HDR-FX1 and HVR-Z1U Feature Set Comparison

HDR-FX1 and HVR-Z1U Feature Set Comparison
an article by Chris Hurd

Sony’s first pair of HDV camcorders share the same chassis design and a number of identical features. There are, however, about forty-odd differences between them. Here’s a fairly comprehensive chart which compares the two. The HDR-FX1 is a consumer model; the HVR-Z1U is a professional version. This page has been substantially modified and expanded since I first put it online back on October 20th. Please note that the information here is still early and subject to change. As inaccuracies in this data are brought to light, I’ll correct them as well as ammend any additions as they’re discovered.

Scroll down for the entire list, or go directly to a particular section:
Camera Head · Optical Group · Displays · Audio Group
Time Code · Other Features · Power & Price

Camera Head: HDR-FX1 HVR-Z1U
Recording Format: HDV / DV (SP) / DV (LP) HDV / DVCAM / DV (SP)
Pixel Count: 3 x 1.12 million total (3 x 1.07 million effective)
Realtime HD Codec: Yes Yes
HD – SD: Built-in Down Conversion
Switchable 50/60 Hz: No Yes
CineFrame 30: Yes (NTSC only) Yes
CineFrame 24: Yes (NTSC only) Yes
Stream Type: Packetized Elementary Stream at 25 Mbps
Component Output: 480i, 1080i (NTSC only)
576i, 1080i (PAL only)
480i, 576i, 480p, 1080i
Lens: 12x Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar, 72mm filter dia.
Equiv. 35mm f.o.v.: 40mm to 480mm in 4:3 / 32.5mm to 390mm in 16:9
Shutter Speeds: 1/4 sec. to 1/10,000 sec. in Program AE Mode
Super SteadyShot: Yes Yes
Zoom Ring: Manual, non-perpetuating
Smooth Zoom: No Yes
Auto / Manual Focus: Yes Yes
Exp. Focus Off Mode: Auto Only Auto or Manual
AF Assist: No Yes
Viewfinder: 0.44″ 16:9 LCD w/ 252 kilopixels
EVF Color: Color only B&W / Color
Peaking Indicator: Yes Yes
Peaking Color: White White / Red / Yellow
Center Marker: Yes Yes
4:3 Safe Zone: No Yes
Color Bars: One (1) Two (2)
Mirror (Reverse Disp.): Yes Yes
All Data Displays Off: No Yes
Status Check: Audio Output, Video Output, User-Assigned Functions
HDV Rec. Format: 2ch. 16bit 48kHz Mpeg 1 Audio Layer II
Onboard Mic: Built-in, Stereo
Ext. Mic Clamp: No Built-in
Vol. Control Dials: One (L+R linked) Two (L/R separate)
Audio Limiter: No Yes
Audio Monitor: No Yes
Time Code Reset: No Yes
Rec Run / Free Run: Rec Run Only Rec Run & Free Run
Zero Set Memory: Yes No
D/T Char. Record: No Yes
Edge Crop 16:9 Out: No Yes
Quick Record: No Yes
Color Correction: No Two (2) Target Colors
Assignable Functions: Six (6) Fourteen (14)
Select Setup Level: No Yes
Manual Iris: Yes Yes
Hyper Gain: No Yes
Man. Shutter Speed: Yes Yes
Personal Menu: Yes Yes
Flicker Reduction: Yes Yes
Accessory Shoe: Removeable; “cold” (unpowered)
Battery Included: NP-570 (2200mAh) also available: NP-F770, NP-F970
Charge Batt on Cam: Yes No
Weight w/batt: 4 lbs 10 oz (2.1 kg) N/A
Availability: November 2004 February 2005

I’d say this chart is at least 90% complete. There are still a few unknowns, however, and a few things that have been left out, as well as some possible minor errors. I’ll make corrections and add updates as new data is verified, so stay tuned. Many thanks to Jos Svendsen, Scott Anderson and Mike Tiffee for their assistance with this page!

Written and thrown together by Chris Hurd.

Please direct questions to the HDV Info Net Community Forums.

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About The Author

After completing my degree in Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas, I managed a video production studio "back in the tape days" while waiting for the digital video revolution to arrive and for the internet to become mainstream. Things started to get interesting in November of 1997 when I launched The XL1 Watchdog, my first web site dedicated to digital video technology. In January of 2001, that site morphed into DV Info Net — the Digital Video Information Network. More than fifteen years later, the longevity of DV Info Net is exceeded now only by its popularity and reputation as one of the leading technology information resources in the broadcast and professional video markets.

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