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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 February 28th, 2012, 11:03 AM   #1
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To stay with the FX1000 or not

Hey all,

I currently shoot with an FX1000. I love the camera. Auto-focus is great, on-board audio is surprisingly sufficient, etc.

But I have come into some problems as of late. HD minidv tapes in my city are over thirty dollars per piece. It has become very expensive to film with new tapes, and I find after three or four record-overs on my tapes they begin to glitch out/drop frames. I cannot afford the tapeless memory recorder which sony sells for the fx1000.

I have also wanted to upgrade the audio, in the form of say a rode video mic and a tascam recorder with some lav mics. Unfortunately my budget does not allow this at present and I am unsure of when exactly it will.

As of recently I have been watching a lot of videos done on the canon 7d and canon 60D. They seem to surpass the fx1000 in terms of quality, and because users spend less on the gear they can afford a great audio setup.

So I am stuck with a dilemma...do I hustle my fx1000 and take the 2 grand to put towards a 60d body and some audio gear? Or do I stick with the fx1000. Such is the question. I realize that the DSLR film craze is limited due to audio constrictions and no auto-focus, but I still on the fence.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 11:28 AM   #2
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Re: To stay with the FX1000 or not

I assume that you are not using the FX1000 on paid jobs, so have you any experience of Sony Excellence (normal) tapes?. I have shot a couple of hundred Excellence tapes and only had one recorded dropout.

Here in the UK, they cost between 1 & 2 GBP each and are sill easy to get in an emergency.

Steve
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Old February 28th, 2012, 11:37 AM   #3
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Re: To stay with the FX1000 or not

I have used the camera on a handful of paid jobs, however due to time constraints right now my video work has fallen solely into the hobby category.

I have not tried normal DV tapes...but I am planning to film a documentary this summer and the lack of audio and in-affordability of tapes might be a deciding decision in moving the camera.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 01:12 PM   #4
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Re: To stay with the FX1000 or not

As has been established on many threads in the Tape forum, HD tapes are a complete waste of money. Sony Premiums sell for about $2 each in bulk from reputable online retailers. I never, ever re-use them and have never had a significant dropout problem.

The only defective tape issue Sony ever had that necessitated a mass recall was with their HDV tapes.

The FX1000 is a remarkable cam and I think you'd regret dumping it.

Read through the appropriate threads in the Long Black Line subforum on this issue and you can decide for yourself.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 02:01 PM   #5
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Re: To stay with the FX1000 or not

Can I shoot 1440 x 1080 on standard DV tapes? I assumed I could not? I don't do wedding videos very often, but when I do I make sure they are HD...markets are competitive these days.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 02:09 PM   #6
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Re: To stay with the FX1000 or not

Of course. The tape is the same. It doesn't care what you put on it.

The whole point of HDV was that you could put HD on a standard MiniDV tape.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 05:37 PM   #7
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Re: To stay with the FX1000 or not

have been shooting hdv on premium tapes for YEARS!!! i must have shot 1000's of tape for clients and national broadcasters and NEVER had a complaint.

in my own experience the only drop-outs i've experienced were caused by physical problems, eg, camera jarring.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 05:58 PM   #8
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Re: To stay with the FX1000 or not

As Adam says, the FX1000 is a great HD camera. The front end is exactly the same as the Z5, AX2000 and NX5. Don't think that AVCHD cameras that sample at 1920x1080 will necessarily give any better video than HDV at 1440x1080. It's what the lens and sensor capture that determines most of the video quality, and the 3x1/3 inch sensors on your camera are as good as any prosumer camera. You need to move up to serious equipment like the Canon XF300 and the Sony EX1 for the full 1920x1080 resolution to make any real difference.
If the FX1000 is still working fine then I would stick with it. I have an FX1E which is now over 7 years old. Its ergonomics still beat the pocket AVCHD models, and even though it is first generation HDV, the images are still fine when edited onto DVD or Blu-Ray.

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Old February 28th, 2012, 06:37 PM   #9
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Re: To stay with the FX1000 or not

I was completely unaware I could shoot HDV on regular tapes. I knew the camera was capable of both standard video capture and HDV capture, but I was unaware it could do HDV on standard miniDV tapes.

This makes the decision so much more difficult!
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Old February 29th, 2012, 03:58 AM   #10
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Re: To stay with the FX1000 or not

Further to my comments on actual recorded resolution, most of the SLRs give quite mediocre performance even though they record 1920x1080. Typically, the Canon SLRs (including the 5D MKII) give about 600-800 lines of video, and any sharp edges may have artifacting that might pass unnoticed in raw footage, but will fall way below the FX1000's performance after any recompression.

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Old February 29th, 2012, 10:59 AM   #11
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Re: To stay with the FX1000 or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Baird View Post
I was completely unaware I could shoot HDV on regular tapes.
With all due respect, it's specifically stated in the manual in several places, most notably pages 6, 12, 105, 110 and 119, and they even give the specific model number that a simple Google search would reveal is a standard MiniDV tape.

But I shouldn't bust on you. We spent two months in Greece shooting a documentary with a bunch of film students, and when we got back they all freaked out because they thought that the X-Ray scanners had destroyed our tapes, because all they were getting on playback was a blue screen. Turns out that they were trying to play back HDV on a regular DV deck -- they didn't know that even though the tapes are the same, the format isn't.
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Old February 29th, 2012, 07:31 PM   #12
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Re: To stay with the FX1000 or not

DSLR: I'm guessing you are still in the 'discover' stage of getting a DSLR. You need to assess your needs. You won't be doing a lot of handheld work with a DSLR because of the focus needs. It may be a good fit, but there are a couple DSLR groups on this board, you should check out.

Microphone: If you are relying on the built-in mic, you are missing a LOT of great audio by not making the leap to an external shotgun mic. There are a number of shotgun mics out there in that $200 range that would really spruce up your video. W/o phantom power, you are somewhat limited, but on my VX2000 I used to use a 'powered' shotgun mic and the audio was great. You'll need one of these anti-shock holders if you go with a conventional style mic:
Microphone holder: http://www.amazon.com/Universal-Shock-mount-Shotgun-Microphone-Holder/dp/B000EW1LLG/ref=sr_1_22?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1330564202&sr=1-22I personally was never a big fan of the video-mic. It's bulky and kind of odd shaped IMO. You can make your own mic holder or microphone outdoor blimp for just about nothing out of a 6" section of 1 1/2" PVC pipe which you could get free at just about any construction jobsite. Use rubber O-rings in a cross arrangement as the shock mount, make a tube out of mesh screen and silicone onto the front of the tube, and cover with some fur material. Bingo. Oh, screw on a cold shoe that you can buy at B&H for $10. Your audio will sound 20x better.

Tapes: The only way to go on tapes is to buy them off the internet. A lot of people I think on this group do as I do, which is to record a tape, archive it, never record a second time, or rarely record on them a second time. Maybe your strategy is better by buying a high quality tape the first time and using it numerous times. But you must have a lot of Hard Drive storage space then.

For years I used JVC tapes because I could get them for about $1.75 ea. When I went to HDV I started seeing a few more drop outs. I'm not sure if this is because of the tape or not because I only had the problem with my Sony, not my Canon on HDV. Anyway, I switched to Panasonic PQ (Professional Quality) series tapes which get great reviews. Buy a box of 10 for $22 from Amazon. $2.20 per tape. That's pretty reasonable!
http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-AYDVM63PQ-Professional-Quality-Mini-DV/dp/B000BP5RIE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1330563284&sr=8-3
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Old March 1st, 2012, 03:02 AM   #13
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Re: To stay with the FX1000 or not

Another option is to get an MRC tapeless unit and find a way to hook-and-loop it (aka velcro) to the back or side of the camera (or get a long firewire card and hook it to your belt.) Used ones show up here every so often. But, even a new one is much less expensive than a new camera. Plus, they use the same batteries that your FX1000 came with. Advantages are much longer shooting time, quicker computer ingest, and no need to worry about tape dropouts (the tape becomes back-up). I've got my MRC on the top shoe, but I mainly use my FX1000 on a tripod, so the awkwardness is not the kind of problem it would be with hand-held shooting.

For better audio, consider getting an XLR adapter (such as Beachtek, Juiced Link, Studio One, etc.) This allows you a wider range of mircophones from shotguns to wireless lavaliers. Like Mark, I've also fabricated mike holders and mounted them to the top shoe and have also used brackets that fit between a tripod plate and the bottom of the camera.

Also, if you have not already seen this thread on the Z5, check it out:

How much longer to keep the Z5?
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