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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 25th, 2005, 10:07 PM   #1
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FX1 OK for pro use?

Another of my FX1 threads, sorry!

I'm just about ready to purchase an FX1. I plan to use it as the main camera for my production company. (Right now I'm using a PDX10.)

My only concern is that, since this camera is being marketed as a "consumer" camera, it won't be good for pro use. My biggest concern is the audio--but I don't think it should be a very big issue. I never use control of the indivudual levels on my PDX10, I always keep them locked together. I don't think the audio limiter should be much of an issue either, and I never use XLR mics. All my mics use 1/8" plugs.

My other concern is the ability to play back the DVCAM tapes I recorded--but someone told me the FX1 can play them back, but not record. Is this correct?

A side note--I plan to use this camera for mostly indie films, as well as industrial/corporate video and some ENG.

Lastly, how many "pros" here use the FX1? Just curious how many use the FX1 vs. Z1.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 10:48 PM   #2
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Eric:

We have both a Z1 and an FX1. The HDV resolution of both cameras is the same. Both use the same lens.

However:

Only the Z1 can record or playback in DVCAM. The Z1 can also record in PAL. You can down convert the FX1 HDV signal to SD HD and then reupload it to DVCAM (if you have a DVCAM deck). We use Sony's HDR-M10U deck for both HDV and downconverted output.

Both can record in PCM Digital Stereo but the Z1 has XLR inputs and phantom mike power capability for external mikes.

The Z1 is our primary HDV camera with the FX1 as a backup and for two-camera shoots. We are now using the Z1/FX1 combo for 75 percent of our shooting and our XL2/XL1S combo for the rest. The FX1 is a good backup but it lacks the extra capabilities we need for primary use and I'm not sure it is sturdy enough for extended pro-level use (just a feeling. I have no substantial data to back that up).

Both are good cameras but I'd recommend the Z1 for serious applications.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 10:49 PM   #3
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Hi Eric

I use my FX1 professionally and it performs beautifully. I don't use XLR mics and I believe the Beachtek adapter gives good results if you need to use XLR. I am getting great audio from the onboard mic for what I need it for.
Yes, it will play back DVCAM tapes. I've done quite a few, no probs at all.
I guess it depends on your needs.

cheers
Tim
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Old May 25th, 2005, 11:41 PM   #4
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I have a Z1 but my friend who is a "pro" of 20 years only has the FX1. He got it several months ago and never has a problem after a number of shoots. He isn't interested in PAL. The only drawback is the audio input but he usually runs off a small mixer with XLR inputs that outputs to his camera. He loves the camera.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 07:07 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the advice! I'm reassured now ;-). I'll be picking up an FX1 in the next few days, hopefully. I'll keep you updated!
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Old May 26th, 2005, 07:45 AM   #6
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Eric,
I'm also a pro and use the FX1 for broadcast - and with the Beachtek box, my recordist can plug in his mixer and away to go...
Robin
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Old May 26th, 2005, 07:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Davies-Rollinson
Eric,
I'm also a pro and use the FX1 for broadcast - and with the Beachtek box, my recordist can plug in his mixer and away to go...
Robin
The other thing about the audio, which I didn't think about earlier, is that my mixer takes XLR inputs (as well as 1/4") and outputs 1/4". That makes it really easy to get the audio into the FX1's 1/8" jack.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 11:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Ashbrooke
Yes, it will play back DVCAM tapes. I've done quite a few, no probs at all.
I guess it depends on your needs.

cheers
Tim
I stand corrected. We've never tried DVCAM playback in the FX1 because it wasn't mentioned in the specs and we do all our playback on the HDR deck.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 11:57 AM   #9
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OK, all you pros who are using the FX1--beware. I'm gonna report you to the politically correct police! Sony clearly markets the FX1 as a consumer camera. How dare you violate that sacred trust! What gives you the right to make money with this camera!
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Old May 26th, 2005, 12:25 PM   #10
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LOL

...anyway, how many "consumers" would ever find their way around all those controls???

Robin
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Old May 26th, 2005, 03:45 PM   #11
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I thought the FX-1 was a Prosumer camera.

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Old May 26th, 2005, 04:13 PM   #12
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...just quoting Sony sales text.
They call it "consumer"...
A case of Sony semantics I guess.

Robin
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Old May 26th, 2005, 11:58 PM   #13
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The only reason the FX1 is a "consumer" camera is because the consumer division of Sony handles it and, therefore, you see it for sale at Fry's. The Z1 is the low end of the "pro" division. Now the new 1 ccd HDV camera is a real consumer camera.
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