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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 30th, 2010, 12:58 PM   #1
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Second camera to match FX1

I work with a couple of other people who have an FX1 and a Z1.. I was wondering would anyone have a suggestion for a small HD, hard drive camera that would be relatively simple to colour match to those models ? Besides another FX1 or similar we are going to need 2 other smaller cameras also and would like them all to blend as easily as possible
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Old April 30th, 2010, 01:18 PM   #2
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Bet you're getting sick of hearing from me... but it's more of a sharpness issue than color. No compact HDD cams have CCDs, so they won't really match well. The smaller cams will be sharper than the FX1/Z1. I could never get my FX1 to match my HC3, back in those days. The HC3 was much sharper.

You could soften a bit in post, I suppose.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 01:46 PM   #3
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not at all, i appreciate the responses..

I dont mind if i have to tweak a little bit and once i know how to match them i can just repeat each time we shoot something.. But ive done stuff where ive had 5 cameras all different models and resolutions that ive had to mix and its a nightmare.. I just want to go as close as i can within the confines of a smaller hard drive camera.. I need two of them around the 800USD mark if possible..
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Old April 30th, 2010, 02:34 PM   #4
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And your editing rig will handle AVCHD without a problem? HDV tape is easier and there may be issues with mixing file types on a timeline...
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Old April 30th, 2010, 02:46 PM   #5
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i got a quad core machine running vegas.. It doesnt edit AVCHD that well, but id look to convert to an intermediate format before editing.. Id like to use HDV but these cameras we want to get need to be able to run without being attended to for longer than tape will run.. At times they may need to run around 2 hours
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Old April 30th, 2010, 02:48 PM   #6
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Ah, got it. Check out the XR550 (HDD) or CX550 (Flash). A bit above your price range but great pictures.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 10:38 PM   #7
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On the smaller hard drive cameras do you still get some good control over exposure like you do with FX1 ? Since the stuff we film is really unpredictable lighting wise it makes it hard.. The FX1 setup you helped me with worked great last night but id really want the smaller cameras to be able to handle the exposure just as well if possible, otherwise its hard to cut to them.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 11:30 PM   #8
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All the smaller sony cams I've used don't offer full manual aperture/shutter/gain control, instead having a single 'exposure' setting. So while you can adjust exposure to make the scene brighter or darker, you can't control the individual parameters to control motion blur or Depth of Field when you need to. The camera also doesn't give you any indication of what settings it is using (at least my SR1 doesn't) so you don't know if it is adding gain or how it is actually adjusting the exposure.

When using these cams unmanned I generally just leave them on auto exposure and lock the focus.
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Old May 1st, 2010, 02:04 PM   #9
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While the amount of manual control possible will vary from model to model, John's right; none will offer the same type of manual control as a pro or prosumer cam. They make these things simple and idiot proof for a reason -- they're really targeted at the birthday-party crowd.

Which is not to say you can't get nice pictures out of them -- you can -- but just not with the same degree of control.
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Old May 1st, 2010, 02:47 PM   #10
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Thanks John and Adam...

It wouldnt be that bad if the smaller camera doesnt have much manual control..We dont tend to use it much for what we do, just as long as theres some facility to adjust exposure so that peoples faces arent completely burnt out and ideally save it so its always the same..

The AE shift function in picture profile on the FX1 seemed to really do the trick for us the other night, what i liked was we could set spotlight with AE shift and that kept the bright stuff under control but also it was dynamic so it didnt suffocate out the darker shots with lower settings.. Best of all it was still in auto mode so we didnt have to worry about it.. If there was spotlight and AE shift on a smaller camera it would be perfect. The other stuff like shutter, gain and iris wouldnt matter so much.

Ive just been looking on youtube at some footage taken from HVR XR550.. It looks impressive in one sense but its so vivid it looks unatural at times.. That looks like the best of Sonys hard drive models at the moment...
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Old May 1st, 2010, 06:17 PM   #11
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The XR520 has both Scene Selection/Spot light and AE SHIFT, so I assume the 550 does as well.
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Old May 1st, 2010, 10:08 PM   #12
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Fantastic thanks.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 03:36 AM   #13
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I have been looking at the CX550 and XR550 over the last few days.. I am having trouble finding a detailed comparison chart from anywhere online.. does anyone know if this exists ? Sony Australia doesnt seem to offer anything and they dont even list the CX550 on their site, although one local retailer i spoke to has it in stock..

It looks to me like the only diffeence between CX550 and XR550 is the hard drive in the XR and the flash in the CX.. But if i could add SDHC cards to the CX also it would be fine for what i need.. I only need around 6-8 hours shooting time in 4 or 5 segments so the flash alone would go close to covering me.

Also dont the flash ram cameras draw less power and therefore give you longer running times on battery ?

i just want to make sure i know all the little things between each model as i dont want to overlook anything i might need.. I love the fact the XR550 has AE shift and spotlight, im fairly confident it will be able to handle the extremes in lighting we get when we film at concerts..

Last edited by Randy Sanchez; May 4th, 2010 at 06:30 AM.
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