Sony HDR-HC1 Versus HDR-FX1

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Will, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. Will

    Will Guest

    Can someone summarize key differences between the entry-level Sony HDTV
    camcorder, model HDR-HC1 and the higher end professional model HDR-FX1?
    The FX1 has removable lenses, but what about the native resolution, storage
    capacity, etc? We would be using this to make instructional videos for
    operating on complex machinery. The production values would not need to be
    extremely high, but we do need the highest possible resolution, and at least
    decent rendering of detail in shadow areas. Both cameras seem to sport
    1080i horizontal lines.
    Will, Dec 12, 2005
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  2. Will

    Smarty Guest

    I own the FX1 and have only briefly used the HC1,

    The FX1 is a 3 CCD camera, resulting in significantly better low light
    performance, and resulting improvements in shadow detail. The lens on the
    FX1 is ***NOT*** removable (nor is the lens on the cheaper HC1). Both have
    the same storage capacity and record at the same HDV resolution. There are
    numerous other differences of less importance.

    Physically the FX1 is considerably larger, bulkier, heavier, etc. and sports
    a more versatile lens.

    Smarty, Dec 12, 2005
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  3. Will

    Smarty Guest

    Here's a good link to compare the two cameras:


    Smarty, Dec 12, 2005
  4. Will

    Ty Ford Guest

    FX1 high end professional? That would be the CineAlta; a totally different

    The FX1 is not an HDTV camera, it HDV which is VERY different form HD, and
    not as good.

    As for 10801, well yes, but compare the compression ratios.


    Ty Ford

    -- Ty Ford's equipment reviews, audio samples, rates and other audiocentric
    stuff are at
    Ty Ford, Dec 12, 2005
  5. Will

    mmaker Guest

    They said 'higher end', not 'high end'. However, plenty of
    professionals in the HD documentary market have said they're shooting
    HD on Z1s.
    God, not that one again: please explain in what sense the FX1 is 'not
    an HDTV camera' when it records 1440x1080 MPEG-2 with a higher bit-rate
    than broadcast HDTV.

    mmaker, Dec 12, 2005
  6. Will

    Specs Guest


    You'd be well advised to ignore the above. HDV is HD BTW. The only thing I
    would worry about with HDV is the low light sensitivity. This can easily be
    overcome by using additional lighting or judicious use of the camera gain

    A detailed comparison can be found here:

    Let me draw your attention to the HDV production in Ghana thread. It is
    written by someone, John Lubran, who has actually used the format in
    production. Listen to these people not the urban mythmakers....

    Specs, Dec 12, 2005
  7. Will

    Nappy Guest

    I have also used HDV in productions. Currently being broadcast on MTV, FUSE,

    I disagree with the honorable Specs in that HDV differs from HD in numerous
    ways. Most notably the MPEG compression, low data rate and mid scale
    resolution. Also the compressed audio is possibly its weaked point.

    HDV is an appropriate label in that it does distinguish between HD and HDV.
    If HD were HDV then there would be no need to call it HDV.

    I have to add that HDV has thrown the software developers a curve they would
    rather have circumvented.
    Some editing programs now run very poorly while editing HDV because of the
    complexity of editing MPEG formats. It is not all working perfectly yet ...
    .. SO performance issues that were not a problem with uncompressed or
    frame-compressed formats are back to plague us as they did in the early
    90's. Generation errors caused by re-encoding , which has to happen more
    often in HDV land, are also a problem. In my world at least, it does
    require extra planning.

    Then there is the little problem of no live transcoding though cameras..
    FWIW DV is a more fleixble format in my world. I wish they had simply
    expanded the DV format instead of MPEG.
    Nappy, Dec 12, 2005
  8. Will

    David McCall Guest

    Yeah, DV-50HD would have been a little better

    David McCall, Dec 12, 2005
  9. Will

    Will Guest

    What are the resolutions of HDV and HD, respectively?
    Will, Dec 13, 2005
  10. Will

    Frank Guest

    Your question is oddly stated, given that HDV (High Definition Video)
    is simply one of many HD (high definition) formats, albeit a
    low-quality, low-cost HD format. Some other HD formats, for example,
    include Panasonic's DVCPRO HD and Sony's HDCAM and HDCAM SR.

    The two most commonly used HD resolutions are 720p (1280 x 720
    progressive) and 1080i (1920 x 1080 interlaced).
    Frank, Dec 13, 2005
  11. Will

    Specs Guest


    I am sure you can remember the days of frustration and expense trying to
    edit SD in the not too distant past. I remember the cost of those 500 MB
    SCSI drives in my RAID. I remember the flaky software and the crappy
    hardware. Even when DV arrived it was not that easy to edit more than a
    couple of streams in realtime. So I'd take where we are gladly as history
    tells us its only going to get easier.
    Using edit friendly codecs like DNxHD, Cineform and Canopus mitgate much of
    the above. But in a professional environment why go back to HDV? The cost
    of owning a HD-SDI board is irrelevant and a days hire won't break the bank

    Nappy, you mentioned the music video you shot that you were unimpressed by
    HDV's audio? For the life of me I cannot understand why you were recording
    audio for a music video other than for syncing in the edit. Why would use
    MP2 in a deliverable?
    What do you call DVCPROHD aka DV100? Even at 100 Mbps DV100 falls apart at
    1080i with complex images. Mosaicing can be seen and to my eyes are more
    noticeable than "motion blur" one gets with HDV material. HDV is improving
    and we haven't seen the best yet. The Canon HD1 output is superior to the
    Sony cameras so there are optimisations to be had even within the confines
    of 25 Mbps. Don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting there will be earth
    shaking improvements but there will certainly be noticeable refinements.

    Some clips from the Canon HD1:

    HDV is not meant to be amazing quality its meant to sell HDTVs as its first
    and foremost objective. Its second objective is not to take sales away from
    the Cinealta. Question: If you were given a brief to design the best
    quality small format HD camcorder to be sold for about $6000 you wouldn't
    base your design round a DV tape would you? Its not beyond the wit of man
    to produce a camcorder with a half decent lens and removable hard drive bay
    accepting drives in ruggedised enclosures and recording MPEG 2 @ 50 or 75
    Mbps with PCM audio. We can all dream....

    Specs, Dec 13, 2005
  12. Will

    Nappy Guest

    What.. you don't record the music on the shoot? :))

    Actually we had 2 Z1Us as our shoot cameras and 2 as doc cameras.

    While finishing I had the need to lay back to the HDV camera from the
    timeline. In order to sync the PCM when I lay off to digibeta. Of course
    the timeline had the mastered CD audio. Not source from the camera. I had
    planned to relay the audio to the digibeta in the online-copy. However, when
    I listened to the audio from the layback to the camera and compared it with
    the PCM audio it was so terribly poor that I went to look at the doc footage
    to check the audio. Alas.. it fell way below my expectations. Again.. the
    layback audio was only there to help online sync of the PCM audio if it was
    needed.And it most definately was. There was no way I could broadcast the
    Z1U's audio

    So it was the comparison of the PCM audio to the MPeg audio that caused me
    to look further into the audio issue.

    At this point I would probably put an iPod connection on it.
    They're cheaper than theose dang flash cards!
    Nappy, Dec 13, 2005
  13. Will

    mmaker Guest

    However, don't most 1080i cameras actually record 1440x1080? I know HDV
    does, and believe (non-SR) HDCAM does.

    mmaker, Dec 13, 2005
  14. Yes, that is correct.


    Martin Heffels, Dec 13, 2005
  15. Will

    Frank Guest

    On 13 Dec 2005 10:05:12 -0800, in '',

    Correct. Mark. I was referring to display sizes, not acquisition
    sizes, as I didn't want to confuse the original poster. Also, I was in
    a hurry, so much so that I failed to mention that HDV supports both
    720p and 1080i. This was part of the original poster's question and I
    had intended to mention it but failed to do so.
    Frank, Dec 13, 2005
  16. Will

    David McCall Guest

    Keeping in mind that, while some machines can play both,
    everything I've seen so far can only record one or the other.

    David McCall, Dec 13, 2005
  17. Will

    Frank Guest

    Indeed, David, JVC's flavor of HDV does 720p while Sony's (and now
    Canon's as well) does 1080i. I had also intended to mention this, but
    again was pressed for time.

    As to acquisition frame sizes, it probably should be noted that the
    CCDs in the Sony HVR-Z1-series camcorders actually capture only 960
    pixels per scan line and use pixel offset magic to get to 1440.

    Many of those wishing to shoot HD on a very tight budget seem to be
    waiting for the Panasonic AG-HVX200, which is currently scheduled to
    begin shipping to dealers on December 29, 2005. It's a DVCPRO HD
    product, not an HDV product, but does both 720p and 1080i and some
    independent filmmakers will probably like its 24p mode of operation
    although those who desire 24p and can live with HDV's MPEG-2
    compression may find that the JVC GY-HD100 720p HDV camcorder (19.7
    Mbps with a GOP length of six) meets their needs.

    Frank, Dec 14, 2005
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