I'm about to buy an HDR-FX1 because I don't know any better. 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 January 28th, 2005, 07:36 PM   #1
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I'm about to buy an HDR-FX1 because I don't know any better.

I've been using a GL2 in my business for the past couple of years and it has served me quite well. I've always wanted to move up to an XL, but never pulled the trigger.

I'm about to start a new project and I'm feeling the pull of the FX1. The fact that it's HDV is really cool to me, but I do also like the native 16x9 aspect.

Anyway, I'm not a real technical shooter. I do enough to get a good picture but I don't get as deep as many of you do.

So, this is your chance to talk me out of it. I know that the smart thing to do would be to wait until after NAB, but I've got to finish this project by May 1st so I'd rather not wait.

Do I need this camera for this project? Not really, but I also don't want to use my GL2 as it's not the most impressive looking camera out there and I do need some level of 'wow'.

So talk me out of it and I can rent something else for this project, but I would like to get it.

Please talk me out of it!!!
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Old January 28th, 2005, 08:22 PM   #2
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Why don't you rent a DSR570 if you need native 16X9, and wait for NAB and see what happen, it will definetly add a wow factor for you. You can use full auto on that camera which will work right 70% of the time, but the focus is full manual.
If you have been using the GL2 then the FX1 might be a little more easier for you cuz I don't think it will scare you as much as using DSR570, but I don't think FX1 will wow anybody unless they know a little bit about video since the HDV letters are quite big on the body side. (-:
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Old January 28th, 2005, 08:35 PM   #3
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Well the 'wow' from the FX1 would be to say that we're shooting in high def.

These people would get a huge kick out of that, even if we're going to deliver on SD.
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Old January 28th, 2005, 09:27 PM   #4
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If the project budget is big enough to support renting a camera, and if you really want to do it on the FX1...

... why not go ahead and buy it? Use it on the project, and then if something better comes along, sell it on ebay. Sure you'll take a hit, probably on the order of $1000 or so... but if that's about what you would have spent to rent a camera, then why not? You'll scratch your "HDV" itch, and ... who knows, you may like the camera enough to keep it.

This is really only practical advice if the project you're doing has the budget to support a $1000 camera rental charge, but if it does, it looks like you could theoretically have your cake and eat it too.
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Old January 28th, 2005, 09:43 PM   #5
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Yeah, thanks Barry.

I've had the funds budgeted for a while but have had reservations spending money on a miniDV with HD stuff being so close. And this project is the largest I've had in a few years, so I've got some room to play.

The thing that I'm really researching now is how different it's going to be to edit (if I were to stay in HD) than DV. All my Digital Juice stuff wouldn't be the right size. Stuff like that I've got to think through.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 09:37 PM   #6
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Here's my B&H wishlist that will move over to the shopping cart sometime next week, hopefully.

1. FX1
2. DVRIG Pro
3. Sign Video XLR Pro

A matte box will come, but I'm going to wait until more folks have some feedback on what will work best with the FX1.

One thing that I'd like to find and I'm not sure how to search for it would be a shoe mount for my shotgun mic that moves it over to the side a bit.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 09:56 PM   #7
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Off topic here, but Bryan you didn't happen to go to Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La. did you?
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Old February 1st, 2005, 10:05 PM   #8
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Hello there Bryan,

I was looking at the FX1 just today at samys camera. The girl that worked there had it out showing it so I walked over to have a look at this thing. She's going on about it, and all the time she's talking, the XL2 is is setting in the back behind the glass looking at me winking. I even thought I heard it say... Take me home and I'll treat you right!

Besides, I hear you have to go thru hell and back to get HD/1080i to view on DVD. Just not an easy thing to do... So I was told.

Good luck Bryan.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 10:55 PM   #9
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Bryan, go for it!

I've been shooting XL and DVX now for years and now that I'm testing/renting FX1, I find it painful to go back to 500 lines...

I had to re-visit a wedding video I shot for friends last summer pre-FX1 and man, it is now suddenly so "crappy" - reminds of when I compared 1-CCD to 3-CCD...

Renting something first and trying it out beforehand is a good way to figure out how it will work out for you.

What is your editing capability like? Because definitely, HDV editing will be tricky if your computer specs are lacking...

I've come to realize myself that Z1 doesn't offer "enough" advantage over FX1/FX1-E for me to buy it... And now I'm trying to decide if the slight-slight resolution advantage of FX1-E is really worth the hassle (you have to convert from 50i/25fps to 24 or 29.97 to get a useable NTSC SD DVD - more "steps" than just sticking with NTSC FX1)

I think the potential for the FX1 with some sort of good deinterlacer like DVFilm (based on reports here) and some sort of mini35 type system is almost unbeatable...

HDV to SD DVD is NOT hard at all - it looks great and the guy here who did the 2nd music video (Nate?) swears that HDV-to-SD DVD beats DVX/XL2 24p DVD and I have to concur... see "much more"
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Old February 1st, 2005, 11:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sean Woods
Off topic here, but Bryan you didn't happen to go to Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La. did you?
I did!

You wouldn't happen to be Professor Know-It-All would you? :)
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Old February 1st, 2005, 11:05 PM   #11
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Re: Bryan, go for it!

Quote:
Originally posted by Mark Kubat

What is your editing capability like? Because definitely, HDV editing will be tricky if your computer specs are lacking...
The main editing station is a Dual 2.0 G5 with 1.5 GB RAM and a gazillion GBs of HD space. I've got external drives coming out of my ears.

I'm willing to put some money into the editor to make this work, but everything I've read so far looks like I'll be fine at first.

One concern I've got is figuring out a monitor for the HD footage. I haven't got that worked out yet.
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 01:37 AM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Bryan McCullough : I did!

You wouldn't happen to be Professor Know-It-All would you? :) -->>>


Hah, I almost forgot about that. Yes that was me. =)
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 08:06 AM   #13
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Re: Bryan, go for it!

<<<I had to re-visit a wedding video I shot for friends last summer pre-FX1 and man, it is now suddenly so "crappy" - reminds of when I compared 1-CCD to 3-CCD...>>>

After just a few minutes of shooting the FX1 side-by-side with my GL2 and playing the footage back directly to my HDTV, I find myself wishing I never had to shoot in SD ever again. The image from the FX1 is great, and not just in terms of resolution. Plus the true widescreen nature of the FX1 is a real pleasure: now I know why movies are shot in a wider format.

The only reason I can think of not to buy an FX1 at this time would be if you can find a way to rent one instead first, so you can get a better sense if you'll really find it useful for your projects. Otherwise, go for it! You'll have some production challenges to overcome, but they'll be worth it.

:-)
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 11:17 AM   #14
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<<I find myself wishing I never had to shoot in SD ever again>>

Ever since I got my FX1, looking at other video sources just isn't the same. It's almost tragic... I can produce beautiful looking footage, but no one will see it because either the internet is not fast enough, or they don't own a HDTV (I don't either).

But when I finally did get a chance to watch my stuff on an HD monitor... the sweet waves of euphoria were pretty nice!
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 02:34 PM   #15
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<<-- It's almost tragic... I can produce beautiful looking footage, but no one will see it because either the internet is not fast enough, or they don't own a HDTV (I don't either). -->>

Yeah, but eventually they will see it and also, the SD down-converted video looks way better than standard DV.
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