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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 January 27th, 2011, 01:44 PM   #1
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Is a Sony FX1 still in date?

I'm thinking of purchasing a Sony fx1, second hand, for roughly around a grand off ebay. I'm still doing research, and asking loads of questions (which is why i came to this forum actually!)

But i'm getting all this sway about getting a DSLR due to it being light-weight. The interchangeable lenses. The solid state memory, the 1080p full frame.

I'll mostly be filming occasional short films, for general hobby and college work.

Along with hopefully getting into free lance music videos. (someone at my college asked me to do one when i showed them a video with a hi-8 cam. I don't know what they were thinking.) And possibly weddings.

Any tips you can give me will be greatly appreciated!
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Old January 27th, 2011, 02:38 PM   #2
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Hey Karl,
The FX1 was a nice camera in it's days as it was introduced. There are still people using that cam to this day. Compared to the next generation of camcorders the fx1 has it's share of limitations. For your use I'd look at dslr for shooting or if you can increase your body to $2K you can get a XHA1, FX1000, HMC-150 or newer gen used camcorders. If you want the FX1 as a back up it's a good idea to pick one up but not as a main camcorder. That's my suggestion. If your limited by budget the DSLR's are cheap solutions with excellent quality and progressive framrates.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 03:07 PM   #3
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today I wouldn't buy anything recording on tape, FX1 was a great camera 5 years ago, but 5 years for technology is a lot; hard to believe, but today, camcorders like TM700 ($650 new) will perform better than FX1, they don't look as 'professional' as FX1, but If I had to choose between two for a wedding shot, I'd pick TM700 or better yet this year model of Canon XA10/HF G10, those will be something really awesome for the consumer\prosumer price point!
but for a music video, or any other type of creative shots in the environment where you always control the light, and have a chance for another take, to my mind DSLR would do better job, but you have to be aware and educated about all DSLR limitations and additional to initial camera price add-ons.
Rule is simple, buy the best you can afford, but always go with your budget,
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Old January 28th, 2011, 02:25 PM   #4
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i got a 550D and EX1 and a FX1, and believe me , the FX1 is still my preffered one.
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Old January 28th, 2011, 03:10 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replys and great info guys.
I played around with my friends canon 500d today and started doing some research. The 550d has audio inputs which is a great bonus. Plus. It's like, 600 ish new?! So i'd be saving around 300-400 getting something new. Great quality and solid state. I don't know why i thought about it in the first place!
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Old February 5th, 2011, 07:26 AM   #6
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Yeah the FX1 is still a great camera. I'm still using my Z1E and will be selling it shortly. The FX/Z1 is a proper work horse camera that works and works without any problems.

I must add I'm using the MRC1K.
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Old February 8th, 2011, 06:27 AM   #7
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Keeping using the FX1sh guys, a lot of documentaries you watch on Discovery channel are shot with the z1 (fx1 pro Sister with XLR inputs), so if you can afford it i wouldn't deserve even if now u can have better HW but spending a lot more money
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Old March 8th, 2011, 02:37 AM   #8
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Re: Is a Sony FX1 still in date?

Karl - the FX1 is a 'designed right, first time' camcorder. Everything about it is aimed at making the films you shoot look good. The audio could do with XLR inputs (a loss that's been rectified in the AX2000) but in all other respects the FX1 is a film-making camera that's complete, out of the box.

Have you tried to make a movie with a DSLR - even one 'designed' for video such as the GH1? If you haven't, be prepared for a whole host of ergonomic headaches, headaches that an FX1 owner will never experience.

If you're a run 'n' gunner the FX1 wins hands down. If you're pottering about and have time to play, then the current DSLR route will give you different looking pictures (limited dof and unlimited aliasing). Your ' occasional short films, for general hobby and college work' make it sound as if a DSLR might be right up your street, but your thought that it's a cheaper alternative to the FX1 couldn't be more wrong.

tom.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 03:03 AM   #9
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Re: Is a Sony FX1 still in date?

Last year I had the opportunity to edit fx1 footage and must say it looked very nice, much warmer colors then what my xh-a1 produces, only one drawback; light sensitivity. If you plan on shooting with available light in darker area's then go the dslr route, same applies if you want shallow dof. Otherwise the fx1 is a good camera if you can get it for a good price. Remember to take "1080p full frame" with a pinch of salt, dslr's are in between SD en HD in regard to "real" resolved resolution. I have a pocket camera the size of a mobile phone that can do 1080p but it looks like crap compared to my xh-a1. :)
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Old March 10th, 2011, 03:15 AM   #10
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Re: Is a Sony FX1 still in date?

The FX1 is still a viable camcorder, just look at how many are still in regular use on weddings and local news footage. As Tom Hardwick says, all the controls are in the right places and have the right feel. Just look at the latest professional medium-sized cameras on the market, The Sony EX1R, the Canon XF300/5, they haven't changed much in their ergonomics, because that's what works best.
Tape is not an issue for most users unless they have very tight deadlines. It's cheap, cheap enough to permanently archive the original media. Mini DV tape has been developed over the last 15 years to be a reliable medium that does not deteriorate on the shelf. Expect it to be obtainable for at least another 10 years. And don't worry about the difference between 1440x1080 and 1920x1080 HD, to date most broadcast TV material has been originated at that resolution or less.
Compared with the latest HDV cameras, the FX1/Z1 lens is a little soft, but that helps to keep aliasing artifacts down compared with some more recent cameras.
SLRs have a role in video, but those uses are quite restricted. I have a 550D, an excellent stills camera, but a pig to handle for video, very edgy on moire' and aliasing artifacts, and it's resolution in practice, is not significantly better than the FX1.

Steve
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Old March 10th, 2011, 08:42 AM   #11
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Re: Is a Sony FX1 still in date?

I have a 5D Mk 2, a Z7u, CX550v and FX1, and I shoot event most of the time, FX1 and the CX550v is my preferred camera, you can't go wrong with the 2 combination, I just put the FX1 in auto mode most of the time except for the focus, auto mode in receptions where lighting does'nt change a lot is the way to go. I have the MRC1K attach to it, but from time to time I still use the tapes.

For me the FX1 is a great camera for what I shoot.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 07:37 AM   #12
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Re: Is a Sony FX1 still in date?

I'm still using my FX1 and I love it. Just want to find smaller camera to match image, anyone knows?
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Old March 9th, 2012, 11:28 AM   #13
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Re: Is a Sony FX1 still in date?

I actually bought a memory recording unit for mine, which is extending its life. Since the image out of this camera is still pretty amazing it seemed like the right thing to do. A new one is about $ 750.00, but I think I bought mine here on our website from a user for about $400.

Sony HVR-MRC1 Memory Recording Unit HVR-MRC1K B&H Photo Video
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Old March 20th, 2012, 09:10 AM   #14
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Re: Is a Sony FX1 still in date?

As what Chris said using the MRC1 longer's the life of the FX! which is my favorite tool, just be sure to shoot in cinema frame 30 to get the progressive look, or else you will need to de interlace, for outdoor I turn on Cinematone, and for indoor I do turn it off, and use the Picture Profile 1 for HD recording.

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