Z1U vs. FX1? at DVinfo.net

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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 August 8th, 2005, 12:23 PM   #1
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Z1U vs. FX1?

This has probably been brought up before, but, is there any image quality difference between the two? Or is it just audio?
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Old August 8th, 2005, 01:10 PM   #2
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Chris has summarized the differences here at HDVinfo.net:

http://hdvinfo.net/articles/sonyhdrfx1/compare.php

To answer your specific question: no, I don't think there are any differences in the image sensors or optics. However there are a number of features which might affect the way the recorded image looks. Some of these would be black stretch, additional cinegamma setting, color correction, skin tone, etc.

Of course the other huge difference is that the Z1 will shoot in PAL mode and also 1080/50). It will also downconvert 1080i to 480/30p and 576/25p through the component connector (but not over firewire).

Having the ability to show the full frame (underscan) on the LCD and viewfinder is also a nice upgrade. All things considered, the FX1 is a great deal though if you don't need the XLR's or these other features.
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Old August 8th, 2005, 03:04 PM   #3
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Hi Jesse

There are no differences between the two cameras with regards to image sensors. As Boyd has mentioned, the Z1 does have extra tweaks which can advantageous but is not critical.

I have the fortunate advantage of having both Z1 and the FX1, the latter was my first baby. If price is your consideration then the FX1 could be your answer along with a Beachtek XLR adapter.

It might be a good idea to pop around to your nearest hire/camera store and check out the cameras

Cheers
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Old October 18th, 2005, 12:55 AM   #4
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These are also helpful threads for this comparison:

From someone who has used both the FX1 and Z1
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=52913

Z1U gets better images than FX1?
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=52460
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Old October 18th, 2005, 09:25 PM   #5
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Great replies guys! I thank you all very much. :)
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Old February 14th, 2006, 01:31 AM   #6
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Shooting with black stretch on Z1 vs shooting with FX1 and stretching black in post

Would there be any quality advantage to using black stretch on a Z1 while shooting, rather than stretching black in post, on footage shot with a FX1?
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Old February 14th, 2006, 01:48 AM   #7
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Doing anything like that in post can really degrade the image. Black stretch is one of 3 things I like about the Z1 vs. the FX1. The other 2 are, predictably, 50i (and CF25) and balanced XLR inputs.

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Old February 14th, 2006, 10:27 AM   #8
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The only thing that is really nagging me about getting a FX1 rather than a Z1, is the lack of black stretch on the FX1. I can deal with the lack of XLR, and I'm not really looking to generate anything other than 60i, 60p and 30p.

Has using black stretch on the Z1 made for a noticible improvement in shooting weddings/receptions for anyone?

With my GY-DV300U, there is plenty of control on the amount of black stretch and I love it (but I don't know that it's worth over a grand). On the Z1, how many levels of black stretch are available, or is it basically just an on/off?
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Old February 14th, 2006, 01:47 PM   #9
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Using CT1 and Black Stretch is really cool, from what I hear, with weddings. Esp. in the dark. I haven't shot a wedding in years.

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Old February 16th, 2006, 08:52 PM   #10
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Thanks Heath. Can you tell me how much control the Z1 gives you on black stretch? Does it have several graduations of black stretch available?
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Old February 16th, 2006, 09:21 PM   #11
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Nope, all you can do is turn black stretch on or off by using the picture profiles. I really like it myself as it helps prevent the harsh look that video can sometimes have. I also find myself using CT1 quite a bit.
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Old February 16th, 2006, 11:45 PM   #12
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I'm a huge fan of CT2, though I am moving more and more into the CT1 arena. I know the HD100 and I think the XL H1 can do different levels of black stretch.

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Old February 17th, 2006, 12:03 AM   #13
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Having several levels of black stretch available on my GY-DV300U is something I truly appreciate in that camera.

Would anyone be interested in testing the quality of using black stretch on the Z1 to stretching black in post?
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Old February 17th, 2006, 12:18 AM   #14
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Maybe I should mention that I fully realize on-camera adjustment of black level straight from the head is going to result in better quality than adjustment in post, but I often find myself adjusting black level in post, on footage shot with cameras having no black stretch ability, because so often it can make for considerable improvement (especially if a little temporal noise reduction is gently used in conjunction).

My biggest hesitation still, in deciding between purchasing an FX1 or Z1, is whether or not the black stretch is basically worth about a grand to me.
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Old February 17th, 2006, 12:29 AM   #15
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Color Correct is great (Extract allows you to isolate specific colors, a la, red lips and dress on a woman but everything else is black and white, like SIN CITY). Going between 60i and 50i is wonderful, too.

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