Video Camera

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by DavidSpearritt, Jul 4, 2007.

  1. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    I am contemplating buying a SONY FX1 HiDef 16:9 video camera, because I am getting so many requests for auditions, festivals, concerts, everyone wants DVD output and really top quality output.

    Is anyone on this board doing high quality double system video and audio recording and can advise on experiences using HD footage and cameras. Renting is an option, but sometimes the requests are last minute, literally. "Oh, did we mention we need a DVD?" Sigh.
  2. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    We purchased this same camera earlier this year. All I can say is WOW! it is a GREAT camera and the footage looks excellent. Most of what we have been shooting has been in SD but we did do a project in HD and the pictures were so good that you felt as if you were there. No problems with the camera at all (loud sound of Tom knocking on wood). I would get a couple of the larger batteries if you are going to be shooting for long periods of time not connected to the AC and a UV/haze filter/lens protector for the lens. I think SONY has a winner with this camera. The one thing that maybe problematic if you are going to use this camera hand held is that it is not designed to rest on your shoulder so you should get a good quality hip brace for the camera.
  3. srs

    srs Guest


    While not HD, I'm doing both audio and video of local choirs, concert bands, etc. It's a lot of fun, even though it's also a tremendous amount of work setting up, doing post-production, etc. For me it's a labor of love, though, so I don't really mind the extra work. I usually run the wide camera while recording the audio, and hire a buddy to run the close-up camera.

    I'd highly recommend the discussion groups at There's a forum for event videographers that's great. I've learned an awful lot there, as I have here at RO.

    Good luck!
  4. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Tom, srs, thanks for your advice. Glad to hear the FX1 is working well. I agree about the huge workload in post. Makes audio post look like kindy time. I must say that I have just starting using Edius 4 Pro in earnest and its very high quality software.

    Keep the reports coming.
  5. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    We use Vegas 7.0 if you want to try it you can download it from here We like it's rather simple interface that is hiding a really professional piece of software. It is easy to use and gives us GREAT results.

    I have a good friend who uses EDIUS everyday in his professional video production company and he loves it. We could never get the demo of Edius to open or operate properly.

    We also use Final Cut Pro HD on an older G4 Mac and it runs painfully slow. It is only a G4/450 machine and it is really showing its age.

    Welcome to the FX1 Club!!!!!

    Let us know how things are going......
  6. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    I'd second everything that Tom has already mentioned, except that we're using the JVC line of HD cameras, which is technically "compressed" HD. (as is the Sony format.) One cam is the HD-JY10, and the other two are HD-JY100s, if I have the model #s correct...

    My #1 assistant is also a video guy, and he's actually moving more towards his own production company now, which works out great all around. He goes nuts with the video of things (lighting, exposure settings, etc.) and I either hire him directly when I need him for small stuff, or (when the $ is there) I hire him as a complete independent.

    For my stuff, we generally use three cameras for things like Operas, musicals and theatrical presentations; one in the center as the master cam, unattended, no operator other than to set it up, focus, and start the tape. (That's the pro-sumer JVC, the HD-JY10). The other two cameras are on each side (or closer to center when we're allowed to shoot that way), each with a an operator, intercom, and cross-connected video monitors. (Each op can see what the other is shooting, so things are always being covered properly.)

    Back at home-base, we dump it all from DV tape into Sony Vegas 7.0, edit and prep it there for DVD, then open up DVD Architect 4.0, and we're good to go. Of course, multitrack audio is done via Sequoia, separately, and rendered out as 16/48 for video in stereo or surround. (As Tom mentioned, Sony Vegas is a GREAT product, in the four years or so that we've had it, we've had ZERO problems with it. It is, without a doubt, the best bang for the buck on a PC product I have ever purchased, bar none.)

    One word about HD compatibility between cameras, etc. Sony and JVC formats are NOT compatibile with each other, and they are also compressed HD. (You can't watch an HD tape shot on a Sony in a JVC camcorder, and vice versas.) Of course, once the material is IN the computer as MPEG4 files, you're ok, but keep that in mind if you're considering mixing and matching camera manufacturers. (My video guy loves the real glass lenses and features of the JVC, among other things.)

    We also investigated the Panasonic "Real" HD format, but the costs of storage media was totally outrageous (and out of the question, at least for now) for us. The 20 minute time limit of the storage chips/cards, let alone their cost per-unit stopped us cold.

    We're REALLY happy with the JVC system (Sony was our close-second choice) and are simply sticking with that now, because that's what's been working so well, so far.

    One other note about SD vs. HD. (Hint: It's all but OVER for SD, folks....) We've stopped doing any SD work (unless it's at gunpoint by a client, or we're transferring old footage.) We literally shoot everything in HD at 16x9, 1080i, because that's where it's heading anyway. (When the local news affiliates are all bragging about "Action News in HD!", you know the writing's on the wall for SD....) I'm also about to drop the separate charges for HD vs. SD. It just doesn't seem right anymore to charge extra for a format that is merely competitive, as opposed to "cutting edge/new".

    Just about everyone is now looking at TV & movies in widescreen, so our stuff is ready for those screens now. (And no one seems to mind the black bars at the top when looking at it letterboxed for SD 4:3 screens.)

    I've got three Sony 3-chip SD cameras, that I love; including the original 1000, the original 900, and (more recently) the 2100. (bought THAT just before the HD revolution hit.) I was thinking about dumping them on ebay or something before they're completely worthless. But now, I'm not sure I will ever sell these, because I'm sure I'll still need a reliable transfer system for the archives, and as they each die or become unrepairable, who knows? (Of course, the HD stuff is generally backwards-compatible, but who really knows what will be around in 10-20 years.)

    Anyway, welcome to the wild, wacky & wonderful world of HD video!
  7. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    JoeH, thanks for your detailed reply as usual. Since I have been researching all these cameras, the abundance of options and models is quite bewildering. The new Panasonic P2 cameras and storage do look good, particularly the AG-HVX202, but, like you say, the prices are stratospheric. Not sure which way to jump at present. Finding good practical info from trusted people is difficult, but this board is helping a lot. Many thanks.

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