place to check this stuff out is over a thousand miles away. That's why I'm being picky! :)

Anyway, while you state that you don't like the Sony wide angle lens, have you by any chance worked with other brands of wide angles/fisheyes/telephoto adapters like Raynox? If so, do you consider anything like that to be a worthy investment, or are they more like flashy gimmicks that really don't do anything?
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Old May 24th, 2007, 02:25 AM   #7
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i sympathise with you - there's nothing like a bit of touchy-feely to get the idea of what you're letting yourself in for....

i think a 'good' wa is an essential piece of equipment. the wa that came with my 170 was excellent. prior to that i was shooting pro equipment, and therefore lens were a whole different ball game.

i really believe that the majority of posters here are genuine in their assessment of equipment, and you should ask directly of any poster using a lens you might consider. (i like wide angle, but not anything too wide - i shoot doco's, and tend to use them in interviews - so i don't want too much distortion).

i would also see if you can arrange with a store a 'return for credit' whereby you will take another lens rather than want your money back.

good luck

leslie
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Old May 24th, 2007, 03:32 AM   #8
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For a good tripod you will not go far wrong with the Miller Solo with a DS 5 or DS 10 head, the DS 10 gives you more options weight wise at a slight increase in cost. We have three of these in constant rental, zero failures and everyone loves them. In rugged terrain, snow or deserts the carbon fibre and the way you can splay the legs makes them very hard to beat.

I agree with Leslie, there's nothing wrong with the Sony 0.8 WA adaptor, just that 0.8 isn't very much wider at all. Century have a 0.65 at around the same price that's also zoom through. I've held one in my hands but that's all. I assume it'll be pretty good as Century don't make junk but wait for reviews from someone who's got one if you're nervous.

For wireless mics we have many Senny Evolution G2 300 kits, only one minor fault in one unit once and fixed very quickly. We used to have a few Sony kits, what more can I say. I believe the more recent Sony kits have improved dramatically, I've not heard any major complaints about their new units so you should be OK whichever way you go.

In general I stick to the idea of buying kit from sepcialists, cameras from camera manufacturers, tripods from tripod manufacturers etc.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 08:03 AM   #9
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hi Shaw

I recently, bought the 501hdv525 video tripod kit, to use along my v1 and i'm very happy with it. I think it worth to take a look to the 501 hdv tripod head.
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Old May 25th, 2007, 01:42 PM   #10
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I'll check out those Miller Solos you mentioned, Bob- and I'll see if I can find more info on the 501 Pedro spoke of. Does carbon fiber have any added benefits besides being substantially lighter than aluminum? Is it just as strong?

By a weird instance of coincidence, the news director at the TV station where I work just bought himself a V1 for a project he's doing. So, I got to actually hold the camera in my hands and fiddle with it for a few minutes! I must say that I'm very much impressed by the quality of the build and its ergonomics. *cough* Anyway, I'll try to contain my excitement...

Thanks again everyone for all of your views!
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Old May 25th, 2007, 06:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn McCalip View Post
I'll check out those Miller Solos you mentioned, Bob- and I'll see if I can find more info on the 501 Pedro spoke of. Does carbon fiber have any added benefits besides being substantially lighter than aluminum? Is it just as strong?
Carbon fibre doesn't conduct heat or corrode compared to aluminium. Although you need less of it for the same strength it does break rather than bend. Then again Mr Miller does like to show off how strong his Solo is by standing on it with the legs spread wide, much to the horror of his engineers.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 01:57 PM   #12
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If Miller had anything close in Europe to what they had in the US for distribution, I would have bought one.
Having lousy marketing and weird distributor with no online presence, I went for a similar solution instead including a Sachtler head and Gitzo carbon fibre legs.
The Gitzo does the same as the Miller not sure about the heads, never used a Miller before.

for the rest of the equipment: I bought the Sony wide angle, its nice to collect dust as it turned out later.
I have two big size batteries (they last for ages), a double charger and the LCD hood, thats all I have from Sony.
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Old May 27th, 2007, 12:11 PM   #13
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Kits are a way of saving money, unless you realize you may not want specific accessories.

Also be wary of "fly-by-night" video box houses, because they'll have a V1u for $2500, but you'll spend $2000 on accessories that are worth MAYBE $500. For instance, I bought an XL1 kit in 1999 and spent $4200. I received a tripod, extra battery, etc. The tripod was worth $7 and broke immediately, the generic battery died within a year, etc.

I personally would go with one of our sponsors and see if they have a money-saving kit.

So, to recap:

1. Kits can save you money, but may have accessories you don't want and/or need. Also, the Sony tripod is twice what a good Bogan, etc., would cost.

2. Some kits are overpriced and the true value is nil, ie, you spend $2000 on accessories, but the tripod is so cheap, you wouldn't put a disposable camera on it!

heath
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Old June 1st, 2007, 02:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heath McKnight View Post
Kits are a way of saving money, unless you realize you may not want specific accessories...

I personally would go with one of our sponsors and see if they have a money-saving kit.

So, to recap:

1. Kits can save you money, but may have accessories you don't want and/or need...

Some kits are overpriced and the true value is nil...
heath
Thanks Heath, and thanks again to everyone that responded. I'm going back to the drawing board to see if I can come up with something just as good or better. The kit package I found is the one listed on B&H for $8699. While I've never purchased anything from B&H yet, I've heard nothing but glowing reviews. Even though I probably wouldn't use a couple of the included items in that kit very often, it looks like a good deal. Especially after adding up all the components separately. Thanks again for all your input- I'm glad I found this forum!
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