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Chaszmyr
Jan 15, 2005, 09:13 AM
Any recommendations?
I hear that when it came out, the Canon GL2 was the best camera of its kind, but now it sounds like a lot of people prefer HDV camcorders (Especially Sony's HDR-FX1). Is the HDR-FX1 really better than the GL2? I also notice the FX1 costs about $1000 less, so that's pretty substantial, and I like that it records natively in 16:9.
Word has it Sony is also going to be releasing a new HDV camcorder in the next couple of months that will cost about twice as much as the HDR-FX1, what would make it worth so much more? XLR audio input would be nice, but what else?
HDV seems like the best Prosumer format right now, is Canon expected to release an HDV camera any time soon? (I like Canon)
Once H.264 comes out, will cameras use it instead of mpeg-2 derivatives like HDV? Should I wait for H.264 or is that still like a year before it would make it to cameras anyway?
Should I wait until NAB in April before even thinking about buying anything?

I know this is a lot of questions, but thanks for your input in advance!

(I realize that Final Cut Pro doesn't natively support HDV format at the moment, but that's not an issue because I'm sure the next version will, considering Final Cut Express and iMovie both do now)

Chaszmyr
Jan 15, 2005, 06:05 PM
I've done a little bit more reading, and JVC's products seem to be inferior to Sony's. Are there any other companies that might be coming out with an HDV camcorder any time soon that I might want to think about?

blackfox
Jan 15, 2005, 06:45 PM
real quick,
Do you mean the Canon XL2(s) instead of the GL2?

From what I've heard JVC and (to a lesser degree) Panasonic have really improved their product innovation and quality in the Camcorder arena, although if you have read differently....

I have been out of the camcorder game for a while, so I have no real great (current) advice. I have heard the JVC HD-GR1 is a good camera, although it may not size up to the Sony...

Canon offerings, although not HD, are still great imo...

If price is no object, you might as well wait for NAB and see what is up the various companies sleeves...

FCP does support HD, just take a look on the Apple website...

OutThere
Jan 15, 2005, 09:44 PM
Here's my take:

HD video is being promoted by Apple right now, so that Apple can get in on the ship early and set up shop for later - it's not really a technology that is really purposeful at this point - a slim margin of TVs support HD, and, really, while it is taking off fast, anything HD prosumer that you buy now will be outdated soon. I think that, at this point, it would make the most sense to spend money on a really good DV camera, rather than spending extra money on a marginal HDV camera. The video out of the Sony VX2100 and its equivalents is extremely good, and remains so even when projected in quite large format (Yes I know it doesn't compare to film, or to HD video, but lets not get into a flame war about this - it looks good! I've seen it for myself). If you plan to watch your films on HD TVs, you will probably see a difference in quality with a HDV camera, but in this current market, the most compatibility and simplicity is with DV cameras.

My experience shows also that Sony video cameras are often superior in design, flexibility, features and have more intuitive interfaces than Canon cameras, but I have never really extensively used a JVC camera, so I can't give you input on that right now. If I were to buy a good digital video camera right now, my money would be on the sony vx2100 - It'll set you back about 3 grand, and every penny of that money is well spent. Every piece of this camera is well put together, and, no matter how fast technology is moving, it will last for many years and remain a very good camera for digital video work.

-A

weldon
Jan 15, 2005, 10:40 PM
The Sony FX-1 is only $3000. The Z1 is about $5000. A pro shooter friend tells me that beta testers of the Z1 think it's very close to the Panasonic Varicam (which my friend rents for jobs) and the Sony costs about $95,000 less. The FX-1 doesn't have as many features, but is still a 3-ccd 1080i/60 camera.

The Z1 is due in Februrary. If I were a serious hobbyist, there's no way I would spend $3000 on a DV camcorder with these two cameras out there.

Chaszmyr
Jan 16, 2005, 03:30 PM
real quick,
Do you mean the Canon XL2(s) instead of the GL2?

Yes, I did mean the XL2. My bad

FCP does support HD, just take a look on the Apple website...

HD and HDV are not the same thing

Chaszmyr
Jan 16, 2005, 03:35 PM
Z1 is due in Februrary. If I were a serious hobbyist, there's no way I would spend $3000 on a DV camcorder with these two cameras out there.

Z1? I've never heard of it, is it being made by Sony? Perhaps the higher end HDV i've been hearing about coming out in 1Q 05?

3Memos
Jan 16, 2005, 04:04 PM
HD and HDV are not the same thing

About as different as Hard Drives are to HFS+.

HD is a standard. HDV is a format of the standard. Even though it is not the same thing, they are related. Currently, FCP does not edit in HDV, but using a program such as MPEG streamclip, you can convert HDV over to a suitable format such as DVCPRO-HD that then you can edit in FCP. The end result of course is that you have HD video, you can output to film, DVHS, or blu-ray DVD.

3Memos
Jan 16, 2005, 04:11 PM
Any recommendations?
Definitely the FX1. FX1 Shootout (http://www.supervideo.com/shtoutsvFXVX.htm)


I hear that when it came out, the Canon GL2 was the best camera of its kind, but now it sounds like a lot of people prefer HDV camcorders (Especially Sony's HDR-FX1). Is the HDR-FX1 really better than the GL2? I also notice the FX1 costs about $1000 less, so that's pretty substantial, and I like that it records natively in 16:9.
No comparison here. The FX-1 blows the GL-2 out of the water. GL2 was never considered a great camera, at least not in the professional sense.


Word has it Sony is also going to be releasing a new HDV camcorder in the next couple of months that will cost about twice as much as the HDR-FX1, what would make it worth so much more? XLR audio input would be nice, but what else?
New Hypergain modes, Cinegamma, PAL support - you can shoot 1080/50i, XLR inputs, plus many more. Comparison between FX1 and Z1 (http://www.hdvinfo.net/articles/sonyhdrfx1/compare.php)

HDV seems like the best Prosumer format right now, is Canon expected to release an HDV camera any time soon? (I like Canon)
Once H.264 comes out, will cameras use it instead of mpeg-2 derivatives like HDV? Should I wait for H.264 or is that still like a year before it would make it to cameras anyway?
You should wait for NAB. Canon may come out with a HDV camera, but it won't be in 24P, since HDV does not support 24P natively, although I guess with pulldown, this is possible like that of the DVX100a.

blackfox
Jan 16, 2005, 04:29 PM
HD and HDV are not the same thing
My mistake, I wasn't very clear. There are solutions/bundles to work around mentioned at Apple. I guess we're even...

In any case, I assume FCP will remedy this at NAB or whenabouts...

I feel like an old man in relation to what's going on in the Video/Broadcast world these days...

Took a look (briefly) at the Sony Z1, it is impressive if you can afford the pricetag. The fx-1 is no slouch either.

The JVC's are worth a look, as they are quite reasonably priced and still decent cameras.

weldon
Jan 16, 2005, 04:30 PM
Z1? I've never heard of it, is it being made by Sony? Perhaps the higher end HDV i've been hearing about coming out in 1Q 05?
3Memos has already pointed out the differences between the Z1 and the FX-1. I think one could say that higher-end HDV is already here in the FX-1. The Z1 adds pro features, but the 3-CCD system is the same between the two cameras.

3Memos
Jan 16, 2005, 05:04 PM
HD video is being promoted by Apple right now, so that Apple can get in on the ship early and set up shop for later

Did you see Steve Jobs gushing over the Sony FX-1? OMG, talk about advertising! Sony will strongly benefit from the power of the RDF. The FX-1 is also advertised on the boxes of iMovieHD, and notably in all their print and web ads. FX-1 definitely causing major ripples in the broadcast and pro HD markets.

gost8go
Jan 16, 2005, 06:06 PM
Fx-1 is great but what if I want to spend <$1000? Anything out there with a decent lens/ccd combo and a way to get the footage into fcp?

I just want to get my feet wet with a camera that maybe has some loveable faults instead of looking like a cheap video crap. I could go for used as well.

Thanks you.

3Memos
Jan 16, 2005, 06:08 PM
Fx-1 is great but what if I want to spend <$1000? Anything out there with a decent lens/ccd combo and a way to get the footage into fcp?

I just want to get my feet wet with a camera that maybe has some loveable faults instead of looking like a cheap video crap. I could go for used as well.

Thanks you.

Look for some used TRV900s (http://www.bealecorner.com/trv900/)

gost8go
Jan 18, 2005, 12:07 AM
Look for some used TRV900s (http://www.bealecorner.com/trv900/)

Thanks for the link. I am not finding any evidence of Firewire capability, did I miss it? My AlPB has a PCMCIA slot, and maybe the TRV900 uses that method but is that a good way to work?

I also wish it had better color saturation but at $500 I'm not complaining.

3Memos
Jan 18, 2005, 02:30 AM
The TRV900 has firewire, nearly all miniDV camcorders do. You'll need a firewire PC card if you want to be able to interface the two.

solvs
Jan 18, 2005, 04:09 AM
The TRV900 has firewire, nearly all miniDV camcorders do. You'll need a firewire PC card if you want to be able to interface the two.
The Al P'Book has built-in fw.

B&H PhotoVideo (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?A=search&Q=&a=228_6455&shs=&ci=1881&ac=&Submit.x=18&Submit.y=11&Submit=Go) has the Sony one for about $5000. It's the only HDV one I saw. Panasonic is supposed to have a good HD model compatible with FCP HD, but I'm not sure who all have HDV compatible camcorders coming soon or what.

Depends on what you want to do and how much you want to spend.

Rod Rod
Jan 18, 2005, 04:50 AM
I've done a little bit more reading, and JVC's products seem to be inferior to Sony's. Are there any other companies that might be coming out with an HDV camcorder any time soon that I might want to think about?

It's unfair to compare Sony and JVC's HDV cameras. The Sonys only shoot interlaced (1080i) while JVCs shoot progressive (720p). Sony HDV cameras resolve 1920x1080 and JVC HDV cameras resolve 1280x720 (I'm talking about the final output resolution and not getting into the 1440x1080 business).

It's up to you whether interlaced or progressive looks better or suits your purposes better.

I like the Sony HDV cameras because they have many more manual controls compared to the JVC. I don't like the Sonys because there is no progressive shooting mode.

Canon is unlikely to release an HDV camcorder until next year at the soonest because it's slow to release products using new tape formats. However, Chaszmyr, the XL2 shoots DV at native 16:9 (not artificially stretched), and has 30p and 24p modes as well as cine-gamma modes.

If Panasonic can make either a lower-priced DVCPRO HD camera or an HDV camera that shoots any sort of 24p (720 or 1080), they will just wipe out the competition. The Panasonic DVX100A's biggest disadvantage is lack of 16:9 native shooting. However, for its price difference compared to the XL2, it's still cheaper to buy a DVX100A and an optical anamorphic adapter.

Here's a tip to get into HDV for cheap (and it works). The following are links to closed auctions of eBay:

JVC GR-HD1 sold for $1325 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=20331&item=3866130146)
JVC GR-HD1 camcorder sold for $1525 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=20331&item=3865716891)
JVC JY-HD10U sold for $1945 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=48514&item=3865147911)

I own an HD10. In the wrong hands, it's what negative reviewers say it is. With a little knowledge and experience, it's a great camera. :)

3Memos
Jan 18, 2005, 04:56 AM
It's unfair to compare Sony and JVC's HDV cameras. The Sonys only shoot interlaced (1080i) while JVCs shoot progressive (720p). Sony HDV cameras resolve 1920x1080 and JVC HDV cameras resolve 1280x720 (I'm talking about the final output resolution and not getting into the 1440x1080 business).

JVC's camera is only 1 CCD. Colors looked washed out as a result. Terrible in low-light, we are talking 35LUX!

Sony's camera is 3 CCD (not to mention they are SuperHAD CCDS). Zeiss optics. Low-light is rated at 5 LUX. The Pro model features Hypergain and Cinegamma modes that provides noise-free images in low-light, even with gain turned on.

blackfox
Jan 18, 2005, 05:03 AM
As a somewhat novelty consideration, the JVC GR-DV3000, is a fair camera and has a "nightalive" feature which allows it to shoot full-color footage in near-total darkness (as opposed to ghostly-green infrared). This is acheived with special software, a large lens and a slow-shutter speed (which means no fast movement).

Pretty cool, although on nicer cameras with some patient fiddling you can also manage respectable low-light performance.

fwiw...

gost8go
Jan 18, 2005, 05:43 PM
a good HD model compatible with FCP HD, but I'm not sure who all have HDV compatible camcorders coming soon or what.

Depends on what you want to do and how much you want to spend.

What about 16:9 capability, maybe 24p but not necessarily HD? I can live with grain if the colors are good. I think I would hold on to a camera longer if it was 16:9. Screw standard. :p

Chaszmyr
Jan 18, 2005, 07:31 PM
The one thing no one addressed is H.264. Will cameras use H.264 any time this year, and will there be a substantial improvement because of it?


Oh, one other thing. Will the Z1 have better quality than the FX1, or just have more features and options and such?

3Memos
Jan 18, 2005, 08:44 PM
The one thing no one addressed is H.264. Will cameras use H.264 any time this year, and will there be a substantial improvement because of it?

I highly doubt it. The current consumer HD standard is HDV and it's based on MPEG2 19-25Mbps Transport Streams. Maybe a competing format by Panasonic will introduce HDV based around H.264, but more than likely they may go with DVCPRO-HD.

Rod Rod
Jan 18, 2005, 09:05 PM
JVC's camera is only 1 CCD. Colors looked washed out as a result. Terrible in low-light, we are talking 35LUX!

Sony's camera is 3 CCD (not to mention they are SuperHAD CCDS). Zeiss optics. Low-light is rated at 5 LUX. The Pro model features Hypergain and Cinegamma modes that provides noise-free images in low-light, even with gain turned on.

You haven't seen JVC HDV footage taken by a competent shooter. Another difference between the JVC and Sony HDV offerings is Sony set up their cameras to be easy for novices to take decent video, whereas with the JVC you need a bit of skill. The advantage in that case goes to Sony when you're talking about ignorant users. The one-CCD vs. 3-CCD issue is of little consequence in the right hands.

As for low-light performance, if you call yourself a professional and you aren't lighting your sets properly there are other lines of work more suitable. The Sonys can shoot in low light, but if you know what you're doing you wouldn't need to.

However, if what you do is shoot reality shows like Cheaters, the Sony is better for you. If you prefer comb line artifacts, you have limited shooting skills and you don't know the first thing about properly lighting a set the Sony is better for you.

Paper comparisons of the two cameras are of little consequence because it's very much apples and oranges between 720p and 1080i. If the Sonys shot 720p or 1080 24p I'd like them. I prefer the progressive look. You can't argue away interlace artifacts.

The one thing no one addressed is H.264. Will cameras use H.264 any time this year, and will there be a substantial improvement because of it?


Oh, one other thing. Will the Z1 have better quality than the FX1, or just have more features and options and such?

I'm not addressing H.264 directly because of an NDA issue. It's safe to say that H.264 is coming sooner or later, they may or may not write onto regular miniDV tapes and they may or may not have CCDs.

The Z1 will have better quality because of its additional features and options, if the operator is competent with using those features and options. The Z1 will have the same automatic shooting capabilities of the FX1 so anyone can advance at their own pace.

MisterMe
Jan 18, 2005, 09:13 PM
The one thing no one addressed is H.264. Will cameras use H.264 any time this year, and will there be a substantial improvement because of it?


Oh, one other thing. Will the Z1 have better quality than the FX1, or just have more features and options and such?H.264 is an output standard and not meant for editable video. OTOH, HDV is the standard for consumer-level videography in high-definition.

3Memos
Jan 18, 2005, 09:17 PM
You haven't seen JVC HDV footage taken by a competent shooter. Another difference between the JVC and Sony HDV offerings is Sony set up their cameras to be easy for novices to take decent video, whereas with the JVC you need a bit of skill. The advantage in that case goes to Sony when you're talking about ignorant users. The one-CCD vs. 3-CCD issue is of little consequence in the right hands.
JVC markets their HD1 in the consumer space. How many consumers take the time to block and light their birthday parties? 1CCD uses a color filter wheel and the video results in poor saturation and prone to highlight washout. No consumer is going to underexpose their footage and latter apply gamma curves to the video in post so they can get away from low latitude imagery.



As for low-light performance, if you call yourself a professional and you aren't lighting your sets properly there are other lines of work more suitable. The Sonys can shoot in low light, but if you know what you're doing you wouldn't need to.
So you are saying event videographers, documentary shooters, news shooters, and aerial shooters are not professionals because they don't light their sets? Nice try, but I'm beginning to wonder if you ever shot professional video in different situations.



Paper comparisons of the two cameras are of little consequence because it's very much apples and oranges between 720p and 1080i. If the Sonys shot 720p or 1080 24p I'd like them. I prefer the progressive look. You can't argue away interlace artifacts.
Anyone who knows their way around a post-production house can tell you that 1080i converts down to 720P easily. It's been done since HD was invented. Sure, lots of people prefer the progressive look. Interlaced is used in news casts, and sporting events, where the interlaced artifacts you hate so much are required to display smooth motion at 1/60th of a second and give the viewer a sense of reality and immediacy.

Rod Rod
Jan 18, 2005, 09:19 PM
H.264 is an output standard and not meant for editable video. OTOH, HDV is the standard for consumer-level videography in high-definition.

This is half correct. HDV is also an output standard not really meant for editable video. HDV is an MPEG-2 transport stream, after all.

iMovie HD, FCE HD and the third-party helper apps available for FCP all transcode HDV to an editable form. iMovie HD and FCE HD do the transcoding in a way that the user doesn't notice, and transcodes to camera-original format after editing if you wish to print to video. The FCP solutions do the transcoding in front of you.

Chaszmyr
Jan 19, 2005, 05:18 PM
I think I'm ready to make my decision, I just have one last concern. The FX1 does not have XLR inputs... Does that mean you're going to have noticeable quality loss on any sort of XLR microphone because an adapter is needed? And exactly what kind of adapter would be needed? or is it more complicated than just needing an adapter?

MisterMe
Jan 19, 2005, 07:14 PM
This is half correct. HDV is also an output standard not really meant for editable video. HDV is an MPEG-2 transport stream, after all.

iMovie HD, FCE HD and the third-party helper apps available for FCP all transcode HDV to an editable form. iMovie HD and FCE HD do the transcoding in a way that the user doesn't notice, and transcodes to camera-original format after editing if you wish to print to video. The FCP solutions do the transcoding in front of you.You stumbled all over a very important point, but you missed it. Apple Computer co-developed HDV with editing the video in mind.

gost8go
Jan 19, 2005, 07:35 PM
What about 16:9 capability, maybe 24p but not necessarily HD? <$1000 I can live with grain if the colors are good. I think I would hold on to a camera longer if it was 16:9. :p

bumping my question for anyone with advice

Rod Rod
Jan 19, 2005, 08:40 PM
JVC markets their HD1 in the consumer space. How many consumers take the time to block and light their birthday parties? 1CCD uses a color filter wheel and the video results in poor saturation and prone to highlight washout. No consumer is going to underexpose their footage and latter apply gamma curves to the video in post so they can get away from low latitude imagery.

Good point regarding the HD1, although its target market isn't necessarily regular consumers but rather early adopters who typically consider themselves experts. However, the HD10's target market should know about underexposing in camera and tweaking in post.


So you are saying event videographers, documentary shooters, news shooters, and aerial shooters are not professionals because they don't light their sets? Nice try, but I'm beginning to wonder if you ever shot professional video in different situations.

Event videographers and news shooters have lights on their cameras (which overcome low-light concerns). Documentary shooters who don't choose to put lights on their cameras are better off using a PD150/170 or better. News and aerial shooters (in the US anyway) would use cameras with 2/3" CCDs anyhow. My comments were really aimed at the idea of using HDV in an indy filmmaking context.


Anyone who knows their way around a post-production house can tell you that 1080i converts down to 720P easily. It's been done since HD was invented. Sure, lots of people prefer the progressive look. Interlaced is used in news casts, and sporting events, where the interlaced artifacts you hate so much are required to display smooth motion at 1/60th of a second and give the viewer a sense of reality and immediacy.

I'd rather have progressive straight away. As for all the situations where interlaced is used, well interlaced has been used for the past 50+ years. These days, only CBS is using 1080i for sports and everyone else is broadcasting sports in 720 60p. That's still 60 samples per second (just like 60i), but even better because it's 60 complete samples instead of 60 half-samples.

You're banned so I suppose you won't be able to engage in further conversation, but I believe we're squared away as far as our differences of opinion and perceptions of fact.

I think I'm ready to make my decision, I just have one last concern. The FX1 does not have XLR inputs... Does that mean you're going to have noticeable quality loss on any sort of XLR microphone because an adapter is needed? And exactly what kind of adapter would be needed? or is it more complicated than just needing an adapter?

I don't know exactly how the FX1 handles its audio, but depending on how you use the camera this may not be a big issue. I'd ask an audio expert how to minimize any drawbacks unbalanced inputs may present. If you're doing any indy filmmaking type projects you're best off recording to DAT or minidisc for best results.

You stumbled all over a very important point, but you missed it. Apple Computer co-developed HDV with editing the video in mind.

Apple Computer did not co-develop HDV. Therefore, the "with editing the video in mind" statement is defenestrated.

The co-developers of HDV are Canon, Sharp, Sony and JVC. The co-owners of the HDV trademarks are Sony and JVC. The earliest supporters of the format were Adobe, Canopus, KDDI, Sony Pictures Digital Networks and Ulead Systems. Apple joined the supporters list a bit later. There is a difference between supporting and developing a format.

http://www.hdv-info.org - Take a look at this if you don't believe me. :)

Chaszmyr
Jan 19, 2005, 09:33 PM
If you're doing any indy filmmaking type projects you're best off recording to DAT or minidisc for best results.

That's precisely what I'm doing... Just wondering if the FX1 with a DAT or the Z1 would be better, at this point. (The Z1 will have XLR inputs)



I'll admit though, all this talk about 24p is now making me have second thoughts about Sony's HDV cameras...

TheMac19
Jan 20, 2005, 07:41 AM
What about 16:9 capability, maybe 24p but not necessarily HD? I can live with grain if the colors are good. I think I would hold on to a camera longer if it was 16:9. Screw standard. :p

If you want to go <$1000, the aforementioned used Sony is a good starting point, as is a used Canon GL1. The GL1 (and even more so, the GL2) is a great camera for what it is. You can probably track one down used in your price range, and you'll be happy. It's a great affordable 3-chip camera. If you start saying 24p out loud, you're going to get into a whole 'nother can or worms all together; the same with 16x9 native shooting. Just plain a different ballpark.

To get your feet wet you don't need either of those. You don't need a 16x9 camera to create widescreen movies, especially as you're starting out. The GL1 has proven to be a sturdy warrior in the field, and has more than enough pro elements to satisfy someone wanting to get into low-budget filmmaking. Sure it's not a bona fide professional camera, those come with professional price tags... Now if you had the cash, the GL2 is everything the GL1 was, and more, but currently runs well over your $1000 limit.

On the other hand, if you prefer a new camera, you could consider Panasonic's newer 3CCD offerings. The GS400 is a new 3ccd camera and can be found for around a grand. They offer other, smaller 3-chip cameras for even less now, but those don't even hint towards the prosumer market...

gost8go
Jan 20, 2005, 09:10 AM
If you want to go <$1000, the aforementioned used Sony is a good starting point, as is a used Canon GL1. The GL1 (and even more so, the GL2) is a great camera for what it is.

Are you referring to the TRV900 or TRV950 or both as capable of 16:9?

My plan to is to buy one of the cameras you mentioned and then rent prosumer-grade equipment when I have time to make the best use of it. This thread has been extremely helpful to me.

Thank you for the suggestions.

sigamy
Jan 20, 2005, 10:01 AM
On the other hand, if you prefer a new camera, you could consider Panasonic's newer 3CCD offerings. The GS400 is a new 3ccd camera and can be found for around a grand. They offer other, smaller 3-chip cameras for even less now, but those don't even hint towards the prosumer market...

I'll second the recommendation for the Panasonic GS400. It has received great reviews online and there is a very active community at http://www.pana3ccduser.com

I own one and I love it. It may not be considered prosumer, but it is widely regared as the best high-end consumer cam around. Results in the 16:9 mode are incredible! Very close to matching broadcast TV. It also offers a frame mode and ProCinema to match a film-like look.

The Sony 900 and 950 are also very good cams, the new HC1000 has some negative reviews, mainly focusing on the touch-screen controls.

LethalWolfe
Jan 21, 2005, 03:45 AM
The Sony FX-1 is only $3000. The Z1 is about $5000. A pro shooter friend tells me that beta testers of the Z1 think it's very close to the Panasonic Varicam (which my friend rents for jobs) and the Sony costs about $95,000 less. The FX-1 doesn't have as many features, but is still a 3-ccd 1080i/60 camera.

The Z1 is due in Februrary. If I were a serious hobbyist, there's no way I would spend $3000 on a DV camcorder with these two cameras out there.

Hey, its no far to compare a new Z1 to an obviously broken Varicam. ;) I have seen FX-1 footage against a Sony F900 (HDCAM) and there is a massive difference.

People seem to forget that the glass makes a huge, huge diffence. Even between the same model cameras better glass can make a night and day difference. Alas... only if we could all afford $100,000 cameras w/$50,000
worth of glass on the front end. :)

Before I'd buy anything I'd wait for NAB. I've heard rumor that Panasonic is going to release a DVCProHD camera priced to compete w/Sony's HDV camera. Assuming it's true, and assuming Panasonic didn't shave off too many features, this camera could steal Sony's thunder.


Lethal