FX7 advantage over single CMOS cams? 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 19th, 2007, 04:46 PM   #1
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FX7 advantage over single CMOS cams?

Hi. I am 98% convinced that I will be getting an FX7 within the next few months. I have tested one and like it for the following reasons:
1. Size. Big enough (heavy enough) to help smooth out pans on my fluid head tripod.
2. Nice PQ.
3. Some good manual controls.

My one concern may be the possibility of my being disappointed in the sound. But that can be fixed. (Right?)

My question is this: Since there are some who claim that the picture produced by the HV20 or the HC7 is equal to, or even slightly better than the FX7, what exactly is the difference? In what way are they better: Color accuracy? Depth of field? Sharpness?
To me, the advantage of the FX7 over those single chip cams, is the weight; not too much more but enough to stabilize it on the tripod. If PQ is very close, then the difference of PQ will not be enough to change my mind.

But I am curious about those claimed differences. Call it a nagging voice in the back of my mind (no its not my wife).

Thanks.
Mike

PS Sure hope Sony doesn't come out with an improved version of the FX7 any time soon.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 04:52 PM   #2
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I think the lens is better on the FX7... the 20x optical zoom is so nice...

Until they release a consumer cam with manual zoom and 20x optical... I wouldn't consider it...
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Old July 19th, 2007, 06:22 PM   #3
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I think the lens is better on the FX7... the 20x optical zoom is so nice...

Until they release a consumer cam with manual zoom and 20x optical... I wouldn't consider it...
Joe..R U saying don't consider the HV20? I thought you owned an HV10?
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Old July 19th, 2007, 07:13 PM   #4
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Because it was the cheapest HDV camera I could get my hands on... lack of manual zoom, rediculously small size, and 10x zoom were limiting for me.

The picture was great, FX7 is equal or better... and I think it's the lens more than anything... I doubt 3Cmos has any advantage over 1 Cmos...
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Old July 19th, 2007, 07:20 PM   #5
 
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The picture was great, FX7 is equal or better... and I think it's the lens more than anything... I doubt 3Cmos has any advantage over 1 Cmos...
It's all about size. Three 1/4 CMOS are going to be better than one 1/4 CMOS, and one 1" CMOS is going to be better than three 1/3 CMOS, so it's all relative. Chip size plays a huge role in sensitivity, not to mention other factors to consider as well.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 08:12 PM   #6
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Because it was the cheapest HDV camera I could get my hands on... lack of manual zoom, rediculously small size, and 10x zoom were limiting for me.

The picture was great, FX7 is equal or better... and I think it's the lens more than anything... I doubt 3Cmos has any advantage over 1 Cmos...
Well....you do a heck of a job with it anyways.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 08:49 PM   #7
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Well, if I read everyone right, then I feel relieved with my decision about purchasing an FX7 in the near future. Whether it be the 3 CMOS chips, or the lens itself, I gather that the FX7 produces a picture equal to or better than a single chip HD camcorder.

Thanks to you all who responded.

Mike

PS. And I feel reasonably sure that Sony will continue to concentrate on producing smaller and smaller HD camcorders, and not come out with a replacement for the FX7 within the next few months, and thereby put my plans in a tailspin.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 09:21 PM   #8
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Mike, my friend recently purchased a FX7, and has left it in my stead for the last few weeks. It is a great camera IMHO for an intermediate step up from the consumer models. It offers a full manual set of parameters, such as zoom, iris, shutter speed, gain, etc. It also offers guide frames, histogram, the longer zoom that has already been spoke of, and other features I have to be honest not even delved into as of yet. But even on the simple manual functions I have gotten into, I know that she and soon I, will have made the right decision with these models..

Its definately a step above the consumer cams. It also has audio level meters and other functions like assignable buttons and preset parameters. I really do like the larger form factor(more brickish in the feel and weight) and yes, you can definately add an external mic to the setup for improved audio.

But its a nice camera, and the colors look great(probably not compared to the over 3500-4K cameras such as the A1, but then again, look at the cost difference)! I literally love this camera to be honest with you.. It is great and a learning camera if your coming from the consumer level for sure..

Damon
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Old July 19th, 2007, 11:49 PM   #9
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Mike -
The FX7 is a great choice, I think it's highly under-rated. Lots of "pro" features already mentioned above that immediately made me take to the camera - my personal fave is the ability to leave the VF and the LCD on at the same time, or is it the focus assist so I can throw focus slightly out and let it drift nicely into focus..., or is it the setings readout right on the display... or... well, you get the idea! Size and weight are more manageable for me than the Z1, and I ran a test tape of every camera I happened to have, and the FX7 somehow just stood out in the "crowd" when played back on the big screen. There's a certain something that just makes it like being right there. Early reports described it as almost being 3D, which does somehow come across in the footage.

Don't get me wrong here, the smaller cams are great, and for what they pack in at the price, you've got great backup or B cams. But you won't get the control over the camera the FX7 offers. PQ is going to be "close", I think the HC7 is a pretty decent color match to the FX7 (the HV20 can be tweaked to be close too, but takes more work).

The FX7 is probably under-rated because some of the early reviews vs. the Canons, and I'm seeing them at under 2K on Ebay at the moment, so it's a heckuva bargain. I picked mine up at an insane price in a package deal I couldn't resist, and fell in love with it immediately - reminded me of the old TRV900 manual controls, the big 3.5 LCD, all the features I thought Sony left out of the FX1 and put in the Z1... it's a keeper in my book.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 03:37 AM   #10
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Fx7

I bought the Sony HVR-v1e and I am highly impressed, my mate bought the FX7 and Im gutted because it was about 1100 cheaper than mine. I am having to change the boom mic on mine as it isnt loud enough. I like having the pro features on my camera but feel that there isnt 1100 worth of extras on my camera. The FX7 is a great camcorder and the picture quality is stunning.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 07:32 AM   #11
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Thanks guys, for your responses.
A friend of mine has the FX7, and while I have seen footage that he has shot and been very impressed, I have not been able to use the camera myself. All the footage he has shot has been with the cam set at automatic everything, so I am still in the dark about the full potential of this FX7. Nor am I experienced, (and have not experienced) any of the single chip consumer camcorders that are currently out. But then again, I am not all that interested in them. As for the Canon A1, it is beyond my reach at the present time ($), and besides, I probably don't have enough patience to learn all there would be to learn to bring out the full potential of that cam. The FX7 just seems perfect for me (with the possible exception of the mic), with just enough manual controls and options to keep me busy and provide for some tweeking of the PQ. I am definately going to have to work on my memory skills with this tired old retired teachers mind, in order to remember what settings I like for the different shooting situations I will find myself in (mostly outdoor broad scenery shots).
Am learning patience though in having to wait for 2-5 months until I have set aside enough money to purchase the FX7. Until then, I will be pestering you all about various things concerning this cam. Hope you all don't mind.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old July 20th, 2007, 12:43 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mike Burgess View Post
... And I feel reasonably sure that Sony will continue to concentrate on producing smaller and smaller HD camcorders, and not come out with a replacement for the FX7 within the next few months, and thereby put my plans in a tailspin.
I wouldn't worry about that. I've found that I'm the only one who has the following supernatural powers:

1. As soon as I decide on a cam, it will be discontinued and unavailable.

2. When I actually buy a cam, as soon as I open the box there will be a new version that does more and costs less.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 07:08 PM   #13
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Mr Brugess, Here's another way to look at it...

The FX7 and V1 are Sony's replacement or " HD upgrades" from the very popular (still today) Sony VX2100 and PD170 SD cams.

As good as the VX2100 and PD170 are in the SD arena the FX7 and V1
are just that much better, and not just because its an upgrade from SD to
HD... Sony added alot more control in the PQ adjustments available to the shooter... this just translates to PQ capability, its up to the shooter to work out the settings to acquire your desired results... its nice to be able to have some control over the process....

One of the areas that seperates a single chipper cam from a tripple chipper cam's is the fact that the tripple chipper cams have a better grasp of dynamic range and much more accurate color saturation.

Here's an example.... if you house a single chipper and a tripple chipper in a underwater housing for shooting those great underwater shots we all see on the Discovery Channel you will find that your shooting in some very extreme lighting.... a single chipper will have problems with the pure white sand against the darker corals and general lack of light... so what happens is the single chipper will try to expose the scene correctly but the contrast is just too much... so when you have the subject properly exposed the pure white sand will be blown out so badly that its imposible to recover in post editing....

The difference when you compare the tripple chipper is that it has a better handle on the dynamic range and can handle the pure whites and pure blacks
intermixed in the shoot and still expose the subject corrrectly.... an added benefit to the extra dynamic range is more saturated and correct rendered colors... so you end up with footage that you can work with in post editing
and the footage will actually respond to your adjustments.... and not just mush out on you...

Enjoy your new FX7........ :-)
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Old July 21st, 2007, 02:22 AM   #14
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I agree that the FX7 and V1 are HD replacements to the vx2100 and pd170, but they are not that much better. Sony could have put 1/3rd inch CMOS chips in the FX7 and V1 and at least get close to the low light performance of these popular SD cameras. They also could have made the audio better.

But that being said... The advantages of the FX7 and V1 over a single chip camera such as the HC7 or HV20 are the sharper colors of 3 chips vs. 1; gain control; longer lens; better manual focus. However, the HV20 and especially the HC7 have quite a bit of manual features that don't really give "prosumer" cameras such as the FX7 and V1 that big of an edge anymore. For instance, you have manual control of iris, shutter, and focus on the HC7. You can also modify the picture slightly with image adjustments. These cameras are also a tad more sensitive in low light due to their larger chip.

For me, the smaller chips in the FX7 and V1 was a deal breaker. So for now the HC7 is my work horse and has done well. 3 projects have paid for the purchase of the camera, and my clients were extremely happy with the picture quality. I do still consider my HC7 a "B" camera and will be looking for an "A" camera in the next year. Unfortunately the FX7 and V1 have made it off my list.
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Old July 21st, 2007, 02:55 AM   #15
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John -
Have you had hands on with an FX7? Might be worth renting for a day or something - it's not bad. I too consider the HC7 to be a real "workhorse" - but the FX7 was way more cam than I expected. Still getting used to it, but it immediately gives you a LOT more to work with.
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