FX1000 has arrived - first impressions - Page 17 at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-Z5 / HDR-FX1000
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old March 3rd, 2009, 06:16 PM   #241
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oops FX1000 is a winner afterall

Well I am happy to eat my words.

Further use and understanding of how the FX1000 works has resulted in much better images than I was first getting.

Initially I had issues with getting over exposure but now I am running Zebra or at least referring often to Zebra the images are AMAZING!

What I have also learnt is that doing manual white balances is a must, especially for indoor filming. I found the indoor setting produced a rather "cold" look for a dance concert I filmed. My old Panasonic DVC62 however always had a warm indoor preset.

So now that I am use to what to expect when looking at the LCD screen I am certainly looking forward to my next shoots.

Also going to 1/3" chips have made picture quality much better.

The Audio Balen box I use is working fine and soon I will purchase the CF unit.

Z5 will complement the FX but that will have to wait until the end of the year.

I am now a happy chappy have learnt how to work around issues and generally be aware of the what is required to get the best result.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 08:26 PM   #242
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I just got mine unit today :-)

Thx to the reading of this section there is no surprises as far as the features and menu, etc... Now it's down to personal settings and testing.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 06:59 AM   #243
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Martin, great to hear! I'd bet that those that are unhappy with the unit also have not learned to use a camera with this degree of sophistication.

The fact is that using manual white balance is a must! Even if a preset or AWB looks right, you'll almost always get better results by using MWB. One thing that people often overlook when using AWB, is that every time you turn off the camera or zoom in on a single colored object, you run the risk of the AWB changing. This can look awful when you look at the color of the prior or subsequent clip.

Using MWB keeps all clips consistent.

And yes, those zebras are running wild in our cams for a reason, to help with overexposure when that area of the picture is important.

I've had to work around the autofocus issues more than anything. I still think that's an area that needs improvement.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 08:04 PM   #244
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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Now for the bad: The menu scroll wheel is like a bad joke.
I just received my new twins a few minutes ago and Jeff, I agree 100% with you on this one. Everything you said in post #1 on this issue echo my feelings exactly. Not a deal-breaker or even enough to dampen my enthusiasm for its ergonomics overall, but does make you wonder what they were thinking.

I'm glad we're finally on the same page about something...;-)
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Sony does not allow you to toggle between indoor and outdoor WB settings. You only get one preset, and you have to choose it in the menu, indoor or outdoor. (why?) There are two customizable presets in addition, but these are WB settings which you calibrate yourself.
Yeah, they always do this, it seems. To me it would make more sense to have two presets and one you calibrate yourself, not the other way around.

Another interesting this for those coming from FX1s or 7s is that the way the 1000 thinks when going into manual mode is sort of the opposite of the older cams. On the 1 and 7, when you move the three-position AUTO/MAN/LOCK switch from AUTO to MAN, the three exposure variable are still really in AUTO unless you push each button and enable its manual function, at which point you can adjust it any way you like. But on the 1000, when you switch from AUTO to MANUAL on the two-position switch, all the variables go full manual unless you push each switch to put each back into AUTO mode. Not a problem, just a different way of thinking.

As reported elsewhere, the LCD is simply breath-taking, and I think the VF is remarkable too. I also like how the large eyecup simply fits over the stock eyecup, so you always have both with you.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 08:22 PM   #245
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I was re-reading some of my earlier posts. I remember how defensive I was when someone claimed the images were soft from the camera. Oh what a difference time can make. You can see in the beginning of the thread how I gradually come to see the softness of the images, even though I resisted seeing them as they were.

I felt the camera was close to perfect initially...I certainly don't feel that way anymore, but I don't feel it is the worst either.

No one with objectivity can claim this is the "best" camera in it's price range, but I remember before I had even received mine that I had declared it would blow everything else like it out of the water. I was wrong. It certainly has good qualities, but that doesn't mean it is the best.

I desperately wanted the camera to be perfect, I had too much of my ego tied up into it.

In retrospect, there are several cameras that are as good, and some say better then the FX1000 and Z5, etc.

And as I've said before, as far as wedding cams, the FX1000 leaves a bit to be desired, but none of others are perfect either.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 08:36 PM   #246
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I was re-reading some of my earlier posts. I remember how defensive I was when someone claimed the images were soft from the camera. Oh what a difference time can make. You can see in the beginning of the thread how I gradually come to see the softness of the images, even though I resisted seeing them as they were.
Jeff, so so much of this depends on HOW you view the clips...in other words, what is your display device? When I watch the Z5 clips on either of my LCDs (22" Vaio or 22" HP), I can easily see why people would say they look somewhat 'soft'. But those very same clips, when viewed on my Pioneer 60" 1080p Kuro plasma, are sharp as a tack. I'm talking RAZOR sharp. My friend also has a Z5 and when he views his clips on his 50" Fujitsu plasma (a 768p display) vs my plasma, he says it almost looks as if it were shot with a different camera. The bottom line is he's looking to get the Kuro plasma. I think this is why some people think it's a very sharp camera (and professional reviews on this cam say the same thing) and others think differently. Much of it gets back to your display.

Even among 1080p displays, upconversion quality differs greatly. Since HDV is 1440X1080, there is still a need for scaling to get it to the display's native 1920X1080 resolution.

So I absolutely do not buy into the idea that this camera is soft. No way, no how. I just wish everyone could see some of the shots I have from San Francisco when viewed on the 60" Kuro. We're talking absolute broadcast quality in their look...superb!
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Old March 4th, 2009, 08:48 PM   #247
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Tomorrow will be a real test for me. The cams didn't arrive in time for us to use today shooting a stage production with some*very* low light levels, so we used the normal complement of FX1s and FX7s. For tomorrow's show, we will swap out the FX1000s for the FX1s and see how they compare. I've accused the FX1s of being soft compared to the FX7s, so we'll see what happens with this semi-controlled experiment.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 08:57 PM   #248
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That should be fun Adam. I owned the FX1 for awhile and can tell you, at least from my experience, the Z5 is certainly sharper. I think much of it is the CMOS sensors together with the new lens. I think the lens has always been a weakness in prior Sonys. But it seems the joint venture lens developed by Konica-Minolta is a real winner.

I know opinions of CCI reviews differ, and I've certainly had my gripes with them, but their review showed a staggering 900 lines of horizontal resolution on the FX1000. That's significantly sharper than any cam they've ever tested and significantly more detailed than the comparable Canons. My eyes tend to agree. That's what makes the somewhat sloppy autofocus so much more frustrating to me.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 09:13 PM   #249
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In the final analysis, we are talking about 1/3" CMOS sensors, they cannot NOT be somewhat soft at times. I remember when another member first brought the softness up, I really took it personally, and thought he was out to just dis the camera.

It has a stunning LCD, decent to great images, awkward controls, stupid shoe mount, and I move back and forth between liking it just fine and not liking it so much, but in the end it gets the job done.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 09:23 PM   #250
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Jeff, all I'm saying is this is a sharp, very resolute camera. How much the lens plays a role, how much the sensors or processing factors in, I just don't know. But the bottom line is, regardless of the gripes you or I may have with the camera, it does not produce a soft image...unless you have misfocused the camera.

This is not just a subjective feeling as I watch a razor-sharp image on a 60" screen, but it is also an objective measurement of 900 lines of horizontal resolution. That translates to a sharp, resolute image no matter what you feel about the camera. I have read the same thing in another professional review I saw on the unit.

If you're not seeing a sharp image than it's either your display or focusing issues...and I can certainly sympathize with focusing issues...been there, done that. We can agree about other failings of the design, but objectively and subjectively, it's the sharpest camera I've ever owned and the sharpest camera CCI has ever tested.

Jeff, one final note, I'm not sure why you think that 1/3" CMOS chips can't be sharp all the time. Can they be soft at times? Sure, I've got clips just like that...but it was my fault in not properly focusing or relying on a not too reliable autofocus. There's much more to sharpness & resolution than just the size of the chip. The lens, the processing, and other factors all play a role. The resolution #s that CCI got with the FX1000's 1/3" CMOS chips rival those of larger chips. Hell, I've got a Canon HV20 that looks sharp all the time and its single CMOS chip is no bigger than 1/3". But it still doesn't have the detail of the Z5. You may not like the rolling shutter, but you can't blame the CMOS design for a lack of sharpness.

In my opinion an objective resolution measurement cuts through any of our opinions. In this case it certainly agrees with what my eyes are seeing.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 10:24 PM   #251
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Boy, now you guys have really got me itching to make some controlled tests. I can't wait to get into the theater tomorrow. Maybe this weekend I can do some side-by-sides with FX1, FX7 and FX1000 and see if I can even see any diffference or if I'm imagining everythng.
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Old March 5th, 2009, 04:08 AM   #252
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I've got a Canon HV20 that looks sharp all the time and its single CMOS chip is no bigger than 1/3".
Actually Canon's HV30 CMOS chip is 1"/2.7, so it's actually noticeably bigger than 1"/3. How much of that chip's surface area is used for imaging I don't know, but the same applies for Sony's 1"/3 chips too.
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Old March 5th, 2009, 06:12 AM   #253
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Tom, I checked and you are indeed correct. But, even with the HV20's larger surface area, the 3-chip Z5 is still noticeably sharper and more detailed than the single chip HV20. Some may say "So what's the big deal, wouldn't you expect a camera of the class of a Z5 to be sharper than a consumer HDV camera". Well, not so fast. I've read a number of Canon XH-A1 owner say their HV20s can actually look as sharp or a bit sharper than their A1. Of course there are many other picture parameters in which the XH-A1 will trump the HV20, but sharpness is not one of them.

But again, the resolution #s of the Z5 do put this cam in a class by itself.
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Old March 5th, 2009, 06:15 AM   #254
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Boy, now you guys have really got me itching to make some controlled tests. I can't wait to get into the theater tomorrow. Maybe this weekend I can do some side-by-sides with FX1, FX7 and FX1000 and see if I can even see any diffference or if I'm imagining everythng.
Adam, I had the FX7 too for awhile, and I found that camera sharper than the FX1. But I always thought the FX7 was a bit noisy and certainly poor in low light. It always looked to me like Sony added edge enhancement to the FX7 contributing to its somewhat noisy image.
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Old March 5th, 2009, 06:50 AM   #255
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Tom, I checked and you are indeed correct..
Thank you Ken - but there's no need. I try and check everything myself before I post :)

I would expect a three times dearer Z5 (new in very late 2008) to be sharper than the two years older HV20, wouldn't you? But the Canon goes after sharpness in a sensible way. It uses a big modern chip (and Canon know all about CMOS from their DSLRs). It has a very conservatively specified zoom - only 10x and only f/1.8. Both good ways of keeping sharpness high and flare and distortion low. It also uses in-built and auto ND filtration, so ensuring that you use the lens' sweet spot whenever possible.

Because the Z5 relies entirely on the operator switching to the correct ND at the correct time, I'm betting a casual user will get sharper results from an HV20. Its OIS has far less work to do, that's for sure.

tom.
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