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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 May 20th, 2005, 02:12 AM   #1
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Please Help! Sony HDR FX1 or HVR Z1

Aloha Everyone,
I'm a complete rookie with no video/camcorder experience, outside of pointing and shooting. I am very good with computers and I have an Apple G5 along with a 17" Powerbook. I'm learning Final Cut Express HD and here's my question. I want to purchase one of the two cameras to record youth soccer games and youth training sessions. I want the best recording images possible but I won't be using them for anything professional. It's more of a personal thing as I've been in love with the clarity and picture of HD since I first saw it years ago in Japan. I'm willing to put in the time and effort to learn everything I need to know in order to shoot the best possible images but I will not be producing anything for production. I can afford either camera but I don't know if I need the extra features on the Z1. I'm also looking for a great carry case, tripod, and possibly a wide angle lens to capture the soccer matches. If there's anything else I need, please let me know. I'm also looking for a reliable internet site to purchase from and if anyone knows of a great tutorial, I'd appreciate any input. Thanks ahead of time everybody and aloha from the Islands of Hawaii.
Cheers,
Jason
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Old May 20th, 2005, 04:04 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Goodson
Aloha Everyone,
I'm a complete rookie with no video/camcorder experience, outside of pointing and shooting. I am very good with computers and I have an Apple G5 along with a 17" Powerbook. I'm learning Final Cut Express HD and here's my question. I want to purchase one of the two cameras to record youth soccer games and youth training sessions. I want the best recording images possible but I won't be using them for anything professional. It's more of a personal thing as I've been in love with the clarity and picture of HD since I first saw it years ago in Japan. I'm willing to put in the time and effort to learn everything I need to know in order to shoot the best possible images but I will not be producing anything for production. I can afford either camera but I don't know if I need the extra features on the Z1. I'm also looking for a great carry case, tripod, and possibly a wide angle lens to capture the soccer matches. If there's anything else I need, please let me know. I'm also looking for a reliable internet site to purchase from and if anyone knows of a great tutorial, I'd appreciate any input. Thanks ahead of time everybody and aloha from the Islands of Hawaii.
Cheers,
Jason
630-9262
I'm sure there's plenty of posts here and at other HDV forums that more than adequately answer your queries...

I'll just say that from my perspective (as a JVC HD-10u and Sony FX-1e owner) you probably don't require the extra features of the Z1. I imagine you wouldn't want to shoot PAL for instance. And the XLR connectors may not end up being something you couldn't live without...

For the purpose you mention: the FX-1 would be eminently capable. I'd also suggest a good carbon-fibre tripod with a good fluid head. I've got a Miller set that's light but strong and portable. I also got the Sony carry case - very excellent, and surprisingly cheap. You'll need extra battery/ies, and possibly the Sony rain-cover... Oh and don't forget plenty of the specially formulated mini-DV tapes. Unless you have plenty - Hard Drive archiving requires many 100s' of Gigs of free HD space -, you may find archiving rather difficult!!

As for the wide angle... you may be surprised at how wide the FX-1/Z1 lens' really are, and coupled with the 16:9 aspect the coverage is something that you may end up finding doesn't need further widening. There's Sony's own wide adapter, or check the many posts here on other recommendations.

Last but no means least... if you haven't already done so, get as good a HDTV with as big a screen size as you can afford, so you can be truly blown away by what these cameras can do!
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Old May 20th, 2005, 04:27 AM   #3
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The new upcoming Sony HDV camera is lot smaller, may be ideal for you, I mean consumer version.
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Old May 20th, 2005, 05:12 AM   #4
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Thanks Steve as I truly appreciate the advice. By the way, what is PAL? Sorry for the dumb question.
Cheers,
Jason
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Old May 20th, 2005, 05:55 AM   #5
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It's most widespread TV system in world. In U.S.A., including Hawai you guys use slightly inferior NTSC TV standard.

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Old May 20th, 2005, 07:21 AM   #6
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Of course in HD there is no such thing as PAL/NTSC--only different frame rates that coincide with PAL and NTSC. With HD we will be one step closer to a world standard.
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Old May 20th, 2005, 08:15 AM   #7
 
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Jason,
Which island are you on? I'm doing a training in Honolulu next week for Sony. There is a huge users group over there, headed up by a student at University of Hawaii.
Everyone else has answered your questions well, so I'll just add that for dealers, B&H and EVS are great to deal with online, and in your neck of the woods (if you're on Oahu) Videolife is very good. Talk to Doc or Papa Hui and they'll take good care of you.
Aloha
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Old May 20th, 2005, 02:01 PM   #8
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Thanks Everyone

Douglas,
Thanks for the info. and I live on O'ahu. I'll be in town on Monday, Tuesday and part of Wednesday, before leaving for a trip. I'd love to attend any class your putting on and if you're free, let me take you out to dinner. If you need anything while you're here, let me know and I'll take care of it.
Cheers,
Jason
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 02:34 PM   #9
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Jason, Just my two cents:
If you are becoming more serious about making video you can't really go wrong by spending a bit more on the Z1. If you go with the FX-1 and in 3-9 months want the extra features you will pay twice (to sell and buy again).

There is nothing wrong with the FX-1, but if your passion is taking you in a bigger direction I would spring for the extra expenditure. Others may disagree, but as both a winner and loser of the endless march of technology I have come to the conclusion that it is better to get in on the high-end and that gives you more time on each product cycle.

If it is really just shooting some soccer, then get what you can reasonably afford. And Steve points out, you need a good tripod and other gear to make ANY camera work to its potential.

Best Regards,
George
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 02:46 PM   #10
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If you like custom timecodes as much as I do, like to shoot in low-light, like to export to 4:3 DV without missing anything, and you're going on a vacation for a week, rent the Z1. But if you just like professional HDV pictures, buy the FX1. And if you can't carry a heavy camera on a plane as carry-on luggage for fear of stealing, buy an HC1 or better, an A1U or 2.
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