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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 September 3rd, 2006, 01:48 AM   #16
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Pedro, you say you're not sure whether the Z1's extra features are worth the price difference, but the 40+ differences are really well worth having. I have both a Z1 and an FX1, and here's my input.

The most obvious of course is the XLR inputs, but that's no big deal if you don't mind having a Beachtek bolted underneath. Of course a Beachtek still doesn't offer you the audio advantages that the Z1 does, but we'll move on.

Focus assist on the Z1 is superb, where a 'helping hand' on the focus ring (while still in the auto focus mode) can tell the camera which plane to focus on. Then there's the 6 assign buttons, two of which can be allocated to fine adjustments of the white balance setting. Wonderful! Use that all the time.

Then there's v/finder underscan, the hours meter and the much more useful zoom counter. A bit about this:

Like the Panasonic DVX100B the viewfinder readout of the zoom goes from double zero at full wide-angle to 99 at full telephoto. Somewhat bizarrely it reads Z00 at full wide and Z99 at full telephoto. On the Z1 you can also have this as a small bar-chart readout, but the count-up / count-down readouts are very useful for a couple of reasons.

Say I fit my single element wide-angle converter for a shot, and once this is on I know I’ll stay in sharp focus as long as the zoom readout is between zero and 65 – in other words with this converter lens in place I have a 6.5x zoom instead of the native 12x. As soon as I zoom beyond this 65 figure the camera goes rapidly into a complete and rather beautiful blur; one that I cannot reproduce in post on the timeline.

You might wonder why it is that I would want a shot to dissolve into a complete blur, and the answer is that putting a cross dissolve between two such blurs can be a very effective way of transitioning between the outside and the inside of a building, say, or to show the change from night to day.

There’s another good reason for having a count-down of the focal length changes, telling you exactly when you’re approaching the end of your zoom range. If you’re combining a zoom back with a pan it can look pretty naff if the zooming out comes to a stop before the pan has finished. One draws immediate attention to the other. If you pan while zooming, all the time keeping your eye and a small part of your brain on the zoom readout, you can stop the pan and the zoom at exactly the same point in time. This looks far better on screen than it does in these words, I assure you.

So yes, go for the Z1 and never look back. If I pick up the FX1 by mistake I quickly change back to the Z1. As Chris Hocking neatly puts it - it's just such a complete package.

And don't worry that Sony will be rushed by the competition. The interchangeable lens of the XL1 didn't make them flinch. Canon's choice of a 20x range for the GL1 and XL2 didn't sway them either. Panasonic's far bigger side screen (DVX) doesn't seem to have influenced them and JVC's 720p seems to leave them cold.

The Z2 will be in the pre-prototype stage at this point, with changes to the magnesium chassis still possible. They'll have a watchful eye on the flash memory situation, but tape still holds a fistfull of aces. as far as storage per buck goes.

tom.
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Old September 3rd, 2006, 02:07 AM   #17
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick

The Z2 will be in the pre-prototype stage at this point, with changes to the magnesium chassis still possible. They'll have a watchful eye on the flash memory situation, but tape still holds a fistfull of aces. as far as storage per buck goes.

tom.
I can tell you with all confidence as someone aware of what the future is bringing from several camera manufacturers; there is *no* Sony Z2 on the horizon. Period, end of story. If you're attending or paying attention to IBC for that announcement, it'll be a long wait. Take food supplies and warm blankets as you'll be camped out for a while.

It was quite a surprise to me tho, when Canon showed their new "A1" camcorder, given that Sony has an HDV camcorder by the same name.
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Old September 3rd, 2006, 02:17 AM   #18
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Canon were first though. Their revolutionary A1 SLR (1976) was a technological masterpiece. Maybe they felt the nomenclature was theirs by right.
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Old September 3rd, 2006, 02:21 AM   #19
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To cut a long story short Pedro, I would say the Z1 would be a PERFECT upgrade to your HC1. Buy now and work out the consequences later...!
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Old September 3rd, 2006, 03:15 AM   #20
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Pedro, for the price you would pay for a Z1 or a FX1 I wouldn't think twice about waiting for the new Canon Hd cameras to come out (october). They are less expensive than the Z1 and the FX1 and they have a billion more options over image control...plus they have the same image sensor as the XL H1!! I have an FX1 and as soon as the canons hit the market I'm selling mine to buy a canon.
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Old September 3rd, 2006, 08:15 AM   #21
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Now *that* is amazing. I wish I had the ability to look at what many feel is a mocked-up photoshop job, and know it's featureset and capability from that graphic. With that sort of ability, I could make a lot of money foretelling futures. <sarcasm off>

It astounds me to keep reading "critiques" of a few new products coming to market, rumored to be coming to market, or mere "I wish this existed" when there is no actual product to be discussed nor talked about. It's understandable with IBC coming that there is a lot of speculation on potential product, but to actually be criticizing a potential product before it's even announced, let alone shipping? I think this thread prolly needs to be in Area 51, based on the criticisms of a non-existent and non-announced product.
Then again this could be for real. Like you said you have been surprised before. I would like to see a few get put out there right now. Maybe lower the prices. More choices. Good for us "prosumers"
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Old September 3rd, 2006, 09:25 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafael Lopes
I have an FX1 and as soon as the canons hit the market I'm selling mine to buy a canon.
I'm thinking of doing the same, but has anyone found what the lux levels on the A1 gonna be? I need the low light capabilities of the FX1, actually a little more light sensitivity would help, but I don't want a VX2100 or PD170...gotta be high-def!
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Old September 4th, 2006, 04:08 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafael Lopes
Pedro, for the price you would pay for a Z1 or a FX1 I wouldn't think twice about waiting for the new Canon Hd cameras to come out (october). They are less expensive than the Z1 and the FX1 and they have a billion more options over image control...plus they have the same image sensor as the XL H1!! I have an FX1 and as soon as the canons hit the market I'm selling mine to buy a canon.
What are the prices as of now for these two? I thought I read somewhere that they were going to be more than a Z1 by quite a bit.

I own a Z1 and LOVE it. I'm getting ready to buy another one actually. The one thing I really want is variable frame rates though.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 01:05 AM   #24
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I bought a Z1 about 2 months after it came out. Would I buy one again? Today?

Yes.

What do I NOT like about it?

I wish it had interchangable lenses.
I wish some of the controls were more logically placed.
I wish it had TC in/out

Other then that, I am a happy camper. Shot transition is so slick - gives me a free focus/zoom puller. I love that.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 02:30 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noah Hayes
I'm thinking of doing the same, but has anyone found what the lux levels on the A1 gonna be? I need the low light capabilities of the FX1, actually a little more light sensitivity would help, but I don't want a VX2100 or PD170...gotta be high-def!

Sadly for what I've read the lux levels on the A1 are going to be around 6...the FX1 is 3.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 05:11 AM   #26
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Buying a new camera days before a major Broadcast show is never a good idea!
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Old September 5th, 2006, 06:34 AM   #27
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And buying a brand new camera that's just been announced is an even less good idea.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 09:13 AM   #28
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Completely agreed.

Anyone know what the price point for the G1/A1 are?
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Old September 5th, 2006, 09:20 AM   #29
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Why is it that Canon lux rating is high, while Sony lux is lower? This seems to be a trend, but for what possible reason?

Surely, Canon can make lower lux ratings.

Is this some kind of conspiracy? Or is there a technical reason?
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Old September 5th, 2006, 10:01 AM   #30
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Technical reason Richard. Sony's HAD and Super HAD chips have millions of tiny moulded lenses, one in front of each pixel, concentrating the light and allowing smaller frames around each pixel. They've (understandingly) kept this ace card up their own sleeves.

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