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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 20th, 2006, 11:10 AM   #1
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Another boring Fx vs. Z1 question.

I'm trying to deceide between a Z1 and an FX1 as a second camera. In order to get the kind of audio I need, I'd get the Beechtek dx 8 (another post today). So that brings the difference between the two cameras down to $1200.(Beechtek is around $390).
Are the other features worth the difference? I know that's subjective question, but would appreciate hearing your oppinions.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 11:15 AM   #2
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pulled, accidentally posted before completion.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 11:17 AM   #3
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To me, no. I have the FX1 But if you want to shoot in PAL, and the associated frame rates, you might want to consider it. As I understand it, it shoots both PAL and NTSC, so you really get two cameras in one. You also have a better warranty situation, and I also understand repair and service issues are handled through the professional divisions, where time issues seem to be of more concern to the repair people.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 12:20 PM   #4
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Free Run Time Code is one of the reasons that many chose the Z1U over the FX1. The first link has a good list of differences. It depends on what you need.
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=43336
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=39998
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=35382
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Old April 20th, 2006, 12:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos
As I understand it, it shoots both PAL and NTSC, so you really get two cameras in one.
Yes, and in fact that's the only reason I bought the Z1 at all. I needed a PAL DVCAM camera for a big project and didn't want to get a PAL-only camcorder.

The point about service is well taken, but fortunately I haven't had any need for that with my VX-2000, PDX-10 or Z1 (knocking wood as I type ;-)
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Old April 20th, 2006, 12:53 PM   #6
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More on Sound

Another issue in the Z-1 and FX1 area is the sound. You indicated that could be an issue. I've seen sound people trash the Z and FX1 sound capabilities because of the HDV codec. It apparently is not as good as DV, though most of us probably wouldn't know the difference. So, if sound is a big issue, you would probably consider recording tracks to another sound system and laying it in on post. In addition, when you do use it as your primary source, I think the BeachTech adapter actually works very nice and can provide you with capability of two independent mics. From that standpoint, I don't think your lose anything staying with the FX1
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Old April 20th, 2006, 01:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos
I've seen sound people trash the Z and FX1 sound capabilities because of the HDV codec.
Yeah, I've seen that too. But the opera I just recorded in HDV really sounds great (using a line level feed from the house board).
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Old April 20th, 2006, 05:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Yeah, I've seen that too. But the opera I just recorded in HDV really sounds great (using a line level feed from the house board).
Boyd...do you use auto for the sound or adjust the levels on the camera yourself?

I have found that with auto the sound runs a little hot, but when in manual, i am between 2-3 on the dials and that seems low. Any higher on the dials and it seems I get some sound peaking even though the level meters are not peaking.

Have you seen that, or am I doing something wrong.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 06:07 PM   #9
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With the PAL option in the Z1, you also have the option of slowing down the 50i or Cineframe25"p" options 4% to get 24p-like material that is very usable for the 24p-look which is important to a substantial group of folks.

Unlike Cineframe24 which has strange, nonuniform field sampling, Cineframe25 and Cineframe30 sample at regular intervals and thus look pretty smooth.

The FX1 has only 60i/30"p" options in the US and slowing the 30"p" material down 20% to get a 24p-like source is noticeably slowed.

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Old April 20th, 2006, 09:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Vystrcil
I have found that with auto the sound runs a little hot
My experience is the opposite! I put one channel on auto and the other on manual using a single XLR line level feed. On the manual channel I get the board op to send me a 0dB analog tone and set the manual level to read -3dB on the meter. The auto channel reads around -12dB on the meter. I'm typically setting the manual level wheel around 8 on the scale. The channel with auto level is not nearly so hot and I usually boost it in post. Leaving one channel on auto gives me some peace of mind so I don't worry about a loud spike causing distortion. We had the full chorus clapping and singing during the last show and it looked ugly on the meters on both channels! But those short spikes sound OK on the tape.

This works for me, but of course the sound guy is monitoring my feed during the show. Your mileage may vary.... sound really isn't my thing at all, so if I find something that works I just stick with it :-)
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