FX1 vs. Z1 mic noise reduction 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 November 29th, 2004, 08:41 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Bellevue, WA
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FX1 vs. Z1 mic noise reduction

The global-dvc site [http://www.global-dvc.org/Sony%20HDV%20audio%20tests.htm] reports:
"... But what a pity, we noticed the microphones registries all camera-handling. Anyone can hear this. Even a slight touch over the body will result in noise! Also a soft rattling noise spoils the audiorecording. Noise when zooming also."

This Z1 press release [http://news.sel.sony.com/pressrelease/print/5331] states (compared to the consumer camera):
"... Mic Noise Reduction: Mic noise reduction can be selected On or Off. When it is On, a reversed wave of mechanical noise is generated and cancels the mechanical noise."

My questions:

1. For those of you who have an FX1: can you please comment upon the presence of and/or degree of objectionableness of camera mechanical noise recorded with the built-in mic?

2. Do you basically have to use separate mic(s) for acceptable sound, even for "consumer" applications?

3. Is it practical to subtract out camera mechanical sounds during editing?

Thank you.
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Old November 30th, 2004, 07:37 AM   #2
Obstreperous Rex
Join Date: Jan 2001
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Hmm, good questions. I too would like to hear from FX1 owners about the sensitivity of the on-board mic on their cameras.

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Old November 30th, 2004, 10:24 PM   #3
Barry Wan Kenobi
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: North Carolina
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The FX1's mic is sensitive to camera noise, and the manual even warns about zoom noise when using the manual zoom.

Audio is the weakest point of the FX1. You can't control audio channels individually, and you can't disable the limiter, and the only way to input audio is through the 1/8" mini-jack which is a combined left/right/video jack.

For quality audio recording you'd always, on all cameras, want to use quality external microphones. The problem with an on-camera mic isn't so much that it's a bad-quality mic, it's that it's ON CAMERA. On the camera is about the worst place for a mic to be, because it means it'll inherently be far away from the subject. You want the mic as close to the sound source as possible, and that means an external mic. Unfortunately the FX1 doesn't make hooking up quality mic's as easy as it is on an XL2, DVX, or PD170. Haven't been able to assess the FX1's audio quality yet. Recent Sony's have been disappointing (VX2000, PD150) but perhaps with this new generation they've cleaned up their audio. From the limitations imposed on the FX1's audio circuitry I don't have high hopes of that, but I do hope to be pleasantly surprised.

For consumer purposes (i.e., home videos of the kids or whatever) the on-board mic may prove to be fine, I haven't tested it in that capacity (but I should, as technically the FX1 is being marketed as a "consumer" camera to differentiate it from the Z1, marketed as a "pro" camera).

Removing handling noise in post? Sounds like an impossible task. There's no substitute for clean audio, and some things can't be fixed in post.
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