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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old August 26th, 2011, 02:54 PM   #1
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Need Help

Hi guys....need some quick help.

The firewire port is not working on my V1U, so I can't get any footage off the camera without an HDV/DV deck, or another camera (Sony cam if HD). It's gonna cost several hundred dollars to fix (nearly half of what the camera's worth today), which I just don't think is worth it for such a dated camera. So, against my own wishes, I'm in the market for a new cam.

I was going to get an HPX-170, but the lack of tape deck would kill me with clients who still need tape, but I really enjoy the idea of a DTE option. I've got a max $3,000 budget to work with and I need another workhorse like my V1U for event videography and miscellaneous. I don't mind used (in fact, I prefer--preferably with minimal hours). I'm looking for something with the tape deck but also with the option of recording to a card of some sort (SD/P2/SxS/CF etc). I've already thought about the HVX200, but I've owned it before and it was just so heavy and awkward, and it also lacked in areas where the HPX-170 made up in, such as low-light shooting.

There may not be a camera, I just don't know; I'm just not familiar with the new crop of cams (or at least those released in the last couple of years). If nothing, then I may just buy a Sony HDV/DV playback deck and stick with the V1U.

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks a bunch...
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Old August 27th, 2011, 04:00 PM   #2
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Re: Need Help

Wow, is it the way I smell?!

I've tried to get help on this forum several times on several different threads and I think I've only ever gotten one reply. I don't understand, especially when I see so many others getting so many replies to their inquiries.

I'm just gonna have to get help elsewhere.

This stinks (or maybe I do). Thanks anyways, DVInfo....
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Old August 27th, 2011, 04:10 PM   #3
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Re: Need Help

Ed, if you're still out there, for one, it's a weekend, and those are traditionally pretty slow around here. Two, I'm guessing that a lot of our East Coast members are otherwise occupied, what with a major hurricane bearing down on them. Three, it's only been a day, which is not very long to go without a reply. Four, your question is in the wrong forum -- it has nothing to do with weddings or events per se and is more of a general "what camera should I buy?" question and belongs in the general forums. Maybe you'd have better luck there. And a word to the wise: very generic thread titles generally don't get much traffic.

This a pretty helpful bunch if you articulate your question clearly. I'm just not sure what your question is.... But for what it's worth, I'd recommend looking at a Z5 or Z7, which give you the option of recording to card or tape and sticking with all the Sony accessories you probably already have.
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Old August 27th, 2011, 06:49 PM   #4
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Re: Need Help

Ed -
As Adam pointed out the wedding forum is usually slow on the weekends - prime work time... the East coast is a bit pre-occupied and probably off line in most cases, and out here on the left coast, we are getting pop-up thundershowers, flash flood warnings, and power outages, at least where I'm at...

Suggestion 1 would be to shop around for the repair - a blown firewire port is pretty common, and some places may fix it cheaper and easier than others. I don't know the V1 well enough to know whether it's a simple daughterboard that needs replacing or one of the mainboards, or how far the cam has to be stripped down to get to it, but it may not be economical to send to Sony service while another ship may be able to keep the budget down.

Suggestion 2 would be to buy a used HC5/7/9 (going from cheapest to most expensive) for a deck - I have an HC5 just to finish dumping my tapes - if I was done with it, I'd offer it to you cheap, but I've still got tapes to dump. Might cost you a couple hundred for one on eBay, and SHOULD be able to dump your V1 tapes. I don't recall if there's any "special" format used in the V1 other than HDV (like progressive or the like) - the answer is probably in the archives here somewhere, and generally Sony made their small cams compatible, for use as decks.

Check the "Sony" section for current cameras - Chris added one recently, and you'll find anything relatively current there - off the top of my head, there's the FX1000, the Z5 and the Z7, and those are the "end of the line" for Sony and tape based recording... Not likely any investment in the technology is a good long term choice, tape is slowly fading into the sunset, but there's still plenty of people shooting it, and quite a few cameras, at better and better prices as people go tapeless...
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Old August 28th, 2011, 03:15 AM   #5
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Re: Need Help

Your post is worded in such a way it is diffiicult to sort through. I know myself if a question is not succint I will move on.

Why spend the money on a deck? There is an HV20 for sale in the classifieds, would do the job fine, and give you a spare camera. The Z5 would be an obvious choice, for tape based. The camera can be hard to find used. They pop up here and there, but are such great cameras.

A used FX1000 would be much better than your current camera, and would cost well under $3000, but no XLR.

Edward, I just edited a wedding where a guy used the V1U as a b-camera and the footage was so poor in low light I have to refund money to the customer. One only has to read the specs and reviews, it's a real no brainer, IMO, ditch the camera and get a Z5. Even though I'm not fond of the Z1's flat images in low light, it's better than what you have, so that would be another low cost option.
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Old August 28th, 2011, 06:09 PM   #6
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Re: Need Help

Hey guys. Thank you for the replies. I apologize, I was just venting a little frustration. I love this forum and I've spent so much time on it listening and learning from other videographers. Yet when I've needed my own help and asked for some advice, I'd watch my threads over time (not just a day) sink deeper and deeper in the forums without any replies (and they weren't always posted on the weekend or in the wrong forum or during some catastrophic event). In fact, as I look at them today, they STILL have no replies (LOL). And Jeff, you're right, I do have a tendency to ramble! Though I don't think my posts are any more difficult to follow than the next guy's.

But I digress, I was just speaking out of frustration.

As it turns out, my budget is much tighter than $3000 (per the wife!). Definitely don't want to continue with my V1U but it's gotten the job done and technically could continue to get the job done coupled with a deck ($900 on eBay). I'd still like to jump on the DTE bandwagon, though. I've actually begun looking at HVX's on eBay, which at this moment looks like the cheapest pro Card/Tape option available (though dated). Used Z5's will run maybe $2,800 at least (without the external recording unit), which isn't bad, but it's still more than I can afford. BELIEVE ME, I'd rather invest in something more up-to-date, but money is really the issue here.
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Old August 28th, 2011, 06:29 PM   #7
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Re: Need Help

Edward, you might also look at used FX1s and Z1s. FX1 can be found for $1400 when you're lucky. Much better than your current camera, they are very reliable. Keep your current camera as a back up/ 2nd camera.
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Old August 28th, 2011, 07:37 PM   #8
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Re: Need Help

Edward, I second buying something like an HV20. They can be had for around $300 and you've got a deck and a camera. Mine's been awesome for alot of years.
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Old August 29th, 2011, 05:53 AM   #9
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Re: Need Help

Hey Edward How are u doing, Stay away from the VG20 mate, if u can spend a few hundred more get the Sony NX70, Its got 96GB Ram, SD Card Slot, XLR Port and the Footage is awesome, the low light from its small censor is also something to talk about....
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Old August 29th, 2011, 03:45 PM   #10
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Re: Need Help

Dipesh -

You have a not yet released VG20 that gives you some authority to make such a statement?!?

Yes the NX70 looks to be quite nice, but the newly announced NEX/E mount cameras look pretty good overall - if you're refering to the VG10, yeah, it had it's flaws... no one even mentioned it anyhow... but none of this is what the OP is looking for anyway - unless the plan is to buy a cheap cam for a deck as suggested, and invest in a tapeless upgrade that will put the aging V1 to disgrace... the V1 wasn't a bad camera in it's day, and I loved the FX7 (it's ugly grey consumer level sibling), but technology and image quality have taken a few jumps since then!

I think we all appreciate the challenge Edward faces - nothing like a "forced upgrade" due to equipment failure, and you know you've got reasons to continue to "support" the older format (tape) for various reasons, but don't want to invest too much of that scarce MOO-LAH into something your head tells you is not "up to date in Kansas City".

I think we all defaulted to buying a lightly used HDV consumer cam for a deck (how cheap, er, FRUGAL we all are, so nice to have good company!). Then of course comes the "now what"... upgrade considerations - there's already threads of unfathomable length here on DVi on THAT subject!!!
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Old August 29th, 2011, 04:59 PM   #11
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Re: Need Help

Hey Ed,

Per a wife, earn more, then you wont have such a tight budget.

Don't be such a Poop on these forums and people will help.

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Old August 29th, 2011, 08:44 PM   #12
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Re: Need Help

The Sony GV20 is the Same as the GV10, in a New Shell, the Footage is Still the Same, and yes i can as i have Viewed footage in Brisbane with this Camera.... the NX70 is a Camera which u will love for the Money which also have XLR where as the VG20 Does Not....
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Old August 30th, 2011, 06:08 AM   #13
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Re: Need Help

"The Sony GV20 is the Same as the GV10, in a New Shell, the Footage is Still the Same,"

Well, that's about as ignorant a statement as one can possibly make....

Sony makes upgrades/updates along the way, and the VG20 may share a similar shell, but other than that, VERY different under the skin, not the least of which is a new sensor, plus plenty of improvements based on many of the complaints about the VG10...

Unfortunately the VG design is a unique camera concept, one which is more akin to the now quite popular DSLR's, which take a little more skill to shoot than the average video camera. For what they are designed for, with a skilled shooter, they present a unique, interesting, and viable option... wouldn't be my first choice in cameras for a number of reasons (video camera for what it will do, and an SLR/SLT for what it will do, rather not try to mix them in one camera), but your statements border on the absurd...

The NX70 is probably a "better" choice for general video use, that doesn't make the VG20, which we have yet to see "in the wild", a pile of junk... not by a long shot, based on early specs/samples.
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