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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 July 8th, 2005, 02:01 AM   #16
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FX1 downconvert to SD DV 4:3

Ben Hardy wrote:-

"I bought the FX1 last fall, under the impression that it WOULD convert HDV to SD DV 4:3 through the FireWire output. Of course, only the Z1 (and the Sony HDV VCR) will perform that conversion".

Ben I'm over in PAL land, but I just connect my FX1 to my NLE (Liquid Edition) via Firewire, set the output from the FX1 to DV and capture the footage. The NLE automatically sees it as SD DV 4:3. Of course the sides of the picture are chopped off, but I've been filming on a "shoot and protect" basis so that's no problem.

It might be possible for me to import the footage in a letterboxed fashion, but I haven't investigated this as I've no need for it at the moment.
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Old July 8th, 2005, 03:25 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Gotz
If the Z1 had come first, then the FX1, I would believe there might be dormant, or disabled features hiding from us. But that is just not the case.

Get real folks. Next thing you know you will be sending your banking info to some lawyer in Nigeria!
It's not very a far fetched assumption that the FX1 and Z1 are internally very similar. For production reasons Sony would be wise to construct them identical, and then put on some exterior extras on the Z1 (XLR mic inputs for instance), and include some additions in the firmware (black stretch etc). The firmware must be updateable, so Sony can correct bugs in this software. So in theory we can change the firmware and get our cameras to perform in any way we want.

If we know every technical detail of this camera, we could reprogram our FX1/Z1 to get new functions (since most of them are software ones). That however would be extremely difficult. It's not about unlocking something, its about programming something in C++ or assembly language. Which I'm sure took a team of 5 engineers at least year to complete.

If we're lucky Sony has left backdoors open for us, accessable in some way similar to that in the old article. But what would Sony gain from that? What would the reason be for being able to unlock camera features? The most likely thing is that FX1 and Z1 has different firmwares with no unlockable parts. So getting hold of a Z1 firmware and updating a FX1 with it, would maybe turn the FX1 into a Z1 but without the physical differences. Or it would ruin the camera, because the firmware is dependant on some Z1 only physical parts.
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Old July 8th, 2005, 09:54 AM   #18
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i posted this because i thought i was intresting and what "IF" nothing more nothing less. the article is a few years old, but sony is sony. and if there were hidden features then why not now?
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Old July 8th, 2005, 01:26 PM   #19
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I am pretty sure the fx1 can do everything the z1 can from a software perspective. All it would take is a firmware update I would think. But that is one of the things z1 owners are paying for, the extra features -- but there is no reason why those features are not hidden within the fx1 as well and just don't have "boxes checked" for activation.
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Old July 8th, 2005, 05:09 PM   #20
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Actually, there is a reason. Many of these features were added after the FX1 was designed.

As I said, if they had been designed at the same time, or if the FX1 had been a cut down version, it would be different.
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Old July 8th, 2005, 05:53 PM   #21
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Has anyone stumbled across a service manual and/or remote for the FX1? I did some looking, but never found anything. Once my warranty is void, I'd be happy to play around with this kind of stuff. Too many people are afraid of black boxes.

-Steve
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Old July 9th, 2005, 03:48 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Gotz
Actually, there is a reason. Many of these features were added after the FX1 was designed.

As I said, if they had been designed at the same time, or if the FX1 had been a cut down version, it would be different.
Is that a fact confirmed by Sony, or does it seem that way because the Z1 has more features? Marketing guys can have whatever weird reasons to split releases of two similar products designed at the same time.

To me it seems more likely the FX1 and Z1 were designed at the same time but for two different customer segments. Perhaps they tried the FX1 first to see the general response.
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Old July 9th, 2005, 05:46 AM   #23
 
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Sony hasn't commented one way or the other. I do know for certain that parts of the hardware inside the camera are different. I can't imagine that Sony would ever want to comment on this subject, would you?
I for one, would really love to get my hands on an FX-1 that someone has actually modified to become a "Z1" minus the audio hardware enhancements. Then, and only then would I believe that possible, but I'd certainly not be willing to risk it on one of my own cams. They're still under warranty.
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Old July 9th, 2005, 11:27 AM   #24
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The lack of Sony presence at places like this is a bit puzzling to me. Of course there are many issues where they can't comment on our speculation. But what a great way for them to get in touch with customers. We could learn from them, and they from our practical experiences. What a goldmine for Sony.

I'm still looking for a book or DVD that covers every detail of this camera (FX1/Z1), both practically and technically. How does it work inside? Exactly how does the software work? I can't imagine how such material could ever be assembled without the help from Sony. I'm the kind of guy that when I buy a car I also immediately get a detalied workshop manual for it.

Douglas, what are the FX1/Z1 differences in hardware inside the cameras that you know of?
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Old July 10th, 2005, 05:01 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Gotz
Actually, there is a reason. Many of these features were added after the FX1 was designed.
I'm pretty sure they were designed at the same time. Same for the VX2000/PD150.
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Old July 10th, 2005, 06:57 PM   #26
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The fact that one of the cameras can charge a battery, and the other can not, leads me to believe that there are a lot of other hidden differences. Adding 50i probably required some different chips as well.
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