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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 December 1st, 2004, 11:09 AM   #31
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Well, I've changed my Z1U Comparison Chart to reflect the MSRP of $5,946. At the Sony press conference, they had told us $4900 and I was lead to believe this was the MSRP. Now I'm hearing that the $4900 figure is the MAP (minimum advertised price).

For those who are not aware, in very general terms the MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price) is the HIGHEST price that an authorized dealer can sell the camera for, whereas MAP (minimum advertised price) is the LOWEST price at which an authorized dealer can advertise the camera (enforceable for about a year). Usually your better dealers will sell at some point in between, often towards MAP but not always (these days if an authorized dealer can make $100 or $200 off of a camcorder sale, they're doing well -- I'm glad I'm not in sales).

Take a lesson from the Canon XL1 and XL2. The MSRP of the original XL1 and XL1S was $4699. Did it ever sell for that much? No, hardly ever. It usually sold at MAP, which was eventually down around $3600. Now the XL2, when it was first started shipping a few months ago was selling right at its MSRP at $4999. I don't know what its MAP is. The MAP figure is seldom made public. Maybe the Z1U's MAP at $4900 wasn't supposed to get out, but they announced it to a bunch of journalists so it sure is public info now.

It is my estimation that like the XL2, authorized Sony dealers will initially sell the Z1U for its its MSRP as long as the demand is high and the supply is low when it actually starts shipping. The biggest problem Sony will have with this camera is meeting the demand for it. People will be happy to pay MSRP to get the Z1U. That's my take on it anyway.
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Old December 1st, 2004, 11:19 AM   #32
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Chris I agree with nearly everything you say...except these two points:

You can sell an item for any price you want...however, you cannot advertise a price lower than MAP...that's why a lot of websites make a shopper send an email asking for a "quote" on a particular item...this usually doesn't happen with cameras (as the mark up is so small...) but it certainly happens with other video, audio, and computer equipment. Also, you can sell something for higher than MSRP (as it's the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price), but unless you have a real sucker on the line, it's basically pointless to do so because someone will surely undercut your pricing.
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Old December 1st, 2004, 11:29 AM   #33
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Right you are, Kevin -- I was just trying to make a generalization there!
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Old December 1st, 2004, 02:20 PM   #34
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Well, now that sony has let the cat out of the bag, guess I will just continue to keep my money in the bank until I can find a Z1 for 4900. No way does it seem worth the extra grand.
Is it work the 2 plus k from the consumer model?

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Old December 1st, 2004, 02:57 PM   #35
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Or the JVC comes out and is even better. That's always the case, and will be, just like the XL-1, PD-150, XL-1s, VX2100, DVX100A, XL-2, FX1, etc.

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Old December 1st, 2004, 04:42 PM   #36
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I'm also re-thinking my purchase plans. I can't see spending that much money on something that doesn't even have uncompressed audio. I know it's a non-issue, but audio is more important than video...always. It just doesn't add up for the $$ - I was looking at $4900 as my limit.

If Pana or anyone comes out with some type of announcement in the next 60 days I'll definately be looking at what they say.

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Old December 1st, 2004, 07:23 PM   #37
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<< I can't see spending that much money on something that doesn't even have uncompressed audio. >>

Wow, that knocks you out of the HDV format entirely, Murph -- because compressed audio is part of the spec. I would not hold my breath waiting for any other manufacturers... even if they did announce something, it would months before they actually ship.

Why not try HDV's 384kbps audio before you write it off completely?
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Old December 1st, 2004, 08:12 PM   #38
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Sony is shooting itself in the foot...

this "new" price of a grand more than originally announced for weeks/months is crazy - even Charlie White's most recent reviews/articles based on New York Z1U event are still quoting $4,900 US...

I was a 100% Z1U buyer for this price but now if it's "higher" and it's going be hard to get a deal... all the old debates about paying "more" than the FX1 just for XLR etc. are suddenly valid - the new gap is too much for the feature differences. The only way this new Z1U higher price can be justified is if cf24 is better/fixed on the pro Z1, otherwise I will take the slow-boat to Europe and buy a Pal FX1-E - the cf25 footage posted on the "other" forum looks amazingly filmlike - goodbye DVX100A, XL2... I'll be using HDV for filmmaking mostly.

Since we're on the subject of ridiculous Sony pricing, anyone here know what the silly arm brace thingy is actually going for? That was a hot topic too...
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Old December 1st, 2004, 09:45 PM   #39
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I'll take an FX1 with a Beachtek adaptor. I'll also record my films' audio as a back-up on a DAT.

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Old December 2nd, 2004, 08:07 AM   #40
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It looks like I'll probably be doing exactly what Heath is doing. FX1, BeachTec adapter and seperate audio like DAT or some type of external 48k system.

Chris, I never said that HDV wasn't my thing. I said the audio turns me off for the amount of money - it makes more sense to wait and see if something might happen in the meantime. (Probably won't, but the Z1 is 2-3 months away from being in anyone hands anyway with NAB right around the corner.)

I know the saying, "the best time to buy is now". But, I don't agree with that - it must have been created by someone selling product. It's my belief that waiting can have benefits that outweighing buying something you're not completely happy with....and I know that its possible nothing else is on the way in the near future! I'm sure the Z1 is great, and compressed audio is fine. But, it feels like a back-step from using uncompressed audio. THe lower cost of the FX1 will allow me to buy a good DAT. It's a pain in the ass, but oh well.

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Old December 2nd, 2004, 08:27 AM   #41
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<< I know the saying, "the best time to buy is now". - it must have been created by someone selling product. >>

No, it comes from an artistic point of view. If you're waiting, you're not creating.
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Old December 2nd, 2004, 08:55 AM   #42
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Friendly disagreement here..."If you're waiting, you're not creating??" I'm sorry, but not buying a video camera doesn't have anything to do with my art! That statement actually seems counter productive to my artistic core. It's not the tool, or if you own it or not. I've done two video projects recently where I had to borrow a camera, and it looks like I'll have to rent a camera Dec. 12th. I'm not creating because I haven't pre-ordered a video camera? I respectfully disagree.

How does waiting to buy a 4 pound hunk of plastic and glass reflect negatively on artists?!

I'm 32 and I've been an artist making a living (least amount I made is like $11,000 in a year and most is $125,000 a year) since 1989. I can't think of one instance where not buying equipment stopped me from creating.

Again, this is a friendly disagreement!
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Old December 2nd, 2004, 09:08 AM   #43
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Jeese guys-
I've heard this same "arguement" about computers and pretty much anything having to do with technology.

Seems there's nothing more irritating than shelling out some chunk of change and finding out that there's a faster-better-prettier-sexier-higher resolution-CHEAPER thingy that comes out soon after.

My case in point- bought my G4 dual 1 gig and with the grin still on my face, I read about the new G5 coming out soon from Apple. damnit.

Not being one of the monetarily afffluent type, I tend to watch others test the water and complain, then I'll jump in ( and find there's an entirely new water hole).
Technology is moving and changing. We will all have to "jump in the water" at some point.
Hey- Pixel Pioneering!

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Old December 2nd, 2004, 05:51 PM   #44
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Apparently Video Systems has an e-mail newsletter that confirms that the MSRP for the Z1 is supposed to be $5946, and that the earlier $4900 announcement is actually the dealer cost figure.

The post I got this info from quotes the newsletter. The original post is here:
http://www.dvxuser.com/cgi-bin/DVX2/YaBB.pl?board=sony;action=display;num=1102028674;start=0#0
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Old December 4th, 2004, 04:28 PM   #45
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I agree with Murphy. BTW, I hereby christen FX1 the "Vampire" cam.

I too find the advice of "well, if you need it now, get it now" a little trite.

I could have filmed my feature this past August - we're ready with the script, etc. and our financing is in place. Financing for a digital indie feature, that is. So, I should have gone ahead and shot with an XL2? I have friends who didn't wait and they shot their feature for $20,000 US using XL2 and wow, they're kicking themselves now.

Well, I'm glad we've pushed back half a year... I'm waiting now for 2 reasons....

a) HDV editing workflow with edited m2t's back to HDV tape has JUST been made "the norm" thanks to Canopus and Edius but the NLE lagging behind was a big concern to me with the HDV thing (guess I'm glad I'm at least now 100% PC - the G5's are gone!)

b) wanna see if the Z1 somehow is worth the extra mullah in terms of what I've been told by Sony Canada in terms of Grade A parts vs. Grade B parts, etc. and wow, do things like black stretch, etc. give you better image control vs. FX1... there's also the slight chance that CF24 might be "fixed" on the Z1 based on Charlie White's endorsement of this footage: the fact that the likes of DSE are waiting it out for the pro Z1 make me figure they probably know something...

When Z1 was first announced and all we knew about were XLR's, it sounded ludicrous and I remember saying, well, that's that: I'm going PAL FX1-E with Beachtek. Then the rest of the features came to light and it was a good deal. Now the new price is making me think PAL FX1-E again. But I will wait.

I will wait till the Z1U has actually come out to see how it actually performs - if the cf25/pal mode is the same as PAL FX1-E, then I will see what's the best price on Z1 possible and decide - but if it's up as high as it is now, all else being equal, I will skip the Z1 and go the pal FX1 route and be happy.

I guess this pricing confusion seems disappointing - I think Sony didn't make a mistake with the price as first announced but they've certainly made a mistake by raising it. The camera is good, but overall I like to think of it as the "Vampire" camera because it really seems to do it's best work in low-light and you run into washout problems quickly on bright sunny days, white objects, etc... Yep, Count Dracula would be proud.

Sony is "stupid" for now ripping us off with the new price.

But hey, I'm glad they've introduced this format. Downsampled FX1-E pal footage intercuts nicely with downsampled Dalsa Origin footage - we are surprised.

I think Canon is "stupid" for not having made the XL2 HDV - well, we do know their history, yes, but again I say - what does it tell you about a company if it fails to learn from their mistakes? Canon's philosophy has cost them their place in DV losing to likes of DVX100... they should have re-grouped to become "innovators." But that's another thread all together.

Panasonic is "stupid" by not having joined HDV consortium. Man, they had the digital indie film world by the cajones with 24p on the DVX and now, all too quickly, their offering is basically an afterthrought...

JVC is really Matsushita/Panasonic - they're "stupid" for spending so much time introducing "HDV" via a 1-chip cam with min. 35 lux that doesn't allow for manual controls.

By the way, I myself am very stupid in many ways - perhaps I will start a thread somewhere - it would take way too much typing to get into that here... I just wanted you all to know....

But I think we are smart to wait and see what exactly the situation will be with Z1 in terms of what it offers and for how much - at the very least our feature will be "projectionable" on a big screen without having to go film-out... and our standard DVDs are gonna look amazing.

Like, who can't wait 2 or 3 months?

My XL2 friends aren't laughing anymore and they are starting to think they were "stupid" too.
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