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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 October 16th, 2004, 07:55 AM   #16
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Good points there Paul.
As far as I'm concerned. I don't want anything to look like film - been there, done it. I just want good sharp pictures!

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Old October 16th, 2004, 08:03 AM   #17
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There was an effect the old Toaster generated that epitomized the absurdity of the "film look." It created scratches on the video! When will we give it up and cross the bridge into the 21st century of HD? If we don't educate the new generations about the new look of new media, who will?
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Old October 16th, 2004, 08:16 AM   #18
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<<<-- Originally posted by Lynne Whelden : There was an effect the old Toaster generated -->>>

Was just reading a review of "Magic Bullet for Editors" the other day, and evidently it does the same thing!
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Old October 16th, 2004, 08:23 AM   #19
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Ah, but will it simulate a hair in the gate???

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Old October 16th, 2004, 08:40 AM   #20
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I think I would rather have the scratches, than the motion artifacts of HD... tough call.
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Old October 16th, 2004, 02:56 PM   #21
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Thanks Aaron and Chris for correctly interpreting my obfuscating brevity! I'm on the road and posting from my Treo, tring to avoid mini-keyboard carpal tunnel syndrome, which I think I just got from writing THIS post...
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Old October 16th, 2004, 08:32 PM   #22
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re: interchangeable lenses and XL2

I realized for the first time when I attended the Canadian XL2 launch on Sept. 16 (just after FX1 announcement - boy, were they sweating bullets!) that Canon first and foremost is a "lens" company, not a mini-dv or a camera company.

Once you accept this philosophy, everything Canon does to confound us actually makes sense.

Their whole take on orig. XL1 wasn't to bring the most advanced camcorder to market. They saw with the VX1000 that mini-dv was here to stay - how could they possibly cash in on this? Already they were big sellers of high-end lenses for broadcast. Oh, okay, let's make a lens that's cheaper than our high-end broadcast stuff but still rocks and put a mini-dv "box" on the back of it. Voila. The XL1 interchangeable lens system is born - and don't forget to buy that 3x lens and EF adaptor for your EOS SLR lenses, folks! Canon endorses mini-dv!

Canon's idea with mini-dv is how to sell more lenses. So it's no surprise ultra-pro XL1s users ended up having to fork out for the "full manual" lens. Etc. Etc. Canon could have easily put this lens on in the first place, no? But then you wouldn't get the chance to carry your "repertoire" of Canon lenses around, would you?

Also, Canon could have very easily designed their own piece of cheapo aircraft aluminum to fit "pro" 35mm and 16mm motion picture camera lenses, but no, they leave it up to 3rd parties to explore this avenue to satisfy the masses - god forbid too if you want to use a non-Canon lens and actually get pro results, then you should pay big bucks for it and buy a certain German adaptor system that's known by it's initials and costs more than the camera...

So Canon waits and waits to see what will "stick" in the mini-dv world and then introduce it on the back of their lens, so they can stay competitive in terms of selling more lenses. Hence the revolutionary introduction of 24p on the XL2 some TWO years after Panasonic brought it out on the original DVX100...

I mean, come on, DVX100A comes out a year after the original - why so long for the Canon version of 24p? That long to solder a few wires? etc?

I too felt let down by the disappointment that XL2 was not HDV. Aha, but why not you ask? After all, Canon is part of the consortium and signed on at the same time as Sony in Sept. of 2003. How long does it take to tweak a format, anyway?

Let's not forget. Because Canon is a lens company.

Now with HDV, Canon is in a fix. Much like Panasonic not endorsing HDV because it would in a way cannibalise their high-end HD, Canon is wary of HDV because of what it means potentially to their high-end HD lens business if heaven-forbid HDV catches like the wildfire it's starting to erupt into...

So now Canon is scratching their heads. They wonder, wait a minute, if we put out HDV, we'll have to put on a lens that can deliver HD resolution. And offer it for under $10K. How are we going to make money?

If we give 'em a "cheap" lens (ie. in XL2 price range) then all of a sudden people are going to ask themselves why they should pay big bucks for high-end Canon HD lenses when they can just get an XL2 HDV. Okay, not everyone, but I DO think all of a sudden you're going to get a significant number of people who were potentially in the market for say a Varicam now suddenly deferring on saving up their money for a while longer as originally planned and now taking the FX1 instead... I know my game plan has now changed...

It's exactly the scenario Avid found itself in when the likes of low-cost NLE's came knocking.

Also, Canon doesn't stand to gain as much profit margin off a "cheapie" HD lens on a sub-$10K HDV cam as it does from a purple-hazing SD lens ("do you want fries with that?") on a cam they price at $6K. Good HD lenses are pricey, right? So is Canon gonna suddenly give away the farm? How could they stay as the most PROFITABLE Japanese company?

So the business case of HDV for a lens company like Canon right now does not make any sense. Not now. It might in a year and a half when SD mini-dv virtually will have gone the way of the dodo bird, but right now, no, not right at this moment, there is no need to pursue it...

Now if this somehow seems to sound like I am giving Canon a bit of a hard time, yes, I admit, there's grist in my mill. Look at my profile. I should update it since I sold my original XL1 just over a month ago and now shoot primarily with the DVX100.

I originally bought into the XL1 "system" expecting fantastic possibilities with the EF adaptor since I had a Canon SLR. But 7x factor? People got tired of me making movies about their nosehairs. I actually bought the explanation that it couldn't be possible, blah blah, CCD vs. 35mm film frame, blah blah... and then xl1solutions comes out with said ring of aircraft aluminum and voila, which Panavision camera do we want to emulate today?

I predict to minimize their "losses" on HDV and gain as much profit margin on their "lens" as possible, Canon's first foray into HDV will be a fixed-lens concoction a la GL3.

They will eventually have to answer the call for an interchangeable lens HDV cam that really "delivers" - they will either "eat" the price of the lens or try to make us "eat" it by pricing the cam higher and trying to justify why "their" HDV looks better than HDV in general. Oh, maybe they'll slap on some fluorite or something...

I hafta admit, I take my hat off to Sony for being "adventurous." Okay, what did they do for us? Oh, they came out with the first 3-CCD mini-dv camera. With CineAlta, they made "24p" a reality to give video people the "look" of film.

Now they are about to bring HD videography to the masses.
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Old October 16th, 2004, 10:53 PM   #23
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<<<<Canon's idea with mini-dv is how to sell more lenses. So it's no surprise ultra-pro XL1s users ended up having to fork out for the "full manual" lens. Etc. Etc. Canon could have easily put this lens on in the first place, no? >>>>


This is actually not true. Since I was part of this in some way and involved in this arena at the time I can say from having been there. I first got to use and test the XL1 months before it was released. Canon had no plans for a manual lens. It was not tell Optex in London modified a Fujinon lens that I tested before release and reviewed as well my crazy Lens system config using SLR lenses did Canon really see that people needed and wanted a manual lens system. Canon in what is unusual for them fast tracked the first 14x manual lens to pretty much make the need to for the Optex non existent. Then at a later date they came out with a refined and very good manual lens that had ND filters etc. That's truth about that little history. Canon has learned alot from this XL line DV camera system. They take building these tools that film-video and all media people use very serious. Trust me, canon in LA and major film/television production market zones ask alot of question from professionals on how they can make their cameras better for production on the XL2 and GL2. On the XL1 they didn't ask at all pretty much. Now they due. This is the way Canon does it in there PRO SLR devision. Because they have always taken the photographic side very serious and the needs of photographers. Their top video camera design team now takes that same approach as well. Chris Hurd can back this up as well since we both lived this bit of history.......

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Old October 16th, 2004, 11:21 PM   #24
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if that is true, Michael, then that is terrific of Canon...

and so I'm sure we can look forward to some similar "fast-tracking" in terms of Canon's HDV offering? If Canon is so good at reacting to little Optex/Fujinon, then maybe when they get the snot kicked out of their XL2 numbers starting next month by a fixed-lens mpeg2 cam they might come and join the party?
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Old October 17th, 2004, 12:45 AM   #25
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I guess what I'm really trying to say...

I wish the XL2 was HDV!

I was so excited this summer when those "rumours" started - it seemed to be plausible given that a new XL-cam was due and Canon had joined the HDV thing last year...

Oh well... one day!
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Old October 17th, 2004, 12:46 AM   #26
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<< so I'm sure we can look forward to some similar "fast-tracking" in terms of Canon's HDV offering? >>

I seriously doubt that. You need to review your Canon history, Mark, because it's the best indication of how the future will unfold. Remember that Sony rocked the market in early 1995 with the world's first prosumer 3CCD camcorder in the DV format: the legendary VX1000. How long did it take for Canon to respond? They didn't introduce a DV camcorder until very late 1997, with the original 1CCD Optura and the 3CCD XL1. Nearly two years... and there's your indicator of their market response. They are always the last manufacturer to the dance. This is by choice though. It's a very conservative company. With HDV, it'll be just like the times when DV first hit. I'm willing to bet that history will repeat itself.
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Old October 17th, 2004, 12:53 AM   #27
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Chris, you're right

and it's usually worth the wait. I know, I know... patience to all grasshoppers.

Canon certainly has benefited from sitting back and taking stock - hence 16:9 with 24p on XL2 over the DVX...

I guess it takes time to develop things right and in some ways, the world of mini-dv is changing now more rapidly, so it sometimes seems like Canon is waaaay back.

And to be fair, Canon has actually introduced something novel that I'm surprised hasn't caught on more but maybe will in the future after people are looking for the next big thing after HD:

the 3D lens.
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Old October 17th, 2004, 04:07 AM   #28
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<<<<<I wish the XL2 was HDV!

I was so excited this summer when those "rumours" started - it seemed to be plausible given that a new XL-cam was due and Canon had joined the HDV thing last year...

Oh well... one day!>>>>


You were not alone. I to had my fingers crossed when there were rumors of the XL2 being HDV. On a positive note Mike Zorich, Canon's Director of Marketing of Consumer video said "While a great camera, [the XL2] will be the last SD camera from Canon, and while I don't have a timeline on when we'll be ready to announce something in a different format, like HDV, we have a lot of work ahead of us in terms of design and engineering." This was back in July, so Canon is aiming towards that direction and when they do it, it will be awesome I'm sure of of that.

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Old October 17th, 2004, 09:48 AM   #29
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I still can't see what the big deal is with HD... From everything I have seen, it isn't much better than sd, except in color. HD set ups are very pricey, and the results aren't much better than web video, due to the artifacts. And I for one, can't see spending $3000 on a tv, just to watch artifacts. I would rather have film.

Now, as far as the FX1 goes, I like the larger ccd's and the native 16:9 for starters, as opposed to Canon's approach. I am intrigued by the cinematic features, even though I am still unsure of the validity of mixing 24p with a 30fps media. And finally, the lens. It seems to be a really nice lens, and it had better be... because you can't buy an alternate. Will the pro version have interchangeable lenses?

So... I'm still up in the air, as far as which features I want the most. Maybe I'll just wait and see what JVC and Panny will pull out of their... sleeve :)
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Old October 17th, 2004, 11:18 AM   #30
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<<<-- Originally posted by Keith Forman : I still can't see what the big deal is with HD... From everything I have seen, it isn't much better than sd, except in color. HD set ups are very pricey, and the results aren't much better than web video, due to the artifacts. And I for one, can't see spending $3000 on a tv, just to watch artifacts. I would rather have film.

Will the pro version have interchangeable lenses? -->>>
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think it's too soon to make a judgment call on HDV. To date, I've only seen two video montages shot from the FX1 -- the static flower montage and the images from Taiwan. For web viewing, each was adequate in conveying a general feel for the camera's potential, but it is my prediction that these two examples are hardly representative of HDV's true capabilities.

From what I read, the general consensus, from those that have actually seen the FX1, has been very favorable. No one, that I recall, has mentioned any noticeable artifacts within the picture. I realize that a lot of "Chicken Little-The sky is falling" types have expressed doom and gloom over artifacts, but thankfully (so far) this has not panned out (no pun). However, in several weeks time, we'll find out soon enough.

Oh, and the pro-version will not have interchangeable lens.
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