Videomaker review of FX1 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 October 21st, 2004, 01:00 PM   #1
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Review of the FX1

From Videomaker magazine, includes some nice details:


http://www.videomaker.com/scripts/article.cfm?id=10594
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Old October 21st, 2004, 01:24 PM   #2
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That's an excellent article. Thanks for posting.
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Old October 21st, 2004, 08:06 PM   #3
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videomaker mag review

I must say I was quite thrilled by the new Sony, but the last issue of videomaker quite cooled me off. HD from it is no better than a regular SD when watched on a 720 hd monitor ... are they being partial?
they have other articles in there and from what I gather, HDV will NOT replace DV, HD is NOT ready.
ONe quick question: when viewed on a PC, is HD really better than SD?
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Old October 21st, 2004, 09:55 PM   #4
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Franck,

I do not read the article the same way, as it clearly states the HD output from the FX1 had a "level of detail was amazing" clearly better than SD sources. The fact that 1080i images on 720p displays can't show the full benefit of the camera is not a limitation of the camera. HD is here, and it is ready, just not everyone knows it yet :).

P.S. HD on a PC is "really" much better than SD. If you subscribe to AtomFilm HD stuff, the 1280x720 WMV downloads are a great way to see short films.
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 05:34 AM   #5
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<<<-- Originally posted by David Newman : Franck,

HD on a PC is "really" much better than SD. If you subscribe to AtomFilm HD stuff, the 1280x720 WMV downloads are a great way to see short films. -->>>

And 1080i is even better!!! Of course there are still some people out there who simply don't know that they can pump the resolution of their PC/Mac monitor up above most HD resolutions. The number of monitors - 19" and above - I see still set at 800x600 is, well, downright bizarre......

BTW Franck....If you knew cars were likely to be the next big thing back in the early 20th C., would you have avoided buying one if you could finally afford one, just because most people you knew still used a horse and carriage? Especially given the Governmental backing to the Digital/HD initiatives in many countries.....
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 09:52 AM   #6
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If I had to make my Sony vs. Canon decision based upon the Videomaker review, I'd be ordering the Canon today. The one thing that gives me pause is the somewhat amatuer nature of the article. With so many single-syllable adjectives used to describe the FX1 in brief, it sounded like a speech written for President Bush. One would think that if you had the opportunity to run the new cam through, you would have done quite a bit more than plug it into an SD monitor in DV mode and compare it to another DV camera. But it does have higher resolution in HDV on a HD monitor - gee, thanks for that groundbreaking discovery.

I'm in no way married to the Sony or the HDV format, nor am I a cheerleader for either, but that review was a wasted opportunity at best and worthless garbage at worst. Fortunately, I can wait until the dust settles on this and perhaps in the meantime Canon will release a "pro" version of the XL2 or a true body kit stripped of the mic, batteries and viewfinder. Anybody up for a manual XL prime lens kit @ 12, 24 and 50mm in 35-equiv? Put them right back in the game.
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 10:08 AM   #7
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Hi Mike,

That's just the nature of VideoMaker magazine. They write in a manner they deem best suited for their target audience. It's at a certain level you might say, and I don't think they aspire to be anything more than what they always have been. You can probably expect to see much better printed articles from the trade journals such as Videography, etc. I'm holding out for Video Systems as it's my favorite magazine and has in my opinion the most technically proficient writers, such as Steve Mullen for example.

Re: the XL2, it is as pro as it's going to get. Although there is a body-only version that starts selling this week.
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 10:46 AM   #8
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Thanks Chris, sorry for the rant. I hope the Sony people see their way to getting you or Heath a camera to test soon. I'll be watching for a Videography review as well. As to Video Systems, I may have to rely on someone here to translate as it seems to be on the other end of the technical spectrum from Videomaker and as such is way over my head.
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 10:59 AM   #9
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This camera is Great, but not ready for guys like me who put their work out on DVD and want to step it up to HD DVD. Also, the guy who wrote the article said when he watched footy from the FX1 to a plasma, it looks like a vx2100. Why would that be, the plasma is in HD 16:9 isnt it? So is this another reason NOT to get this GREAT camera because i just spent 7k on a new panny plasma??????????????????
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 11:04 AM   #10
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As far as I know not all plasma tv`s are hd...the 42inch had a resolution of 848x480...and when they played the footage on a 52inch which probably was HD with a higher resolution the image was incredibly...
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 01:44 PM   #11
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"In the HDV mode, the camera shoots a 16:9 widescreen image. It also has a 16:9 anamorphic widescreen DV mode..."

What does that statement from the article mean? It has 16:9 native in HDV but electronic in DV, or what? I don't quite get the article. It looks about like the VX2100 in SD, only softer?

If Sony had the professional model out now, I might be inclined to rush out and buy it for an upcoming project, or at least take a good hard look at it...but I think I'll wait to see what Panasonic is going to do in the 720p world.
I do have a very strong possibility for shooting something in January that is leading me toward another camera. We've decided to shoot in 16:9, and while our DSR500 would provide the best image, it's not really the best tool for the style of project. I need a smaller, lighter, less pro-looking camera. I'm seriously considering the XL2 because of its 16:9 chips, but I've got to see one in person first.

Actually, I had high hopes for the Sony. Although I would shoot SD on this project, having a camera that could also shoot HDV might be a good thing, eventually. And if the world does not go to HDV, it still shoots DV. I'm afraid the FX1 is, however, too much in the consumer camp for it to be really useful on a real production. If the review had said the FX1 has 16:9 chips for DV and HDV and makes better looking DV than the other 1/3" c hip cameras, and if it had XLRs, I'd be calling up B&H right now, probably. But, that weaselwording comment about anamorphic 16:9 implies that it does not use 16:9 chips for DV.
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 01:55 PM   #12
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Bill,

I wouldn't put any stock whatsoever in that review. And I certainly wouldn't make a $5-10 decision on it. Hopefully, we'll get some solid info as to the performance of the FX1 and the specs of the pro version in a matter of weeks rather than months and be able to plan our future shoots accordingly with or without Sony HDV.
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 02:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
: "In the HDV mode, the camera shoots a 16:9 widescreen image. It also has a 16:9 anamorphic widescreen DV mode..."

What does that statement from the article mean? It has 16:9 native in HDV but electronic in DV, or what?
Videomaker reviews are not known for their technical depth. I mean, they mention HDV supports 720i (no it doesn't). They say that the JVC camera supports 1080i, 720p, and 720i (no it doesn't). They also say that the JVC's 60fps mode is 1280x720 (it isn't, it's 720x480 at 60P). How many things can they get wrong, in so few paragraphs?

However, regarding that 16:9 statement, I don't think it's saying anything bad. The XL2 also shoots an anamorphic widescreen 16:9 picture. It doesn't imply anything electronic, like digital scaling or something. It almost certainly (notice I said "almost") will use the 16:9-shaped CCD's in the camera to produce true full-resolution 16:9 DV.
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 05:38 PM   #14
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I can understand if there isn't much difference in the image on close shots but I'm still wondering how much of the extra detail can be seen in mid to long shots on an SD monitor. That seems to be where HDV has an edge over SD ... pun intended.
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 06:01 PM   #15
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Re: videomaker mag review

<<<-- Originally posted by Franck Ler : I must say I was quite thrilled by the new Sony, but the last issue of videomaker quite cooled me off. HD from it is no better than a regular SD when watched on a 720 hd monitor ... are they being partial?
they have other articles in there and from what I gather, HDV will NOT replace DV, HD is NOT ready.
ONe quick question: when viewed on a PC, is HD really better than SD? -->>>

You misread the article....they say when displayed on a plasma set at 852x480 resolution:

"...For example, on a 42-inch plasma television that can typically only hit 852x480 resolution (which is very common), the HDR-FX1 doesn't look any better than the VX2100 (but it sure doesn't look any worse, either)...."

many plasma sets do not display a true HD resolution, which is 720p...many plasma sets are "digital-ready" meaning they will display 480p, which matches what the reviewer stated above...at 480p, I would never expect the HDV camera to look too distinguishable from a DV camera
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