View Full Version : New SONY HDR-FX1!

09-07-2004, 01:23 PM
Greetings all,

Sony just issued a news release about their new (the prototype was seen at NAB) HDV camera - and it's 1080i! No progressive scan that I can see (yet - this is the consumer version. A pro version is rumored to be coming) but even deinterlaced 1080 would look pretty damn good.

Here is the press relrease:

And more info:

Specs as mentioned thus far:

3 1/3" megapixel CCDs
16:9 "aspect mode" (beats me. Sounds like a jacked up name for "squished image")
Carl Zeiss Lense (!)
14bit A/D Converter
Utilizes MiniDV tape (there are rumors about BlueRay discs.... maybe the pro version?)
Shooting range from 32.5mm to 390mm! (that's just as wide as the DVA100A if I remember correctly)
12x zoom lense
Non-perpetual zoom ring! (hell yeah!)
"Expanded Focus mode" (supposedly enlarges the image on the LCD by 4 times without loss of quality - could prove tremendously useful, especially with HD)
250,000 pixel LCD
Wide Range stereo mic
External Audio level switch
Manual iris, gain, white balance, shutter speed and focus
"Cinetone Gamma"
"Cine Frame function" (? - sounds like some form of internal deinterlacing/conversion)
"Picture Profile Function" (mess with the image presets)
"Shot Transition Function" (settings to control focus, zoom, iris, gain, shutter and white balance, focus can gradually be shifted from the front of the screen to a deeper subject, or vice versa, enabling an effortless transition in depth of field."

09-07-2004, 02:06 PM
Just found out more great information!

The only real problems with this camera (IMO):

Lack of true progressive scan
No XLR connections

Not bad at all for a consumer camera though! Price will be below $3,700. The camera will be released in November with a Prosumer version available in quarter 1 of 2005.

Demosthenes X
09-07-2004, 08:45 PM
Hah! Someone linked to CCinfo... I find this amusing.

09-07-2004, 08:55 PM
That was awesome of you to post those alternative links to better review sites, after seeing that "amusing" one.

I think I'll click on a few and... oh wait...

Demosthenes X
09-07-2004, 09:02 PM
Reading the article... sounds like a great camera. Though it is a shame they didn't include Progressive scan and 24 fps... if they had, this camera could easily dominate the Indie scene...


But this is really first-generation HD, so we'll see what the future has in store, eh?

09-07-2004, 09:09 PM
Hah! Someone linked to CCinfo... I find this amusing.

Why is that?

*gasp* are you guys mocking me! :D

Actually I am really interested in seeing what sort of footage this thing can produce given its 22.1:1 compression ratio.... if the image holds up well I may have to think about getting one.

Demosthenes X
09-07-2004, 09:55 PM
'Cause CCI is my other lurking ground... and I've never seen it mentioned here (or vice versa). It's funny.

Stop staring.

09-07-2004, 09:56 PM
Personally, I think it will be a while before we see an HD prosumer camera with 24fps capability ... If they did that, it would rearrange the scope of budgets for films. It would turn the low budget filmmakers ($1,000,000 to $5,000,000) into large budget (maybe not big budget just yet), and no budget filmmakers into low budget filmmakers. Basically, if an indie filmmaker were to raise say $100,000 for a project, chances are he/she would opt for the cheaper camera, thus the rental houses would stop carrying the big HD cams (or stop stocking as many of them) because the demand would go down, thus Sony/Panavision would lose a lot of money.

Of course that's all assuming the cheaper HD24p prosumer version doesn't suck.


09-07-2004, 10:19 PM
My apologies, DemX. I thought you were trashing them, without adding useful aternatives.

:bow: <--- me begging forgiveness.

09-11-2004, 10:35 PM
New information on the Pro version:

09-11-2004, 10:40 PM
I'm leaving my wife for this camera.


09-12-2004, 01:19 AM
Thats the spirit Poke!

09-12-2004, 06:43 AM
according to ccinfo: The HDR-FX1 includes three 1/3-inch 16:9 1.12 Megapixel gross CCDs.

Not squished video, real 16:9 chips.

09-12-2004, 03:54 PM
Yep just like the XL2 (though I believe the XL2 squishes it to fit on tape... but the CCD is true 16:9)

09-12-2004, 04:35 PM
Yep just like the XL2 (though I believe the XL2 squishes it to fit on tape... but the CCD is true 16:9)

I didn't realize the XL2 had true 16:9 chips, did the XL1? The XL2 looks pretty awesome from what I've seen.

I'm not a tech head, but why would it have to squish the image to lay it to tape? Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of having the big chips? And its not like film where you have to record to a surface, it's just data.

09-13-2004, 11:17 AM
Yeah I'm impressed with the XL2. I'm seriously considering buying one but I'm very interested in seeing what Panasonic comes out with in regard to HD (especially since they dislike the HDV format).

Quite right about it being just data. The problem is that the footage has to comply with the DV standard.

09-13-2004, 12:46 PM
Quite right about it being just data. The problem is that the footage has to comply with the DV standard.

Oh, I think I get it now. The DV standard doesn't support 16:9 so it has to squish it. So with HDV (like the Sony), there should be no squishing because it supports 16:9, right?

Does it make any difference image quality-wise, squishing or not-squishing (what is the technical term for that "anamorphi-sizing?").

09-13-2004, 02:13 PM
Yes that is it indeed. DV is only 720x480 (NTSC). The HDV format is natively 16:9 so no problem there.

Quality of picture wise, it depends on a lot of factors. Everything being equal though it's best to use true 16:9 as you don't have to make it comply with DV resolution (hence the reason HDV works). I believe anamorphic resizing is an acceptable term. Not sure if it's the only one though.

09-16-2004, 07:12 PM
First Impression review on

Looks interesting

King Goldfish
09-29-2004, 06:43 PM
So Shaw.. I wanted to add to your thread... you can delete mine if you like.

I went to San francisco today and talked to a guy regarding the AGdvx100a and he was telling me its a great camera.. lots of indie film. I said "What is the lines of resolution.. he was like 520 or 540. I said "Thats what my little 3 color chip I got has (I dont have the camera in front of me to remember the model number but you all remember when I got it a month ago for 680 bucks.

He said "Its basically the same camera exept the ag100 and 100a have a better lenz, bigger chip size so the camera gets a much better color spectrum and that it has all the bells and whistles.

He said but personally its a big plastic box with slightly better guts then your inexpensive little camera has.

I said "But it is 16:9 ratio.. that makes a big difference. He says that unless I get a 1080i or progressive scan HD camcorder (Minimum 8000 bucks US) that all these cameras do is mask 16:9 capabilities with 720 lines and not true 1080.

He was telling me my 600 dollar vegas software does what expensive software used to do 5 years ago.. and if you were to take the AG100 dv and edit it you will see you can not enlarge it any more then 720.. you wont get a 1080x 720 render or true 1200+ rendering.

if you want 24p look then Vegas will do that too in post editing.. it just takes forever to render because of frame conversion to 23.97.

so I learned alot today.. he even had a sony rep there who showed me this beauty. I think the prices on these will get Jacked up a bit though because alot of people are gonna want HD for their indie film projects.

but anyways, its turned me off to buying the older ag100 which i could have gotten for 2800 bucks when I get my tax return or whenever i am able to save the rest I need. I think I will wait and buy this one.

Does anyone have any input that would detour them from buy this vs the AG100 other then the fact it doesnt have 24p?

09-29-2004, 09:40 PM
No worries about the other thread King Goldfish :) I do that sort of thing all the time!

>>I think I will wait and buy this one.<<

You mean the Sony HDV camera?

24 progressive is very nice to have but certainly not necessary. Especially if you have THAT much resolution to work with. The Sony also has a pseudo 24p mode which essentially mimicks the motion signature of 24p - only without a true progressively scanned frame.

So... I think the Sony is a perfectly good choice. It really depends on what you need to do though.

If your primary output is going to be film then the HDV is probably the way to go - hands down. If, however, you only intend to go to regular DVD (HD-DVDs are coming sometime) you will need to compare downressed HDV to the DVX footage. Which will look better in this situation is still not determined yet. Theoretically downressed HDV will look better - but because of the high MPEG2 compression it's hard to call without actually SEEING the footage.

So... I'd say wait and see what sort of HDV footage gets posted in the next month or so before making a choice.


You can "upres" the DVX footage to HD specs. You won't gain any *new* information (ie clarity, detail etc) but the image will hold up better when projected.

Demosthenes X
09-29-2004, 10:33 PM
Editing is the major detterent at the moment. Both FCP and Premier are releasing plug-ins to edit HD, but (and this is a BIG but) - it doesn't take in the footage at full resolution. So you're paying for an HD cam, and unless you're editing with a full AVID suite, you're not getting the full HD quality.

09-29-2004, 11:26 PM
Hmm interesting! I was not aware of that. How do these plugins work then?

King Goldfish
10-01-2004, 11:23 PM
Umm... Even vegas has the different ratios built in. You're saying that i will only get a max of 720 res?

True HD is I think 1280 x 720 (I heard its actuall 1300+) but unless you are willing to shell out 80 thousand bucks you're only gonna get a maximum of 1080x720 res.

which is a huge improvement from 720x480 I would think.

but if vegas doesnt give me 1080x720 resolution then I will be forced to go back to Adobe.

10-02-2004, 02:01 PM
I'm almost 100% positive that vegas will do what you need without quality loss.

King Goldfish
10-06-2004, 12:37 PM
So umm.. Which is better the JVC GR-HD1 or the Sony HDR-FX1?

Im now being talked into buying the JVC because Im told the sony doesnt do well in Low Light.

Also, I cant find any decent specs on the JVC GR-HD1. Does anyone know if it has the 24p feature where the Sony doesnt?

Im buying one of these cameras by the end of the year.

King Goldfish
10-06-2004, 01:11 PM
actually i just read the JVC is a single chip so I guess I will wait for the FX1 to come out.

10-06-2004, 05:03 PM
King Goldfish:

The JVC is 720 30p only. None of the HDV cameras (yet) can do 24p. The JVC is absolutely horrid in low light. It has a lux rating of 35 whereas the Sony has (I think) a rating of 5lux? That's not half bad!

So I would definitely go for the FX1. You also get full *true* manual control as well. There really isn't any benefit to the JVC at this point :).

King Goldfish
10-06-2004, 06:47 PM
Shaw.. Im not flip flopping here.. so forgive me if I say something one day and something another.. It has to do with the conflicting information I get off the net and sales people.

But i seem to be getting a better understanding now. But i just read on a consumer report site (I found it on google and dont know the link..sorry) that said the new Sony FX1 isnt any better.. they found it to be in the 30s as far as lux sensitivity went. So until its out on the market I dont think anyone can give fair feedback.

I wouldnt be surprized if it got alot of negative feedback which Sony needs to improve its next Gen camera.

but then again from what people saw on the showroom floor were very impressed.

I just made a whole new thread trying to get everyone to explain 1080i better to me and then followed up with more conflicting info that a sales guy gave me.

Is 1080i better then 720 30p? 720 30p is double the res right? so in short it is for smaller screens HD Quality when masked to 16:9?

lots to learn.. but I have a better understanding I think. I want to buy a mid range projection system for my new home. It will only be a 9-12 foot screen but it will be fun to have a home theatre.. My house I live in now has a Huge Cathedral ceiling and a 50 foot wall to house such a large screen but I dont have 15k and up for a high end projection so Im glad Im gett a smaller single story house. :D

one day I will have the funds to build a good system. Right now I wanted a decent camera not only to do indie as a hobby but to video tape my children in a better quality that my children will find in the future with lower end cameras. at least they will have a better quality of history of their upbringing. Im 39 and only have 2 videos of me prior to age 14. one on an old reel to reel tape system when I was 12 and a beta video at my uncles house in 1981 at age 15. both tapes lost :(

sucks.. someone out there I know has come across them.. i would burn it to DVD and even show you guys them if I ever come across them.

Especially that black and white one from school. My family never invested in a 8mm film camera so The earliest motion video I currently have is from 1991 of me.