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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 July 1st, 2007, 03:55 PM   #1
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The quality of the warranty repair

I am exploring options to send my FX-1 to Sony's warranty repair for the manual focus ring issue (see my previous post) and a few others.

However I am hesitant, because a friend once sent in his FUNCTIONING small soccer-mon-type digicam to Sony for cleanup and it came back with missing buttons and screws....and a note that says it was beyond repair.

That made me believe...at Sony America's repair center, there are some heavy-handed careless people laughing and joking at the cameras that are sent in.

Should I send in....would my FX-1 go to a "professional" division of the repair department, or a place full with kids with no college education?

Thanks,
Alex
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Old July 1st, 2007, 07:44 PM   #2
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The experience of my FX1 camera repair was flawless; they fixed my problem (Firewire had fried) quickly and without issue.

That said, I think you should revisit your post on your manual focus issue and read what Boyd Ostroff said in reply. You say you have expereince in still cameras. However the FX1 is different from a still camera in that its sensor size is considerably smaller. This increases the circle of confusion when focusing and deepens depth of field. The FX1's focus sensitivity is built to counter the comparably insensitive depth of field of the FX1 versus SLRs. Basically, you'll really never encounter a situation when the depth of field is razor thin and requires pinpoint accuracy, and the only time you do (at the telephoto range of the lens) the focus ring adapts to that situation and becomes less sensitive and requires more rotation to sweep the same distance.

Also the reason the FX1 focuses on contrasty areas is because it works on passive autofocus (sweeps the focus range and stops where the luma value between lines is the greatest) rather than the active systems (infrared, etc) found on higher-end SLRs. If it were to work via active you would actually find it to be slower and less responsive.

Similarly, try not to let your imagination go wild with your friend's experience with Sony support. They are a reputable company and their service is equally respectable, despite a few issues here and there that are bound to crop up with any large organization.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 12:01 AM   #3
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Thanks Ben.

You are correct. I read Boyd's post. It has to do with the depth of field. I may not have to send it to warranty repair after all!

By the way, have you tried the beep and melody option in the menu? On mine, beep is melody and melody is mute - same as off.

Also...do you believe in the high dB output $12 tapes? I just use regular TDKs available at Costco and Targets. Occasionally I get about 1/2-second frame drop or so.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 04:51 AM   #4
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Hi Alex, not too long ago I swapped from cine film to video after many years of believing that video (standard definition) just didn't have adequate quality. I bought into video when HD came on the market and found that all my film gear knowledge translated very well although I had a lot to learn about the new field. Just as 8mm cine film is different to 35mm but the fundementals are the same. You wouldn't grab and 8mm home movie camera and ask why doesn't it run 35mm film in 1000 foot magazines, so your FX1 is different to your still camera. And you can extract stills from your "footage".
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 11:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Perkins View Post
Also...do you believe in the high dB output $12 tapes? I just use regular TDKs available at Costco and Targets. Occasionally I get about 1/2-second frame drop or so.
Ah, so you're still thinking in analog! Keep in mind digital video is all 1's and 0's, not dBs, so every tape will either produce the exact same image or else simply dropout. I use the Sony HDV tapes because, come on, they're the cheapest yet most important part of your chain, why use a $2 tape on your expensive setup?

Those 1/2 second dropouts are because of the HDV compression, which uses a "keyframe" every 15 frames to determine how to compress the next 15 frames. Lose that keyframe, and the whole 15 frames go kablooey. Standard DV didn't have that issue because each frame was compressed individually.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 02:07 AM   #6
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Ben...I don't know whether you will be offended if I explain this high dB output business to you.

The reason Sony's high dB output HDV tapes is attrated to me....is NOT that I was trying to get better pictures or sounds like in analog.

As you correctly explained, it's all 1's and 0's; and there is this compression method in which each frame depends on the previous one.

If for any reason...say due to a hipcup in the transport or dirty head...the recording signal fails to peak to 100% to signal a 1.
- the normal DV tape records the peak at 45% strength
- the more sensitive HDV tape records the peak at 65% strength

Say, the definition for a 1 is any signal higher than 60% strength. During the playback, only the signal from the HDV tape will be counted as "1" for the above example.

Another reason: when tapes get older, signal strengths drop. So, high energy tapes are safer in the long run. Especially for the HDV! Because like you have explained correctly, one frame loss could mean 15 frame loss in HDV.

Not buying the $12 HDV tapes, I have been cheap purely for economic reason. But I do know that HDV tapes are definitely better. And I believe I just explained here successfully why.

Cheers,
Alex
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