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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 April 8th, 2005, 01:10 PM   #1
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Considering FX1 purchase, some questions first

I'm considering buying the Sony FX1. Originally I was going to get the JVC HR10u, but when I compared the video from both on my 23" Apple Cinema display, the FX1 won hands down.

So before I purchase the FX1, I have a few questions I'm hoping someone can help me with:

1) My videos are stricly personal (record the kids, etc), so nothing is mission critical. Are standard Mini-DV tapes good enough? I can get a 6 pack of TDKs at Costco for about $20. Realizing that the drop out rate is higher with HDV, just how often are people experiencing drop outs on standard mini-DV tapes? I'd prefer to not buy the expenise HDV master tapes for $20 each.

2) Is the camera easy enough for a non-professional to use? I'd like to be able to hand the camera off to my wife, but she isn't going to want to learn all the little nuances of the camera. It'll have to do a lot automatically.

3) How well does the camera perform in low light? Namely, indoors?

Any sugestions? Lessons learned?
Thanks!
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Old April 8th, 2005, 01:25 PM   #2
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1) Are standard Mini-DV tapes good enough?

Yes. I've only used standard miniDV tapes. Pick a brand, stick with it, don't reuse them, and you'll have negligible drop out problems.

2) Is the camera easy enough for a non-professional to use?

It works like a dream in full auto mode. It may end up a little brighter than you would configure it on your own, but slamming everything on automatic and going point and shoot style couldn't be easier.

3) How well does the camera perform in low light? Namely, indoors?

Good enough - it isn't the lowest light camera on the market, but it isn't bad by any stretch of the imagination.
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Old April 8th, 2005, 01:30 PM   #3
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Thanks Steven. Barring any major announcements at NAB in about a week, I'm getting that FX1!

Now if only Avid supported the HDV format today...soon though.
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Old April 8th, 2005, 09:45 PM   #4
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Robert,
I agree with Steven...pick a brand of tape and stick with it. For what you want to use it for it should be fine.

Camera is stupid-simple in full auto.

Low light isn't awesome, but for your uses, just use gain, it should be fine.
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Old April 8th, 2005, 10:12 PM   #5
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Anybody have an opinion on TDK tapes?

I had another thought...not really camera related however.

I own an HD TiVo...conceivably, could I hook up the analog HD component output from the TiVo, and record it onto my FX1 for backup purposes?
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Old April 8th, 2005, 11:10 PM   #6
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I use those TDK tapes. Always have and didn't find a reason to switch when I got my FX1.

No problems at all.

You can't get into the FX1 via components, only FW. So you won't be able to record from your TiVo in HD.
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Old April 8th, 2005, 11:43 PM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Bryan McCullough : You can't get into the FX1 via components, only FW. So you won't be able to record from your TiVo in HD. -->>>

Darned. It's not a factor in my buying decision but it might have been a nice perk. Oh well.

Thanks for everyone's help.
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