FX1 vs. Z1... A Couple Questions 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 April 21st, 2005, 09:48 AM   #1
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FX1 vs. Z1... A Couple Questions

Well, as I mentioned in a previous thread, I'm looking at getting an FX1 to replace my PDX10. I do a lot of professional videography (running a small production company), and I'd like to start offering HD production. $3200 is about the most I can pay for an HD camera, so the Z1 is out of my price range.

I think that the FX1 should be fine for professional use. I don't need the DVCAM recording the Z1 offers, and I don't need the XLR inputs.

What I do need is a high degree of manual control (in particular, manual focus, white balance, and exposure, and audio levels). I also frequently use zebra stripes to check exposure.

I think that based on those needs, the FX1 should be more than sufficient for me. What would I gain by getting the Z1? I know I would get DVCAM recording, XLR inputs, individual control over audio levels (Channels 1 + 2 are independent). Other than that, what reasons are there to go with the Z1?

Thanks in advance for any advice. Hopefully the FX1 will work for me! \
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Old April 21st, 2005, 11:15 AM   #2
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There is a full comparison here:
http://www.hdvinfo.com/articles/sonyhdrfx1/compare.php
I'd say with the Z1 the killer app functions are these:
  • Live DV crop downconvert (outputs full screen 4:3)
  • Programmable timecode in DVCAM and HDV mode
  • Built in XLR sockets+ phantom power.
  • Multi format (SD NTSC and PAL, HD 50i and 60i)
There are plenty of other features that may make it worth your while, but to be frank if you don't need the above features or can work around the lack of them I'd reckon you don't really NEED the Z1 over the FX1.

I think actually the multi format ability has been what's attracted most to the Z1 over the FX1 rather than the XLR sockets.
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Old April 21st, 2005, 11:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan Pank
There is a full comparison here:
http://www.hdvinfo.com/articles/sonyhdrfx1/compare.php
I'd say with the Z1 the killer app functions are these:
  • Live DV crop downconvert (outputs full screen 4:3)
  • Programmable timecode in DVCAM and HDV mode
  • Built in XLR sockets+ phantom power.
  • Multi format (SD NTSC and PAL, HD 50i and 60i)
There are plenty of other features that may make it worth your while, but to be frank if you don't need the above features or can work around the lack of them I'd reckon you don't really NEED the Z1 over the FX1.

I think actually the multi format ability has been what's attracted most to the Z1 over the FX1 rather than the XLR sockets.
Thanks for the advice. I really don't need any of the above features, and I never need to do PAL work, so it sounds like the FX1 should work just fine for me.
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Old April 21st, 2005, 12:00 PM   #4
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Two other nice features on the Z-1 are the ability to show the full frame (underscan) in the viewfinder and LCD and also being able to turn off all of the text display items on the LCD. I find these especially annoying on the PDX-10... it's pretty obvious when you're shooting in 16:9 mode... do we really need "16:9 WIDE" displayed in huge text across the screen? ;-)
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Old April 21st, 2005, 02:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Two other nice features on the Z-1 are the ability to show the full frame (underscan) in the viewfinder and LCD and also being able to turn off all of the text display items on the LCD. I find these especially annoying on the PDX-10... it's pretty obvious when you're shooting in 16:9 mode... do we really need "16:9 WIDE" displayed in huge text across the screen? ;-)
Again, those are nice, but I can live without them. It's great to get a good comparison between the two cams--and from the sound of it, the FX1 will suit me fine. Can't wait to get it! You'll be hearing from me when I do!
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 09:48 AM   #6
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You can always get one of these to compensate for the FX's lack of XLRs:

http://www.creativevideo.co.uk/gimme...y_hvr-z1e-kit1

It's interesting to note how Sony simply made the FX more 'consumer' by disabling certain electronic features. I'm pretty sure it is capable of showing different coloured peaking lines even if Sony has stopped it from happening (if anyone gets what I mean).

Time code differences are quite significant for some users. Without free run time code on the FX you have not got a simple solution of syncing up with another camera.

Ultimately the FX has the same picture quality, which is the single greatest feature of these cameras, and thus means if you are saving a grand, it will be one of the most satisfying purchases you could make. Have fun!
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 09:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
and LCD and also being able to turn off all of the text display items on the LCD.
I've never understood this.

On my FX1 I can hit the 'display button' and all the text is removed from the LCD (with the exception of 'REC'). Is there something I'm missing about the Z1's feature?
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 12:10 PM   #8
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That's interesting, I've never heard that before. When I've asked I was told that the FX-1 couldn't make everything turn off but the Z1 could. Personally, yeah I would also like to make that "REC" go away but I don't think that in and of itself justifies the price difference :-)
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 01:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
That's interesting, I've never heard that before. When I've asked I was told that the FX-1 couldn't make everything turn off but the Z1 could. Personally, yeah I would also like to make that "REC" go away but I don't think that in and of itself justifies the price difference :-)
Does the 'REC' go off on the Z1?

Seems like that would be something you'd want to always be there.
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