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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 February 28th, 2006, 02:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert M Wright
The number of man hours required to code the algorithms for the extra features found on the Z1 should have been fairly minimal. It's pretty straight forward math. I would think it could be done in less than a month by a good programmer... Adding the additional features for the Z1 represents a relatively minuscule portion of the work, when viewed as a whole, from a software development prospective.
I’m not sure you understood my point. Intellectual property is not measured in man hours to program it; it is measured in whatever the market will bear for the “value” of having it. Even if an idea took 5 minutes to think up and 30 minutes to program, if it’s worth $1000 to you just to have it, then a company should charge $1000 for it. I’m not saying that the firmware alone justifies the additional cost of the Z1, but it was definitely the additional "feature value" that it provided along with the convenience of XLR input, external battery charger, etc. that made me spend more money for the Z1 instead of the FX1. I realize everyone has their own impression of the value add.

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Old February 28th, 2006, 02:45 PM   #17
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Hi John
I think both myself and Robert understood your point re: 'Intellectual' value of a given product..It is after all how 'we' photographers market our wares...
It took us a fraction of a second to make a picture, but its worth is what the market will pay...

To me the increased funtionalality of the Z1 just didn't justfy a grand more wedge... A beachtek does what I need, and I already had one... each has his own needs...

Regards

Gareth
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Old February 28th, 2006, 03:36 PM   #18
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There are two basic types of "value" for intellectual property. There's the R/D cost, which can be calculated pretty precisely (with the needed information), that the company "must" recoup (or it's just plain "bad" business) and there is "perceived value" (value to the customer - usefulness, pleasure derived, etc.), which is a little more difficult to gauge (that's where the marketing department really has to do their serious work, to determine "proper" pricing points to maximize profits).

When I analyzed the usefulness the extra Z1 features would provide to me, for my purposes, it was difficult to conclude that it was "worth" anywhere near $1500 (to me).

I'd really rather have the onboard XLR, but a Beachtek will effectively provide the same functional benefits (with a bit of a downside, in making for a more gangly setup), and actually offer a tad more functional flexibility (like being able to use my AT822 easily, without any adapters). I'd pay for the onboard XLR, but not a lot more than the cost of a Beachtek.

I like the paintjob on the Z1 a little better, but I sure won't pay much for it. Heck, for a few hundred, I can get virtually any paintjob I want (even hire an artist perhaps).

An external charger is nice, but purchasing a good one separately is not real expensive, and not having the option of onboard charging is actually a slight limitation (not that I will be charging batteries onboard my FX1).

The black stretch and extra "cinema like" gamma curves are something I would very much like to have. But, carefully considering, that I will quite likely be tweaking both in post often anyway, the value starts to become somewhat lesser, than if I would not be considering such tweaks in post. That the black stretch on the Z1 is limited to one setting (on/off), rather than offering graduated settings, was something that had a fairly significant impact on my analysis.

My budget is tight enough (to put it mildly), that in consideration with those budget constraints, I simply could not conclude that the additional features were "worth it" to me, so, come purchase decision time, unless a dang good deal on a Z1 came along before making an FX1 purchase, it was going to be the FX1 for me (and the way things turned out, a very nice deal on an FX1 did came along first).
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Old February 28th, 2006, 03:59 PM   #19
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Btw John, I like what you folks are doing at VAAST. The website there has been real useful to me, and I appreciate it. I haven't made a purchase from VAAST yet, but I'd be pretty surprised if I don't, somewhere along the line. That Gearshift looks real attractive.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 05:40 AM   #20
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Iīve used Sonys 390 and 570 very often, before changing to the Z1. And honestly, if I would have tried the FX1 at first, beside of the picturequality, I never would have changed.(forunately I`ve seen the Z1 at first)
Some reasons:
It starts with the timecode, with the Z1 I can use it like all other professional Camcorders
Under certain conditions, with the Z1 I can use the B/W viewfinder like all other professional Camcorders
for critical work, with the Z1 I can use the underscanmode like all other professional camcorders
for audiowork, with the Z1 I`ve complete control over both channels individually, monitoring ditto, I can switch off limiter like all other professional camcorders
I like to have control over my hoursmeter like all othe professional camcorders
additional gamma control
Coloradjustments
peaking adjustments
dvcam mode
and so on

So I think itīs the professional workflow as used with other professional camcorders, which makes the big difference between Z1 and FX1.
For me this 1500.- difference was a no brainer, I buy it on time but use it all the time and finally I donīt have a bad conscience to charge the same rates as for the 390 or 570...
...my opinion...but everyone can decide for themselve...

alex
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Old March 1st, 2006, 06:29 AM   #21
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I was doing a big project that needed a PAL camera/deck, so instead of buying something I wouldn't use much in the future I decided to get the Z1 solely for it's NTSC/PAL standard definition features. If I hadn't been working on that project I doubt that I'd have bought any kind of HD camera for awhile. But as it turned out, I'm very happy that this was the incentive to get me into HDV. I like all those other Z1 upgrade features a lot also, but people who are on a tight budget and don't need PAL will probably go for the FX1. And I suspect this is sort of how Sony expects things to be - like the VX-2000 vs PD-150. The "pro" model is targeted at people with a little deeper pockets. When I bought my VX-2000 nearly 5 years ago I paid about $2,400 and the PD-150 was about $3,500 (actually I would have bought the PD-150 but nobody had them in stock!).

But really, I think Mark summed the whole situation up very neatly: "Reportedly the Z1 is Sony's best-selling 'professional' camera ever, so they probably don't care :)." The reality is that the market decides what a camera is worth. If Sony wasn't getting the sales they wanted out of the camera then they would lower the price. FWIW, I paid $4,800 for my Z1 nine months ago at B&H. Now they're listing it for $4,600 which is a 4% price drop.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 11:31 AM   #22
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I found myself really desiring the Z1, but I had to engage my brain, and not just simply follow my heart. The cost difference is going to buy me quite a few of those "little" things that improve overall production quality, that I might have had to cut some corners and skimp on if i went with a Z1 instead of the FX1.
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Old March 1st, 2006, 04:39 PM   #23
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Well, my FX1 arrived. I haven't popped a tape in it and shot anything yet, but I powered it up and played with settings a bit, and so far, I like it!
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Old March 4th, 2006, 04:00 AM   #24
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Robert,

How about posting some clips so we can see how nice your new toy is? And let us know what settings you used. I'm considering a purchase this year and would like to see more footage with or w/o post work.

I hope the price drops more this year!
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Old March 4th, 2006, 03:54 PM   #25
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I've only shot a few quick test clips in my work area thus far (I'm not going to put crystal clear, high resolution video of my delightfully cluttered workarea on the world wide web ...LOL). I'm quite pleased with the quick tests. It was really dang cold here for awhile, but warming up a little now. Perhaps when I get out and about to do some shooting, I might post something.
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