FX-1 spells the end for 2100??? at DVinfo.net

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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
Topics also include Sony's TRV950, VX2000, PD150 & DSR250 family.


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Old February 9th, 2005, 09:21 PM   #1
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FX-1 spells the end for 2100???

Now that this camera (and it's big brother soon) is out, why would anyone buy a 2100 or a 170? I'm going to be in the market for a camera soon and I can't justify NOT getting these new HDV cams from sony. The new HDVs downconvert to SD (which allows shooting w/slow shutter speeds w/out cutting resoultion in half) so it's like having a vx2100 and an FX1 all in one. What's not to like about that deal???
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Old February 9th, 2005, 09:52 PM   #2
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As I mentioned in another thread:

Z1 (probably same as FX1) is closer to 5 Lux and not 1 Lux as in the PD170. Z1 SD not as good as the PD170. Still no true 24P or even correct HD for that matter. FX1 and Z1 are new and must have some bugs be worked out. Best to wait a while if you can help it. In Canada I can not find anyone who is interested in HD. Actually my biggest problem is converting DVCAM into BETACAM for music videos and such. Reality and sales hype seldom meet. In time the bugs and performance will be worked out so that the SD cameras are obsolete. But the Z1 was still designed to do what the PD170 does; High Definition is still a novelty!
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Old February 9th, 2005, 10:34 PM   #3
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Thanks for the insight Maurice from Canada. No demand for HD in Canada huh? I guess it's limited in the states too. I'm just wary of sinking big bucks into a camera or two only to have to replace them in a year or so. I didn't realize the difference in low light capiblities between the two cams. That's a huge factor to consider. I'm gonna be patient for now, but I've been bitten by the HD bug no doubt.
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Old February 9th, 2005, 11:42 PM   #4
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I'm about a month or so away from a camcorder purchase of $2200-$2500... The VX2100 is on the top of my list as of now after ruling out the GL2 and similar cams. I'd go for the FX1, but I have no intention of getting an HDTV soon (poor college student soon to be grad. student, so funds are too limited), and I don't see an HD delivery method being publicly accepted for a couple more years (referring to HD-DVD vs. BluRay), so even if I do shoot in HDV, I'd have no way to get that footage out, other than bringing the camcorder everywhere. And at about 50% more than the VX2100, I can't afford to spring for it yet. In a few more years, when I and the rest of the US have an HDTV, and there is a proven delivery method/media, I'll most likely upgrade up to the next best format (which may not be HDV by then). Until then, I'm holding out hope for a VX2200... Oh yeah, one more thing -- my main hobby (storm chasing) means that I need the best low-light capability I can. Shooting outdoors at dusk is the test that'll make or break a camcorder purchase for me. And from what I've read and seen, the 2100 still holds the lead over the FX1 in very-low light situations...
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Old February 10th, 2005, 12:54 AM   #5
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I just bought the PD-170 a few months ago. I needed the audio flexibility offered by the PD-170. I have too often been frustrated by the audio limitations of my VX's, so I needed to go with the PD-170. If I already had a PD-150 or 170, I would have gotten the FX-1 for sure.
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Old February 10th, 2005, 09:26 AM   #6
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And there is also the problem of tape and the MPEG2 GOP structure. You see with DV, when you lose data due to tape or head problems you just lose some blocks in a frame or whole frame, which is not too noticable. But with HDV, if you lose data on the tape you can lose the full GOP, that means 15 frames! And that is VERY BAD. This problem, which was also reported by users of the JVC HD-10, seems to be the format's major shortcoming. It might mean that professional mission-critical use of HDV will mean buying a portable direct-to-disk device to run alongside the camera.
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Old February 10th, 2005, 05:14 PM   #7
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I still read about people continuing to buy the PD170. Many want to see what happens with Blu-Ray. Really.....how many people over the age of thirty want their face immortalized in HD.....hahahahahaha..... The Z1 has to get proficient at low light. External lights give many that "deer in the headlights" syndrome. I shot an interview with a diplomat in very poor lighting that was still useable, that means something. It is more important to those of us that report on events, to get the video in the first place, SD or HD is not that important; low light and usable footage in a proven reliable package is very important.

You have years to go before you have to jump into HD. Then you can make an "informed" choice. All this was stated when I bought my PD170 back in August of last year. Like everyone else I got the panic attack with the new models, but things are getting back to normal now..... I am nevertheless interested in the real world experience of Z1 users as these will be most critical of problems.

Perhaps the best way to put this into perspective is that SD has been around for many years and certainly will outlive the lifetime of any camera bought today. If your footage is good, people will use it in SD and that is the way it is. It is the content that counts, High Definition of a white wall is pointless.....
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Old February 10th, 2005, 07:24 PM   #8
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For pros, the leap is now. For amateurs or those distributing material on DVD, well there's no use for at least a year till people start buying the hell out of the bluray or hd=dvd players.

16x9 is must though.
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Old February 10th, 2005, 07:41 PM   #9
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....I've come to the exact same conclusion myself.
(let's see; gs400 or vx2100????hmmmmm..)
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Old February 10th, 2005, 07:48 PM   #10
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A thirty second glitch..............such is the nature of long GOPS.

<<<-- Originally posted by Ignacio Rodriguez : And there is also the problem of tape and the MPEG2 GOP structure. You see with DV, when you lose data due to tape or head problems you just lose some blocks in a frame or whole frame, which is not too noticable. But with HDV, if you lose data on the tape you can lose the full GOP, that means 15 frames! And that is VERY BAD. This problem, which was also reported by users of the JVC HD-10, seems to be the format's major shortcoming. It might mean that professional mission-critical use of HDV will mean buying a portable direct-to-disk device to run alongside the camera. -->>>
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Old February 10th, 2005, 09:26 PM   #11
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<<<-- Originally posted by Michael Struthers : For pros, the leap is now. For amateurs or those distributing material on DVD, well there's no use for at least a year till people start buying the hell out of the bluray or hd=dvd players.

16x9 is must though. -->>>

Don't confuse 16x9 with HD. There are many cameras that have native 16x9 chips that aren't HD.

"pros" . . . there are many kinds of pros. If you're doing broadcast and want long term survival shooting HD is important. That's HD though and not HDV. Many "pros" do corporate video. Don't know too many corporate clients that need HD. Their projects just don't live that long. I know many who do local TV spots who also have no need for HD. National spots MIGHT be another story. MANY Pros would use a Sony DSR-570 at 16x9 rather than shoot HD for broadcast work rather unless they were hoping for long term syndication profits.
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Old February 11th, 2005, 02:36 AM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Michael Struthers : For pros, the leap is now. For amateurs or those distributing material on DVD, well there's no use for at least a year till people start buying the hell out of the bluray or hd=dvd players.

16x9 is must though. -->>>

I don't know why this statement bothers me so, but it is an itch I have to scratch. I am an amateur, mostly photojournalism and I run a very small paper and very small journalist organization. Last year I put out my first book on protests I covered in the Toronto area. In my experience, the "pros" are not the first ones to get the latest and greatest in equipment. Most video shot at events here are still in BETACAM and I seem to be the odd man out with the DVCAM nobody seems to use. The digital SLRs - while first class - are older used and abused equipment. The only person to notice my new D70 last year was another amatuer (who had a D100) who looked like he had not put 50 shots through his camera.

In my world, the pros are the ones that brave the winter to get a story. I have seen the most obsolete equipment being used to cover important events, the event was archived nevertheless. There are many people with money out there who buy the latest and just have it sit around like a trophy or some kind of validation. My first story was shot with a 55 dollar digital camera and there was only one other guy from a news station located in our rural area. His story was picked up by Canadian Press, I was asked to hold off on posting my photos (for example on my web site) by the group involved as they had received unfavorable stories from a local newspaper. Sure enough that newspaper was looking around my site looking for the photos. The professionals were the ones that got the shots, it is the story that counts.....

What does this mean in this thread? Simply that I don't think many "professionals" would rush to buy the new Z1 until it has some kind of track record on it and such. The PD150 is supposedly the camcorder in Iraq, that is a good enough endorsement for me.....
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Old February 11th, 2005, 04:02 AM   #13
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There are almost limitless image tweaks which let you get the picture you want in almost any situation, though in low-light situations, the Sony VX2100 is claimed by Sony to be a slightly better performer, but only by a stop or so. Of course the VX2100 has very slightly bigger chips and a faster maximum aperture at full telephoto, so differential focus effects are easier to obtain. It’s also £550 cheaper than the FX1, so there’s still good reason to keep the famous VX2100 camcorder on your shortlist.

The differences in low-light performance may well be less obvious than the specification suggests. The FX1 has (we can assume) the very latest in electronic amplification, such that shooting with this cam at +6dB of gain up may well be as noise free as the VX/PD at zero dB. Just a thought.

What you will have of course is the potential to future protect, where you shoot in HD but edit and distribute in SD. Come the day when Blu-Ray HD DVD is here and you’re editing and viewing in HD, then you can re-load the tapes and output HD versions of the edit, using the original EDL. In the meantime of course you’ll be enjoying the ergonomic beauty of the FX1, and shooting native 16:9. I feel this last point is of much greater importance in mid 2005 than the HD capability is, as far more TVs are 16:9 than they are HD capable.

There are advantages for some purposes to originating on HDV, but I certainly don't think that it means that standard definition DV is suddenly obsolete. HDV is just another format to consider. Without doubt though, the HDR-FX1 will be the camcorder of the year, and Sony will sell every one they can manufacture. These are exciting times.

tom.
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Old February 11th, 2005, 09:24 AM   #14
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tom Hardwick : The differences in low-light performance may well be less obvious than the specification suggests.

What you will have of course is the potential to future protect, where you shoot in HD but edit and distribute in SD. Come the day when Blu-Ray HD DVD is here and you’re editing and viewing in HD, then you can re-load the tapes and output HD versions of the edit, using the original EDL. In the meantime of course you’ll be enjoying the ergonomic beauty of the FX1, and shooting native 16:9. I feel this last point is of much greater importance in mid 2005 than the HD capability is, as far more TVs are 16:9 than they are HD capable.
tom. -->>>

Having used the 150 and now the 170 for years and having looked at the FX1, there is a SIGNIFICANT difference in low light performance. The Sony rep said the FX1 is NOT the camera you want to shoot with for wedding receptions or darkly lit clubs. Just playing with the FX1 on a trade show flow the differences in low light were blatantly obvious. Not specs . . . my eyes.

Remastering to HD is only useful for a business if clients are willing to pay for it. Actually this is why many TV shows are shot in HD. They can get remastered when they go into syndication. Reality is most folks with HDV cameras are NOT shooting TV shows and certainly not likely going into syndication if they are.

16x9 is usefull but I wouldn't call it a deal maker. By the time BluRay/HDDVD are Wide Spread (two years from now) in the home and corporate market, HDV will be worthwhile. By then Sony's FX2/Z2 will be coming out I suspect. THAT will likely have much better specs than the current generation.

When buying equipment I buy what pays off quickly, what makes income now, what clients want now. Two years from now that'll be HDV. Buy HDV now and you'll have a two year old camera while others are buying better and maybe cheaper gear.

I'd add that whay Maurice describes is quite true in the "pro" market including here in NYC. News divisions are slow to upgrade when they've invested in a technology. You'll only buy new technology if it'll improve the bottom line. TV production is shifting to HD (NOT HDV) because of the money to be made on syndication (taking the greater expenditure loss on the first run due to higher gear costs)
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