FX7 opinions needed 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 July 3rd, 2007, 01:10 PM   #1
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FX7 opinions needed

I have had this in my cart at B&H and for the last two weeks almost ordered it each day but I have some uncertancies.

Are you happy with the AF?

Can you get a pretty shallow DOF since it is a 1.8-2.8 lens ? I know it has 1/4 inch sensors. I want to take some shallow DOF video of my kids with out getting a Letus or similar adapter,plus if it gets good shallow DOF it would be AF .

Would the low light be better than my HC3 ?

Does anyone think it is too big for a family/hobby camera to bring with you after you got it?

Any thoughts would be helpful.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 01:55 PM   #2
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DOF is not going to be shallow compared to the HC3. Low light is probably a tiny bit better, but not really significant. All HDV cameras are just fair in low light at this time. The size is definitely going to be more cumbersome for a family camera. Yes, it fits on an airplane or any other vehicle, but it's going to be cumbersome to lug all day on family outings. If you move at a slower pace and want to do some nature footage, the manual controls and long lens of the FX7 is unbeatable.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 02:23 PM   #3
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Thanks Marcus , .
what you said is exactly what I was guessing and I have not pulled the trigger.

I most likely will just wait till something new comes out instead unless the money burns a hole in my pocket. I will wishfor a small HDV cam with 20X and manual control to come out soon.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 02:36 PM   #4
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For the record, I used the V1U last weekend and got amazing results as far as DOF goes; I was very impressed. I didn't think it would come anywhere near close to what it did without using a Redrock or a Letus...but the results I got just by using its long lens really shocked me.

You may be surprised too.

I may be able to post a clip if you like. I shot it at 24P and I have the M2T file on my hard drive at home.

I've used the FX7 a lot too, which is also a great cam...and I would definitely choose it over the FX1. The FX7 obviously share most of the same video characteristics as the V1U.

Last edited by Craig Irving; July 3rd, 2007 at 03:16 PM.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 02:45 PM   #5
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I think the FX7 is very light... compared to my tripod which I hate lugging around all day, it's about 4lbs and is definitely not that hard to carry.

For family stuff the single cmos canon's and sony's are great, I had some excellent DOF from my HV10 before I went to FX7 but now I can't live without 20x optical zoom...

the AF is good if the lense/filter is clean, I film paintball and got a bit of paint on the filter and the camera would actually focus on the dirt/paint on the filter occasionally and I'd give it a couple seconds and it'd adjust correctly... 99% of the time it was great, just on occasion, I think my HV10 tended to be a bit better, it never focused on the filter. But on occasion it did have trouble focusing, I do like the instant-autofocus but it's not a big deal for me.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 05:50 PM   #6
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Well, I just tested an FX7 in Yellowstone NP. My friend just bought the FX7 two weeks ago and earlier tonight we hooked it up to my HD plasma via HDMI and wow, what a surprise. The PQ from that cam was great (IMO). Not that I have had any other experiences with HD camcorders, other than playing with them at BB. The picture produced from the FX7 was far superior to my old digital camcorder. Colors, details, depth of field, clarity, etc. was something to behold. Can hardly wait until I save up enough money to get an FX7 for myself.

Mike
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Old July 4th, 2007, 02:33 AM   #7
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The reason I did not recommend jumping for the FX7 is that Joey stated it's use as a family camera. I think it is more important to keep the family having fun and pull out the camera when convenient than to make the family grumpy by lugging a big camera and keeping it in their faces.

I guess I try to skirt the edge of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle with video. It is impossible to study something without having an effect on the subject. You can not put a camera in the midst of the family without it influencing the family's actions. Either the camera will make people a bit self-conscious or it will be a physical burden. I think people can get over shyness but in the case of video cameras, mass is converted directly into fatigue. I think it is better to have a small camera and get slightly less quality from the picture than to have a big camera and get less quality time from the family.

On the other hand, if the family are a bunch of shutterbugs or camera hogs, the FX7 could be a focal point of activities.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 02:40 AM   #8
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Joey -
AF seems pretty good, I've got mine set with the focus assist so I can hit the ring if needed to "help" it. I think it has a button to tell it to focus on there too, go to fiddle with that. I'd rate the IAF of the HV20 as a bit faster and more accurate, but the FX7 is workable. I like being able to throw the focus out and let the AF bring it back in...

PQ is going to be a lot better than the HC3... but then again the HC7 and HV20 also will be much better, at a lower price point. AND they are better for "family" use.

The FX7 is not overly large or heavy, BUT you're not going to chase around a couple little ones all day at a theme park with this thing... whereas the HC7 and a full accessory set will fit in a small bag and go with you just about anywhere, AND double for stills...

The FX7 looks more pro, and has a lot of nice features, but it's a bigger package and the way I've got my HC7 tricked out I can do almost the same things with it... I've got enough stuff I can hang on it to make it look pretty "pro".

I'd rate the low light of the HC7 as much better than the HC3 - I ran a test side by side, and saw some nasty macroblocking on the 3 in low light - the HC7 was about the same noise wise, but a better overall picture. Neither was spectacular, just the HC7 had better detail - the 3 was mostly mush when examined closely...

If you're looking at the FX7, at least give the HC7 (and maybe the HV20) a look - picture quality on both those cams is superior to the HC3 - the little 3 wasn't bad, but I upgraded to the HC7 quickly, and I'd do it again.

Then again, once I finally got hands on an FX7, it knocked me out... Just shot a wedding with the FX7, 2 HC7s, and an HV20 - not a bad looking cam in the bunch, only minor color correction to match them, and really more a matter of learning to operate the camera than which one is "better" - ALL were more than acceptable. I did enjoy the added control of the FX7... but I used the HC7 for the reception and got incredible video with it too, probably because I've had the most hands on time with that cam!

Probably confusing you more, but hope that helps a bit to answer some of your questions.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 05:03 AM   #9
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Hi guys...

My input on the FX7 is shooting a bit different. My friend and I shoot r/c helicopters with the fx7. The machines move anywhere from 50-80 mph and we have no problem for the most part with autofocus(with the exception of an occasional cloud throwing it off every now and then). We have more of a problem tracking them with our skills(LOL) that are every week getting better. The videos look great with the zoom which is super long, and though it is a larger camera, it isn't too heavy.

I think it is definately a "tripod" camera and as others have said, if your going to be using a camera with your family events, you may want to consider a smaller unit. But the pictures this thing produce are simply fantastic IMHO.

But you will of course as others have said have to weigh the options. But its a great camera and well worth the money. Definately one you will(or at least I know we are and have only had it a few weeks) grow with for a while..

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Old July 4th, 2007, 05:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Irving View Post
For the record, I used the V1U last weekend and got amazing results as far as DOF goes; I was very impressed. I didn't think it would come anywhere near close to what it did without using a Redrock or a Letus...but the results I got just by using its long lens really shocked me.

You may be surprised too.
I second that. For a camera with just .25" imagers, once you are in the longer zoom range you can really control the DOF. One thing to remember is limit the aperture closing; use ND filters to achieve that (should this not suffice, increase the shutter speed - I've proved it's not going to spoil the image as easy as many fear because of the strobing and rolling shutter potential).
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; July 4th, 2007 at 11:24 AM.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 07:32 AM   #11
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Forgive my lapse of memory, but for the life of me I can't remember what an "ND" filter is.

Thanks.
Mike
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Old July 4th, 2007, 07:56 AM   #12
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Forgive my lapse of memory, but for the life of me I can't remember what an "ND" filter is.

Thanks.
Mike
Neutral density filters; you engage them to limit the amount of light without changing its characterics.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 09:26 AM   #13
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Neutral density filters; you engage them to limit the amount of light without changing its characterics.
I'm sorry, but I don't understand. Complete novice you know.

Thanks.
Mike
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Old July 4th, 2007, 09:34 AM   #14
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You can use an ND filter to reduce the amount of light coming into your camera as an alternative to using a small F-stop. Depending on other things, this might help keep the depth of field shallower since you can use a larger iris opening.

Keep in mind, the most important factor determining depth of field is the camera's chip size(s). So if all other things are equal (focal length and iris setting), a camera with 1/3" chips will have shallower depth of field than a camera with 1/4" chips. But honestly, the only way to get shallow depth of field with any of these cameras is to zoom way in.

If you're interested in the tech details, see the following article: http://www.dvinfo.net/articles/optics/dofskinny.php
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Old July 4th, 2007, 11:19 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Mike Burgess View Post
I'm sorry, but I don't understand. Complete novice you know.

Thanks.
Mike
Mike - an ND filter is basically like sunglasses for your camcorder.

thats it ! (in simplistic terms)
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