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Sony HDR-FX7 / HVR-V1


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#21 DeanB

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 09:52 AM

Oh this gets better...A pro version of the new Fx7 already...

I think its time for the old credit card..

Then again, hold on..Will it be the same as the Z1 vs FX1 syndrome. Is the difference for the underwater shooting worth the extra money...??

Will the housings be $1000 more for one button (w/b)

Will I get to the shops for my four pack of beer before my curry arrives..

Who knows...Drew knows..Please Drew, Your thoughts (forget about the beer prob)

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#22 Drew

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 12:22 PM

Nick
All signs lead to housing manufacturers announcing products at DEMA in Nov. I doubt you'd get it in time for high season. Plus the Z1 is probably better priced now than an E model, since you can buy it in the US for under $4500. The V1E will probably be about $5k the first 6 mths.
If you want something working, the Z1 is the smarter choice. Plus top LCD and available SWA lenses. Form factor shouldn't be a concern for you in Phuket.

Dean, the curry question is easier to answer. :P

Personally, I'd buy progressive scan cameras as a first choice. Better picture quality and slo-mo is worth it. However, I like the Canon XH series' ability to customize the picture. I'd drop my HVX200 for 1080P, but I'll know more once I see the demo reels.
So my answer is ... order the beer with the curry.

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#23 ronrosa

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 01:18 PM

Ah you pros and semi-pros have a decision to make. FX1, Z1, FX7, V1, 25p. :P

Hobbyists like me have it easy. FX7 it is. Just what I was hoping for. Now for the housings. Most likely I'll go Gates, unless Amphibico has some can't miss feature that Gates doesn't.

One more trip with my trusty TRV900 next month and then it's up for sale. Bring on the FX7 just in time for Christmas. ;)

#24 MikeVeitch

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 05:01 PM

haha!! excellent choice Ron... i told you a month or two would be worth it. Congrats on this!

Nick, i would go with the Z, we have now got all the kinks worked out, housing s are available now, lots of choices....

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#25 wagsy

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 05:33 PM

What happened to FX2 & FX3 & FX4 & FX5 & FX6 models...

Wonder if they would make a W1 (Wags1)

They should work good underwater going by the A1/FX1.

So now every year we have to buy and sell new setups. Maybe we can start a kind of swap-meat hand me downs, we keep bying the new toys ;) and then sell them a year later to up and comming videologists :P
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#26 MikeVeitch

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 06:24 PM

ok, so who wants to buy my D70s and housing for the price of a D80? I would be happy to provide... :P

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#27 globaldiver

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 07:35 PM

So do I do it or not, bearing in mind I need a working system in November??? *rips hair out*


You can't go wrong with the Z1 Nick. It has given me no problems whatsoever so far, and with it I would choose the L&M Bluefin HD housing... Just a biased opinion <_<

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#28 Nick Hope

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 12:16 AM

In favour of the V1 is the smaller size and definitely the progressive scan.

But still is favour of the Z1 looks like the lower light capability, the PAL/NTSC switchability, it's proven reliability and of course the availability of a number of mature housings.

Remember we had that discussion about uprezzing to HDsomething from HDV in order for material to be more acceptable to the likes of Discovery? Well would the V1's progressive signal make that process better quality and more straightforward?

#29 Drew

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 12:33 AM

Ah you pros and semi-pros have a decision to make. FX1, Z1, FX7, V1, 25p. ;)
Hobbyists like me have it easy. FX7 it is. Just what I was hoping for. Now for the housings. Most likely I'll go Gates, unless Amphibico has some can't miss feature that Gates doesn't.
One more trip with my trusty TRV900 next month and then it's up for sale. Bring on the FX7 just in time for Christmas. :)


Ron, dunno if it's can't miss, but you've just walked into the classic electronics vs manual controls debacle. Plus the Sony cams aren't the only players out there. Canon and Pana both have awesome cameras.

What happened to FX2 & FX3 & FX4 & FX5 & FX6 models...
So now every year we have to buy and sell new setups. Maybe we can start a kind of swap-meat hand me downs, we keep bying the new toys :wacko: and then sell them a year later to up and comming videologists :P


Err Wags, just cos it's out there doesn't mean you have to buy. It's called fortitude. :huh:

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#30 SimonSpear

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 03:41 AM

The V1 vs FX7 debate is going to be hard I think. Is XLR and 25P worth the extra? Well personally the XLR inputs are nice, but not 'needed' by most people, but 25P could be well, well worth it.

It looks like Ron could be a good guinea pig on the FX7! :P When will your first trip with the FX7 be Ron? If I'm going to buy a FX7/V1 then I don't need to get it until around March next year, so I've got a bit of time to wait and see how it performs and what housings come out.

Issues that spring to mind are the low light performance as always. 1/4 CMOS vs 1/3 CCD. Same pixel count on the chips (if not more on the CMOS), but the CMOS are considerably smaller. Low light performance of other CMOS cams (A1, HC1, PC1000) has not been 'that' great. Does this mean that CMOS has lower performance levels than CCD in low light situations, or is it just part of a learning curve for Sony? They are saying 4 lux - do they mean it?? hmmmm

Size also springs to mind. Smaller than the FX1/Z1 which is nice as no matter how good those cams are I'd find it hard to justify buying such a large set up. Travelling must be a nightmare with it. The FX7/V1 is still by no means a small cam. Will housing manufacturers just adapt existing FX1/Z1 housings? Will newly designed housings be small enough for my taste/needs? hmmmmm

Questions, questions...

Cheers, Simon

#31 ronrosa

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 05:34 AM

I should have the FX-7 shortly after it hits the shelves at B&H. I have a trip planned in February, so hopefully the housing guys will be shipping in January.

Dru, coming from the 900, right now, the FX7 is the only cam that fits my needs. The offerings from Canon and Panasonic are just too big for me. My experiences with my Gates 900 housing has been so positive, I don't feel a need to try electronic controls or a different housing manufacturer unless they offer something substantial over Gates.

The Sony HC3 uses a single CMOS chip and it's low light is suppossed to be decent. Over on the digital diver board, they posted a hands on report from a 1 week liveaboard in Cocos. The HC3 was directly compared to the 900 and low light was reported as good or better. This was a very honest review as the housing tested received numerous negatives.

I think I can live with the size and hopefully that increase is size will help me with my shaky video. :P

Speaking of size and transportation. I know the standard recommendation is not to travel with the camcorder mounted in the housing. However, is that still the recomendation if I bring it in my carryon ?

Edited by ronrosa, 09 September 2006 - 05:38 AM.


#32 Drew

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 08:41 AM

On average, I'd say you're looking at twice the weight and mass from the 900 housing. With 3 assignable buttons, I'd say all housings will have some mechanicals anyway.
I usually carry the housing as cabin luggage if I'm not going to the tough airports (eg. Australia). I usually put the camera in if so. I'd never do that if it went into the hold. Cameras are always hand carry or Fedex.

Dru, coming from the 900, right now, the FX7 is the only cam that fits my needs. The offerings from Canon and Panasonic are just too big for me. My experiences with my Gates 900 housing has been so positive, I don't feel a need to try electronic controls or a different housing manufacturer unless they offer something substantial over Gates.
The Sony HC3 uses a single CMOS chip and it's low light is suppossed to be decent. Over on the digital diver board, they posted a hands on report from a 1 week liveaboard in Cocos. The HC3 was directly compared to the 900 and low light was reported as good or better. This was a very honest review as the housing tested received numerous negatives.
I think I can live with the size and hopefully that increase is size will help me with my shaky video. :P
Speaking of size and transportation. I know the standard recommendation is not to travel with the camcorder mounted in the housing. However, is that still the recomendation if I bring it in my carryon ?


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#33 DeanB

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 11:56 AM

I'm with Simon on this...

I'll be hopefully waiting until feb-March next year before making my mind up. My A1 suits its purpose for now and I will be testing it in deeper clearer waters next week. But the V1 looks like a buy for me. Especially if it accommodates Sony's lenses for their new stills camera (that would be good) as I do a bit of topside as well. Just filmed a Garden spider ambush another spider in its web wrap it up then eat it. All in glorious HDV macro..Quality.

If the housings for the V1/FX7 are nearly as big as the Z1's then (cost effective) I'll look at the Z1 option...

We will see.

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#34 Steve Douglas

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 05:08 PM

Does anyone know whether the FX7 will be using the M series or L series batteries? I just sold all my L series and hate to think I was dumb in doing so. I am thrilled that it has a rocker arm for the zoom as I hate the zoom on the A1-U, it really is pitiful though I guess I have gotten use to it.
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#35 ronrosa

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 07:42 PM

Does anyone know whether the FX7 will be using the M series or L series batteries? I just sold all my L series and hate to think I was dumb in doing so. I am thrilled that it has a rocker arm for the zoom as I hate the zoom on the A1-U, it really is pitiful though I guess I have gotten use to it.
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#36 Nick Hope

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 09:23 PM

If the housings for the V1/FX7 are nearly as big as the Z1's then (cost effective) I'll look at the Z1 option...

Dean the V1/FX7 are very similar in size to the VX2100/PD170. In fact they may well be using some common body components. So you can expect the housings to be very similar, possibly even using the same body castings/mouldings/extrusions. In other words it's safe to say they'll be quite a bit smaller than the FX1/Z1 housings.

Don't forget that although small is nice in many ways (especially air travel), large is better for camera steadiness.

I wouldn't be surprised if LMI do an all-new housing for these new cameras, rather than a revamped VX2100 Bluefin. They themselves seem a lot happier with the design of their newer Bluefin HD housings.

#37 shawnh

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 11:16 PM

Figure I would add my 3 cents and stir the pot:)

As a happy (and biased) FX1 user, i have no regrets buying the FX1 and not waiting for the FX7. My reasons are this:
-3CCD that delivers 3 lux. I own the A1 and i am just not impressed with CMOS technology in low light, bright light and changing light.
-Top LCD Monitor (vs side monitor). As a "free" external monitor on the housing, this just can't be beat...i now use this all the time shooting. In addition, it is a color acurate, hi-def monitor. Ext add-on monitors to date are analog driven and neither color or focus accurate.
-Availability of tested housings. It took up to a year for the manufacturers to get it right with the fX1 (L&M to get the housing out, Amphibico to fix the prematurely released housing).
-Availability of wide lens options...critical for wide angle shooters like myself.
-More glass and bigger sensors. I will take all the light i can get into the front of my camera underwater. Every milimeter of sensor and lens opening is critical until some new technology comes along.
-Cost. There does not seem to be a cost advantage (and more so a disdvantage) to the FX7.

Other concerns regardign the FX7 relate to the progressive. I am a huge fan of progressive but, given the insane compression to get 1080i onto a mini DV tape via Mpeg2 compression, I am very concerned about compressing 1080p that much further to get it on tape. Mpeg2 is lossy, hard to color correct and a general downer. How will it handle 1080P?

All this being said, the real answers will be delivered by those willing to venture out, buy the cam and housing and start shooting. Hopefully the cam will deliver in spades. For this reason I hope some of you on the fence go for it with the FX7 and be a guinea pig for the rest:)

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#38 DeanB

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 12:34 AM

Good thoughts Shawn..

I remember talking to a shooter who had just spent thousands (i mean real english, not your usa/aus paper funny money :P ) on a PD170 set-up just before the Z1 onslaught and he had the same sort of worries / critiques. A few months later he was selling his old set-up to join the party.

Like me, I was pulling my hair out when the FX7 news come through thinking 'Why didn't I wait' but i needed the A1 to make the shots I wanted at the time and there were no real tested accounts of the little bugger at that time.

Hopefully the housing people will get their acts together and bring out the goods sooner rather than later, but we will have to see. Then some of our brothers will buy/rent, test and then report.

I cannot see the X7 being better than the Fx1 but you never know. The proofs in the pudding. 3cmos chips might prove to be the dogs gonads or just another piece of shite. ;)

I myself, love the external monitor options for their flexibility. Especially the ball jointed ones. You can twist those buggers into some good angles and again the big boys are bringing out new HDV monitors that should be better.

Its just another waiting game.

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#39 DeanB

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 01:28 AM

Just been talking to a shooter from the Med. He said that he was told (don't ask, I don't know) at a Video show that the Lux ratings are rounded up/ down to the nearest number to avoid confusion..??!!

FX1 3.3 rounded down (3lux)

FX7 3.6 rounded up(4lux)

So really (hopefully) there will not be much difference.

But then again its hearsay..

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#40 SimonSpear

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 03:15 AM

Dean you're right on the lux rating getting rounded down and up to whole numbers. That's the first I've seen of those actual numbers for the cams though. If that's the case then you'd be looking on the Japanese ratings at around 6.9 lux (7 rounded up) for the FX1 and 7.5 (8 rounded up) lux for the FX7. Not a huge difference there.

I'd love to have a big steady camcorder and housing like the FX1/Z1, but I've seen someone struggle getting the whole thing up some steps into a guest house and can just image what it would be like 'really' travelling with it. I can imagine myself at the check in desk... Ok check list. Got my FX1 and Housing, diving gear, the wife, her diving gear, her photography gear, 2 T shirts a pair of shorts to change into over the next two weeks, the baby, the baby gear and a random grandparent to do the babysitting. Hmm we're overweight by 500kg!! which one shall we dump??!!??!

Cheers, Simon