Picture quality between FX1 and Z1 at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old September 4th, 2008, 12:32 AM   #1
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Picture quality between FX1 and Z1

Hey all

Is there difference in picture quality between the fx1 and z1 i need a second camera but dont want to spend $3000 on an used Z1 when i can buy a brand new FX1 for that price

Rob
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Old September 4th, 2008, 01:35 AM   #2
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Just shot a 48hour Film project using one z1 and one FX1. There are more professional adjustments and features on the Z1, but picture quality from same chip, same lens configuration is spot on the same.
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Old September 4th, 2008, 11:38 AM   #3
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Robert,

As Chris explained, major pieces of the chain are shared between the Z1 and the FX1 and should contribute to the overall quality in the same way. The one feature that the Z1 has (and the FX1 doesn't) that I would miss is "Black Stretch", which can make a noticable difference in low-light situations. If lighting is not going to be an issue, you won't need it, though.

- Martin
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Old September 4th, 2008, 12:41 PM   #4
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And 'picture quality' can mean a lot of things where the Z1 will trump the FX1. It has fine tune on the white balance settings as well as an excellent focus assist, both of which can make the shots you capture look a lot better.
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Old September 4th, 2008, 12:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
And 'picture quality' can mean a lot of things where the Z1 will trump the FX1. It has fine tune on the white balance settings as well as an excellent focus assist, both of which can make the shots you capture look a lot better.
Hmmmmmm. Focus assist seemed to be same on both cameras to me. Both have button to push to zoom lcd screen to assist focus. Is that what you were referring to, or is there another focus assist system on the Z1 you are referring to ?

As far as white balance is concerned, I am thinking you are referring menu settings to adjust general color bias or hue. As far as setting white balance, the cameras seemed to be identical. In my shooting, I did have to match these cameras, and once I got them balanced in terms of primary color settings in the menu, I easily adjusted white balance to match the cameras through the white balance setting buttons on the left side of cameras.
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Old September 4th, 2008, 12:57 PM   #6
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No - a common misconception, as the FX1 doesn't have focus assist. Both have expanded focus, but as that switches out as soon as you hit record I find it less than useful.

Oh, and the Z1 has underscan v'finders too - now that can make a big difference to picture quality now more and more TVs show the entire frame.

The fine tune on the white balance can be assigned to any of the 6 Assign buttons on the Z1, but not on the FX1.

I have both cameras and pick up the Z1 each and every time.

tom.
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Old September 4th, 2008, 01:07 PM   #7
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Thanks Tom for that. I no doubt would to the same if there was a choice between two cameras.

I only had access to Z1 for about 2 days, and did not get into those details. I did notice difference in underscan for sure.

But questions for this thread is, should he go to a used Z1 or a new FX1 ? Since you have both, what do you think ? I am wondering about that too, with your extended experience ?
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Old September 4th, 2008, 01:53 PM   #8
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I needed two 'matching' cameras, so bought a new FX1 and a second-hand Z1. Why secondhand Z1? Because the hours meter tells the truth. It was a huge saving for less than 10 tapes through it.

The FX1 is backup and often runs as the unattended cam at my shoots. If I'm unable to get to the FX1 for some time (up high in the balcony at a wedding, second camera covering the speeches etc) I'll run it in the very useful and just-as-good LP mode - a facility that the Z1 doesn't offer.

When you've used focus assist in any sort of run 'n' gun shooting situation you'll hate cameras that don't have it. With the Z1 I can be in auto focus and see a pretty girl in front of a picket fence, say. As I raise the Z1 it might choose to focus automatically on the fence, but I can simply give the focus ring a quick turn in the 'nearer' direction and zap - the camera automatically focuses on whatever's nearer - the girl. A wonderful facility.

tom.
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Old September 4th, 2008, 03:49 PM   #9
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There's another recent thread here which kicks around the same issues (http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/open-dv-d...mcorder-2.html). Using B&H prices for NEW cameras, the FX1 is going for $3,300. There's a discount on the Z1 and a rebate as well, which lowers its price to $3,900. So even with a new Z1, I think it's a no-brainer myself.

Also don't forget that the Z1 is serviced by Sony's pro division and the FX1 is a consumer product. Happily I've never had to send mine in, but others report a huge difference in turn around time between the two divisions.
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Old September 10th, 2008, 11:08 PM   #10
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I might chip in here that I too have used both the FX1 (own 2) and the Z1 on jobs together and the picture matches perfectly with little adjustment necessary.

On a side note, Sony has announced the new FX1000 and is discontinuing the FX1. It will have a retail price of $3100, do true 1080x24p, etc. Supposedly low light capabilities have taken a dramatic leap forward as well. Camera's should be shipping in the next 60 days. This sounds as a no-brainer to me as this camera should square up really nicely against the A1.

Jon
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Old September 11th, 2008, 08:00 AM   #11
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It does sound very nice, but in my book nothing is a "no-brainer" until it's been on the market for a little while and we get some user feedback...
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