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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 September 1st, 2010, 10:57 AM   #1
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fx1000 vs canon 7d

Hi, I'm currently an owner of a used fx1 that's used for weddings and action filming.
The plan is to get something new so naturally I was thinking the fx1000.
But after watching some wedding highlight shot with the 7d I was very impressed which leads me to this question.
What's the advantage of a fx1000 over a canon7d?

Seems like the canon is $1000 cheaper weighs half the weight-good for a steadicam and is all digital...no tapes.

Any info would be great.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 11:15 AM   #2
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Advantage is you are moving into a more cinematic output, including shallow depth of field and choice of some great lenses.

You reallyneed to get into the Canon DSLR threads to see what you are in for. Outfitting a 7D is not over when you buy the camera. In event work, you will need to consider stabilizing, with shoulder brace, who you are going to hand sound, addition of a view finder, etc. I have the FX1, the Canon 5D and the Canon T2i. For simple recording of events in decent lighting, the FX1 is super, as I assume the FX 1000 is similar. But if you want to get into better low light creativity, shallow depth of field, and other more cinematic effects, a DSLR may be the answer for you.

Initially, however, I would not think of the 7D as a replacement for your stock Video camera, untill you have had some experience. Generally, you will be having to pull focus in moving situation, and that will take some practice and learning of the gear.
Chris J. Barcellos
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Old September 1st, 2010, 12:43 PM   #3
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Everything Chris said plus this: most DSLR type cams still have limits on recording times. If memory serves, the Canons go 12 minutes and then you have to manually start recording another clip. Not a problem when you are shooting in short segments but it poses difficulties for shooting longer segments, particularly for the weddings you mentioned. I believe Panasonic has a DSLR (GH1?) whose North American models do not have these time limitations, so you might check it out. Every camera represents choices about tradeoffs, though, and you need to assess which ones matter to you. Chris suggested that you check out the DSLR forums, and there is a lot of information there. Be warned, though, some DLSR partisans are very partisan about the advantages of their choices and the drawbacks of all other cameras and shooting styles.

Additionally, you say you shoot "action." That raises another set of issues. I don't know what you meant by "action" --- maybe it is mountain biking, car or cycle races, skiing, or maybe it is dancers on a stage, maybe it is high school or college athletics, maybe it is something else altogether --- but action video typically involves rapidly changing zooms and focus and camera motion. These are the kinds of things that cameras like the FX1 and FX1000 were designed for while the DSLR cams seem better adapted to set-piece movie film-style shooting. As you will find in the forums that Chris recommended, there are some people who have very happily adapted DSLRs to action shooting and folks who find DSLRs to be the wrong tool for what they shoot and their workflow.

You indicated you are attracted by the idea of going tapeless. You can do that with the FX1000 by adding an Sony MRC1k compact flash recording unit. There are some tradeoffs in weight and awkwardness --- in the stock configuration,the MRC mounts to the accessory shoe on the front of the top handle, and that can be awkward when you are not shooting from a tripod --- and expense. An MRC is $750, and you will need to buy some batteries for it (though it does uses the same NPF series used with your FX1) and you'll need to buy the CF cards. Doing this will allow you to got "belt and suspenders" -- doubling up by shooting to cards and having a tape backup. But, if you are thinking about going tapeless, I'd suggest you look at the tapeless AX2000. It is about $300 ($US) more than the current prices for the FX1000 (which is to say, less than half the cost of adding tapeless capability to an FX1000). It has a similar control layout, it has XLR connections and a mike mount for an external mike, and it has the new "active steady shot" optical image stabilization which can be a great help when shooting "action" with a handheld camera.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 08:28 PM   #4
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I have both - FX1000 and 7D and I use 7D only for details and/or artistic shots. The majority of work is done with FX1000. You have to remember one thing - buying 7D wont make your vids as cool as you see on the web. You will need stabilizers (ie. shoulder rig) with lcd hood. You will need audio equip. But the most important - you will need fast lens. Without them the DSLR is "dark". And good Canon lens start at approx. $1000 a piece.

As Jay mentioned - you should think about AX2000 - same great optics and low-light as FX1000 (which is reported to achieve similar results at good old VX2100) plus tape-less workflow.
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Old September 4th, 2010, 08:55 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice, the ax2000 is looking real good. Plus I like the mic holder that comes with it.
I currently use sony vegas pro 8 for my editing and working with hdv is seemless.
Am I going to have a smooth transition into acvhd?
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Old September 4th, 2010, 12:09 PM   #6
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Smooth transition? Depends on your editing hardware. AVCHD can be taxing on computer hardware.

If you are running on Vegas 8 on an XP system with only 3 gigs of RAM, AVCHD might be a problem and you would want to consider file format conversion software such as Cineform NeoScene ($100 from B&H or Videoguys.)

I've got Vegas 8.1 (64 bit version) running on a system built to the Videoguys DIY7 receipe from a year ago (I7/920, 12 g RAM, Win7, etc.). I have a two monitor set-up. On this system, Vegas 8.1 has no trouble importing and playing 24 Mbps AVCHD full screen to the second monitor with the display parameters set to best and a 1920x1080 60i timeline. I have tested it using AVCHD files from a Sony NX5u (the Sony Broadcast Division's version of the AX2000) and the CX550v (a tiny corporate cousin of the AX2000).

The only issue I've had with Vegas 8.1 is that it will not import NX5u footage when recorded with the option for uncompressed Linear PCM audio. The AX2000 does not have that option, so LPCM incompatibility it would not be a problem for you. Vegas 9 did not seem to have that problem when I tried it out.

I haven't tested multi-cam editing with AVCHD in Vegas 8.1, so I can't offer any comments on that. (I mostly edit with Adobe PPro CS5 and just use Vegas once in a while for some specialized tasks.)
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