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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 November 3rd, 2010, 07:38 AM   #1
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b-cam for a Z1

I do wedding videos, and currently use a Z1 as my main camera, and a cheapy consumer camera as a second camera. I'm looking to invest about 1000 on a better second camera... no idea what to go for though. I guess I just want whatever is best in that price range! Does anyone have any ideas?

thanks in advance :)
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Old November 4th, 2010, 02:00 AM   #2
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I've used a Canon HFS100, which I was able to match very well in post.
The only problem is that the material shot with these new little cameras in HD looks so good that the Z1 starts looking like the 'B' camera...
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Old November 4th, 2010, 04:35 AM   #3
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When I used my Z1 as my main cam (for over 4 years) my second cam and backup was an FX1. The beauty of this is that should the Z1 falter for any reason, the control layout of the FX1 will allow you to continue almost without interruption. I say almost, as it's the FX1's audio dumbing-down that might not help much. But this actually happened to me and I'm so glad my backup wasn't a domestic micro-chipped mini.

The other point is that the vast majority of of the time my Z1 was shooting in the DV mode. I could have the FX1 in its DV LP mode (with no losses whatsoever) and this would then cover the bride's late arrival as well as running unattended for 90 mins speeches (!)

Of course you'll have to look for a second-hand FX1, but the move to SD card means there's lots about at good prices.

tom.
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Old November 4th, 2010, 08:34 AM   #4
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Hi Tom & Robin, cheers for the advice.

Would you say either the FX1 or HFS100 are any better than the Z1 in low light conditions?
I'd quite like to get something that is significantly better than the Z1 in low light...


James
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Old November 4th, 2010, 12:06 PM   #5
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The FX1 is exactly the same as the Z1, resolution, low light and so on. The 8.59 megapixel spec of the HFS100 scares me a little. Although it uses quite a big chip that many pixels mean they're pretty small and crammed in - generally not conducive to good low light performance.

But then again I haven't compared them side-by-side, and until you do that you'll never know.

tom.
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Old November 4th, 2010, 01:22 PM   #6
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Using max gain on the Z1/FX1 gives a more acceptable image than that of the Canon - it gets really noisy...
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Old November 4th, 2010, 01:35 PM   #7
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Good point - +18dB of gain up on the Z1 is perfectly uesable. can't say the same for my NX5.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 08:36 AM   #8
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Do either of you think getting a DSLR, and using that as a main camera, with the Z1 as b-cam, is a good idea? I've been looking at the Canon 500D (t2i), which is available for just 500 at the moment...
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Old November 8th, 2010, 09:11 AM   #9
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DSLR as a wedding video cam? You know of the 'limitations' that will be imposed on you by going this route? It's no run 'n' gun solution, and a quickly unfolding wedding day is not the time (in my view) to be fighting these limitations. You're being paid to film, not fight.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 04:10 PM   #10
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Very good advice.
Shooting a wedding is essentially shooting a doc - and no one in their right mind would set out to shoot docs with the (almost) equivalent of an Arri SR35 (not even with a brilliant focus-puller)...
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Old November 8th, 2010, 08:18 PM   #11
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Sorry guys, it can be done. Check out this, shot with FX1 and Canon 550D:

A Christening Into The Forest

Just got to have a little imagination.
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Old December 6th, 2010, 03:13 AM   #12
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I sometimes use my JVC GZ-HD7 as b-cam for my Z1 cameras. It's a small 3CCD camera, and it produce the same "type" of picture as Z1. Not as good in really low light, but I like the picture style and quality.

It stores HDV-files on hard drive, but JVC calles them .TOD. I edit HDV and JVC TOD together with Sony Vegas.

I bought my GZ-HD7 second hand from UK for some 450 earlier this year.

I my case it also function as a small family camera with high quality and no CMOS problems at all. :)
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Old February 20th, 2011, 02:03 PM   #13
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Ive been using a Sony HC9 as a B cam to my Z1. Works well...
There is a good example up at
YouTube - The Etouffee Band - Tim Donahue drum solo!!!

The HC9 is the 'side view'. Edited with Sony Vegas 10 and uploaded to Youtube in HD.

...Doc
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